Monday, August 27, 2018

Love Online by Penelope Ward


We met in the least likely of places. It started out innocently enough. I was “ScreenGod” and she was “Montana,” but of course, those weren’t our actual names, just the virtual cloaks we hid behind.

 Logging in at night and talking to her was my escape—my sanctuary. 

Her real name was Eden, I’d soon come to find out.

From the first time we connected online, I found myself transfixed. 

She was an addiction. 

At first, we knew nothing about each other’s real identities…and she was adamant that we keep things that way. Anonymity had no effect on our unstoppable chemistry, though. If anything, it allowed us to open up even more in ways we may not have otherwise.

Eden was funny, intelligent, gorgeous—everything I’d ever wanted in a woman.

But I couldn’t really have her.

I had accepted things would have to stay the way they were—until the day I found a clue that led me straight to her.

So I took a chance.

And that was when our love story really began.

Love Online by Penelope Ward is a fun & new to me, take on love.  Set in California, Small-town, USA & of course the brave not so new world of the intranet.  These characters connect in what may not be so uncommon way for this day & age.  Living in two different worlds, even with common bonds, how deep can that connection really go.  An attraction that begins based on secrecy, "Yet at the same time, it didn't feel like that lack of information mattered." 
Told in first person from dual perspectives, this romance is angsty, sexy & sweet with a mix of mystery & sadness.  A story that shows "...true relationships can be based on how two people connect, their shared ideals and tastes-- their overall chemistry."  And boy do Ryder & Eden eat up the screen with fiery hot chemistry.  The struggle between fantasy & reality gets real as secrets shatter to let the light of real life shine through.  Ryder & Eden face the heavy realities of being the person they need to be for those they hold most dear - to moving past disappointment & heartache, to seeking closure & working through grief.  A page turner to the very "What the what?" end.
"Give me today. Just give me today. But don't be surprised if I ask the same of you tomorrow and the next day."  
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Confessions: Priest by Ella Frank

I am complex.
My love is all-encompassing.
And when it comes to my heart, there is only one rule:
Don’t mess with what’s mine.

Until the age of seven, I was Joel Alexander Donovan, son of Jimmy.
The man who terrorized a town and made its citizens fear
the very ground he walked on. Including me,
the day I realized that ground ran red with blood.

At age eighteen, I became Priest.
A man without a past.
A man determined to right the wrongs of my father.
A man who never believed anyone could love the son of such a monster.

But then a thief stole my heart.
A sweetheart lit up my world.
And I forgot for a moment you should never turn your back on your enemy.

And thus begins a lesson to those who would seek to harm: Never underestimate what the Priest will do to protect the Princess and the Prick.

Confessions: Priest, book three in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank.  Starting right where we left off with Robbie, Julien & Priest in Julien, book two of this Confessions series.  Riddled once more with flashbacks, this time to Priest's traumatic past & to his ever enchanting romantic beginnings with Julien.  Another edition full of mystery, angst & steamy hot sexy times. 

The drama & suspense we've been waiting for.  Betrayal & doubt - the struggle is real "...emotions are all over the place." The pull between these three men, something not to be ignored.  Priest: "Warm, solid, steady,..." Robbie: "So much attitude. So much fire,..." "Julien, ever the peacemaker..."  A romance that is three times "...fierce, passionate, and bittersweet..."  Priests past blurs into his present, you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what the future holds.  

"...all about falling ridiculously and stupidly in love."

I can't get enough of the alpha of this trio, his protective nature & guarded but relentless love get me every time.  Adore the "...burgeoning friendship..." being forged.  And can't wait to see what is to comefrom the Confessions series: The Princess, the Prick, & the Priest

  ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Thursday, August 16, 2018

As Dust Dances by Samantha Young


Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

 Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

 Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

 Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

So first off, although I'm a huge fan of Samantha's, having not read Play On yet, I wasn't expecting to love this book as completely as I did.  Set in Glasgow, Scotland -"...the city of music..." a place & its people that are characters all their own.  This is an emotionally intense romance filled with struggle & sacrifice, on a journey of survival & love, to rejoin this thing called life.  A story of "Music that will heal you.", becoming " artist in your own right.", moving on & finding your place in the world.  

Witty - oh so smart, emotional with the perfect balance of humor & sarcasm - not to mention skin prickling, "...loving and passionate..." sexy as hell. " made my girly bits very happy."  Skylar has worked hard to escape who she was, positioning herself to disappear & keep her distance from the world.  Talented & smart, there's no avoiding being discovered in more ways than one, all over again.  Enter Killian - "...attractive, brooding bastard with a hot accent." He is just as broken, just as driven, just as complicated.  Their connection is undeniable, no matter how hard he tries.  Closure is sought & lessons in forgiveness are learned, while putting past wrongs right.  There are moments when the raw emotion of it all is almost to much to take - "...I loved her the best. Always."  

I love the fierce protectiveness of Killian & Skylar's wonderfully smart mouth "Actually, my current policy is to give zero fucks."  Grief, healing, longing & attraction, Samantha makes it all tangible.  This book left me gobsmacked.

"Simple and elegant, but a little different."

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely

I didn't break her heart, and she didn't break mine -- we broke each other's.

I never stopped loving her, but time and distance played its cruel role in ripping us apart three years ago when she moved halfway around the world. Now after all those endless miles away, she's returned . . . but I'm not the guy I was before.

Beautiful, kind, and loving, she's the same -- my hope. The only one who can make a day better, who can make me feel again with one kiss, one touch, one night.

There's so much I have to put back in place now that I’m alone and on my own. Things I never wanted at the age of twenty-five. When I receive an unexpected letter that might hold the clues to everything I desperately need to understand about my family, I'm sure I have to follow it. But that means leaving her once more.

She says she'll come with me, and having her by my side will unbreak my heart . . . or destroy it.

That's the chance I have to take. 

My Review
Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely is a standalone romance different from those you've read from her before.
"...intense, wonderful, and hopeful."
With emotional depth, in the very real experiences of devastating loss & the journey to finding your way back to the living.  "Like getting lost and being found." Heartache & broken promises made in a time of summer love.  Between characters who have a connection that is "...more than chemistry and stronger than history."  You'll love the raw honesty, steamy romance & "...banter, about robots and sunshine and sandwich toppings." LB humor.  

Gut wrenching - "...words hit me in the gut." from the start... "...what I wouldn't give for another day."  A story of healing & finding peace & the possibilities of dreams unrealized.  Heartwarming support between family, rock star caliber friendships.  And of course between friends, turned lovers, turned friends.  All with twists & unexpected surprises that span across an ocean, making this a page turner all the way to the tear jerking & endearing end.
"A life filled with love, with family, with hope."

I love this new take on story telling from LB. 
A beautiful & sexy read.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Friday, August 10, 2018

Kiss My Ash by Leddy Harper


Ash Jenkins was the typical boy next door. Wait, who am I kidding? There was nothing typical about that boy.

He was tall, ripped, and had the voice of a man twice his age. Intelligent, sexy as sin, and barely legal.

Sent to live with his dad after getting in some trouble with the law, he was definitely someone I needed to stay away from.

But he had his sights set on me, and he didn’t try to hide it.

Did it still make me a cougar if I was the prey?
Kiss My Ash by Leddy Harper is a sexy, taboo contemporary romance of a different kind.  Picture single mom meets younger man who turns out to have a lot more in common with her teenage daughter than she expected. 

Funny~ "...too stunned... to do anything other than drool and imagine what our babies would look like."  Sexy & sensual, with emotional depth.  Kristy is a woman flirting with the idea of putting herself first for once, treating herself to a little tryst with the guy across the street.  An idea that will have her faced with fears of wanting "...something society would condemn her for."  Asher~ a young man mature beyond his years with a "...complete alpha-male personality..."  He knows what he wants & he won't find it in his age group.   You'll be tangled up in these characters -  push-pull & angst, deceptions & betrayals to overcome, heartwarming & tear jerking before it's all said & done. 

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kylie Scott

Returning home for her father’s wedding was never going to be easy for Adele. If being sent away at eighteen hadn’t been bad enough, the mess she left behind when she made a pass at her dad’s business partner sure was.

Fifteen years older than her, Pete had been her crush for as long as she could remember. But she’d misread the situation—confusing friendliness for undying love. Awkward. Add her father to the misunderstanding, and Pete was left with a broken nose and a business on the edge of ruin. The man had to be just as glad as everyone else when she left town.

Seven years later, things are different. Adele is no longer a kid, but a fully grown adult more than capable of getting through the wedding and being polite. But all it takes is seeing him again to bring back those old feelings. Sometimes first loves are the truest.      

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kylie Scott is a wonderful second chance romance set in Australia.  Funny, sexy & heartfelt - this book has it all.  "People always make young love seem like this wonderful thing. Something to be treasured. But the truth is, it sucks." 
Hilariously awkward, smart & sexy, Adele is a woman who speaks from her heart & you'll love her for it.  Pete is the best kind of 'older' guy, a closed book, impossible to resist "Grumpy and intense shouldn't be so hot." I seriously couldn't get enough of the witty & funny inner dialogue "But honestly, what the ever-loving f#ck? I PMS'd with fewer mood swings than this man." This is a story of first love - the unrequited & unattainable kind.  OMG so sexy ~ "Love, lust, and obsession..." "Don't event get me started on the eye porn of his strong neck."  Heartfelt in getting to know & growing into their true selves ~ understanding depth of emotion like never before.  To get " an age where you had to own your own sh#t…"  Bonds of friendship & family break & shine through in all the right ways.  The journey of heartache, rejection & embarrassment is so angsty, I really wasn't sure how it would end... And what a surprise ending there is!  "My life was so full of wonder. Mostly wondering what the hell I was doing."
I loved the crap out of this book.  Smart & intense & sexy & heart wrenching & all the other adjectives people use when they really love a romance novel! 
"I might have swooned a little."
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Butterface (The Hartigans) by Avery Flynn

2018-0627 Avery Flynn

Looks aren’t everything.
It’s true. I’m not what most people would call “pretty” and, well, high school was rough. Fast forward ten years and life is good…
Until a bunch of jerks think it’s hilarious to put the “butterface” (AKA me) on a wedding Kiss Cam with the hottest guy ever—and that old humiliation hits hard.
I recognize him immediately. The hottest cop in Waterbury and totally out of my league.
But then he kisses me. And we totally forget the room, the crowd, everything.
Then he tells everyone we’ve been dating for months.
Soon everything starts to feel too real, from adorable fights over “necessary” tools to fix my broken porch to surviving a free-for-all dinner with his six siblings to picking up where our last kiss left off.
But there’s something he’s not telling me about why he’s really hanging around, and I’m pretty sure it has to do with my mob-connected brothers.
Because this is not a makeover story, and Cinderella is only a fairy tale…

 Butterface by Avery Flynn - first of The Hartigans series, this book can be read as a standalone - but I'm sure you'll be hooked & ready for the next installment.  A story of unrequited love, with a unique twist we can all appreciate "...redefined what beautiful could be." ~ don't miss reading the dedication- completely sets the tone for this fast paced fun, sexy & sweet read. 

Not unlike her other novels, this contemporary romance is the perfect mix of hilarious wit, heartfelt romance & sultry hot sexiness.  Do yourself a favor & powder your nose before starting Chapter 3 - because Avery will have you ready to pee your pants with laugh out loud inner dialogue.  You're welcome.  I'd never heard the term Butterface & it made me so sad!  Gina is a girl after my own heart with "...her self-deprecating sense of humor...", she "...loathed--being the center of attention..." & " off on color coded spreadsheets..." She is making a fresh start toward a new life for herself, moving past anger & humiliations of her past while protecting herself from them in the future.  One that she never imagined would involve someone like Ford Hartigan.  A "Brusque. By the rules. No-nonsense." cop from a Irish family of firefighters.  He is focused on an assignment of the career building kind.  Together these characters are desire & need of the squirm in your seat kind "It was hot and demanding and so achingly desperate."  Supporting family & friends you won't be able to do anything but love.  Strong family bonds in spite of being so different from each other.  "They were just the best kind of a mess..."  Friendships no one should live without. "...only a true friend would help you dispose of a body. "You're the best." 

I just love all of the smart & witty phrases - "...the ice-pick-to-the-balls moment..." & holy hell who can resist "...his clit-whistle of a throaty groan...", not me, that's who.  Adore the natural instinct to protect those you love & enjoyed the intrigue & angst to see what would be revealed of the past & the future. 

Another great read!

 ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

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