Posted in Book Reviews

JULY FOLLOWER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY

It’s that time of the month again!! I host a follower appreciation giveaway at the end of each month as an extra thank you to every Book Vigilante Reviews follower for your support. Every comment, like, share, email, book recommendation, etc… I all love and appreciate and it’s just so great to be able to chat with like-minded readers about books! 

 So for this giveaway, one winner will receive a paperback of their choice from the list provided.

How do I decide what goes on the list? It is a compilation of all the books I’ve read, reviewed, and blogged about each month – it doesn’t matter if I loved the book or disliked the book. The only ones not listed are the few books I may have started and then not finished.

**Note: Some book titles do not have paperback options available. In the event you choose that book, I will gift you an ebook copy instead. If a book hasn’t been released yet, paperback or ebook copy will be delivered on release date.**

Hey everyone! Here’s an updated list of some preorders coming up for August! 

 I’ll still be adding to this list in the next few weeks so be sure to check my upcoming releases tab frequently. Happy reading y’all!

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW ~ SWEET FILTHY BOY BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

I do not read many “light, sweet, & funny” books. To be honest, those bore me and I need stories with much more depth so I put off the Beautiful Bastard series for that reason. This book, however, caught my attention. At first glance the blurb is quite simplistic and sounds like any other story but I had this nagging feeling there was a hidden layer to the story and something the blurb wasn’t saying and I was right! (Sorry, not going to tell you – you’ll just have to read and find out!) As I had three ratings for different parts of the story, my review will be broken down into three parts as well. I think the important message is albeit the beginning was rough and a very bumpy start for me, the rest of the story mostly made up for it. 2 star beginningI’m all for total escapism because that’s why I read; however, I need some kind of realism in there as well or I won’t be able to relate to the characters at all. This beginning was quite ludicrous – I was staring at my book in disbelief at what was happening. If it weren’t for a friend warning me about the unrealistic first 25% I actually would’ve stopped reading. It just seemed like every impossible thing that wouldn’t be able to happen did happen so I had difficulty believing in the story. I have no doubt this part will appeal to longtime fans of this dynamic author duo and anyone else looking for some hot fun. Call me pragmatic or whatever, but it’s way too impulsive and careless for my tastes.4.5 star storyAfter the beginning 25% and when Mia hops on a plane and goes with Ansel to Paris, the story took a turn for the better and I absolutely adored it! I’d say hot sex takes up about 70% of the book but it was done so, so well! I pretty much laughed my ass off with Mia and Ansel’s role playing (TONS of that going on hehe) and despite the rather unbelievable start to their relationship, I liked that they took some time to get to know each other – those scenes were so awkward but funny to read!

3 star endingEverything – the story, the steamy sex scenes, etc…- was going so well and then BAM, plot twist and I pretty much disliked Ansel after that. To clarify, deliberately omitting information from your significant other is called lying in my book (and this is something big too). However, I did like how Mia finally took charge and grew a backbone, and though the ending was a bit rushed and tied up too nicely, it was also very sentimental and touching so overall I liked it.As this is the first book I’ve read from these authors and, for the most part, liked, I’m not opposed to reading the next one in the series. My biggest complaint would be the ridiculous first 25% of the story but I do realize without it, there wouldn’t be the rest of the story which was significantly better. If you end up struggling with the beginning like I did, keep reading! It’s worth it.ARC provided by Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. Married to the cutest boy in school, she has a thirteen year old daughter, is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter, and also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.
You can follow their shenanigans at:@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, 

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY ~ ALL LINED UP BY CORA CARMACK

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

Anyways, I. Loved. This. Book. Simply put, this story is just too cute, sweet, humorous, and sexy to resist – I never stood a chance! I do think I was in a really receptive mood for a “light & fun” read but then again, I’m a sucker for wit, dry humor, and anything that’s awkward and this book had all three. In my opinion, All Lined Up is Cora’s best work to date and a perfect example of what a good NA book should be so if you’ve been holding out on this genre, try this one out.

Dallas: The best quote from the book to describe her is:
“In Texas, two things are cherished above all else – football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.”
Because her Dad is the super well-known football coach at Rusk University, Dallas constantly lives in his shadow – football and gossip always associated to her name. Guys are either interested in her only to get to her Dad or too much of a chicken to make a move. As a result, she comes to loathes anything that has to do with football as all the sport has brought to her is a certain social stigma she can’t shake off. She’s never gotten the chance to prove to anyone she’s more than “Coach’s Daughter,” and she longs to fulfill her dreams as a dancer.
Carson: The best quote from the book to describe him is:
“Growing up poor makes you hyperaware of all the other things people take for granted.”
Carson is a newbie to Rusk University, having just transferred over. Having to work hard for everything he’s achieved thus far, he knows he can’t afford any distractions – including Dallas. This man, albeit a little bit of a klutz when it comes to academics, is one of the most patient, thoughtful, and charming heroes I’ve read about. A guy who’s actually NOT a manwhore in a NA setting – what a nice breath of fresh air from the usual Travis Maddox 2.0. And on top of which, he genuinely wants to know Dallas for the amazing girl she is, not because she’s a stepping stone to her Dad.

To be honest, this book has some insta-love on Carson’s part but it didn’t bother me. Why? The way it happened was so funny and adorable, plus Carson’s the type of guy to see something/someone and know to appreciate, never taking anything for granted. In this case, he knows Dallas is important to him and whether as a friend or lover, he’s willing to take whatever she can give to him. His chemistry with Dallas is so palpable and the sexual tension is delectable! But most of all, they are honest to each other about everything – their feelings, their thoughts. They’re equals, best friends, lovers, and it just makes me so happy that I got to read a book where the two MCs don’t act like spoiled, jealous high school kids with a relationship ridden with communication gaps and character stupidity <— you’d be surprised at how rare this is so seriously, I love your face Cora Carmack!
This book sends out the most positive, uplifting message and not even a cynic could resist this heartwarming read. An absolute gem!
This is a standalone – the next book focuses on an important side character. 


Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW ~ THE DEEP END OF THE SEA BY HEATHER LYONS

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

Love mythology? I recommend this book.Hate mythology? I recommend this book.Don’t care about mythology? I recommend this bookNeed a new book to read? I recommend this book.Anyways, this is such a fantastic standalone – possibly my favorite book for May! Although this story revolves around Greek mythology I would classify this book as both fantasy and contemporary – if you took away the mythology aspect, this story would read as any other contemporary romance and for me that was a plus  The author styled the book in a way where both mythology lovers and readers not familiar and/or don’t like mythology would be able to relate to characters and not feel lost. The important thing to remember is this is not a book where you get a lesson on the family tree of Greek gods and goddesses – at the heart of the story is an epic romance between a wronged woman and a noble, kind-hearted deity who has always been there for her.

For me, this book was both enlightening and enjoyable. Growing up, I was taught and instructed about certain ways of the gods & goddesses – deities that the old myths and textual content deemed to be “good” or “bad.” While I read this book, all the prior bias I had towards certain deities vanished. The author constructed these characters that broke down that bias – Athena isn’t the usual high & mighty wise goddess, Poseidon, though a powerful god of the seas, isn’t so well-respected, Hades isn’t a dark, gloomy god of death, etc…Does the author twist around Greek mythology? Yes, but in a way that’s completely believable and specific to the purposes of this story. It’s a fine line for readers – you’re either going to love it or think the author butchered it, but the one thing we can all agree on no matter how different our interpretations are is that Heather Lyons was able to create and mold these characters that genuinely reflected her vision for the story, not just go by what history and mythology dictated was accurate.

Medusa is like any other simple girl except for one thing – she’s extraordinarily beautiful. She catches the attention of Poseidon, god of the sea, and thinking she loves him and vice versa, she doesn’t count on him raping her. On top of which, after losing her virginity the goddess she previously served Athena curses her and turns her into the hideous Gorgon Medusa and anyone who looks her in the eye will be turned to stone.What I love so much about Medusa is how well-rounded her character is: she’s understandably hurt and weak from suffering her punishment for 2000 years, yet she’s never once let what happened to her change her kind heart and diminish her inner strength. Because of her ability to turn the living into stone, she rejects any contact from the outside world, save a old blind man and the deity Hermes.

Hermes is a wise, outspoken, and noble deity – he is the nephew of Poseidon and Athena’s brother so I was expecting Medusa to hate him. But as time goes by, Hermes shows Medusa little by little that there are good gods in Olympus and that he’s on her side, truly believing that what his uncle and sister did to Medusa was unjust and he sets off to right this wrong.The BEST part about this book was having the characters prove me and my previous biases wrong again and again – the author portrayed these gods and goddesses in a way you just wouldn’t expect in Greek mythology textbooks. So Hades, god of the underworld, isn’t a shady & gloomy god – who would’ve thought that? I can’t emphasize this enough – at the heart of the book is a romance story, not another adaptation of Greek mythology. The romance isn’t shallow or unbelievable; in fact I could really relate to her, despite this all taking place in Olympus. The setting is in modern times so there is wifi, shopping malls, etc…and for me that made it all the more easier to put the story and romance into perspective.Of course, the book wasn’t perfect and I had intended to give this book 6 stars as it hit all the right buttons. However, there are a number of grammatical/editing errors, nothing too serious but noticeable enough. Another thing was – Medusa on her own was a weak character BUT I could see why for the first 50%. After all this is a woman who’s lived in isolation for 2000 years and pretty much lost sense of how the world works. But together with Hermes, they are such a strong team; in fact they shined and I don’t think anyone can resist that kind of love or power, certainly not me. So for the author to give me such a unique and different story and for portraying that kind of epic love that made me teary-eyed every so often, I can’t give this book less than 5 stars – my heart won’t allow it.

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW ~ BRANDED BY ABI KETNER AND MISSY KALICICKI

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. 
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home. 

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain. 

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me. 
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. 
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Note: The book has recently been updated with a new cover and has brand new chapters (extra 70 pages).When I first read this book last summer, I thought it was flawless – I especially loved that the story gave me a total escapism feeling. As time goes by, I’ve noticed that my tastes change (like a lot) and I become more jaded & critical. I just want to point out that this review is not very trustworthy – the first time reading I gave this book 5 stars. Now almost a year later it barely scrapes a satisfactory rating. This is going to sound harsh but I personally didn’t see the difference between the old version and the updated one I just finished reading.

Lexi lives in a dystopian world where everything is governed by the Commander, and if accused of one of the seven deadly sins, that person is immediately thrown into the Hole, a wretched, cursed place where slave labor and worse basically happen. In Lexi’s unfortunate case, she was wrongfully accused of lust,one of the worst sins to be branded with, and is assigned to Cole, the hero of the book and Lexi’s new guard.Cole becomes Lexi’s guard and has orders to protect her – according to Lexi and others he has a very appealing physical form and is the best of the best out of all the guards. The only crime worse than being branded with one of the seven sins is for a Guard to fall in love with a Sinner, and that is precisely what happens in this story.

Before I get all critical, I do want to point out that it’s tough to balance both dystopian and romance. Those two themes shouldn’t even be in the same sentence as they’re polar opposites so I do applaud the authors for being daring and bold.For me though, this book weighed more on the romance side than dystopian, and I felt like a lot of the character interactions were childish, unbelievable, or annoying.– From the start I had this feeling like there were exceptions made for Lexi: she just had to get the nice and hot guard Cole, she just had to meet the kind Dr. Sutton, she just had to be instrumental in the revolt, etc…I mean this is freaking dystopian society we’re talking about here! I need to feel like Lexi is just like any other branded Sinner not just some girl who got an easy pass because she’s the heroine and deserves an HEA.– Cole is a guard? Aside from the uniform, you could’ve fooled me. The VERY first moment he sees her he gives her a “pained look.” Why is he, a GUARD, sympathizing with her??? And on first sight too? This guy is just too good to be true and in any other setting (like contemporary for instance) I would’ve adored him. Truly, I would’ve but since this isn’t, at least try to make his character convincing before he falls for Lexi!I feel myself getting ranty now so I’m going to stop because it makes me sad that a book I adored last year ends up receiving a rant this year. The book premise is awesome, but the writing felt a little immature and as for the story, well…suffice it to say I liked it but didn’t love it – a very bumpy ride.Copy provided by the authors via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW ~ DEVIL’S GAME BY JOANNA WYLDE

Liam “Hunter” Blake hates the Reapers MC. Born and raised a Devil’s Jack, he knows his duty. He’ll defend his club from their oldest enemies—the Reapers—using whatever weapons he can find. But why use force when the Reapers’ president has a daughter who’s alone and vulnerable? Hunter has wanted her from the minute he saw her, and now he has an excuse to take her.

Em has lived her entire life in the shadow of the Reapers. Her overprotective father, Picnic, is the club’s president. The last time she had a boyfriend, Picnic shot him. Now the men in her life are far more interested in keeping her daddy happy than showing her a good time. Then she meets a handsome stranger—a man who isn’t afraid to treat her like a real woman. One who isn’t afraid of her father. His name is Liam, and he’s The One.

4-4.5 stars!! (But I am leaning more towards 4.5)This third book in the Reapers MC series is my favorite – I couldn’t have asked for a more badass heroine than Em, a delectable and charming hero than Hunter, and an action-packed, thrilling story – definitely a feast for the senses. Joanna Wylde rocked it!While this book can be read as a standalone, I don’t recommend directly diving into this book without having read at least the second one. A good portion of book 2 really set up the basis of this story, and helped introduced Hunter’s character and his relationship dynamic with Em. This book is a bit different from the first two – there’s not much background info given and it’s devoid of Wylde’s usual character development and slow romantic buildup. For me, however, that was perfect; since I already knew of Hunter and Em from book 2, I liked that this book was sort of a continuation and not a rehash of the same details – she gave us a totally different perspective despite going through similar timelines from book 2.

Em:seriously one of the most kickass heroines ever!!! I think her character truly made this book shine – I usually side with heroes all the time and find issues with the heroines, but Em was just flawless! Part of that reason is because she’s a true-bred biker babe, different from outsiders like Marie and Sophie (previous heroines in this series). She knows how MCs work, the ins and outs, and all the laws & feuds, and I adore her tenacity and spirit when she deals with every obstacle hurled her way. She deserves a 5 star standing ovation!Hunter: he’s part of the Devils Jacks, the rival and enemy club of the Reapers (where Em comes from). My feelings for this guy were all over the place. To be honest, I spent most of the book not feeling too good about him when he repeatedly let Em down (totally pro-heroine here – Em’s fantastic!) I would’ve happily kicked him in the balls. But by now, I’ve realized that our biker men will make mistakes, intentional or not, and Hunter is no exception. But does he make up for them? Yes, he does, and although I wanted him to man-up faster than he did here, his unwavering devotion and loyalty to Em is undeniable. Love is not a term easily thrown around in the world of bikers, but who needs words when his actions far surpass them?

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW ~ BANG BY E.K. BLAIR

They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence. 
But I’m not innocent. 
I haven’t been for a very long time. 
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.

Gone.
Vanished.

I never even had a choice. 
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs. 
Until now. 
I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.

But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.

This is another one of those times where I honestly don’t know how to rate a book. I could be a bitch and rate it 2 stars because I didn’t really enjoy it, or I could be lazy and just rate it 5 stars because I thought it was brilliantly written and ignore the other not-so-pleasant feelings running through my head. But I’m not going to do either – I’ll just write what I thought & felt and you can decide if this is the kind of book you want to read.

This book blurb seriously is so freaking vague!! And the reviews are so freaking vague!! I can definitely see why it’s completely necessary to go in blind, but I think there are some things worth mentioning – none of these are spoilers, just general information that’ll help give you an idea of what the book is about.– I have to stress this point first – NO WAY is this a romance! The book completely revolves around Nina’s character, so there really is no “couple” or “hero.” There are three men whose lives are closely entwined with hers: Bennett (her husband), Pike (her foster brother), and Declan (someone very important she meets). I’ll explain more about each later. Any kind of love that does appear in this book isn’t meant to romanticize the story; it’s there to prove an ugly point.– When Nina was five years old, she had someone very precious taken away from her, and as a result was thrown into the foster care system. She finally ends up in Carl and Bobbie’s house (her longtime foster parents) and it’s there she meets the other foster kid, Pike. He’s the quintessential bad boy and when the going gets tough (especially with bastard guardians like Carl and Bobbie) he’s there for her. Anyways, Nina and Pike are forever fucked up because of their foster parents. That’s all I’m going to say about it.– Nina’s married to Bennett BUT she hates his guts. You’ll find out later how Bennett was indirectly responsible for why Nina had to go through the foster care system.– Nina’s out for revenge against Bennett and she meets Declan, the perfect someone to carry out her vengeance plan. Only, she doesn’t expect to actually feel something for this guy. She’s torn – revenge for her past or pursue a possible love for her future?

I didn’t enjoy this book one bit. I felt completely miserable. I will concede that it is brilliantly written and it must’ve taken a lot out of the author to write what she did – I mean how could she keep track of it all?? However, I hated the female lead – she didn’t have a single redeeming quality. Her reasoning for the revenge? It is COMPLETELY wacked up – she’s targeting the wrong guy! But I suppose part of the reason this book is considered to be such a mindfuck is because she genuinely believes that Bennett is the antagonist.Anyways, you should know that I’m not the kind of reader who thinks that if an author stirs any kind of emotion – love, hate, confusion, etc… – it’s a sign that he/she succeeded and I should rate the book 5 stars for making me feel. No. What if a book makes me feel sick to my stomach and I think there’s nothing redeeming about the character(s)? That’s not positive at all and quite frankly, a 4 or 5 star rating doesn’t reflect those thoughts. I was constantly wavering between:A) Obtain a physical copy so I can burn the bookB) Hug the book tight because you don’t come across this kind of story every dayThe only part of the book I can say that I was truly, utterly impressed with was the ending – I saw it as both a cliffhanger and closure. It ends in a way where I’m not really sure if Nina will be making an appearance in the next book, but regardless of that matter, I feel strangely liberated, like I’m glad this one giant rollercoaster ride came to an end. Much like the characters in this story, I’m constantly jumping from love to hate when it comes to my feelings for this book. Will I be on the lookout for book 2? Well…when a book ends the way it did here, you just kinda have to read the next one.

Posted in Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW ~ UNREQUITED BY MELODY GRACE

Alicia isn’t the kind of girl to kiss a total stranger up against the wall — no matter how devastatingly sexy he is. But reeling from a broken heart, she runs straight into the arms of Dex Callahan: rock star, bad boy, and the most seductive man she’s ever known.

Dex is looking for distraction, at any price. The innocent redhead is just what he needs to keep his demons at bay — but one taste of her sweetness isn’t enough. He needs to possess her, body and soul.

Two searching hearts. One night to discover the passion of a lifetime. Dex is determined to show Alicia the pleasure she’s been denied, but can she let go of her heartache and take a risk on the unknown? Find out in the sizzling new novella from USA Today bestselling author, Melody Grace!

I’m not even exaggerating when I say this: Melody Grace’s books just get better and better with each new one that’s published! I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Callahans!!Unrequited is a short but so satisfying novella and an introduction to Dex and Alicia’s story. If you haven’t read any of this author’s books before, it’s okay to start from here but I’d really recommend reading them in order. Alicia is a side character first introduced in book 2 and this story begins where book 3 ended.

I’ve read all the books in this series and the one character that really stood out to me was Alicia. She was always on the sidelines, not really a friend to our previous main characters, but not an outsider either. She’s quiet, reclusive, keeps to herself, yet she has a very successful career. There’s always this air of mystery that surrounds her and nothing seems to be an obstacle for her – except for this unrequited love she has for another guy. I could so relate to Alicia; it’s a very bittersweet feeling to love someone yet know that the person doesn’t feel the same way. And so, she lives a pretty lonely and bland life, that is, until she meets Dex, and all her appearances and defenses just crumble.To everyone else, Dex is just a famous rockstar and everyone wants a piece of him, but what Dex really wants is to be able to play music in peace – he thrives off of his songs, his music and loathes the attention that comes with it. On top of which, something tragic happened in his past and now he craves music to take his mind out of the darkness. He’s a daredevil, he’s wild, he’s bold, and I love everything that makes up this flawed, broken man.Alicia and Dex, both people tortured by their pasts, find solace in one another. What started out as a quick, hot interlude turns into something much deeper than they both anticipated.

This is seriously one of the best novellas I’ve read! I found this to be the perfect intro to Dex and Alicia’s story – not too short but not long enough that I was bored and waiting for something to happen. It ends on a very high note; I have this super anticipatory feeling and I just know there will be more hot, wicked, & sinful times in the next book about these two. I’ve been sufficiently teased now – give me the next one!ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Book Reviews

MAY FOLLOWER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY

It’s that time of month again!! For those that are new to my blog and Facebook page, I host a follower appreciation giveaway at the end of each month as an extra thank you for being a part of my blogging journey! As I will be packing and getting ready for my traveling in the next few days, I thought to post this monthly giveaway a little bit earlier than usual – you’ll have until the end of the month to enter! One winner will receive a paperback of choice from the list provided. How do I decide what goes on the list? Well, it is a compilation of all the books I’ve read and reviewed each month – it doesn’t matter if I loved the book, disliked the book, whatever. Every book I’ve read and reviewed that month will be on the list.

**Note: Some book titles do not have paperback options available. In the event you choose that book, I will gift you an ebook copy instead.**
Another note: The Last Good Knight serial by Tiffany Reisz is extremely short and does NOT have paperback options, period. If you choose any of the 5 parts in the series, I will be gifting you the entire series in ebook format – or in other words, a $5 Amazon gift card.

I’ve posted about this on my Facebook fan page but haven’t sent out this message to blog followers so here it is: I’m going to be traveling around in Asia for this whole summer and won’t be back until mid-August!!! Part of me is super excited but another is kinda sad: I will definitely be blogging & reading, but I can’t post as often as I do now. It’s simply not feasible due to a lack of wifi so I’m just dropping a quick letting-you-know message in case you don’t see a blog post from me for a week or two. Have a great summer y’all!And if you really want to stay in touch with me, make sure to follow me on Facebook! No matter what, I will always respond/check notifications & messages there first before tackling my emails:

Posted in Book Reviews

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY ~ YOU MAKE ME BY ERIN MCCARTHY

Growing up on the coast of Maine with a revolving door of foster siblings, Caitlyn Michaud spent one intense and passionate year falling in love with her foster brother, Heath. Then he left without a word. The betrayal devastated Caitlyn and made her vow to forget the compelling bad boy. But forgetting his sensual touch and their deep all-consuming friendship is easier said than done.

Isn’t the guy she needs…

Determined to move on, in college Caitlyn has risen above her small town impoverished roots and has joined a sorority, reinvented her appearance, and landed the right boyfriend. Pre-law major and frat president, Ethan, is thoughtful and always laughing, and he makes her feel happy, calm. He also gives her the social acceptance she craves. 

But the perfect world she tried so hard to attain is ripped apart when Heath appears one night out of nowhere. Caitlyn remembers all the reasons why she loves him, even if they don’t make sense to anyone but her. Out of the military, Heath is as brooding and intense as ever, and he is determined not only to win her back, but to exact revenge on everyone who kept him from her…

And when one love allows her to breathe, but the other feels as essential to her life as air, how does she choose between them?

I blinked, sure I was wrong.  But I wasn’t.  It was him, with shorter hair and broader shoulders. 
“Heath!” I yelled out, overcome with shock and joy that he was there.  Alive.  Not dead in a ditch or in prison.  “Oh, my God!” 
Stepping away from Ethan, I squeezed his forearms to indicate it was okay.  Then without thought for the fact that everyone was still staring at me or that I had just gotten engaged sixty seconds earlier, I ran in my high heels the ten feet to Heath hovering in the shadows and threw myself at him. 
“Hey, Cat,” he murmured, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me tight against his chest.  His lips buried into my hair.
I sank against him, breathing in deeply.  He smelled the same, earthy and masculine.  He felt different, bigger, more muscular, but his hands were just as I remembered, strong and tender, and his voice was low, casual.  A thousand memories assaulted me all at once, running along the coast, going out on the water in a stolen boat, laughing, talking.  Kissing. 
“Oh, God,” I whispered, pulling back to study his face, to cup his cheeks and outline his bottom lip with my thumb.  I couldn’t believe it was real.  He was real.  “You’re alive.  You’re here.”
The corner of his mouth turned up.  “I am.”
“Caitlyn, who is this?” Ethan had come up behind me and his hand landed on the small of my back.
I suddenly realized how close I was to Heath and I jerked back, cheeks flushing with heat.  My hands shook and my voice sounded high­pitched and breathless.  “Ethan!  This is Heath, my…
There was no way I could explain who Heath really was to me. How much he had meant.  How I thought I wouldn’t survive when he left.  What it meant to have him punch a hole in my perfect world now and walk back into it.
“My brother,” I finished.
As Ethan’s eye’s bulged, Heath gave a soft snort of derision beside me.
“You have a brother?” Ethan asked, sounding completely astonished, as he should.  “I didn’t know you have a brother.” I did.  A biological one that I no longer spoke to and who I didn’t acknowledge, but Ethan didn’t know that, and I never wanted him to. 
“Is that what I am?” Heath asked, sounding both amused and annoyed.  “A brother from another mother, Cat?”
“He’s my foster brother,” I added.  “My family always took in foster kids and some stayed longer than others.  Heath stayed long enough that we got close.”  In a manner of speaking. 
“I didn’t know that.  You never mentioned foster siblings.” Shit.  Ethan was looking at me like he didn’t know me.  But he did. 
He knew the me I wanted to be, the me I could be.  I didn’t want to drag him through my past.  But here was Heath.  My past.  And who I had once considered my present and my future. 
Speaking of…
“Where the hell have you been?” I asked Heath, my initial excitement turning to frustration as I realized that he had just appeared out of nowhere and hadn’t even bothered to speak to me first.  Let alone any sort of text or other contact. 
He shrugged.  “Around.”
Seriously?  I went straight into pissed off.  Four fucking years.  Four years and not a word.  “That’s not an answer.  I thought you were dead!” 
“Not dead.  Though I wasn’t aware you would care either way.” Was he crazy?  Confusion made my breath shallow, my palms sweat.  I had suffered when he left.  I had cried until I threw up.  I had taken off after him, only to walk two miles and realize I had no idea when he’d left or where he was going.  I had stalked him online, never finding anything.  I had stopped eating.  Stopped showering. 
And he was going to stand there and act like I hadn’t cared? 
“How could you say that?”  My voice shook. 
But his eyes just studied me, dark and angry.  “Maybe this isn’t the time or the place to discuss it.”  He took my hand into his.
My frustration faded at his touch.  A deep, intense longing rose up in me.  God, I had missed him.  But he merely turned my hand so that my new engagement ring was visible. 
“Congratulations, Cat.”  A mocking smile crossed his face.  His jaw was tense.  He took my hand and gave it to Ethan, who laced his fingers through mine.
“I’m Heath, Cat’s foster brother, like she said,” he told Ethan, and I could hear the edgy irony in his voice.  “It’s nice to meet you.” 
“Ethan Walsh.  Nice to meet you, too.  It sounds like you and Caitlyn have a lot of catching up to do.  Maybe tomorrow we can all grab some coffee.”
“Sure.  Sounds delightful.” 
That was attitude.  Plain and simple.  My eyes narrowed at Heath and I shook my head slightly in warning.  What the hell was he doing?  Why was he even there?
“I didn’t mean to interrupt a big moment,” he added.  “I’m heading downstairs.”
A million questions were racing through my head, but there was no way to ask them.  Not where we were.  Not with who I was with listening. 
Ethan stuck his hand out, because Ethan had good manners.  For a second Heath just stared at it, but then he took it and shook briefly. 
I’d never seen him in a suit before.  He looked… dangerous.  Very James Bond.  He was even better looking than I remembered and I had spent a lot of time coaxing his image out of my memory banks.  Especially alone in my bed late at night when I was lonely and my body ached. 
“See ya,” he told me casually, before turning and leaving.

There are certain words in blurbs that set off alarms for me, and by alarms I mean the kind that make me stalk the author/publisher/PA etc…to get more info on. In the blurb for You Make Me, the words “foster brother” did it for me. I was extremely interested in seeing how this would play out and I’m really happy to say that I think this is Erin McCarthy’s best work to date: she’s written a stormy, passionate but believable second chance romance with a healthy dose of angst and relatable, level-headed characters.

The book starts off with a short but fantastic prologue! Then fast forward four years where Cat is now a well-known, all-around golden girl in college with an equally amazing and popular guy Ethan as her boyfriend. On the night of her junior year Homecoming dance where everything planned goes along accordingly, out of the blue, Heath appears and stuns Cat. Having left her when she was sixteen and never contacting her in the past four years, Cat is shocked, relieved, and angry to see him so naturally I could understand her conflicted feelings: on one hand she’s desperate to reach out to him and on the other, she’s with Ethan, a guy she knows is good for her.
“How could I explain that Heath was the past and Ethan was the future? That one I had chosen and one had chosen me? That Ethan represented everything I had always craved, but Heath was everything I needed?”
And as cliché as it sounds, there will always be a certain allure for “the one that got away,” which is why I totally sympathize, understand, and connect with Cat’s character.

Though this portion of the book was angsty and somewhat frustrating, it was realistic and completely character-driven. I loved how the author made smooth transitions from where Cat was at the beginning to how she thought and perceived everything to the end. Usually when there’s a love triangle (or any hint of one), there’s supposed to be a “decision” where one is chosen and the other is dropped, and I hate that. To me, it always feels like the chosen is second best. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel any of that in this book; all encounters are done quite tastefully and I was totally invested in the story.
I think the strongest and most compelling aspect of the book was the author’s writing. I’ve read her other work (True Believers series) and I’ll be honest, this book is different: both the writing and the approach I mean but it’s a good-different and the writing here simply appeals to me. It’s mostly in present time, but there are a few flashback scenes sprinkled throughout the story. Again, not something I usually like, but in this book it was executed quite nicely and the scenes were informative as well. And most of all, I liked how the author took a common NA premise and turned it into a somewhat unique and different read than others: a love triangle that’s seemingly not a love triangle, characters that are impossible to hate because there is no “bad guy,” and a fluent, transitional writing style.
As much as I loved the book, there were a few things that got on my nerves. One being I wanted more of Heath and Cat’s history. A couple of flashback scenes are not enough for me, and though I wholeheartedly approved of their relationship, it would’ve been better if there were more background info on them so I could be better convinced of their early bond and love. The last 25% was a bit weak on both the emotional and plot aspects. I get that with every new relationship, especially one built on a foundation of deception and heartbreak, comes with many insecurities so I was glad to see the characters address them. However, there is this one argument near the end of the book I just did not get the point of. Like, it could’ve been completely omitted and there wouldn’t have been a difference (for me at least). A little toomuch drama there and the ending was rushed, but overall, what was on my mind long after reading was that this book is one of the better NA stories I’ve read this year and though I probably won’t re-read it anytime soon, I won’t be forgetting about it anytime either.

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Please note that all quotes are from an advanced copy and may be subject to change in the final edition.
**This next section contains minor spoilers and is for those that want to know if there isany cheating, a love triangle, or if there is an HEA. Please only read this section if you’re interested in those; otherwise my review ends above.**
To answer some questions that were asked: Is there a love triangle? Is there cheating? Is there an HEA? Even before I cracked open the book, I wondered if there was a triangle but my curiosity with the “foster brother” part and Heath being ex-military won me over.
Love triangle: I think most will say yes, there is a love triangle. For me, however, it wasn’t. It’s true that both Heath and Ethan love Cat, but it was always clear to me who Cat was going to end up with. This was probably the most angsty part of the book, and it’s not extremely frustrating. The characters do not bounce back and forth amongst one another. 
Cheating: I didn’t think there was any kind of cheating (physical or emotional). There are no gray areas when it comes to defining Cat’s relationship with the two guys. She’s either with one of them, or she’s not.
HEA: Yes. There’s a happy ending for Cat and Heath.

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

Posted in Book Reviews

BLOG TOUR ~ THE LAST GOOD KNIGHT SERIES BY TIFFANY REISZ

Tiffany Reisz is my #1 favorite author of all time – I am literally in awe of this author and her writing abilities. The Last Good Knight is an Original Sinners series novella and will be released in 5 parts over 5 days. The events in this serial occur three years before The Siren, book 1 in The Original Sinners series.
If you are new to Tiffany Reisz’s books, I would recommend The Last Good Knight serial after reading The Original Sinners series as there will be certain plot spoilers. Here’s my recommended reading order:

The Last Good Knight Series Review
The events in this serial take place three years before The Siren (book 1 in TOS series) but to better understand the characters and certain events that unfold, I HIGHLY recommend reading this serial after The Original Sinners – Red Years (see reading order above).
There are 5 parts that will be released over the course of 5 days starting May 6. In the beginning I was scratching my head wondering why it couldn’t be released as one whole novella but after reading I think I understand. Each part is just so different, and while telling one continuous story, every part represents a different stage of the plot and character development. As a whole, this serial rates 5 stars – Tiffany Reisz has once again dazzled me with her writing abilities, her depth and knowledge of BDSM and erotica, and the amazingly smart, sexy, and witty characters and story. It’s simple – whatever she writes, I will read.
Individual Book Reviews

Part I:Scars and StripesIt’s lust at first sight when Mistress Nora encounters a sexy newcomer to The 8th Circle. She’s happy for the distraction, since she left her lover, Søren, but her session with Lance is cut short when her boss, Kingsley Edge, reveals they’re all in danger….

Tiffany Reisz is my all-time favorite author and I just can’t go wrong with her. Her stories are always so high-quality, witty, thought-provoking, and absolutely out-of-the-box! I’ve been yearning for a Sinners fix ever since I finished “The Original Sinners – Red Years” series last winter and this novella was perfect.


Scars and Stripes takes place three years before The Siren. Nora has left Soren and while working in the 8th Circle, comes across a sexy Navy SEAL Lance. As always, Tiffany Reisz never disappoints with her smart, edgy, & erotic scenes and though short, I loved the witty banter and time Nora and Lance spent together here.


The novella ends with Kingsley revealing they’re all in danger. Under normal circumstances I’d definitely view this kind of ending as a cliffhanger; however Tiffany Reisz really knows how to soften the blow of such a suspenseful & abrupt ending and now all I’m ready to do is dive into the next installment…
ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Part II:Sore SpotsWith a potential stalker on the loose, Kingsley hires Lance as Nora’s bodyguard, but stipulates no sex while he’s on duty. Frustrated by the ex-SEAL’s noble chivalry, Nora is driven to seek release with the one man she’s trying to forget….

A wonderful second installment following the first Scars and Stripes! This novella continues where the first left off – one of their own has been attacked and Kingsley orders a halt to everything. Worried about Nora’s safety, he assigns a bodyguard to her, who ends up being Lance, the quintessential Prince Charming from the first novella. Kingsley has his stipulations though, and it means no sex.
This novella was a little different from the first but just as enjoyable. For one, some secrets are revealed and so I got to delve into the character’s deeper emotions and psyche – as a reader who craves emotional connection with characters I absolutely loved this part! The novella ends on a very high note:
“If she couldn’t have Lance, she’d have the one and only man who she wanted more than him tonight.”
And, of course, Sinners we all know who that is 

Part III:The Games Destiny PlaysShocked to see Nora’s bruises, Lance is furious that she put herself in danger and demands to know where she got them. As Nora confesses her true nature, she’s equally shocked to learn that Lance has some secrets of his own, drawing them together despite Kingsley’s orders….

This third part was even better than the first two! Tiffany Reisz has kicked up the kink and we get a scene with Soren & Nora together – these two just never cease to amaze me. I said this before and I’ll say it again – this author has ruined me for everything else erotica related: out of all the authors I’ve read there’s no other that quite captures the essence of BDSM like Tiffany does.
Once again, the novella ends abruptly with Kingsley revealing some bad news regarding the attacker – thank goodness I have part 4!
ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Part IV:Fit to Be TiedWith her feelings for Lance warring with her recent encounter with Søren, Nora returns to Lance’s bed and finds herself toying with the idea of…toying with him on a permanent basis. But after she gets a glimpse into his personal angst, Nora realizes she has the power to rescue this white knight….

The assailant has now been detained so there is no need for Lance to be Nora’s bodyguard anymore. They resume their D/s relationship and waste no time getting the kink on 

I liked that we got to see more of Nora’s feelings & emotions as opposed to her usual blunt, confident self. This was probably my least favorite out of the series yet still so, so good! Maybe it’s because this fourth part made me realize I only have one more until this series is finished.
ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Part V:The Last Good Night
Now that the perpetrator has been apprehended, Nora sadly acknowledges she doesn’t need a bodyguard anymore. She adores Lance and wants to keep him but is faced with a dilemma—if she uses her connections to help Lance, she’ll have to give him up forever…

This was by far the best out of all the installments and a perfect ending that linked back to the beginning of part 1. This quote from Lance says it all:
“I have dreamed for two years about getting my daughter back. I have dreamed for sixteen years about finding the perfect woman for me. I find the perfect woman for me and find out how to get my daughter back, but…to get my daughter back, I have to give up the perfect woman.”
Nora’s always been my favorite heroine, but in this part her character truly shines – I got misty-eyed here. Though short, this series was just what I needed while patiently waiting for The Saint to be released.
ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tiffany Reisz lives with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name. She has five piercings, one tattoo, and has been arrested twice. When not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed). If she couldn’t write, she would die.


Posted in Book Reviews

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY ~ THE TEMPTATION OF LILA AND ETHAN BY JESSICA SORENSEN

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Ella and Micha series comes a gripping story of passion, pain, and the courage to love . . .
THE TEMPTATION OF LILA AND ETHAN

On the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect façade. She’ll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden-which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there’s only one person who’s there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.

Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn’t do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila’s pretty princess image, Ethan can’t deny they have a deeper connection than he’s used to. If he’s not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached-and he’s learned the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.

When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help as a friend? Or is he also getting close to falling . . . for her?

 “Why do you think it’s so hard to be alone?” Lila asks, struggling to keep her eyes open as she gazes out at the night sky through the cab window.   I’m turned sideways in the seat, with my knee up, so I’m facing her, even though she won’t look at me. I lost count of how many shots we had hours ago and I can barely comprehend how we got to a cab—stumbling, laughing, as she rubbed her hand up the front of my jeans. No, that can’t be right, can it?   “I think being alone is fan-fucking-tastic. . . well, maybe . . .sometimes . . .” I mumble, draping my arm on the back of the seat. I stare at her for a moment, taking in her bare skin in the moonlight. I want to touch it. Lick it. Even bite it.   I’m bursting with sexual energy and I channel it to my foot on the floor, bouncing my knee.    There’s something different about tonight, something out of the ordinary, this strange need to keep getting closer to Lila. It could be the alcohol. Or it could be something else, but there’s no way my tequila-soaked mind is going to reach any sort of answer.   Lila turns her head toward me, her pupils wide and shiny. “Why are you staring at me like that?”   I keep tapping my foot on the floor, trying to think of a better answer than the first one that pops into my head, but I can’t find one. “Because I’m thinking about you.”   She glances at the cab driver, a thirtyish guy wearing a baseball cap, and then her gaze lands back on me.     She sucks her lip into her teeth and I have to bounce my knee faster or I swear I’m going to fucking lose it.    “Thinking what about me?” she asks, looking wary, interested, and exhausted.   Don’t say it . . . “I was thinking about what it would be like to lick you . . . or bite you . . . either one really.” It seems like I should regret it as soon as I say it, but regret is nowhere in my reach at the moment.Her breathing quickens and her voice comes out shockingly unsteady for someone who has sex so much.         “Then do it.”   I blink, wondering if I heard her right through the massive amount of alcohol consuming my thoughts.             “What?”   She holds my gaze steadily, even though she seems really nervous, her voice trembling. “Then bite me. Or lick me…whatever you want.”

This is one of the most heartwrenching, passionate, and poignant stories I’ve read in long time. Literally every page on my iPad is highlighted with rainbow colors because, well, there were so many epic quotes to take note of!! This book has also restored some of my faith in New Adult. Prior to reading it, I was about to give up on NA for a while, as some of my recent reads were very disappointing. Not this one!! I’m kicking myself for not reading this sooner when I got it from NetGalley!!! I’m just going to venture out and say here that The Temptation of Lila and Ethan is by far Ms. Sorensen’s best work, even ahead of Callie and Kayden’s books, which have been my favorites.

– I don’t think I’ve ever been this pumped for a couple to get together. Lila and Ethan are so, so different from each other, and I was afraid that even sexual attraction wouldn’t be enough to keep them together.– I was constantly questioning the different paths this book could’ve taken: the story kept me on my toes. At one point, I actually worried if they got an HEA or not.– The book blurb doesn’t do the book justice; it’s SO much more! I went in thinking that they both had minor problems to deal with and – smack – I did not see what was coming. The prologue floored me, and the content only got darker from there (which I LOVE).So what’s this book about, hmm? I’ll let Lila and Ethan tell you their lives in ONE word.

Though she’s rich, Lila has lived under the oppressive rules of her father and suffered greatly from her experiences with her uncaring, zombie-like mother. Her parents demand perfection from her at all times, and she’s constantly put down by her father. She longs for freedom, for passion, for love from her family, knowing that she’ll never get it.“I don’t want to have to sit at a dinner table that is big enough to seat twenty when there are only three of us. I don’t want to be forced to eat food that looks like it still needs to be cooked. I don’t want to endure one more dinner where I’m told every single thing I’ve done wrong. I want them to just let me be myself and maybe, perhaps tell me that they love me.”

“I don’t want to feel like I’m always screwing up. I want to feel loved. I really do.”Unfortunately for her, a single mistake made when she was 14 changes her outlook on life, and she now numbs herself with meaningless sex and overdoses on drugs and prescription pills. She’s on a downward spiral towards self-destruction and no one is there to help her.Until Ethan.Ethan’s word: IndependenceEthan has had a rough childhood. He watched his father physically and verbally abuse his mother, and vowed to never become the monster his father was. On top of that, a decision he made regarding a certain girl led to a tragedy that plagues his thoughts ‘till this day, and he covers his pain with his bad boy exterior and string of one-night stands. He likes being alone and covets his independence, never once giving into commitment.“I’m not looking for a relationship. They’re ugly, raw, brutal, painful, life destroying. They exist only in the hearts of the needy and I don’t need anything from anyone. I’m perfectly content being alone, hiding in the desolate place inside myself.”

“What I really want is to not be thinking about anyone. I want silence. Solitude. I want my God damn thoughts to turn off.”

Until Lila.They are treading down a very thin line between friends and lovers.

“There was this strange connection between us, like we understood each other, even though we were from totally separate worlds: rich and poor.” – Lila

“This isn’t just about sex. There is so much more to it than that. We have a connection. We have since the day we met.” – EthanCan two people, so very different in personality and social status, be together?

“You wouldn’t be completely alone.” I sweep her hair to the side and rest my chin on her shoulder. “You’d be with me.”

“What would we do at this mountain place together?”“Anything we wanted.”A stunning and riveting story of love found in the most remote places.An inspirational tale about never giving up hope.A heartfelt book about one man’s fight for his girl, and one girl’s struggle against the impossible for her man.ARC provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Please note that all quotes are from an advance copy and are subject to change in the final edition.

Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW ~ A LIFE LESS BROKEN BY MARGARET MCHEYZER

On a day like any other, Allyn Sommers went off to work, not knowing that her life was about to be irrevocably and horrifically altered.

Three years later, Allyn is still a prisoner in her own home held captive by harrowing fear. Broken and damaged, Allyn seeks help from someone that fate brought her.

Dr. Dominic Shriver is a psychiatrist who’s drawn to difficult cases. He must push past his own personal battles to help Allyn fight her monsters and nightmares.

Is Dr. Shriver the answer to her healing?

Can Allyn overcome the broken?

3 stars!I liked it but didn’t love it – reading this book literally felt like a rollercoaster ride as there were many high and low points.

First I need to mention the way the book is structured as it’s quite different, unique, and tasteful – there is a pre-prologue, a prologue, and ends with 4 epilogues (all from different POVs). This author is known for her “different” works so aside from the already intriguing premise, the book structure is also something new to behold.The story is about a young, bright, and full-of-life girl Allyn who, on a dark, gloomy day, experiences an ordeal no one should have to go through. With all the detailed descriptions and multiple flashbacks to this horrific event in Allyn’s life, I was really expecting myself to feel the raw, emotional turmoil and all of her pain and anguish; however, I didn’t. I was more depressed and ready to move on than anything – that probably says more about me than anyone else.

Another part of the book that made it seemingly compelling was the taboo aspect – Allyn, a disfigured, skittish, scarred girl in a relationship with her much older psychiatrist who’s got a few secrets of his own? Well sign me up! I definitely appreciated the parts where Dominic was there to help Allyn accept and move forward with her life – those parts were really well done. However, I couldn’t process the idea of them together, and this is coming from someone who adores anything taboo and forbidden. There is this very messed up twist added into the story and while it definitely caught my attention and made me think, wow this author is good, it killed my belief that Allyn and Dominic would be able to sustain a long-term relationship. Thus, any kind of healing done after that point I was pretty dubious about – to me, it seemed a little contrived. It was also weird that after 3 years of introverted behavior, Allyn would just suddenly take to Dominic in an instant. It really made me wonder – why now, why Dominic rather it being one nice continuous and believable transition into the story.As for the epilogues I have very mixed feelings. In terms of satisfying my personal curiosity, the epilogues are a big hit. I’ve always wanted to be in the head of Allyn’s perpetrators so I loved getting their POVs – A+ for that. However, in terms of plot and story development, the epilogues were a disaster for me. The author gave these bad guys hearts – these people who were supposedly villains to the core, monsters who committed heinous crimes. Whether or not it was the author’s intention to inspire pity and sadness for them, it nevertheless ruined the antagonist image for me.I would recommend this book if you are looking for a story with some heavy content that ultimately sends out an inspirational and uplifting message and at the same time, don’t mind a couple of topsy-turvy twists thrown your way.ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t do ‘normal’.I’ve found that the more I write, the more I like being different to other authors. I write in first person, and I love to challenge a reader.I take the normal and switch it around.For me, I really enjoy getting a reaction from a reader. So if I can evoke an emotion (regardless of if it’s the emotion the reader wants) then I figure that I’ve done my job as an author I want to be.I really quite revel in taking people out of their comfort zones and pushing them to read something different.My genre of writing is, well quite frankly, where ever my mind goes. I won’t label myself because I don’t like sticking to one genre.My goal with writing is just to take people away from whatever is going on in their lives, even if it’s only for a split second.I’m a go with the flow sort of person and don’t really take a course of action to get where I am going. I live in the moment and don’t usually worry about tomorrow because whatever life is due to bring me, I’ll be happy to accept.I love my family and friends and will help anyway I can if someone needs it. I really don’t like people that are nasty just because they can be, I don’t believe that’s necessary, I mean life’s hard enough as it is!I hope you enjoy my books, I’ve had a hoot writing them. There’s more to come…..

Posted in Book Reviews

REVIEW ~ WHISPER TO ME BY CHRISTINA LEE

A hot and consuming New Adult romance about a wayward musician and the one girl who keeps him grounded…

At college, Rachel has a reputation for being a sarcastic flirt with a thing for star athletes. No one at school knows that she’d had her heart ripped to shreds by her high school sweetheart, who’d driven them both off the side of the road on a borrowed motorcycle, and then abandoned her. No one knows the real Rachel Mattson—except one person…

Ever since he helped nurse his sister’s feisty best friend back to health, pierced bass player Kai Nakos has been head over heels in love. But the supposed bad boy can’t risk letting Rachel know the truth—especially now that the two of them are back in their hometown for the summer, together for the first time since the months following that fateful night. Never mind that Rachel’s ex is back, groveling for her forgiveness.

Shaken by her ex’s return, Rachel finds herself turning to the one guy she knows she can trust. Kai is willing to hide his feelings for her, just to have Rachel touch him again. After all, this is only a temporary fling. Until it becomes something more. But maybe it had been more all along.

NEW ADULT FTW!!!I was actually considering vlogging (video-blogging) this review but nah. You guys don’t want to see my squeeeeeing x 10 faces right?While I was reading, I had to pause several times and just sigh in contentment to how perfect this book is. At times it’s sweet, but not sickeningly so; it’s emotional, but not to the point where it’s tear-inducing, and above all, this book is the epitome of what quality New Adult literature is, fully encompassing the transition between adolescence and true adulthood. These days, so many books ride the coattails of an overused book theme: bad boy falls for virgin heroine; however, Whisper to Me doesn’t. Rather than be about a particular theme or popular idea that would certainly appeal to the masses, instead, this story is character-driven and has a very well-paced and thought-out plot. A few other aspects I had to note were:– Low angst level– Highly likable characters who are also easy to relate to (or maybe it’s just me since I’m about their age)– Conflicts in the story are very realistic – never did I feel like drama and conflict was unnecessary or contrived– Incredible writing! Syntax variety isn’t something a lot of authors can do and do it well but Christina Lee hits the nail on the head!Even though this is the third book in the Between Breaths series, it can definitely be read as a standalone – this is coming from someone who doesn’t remember much from book 1, didn’t read book 2 (which I need to rectify immediately), and was still captivated and totally invested in this story and characters. The author provides just the right amount of background info so even if you’re new to her work, you won’t feel lost at all.You don’t need to know much about the plot itself – the blurb is actually a really good summary and indication of what the book is about. Here are some brief character descriptions of the main characters:

Kai: half-Dutch, half-Native American and a pierced dirty talker – I had dreams about this fellow guys. I would give 10 stars to his character if I could. All his life he’s been perceived a certain way and was never able to shake it off. All everyone sees is a hot bad boy who messes up in life, and Rachel is the only one who’s been able to see that he’s so much more. The author really did a good job of portraying their deep connection, both on a physical level and emotional level – these two are equals.Rachel: She’s outwardly sarcastic, tough, and big flirt, yet she hides a very painful secret only a few know – including Kai. This ordeal pretty much scarred her for life, and she bears the physical scars to prove it. Rachel’s the kind of girl I want to be best friends with.This is a book I would recommend to everyone but especially to those who need a romance story that’s nostalgic, steamy, and will leave you with a big smile on your face. It’s also thought-provoking book that sheds light on the beauty of relationships & friendships. I could use multiple adjectives to describe the story: authentic, sexy, sensational, etc…but I’m going with perfect as it really is one perfect love story.ARC provided by Penguin/Intermix via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Posted in Book Reviews

$25 GIFT CARD + BEAUTIFUL BASTARD SERIES GIVEAWAY FROM CHRISTINA LAUREN

WOW guys!!! I have a huuuuuuge giveaway for you all —-> it’s from Christina Lauren to celebrate the upcoming release of Sweet Filthy Boy!!! I’m thrilled to be hosting this giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and the entire paperback set of the Beautiful Bastard series!!! Check out more info below…BEAUTIFUL BASTARD SERIESThere are three full length novels and three novellas. Each of the full length stories can be read as standalones. 

$25 GIFT CARD + PAPERBACK SERIES GIVEAWAYThis giveaway is open to everyone. Must be over 18 to enter.2 winners – one winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and another winner receives the paperback set of the Beautiful Bastard series.
Many thanks to Gallery Books for making this giveaway possible!