Blog Tour: Songbird by Sydney Logan

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Songbird by Sydney Logan. I share my review with you, an excerpt and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

Songbird ebookTitle: Songbird
Author: Sydney Logan
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
One bridesmaid. One groomsman. One classic wedding hookup.
But for Callie and Devin, their weekend of passion is anything but typical.

Callie Franklin doesn’t do one night stands.

Ever.

She’s far too responsible and focused on her career to ever let herself give in to temptation. But, on the eve of her best friend’s wedding, she meets that temptation . . .

And his name is Devin McAllister.

Devin, on the other hand, has no problem with meaningless hookups. The very last thing he needs—or wants—is a relationship.

Relationships come with strings.

Relationships come with heartbreak.

A late-night encounter in the hotel’s piano bar finds the two unable to resist each other. With her angelic voice and bright blue eyes, Devin’s sure he’s never met anyone as beautiful as his Songbird.

Six weeks later, when two pink lines confirm Callie’s worst fears, she and Devin have to face the consequences of their wild weekend.

And they have to deal with each other—whether they like it or not.

With a love story that’s far from traditional, Callie and Devin begin to wonder if their one-night stand could turn into something neither of them anticipated.

A happily ever after.

Songbird Sydney Logan Launch Day Price

My Review:
This is a beautifully written love story that really tugged at my heart strings.

Devin is a commitment-phobic player with a successful law practice. Since his twin sister died when they were fifteen he has struggled to let anyone in, and he certainly hasn’t given anyone a piece of his heart. A chance encounter with Callie changes all that.

Callie is Devins opposite in many ways. She doesn’t indulge in one-night stands but her and Devin are inexplicably drawn to one another and they quickly cave to their mutual attraction.

At her friends wedding the next day, she realizes he is the errant groomsman that has been missing, and they end up spending the night of the wedding together as well.

When she falls pregnant, she is gobsmacked but determined to do the right thing by her baby. Devin receives the shock of his life when she first tells him and he doesn’t react well. Once he’s had time to recover, he tries to make it up to her, but she has shut him out. The rest of the book is the story of how they slowly let each other in and discover a love that was always meant to be.

While their love may be unconventional, it is sweet and romantic and I loved reading every moment of it.

I kept waiting for some big drama, or some major curveballs – certainly with Dominic and Nina, there were options to really milk the suspense – but the author didn’t do that, and I loved her for it. Instead, this is a simple, sweet tale of two people opening up their hearts and falling in love. It’s also a story about family and friendships, and overcoming long instilled fears and pre-conceived notions.

Callie’s mom has been bitter since she got pregnant with her at 17. Some of her warped ideals have twisted Callies perception of men, marriage, and the world in general. However, with the help of Devin and her friends, she is able to make her own decisions, and learns to trust her own instincts. I loved her dad. What a sweet man, and the opening scene where we meet him was very funny.

It’s hard as a reader not to fall in love with Devin. He starts out being a total ass but once he lets his barriers down, and learns to keep his controlling ways on a leash, he was perfect leading man material. His tender love and care of Callie was swoonworthy.

I was gripped from the very first page. I started reading it late at night only intending to read a few chapters but I stayed up until 3am and finished it in one go. I was so engrossed I just couldn’t put it down.

I love Sydney’s writing style and the words flowed beautifully on the page. As this is a character driven story, the character development was superb. She really got under both Devin and Callies skin and I properly understood what made them tick. I felt a strong emotional connection to them and their story. I honestly can’t fault this book at all. What an amazing read. I think I’ll be adding Syndey Logan to my list of favorite authors, and I look forward to checking out more of her work.

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

Excerpt:
Traffic’s insane, but I finally make it to Callie’s apartment just after two. I anxiously knock on the door, ridiculously eager to get my hands on her. Maybe she’ll be wearing some flimsy lingerie. Maybe she’ll be naked. My mind’s busy conjuring all the possibilities when she opens the door . . . wearing a sweatshirt and jeans.
“Hey,” she says softly, stepping aside to let me in.
“Hey. You okay?”
She looks pale as a ghost. Is she sick? She looks sick. Maybe I should call an ambulance. Or my dad.
“I’m okay.” Callie leads me over to the sofa. “Look, Devin, I know you probably have some plans for us for tonight, but that won’t be happening.”
“Oh.” Disappointment floods me, but if the nauseated look on her face is any indication, it’s probably best. Besides, there’s the next night. And the next.
“But we need to talk, so I’m glad you’re here. I have something I need to tell you.” She abruptly jumps to her feet and walks toward her kitchen. “Would you like something to drink?”
I can’t tell if she’s being a good hostess or simply stalling, but I ask for a beer. It looks like I’m gonna need it. I hadn’t pegged her for the kind of woman who needs to talk about her feelings.
When she returns to the living room, Callie hands me a bottle and sits down next to me. I notice she only brought one.
“You’re not drinking?”
She curls her feet beneath her. “Unfortunately, no. I won’t be drinking for a long time.”
I’ve had it with the riddles.
“All right, what’s going on? My brother and his girlfriend threatened to murder me if I make you cry. Something’s obviously up with you because you just want to talk.”
Her forehead creases. “Don’t you ever just talk to a woman?”
“Not if I can help it.”
“Why not? The girls you usually date don’t have enough sense to carry on an intelligent conversation?”
“I don’t date, Callie.”
“I see. You just sleep with them.”
“Sometimes. Is there something wrong with that?”
“And are you careful?”
“Careful?”
“Safe,” she says softly. “We didn’t use protection. I just wondered if that’s typical for you.”
Oh. It’d be easy to blame the alcohol, but honestly, using protection was the very last thing on my mind that night.
“No, that’s not typical. I’m sorry about that.”
“So am I.”
Callie seems far more relaxed after my apology. Maybe this night won’t be an epic failure after all. I slide closer to her, but she raises her hand in warning.
“We’re not finished.”
I groan and lean back against the couch.
“Devin, I need you to listen. Something happened that weekend. I’m almost positive you won’t want to sleep with me after you hear what I’m about to say.”
“I seriously doubt that.”
“I don’t.” Callie sits up a little straighter and squares her shoulders. “I want you to know I expect nothing from you. Our weekend together was a mistake, and I’ll deal with the consequences of it. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do at this point, but I thought you should at least know what’s going on.”
“What’s going on?”
Her eyes flood with tears.
“Devin, I’m pregnant.”
Pregnant.
Pregnant?
I stare at her. She stares at me. I watch her closely, hoping that at any moment she’s going to burst out laughing.
But she’s not laughing. She’s crying.
I hear Lorie’s voice in my suddenly throbbing head.
Don’t make her cry.
“Why . . . why are you telling me?”
She wipes her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“You’re assuming it’s mine?”
“Of course it’s yours!”
I snort. “Really? How can you be so sure? Maybe it was that bartender in the hotel’s piano bar. Or maybe it was the guy who sat with you at the reception. Or maybe—just maybe—it was the photographer you were with tonight. You two seem pretty close.”
Even as the bitter words drip off my tongue, I know better. Her face is just too furious . . . her eyes too heartbroken.
Suddenly, Callie stops crying. Her eyes flash with fury just seconds before she slaps me across the face.
Despite the ringing in my ears, I can hear my brother’s warning.
Don’t be an asshole tonight.
Too late.

Sydney Logan Bio Pic jpgAbout the Author:
Amazon best-selling author Sydney Logan holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of five novels – Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, Soldier On, Once Upon a December, and Pros & Cons. Sydney has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.

Visit her website at www.sydneylogan.com.

Links:

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

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Blog Tour: Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters. I’ll share my review of this book with you and there’s an excerpt.

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DC AmazonGRSWTitle: Desperate Chances
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: Bad Rep #4
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sex changes everything.

And love can turn into an enemy…

Mitch Abrams, the bassist for the popular rock band Generation Rejects, has been in love with Gracie Cook for years. But Gracie, a complicated girl with a lot of baggage, was too blind to see how she felt about the man who had always stood by her.

Until one night of passion brought them closer than they had ever been before.

Feeling off balance and out of control, Gracie does the only thing a girl with self-destructive tendencies can do: end things with Mitch before they can really begin.

So Mitch moves on. With his band, his friends, and a new girlfriend.

Yet he can’t seem to forget about the girl who threw his heart away.

Gracie, who is still struggling to build a life after crashing to the bottom, finds it hard to forget about her one night with Mitch. And even as she tries to convince herself it was only sex, her heart knows differently.

But life is full of chances and desperate moments. And when Mitch and Gracie are thrown back into each other’s lives, will they seize at the opportunity to do things right?

Or will the rock star and the less than ordinary girl crash and burn?

DC teaser cover photo

My Review:
Well, that was an enthralling read! My first A. Meredith Walters book, but most definitely not my last.

Mitch and Gracie have been BFFs for years. He has always been in love with her, and her with him, but she was too wasted to notice until it was too late.

Gracie is battling some monstrous demons – alcoholism, anorexia and an interfering mom who appears to be at the root of a lot of her issues. Gracie struggles to stand up to her and allows her mother to boss her around like she’s a little kid. I loved how, in the end, she was strong enough to stand her ground and fight to be treated appropriately.

Gracie has been to rehab and she’s making a concerted effort to sort her life out. She has a new part-time writing job, is sharing an apartment with one of her oldest and dearest girlfriends, and she’s trying to wash Mitch right out of her hair. But it’s damned hard, because she remembers how amazing their one-night stand was, and his admission of love has imprinted on her heart and her soul. She knows now that she loves him too, but it’s too late because Mitch has been dating Sophie for the last year and Gracie feels like she has lost her HEA.

Sophie is a total drip and she has never fitted in with the band or made much of an effort to. Now, one part of me understands it, but seriously, the girl has no self-respect. Everyone can see that Mitch still loves Gracie yet Sophie clings to him like a wet limpet. Pathetic.

Mitch is a great guy, but he’s a douche for the way he treats Sophie. He knows she isn’t the one for him yet he continues to string her along. He lost some brownie points for that.

This book is awash with angst and heartache and I just lapped it all up. I enjoyed the world-building and it was sad to see how the band’s dreams pretty much imploded overnight. Character development was superb, and though I haven’t read the other books in the series (yet) I didn’t feel like I missed out. Backstory was adequately filled in and I got to know all the characters and their distinct personas . The writing is excellent and it flowed smoothly – there weren’t’ any sections that I felt were repetitive, unnecessary, or rushed.

Overall this was a fantastic read and I look forward to checking out more of this author’s work in the future.
Actual rating 4.5.

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Excerpt:
I realized I was staring. Mitch knew I was staring.

So of course he purposefully gave his girlfriend his attention, his body angled towards me but his head bent low so that his face was close to Sophie’s. He pushed the hair back off her forehead. His eyes were on her face and he gave her soft smile that I recognized only too well.

A smile that I had thought, at one time, was only for me.

Get over it, Gracie! It’s been a year! What did you think would happen? That he’d pine over you forever? Get a grip!

I started to turn away when Mitch looked back towards me, his eyes locking on mine.

I forgot how to breathe.

My heart thudded almost painfully in my chest.

My mouth went dry and my hands began to tremble. A need that I had almost forgotten about thrummed through my body. My belly tightened and my nipples hardened. The air hummed and sizzled. I was altered completely. Just by a look.

How had I never felt this electricity between us before? The answer was obvious.

I had been totally blind. I hadn’t wanted to see it. Because if I had acknowledged it, everything would have changed. And at that time I couldn’t handle that. The truth was I had been absolutely terrified.

Maysie squeezed my arm but I barely felt it. Jordan was still talking but I didn’t hear him.

All I could see was Mitch.

All Mitch could see was me.

We were locked in a stand off, neither of us moving.

All too soon he broke our intense staring contest. He bent down and kissed his girlfriend almost angrily. It was a harsh press of lips that seemed to take Sophie by surprise. She wrapped her arms around Mitch and held him tenderly even as he ground his mouth against hers.

I looked away. I could barely breathe around the lump sitting painfully in the middle of my chest. A pain that I knew to be jealousy.

And regret.

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ameredithwaltersAbout 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.

Links:

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Release Week Blitz: Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Today is my stop during the release week book blitz for Forever With You by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It’s the fifht book in her amazing Wait For You series. There’s an excerpt and a giveaway.

ForeverWithYou mm cTitle: Forever with You
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait for You #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…

Some things you just believe in, even if you’ve never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It’s out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she’s got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph’s eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick’s self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he’s knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she’s building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can’t walk away. Not when she’s the only one who’s ever made him wish for forever . . .

FWY Teaser6_IG

Praise for Forever with You:
“Armentrout packs a powerful emotional punch in her fifth Wait for You new adult contemporary (after Fall with Me)… Armentrout tugs at the heartstrings while delivering an intense, gripping tale.” –Publishers Weekly

“Armentrout presents an emotional installment in her Wait for You series…[she] does it again, presenting a fast-paced tearjerker that fans will devour.” –Booklist

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Excerpt:
I spotted Roxy and her blue glasses toward the back of the busy restaurant. The walkways between the booths were crowded with racing kids covered in sticky jelly and older people trying to rein them in as I made my way toward them. Roxy’s hair was pulled up in a messy bun and her eyes squinted as she glanced up at me. “You seriously went running before you came here. You weren’t lying.”
“Nope. I try to run every day.” I sat beside Katie, who compared to Friday night was dressed down in a baby blue off-the-shoulder sweater that looked like sequins had thrown up on it. Her blond hair was pulled back in a low ponytail at the nape of her neck. “I have to work out,” I explained, placing my purse between Katie and me. “I eat like five starving guys in college. It’s actually embarrassing how much food I can consume in one sitting.”
Katie laughed. “I don’t have that problem. I can eat whatever I want and not gain a pound. Actually, I’d probably lose weight.” Her shoulders rose in a shrug. “Sucks to be you all.”
Roxy scowled at her. “You don’t need to rub it in, you know.”
“Don’t hate me because I was born this way.” Katie grinned when Roxy rolled her eyes. “Maybe it’s Maybelline. Maybe it’s Katie.”
I giggle snorted. The waitress appeared at our table, clicking the pen she’d pulled out of the pocket of her apron. She took our drink order and then dashed off to fulfill it, her white sneakers squeaking across the floor. “I’m glad you came,” Roxy said, propping her elbows on the table. “I was worried I was going to have to search you down and force you to come eat with us.”
I laughed again. “I’m pretty sure you’d have a hard time doing that.”
“I’m scrappy.” Roxy grinned. “I could take you.”
Thinking of the shiner I’d first seen her with, I decided she was probably telling the truth. “I’m glad you guys invited me.” I paused while the waitress returned with our drinks before disappearing again, then I said, “So, I know Roxy works at the bar, what about you, Katie?”
“At the club across the street from Mona’s.” Katie dumped a packet of sugar into her coffee and then picked up five more, managing to rip the tops off in one impressive swipe. “It’s a strip club.”
“Oh.” How had I not noticed a strip club across the street from Mona’s? Katie dumped the sugar in her coffee. “I strip. I don’t dance. I take my clothes off for a living and get paid damn good money for it, too.”
I blinked. “That’s cool.”
Her gaze turned shrewd. “You don’t have a problem with that?”
“Um, not if you don’t.” I glanced at Roxy, who was busy cleaning her glasses, a small smile pulling at her face. I picked up my soda and took a deep drink.
Katie tilted her head to the side, studying me. “Really?”
I lifted a shoulder. “Nope. Honestly. I think it’s pretty cool you have the lady balls to do it.”
A slow grin appeared. “You should do it. You’d make so much money. Hell, I’d pay to see you—”
“Katie,” sighed Roxy, resting her chin in her hand. “Stop trying to recruit rookie strippers. You do this every time you meet someone. No one has agreed yet.”
I grinned as I pictured the odd blonde roaming the city, looking for women who wanted to take their clothes off. “I don’t think I could do it. I’d get up there and then forget how to take my clothes off.”
“Taking your clothes off is the easiest part,” Katie replied seriously.
Roxy looked doubtful. “Those spandex running pants leave very little to the imagination. If I had your body, I’d walk around naked all day.”
“I have no problem getting naked when it’s—I don’t know, an intimate situation,” I announced, “but doing it in public is a different story.”
“That’s good to know,” the waitress said, pen in hand. “Do you guys know what you want to eat?”
“Awkward,” I murmured under my breath as my eyes widened.

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And don’t miss the previous titles in the Wait for You Series!

JLA_Author-photoAbout the Author:
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2) by Lisa Swallow

falling skyTitle: Falling Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: contemporary romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky’s world turned upside down when she met rock star Dylan Morgan, and exploded when she discovered his hidden past.

Four months after Sky learns Dylan’s devastating secret, she’s trying to piece her life back together. Without an explanation from Dylan, Sky has no choice but to try and forget him.

Dragged back into the life he ran from, Dylan continues to spiral downwards as he copes with his fame the only way he knows how. Shattered by the revelation Sky knows his darker past, he forces himself to return to England and explain.

Sky and Dylan reconnect, attempting to build on the shaky foundations of their summer. But the outside world continues to conspire against them.

Taking place in the epicentre of the Blue Phoenix world, Sky and Dylan’s story continues amongst the chaos surrounding the band and its members.

My Review:
I raced through this second installment, eager to know how things would end up for Sky and Dylan. I loved how both of them matured and developed as characters and how their relationship changed from being a sort of ‘crutch’ to a true partnership.

I still love this author’s writing though there were parts of the dialog that felt unnatural. Personally, I believe she missed a couple of plot opportunities, especially with Lily and Sky’s break-in. (Partly because I just don’t want their story to end.)

The last quarter of the book I was waiting for something climactic to happen but it didn’t. It was only at the end that I realized this is the last story centering on Sky and Dylan and I’m pretty heartbroken because I am not ready to say goodbye to them yet.

I’ve no interest in reading Liam’s book. We barely got to hear from him in Book 1 & 2 so I don’t feel any connection to him and Honey is just uugghh – a stereotypical gold-digger. I won’t be checking out that book, however, I’m really interested to read Jem’s story. He was a really interesting character – flawed, troubled and majorly hitting the self-destruct button.

Overall, this was a great read and this is a gem of a series.

Review: Summer Sky (Blue Phoenix #1) by Lisa Swallow

summer skyTitle: Summer Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky changed her life for a man once, and she has no intention of doing it again – even if he is a six foot, tattooed rock god who makes a mean bacon sandwich.

Sky Davis is fed up of boyfriend Grant taking her for granted and when she comes home to find him wearing a girl, Sky suspects the relationship is over. She takes an unscheduled holiday and leaves the life (and guy) she hates behind.

Rock star Dylan Morgan is struggling with fame and infamy, sick of his life being controlled by other people. Dylan cuts his hair and walks away from his role as lead singer of Blue Phoenix, leaving chaos and speculation behind.

Outside the English seaside town of Broadbeach their cars and worlds collide.

Sky decides Dylan is an arrogant guy with too many tattoos, and Dylan is amused by the smart-mouthed girl with no idea who he is. Dylan and Sky soon discover they’ve travelled to Broadbeach for the same reason – to escape from reality back to a place with happy childhood memories.

Losing themselves in a world where they know nothing about each other, Sky and Dylan begin a holiday romance that soon heats up their rainy English summer.

Fantasies can’t last forever and when reality crashes the party, Sky isn’t sure she wants to be more than his ‘summer Sky’.

Returning to the real world and public scrutiny isn’t their only problem. Blue Phoenix lead guitar player, Jem Jones, has a reason for wanting Sky out of Dylan’s life, and is determined to come between them. Some things won’t stay hidden, even when they’re paid to ‘go away’.

Summer Sky is a romance where occasionally more than the bacon sizzles. This is the first in the new ‘Blue Phoenix’ series of contemporary rock star romances.

*Please note this is not a standalone and has a cliffhanger – Sky’s and Dylan’s story continues in Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2)

My Review:
This book totally sucked me in and I read it in two sittings. Apart from a couple of minor annoyances, I really enjoyed it. Love this author’s writing style and will definitely continue the series.

The author brings you into the heart of the story from the get-go and straight away my interest was piqued. Sky is a likeable MC and I loved Dylan at the start; though later on I became more suspicious of his motives and wondered if he was trustworthy. A hot, troubled rock star god? Yeah, this was definitely my kind of book.

There was a part about a third of the way in where I grew a little frustrated as it appeared that the couple were going round and round in circles and the dialog became a little repetitive. However, it was only a minor speed-bump.

I loved the rock star world in the second part of this book and I felt the author did a great job of presenting it as outwardly glamorous but inwardly quite twisted and full of debauchery. It made for some great reading.

I loved the writing style and it was a very accomplished novel, in my opinion.

All in all a great read and I’d highly recommend it. I think fans of J.Lynn would especially enjoy this series.

I’ve already downloaded Falling Sky and I can’t wait to get into bed tonight and continue the story, especially after that shocking cliff-hanger ending (love it).

Thanks to Lisa Swallow for promoting this book which enabled me to pick up a free copy.

Review: Whiskey Kisses (3:AM Kisses #4) by Addison Moore

whiskey kissesTitle: Whiskey Kisses
Author: Addison Moore
Series: 3:AM Kisses #4
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Conteporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
This book can be read as a standalone.

Izzy Sawyer has always been the it girl. She believes she’s the last person on earth who deserves a happily ever after. Holt Edwards has always been the player that women voluntarily fall to their knees for. When it comes to love, Holt doesn’t believe in fairytale endings.

When Izzy dives back into the dating pool, Holt is right there, ready and willing, to offer tips and tricks to get her through an entire army of blind dates—starting with a bone melting demonstration on how to deliver mouthwatering kisses.

One thing leads to whiskey and Izzy is starting to think happily ever after doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Holt is starting to rethink his stance on fairytale endings.

But Izzy has a secret that has turned her world upside down. Holt has a secret of his own that cost him far more than he ever bargained for.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you the happily ever after. Sometimes it’s best to leave fairytale endings on the bookshelf where they belong.

Izzy can’t stop thinking about Holt.
Holt can’t seem to quit his favorite new addiction—Izzy.

The mercury is rising—secrets are percolating—and their lust for one another is just about to detonate.

Izzy needs just one more hit of Holt and his late night Whiskey kisses, but deep down she knows that will never be enough. She wants all of him—every bone melting kiss he ever has to offer.

Izzy wants Holt
Holt worships Izzy.

Summer in Hollow Brook just heated up.
Sparks are flying.
Together Izzy and Holt are unstoppably electric.

My Review:
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

This is my first Addison Moore book and I haven’t read the other books in this series.

I really enjoyed reading this and it was quite a quick read. However, I did have a few issues with it that stopped me from rating it higher.

Izzy is a like-able MC and I really felt for her the whole way throughout the story. All she has ever tried to do is abide by her father’s last wish – to make sure her mom isn’t alone, her sister is looked after, and to write to him. I had a feeling that her father would reappear at some point. One of the sweetest parts of this book were the letters that Izzy wrote to her Dad – these parts were exceptionally well written.

Holt is smoking hot and also a really nice guy. Quite mature for 22, except for his actions at the end of the book which were uncharacteristically immature and also not relevant to the plot. Overall, I really loved him though and one can’t help but fall for him, particularly when he is so protective of Izzy.

There was some very witty dialogue between Holt and Izzy, and Izzy and her mom. But in other parts I felt the dialogue was cringe-worthy, cheesy and very unnatural. A little inconsistent.

Izzy’s mom and sister were extremely irritating characters and so selfish, particularly Laney. I really didn’t like her at all. Holt’s dad is a prize jerk, yet in the emotional reveal at the end he seems to have developed into the persona of what a man his age should be – but it wasn’t in keeping with how he acted in the rest of the story.

Izzy has been struggling to deal with the aftermath of a hugely traumatic experience and consequently she has shut herself off to love and relationships. I felt the author handled this very well, and I could feel Izzy’s pain. However, when Izzy and Holt finally get it on she had no doubts and appeared overly confident for someone who was supposed to be a troubled virgin. In reality, I think she would have been way more apprehensive.

There is a plot-line around the fact that Izzy is 5 years older than Holt and there are a few scenes where she worries about this and one scene where others petty prejudices come to the fore. I’m not sure that it’s as current or relevant nowadays but I could relate to Izzy’s sentiments as I met my husband when he was 21 and I was 26 and I initially turned him down because I felt he was too young, and I worried what others would think. However, that was sixteen years ago, and I thought it was more acceptable nowadays? So not sure in current times how big of a deal it would actually be.

The ending was too neatly wrapped up to be believable, and I was incredulous for the most part. But it didn’t dent my overall enjoyment of this book. I will definitely check out more of this authors work. However, I’ve no interest in reading about Lainey and Ryder or Cole and Roxy so I will probably check out Bryson and Baya’s book.

I’d like to thank Addison Moore for running a free promo on this book which allowed me to pick up a complimentary copy.

Review: Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1) by J.P. Grider

calling californiaTitle: Calling California
Author: J.P. Grider
Series: Hunter Hill University #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.

Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.

When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.

Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.

Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?

My Review:
Cali has had a tough life, with one knock back after another. Money has never been in great supply in her household and she’s had to defer college to save up enough money to go. Then her dad gets sick and her mom is pulling two jobs to try and meet his medical bills. Griffin has had it cushy and never wanted for anything. A major player, he’s never met any girl he felt like settling down with, until he meets Cali.

Cali has a chip the size of a planet on her shoulder over money. On one level, I could feel her pain and empathize, but on another level I wanted to give her a swift kick in the butt and tell her to get over herself. She allows it to control and ruin basically every aspect of her life. I have to say, after a while, it became tedious to read it, and by the end of the book any sympathy I had for her had been erased.

The redeeming element in this book is undoubtedly Griffen. All he does is try his best to support and please Cali, and all she does is constantly push him away. There is an inciting incident at the start, when they are kids, that brings the whole ‘soulmates’ premise into play. I loved that and it helped me believe in their love, because without that I really didn’t see what attracted Griffen to whiny Cali.

There’s a really good twist about half way through the book. I suspected there was something coming, but not that! I love when a book surprises me. Again, Griffen acts in Cali’s best interests in helping to bring the secret out into the open. Cali feels betrayed by him and her mom (which is initially a natural reaction) but then she forgives her mom for a lifetime of lies and kicks Griffen to the curb even though he only concealed it for a few days, and only to do the right thing. That was the part where I started screaming at my Kindle.

The writing is consistent with other books in this genre and we get our HEA in the end. It’s an enjoyable enough read even though I wish some of the characters ( and Cali in particular) behaved differently.

I received a review copy of this book via Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.


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Blog Tour: And Then Forever by Shirley Jump

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for And then Forever by Shirley Jump! I’ll share my review and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

shirleyjump_AND_THEN_FOREVER_1600Title: And Then Forever
Author: Shirley Jump
Series:
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Welcome to Fortune’s Island, where the only rule is to follow your heart.

Love is an extravagance Darcy Williams can’t afford. She prefers the simple life, which includes waitressing at The Love Shack on Fortune’s Island and avoiding temptation. But when a forbidden part of her past steps off the ferry, her safe, guarded existence is turned upside down.

Kincaid Foster has never gotten over his first love. When he sees the wild, beautiful blonde again, dancing her way around The Love Shack, the memories of Darcy’s soft skin, gentle touch, and heated kisses come rushing back. As the privileged son of a wealthy family, Kincaid was too young to stand up to his overbearing father when he and Darcy were together. Now, he’s back on the island—free of the family shackles—and the chiseled, big-time lawyer wants a second chance.

But, Darcy made a promise to keep a secret from Kincaid—a secret that is now a six-year-old girl who looks just like her daddy. If Kincaid finds out about their daughter, Darcy could lose everything. But, she can’t resist the man who stole her heart all those years ago. And it doesn’t take long before both of them realize that anything can happen at The Love Shack on a hot summer night.

My Review:
This is a well-written quick read that will appeal to fans of contemporary women’s fiction.

I absolutely loved the island setting of this book and the close-knit community. Darcy and Kincaid met and fell in love when they were just out of high school but fate (and a nasty, manipulative father) was working against them. Both came from dysfunctional family backgrounds though it was on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Kincaid’s father has always tried to control him and direct his path in life, and he took it upon himself to get rid of Darcy seven years ago. When Kincaid reappears on Fortune’s Island, it’s immediately clear that both he and Darcy never got over one another.

Kincaid is pretty relentless in his pursuit of her and the life he has always dreamed of. Darcy caves pretty quickly despite her concerns over her daughter Emma. She is a little sweetheart and Darcy is a fantastic mum.

When everything inevitably comes out into the open, big decisions have to be made. Misunderstandings threaten to tear Darcy and Kincaid apart, but it all works out in the end.

I enjoyed this book and it was very well written and well paced. I liked both Darcy and Kincaid, but Emma stole the show for me. Adorable.

While the plot isn’t overly original, and it’s pretty predictable, it’s still a decent story that is solidly built. Recommended for fans of contemp romance.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Inkslinger PR in exchange for my honest review.

shirley_jump_headshotAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump spends her days writing romance so she can avoid the towering stack of dirty dishes, eat copious amounts of chocolate and reward herself with trips to the mall. Look for her all-new novella in the anthology ASK ME WHY (with Marie Force, Virginia Kantra and Jodi Thomas), as well as the Sweet and Savory Romance series, including the USA Today bestselling book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, on Amazon, and her Sweetheart Sisters series, starting with THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN.
Visit her website at http://www.shirleyjump.com/ for author news and a booklist, and follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/shirleyjump.author for giveaways and deep discussions about important things like chocolate and shoes.

Links:

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

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.