Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Primal Instinct by Tara Wyatt

I can't even begin to express how very excited I am to be a part of this Release Day Blitz! I first started reading Tara Wyatt when her first book (Necessary Risk) was getting read to hit shelves. Ever since then, I've been a massive supporter of Wyatt's. If I've spoken to you for even a millisecond about books, you've heard all about this bodyguard series. It's a must read. So grab a copy of Necessary Risk and Primal Instinct along with your favorite chilled beverage and then go sit by the pool. You can thank me later. 

Now keep reading this post so you can get to know your new series before you rush to your nearest bookstore (or Kindle app). You'll get a little taste of what Colt is all about. You'll be left wanting more ... just trust me.

And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Sweet, baby Jesus ... those arms ...


The first time he lays eyes on Taylor Ross in a bar, Colt Priestley does something few men would dare to do. He approaches the world-famous singer, shamelessly flirts with her, and gives her a night in his bed that neither of them will soon forget.

When Taylor's record label hires a bodyguard to keep tabs on the out-of-control rocker, she's less than thrilled to find it's her off-the-charts one-night stand who shows up for the job. She's terrified of letting herself fall for the damaged ex-Army Ranger, and she's determined to push him away. Yet every moment they're together simmers with tension. As the danger from an obsessed stalker mounts, Taylor and Colt are tempted to cross that line again-baring their hearts and souls as well as their bodies-and there's no telling how hot this song will get.

From his little table in the corner, Ronnie adjusted his glasses as he watched Taylor walk out of the bar, her fingers laced with those of the brute who’d intruded on them earlier. He finished the rest of his Coke and slammed the empty glass down. Possessive anger coupled with an almost blind- ing jealousy churned through him. It’d been hard to watch that interaction, and now she was leaving with him? He’d been much happier watching her while she’d been alone, even if she’d looked sad.

He knew he shouldn’t have gone over and talked to her, but he couldn’t help himself. He’d been warned, but no one knew what they were talking about. They didn’t see. They couldn’t see. He loved her, and she loved him. Soon, every- one would know, and everyone who’d called him crazy and obsessed and delusional would fucking see.

Ever since he’d first heard her sing, he’d known he was listening to the future mother of his children.

He dropped a five on the table and pushed his way out of the bar, getting in his car just in time to follow Taylor. He had to. He couldn’t let her go off alone with that brute, un-protected. And if she was going to betray him, he needed to know. He needed to see.

Because Taylor was his. Every part of her. Her gorgeous blond hair, those huge, blue eyes, the long, lean body. The incredible voice. The skilled hands. Her mind. Her soul. Her body.

She belonged to him.

Necessary Risk, #1
Primal Instinct, #2
Chain Reaction, #3 (February 2017)

Tara Wyatt is a contemporary romance author who's been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys almost twenty years ago. Winner of the Unpublished Winter Rose Award, Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Heart of the West Award, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the cutest dog in the world and a husband that makes all of her heroes look like chumps.
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Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Review: Finding London (Flawed Heart #1) by Ellie Wade


London Wright thought she’d been in love before, but she hadn’t—not even close.

Then she met him.

Rugged and gorgeous, Loïc Berkeley, a special forces soldier is everything she’s ever wanted. Getting him to notice her was a challenge, but keeping his love is proving to be more difficult.

London’s used to getting what she wants so loving someone like Loïc is a humbling and somewhat terrifying experience. For everything she has in her life, he’s the one thing she can’t bear to lose.

Loïc Berkeley never wanted love. He views it as an unneeded distraction that causes nothing but pain. Love, for Loïc, always ends in disappointment.

Then he met her.

Spoiled, witty, and breathtakingly beautiful London Wright is his undoing. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he knew his life would never be the same. Though he tries to fight it, he finds himself falling for her.

Having lived a life full of sorrow, finding London brought Loïc rare happiness. Though his feelings for her are strong, is what they have powerful enough to break the cycle of his past?

When one is destined for heartbreak and loss, can love really change anything?

I've been a massive Ellie Wade supporter since I started reading her series, Choices. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to get my hands on Finding London. And then I saw the cover ... le sigh ... it was absolutely gorgeous!! I had high expectations for this one!

First ... the main man of the story ... his name is Loïc. Nothing wrong with the name, I just had no freaking clue as to how to say it! This poor dude was almost called Lo in my head but then Ellie Wade came to the rescue and said within the story how to pronounce it. By the way, it's pronounced LOW-ICK if you're wondering. I can't even explain how much it can detract from a story when you don't know what a character's name is. It's beyond irritating to me. Almost worse than grammar issues. 

Anyhow ... I think that the first thing (other than Loïc's name) that really hit me was at the beginning of the story, you're put into the middle of this little flashback with 5-year-old Loïc and his dad. I don't have any clue as to whether Wade has kiddos but this whole exchange between her characters really sounded like conversations we have had with our boys. It was spot-on authentic. Love!

The story is filled with these flashbacks and while they should be helping the reader understand where the characters are coming from and why they are the way that they are, it just didn't read like that to me. I found them annoying the further that I got into the book because it was just distracting. It pulled me from the present time where I wanted to get lost within Loïc and London's story. I just wanted more and more from Lo & Lo but all I kept getting was this inner dialogue and flashbacks. It slowed the story down so very much for me. 

I think that I liked Lo & Lo as characters but at the end of the book, I still felt as if I didn't really know them. That's unfortunate. I wanted to love this book. Well, I wanted to love ALL of the book. I did like the chemistry between Lo & Lo but I don't think that there was enough of it within the pages. I just wanted less past junk and more NOW junk. 

Finding London didn't ruin this author for me. I'll give her another shot when her next one comes out but I think I'll say goodbye to the Flawed Heart series. Doesn't seem to be for me right now.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: Resthaven by Erik Therme

The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt--especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes 'bump in the night' is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.

This is Erik Therme's second book, it's also the second one that I have read. Therme contacted me about a month ago requesting a read review and I hesitated for one reason ... I don't read scary books. Ever. But I went ahead and took a chance with Resthaven and boy, am I glad that I did!

I really enjoyed the main character, Kaylee. She's such a strong, moral and intelligent character. I found myself wishing that I was like that when I was her age. She's so self confident and a wonderful character for young readers to look up to. Kaylee was a perfectly created main character for this story. I couldn't imagine the book without her. There were a handful of secondary characters that were just as strong in their own ways but not always was the strength in a trait that people would be proud of. The differences between the characters and the depth of each, took the book to a different level ... it heightened the story in a way that can only be accomplished with beautifully created characters. 

This is a Young Adult book. Nothing wrong with that but I've never read a YA suspense novel and I mistakenly thought that it would be less suspenseful because of the genre and I was totally wrong. It's full of suspense with tons of plot twists that I never saw coming. Resthaven is an incredibly entertaining journey that you're taken on and with each turn of the page, you're never sure which direction the story is going to take. Sitting down to read this reminded me a little bit of my Goosebumps days when that is all that I would read. 

This is definitely a good book. One I would recommend to our 13-yo who is a book-hater (GASP! I know) and I think that it would keep his attention. Therme just gets better with each subsequent novel and it's fun to experience that kind of growth in an author. I'm excited to see what comes next because he knocked this one out of the park.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book Review: Say Something... (Speak #1) by T.A. Roth

What most girls search a lifetime for…
I felt it the minute he set those whiskey colored eyes on me.
We had it in spades…
My body was drawn to hers the moment she set foot into the room.
What happens when you both have pasts that threaten the future?
Do you do nothing?
Do you Say Something?

22 year old Ari Munoz is used to keeping men at arm's length. So when her best friend Vonne guilts her into going to a frat party, she couldn't think of a worse way to spend a Thursday night. That's until she sparks the interest of love’m and leave’m Ben Rodriguez. The electricity she feels when they lock eyes is something she's never felt before.

22 year old Ben Rodriguez has it all. He's a football star, president of his fraternity, and well known ladies’ man. His endless pick of beauties, makes him the envy of all of his fraternity brothers. So why are a pair of long legs and hazel eyes making him want to throw out all of his rules?


This is the first book that I've read by Roth and if I'm correct, it's the first book that she wrote as well. I'm not always a big fan of new authors but Roth brought some pretty cool stuff to the table. She's an author that I'll keep reading ... if she changes just one itty bitty thing. 

The cool stuff that Roth brought to the table was how she wrote Say Something. For example, you experience ten minutes with the POV of Ari, the main character and then it will switch to Ben but the kicker is that it will backtrack a few minutes and then move forward. So you're able to see what is going on from both of their points of view. It really brought a whole new layer to the book and honestly, I don't think that the book would have been as great without it. That's not saying that the book isn't good, oh ... it was! This formula that Roth created just made a spectacular splash and I was really excited after I realized what was going on. 

I like talking about the characters and I think I'll start with the dude this time. Ben. Oh, how I hated him at first. He was a total tool. But I found myself quickly changing my mind. It was sweet to watch him get so twisted over a girl - especially since he's such a smooth talker and woman-user. He saw only one use for women and it wasn't to be his friend or companion. There is a fine line between sexy possessive and restraining order possessive and Ben danced along that line quite a few times. I liked it. A lot. But I don't know about Ari. I don't know how I feel about her. I didn't really like her but I didn't NOT like her either. I'm not totally for sure she was a good fit for Ben. That being said ... I did like the chemistry between them most of the time. 

I just can't get this POV thing out of my head. How it switched and then backtracked ... I just really loved  it. It's interesting to experience situations from the view of both major characters. I did feel more connected to the characters because of it. I got a huge kick out of one of the booty calls getting their own couple of pages. Again, it was nice seeing what she was thinking during certain parts of the book. There were also a couple other characters that got their own page or two. Very cool. 

I really did love this book. But I only gave it four stars for one reason. A damn cliffhanger. And it's a big one. I kind of wish that I had known from the beginning so that I could have prepared myself in advance for it. Then again, I usually don't touch a cliffhanger book with a ten-foot pole so maybe it's good that I didn't know. But it really was a big ol' pile of dung realizing that the book was just over without any kind of resolution. It is a good one though and once the entire series is out, I may get all of them at once. But it's difficult waiting and I hope that I don't forget. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: Heartbreaker (Unbreakable #1) by Kat Bastion & Stone Bastion

Kiki Michaelson wants one wild night to forget her starving-artist worries. Simple.

Only instead of Darren Cole becoming her one-night stand, he taunts her with a challenge. Then while she’s trying to best him at his own game, he turns out to be the last thing she’s prepared for: someone she wants to keep.

Which means all he can ever be…is a friend.

Darren Cole never allows a girl to get close—not close enough to matter.

Then storms in Kiki Michaelson, a beautiful, fearless temptation that rocks his world off-balance. But he fights their attraction, unwilling to gamble something physical with their close ties. Until the passionate sculptor exposes her heart and breaks his wide open.

In that moment it becomes clear: she could never be just a friend.

Sometimes what you run from…is exactly what you need.


I had no idea what to expect from Heartbreaker. I've not heard of the Bastion writing team and I've obviously been missing out. I'm not totally for sure how I could have missed out on them for so long but that will be quickly rectified because I'm very interested in what else they have out on the shelves right now. 
I was about halfway through the first page of this book and I was totally hooked. I found myself completely immersed in the book. And it was all because of the characters. The Bastions can write amazing characters. I was completely entranced with Kiki and Darren. I wanted more and more from each of them. The way that these two characters interacted was absolute perfection. The push and pull between them was captivating. Together, they created a beautiful love story that was almost sickeningly sweet. I don't know that I would change anything about them. However, I do wish that I had read the other series where Kiki and her siblings were involved because even though this was a standalone novel, that backstory would have been great to have. Guess it just means I'll have to read that series!

So it sounds like I loved the story, so why the four star rating, right? There was just something missing in the plot for me. I'm clueless as to what it was. The book was good but it didn't pull me in. It didn't steal minutes away from me as I poured over the pages. It didn't demand my time and I really wanted it to. I wanted to be able to lose myself but I just couldn't. It was a little too easy to put down when I had things that I had to do and sure, it was equally as easy to jump right back into but I wanted to have to fight with myself to put Heartbreaker  down when I needed to do something. I know, it sounds silly. Anyway, I don't know what could have changed within the pages to give me that escape. If I did, it sure would make it easier to pick out books in the future! 

This is a great book though. The romance is awesome and you'll just love Kiki and Darren together because I know that I did. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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Book Review: Leah's Seduction - Books 1-4 by Emily Jane Trent

Gianni Rinaldi is intrigued by a woman he meets unexpectedly. Then a journal filled with a woman's most intimate fantasies falls into his hands. The wealthy entrepreneur pursues Leah Ivers, thinking she might be the author of a journal he has become obsessed with. At first, his goal is to determine if she wrote the sexual fantasies in the diary. But the way Gianni and Leah respond to each other takes the relationship deeper, and both get more than they expect.

“It was as if he saw her clearly even at a distance, and the electricity that radiated between them was undeniable.”


I picked this boxed set out a couple of months ago and I was so excited to dive into Gianni and Leah's story. I had heard from a couple of people that it was a really good series, so I was super interested to see what all of the buzz was about. 

From when I first picked this book up, I thought that it felt rushed. It didn't feel like the plot was given enough breathing room to really grow into something. I thought at first that it was me and I was just reading it too quickly (which is a massive issue of mine), so I went ahead and restarted the book after I was about 30 pages in. I was just curious if I would get the same feel. And I did. it still felt rushed and the further I got into the first book, it seemed to just get worse.

The conversations also felt forced between Gianni and Leah. I don't know why but they just didn't come across as realistic because they were so stiff. I could see why people really liked these two characters but I didn't get that magnetism from them that I had heard so much about. Nothing was tying me to these characters. I didn't feel close to them and I wasn't drawn to them in any way. 

Throughout the entire first book, all I could think was "50 Shades, 50 Shades, 50 Shades". For some reason, I couldn't get that book out of my head while I was reading this one. That's not a good thing. It was probably because Gianni is a wealthy dude and he likes being in control. Which is the entire plot line for 50 Shades of Grey. This one isn't quite on that level of erotica but it still ran in a similar direction and that kind of turned me off of the whole series. Who am I kidding. It really turned me off. I just couldn't get into it after my first 50 thought. And the sad thing is that the diary part was so good!! I love how she lost her diary and he found it ... such a good idea for a book. 

In the end, it just wasn't for me. I wish that it had been. This ended up being one of the few dozen books that I'll buy this year and I really hate it when a book I pay for isn't something that I enjoy but it's always a crap-shoot to read a new-to-me author. I'm in the minority on this one, lots of others have really enjoyed the series. It was just not fleshed out enough for me, the characters weren't mind-blowing and it ran parallel to another book. Three strikes!

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: Dark Touch by Aimee L. Salter

Tully isn’t alone in her skin. Whenever she touches someone, they feel everything she feels. All her ugliness. All her darkness. All her pain.

The only thing she wants is to be left alone—and to finally get out of her small Oregon town.

But then she meets Chris. He’s everything she’s not. Light. Trusting. Innocent. And he wants Tully.

Tully knows she should spare him the heartache of being with her. But when he touches her, she’s not sure she’ll have the strength to push him away...


I really enjoyed Salter's first book, Every Ugly Word. Because of that, I was SUPER excited to dive into Dark Touch. I must have just royally pissed off the Book Gods because this one didn't blow my skirt up. And I wanted it to. I just enjoyed her other book so much. I was a little disappointed this time.

This book seemed a little all over the place. I don't know if it was because there were quite a few things going on or what. You've got this girl, Tully, who has been abused in multiple different ways, she has this weird power and she's completely self destructive. Her coping mechanisms are sad and very extreme. That was just a lot to have going on. I also felt like all of her issues weren't fully explained and just fleshed out. It felt unfinished by the time I got to the end of the book. That's not to say that there wasn't an ending, there was and it would have closed everything out nicely if the rest of the book had completely delved into everything. I just think that with books that talk about abuse and addiction should lay it all out there, you know? Get down to the nitty-gritty. This was a heart wrenching premise ... I wanted to feel that desperation, isolation and despair. I could feel the undercurrent of those emotions but I never felt overcome. 

I also didn't really connect with any of the characters. Especially not the two main ones, Tully and Chris. They weren't horrible characters, I just wanted more. I wanted to feel like I really knew them and that never came to pass. I felt like I could see that full character in the distance and I was so close to reaching it when it would pull away again. Unfortunately, they aren't two characters that will stick with me, I'll end up forgetting them fairly quickly. And that shouldn't happen with this kind of book. It should stick with me for at least a few days and just be on my mind constantly but it won't. Not this time.

One last note ... my copy of Dark Touch doesn't state that it is an advanced copy but there were quite a few formatting issues. Normally, I wouldn't even bring this up but it does slow down your reading experience because you're trying to figure out what in the hell is going on. There are words mashed together at least once a page, most of the time it's way more. No big deal, right? Right. Unless you get to the word CRACKSAND. WTF is cracksand? I must have sat there for two or three minutes trying to figure out what cracksand was. Well, it must mean that I'm an idiot because it is actually two separate words: cracks and. Yeah. Anyway ... it does pull your attention away from the book constantly. I just hope that I didn't have a final copy. I can't imagine that going out to the masses.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Book Review: Buh-Bye, V Card: Naughty New Adult Box Set (The Undergrad Years) by Avery Aster

 Do you remember your first time? Relive falling in love, get naughty, and be good at being bad with a bad boy with the Undergrad Years mini-series. We've packed the box with the best in new adult, erotic romance, and contemporary romance.

The box set includes Love, Lex (Undergrad Years #1)  Yours Truly, Taddy (Undergrad Years #2) XO, Blake (Undergrad Years #3) and a bonus erotic romance novel Unscrupulous (Manhattanites #1).

More specifically ... 

This summer, I’d planned to celebrate my eighteenth birthday in Europe with my fellow Manhattanites—Taddy Brill, Blake Morgan, and Vive Farnworth—until I caught my boyfriend screwing my mother. According to the police report, this vomit-inducing incident happened around the same time I’d supposedly blown-up my mother’s penthouse. Like I’m walking around Soho with a stick of dynamite in my Louis Vuitton purse—not! Now, my besties and I are in jail.

Officer Ford Gotti, the Harley-wheelin’ biker cop who arrested us, keeps sticking his perfectly-sculpted nose into my case. His inked body is jacked like a superhero, and he says I can trust him. He wants me to fess up. I won’t. Not again. Why should I? My friends and I had a previous stint in juvie that nearly destroyed us. I gotta protect them and keep my mouth shut. Right? —Lex Easton, women’s studies major, motorcycle enthusiast, and virgin. 


I received this box set from NetGalley and I was really excited to jump in and see what this new adult romance collection was all about. I'll be honest, I only made it about halfway through the first book and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't turn another page, I could read even another word. I. Was. Done. I had to put it down because I totally checked out.

This is my first and last book by Avery Aster. Sometimes I'll give an author another shot if I was a bit on the fence about the first novel that I read by them but I wasn't on the fence this time. I was over that fence and four states away. It did not go well. Unfortunately, this is not going to be one of my gushing reviews. This one is going to be rough. 
From the very first sentence in the first book of the set (Love, Lex), my stomach just dropped. The book is just all over the damn place. I couldn't keep up with what was happening ... it was like a tweaking hummingbird just flitting from one topic to the next. It caused a serious case of reading whiplash coupled with a healthy dose of disinterest. It reads almost as if it's a jumble of thoughts that weren't fully explored and with each disjointed sentence, you're just pulled further into this vortex of confusion. 

It sure as hell doesn't help that this book is written using the urban dictionary for every other word. Everything is in such heavy slang that was uper-cray (did I use that correctly?) and nothing was jelly (again, I don't know if this is the right context, I had to Google this shit to see what it meant), forreals (this has to be another language altogether). I just wanted to grab my Kindle and scream, "SPEAK ENGLISH, I WANT TO READ YOU!!!". Yes, I understand that the book is written from the POV of a 17 year old. Got it. But she sounds like a damn idiot. Maybe that is what the author is going for. Who the heck knows. But it helps if the reader can comprehend what in the hell is going on and in order to know what is going on, we need to be able to recognize more words than just a handful every couple of pages. 

I absolutely ABHORRED the main character, Lex. She is a self absorbed, neurotic teenager and the way she talks is what is wrong with this generation. I'm not that old and I remember using slang when I was growing up but at least you could still decipher the English language when we talked. She's also crass and immature. You should enjoy reading about people that are different than you, not get annoyed. 

Since I'm talking about characters, the whole beginning thing (I'm not giving away anything that isn't in the blurb or the first chapter) with the boyfriend was just asinine. So this dude is staying in a relationship with Lex but refusing to have sex with her because she's overweight. I call bullshit. No sexually active teenage boy is going to say no to sex when it is being offered up on a silver platter because a chick is ten pounds overweight and then go play hide-the-salami with her coked out, has-been mom. Give me a break. It's just not believable. 

There were also these news articles or statements, I'm not totally sure what they were at this point. Anyway, they were weird because they weren't needed and it drew your attention away from the story as you are trying to figure out why they are included. There were also this dream sequence that literally lasted page after page after page ... it was to the point where you forget that you're reading a dream. I don't know if that is what the author was going for and she was trying to show how off in Lala Land this girl was or what. 

Most authors of YA or New Adult books are in fact, well over the age that they are writing about. There's nothing wrong with that. But there is a problem when it feels like you're insulting that generation with over-usage of nonsensical terms and phrases. Our son is 13 years old and I've been to tons of school functions where hundreds of teenagers are and I've NEVER heard kids use this much slang and improper grammar.

Ugh. I'll get off my soapbox. Let's just say that it was not the book for me. The truth of the matter is, if I had the option to give it no stars, that's what I would have done this time. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading New Adult romance novels (or any romance for that matter) and I most certainly will not be picking up another book by this author. Total miss for me. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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