Review: Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

sweet reckoningTitle: Sweet Reckoning
Author: by Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

My Review:
OMG. Incredible. Love Kaidan Rowe. Feel like crying now that it’s all over. Can’t wait for Sweet Temptation.

That pretty much sums up how I feel right about now. I’ve had the life sucked out of me and some. I really wasn’t ready for this to be over.

What an epic ending for an epic series.

In Sweet Reckoning, the underlying message is that love truly does conquer all. Kaidan and Anna are properly united as a couple and it’s equally sweet and hot as hell. That group dinner in Patti’s house! OMG, I was in convulsions at Kaidan’s inability to keep it in his pants. It was laugh-out- loud funny.

Kaidan and Anna have to act as enemies in order to keep the Duke of Lust off their scent. These scenes are brilliantly written – really spot on.

Anna is brave in the face of danger and really grows up in this book; the last vestiges of childhood wiped away.

We get to see a lot more of Ginger, Blake, and Marna in this book and I loved all of them.

The ending is so bittersweet, heartbreaking as much as heartwarming. And how amazingly perfect was that epilog? Kaidan is finally able to come to terms with his past and properly lay his demons to rest.

I feel totally bereft now, which is how I always feel when I have to say goodbye to a fab series. I honestly don’t know how I can wait until September to read Kaidan’s book.

Love this author and this series. Can’t wait to read more of her work.

If you haven’t checked out this series, then you need to do so – pronto!

Review: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet PerilTitle: Sweet Peril
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

My Review:
Sweet Peril picks up in the months after Sweet Evil and we witness a totally new side to Anna. Forced to work, in order to keep up appearances, she has become quite the party girl, the lifeblood of her school social scene.

Anna still pines for Kaidan Rowe though he won’t have anything to do with her. It’s heart-breaking, even though you know he is only staying away because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. He crops up in a few minor scenes in the first half of the book but I missed him terribly, and I was so happy when I kicked into the second half of the story and he was a regular feature.

The first part of the book is largely taken up with Kope and Anna jet-setting around the world to gather more allies. The prophecy has been revealed and the Neph finally have a chance at reclaiming their lives and ridding the world of all demons. It’s not without danger and they need to stay one step ahead of the Dukes at all times.

We learn more about the other Nephs in this book and I particularly warmed to Blake (he’s a riot) and Marna (she’s a sweetheart). The family connection is still strong, which I love, although I was shocked at her dad’s actions. Surely a man who has spent years pining for his true love wouldn’t do that to his own daughter?!

When Kaidan and Anna finally open their hearts to one another I felt like getting up and dancing a jig! Yay! Sorry, but I didn’t feel any compassion for Kope, nice guy, but he was never going to get the girl.

All in all another fantastic read from Wendy Higgins – accomplished writing, brilliant execution.

The only issue I have now is that Kaidan Rowe is pushing for a No. 1 spot on my book boyfriend list. It’s starting to get real competitive at the top and I don’t know how I’m going to choose. (It’s not like I can bump Edward, Aiden St. Delphi or Roth off the podium.)Nice dilemma! He! he!

Blog Tour: Phoenix Rising (Phoenix #1) by Elise Faber

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Phoenix Rising (Phoenix #1) by Elise Faber. There’s an excerpt and a tour wide giveaway.

phoenix rising 1400x2100-2Title: Phoenix Rising
Author: Elise Faber
Series: Phoenix #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A dangerous man with piercing green eyes.

A powerful ability that is rearing out of control.

Daughtry stumbles into a world where magic is real and the possibilities for her future are greater than she’s ever believed possible.

But the road to that future isn’t easy to navigate.

As she engages in a wrenching game of give and take with Cody, the man who’s gripped her heart in his sexy-as-hell fist from the moment she’s met him, Daughtry must decide whether she’s willing to risk it all — heart, mind, and magic — to take a chance on the man she loves.

Excerpt:
Exclusive Excerpt:
“Dammit. I need—”
Cody rolled to his back, pulling her with him. She ended up sprawled across him, the ceiling pressing along her back so that she was plastered against the wide expanse of his chest. His muscles were hard against her breasts, but she didn’t mind in the least.
Daughtry couldn’t get enough of him. She pressed her nose to his neck and inhaled his wholly masculine scent. It was addictive. She wanted to linger, to rub against his body until the smell of him was imbedded into her pores.
But Cody wasn’t patient. He grabbed her face, stealing her lips.
Finally she broke away, gasping for air. She pressed a row of careful kisses all along his scar, as if her mouth might somehow erase the reminder of the grievous injury.
He shivered and pulled her face back up. She squirmed, wanting — aching — to get closer and came in contact with—
Holy shit.
She couldn’t stop herself from rubbing against the hard length of him, making them both groan in pleasure.
A distant part of her mind screamed at her to slow down, that sex was bad for her. But the bigger part soaked in Cody, absorbing the whirlwind of arousal she’d never felt before.
Was this what it could be like?
His hands went to her hips, and he started to move her, as if to flip her onto her back. She gave a little cry of pain when her hair snagged on a root in the wall.
“No,” she said when he began to push her away, attempting to slide out from beneath her. They’d started this—
“Why is this damned hole so small?” she asked as she reached up to claw at her hair until it came loose then finished rolling to her back. Her every nerve was on fire for him. There was no stopping.
“It’s only made for one person. Just enough room to lie down and sit up.” Cody’s voice was husky, his words quiet. His heavy weight pressed her down into the earthen floor, making it hard for her to concentrate. “There was nowhere else.”
“It’s fine,” she said. And it was. The sensation of the entire bulk of his body holding her in place was heady.
Forget claustrophobia. If this were what she could expect being trapped with him, she would sign up every time.

About the Author:
When she’s not writing best-selling dark and sexy paranormal romances, Elise is often found on the ice rink where she and her husband hold regular hockey date nights. She is the mom to two exuberant boys and addicted to Dancing With the Stars. The beaches, mountains and redwood forests of Northern California serve as inspiration for her books. Connect with her on facebook (facebook.com/elisefaberauthor), twitter (@faberelise) or www.elisefaber.com

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Blog Tour: Songbird by Sydney Logan

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

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

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

Callie Franklin doesn’t do one night stands.

Ever.

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

And his name is Devin McAllister.

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

Relationships come with strings.

Relationships come with heartbreak.

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

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

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

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

A happily ever after.

Songbird Sydney Logan Launch Day Price

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit her website at www.sydneylogan.com.

Links:

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

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

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

Blurb:
Sex changes everything.

And love can turn into an enemy…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC teaser cover photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC teaser pic #1

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

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

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

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

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

I forgot how to breathe.

My heart thudded almost painfully in my chest.

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

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

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

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

All I could see was Mitch.

All Mitch could see was me.

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

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

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

And regret.

DC teaser pic #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: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet EvilTitle: Sweet Evil
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Review:
Anna Whitt has always known she is different. Raised by her protective adopted mom, Patti, Anna has led a pretty sheltered life. She is good, kind and sweet with huge compassion for others. Yet, she struggles with an inexplicable inner pull towards alcohol and drugs.

When she meets bad-boy ‘man-slut’ rocker, Kaidan Rowe, her life turns upside down in a flash. Kaidan helps her come to terms with who she really is and in the process she falls deeply in love with him. Kaidan blows hot and cold and she never knows how he feels about her.

Thrust into a world of angels, demons and Nephilim, Anna has to keep her wits about her if she is to survive this new reality. When she reconnects with her dad, she is strengthened by the force of his love and support. One of the things I loved most about this series was the importance of family and it was refreshing to see a strong mother and father figure.

This book sucked me in immediately and held my attention the entire time. I adored Wendy’s writing style and there are some really sweet romantic moments and some laugh out loud funny parts.

I loved Kaidan’s sharp British wit and his all round sexiness. It’s a little disturbing to learn what he has to do for ‘work’ but Wendy never glamorizes it.

All in all this was a fantastic read and I’m looking forward to continuing this series.

Footnote: In the Lux series, Kat and Daemon take on fake identities in the name of Anna Whitt and Kaidan Rowe. I was intrigued enough by this mention to check out this series. I’m so glad I did. I guess I now have something else to thank Jennifer L. Armentrout for!

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

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

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

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

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

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

FWY Teaser6_IG

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

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

FWYTeaser2_IG

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Blog Tour: The Counting-Downers by A.J. Compton

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Counting-Downers by A.J. Compton! I am really excited to be part of this tour and will share my review with you. There’s also a tour wide giveaway!

Counting DownersTitle: The Counting-Downers
Author: A.J. Compton
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ sci-fi Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The stunningly poignant and life-affirming debut novel by A.J. Compton

Imagine if we could see how long everyone around us had left to live. But we weren’t allowed to know our own numbers…

Trying to make sense of life after the death of her beloved father, free spirit Matilda Evans meets Tristan Isaacs and discovers a marrow-deep connection with him.

No stranger to grief himself, lonely artist Tristan is in awe of Matilda’s fun and philosophical approach to life. With every second spent in her presence, he finds his views on life and loss changing, and begins to embrace the beauty of being alive.

As their friendship turns into something deeper, lessons are learned, memories are made, and legacies are created.

But with both of them knowing how long their soulmate has left in this lifetime, important questions have to be asked and tough decisions have to be made before time runs out.

The Counting-Downers is an inspiring story about life, loss, love, and making the most of every moment.

My Review:
This is an exceptional debut novel by a very talented author. I will even go as far as saying it is one of the best books I have ever read. It has touched me on a cellular level and I’m still trying to compose myself after finishing it. It’s both hugely entertaining and deeply profound. Wow.

The Counting-Downers is a thought-provoking book about life and death, love and loss, fear and bravery. Matilda lives in a world where everyone has a ticking clock over their head confirming when they will die. They don’t know how they will die and individuals aren’t aware or allowed to be told of their own date of demise. Imagine living with the very real shadow of death always hanging over you in such a transparent way? I absolutely loved this premise and the way the author dealt with it. People often flippantly throw out comments like ‘life is too short’ and ‘live life in the moment’ without properly thinking of the meaning behind the words. This book really raised a lot of inner questions and I’ve been in such a reflective/philosophical mood since I finished reading it.

The story is also a beautiful love story and it highlights the importance of family and friendship. Matilda meets Tristan the day of her father’s funeral and they form an instant connection. Unbeknownst to them, they both have the same date of death. That was never explained, but I took it to mean they were true soulmates who would not only share the joy of life together but die together. After their initial meeting, they don’t meet again for two years, but once they do they start spending a lot of time together and very soon realize that they are meant for each other. Their relationship is quite deep and spiritual at times, but also juvenile and funny at others. The dialogue between them is snappy and witty and there were plenty of LOL moments. Matilda is a real free spirit and she helps Tristian overcome the pain of his past. It was a joy to read and I really loved both characters.

The writing in this book is OUTSTANDING. It was so poetic, eloquent and downright beautiful. Award worthy in my opinion. I cannot believe how young this author is because she writes like a seasoned professional, and with such insight. If this is what she is bringing to the table as her debut novel then she is definitely an author to follow.

In a note at the back, A.J states how she wants every page to resonate with the reader. Well, she definitely achieved that in my case. Every word was imprinted on my heart and my mind. Here are a couple of quotes I liked:

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you and trusting that they won’t.”

“Nobody sees me like you do, and without you, I’d be invisible. I exist because you see me.”

I am highly recommending this book. It is different, original, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. I hope it’s a huge success for the author because it’s an exceptional piece of writing.

AJ Compton Author PicAbout the Author:
A.J. Compton is a 23-year-old Londoner, professional dreamer, and full-time over-thinker. She is the author of The Counting-Downers and a dozen other unfinished manuscripts which will hopefully see the light of day soon.
A University of Cambridge graduate, A.J. is currently in a polygamous relationship with an embarrassing number of fictional book boyfriends.
Those two facts are not related. Honestly.
She loves people-watching and exploring her observations in her writing.
She really hates writing about herself in the third person.

Links:

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Blog Tour: And Then Forever by Shirley Jump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links:

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