Review: The Boy and His Ribbon (The Ribbon Duet #1) by Pepper Winters

Title: The Boy and His Ribbon
Author: Pepper Winters
Series: The Ribbon Duet #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Dark/ Contemporary
Links:

Blurb:
“What do you do when you meet your soul mate? No wait…that’s too easy. What do you do when you meet your soul mate and have to spend a lifetime loving him in secret?
I’ll tell you what you do.
You lie.”

REN

Ren was eight when he learned that love doesn’t exist—that the one person who was supposed to adore him only cared how much he was worth.
His mother sold him and for two years, he lived in terror.
But then…he ran.
He thought he’d run on his own. Turned out, he took something of theirs by accident and it became the one thing he never wanted and the only thing he ever needed.

DELLA

I was young when I fell in love with him, when he switched from my world to my everything.
My parents bought him for cheap labour, just like they had with many other kids, and he had the scars to prove it.
At the start, he hated me, and I could understand why.
For years he was my worst enemy, fiercest protector, and dearest friend.
But by the end…he loved me.
The only problem was, he loved me in an entirely different way to the way I loved him.
And slowly, my secret drove us apart.

My Review:
Initial thoughts immediately after reading: Original, captivating, thought-provoking, and completely unputdownable.

It’s been a few weeks since I read this duet and I still can’t get Della and Ren’s story out of my mind. I am still reeling from reading their journey, and, honestly, I think I’ll have to pick it up and reread it again. I am still blown away by this heartbreaking story that I know will stay with me for a long time. I don’t think this review will do this book or this series justice, but I will try.

I’m open-minded, especially when it comes to love, but it’s fair to say this story challenged my beliefs at times which I LOVED. I constantly found myself stopping and thinking deeply about the themes, especially the modern day notion of family. What exactly constitutes family? It goes beyond blood, in my opinion, and that is what made this story difficult to read at times. I felt the sibling bond between Della and Ren in their formative years and as their feelings transformed, I was uncomfortable, at first, until I had no choice but to root for them because I felt the deep, intense love they had for one another.

Ren was always her everything, and I could see how easily she could fall in love with him. It was more complex for Ren – he had been her carer since she was a baby and he fought the feelings brewing inside him. I admired him for that, even as it pained me. He was only existing, not living, so cut off from everyone and society and he didn’t want to feel at all, except when it came to his ribbon. He needed control and order whether they were surviving in the woods or forced into shelter during the winter – once he felt in control, he was okay. When she started pushing him, forcing him to confront his feelings, to explore outside those boundaries, he started drowning and that’s when he made choices that ended up hurting both of them.

Man, the feelings were so real. So raw. I felt every single emotion they were both feeling. It pulled my heartstrings, twisted my stomach into knots, and I was like an addict, devouring pages well into the early hours of the night.

Even though it was a morally wrong (I still believe that) I couldn’t stop myself from wanting them to find a way to be together, because it was also so right. This internal dilemma playing through my mind the whole way through this first book only upped the angst factor for me and added to my enjoyment. At the end of the day, the heart wants who it wants and no amount of logical or forced morality can change that.

I loved both mains, but I loved how steadfast Della was, in particular. Even though she was young, she knew from an early age that what she felt for Ren was more than a crush, that it was the real deal, the kind of intense, soul-deep love very few people ever get to experience, and she never stopped fighting for it. I admired her strength and her resilience.

This book was beautifully written and executed. Character and plot development was flawless. I’m in awe of Pepper’s profound understanding of the human psyche and she nailed the emotional journey of both mains. Completely nailed it. I deliberately held off reading my comp copy until the second book was released because I just knew that I would want to delve straight into the rest of the story immediately, and my gut instinct was right.

While this is a different story, it reminded me a little of Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I remember similar conflicted feelings reading that brilliant story and how thought-provoking it was too.

In summary, this was a highly-emotive, angsty, unique romance that is superbly written and one I cannot recommend more highly.

Thank you so much to the author for providing a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own and I’m writing this review voluntarily.

What a fantastic introduction to Pepper Winter’s books, and I definitely look forward to reading more.

Cover Reveal: Interlude – An Illusion Series Novel by D. Kelly


Today is the cover reveal for Interlude – An Illusion Series Novel by D. Kelly! I love this series and can’t wait for this book.

Title: Interlude
Author: D. Kelly
Series: An Illusion Series novel
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Day: January 29, 2019
Links:

Blurb:
Jordan Weston is good-looking, mysterious, and sexually uninhibited, but his life is more like the name of his bar―Just an Illusion. His cousins are the bad boys of Bastards and Dangerous, but their fame hasn’t made everything rainbows and sunshine for him. He’s haunted, flawed, and the sole survivor of a homicide that wiped out his immediate family.

Allie Baker, the most recent hire at the bar, can see through Jordan’s façade. She knows he’s everything she doesn’t need, but she’s beginning to crave his cocky attitude and the way he looks at her. The more she tries to stay away from him, the more she wants to get to know him.

Jordan knows falling for an employee is a bad idea, but Allie pushes buttons he never realized he had. Even though Allie desperately needs her job, she soon decides being with Jordan is more important. Will they be able to compromise, or will she let her chance at love pass her by for the sake of a paycheck?

About the Author:
D. Kelly, author of The Acceptance Series, The Illusion Series, and standalone companion novels Chasing Cassidy and Sharing Rylee, was born and raised in Southern California. She’s a wife, mom, dog lover, taxi, problem fixer, and extreme multi-tasker. She married her high school sweetheart and is her kids’ biggest fan.

Kelly has been writing since she was young and took joy in spinning stories to her childhood friends. Margaritas and sarcasm make her smile, she loves the beach but hates the sand, and she believes Starbucks makes any day better.

A contemporary romance writer, D. Kelly’s stories revolve around friendship and the bond it creates, strengthening the love of the people who share it.

Links:

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Cover Reveal: The Bet by Natalie Wrye


Today is the cover reveal for The Bet by Natalie Wrye!

Title: The Bet
Author: Natalie Wrye
Series: standalone
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
It was supposed to be an innocent wager, a harmless game.

It turned out to be so much more.

Maybe that’s because everything involving Violet Keats was so much more.

More frustrating.
More pain-in-the-ass.
More sexy than anything I’d ever seen.

You know what they say: All’s fair in love and business.

And what happens to Manhattan’s toughest lawyer when she ends up on the wrong side of my bitter family feud should be no different…

Until one night changes everything.

I knew what taking this dangerous bet would do to her. What I never bet on is what taking this gamble would do to me…

About Natalie Wrye

Natalie Wrye is a tequila connoisseur, Game of Thrones addict and author best known for writing steamy bedtime reads.

A Jersey Girl living in the South, when she’s not obsessing over a new Netflix series or yelling at college basketball games on TV, she’s usually crafting sexy stories about hard-bodied, alpha males and the strong-willed women who crave them.

She loves it when people get weird with her on Facebook, NatalieWrye.com or NatalieWrites@NatalieWrye.com.

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Giveaway

Review: Crave Me (The Good Ol’ Boys #4) by M. Robinson

Title: Crave Me
Author: M. Robinson
Series: The Good Ol’ Boys #4
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
They say in order to find yourself you have to go home.
What if home was what you’re running from?
Where did that leave you?

Always on the other side of the fence.
Always looking in.
Always wishing you were someone you couldn’t be.

Until one day you meet her.
The one.
She was my high, but she was also…
My demise.

STANDALONE within a series. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Strong language and themes, and sexual content, not intended for readers under 18. This is a Full Length Novel.

My Review:
For me, this was, hands down, the best book in the series. It was also the darkest and some of it was difficult to read but I still couldn’t put it down. The author handled the addiction story line perfectly and though I had periods where I hated both mains, my heart hurt for them more than anything. Their chemistry seeped off the pages of my Kindle and I shipped them so hard. I felt every emotion with them and I was hooked from the first page to the very last.

I really felt for Austin, and I was disgusted with Lucas, Dylan, and Jacob in parts, as well as his parents. The only one who ever listened to him growing up was Half Pint. His self destruction and loathing after the accident was palpable and watching his demise was heart wrenching. Thankfully, it ends in a happy place.

It was great to catch glimpses of the other characters and I like how all the storylines tie in with previous books. All in all, this was a great series and one I recommend. The author has created a great set of characters I became very invested in, and I loved all the angst and drama too. Ticked a lot of the boxes for me!

To the reader who suggested it on my Inseparable product page – thank you! I would, most likely, not have discovered this book or this author otherwise.

Review: One Small Thing by Erin Watt

Title: One Small Thing
Author: Erin Watt
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

My Review:
I’m a massive Erin Watt fan and the blurb for this new book sucked me right in. I love a good forbidden romance and this was very close to perfection. Poor Beth. My heart bled for her. She was a great combination of vulnerability and strength. Chase was amazing, and I really felt for him. I was screaming at my Kindle at the abusive treatment he endured. The romance was a little too light for me with this one, and I hated that every single authority figure seemed to think it was okay to bully a boy who had already served his punishment. Other than that, I loved every bit of it and I think the authors did a wonderful job portraying the grief and torment in an authentic fashion. I also really enjoy Erin Watt’s style of writing and the pacing flowed beautifully, so much so that I stayed up until 4 a.m. reading this in one sitting. Highly recommended, especially if you are already a fan of this talented duo.

Review: Wicked Games (Wicked Bay #4) by L.A. Cotton

Title: Wicked Games
Author: L.A. Cotton
Series: Wicked Bay #4
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The edgy, angsty, addictive YA/NA crossover series from L. A. Cotton continues…

They thought the fight was over…

All Maverick Prince ever wanted was to play basketball in college. So starting for the Steinbeck Scorpions should be a dream come true. But not everyone wants to see him succeed. Just because you’re on the same team, doesn’t mean you play by the same rules.

Lo Stone thought her life was finally on an even keel. As if being a senior and having to think about her future isn’t bad enough, she’s a stranger in her own house. And the longer she goes without seeing Maverick, the harder it is to ignore the little voice of doubt whispering in her ear.

They thought the games were over, but the war is only just beginning…

My Review:
Another amazing addition in this highly addictive series. I just love Lo and Rick. They are right up there with Sam and Mason and Ella and Reed in my opinion. New antagonists combine with familiar ones to add suspense and tension, and Lo has to dig deep to find inner strength and finally overcome her demons, in this latest installment. I’m very intrigued by Macey now and I look forward to her story. Kyle was hysterical as usual. All in all, another fab read.

Thanks to the author for providing an ARC of this book which I am voluntarily reviewing.

Review: Ruin (Gods #1) by Samantha Towle

Title: Ruin
Author: Samantha Towle
Series: Gods #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
From Samantha Towle, the New York Times bestselling author of Wardrobe Malfunction and Breaking Hollywood, comes a dramatically powerful and passionate new contemporary romance.

And the new heavyweight champion of the world is…

Those are the words that Zeus Kincaid has been waiting to hear since he first put on a pair of boxing gloves. He just didn’t think they would come with a tragedy that would change how he viewed the sport forever.

Cameron Reed was in her second year at Juilliard when her childhood sweetheart, Zeus Kincaid, walked away from her. A few months later, Cam realized that she would never fulfill her dream of dancing for the New York City Ballet.

Now working as a dancer in an upscale club in Manhattan, Cam is brought face-to-face with the man she once loved. And it’s her turn to walk away from him.

After five years of missing Cam, Zeus isn’t prepared to let her go again. But when he finds himself standing on her doorstep the next morning, things don’t go quite as he expected…

My Review:
4.5 stars. Loved it. Great writing and great characterization. Loved Gigi girl. Spent the first part of the book hating on Zeus and then I fell head over heels. Swoon. Wish there had been more flashbacks to their teen years, when they fell in love, but that’s only a minor complaint.

Review: Just an Illusion – Unplugged (The Illusion #4) by D. Kelly

Title: Just an Illusion – Unplugged
Author: D. Kelly
Series: The Illusion #4
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sawyer Weston is cocky and arrogant. With his sinful smile and sexy dimples, he’s gotten his way most of his life. Infamous for his one-night stands and moves between the sheets, the lead singer for Bastards and Dangerous has never considered relationships—until he meets her.

With her curvy body, sarcastic mouth, and uncanny ability to put Sawyer in his place, Amelia Greyson has captured his heart. She can see into his soul and knows what he truly wants from life. Sawyer has a problem, though—she’s dating his twin brother Noah.

Although he wants her with every breath he takes, Sawyer and Noah’s complicated history prevents him from making a move on her.

Just an Illusion—Unplugged tells Sawyer’s story. Every thought, every feeling, are yours for the taking. Are you ready?

My Review:
I am so in love with this series. It was amazing getting to read the first part of the story from Sawyer’s perspective, and I love how he loved her all along, and how obvious it is now that I see it through his eyes. Can’t wait for the last book to release. Roll on the summer!

Release Day: Just an Illusion Encore by D. Kelly


Happy release day release of Encore, the final book in her Illusion series. I have Encore locked and loaded on my kindle and can’t wait to get stuck in soon, although it’s bittersweet because I really don’t want to say goodbye to these characters yet. I guess it gives me an excuse to re-read the entire series again

Title: Just an Illusion – Encore
Author: D. Kelly
Series: The Illusion Series #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sawyer Weston has done the unthinkable—he’s fallen for his brother’s girl. He’d never purposefully hurt Noah, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen if he can’t get her out of his system.

A stolen kiss between them finally brings Sawyer to his senses. No matter how much he wants her, Amelia has made her choice.

When tragedy strikes, Sawyer finds himself taking on more responsibility than he ever imagined. Can Sawyer remain the rock his family needs in their time of crisis? Or will he succumb to his deepest desires and fall in love with Amelia all over again?

Just an Illusion – Encore is the conclusion to Sawyer Weston’s story. Every thought, every feeling, are yours for the taking. Are you ready?

DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE ILLUSION SERIES!

About the Author:
D. Kelly, author of The Acceptance Series, The Illusion Series, and standalone companion novels Chasing Cassidy and Sharing Rylee, was born and raised in Southern California. She’s a wife, mom, dog lover, taxi, problem fixer, and extreme multi-tasker. She married her high school sweetheart and is her kids’ biggest fan.

Kelly has been writing since she was young and took joy in spinning stories to her childhood friends. Margaritas and sarcasm make her smile, she loves the beach but hates the sand, and she believes Starbucks makes any day better.

A contemporary romance writer, D. Kelly’s stories revolve around friendship and the bond it creates, strengthening the love of the people who share it.

Links:

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Review: The Illusion Series – Box Set -Side A and The B Side by D. Kelly

Title: The Illusion Series – Box Set -Side A and The B Side
Author: D. Kelly
Series: The Illusion Series #1-2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Worlds collide …
Amelia Greyson, author of The O Factor, has been thrust into the fast-paced life of the music industry as the author commissioned to write the story of Bastards and Dangerous, a famous rock band with sexy twin brothers at the helm. Unbeknownst to them, she’s been here before; it’s not her first rodeo.
Two guys, one girl …
Sawyer and Noah Weston, front men for BAD, have an awful habit of falling for the same girl. When Mel enters their lives, they are spellbound, both vying for her attention. Noah wears his heart on his sleeve, but Sawyer is a master at hiding his feelings—or so he thinks.
All’s fair in love and war …
Between Noah and Sawyer competing for Amelia’s affection, the stalker set on ruining her life, and turmoil affecting the group as a whole, Amelia is forced to make difficult decisions. Will she throw caution to the wind and give in to the magnetic pull Sawyer has on her, or will Amelia release the demons of her past and allow Noah to own her heart?
This box set contains Just an Illusion—Side A and Just and Illusion—The B Side.

My Review:
FLOVED. This was an incredible start to a captivating rock star romance series. I’ve been on a rock star romance bingeathon the last few weeks and I’ve read lots of the bestselling, most-popular series’, and I’ve got to say this series is my ABSOLUTE FAVE. If you like angsty, swoony romance set within the backdrop of a traditional rock star scene, then I think you will ADORE this series.

I love, love, love Noah, and Mel is a great MC. The other guys in the band are equally intriguing as are all the secondary characters. This satisfied my angst-loving drama-loving heart to the max. I knew it was moving toward a key traumatic moment and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through reading – I kept thinking when is it going to happen and what exactly is going to happen? I’m about to find out.