Blog Tour: Tell Me That You’re Mine (Tell Me #3) by Victoria De La O


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Tell Me That You’re Mine (Tell Me #3) by Victoria De La O! I share my review of this book, some teasers, an excerpt and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

Title: Tell Me That You’re Mine
Author: Victoria De La O
Series: Tell Me #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Ryan McCallister is ready to come home and put the heartbreak of his first love behind him. But when he returns after teaching abroad, the home he once knew isn’t quite ready for him. The woman Ryan once loved is living with his brother; his friends have moved on; and his new landlady, Eva Romero, seems determined not to like him.

But Ryan likes Eva. A lot.

It doesn’t matter that Eva has a six-year-old son and a troubled ex-husband; when Ryan’s with her, everything makes sense. Eva isn’t convinced she’s ready to take another chance on love, but Ryan’s determined to show her he’s worth the risk.

My Review:
A heart-warming, sweet, emotionally-charged romance about second chances and self-worth and how you should never give up on the person who rocks your world, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Tell Me That You’re Mine is an addictive page-turner that you won’t be able to put down.

Swoon over Ryan, empathise with Eva, and go gag-gag for little Diego.

It feels like I’ve been waiting for this book forever, when it hasn’t actually been too long. I fell in love with this series with book one, Tell Me How This Ends, and the complicated love triangle between brothers Jude and Ryan and the lovely Lizzie. If you haven’t read that book yet, stop reading this review and go grab a copy NOW! You won’t be disappointed. It is one of the best books I have ever read, and it still occupies a very special place in my heart. It was as if Victoria took everything I love in a book and wrote it just for me.

So, heading into Ryan’s story, I was excited but also a little nervous, wondering if I had built it up too much in my head and praying it lived up to my expectations. Thankfully, it did that, and more!

I was already in love with sweet, shy Ryan and hoping for his HEA because he so deserved it. It was awkward and tense when he first lands back on American soil, and I was cringing as I was reading because it felt so real. Lizzie is just an awesome human being. Seriously, she was so considerate of both their feelings and she always knew the right thing to say.

We had already been introduced to Eva and her adorable son, Diego, in book two. Eva has had it tough but she’s strong-willed and self-sacrificing and determined to give her son the best start in life. I could relate to her and how she fought against her feelings for Ryan because she didn’t want to drag him into her mess and she was worried over how Diego would react.

Perhaps I’m mean-spirited, but I found it very difficult to muster any sympathy for her ex. He had a mental health illness so I should have been more charitable but I just wanted him to drop off the face of the earth and leave our couple alone. I understood how hard it was for Eva to completely cut all ties with him, but my heart ached for Ryan. He needed to be someone’s number one and I was hurting when he was hurting but so proud of him for putting himself first and doing the right thing.

His father is a shit. What an ass. I loved how Ryan spoke his mind and got it off his chest. I just wish that we saw the part where he told Jude about that.

All works out great in the end, and I cried tears of joy at the epilogue – it was so beautiful.

Victoria is a fantastic writer and the words seem to flow effortlessly across the page. It is lyrical and descriptive without bogging the reader down in unnecessary detail and it never disturbs the consistent pace. What I love most though is her ability to make her characters come alive. And I get all the feels reading her books. While this wasn’t as angsty as the first book, it is definitely emotional and it will tie your insides into knots at times (in a good way.)

Anyway, I’ll end the embarrassing gushing right now before I ramble on too much. Just know this is a great book, and a great series, and you need to start with the first book to really enjoy the experience.

Another show stopper, Victoria. Please keep them coming!

Thanks to the publisher and Barclay PR for supplying an ARC of this book. I am voluntarily reviewing same.

Excerpt:
It’s feels like an eternity since I’ve been home. In reality, it’s only been a year.
My slow walk to the house is surreal. The lawn is as pristine as ever, each blade of grass shorn the same height by Jude’s meticulous mowing. The red geraniums I planted years ago are thriving. And the dent in the porch rail, caused by my foot accidentally connecting with the wood, is still visible. But I don’t remember the house being this uninspiring shade of blue, or the crack on the front stoop being this wide. This house, this city, used to be my whole world. It seemed a lot bigger then.
Discordance skitters over my spine: what should be familiar is foreign, relief mingles with anxiety. Time snaps and contracts as I knock on the front door, and suddenly it seems like an hour since I left. A nanosecond.
The door swings open, and the reason for my hasty departure is staring at me. She’s as pretty as I remember—maybe more, damn her. Green eyes that used to flutter when I kissed her, full lips that whispered confidences in my ear.
Now, her face is frozen in a hostess’ smile. Her fingers worry the bottom button of her pink cardigan and the threads begin to loosen. She doesn’t know what to do because she wasn’t expecting me. I guess it wasn’t nice showing up a day early.
“Ryan. You’re home.”
Home. Does she mean mine or hers?
I had almost forgotten what Lizzie’s voice sounded like, but its husky depth brings the memories of the six months we spent loving each other rushing back.
Well, I had been loving her. She’d been falling in love with my brother.
I wait for my heart to ache, but there’s only a small twinge. That’s a surprise. In my mind, this was all so much more dramatic and intense. Hard stares and pinched lips. A little social awkwardness seems so mundane by comparison.
And then the door swings open wider and Jude is there. My pulse stops—doesn’t slow, just ceases to exist for a second. Leave it to him to bring the fireworks.
Like the house, Jude seems smaller than I remember. Or maybe that’s because he has gone expressionless, his discomfort hard-crashing him. His hands dig into his pockets, searching for an anchor, pulling his shoulders into a hunch. It takes a lot to knock Jude off his game. Glad to see I can still have that effect on him.
When he opens his mouth, no sound comes out. It’s unusual for me to have to step up and be the better man when I’m around my big brother. But today is that day.

About the Author:
Victoria De La O is the award-winning and RITA®-nominated author of the Tell Me romance trilogy, including Tell Me How This Ends. A native of California’s Silicon Valley, she spends time hanging out with her family, arguing about films, and practicing Wonder Woman spins, She loves talking to readers, so find her at www.victoriadelao.com.

Links:

Giveaway
Victoria De La O is offering one (1) lucky Grand-Prize winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and three (3) Runner-Up winners an eCopy of Tell Me How This Ends, book #1 in Victoria’s Tell Me series! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Hate to Love You by Tijan


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Hate to Love You by Tijan. I share my review of the book with you.

Title: Hate to Love You
Author: Tijan
Series: standalone
Rating: 3.5 stars
Release date: August 28th
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Rule #1: No hot guys.
It might sound ridiculous. I get it. It kind of is, but college was supposed to be my sanctuary. It was my place to start over. The rumors, the whispers, and the jealousy I endured through high school would all be gone.
No one would know me at college.

Rule #2: No drama.
I’d major in pre-law. I’d make a few loyal friends. Everything would be easy breezy. No one was going to use me or hurt me. I wouldn’t let them.

Rule #3: New year. New place. New me.
Right?
Wrong.
And all because of Shay Coleman.

Football captain and quarterback, he was the big guy on campus. The cocky guy in my political science class with a smirk. I hated him on sight . . .

. . . and he was about to break all my rules.

My Review:
Standalone new adult college romance.

Kennedy Clarke paid the price for her brother’s popularity in high school, so when she starts college she’s determined to blend into the shadows and avoid the glare of her brother’s spotlight. Except that’s easier said than done.

Kennedy unwittingly draws the attention of the star quarterback and all-round Mr. Popular, Shay Coleman. Determined to avoid him, despite an obvious attraction, she tries her best to deflect his flirting, but these two have electric chemistry, and it isn’t long before they are tangling between the sheets and all of Kennedy’s good intentions are flying out the window.

Then stuff starts happening on campus, and when Kennedy steps in to defend another girl she draws even more unwanted attention to herself.

The drama and angst are upped as Kennedy battles to stay true to herself and stick to her goals. But her heart is ruling her head, and Shay isn’t anything like she expected. Soon, she finds herself falling head over heels for the type of guy she swore to avoid.

I felt Kennedy’s pain and her desire to keep her focus, but no one could resist Shay’s allure. Without a shadow of a doubt, Shay is the shining star of this show. While he was presented as this cocky, player-type, the reality is quite different. He was such a nice guy, and so supportive and loyal to Kennedy, and I was in love with him from the very start. Kennedy’s inner monologue grated on my nerves at times, even if I could understand where it was coming from.

This was a very good read, but predictable and lacking a little. Maybe, it’s because I’m greedy and I wanted more – more angst, more drama, more tension, just more. I was expecting an enemies-to-lovers story but Kennedy and Shay only hated each other for about five seconds, and that was a tad disappointing for me. Perhaps, I didn’t enjoy this as much because I’ve just re-read the Jaded series and, man, was it an even better angst-filled-emotional-heartjerker the second time around.

If you are a die-hard Tijan fan you are going to love this. If you are new to this author, I suggest starting with the Fallen Crest, Broken and Screwed, and Jaded, series’ first. All are absolutely superb and the very best this author has to offer, in my opinion.

Actual rating 3.5 stars. Massive thanks to the author and Social Butterfly PR for providing an ARC which I am voluntarily reviewing.


About the Author:
I didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

Links:

About the Author:
I didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

Links:

Review: Fallen Heir (The Royals #4) by Erin Watt

Title: Fallen Heir
Author: Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #4
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.

My Review:
Compulsively readable, and highly addictive. You won’t be able to put this one down until you’ve finished it. At least, I didn’t. A phenomenal addition to The Royals series, and a surefire crowd-pleaser. Erin Watt has definitely knocked it out of the park again! I just want to grab Easton and smother him with love – that boy is so in need of it!

This book is more of a character-driven story than the original trilogy, in my opinion. You will find lots of the same delectable drama, witty banter, laugh-out-loud moments, and emotional highs and lows as the initial books, but Fallen Heir delves deeper into character development in a way Paper Princess didn’t. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just an observation. If you go into this expecting lots of plot twists and turns, you might be a tad disappointed.

Easton. Oh, Easton.
How my heart ached for you.
How my palm itched to slap your face.
How I wished I could reach into my Kindle and hug you to death.
How I wanted to shake you repeatedly and demand you pull your head out of your ass.
To say Easton has lost his way is a massive understatement. He is aimless, virtually parent-less, and struggling without Reed to keep him on the straight and narrow. He lashes out when he is hurt, and he acts so foolishly when he is drunk (which is a lot of the time.)

I really liked Hartley. I admired her determination and her strength of character. Her family are jerks, and she has been treated terribly unfairly, but she is still fighting and surviving, and I had tons of respect for her. I liked that she challenged Easton, and fought their attraction, and the slow-build up of their romance was perfect.

I’m starting to really dislike Lauren. Ggrrr. I wanted to choke her after that conversation she had with Hartley in the Royal kitchen (as an aside, I think Easton’s personality may be rubbing off on me a little. Hence, all the aggressive, violent undertones to this review. I’m not really like this in real life. I swear!)

The last ten percent of this book was like – hell,yeah, here we go! I was on tenterhooks the whole time! And I LOVED it. And then bam! Cliffy city. Holy moly. It was awesome. I’m hoping it’s not as it seems because my heart will shatter, but I cannot wait to read the next instalment.

In summary: Another hugely entertaining read, with superb character development and a H and H who will both tug at your heart strings.

Actual 4.5 stars.

Massive thanks to the author and Nina Bocci for supplying an ARC of this book which I am voluntarily reviewing.

Review: Sustain by Tijan

Title: Sustain
Author: Tijan
Series: standalone
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I had a simple life.
I worked two jobs, made ends meet, and hung out with my mom and twin brother. The other part of my life was about avoiding him, but when SWAT raided my boyfriend’s home, that was the last straw. The boyfriend got tossed and to help me keep busy, my brother talked me into joining their old band again, but I had to be honest. It wasn’t a hard sell. Playing drums was in my blood. I used to be addicted and that craving hadn’t been satisfied in three long years. The only problem was their lead singer.
It was him.
The drums might not have been the only thing I was addicted to. I think I was still addicted to him too.

My Review:
I’ve been binge-reading Tijan for weeks now and she is definitely up there at the top of my fav authors’ list. I love the soap-opera style drama and emotional complexity of her novels. They always suck me in and eat me right up!

Sustain is a friends to lovers story set within a rockstar world (one of my favorites) with a male lead that is to die for, so I was off to a good start. I ADORED Luke and Bri was also great, even though both of them frustrated me with their inability to communicate at times. Another great thing about Tijan is her ability to create strong secondary characters. I loved Gunn! Braden was a loveable rogue and Elijah and Emerson were the token jerks (especially the latter – I wanted to swing for him so many times.)

The reason this is not a higher rating is down to some issues with the plot and certain things not being properly explained. Also, while the chemistry between Luke and Bri was sizzling, in the main, the romance was a bit on the light side. Then it all felt very rushed at the end when I wanted to see some of them together as an actual couple.

Definitely, not up to the magnificence that is the Fallen Crest series – man, I love that series SOOOO much and can’t wait for book six – but still a decent read, and one I’d recommend.

In summary, this is a very good standalone contemp NA/Rocker romance and a must read if you are a Tijan fan.

Actual rating 3.75 stars.

Review: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Title: It Ends with Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

My Review:
Wow, just wow. I’ll come back to write my review when I can make sense of the mess in my head. Absolutely brilliant. Loved it.

FULL REVIEW

I apologize in advance if this review rambles but my head is still reeling from this experience. I’d also like to caution that this review may contain slight spoilers, although I’ll try my best not to mention anything specific, as I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone, yet it’s difficult to discuss how I’m feeling without mentioning a few things.

This book put me through the ringer, and I’m still feeling the aftershocks. I love books that make me question my own beliefs and really give me pause to stop and think. It Ends With Us is one of those books.

I have no personal experience of the subject matter but I have always had sympathy for anyone going through such a situation. It was no surprise that I really felt for Lily and shared her pain, grief, heartache, and confusion. I found myself constantly stopping to imagine how I might feel, how I would act, if I was in a similar situation, and I honestly don’t know how I would deal with it.

What shocked me, what was entirely unexpected, was how much I felt for Ryle. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted her to do what she did, and he was definitely in the wrong, but he wasn’t a really nasty person. He was hugely flawed, damaged, and he couldn’t control his emotions, but there was no doubt in my mind that he loved her. Probably too much which is where his issues stemmed from.

When I reflected on the initial scene where they met (so so good – the dialogue was unbelievably brilliant) I could see how self-aware he was. He indulged in one night stands with no strings and he didn’t have relationships because he knew he was incapable of same. He should have stuck to that, but then we wouldn’t have had a story.

I loved the letters to Ellen and the retelling of her time with Atlas. It was heartwarming and gut-wrenching at the same time. I really felt their connection, and I was rooting for them and then I became conflicted because Ryle was so perfect at the start and I felt their chemistry and their love and then…

Gosh, my heart is pounding again. And that twist – oh my Lord, I was cut up all over again when that happened.

I don’t think I’ll every forget this book. The last one that ripped my insides apart was Bright Side by Kim Holden (so good – go read it if you haven’t already.) Different story but it delivered the same powerful emotional turmoil.

My only complaint is that I wanted more of “present day” Atlas but I’m greedy like that! A little novella now would be great, Colleen, hint hint!

I loved the personal note Colleen included at the end, and the personal connection she had to this story shines through.

It is quite simply masterful. Absolutely superb. She nailed the emotions and managed to end it on a positive note and I’m going to be feeling all the feels for a lot while.

Highly Recommended, but make sure you have a box of tissues because you’ll need them.

Review: Cole by Tijan

Title: Cole
Author: Tijan
Series: standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I shouldn’t have remembered him.
He was just a guy who walked through a restaurant. I didn’t know his name. We never made eye contact. There was no connection between us at all.
But I could feel him.
The tingle down my spine. The command in his presence. The snap of tension in the air around him. That was the first time I saw him, and I was captivated.
The second time was different.
He was in the mysterious back elevator of my apartment building. Our eyes met for a fleeting second before the doors closed, and I was staggered. My breath was robbed. My senses on high alert. My body hummed.
That was just the beginning.
He was the leader of the mafia. I was about to fall in love with him, and his name…
Cole Mauricio

My Review:
Combine one dark, sultry, mysterious man, one sweet grief-stricken woman, and add tons of smokin-hot chemistry, plenty of suspense and intrigue, a mafioso environment, and you have one heck of an explosive read. Cole is signature Tijan at her very best. I loved this book and had a really hard time putting it down.

Initially, I was a little concerned that I might not like this book. While I’m a massive fan of this author, I wasn’t a big fan of Carter Reed. However, that had nothing to do with the characters or the worldbuilding so I thought I’d give Cole a go. I’m so glad I did.

This book was extremely well written and I really enjoyed the mafia world Tijan has created. Cole is dangerous and mysterious and I ADORED that aspect of his personality. He had this aura that bled from the pages and he was swoon worthy in the extreme. I enjoyed watching as Addison slowly started to peel back his layers.

The first half of the book introduces us to the characters and lays some subtle clues as to what is going on. The suspense and the action are really ramped up in the second half and I loved it! The climactic scenes were so good and I had chills, peeps, legit chills. So intense. So good.

I totally shipped our couple and the romance was very hot. They caved to their monkey lust pretty much straight away but it worked, and I felt the believable connection between our pair.

I liked meeting Carter and Emma again, and Jake was a decent side character. I really didn’t like Sia. She was a bit of a conundrum of a character – she had the capacity to be both selfless and selfish at the same time. I didn’t like how she made comments about Cole when she knew he was her friend’s boyfriend. It goes against the girl code and is a big no-no in my opinion.

The plot was a wee bit predictable in parts – I guessed who the villain was but not what was driving his behavior so that was a nice surprise along with certain people’s backgrounds (being vague on purpose so as not to spoil anything.)

I liked that we got some of Cole’s perspective toward the end because I was expecting this book to be in his perspective and was surprised initially when it was in Addison’s. I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be in his voice but it didn’t matter anyway.

All in all, this was a superb read and is one of the best books Tijan has written. If you are a fan of this author or a fan of mafia romance in general then you will love Cole.

Highly Recommended.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Thanks to the author and TRSOR promotions for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Jaden (Jaded #3) by Tijan

Title: Jaden
Author: Tijan
Series: Jaded #3
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Being framed for murder sucks. Being framed for the murder of your old friend-turned-enemy-turned-ma….

My Review:
Initial thoughts: Feel like I just got run over by a truck.

Full Review: CAUTION – This review contains SPOILERS so if you don’t want to know, please don’t read on.

No one writes teen angst and drama quite like Tijan. This book was full of ups and downs in relation to the stalker/murderer plot, and the messy love triangle.

I’ll talk about the murder plot first. It was obvious that Sheldon was set up, but the question was by who? My money wasn’t on bitchface supermodel, but on that other cow from college (the one with all the stalker pics in her wardrobe – her name escapes me right now.) But I was wrong on both counts so kudos for that. I did suspect the culprit initially but dismissed it so when that happened at the end I was like damn! Missed that!

Sheldon grows up a lot in this book which I liked but she still comes with a hefty side order of snark. I really felt for her because her head and her heart were all over the place because of the boys. She loves both Bryce and Corrigan, no question about that, but who does she lurve love, and who does she see herself with in the future?

I have to admit I was rooting for Bryce, even though he was an ass in book two and he chose to protect bitchface supermodel instead of supporting Sheldon. I won’t ever properly understand but as we weren’t shown what actually happened in Spain, I’ll have to take Tijan’s word for it.

Corrigan had really matured in this one, and once he decided that he wanted Sheldon he was by her side through thick and thin. It was painfully obvious (from the last book) that Sheldon was pushing Bryce away in favor of Corrigan, so when she chose the latter I wasn’t surprised. And even though I wanted her and Bryce to sail off into the proverbial sunset, I have to admit that her choice made sense. Bryce and Sheldon have had a dysfunctional relationship since they were teens. It wasn’t healthy, and it was compounded by the choices they both made in and post-Spain. It was clear there was too much hurt, too much history, too much pain for it to ever work. Corrigan and Sheldon had a very different relationship – one that was built on years of friendship. They didn’t seem to have the same passionate relationship (I say seem because we didn’t really get to see them as a couple) but I choose to believe that’s because their love went deeper than that. I don’t hate Tijan for the way she ended the book; I applaud her for being brave enough to follow the story even though she understood it was going to upset a lot of people. I also loved her note at the end. It’s something I do on occasion for my readers so I love to see the same in other books.

My only complaint is that it seemed rushed at the end, and we didn’t get to see enough of Corrigan and Sheldon as a couple. I also want to know that Bryce is happy and although it seemed that way at the end, there was no sense that it was a permanent thing. I’d love another book – hint, hint. One thing I was puzzled about was that girl from college (the one with the pictures in her closet) – where the heck did she go? Or did I miss how that ended? Am I to presume that because her frat fell apart she just disappeared? Minor irritation, but it niggled at me. Kept thinking she was going to jump back into the frame and be all nasty and evil and stuff.

All in all, this was another great series from Tijan. It started off a little weak for my liking but finished strong. Off to my next Tijan series 🙂 Completely addicted and proud 🙂

This review will appear on my blog in due course http://myyanabookobsession.com

Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Review: Tell Me How This Ends (Tell Me #1) by Victoria De La O

Title: Tell Me How This Ends
Author: Victoria De La O
Series: Tell Me #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Brothers Jude and Ryan McAllister are inseparable. When Jude stepped in to raise Ryan after the death of their mother, it became the two of them against the world. But the scars it left were bone-deep. Then Lizzie Price comes along.

Lizzie hopes Ryan’s kindness can help heal her wounds from a toxic relationship. But when she meets Jude, their powerful attraction makes him difficult to resist. The problem is, Lizzie doesn’t realize Jude and Ryan are brothers, and they don’t know they’re falling for the same girl.

By the time the truth comes out, everyone is in too deep. Ryan is in love, Jude is in denial, and Lizzie wants both brothers. All of them agree that no one deserves to get hurt. But love and desire have a way of testing even the strongest bonds.

My Review:
I cannot believe this book is a debut work because it is an absolute triumph and Victoria writes like a seasoned pro. I am blown away by the complex characterization, witty prose, intense emotional connection, and the overall exemplary execution of this story.

I hope to God we don’t have to wait too long for the next book because I am already DYING to read it, especially after that little sneak peek we were given at the back of this book. I’m also really happy to read that the other brother is getting a book too because I would’ve been upset if there was no potential for him to get a HEA.

I don’t like giving away spoilers in my reviews so I’ll try to keep this spoiler-free even though it’s quite difficult to talk about the relationships without giving anything away.

Lizzie has relocated to start afresh after a toxic relationship that almost destroyed her. Having grown up in a houseful of brothers, she needs to forge her own path in life and start making plans for her future. She is naturally wary of boys after her most recent experience but has had a little crush on Ryan, a boy with a stutter who is in one of her classes. She plucks up the courage to ask him to tutor her as a way of starting something with him.

As this happens, she meets Jude on a night out with her girlfriends. Jude is hot with a player rep and he’s currently bedding one of her friends. It’s immediately obvious that Jude and Lizzy share an intense chemistry but she won’t give him the time of day. After a steamy dance, they agree to stay away from one another because he can’t give her what she wants and she doesn’t want to take a risk that he might change his mind because she can’t afford to get hurt again. So they walk away from one another.

Lizzie’s relationship with Ryan is hotting up and she really likes him. He is hot, sweet, and adorable and the type of nice guy you have no hesitation in bringing home to meet the folks.

She discovers he is Jude’s brother when she wanders into Jude in the kitchen of his house in the middle of the night. This is the part where everything turns extremely messy and I’d love to delve into it but, as I said, I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone.

The three main characters were expertly crafted with flaws and weaknesses that were gradually revealed. The inner dynamics of this tangled relationship were fraught with delicious tension and conflict that had my heart racing and my stomach tied into knots. I knew how I wanted it to end, had a strong sense of how it was going to end, and I could scarcely read it in parts because I was so caught up in the beautiful torture, but I adored every single page and I really didn’t want the story to be over by the end.

Jude and Lizzie were both very selfless people who cared deeply about Ryan. Ryan was secure in Lizzie’s love because Jude did such an admirable job of raising him after his mother and uncle died. My heart broke for Jude – he was always willing to sacrifice his own happiness for his brother, even if it was killing him on the inside. Lizzie was the only person who seemed to be able to get through to him, to connect to him in a way he never even knew he wanted, but he couldn’t have her.

Lizzie, for her part, wanted to do the right thing but it was so hard. I love how the author explored the notion of being able to love more than one person at the same time. It’s never happened to me but I’ve always believed it possible. The fact that the two boys in this love triangle were brothers only added to the story. It felt so impossibly tragic at times and although my heart lapped up all the angsty-drama, I worried it would all be too much.

The ending did kinda go as I expected but it was heartwarming because I wanted that brother to reach that conclusion, to do the right thing by his brother, even though it was hurting him. Bravo.

My only complaint (and it’s not really a complaint) is that when they finally get their act together (after they leave the nightclub) the scene is completely skipped over and we are given a recap by Lizzie the next morning. OMG! I was waiting the entire book for that! That was a little disappointing but it still doesn’t detract from the fact that this was an utterly addictive read. I literally CANNOT WAIT to read the next two books.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book as supplied by the publishers via Netgalley. All the opinions expressed are my own.

Cover Reveal Saving Brad


I am excited to officially reveal the cover for Saving Brad, the fifth book in the Kennedy Boys series. Scroll down for the cover and the blurb, pre-order your copy at a special discounted 0.99 price, or pick up the previous books in this series if you haven’t read them yet!

Saving BradSaving Brad (The Kennedy Boys #5)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: October 2017

Blurb:
An enemies-to-lovers romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis. Standalone with an HEA and no cliff-hanger.

Brad
I’m in love with my best friend’s girl.
She knows it. He knows it. Everyone knows it.
Faye will never be mine, but try telling that to my stupid heart.
An endless rotation of girls streams in and out of my bedroom in a desperate attempt to forget her, but nothing eases the horrid ache in my chest. Rejection isn’t anything new for me, but it hasn’t gotten any easier.
Until she reappears in my life. Like an out-of-control tornado. Storming in, all fierce and angry, ready to steamroll everything in her path. Rachel is trouble with a capital T bundled in a gorgeous, sexy, Irish package.
She pushes all the wrong buttons, and I can’t decide if I want to yell at her or kiss her.
I should steer clear.
But I’ve never been very good at taking my own advice. Especially when it comes to girls I can’t have and shouldn’t want.

Rachel
I need to escape.
To put as much distance between me and that monster so I can start living my life.
Yet, even the vast Atlantic Ocean isn’t enough to sever the connection. To allow me to forget how he’s ruined me. His hold is more than just physical. He has a vise-grip on my head and my heart, and I can’t breathe, can’t think, can’t function.
So, I do everything to blot it out.
Until he reappears in my life.
Brad McConaughey. So hot. So infuriating. So in love with my best friend.
Every word out of Brad’s mouth makes me want to throat punch him or kick him in the nuts.
But he makes me feel, and I hate him for it. A part of me might actually love him for it.
I should keep my distance, but like destructive magnets, we are drawn together.
This isn’t going to end well.
I know it. He knows it.
But we’re powerless to resist.

You can find Saving Brad on Goodreads

You can pre-order Saving Brad exclusively on Amazon
It will be available to read with Kindle Unlimited once released.

Previous books in this series
Finding KylerLosing KylerKeeping KylerLoving Kalvin

The first three books have to be read in order. The books after that can be read as a standalone and have an HEA and no cliffhanger. The Kennedy Boys series is free to read in Kindle Unlimited and book one Finding Kyler is currently available for only 0.99$ on Amazon

Review: Still Jaded (Jaded #2) by Tijan

Title: Still Jaded
Author: Tijan
Series: Jaded #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sheldon, Bryce, and Corrigan ruled their school until a killer wanted to rule them. Three years later, Bryce’s back home from Europe the local celebrity jock. Corrigan’s busy running his fraternity and Sheldon’s about to be pulled back into the social world of drama. With the killer killed, who’s trying to hurt Sheldon this time? Or maybe it’s someone closer than she wants to admit?

My Review:
This book turned my stomach into knots, and I honestly felt a terrible panicky feeling in my chest while reading it. This series is like a sick addiction, one I just can’t get enough of even though half the time I want to scream and yell and throw a few things around the room. These characters infuriate me but I’m obsessing over them. It is like the most extreme car-crash TV multiplied ten-fold with an extra dollop of highly-emotive angsty drama on top. These characters have few redeeming qualities, and they can in no way be described as positive role models, but they are strangely endearing all the same.

I spent the first half of this book feeling sorry for Sheldon, the middle part screaming at Bryce, and the last part scratching my head in utter confusion over the apparent connection between Sheldon and Corrigan. I adore love triangles and this one is frustratingly good. I like that Tijan explores the theme of actually being properly in love with two guys at the same time. And it’s not lust or insta-love as these three have been best friends for years. I know some people don’t believe it’s possible to be in love with two people at the same time, but I think it’s credible. Gosh, it cranked the awkwardness level to new heights but I lapped it up. I started to have some sympathy for Bryce toward the end even though he still acted like an ass with that bloody supermodel.

The stalker subplot is good but very much in the background and I’m expecting that to develop in the final book.

I liked seeing a different side to Corrigan and it seems fairly clear that she has already chosen him even if she doesn’t realize it. I’m not sure how I feel about that. There was no clue to this connection in the first one so I find it weird that she might love him more than Bryce. If subtle clues had been evident in the first book, it would be more believable. The other issue I had is that all of the time the three of them spent in Barcelona isn’t relayed for the reader which is very bizarre because the supposed issues in their relationship arose from that chapter in their lives. We are told bits and pieces but otherwise it was glossed over. It would have made more sense if book two focused on that time and this was book three etc.

Glaring editing errors, some plot holes, and timeline issues grated on my nerves too but there is no way I can rate this less than 5 stars. Any book that ties me into so many knots and has me up half the night thinking about the characters and the plot is worthy of top marks. Dying to see how this series closes out now!

My recommendation comes with a health warning – only for those who enjoy high-stakes drama, despicable characters with little moral compass, and angsty emotional romance.