Posted in Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW ~ BLACK LIES BY ALESSANDRA TORRE

Brant:
Became a tech billionaire by his twentieth birthday. Has been in a relationship with me for 3 years.
Has proposed 4 times. Been rejected 4 times.

Lee: 
Cuts grass when he’s not banging housewives. Good with his hands, his mouth, and his cock. Has been pursued relentlessly by me for almost 2 years, whether he knows it or not.

Go ahead. Judge me. You have no idea what my love entails.

If you think you’ve heard this story before, trust me – you haven’t.

I’ve only read one other Alessandra Torre book but I can already tell she does not deliver stories that follow a straight line. I like this unpredictability factor, and her writing is amazing – once I started the book I didn’t stop until I was finished. I can totally see why this book would be a 5 star/6 star favorite for many; heck, I was pretty sure it’d be a 5 star winner for me as well. The lies, the intricately-woven mystery and the addictive writing all hinted at a flawless read for me. Unfortunately, there were several issues I had with it and as much I liked the concept of the book, the execution of the original premise fell flat. I have to stress here that I did  like it. I just didn’t love it.*************************Multi-millionaire heiress Layana Fairmont was born with everything: she had wealth & connections and was expected to become a trophy wife. Instead, she decides to take fate with her own hands and uses her inheritance to start a new life, one that didn’t constantly revolve around the privileged and wealthy. She also works at the Homeless Youth of America (HYA) and has a deep, abiding love for these children.At one of the charity fundraises for HYA, Lana meets genius inventor Brant Sharp. Cool, calm, and collected, Brant became a tech billionaire at 20 years old and CEO of his own company. Lana and Brant have this immediate and insanely intense connection and though they’ve only spent one night together, both want more.As their relationship blossoms and both secretly aware that their attraction is giving way to love, Lana comes across the ‘secret’ and all hopes for a happy future with Brant are shattered. Instead of breaking it off with him, Lana dives head-first into the mess and holds onto Brant, but still puts up a wall between them. And then she meets Lee.Down-to-earth, flirtatious, and rough around the edges, Lee is a landscaper and the complete opposite of Brant. While Brant’s stoic, Lee is candid. Lee is fire, Brant is ice. And Lana loves both of them. She won’t give up Lee no matter what, setting off a plan of deceit, revenge, and betrayal to show just how far she’s willing to go to keep both men.*************************First I have to say, this is NOT a love triangle!! Very hard to believe based on what I summarized before, but it’s true. Just go in with an open mind because this book is all about appearances. The stark truth lies beneath the façade.Like I mentioned earlier, I thought the book premise was original. I didn’t figure out the big secret until 50 pages before it was revealed (I’m dumb, OK?) and when it was finally all out in the open, I was pretty much stunned speechless. But then, that secret also gave way to a ton of problems I had with the book.1. Timelines. I hate them. I hate them even more in books. I usually struggle with stories that are not set in the present and a good chunk of this book was from the past.2. I had no connection to the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them but I never got used to the inner-monologues and the upper-class lifestyle – these are not very relatable characters. And because I didn’t find out the secret until the story was almost over, I spent most the book hating Lana’s guts and trying very hard not to smash my iPad against the wall.3. The secret itself. Okay, look. I have a terrible track record with books that revolve solely around this huge ass secret and then the secret turns out to be one lame excuse. Thankfully, that didn’t happen here. I actually admire the author for thinking of something so different. However, there is no way this secret would’ve worked in real life. I am a very logical and factual reader. 95% of the time logic wins over passion for me (unless the author is really good and wins over my emotions). And in this case, no emotions were evoked. Without spoiling anything, I thought the secret was too far-fetched and unrealistic. It’s hard for the author to pull off such an elaborate idea without toeing the line between realism and fiction.4. The ending. It was wrapped up too quickly, perfectly and became anti-climatic.Not going to lie, this book gave me a massive headache. A big jumble of psychosis is what it is but I have to admit, it is unputdownable psychosis. Once I started, I didn’t stop reading until I was finished. This is a book that I would recommend solely for the shock factor. That’s it.

Posted in Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW ~ THE TOUCH OF FIRE BY LINDA HOWARD

Annie Parker came to Silver Mesa, Arizona, because it was the only place she’d found where folks thought a woman doctor was better than no doctor at all. Her lonely life became harder still on the winter night Rafe McCay broke into her office with a bullet in his side and a bounty hunter at his back. With a gun aimed at her heart, he led her deep into the Arizona mountains, and into a world of danger and passion, for Annie discovered in Rafe not only a wounded man, but a soul betrayed…and Rafe, healed by her skill and the magic in her hands, awakened in Annie a woman’s tender longing and hungry desire. Pursued by dangerous secrets of the past, they are swept into a thrilling odyssey of the heart — a bold, exhilarating journey that rekindles Rafe’s lost hope and transforms Annie’s healing gift into a deep, enduring love.

I think there’s truly something magical about a book if you can re-read it multiple times and still be enamored with the story, characters, and writing. Most, if not all, of Linda Howard’s books are like that for me but the one I’ve re-read the most is this book. Set in the wild & dangerous time period after the Civil War, The Touch of Fire is a captivating western romance about two individuals striving to belong and how they discover a love that is found in the most unexpected of places.**************************Well on her way in becoming a spinster, Annie Parker is a dedicated and meticulous doctor, a profession that most people believe to be unladylike so she is constantly looked down upon. Nevertheless, that doesn’t diminish her passion for her job or her innate love for healing. On a typical work night, she is shocked to see a hooded but wounded man stumbling into her clinic.An outlaw only by name, Rafe McCay has been on the run for 4 years, evading bounty hunters and lawmakers after being at the wrong place at the wrong time. After being shot by one infamous bounty hunter, Rafe stops by Annie’s clinic and seeks medication, only to be told that his wound could fester and without proper care, can contaminate and lead to death. Thus, Rafe kidnaps and takes Annie with him to treat his wounds.Due to extreme weather conditions, Annie and Rafe are temporarily stranded in an abandoned abode for days. Both are naturally wary of each other and don’t expect to develop feelings but it happens. With little outside interference, they both have the time to learn more about each other.

When it’s finally revealed what turned Rafe into a wanted man, both Annie and Rafe set out to try to clear his name, encountering Native Americans, unwanted bounty hunters, and one tough lawmaker along the way.**************************Just to clear out the air, this book is far from perfect and to top that, there is a very slight paranormal aspect (which I’m usually not too fond of). However, this book is perfect for me. I loved the setup of the story: kidnapping mixed with a strong, silent hero and an intelligent heroine. I think what made this really work for me – again and again – is that I knew there was nothing to fear from Rafe. He may be a kidnapper, an alleged murderer, but not purposely so. Life dished out a terrible plate for him and he did what he had to do to survive but he never hurt an innocent. Pairing him with a character that’s his complete opposite was just brilliant. It was very interesting to see this rough and rugged man fall for the sweet-tempered, warmhearted woman.

My favorite part about this book, however, wasn’t the romance (shocking right??). It was the rich & beautifully described historical setting. I’m a huge American history geek, and I thought it was a genius move to incorporate historical icons like Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, and Jefferson Davis into the story. There’s a mix of everything in here – romance, history, and political intrigue that made for an entertaining and thrilling read.I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance that aren’t bothered by extra details about the Civil War and enjoy a little dark & suspense in their stories.

Posted in Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW ~ THIN LOVE BY EDEN BUTLER

Love isn’t supposed to be an addiction. It isn’t supposed to leave you bleeding. 

Kona pushed, Keira pulled, and in their wake, they left behind destruction. 

She sacrificed everything for him. 

It wasn’t enough. 

But the wounds of the past can never be completely forgotten and still the flame remains, slumbers between the pleasure of yesterday and the thought of what might have been. 

Now, sixteen years later, Keira returns home to bury the mother who betrayed her, just as Kona tries to hold onto what remains of his NFL career with the New Orleans Steamers. Across the crowded bustle of a busy French Market, their paths collide, conjuring forgotten memories of a consuming touch, skin on skin, and the still smoldering fire that begs to be rekindled. 

When Kona realizes the trifecta of betrayal—his, Keira’s and those lies told to keep them apart—his life is irrevocably changed and he once again takes Keira down with him into the fire that threatens to ignite them both.

You know how sometimes you open a book and read just a few lines but you already know that it’ll be good for you? Thin Love was that kind of book for me. As a reader who tries to avoid angst and all kinds of drama, I expected this book to be a complete turnoff but instead, the story & the characters hit me hard. It’s difficult to read this book and not be reminded of myself…and just how impetuous and uninhibited young hearts are. Unflinchingly honest and emotionally raw, Thin Love is a heart-pounding story documenting Kona and Keira’s tumultuous relationship – first in college and then 16 years later when a fated encounter brings them together once more.

The book is split into two parts: one focusing on Kona and Keira’s time together in college and another when they see each other again 16 years later. In part 1, Keira Riley is introduced as a smart, ambitious but antisocial freshman who knows what she wants out of life. Granted a temporary reprieve from her meddlesome and controlling mother, Keira channels all her energy and focus on getting good grades, getting out of college, and getting away from her family. Being constantly surrounded by wealthy, uptight, and superficial people all her life, Keira knows the importance and value of real relationships and love and vows to have nothing less.

Unknown to her, Keira’s world gets shaken up as she’s assigned to work with none other than the campus manwhore Kona Hale. A native Hawaiian whose entire focus is on football, Kona is outwardly charming and relaxed but always aware of the pressure to excel in the field from his abrasive mother, demanding coach, and friends and teammates.It’s hate at first sight for Kona and Keira. She despises his laissez-faire attitude in class and he pities her for being a nerdy and stuck up girl. But at the same time, there’s no denying this powerful and intense connection they have that’s not just physical attraction. There’s a push-and-pull dynamic for a good part of the book which is to be expected for a bad boy falls for good girl storyline. And then comes the part where mistakes are made and lies are told and ultimately, Kona and Keira split apart. It isn’t until 16 years later where their gazes collide in the market that they contemplate the idea of being together again.***********************I have to say, this book was both hard and easy to read. Hard to read because it was devastating to see the extreme lows in their relationship. Easy to read because their chemistry is THE most intense and when they were together, they were together. It’s not every book I read where the couple’s love drowns out all logic and reasoning…a love that’s so desperate and so unhinged it becomes toxic yet you just can’t help but want them to be together. They were drugged on love…heck, I was too and I was swept away in the torrent of emotions this couple evoked. Seriously, they had it all: jealousy, lust, love, regret, and the list just goes on…

I think this book could’ve been a complete 5 star read for me if it hadn’t been the odd Hawaiian lingo occasionally used and the 3rd person narration. The tense was just plain weird sometimes and if I hadn’t been so emotionally invested in these characters, the 3rd person narration would’ve caused a huge problem for me. I also would’ve liked more about Kona’s mother and an explanation to why she always had a stick up her ass.If you’re going to read this book, go in knowing these characters make terrible mistakes. They hurt and blame and take but they also give, accept, and heal. For me, it is the hard-earned happy endings that are usually the most rewarding and satisfying to read, and that was the case with this book. Kona and Keira’s journey is rife with passion, heartache, and all-consuming love, a combination that makes for an unputdownable and unforgettable read.

Posted in Book Reviews

BLOG TOUR ~ DELIVER BY PAM GODWIN

His name was Joshua Carter. Now it’s whatever she wants it to be.
She is a Deliverer.
She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. 
She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price. 
As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold. 
Delivering is all she knows.
The one thing she can’t deliver is a captive from slavery.
Until him.
And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her…from herself.
Romantic ThrillerStand Alone (no cliff-hanger). The sequel is coming Summer 2014.Content warning: Graphic sex, violence, and psychological abuse. Age 18+ only.

My first reaction after reading: UM WUT. This book has so much in it! From romance to action then to suspense, my brain and heart never got a chance to relax before something happened. And that’s a good thing! The book grabbed my attention and kept me fully engaged with the story.

Dark scale (1-10): 5Mindfuck scale (1-10): 2No Stockholm syndrome; more like a survivor romance. You do what you need to do to stay alive.
**It wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be because of Josh’s character. He’s a wonderful guy, really sweet, and that kind of evened out the dark field ;)**

The story begins with the Deliverer, Liv, intently watching her target: an innocent, handsome, righteous 21 year old football player Josh. Liv’s job is to “deliver” people who fit her clients’ requirements, and with his fair outer appearance and sexual innocence, Josh is perfect for what she’s looking for. Alongside Van (whose role in the book is still iffy at this point), they successfully maneuver the kind-hearted Josh into their trap and lock him up, preparing his training as a slave.
I have to say here that this first part really tore me up. I’m normally okay, no wait, giddy, to read about captive/captor stories and I thought this would be like any other one. Except for me, there was no thrill anymore. Josh is the sweetest, most innocent and good person, and to read his thoughts were heartbreaking: his first instinct is to worry about his parents, who rely on him with their farm. Even when he’s captured, he still tries to help Liv. However, he quickly learns that when Liv switches into her “Mistress” mode and trains slaves, there are no soft moments.

Then comes the part where the book went a little downhill for me. I get that there has to be a turn or a certain degree of power Liv relinquishes in order for her and Josh’s romance to develop, but the pace at which they fall for each other was disarming. As in it didn’t convince me. Another aspect that made me feel iffy for a good portion of the book was Liv herself. From the blurb and the first few chapters, Liv is expected to be this dominant, badass, hardcore Mistress who has no fears and is confident in all she does, but after finding out how she started into this whole business brought down her character in terms of an anti-heroine who later opens up to Josh, not having a weak spot for him from the beginning.
Anyways, they have this connection that she doesn’t have with anyone, not even Van.

I really loved Van’s character and his role in the story. He was the source of some tension and conflict within the timeframe Liv trains Josh so it kept the book interesting. There’s this one scene with Van near the end that gave me a mini-heart attack and I was absolutely FURIOUS with Liv. At that time I condemned her to the fiery pits of hell and now that I think about it, I don’t regret it one bit. Because of the way events played out with Van, I wished the author revisited his character and not leave me questioning his role in the last quarter of the story. Anyways I think if you’re a romantic at heart you will be really pleased with the last 25% of the book.

Aside from the things I mentioned before that prevented me from giving the book 5 stars, there was one more thing that made me raise an eyebrow and that was in regards to the wrap up of the mysterious “Mr. E,” the guy in charge of the entire operation. Anyways my point is that this, along with some other events, were wrapped up too nicely and took away from the dark and thrilling aspect of the book. 

Overall this was a pretty unique and suspenseful read. The numerous twists and turns in the book kept me on my toes and the erotic nature of the story should be commended.
ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

Pam Godwin lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band. Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.


Posted in Make Money

PROMO TOUR ~ HOTHOUSE FLOWER BY KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE

Title: Hothouse FlowerAuthor: Krista & Becca RitchieSeries: Calloway Sisters #2 (Spin-Off of the Addicted series)Pub Date: March 28th, 2014

Ryke Meadows, meet Daisy Calloway … she’s all grown up. 
Twenty-five-year-old Ryke Meadows knows he’s hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha-male personality—he redefines the term likable asshole. But he’s not living to make friends. Or enemies. He just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption.
And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris—a girl that he has never been allowed to have.
Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion Week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets. 
As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there’s deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto—“live as if you’ll die today”—may just come true.
***Authors’ Note***Hothouse Flower is a spin-off of the Addicted series. Kiss the Sky is required before reading, and we strongly recommend reading the Addicted series before this spin-off.

Addicted Series Recommended Reading Order
Addicted to You (Addicted #1)Ricochet (Addicted #1.5) Addicted for Now (Addicted #2)Kiss the Sky (Spin-Off)(Calloway Sisters #1)Hothouse Flower (Spin-Off)(Calloway Sisters #2)Thrive (Addicted #2.5)Addicted After All (Addicted #3)

Daisy’s POV 
He’s too messy for you, Daisy, my mom would tell me. Add that to: He has no job. He’s living off his trust fund. All he does is climb mountains and ride his motorcycle. He looks mad all the time. He’s related to that witch Sara Hale. He doesn’t even talk to his father. (My mom is Team Jonathan Hale in the Hale feud, mostly because he’s my father’s bff.)  Ryke’s related to Sara bitchy Hale. (That’s her main selling point.) Oh and he’s too old for you.

Krista & Becca Ritchie write New Adult books that make you cringe, gasp, and go ooh-la-la. (If you do that sort of thing.) They are currently working on the spin-offs and final books in the Addicted series. 

Posted in Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW ~ SLADE BY ALASKA ANGELINI

MARY is the perfect tool to use against the man who took his sister, Lily. What better way to exact retribution from Governor Hagen and force him to bring Lily back, than to steal his own daughter and threaten to sell her as a sex slave, too? But, even the best laid plans don’t always go 
smoothly. Slade ends up falling for his captive, and is faced with a decision that might just cause him to lose the one thing he doesn’t want to let go.

SLADE is every bit the animal he portrays. Dominant, dark, unbending, and possessive—her own personal predator. Mary can’t help but be drawn to the soul deep darkness in him. It calls to her like nothing she’s ever felt before. 

When her father bends to Slade’s will and releases Lily, will Mary be 
allowed to walk away and follow her father’s plans to marry another, or will Slade make her a captive to the dark…forever?

WARNING: This book contains very graphic violence, disturbing situations, dubious consent, and very strong language.

2 STARS for the dark romance aspect3.5 STARS for the actual story and plot
Before I jump into a little bit about the plot and my thoughts on that I need to clarify something about thegenre classification and why that was 2 stars for me. So the book is categorized as dark romance and that was the mindset I had when I went into the story. While I did see this as a twisted, batshit crazy (in a good way) story, unfortunately, this book failed to live up to dark romance standards for me. For one,Slade was the nicest captor I’ve ever read about. Where’s the physical and emotional breaking of the captive? Let me tell you, there was none. I like strong heroines and Mary was one so she had tons of grit and fierceness but she wasn’t treated like a captive at all, more like Slade’s queen. Another thing was, Slade was so intent on making her his (dangles her virginity in front of her and treats her so delicately) and the two of them fell in love in a snap. Aside from the erotic, BDSM-nature of their relationship, I honestly couldn’t understand how they fell in love. I wouldn’t call it Stockholm Syndrome either; Mary’s way too strong for that term to take effect.
So if you are reading this book with the intent of getting a dark read with a mindfuck, it’s not. I would call this romantic suspense with erotic (bondage, knife/blood play) and some dark elements. If you don’t read much dark romance then maybe this book will hit a 6 or 7 on a 10 point scale. Keep in mind I do read a lot in this genre and the term is so subjective and thrown around a lot the meaning is almost archaic.

Right from the start, the story got my attention with the powerful prologue. It told me a lot about Mary’s character: a fierce, independent woman whose scarred past left a permanent mark on her, and how her dark, sadistic urges were born. I really felt for her and what she went through as a teenager and so could understand her sexual proclivities. All in all, this woman thrived on pain but was also in pain when no one, not even her family, bothered to comfort her in her dark times.
While vacationing with her sister and brother-in-law, she meets Jordan, her father’s business partner’s son and at first glance, Jordan knows Mary is different.

His sexual tastes are somewhat similar to hers and he can identify with that. I know that the male lead isn’t Jordan but I couldn’t help falling for his character. His tastes are dangerous, to the point where it’s life-threatening but he truly cared for Mary and I appreciated that fact. He also stood up for her and protected her in various situations and that just made me fall for him more. So aside from his eccentric sexual tastes, there was really nothing I could pick on him for and that made it hard for me to accept Slade as the male lead and Mary’s potential love interest.
Slade’s on a vengeance spree. His sister Lily was taken and sold into sexual slavery and so he’s retaliating on the man responsible by taking his daughter, which is Mary. At first contact, the two of their personalities clash. They may be kindred souls in the erotica world, but holy hell, they’re like fire and ice in everything else!

I really liked the book in terms of plot, the pace, and writing style (stellar!!), but there were some plot inconsistencies and grammatical errors and typos that bumped my rating down. For example, I wish the author revisited Mary’s sister and her brother-in-law as they were thought to be responsible for what happened to Lily. After a particular camera scene, they never were really mentioned again. There were also some typos that didn’t break my reading flow, but were noticeable enough.
The ending of the book really didn’t work for me. As you can see earlier in my review, I am a fan of Jordan and when things didn’t work out too well (that’s putting it mildly) for him, I was ready to blow a gasket. Plus that final action scene where everyone is in the room and bam everything starts flying was absurd. I can only guess that it panned out that way so things could be wrapped up nicely and Slade and Mary could be together again.
As this is the first book I’ve read by the author and liked, I’m definitely not opposed to reading more from her.
A copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


Posted in Make Money

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY ~ STILL LIFE WITH STRINGS BY L.H. COSWAY

My name is Jade Lennon and I stand still for money.

The night I saw Shane Arthur watching me everything changed. A man in a suit always catches my eye, but it was the way he looked at me that was different. Like he knew me or something. He didn’t know me, especially not in my costume. My sobriety rests on staying away from men, but there was something about him that made me throw caution to the wind.

After all, I was never going to see him again, right?

Wrong.

Standing still isn’t the only way I make my money. I also bartend at a concert hall. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Shane was going to show up there. Not only that, but he’s the most recent addition to the orchestra. So now on a daily basis I have to resist one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever met and he plays the violin. For me that’s one hell of a deadly cocktail.

He wants me to teach him how to live. I’m not sure how much a twenty-six year old recovering alcoholic who works in a bar and moonlights as a living statue can teach a world class concert violinist, but I’m sure going to try.

Still Life with Strings is a story of music, art, sex, magical realism, and romance that you will never forget.

3.5 ‘BLUEBIRD’ STARS
[5 stars for the first half2.5 stars for the second half]
Overall it’s a wonderful feel-good romance! Sprinkled with humor and rooted in reality, this book took a much overused premise and turned it into a story that entices the reader into wanting to know more about the plot and characters. I was never bored while reading and though the plot is quite simplistic, I never found any scenes to be mundane.

Jade is such an admirable and refreshing female lead. I can’t tell you how many times I gave up on a book because the heroine is a weak, sniveling character but Jade isn’t like that. She’s responsible, loyal, daring, and witty; a recovering alcoholic and acting as a parent to her younger siblings, Jade’s character really appealed to me and I admire her resilient personality.
Shane is not your typical hero. He’s shy but can be possessive and attentive. He’s experienced betrayal in the past and his childhood was quite cold and lonely so meeting Jade was like finding buried gold. What made this book really work for me was how the author portrayed Jade and Shane’s relationship that went from friends to lovers: convincing and believable.
There is a strong musical element to the book and without it, the story would not be the same. Part of what makes Shane and Jade connect on such a deep level is his music and I loved the way the author weaved the musical aspect into the story so when I read it, I didn’t feel like it dominated the plot, but instead, supported, gave weight, and helped validate their relationship.

Another thing I have to point out: this author KNOWS how to make the little things count. Often times I read a book and minute details are glazed over and not given much thought, but this book was rich in setting description, character quirks, and that in itself helped deliver an additional layer to the story and helped me connect with the book on a deeper level. Example being: there is this emotionally powerful scene at 40% that completely stole my breath. I did not expect it to affect me so much but it did so props to the author for achieving that.

1. “His face moves to my hair as he sucks in a deep breath, scenting me.” Sorry, the term “scenting” doesn’t do it for me. It totally kills my ladyboner.

2. The sexual tension hindered the plot. Normally I love feeling how palpable the tension is but in some cases, Jade’s reluctance to give in for even an millimeter made me angry. It’s like…they’re having a great scene where they really connect and then Jade pulls up her ice-cold wall defenses again and the moment is ruined. RUINED I say! This happens multiple times and I walked away rolling my eyes! What is wrong with Jade…

3. This is probably my biggest complaint of all. At precisely 76% I considered slapping a DNF on the book and walking away. Mind you, it’s not cheating. What went through my head (besides WTF) was why is this added in? It certainly helped explain why earlier chapters in the book didn’t really make sense until this revelation came out, but with this fact revealed, it made me question the believability of the characters and the story as a whole. You see, what was uncovered should’ve brought forth a lot more turmoil and emotionthan was described in the book, but Shane and Jade’s blasé reaction towards it not only undermined the point of adding this in the first place, but also tainted the realism and convincing portrayals of their characters in the first 50%, hence, ruining the book for me.

I really struggled with my feelings for the book as it was so evenly split into two: first half, total enjoyment and couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it; second half was a downward spiral and ended up as a big let down compared to the beginning. Perhaps if the events at 76% were taken out, this could’ve made a solid 4 or 4.5 star read for me, but unfortunately it didn’t make the 4 star mark.
To take a sentence from the book, “close…but not close enough.”
ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Make Money

BOOK BLITZ ~ LESSONS IN LOVE BY CLARISSA CARLYLE

Book title: Lessons in LoveAuthor: Clarissa CarlyleSeries: Lessons in Love #1Genre: NA Contemporary RomanceRelease date: February 24, 2014

Alex Heron is a high school cheerleader. She’s pretty, blonde and popular. Alex seems to have it all, but she’s hiding a dark secret from her past that threatens to destroy her future. Only the handsome new math teacher, Mark Simmons, can see past Alex’s façade to the real girl hiding inside. He wants to help Alex overcome her past, but will their developing feelings for each other get in the way?

I have been an avid reader and writer since my earliest school days. Reading was my first and earliest passion that I can remember, often seeking the safe sanctuary of my room or the library to read everything I could. My favorite has always been romance. I penned some romantic poetry in high school and was winning school awards for my short stories at 16. In college I would hibernate in the library for days at a time, consuming every short story and novel I could find. My diploma says Bachelors in English Lit., which I’m very proud of.
I probably drink too much coffee and eat too much junk food, but to compensate do like running outdoors when the weather is nice. I love shopping in the mall even if I never find what I’m looking for. I’m a hopeful romantic who prefers stories with a happy ending. You can often find me in a coffee shop either working on my next story, or with my nose in a book.

Posted in Make Money

BOOK BLITZ ~ RANSOM SERIES BY A.T. DOUGLAS

My body is broken.
My life is shattered.
Everything I’ve ever known is gone from me, yet I’ve discovered something beautiful.
I didn’t expect to be taken. I never dreamed that love would find me while my life was slowly stripped away.  With him something new and alive stirs within me, and I am completely changed. 
Though battered and broken-down, I’m not alone. The most unlikely man protects me and gives me strength.
I will survive this for him.  I will find a way to save us both.
While they hold me, he holds my heart, and I’m not willing to pay the price to get it back.
WARNING: Beyond Ransom and Beyond Revenge are New Adult Romantic Suspense novels intended for mature audiences 18+.  They contain disturbing situations, graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content.

The conclusion of The Ransom Series:
We made a decision.
We had a plan.
We were so close to having it all, then it was snatched away before our eyes.
Our bodies and minds are pushed to the brink of destruction. We wither away into darkness with more to lose than ever, but we are strengthened by our love and hold on to hope. It’s all we have left in the devastating chasm between us.
We keep reaching and holding on, striving to overcome the power of vengeance. 
We will find a way.WARNING: Beyond Revenge is a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel intended for mature audiences 18+. It contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content.

I don’t think Leo even notices our proximity until a slight gasp escapes my lips. They’re parted slightly, eagerly awaiting another pair of lips to reciprocate theirfervent desire for contact.Leo stills above me for a moment, observing me intently and clearly interpreting the signals my body is sending to him. He dips his face down toward me until ourmouths are within centimeters of each other. I can feel his breath pass between my lips. I can feel the heat of his skin so close to mine.He moves the tiny amount of distance to close the space between us and connects with my lips, touching them gently with his own before engaging them more forcefully.Our kiss becomes frenzied and desperate, as if this may be the last night we ever see each other and we’re making the most of the time we have left before we’re separated. Leo’s hands are in my hair, his thumbs caressing my cheeks, his tongue exploring my mouth. I feel like he’s all over me and in me and on me in every way possible even though we’re only kissing. My hands fist his shirt and pull desperately at his shoulders and neck.I’ve kissed guys before in high school, but never like this. This is passion at its purest. This is undeniable lust. These are the needs and longings and desires of two bodies coming together in one moment amidst a swirl of surrounding chaos.I feel the change in Leo’s demeanor even before he withdraws from me. He stares at me for a moment, my eyes still wide with lust and my chest rising and falling erratically.“This is a bad idea,” he says quietly before standing up and looking at the door behind him. “This will not end well for either of us if we’re caught. We can’t do this.”I pause for a moment before looking away from him. Though my mind completely understands his concern, my body really doesn’t give a shit. Whatever just passed between us made me feel alive. I felt a strange taste of freedom despite my captive state. That one experience and this gorgeous and caring creature in front of me gave me something to live for, even if only for a few short moments. Now I just feel hollow.“Okay.” It’s my go-to answer in this place. It’s obedient and submissive, just how they want me to be. I can’t look at him now. I’m too embarrassed and disappointed in what just happened to face him.I hear the first aid kit being closed up followed by footsteps moving away from me to the door. My eyes close to fend off the burn of tears behind my eyelids. Leo doesn’t say another word as he leaves me, vulnerable and alone, locking the door behind him.

A.T. Douglas embraced her renewed passion for reading by diving into the self-publishing world in 2013.  Fueled by her love of music and her addiction to the Young Adult/New Adult genres, she strives to turn daydreams and the realities of life into words the world can read.  She lives in New Hampshire, USA, with her husband and son and wishes desperately that there were more hours in the day for family, reading, and writing.

Posted in Make Money

BOOK REVIEW ~ BUSINESS AS USUAL BY DENISE GROVER SWANK

Lexi Pendergraft has given up on finding love after a disastrous encounter with her last boyfriend. Instead, she focuses on two things: One, setting up a summer program for underprivileged middle-school aged students. And the second, getting to the bottom of her brother Reed’s recent strange behavior. His secret is destroying his relationship with his fiancée Caroline, and Lexi will do anything to help him save it. Especially after he gave up his dream to give Lexi a chance at a semi-normal college experience, something her parents threatened to steal from her after her rape a year ago. 

Ben Masterson is determined to make it through his final semester of his senior year at Southern University. After recently losing his full ride scholarship, he’s suffering from sleep deprivation while trying to keep up with his mechanical engineering courses and working three part time jobs. He thinks he’s lucked out getting a job in the university math lab. The only problem is his boss—Reed Pendergraft.

As part of a role in a community theater play, Lexi wears a black wig and feels a confidence she hasn’t experienced in over a year. When she wears it to a bar close to the theater, she doesn’t think Ben, a bartender there, recognizes her. While Ben’s intrigued about what she’s up to, he’s smart enough to stay far away from his overprotective boss’s sister. Until fate forces him to help her, but why won’t she tell him her real identity?

3 STARS
Although this book is a standalone, there is heavy overlap with book 2 so read at least Redesigned before starting Business as Usual. Of course, I highly recommend reading them in order…
Unless unicorns fly in and animals start talking, NA books are pretty much a miss for me. I’m just bored and tired of the same college setting with the same type of bad boy who sleeps around and miraculously falls in love with the heroine, blah blah blah. But that didn’t happen with this book, and the others in this series. I don’t know what it is about Denise’s stories, but I’m pretty sure if she wrote a lab manual I’d read it and end up enjoying it.

This is the third book in the Off the Subject series and focuses on Lexi, Reed’s sister. From book 2 (and this book’s blurb) you find out that Lexi was raped and as a result left her old life as the rich Monroe girl and settled in at Southern College with her brother Reed as Lexi Pendergraft. She’s outwardly open, friendly, and at first glance she’s just like any other normal college girl, but in reality, Lexi is incapable of maintaining a longtime relationship and she knows it.
Ben has one goal: finish out his last semester at Southern College. Wrongfully accused of a heinous crime he didn’t commit, Ben wants nothing more than to get out of town. Though he doesn’t trust and love easily, he’s a really thoughtful, caring guy who’s responsible and loyal to friends. Lexi and Ben, two people who were never supposed to cross roads, meet each other by chance and they just connect. At the same time, Lexi is busy figuring out what Reed is hiding from her and his fiancée Caroline, getting her caught in some dangerous situations; however, Ben is always watching out for her and pretty soon, Lexi and Ben start to fall in love with each other: he with her sweet personality and inner strength and she with his protectiveness and caring heart.

I really liked this book in terms of plot development and I loved revisiting all the old characters and catching up on their stories. However, there were a few things that kept me from fully enjoying the book and one of them was how Reed dominated the book. I like his character, but this is Lexi’s book. Granted his role in the book pertained to Lexi, but I would’ve liked to see more of how she was involved. A lot of the plot suspense and twists dealt with where Reed was, what his secret was, etc…Another thing was a lot of the decisions Lexi made really pissed me off. She came off as an immature child and if it weren’t for Ben coming to the rescue, who knows what would’ve happened to her. I understand that those events had to happen as part of the plot development but gosh, she was so stupid in those scenes I facepalmed. Anyway, in the end it worked out well since all those events led to a smackdown finale where Lexi’s past and present collided, and the author wrapped up that part nicely.
Compared to the first two books, Business as Usual fell flat for me, but nevertheless, still a good read. I think fans of the series will be happy with Lexi’s story, but me being me, I just wanted more: as this is Lexi’s story I needed more about her and not a story revolving so much around the side characters. I needed more Lexi and Ben time.


Posted in Book Reviews

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT MARCH 28?

P.S. I actually make that squeeeeeee-ing noise. Like, out loud not in my head.
P.P.S. Everyone hates it. 
P.P.P.S. I do it anyway!

So anywhoooo, last year on March 28, I stumbled on this site called Goodreads and never really stumbled off of it. It’s weird because I actually had an account since 2009 but never used it until last year when my interest in books started. And so around that time, while everyone was naming Fifty Shades of Grey or some other book as “the book” that got them back into reading again, I name Goodreads, the website. Without this wonderful reader-friendly site I never would have gotten to read the books I’ve read, meet some awesome, amazing friends (some who are my best friends now) and just chat about books in general and give/receive book recommendations!!! It’s no secret that my blog is VERY Goodreads-friendly and I plan to keep it that way ^_^

And so fast forward a year and here I am now!! To me, a Goodreadsiversary is just as important (probably more important) than say, a blogiversary so I’ve been planning something grand for a while now. I have a couple of prizes to give away and the first thing that came to mind were reading devices! I know a couple of Goodreads friends and some blog followers said they either read on their phones or computer and let’s face it…having a huge ass screen or a teeny tiny one where you might need magnifying glasses is just not cool when you’re trying to enjoy a book so I have two grand prizes: one winner will receive a Kindle Fire HD and another winner a Kindle Paperwhite. Both are loaded with 28 of my favorite books!! (I wish I could add more but the graphic ran out of room hehe). The 28 ebooks are mainly 2014 favorites and then I threw in some of my all-time favorites. 

Next there are 4 $25 Amazon gift cards up for grabs for four winners! Aside from signed paperbacks and e-reader devices, gift cards are my next favorite things to give away and I’m sure if you won one, you could put this gift card to good use 

The next few prizes have a special meaning! Like I said, without Goodreads there would be TONS of books and authors I’d never heard of and the following are the first few to come to mind:
Abbi GlinesAleatha RomigCJ RobertsJessica SorensenK.A. LindeJ. Lynn
Seriously I never would’ve heard of them without Goodreads so the next prizes are signed paperbacks from those authors! To commemorate this special day, I am even willing to part with 1 of my 2 signed indie sets of the Too Far series by Abbi Glines and give them to one of the winners.

The last two prizes will be huge, and I say that because my house is overflowing with swag: swag that I picked up from before and from the Austin Book Fest last week and swag that I made myself! Unsigned swag, signed swag, you name it, I pretty much have it in my house and I’d love to give some of those goodies away! 
So there you have it! 14 prizes for 14 winners! Giveaway will run for 2 weeks and is open to everyone! Happy Goodreadsiversary!