Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: Crave Part One, by E.K. Blair



Kason and Adaline.

From the moment they met, they started to fall. Neither of them predicted just how far the drop would be, though.

Loving Adaline was all Kason had ever wanted to do. But layer by layer, he started to unravel, forcing Adaline to face an addiction she never could’ve imagined.

This is what happens when one person loves beyond the craving and the other craves beyond the loving.



Review
3.5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit I went into this book somewhat blind - which I NEVER do!  My blog partner loves this kind of experience, me...not so much.  But, I have always loved E.K. Blair's books and thought why not.  Crave centers on the story of two high school characters navigating first love and addiction.  They come from opposite ends of life.  While they both primarily are raised by single mothers, Kason's mom works two jobs and can barely make enough to keep them in a dumpy apartment on the wrong side of the tracks.  Adaline's mom on the other hand is a well-to-do lawyer and they live in a gorgeous house situated in a posh neighborhood.  As far as material things go Adaline wants for nothing and Kason works hard for everything he has.  At first glance they couldn't be more different, yet almost from the first time they meet they are irrevocably drawn to one another.

Before long these two lovebirds are inseparable but is clear Kason is waging a very secret hormonal war.  I'll be honest I didn't think much of it in the beginning because he's a 17 year old teenager - of course he's going to be horny!  But as the story progresses you realize to Kason this is a much bigger deal than at first glance.  His addiction brings forth the catalyst that is the turning point in the story.  It definitely provided a good dose of angst but I cannot help but feel as if something was still missing in the story.  

It's not as if I didn't like Kason because I did and his back story absolutely broke my heart but I just couldn't find myself rooting for either him or Adaline, and I would like to see them together as a couple, they have the potential to be great, but individually they just aren't there yet.  They both have redeeming qualities and I appreciate the fact E.K. Blair chose to have these characters be honest.  Their honesty with one another, no matter how difficult, was truly refreshing and the best part of the book for me because I feel as though I read so much where the climax all boils down to dishonesty or rather a character just not speaking their mind.  So kudos for a change in pace.  I don't know.  I feel like Kason and Adaline have so much potential as both individuals and a couple but they have a long way to go.  My hopes is in the next book they both are strong enough to face their insecurities and choose to do so.  

I'm going to give you fair warning that this one ends on a cliff hanger.  Unfortunately I don't really think I like the direction this cliff hanger is going to take the story, but on the other hand it may be just the catalyst that is needed to allow both Kason and Adaline open themselves up to the power of a healthy all consuming love. 

   

COMING SOON

Crave: Part Two – Releases October 16


AUTHOR BIO 

E.K. Blair, takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her dynamic and intense writing style. Noted for her ability to create fleshed-out characters that will evoke a realm of reactions, you can be assured that her stories will linger with you far beyond the last word.

A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.ekblair.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EKBlairAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EK_Blair_Author
Instagram: https://instagram.com/authorekblair/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/e-k-blair



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Shameless (White Lie Duet #2), by Lisa Renee Jones



The second and final book in the sexy and tantalizing White Lies Duet from New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Renee Jones.

Nick "Tiger" Rogers, sought out Faith Winter with revenge as his agenda. He made her his obsession. He seduced her. He made her want him. He made here trust him. And then he trusted her. He wanted her. He loved her. 
But now, the lies will be exposed, the truth revealed. 
Hearts will be broken. Lives shattered.
Nick. Faith. 
The truth. The passion. 
The SHAMELESS obsession.




Review
4.25 out of 5 stars

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the conclusion to the White Lies Duet – I always love how Lisa Renee Jones leaves us hanging at the best moments.  While I didn’t suspect Faith was capable of killing anyone nor did I think she was anyone’s “problem” I was beside myself wondering who was behind the supposed murder of her and Tiger’s parents.  I also found myself anxious to see how big of a hole Nick would dig himself into and how his original motives for getting close to Faith would come to light.

Lisa Renee Jones definitely didn’t disappoint in the identity of the murderer, and while I had a hunch I will admit I was super surprised at all the parties who were involved.  Overall I enjoyed the conclusion and I really think Nick and Faith make a great couple.  They truly complement and challenge one another in the best way possible.  However, all these positives aside the overall pace of the book felt a little slow to me.  I found myself frustrated these two characters seemed to be having the exact same conversations over and over.  Can I trust him?  What if he hurts me?  What isn’t he telling me?  Will she leave me?  I want to tell her the truth but now’s not a good time.  It’s as if their inner dialogue was on repeat and I worried their relationship would be doomed before it even really got off to a good start. 

I will say though Nick truly surprised me with his determination to break down Faith’s walls and his ability to embrace the fact he was falling head over heels in love with her and was prepared to literally do whatever it took to protect and win back her heart.  I love seeing a man be a man, step up to the plate and take charge.  I also love it when a strong woman chooses to let a man take care of her because it’s in the choice to let go that we see just how much she has fallen in love as well.

As always I love a good romance mixed with suspense and mystery and Lisa Renee Jones does this genre so well.  If you haven’t read one of her masterpieces yet you’re missing out!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: Enrage by Rachel Van Dyken





Part of a world I loathe.
Part of a family who hates me more than I hate myself.
Living with a girl who reminds me of my darkness.
I'm. In. Hell.
Also known as the Cosa Nostra.
My life was over the minute I stepped off that plane.
Son to a murdered mob boss.
Heir to a throne of murder and lies.
My name is Dante Nicolasi.
And there will be blood.


Review
4.5 out of 5 stars


Blood in, no out.  It is a simple concept.  Family first, always.  But when it comes to the mafia, is anything really easy or black and white?  I don't think so.  Everyone knows that we love the Italian mafia men in Eagle Elite and I knew going into Enrage that it was going to be filled with emotion.  I had it on my kindle for 2 weeks before I had the guts to open it.  I was so scared to read it because I knew that something big would be going down in this book.  You could feel it from page one, so I worked up the nerve, made a big pan of lasagna in honor of my favorite fictional characters and dove the rest of the way into Enrage.

Dante Nicolasi is so angry.  While he didn't ask to be a part of the mafia he also wasn't really ever given the choice not to.  His twin sister Val is now married to Sergio Abandonato, so there's definitely no way to escape the world, thereofore it's imperative Dante find a way to embrace his role in a world he cannot control.  When you can't control your own destiny, you learn to fight and completely turn off your conscience.  Dante is a very intriguing character, I really was not sure how well I was going to connect to him, but I love where Rachel went with him.

El was abused and should be dead.  If it were up to the Russians she would be 6 feet under right now.  But for some reason, Frank Alfero saved her and saw how much she was abused by her former (dead!) husband.  But living with the Italian mob is not much better.  She constantly is waiting for someone to mistreat her.  She is terrified of everything.  Dante and El could not be more opposite of each other.  Good thing opposites attract!

Honestly, it is difficult to write a review for a book that you loved that is spoiler free.  Did this book make me cry? Hell yes. But, it also created a turning point for the characters.  I know this is the 8th book in the series, but I will never get tired of these characters.  I love each and every one of them and feel like I am part of their world when I read their stories.  I know that Rachel really wants to create a way for people to be able to start the series from the next book and you can certainly do that if you want, however, I personally think you will be missing out.  The mafia is complicated and their plots and stories weave a tangled web.  If you don't read all the books, I just don't see how you would be as emotionally connected to the characters and that is why I enjoy reading this particular series.  Honestly, if I don't have a connection with the characters then I almost always don't enjoy it.  

Enrage was an amazing read and you should most definitely one click it now.  But be prepared for twists, turns, new revelations and some anger.  Cause I am still pissed at a character and I finished the book hours ago.  Job well done, Rachel!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: The Society by Jillian Dodd

 
THE SOCIETY 
Amazon
Goodreads

Spy Girl Series Book 3 Can one girl save the world? From USA Today bestselling author Jillian Dodd comes the second book in a sizzling series filled with action and adventure. Fans of The Selection and The Hunger Games will discover a heart-pounding thrill ride of espionage and suspense set in glittering high society.

Click HERE to purchase an ebook from your favorite vendor.
Click HERE to order a signed paperback.

Sent to London for their next mission, Huntley and Ari are guests at Malcolm Prescott’s home, where Ari is asked to join a secret group called The Society, and Huntley learns more about her “father” Ares Von Allister. Spy Girl was trained not to have emotional entanglements, but Huntley is learning that it’s hard to survive in the real world without them. As she uncovers hidden truths about her past, the knowledge leaves her reeling and questioning everything. She’s going to have to trust someone, and it’s not going to be Black X. So she goes against her training and forms relationships—caring, trusting, and, maybe, even loving. But relationships are dangerous for a spy. Particularly one who will be facing her most challenging mission to date. Tasked with getting close to the illusive Money Man, she will be forced to delve into a seedy underworld that will threaten her very existence.

Praise for the Spy Girl series:

“With a kickass heroine and intrigue, this page turner will have you spellbound and drooling over your new book boyfriend.” - H.M Ward, New York Times Bestselling Author

 “The Spy Girl series is an intrigue filled, exciting ride through a world you’ll wish you were part of and want to know more about!” - J. Sterling, New York Times Bestselling Author

 “This series will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, never knowing what new twist or secret will be revealed. It’s the type of book that pulls you in, has you becoming heavily involved in the story and characters, trying to figure out the clues of what has happened or what may happen, and leaves you with wanting and needing more.” - Author Groupies

 “This is a fast paced, exciting series, full of suspense and riddled with clues that I am trying to figure out as I go.” - Reading is my Bliss

 “Every book I get in this series I end up reading in one sitting because I can't put it down.” - The Smutbrarians

 “I can feel myself getting more and more addicted the further in the series I go. Jillian Dodd really has a knack for creating these crazy worlds full of characters who you cannot help but love, but what makes this series unique is the mystery surrounding Agent X, better known as Huntley.” - Romance Rewind

 Watch the Spy Girl Series Book Trailer: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaUVtJyj28I&feature=youtu.be

Jillian Dodd is a USA TODAY bestselling author who lives in a small Florida beach town, is married to her college sweetheart, has two grown children and two Labrador Retrievers. She loves to travel, shop, and paint.

Jillian's Website: http://jilliandodd.net Jillian's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JillianDodd1 Jillian's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jilliandodd


Review
4.25 out of 5 stars

Starting where we left off in the Eagle the pace of this book is spot on and while the mood has been somewhat light in previous books The Society digs into some much darker issues.  Not to mention our beloved heroine Huntley is in a bit of an emotional crisis - mainly because she has all these emotions and reactions to situations and she was trained not to be emotional, not to make emotional connections and now that they've started the floodgates are wide open.  Plus add in the development of her and Ari realizing they're actually twins!  To say Huntley's world has been turned upside down would be a little bit of an understatement.

Now let's talk love interest...Huntley and Lorenzo's relationship continues to deepen.  While she is adamant things don't go to a physical level for fear of being to emotionally attached to Lorenzo what Huntley doesn't have a grasp on is that she is already in love with this man, unconsciously she has already attached herself to the prince emotionally.  And I'll let you in on a little secret - I LOVE these two characters together.  They balance one another really well - I really hope she figures out a way to let him in and give this thing between the two of them a real chance.

Huntley's mission this time around puts her in a crossroads - forced into a really dark situation she comes face to face with a real life monster and the whole situation impacts her in such a meaningful way.  Jillian's writing of this particular scene and the aftermath is incredible.  She paints such a rich picture giving readers a truly vivid image of a very real danger.  I am excited to see how this mission impacts Huntley in the books to come - one thing's for sure you cannot go through something like that and it not affect you going forward.

As always when the last page was turned my mouth was left hanging wide open - I am desperate to find out what happens in the very last scene and I really hope we don't have to wait very long.  This is such a great series, with each installment the story takes you deeper and the twists keep coming.  The only thing I'd request if I could would be a brief couple of paragraphs at the beginning of each book just to "refresh" your mind as to all that's happened.  Well done Jillian Dodd!

  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: The Fall Up by Aly Martinez



I wanted to jump.
He made me fall.

As a celebrity, I lived in the public eye, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself in the spotlight.

Until he found me.

Sam Rivers was a gorgeous, tattooed stranger who saved my life with nothing more than a simple conversation.

But we were both standing on that bridge for a reason the night we met. The secrets of our pasts brought us together—and then tore us apart.

Could we find a reason to hold on as life constantly pulled us down?

Or maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.
 

Review:  4.5 of 5 Stars

In life, happiness can turn up where you least expect it.  You day may start out terribly but end great because of someone you see, a surprise phone call or a number of things.  The Fall Up proves that theory completely.

Levee Williams is a super star pop princess.  She has money, fame and a great best friend, Henry, also a star.  But what all those things don’t bring?  Happiness!  Levee begins going to a bridge every night and meets a tall, tattooed, smoking hot stranger.  Even though she is in a disguise she is still hesitant to talk much to him.  After meeting several nights in a row, the stranger is worried but a little obsessed with the mystery girl that seems to be contemplating jumping.


Sam, the stranger, offers Levee a reprieve.  He doesn't care that she is a celebrity.  He tells her what she needs to hear, not what she wants to hear.  He sees her for the flawed person she is and still wants her.  When he pushes her to get the treatment she needs. she obliges.  But will their feelings be strong enough to last?  Especially when she finds out all of Sam's past and the heartbreak he has already endured?

The Fall Up had me hooked from page one.  I love Aly Martinez writing style and her ability to weave such story and create characters I love so deeply is fantastic.  I highly recommend that you one click this one and enjoy!  
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Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Steal by Rachel Van Dyken


Steal, the follow-up standalone rockstar romance to the #1 New York Times Bestseller Keep…

It's easy to lose yourself in someone you love.


Easier to lose yourself in someone you hate…


I didn't think it could get any worse than having to babysit a bunch of spoiled musicians on set ― keeping them out of trouble is a cakewalk compared to seeing my ex every day.


Seaside, Oregon isn't big enough for the both of us.


She hates me.


I loathe her.


The plan was simple ― stay the hell away and make sure she gets to set on time.
What I didn't expect was to be faced with our past in front of an audience ― and be forced to face it again.


It's torture.


The way she looks at me.


The way I try to look through her.


Words left unsaid.


The lingering aftermath still as powerful as ever.
I feed the chasm between us, for fear that she'll make me feel again ― and steal the last shred of heart I have left.


We have everything but each other.


It's not enough.


Not when you've lost love.


And replaced it with the only thing left ― hate.




Review 
4 of 5 Stars


The Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken is a spinoff of the Seaside series. If you haven't read them from the beginning, I highly recommend you do! I know this is a standalone but honestly, I feel like you miss out on connecting with the secondary characters so much if you start with this book and they all have such wonderful stories why not start with the originals?!?! 

We met Angelica Greene in Tear (Seaside #1) and to say I couldn't stand her would be an understatement. She was rich, famous, entitled and a straight up bitch. I was really unsure I would ever sympathize with her or want to read her story. But, I should never underestimate Rachel Van Dyken! The Angelica in Steal is broken. She is post drug rehab and finally wants to make amends for her mistakes. As a last ditch effort to save her career, Jay gives her a part in his movie filming in Seaside. 

The only manager willing to take on Angelica as a client? Will Sutherland, former lead singer  of Adrenaline and ex-boyfriend/love of her life. Will is extremely bitter of Angelica and can't seem to forgive her for her role in destroying their relationship and completely shredding his heart.  Honestly, he's never been the same post Angelica and as much as he wants to hate everything about her, he can't deny the attraction he still has for her either. How long will they be able to avoid the demons chasing them from their past?

I definitely enjoyed this installment and as always I love how Rachel weaves characters from the other books into her new releases and how important of a role those characters play with each new release.  It's like the best part of a "family reunion."  Without a doubt watching their meddling was probably my most favorite part of Steal. At certain points of the book felt connected to Angelica and Will, but I also had a hard time feeling their passion at times and the pace of this story felt a little rushed.  Regardless, this is still a really fun read and fans of this series definitely don't want to pass on this story.  Take it from me you're definitely going to want to know what makes Angelica tick, how the past has shaped her, what the driving force behind her struggles and cry for attention is, and in the end you will find yourself rooting for this "villain" to get her very own happily ever after!  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Until It Fades, by K.A. Tucker


Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?
 


Review
4.5 out of 5 stars

There is a Miranda Lambert song that says “everybody dies famous in a small town.”  Catherine Wright knows the truth of those words all too well.   When she was 17 she fell in love with her high school art teacher.  As you can imagine things spun totally out of control.  The teacher and adults who should have protected her didn't and instead she was ostracized from everyone except a couple of true friends; Lou, the owner of Diamonds, the truck stop where she waits tables is wonderful.  I also love Keith, her best friend who is also totally in love with Cath - he loves her so much he selflessly encourages Catherine to follow her heart even though the path probably won't lead her back to him.  (Side Note:  I need to see him get a happy ending so please, please write a book for him!)  And Misty, a fellow waitress who has stuck with Cath through everything and who always manages to bring exciting drama to any circumstance!

One evening, 5-6 years post teacher scandal, following a horrible blind date, Catherine comes upon a terrible car crash and does the unthinkable.  She single-handedly pulls the passenger out of a burning car and saves his life.  Little does she know the life she saved is none other than the rich, famous and hot, Brett Madden, NHL player extraordinaire.  Catherine knows once news reporters break this story keeping her anonymity is going to be difficult, but terrified to be in the spotlight again, to be on the receiving end of judgmental eyes she vows to do whatever it takes to keep her identity unknown. I cannot say I blame her for wanting to stay out of the limelight, her first experience left her all alone with absolutely no self-esteem - all undeserved especially considering she was the victim!  Nevertheless, at her core Catherine is a genuinely honest, hard-working woman who wants nothing more than to get through her life standing on her own two feet.  This girl is in no way looking for a hand-out nor does she expect life to be easy or sadly even for her own dreams to come true. So, it's really no surprise she would run from any attention or money saving a star's life would surely bring.


When Brett eventually learns his hero's name and finally gets to show his appreciation in person and these two meet, the sparks are undeniable for them both.  As a reader, I loved Brett's character - talk about the ultimate "book boyfriend"!  He is famous but doesn’t act like it.  He's the guy next door only so much better.  He may have fame and fortune but at the end of the day he just wants someone to share his life with and for that life to be as "normal" as possible.  His heart is HUGE, and I promise you I'm not embellishing how wonderful this man is.  But, will Catherine ever allow her heart to love again?  She uses absolutely every excuse imaginable to push him away.  And I understand the reasons behind it, but I was desperate for her to have the courage to at least let herself try!  At her core is the worry Brett will only be around until his feelings fade.  The question is can she trust herself?  Can she trust Brett?  Is she willing to risk it all for a chance at love and true happiness?

The feels in this book are off the chart!  I opened my kindle one night because I couldn't find anything I wanted to watch on TV and didn't turn my kindle off until 3 am because I couldn't even think about sleeping without seeing how the story ended.  It's been two weeks since I read the ARC and I'm still swooning!  I love a good fairy-tale, perfect happily ever-after and this book gave me all that and more wrapped up in a beautifully well written, heart-melting story.  
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