Review: If I Dream (Corrupted Love #1) by K.M. Scott

Title: If I Dream
Author: K.M. Scott
Series: Corrupted Love #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
If I dream, will you dare?

All I wanted was my freedom. It’s all I’d dreamed of from the first time I stood in the ring. Until I entered Robert Erickson’s world. Until Serena. Cruelty and ugliness surrounded me, but she was beautiful and good. I wanted to protect her from her father’s world, even though I knew being with her could mean the end of me.

I wanted for nothing as the daughter of one of the richest men in the world. But all my father’s money couldn’t buy what I truly craved. Until Ryder. I wanted all he was, all he brought out in me. All he made me desire.

Our love was forbidden by the one person who had the power to harm us. We dreamed of more than living in that world, though. We dreamed of having it all, but did we dare?

My Review:
If I Dream is the story of Ryder and Serena, two young people trapped in a world where power, money, and control rule the day. Serena’s father is a very powerful, rich man who runs an underground fighting ring amongst other dodgy businesses. He “buys” Ryder from the man who previously owned him and moves him into his mansion, cautioning him against touching either of his daughters. Ryder and Serena strike up a friendship that turns to love and when her father finds out he separates them and they don’t see each other for two years. When she returns, they quickly pick up where they left off.

This forbidden romance is full of angst and longing and should have been right up my alley but the execution and character development were lacking and that dented my enjoyment. I had empathy for Ryder at the start but he became weak as the story progressed and I hated that he didn’t defend Serena and that he consistently bowed to her father’s will. It seemed contradictory. Serena was a sweet girl with spunk and she wasn’t afraid to fight for what she wanted in life. Her sister was a despicable character as was Oliver. The plot regarding her mother was weak in my opinion and could’ve been fleshed out better.

It took me a while to ship this couple because the author glossed over their relationship at the start. We were told they spent six weeks talking every night but we weren’t privy to those conversations which was a shame because I felt a big disconnect until the second half of the story, but, even then it was more about sex than any meaningful connection.

In the main the writing is decent and the pacing consistent. While this was an enjoyable read, I still felt let down by certain aspects of it, but that’s probably more of a personal thing. If you enjoy forbidden, angsty romance then you will most likely enjoy this one.

Thanks to author and Inkslinger PR for providing a copy of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Cover & Title Reveal: Fallen Crest Home by Tijan


Today is the Cover & Title Reveal for Fallen Crest Home by Tijan! This is the sixth book in her Fallen Crest series.

Title: Fallen Crest Home
Author: Tijan
Series: Fallen Crest #6
Genres: Young Adult/ New Adult/ Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
It’s been years since my mother was in my life.
I healed.
I learned to accept love.
I lived.
That’s all done. She was away, and now she’s back.
I’ve avoided her for a year and a half, but I can’t hide anymore.
Mason has an internship in Fallen Crest, so we’re heading back for the summer.
And when we got there—no one was prepared for what happened.

EXCERPT:
I had no time to stop and think.
I had to fight.
I had to hurt.
I had to protect.
Feeling someone behind me, I let loose with the bat, a scream erupting from my throat. Someone caught the bat and wrapped an arm around my waist. I tried kicking out. He dodged my feet and said hurriedly in my ear, “Damn, Strattan. It’s me, Channing. Stop!”
Channing.
He was friendly.
Stop.
I sagged in his arms, looking for Mason. Where was he? He was circling a guy, still fighting.
I started forward, but Channing caught my arm. “Whoa. Chill.”
I growled as I yanked my hand free and started forward again, but Channing grabbed my arm once more.
He got in front of me, holding his other hand up. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Look. He’s fine. We’re here. He’s got that. Look. Look, Sam.”
My senses began to calm. The black around my eyesight faded. I could see more normally, and the buzzing in my ears subsided. I gulped for breath, tasting salt and dust in my mouth.
Channing was right. Mason’s eyes were deadly, but alert, his mouth set in a flat line. His shoulders were tense, but he looked in control.

Also Available in the Fallen Crest series

About the Author:
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing Fallen Crest Six (untitled) along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

Links:

Review: The Feeling of Forever (Love Unplugged #2) by Jamie Howard

Title: The Feeling of Forever
Author: Jamie Howard
Series: Love Unplugged #2
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Juliet St. Clair has spent her life under Hollywood’s spotlight. While being America’s favorite girl next door has had its perks, having to testify against her stalker to put him behind bars certainly wasn’t one of them. But when she thinks about walking away from it all, she can’t help remembering the enormous pile of medical bills her family is drowning under. Bills that just keep on coming.

Felix Donovan had it all–stunning good looks, gorgeous women, and a spot as the drummer to a band that’s sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Until one life-altering decision left him paralyzed from the waist down. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he wins this year’s Sexiest Man award, but the one thing he immediately does is send out a Non-disclosure agreement. Hiding his condition from the public is hard as hell, but he’s not ready to face the world while he’s still struggling to accept his new reality.

Except this year’s Sexiest Woman–Juliet St. Clair–never looks at him with pity, only desire. But falling for Juliet means a permanent spot in the tabloids, a decision Felix isn’t sure he’s ready to make. And when Juliet’s stalker re-emerges from her past, Felix’s secret isn’t the only thing at stake, it could cost Juliet her life.

My Review:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and I was totally sucked in by the blurb and cover on this one so it didn’t take much persuasion on my part to read this book.

This time the story is focused on drummer Felix who has been paralyzed from the waist down in a tragic accident. When we catch up with him, he’s in the depths of despair and struggling to accept his new reality. He meets Jules, a very successful, famous actress when they both win awards for Sexiest Man and Woman, respectively. There’s a spark and it’s the first time Felix has felt alive in a long time.

I loved Felix and I felt his struggles and his pain. He was hot and sexy and the chemistry between our couple was through the roof! I thought the romance and sex scenes were very well done. Through his connection with Jules, he finally opened up and was able to face the challenges ahead.

I ADORED Jules – she was an amazing character. Nothing fazed her even when her life was falling apart. She wasn’t a complainer and even though she’s had her fair share of struggles she still remained upbeat and hopeful. I also loved how she wasn’t a diva and she was grateful for her success.

I figured out the stalker plotline quite early on and I was disappointed that Jules didn’t figure it out. That wasn’t very plausible to me as Jules is portrayed as an intelligent woman and she couldn’t see what was in front of her eyes. That left me a little frustrated.

The writing is great, and the plot moved along at a nice, consistent pace.

The ending was a bit cheesy and felt rushed but then I find most epilogues are.

Overall, this was a great second installment and I’m very invested in this series and I look forward to reading Gavin’s story next.

Thanks to the publisher for supplying an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Actual rating: 3.75 Stars

Review: Flawed by Kate Avelynn

Title: Flawed
Author: Kate Avelynn
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.

Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.

Sam Donavon has been James’ best friend — and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on — for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realizes James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact…

My Review:
I pretty much knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book but I was in the mood for an angsty, dramatic story of forbidden love with dark vibes and I sure as hell got what I was looking for!

I gobbled this one up like it was my favorite chocolate – couldn’t savor it slowly, just had to cram it in, one delicious page after another.

I started out really liking James – he was Sarah’s savior in the house of hell but, by the end, I despised him even though he was a product of his environment and just as much a victim as she was.

Sarah was a very well written character. She has her scars, both internal and external and she had lived in her brother’s protective shadow her entire life. There were times when I desperately wanted her to stand up for herself yet I understood why she couldn’t.

The family situation was messed-up to the max. Seriously dysfunctional.

Sam is a babe – a total sweetheart and I completely shipped them. He was a little controlling/bossy at times too, but it was coming from a good place.

That ended killed me and I hated it but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this was an INCREDIBLE read. If you are looking for a traditional HEA you won’t get that here although it still ends on a positive note. While the scenes at the end had me on tenterhooks, and it was a credible scenario, it totally broke my heart. The epilogue was a bit rushed and hard to swallow – struggled to believe his mother would be that forgiving that quickly.

This is a powerful read, not for the faint of heart or for those who like a trad HEA, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to readers who enjoy dark, dramatic romance.

Blog Tour: The Play Mate (Roommates #2) by Kendall Ryan


Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Play Mate (Roommates #2) by Kendall Ryan! I had the chance to read and review this one and share my review with you today along with some nice teaser images.

The Play MateTitle: Play Mate
Author: Kendall Ryan
Series: Roommates #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Smith Hamilton has it all—he’s smart, good-looking and loaded. But he remembers a time when he had nothing and no one, so he’s not about to mess up, especially with his best friend’s little sister. That means keeping Evie at arm’s length … even though the once pesky little girl is now a buxom bombshell. A sexy blonde who pushes his self-control to the limit the night she crawls into bed with him.

Evie Reed knows she’s blessed—with an exclusive education, a family who loves her, and a new job managing social media for her family’s lingerie company. But she wants more, like a reason to wear the sexy lingerie herself. She has just the man in mind to help with that. She’s crushed on Smith forever. Surely tricking her way into his bed will force him to see her in a new, adult way.

Except that when Evie’s plan leads to disaster, she and Smith must decide—ignore the attraction sizzling between them, or become play mates and risk it all.

My Review:
Another fab, entertaining read from an author who pretty much nails it every time.

When I start a Kendall Ryan book, I always know that I’m going to be in for a good read. Although her books tend to be on the short side, they are always entertaining quick reads that suck me in from the first page. She doesn’t fail to deliver with The Play Mate.

Smith has been in Evie’s life since she was a little kid because he was besties with her older brother Cullen. Smith always looked upon Evie like a little sister (due to the age gap which I think is seven years) until he didn’t. There came a point where they both started to feel something different for one another but neither has acted on it to date. Evie is now 22 and determined to put the moves on Smith. Smith is struggling to fight his attraction to the feisty, intelligent, Evie and it takes enormous willpower to resist her charms. Smith is terrified that over-protective Cullen will have a freak-out and it will ruin their friendship.

Evie takes matters into her own hands and that scene in the bedroom between them was awesome. Funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

I loved reading about their relationship and I was rooting for them so badly. When they finally decided to go for it, I was their loudest supporter. I loved when Smith confronted Cullen and what he said was perfect.

This book had all the usual ingredients that make up a superb KR read – lots of great characters, lots of funny moments, plenty of steamy times, and a fast-paced plot that clipped along at a steady pace.

I’m addicted to forbidden romances at the moment so this book was right up my alley. I loved it, and I’m really enjoying this new series of Kendall’s. Looking forward to reading the next one!

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing an ARC of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed.

About the Author:
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

Links:

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Blog Tour: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross! You can find the tour schedule for the tour here.

Title: Off the Ice
Author: Julie Cross
Series: Juniper Falls #1
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Whatever Life Throws at You kicks off a brand-new series perfect for fans of Miranda Kennealy and Abbi Glines.

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

My Review:
I read Chasing Truth by Julie Cross a few months back and absolutely adored it so I was super excited to get my hands on this book, especially because I love me some hockey romance. While I did enjoy this book, and I’m definitely invested in this series, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with certain aspects of it.

Tate’s sister is besties with Claire O’Connor – the local publican’s daughter. They live in a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business. Claire is a talented musician and actress and she has moved away to college when we first meet her. Fast forward and she’s back in town to help mind her very sick dad and to help run the family business. Tate has broken up with his girlfriend, has just landed a coveted place on the hockey team and he appears to be going places, but he’s hiding some pretty shocking secrets and almost buckling under the pressure.

Both Tate and Claire were complex characters who were wonderfully developed. I felt every emotion as if I was living and breathing it myself. It was gritty and raw and downright painful at times. Julie deals with some difficult subject matter in this book but she deals with it extremely well. It isn’t dramatized or glossed over and it’s handled realistically and sensitively. We have a horrid example of a parent in Tate’s dad but that scenario is beautifully contrasted with Tate’s stepfather Roger and Claire’s parents, who were both fantastic and it was clear they loved their daughter so much and only wanted the best for her.

I adored the hockey aspect and it was the perfect balance for me – enough detail without pulling me out of the story.

All the side characters were very well developed and I love Jamie and Leo in particular and I sincerely hope they are getting their own books as I really want to read them.

The romance is angsty and there is lots of toing and froing but I have to say, it got way too frustrating, and it takes a lot for me to say that because usually, I love that type of romance but I felt it was taken to extremes here. All they did was constantly shut each other out (especially Claire) and I wanted to throttle both of them. However, the main reason this is a lower-star rating is because it was so slow in the first half – the plot was not moving forward and I was struggling to maintain interest. My personal view is you could cut about twenty-five per cent out of the first half (’cause it’s a decent length as it stands) and not lose anything. I felt like giving up on several occasions but I hate doing that so I persevered. I’m really glad I did because the second half was superb and everything I was expecting and hadn’t seen in the first half of the book.

The writing is excellent and I certainly can’t fault the characterization. My issues were with plot development and pacing, in the main.

By the end though, I was definitely hooked and I totally want to continue with this series. I’ll be anxiously awaiting Leo, Jamie, and Jake’s books.

1st half rating – 2.5 stars. 2nd half rating – 5 stars. Overall actual rating = 3.75 stars.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing an ARC of this book which I have voluntarily reviewed. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

About the Author:
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).
She’s also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing cred, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Links:

Giveaway
One winner will receive a Kindle Fire

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Book Blitz: Behind the Lens by Cassandra Giovanni


This is my stop during the book blitz for Behind the Lens by Cassandra Giovanni. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 14 till 20 March. You can see the tour schedule here.

Behind the Lens (Boys of Fallout #2)
By Cassandra Giovanni
Genre: Coming of Age
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: 14 March, 2017

Blurb:
Natalie Scott’s life is simple with no strings attached. As a band photographer, she’s made metal music her life, and life on tour means no relationships.

At least not ones that last and that’s the way she likes it.

She only has one rule.

Don’t date or otherwise screw around with the client.

But she never said anything about love.

Brent Andrews knows Natalie’s rules.

And he’s about to make sure he’s an exception to them.

All of them.

Even ones she didn’t know she had.

You can find Behind the Lens on Goodreads

You can buy Behind the Lens on Amazon.

Excerpt:
The guys have already done their soundcheck, and I stand on the stage, absorbing the quiet that will disappear in mere hours. I drop my head back, closing my eyes and let the few lights that are on soak into my skin before looking down at my camera and flipping through its settings. I adjust for the poor lighting and begin to snap test shots. After looking at the preview of the picture I change the ISO and increase my shutter speed, so my exposure won’t be affected as much by the light. The shots will be grainer, but I can adjust that later if need be.
“So I see you didn’t learn your lesson.”
I freeze as I stare down at the camera and the hair on my neck stands up. I don’t want to look up.
“Jace,” I reply, and I watch his shadow on the ground I’m staring at.
“I figured you would’ve quit after what happened with us, but…” he says, stepping forward out of the light and nodding to me. “Here we are, and you’re doing photography for my label.”
I finally look up, cocking my head at him. “Yeah, it’s your label.”
“You haven’t changed one bit, have you, Natalie?” he asks as he stops in front of me.
“What was I supposed to change?” I reply.
He towers over me with those menacing green eyes, and my jaw clenches as I take him on for the first time in three years. His face has aged; the corners of his eyes are now wrinkled, but it only adds to his appeal. My heart doesn’t flutter the way it used to, though. It seems to have stopped beating altogether.
He runs a hand through his hair, letting it drop to his neck as he tilts his head, a sick smile coming to his face. “You’re still a musician whore.”
I step back, my mouth dropping open before I gain my voice and say, “Let me remind you, you’re the one that cheated on me!”
My blood pulses in my ears as I watch his thin lips press into a line. He crosses his now fully tattooed arms, and one eyebrow goes up.
“Maybe you should’ve stayed then,” he replies.
I fight the shaking of my body as I stare at him. A metallic taste fills my mouth.
“I couldn’t!” I say, my voice trembling. “You know that! This is my career. This is my life!”
Jace’s nostrils flare as he steps forward. “So how many members of Makeshift Chemistry have you fucked?”
I try to step away from him, but with each move back, he moves forward. Movement from the front of the venue catches my eye, and I see Brent and James walking down the aisle.
“Can’t answer me, whore?” Jace says as he leans down over me.
“None!” I scream in his face and something in my brain clicks. I push him back. “I made that mistake with you!”
“You were supposed to love me!” Jace says, grabbing my arms and holding me.
“You never loved me!” I reply as my body trembles. Krav Maga, Nat! You know it! But my body won’t work.
“How could anyone love you?” Jace chuckles as he pulls me up, so my face is inches from his. “You only love one thing, your God damned pictures.”
“Let her go!” Brent yells as he somehow manages to jump up onto the stage. Jace drops me just as Brent’s fist connects with his face and I fly backward, skidding onto my ass.
“Brent!” I say as I scramble forward, standing and grabbing his arm. “Stop! He’s not worth it.”
“I…” Brent’s voice drifts off as his chest heaves, his eyes moving between Jace and I. “Alright.”
James goes to help Jace, who is grinning despite his growing black eye and dripping nose. “I guess I figured out who you’re fucking.”
My body goes numb as my eyes water, my hand dropping from Brent.
“Do you want to die?” James asks Jace before shoving him back into the drums.
“So more than one?” Jace says as Brent grabs James’ arm to prevent him from hitting Jace.
I don’t want to know what happens next and take off running in the direction I know the tour bus is. I rush up the steps with tears rushing down my face.
“Natalie?” Kie asks, seeing my face as I rush passed him and Brad. I don’t respond as I go into the bathroom, slamming the door, before sinking to the ground. A knock comes on the door. “Nat?”
“I’m fine, Kie,” I reply.
“No, you’re not,” he answers. “What happened?”
“Nothing.”
“I know you hate me, Nat.”
I stand, throwing the door open and his eyes widen as he looks at me.
“I don’t,” I pause, my chest heaving. “I don’t hate you. I hate what I see in you. I hate I see Jace Smith in you.”
“Jace Smith?” he asks, his eyes racing over my face.
My lip trembles. “Yeah, I’m that photographer he fucked.”
Kie’s mouth drops open.
“So you’ve heard his stories,” I say, and my throat is thick.
“I…” his voice trails off, and his eyes drop to the floor.
“You’re friends with him,” I say, and his hand goes to the back of his neck.
He looks up, and his green eyes are sad. “I never knew it was you.”
“Be careful what you believe.”
He swallows as he shakes his head. “I know you, Nat. I know what he said isn’t true.”
“Imagine how many people would believe me if I tried to stand up to him,” I say, and a fresh set of tears comes over me.
I hear the door open again, and I know it’s Brent and James.
Kie looks over his shoulder. “Dude, what happened to your fist?”
Brent pushes passed Kie and pulls me into his arms.

Get book 1 in this series!

Book one in this series Out of Beat is available now! You can buy a copy on Amazon

About the Author:
Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

For regular updates visit Cassandra’s website and sign up for her newsletter.

You can find and contact Cassandra here:
Website
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Goodreads
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Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the book blitz of Behind the Lens. One winner will win a paperback copy of both Out of Beat and Behind the Lens by Cassandra Giovanni (US Only). And another winner will win an e-copy of both Out of Beat and Behind the Lens by Cassandra Giovanni.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Tell Me Not To Go by Victoria De La O

Title: Tell Me Not To Go
Author: Victoria De La O
Series: Tell Me #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Jeff Price is in a long-term relationship rut–nothing a move from Utah to Silicon Valley can’t solve. But when he meets Samantha, his sister’s best friend, his newfound freedom is threatened by their attraction. Headed for med school, and still gun shy from her last relationship, Sam’s not in the market for love, either. The answer is simple: a ninety-day, no-strings-attached affair. What can possibly go wrong for two people determined not to fall in love?

My Review:
Actual 4.5 Stars.

A heartfelt, flirty romance that is virtually unputdownable. This awesome series is a must-read!

Tell Me How This Ends is one of my favorite books ever – I was totally engrossed in the love triangle between brothers Ryan and Jude and sweet Lizzie. I ADORED it and was so excited to read this new book. It’s wonderful that I didn’t have to wait too long to read this one and it was a really great second installment.

We first met Jeff and Sam in the last book and both were interesting characters so I was looking forward to reading their story. Jeff is Lizzie’s sister and Sam is Lizzie’s roommate.

Jeff is the quintessential nice guy – raised to respect and protect women and he is pretty perfect boyfriend material. However, he seems to keep attracting the wrong type of girl and he allows himself get attached too easily and finds himself settling in relationships that are not right for him. His parents also exert a lot of pressure on him, not always intentionally, but he feels the weight of their expectation and that has driven a lot of his past decisions. He wants to break the mold so he moves to be near Lizzie, taking a job in a VC firm.

Sam has been burned by love and she has refused to enter into a relationship since her ex, the first guy she loved, betrayed her with her ex-roomie. So she throws herself into her medical studies and enjoys the odd hook-up. Now, Lizzie is all loved-up and nagging her about sorting out her love life, but Sam doesn’t want to get involved in anything when she will be leaving soon to train as a doctor.

Jeff had visited a few months back and the chemistry between these two was electric! Now that he is back in town, Sam isn’t sure she can resist him but she’s determined to try. After lots of sparks fly, they agree on a 90-day pact – to have a non-relationship for the period Sam has left in town and they agree they won’t fall for each other. Ha! Best laid plans and all that!

Jeff was great – a great non-bf and a great brother and it was easy to swoon over him. Sam was such a strong, resilient character but so vulnerable at the same time. Her family had me in stitches and the scene where they greet Jeff naked having just stepped out of their hot tub was hysterically funny, as was the naked, stoned, drumming session – I laughed my head off at the visual in my head.

The romance was sweet and sexy and not without its ups and downs. I was so glad our couple got their HEA in the end and they both deserved it.

I loved that we got plenty of scenes with Lizzie and her beau (no spoilers here) and it was great to see them as a couple and moving in together. Aw, shucks, be still my heart.

The writing is superb and it flowed really well. While it didn’t have quite the same intensity or that extra special magical quality/vibe that book one had it was still a very entertaining read.

Chapter one of the next book was included at the back of this book and it has me squealing with excitement. It’s the other brother’s story (the one who didn’t get the girl) and I’m anticipating lots of angst and turmoil and my drama-loving heart can hardly wait!!

I would highly recommend this to readers who enjoy well written new adult contemporary romance with strong character and emotional development.

Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Blog Tour: Cole by Tijan


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Cole by Tijan. I really enjoyed this book and share my review with you today and soeme teaser images!

Title: Cole
Author: Tijan
Series: standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I shouldn’t have remembered him.
He was just a guy who walked through a restaurant. I didn’t know his name. We never made eye contact. There was no connection between us at all.
But I could feel him.
The tingle down my spine. The command in his presence. The snap of tension in the air around him. That was the first time I saw him, and I was captivated.
The second time was different.
He was in the mysterious back elevator of my apartment building. Our eyes met for a fleeting second before the doors closed, and I was staggered. My breath was robbed. My senses on high alert. My body hummed.
That was just the beginning.
He was the leader of the mafia. I was about to fall in love with him, and his name…
Cole Mauricio

My Review:
Combine one dark, sultry, mysterious man, one sweet grief-stricken woman, and add tons of smokin-hot chemistry, plenty of suspense and intrigue, a mafioso environment, and you have one heck of an explosive read. Cole is signature Tijan at her very best. I loved this book and had a really hard time putting it down.

Initially, I was a little concerned that I might not like this book. While I’m a massive fan of this author, I wasn’t a big fan of Carter Reed. However, that had nothing to do with the characters or the worldbuilding so I thought I’d give Cole a go. I’m so glad I did.

This book was extremely well written and I really enjoyed the mafia world Tijan has created. Cole is dangerous and mysterious and I ADORED that aspect of his personality. He had this aura that bled from the pages and he was swoon worthy in the extreme. I enjoyed watching as Addison slowly started to peel back his layers.

The first half of the book introduces us to the characters and lays some subtle clues as to what is going on. The suspense and the action are really ramped up in the second half and I loved it! The climactic scenes were so good and I had chills, peeps, legit chills. So intense. So good.

I totally shipped our couple and the romance was very hot. They caved to their monkey lust pretty much straight away but it worked, and I felt the believable connection between our pair.

I liked meeting Carter and Emma again, and Jake was a decent side character. I really didn’t like Sia. She was a bit of a conundrum of a character – she had the capacity to be both selfless and selfish at the same time. I didn’t like how she made comments about Cole when she knew he was her friend’s boyfriend. It goes against the girl code and is a big no-no in my opinion.

The plot was a wee bit predictable in parts – I guessed who the villain was but not what was driving his behavior so that was a nice surprise along with certain people’s backgrounds (being vague on purpose so as not to spoil anything.)

I liked that we got some of Cole’s perspective toward the end because I was expecting this book to be in his perspective and was surprised initially when it was in Addison’s. I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be in his voice but it didn’t matter anyway.

All in all, this was a superb read and is one of the best books Tijan has written. If you are a fan of this author or a fan of mafia romance in general then you will love Cole.

Highly Recommended.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Thanks to the author and TRSOR promotions for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing Fallen Crest Six (untitled) along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

To find what to read next of hers, go to http://www.tijansbooks.com/

WALLSTREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK TIMES, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Links:

Release Day Blitz: Catching Carly (Barley Cross #2) by Emma Hart


Today is my stop during the release day blitz for Catching Carly (Barley Cross #2) by Emma Hart. There are some teaser images and an excerpt in this post.

Title: Catching Carly
Author: Emma Hart
Series: Barley Cross #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
My name is Carly Porter… And I’m really good at bad decisions.

How do I know this, exactly? Well, not including the time I accidentally bleached my eyebrows or sprained my ankle changing a lightbulb…

I had sex with my best friend’s brother.

Zeke Elliott has been a thorn in my side for eleven years. A very sexy, very tempting, very freaking annoying one. With big…hands.

And now my clitoris has a crush on the guy.

Seriously. I can’t look at him without my vagina performing accidental kegels. Which would be fine, but he’s Cain’s brother. I hate him. He’s off limits, right?

Right.

Excerpt
“Don’t blame me,” he says. “You’re easy to rile. You rise to the bait every time…Like a pretty little piranha.”
“Did you just—” I spin, the wet cloth in my hand, and stare at him.
He’s holding my cake. And he’s bitten into it. The frosting is on his nose.
I respond the only possible way. I throw the cloth I’m holding at his face. It’s a damn good shot, because it opens up mid-air and covers half his face, leaving one of his eyes uncovered.
Brooke coughs and looks away.
“Thanks.” Zeke wipes his face off with the cloth and chucks it back to me. “I needed that. The damn frosting gets everywhere.”
“My frosting,” I shoot at him, turning the tap back on. “My cupcake, my frosting, your karma.”
“You two are exhausting.” Brooke sighs, joining me at the sink. “You either need to be separated on a permanent basis, like three-year-olds, or just have sex.”
My stomach loop-the-loops. “Unless he comes with batteries, I’m not interested.”
“I don’t need batteries,” Zeke offers, his sexy grin now an even sexier smirk. “It’s pretty easy to keep going when you’re being prayed to mid-fuck.”
“Why? Because you’re a god?” Brooke asks dryly. “How original of you. That’s never been used by a guy in the history of ever.”
Well. In all fairness, I might have begged to a deity once or twice when we…Never mind.
Not thinking about that.
“Can we not talk about sex?” I look around the room.
“Why?” Cain grins. “Aren’t you getting any?”
I look him dead in the eye and say, “I don’t need any.”
Zeke snorts. “People always need sex, Carly.”
I turn my attention to him and raise my eyebrow. “No. People need oxygen and water and food. You don’t even need sex to make babies now. Your point is moot.”

About 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.

Links:

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