Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review for Tap Out by Cat Grant

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
As a child, Tom Delaney did the best he could to protect his mother from his abusive father, but her eventual suicide left him a guarded and wary man who’s still carrying around a metric ton of baggage.
At Bannon’s Gym, Tom learned how to take back his power, and found love with fellow mixed martial arts fighter Travis Gallagher. Yet Tom can’t bring himself to take their relationship to the next level. Not if moving in together means leaving behind Gloria, his surrogate mom, who’s desperately ill.
When Gloria’s son, Eddie, hires an out-of-work nurse to care for Gloria, Tom is out of excuses—and afraid he’s being pushed out of his family of choice. That fear explodes in a violent sparring session that leaves Travis with a broken nose and Tom on the brink of getting booted out of Bannon’s Gym for good.
When tragedy strikes, Tom realizes it’ll take more than fists to conquer his fears, or he risks losing everything—his fighting career, his family, and the man he loves.


The men of Bannon's Gym continue to get put through the emotional wringer, as do we readers, in this third installment in the series.  This time around the men get to deal with loss and grief as they try to find happiness in this gripping read with intense feelings palpable throughout the story that leads to lots of ups and downs.  Through all the chaos though is the strong and sturdy presence of Danny and Eddie who are juggling the diner, training stars for the UFC, and planning a wedding all while caring for Eddie's mom Gloria who's getting sicker but still espouses words of wisdom.

Just when Tom and Travis seem to be in agreement about being with each other, Tom starts getting cold feet and lets his simmering feelings of jealousy regarding Travis's past with Aaron explode.  This act, coming from a young man who tends to jump to conclusions, tears them apart when Tom needs support more than ever as a gutwrenching tragedy befalls him and Eddie.  Tom has a lot to learn yet in life and trust is one of them.  He also needs to let go of his past as it's choking his future with Travis and holding him back from fully committing.  Travis is an understanding man but after getting repeatedly knocked down even he's had enough in a defining moment in the future of their relationship.  Travis is a forgiving man too as evidenced by his continuing friendship towards the struggling former drug addict Aaron and it's heartwarming to see how far Travis will go to help Aaron stay clean.  Travis and Tom's relationship crackles with energy and is combustible as they find it easier to speak in the fight ring than out.  Theirs is definitely a rocky relationship that clearly matures as the story progresses and it was an engaging journey to witness.

Aaron is a man that has done some pretty bad things in the past, he hurt Travis horribly with his lies when they were together but Ms. Grant performed a miracle in his redemption.  Aaron's truly hurting in this story after realizing all he's lost and how far he's fallen.  His past is always hanging over him as outside forces seek to jeopardize his sobriety.  He works hard to make amends though and I ached for how desperate he was becoming before he found an unexpected support system who gave him help when he needed it most.  We got a lot of insight into Aaron's character through his POV throughout this book and it helped redeem him in my eyes and has me hoping he finds a HEA of his own as he desperately deserves it.

This was a powerful story that you'll need Kleenex to get through as there's lots of heartbreak before we reach the immensely satisfying conclusion that's full of positivity after all the emotional baggage seen weighing people down.  The flow of the story is well-done, with only a bit of predictability regarding an aquaintance of Aaron's, and keeps you fully invested in the character's outcomes amidst their emotional ups and downs.  There were a few sexual encounters along the way but this journey was more about the emotional and showed people at their best and worst.  Though this book can be read on its own readers will appreciate Tom's journey more when seeing how far he's risen from his painful past.  Eddie continues to be the strong and supportive type acting in a brotherly manner towards Tom and his HEA with Danny was greatly anticipated from the very first book and was a richly rewarding part of this story.  Ms. Grant has crafted another satisfying m/m read that brings the UFC to vividly detailed life and while this story definitely feels like the end, I'm hoping for more as Aaron's road to redemption isn't quite complete.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Release Day Celebration for The Dangerous Love of a Rogue by Jane Lark (GIVEAWAY)

Over the last few months I've become a fan of Ms. Lark's romantic and lyrical storytelling.  Today is therefore a day to celebrate with a look at her just-released book, The Dangerous Love of a Rogue.  Keep reading to get a taste of this book before adding it to your bookshelf.  Make sure to then fill out the forms below for the chance to win books and Amazon GCs in three separate giveaways too!

"The game is on with Pembroke’s little sister…" Lord Drew Framlington watched Miss Mary Marlow. The woman had been warned to keep away from him, but she had a little contrary in her soul. She had not been deterred. Perhaps she had a taste for bad hidden beneath her cold denials, or a liking for naughtiness in her soul – either of which appealed. "Stop pretending you do not like me…" Lord Framlington had urged Mary, "Stop running..." Her body urged her to as much as he did. Something pulled her towards him. Something unknown and all consuming… and yet how could she disobey her father and her brother...


BUY LINKS:  Amazon  |  BN  |  iTunes


Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate, and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance, and a Kindle top 25 bestselling author. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. Now Jane is writing a Regency series and contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots. ‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’ Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.


Signed copy of The Lost Love of a Soldier and The Illicit Love of a Courtesan (One Winner)

Historical books for £20 or $30 Amazon voucher plus signed copies, to end April, 30th   a Rafflecopter giveaway
New Adult books for a £30 or $40 Amazon voucher and signed copies of The Starting Out Series £30 or $40 Amazon voucher and win all of the Starting Out Series in print to close on March 31st a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review for Daring the Player by Robin Covington

She’s nothing but trouble…and he can’t resist.
Raised by a pro football legend, Miami Thunder wide receiver Rep Grissom has a career most would envy. A toxic marriage with a party girl almost put him on the sidelines, but now he keeps his head down and makes the moves on the field that leave younger players in his dust. Now all he has to do is maintain the status quo and he’s guaranteed a lucrative new contract at an age when most guys are retiring.
Lola Corbin is used to leaving all the big boys in her rearview mirror. The lead singer in the worlds biggest rock band she fills up arenas and closes down the clubs but with the group on the brink of breaking apart her future is uncertain. Years spent on the road has left her with nothing at home except platinum records on the walls, an empty fridge and a cold bed. For the first time, she’s looking for something and someone beyond the spotlight.
When Lola’s first night in her condo ends with Rep breaking up a fight he realizes that temptation has moved in next door. Lola doesn’t usually go for the strong and serious types, but the more she sees of her neighbor, the more she wants. When a thank you dinner turns into dancing and a hot tryst in the back of the club their attraction cannot be denied. But when Lola-induced trouble results in a front-page-career-ending spectacle the player must decide if he’s going to be as daring with his heart as he is on the field.


Ms. Covington's latest release takes us into the world of sports and romance created by Carly Phillips in her Dare to Love series through the appearance of team owner Ian Dare and his friendship with star player Rep Grissom.  It's a successful pairing as the co-mingling of these two worlds is seamlessly done in this fast-paced and sexy romp between two people living in the spotlight while trying to be themselves in a burgeoning relationship constantly under scrutiny.

Rep's entire life has been about football as his father was an icon of the sport.  In the waning years of a successful career he's desperate to keep his reputation clean as he wants his final contract signing to be his biggest.  He's currently considered the sport's Golden Boy but not so long ago he was a target for the paparazzi as the implosion of his marriage to his college sweetheart became ugly and turned him into a bad boy.  He's now reformed, living the life of a monk and rarely going out as he doesn't want his heart and soul to get broken again.  His willpower is put to the test though when a sexy songstress moves in next door with lots of personal baggage that this white knight can't help but want to rescue her from.  Before he can blink the two of them are burning up the sheets in numerous scorching encounters that put him on the front page once again and put his football career in jeopardy.  From the very first moment we see Rep rushing to Lola's defense with no regard for his own safety we know theirs is going to be a rocky and fiery romance.  Despite her chaotic lifestyle Rep's drawn to her.  As they grow closer he gets caught up in her problems too which leads to a moment that tarnishes his heroic persona and forces him to make amends in a truly Grand Gesture that left me sighing.  Rep is sexy and values honesty, but was quick to jump to conclusions.  He's also a caring man who would move heaven and earth to make the woman he loves happy and I became thoroughly enamored of him.

Lola's future is just as uncertain as Rep's as the bandmates who feel more like family are going through changes.  While some are no longer interested in music, one has a drug addiction that's out of control and putting her in danger while leaving her emotionally and physically battered.  She too wants to spread her musical wings but for now she just wants peace and quiet.  What she gets though is a sexy next door neighbor with a savior complex that she quickly becomes obsessed with getting into her bed.  She uses all the flirting techniques she knows but it's her real persona behind the rocker facade that wins him over and sets them on a path of getting to know each other away from the spotlight.  Lola is a vibrant and strong-willed woman loyal to her bandmates despite how much pain it causes her.  She and Rep are similar in many ways with a sexual connection that crackles in anticipation of their next sexual encounter and I thoroughly enjoyed watching their sweet and sensual path to HEA.

This was a quick and immensely satisfying read with only a small heartbreaking hiccup, dealt with in a romantic and heartwarming way, to mar the journey to HEA.  Rep and Lola are a likable couple with loneliness that's palpable at the start of the story as their fame kept them from finding true happiness and their uncertain futures exaccerbated that.  Their finding each other felt right from the moment Rep barged through Lola's front door and had me cheering for them from that moment on.  The flow of this story kept me engaged with its perfect balance of scorching sex and deep-seated emotional talks that allowed for character and couple growth that kept me invested in their HEA.  While there's a small cast of memorable secondary characters that amped up the emotional turmoil and put the main couple at adds, it's Rep and Lola that are the heart and soul of this story.  Ultimately, while it's short on word count this story is long on sex and romance and is another winner for Ms. Covington and for those looking for a little afternoon delight.

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Spotlight for Without You by Reylynn Purdue (GIVEAWAY)

I've become a fan of the NA genre and it's because of intensely emotional books like Without You by Reylynn Purdue, which released today.  Keep reading to get a taste of this book and then add it to your bookshelf.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a special prize too!

Roxanne Daniels was supposed to be spending her summer getting ready to head off to Julliard. That was the plan. But that was before- Before she found her mother’s lifeless body- Before she walked in on her boyfriend in bed with someone else. Before she knew what heart shattering pain felt like.
Now all she wants is for the pain to go away. But it never does.
Until him. A complete stranger who could end up being much more.
But letting go and moving on is easier said than done.


“Full disclosure—my ex-boyfriend, who wrecked my world, is about to walk by. I’m begging you to please pretend to know me.” I knew how pathetic I sounded, but I would kick myself for that later.
He slightly tilted his head to the right and gave me a confused smile. Then, he just stood there and gaped at me. I was now seriously doubting the whole honesty-is-always-the-best-policy idea. It sure as hell wasn’t helping me.
“Roxy?” Kevin called out from a few feet away.
My insides twisted into knots at the sound of Kevin’s voice.
Please just kill me now.
I didn’t know what I was thinking.
Oh, right, I wasn’t.
I stepped forward, wrapped my arms around the sexy stranger’s neck, and pressed my lips to his.
Yeah, so this is way more than I asked from him.
Please don’t push me away.
I was trying to will this guy not to call me out. Surprise and relief flooded my body as I felt his arms wrap around my waist, and he returned the kiss. His tongue grazed my lips. I parted them, allowing him access.
People shouldn’t just grab strangers off the street and kiss them, but damn, this guy could kiss.



Born and raised in California, Reylynn Purdue lives with her loving husband and three beautiful kids. A lover of books, she reads like crazy. She has also always enjoyed writing, but one day, she decided to take it to the next level. She started writing her debut novel in 2013. To say she had no clue what she was doing is an understatement. As of today, she still has no clue what she is doing when it comes to publishing a book, but she is learning as she goes. She loves her story and hopes you will as well. She also finds talking about herself in third person to be very strange, and she kind of hates it.  To find out more about Reylynn, just ask.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight for Desert Heat by Lucy Felthouse

As a fan of the m/m genre I'm excited to introduce you to Desert Heat by Lucy Felthouse, a romance set amidst the brutality and prejudice of war.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this compelling read and then add it to your bookshelf.....

Their love is forbidden by rules, religion and risk. Yet still they can’t resist.
Captain Hugh Wilkes is on his last tour of duty in Afghanistan. The British Army is withdrawing, and Wilkes expects his posting to be event-free. That is, until he meets his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, who awakens desires in Wilkes that he’d almost forgotten about, and that won’t be ignored.
Captain Hugh Wilkes sucked in a deep breath, steeling himself for the heat he was about to be subjected to, though he already knew all the deep breaths in the world wouldn’t help. Darkness had fallen on Camp Bastion, in the notorious Helmand Province of Afghanistan, but there would still be residual warmth left to seep away throughout the small hours. Then the sun would rise, and it would start all over again. It was a damn desert, after all. But, all being well, it would be his last ever tour of the godforsaken place. The British Army was already preparing to pull out. The manpower had been reduced drastically over the previous months. It was time to leave the Afghans to get on with it. They weren’t being abandoned—far from it—they would still receive aid, training and money for years to come. But the British Army was no longer needed, apparently. It was still a volatile place, which would no doubt be monitored very closely, in case strategies needed to be reconsidered.
None of that was down to Wilkes, though. He was here with his platoon for six months, doing whatever they were ordered to do by their Company Commander, Major Hunter. It was unlikely they’d be doing any fighting—they weren’t here for offensive operations. More probably they’d be accompanying their vehicles, weapons and ammunition across the country as it was transported to the air base to be sent back home, or patrolling towns and villages as a show of presence, to reassure and protect the inhabitants.
There was only one way to find out. Grabbing his kit, he headed toward the ramp of the huge C17 aircraft with his colleagues, and followed them out onto the airstrip. Immediately, he was hit by the overwhelming smell of aviation fuel. As he moved away from the airplane this was replaced by the dry atmosphere.
Wilkes imagined he could feel the grains of sand coating his throat and tongue. He’d soon get used to it—he always did. Plus, on the bright side, he’d end up with a nice tan at the end of his deployment. Mentally, he crossed his fingers for a nice, event-free tour of duty. Letting his guard down wasn’t going to happen, naturally, he just hoped it wasn’t necessary. Hoped the insurgents would play nicely. The country was completely different to how it had been when Allied forces had gone in after 9/11. Some fantastic progress had been made, but it still wasn’t completely safe. But then, where was? People died in picturesque villages in the English countryside—though generally not courtesy of IEDs, AK-47s or suicide bombers.

***This book was previously published as part of the Unconditional Surrender bundle.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon AU  |  Amazon CA  |  ARe  |  BN  |  iBooks UK  |  iBooks US  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords


Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women's Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Cover Reveal for Sidelined by Emma Hart

As a fan of sports-themed romances I'm drawn to the latest installment in Emma Hart's By His Game series, Sidelined.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this decadently delightful read, along with a glimpse of the first book in the series.  To tide you over until this book releases on March 2nd here's the fun and flirty book cover.......

Three people. Three motives. Three reasons.
When the game leaves the field in the second book in the USA Today bestselling BY HIS GAME series and mixes with sex, lies, and betrayal, the future isn't the only thing on the line...
Macey Kelly has sworn off men. Unless they’re going to zip in and out of her apartment—and her vagina—quicker than they can give her an orgasm, she’s not interested. Finding out her boyfriend of three years got her cousin pregnant was a total confidence knock. Luckily for Macey, confidence is something she has in abundance, so all Mitch’s asshole move did was make her pretty cynical toward men.
The last thing Jack Carr needs at the start of the season is for a dark-haired, sexy as sin, gyspyesque beauty to be consuming his thoughts. Football is his life, which leaves no time for girls. Unless they’re the love ‘em and leave ‘em girls. Becoming one of the best running backs the league has ever seen by racking up the yards is his top priority… not bedding Macey Kelly, despite her affinity for blow jobs and total sexual abandon.
Avoiding each other is the perfect solution, but when your best friends are in a serious living together kind of relationship, that isn’t always an option. Sometimes, sex on tap is the easiest option. And the sweetest.
Until Mitch shows up with a bombshell that could shatter Macey’s perfectly carved out life. It’s been a year, but he isn’t giving her up, not now he has a chance at winning her back. And he knows her buttons. Every single one of them.
Unfortunately for him, Jack Carr isn’t a loser. The star running back has his eye on the Vince Lombardi—and on Macey. But seeing her hanging between them both isn’t something he’s down with, not when he discovers why she’s so against anything more-ish, as she puts it. Macey quickly realizes she’s the ball being passed between two desperate yet opposing teams, and that only one of them can score the touchdown. But will the winner be the guy she lived with and loved for three years, or will the winner be the guy who understands her and makes her body come alive?
In this game, someone will be sidelined, and calling the play isn’t always as easy as it seems.


“Put the drink down, M,” he whispers. “It’s fucking with you.”
“Really? I thought that was you fucking with me,” I respond, turning to him and pressing a hand against his chest. “What the hell are you doing here?”
Like, right here. Literally.
“It’s my best friend’s birthday.” He smirks. “Why’ve you been staring at me all night like you wanna suck and bite my cock simultaneously?”
“I assure you it was the latter.”
“Sure it was.” Jack steps into me again, and I grab my glass with the hand closest to him so I don’t grab his ass or something, ‘cause, shit. He’s got a sweet as hell ass.
“It was.” I drink. Again. Where the hell are my girls? “I feel like dancing.” I finish the glass and twist my body away from his.
His hand finally falls from me as I stalk toward and down the stairs. I slip into the moving crowd, but
I’ve barely moved my hips when two large, strong hands clasp me and tug me backward. The wall of muscle my back slams into is solid, and I exhale on a whoosh, even as I close my fingers against the ones clasping my hips.
“Nice try, baby,” Jack says into my ear. “Run if you want. I’m a running back. I’ll chase you and catch you every fuckin’ time.”
“Sounds like a promise you can’t keep, doll,” I reply, my breath catching when he moves my hips against his.
“Sounds like a promise you’re afraid of.”
I laugh and shove his hands away from me. I turn to face him. Even in the darkness, his eyes blaze bright green, so fucking bright they’re close to blinding me every time the strobe lighting coasts across his face. And, shit, it does it so many times, and every time, it illuminates every line and curve of his perfectly sculpted jaw.
“You wish, Jack Carr. You fucking wish.”
His hands snatch mine and he pulls me through the crowd. I fight his hold, but his grip is too tight.
My heart pounds as he drags me through the hall with certainty, and in two minutes, I find myself pressed against his goddamn car in the parking lot.
“What the fuck?” I shout, shoving at him.
He grabs my hands once more and pins them over my head, effectively bending me backward on the hood of his SUV. “What the fuck?” he replies, leaning into me, his voice low. “Is that hard or soft, quick or slow, deep or shallow? ‘Cause baby, I can fuck you all six of those ways in one go.”
“None of them,” I snap. “What the fuck, as in, what the fuck, asshole?”
“Oh, that what the fuck.” He bends forward a little more. Until his mouth is against my ear and his hard body is pressed right up against mine. “Maybe it’s the what the fuck I felt when I felt your eyes on me all night. Maybe it’s the what the fuck I felt when you looked at me like you wanted to fuck me one minute, then the next, slice my balls in two. Maybe it’s the what the fuck you’ve got in your eyes while you let me lie my body over yours in a motherfucking parking lot seconds after I ask you how you want to be fucked tonight.”
“I don’t want to be fucked,” I reply, doing my best to slam my hands into his hood. I fail—shit, he’s so fucking strong I can’t even twist my hands in his grip.
“Baby, your body says otherwise.”
“My body is an impulsive fuckwit.”
“Your body knows me.”
“Again, my body is an impulsive fuckwit.”
“You never did say.” He breathes against my jaw and brushes his lips against my skin. “How do you want to be fucked?”
He tilts his face into my neck and kisses. Oh, hell, he kisses my neck, right beneath my jaw, where my chin meets my neck, and I pause. I inhale sharply.
“Get in the goddamn car,” he orders, releasing me.
“Excuse me?” I push up and stare at him.
“Get in the goddamn car,” he repeats, pulling open his door and staring me. “Or have I gotta throw you into it?”
“I am not getting into your car!”
He slams his door shuts and rounds on me. I step backward, but he’s too quick, and he wraps an arm around my waist. My body slams into his yet again as he opens the passenger side door of his SUV and throws me into it.
“Get. In. The. Goddamn. Car.”
“This is kidnap!”
He slams my door, and I both see and hear him laughing as he walks to the driver’s side. “Sure it is, baby. I’m startin’ the engine now, so you got ten seconds to get the hell out before I drive. One…two…”



From Emma Hart, the New York Times bestselling author of the Game series, comes a brand new series where the game is realer, the tension is tighter, the sex is hotter, and the stakes are the highest of all…
Two people. Two agendas. Two games.
What happens when the out-there It-Boy of football meets the secret It-Girl of fashion?
As the daughter of Hollywood’s sweetheart, Leah Veronica can’t even buy a coffee without finding her face on a magazine stand, so it’s no wonder she’s launching her first fashion line in secret. With it debuting at New York Fashion Week in just under a month, extra time in the spotlight is the last thing she needs.
The son of the best quarterback the league has ever seen, filling legendary shoes as the L.A. Vipers’ quarterback was inevitable for Corey Jackson. So was meeting Leah Veronica—the first girl to hand him his ass without putting a hair out of place.
Getting the handsome, prickly blonde into his bed becomes his number one goal. But getting the sexy, over-confident footballer the hell away from her becomes Leah’s—at least until she realizes the best way to do that is to give him what he wants.
If only it was that simple.
When Corey discovers who she is, and private photos of Hollywood’s finest find their way online, everything they thought they knew is thrown into disarray.
And when secrets are exposed and hearts are shattered, they have to figure out if they’ve been blindsided by love or reality, and if it’s worth running the extra yard to win the game they never meant to play.



By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies - usually wine - and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.



Book Tour for Once Loved by Cecy Robson (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of romances full of angst and as someone who read the first installment in the Shattered Past series, I'm thrilled to give you a glimpse today of the next installment in the series.... Once Loved by Cecy Robson.  Keep reading to learn my impressions of this story and learn even more about this book by visiting the other logs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC, a Loveswept mug, and nail polish too!

He’s the campus golden boy. She’s picking up the pieces of her broken past. But in Cecy Robson’s scorching novel of second chances—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—their differences only make their connection more explosive.
Every memory Lety Tres Santos has from her childhood comes with a scar—some emotional, some physical. Her father is an abusive drug addict, and her mother enables his destructive behavior. College offers Lety a fresh start . . . until her father finds a way to ruin that, too. Now, after losing her scholarship to kick off junior year, Lety must somehow stay in school, pay tuition, and turn a deaf ear to the whispers that follow her. And she intends to do it all without Brody Quaid’s help.
Brody is a lacrosse star, a 4.0 student—and as a freshman, he fell hard for the beautiful and spirited Lety. But their relationship crashed and burned because he couldn’t break through the walls she’s put up around her heart. With Letyhurting more than ever, Brody strives to win her back and make her believe in real love and true partnership. That will mean opening up secrets locked away in his own past—and trusting someone more than he’s ever dared.
Lety knows how painful it can be to depend on the wrong man. She also knows how much Brody wants to do this the right way. But it takes more than sizzling desire to move on and build a future together.


“Rough day?”
I sighed. “You could say that.”
Brody played with the wavy strands of my hair, his deep voice lowering. “Why didn’t you call me last night, or text me back today?”
“Didn’t really feel like talking.”
“Even to me? We used to talk about everything, remember?” He let out a breath when I wouldn’t answer. “Letz, I thought we were starting to get somewhere.”
His other nickname for me shouldn’t have tugged on my heart the way it did, but everything “Brody” had that effect on me. “I thought so, too.”
“What changed?”
I motioned to where his teammates disappeared. “Isn’t it obvious? My batshit crazy father showed up, reminding me why you’re better off without me.”
Brody dragged his fingers through his chin-length blond hair. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to us again.”
My hands fell to my side. “Brody, I’m not trying to hurt you. Why can’t you just accept that I’m not the best person for you?”
“Why can’t you accept what you mean to me?”
My head lowered. I wasn’t the type of girl who cried much. But when it came to him, it was impossible to fight back the tears. Someone like Brody was never supposed to fall for someone like me. I was a minority from the wrong side of town. He was the popular athlete who came from wealth and who all the pretty, drama-free girls swarmed, waiting for their chance to pounce.
“Because we don’t belong together,” I answered truthfully.
“That doesn’t make sense. We spent our first year attached at the hip, having fun, raising hell.” His tone deepened. “And when you finally wised up and realized how bad I wanted you, no one could pry us apart.”
I covered my eyes. “Brody, dont. I can’t think about us that way.”
“And I can’t stop.” His large hands enclosed my wrists and slowly lowered them. “I meant what I said at camp. You fucking broke my heart.”

BUY LINKS:  Amazon  |  BN  |  iTunes  |  Kobo


Overcoming pain from the past is the main theme of this story and is what binds two apparent opposites together in making a future.  Lety and Brody have both been put through the emotional wringer courtesy of her drunken and abusive father's continuing cruelty ending their burgeoning relationship before it barely started.  Wanting to keep Brody safe had Lety pushing him away but a year later has both of them miserable and him charming his way back into her life.  Their shared pain, and the masks of frivolity they hide behind, has them forming an unbroken bond based on unconditional support and understanding that was immensely heartwarming to see.  This story has them continuing to work through their pasts, and Brody finally revealing his own dark secret, in a story that pulls readers into their emotionally intense journey to HEA that has you crying one moment and cheering the next.

After just touching the surface of both Lety and Brody's lives in the previous book, this time around has us digging even deeper and seeing their internal struggles more profoundly.  Lety has seen her mother beaten time and again, living on the whim of a man, and desperately wants something different for herself.  Though she can't help supporting her mother monetarily, she's resentful of it and determined to make her own way to not end up like her mother.  She's a very strong-willed woman and a hard worker who's precariously balancing studies and nursing a disabled man and his son, who have an intriguing connection to Brody.  She's someone you admire and look up to and I ached for her having to live in fear of her father's cruelty as she so valiantly pushed forward to better herself.  Her and her siblings have a strong bond too and I enjoyed seeing more of Mateo from the previous book while getting to know more about Sophia and what lies ahead for her love life.

Brody seems to have it all with his wealth and good looks.  He's drawn to Lety though she comes from a different world.  He senses her pain as it calls to his and his charm leads to friendship and ultimately more before her father destroys their tenuous bond.  Being without her broke him once again and he's determined to get her back.  I adored Brody as he's sweet, caring, supportive, and never rushes her when it comes to sex.  He wants her on whatever terms she'll allow and his understanding her fears made him even more endearing.  He's carrying some pretty heavy burdens himself, along with the visible and mental scars to prove it, and only when he finally opens up to Lety do you sense that that is the defining moment in their relationship.  From there they're a formidable match who won't let the past define who they are and what they want anymore.  Brody is the quintessential, charming, willing to sacrifice all for Lety's love, and with a heart of gold he wears on his sleeve.  I'm still dreaming about him and it will take another special guy to supplant him in my heart.

This was an emotionally intense story that was ultimately an uplifting one.  It didn't shy away from the hard truths of life, it dealt with them head-on and showed the true power of love.  It was a sensual read where the emotional connection was more integral to the romance than the sex.  It made for a richer connection between Brody and Lety as they took things slowly which has me hopeful for their future.  Brody and Lety were memorable and strong-willed characters surrounded by an equally strong cast of supportive secondary characters who acted and talked in believable ways.  The stress, chaos, and fun of college was also believably interpreted to immerse you in the story even more.  From start to finish this was a compelling read that put me through the emotional wringer just as much as the characters and I loved every minute of it!  Ms. Robson continues to impress with her engaging characters and gut-wrenching writing and I'm left greatly anticipating the next book in this series.

My rating for this is an A-

*I bought this book for my own personal library and my opinions are my own.


CECY ROBSON is the New Adult and Contemporary author of the Shattered Past series, and the award winning author of the Weird Girls Urban Fantasy Romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song, despite her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the South, Cecy enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Tour for The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of Julia Quinn I'm thrilled to bring you a glimpse of the just-released, The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, the fourth installment in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series.  Keep reading to get my impressions of this historical read and learn even more about it by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a bundle of print books featuring the previous books in this series too.

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second-or third-look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.
Iris Smythe-Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. And when his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something...even as her heart tells her to say yes.




Until the release of this latest book I could always count on Ms. Quinn for her witty and rapid-fire banter propelling the romances of her main characters.  With this book though it's all about the angst as a desperate man must quickly find a wife to save his family.  It's a different tone Ms. Quinn's taken this time around and while I found this story ultimately satisfying, the journey wasn't quite as enjoyable as it usually is.

From the moment Sir Richard Kenworthy lays eyes on the strong-willed and smart Iris Smythe-Smith there's a secret he's keeping that weighs heavily on their burgeoning relationship that takes some of the expected sparkle from their romance.  To make Iris his bride takes an almost mercenary approach by the creating of a list that she fulfills completely.  The only unplanned event is his attraction to her that continually has him questioning his plan.  It's moments like this that keep me rooting for Richard.  He doesn't purposely want to hurt Iris but desperately wants to help his sisters and sees no other way than through marriage.  Richard is an honorable man and clearly conflicted but through it all he tries to be as caring as possible with Iris.  When his big secret's revealed though I could've shaken him as he made a much bigger deal out of it than it needed to be.  

Iris is a delightful heroine and a bit modern with her forthright thoughts and words.  She's a serious soul who doesn't suffer fools gladly.  She's not afraid to tell it like it is and is exceedingly honest, especially when describing her unremarkable looks.  She's extremely loyal to family though which is what Richard values in her most of all.  Iris senses all along that Richard's not being completely honest but his attentions overwhelm her as fate takes her in an unexpected direction that she tries to make the best of.  I quite liked Iris and desperately wanted her to find her HEA.  Throughout it all though she stayed strong, even as Richard's secret was revealed she saw it as easily surmountable.  Even after Richard's final hurt she forgave him with only a tiny grand gesture on his part.

While the main couple was struggling under the weight of a secret, the secondary characters brought much-needed humor to the story.  Iris' sister Daisy was delightfully confused with a bit of an ego that led to a larger-than-life personality.  Richard's friend Bevelstoke could also be counted on to lighten the moment in his simple honesty and unconditional support of Richard.  Watching Daisy set her sights on Bevelstoke brought even more lighthearted moments to the story and left me smiling when so much of the journey to HEA between Iris and Richard was full of angst.  From dialogue weighed down with subterfuge to a heroine waiting for the other shoe to drop, this was a story that kept me on edge and desperate for the unconditional joy I've come to count on from Ms. Quinn.  It's a new direction she's taken with this book but I look forward to a return to her usual fun and flirty style in the future.

My rating for this is a B.

*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


JULIA QUINN started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only fifteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Tour for I Do! by Rachel Gibson (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of Ms. Gibson's writing I'm thrilled to introduce you to her latest small town romance of complete opposites, I Do! by Rachel Gibson.  Keep reading to get a taste of this novella, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about it by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a bundle of print books from Ms. Gibson's backlist too!

In New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson's newest novella, Vince Haven and Sadie Hollowell are headed to the altar, and all their friends are headed to Lovett, Texas, to join them for the party of the year.
But Becca Ramsey doesn't have time for all that. Fresh out of beauty school, Becca's all business … and the last thing she needs is bad boy Nate Parrish anywhere in her life.
In the past, Nate was trouble. He's been trying to repair his reputation—heck, he's even got just one girlfriend. The problem is, she isn't Becca. Now Nate's in a whole lot of hot water. He needs to get Becca from "I won't" to "I do" … but how can he do that when she won't even say "I might"?


Rebecca Ramsey unplugged the iPod, then leaned beneath the raised hood. She cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, “Hello!”
A hollow thud like someone thumped a watermelon came from beneath the car mingled with the sound of tools hitting concrete.
Becca wrinkled her nose and whispered, “Ouch.” She straightened to the sound of a painful moan and a few “goddamn its.” Then two greasy hands reached from beneath and grabbed the shiny bumper. Under the smudges of grease, the head of a Chinese dragon breathed fire across the back of his hand. Squeaky little wheels rolled the rest of him from under the car. Long legs and a spiky belt led to a dirt-smudged white T-shirt over a flat belly. Next came hard forearms and balls of muscular shoulders. The rest of the dragon tattoo wrapped up his arm, and the tail disappeared under the T-shirt sleeve. His square chin and jaw were covered in dark stubble, and a frown pulled at the corners of his mouth. Then eyes the color of a clear Texas sky slid into view and stared up at her. Angry blue eyes beneath dark slashes of brows and surrounded by dark lashes. An even angrier red mark on his forehead seemed to turn redder by the second.
Despite the furious scowl and horrible welt, hideous spiky belt and tacky tattoo, he was so ridiculously hot, Becca felt her insides melt. He rubbed a greasy hand across the welt on his forehead. “Can I do something for you?”
“Yes.” She’d met guys like him before. Guys who looked good in anything from tight T-shirts and jeans to a Sunday suit and tie. Guys who looked at a girl and took her breath away. She’d always been a sucker for guys like him. Hot guys with cool names like Tucker or Slade or Toby Ray. Or, in this case, Nathan Parrish.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon  |  BN  |  iTunes  |  Kobo


The denizens of Lovett, Texas return in this fun and flirty read with rapid-fire dialogue and a large cast of characters that almost overwhelm the story.  Romance was never such fun as when the serious yet unlucky in love Becca meets bad boy mechanic Nate.  Even as sparks fly there's a big obstacle between them that could end their relationship before it starts and readers are along for their rocky journey to HFN.

Fans of this series will love seeing characters from past books as it lends a sense of family to the story but it takes time away from the burgeoning relationship between Nate and Becca that crackles with sexual tension.  Whenever they're together the scenes are electric with witty dialogue that brings a smile to your face.  The one sexual encounter we see is both steamy and playful and I longed to see more of them one-on-one as they're both entertaining characters.  Nate was once a player but has slowly become a responsible man who tries to do the right thing with Becca but knows she's claimed his heart the moment he first sees her.  Becca's an outgoing woman full of energy who has big plans for her future.  She's been cheated on many times though but breaks many of her rules where Nate's concerned as he makes her feel alive.  Unfortunately for her, one omission leads to hurt once again in a denouement that's quickly resolved with only a bit of groveling and charm on his part.

This is a sweet and sensual story with fun dialogue that made for an entertaining read.  Being a novella though hurt the overall story as too much was crammed into this short story to leave us feeling short-changed when it came to the main characters.  While the inclusion of past characters added a folksy and sentimental feeling to the story it left little time to see Becca and Nate get closer together.  Overall this is a signature Rachel Gibson book due to its sparkling characters and crackling dialogue and for that I enjoyed it.  I wanted more though, more of Nate and Becca.  Ultimately this was a good tale but not a great one.  I still enjoy Ms. Gibson's works and look forward to her next book, hopefully one where we see more of Nate and Becca!

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Rachel Gibson lives in Idaho with her husband, three kids, two cats and a dog of mysterious origin. She began her fiction career at age 16, when she ran her car into the side of a hill, retrieved the bumper, and drove to a parking lot, where she strategically scattered the car’s broken glass all about. She told her parents she’d been the victim of a hit and run and they believed her. She’s been making up stories ever since, although she gets paid better for them nowadays.

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