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

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

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

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

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cover Reveal: Dirty Little Rendezvous by Emma Hart

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

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

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

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

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

It’s been eighteen months.

He remembers that night a little too well.

She insists she has no idea who he is.

He’s rugged and determined.

She’s wild and free.

Together, they’re a tornado.

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

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

Links:

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Review: Claimed (Outlaws #1) by Elle Kennedy

ClaimedTitle: Claimed
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #1
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: science fiction dystopia romance
Links:

Blurb:
The bestselling author of the Killer Instincts novels “knows how to write scorching sexual tension” (USA Today). Now she really sets it on fire in a new series about men and women living on the edge of violence, sex, and life and death.

After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire.

My Review:
When I first heard that Elle Kennedy was bringing out a new series that mixed dystopian with erotic romance, I was super-excited, and I’ve been hugely anticipating this book. While I definitely enjoyed it, and I will continue the series, I was a little disappointed in Claimed.

The book opened well, introducing us to the main characters and the world in a gripping manner. Hudson is a great protagonist, she’s sassy and gutsy,tough yet vulnerable. I loved how she bossed Con around when everyone else (excepting Pike) was afraid to. She had an interesting backstory and you just know the secret she is holding close to her chest is going to backfire on her at some point.

Connor is a controlling mutha-fucka. I know he’s hot, and he exudes this heated sexuality, and the sparks majorly fly, but he was such a jerk at the start. Now, I did warm to him over the course of the book as I started to understand his past and how it had impacted him, but it took a while. The other characters that make up the pack are great, and complex. I really liked Rylan and I hope the next book is his and Reese’s story.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the middle portion. The plot and worldbuilding were non-existent and it was literally just sex scene after sex scene to the point where I felt it was dragging. And boy is it steamy, with a capital S. I think I actually blushed reading parts of it. Lol.

Thankfully, it picked up after that. It was more exciting, and there was a bit of action to liven it up, but not as much as I would have liked. It was also fairly predictable – no major shockers or surprises.

Overall though, as a dystopian, it fell short of the mark in terms of worldbuilding, and the plot definitely needed beefing up

I can’t fault Elle’s writing style as she’s amazingly talented and it was delivered in her usual exemplary fashion. I’m a massive fan of her Off Campus series – those books are FANTASTIC – but this one is not up to her usual standard.

It’s still a very decent read and I would recommend it, probably more so to fans of erotic romance than dystopian fans.

Actual Rating: 3.75 stars

Review: Sugar Kisses (3:AM Kisses #2) by Addison Moore

Sugar KissesTitle: Sugar Kisses
Author: Addison Moore
Series: 3:AM Kisses #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sugar Kisses—nothing tastes sweeter than revenge…

Roxy Capwell couldn’t be more miserable. She just had her heart stomped on by her cheating boyfriend, and the last thing she’s looking for is love. She hates men.

Cole Brighton couldn’t be happier. He’s a player of the highest order, there’s not a girl at Whitney Briggs University that he can’t tag and bag. He loves the ladies.

Roxy’s dream is to own and operate her own bakery one day, but with no oven in her dorm, and a lucrative baking competition on the horizon, she agrees to move in with her best friend’s brother, the obnoxious, womanizing, Cole Brighton.

Between the heavenly scent of baked goods, and Roxy’s perfect body strutting around the apartment, Cole can’t think straight. So when Roxy’s ex starts sniffing around again, Cole volunteers to play the part of her new boy-toy and things get heated both in and out of the kitchen.

Roxy discovers she might not hate every man on the planet, and Cole discovers nothing tastes better than Roxy and her late night SUGAR KISSES.

Roxy is a ball of stress and anger.
Cole is all ego and sex.
Their attraction is unstoppable.
And when their bodies collide—its combustible.

My Review:
This is Roxy and Cole’s story and it was a great addition to the series. You’ve gotta love Roxy – she’s not just your typical fiesty girl, she is snarky and blunt as hell and I’d hate to get on the wrong side of her. But it’s all a front, a defense mechanism to protect her fragile heart.

Cole is the college bike and a bit of a joke to be honest. I didn’t like him at all in the first part of this book but as the story progressed, and I begun to understand what made him tick, he grew on me. Plus, he was very supportive of Roxy and that was super sweet.

There are tons of really funny LOL moments and some great comedic dialogue, and there’s plenty of the hot and steamy stuff too.

The writing was superb and really my only fault was how quickly Roxy did a 360 on her view of Cole. It literally flipped overnight which wasn’t believable. But, putting that aside, this was another great read from the fantastic 3AM Kisses series.

Blog Tour: One Day Soon by A. Meredith Walters

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for One Day Soon by A. Meredith Walters. I’ll share my review of the book with you.

OneDaySoon AmazonTitle: One Day Soon
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
He found me in blood and tears.
I stayed with him through darkness and fire.
We loved each other in the moment between innocence and bitter truth.
We were the kids easily ignored, who grew into adults we hardly knew.
We weren’t meant to last forever. And we didn’t.
He ran away.
I tried to move on.
Yet I never stopped thinking about the boy who had fought to keep me alive in a world that would have swallowed me whole. He was the past that I buried, but never forgot.
Until the day I found him again, years after believing I had lost him forever.
And in cold, resentful eyes, I saw the heart of the man who had been everything when I had nothing at all. So I vowed to hold onto the second chance that was stolen from the children we had been.
Sometimes fate is ugly. Life can be twisted.
And who we are can be ruined by who we once were.
For two people who had survived so much, we would have to learn how to hold on before we were forced to let go.

<ODS teaser #4

My Review:
A. Meredith Walters has done it again – taken my heart and ripped it to shreds. Boy was this book emotional, in fact, this is the second book in a row that I’ve read that involved issues of child abuse and neglect. I definitely need to read something lighthearted next.

Imi and Yoss are kindred spirits and they have left an indelible mark on each other. Yoss never felt worthy of her, so he sacrificed his own happiness to give Imi the life she deserved. Fate intervenes, bringing them together again after a fifteen-year separation. This time, it’s Imi’s turn to save him.

This was a beautifully crafted story, even though it was filled with so much angst, despair, and heartache. But it was also a story of second chances, and the redemptive power of love.

I love this author’s writing style and this book was no exception. Words glided effortlessly across the pages of my Kindle.

The ending was quite rushed, and a little confusing, but overall this was another exceptional read from A. Meredith Walters.

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

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Excerpt:
“Maybe I should tell you a story. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. You always liked when I made up dumb stuff to get you to smile.” I chuckled. “The more improbable the better, right? So let me think of something completely unrealistic.”

I sniffled, wiping my wet cheeks. I hadn’t realized I was crying.

“Once upon a time there was a sad, lonely boy who was actually a forgotten prince. No one knew that he was rich and powerful and had a family that was searching for him.” I smiled sadly, wishing, more than anything, that this particular story had been true.

“One day he met a girl who swore that she would help him get back home to the castle. They fell in love. The prince wanted her to come back to the castle with him so they could live there together. They fought dragons and defeated ogres. They ran from witches and swam through oceans. And finally they found the castle. The prince’s family welcomed him home and he married his princess. And they lived happily ever after.”

I rested my forehead on the back of his hand, hating how cold his skin was. “You always loved your fairytales,” I mused, wishing he had been able to find his.

The hand in mine stirred and I bolted upright. Yoss’s face was contorted in pain, his eyes fluttering.

I got to my feet and reached for the call button so I could alert the nurse that something was wrong.

Then he let out a breath and his eyes opened. They were clouded and confused as they darted around the room, taking everything in.

I was rooted to the spot, not moving. He frowned and then winced when he tried to sit up.

“Uh, you shouldn’t do that. Take it easy,” I instructed, my voice shaking.

Then the wild, green eyes found me. There was no immediate recognition and I felt the crushing weight of disappointment.

He doesn’t know who I am.

His eyes were cold. So cold. Dead. He groaned as he lifted his hand to his face, touching the bandaged skin.

“Let me call the nurse. Your doctor will want to see you now that you’re awake—”

“Where am I?” he asked, his voice rough and hard.

It was a voice I had heard a million times in my dreams.

A voice I never thought I’d hear again. Not in real life.

“You’re at Lupton Memorial Hospital. You were brought in last night.” I didn’t give him any more details. I wasn’t sure he was ready for all that. He had just gained consciousness after all.

“The hospital,” he repeated. He struggled to sit up and hissed in pain at the effort.

“Seriously, you should wait and let me call the nurse—”

His eyes flashed in my direction and the cloud of confusion lifted as he speared me with a look that I felt in my bones.

Recognition.

His eyes widened and his mouth parted in disbelief.

I wanted to say something—anything—but my tongue felt frozen behind my teeth.

Yoss shook his head and closed his eyes. He let out a noise that sounded a lot like a sob and my heart knew the sound of pain when it heard it.

When he opened his eyes again, they were wet. Long, dark lashes spikey with tears that refused to fall.

A hundred memories arched between us. A thousand words spoken softly in the dark.

A dozen promises never kept.

His lips curved upwards into the shadow of a smile that I remembered and loved so much.

“Imi,” he whispered.

I nodded, still otherwise paralyzed.

“Imi,” he said again, a tear traveled the length of his cheek and dripped off his chin.

“It’s me, Yoss,” I said finally, forcing myself to speak.

Our eyes met. They held.

They clung and they devastated.

Fifteen years had passed but none of that mattered.

In that instant we were kids again. Remembering a time when, to each other, we were everything.

ODS teaser #2

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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Review: The Power (Titan #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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The PowerTitle: The Power
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Titan #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.
Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.
But the gods are sensing a greater threat.

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

ThePowerQuote3

My Review:
Initial thoughts after finishing: So that was FREAKING AWESOME. Now I feel like crying because I need more RIGHT NOW. Mind completely blown.

Full Review:

This book will swallow you whole and then spit you out with your heart and mind shattered into a million tiny pieces. Mind-bendingly brilliant. Another epic success from the undisputed Queen of Paranormal Romance. The Power contains all the magical ingredients that are now synonymous with JLA in my mind: sublime writing, witty dialogue, perfect pace, complex characters, solidly developed plot, strong world building, and scintillating romance. I loved it in it’s entirety – from the first addictive page to the last heart-wrenching one.

Sethie. Oh, Gods, where do I start? I ADORE the Covenant Series and though you don’t need to read it to read this series, I would highly recommend you do because you will miss out on so much of what drives, motivates, challenges, and threatens to destroy Seth. Aiden was always my number one (he’s my all time fav numero uno book boyfriend now) but I harboured a soft spot for Seth. It was hard not to. That boy just wants – no needs – to be loved. He lost his way, then grounded himself and made amends. He still has to live with the things he has done, and he feels he deserves the life he has now which is actually quite a miserable one. It’s not fair. He sacrificed everything for Alex and he deserves some happiness of his own. I was delighted when Josie turned up in The Return, though at first I wasn’t sure if she was the right one for him. In this book she proves that she is.

I liked how Josie’s character developed in this book, and it felt real. She struggled with aspects of her new life and her fate but she got on with it. She loves Seth, and wants to help him, but he is still shutting her out of so much. What I really loved about her is she wasn’t afraid to show her vulnerability, which she needed to do quite often to reach out to Seth, to really connect with him. I felt all her emotions and her pain and I was really rooting for her to get through to him.

It was fairly obvious that he was close to self-destruct mode but even still those last few chapters totally blew my mind. OMG. It was explosive and dramatic and I lapped it up like it was my favourite Sauvignon Blanc. I suppose the title gives it away really, but what has he done? What has he become? I cannot wait to find out in the next book.

The romance was perfect in this book. Seth has been taking it slow and steady with Josie because he wants to do right by her. Ah, shucks, how sweet is that? When they eventually get it on, it’s super hot, and Seth can barely keep it in his pants. Loved it.

Scenes are peppered with amazing, hysterically funny dialogue and one-liners that had me laughing out loud. I especially loved when Alex and Aiden showed up and the usual snark-fest started up between the three of them. It was like reuniting with long lost friends after years apart, and I almost cried with sheer happiness.

And that leads nicely onto Alex and Aiden. (That sound you hear is me STILL jumping up and down like an excited kid on Christmas morning.) I follow Jennifer on social media so I knew they were going to make an appearance, but I didn’t realize they were going to have such a strong part to play and I just loved the second half of the book so much for it. I also loved catching up with Deacon and Luke, Marcus and Solos. Colin and Gable seem like they will be good new additions, though we don’t learn too much about them here.

Deacon has really matured in this book. Yes, he’s still a bit kooky and way out there but his resolute stance toward Seth at the end of the book warmed my heart. Seth needs his friends to fight for him, and Deacon really manned up. Major kudos to him.

BTW, Apollo is a crappy dad. Totally craptastic and I want to kick his arse permanently back to Olympus for failing Josie, and for using Seth in such a cruel way. Herc is the biggest douche bag to walk the planet, but he was entertaining.

I only had two minor irritations. At one point Seth references how he wouldn’t care if something happened to Alex, that he was only interested in protecting Josie. I didn’t like that and it wasn’t true. Perhaps he’s delusional. No one sacrifices everything out of guilt alone. He made his choices because he cared about Alex. No one will convince me otherwise. I’m not saying he was in love with her, because I don’t believe he ever was, but he still cares deeply about her. So him saying that pissed me off a little. Then, I was also a little annoyed with Alex. Given part of the reason why they have returned, I expected her to make more of an effort to reach out and connect (not in the Apollyon way) with Seth. She didn’t try very hard and that was selfish of her. He may not have known it, but he needed her reassurance too. These were my only gripes, and neither in anyway dented my enjoyment of this book.

I can’t remember the last time I felt this level of excitement at a book. I literally don’t know how I’ll survive until the next one is released. I also fear that The Power has ruined me for the next few books I have to read. At the current moment, I don’t think I can pick up another book. This one is indelibly imprinted on my heart and my mind and I’m not ready to enter another world, to become invested in other characters. I may just have to reread it immediately in the hope that it takes the edge off my worrisome addiction.

As an aside, I don’t understand why the Covenant series isn’t as successful as the Lux series. I adore Lux, and I’ve read it over and over again, but in my opinion her Covenant series is superior. Pure (Book 2) is like my equivalent of a comfort blanket. Whenever I need cheering up, I read that book. Sometimes I just flip to page 309 to read that Catskills scene which is just one of the best scenes ever written in a book. (Disturbing on one level, but hysterically funny on another.) If you loved Lux, and you haven’t yet started the Covenant series go do it right now! You won’t be sorry.

I would like to thank Kelly Simmon of Inkslinger PR and Spencer Hill Press for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I would also like to thank Jennifer for writing another amazing book. I hope you continue to write more stories in this world as I will never tire of reading them.

ThePowerQuote4

The first book!

The ReturnTitle: The Return
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Titan #1
Rating: 5 Stars
Genres: New Adult Paranormal
Links:

Blurb:

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

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:

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Blog Tour: Out of Focus (Chosen Paths) by L.B. Simmons

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Out of Focus by L.B. Simmons. I’ll share my review of the book and an excerpt.

OOF FOR WEB - CopyTitle: Out of Focus
Author: L.B. Simmons
Series: Chosen Paths
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
*** Upper New Adult Spinoff Standalone to the USA Today Bestselling Novel, Under the Influence***

“Shhhh, Cassandra, it’s our little secret.”
Secrets are stubborn things when they refuse to remain hidden. They tear through your soul, clawing and lashing until the pain becomes so unbearable, you’re left no choice but to silently scream your agony. No one hears you, of course. You smile on the outside and drift through life as though your mind is at peace, but all the while, you remain your own tortured prisoner. Sealed inside the darkened, soundproof room of your conscience, deafening cries echo as you plead for someone to unlock the door and release you from your nightmares. And eventually, when no one comes, you find ways to cope. To dull the suffering the only way you know how.
But what happens when you’ve become so numb, when everything around you has become so blurred, that you begin to lose focus on the saving grace standing directly in front of you? When you’ve anesthetized yourself to the point of losing consciousness, forced to watch as his once solid image fades away, lost to your reach in the haze as it smothers you?
What do you do then?
You fight. You heal. Then you bring him back.
Well, my name is Cassie Cooper, and it’s time.
No more secrets.
This is my story.

***WARNING – The subject matter of this novel centers around the psychological effects due to sexual abuse experienced during childhood. For this reason, as well as sexual situations, language, and adult themes, suggested reading age is 17+.***

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My Review:
Actual rating 3.75 stars.

It’s clear that L.B. Simmons is highly adept at writing emotionally-charged, character-driven stories that deal with complex issues which really tug at the heart strings. Out of Focus, like its predecessor Under the Influence explores the difficult subject of child abuse. Major kudos to the author for her willingness to tackle such heavy subject matter head on. She does this is in a very credible way. It’s dark, raw, painful, gritty, heartbreaking. For me, this book was extremely difficult to read at times because of how skillfully the author created and developed the story.

Cass was one of my favorite characters from Under the Influence. She was a total riot, and I was expecting more of the same here, but we saw a completely different side to her. It made sense. She was the party-girl, full of life, always the center of attention, provocative, loud and in your face. But that’s all a mask to hide the inner turmoil brewing to storm-like proportions inside her head.

This book explores that inner turmoil in great depth. It was so believable that I actually felt quite depressed reading it at times, and was tempted to put it down on more than one occasion. Anything that speaks to hurting children really impacts me as a mother and a human being, and this was no exception. It is testament to the considerable skill of the author that it had such a potent effect on me.

However, I did feel that it was far too repetitive in parts and overall the darkness overpowered the light. Although Cass did heal, and she came out the other end in a much better place with the prospect of a happy future, the hope generated by her path to self-discovery was overshadowed, for me, by the extreme despair of the journey. Under the Influence was more balanced, and I finished reading that believing in the redemptive power of love. Not so much here. I’ve been in a real funk all day. Perhaps, I just wasn’t in the mood for it or I still have a book hangover from the last book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to.

Grady was an amazingly supportive man and Cass was so lucky to have him in her corner. However, we didn’t really get much of his backstory and I felt the book lacked somewhat, as a result. I wanted to know how long he had been shadowing her and how/what exactly it was that drew him to her in such a strong way.

Her parent’s treatment of her was horrendous. Again, that wasn’t delved into in any depth and I wanted to understand what would turn loving parents into the kind that would turn a blind eye for years and then refuse to accept what they had always known was right in front of their face. Cass had majorly hit the self-destruct button but they just looked down their noses at her. I wish this had been explored more. It would have made it a little more interesting.

If twenty percent of the repetitive inner monologue was cut, Grady’s character developed a bit more, and the plot line with the parents explored in more detail, I feel this book would be a better read for it. But that’s just my own personal view.

I adore L.B’s writing. Her prose is simply stunning, and I was highlighting like a crazy person at times. See some fav quotes below.

Reading back over this review it might appear that I didn’t like this book, which isn’t the case at all. I just found it heavy going. It is well-written in the main, and it handles a very sensitive subject in a realistic manner. Just be prepared going into it, and I think you will get more out of it that way.

Fav Quotes from the ARC I read:

“To me, there’s nothing more vindicating than the ability to find the strength necessary to turn the worst experience imaginable into something so beautiful, it eclipses all the ugliness. It helps to find reason, to find purpose, in something so senseless.”

“Courage can be such a fleeting emotion. One moment, you feel it rising in your blood, strengthening your resolve as it prepares you to face your greatest fears. The next, it recedes like the tide of the ocean, leaving you bereft, uncertain of its existence in the first place.”

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

OOFteaser4

Excerpt:
Only twenty-three years old, and I’m so goddamn tired.
I used to be so much stronger. I somehow kept the voices at bay, the memories locked away safely, contained within the confines of my mind. But with each passing day, I feel the glow of my once-luminous strength fading. Darkness encases me now, bowing the walls of protection I put into place years ago. My past is an ever-present nightmare, repeatedly tapping, slowly fracturing the window of my sanity.
I have no doubt that it’s only a matter of time before the glass finally breaks. Blackness will eventually seep through its cracks and deliver me from the safety of my façade into a reality that will destroy me.
My reality.
I’ve done my part. I’ve kept the secrets thrust upon me with dedicated believability. My portrayal of who I am has become a blurred, hazy version of the once very distinct Cassie Cooper.
I read an ungodly amount of trashy romance novels.
I’m the overtly sexual and foul-mouthed friend who will say anything to get a laugh.
And I have exactly zero fucks to give to what anyone else thinks about my actions.
But the reality, the actuality, is this:
I read obsessively to escape my own world. To live the dreams of others when, for so long, the reoccurrence of my nightmares has been my reality. I read to fall in love and find a happily ever after, even if it is purely imagined. With each story I read, I’m able to live and love vicariously through the characters in my books. It’s the only plausible way for me to survive.
I threw away my virginity at the age of thirteen just to prove something. And when I found that proof, that vindication I was looking for, I sought it every chance I could. Sex is about control for me. Nothing more. The act will never be about making love, like it is for the heroines in my books. I will never be granted the beauty of that gift.
I use humor as a form of avoidance. I draw upon laughter to block the pain. And I smile to mask the agony of the eight-year-old soul who weeps within me.
And the fucks . . . well, that’s not entirely accurate either.
I have given two to be exact: One to my best friend of seventeen years. She knows nothing of my past, and although she so willingly disclosed the horrors of hers, mine remains hidden for no other reason than to avoid the pity she would undoubtedly cast my way if I were to ever tell her. I don’t want her pity. I would sooner die than have her look at me in any other way than with pride.
The other died with the person to whom it was given. Anthony “Rat” Marchione. He was my one allowance of naïveté. The one person I actually wanted to touch me, to hold me, to love me. He was going to rescue me from my brokenness as though I were a character in one of my books. Young and senseless, I thought he was to be my eventual happily ever after, but tragically, he was murdered five years ago.
Black coldness waits in vain to leech the void where his once beautiful existence filled the pieces of my irrevocably shattered heart. Where he temporarily healed the hurt of the innocent child and quieted the voices that tormented her.
He’s gone now. I’ve accepted that. And in turn, I have relinquished all dreams associated with finding the light at the end of this miserable tunnel.
I will keep trudging through this life . . . this sentence handed to me for someone else’s crime, my payment shackled by secrets and weighted with lies. I will continue to do so with the same fraudulent smile on my lips and play the part of the strong heroine so convincingly, that even I believe it.
It’s only a matter of time before my fictional strength wears out—when I’m no longer hidden safely inside my protective blur—and I have to face the very real and lucid image of my past.
But until that time comes, I’ll do all I can do.
All I have ever done.
I will pretend.

outoffocusannooucement

LB SimmonsAbout the Author:
.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

Links:

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Cover Reveal: Saven Disclosure!

Today is the cover reveal for Saven: Disclosure by Siobhan Davis. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.
I am excited to share the cover for Saven Disclosure, the second book in my Saven series with you today! There’s also a giveaway to win an amazon gift card or e-copies of both Saven Deception and Saven Disclosure. I hope you all like the cover as much as I do!

Saven DisclosureSaven: Disclosure (Saven #2)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: April 21, 2016

Blurb:
THE TRUTH WON’T STAY HIDDEN FOREVER

To protect Logan, I’ve no choice but to betray his trust.
The stakes are high, and there are no guarantees.
But I’m not the only one hiding the truth.
Will our love survive all the secrets and lies?

Enemy alien ships crowd the skies over Earth while the world waits with bated breath. The Saven have been exposed, and where once they were abhorred, they are now championed as our greatest ally and our only possible savior.

Logan and Sadie have been separated, and the longer he is gone, the more their love is tested by duty, doubts, and deception.

Sadie and Jarod have infiltrated the highest levels of government, but they are playing a dangerous game. Surrounded by people with conflicting agendas–hell-bent on using her for their own aim–Sadie is confused when the lines between good and evil are blurred. It’s impossible to tell friend from foe, and no one can be trusted.

When the full extent of the experiments taking place in Sector Twenty is disclosed, Sadie can no longer sit back and watch as the lower classes face a horrific fate. Racing to save her loved ones and mankind, she risks her own safety and the love she’s waited a lifetime for to do the right thing.

But no one thought to save her from herself.

You can find Saven Disclosure on Goodreads

You can pre-order Saven Disclosure here:
Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia

Excerpt from Saven Disclosure:
I pad into the kitchen and hoist myself up onto a stool at the counter. Haydn slides two muffins and a home-made smoothie across to me. “You trying to fatten me up?” I inquire
“You need to eat more when you’re training.”
“I’m sure I read somewhere that you should eat more protein when in training. I doubt you’re supposed to be indulging in calorie-laden treats.”
“Watch your mouth!” Haydn swats me with a dish towel. “Those muffins are made with bran, yoghurt, honey, and fruit. All natural. And totally healthy. Now shut up and eat.”
“Ooh, get you! All right!” I hold my hands up in defeat. “But I doubt I’ll manage two.”
“You can give one to Jarod in work,” he suggests.
I snort. “As if he’d eat anything you prepared! I’d have to lie and tell him I baked it myself.”
Jarod isn’t over his aversion to aliens. And that’s putting it mildly. He absolutely refuses to go anywhere with me outside of work if any of my Saven friends is involved, and he hasn’t ever stepped foot in this apartment. It’s a constant source of tension between us; the cause of more than a few arguments. I understand he’s pissed over the whole memory-erase situation, and the fact that enemy alien ships still hover in our skies doesn’t do much to ease any human’s apprehension, but I’ve tried explaining, time and time again, that we have nothing to fear from Logan and Co., but he won’t hear a word of it.
While I’m grateful that Jarod managed to make it out of Thalassic City safely, and I’m thrilled to be working in the same building as him, sometimes I could happily bash his head against the wall.

Note from the author: This is from the unedited draft and the final version is subject to change.

Praise for Saven Deception (Saven #1):
“The heir to the Lux series.” Natasha Anne. Dreamland Teenage Fantasy.

“The worldbuilding and characters leap off the page and come alive with flawless writing and a plot that had me engrossed and on the edge of my seat.” Dali. TJ Loves to Read.

“Gripping Read. From the start I was drawn into the world and felt like I was experiencing everything right next to Sadie.” Patricia Hamill. Author-Blogger Pure Textuality.

“This book had me hooked from the first chapter. An exhilarating ride with many twists and turns. Awesome.” Karla. Goodreads Reviewer.

“Siobhan Davis has created yet another world of characters I became very invested in. The premise is an intriguing one … and it’s different enough to stand out from other YA books.” Deirdre. Goodreads Reviewer.

“I am beyond excited for this series. Saven Deception was AMAZING and I couldn’t put it down. Ms. Davis created an incredible world and I cannot wait to read the next installment.” Michelle. Adventure in Bookland.

“Saven Deception was a freaking awesome read! The worldbuilding was fantastic and the romance between Logan and Sadie felt amazingly perfect to me.” Poulami, Daydreaming Books.

“Another hidden gem from the treasure trove in Siobhan Davis’ mind.” Dianne. Tome Tender.

“If you like Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books then you’ll love Saven Deception.” Amazon UK Reviewer.

SiobhanAbout the Author:
Siobhan Davis writes young adult science fiction fantasy romance books, and she is the author of the Amazon bestselling True Calling series. The first book in her new Saven series was released in December 2015.

A self-professed teenager forever–at least when it comes to books, music, and films, Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. She loves baking, shoes, bags, makeup, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).

Before pursuing a full-time writing career, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in Human Resources over the last twenty years. She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Google +
Goodreads
Amazon
Newsletter

Sample chapters, quotes, reviews and book excerpts are all available to download from the authors website

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Saven: Disclosure. These are the prizes you can win:
– a 5$ amazon gift card
– an e-copy of Saven: Deception by Siobhan Davis and an ARC of Saven Disclosure by Siobhan Davis

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Review: Winter Kisses (3:AM Kisses #1.5) by Addison Moore

Winter KissesTitle: Winter Kisses
Author: Addison Moore
Series: 3:AM Kisses #1.5
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Laney Sawyer used to believe in love and all of the trappings that happily ever after could provide until Ryder Capwell crushed her heart.

When Laney is auctioned off as a prize at the drama department fundraiser the last person she expects to trade cold hard cash for her company is Ryder. Ryder Capwell is in love with Laney Sawyer. One year ago she walked out of his life and took the light of his world right along with her.

Ryder would do anything to have another chance with Laney, including purchasing her for the evening courtesy of Whitney Briggs University, and he does just that. One thing leads to whiskey, which leads to a one-night stand. She thinks it’s revenge sex—he thinks its make up sex.

Things can only go wrong from here…

My Review:
Anytime I pick up an Addison Moore book I just know it’s going to be an amazing read, and this was no exception.

This is actually a novella length book and I read it in less than two hours. I often complain that a lot of the novellas I read aren’t properly executed and there isn’t enough time to really connect with the characters and truly’feel’ the emotions. Addison Moore demonstrates how to perfectly pull it out of the bag with this book. Because we have caught a glimpse of Laney and Ryder previously, I already felt like I had a good insight into their characters, and the story didn’t feel too short or rushed.

Ryder and Laney are the typical beautiful couple destined for a fairytale HEA, however, when we meet them they have been broken up a year (over an orchestrated misunderstanding) and it’s obvious that both are still pining for the other. Laney is a scream and I love her character. Ryder finally mans up and supports her the way he should have the previous Christmas.

Great dialogue, excellent writing, and a fast-paced plot make for a killer read. While it can be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading it as part of the series.

Blog Tour: The Consequence of Seduction (Consequence #3) by Rachel Van Dyken

The Consequence of Seduction Banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Consequence of Seduction (Consequence #3) by Rachel Van Dyken. I share my review with you and an excerpt from the book.

seductioncoverTitle: The Consequence of Seduction
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Consequence #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

seriesbannerconseq

Blurb:
From New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken.

Reid Emory has never had reason to question his luck with the ladies. As the owner of a lethal set of aqua-blue eyes and a devastating grin, this Hollywood heartthrob always brings his A game…but lately his luck seems to have run out. The actor is in need of some help, and there’s only one person he can trust to take his love life—and his career—to an explosive new level.

Jordan Litwright’s newest client is trying her patience. As a publicist, she’s more than content to stay in the background and let others shine. But when a publicity stunt backfires, she suddenly finds herself thrust into the spotlight—as Reid’s new love interest. And while other men usually overlook her, Reid is focusing in with laserlike intensity. There’s no denying they have serious chemistry.

But once Reid breaks into the big time, can they turn their made-for-the-media romance into a forever love?

The lady who fell in love

My Review:
Usually, I like to put a nice, promo-type comment at the start of my reviews. You know, something professional and slick that adequately summarizes the main outstanding qualities of the book I’ve just read. I’ve been typing and retyping furiously for the last few minutes trying to do this book justice and honestly I keep coming back to this:

Pee-your-pants funny.

Seriously, that sums up this book perfectly for me. I have laughed myself silly at other books before, but I can’t ever recall a book that had me laughing continuously the whole way through. This book is unique in it’s crazy insanity. A few times I had to re-read a section to make sure my brain had actually deciphered it correctly. What’s particularly genius about this though is that each character was funny in their own different way. All the characters were superbly crafted with individual personalities and quirks.

Reid was a great leading man, and Jordan was a spunky, professional career woman who was quite vulnerable underneath that tough exterior. Together, they were a match made in heaven. I loved the slow progression of the romance and their sizzling chemistry.

I could devote an entire review on it’s own to Max. Hella, how do I describe him? He was psychotically endearing is the best way I can put it. If I knew him in real life I would not be able to stand more than thirty seconds in his company before I’d start feeling uncharacteristic violent urges. Seriously, how none of the characters gave him a few slaps is beyond me. They all have limitless amounts of patience. But he was charming and funny with it. One of these hyper-intelligent, interfering busybodies with a heart of gold. He was definitely swinging off the crazy tree but it was hysterically funny to read. The toing and froing between him and Reid was especially funny.

And Reid and his ‘grandma’ experience. I’ll say it again: pee-your-pants funny.

I’ve read a couple of Rachel’s other books, and I knew she was an accomplished writer, but she really nailed it with this quirky, different Hollywood romance that will have you laughing your rocks off. Seriously entertaining read. Highly recommended.

Actual Rating 4.5 Stars.

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

Picture of a handsome man behind

Excerpt:
Jordan’s body responded to my every single touch and caress.
“Now I know why you’ve never had to ask a girl on a date.” She hooked her legs around me and wrapped her arms around my neck, her tongue intertwining with mine, sucking, so. Damn. Hard that I couldn’t help but keep moaning. The things that woman could do with her mouth.
I deepened the kiss, my hands reaching for the clasp of her bra. I flicked it off. Jordan immediately froze. Her hands quickly covered her breasts.
“What are you doing?” I tried prying her hands free.
“Too fast.” She nodded, her cheeks staining with color. “You know for our, uh, date night.”
“Move your hands.”
“No.”
“Jordan.”
“Reid.” She laughed nervously.
“Fine.” I nodded. “I didn’t want to have to do this.”
Jordan frowned.
I raised my hand.
She frowned harder.
I flipped her onto her stomach and slapped her ass. Hard.
“WHAT are you doing?” she yelled.
“Why, sweetheart . . .” I kissed her ear. “I’m taming.”
“The hell you are!”
“You like it.” Another swat. “And I’m barely spanking you, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Cover them up again and I won’t be responsible for my actions.”
“But—”
I flipped her back around. “But what?” I honestly wanted to know why a girl that gorgeous would cover up.
“It’s just that—” Jordan chewed her lower lip. “I’m the lights-off girl.”
“Lights off?”
“Yeah.” She shrugged a shoulder as more color stained her cheeks. “You know, the girl you don’t really notice right away until you’ve had one too many, then you take her home and have your way with her—in the dark.”
Horrified, I could only stare in shock. “Please tell me that hasn’t actually happened.”
“Reid.” She shoved me away and started to get to her feet. “Look, I’m not stupid, okay? And I’m not even that insecure anymore. I know how guys think, all right?”
“Oh, yeah?” I stood, pulled her flush against my very hard body. “What am I thinking about right now?”
“ESPN?”
“Damn.”
Her shoulders deflated. “See?”
I burst out laughing. “Honey, we have a pretty big problem if ESPN gets me this excited, don’t you think?”
“Hey, sometimes baseball just does it for people.” She gave me a sexy-as-hell smile. “It’s not your fault you like balls.”
“I can’t believe you just challenged my manhood when it’s saluting you like that. Damn, woman, I’m basically giving you the equivalent of a high five and a home run all in one and you’re making jokes?”

Romantic style photo of missing couple

RachelAuthorheadshotAbout the Author:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

Links:

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