Blog Tour: Wicked Reunion (Wicked White #2) by Michelle A. Valentine

Wicked Reunion releaseday
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Wicked Reunion (Wicked White #2) by Michelle A. Valentine. I share my review with you and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

Wicked ReunioncoverTitle: Wicked Reunion
Author: Michelle A. Valentine
Series: Wicked White #2
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Wicked Reunion teaser 3

Blurb:
College sweethearts London Uphill and Jared Kraft were inseparable. He was a rising baseball star with a promising future, and she seemed destined to become “Mrs. Kraft.” Then a tragic night and a series of devastating mistakes caused Jared to walk away from his life, leaving London without any explanation and tearing the couple apart.

Five years later, Jared has reinvented himself by putting down the bat and picking up a guitar to play for the red-hot band Wicked White. In all that time, London hasn’t gotten over her forever love—or the pain—despite seeking solace in the arms of the one man no one dreamed she’d run to.

When Wicked White’s lead singer goes MIA, Jared finds the time—and courage—to return to his hometown and face the mess he made. He’s shocked at how London’s life has changed, yet he’s determined to prove their love is worth fighting for. Is this breakup too big for any hope of a reunion tour? Or can London open her heart to Jared once again?

Wicked Reunion teaser 1

My Review:
I have mixed feelings abut this book. On the one hand, I loved the premise and it’s what sucked me in, but unfortunately, the execution of the story fell flat in parts which dented my overall enjoyment.

London and Jarod have been in love since they were kids. Jarod’s older brother Wes also seems to be harboring romantic notions toward the lovely London, which she is largely clueless about. Everything seems to be going according to plan for our lovebirds until a family tragedy turns their world upside down overnight. Then everything turns a full 360. Cue betrayal, sacrifice, heartbreak, and angst.

I enjoyed London’s character, for the most part, and I felt she was the most consistent. Though, I didn’t like her treatment of Wes at the end- she was very unfair to him.

I really loved Julie, and I thought she handled the conflict with her sons in a very fair manner. Those scenes were very well written.

I didn’t warm to Jarod for ages. Honestly, he was a selfish self-obsessed jerk. Wes was too much of a wet blanket for me to lust after him, so I found myself reading a book with no enticing man to root for. That was definitely a turn-off.

I felt both character development and plot development required more fleshing out. I didn’t really feel the characters emotions or pain, and it was difficult to remain engaged the whole way through the story.

At times, the writing is excellent, at other times not so much.

This book had so much potential, and the actual concept is brilliant, with further development I think it could be fantastic. But as it stands it was a bit frustrating to read. However, the quality is still decent and that’s why I’ve rated it 3 stars instead of lower.

Wicked Reunion teaser 2

About the Author:
Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic and New Adult romance. Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos, and sexy musicians inspired her erotic BLACK FALCON series.

Links:

Be a little naughty – join Valentine’s Vixens (http://on.fb.me/1mh1uFq) on Facebook for sneak peeks at Michelle’s upcoming works, as well as fun and chatting with her and other readers!

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Say You’re Mine (Shillings Agency #5) by Diane Alberts

Say You're MineTitle: Say You’re Mine
Author: Diane Alberts
Series: Shillings Agency #5
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Military Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
She’s a challenge he can’t afford to lose…

Navy SEAL Steven Thomas has only ever been able to count on three things: waking up in the morning, going to sleep sometime during the night, and Lauren Brixton. She’s been his best friend since grade school, and what they have is the only relationship he’s managed not to ruin.

Until one drunken night puts that all in jeopardy.

Lauren’s watched Steven flit from one-night stand to one-night stand, seemingly not interested in something more. So when the long-ignored attraction between the two of them blows up in their faces, she does the only thing she can-she pretends she doesn’t want him. But all’s fair in love and war, and Steven’s not about to lose the only person in his life who matters…

My Review:
This is a well-written ‘friends to lovers’ story and an entertaining quick read. Steven is a Navy Seal who has returned from his stint overseas struggling to deal with the horrors he faced. He’s been in self-destruct mode since then, drowning in booze and women. Lauren has been his best friend since forever. At the same juncture, they both seem to realize that they have more than friendly feelings toward each other and the story is essentially about their transition to lovers.

There is plenty of witty dialogue and tons of sexy scenes, and it’s signature Entangled/Brazen.

I enjoyed Diane’s writing style and the two mains were solidly developed and likable despite their flaws. I also liked Holt and Lydia and they were decent side characters. I assume Mark and Daisy’s story is coming next and I look forward to reading that in the future.

For me, this book felt like it was missing an element. The story is purely about the romance and generally, I only enjoy contemporary romance where there is an extra dimension or layer to the plot. For example, with Elle Kennedy’s Out of Hours series and Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Gamble Brothers series (both from the same publishing house) there was a mystery/suspense/dramatic sub-plot running behind each romance that made it more intriguing and added more depth.

That said, I still massively enjoyed reading this book and if you are a fan of this series, or of this author, in general, then I think you’ll love it.

Actual Rating: 3.75 stars

Diane AlbertsAbout the Author:
Diane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin RandomHouse. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Links:

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Review: No Limits (Ultimate #1) by Lori Foster

no limitsTitle: No Limits
Author: Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A surprise inheritance reunites a mixed martial arts fighter with the woman he’s never forgotten in the first in a smoldering new series from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster…

Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He’s also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she’s older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon.

Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather’s legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette’s scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he’ll break all the rules to do it…

My Review:
I actually read the third book (Tough Love) first and then decided to start at the beginning (as you do.) At the time of writing this review I have now read all 3 books, and this book is my favorite so far.

Cannon is a Saint, in more ways than one. He has always been there for Yvette whenever she needed him. As soon as she reappears in his life he steps up and never lets her down. And I just loved him for it.

Yvette is a woman on a mission – she’s out to prove that she is not damaged by her past and that she is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need Cannon to swoop in and save her all the time. Yvette has been in love with him for years though she doesn’t realise that Cannon has never forgotten her. With his help, she is finally able to leave the past in the past.

This book contained all my favorite ingredients – compelling characters, angst, longing, betrayal, hurt, revenge, suspense, intrigue, swoony romance and redemption. I loved it in its entirety and I’d highly recommend it.

Review: One Night of Trouble (After Hours #3) by Elle Kennedy

One Night of TroubleTitle: One Night of Trouble
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: After Hours #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
No More Mr. Nice Guy…

The moment AJ Walsh sees the sexy, tattooed pixie walk up to his bar, it’s lust at first sight. He’s always been labeled the “nice” guy―opening doors, buying flowers, and never, ever having one-night stands. But with this wicked little angel with red lips and unfathomably dark eyes? Oh, yeah. Tonight, “nice” has nothing to do with it…

Brett Conlon is trying to convince her family that she’s put away her reckless wild girl side for good. Nothing―and no one―could be better for her reputation than golden boy AJ Walsh. So they make a deal: if he plays The Good Boyfriend for her family, he can be a very, very bad boy with her. Now their one naughty night is about to turn into a whole lot of trouble…

My Review:
So this is AJ’s story and for me this book was the best in the series.

AJ is carrying his fair share of baggage as a result of a tragic accident when he was a kid. Consequently, he has spent most of his adult life trying to please others – trying to be the perfect son, friend, and boyfriend. But there is only so much of that a person can take before they start to fall apart. AJ is in that space when he bumps into Brett in Sin (the nightclub he co-owns with his friends Gage and Reed)

Brett is almost the antithesis of AJ. She has lived her life the way she wants and she’s been rather reckless. Her choice in men has been disastrous up to this point. She has finally copped on and is trying to sort out her life and stay on the straight and narrow. These two meeting when they are at completely different stages could have been disastrous but it isn’t. They are perfect for one another.

Brett wants AJ to be the person he truly is and the man she fell in love with and AJ is a rock for Brett as she tries to focus on her career and convince her dad that she has what it takes to manage their new business.

This book is HOTT – yes, Extra-T worthy hot – and uproariously funny. There is one scene where AJ ends up in the wrong place and is forced to spend the night at a gay couple’s wedding. I almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard. Man, it was so so funny.

I loved this book in it’s entirety and you won’t hear me complaining about a single thing. Elle Kennedy’s writing is amazing and I can’t get enough of her books.

Highly Recommended.

Review: Under the Influence by L.B. Simmons

underteaser1

Under the Influence coverTitle: Under the Influence
Author: L.B. Simmons
Series: standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Dalton,

I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.

I loved you.

I raged for you.

I wept for you.

And now, I’m letting you go.

Author’s Note: Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.

underteaser4

My Review:
Wow! What an amazing read! Under the Influence is a beautifully written love story that tugged at my heart strings. I loved everything about it – the writing, the plot, characterization, and worldbuilding. While this is my first L.B. Simmons book, I know it won’t be the last.

This is Spencer (Spence) and Dalton’s story, and it’s narrated from point characters perspectives. I love reading books in dual POV, and I especially love reading the male perspective so extra brownie points for that.

Spence and Dalton met as kids and thus began a friendship that lasted until they were in their late teens. When we first meet them, Spence is 17 and in her last year of school, and Dalton is 18 and he has just finished. This is the second book in a row I’ve read where the male character had a troubled background filled with abuse and neglect. And like that other book, Under the Influence made me feel everything he felt, and made me care. I felt a deep emotional connection to both of them. I adore books that really delve into the emotional layers beneath the surface, and this book delivered on that front. I thought both characters were very well-developed, but especially Dalton. It was difficult being in his head at times – raw, gritty, and painful, but it was realistic.

Dalton has cut himself off emotionally from everyone, and even his best bud Rat, and Spence, only catch the odd glimpse of his real persona. He hides who he is in front of Spence out of misguided loyalty and in an attempt to shelter her from the seedier side of his life. He was preyed on as a youngster and has gotten himself into a nasty mess, but he is struggling to see any way out. Because of this, he won’t even entertain the notion of a romantic relationship with Spence even though it’s what both of them want and need. Eventually, they cave to their feelings and become a couple, and it was so sweet. We got to see a different side to Dalton and he was lighter and brighter as a result.

One beautiful night turns disastrous and they are torn apart from one another. I won’t say any more for fear of spoiling the story, but suffice it to say that there is plenty of heartbreak and angst for our young couple.

I thought it was a little slow-paced at the start but after a few chapters the pace picked up and it kept my attention the whole way through.

I loved the secondary characters, especially Cassie. The author is writing her story next and I will definitely check it out. She is an intriguing character, and she had some of the funniest lines and scenes in the book. She always had Spence’s back and I loved her as a best friend.

I love this author’s writing style! Her prose is beautiful – poetic and eloquent, though others may find it overly descriptive in parts. Not me, I loved every word.

I liked the note the author put in the back – that was a nice touch. I also love this cover. It’s stunning!

Overall, this was a fantastic read and it had bits of everything – love and romance, friendship, family, suspense, drama, heartache, sacrifice, and above all else – redemption. I’d highly recommend it.

Actual rating 4.5 stars.

underteaser5

LB SimmonsAbout the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author of The Mending Hearts Series, The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller, and Under the Influence

Links:

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Review: The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy

The MistakeTitle: The Mistake
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres:
Links:

Blurb:
He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

My Review:
This is Grace and Logan’s story and I loved it every bit as much as The Deal, the first book in this series. Logan intrigued me in The Deal so I was delighted that Elle was writing his story next and it didn’t disappoint. Logan has been a major player the whole way through college, but as the story progresses we begin to understand why. He is shouldering some unbelievable pressure and the prospect of not being able to take up any offers to play professional hockey. Grace comes into his life at just the right time and they click (though it’s not without it’s ups and downs). I loved both characters, loved that we got to see Hannah and Graham again, and the writing is exceptionally brilliant. I cannot wait for Dean’s story next. This is an amazing series and a must read for all NA fans.

Blog Tour: The Truth About Him by Molly O’Keefe

TTAH_BLOGTOUR
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Truth About Him (Everything I Left Unsaid #2) by Molly O’Keefe. I share my review with you and there’s a giveaway!

the truth about himTitle: The Truth About Him
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
We played our roles, told each other lies.

But now Dylan is no longer just a mysterious deep voice on the other end of the line. We’re face-to-face and our relationship is very, very real.

We still have secrets—but so much is crystal clear:

The thrilling danger.

The raw, naked desire.

The need to keep feeling the way he makes me feel. Forever.

Dylan is putting up walls, trying to keep me safe, but he can’t shut me out. He has seen my darkness and rescued me. Now it’s my turn, if only he will let me.

OKEEFE_TruthAboutHim_ecard2

My Review:
Emotionally charged. Dark. Destructive. Compelling. Hopeful. Addictive. Those are just some of the words I’d use to sum up this book. This story had me hooked from the get-go and I found it very difficult to put this book down – and I only did so because I had to. All I could think about during the down period was how quickly I could get back to my Kindle so that I could finish it. Honestly, this book made me feel all the feels. It really sunk its teeth into me and didn’t let go until I had devoured every last word.

Dylan Daniels (I love that name – doesn’t it just roll so smoothly off the tongue?) keeps himself well and truly caged inside his damaged skin. It’s not all that surprising when you consider that those who are supposed to have loved and protected him let him down so badly. Now, he lets no one in, trusts no one, not even himself. He has built a mountainside fortress where he lives and works and he has basically become a hermit. Until he crossed paths with Annie and his world turned upside down. Annie has had her own fair share of trauma and she also has a troubled background. Definitely a case of two tortured lost souls gravitating toward one another.

I hadn’t read the first book when I read this book (I have since ) but I didn’t need to. The author did a superb job of backfilling the story and it was easy to pick up the plotlines. Boy, did this book open with a bang and I was instantly pulled into the world.

Annie and Dylan intrigued me from the minute I met them. I’m in awe of this author’s ability to create such complex-multi-layered characters who are flawed but also such nice people underneath all the shit life has thrown at them. I was rooting for them so badly and really hoped they would get their HEA. Both of them deserved it. They struggle to share the truth but gradually they learn to let each other in as they grapple with the evil forces threatening to pull them apart. When Dylan told Annie that no one had ever said I love you to him, I thought my heart would split wide open. I felt his pain as if it was my own. Now, that’s talent.

I love books with strong romance once there is another dimension to the story, and once the romance doesn’t overtake the story at the expense of all other plotlines. This book skillfuly combined all plotlines and there was a strong subplot bobbing beneath the surface which added supsense and mystery and more than a hint of danger.

The romance was sweet and depraved in equal measures and the chemistry was scorching between our couple. Steamy stuff.

I thoroughly enjoyed Molly’s writing style and the pacing is perfect – there was no urge to skim as every word had meaning and added value

For me, the underlying message is that no matter how dark and disturbing life can be, true love can elevate your world from dark into light, and that love can appear in so many different guises. This was a book of hidden depth and meaning about love, family, relationships and the challenge of life.

Summary: If you enjoy emotionally complex well-developed characters, strong worldbuilding, and excellent writing, then you will love this book. I know I did.

TTAH_AVAILABLE

About the Author:
Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Blog Tour: Laguna Lights by Kaira Rouda

LL_BlogTour
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Laguna Lights (Laguna Beach #3) by Kaira Rouda. There’s a tour wide giveaway!

Leguna Lights - coverTitle: Laguna Lights
Author: by Kaira Rouda
Series: Laguna Beach #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Welcome back to Laguna Beach…

Laura Kinkaid’s glamorous Hollywood life is falling apart. After years of reality television stardom beginning in high school on Laguna Nights, her career and relationship with her long-term boyfriend Scott are fizzling out. Laura decides to go home to Laguna Beach for the weekend to attend a baby shower for her high school friend. That decision – and a car accident – will lead her to a new future, if she’s ready to take a chance at love.

Paul Dorn’s former life in New York City is far behind him and he’s working in a popular Laguna Beach surf shop when fate brings the most beautiful woman he’s ever met into his life. The attraction is instant and he has an overwhelming desire to protect her. While Paul’s retail sales career is a short-term job for market research purposes, his focus on Laura is long-term.

Will Laura allow a handsome stranger to help her create a future unlike her past, or will the bright lights of Hollywood pull her back to LA?

LL_Teaser1

About the Author:
Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart. Her women’s fiction titles include HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER’S DAY. Kaira’s work has won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. Her books have been widely reviewed and featured in leading magazines.

Her sexy contemporary romance series set on INDIGO ISLAND includes: WEEKEND WITH THE TYCOON, Book 1; HER FORBIDDEN LOVE, Book 2; THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS, Book 3; and THE BILLIONAIRE’S BID, Book 4. Each of these novellas can be read as a stand alone, or enjoyed as a series. Her new series is set in LAGUNA BEACH and includes: LAGUNA NIGHTS, Book 1; LAGUNA HEIGHTS, Book 2; and LAGUNA LIGHTS, Book 3 coming winter 2015. She also helped launch Melissa Foster’s The Remington’s Kindle World with her bestselling novella, SPOTLIGHT ON LOVE, and is part of Carly Phillips Dare to Love Kindle World with THE CELEBRITY DARE.

Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.

She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books and on her website, KairaRouda.com.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Release Day Blitz: The Truth About Him by Molly O’Keefe

the truth about him BLITZ
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Truth About Him (Everything I Left Unsaid #2) by Molly O’Keefe. I share my review with you and there’s a giveaway!

the truth about himTitle: The Truth About Him
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
We played our roles, told each other lies.

But now Dylan is no longer just a mysterious deep voice on the other end of the line. We’re face-to-face and our relationship is very, very real.

We still have secrets—but so much is crystal clear:

The thrilling danger.

The raw, naked desire.

The need to keep feeling the way he makes me feel. Forever.

Dylan is putting up walls, trying to keep me safe, but he can’t shut me out. He has seen my darkness and rescued me. Now it’s my turn, if only he will let me.

OKEEFE_TruthAboutHim_ecard2

My Review:
Emotionally charged. Dark. Destructive. Compelling. Hopeful. Addictive. Those are just some of the words I’d use to sum up this book. This story had me hooked from the get-go and I found it very difficult to put this book down – and I only did so because I had to. All I could think about during the down period was how quickly I could get back to my Kindle so that I could finish it. Honestly, this book made me feel all the feels. It really sunk its teeth into me and didn’t let go until I had devoured every last word.

Dylan Daniels (I love that name – doesn’t it just roll so smoothly off the tongue?) keeps himself well and truly caged inside his damaged skin. It’s not all that surprising when you consider that those who are supposed to have loved and protected him let him down so badly. Now, he lets no one in, trusts no one, not even himself. He has built a mountainside fortress where he lives and works and he has basically become a hermit. Until he crossed paths with Annie and his world turned upside down. Annie has had her own fair share of trauma and she also has a troubled background. Definitely a case of two tortured lost souls gravitating toward one another.

I hadn’t read the first book when I read this book (I have since ) but I didn’t need to. The author did a superb job of backfilling the story and it was easy to pick up the plotlines. Boy, did this book open with a bang and I was instantly pulled into the world.

Annie and Dylan intrigued me from the minute I met them. I’m in awe of this author’s ability to create such complex-multi-layered characters who are flawed but also such nice people underneath all the shit life has thrown at them. I was rooting for them so badly and really hoped they would get their HEA. Both of them deserved it. They struggle to share the truth but gradually they learn to let each other in as they grapple with the evil forces threatening to pull them apart. When Dylan told Annie that no one had ever said I love you to him, I thought my heart would split wide open. I felt his pain as if it was my own. Now, that’s talent.

I love books with strong romance once there is another dimension to the story, and once the romance doesn’t overtake the story at the expense of all other plotlines. This book skillfuly combined all plotlines and there was a strong subplot bobbing beneath the surface which added supsense and mystery and more than a hint of danger.

The romance was sweet and depraved in equal measures and the chemistry was scorching between our couple. Steamy stuff.

I thoroughly enjoyed Molly’s writing style and the pacing is perfect – there was no urge to skim as every word had meaning and added value

For me, the underlying message is that no matter how dark and disturbing life can be, true love can elevate your world from dark into light, and that love can appear in so many different guises. This was a book of hidden depth and meaning about love, family, relationships and the challenge of life.

Summary: If you enjoy emotionally complex well-developed characters, strong worldbuilding, and excellent writing, then you will love this book. I know I did.

TTAH_AVAILABLE

About the Author:
Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.

Links:

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

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Blog Tour: Butterfly Dreams by A. Meredith Walters

butterflydreamsbanner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Butterfly Dreams by A. Meredith Walters. I share my review of this book with you today and an excerpt from the book.

Butterfly Dreams coverTitle: Butterfly Dreams
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Blurb:
In a powerful romance hailed as “heartbreaking, real, and breathtakingly beautiful” by Stacey Lynn, New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters tells the story of a troubled young woman and the unforgettable guy who teaches her to live—and love—to the fullest.

She’s waiting to die. . . . Corin Thompson is paralyzed by her obsession with mortality. Having lost both of her parents, she is terrified by the idea that she too will die young, and she loses control at any sign of illness. But when Corin connects with someone who has survived a very real brush with death, she begins to see the world in a whole new way.

He’s learning to live. . . . As Corin struggles under the weight of her neuroses, Beckett Kingsley is attempting to rebuild a life that feels all too temporary. With the ever-present threat of heart failure never far from his mind, he just wants to make the most of whatever time he has left. And that means pursuing the girl he never expected to find.

Together, Corin and Beckett finally learn to let go of their fears and take solace in everyday pleasures. Who knows what the future holds? After all, nothing lasts forever—the only promise they have is right now.

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My Review:
This author certainly knows how to write a powerful emotionally-charged book that had me blubbing like a baby. I was captured from the very first word right until the last page.

Corin hasn’t effectively dealt with the deaths of both of her parents and she’s suffering from anxiety, depression, and a morbid fear of her own impending death. She basically camps out at her doctors and every day she has a new health worry or concern. At the time we meet her, she is convinced she has a heart condition, so she joins a support group and there she meets Beckett.

They share some history – he was the kind stranger who helped her overcome her anxiety attack on the sidewalk – but Corin is really embarrassed over the whole incident and tries to push him away.

Beckett has undergone a massive life transformation after a recent heart attack. Having struggled to adjust to his new reality, he is trying to make the best of it, even though he can no longer do all the things he used to love doing.

They meet at an important crossroads in their lives and see something in the other which draws them closer. This is a heartwarming, beautiful love story and I loved every moment of it.

I felt that the author handled the anxiety and depression very realistically and the opening scenes were so emotive that I almost felt like I was the one suffering from the panic attack, not Corin. At times, it’s painful to be around Corin and there were plenty of moments where I cringed at her awkwardness and social ineptitude.

The twist toward the end, though not completely unexpected, left me in tears. I could hardly see the words through my blurry vision. Gosh, I love when an author literally reduces me to a sobbing mess and my heart physically ached for our couple.

This is my second A. Meredith Walters book and it’s clear that she is a very accomplished, talented writer. Character development was superb and the writing flowed smoothly. I could scarcely put this book down and I read it in two sittings.

If you enjoy well-written romances that pack a powerful emotional punch then Butterfly Dreams is a must read.

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Excerpt:
My doorbell rang.
What?
I looked at the clock and realized it was already 7:30.
So that meant it was Beckett on the other side of the door.
Shit.
I looked down at my half-naked body.
Shit!
And then I started freaking out.
“I’ll be right there!” I yelled.
Should I let him in?
But I was practically naked!
I couldn’t let him see me like this!
Maybe I should own it. Shake my hips and let him get a look at the goods.
Like that would ever happen.
Crap, what was I going to wear?
I grabbed a pair of jeans from my floor and wiggled them on, not really paying attention to which ones they were.
I reached into my closet and pulled the closest shirt off the rack. I tied my hair into a ponytail and slipped on a comfortable pair of ballet flats.
I hoped Beckett hadn’t planned on five-star dining because I was dressed more for a McDonalds milkshake before hanging with the bowling league.
“Sorry,” I said, out of breath, opening the door and letting Beckett inside.
“I was starting to think I needed to break in and make sure you hadn’t gotten stuck in the toilet or something.” Beckett looked damn near perfect in a dark pair of jeans and button-up blue shirt the same color as his eyes.
He had even gotten a haircut. Way to make me feel like a total underachiever in the getting ready department, buddy.
“Looks like you cut yourself,” I said, indicating the piece of toilet paper stuck to his chin.
“Fuck. I forgot about that,” he muttered, pulling it off, looking embarrassed.
“You should have left it there. It’s cute,” I teased, putting on my black wool coat.
“You ready?” he asked.
“As I’ll ever be.” I gave him a wide smile and he laughed.
“I’m not taking you to your death by firing squad. You could act a bit more excited.”
I jumped up and down, clapping my hands together. “OMG, Beck! I can’t wait!” I gasped.
“Is that better?” I asked, closing my apartment door behind me and locking it.
“Much.” Beckett leaned down and I swear he was checking out my ass.
“Excuse me, but what in the hell are you doing?” I demanded.
“Are you aware that the Cheshire cat is on your right butt cheek?”
I craned my body to get a look at what he was talking about. And sure enough, there was a bright purple patch with the damn Cheshire cat on my derriere.
“I must have picked up the wrong jeans,” I groaned. These were my hanging-out-doing-laundry jeans. Not meant to be seen by anyone but myself and the cat.
“I was in a rush. I couldn’t figure out what to wear. It was stressful,” I tried to explain, pulling my coat down over my feline-covered bum.
“The last thing I want is to stress you out, Cor-Cor.”
I smacked his arm. “I thought I warned you about using that damn nickname,” I threatened.
“I show up with toilet paper stuck to my face and you have a cat on your butt. I think we make a pretty awesome pair,” Beckett snickered, unlocking his car.

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A Meredith WaltersAbout the Author:
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.

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