Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: Author Anonymous, by E.K. Blair


A TRUE STORY told through the voice of New York Times Bestselling author E.K. Blair.

She’s an author.
She’s a mother.
She’s a wife.
She’s a fraud.

A woman marked and bound by her own deceit, this is the astounding tale of how one choice knocked her world from its axis forcing her to battle through a year of scandal and betrayal, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

This is an intoxicatingly risqué stand-alone true story tangled in lust, heartbreak, and contrition.

5 out of 5 stars

Have you ever watched something unfold in front of your eyes where you know you should turn away, give the person privacy but you literally cannot move?  Your brain and body disconnect and you’re held hostage to watch the terrible scenario play out in front of you.  You sense it’s bad, you sense it’s private, but for the love of all things you are just too curious to do anything but be a bystander.  That’s exactly what reading this E.K. Blair book is like.

You know precisely where the story is going to go, you know the slippery slope the main character has started down, you know it’s going anywhere but a HEA but you’re so completely drawn to her you decide to ride along with her anyways, just to see how far she is willing to take it, to see how much destruction will actually be caused.  Because let’s face it, you know it’s a true story and that fact alone makes you all the more curious as to the why and the what happened next questions your mind is firing off at a rapid pace.

Author Anonymous is far from a happy story, but again it’s not really fiction, it’s based off someone’s real life and life isn’t always happy.  It’s mostly messy and this story is just that, it’s muddled and chaotic and so consuming you’re literally going to want to read it straight thru without any breaks because Tori’s just boarded a train headed for the crash of her life.

I’ll admit there is a huge part of me who wants to know the true identity of Tori, our author anonymous.  Not necessarily because I want to know who the double life belongs to so I can judge them, but because I just have such a heavy heart for them and I want a real face to put with a real story.  This real person maybe be a lot of things, but what I know about her from this story is she’s an incredibly brave person for opening herself up and allowing this story to be told.  I just hope she has found herself and possibly through this book she has found a sense of healing, of peace and I pray most of all she will find not necessarily happiness because that’s circumstantial, I hope she’s found joy. 

E.K. Blair pens this story with so much passion and emotion, the entire time I felt as though it were Author Anonymous speaking the words herself.  The writing is completely seamless, she tells this story without judgement and I for one was completely captivated.  I absolutely encourage you to buy this book, open your heart and dive right in.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan, her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all too human characters, “It Ends with Us” is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price. 

5 out of 5 stars

I opened this book not knowing anything about it except Colleen Hoover wrote it and the cover was gorgeous. There are some authors whose books you automatically buy and read regardless of the synopsis because you know no matter what the story is about, this is one of your favorite authors and it simply doesn't matter, you're going to read it.  I figured it would have a fun, light hearted feel with a twist I didn't see coming.  I'll have to say though this entire story was one big twist I never expected.  It Ends With Us is unlike any Colleen Hoover book I have ever read and totally different than what I expected.  Yet, I still loved it every bit as much as I have her other books.  This book was powerful and strong filled with many beautiful moments as well as some incredibly heartbreakingly ugly ones.  It Ends With Us is a very raw story which will have you just as confused as the characters who are questioning everything thing they thought they always believed. It's an important story, one that absolutely needed to be told and Colleen Hoover tells it like no one else.  Her writing, her characters, the emotional roller coasters only she can's all perfection.

The heroine, Lily Bloom, (yeah, really) is such a powerful, wonderful character.  I had no idea I would treasure her so much. She is the epitome of strength, honor and bravery.  Since the novel is told from her POV, I easily connected with her.  I was able to feel her emotions and struggles clearly in the present, as well as in the past, thanks to some wonderful journal entries she finds herself re-reading to try and gain closure with her abusive late father and her first love.

Lily meets Ryle Kincaid in the first chapter of the book at a point in time where they are both struggling with the ramifications of a bad day.  He is a cocky neurosurgeon who wants nothing more than to get in Lily's pants.  Ryle has such a fun magnetic personality you easily fall in love with him.  His humor and the way Lily gets under his skin is nothing short of endearing.  Ryle, however, has some skeletons in his closet that cause him some issues.  Will love overcome tragedy?  

While you are in the present, you are also experiencing the past with Lily.  You see, her first love was a homeless boy named Atlas.  The story that unfolds in the past intersects unexpectedly with the present and Lily's world is turned upside down.  How can she find closure on the past when it seems to be repeating itself?  

I adored all the characters in this book; specifically, Issa.  The bond that is forged between best friends is sacred.  The fact that Issa can see everything clearly and not lose sight of what is important, makes her an incredibly important figure in Lily's life.  She is one of my most favorite book characters right now.  Good friends are hard to find, but Lily found one in her.

Love comes in all forms, whether it be a new romance, an old flame, love between a parent and child or just having the common decency to do the right thing when someone is in need.  I hope I can grow up to be like Lily one day.  I encourage all women to read this book and to make sure their friends and daughters read it.  Be brave and bold, don't be afraid to make difficult decisions, but buying and reading It Ends With Us shouldn't be a difficult decision, just go ahead and one-click it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review: The Matchmaker's Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken

Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.

Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.

But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.

Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

4.75 of 5 Stars

I loved the first book in this series, The Matchmaker's Playbook!  It was fun, hot, and a perfect mix of humor and love.  Ian and Blake were so much fun and I really enjoyed reading their story.  The character that I did not like in that book?  Lex!  I couldn't stand him!  He was such a jerk to women everywhere, especially Gabi.  I was curious when I received this book to see if RVD could change my opinion of him.

Lex is a Computer Science genius.  His main skills are hacking into things to find out information he wants.  His best friend is Ian and together they run Wingmen Inc. a dating service of sorts.  They teach girls how to make the guy they want desire them and they have quite the success rate.  But now that Ian is with Blake they need more people working for them.  It is also logical that they should help men get the girl too.

Gabby needs the money and being best friends with Ian does have it's perks.  He makes sure she gets the job but the catch?  Lex is doing the training.  If there is one person she hates, it is Lex.  He is a man whore who only cares about himself.  However, most people that invoke such a strong reaction from each other are usually fighting an unbelievable attraction.  The more time they spend together training the more difficult the attraction is becoming to ignore.  

Lex really wants everyone to think he is a douche.  And he totally can be one at times.  But, I have to say at the end of the book, I loved his character even more than I loved Ian.  Rachel Van Dyken has an unbelievable way with words and storytelling to be able to make you hate a character in one book and love them in the next.  This book is fun and witty with just enough drama mixed in it.  I loved it from cover to cover and finished it in one sitting!  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Review: Hard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in the smoldering, scorching first novel in the explosively sexy new Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

How bad do you want it?

The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family's business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.

Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret that could destroy them both.

Review:  4.5 of 5 Stars

Lisa Renee Jones always grabs my attention from page one of her books, and Hard Rules was no exception! I love the mystery and intrigue that she is so good at weaving into a story.  

Hard Rules has some great characters, starting with Shane Brandon.  He is a typical alpha male that I expect when reading a LRJ book, but he has his own unique qualities, like all of her characters.  He is an attorney who made it big in NYC, but had to return to Colorado to bail his family out of legal trouble.  I cannot stand his family.  I don't trust any of them.  Shane is attempting to take over Brandon Enterprises from his father and brother, but it is not going to be an easy feat.

Emily Stevens is a wonderful heroine.  I adore her stubbornness and her spirit.  Life has definitely not been fair to her, but she is trying to make the best of it.  And day while getting coffee she a chance encounter introduces her to Shane Brandon.  Fate is at work for these two because they can't seem to stay away from each other.  As their lust takes over, they become more to each other than they ever imagined.  They are destined for more than a one night stand.  

I finished this book several days ago and I am still reeling from it.  I am dying to know what Emily is hiding and how it is going to intersect with Shane.  Will they be able to move forward?  Is it a deal breaker as she believes?  I just need to know!  Come on February!  How will I be able to wait that long to read Damage Control, Book 2?!?!