Review Blog Tour: Hate to Love You by Tijan


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Hate to Love You by Tijan. In case you didn’t read my review on release day here’s another look at it :). Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book!

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:

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 Blitz: The Soul Mate (Roommates #4) by Kendall Ryan


Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Soul Mate (Roommates #4) by Kendall Ryan! i share my review with you today and some teaser images!

Title: The Soul Mate
Author: Kendall Ryan
Series: Roommates #4
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
From New York Times Bestseller Kendall Ryan comes a sexy new stand-alone novel in her Roommates series.

The smoking-hot one-night stand I was never supposed to see again?

Yeah, well, I might be pregnant, and he’s my OB-GYN.

Get ready to fall head over heels madly in love with the hottest OBGYN doctor you have ever met! This full-length standalone contains the most hilariously awkward lady-doctor visit, lots of playful banter and some good ol’ fashioned baby-makin’!

My Review:
Kendall has an uncanny ability to hook me with her enticing blurbs and her sexy covers, and The Soul Mate was no different. I was particularly impressed this time because the blurb is so short but, hot damn, was I salivating to read this book! The premise is fantastic and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

I have enjoyed this series and all the books have been great. Bren and Mason were both likable characters and very easy to warm to. I was giggling away to myself at the scene in his office before they figured out who the other person was. So awkward. So entertaining.

It was fairly obvious (to me at least) how this one was going to play out but I enjoyed watching Mason battle against Bren’s preconceived negative notions of love and the lengths he was prepared to go to in order to show her how much he cared.

It was sweet and heartwarming and it gave me lots of warm fuzzies.

This series has been more like a novella series because the books are short, quick reads. Ordinarily, I prefer longer books because there really isn’t enough time to develop the characters properly and the plots all seemed rushed. That was definitely the case here and while I enjoyed the book I was frustrated that it wasn’t longer. Character and plot development seemed rushed and it was very easy to predict the storyline. It doesn’t detract from the fact it was an entertaining read and I adore Kendall’s writing style. She definitely has a way with words and you always know what you are getting when you pick up one of her books. Because I knew going in that this was going to be a quick read, I can’t give this one any less than four-stars. It delivers on the expectation.

If you are looking for a short, quick, entertaining summer read then this book, this entire series, is perfect and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing an ARC of this book. My review is voluntary and all opinions expressed are my own.

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 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts 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.
Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

Links:

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Blog Tour: Wicked Wish (The Wicked Horse Vegas #2) by Sawyer Bennett


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Wicked Wish (The Wicked Horse Vegas #2) by Sawyer Bennett! I’ll share my review for this book, an excerpt and soem teaser images :).

Title: Wicked Wish
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Series: The Wicked Horse Vegas #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Jorinda Pearce thought she did everything right – graduated from college, married her long-time sweetheart, established a career. But what does she have to show for it now? A degree she doesn’t use, a job she hates, and an ex-husband that broke her heart.

Looking for a long overdue adventure, Jorie takes a walk on the wild side and attends a masquerade event at The Wicked Horse Vegas. It’s exactly the escape she’s looking for, and even better, she can explore anonymously. Drawn to the man masked in black leather with the body of a god, Jorie finds the greatest pleasures of her life at the hands of a stranger.

Walsh Brooks is the most sought after man in The Wicked Horse. Sex is nothing but a game to him and he’s the type that will always leave at the end of the night without looking back. Unfortunately for Walsh, there’s no way he can walk away from the mysterious green-eyed beauty behind the mask of sapphire feathers, because he knows exactly who she is.

Jorie is his best friend’s little sister and there’s not another woman in the world that’s more off limits.

My Review:
A standalone best friend’s sister forbidden romance with erotic scenes.

This is the second book in Sawyer Bennett’s Wicked Horse Vegas series, but it can be completely read as a standalone title. I loved every wicked, delicious page of this book, from the well-developed, intriguing characters to the consistently-paced plot which held my attention the entire time.

I love forbidden romance especially when they are keeping the relationship secret and there is lots of sneaking around and heated stolen moments. Walsh and Jorie reconnect by chance and end up in a very steamy encounter in The Wicked Horse. Once they realize who each other is, they try to stay away from one another but their old attraction hasn’t died and soon they are throwing caution to the wind.

Sawyer included a great note at the start of the book which I wholeheartedly agree with. This is a great character-driven story with erotic scenes but I love the fact that she takes time to carve out her characters and that there is substance to their development and the plot development. It was my perfect kind of read.

I especially loved the little anecdotes from the past and I felt the strength of their bond as well as their sizzling hot chemistry. I wanted to kick Michah into next week for being such an interfering old grump but it added some delicious tension and drama.

Sawyer is a fantastic writer and this book was superbly written. I can’t fault anything about it. I loved it, and I’m loving this series. Thank you for an exhilarating read, and I can’t wait to read more in this world.

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

Excerpt:
Squaring my shoulders, I march into The Royale and head straight for the concierge desk. I haven’t been in this casino before. Hell, I haven’t been in hardly any of them. Sure, I’d only grown up about forty-five minutes away, but gambling and all-you-can-eat buffets held no interest to me.
From Micah bragging about his best friend over the years, I knew Walsh orchestrated the purchase of the land, then pulled together financing with two other partners to build this casino. It’s one of the most popular on the strip, boasting five-star dining, old-world elegance, and superior customer service. Again, all this from Micah, but honestly… I’m so proud of Walsh, too. We may have lost touch over the years, but I’ll never forget all the ways in which he acted as a big brother to me.
Ick.
Okay… that’s gross. Thinking of Walsh like a brother.
I scrub my mind clean of that thought and demand myself never to do that again.
Rather, I’ll never forget all the ways in which Walsh provided me friendship and support in my formative years.
Yes… much better.
“Can I help you?” a man behind the concierge desk asks with a genuine and friendly smile. Not snooty as I would expect in a fancy hotel, and I guess that goes to the superior customer service The Royale strives for.
“Yes… hi,” I say as I nervously tuck my hair behind my ears on both sides. “I need to see Mr. Brooks. How do I go about getting access to his apartment?”
Micah told me some time ago that Walsh lives here.
The concierge never loses his friendly smile, but a single eyebrow arches high at my temerity.
“Oh, gosh,” I stammer. “That came out stalkerish. Mr. Brooks… I mean, Walsh… and I are longtime friends. He used to babysit me.”
“Your name?” the man asks as he pulls up something on his computer.
“Jorie Pearce.”
After a moment of scanning, he looks up at me. “Your name isn’t on the approved list.”
“Well, he’s not exactly expecting me.”
“I’m sorry, Miss Pearce,” he says with true regret in his voice. “But our policy is strict. No one gets up to the private penthouse without their name on the list.”
I lean on the desk with one elbow and lower my voice. “Just out of curiosity… are there any women on that list?”
The eyebrow shoots up again.
“No, wait,” I say hastily as I hold my palms toward him in a silent plea to not process my last request either mentally or on the computer. “That’s totally stalkerish, and I didn’t mean that.”
“Miss Pearce,” the concierge says, now with a hint of annoyance. “Perhaps you’d like to leave a message? I can get it up to Mr. Brooks today and he can call you.”
“No, I need to see him now,” I tell him firmly. “And I swear it’s not to cook a rabbit in a pot on his stove. Can you please just call up to his apartment?”
“That’s not our policy—”
“Look,” I snap as I lean across the desk slightly. “I’m a lifelong friend of Walsh’s. My brother is his best friend. We lost touch for a few years, but we ran into each other last night. I really need to talk to him about something that happened last night, and I’m not leaving this hotel until you call up to his apartment.”
The eyebrow doesn’t arch but it does draw inward to meet its match on the other side as he considers what I just said.
“I swear to you,” and here I pause to look at his name tag, “Bentley. Please just call him. He won’t be mad.”
With a sigh, he relents and picks up the phone receiver, punching in a five-digit number. After a pause, he says, “Mr. Brooks… I’m very sorry to disturb you, sir, but there’s a Miss Jorie Pearce here to see you. She says she’s a longtime friend.”
I watch as Bentley listens, but I can’t gauge what’s being said as his face remains blank. Finally, he says, “Very good, sir.”
I take this to mean I’ll be getting an escort to the penthouse suite, but Bentley replaces the receiver and says, “I’m sorry, Miss Pearce. But Mr. Walsh told me to tell you he’s busy and can’t receive you right now.”
My eyes narrow at Bentley. “I don’t believe you. Call back and let me talk to him.”
“I assure you, I just talked to him and that’s what he said.”
“Call him back,” I order as I point to the phone.
“I can’t,” he says almost with a wail. “If I do, he’ll fire me.”
Okay, that hits home. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I say, “Fine. Give me just a moment.”
I take a few steps away from the concierge desk and pull my iPhone out. I shoot off a quick text to Micah. What’s Walsh’s phone number?
I wait a few moments, but I know Micah is awake in San Francisco at this hour. His phone is always on, and he never ignores a text from me.
He responds with the number before I can even start to tap my foot with impatience, adding on, Why?
I hate the lie, but I write back, Came to Vegas for the day. Thought I’d see if he could meet up for lunch. Haven’t seen him in years.
Cool, he writes back. Tell him I said, “what’s up, douche?”
I roll my eyes as I text back, Real mature. Love ya. Later.
After I save the number to my contacts, I open a new text to Walsh. Let me up to see you or I’m going straight back to The Wicked Horse to satisfy some further curiosities I have.
I hit send and then walk back to the concierge desk. I merely lean one elbow on it and watch Bentley with a silent smile. The phone rings about ten seconds after that.
Bentley’s eyes fly to mine as he listens, and then says, “Yes, sir. Right away.”
When he replaces the receiver, he says, “I’m to show you to the penthouse elevator.”
“Thank you, Bentley,” I say brightly.

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: 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.

Blog Tour: Your Fierce Love (The Bennett Family #7) by Layla Hagen


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Your Fierce Love (The Bennett Family #7) by Layla Hagen! This was the first book I read by the author and it certainly won’t be the last. scroll down to read my review and check out some of the teaser images!

Want to win? Layla Hagen is having $100 gift card giveaway on her facebook page to celebrate the release! Enter the giveaway here.

Title: Your Fierce Love
Author: Layla Hagen
Series: The Bennett Family #7
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The strong and sexy Blake Bennett is downright irresistible. And Clara Abernathy is doing everything she can to resist his charm.

After spending her life in group homes, Clara yearns for the love and warmth of a true family. With the Bennetts treating her like their own, she can’t possibly fall for Blake. That would be crossing a line…

But when Clara needs a temporary place to live, and she accepts Blake’s offer to move next door to him, things escalate. Suddenly, she’s not only supposed to resist the man who’s hell-bent on having her, but the TV station she works for is determined to dig up some dirt on the Bennett family.

Blake knows family friends are off-limits, and Clara is more off-limits than anyone. But Clara’s sweetness and sass fill a hole in him he wasn’t even aware of. Soon, he finds himself gravitating toward her, willing to do anything to make her happy.

Blake enjoys bending the rules—much more than following them, but will bending this one be taking it too far?

YOUR FIERCE LOVE is the seventh book in Layla Hagen’s Bennett Family series, but all books stand alone.

My Review:
This was my first Layla Hagen book but I can confidently say it won’t be my last. While this is the seventh book in The Bennett Family series it holds its own as a standalone and you don’t need to read the other books to enjoy Your Fierce Love. Sometimes, I find when books within a series are labeled as standalone they can lack proper character development. Not this book. Layla nailed the character development in this one, and while my interest in the other characters is definitely piqued, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out by not reading them first.

Both Blake and Clara are very likable MC’s, and I was rooting for their romance from the get-go. It is a forbidden romance of sorts, mainly because Clara is so protective of her relationship with the Bennetts, cherishing and valuing it because she didn’t have that growing up (or mostly didn’t.) So, the family is important to her and she worries she will mess up a good thing by getting involved with Blake.

Blake is extremely determined though, and he doesn’t give her the opportunity to back away because he knows she wants him as much as he wants her.

I liked the build up of their relationship, and how sweet and caring Blake was while at the same time he’s all man. The romantic and sexy times were hot without going too far and perfectly to my taste. There was no doubt they shared intense chemistry, and you could tell the bond was growing stronger the more they fell in love. All of that leaped off the pages of my Kindle and it was so heartwarming.

The main reason my rating isn’t higher is due to two things that happened toward the end of the story that took away from my enjoyment. The first was the confrontation with her bosses. In reality, they wouldn’t have given up that easily and I just couldn’t accept it as credible. Then, when her secret was revealed the reactions of both characters was, significantly, lacking in emotional depth. I should have felt her pain, her concern, her fear, her panic, but I didn’t. Those scenes require more heightened emotion and more tension, in my opinion. I wanted to feel an ache in my chest, but I didn’t. It just felt like a plot device that was hurdling toward an inevitable end.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can say this is still a perfectly lovely romance and it ticks along at a nice, consistent pace. It would make a great summer beach read.

For me, one of the best things about this book is it has ignited my interest in this family and I really want to read the other books now. I ADORED the family dynamic, and all the siblings, and the close knit feel, and how they all supported one another. Loved it! I’m definitely going to check out some of the other books starting with Logan because, aagh!! I loved him. Seriously, I think I might have a Logan fetish because anytime I come across that name in a book I just have to read it and I invariably fall head over heels in love. So, I’m off to download Logan and Nadine’s book now.

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:
Layla Hagen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She fell in love with books when she was nine years old, and her love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.

She writes steamy and romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.

She is represented by fabulous Louise Fury (The Bent Agency)

Links:

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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.