Review: Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

tempting the playerTitle: Tempting the Player
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Gamble Brothers #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres:
Links:

Blurb:
A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

He’s a player on and off the field…

Chad Gamble, all-star pitcher for the Nationals, is one of the best players on—and off—the field. And right now, the notorious bad boy wants Bridget Rodgers. But with her lush curves and snappy comebacks, the feisty redhead is the kind of woman a man wants to settle down with…and that’s the last thing Chad needs.

When the paparazzi catch them in a compromising position, Chad’s manager issues an ultimatum: clean up his act or kiss his multi-million dollar contract goodbye. To save his career, his meddling publicist says he’ll have to convince everyone Bridget isn’t just his flavor of the week, but his girlfriend.

Being blackmailed into a fake relationship with Chad Gamble isn’t easy, especially when the sizzling physical attraction between them is undeniable. With a month to go on their arranged pretense, it’s going to take every ounce of willpower they have not to fall into bed together…or in love.

My Review:
I enjoyed this a little more than the first book, in particular I liked the story-line around the ‘fake romance’ and how the plot developed. I didn’t like Chase at first but he grew on me. Brigid is a sweetheart from the outset.

I did feel the end was a little unrealistic, but it didn’t dampen my overall enjoyment of this book.

Blog Tour: His Wicked Desire by Dawn Chartier

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I am glad to be part of the blog tour for His Wicked Desire by Dawn Charties. I’ll share my review with you and a tour wide giveaway!

His_Wicked_Desire_500_CS-FinalVersionTitle: His Wicked Desire
Author: Dawn Chartier
Series: Vieux Carré Witch Sister #2
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
He’s found himself a wicked witch…

Brye Morgeaux is a half-witch, half-warlock who always relied on her beauty—especially when it came men. After a run-in with a particularly vicious warlock, Brye’s face is left scarred, forcing her to look to who she is on the inside. And what Brye finds is darker than anything she’d imagined…

Then she’s handed a terrible ultimatum—join the warlock clan, or watch her family die.

Josh Copeland has known the Morgeaux family for years, and has been waiting for the time when Brye would see him as something—anything—more than a friend. As she battles darkness from within and without, he realizes the woman he loves might just be her own worst, wicked enemy. Now Josh must find a way to show Brye who she really is…before she kills him.

My Review:
I received an ARC of this book from the publishers via Inkslinger PR in exchange for my honest review.

Brye is waging an inner war in the aftermath of a brutal warlock attack. Always defined by her beauty, she struggles to deal with her disfigurement and she feels lost and unsure of herself. Embarking on a road to self-discovery, she reconnects with her old friend and childhood crush, Josh. Both have harbored romantic feelings for the other though they are reluctant to admit it for fear of being hurt. Timing and circumstances have kept them apart thus far.

I must confess that I didn’t read the first book in this series because I didn’t actually realize it was a second installment. However, it wasn’t an issue in terms of the story because the author did a fantastic job of backfilling essential elements and clearly explaining key plot points and I never felt confused or that I missed out on anything important. So you could read this as a stand-alone read. That said, I may have been more invested in the characters if I had read the first book. I really liked Storm and Nate and I’ll most likely pick up a copy of the first book now to see how their relationship developed.

I liked the fantasy world that the author created and I loved all the paranormal elements – witches and warlocks, familiars, spells, special gifts etc. There was a strong good vs. evil theme and plenty of suspense and intrigue. In the main it was fast paced and there was a decent amount of action mixed in with the romance, exactly as I like it.

While I liked Brye and Josh as a couple, for me the relationship lacked depth. I find this a lot with books of a shorter length – there isn’t enough time to allow the reader to form a genuine emotional connection with the characters, and that is what I felt with this book. Brye also goes through a significant metamorphosis and it just happened too quickly to be believable. A few more chapters to flesh this out would have been beneficial in my opinion.

At times, some of the dialog felt stiff and unnatural though in the main the writing is decent.

In summary: I enjoyed this book though I wasn’t blown away by it. If you are a fan of paranormal romance you should check it out. Thank you to the author, publisher, and PR company for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Dawn ChartierAbout the Author:
Dawn might occasionally have a gator parked in her front yard there on the bayou, but it’s the snakes that really scare the bejeezus out of her. So instead, she tends to hole herself up with a good romance book, chocolate by the pound, or marathon tv viewing of Game of Thrones, Hell On Wheels, Downton Abbey, various home renovation shows and Supernatural—oh Dean. *swoons*

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

tempting the best manTitle: Tempting the Best Man
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: (Gamble Brothers #1)
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

She’ll make him lose control…

Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother’s best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can’t stop bickering.

Forced together for her brother’s wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they’re forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of “accidents” as the family tries to prove their “spark” can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don’t strangle each other first…

My Review:
I was saving this series for the flight to Australia and I managed to read all three books on the plane.

I enjoyed this book, and it is full of all the favorite things I love about JLA’s writing. Maddie is instantly likeable and I could feel her frustration with Chase, and his apparent lack of regard for her. I was rooting for them from the start.

The only issue I had with this book is the length – it was just far too short and I felt it lacked a bit because of it.

Overall though, a decent read.

Review: Tempting the Bodyguard (Gamble Brothers #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

tempting the bodygaurdTitle: Tempting the Bodyguard
Author: by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Gamble Brothers #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

He can protect her from everyone except himself.

Alana Gore is in danger. A take-no-prisoners publicist, her way with people has made her more than a few enemies over the years, but a creepy stalker is an entirely different matter. She needs a bodyguard, and the only man she can ask is not only ridiculously hot, but reputed to have taste for women that goes beyond adventurous.

Chandler Gamble has one rule: don’t protect anyone you want to screw. But with Alana, he’s caught between his job and his increasingly hard libido. On one hand, Alana needs his help. On the other, Chandler wants nothing more than to take the hot volcano of a woman in hand. To make her writhe in pleasure, until she’s at his complete mercy.

She needs protection. He needs satisfaction. And the moment the line is crossed, all hell will break loose…

My Review:
It took me a little while to get into this book as I didn’t like Alana from the outset – as a result of how her character was portrayed in Tempting the Player. But as the story progressed I came to understand her more fully, and began to feel sympathy for her. Overall this was a good read, if predictable.

While I enjoyed reading this series, it is not one of Jennifer’s best in my opinion.

Blog Tour: Cowboy Valentine by Mia Hopkins

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Cowboy Valentine by Mia Hopkins. I’ll share my review of this book with you and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

CowboyValentine_300finalTitle: Cowboy Valentine
Author: Mia Hopkins
Series: standalone
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.

Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?

The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.

After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.

From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.

Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

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My Review:
This was a short, sexy read and it will appeal to readers who enjoy the NA genre.

Cora is an intelligent, driven young women with a defined career path in mind. To date, she’s had no time for boys, but all that changes when her old high-school crush, Caleb, walks back into her life. Cue lots of fun, sexy times, and then inevitable heartbreak.

I didn’t realize that this was a novella-length story because, in most cases, I find stand-alone books of this size too short to feel a real emotional connection with the characters. I love novellas and shorts when they are part of a series as they usually add an extra dimension or much-needed back-story.

While I definitely enjoyed reading Cowboy Valentine, and it’s very well written, it lacked substance and depth. We don’t get to see Cora and Caleb’s relationship develop as we skip from first meeting to six months later and then six months after that. We never got to see them go out on dates, it’s just all about the sex. I would have liked more ‘story’ to the story.

I would have liked to see the cultural differences sub-plot adding some conflict to the development of their relationship. This was hinted at, but no more. Personally, I believe this to be a missed opportunity.

That said, I did like both main characters even if I couldn’t fully understand what drew them to each other. And I love this author’s writing style; her prose is beautiful, and I can definitely see myself checking out her future work. I’m wondering if Caleb’s brothers will feature in future books?

If you are looking for a fun, quick read then I would recommend Cowboy Valentine, and it easily holds its own against other similar sized NA titles.

Actual Rating: 3.75 Stars

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HEADSHOTAbout the Author:
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.

When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.” She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, enter the raffleocpter below for a chance to win:
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Review: Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu

ChampionTitle: Champion
Author: by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Rating: 4.5
Genres: Dystopia
Links:

Blurb:
He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

My Review:
Actual Rating 4.5 Stars

Wow. This book was a fast-paced roller-coaster-ride of a read from start to finish. I found it extremely difficult to put this book down, and it was a real page turner.

My heart bled for June and Day as circumstances conspire, yet again, to keep them apart. I could really feel the emotional turmoil that both characters felt. Day is also dealing with the impact of his health problems and grows increasingly frustrated with the limitations it imposes on him.

Day is caught in the crossfire between the Republic and the Colonies and no matter what decision he makes someone he cares about will suffer. Definitely stuck between a rock and a hard place, if you can forgive my blatant cliché.

I loved the power struggle, and the story-line was epic; full of twists and turns, moves and counter-moves, as June, Day, and Anden, battle to stay ahead of their enemies.

The battle scenes at the end were incredibly well written; nail-biting and genuinely explosive. My heart was in my mouth the whole way through.

Then we come to the last couple of chapters, and the book lost some of it’s appeal for me. (view spoiler)

Overall though I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend this series. I note in the acknowledgements that she talks about film rights, so I’m wondering if the movie has come out yet, or is it still in the planning phase? I’ll have to check it out as I’d definitely be interesting in seeing this series on the big screen.

Destiny Rising Release Day!

DESTINY RISING RELEASE DAY!! Yay! I’m super excited to release the last True Calling novel today and I hope you all enjoy reading it. It is available to purchase in e-book format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Inktera, Scribd, Oyster and Tolino. The paperback version is also live and available to purchase from Amazon and Createspace. Check out the post below for full details and to read an exclusive excerpt.

And 1 september is the start of the Destiny Rising blog tour! If you want to see the whole tour schedule or sign-up for the tour, you can click on the banner below:
Destiny Rising banner

Destiny RisingDestiny Rising (True Calling #3)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 30, 2015

Blurb:
Every choice has a consequence.

Once again, the world is on the brink of momentous change. As revolutionary organization Saoirse prepares to battle the government for control of Earth and Novo, Ariana and those she loves must join humanity’s fight for justice and freedom.

As haunted memories resurface, old discoveries and new realities conspire to shatter her world forever.

Torn in one direction by her unique connection to childhood sweetheart Zane, and pulled in the other by a relentless passion for her fiery fiancé Cal, she must make the hardest decision of all. While embarking on a road to self-discovery, her psychic gift evolves and the full extent of her powerful ability is revealed.

Then fate lands another savage blow and she faces the most horrific choice of all. Forced into striking a deal with the enemy, she must make the ultimate personal sacrifice or risk everything she holds dear.

When destiny finally rears its head, what will the future hold?

You can find Destiny Rising on Goodreads

You can buy Destiny Rising here:
Amazon
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca
Amazon.au
Barnes&Noble
Apple/iBooks
Kobo
Inktera
Tolino

Excerpt:
Every color imaginable floats in front of my eyes. Temporary whiplash sets in as my head jerks back and forth, surveying the myriad of different fish swimming freely outside the glass window of the observation deck. It’s a pretty cool hiding place. Soothing in its own way. Well, as soothing as anything could be considering my current predicament.
Mercifully, I’ve been left undisturbed for the last hour—undisturbed by other humans that is.
My thoughts, however, are entirely another matter.
Severely disturbed is more akin to how I feel at the swarm of memories that are presently invading my mind.
Forced to flee when the government unexpectedly attacked Saoirse’s facility in Florida, I can barely recall our arrival here in the underwater military Command Center. It hadn’t actually taken that long to travel here even though we are thousands of miles out at sea and scraping the bottom of the ocean floor. That’s the beauty of the Velo network, I suppose. Designed specifically as a high-velocity transportation system, it can travel at the speed of light. Okay, so I made that last bit up, but it’s probably not far from the truth.
Vaguely remembering Cal going to sort out our accommodation, I had taken flight at the first opportunity. I’d wandered aimlessly for a while until I stumbled into the main lobby area. Levels stretched upward as far as I could see. Curious to discover what was at the top, I’d hopped in the elevator and ended up here.
The observation deck reminds me a little of the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Center but without all the buildings and the crowds. The view is still spectacular though.
Scooting forward on my knees, I press my nose to the glass and stare at the multi-colored fish as they dance on by. The water outside is eerily calm and there’s barely a ripple.
The one observation I’ve made so far about our new home is how weird it smells. If I were standing at the top of the Empire State Building now, I’d inhale the fresh minty air and feel the sting on my skin as wind whistled by, whipping my hair around my face. There’s nothing here but a sterile, clinical-type odor that reminds me of a hospital ward, or the whiff you get when you sit in a brand new car for the first time. I wiggle my nose as my nostrils itch aggravatingly. I hope I’m not allergic.
Approaching footsteps break my reverie, and my heart rate rockets when I sense who it is.
There’s no hiding from him.
Not now. Not ever.
“I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
Glancing up, I automatically sweep him from head to toe. Sculptured jawline, check. Sparkling blue eyes, double check. Defined chest and abs, oh, yeah. Before I can continue my ogling, he drops to his knees beside me. My body still presses into the glass, but he gently tugs on my shoulders, easing me back. Twisting around, he snags me onto his lap.
My gaze remains latched onto his, and I know I need to stop staring. But I can’t force myself to look away, almost like it’s an inhuman feat I’m incapable of achieving. “I feel like man-candy.” Cal smirks.
I snort in a most unattractive manner. “I can easily get behind that,” I say, visualizing getting all up in his personal space. Yeah, my mind is still in the gutter, though I’m totally blaming my pregnancy hormones for that.
Threading his fingers in mine, Cal stares at me pensively. “Talk to me. What’s going on?” Panic builds in my chest and I avert my eyes.
Mission accomplished on the whole staring thing.
“Nothing much,” I mutter, focusing on my feet. I won’t lie to his face.
“Is it him? Do you remember?”
Even though he’s somewhat hit the nail on the head, there’s no way I’m admitting to that right now and not until I’ve spoken to Zane about the horrific memory that’s hijacked my mind and threatened my sanity. Though I’m unsure if I’ll ever get to do that, for we’ve been separated again, and this time I fear there’s no returning from it.

Praise for Destiny Rising:
“It was beyond brilliant, totally unputdownable, wildly entertaining, edge of the seat action, full of suspense; it totally rocked. Loved the ending, loved the book.” Karla. Goodreads Reviewer.

“This is without a doubt the best book this author has written so far. I loved it from the start until the end. This series shows how a love triangle can be done right. Destiny Rising evoked so many emotions in me … and the ending, wow, so powerful. I highly recommend this series.” Lola’s Reviews.

“I cannot believe all of the whammy that this author packed into her book. It’s insane how quickly she’s put out these three books, and the quality is so incredibly good.” Danielle. Paraeducator and Goodreads Reviewer.

“The events in this book, especially the ones I thought I could handle, left my heart and mind racing. Siobhan Davis is an exceptional writer and she knows how to wrap a reader around her fingers.” Khayzelle. Written Arts Blog.

“Suspense, and the urge to turn the page were almost overwhelming, resulting in quite a few long nights. The story is complex, but solidly built. Good to the last page.” Patricia Hamill. Author Blogger. Puretextuality. @PatriciaHamill2

“I cannot put my love for Siobhan Davis’ True Calling series into words – it’s easily one of my favorite series. Destiny Rising tugs at your heart strings and messes with your feelings, but it is so wonderful. The writing is brilliant and flows wonderfully. Davis’ brings the series to a close with an epilogue that ties everything perfectly together. What a fantastic ride…”
Danielle. RamblingB00ks Blog.

“True Calling was great, and Beyond Reach was awesome, but Destiny Rising took the series to a whole new level. This series deserves to become as well-known as popular series such as The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc… It’s that good.”
Rose. Paranormal Books Blog.

First two books in the series:
True CallingTrue Calling (True Calling #1)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 1, 2014

Blurb:
Two Different Worlds. One Shared Dream.

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

You can find True Calling on Goodreads

Start the series for free! Grab your copy of True Calling for free here:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
iTunes/iBooks
Kobo

Beyond ReachBeyond Reach (True Calling #2)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: April 30, 2015

Blurb:
Some Secrets are worth fighting for

Back on Earth, Ariana is caught in a dangerous crossfire between clandestine rebel organization Clementia and the power-hungry government. Refusing to divulge the location of the secret information entrusted to her by her late father, she desperately tries to bargain for her Mom, Lily, and Cal’s rescue. She’s fighting a losing battle, and the clock is ticking.

Presented with evidence of her fiancé Cal’s apparent betrayal, she loyally defends him despite her concerns. With her emotions in turmoil, matters become even more complicated as she grows closer to her ex-boyfriend Zane.

When the stakes are raised, a succession of shocking revelations rocks her world, setting her on a path that will not only change her destiny but the fate of humanity.

Confronted by a memory so abhorrent comes a truth she would do anything to forget.

But some things just can’t be undone.
***
Beyond Reach is the gripping second novel in the True Calling trilogy, continuing the story of Ariana Skyee in the weeks after she arrives back on Earth.

You can find Beyond Reach on Goodreads

You can buy Beyond Reach here:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

SiobhanAbout the Author:
Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling.
A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).
Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.
Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.
Contact Siobhan at: www.siobhandavis.com

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Google +
Goodreads
Amazon
Newsletter

Sample chapters, quotes, reviews and book excerpts are all available to download from the authors website

Join Siobhan’s mailing list to receive a free copy of Lovestruck.

And there’s a giveaway I want to share. It will run during the blog tour as well.. These are the prizes you can win:
– e-copies of the whole True calling series by Siobhan Davis. Which is the following books: True Calling, Lovestruck, Beyond Reach, Light of a Thousand Stars and Destiny Rising.
– one 10$ amazon gift card

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Blog Tour: Tough Love by Lori Foster

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I am so happy to be part of the blog tour for Tough Love By Lori Foster. I’ll share my review with you today and an excerpt from the book. There’s also a tour wide giveaway.

Book 2_Tough Love by Lori Foster_coverTitle: Tough Love
Author: Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance/ Sports Romance
Links:

Blurb:
She’s playing hard to get… to win the MMA fighter of her ultimate fantasies in a sultry new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster…

Vanity Baker loves a good, clean match, but she’s not above playing a little dirty. She’s wanted Stack “The Wolf” Hannigan from day one. Seems as though the best way to corral the famously commitment-phobic fighter is to insist on keeping it casual. And her plan works—deliciously well—until Stack’s past steps out of the shadows.

Stack learned early to stay free of attachments. But with sexy, forthright Vanity, he’s the one always left wanting more. Then his troublemaking family comes back into the picture, threatening everything Stack cares about—Vanity included. Suddenly he realizes they’re much more than friends with benefits. He’s ready to go to the mat for her…but will it be in time to protect the woman who’s tamed him for good?

My Review:
This was a great read and I adored the world-building and thoroughly entertaining characters.

Vanity has it bad for Stack, but he’s notoriously commitment-phobic, so she comes up with a grand plan to seduce him and hook him for life. And it succeeds fabulously until he becomes aware of some cards she was holding close to her chest, and then it kind-of falls apart.

I loved Stack’s mad dysfunctional family and the network of MMA fighters he surrounds himself with. One of the things I especially liked was the close male friendships that Vanity has developed with some of the fighters. It’s a refreshing change and one I could relate to. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I had way more male friends than female friends. Though my mom will tell you they were all in love with me (that’s Moms for you) I never thought that, and I totally believe it’s possible to have platonic relationships with guys. Most books dispute that notion so I liked that we got to see a different side of it in Tough Love. That’s not to say that Leese didn’t admit to an attraction to Vanity, because he did, but the fact is he was a great friend to her and I loved that.

I struggled a little with the first 10/15% of this book – I felt it dragged a little and that some of the dialog between Stack and Vanity was a little stiff and unnatural. Thankfully, those concerns melted away after that. I also struggled to reconcile Vanity’s behaviour regarding her financial position. It didn’t feel natural that she would tell Stack’s family about her wealth in such an open way. To me, it would have been way more natural for her to be cagey about it. Anyway, it’s a relatively minor complaint and it didn’t deny my enjoyment of this book.

I’m interested in Yvette and Cannon’s story and I’m definitely going to read that book. I also can’t wait to read about Armie and Merissa, and Leese’s story when it releases. I warmed to all the guys in this book and they were all intriguing in their own unique way.

The writing style is decent, and while it didn’t blow me away, it’s solidly written and very well edited.

In summary, this was a great book and I look forward to reading more of this series.

I received an ARC of this book via the publisher and Inkslinger PR in exchange for my honest review.

Tough Love Available Now

Excerpt:
The breath she held came out in a gasp as he pulled her against him, locked an arm around her waist and took her mouth with hot, incredible greed.
Whoa. And here she thought she’d been on the ragged edge.
He was so much bigger than her in every way, he made her feel tiny and feminine and fragile. In all other situations her independent soul might have rebelled, but not now. Not with Stack. She trusted him one hundred percent, and wanted him even more than that.
Flattening her hands on his chest, she smoothed over the solid wall of his pecs, up to those rock-solid shoulders. Heat poured off him, and—oh God—he smelled so good. With his big hands opened on her, his mouth eating at hers, she forgot… everything.
The music and the conversation of other guests faded away. She tunneled her fingers into his hair and tried to get closer still.
Someone bumped into them; Stack didn’t stop kissing her. If anything, his tongue became bolder, exploring, tasting.
Laughter, probably from his friends, sounded nearby, and still he didn’t stop. He gathered her closer.
Jarred back to the here and now, Vanity pressed against him. A true gentleman, Stack immediately eased up.
Her lips tingled. Shoot, her whole body tingled. She drew in a shaky breath. “Wow.”
Proving he hadn’t, in fact, forgotten they stood in the middle of the floor at a friend’s wedding, he whispered against her lips, “Let me get you someplace private.” A softer kiss of persuasion. “I’ll give you reason to be wowed.”
Such a tempting promise.
Oh, how she wanted to haul him to the nearest quiet closet. But that would be dumb. What she wanted, what she hoped he ultimately wanted, would require hours, not a few frenzied minutes.
Voice filled with regret, Vanity explained, “I can’t go just yet.”
His rough growl proved his impatience.
“Very soon, I promise.” Adjusting their embrace, her arms around his neck, his hands at her waist, she put some space between them. “Let’s dance while you cool down and I—”
“Dream on.” But he eased his hold and fell into step with her. Gaze burning over her, then lingering on her cleavage, he asked, “How much longer do I have to wait?”
Vanity didn’t pretend confusion; she knew exactly what he meant, exactly what he wanted. “One dance. Then I need to get the bouquet out of the fridge and gather up some presents and—”
He groaned again, prompting Vanity to laugh.
“Let’s talk.” Maybe casual conversation would help cool his jets and give her a needed opportunity to regroup.
“Okay.” He leaned in. “I can’t wait to taste you—all over.”
All over?
“And to get you under me. Or over me. Your preference.”
“Stack.” Her shaky voice sounded weak. “Let’s talk about something that isn’t provoking.”
“Like what? Because honest to god, darlin’, after weeks of your verbal foreplay, I’m feeling pretty damned provoked.”
The smile came slowly. Teasing Stack was a true pleasure.

Tough Love promo

Tough Love is part of the Ultimate series.

The full series includes the following stories:
– Hard Knocks (Ultimate #0.5)
– No Limits (Ultimate #1)
– Holding Strong (Ultimate #2)
– Tough Love (Ultimate #3)
– Fighting Dirty (Ultimate #4)

Lori-Foster-Covers_415

Don’t miss the earlier books in the Ultimate Series!
Hard Knocks (Ultimate #0.5)
No Limits (Ultimate #1)
Holding Strong (Ultimate #2)

Lori - Dec 2014About the Author:
Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin, Silhouette, Samhain, and Berkley/Jove. She is currently published with HQN.

Lori hosts a very special annual “Reader & Author” event in West Chester, Ohio. Proceeds from the event have benefited many worthy causes, including the Hamilton County YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter, the Animal Adoption Foundation, The Conductive Learning Center for children with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and The One Way Farm, Children’s Home.

Each year Lori donates all proceeds from one book to charity. You can see the benefit romance books here: http://lorifoster.com/benefit-books/

Links:

And there’s a tour wide giveaway! Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win:
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Review: Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu

prodigyTitle: Prodigy
Author: by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Dystopia
Links:

Blurb:
Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

My Review:
I absolutely loved this book! Prodigy was far superior in ways in which Legend fell down, in my opinion. This book hooked me from the get-go and I ended up reading it in 2 sittings, in less than 24 hours. I thought both the pacing and the writing was vastly improved from the first book in this series.

In Prodigy, we follow June and Day as they struggle to identify whom they can trust. As they get sucked into a ruthless battle for control of the Republic, their relationship is tested as the cultural differences between them become more apparent. Though they still share a strong connection, and are undeniably attracted to one another, their vastly different upbringings threaten to tear them apart. I always love a strong romance element to these type of fast-paced action-packed adventures, and Marie Lu doesn’t fail to deliver in this regard. June and Day are loyally protective of each other and it’s really sweet. Sometimes I struggle to relate this with the fact that they are only 15, however, they are presented as mature 15-year-olds with strong intelligence and keen observational skills, so I can overlook it.

The plot is a lot less predictable in this book, and the suspense and drama is deliciously built the whole way through the novel. There were a couple of twists at the end that I didn’t see coming, and I always love when the author retains the ability to surprise me.

The ending was so shocking, and bittersweet, and my heart was literally in my mouth. Now I can’t wait to read Champion to see how things end up for June and Day.

Blog Tour: Breakout (Dred Chronicles #3) by Ann Aguirre

Breakout RWB Banner_edited-1
Today I am part of the release day blitz for Ann Aguirre her newest book Breakout, which is the third book in her Dred Chronicles series. There’s an excerpt and a giveaway.

BreakoutTitle: Breakout
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Dred Chronicles #3
Genres: Adult Romantic Science Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
All hell is breaking loose in the edge-of-your-seat follow-up to Havoc and Perdition from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

The prison ship Perdition has become a post-battle charnel house with only a handful of Dred’s soldiers still standing and now being hunted by Silence’s trained tongueless assassins. Forging an uneasy alliance with mercenary commander Vost—who is their only chance at escape—the Dread Queen will do whatever it takes to end her life sentence on Perdition and keep the survivors alive long enough to cobble together a transport capable of getting them off station.

If Dred and her crew can win the deadly game of cat and mouse, the payoff is not only life but freedom—a prize sweeter than their wildest dreams. Yet the sadistic Silence would rather destroy Perdition than let a single soul slip from her grasp…

Excerpt:
They didn’t speak until they had put a fair amount of distance behind them, then Dred signaled her desire to pause by tapping his ankle. He couldn’t turn fully because the ducts had narrowed, but he glanced over his shoulder.
“You all right?”
“Just . . . spooked.” The somber tone told him he hadn’t been alone in what he felt, watching those crazy, tongue-less bastards.
“It’s different now,” he said.
“With what she did to Queensland . . . she seems larger than life. I’ve been afraid before, but . . . not quite like this.”
The words were barely a whisper, and they roused an answering prickle of gooseflesh on his arms.
“I know. There’s run-of-the-mill evil, like Priest and Mungo. And then there’s Silence.”
“It’s like she can do worse than kill me. Rationally, I know that’s not true—”
“But it’s uncanny the way she’s last one still standing, moving through the carnage.” He didn’t say it out loud, but he thought, *Like Death itself. *
Dred nodded. “I’m still here, too, but I’m not the Dread Queen anymore.”
“If it’s any consolation, I don’t miss her.”
“Me either,” she whispered.
There was no space to touch her as he wanted to, and it wasn’t the time anyway, so Jael continued on. They slid out of the ducts near the closet, but when he opened it, there were no droids plugged in. He choked out a curse. It was impossible to predict when a bot would come back, and it was dangerous to wait out in the open. They desperately needed some intel about how many men Silence had left, how often they patrolled, and where, but with manpower as scarce as it had become on their end, recon had to wait.
“Back up?” Dred whispered.
He nodded. This time, they found a way in that gave them vantage over their target, so they’d know when a bot returned. He’d just finished fitting the vent panel in place behind them when he heard the familiar, shuffling sound of Silence’s men. From her expression, Dred registered it, too, and she practically stopped breathing. The fact that her killers were roving freely must signify that she believed herself the undisputed ruler of Perdition.

When they rounded the corner and came into sight, he stifled a surprised sound. This group was huge, compared to the usual numbers, ten this time, and horror jolted through him like lightning when he realized they were carried a human-sized bundle. They’d wrapped their captive in dark fabric, so he couldn’t tell anything about the person, but the worst part was, he or she was still moving, thrashing against his bonds.

*Who is that? And why the hell would Silence want someone taken alive? *

Praise for the Dred Chronicles:
“There’s so much action, so much adventure, and more than that, it’s great writing.” – USA Today

“Sirantha Jax fans may be intrigued to see what befell Jael after his ill-considered actions there, and new lead Dred is a strong linchpin for a promising new series.” — Publishers Weekly

“Spectacularly and spell-bindingly perfect with high octane action that keeps you on the edge of your seat and a romance that is surprisingly sweet and tender in a harsh and unforiving setting…This is honestly one of the best SF romance series I have read.” — Book Pushers

And don’t miss the previous books in the Dred Chronicles!
Perdition (Dred Chronicles #1)
Havoc (Dred Chronicles #2)

Ann AguirreAbout the Author:
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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