Review: Melting into You (Due South #2) by Tracey Alvarez

Melting Into YouTitle: Melting into You
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Big, sexy men who don’t relate well to kids need not apply…

Kezia Murphy plays her widow card well. When you don’t trust people not to let you down, it’s easier to not get involved—and getting involved with a man who makes her skin sizzle just by looking at him would be una pazzia—crazy! Four years ago while Kezia’s daughter, Zoe, battled leukaemia, a tragic accident stole her husband’s life. Starting over in the little town of Oban where she’s adopted into the close knit community on Stewart Island, Kezia and her daughter are all the family the other needs. Except Zoe yearns for more.

New Zealand’s worst candidate for instant fatherhood…

Ben doesn’t do gooey emotional stuff. He doesn’t do cosy home and family. And he sure isn’t the big teddy-bear Kezia Murphy, the woman he secretly fantasises about, thinks he is. So when Jade, his surprise eight-year-old daughter arrives on his doorstep, he’s a D-minus student struggling to pass a crash-course in parenting.

They’ll either melt or raze their lives to the ground…

When the sparks of attraction between Kezia and Ben fan into an inferno, Ben doesn’t know how much longer the layers of resistance around his heart can resist melting into the gooey mess he fears. The more he fights it the harder it is to make the choice that will destroy the family he now longs to claim.

My Review:
Melting Into You is a great second book and another wonderful addition to this series.

I really love Tracey’s writing style and the quality is of a very high standard. I enjoy the small tight-knit rural community setting and I think it’s amazing that Tracey can write so many fantastic stories within such a small world. But she pulls it off with aplomb.

Ben Harland is a typical long in the tooth bachelor, a real live Neanderthal Man. He grated on my nerves a bit at the start, but I quickly warmed to him. His progression is heart-warming and I loved his loyalty toward his daughter at the end of the book. The two girls were so cute in this book and it really appealed to my maternal side.

Kezia is battling some pretty big insecurities, and she is terrified of relying on any man again. With Ben’s help and some prodding from her friends, she learns to overcome them.

It’s a beautiful love story – two guarded people opening their hearts and deciding to share a family life together.

Another fantastic read.
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

Excerpt Blast: To the Stars (Thatch #2) by Molly McAdams

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Today is my stop during the excerpt blast for To the Stars (Thatch #2) by Molly McAdams. I share an excerpt from this book.

To The Stars - coverTitle: To the Stars
Author: Molly McAdams
Series: Thatch #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
In the second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was three and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life—whether she liked it or not—but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

Excerpt Reveal: To The Stars by Molly McAdams

Don’t miss the first book in the series!
Letting Go - coverTitle: Letting Go
Author: Molly McAdams
Series: Thatch #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
In the second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was three and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life—whether she liked it or not—but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

Molly McAdams - author picAbout the Author:
Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Links:

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Release Day Blitz: Just One Kiss (Black Alcove) by Jami Wagner

Just One Kiss RDL Ban
Today is my stop during the release day blitz for Just One Kiss (Black Alcove) by Jami Wagner.

justonekiss-wagner-ebookTitle: Just One Kiss
Author: Jami Wagner
Series: Black Alcove
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A first kiss is hard to forget—and Kelsey Brian’s just walked into the bar where she works and isn’t planning to leave anytime soon. It figures. With her last semester of college finally here, Kelsey can’t wait to finish the year smoothly and start a new chapter. She doesn’t need to drive over yet another bump in the road.

Ethan Connelly has spent most of his adult life trying to be accepted by his father, and now he has the chance to make him proud. He’s also just stepped into another chance with the girl who got away. Deciding who matters most to him isn’t an easy choice. If he picks his father, he’ll lose her again—if he picks her, everything he’s worked for will be for nothing.

Can Kelsey learn to trust him, or will Ethan’s secret of why he’s really back in town tear them apart?

Excerpt:
“Well, I’ll be damned, Kelsey Brian showed up to work before me. Now I’ve seen it all.” Logan struts into the bar like he owns the place and lets out a low whistle. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”
I roll my eyes, but Sara just stands there with a silly smile on her face. Logan has one of those personalities that you can’t help but love. Just the tone of his voice and his own smile can improve a girl’s mood in less than a second. Not to mention his shaggy, dark blonde hair, blue eyes, and athletic build. He would be a catch in more ways than one. I think Sara is finally figuring it out.
“It’s not what, it’s who,” Sara coos. Warmth creeps up my neck and into my cheeks. Logan’s eyes go wide.
“Dude, are you serious? Someone has finally cracked the ‘I hate boys’ phase we thought would last forever.”
“It’s not a phase,” I interrupt. “I just find it hard to trust someone now.”
Sara’s face lights up as she slowly nods her head up and down. “And stop calling us dudes.” She laughs, pointing at Logan.
“Wait a minute…does this have anything to do with Ethan?” Logan suggests, folding his arms in front of him.
“Oh, I bet it does,” Sarah says.
Logan reaches his arm over the counter, his palm flat, and Sara gives him a high five. It’s like I’m not even here. How does Logan know about Ethan anyway? I just found out yesterday.
“He called me this morning, wanted to get together but something came up, said he needed a rain check.” Logan shares this piece of information as he joins us behind the bar. I continue with my side work and listen to them at the same time.
“Yeah, well, it better be for something good because he said he was going to be late.”
He probably went to change his shirt, but I’d be okay with him not changing his shirt and just forgetting about it altogether.
“Hello? Earth to Kelsey!”
I look up from—wait. Was I just staring at the sink water this whole time?
“What’s your deal?” Sara asks.
“She knows something,” Logan answers.
They both study me with their full attention. I crack under the pressure. It only took two seconds, but it’s always hard to keep things from Sara. Then you add Logan, and there’s no hope. They make a strong team.
“Alright, so I may have seen Ethan once or twice since yesterday.” That sounds good enough. I turn with the intention of filling the sink at the other end of the bar, but Sara grabs my arm. I keep my eyes pinned to the floor.
“And…?”
“And…I might know why he’s late?”
“Is that a question?”
My face wrinkles up. I want to avoid this whole conversation. Treat it just like a Band-Aid, Kelsey. One quick pull and it’s over.
“I may have kicked him in the face, given him black eyes, hit him with my car door, and burned him with coffee right before I got here.” I shrug. “Hence no coffee.”

Jami WagnerAbout the Author:
JAMI WAGNER was born in Wyoming. Still living in the Cowboy State, Jami and her boyfriend are currently writing their own love story with their yellow lab.

Jami enjoys writing New Adult and published her debut novella Date in the Dark in 2015.

Visit and connect with Jami at www.jami-wagner.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorJamiWagner, on Twitter at @Jami_Wagner, or on Instagram at @JAMIWAGNER_.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: In Too Deep (Due South #1) by Tracey Alvarez

In too DeepTitle: In Too Deep
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Series: Due South #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
She vowed never to return.

To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she’d never do—return to the tiny island home-town where Ryan “West” Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who’s part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn’t stop the guilt she feels over her father’s drowning death. Now nine years later she’s obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover.

She’s a risk he can’t take.

West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can’t imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she’s back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can’t resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk?

Saying goodbye the second time might just destroy them both.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book and I’m definitely going to continue the series.

I loved the writing, strong characterization and worldbuilding. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a small, rural community setting but the author wrote it so well that you couldn’t help falling in love with the place.

Piper and Ryan (West) have spent years dodging each other and as the story develops we being to understand why. The author skillfully builds longing and angst and I really felt the emotions of both characters. I felt it dragged a little in the middle and I thought I’d die if they didn’t get their act together.

Both characters develop and grow throughout the story and eventually learn to let each other in. It was really sweet and romantic (and there’s plenty of steamy action too!)

The ending was a bit too cheesy for me (though I’m not usually opposed to a bit of cheese)and the only other thing I didn’t like was the slight change in perspective and tense on occasion which was jarring. Minor complaints though. For a debut novel, I think it’s very accomplished, and I look forward to reading more from the author.

Thanks to Tracey Alvarez for running a promo on this book which enabled me to pick up a copy for free. I’ve already downloaded the second installment and I look forward to getting stuck in.

Blog Tour: Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters. I’ll share my review of this book with you and there’s an excerpt.

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DC AmazonGRSWTitle: Desperate Chances
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: Bad Rep #4
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sex changes everything.

And love can turn into an enemy…

Mitch Abrams, the bassist for the popular rock band Generation Rejects, has been in love with Gracie Cook for years. But Gracie, a complicated girl with a lot of baggage, was too blind to see how she felt about the man who had always stood by her.

Until one night of passion brought them closer than they had ever been before.

Feeling off balance and out of control, Gracie does the only thing a girl with self-destructive tendencies can do: end things with Mitch before they can really begin.

So Mitch moves on. With his band, his friends, and a new girlfriend.

Yet he can’t seem to forget about the girl who threw his heart away.

Gracie, who is still struggling to build a life after crashing to the bottom, finds it hard to forget about her one night with Mitch. And even as she tries to convince herself it was only sex, her heart knows differently.

But life is full of chances and desperate moments. And when Mitch and Gracie are thrown back into each other’s lives, will they seize at the opportunity to do things right?

Or will the rock star and the less than ordinary girl crash and burn?

DC teaser cover photo

My Review:
Well, that was an enthralling read! My first A. Meredith Walters book, but most definitely not my last.

Mitch and Gracie have been BFFs for years. He has always been in love with her, and her with him, but she was too wasted to notice until it was too late.

Gracie is battling some monstrous demons – alcoholism, anorexia and an interfering mom who appears to be at the root of a lot of her issues. Gracie struggles to stand up to her and allows her mother to boss her around like she’s a little kid. I loved how, in the end, she was strong enough to stand her ground and fight to be treated appropriately.

Gracie has been to rehab and she’s making a concerted effort to sort her life out. She has a new part-time writing job, is sharing an apartment with one of her oldest and dearest girlfriends, and she’s trying to wash Mitch right out of her hair. But it’s damned hard, because she remembers how amazing their one-night stand was, and his admission of love has imprinted on her heart and her soul. She knows now that she loves him too, but it’s too late because Mitch has been dating Sophie for the last year and Gracie feels like she has lost her HEA.

Sophie is a total drip and she has never fitted in with the band or made much of an effort to. Now, one part of me understands it, but seriously, the girl has no self-respect. Everyone can see that Mitch still loves Gracie yet Sophie clings to him like a wet limpet. Pathetic.

Mitch is a great guy, but he’s a douche for the way he treats Sophie. He knows she isn’t the one for him yet he continues to string her along. He lost some brownie points for that.

This book is awash with angst and heartache and I just lapped it all up. I enjoyed the world-building and it was sad to see how the band’s dreams pretty much imploded overnight. Character development was superb, and though I haven’t read the other books in the series (yet) I didn’t feel like I missed out. Backstory was adequately filled in and I got to know all the characters and their distinct personas . The writing is excellent and it flowed smoothly – there weren’t’ any sections that I felt were repetitive, unnecessary, or rushed.

Overall this was a fantastic read and I look forward to checking out more of this author’s work in the future.
Actual rating 4.5.

DC teaser pic #1

Excerpt:
I realized I was staring. Mitch knew I was staring.

So of course he purposefully gave his girlfriend his attention, his body angled towards me but his head bent low so that his face was close to Sophie’s. He pushed the hair back off her forehead. His eyes were on her face and he gave her soft smile that I recognized only too well.

A smile that I had thought, at one time, was only for me.

Get over it, Gracie! It’s been a year! What did you think would happen? That he’d pine over you forever? Get a grip!

I started to turn away when Mitch looked back towards me, his eyes locking on mine.

I forgot how to breathe.

My heart thudded almost painfully in my chest.

My mouth went dry and my hands began to tremble. A need that I had almost forgotten about thrummed through my body. My belly tightened and my nipples hardened. The air hummed and sizzled. I was altered completely. Just by a look.

How had I never felt this electricity between us before? The answer was obvious.

I had been totally blind. I hadn’t wanted to see it. Because if I had acknowledged it, everything would have changed. And at that time I couldn’t handle that. The truth was I had been absolutely terrified.

Maysie squeezed my arm but I barely felt it. Jordan was still talking but I didn’t hear him.

All I could see was Mitch.

All Mitch could see was me.

We were locked in a stand off, neither of us moving.

All too soon he broke our intense staring contest. He bent down and kissed his girlfriend almost angrily. It was a harsh press of lips that seemed to take Sophie by surprise. She wrapped her arms around Mitch and held him tenderly even as he ground his mouth against hers.

I looked away. I could barely breathe around the lump sitting painfully in the middle of my chest. A pain that I knew to be jealousy.

And regret.

DC teaser pic #2

ameredithwaltersAbout the Author:
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.

Links:

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Release Week Blitz: Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Today is my stop during the release week book blitz for Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It’s the fifht book in her amazing Wait For You series. There’s an excerpt and a giveaway.

ForeverWithYou mm cTitle: Forever with You
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait for You #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…

Some things you just believe in, even if you’ve never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It’s out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she’s got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph’s eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick’s self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he’s knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she’s building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can’t walk away. Not when she’s the only one who’s ever made him wish for forever . . .

FWY Teaser6_IG

Praise for Forever with You:
“Armentrout packs a powerful emotional punch in her fifth Wait for You new adult contemporary (after Fall with Me)… Armentrout tugs at the heartstrings while delivering an intense, gripping tale.” –Publishers Weekly

“Armentrout presents an emotional installment in her Wait for You series…[she] does it again, presenting a fast-paced tearjerker that fans will devour.” –Booklist

FWYTeaser2_IG

Excerpt:
I spotted Roxy and her blue glasses toward the back of the busy restaurant. The walkways between the booths were crowded with racing kids covered in sticky jelly and older people trying to rein them in as I made my way toward them. Roxy’s hair was pulled up in a messy bun and her eyes squinted as she glanced up at me. “You seriously went running before you came here. You weren’t lying.”
“Nope. I try to run every day.” I sat beside Katie, who compared to Friday night was dressed down in a baby blue off-the-shoulder sweater that looked like sequins had thrown up on it. Her blond hair was pulled back in a low ponytail at the nape of her neck. “I have to work out,” I explained, placing my purse between Katie and me. “I eat like five starving guys in college. It’s actually embarrassing how much food I can consume in one sitting.”
Katie laughed. “I don’t have that problem. I can eat whatever I want and not gain a pound. Actually, I’d probably lose weight.” Her shoulders rose in a shrug. “Sucks to be you all.”
Roxy scowled at her. “You don’t need to rub it in, you know.”
“Don’t hate me because I was born this way.” Katie grinned when Roxy rolled her eyes. “Maybe it’s Maybelline. Maybe it’s Katie.”
I giggle snorted. The waitress appeared at our table, clicking the pen she’d pulled out of the pocket of her apron. She took our drink order and then dashed off to fulfill it, her white sneakers squeaking across the floor. “I’m glad you came,” Roxy said, propping her elbows on the table. “I was worried I was going to have to search you down and force you to come eat with us.”
I laughed again. “I’m pretty sure you’d have a hard time doing that.”
“I’m scrappy.” Roxy grinned. “I could take you.”
Thinking of the shiner I’d first seen her with, I decided she was probably telling the truth. “I’m glad you guys invited me.” I paused while the waitress returned with our drinks before disappearing again, then I said, “So, I know Roxy works at the bar, what about you, Katie?”
“At the club across the street from Mona’s.” Katie dumped a packet of sugar into her coffee and then picked up five more, managing to rip the tops off in one impressive swipe. “It’s a strip club.”
“Oh.” How had I not noticed a strip club across the street from Mona’s? Katie dumped the sugar in her coffee. “I strip. I don’t dance. I take my clothes off for a living and get paid damn good money for it, too.”
I blinked. “That’s cool.”
Her gaze turned shrewd. “You don’t have a problem with that?”
“Um, not if you don’t.” I glanced at Roxy, who was busy cleaning her glasses, a small smile pulling at her face. I picked up my soda and took a deep drink.
Katie tilted her head to the side, studying me. “Really?”
I lifted a shoulder. “Nope. Honestly. I think it’s pretty cool you have the lady balls to do it.”
A slow grin appeared. “You should do it. You’d make so much money. Hell, I’d pay to see you—”
“Katie,” sighed Roxy, resting her chin in her hand. “Stop trying to recruit rookie strippers. You do this every time you meet someone. No one has agreed yet.”
I grinned as I pictured the odd blonde roaming the city, looking for women who wanted to take their clothes off. “I don’t think I could do it. I’d get up there and then forget how to take my clothes off.”
“Taking your clothes off is the easiest part,” Katie replied seriously.
Roxy looked doubtful. “Those spandex running pants leave very little to the imagination. If I had your body, I’d walk around naked all day.”
“I have no problem getting naked when it’s—I don’t know, an intimate situation,” I announced, “but doing it in public is a different story.”
“That’s good to know,” the waitress said, pen in hand. “Do you guys know what you want to eat?”
“Awkward,” I murmured under my breath as my eyes widened.

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And don’t miss the previous titles in the Wait for You Series!

JLA_Author-photoAbout the Author:
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

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Review: Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2) by Lisa Swallow

falling skyTitle: Falling Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: contemporary romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky’s world turned upside down when she met rock star Dylan Morgan, and exploded when she discovered his hidden past.

Four months after Sky learns Dylan’s devastating secret, she’s trying to piece her life back together. Without an explanation from Dylan, Sky has no choice but to try and forget him.

Dragged back into the life he ran from, Dylan continues to spiral downwards as he copes with his fame the only way he knows how. Shattered by the revelation Sky knows his darker past, he forces himself to return to England and explain.

Sky and Dylan reconnect, attempting to build on the shaky foundations of their summer. But the outside world continues to conspire against them.

Taking place in the epicentre of the Blue Phoenix world, Sky and Dylan’s story continues amongst the chaos surrounding the band and its members.

My Review:
I raced through this second installment, eager to know how things would end up for Sky and Dylan. I loved how both of them matured and developed as characters and how their relationship changed from being a sort of ‘crutch’ to a true partnership.

I still love this author’s writing though there were parts of the dialog that felt unnatural. Personally, I believe she missed a couple of plot opportunities, especially with Lily and Sky’s break-in. (Partly because I just don’t want their story to end.)

The last quarter of the book I was waiting for something climactic to happen but it didn’t. It was only at the end that I realized this is the last story centering on Sky and Dylan and I’m pretty heartbroken because I am not ready to say goodbye to them yet.

I’ve no interest in reading Liam’s book. We barely got to hear from him in Book 1 & 2 so I don’t feel any connection to him and Honey is just uugghh – a stereotypical gold-digger. I won’t be checking out that book, however, I’m really interested to read Jem’s story. He was a really interesting character – flawed, troubled and majorly hitting the self-destruct button.

Overall, this was a great read and this is a gem of a series.

Review: Summer Sky (Blue Phoenix #1) by Lisa Swallow

summer skyTitle: Summer Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky changed her life for a man once, and she has no intention of doing it again – even if he is a six foot, tattooed rock god who makes a mean bacon sandwich.

Sky Davis is fed up of boyfriend Grant taking her for granted and when she comes home to find him wearing a girl, Sky suspects the relationship is over. She takes an unscheduled holiday and leaves the life (and guy) she hates behind.

Rock star Dylan Morgan is struggling with fame and infamy, sick of his life being controlled by other people. Dylan cuts his hair and walks away from his role as lead singer of Blue Phoenix, leaving chaos and speculation behind.

Outside the English seaside town of Broadbeach their cars and worlds collide.

Sky decides Dylan is an arrogant guy with too many tattoos, and Dylan is amused by the smart-mouthed girl with no idea who he is. Dylan and Sky soon discover they’ve travelled to Broadbeach for the same reason – to escape from reality back to a place with happy childhood memories.

Losing themselves in a world where they know nothing about each other, Sky and Dylan begin a holiday romance that soon heats up their rainy English summer.

Fantasies can’t last forever and when reality crashes the party, Sky isn’t sure she wants to be more than his ‘summer Sky’.

Returning to the real world and public scrutiny isn’t their only problem. Blue Phoenix lead guitar player, Jem Jones, has a reason for wanting Sky out of Dylan’s life, and is determined to come between them. Some things won’t stay hidden, even when they’re paid to ‘go away’.

Summer Sky is a romance where occasionally more than the bacon sizzles. This is the first in the new ‘Blue Phoenix’ series of contemporary rock star romances.

*Please note this is not a standalone and has a cliffhanger – Sky’s and Dylan’s story continues in Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2)

My Review:
This book totally sucked me in and I read it in two sittings. Apart from a couple of minor annoyances, I really enjoyed it. Love this author’s writing style and will definitely continue the series.

The author brings you into the heart of the story from the get-go and straight away my interest was piqued. Sky is a likeable MC and I loved Dylan at the start; though later on I became more suspicious of his motives and wondered if he was trustworthy. A hot, troubled rock star god? Yeah, this was definitely my kind of book.

There was a part about a third of the way in where I grew a little frustrated as it appeared that the couple were going round and round in circles and the dialog became a little repetitive. However, it was only a minor speed-bump.

I loved the rock star world in the second part of this book and I felt the author did a great job of presenting it as outwardly glamorous but inwardly quite twisted and full of debauchery. It made for some great reading.

I loved the writing style and it was a very accomplished novel, in my opinion.

All in all a great read and I’d highly recommend it. I think fans of J.Lynn would especially enjoy this series.

I’ve already downloaded Falling Sky and I can’t wait to get into bed tonight and continue the story, especially after that shocking cliff-hanger ending (love it).

Thanks to Lisa Swallow for promoting this book which enabled me to pick up a free copy.

Review: Whiskey Kisses (3:AM Kisses #4) by Addison Moore

whiskey kissesTitle: Whiskey Kisses
Author: Addison Moore
Series: 3:AM Kisses #4
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Conteporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
This book can be read as a standalone.

Izzy Sawyer has always been the it girl. She believes she’s the last person on earth who deserves a happily ever after. Holt Edwards has always been the player that women voluntarily fall to their knees for. When it comes to love, Holt doesn’t believe in fairytale endings.

When Izzy dives back into the dating pool, Holt is right there, ready and willing, to offer tips and tricks to get her through an entire army of blind dates—starting with a bone melting demonstration on how to deliver mouthwatering kisses.

One thing leads to whiskey and Izzy is starting to think happily ever after doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Holt is starting to rethink his stance on fairytale endings.

But Izzy has a secret that has turned her world upside down. Holt has a secret of his own that cost him far more than he ever bargained for.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you the happily ever after. Sometimes it’s best to leave fairytale endings on the bookshelf where they belong.

Izzy can’t stop thinking about Holt.
Holt can’t seem to quit his favorite new addiction—Izzy.

The mercury is rising—secrets are percolating—and their lust for one another is just about to detonate.

Izzy needs just one more hit of Holt and his late night Whiskey kisses, but deep down she knows that will never be enough. She wants all of him—every bone melting kiss he ever has to offer.

Izzy wants Holt
Holt worships Izzy.

Summer in Hollow Brook just heated up.
Sparks are flying.
Together Izzy and Holt are unstoppably electric.

My Review:
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

This is my first Addison Moore book and I haven’t read the other books in this series.

I really enjoyed reading this and it was quite a quick read. However, I did have a few issues with it that stopped me from rating it higher.

Izzy is a like-able MC and I really felt for her the whole way throughout the story. All she has ever tried to do is abide by her father’s last wish – to make sure her mom isn’t alone, her sister is looked after, and to write to him. I had a feeling that her father would reappear at some point. One of the sweetest parts of this book were the letters that Izzy wrote to her Dad – these parts were exceptionally well written.

Holt is smoking hot and also a really nice guy. Quite mature for 22, except for his actions at the end of the book which were uncharacteristically immature and also not relevant to the plot. Overall, I really loved him though and one can’t help but fall for him, particularly when he is so protective of Izzy.

There was some very witty dialogue between Holt and Izzy, and Izzy and her mom. But in other parts I felt the dialogue was cringe-worthy, cheesy and very unnatural. A little inconsistent.

Izzy’s mom and sister were extremely irritating characters and so selfish, particularly Laney. I really didn’t like her at all. Holt’s dad is a prize jerk, yet in the emotional reveal at the end he seems to have developed into the persona of what a man his age should be – but it wasn’t in keeping with how he acted in the rest of the story.

Izzy has been struggling to deal with the aftermath of a hugely traumatic experience and consequently she has shut herself off to love and relationships. I felt the author handled this very well, and I could feel Izzy’s pain. However, when Izzy and Holt finally get it on she had no doubts and appeared overly confident for someone who was supposed to be a troubled virgin. In reality, I think she would have been way more apprehensive.

There is a plot-line around the fact that Izzy is 5 years older than Holt and there are a few scenes where she worries about this and one scene where others petty prejudices come to the fore. I’m not sure that it’s as current or relevant nowadays but I could relate to Izzy’s sentiments as I met my husband when he was 21 and I was 26 and I initially turned him down because I felt he was too young, and I worried what others would think. However, that was sixteen years ago, and I thought it was more acceptable nowadays? So not sure in current times how big of a deal it would actually be.

The ending was too neatly wrapped up to be believable, and I was incredulous for the most part. But it didn’t dent my overall enjoyment of this book. I will definitely check out more of this authors work. However, I’ve no interest in reading about Lainey and Ryder or Cole and Roxy so I will probably check out Bryson and Baya’s book.

I’d like to thank Addison Moore for running a free promo on this book which allowed me to pick up a complimentary copy.

Review: Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1) by J.P. Grider

calling californiaTitle: Calling California
Author: J.P. Grider
Series: Hunter Hill University #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.

Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.

When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.

Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.

Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?

My Review:
Cali has had a tough life, with one knock back after another. Money has never been in great supply in her household and she’s had to defer college to save up enough money to go. Then her dad gets sick and her mom is pulling two jobs to try and meet his medical bills. Griffin has had it cushy and never wanted for anything. A major player, he’s never met any girl he felt like settling down with, until he meets Cali.

Cali has a chip the size of a planet on her shoulder over money. On one level, I could feel her pain and empathize, but on another level I wanted to give her a swift kick in the butt and tell her to get over herself. She allows it to control and ruin basically every aspect of her life. I have to say, after a while, it became tedious to read it, and by the end of the book any sympathy I had for her had been erased.

The redeeming element in this book is undoubtedly Griffen. All he does is try his best to support and please Cali, and all she does is constantly push him away. There is an inciting incident at the start, when they are kids, that brings the whole ‘soulmates’ premise into play. I loved that and it helped me believe in their love, because without that I really didn’t see what attracted Griffen to whiny Cali.

There’s a really good twist about half way through the book. I suspected there was something coming, but not that! I love when a book surprises me. Again, Griffen acts in Cali’s best interests in helping to bring the secret out into the open. Cali feels betrayed by him and her mom (which is initially a natural reaction) but then she forgives her mom for a lifetime of lies and kicks Griffen to the curb even though he only concealed it for a few days, and only to do the right thing. That was the part where I started screaming at my Kindle.

The writing is consistent with other books in this genre and we get our HEA in the end. It’s an enjoyable enough read even though I wish some of the characters ( and Cali in particular) behaved differently.

I received a review copy of this book via Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.


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