Monday, July 13, 2020

This Love Hurts by Willow Winters



Some love stories are a slow burn. Others are quick to ignite, scorching and branding your very soul before you’ve taken that first breath. You’re never given a chance to run from it.
That’s how I’d describe what happened to us.

Everything around me blurred and all that existed were his lips, his touch… The chase and the heat between us became addictive.

Our nights together were a distraction; one we craved to the point of letting the world crumble around us.

We should have paid attention; we should have known that it would come to this. We both knew it couldn’t last, but that didn’t change what we desired most.

All we wanted was each other…

Part I Do You Want Me the prequel to This Love Hurts, I have to say for me was tough to get through.  Told in first person from a triangle of perspectives this romantic suspense is a tedious slow burn, with hints at heated passion.  The foreshadowing start adds only confusion in the wait for the story to progress to something meaningful.  You learn about Delilah, whose job as an attorney putting monsters behind bars is her life.  Cody, an FBI agent who has a work history with Delilah, as well as a mutual attraction is guarded & has secrets in his past to damning to tell.  Their history of working tough murder cases that were never solved, a serial killer still on the loose haunts them.  Being completely dedicated to work, & connected by these cases, Delilah & Cody take solace in one another "It's easy to hide in work. Even easier to hide under the sheets and get lost, forgetting who we are and what we do." particularly as Delilah works through family drama & controversy, turned to threats at work that putting her in need of protection.  

In Part II This Love Hurts, the story really starts to pick up the pace.  Enter "...the man I've heard called a ghost, the grim reaper...the angel of death..." the third member of this triangle.  Secrets of the past and the events that connect the three characters finally start to unfold.  Leaving with one heck of a cliff hanger & a lot of frustration for the reader at finally getting to the depth of the story, only for it to be over. Full of intrigue, mystery & suspense - perhaps a little to much in fact to hold the attention of this reader.

The continuation of this story, But I Need You coming this Fall.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Rivals by Vi Keeland

Title: The Rivals
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: July 12, 2020


The feud between Weston Lockwood and me started at the altar.
Only neither of us attended the wedding, and the nuptials happened decades before either of us was born.
Our grandfathers had been best friends and business partners, at least up until my grandfather’s wedding day—when his bride-to-be blurted out she couldn’t marry him because she was also in love with Weston‘s grandfather.
The two men spent years fighting over Grace Copeland, who also happened to be their third business partner.  But in the end, neither man could steal half of her heart away from the other.
Eventually, they all went their separate ways.  Our grandfathers married other women, and the two men became one of the biggest business rivals in history.
Our fathers continued the family tradition of feuding.  And then Weston and I did, too.
For the most part, we kept as much distance as possible.
Until the day the woman who started the feud died—and unexpectedly left one of the most valuable hotels in the world to our grandfathers to share.
Now I’m stuck in a hotel with the man I was born to hate, trying to unravel the mess our families inherited.
As usual, it didn’t take long for us to be at each other’s throats.
Weston Lockwood was everything I hated: tall, smart, cocky, and too gorgeous for his own good.  We were fire and ice. 
But that shouldn’t be an issue. Our families were used to being at war. There was just one minor problem, though.   Every time Weston and I fought, we somehow wound up in bed.

The Rivals by Vi Keeland, another in a long line of sexy & witty enemies-to-lovers contemporary romances from Vi.  This page turner & its impulsively hot headed characters does not disappoint.  Fasten your seat belt for push and pull, feuding, explosive chemistry, heart-string pulling story of life struggles that may or may not define Sophie & Weston.

Told in first person from dual perspectives, this story literally takes off with palpable attraction & wit, bringing the personal touch of the hospitality service industry to a whole new level.  Sophie intelligent, willful & a real beauty, with trust issues to spare, she is working to prove her worth in a world dominated by her father & grandfather, while tasked with taking on the family rival.  She's had a glimpse of what she's up against (literally) with Weston, now she's getting a brand new view of the makings of a good partner in more ways than one.  Closed off & protective, carrying baggage full of self-doubt, Weston is a man who pays attention to detail in the boardroom & the bedroom (AMEN).  He isn't afraid to do what it takes to get the job done in any room.  Loyal to a fault, Weston is "...positively sinful."

I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK.  Sophia & Weston are such a amazing fit.  Equal in intellect & tenacity.  " a tornado and a volcano. It's rare the two meet. But when they do, it's explosive."  Such a tangible spark between Sophie & Weston, this whirlwind romance has a level of intimacy & caring, I couldn't get enough of.  Their love-hate relationship, with a twist of betrayal & fear of taking a risk; add in the wonderful feel good friendships that bring wisdom of imperfect perfection this life has to offer.   

"It's magical."

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

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

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