Review: Wicked Restless (Harper Boys #2) by Ginger Scott

Title: Wicked Restless
Author: Ginger Scott
Series: Harper Boys #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Andrew Harper grew up in a house marked by tragedy. His older brother Owen did his best to shelter him, but you can only be protected from life’s pain for so long. Eventually, you end up just feeling numb…and isolated.

Loneliness was the one constant in Andrew’s life. Until one girl, met by chance in a high school hallway, changed everything. Emma Burke was a mystery and all that was beautiful in this world, the only air Andrew ever wanted to breathe. She took the lonely away, and filled it with hope and color, and Andrew would do anything to keep her safe, happy and whole.

But sometimes, what feels good and right is what ends up hurting us the most. And when Andrew and Emma are faced with an impossible decision, Andrew is tested to see just how far he’s willing to go for the girl who owns his heart.

Cuts are deep.

Scars are left behind.

And revenge beckons.

When Andrew finally gets his chance, in college, five years after his first love broke him completely, he finds out old feelings don’t really disappear just because you say you hate someone. The more he tries to avenge all that he believes he lost, the more he uncovers the real story of what happened years before.

Love is wicked. But a restless heart is never satisfied beating on its own. Can Andrew and Emma make it right before it’s too late, or will the ties that bind them now destroy their only chance at a future?

My Review:
Gosh, didn’t think Ginger could top Wild Reckless but she did. This book was incredible – the character development was superb, the plot flowed fluidly, the writing was beautiful, and it evoked so many different emotions in me. I never wavered in my love for Andrew and all his emotions were genuine and believable. That boy sacrificed so much and he was in so much pain – my heart physically ached for him. I wanted him to find happiness so badly and my only complaint is that I wish we got a longer epilogue, but that’s probably just me being greedy. Loved the little glimpses of Owen and Kensi. Absolutely exceptional. You knocked it out of the park, Ginger. Highly Recommended.

Blog Tour: Wicked Favor (The Wicked Horse Vegas #1) by Sawyer Bennett

Today is my stop during the blog tour for Wicked Favor (The Wicked Horse Vegas #1) by Sawyer Bennett! I’ll share my review of the book and there’s an excerpt and some teaser images.

Title: Wicked Favor
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Series: The Wicked Horse Vegas #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
New York Times bestselling author, Sawyer Bennett, is happy to introduce a new Wicked Horse club in Las Vegas and you’re cordially invited to attend the grand opening…

As the owner of The Wicked Horse, an elite sex club located along the Vegas Strip, Jerico Jameson never spends the night alone. Gorgeous, ripped, and totally alpha, Jerico doesn’t grant favors and will rarely give you the time of day—unless he wants you in his bed. So when the sister of his sworn enemy shows up asking for help, saying no should be easy. But when Jerico takes one look at her and sees an opportunity to help this beautiful woman while exacting revenge on her brother, he’s not about to pass that up.

Beaten and bruised, Trista Barnes is running out of options, and Jerico is her last chance to get out of the mess she’s in. She doesn’t know why Jerico despises her brother so much, but as long as he can help her, she doesn’t care. Jerico offers her safety while opening her up to a sinful world she never knew existed.

As she succumbs to Jerico’s erotic charm, Trista lets herself fall into the wicked world of guilt free pleasure with no regrets. Under his strong alpha hand, she blooms, and so does Jerico’s possessiveness. But what happens when Trista finds out she was a pawn in Jerico’s game all along, and that the price for his favor was steeper than she ever imagined – her heart.

My Review:
Jericho Jamison is an ex-marine who is now a wealthy, successful businessman with two thriving business. One is a special ops business and the other is a sex club. Having been burned by women in the past, Jericho is now strictly a one-time-woman man and he enjoys all the privileges that come with owning the Wicked Horse.

Trista Barnes is a wonderful daughter and aunt trying to do the right thing. In order to help someone in her family, she got herself into a difficult situation and now she needs a bailout. Her brother sends her to Jericho and he refuses her at first but then agrees as he spots an opportunity for some vengeance on her brother – his arch enemy.

I didn’t like Jericho at first because of how he was planning to use Trista, but he grew on me a lot and as the story progressed he redeemed himself. When I discovered what had been done to him, my heart ached for him and it all clicked into place. The serious trust and commitment issues made total sense. It still doesn’t excuse his willingness to throw Trista to the wolves but I can understand where he was coming from.

The chemistry between our mains was electric, and I felt the sexual tension, however, I wished more time had been spent developing their relationship outside the bedroom/sex club.

This book stretched my comfort zone at times, and I was seriously fanning myself reading this one! I found it hard to accept the fact that Jericho had sex in front of his employees and that they were openly allowed to do the same, and don’t even get me started on the fact he screwed some of his employees. Talk about a lawsuit waiting to happen! I know it’s fiction but the HR side of my brain struggled with that aspect of the worldbuilding and plot. I also found the main plot to be very predictable even if the story was very well executed.

The writing and voice were strong and distinctive and the pacing was perfect – it was hard to put this book down at times.

BTW, I didn’t realize this was a spin-off to another series Sawyer has written. You most definitely don’t need to read that series to enjoy this book – it is a complete standalone.

In summary, this was an enjoyable erotic romance with well-developed characters.

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing an ARC of same which I am voluntarily reviewing.

EXCERPT:
She pops her head in first and gives me a tentative smile. “You busy?”
“Not at all,” I tell her as I wave her in.
She disappears for a moment, and then opens the door wider. I see she’s carrying a large, plastic container that’s dome shaped and has a handle on top. My eyes only flick to it briefly before coming back to her. She’s much better to look at.
Shutting the door behind her, she walks up to my desk with a goofy grin on her face and sets the plastic container in front of me. I look down at it, and then up to her. “What’s that?”
“Something I made for you this morning,” she says, unlocking the tabs at the bottom. She lifts the dome top off, and I’m staring at a cake in front of me.
Slowly, I look back up to her. “You made me a cake?”
“Not just any cake,” she says while wagging a finger at me. “A four-layer, homemade red velvet cake with whipped mascarpone icing.”
“Jesus,” I mutter as I look at the cake, wondering what this weird squeezing sensation is in my chest. When I look back up to her, I have to ask her again, “You made that just for me?”
“Just for you,” she says with satisfaction all over her face. “You said it was your favorite, and I had some time this morning after pancakes.”
I push out of my chair and wave a hand at the cake. “You just happened to have all these ingredients, huh? You routinely use something as odd as mascarpone?”
Her grin turns mischievous as she shrugs. “Well, I may have had to go to the grocery store for a few things.”
Jesus fuck. I can’t believe she did that for me.
My mind races over the years, and I can’t remember anyone doing something so randomly nice for me. So spontaneous and with the sole intention of doing it to please me.
Picking up the cake, I round the desk and head for the side door that connects to my kitchen. “Let’s take this next door.”
I don’t miss the disgruntled expression on Trista’s face as she clearly expected me to act differently. I’m sure she was thinking I’d be a bit more effusive in my praise, and I intend to be.
Just… in my apartment.
She follows me through the door as I balance the cake on my hand. I immediately lay it down on my kitchen counter and spin around just as she’s walking through the door, taking her face in my hands and walking right into her. My mouth hits hers. She gives a huff of surprise as I turn slightly and back her into the refrigerator. Angling my head, I kiss her deeply. It’s possible because she angles hers the other way, opening her mouth to give me entrance.
Yes, it’s a deep kiss, but it’s not sexual. It’s a show of unbridled happiness that makes me feel like a kid, or perhaps it’s gratitude that Trista perhaps thinks this is something other than “just sex”.
When I pull away, Trista’s cheeks are pink and she’s slightly panting. She whispers breathlessly to me, “I should make you cake more often.”
The grin that breaks wide is my answer, followed by another swift kiss. Then I’m turning away from her and grabbing a fork out of my drawer. Without any pomp, and certainly no circumstance to wait for a plate, I punch my fork down into the top of the cake and pull a huge chunk out.
“Oh, my God.” Trista giggles as she comes to stand beside me at the counter. I angle toward her as I bring the fork to my lips, open my mouth wide, and shove the cake in. Cheeks bulging and the taste of rich cake and lightly sweet, tangy frosting coating my tongue, I groan in satisfaction. Our eyes stay locked as I chew and chew and chew, and finally swallow the heaven in my mouth. Trista’s eyes are sparkling with humor and a bit of pride.
“Good?” she asks.
I give a swipe of my tongue over my bottom lip to catch some stray frosting there. “It’s amazing. Thank you.”
She beams a brilliant smile as she sets the cake carrier on the counter and turns toward the door that leads back into my office. “You’re welcome. Now… I’ve got to get going.”
“Wait,” I say as I snag her arm and turn her back to me. “You just got here.”
“And my work is done,” she says impishly, going to her tiptoes to give me a quick kiss. “I’m meeting Mom and Corinne for lunch, and I’ve got to get going.”
Well, there goes all thought of spending my afternoon with Trista in bed rather than golfing.
But I’d never begrudge her time with Jolene and Corinne. Their unity right now is extremely important. I do pull her into me and wrap my arms around her waist after throwing the fork into the sink. Trista’s hands come to my chest as she looks up at me curiously.
“Take the night off,” I tell her softly and I have to admit, the way her eyes go warm makes me feel fucking really good. “Make it an entire day and night thing with Corinne, okay?”
“Really?” she asks with sweetest type of surprise in her eyes.
“Yeah,” I murmur as I tighten my arms around her. “I’ll keep myself occupied with the cake tonight.”
Her lips quirking, she gets a playful look in her eyes. “We could… um… FaceTime each other later.”
My eyebrows rise with interest, but I play a little stupid. “FaceTime?”
“Naked. FaceTime.” She annunciates each word slowly, and my dick perks up at this suggestion.
And for a man who has done about every dirty thing imaginable, it hits me hard that this is something new. Something I’ve never done with another woman and now, I’m glad she’s not coming so I can have something new and unique just with Trista.
“What time might you be calling me?” I ask in a husky voice.
“Be ready around eleven,” she says, pressing into me. “Clothing is optional.”
“Wrong,” I tell her with a shake of my head. “Naked is mandatory.”

About the Author:
Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.
A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.
Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

Links:

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Review: She Wants It All (Sheridan Hall #3) by Jessica Calla

Title: She Wants It All
Author: Jessica Calla
Series: Sheridan Hall #3
Genres: New Adult Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: BookFish Books (www.bookfishbooks.com)
Cover Designer: Anita B. Carroll, Race-Point US (www.race-point.com)
Links:

Blurb:
Happy to sing cover songs with his band and float through New Jersey University with little to no effort, Dave Novak spends the first week of college partying. Then he meets Maggie Patrinski. Performing on stage in front of hundreds is easy for Dave, but the mere thought of Maggie sends his heart racing and turns him into a bumbling idiot. Even so, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Maggie’s not exactly thrilled when her roommate sets her up with Second Floor Dave, the hottie with a reputation. Not only has she just had her heart broken, but she’s vying for a competitive summer internship and studying to become a vet. She doesn’t have time for guys and isn’t interested in falling in love, especially when she may be moving across the country for the summer.

But as Maggie gets to know Dave, his charm wins her over and she falls hard and fast. The problem? Maggie has goals, Dave doesn’t. Maggie studies, Dave doesn’t. Maggie wants it all, Dave only wants her. With their summer plans up in the air and past mistakes creeping back into their lives, their future together is uncertain. The only thing they’re sure of is that when they’re together, they’re better.

My Review:
Second Floor Dave – the cute, sweet, bumbling, hot, nerdy rockstar – won my heart as quickly as he wormed his way into Maggie’s heart. Was there ever a more perfect man? I don’t think so. From climbing into smelly dumpsters to rescue a cat to not batting an eye when she turns up looking like a hot mess, Dave passes every test with flying colors. I laughed my ass off reading this book. It was hilariously funny, and not what I was expecting at all, but that’s exactly what I loved about it.

I know Jessica is an awesome writer so I knew the writing would be great and she has a talent for character development, but I wasn’t expecting to LOVE Maggie and Dave as much as I did. I didn’t think any couple could top Chase and Juliet in my affections but Maggie and Dave have just nudged ahead.

I thought Maggie’s man-hating mother was hysterical and his cousin was a great addition too. I love how Frank isn’t forgotten or what happened isn’t downplayed and the twist was unexpected but well executed. I did think Dave was a bit rash in his actions but all ended well. The romance in this one was sweet and heartwarming and yeah, I had all the feels.

Now, I’m very intrigued about what is going to happen next. And will it be called the Sheridan Hall series anymore? I really hope we are getting Pooja’s book next as I think her story will be very interesting with her ability to see people’s “auras.” I’m already looking forward to it.

This is a really great new adult/college romance and one I highly recommend. Another job well done, Ms Calla!

Thanks to Bookfish Books for supplying an ARC of this book which I am voluntarily reviewing.

Blog Tour: Remember Me Forever (Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Remember Me Forever (Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf! I review this book and there’s a guest post form the author!

Title: Remember Me Forever
Author: Sara Wolf
Series: Lovely Vicious #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres:
Links:

Blurb:
Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, forty-three weeks, and two days. Or so she thinks.

The boy she maybe-sort-of-definitely loved and sort-of-maybe-definitely hated has dropped off the face of the planet in the face of tragedy, leaving a Jack Hunter–shaped hole. Determined to be happy, Isis fills it in with lies and puts on a brave smile for her new life at Ohio State University.

But the smile lasts only until he shows up. The menace from her past—her darkest secret, Nameless—is attending OSU right alongside her. And he’s whispering that he has something Isis wants—something she needs to see to move forward. To move on.

Isis has always been able to pretend everything is okay. But not anymore.

Isis Blake might be good at putting herself back together.

But Jack Hunter is better.

My Review:
It feels like I was waiting forever for this book and I was so looking forward to reading the conclusion to Isis and Jack’s story.

It opens several months after the funeral and Isis is trying to get on with her life in the wake of Jack’s sudden departure. She moves to college, strikes up some new friendships and is trying to move forward when Nameless shows up on campus. Then Jack makes an appearance and her heart starts to hurt all over again. Jack is battling his feelings and he’s determined to stay away from Isis before he ruins another girl that he loves.

I enjoyed that we got dual POV here and it helped because otherwise, I think I would have done a total U-turn on my feelings for Jack. He’s in a whole world of pain and shutting Isis out from misguided protection, but at least I could understand where it was coming from.

Isis is her usual crazy, nutty self and I loved how she didn’t apologize for that. I felt her fear with Nameless but she was strong and brave in the end confrontation.

When our couple finally admits their feelings the romance was everything I had been hoping for and more. This pair is so perfect together and I loved it!

I love my angst and drama and this book had enough of that to hold my attention. I also adore Sara’s writing style and her prose is great. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best thing about this series are the two mains and the funny witty banter between them. Sometimes Isis behavior was downright cringy but I’ve got to give kudos to Sara for creating a unique, refreshingly different one a kind female heroine. She has her flaws and her strengths and she undergoes great development as the series progresses. Jack is an unlikely male hero in some ways but no less interesting and definitely swoon worthy. Characterization was superb.

However, there were a few issues that stopped me from rating this five stars. The first quarter of the book is very slow moving and not much happens. I’ve been waiting for three books for our couple to get together and they only did at the 77% mark on my kindle – I just didn’t get enough of their romance or enough scenes of them together and the epilogue felt rushed and unsatisfactory. The other issue I have is with the Nameless subplot – it lacked depth and credibility as a result and I think more could’ve been done with it.

In summary, though, this was a stellar conclusion to a fabulous series and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing an ARC of this book, which I have voluntarily reviewed.

Earlier Books in the series

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Guest Post Finding Your Voice In Writing by Sara Wolf
The best way to find your writing voice is, in my opinion, writing about something you love. For me it was writing fanfiction of videogames, books, etc that I loved. That really helped me to just write naturally, because the characters were already in my head, and so was the world. So all that was left was my own voice, and I could see it clearly coming through. I guess my recommendation is to write fanfiction, then! It helps to hone your skills and story-telling abilities a ton, especially if you write in a universe you really and truly love. The more you love it, the better your writing/honing will turn out to be!

Another way is to play around with tenses. A lot of people write first person present tense, which is my preferred favorite, but flexing your writing muscles by writing third person past or even the off-the-wall second person are great exercises. Different tenses really push you beyond your comfortable boundaries as a writer, and helps you find what you’re really good at. You can even switch it up in the same book, though you have to be careful about confusing your readers with that advanced move. It’s a delicate balance.

Thank you for having me!

author-photo-sara-wolfAbout the Author:
Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Links:

Giveaway
One winner will win the Ultimate College Survival Kit, including:
• *Ouch! BandAids. 24 Assorted adhesive bandages with absorbent pads.
• A durable, sleek, modern laundry backpack. Machine washable with a secure locking drawstring closure.
• 3M Command Adhesive Poster Strips to hang posters and Dormify prints on your wall with no hassle. Pack of 12 strips.
• 3M Command Adhesive Medium Hooks for hanging hand towels, jewelry or more. Pack of 2 hooks.
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s Dish Soap perfect for those dirty dishes that (unfortunately) won’t clean themselves
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s All Purpose Spray Cleaner. 100% natural for any and all household cleaning
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s Scrub Cleaner perfect for kitchen and bath cleaning.
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s Gentle Laundry Soap.
• Namast’ay in Bed Eye Mask, perfect for sleeping in late.
• An aluminum head massager to relax your body when you massage your head with the soft-tipped stainless-steel tips. 10″ Tall.
• A set of ear plugs. Plug in and tune out
• Weekly Calendar Message Board to help you plan out your schedule.
• Holy Moly It’s Raining Poncho
• A Ping Pong ball, in case of emergency.
• Bring your bath essentials to the shower in style with the Mint Spa Basket Shower Caddy. Waterproof – made with durable plastic with sleek chrome handle (9.25 x 7 x 5 inches)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter:
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Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Title: When It’s Real
Author: Erin Watt
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

My Review:
When It’s Real by Erin Watt rocked my world and then some!! A perfect rock star romance with a rich, hot, obnoxious bad boy behaving badly and the cute, normal girl-next-door type who wins his heart.

Oak Ford has lost his mojo and his way and his bad boy party lifestyle are finally catching up to him. The solution to his problem? A fake girlfriend, or so his manager and PR company think. Cue Vaughan Bennett, and the start of our love story.

I adored this book, savoring every beautiful page from start to finish. There is nothing overly intricate in the plot or the character development but it’s the superb execution of same that is the winner here. I loved the musical influences and the twitter feed was hysterically funny. The writing is brilliant as I’ve come to expect from this author and it flowed perfectly.

I kept thinking Justin Bieber as I was reading this book even if the description didn’t wholly fit. I loved the snarky banter between our couple at the start and how they gradually opened up to one another. Vaughan was a bit of a sap when it came to W and I wished she had more gumption as it seemed at odds with the rest of her personality.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the Oakley Ford show. Man, I loved him from the get-go and my heart ached for him. The romance was slow building and real and everything my romance-loving heart desires.

This is a bit different from the Royals series. It’s not angsty or dramatic and it’s definitely less steamy despite the rock star backdrop and all that entails; however, this is trad-pubbed so I imagine the author had to toe a strict line. It doesn’t matter anyway, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all, it’s more of an observation.

In summary, this was a superb read and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Yes, it’s not a new story but it doesn’t matter. It’s a wonderful read and one that had me hooked throughout. I really look forward to reading more of this author in future.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via the author’s assistant and I have voluntarily reviewed same. Thank you very much, Erin Watt, you have another show stealer on your hands!

Blog Tour: Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Sexy Stranger by Kendall Ryan! I share my review of this book with you and there are some teaser images as well.

Title: Sexy Stranger
Author: Kendall Ryan
Series: standalone
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
From New York Times Bestselling Author Kendall Ryan comes a sexy and sizzling, enemies-to-lovers romp with bite.

He’s rude. Arrogant. And too hot to handle.

And she’s stranded with him for an entire week.

He knows the sexy stranger doesn’t belong in his small town, but he’s determined to keep her there. The second she opens her smart mouth, he wants to swap a whole lot more than insults with her.

She’s got a secret. But he’s got his own agenda.

Buckle up.

My Review:
Another fun, fast-paced, laugh-out-loud, sweet, sexy romance from Kendall Ryan.

Kendall has a really strong brand and I always know what to expect when I pick up one of her books. Sexy Stranger ticked all the usual boxes and it was a quick, entertaining read with a great HEA.

Luke Wilder owns and runs a whiskey brewing company with his brother and sister and he has lived a small town existence for most of his life. He had a promising football career and he went away to college but returned home after his father passed away, to run the family business with his twin, Duke (hardy, har. Luke and Duke are actually nicknames but it was funny!)

He has been burnt in love so when sexy stranger Charlotte rolls into town with her expensive car and her fiesty mouth, he has no interest in pursing the spark of attraction that ignites between them. Charlotte is on the run from those who seek to control her life and the last thing she wants is some redneck hothead pushing her buttons. Despite the fact our couple got off on the wrong foot, they soon make amends and quickly agree to a fling. Both know it can’t go anywhere because he is stuck there and she is leaving.

The banter was great between our couple and Luke was swoonworthy in the extreme. I enjoyed the setting of the book and the whiskey business was unique. I enjoyed watching Charlotte relax and let her hair down and the romance was electric. Kendall writes great romantic/sexy times.

An inability to properly communicate had the potential to rip our couple apart but all ended up in a good place.

The writing and pacing were solid and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Actual 3.5 stars.

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing an ARC of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed.

About the Author:
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

Links:

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Blog Tour: Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney


This is my stop during the blog tour for Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 21 May. View the tour schedule here.

Black DawnBlack Dawn (Black Dawn #1)
By Mallory McCartney
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Blurb:
The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

You can find Black Dawn on Goodreads

You can buy Black Dawn here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indigo

Excerpt:
Sweat rolled thickly down his neck, making his getup suffocating. The night was bleak and all-consuming as Brokk Foster looked to where he knew his best friend and Commander was hidden. Weeks of tactical planning and training had brought the soldiers of Black Dawn to this moment. The slight tremor in his hands was the only sign of how he was feeling. Brokk pressed himself closer to the mossy ground, breathing in the sweet smell of dewy grass. A snap of twigs and the group went rigid, frozen in the shadows. Laughter filled the forest air as four men with blood-red sashes of the guards draped brazenly across their chests walked into view a few hundred yards away. They quipped at each other, totally relaxed, their voices sounding like a constant buzz to Brokk. His blood thrummed in his ears as his heart pounded wildly. The seconds felt like centuries until finally, he saw a flash of silver and a smooth voice filled his mind, “Now.”
Brokk didn’t need to be told twice. Springing from the ground like a demon from the darkness, he pulled his curved twin blades out in seconds as he cut the men off. The group stopped, looking pale in the moonlight and extremely exposed.
“Evening, boys,” Brokk said in a taunting voice. “Sorry to interrupt your rounds, but I dare say you’re a little close for comfort to our home. Convenient for us, though,” he added, twirling the hilts in his hands. “We wanted you exactly here.”
Their leader took a daring step toward him. His mistake. Brokk yelled into the darkness, “Memphis, keep him alive!”
In a flurry of movement, his friends dropped from the surrounding trees, all dressed in the same camouflage, their weapons at the ready. A mad cackle broke the guard’s momentary trance, and they tried to run. Chaos ensued.
Brokk threw his blades at the nearest tree—a satisfying thud sounded as they found their mark. He ran, eyes fixated on the two guards that had broken away from the fight ahead of him. It was laughable really, just how much they thought they had a chance of escaping. They had no idea who they were up against.
The familiar popping and breaking of bones shivered through his body when animal instinct took over as the wolf inside him did. The ground shook from his colossal paws, golden fur rippling like a beacon in the night. His growl rumbled like thunder, and for a split second, he forgot who he was. All that mattered was that he took his targets down. The guard’s deaths were much swifter than they deserved.
Brokk shifted back, trying to calm the elation of how good that had felt. Memphis snapped him out of his glorified moment. “Brokk! Come here.”
The last guard was openly crying, now forced to his knees, hands shaking behind his head. Brokk almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
Up close he was much younger than Brokk thought, fear replacing the guard’s bravery now. Memphis’s icy blue eyes cut into his, and he didn’t have to say anything for Brokk to understand. Telekinetic or not, his friend wore his heart on his sleeve. They were all on edge and who could blame them? Six years of hiding. Six years of losing this war. Brokk swallowed back his thoughts, wearing his mask of oozing confidence and anger.
“W-who are you?” The guard’s voice squeaked out several octaves higher than it should have.
Nyx kicked him in the gut, making him wheeze in pain and gasp for air. Memphis crouched down in front of him, his long blond hair tied back, revealing his severe features. They all bore scars, some more visible than others.

About the Author:
Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

You can find and contact Mallory McCartney here:
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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Black Dawn. Three winners will each win a signed copy of Black Dawn. Open International.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Book Blitz: Saying I Do by Tracey Alvarez

Saying I Do banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Saying I Do by Tracey Alvarez. I’ll share my review of this book with you, an excerpt and there’s a giveaway. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 19 till 25 May. See the tour schedule here.

Saying I DoSaying I Do (Stewart Island #8)
by Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 19 May, 2017
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:
Marriage and happily-ever-after are for suckers…

Joe Whelan was fooled once on the way to the altar, and the Irish doctor isn’t about to be an eejit over a woman again. Especially not one who witnessed his broken-hearted humiliation years ago. He won’t be swayed by the sparks that fly whenever his eyes meet MacKenna’s or distracted by her sweet kisses. The only thing Joe cares about is preventing his sister from making the biggest marital mistake of her life.

MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding—so long as she’s sewing the bride’s gown, not walking down the aisle herself. Falling for Joe Whelan’s sexy bedside manner wasn’t on the cards, neither was a seven-day road trip with him to Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World. When the stakes are so high, will these two gun-shy cynics ever say I Do?

You can find Saying I Do on Goodreads

Listen to the soundtrack for Saying on I Do on Youtube

You can buy Saying I Do here:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon Australia
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks
Smashwords

Saying I Do Teaser 1

My Review:
Dr Joe has featured in several of the Due South books up to this point but we haven’t really learned that much about him except that he’s originally from Ireland. Mac has appeared previously as Holly’s cousin and the bridal shop owner so we know a little bit about her too. This is their story and I loved every heart stealing moment of it!

Tracey is a fabulous writer and her prose and her wonderful characters always hook me from the get-go, and Saying I Do was no different.

Dr Joe has sworn off love due to a disastrous previous engagement that Mac played a part in. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to ruin the story but suffice it to say that both formed opinions of each other when they first crossed paths and since Dr Joe moved to Oban they have butted heads every time they meet. But there is no stopping Mrs T once she gets a notion in her head. As the island’s self-professed matchmaking expert, Betsy has set her sights on Mac and Joe and the story kicks off with her manipulating a meeting between them.

Mac is also a bit love-shy thanks to an overly-eager mother who has been divorced a few times and she has some love skeletons in her closet too. I enjoyed Mac’s character – she was intelligent, successful, confident, and fiesty. She struggled to understand her feelings for Joe but as the story progressed she couldn’t avoid the fact she was falling in love with the Irish doctor.

Joe gradually starts opening his heart to Mac and he proves how far he has come on a trip to Vegas to celebrate his sister’s nuptials. But the path of true love doesn’t run smooth and there are a few hiccups for our couple before they get their HEA.

Tracey has done an amazing job portraying the Irish characters in this story. They were all believable and I found myself chuckling at phrases I know so well! All of Joe’s family were right characters and I sense they have some interesting stories to tell. The scene in the Vegas hotel room where Mac first meets his brothers was hysterically funny and I almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard. I loved the switch of scenery in this book, especially the American road trip. Something happens during that trip that made me mad (no spoilers here folks) but all was good in the end.

Overall, this was another superb read from Tracey. I always know I’m in for a great time when I pick up one of her books and that was most definitely the case with Saying I Do.

I beta read an unedited draft of this book and I have voluntarily reviewed same. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Saying I Do Teaser 2

Excerpt:
Mac continued to gaze lustfully into the all-marble bathroom and giant tub that could easily hold a wedding party of six. As much as she wanted to soak in a tub filled with bubbles, if she wasn’t to be a complete wreck meeting Joe’s family later, she needed to crawl beneath those sheets and sleep for at least an hour.
“Shower and sleep,” she said. “I’m on an unstoppable trajectory to get clean and unconscious.”
“Party pooper.”
He grinned that sexy, promising a good time grin, and she nearly caved. Before Mac changed her mind, she ducked into the bathroom and shut the door. Locked it. Keeping temptation out of reach—for her, not him. Tapping her phone, she selected her favorite playlist and cranked up the volume. Nothing like Freddy Mercury’s soaring vocal plea for someone to love to set the mood for a refreshing, loooong shower.
Mac sang along—too bad if Joe didn’t like her voice—and took her time under the steaming-hot jets while Freddy gave way to Madonna, Bryan Adams, and Simple Minds.
Once her fingers started to prune, she relented and got out, pouncing on the free bottle of expensive body lotion. While Cyndi told the world about girls just wanting to have fun, Mac finished slathering on the lotion. She’d been a little premature turning down the opportunity to mess up the sheets with Joe because parts of her were very refreshed.
She flung open the bathroom door, shimmying everything she had, the chorus on her lips—and met the startled gaze of Joe, beer bottle in hand…and two other men.
One sat on the sofa, the other reclined on their bed, beer balanced on his flat stomach. Three pairs of eyes locked on her assets, jaws sagged, followed by wide, appreciative smiles by the two strangers. Joe turned a murderous stare at the two men—who were obviously his brothers, judging by their same coloring and bright blue eyes.
Mac froze momentarily, like a possum in a hunter’s spotlight, a flight or fight response kicking in, even though in this case, embarrassment would kill her before the adrenaline overdose. She bit down on the urge to shriek like a train whistle and slapped an attitude-infused hand on her waist instead. What was the point of rushing away when men had a photographic memory for boobs and bums? They’d be retelling this story for years.
“You must be Joe’s brothers,” she said. “Nice to meetcha.” As if she met her boyfriend’s family bare-assed every day of the week.
“Pleasure is all ours,” said the brother from the bed, lifting his beer in a silent toast. “I’m Kyle.”
“Luke,” the older of the two men said, from the sofa. “We brought beer.”
Both men, after their initial surprise, met her gaze squarely without their gazes lowering to her…assets. Now if she could just figure out how to make a graceful exit…
Joe solved the issue by hauling the gold-and-purple bed runner off the comforter and crossing the room in double time to wrap it around her, using the bulk of his body to block his brothers’ view.
“Flippin’ hell, Mac,” he muttered, tucking the tail of fabric between her breasts.
His voice was gruff, but not with the chastisement she’d assumed. His face told her he was caught between laughter, annoyance, and possessive arousal. Suddenly, she wanted the Whelan brothers gone. Suddenly, she didn’t need a nap, she just needed Joe.

Saying I Do Teaser 3

Tracey AlvarezAbout the Author:
Tracey Alvarez is a USA Today Bestselling Author living in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

Follow Tracey on Twitter as @TraceyAlvrezNZ or Facebook as http://www.facebook.com/TraceyAlvarezAuthor

Her website is http://www.traceyalvarez.com and don’t forget to sign up to her newsletter here: http://bit.ly/JR3Asu

You can find and contact Tracey here:
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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Saying I Do. This giveaway ends April 25th.

One winner will win a prize pack (over $65 value) which includes:
~ Playing For Fun signed paperback (Playing For Fun is Book 6 in the series, and features Mac’s cousin Holly)
~ Fun NZ theme tote bag
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Rejuvenating Face Pack
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey Conditioning Lip Balm
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey Hand Cream
~ Alpine Silk Manuka Honey with Propolis Triple Milled Luxury Soap
~ Handcrafted in New Zealand woven Hessian Kete with feathers
~ 4 New Zealand Paua Shell Wine Glass Charms
~ Author magnet (not pictured)
~ Author bookmark (not pictured)
Saying I Do giveaway graphic

Giveaway rules
* Prizes are not exchangeable for cash or anything else.
* All due care will be made in ensuring the prize arrives at the winner’s address, but the author is unable to refund prize value in any way should it not arrive due to postal disaster.
* Entries close on May 25th and winner will receive a direct e-mail from me shortly after – so please ensure Tracy Alvarez’s e-mail address is added to your safe/contacts list. If the author doesn’t receive a reply from the winner in 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below.

To qualify for the bonus 5 entries, you’ll need to purchase Saying I Do and answer this question in the space provided in the rafflecopter. The question is: What is the last 4-word sentence at the end of Chapter 13?

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Blog Tour: The Wright Boss by K.A. Linde


Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Wright Boss by K.A. Linde! Read on for my review and some teasers for this book!

Title: The Wright Boss
Author: K.A. Linde
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A new stand alone office romance from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I’ve always had one rule:

Don’t mix business and pleasure.

But then Landon Wright comes home to his family’s construction company with a broken back and a beaten heart and ends up as my new sexy boss. As the office gets heated, I’m thinking about throwing the rulebook out the window.

If only there weren’t a million reasons this could never work.

We may have shared a single perfect kiss, but I can’t let our intense connection cloud my judgment. Not with everything I’ve worked for on the line.

Dating your boss is so very, very wrong…even if he feels so Wright.

My Review:
I was super excited to read this book as I really connected with Landon and Heidi in The Wright Brother and I was keen to see them get their HEA.

This was a great read and I read it in one sitting. Landon won me over from the very start and I was delighted when he kicked his conniving wife to the curb. Not that she went easily but I’m glad he had the strength of his convictions. He still had a job convincing Heidi he was sincere but he persevered until she was willing to take a chance on him. She was risking a lot as relationships between immediate management and employees was forbidden in Wright Construction and she was also worried how Em would react. Landon was swoon-worthy in the extreme and I totally shipped them.

Our couple was so hot for one another and their chemistry was explosive. The sexual tension in the first third of the book was delicious and it kept me hooked. Both are dealing with separate issues in their personal lives and it was nice that they could be there to support one another.

I really enjoyed how much of a career-orientated person Heidi was and how she had to work extremely hard to hold her own in such an alpha-dominated environment. I can relate to that. Her career was very important to her and it’s why she was so concerned about taking a risk with Landon – she didn’t want to jeopardize everything she had worked toward over the years.

It was great to get glimpses of Jensen, Em, and Colt, and to see the other family dynamics at play. I’m intrigued by Austin’s background and what demons are driving his alcohol addiction. I’m so looking forward to reading his book even if I’m not overly enamored with Julia, but I’m prepared to be won over. I enjoyed the sample we got at the back of this book and it’s most definitely whetted my appetite.

The writing was great and the pacing was perfect and it flowed beautifully.

This was a five-star read right up until the main conflict detonated. I want to share my review without spoilers which is difficult when it comes to this part of the story so, fair warning, this is mildly-spoilery. I found this part of the plot weak and I struggled to accept it as believable when her boyfriend was part of the family who owned the business and his brother (and her bestie’s boyfriend) was the CEO. I worked as Head of HR for 12 years and I have to say that Julia is the worst HR professional and a shitty friend. While I understand her personal relationship could have no bearing on the situation, no skilled HR professional fires someone without having all the facts to hand and without ensuring the relevant authority figures are aware of the situation, ESPECIALLY when this person is a well-respected loyal employee and a friend – you would do everything to avoid having to pull the trigger. I actually got really mad at that whole situation because it was a clear plot device and not properly thought out. I would have preferred if Miranda had used different means to cause chaos rather than going that route. Most readers probably won’t have any issue with it but given my background, I just couldn’t accept it as plausible or in any way credible. What was worse was the scene at the charity event when the Head of HR publicly assaulted one of the owners in front of clients and employees but she’s allowed to keep her job? That was a worse scenario than what happened at the golf event, and it brought the brand into more disrepute in my opinion. It just didn’t add up to me.

Also, while I understood Heidi’s reaction toward Landon, her acceptance of Julia’s role wasn’t realistic. She should have been mad at her for not handling it properly but instead, she was mad at Landon. And Julia never once apologized for her unprofessional handling of the situation. Gah, I hate saying anything bad about another author’s work but this really pushed my buttons and I hate that because I was LOVING this book up until this happened.

Anyway, that is my only complaint. The rest of the book was excellent and thoroughly enjoyable and I still wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. This is a great series and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the Wright stories. I do hope the girls are getting books too as I’m so invested in this family and I want to read more in this world.

Thanks to the author and Insklinger PR for providing an advance copy of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed.

About the Author:
K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.
She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

Links:

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Review: The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: The Dead List
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary/ Mystery
Links:

Blurb:
It’s Ella’s senior year of high school and she and her best friend Linds plan to make it the best year ever. At Brock Cochran’s end of summer pool party, the girls vow to have as much fun as possible before they head off to different colleges next fall. But when Ella is mysteriously attacked on her way home from the party, everything changes. Ella’s carefree senior year plans disintegrate as she finds herself at the center of an attempted murder investigation.

Ella tries to move on, but her attacker isn’t done yet. He shows himself in the form of horrifying signs and symbols: a clown mask strewn on her bed, a dead bird in her backpack, a shadow moving past her window in the night. And as the weeks pass, it turns out that Ella isn’t the only one being tormented.

With the help of an old flame, Jensen Carver, and her friends and family, Ella tries to attain some sense of normalcy, but she can’t seem to shake the feeling that there’s a dark pattern hidden in the killer’s every move. Suddenly, even those in her innermost circle seem suspicious. In her seemingly safe West Virginia town, Ella starts to wonder who she can trust.

My Review:
Initial Thoughts: Wow! What a fantastic read! I had a very difficult time putting this book down and only did so to sleep.

Full Review:

The Dead List is a well-written captivating romantic thriller that had my heart swooning and panicking in equal measure!

Read it for the romance as much as for the mystery because let’s be honest, Jennifer Armentrout writes some of the most amazing book boyfriends EVER and Jensen Carver is no exception. Where do I even begin? He’s hot, loyal, honest, supportive, funny, and so, so protective of Ella and I was in love with him pretty much from the get-go. One of the things I especially enjoyed was how confident he was in himself and his feelings for Ella and he didn’t shy away from articulating same.

For example, see how amazingly perfect this quote of Jensen’s is:

“I want to be that guy-the one that when your phone rings, you hope it’s me. The one who holds your hand in the hallway at lunch. The guy who gets to hold you. I want to be the one who gets to touch you. I want to be yours.”

We are told he didn’t date, enjoying casual hook-ups, and while it wasn’t specified I took that to mean he was just waiting for Ella to open up and let him back in and he had no genuine interest in any other girl. That only made me love him more!

Ella was a great character too. A loyal friend to Linds, Gavin, and Jensen, and a nice person to boot. The opening scene when she was leaving the party showed she was a fighter, a survivor, and that only endeared me to her more.

I’m going to be brutally honest -my real interest with this book was the blossoming romance and the mystery/intrigue surrounding the murderer took a back seat for me. I’ve seen some readers suggest this is a horror but I wasn’t scared. It reads like more of a thriller to me. I never felt like Ella was in a genuine life-threatening situation and I was more invested in when she and Jensen were going to get it on than I was in identifying the killer, lol, HOWEVER that doesn’t mean I wasn’t intrigued because I was. I enjoyed how the past and the present intertwined even if it was a tad bit predictable. I liked the flashback scenes. I actually had figured out the murderer’s identity at one point but I kept changing my mind as Jenn threw out different hooks. Love when an author has me second guessing myself and Jenn did a great job here with throwing me off the scent! That twist at the very end was brilliant because I was a bit confused wondering how it was all stacking up and then bam, that came at me and my heart was in my mouth – that was so well written.

I ended up reading this in less than twenty-four hours and then I kicked myself for having read it so fast because I always do that with Jenn’s books and then I’m left feeling bereft.

In summary, this was a fantastic read and Jenn continues to prove she deserves to be at the top of my fave authors list. If you enjoy swoony romance intertwined with intriguing mystery and a fast-paced writing style then you’ll love The Dead List. Highly Recommended.

Thanks to the author and her assistant for providing an ARC of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed.