Review: Ruin (Ruin #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

RuinTitle: Ruin
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Ruin #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

My Review:
I read this a few nights ago when I was in a bit of a funny mood. I had loads of great ARCs to read but for some reason none of them were jumping out and saying ‘read me now’ so I went on a bit of a prowl. This book was on sale and it sounded perfect. Then I did something I don’t normally do – checked out the reviews on Goodreads (I usually only look to see if it has a decent overall rating) and lots of reviewers spoke to the emotion and angst and I was hooked. Perfect.

Gosh, I think I’ve forgotten that this is supposed to be a review. Enough waffling!!

Ruin is beautifully written and the heartfelt note from the author at the start and end of the book was very touching. There is a very personal reason behind this story.

Wes is a reformed player thanks to a nasty ex and an equally nasty false allegation. He hasn’t gone near a woman in months, but all that changes when newly-arrived freshman Kiersten literally falls into his arms. Wes is instantly smitten with the stunning red-head. Kiersten has her own issues and she is still struggling to come to terms with her parents death. Both of them have their secrets and reasons for needing this relationship exactly at that time in their lives.

It’s pretty much a case of insta-lust/love, but they don’t act on it for a few months, as Wes doesn’t want to hurt Kiersten by pulling her into his drama. But he just can’t stay away from her and the inevitable does happen. When they finally succumb to their intense attraction, they both fall head over heels in love. Ah, I loved them as a couple. They were perfect together. And the romantic scenes were swoon-worthy in the extreme. Wes is definitely a new addition to my Book Boyfriend list (that very long list that just keeps on growing. Lol.)

Gabe and Lisa are great side characters though I felt both could have benefitted from some additional development.

The dialogue is funny and romantic and there was great chemistry between the two mains.

I really enjoyed the writing style and loved that we got both POV.

I did have a few minor issues that stopped me rating it higher. Kiersten was very naive when it came to the secret that Wes was hiding. After months in his company, it would have been obvious, so it wasn’t believable that she didn’t discover the truth. The same could be said for the allegation made against Wes – she doesn’t question or challenge him and that was way too trusting for someone she didn’t know. I get that she’s innocent, but she’s not dumb.

However, the main reason why this is a 4-star rather than 5-star read, despite how much I enjoyed reading it, is because I didn’t fully connect emotionally with what the characters were going through. I’ve read a few books recently which focused on illness and death and I was in floods of tears. My eyes didn’t even get moist reading Ruin, it just didn’t resonate with me strongly enough. Perhaps reading the other reviews in advance ruined it for me (no pun intended!)or maybe it lacked depth, or it was just my funny mood; I’m not quite sure.

Anyway, in summary, this is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys well-written NA with a fabulous male lead and heart-stopping romance. I will definitely be continuing the series.

Review: Forever with You (Fixed #3) by Laurelin Paige

Forever with YouTitle: Forever with You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Alayna Withers relationship with Hudson Pierce has tested both her and his ability to trust. They decide that the only way they can move forward together is with open doors and transparency. It won’t be easy for the scarred lovers, but they’re committed to each other more now than ever. Alayna, in particular, has grown through their trials, and has emerged more confident and faithful to the man she loves.

But while the pair is focused on the future, their past shows up again to threaten their fragile bond. Promises that were made are broken, and Alayna learns that Hudson still has very potent secrets—secrets that will tear them both apart. As much as she feels for him, her ability to forgive and forget is tested beyond her limits.

Even though she found the only man who could fix her, a forever with Hudson seems more and more out of reach.

My Review:
Omg. This book gave me so many feels. Though I was shocked at how quickly Alayna forgave him, there is no way I could rate it less than 5 stars. Emotion drips off the pages and I felt everything. Such dark complex characters. Wow.


Well, that was one hell of a read, and a fantastic way to bring Laynie and Hudson’s story to a close.

Initially, it started off a little slow and I wondered if there was enough of a story to support a third book. I’m happy to have been proven wrong. Once Laynie watched the recording things started accelerating at a manic pace. I knew immediately what Hudson and Celia had done and I was sickened to my stomach. Though I was hoping I was wrong, it turns out I wasn’t. I pretty much hated him a lot of this book as his actions really rocked my faith in him.

This book was so emotive – I felt everything Laynie felt. Explosive passion, scintillating chemistry, and the gut-wrenching angst of betrayal and heartache. I was a basket-case reading this book.

At one point, I wanted to kill Hudson. And don’t even get me started on Celia! Those two were so fucked-up! Alayna looked like a saint next to that pair and that’s saying something.

I was annoyed that Alayna forgave Hudsn so quickly. I would have loved her to have shown some strength of character and to keep him at arms length for a few months, so that when they finally reunited it was on her terms, not his.

But there is no way I could rate this book any less than 5 stars becaue it seriously blew my mind.

Another stomping read from the very talented Laurelin Paige. I wish I could read Hudson straight away but I’ve a ton of ARC’s lined up already so it’ll have to wait for a couple of weeks.

Review: Find Me (The Found Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Find MeTitle: Find Me
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: The Found Duet #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance/ Suspense

The Conclusion of Gwen and JC’s Story

Gwen Anders came to The Sky Launch to begin fresh, away from the horrors of her past. She fit in quickly, becoming good friends with her co-manager, Alayna Withers and the owner of the club, Hudson Pierce. Though the circumstances that brought her here were not the best, she’s never felt more at home.

But starting a new life means letting go. And there are some things she doesn’t want to leave behind – like JC, the man who taught her how to let loose. The man she wasn’t supposed to fall in love with. The man she doesn’t want to lose.

Now, with the reason she ran still a threat, Gwen fears she’ll never be able to move on completely. And if she does, can she still hold out hope that JC loves her enough to come and find her?

My Review:
I downloaded Find Me the minute I finished reading Free Me because I couldn’t wait even one second to find out what was going to happen next.

We finally learn the full story behind JC’s fiancee’s death and the extent of the danger he’s in. JC really wants to protect Gwen, but he can’t stay away from her even though he risks exposing her. Though they are initially a little wary of one another, their relationship pretty much picks up where they left off.

There is the added complication of Chandler who has unfortunately grown attached to Gwen and he hovers around making a nuisance of himself. Gwen feels rotten that she ever indulged him, and she’s also carrying a massive chip on her shoulder over Cory. She very much feels like she’s playing second fiddle, even though JC never treats her like that. It’s pretty much all in her head. JC is still quite controlling, but he’s a real sweetheart too.

This book ticked all the boxes – great plot development, complex characters, superb writing, and lashings of the steamy stuff.

I enjoyed reading about Alayna and Hudson and I’m definitely going to check out their book. I’m totally hooked on this series now, and can’t wait to read more from this author.

All in all, an epic read.

Review: Found in You (Fixed #2) by Laurelin Paige

Found in YouTitle: Found in You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Alayna Withers has only had one kind of relationship: the kind that makes her obsessive and stalker-crazy. Now that Hudson Pierce has let her into his heart, she’s determined to break down the remaining walls between them so they can build a foundation that’s based on more than just amazing sex. Except Hudson’s not the only one with secrets.

With their pasts pulling them into a web of unfounded mistrust, Alayna turns to the one person who knows Hudson the best—Celia, the woman he almost married. Hoping for insight from someone who understands all sides of the story, Alayna forms a bond with Celia that goes too far—revealing things about Hudson that could end their love for good.

This is the first relationship where Alayna hasn’t spiraled out of control. And she might lose Hudson anyway…

My Review:
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Man, oh man does Hudson have a fucked-up family. They were very entertaining to read about though. LOL. I loved Mira and Jack and despised Sophia. She’s such a nasty piece of work.

Hudson and Laynie are together, but there are still so many secrets and lies threatening to tear them apart. Neither of them has any experience with relationships so they are both feeling their way as they go. It was downright painful at times, and there were plenty of gut-wrenching moments. He thinks he isn’t romantic, but he really was – actions speak louder than words.

Alayna needed a swift slap to the head in this book. It was so obvious that Celia was playing games, and Laynie was so stupid to trust her. And yes, I was screaming at my Kindle. It’s pretty ironic that Celia played Laynie so well given her stalker past.

This book was well written, fast-paced, full of drama and intrigue, with tons of the steamy stuff, and plenty of angst-filled love.

I lapped it up.

Excellent author. Excellent series.

Cover Reveal: She Laughs in Pink by Jessica Calla

Today is the cover reveal for She Laughs in Pink by Jessica Calla. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

She Laughs in PinkShe Laughs in Pink (Sheridan Hall #1)
by Jessica Calla
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: BookFish Books

Four years after her twin is murdered, Juliet Anderson still struggles with guilt, her parents, and her relationships. Two things keep her from falling into a deep, dark place—dancing and her best friend, Ben. So when Ben decides to play football for New Jersey University, Juliet doesn’t hesitate. She follows. Finally away from her past, there is nothing to stand in the way. Juliet will win Ben’s heart.

Then she meets Ben’s roommate, Chase.

On probation and hell-bent on adhering to a “new life plan,” aspiring artist Chase leaves his New York City home for New Jersey University and meets Juliet before even stepping foot on campus. For him, their connection is instant. She’s the most vibrant girl he’s ever seen. Her colors explode on his canvas, and he’s never been more inspired in his life.

Too bad she’s madly in love with his seemingly perfect, good guy roommate.

You can find She Laughs in Pink on Goodreads

Jessica CallaAbout the Author:
Jessica Calla is a lawyer by day and a romance writer by night. Her favorite time is “bedtime,” when she’s free to open her laptop, battle with her blinking cursor, and pour out the contents of her heart. Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America and is involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters. She is also a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, two sons, and a dog. Besides reading and writing, she enjoys movies, coffee, and chocolate. She considers herself addicted to Diet Coke and Netflix (in a good way).

You can find and contact Jessica here:

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of She Laughs in Pink. One winner will win a 25$ amazon gift card.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Free Me (The Found Duet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Free MeTitle: Free Me
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: The Found Duet #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Her story started long before she started working at The Sky Launch…

Screw fairytales. The only reward Gwen Anders got from her rough childhood was a thick skin and hard heart. She’s content with her daily grind managing a top NYC nightclub—Eighty-Eighth Floor. So hers isn’t a happily ever after. She doesn’t believe in those anyway.

Then she meets J.C.

The rich, smooth talking playboy is the sexiest thing that Gwen has ever encountered, but she’s not interested in a night-in-shining latex. But when a family tragedy pushes her to the brink, it’s J.C. who’s there to teach her a new method of survival, one based on following primal urges and desires. His no-strings-attached lessons require her to abandon her constant need for control. Her carefully built walls are obliterated.

Gwen discovers there’s a beautiful world outside her prison. Freedom is exhilarating—and terrifying. When she starts to feel something for J.C., she fears for her heart. Especially as she realizes that he has secrets of his own. Secrets that don’t want to set him free.

This series can be read alone or with the Fixed Trilogy.

My Review:
This was an amazing read and I loved it from the first page until the last.

Gwen has had a fairly traumatic family life and it’s shaped the course of her life to date. She is a workaholic and devoted sibling, but apart from that her life is pretty empty.

JC has had his fair share of heartache too, and he has barely been surviving these last few years.

Their lives crash together one night in the club where Gwen works. JC recognises a lot of himself in her and sets out to help her relax. Gwen, of course, wants nothing to do with him. Everything changes when circumstances conspire to pull them together. They embark on a steamy sex affair that set my Kindle on fire!

Both of them are complete control freaks who together learn to let go. JC has no intention of falling in love or getting attached to Gwen, but you know what they say about best laid plans.

Despite the fact that he’s fallen in love with her, he continues to push her away. When we find out the reason why, my heart bled for him.

The twist at the end was completely unexpected and I immediately downloaded the second book as I couldn’t wait to continue the story.

Absolutely everything about this book was top-notch. The writing, the spot-on pacing, great mix of sex, romance, and mystery, fantastic character development and strong worldbuilding. This is my first Laurelin Paige book, though I read Miss Match earlier on in the year (co-written by Laurelin) and I was pretty sure I’d like Free Me. I wasn’t wrong. It was a phenomenal read and I’m hooked on this series now.

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Cover Reveal: Reprise (Ruby Riot #3) by Lisa Swallow

Reprise_cover reveal
Today is the cover reveal for Reprise (Ruby Riot #3) by Lisa Swallow!

Cover designed by Najla Qamber Designs
Photography: K Keeton Designs
Models: Faith Danielle and Sager Dolson

RepriseTitle: Reprise
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Ruby Riot #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 29th 2016

Drummer Nate Campbell is a ‘Ruby Riot twin’ – and that’s all he wants anybody to know. The only person allowed close is his brother, Will, and even that’s not working out these days. For Nate, girls are a dispensable distraction and the rock star life suits his needs. Nobody will expect him to hand his heart over if he pretends he doesn’t have a one.

Falling for Nate Campbell was the second biggest mistake of Riley Sawyer’s life. Working as a junior PR girl on the Blue Phoenix European and Ruby Riot tour, she earned a reputation as unapproachable and unable to switch off from work. With a side to her life Riley keeps hidden, she was happy to maintain her distance. But after an encounter with Nate, and several difficult weeks, Riley left the circuit and vowed never to tour with bands again.

Two years later Riley achieves her ambition and is a PR manager and Ruby Riot are headlining stadiums. She meets Nate again for the first time in two years and nothing has changed. The animosity stands and so does the attraction. Neither sees this as a problem because they can avoid each other for the two days until Riley leaves.

What they don’t count on is that Nate’s bloody-mindedness and an unfortunate set of circumstances leads to the pair snowed-in at a pub on the Yorkshire Moors for several days. Forced to spend time together, Riley and Nate are pushed into discussing what happened on tour and find themselves in a situation neither of them expected.

When the snow retreats and they return to London, Nate discovers Riley has her own secret and it’s one deeply connected to his past. Nate backs away, unsure if he can continue a relationship with the girl who’s more like himself than he realised.

Nate won’t have long to decide because Riley isn’t prepared to let a damaged commitmentphobe into her life. And she has zero interest in fixing a man who refuses to fix himself.

Reprise is the third standalone book in the Ruby Riot series.

Previous Books in the series:
Ruby Riot facebook banner
“An egotistical front man, trouble-making twins and a girl you don’t want to mess with.”

Cadence (Ruby Riot #1)

Shuffle (Ruby Riot #2)

About the Author:
Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. She is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2001. She now lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband, three children, and Weimaraner, Tilly, who often makes appearances on Lisa’s social media.
Lisa’s first publication was a moving poem about the rain, followed by a suspenseful story about shoes. Following these successes at nine years old there was a long gap in her writing career, until she published her first book in 2013.
In the past, Lisa worked as an English teacher in France, as an advertising copywriter in England, and ran her own business in Australia. Now she spends her days with imaginary rock stars.
She lived in Europe as a child and also travelled when she left university. This has given Lisa stories which would sound far-fetched if she wrote them down, and maybe one day she will. These days, Lisa is happy in her writing cave, under Tilly’s supervision.


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Review: Fixed on You (Fixed #1) by Laurelin Paige

Fixed on YouTitle: Fixed on You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out — move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan.

But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous — the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it.

Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

My Review:
It requires enormous skill to create such complex dysfunctional characters and not only make them likeable but have the reader rooting for them too. That is what Laurelin Paige has achieved in this book. It would be so easy to hate Alayna and Hudson because they have both done such horrible things in the past. Their actions have hurt others and caused huge conflict within their families.

Hudson is a conundrum of a character – on the outside he appears as a cool, collected, savvy businessman but it’s all a veneer. Internally, he is all cut up. He tells Laynie that he isn’t capable of love, but really, it’s that he feels unworthy of love.

She is actually the same – she tells him she loves too much (she has an obsessive personality and a stalker reputation/past) but that’s not true. She is pretty much running scared. So, they are more alike than they realise.

I raced through this book as if a gun-toting maniac was holding a weapon to my head. It sucked me right in and I struggled to put it down. The writing is superb, the plot is dark and compelling, the characters are multi-layered and about as complex as you can get, and the pacing is bang-on.

This is an excellent series by a hugely talented author and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

Review: Someone to Love (Someone to Love #1) by Addison Moore

Someone to LoveTitle: Someone to Love
Author: Addison Moore
Series: Someone to Love #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

If you don’t give your heart away, you can’t get it broken.

When twenty-year-old Kendall Jordan transfers across the country to Garrison University, the last thing she’s looking for is a one-night stand. Unfortunately that’s exactly what gorgeous Cruise Elton offers. Kendall has long since come to realize that love is an illusion, and Cruise couldn’t agree more, but something deep inside her wants him all for herself. So Kendall devises a plan to ‘play the player’ and proposes that Cruise tutor her in becoming a female version of himself, Garrison University’s own playboy. But as real feelings emerge, the game gets complicated, and Kendall and Cruise will find themselves questioning everything they thought they knew about love.

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

New Adult – Contemporary Romance *Intended for mature audiences 17+* Sexual situations

My Review:
Addison Moore is one of my favorite authors, and I love her Beautiful Oblivion series, and I’ve also enjoyed her 3AM Kisses series. So, it pains me to have to rate one of her books a 3 star, but this one just didn’t hit the mark for me.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy reading it – because I did – but there were issues with the plot and the writing that impacted my enjoyment.

Kendall has just moved from California to Massachusetts, and she’s attending a new college. Her mom’s oldest friend (Aunt Jackie) has a son, Pennington, at the same college, and he’s supposed to be looking out for her. When she meets him, it’s clear he is going to be of no help to her. Penn is a stoner who has done nothing to sort out her accomodation as he promised, so she finds herself homeless on her first night in a new state.

Cruise Elton makes a beeline for Kendall the minute he spots her. A notorious player, she pegs him for what he is instantly, and kicks him to the curb. Only to go home with him a few minutes later given that she’s homeless. As you do. Shack up with a total stranger, who ten minutes ago you were deflecting because you knew he was only after sex.

I could forgive that though, as the first half of the book was sweet and funny to read. But after that there were so many plot holes that I became frustrated with Kendall (Kenny) and the author. Blair is the villian of the piece. She is Cruise’s nasty ex-fiancee out to cause trouble. Kenny is presented as a smart sassy girl but she seems to lose all her brain cells when it comes to Blair and I wanted to reach into my Kindle and bang her head against the wall. Not only that, her supposed friends Lauren and Ally, see her acting friendly towards Blair on at least two occasions, and neither of them think to warn her about the bitch? Not believable.

Cruise is aware that Blair is back in town and trying to worm her way back into his affections, but even he doesn’t warn Kenny. Then there was an issue with Cal, Cruise’s best friend. Lauren is afraid her boyfriend (Cal) is cheating so she engages naive Kenny to flirt with her man’s BF to try to lure him into cheating. None of them talk to the other about it, and Ally doesn’t tell her that Cruise showed up in the cafe with flowers for her and saw her flirting up a storm with Cal? Come on? Seriously? There were just far too many plot holes for me to overlook and I became very frustrated by the end of the book.

Which is a shame, because it still has a lot going for it. Cruise is much more than what we are led to believe, and I loved his character, and how it developed gradually. If Kendall had been written consistently I would have been more enamoured with her. But she was smart once minute and dumb as a box of nails the next.

There’s plenty of hot steamy sex in this one, balanced with sweet romance. I liked that, and how patient Cruise was in waiting for Kenny to be ready.

Now I need to address the writing. Addison is an amazing writer and I’ve loved all her other books, but it’s like she was trying a different style in this book, and I don’t think she pulled it off. Parts of it were beautifully written, almost poetic, but other parts were trying too hard, and it was jarring to read, and it pulled me out of the story. It was overly descriptive at times and I found myself skimming those sections.

I’m going to read the next book to see if I like it any better, but if there are the same issues then I won’t be continuing this series. I have the first couple of books in her Celestra series on my Kindle and I’m dying to read those.

All in all, this is a decent enough read, but not up to Addison’s ususal superb standard. If you can overcome some glaring plotholes and suspend belief then you will enjoy Someone to Love.

Cover Reveal: Dirty Little Rendezvous by Emma Hart

dirtylittlerendezvous banner
Today is the cover reveal for Dirty Little Rendezvous by Emma Hart.

Dirty Little RendezvousTitle: Dirty Little Rendezvous
Author: Emma Hart
Series: A Burke Brothers Spin-Off #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Sometimes the past becomes the present… And he’s hot, cocky, and British.

Leila Burke expected a lot of things when she joined her brothers on tour in Europe. He wasn’t one of them.

Jase Masters had no idea what to expect when he agreed to support Dirty B. on tour. She definitely wasn’t it.

It’s been eighteen months.

He remembers that night a little too well.

She insists she has no idea who he is.

He’s rugged and determined.

She’s wild and free.

Together, they’re a tornado.

Keeping it from touching down is the least of their worries.

DSC_9249About the Author:
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.


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