Review: Brokenhearted (Touched Saga #3) by Elisa S. Amore

Title: Brokenhearted
Author: Elisa S. Amore
Series: Touched Saga #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A journey through dark, forbidden worlds, beyond the limits of fear.
Are you strong enough to tempt Fate?

From the author of the #1 bestseller TOUCHED comes the highly anticipated third episode of the saga that has bewitched thousands of readers around the world.

How can you go on living if the person you love is gone? Consumed by grief and remorse, Gemma Bloom wonders that day after day. Evan defied the laws of Fate to save her, paying dearly for his disobedience: falling into the trap laid by an Angel of Death, he was poisoned by Gemma’s own lips. Since that accursed kiss, she has been inconsolable, tormented by nightmares and hallucinations in which Evan is tortured by invisible hands.
Just when Gemma believes she’s losing her mind, a deep, seductive evil begins to entwine itself around the fragments of her broken heart. Horrified at first, Gemma finds herself gradually drawn to this new emotion. A terrible, mesmerizing power seems to be growing inside her, threatening to take possession of her soul. Tormented by frightening premonitions and dangerous secrets, Gemma will have to summon all her courage if she wants to challenge Fate and resist the power of darkness.
With her elegant style and intense prose, Elisa S. Amore leads us down a path paved with unbreakable bonds and fatal betrayals, forbidden realms and extreme sacrifices. An unforgettable adventure.

Nightmares. Premonitions. Dark Secrets.
Death Has Never Been So Close.
How brave do you have to be to face your worst fears?

My Review:
Stunning worldbuilding and heartbreaking emotion combine to deliver another electrifying read in the amazing Touched Saga.

Fair warning – if you haven’t read the other books in this series this review may be slightly-spoilery.

Elisa sure knows how to tug at her reader’s heartstrings and Brokenhearted is no exception. During the first five or six chapters of this book I actually felt like my heart was splitting in two and I acutely felt everything that Gemma felt. To have lost the one you love by your own hand has got to be one of the worst situations ever. And to top it off Gemma is pregnant with Evan’s baby and she never even got a chance to tell him – my heart was aching for them.

I really missed Evan in this book. I knew he had to come back on the scene at some stage (otherwise there would be no continuation of the series) and I kept racing ahead hoping, hoping, hoping. It reminded me of reading New Moon a little as I kept waiting for Edward to reappear and thought I’d die if he didn’t show up soon. Exact same feelings here. When Evan came back on the scene it was so worth the wait. I just LOVE him. He is perfect – so protective of Gemma and willing to sacrifice everything for her and his baby despite how her stupid mistake landed them in this situation. I could gush buckets all day long about his character – he is perfect leading man material.

I was quite annoyed with Ginerva in this book – it was obvious she was keeping things back from Gemma, though, it’s understandable that she didn’t feel Gemma could handle them because she was a basket case. Still, if I was Gemma I would have been far angrier with Ginerva when everything is revealed.

The second half of this book was incredible. Elisa has detailed a wonderful underworld that is imaginative and creative and Gemma’s journey through Hell had me gripped. It added a new darker and more fantastical element to the series which I adored. I love all the twists and turns and was so pleased that I had guessed her identity in book one. We were introduced to Sophia and the witches and I can’t wait to see how that plot line progresses in the next book. There is certainly plenty to flesh out and I’m intrigued to see where Elisa brings this.

The romance is in limited supply in this book because they are separated so much but when they are together it is swoon-worthy in the extreme. Their passion comes alive in a very real way.

I’m a big fan of Elisa’s writing style even if there is a tendency to be a little over-descriptive at times, but, in the main I really like how she writes.

There are a few reasons this is a four-star rather than five-star review. Firstly, I felt the editing could’ve been tighter in the first half of the book. A lot of Gemma’s inner monologue became very repetitive, and all that stuff in high school and with Peter was largely redundant. I also disliked how dismissive she was of her baby. I understand she is heartbroken but I expected there to come a time when she dried her eyes and faced up to her responsibility and that was only fleeting and more toward the end. The baby was barely mentioned in the first half of the book and that didn’t sit right with me. I also wish Gemma’s character development was stronger. This is the third book yet she still expects everyone to protect and save her. She spent most of this book crying and she really started to get on my nerves. We are told time and time again how she is strong and brave, but, honestly, in my opinion, her actions do not back that up. She was gullible, needy, and whiny and I really wanted her to grow some resolve. Sorry Elisa. However, there is light ahead because in the last few chapters she presented as a strong character and she stood up for Evan and showed her true colors and I was totally cheering at that point. I hope this is the Gemma we get to see in the next book.

I was expecting a cliffhanger ending but this one ends on a fairly happy note even though we know there are tough times ahead.

I look forward to the conclusion of Gemma and Evan’s love story.

Cover Reveal: After I Break by Mandy Peterson

Today is the cover reveal for After I Break by Mandy Peterson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover MSN Art Studio (Maduranga Sampath).
After I break is a direct sequel to the first book Before I Shatter.

After I BreakAfter I Break (Before I Shatter #2)
By Mandy Peterson
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: July 28, 2017

Blurb:
On the heels of tragedy, Vita must stay hidden to stay alive.

Gemini’s Director has made a deadly move in his attempt to recover Vita as his second-in-command. Led by her ever-prepared rescuer Evan, Vita jumps headlong into the inner sanctum of the Undocumented — an organization united in their mission to save the chaotic purity of mankind. Allying with former enemies proves difficult, especially when they expect Vita to be the girl the Gemini propaganda created: a visionary leader, terrifying soldier, and advanced human. A girl she simply is not anymore.

When her mother finally reveals the secret of Vita’s origin to her, Vita wonders just how much her intended purpose determines her fate. Questioning her value and humanity, she would just as soon stay a regular person until intelligence uncovers a new mix of Vita 2.0 candidates under the Director’s harsh command — all children.

There’s no other option but to stop the Director:
a madman who has discovered that Vita is broken
and will go to any lengths to make her whole again.

You can find After I Break on Goodreads

You can pre-order After I Break for only $0.99 here:
Amazon

After I Break full wrap

Excerpt Chapter One
Thick fingers coil around my upper arm, dragging me through the crowd pressing in from all sides. Tall, polished buildings made of stone and glass create a corridor, guiding us. Pop-up kiosks crowd the cement walkways, each table displaying specialty wares from food to fabrics. The rich aroma of coffee teases my nostrils. The happy jostling of this crowd directly contradicts the misery beginning to fill my heart.
An old man fighting for his life with an ax.
Losing the fight with a horrifying shot to the head.
My stomach cannot handle the overload. Evan insistently carries me through to the edge of the crowd, but my feet drag. Bile rises up my throat and spews all over the sidewalk. My rescuer pauses impatiently and yanks me along as soon as I finish, ignoring the disgusted cries of a woman now wearing vomit-spotted white pumps.
“Sorry!” I manage to choke out as he pulls me away. I yank my arm free of his grip and keep pace next to my partner who manages to look relatively calm but hurried. We get some interesting looks as we rush through the streets.
Evan is dressed sensibly in his jeans, t-shirt, flannel, and hiking boots. On the other hand, I am woefully unprepared for a trek through a bustling morning in a metropolis. Still clad in pajamas, wool socks, and bed-head, passersby glance at me as if I might be mentally ill.
Who knows? Maybe I am.
Wherever we are, it is a comfortable temperature out, warmer than the Swedish cabin that we disappeared from. The people sound different here, too. Their language is rounder, and the words run together. The English language is recognizable and gives me some measure of comfort. At least I can speak the language here. I keep my head down and follow Evan through winding streets to a large brick building with two large domed windows and a large clock in the center.
“What is this place?” I wheeze. My socks slip and slide on this floor, making me work twice as hard to keep up with his brutal pace.
Unaffected by my plight, Evan’s voice is stiff. “King’s Cross. Train station. They’ve got a place where you can change.”
My gaze wanders over the modern surfaces within this massive structure. People flow through the entrance and exits, living streams. Evan leads us to a row of lockers and pulls a key from his boot. I raise a questioning eyebrow as he fiddles with the lock.
“Grandfather and I prepared for this possibility. We’ve got tickets, clothing, money. Everything we need to get to safety.” He flings a gray duffle bag across his body and hands me a matching overnighter. “The ladies room is over there.” He motions behind me. “I’ll be waiting outside. Go get changed.”
I’m in shock. Slow to think. Even slower to speak. My brows furrow. “What — ?”
“Not now, Vita.” He cuts me off with a hand in the air. “There will be time for that later. Please, just go get changed.” His eyes plead with me. Just cooperate.
So I do. Surprisingly. I’m not used to taking orders any more, but now is not the time for me attempt to regain my dinged pride. Obviously. I have no idea what is going on, which sadly is a feeling I am starting to become familiar with. Betrayed by my sort-of boyfriend, deceived by my father, and targeted by an assassin in a Gemini jacket. Sure. I can acknowledge that I have zero plans, and doing something is better than the alternative. Even if it’s as simple as getting dressed.
After I slip on a pair of black leggings, black tank top, and gray loose knit sweatshirt, I lace up the pristine running shoes. My feet welcome the soft interior, the protection of real soles. My toes wiggle in appreciation, and I sigh. True to his word, Evan is waiting immediately outside the door for me. In his hands, two large paper cups of coffee, one he hands off to me as we walk. Wordlessly, he locates and boards our train with no issues. All I have to do is follow along.
The exterior of the train reminds me of a very long tram similar to the ones we had in the Lunar Colonies, but the interior could not be more different than those bleak boxes. Individual black leather seats pair off on either side of a center aisle. I run my fingertips along the cold seat backs as we meander toward the middle of the car. Bags jingle as passengers stow them overhead before sliding into their chairs. As I hoist mine overhead, Evan taps my forearm. He shakes his head ever-so-slightly. Do not stow your luggage.
Instead, we settle in with our bags in our laps. As the train pulls away from the station, I can’t stop myself from examining the changing scenery out the nearest window. Evan speaks to an attendant briefly, but my brain is firing rapidly. I can’t seem to find a single topic to latch onto. Catching my breath from the relentless pace through all of those crowded streets, I feel the heaviness seep in slowly through my pores.
Scrambled eggs with shards of glass scattered on their fluffy peaks.
Being knocked to the floor.
Pinned underneath Evan’s weight.
Seeing stars as my head makes contact with the hard wood.
Door crashing in.
Weapons trained on us.
George swinging the ax.
Gunshot.
Then suddenly in another town, likely a different country from the way these people speak. Hurtling through swarms of bodies; now speeding through the landscape. No idea where I am or where we are going.
Tears begin pinching the features of my face. My knuckles turn white on the armrests. I blink as fast as I can. My mind grasps for something — anything — to keep these tears from spilling down my cheeks and shrink the lump in my throat. Warm hands peel mine from their strangle hold. They fit so well around mine.
“I need you to hold it together. Just a little longer, okay?” His low voice penetrates my grief.
“How can you be so calm?” My voice doesn’t match his. It wobbles and squeaks.
“Because I have to be. We can deal with this later. For now, we need to get to safety.” His rock solid expression leaves me conflicted. Should I feel glad or horrified that he’s not falling apart after what happened to his grandfather?
My lower lip trembles. The world has betrayed me. Gemini has betrayed me. “I thought we were. Safe.”
His hands squeeze mine. “Only 30 more minutes. Then we get off the train and take a car the rest of the way.”
“Where are we going?”
He leans in closely to whisper in my ear. “It’s a small base with the façade of a storage unit. They’ve agreed to help us if it should ever come to this.”
“They who?”
A sigh heaves his chest. Whatever the answer is, he thinks I won’t want to hear it. “The Undocumented.”
My eyes grow wide. The last time I saw the Undocumented, we were shooting at each other. My favorite teammate had been killed. How many times had they made an attempt on my life and the lives of those I cared for?
Seeing my wild look, Evan grasps my hands harder. “It’s okay. They aren’t what you think they are.”
“How do you know?” I rip my hands away and tuck them into my lap. “This is insanity! We could be walking into a trap!”
He sighs. “It’s not.”
“They could kill us on sight!” They would certainly have every right to. The faces of the three men I shattered nearly two years ago swim in my mind. Someone has to be unhappy about that.
“They won’t.”
“But —”
“Because I’m Undocumented.” Evan declares, matter-of-factly. “They’re the people who are helping us. They’re the contacts who’ve been working tirelessly to give us shelter, identities, security, in case of an emergency. So believe me when I say this is the safest place we could possibly be.”
I clamp my mouth shut and recline my seat.

The first book in the series!
Before I Shatter (Before I Shatter #1)
Before I Shatter

Vita must make the choice:
Continue risking her life for a cause she doesn’t believe in
or make an unprecedented escape?

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon

Mandy PetersonAbout the Author:
Mandy Peterson grew up all over Nebraska and eventually settled down there with a family of her own: husband, daughter, and son.

When she isn’t writing about herself in third person, Mandy the high school librarian can be found digging through young adult and new adult lit. An avid reader of all genres (but she secretly told me she loves sci-fi the most), you will usually see her with her nose in a book or face to her Kindle app, iced or blended coffee drink in hand. A former roller girl and roller derby referee, she can also be found watching roller derby online or dragging her family behind her to cheer on teams in person all over their great state.

You can find and contact Mandy here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
Newsletter

Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of After I Break. This giveaway is open international. One winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Review:
Amazing, as I knew it would be. I almost had at coronary at the end and those battle scenes were EPIC. This book makes me want to reread the other two again just to see where it all began and to look at the interactions with Rhysand in a totally different light in book one and two now that I know what I (we!) know! While I devoured this book, and it was fantabulous, I’m so sad this is the end of Feyre and Rhys’s love story as I adore them so much BUT I’m really excited to continue the series with some of the other characters. Really hope Nesta and Cassian’s story is next. Sarah Maas is an unbelievably talented author and I am a massive fan of her work – she is up there with the very best. I’m looking forward to reading her next few releases and I’m already on a countdown.

Review: Hold My Breath by Ginger Scott

Title: Hold My Breath
Author: Ginger Scott
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Fractions of seconds can do lots of damage. One decision can ruin lives. A blink can be tragic. And loving a Hollister…can hurt like hell.

I would know.

They say the average person can hold their breath under water for two full minutes when pushed to the extremes. Will Hollister has been holding his for years. The oldest of two elite swimming brothers, Will was always a dominant force in the water. But in life, he preferred to let his younger brother Evan be the one to shine.

Evan got the girl, and Will…he got to bury all of the secrets. A brother’s burden, the weight of it all nearly left him to drown.

The daughter of two Olympians, my path was set the day my fingertips first touched water. My future was as crystal clear as the lane I dominated in the pool—swim hard, win big, love a Hollister.

My life with Evan burned bright. He gave me arms to come home to, and a smile that fooled the world into believing everything was perfect. But it was Will who pushed me. Will…who really knew me.

And when all of the pieces fell, it was Will who started to pick them up.

In the end, the only thing that matters are those few precious seconds—and what we decide to do while we still have them in our grasp.

My Review:
Breathtakingly brilliant and heartachingly beautiful – romance just doesn’t get much better than this.

This is my first Ginger Scott read but it sure as heck won’t be the last. In fact, I’ve already downloaded Ginger Scott Series Starters and I can’t wait to find some time to binge read her other series.

Will Hollister has been in love with Maddy since they were kids but he left it too late to tell her how he felt so she ended up in a long-term relationship with his brother Evan. Tragic events have brought both of them to a place where they may be able to start something but the path to true love never runs smooth.

Will is suffering from stress and depression and his head is in a dark place. I have to give major props to the author for creating such a multi-faceted character who is both vulnerable and strong, flawed and real, swoon worthy and stubborn. Will is shouldering some heavy duty secrets that he keeps hidden from Maddy out of a misguided sense of loyalty/protectiveness. Despite the dark clouds shrouding him, and the expert way Ms. Scott crafted this side of his character, it never felt too depressing to share space in his head. It was credible and relatable without dragging the reader into the depths of despair.

Maddy was also a beautifully nurtured character and I felt for her as she struggled to cope with her feelings. She was so strong in the scenes with Tanya and Dylan and I really admired her character and how she adapted to the situation, pushing her own feelings aside to do the right thing.

I was rooting for this couple from the start and the romance is skillfully developed over the course of the book. I felt all the feels and the sexual tension was off the charts. When they finally got it on it was explosive and well worth the wait.

I definitely have a new book boyfriend in Will Hollister (this is the point where I must apologize to my incredibly jealous husband who freaks out over my really long list of book boyfriends – sorry hun, and as I keep telling you – they aren’t real!!)

I loved the setting for this book and Ginger made it come alive on the pages of my kindle. Secondary characters were also really well developed and each character had their own personality, own strengths, and weaknesses. I loved his uncle in particular and her best friend was a hoot!

A few things really stand out about this book for me – exceptional writing, expert characterization, and emotional complexity. It was a superb read and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to romance fans.

I did feel it was a little slow at the start, and some of the physical actions were overly descriptive and redundant in places, but these are minor complaints, and just me being picky.

I want to end this review on a high note; I love this quote and it’s already imprinted on my heart:

“I’ve wanted Maddy since she dared me to beat her when we were kids racing in the pool. I’ve wanted to kiss her since I wrapped my hands around hers on the rope swing, and I know in my gut that I loved her first. I loved her more…and I loved her first.”

Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review: This is Falling (Falling #1) by Ginger Scott

Title: This is Falling
Author: Ginger Scott
Series: Falling #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: NA Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
First, I had to remember how to breathe. Then, I had to learn how to survive. Two years, three months and sixteen days had passed since I was the Rowe Stanton from before, since tragedy stole my youth and my heart went along with it.

When I left for college, I put a thousand miles between my future and my past. I’d made a choice—I was going to cross back to the other side, to live with the living. I just didn’t know how.

And then I met Nate Preeter.

An All-American baseball player, Nate wasn’t supposed to notice a ghost-of-a-girl like me. But he did. He shouldn’t want to know my name. But he did. And when he learned my secret and saw the scars it left behind, he was supposed to run. But he didn’t.

My heart was dead, and I was never supposed to belong to anyone. But Nate Preeter had me feeling, and he made me want to be his. He showed me everything I was missing.

And then he showed me how to fall.

*This is a standalone in a three-part series that will focus on different characters. Each book can be read on its own.

My Review:
Loved this book! Nate was an amazing book boyfriend – I loved how confident he was in expressing his feelings to Rowe and how patient he was with her. And that letter? Kill me now. My heart ached for Rowe and it was such an impossibly difficult situation. It made me pause and think and I love when books do that. Loved Ty and Cass and even Paige grew on me. I loved the witty banter and the pranks and I laughed my ass off while reading this one. Another fantastic read from an author who nails it every time.

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.

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

Today is the cover reveal for The Soul Mate (Roommates #4) by Kendall Ryan. Let me know what you think of the cover!

Title: The Soul Mate
Author: Kendall Ryan
Series: Roommates #4
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.

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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Review: Wild Reckless (Harper Boys #1) by Ginger Scott

Title: Wild Reckless
Author: Ginger Scott
Series: Harper Boys #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Kensington Worth had a vision for her senior year. It involved her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed ticket into the best music programs in the world.

Instead, a nightmare took over.

It didn’t happen all at once, but her life unraveled quickly—a tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an existence she didn’t choose—one determined to destroy her from the inside, leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn’t help that her neighbor, the one whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall.

Owen Harper was trouble, his heart wild and his past the kind that’s spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined with Kensington’s, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any future better than her now. Sometimes, though, what everyone warns is trouble, is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it held onto his soul for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy who’d gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too—good things…things to admire.

Things…to love. Things that made her want to be reckless.

And those things…they were the scariest of all.

My Review:
Ginger Scott is fast becoming one of my favorite authors, and Wild Reckless has just catapulted ahead of Hold My Breath as my fave book of hers. I read this in one sitting and it was virtually impossible to put it down. I love a misunderstood bad boy who is the complete opposite of his public persona and that is exactly what we received in Owen Harper. Yes, he was a prize jerk at times but it was a defensive mechanism to push people away from him – a way to hide his true self from the world.

Kensi was the perfect match for him and I loved how she was both vulnerable and strong. Owen needed someone to fight for him and Kensi was the right girl for the job.

I loved the setting and the backdrop of basketball and Ken’s musical ambitions along with all the family drama and dysfunction. It was angsty in parts but perfectly blended with heartfelt emotions and gut-wrenching dilemmas.

The romance was perfect and I felt the chemistry and the love between our couple.

The writing was sublime as I’ve come to expect from this author and the pacing was spot on.

This book does touch on some heavy-duty topics but I felt it was handled appropriately. It doesn’t delve into them in huge detail but it was appropriate for the story.

I am only dying to read Andrew’s story next and I’m off to one-click it.

Thank you for another stellar read, Ms. Scott.

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.