Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Only Ever You by CD Reiss

Rachel knew exactly what turning thirty would be like. She had a plan, after all. First college, then a climb up the professional ladder. Love, marriage, children. All of it was on the schedule.

The cheap Hollywood apartment wasn’t on the list. Neither was the string of heartbreaks. Or the effect her mother’s cancer had on her career.

It’s hard to stay practical and on point when everything takes a left turn.

Enter Sebastian, the nerd across the street. The boy she defended when he couldn’t defend himself. The best friend she promised she’d marry if life didn’t go according to plan.

Not only is he successful, confident, and gorgeous, but he also still has their handwritten marriage contract.

No one goes through with childhood wedding pacts.

That’s crazy.

But their families might just be crazy enough to rent a hall and set a date. All Rachel and Sebastian have to do is fall in love.

Only Ever You by CD Reiss, a wonderful coming of age, friends to lovers tale of what happens when life doesn't go as planned.  A love defining story you won't be able to put down.  Prepare to be a simultaneously laughing, gasping, fist pumping & teary eyed - hot mess.
Told in first person, from dual perspectives, an emotional & funny "You know what happens to nerds. They get gorgeous and rich." love story with honesty & grit.  You will love Sebastian, vulnerable dweeb turned voice of reason & Rachel, brave heart turned uncertain mess.  Holy. Hot. Wow. Sexy "...gone weak kneed with anticipation." angst that is as tough to take for the reader as the characters.  Heartstring pulling & soul bearing as Sebastian & Rachel get to know each other again. "...old and new at the same time."  They'll work their way back & come to terms with who they are to themselves & each other.  "...the question of who we were and how we fit."  Striving to ensure the happiness of those they love so very much, all the while wrestling with emotions & fears that come with seeking love, success & overcoming illness.  Family & friends that will have you laughing out loud & whispering 'oh no's'.
The deep rooted friendship between Sebastian & Rachel combined with the courage to do what is right & live without apology makes this one of epic love story.  I haven't read a romance like this, that had me so invested in all of the characters so quickly.  Couldn't get enough of the witty banter that comes from knowing someone forever.  Like coming home.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Never Fall in Love with a Rock Star by Rachel Higginson


My name is Clover Calloway and I’ve lived two separate lives.

The first, I like to call “my past.” I never talk about it. I try not to think about it. My rockstar days of playing in one of the hottest bands on the planet are over. Along with the most volatile, beautiful, tragic love story of all time.

Over the past five years, I’ve settled into my second life. My “normal life.” The one where I work a normal job, hang out with normal people and fall in love with a normal, but wonderful guy. The life where I’m admittedly a little bored, but also safe.

My past wasn’t boring. But my past broke my heart into a million, unfixable pieces. So, I’m determined to keep it where it belongs—behind me.

And the man responsible for the shattering of me? Malachi Porter, lead singer and mastermind of Bright Tragedy, should stay there too. Far away from me and this idyllic life I’ve carved out for myself.

But what happens when my two lives collide?

When Malachi comes crashing into my perfectly normal world, he threatens to destroy it, promises to annihilate everything I’ve replaced him with.

He upends everything I thought I wanted and forces me to question the reasons I left Bright Tragedy all those years ago.

But I didn’t walk away five years ago, I ran. As fast as I could go. And while my heart is whispering that it’s different this time—that he’s different—my brain is screaming for me to run again.

Malachi Porter isn’t a normal guy. And he doesn’t belong in my “normal life.” But, nevertheless, he’s bound and determined to make a place for himself here.

I just hope my heart can survive him, that we don’t burn into another bright tragedy.

My Review
Never Fall in Love with a Rock Star by Rachel Higginson is a fresh take on the Rockstar romance, second chances & coming of age, that go well beyond surface deep.  An ultra angsty, heartstring pulling story that gets you in the gut.

From the start you won't be able to help but empathize with Clover, an extraordinary woman who wants nothing more than to fly under the radar after having left the bright tragedy of love & life behind her "I had loved a broken thing because I wanted to fix it. Instead, it had broken me too."  Resilient & strong, big hearted & funny - "Someone hold my earrings..." protective of her heart & spirit after the overwhelming heartache she's suffered.  A story of recovery from heartbreak & addiction & moving on to discover who these characters are meant to be.  Brought back together when they least expected, reconnecting after years apart, through immense talent & love of music to rescue a song & possibly each other.  "...imperfect humans lost in an imperfect love..."

Oh. My. Goodness.
This story is written with so much emotion, passion & heart.  The perfect amount of angst, don't expect some over the top sexy times, but rather the real deal of what true connection can be body & soul. "A love so deep I could feel it with every breath."

 ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon Order

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tomboy (The Hartigans #3) by Avery Flynn


Ice Knights defenseman Zach Blackburn has come down with the flu, and my BFF—his PR manager—begs me to put my nursing degree to use and get him back to health. Of course she would call in a favor for the most hated man in Harbor City.

But when he’s finally on the mend and I’m sneaking out of his place, everything goes sideways. Paparazzi spot me and pictures, plus accusations that I slept with him, fly faster than a hockey puck.

At first, all of Harbor City wants my blood—or to give me a girlie-girl makeover. But then…the team finally wins a game. And now this fickle town wants me with the big jerk twenty-four seven.

Argh. I never slept with him the first time! But no one will listen. Then the grumpy bastard goes and promises to break his no-fan-appearances rule to help raise money for a free health clinic—but only if I’m rink-side at every game. That’s not a deal I can turn down.

But when the team keeps winning, and I realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation, suddenly remembering to keep my real hands off my fake date gets harder and harder to do.

My Review

Tomboy, the third in Avery's The Hartigans series, I had no idea I would enjoy the crap out of this book three as much I did (& you will too).  Between the wounded & undeniably sexy hockey alpha (-with metal bars piercing his nipples - holy wow), & the tomboy with unapologetic spirit & fierce nature to protect those who need it most, this hilariously snarky wit, hot sexy angst "Curious. Needy. Wanting more."  filled story - you won't be able to put it down.  

I don't know what drew me in more.  Maybe it was the hockey?  "...oh, for the love of Wayne Gretzky's and Martin Brodeur's love child."  Mama Hartigans double jack & coke?  Most definitely the hockey god whose had it all wrong when it comes to the kind of treatment that is deserved & the kind that is earned, versus the crazy family that has so much love & sass "...when it comes to the people we love, we do whatever it takes."  Fighting the good fight through betrayal & trust, with friends who have your back whether you ask or not.  I just can't even with this book right now. 

I love Fallon & the way her "...I-will-call-you-on-all-of-your-bullshit attitude..." does the very opposite of deterring Zach.  The ease & "I've got you." trust between these characters will get you in the gut.  Getting two stubborn, scrapper personalities together has never been sexier.

Be prepared to be left between not being able to take the prospect of the Ice Knights series & wanting to know why they aren't in your greedy hands already!

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Thursday, February 7, 2019

CAR CRASH (Collision Series, #2) by T. Gephart


Kitty was not only beautiful but also incredibly intelligent—except when it came to relationships. It seemed if a guy was a loser, corrupt, deadbeat or unavailable, she was completely and utterly attracted to him. She definitely had a “type,” and all of them had been one bad decision after another.

Dallas had trouble of his own. Finding women wasn’t a problem—he could charm the pants off almost anyone—but most of those “pantless” women ended up being a few bananas short of a fruit basket. Not always the best candidates for his sex-without-strings philosophy. He was one date away from ending up a 60 Minutes special.

While both of them were at the top of their game professionally—she a high-powered executive assistant, and he one of the best tattooists in the city—their personal lives had become a dumpster fire.

No one in their right mind would have suggested they join forces to help each other wade through the crazy. Surely that was a recipe for disaster? But without reason, logic or even sanity on their side, they decided to do it anyway.

It was a hot mess primed for a head-on collision.

My Review
Car Crash, book two in T. Gephart's Collision Series is "...just the right amount of freaky and seductive."  Make sure to clear your schedule, once you pick this baby up, you won't be able to put it down.  An extra word to the wise, if you haven't read Train Wreck - book one, get that lapse in judgement remedied & quick.  

Like it's predecessor, Car Crash is told in first person, from dual perspectives & is as funny as it is squirm in your seat sexy... "A clit whisperer." need I say more?  In a world where these characters couldn't be more alike, yet totally different ~ this lovers-to-friends, to-lovers story is not what you might expect of a super hot romance.  It is full of hope, heart & life changing lightbulb moments that shine on the truth of self worth & perspective "I used to think it wasn't possible for me to have it all. And then I found out the only obstacle in my way was me."

Great banter & hilarious wit - sometimes lack thereof.  Kitty is beautiful & strong, down to earth & practical, just like Dallas.  Their connection & honesty about the conflicted emotions they share have made them characters I couldn't get enough of.  Real feelings.  Real friends.  Real heart.
Tina says it best herself "It was hot, and seductive, with the right amount of tease, toggling between deeply passionate and light and sexy."  BOOM.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Friday, December 14, 2018

Unzipped by Lauren Blakely

Everything he knows about women is about to get turned upside down…

Wanted: Dating coach to help hot nerd win back the woman of his dreams…

Picture this - I’m ready to win back the love of my life, and I’m going big this time. We’re talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I'm good and ready this time around. After all, if you're going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops. 

There’s only one little problem.

My college girlfriend isn't the one who shows up when I play my "I'll do anything to win you back" tune.

The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn’t live here anymore. But she'll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that's what I want at first. Until I get to know my new “romance coach” and discover she’s funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. And boy, do I ever need that. 

Now I don't want to win anyone else’s heart. I want the woman who's been helping me all along. 

Trouble is - she thinks I'm in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.

He's the last person I ever expected to pop into my life, but he might be exactly what I need to save the thing that matters most to me. All I have to do is not fall for him. 

Unzipped by Lauren Blakely, can officially be added to my LB favs list.  So. Much. Angst. This funny, slow burn, friends to lovers, second chances, to hot to handle contemporary romantic comedy will have you at "hello."  ~Fans of the best quotes movie romance have to offer will adore!

"...finding humor in the confusion between men and women about what the other says and what the other truly means."

This story takes hot nerd/muse & practical romantic/writer on a road trip to finding a connection that is more than physical "...flirting? Yes. Romantic tension? For sure."  A lesson in uncertainty & of being careless with ones heart.  Learning to embrace change & take a risk.  "A little dirty, a lot sexy." The humor & love of family shine through "...the power of nachos, a good cry, and a great father to lean on."

Wise advice - learn to listen, don't give up

"Sometimes we think something is one way, and it's entirely another. And that stops us in our tracks."

Can't wait for Gabe & Arden's love story... Best Laid Plans...

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Permission (Perversion Trilogy #3) by T.M. Frazier


War breaks out in Lacking. The streets aren't safe.
When an unexpected person from my past arrives in town, I'm forced to make a choice between the life I've always wanted, and a life I never knew I could have.

I didn't know how strong I was until I met Grim.
But am I strong enough to live without him?

 PERMISSION, the conclusion of T.M. Frazier's Perversion Trilogy ties every plot line up in a tight bow - while adding gasp worthy moments.  Be prepared to find yourself hand over mouth, whispering "No." one moment, only to pull it away in the next saying "What!?!?" "...one shock after another." 

A true nail biting & heart string pulling conclusion to what has been a whirlwind gangster Romeo & Juliet tale.  "Capable of both life and death. Hate and love."  This book hits the ground running right where Possession finished off.  Survival of the fittest, where villains & allies are revealed, and a million questions are asked.  Boundless love & sacrifice for family shines through "A mother's love knows no boundaries. No laws. Neither does a fathers." Beyond sexy, raw & romantic. 

"Give ourselves to one another completely. With love, passion, and permission."

A perfect ending to a trilogy that I didn't want to end.  I loved the continued suspense & ever increasing deeps of love between all these characters.  A fantastic read & great trilogy binge read!

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Verity by Colleen Hoover


Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity likely didn't intend for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of the night their family was forever altered. 

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

 I'm a big fan of Colleens - but honestly, how could anyone not be?  I wasn't sure what to expect with Verity, a true psychological thriller of a romance - but I can tell you I sure as hell didn't expect what I got.  "Disturbing is putting it mildly."  So well written the panic & terror are palpable.  Oh. My. God. this book is right up there with Steven King & M Night Shyamalan, yet with a love story that sucks you in & will have you so conflicted.  Shocking, sexy & mysterious, with Colleens classic wit & sarcasm.  Tragedies that bring you through a full range of emotions, from shock & heartbreak to disgust, love & heart stopping fear. 

I couldn't put this one down, even when I wanted to.  The ending, wholly crap - I can't even... Cringe-worthy at the start "Ugly and honest..."  By the end, you won't know what to believe - or if you are like me, how to feel.  A story that will make you rethink what people might be capable of in pursuit of love & success, then have you questioning assumptions you yourself make everyday...what you should believe "...to separate our reality from fiction..."

READ THIS BOOK, you just may not want to do it when you are alone.

Well done Colleen - you've truly "...pushed the envelope..." with this remarkable tale.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

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