Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Review, Blitz & Giveaway: Chain Reaction (Bodyguard #3) by Tara Wyatt

The day has finally arrived!!! The third installment of Tara Wyatt's Bodyguard series is on shelves today and if you enjoy a gripping story, hunky dudes and strong female heroines, this series is for you. 

Hope you enjoy the excerpt and my review - don't forget to check out the giveaway at the bottom!!


Blonde. Beautiful. Talented. Alexa Fairfax is practically Hollywood royalty. But growing up in a family of legendary movie stars also puts her in the spotlight for danger. And after she discovers a plot more deadly than any movie script, Alexa desperately needs a bodyguard. A man like Zack De Luca. A true friend with a good heart, a protective nature—and the hard, chiseled muscles to back it up.

Zack has always been wildly attracted to Alexa. But since he’s training day and night to be an MMA fighter, he’s afraid his gorgeous friend will only distract him from his goal. Indescribably sweet and irresistibly sexy, Alexa needs Zack to pretend to be her boyfriend after her life is threatened. Now this fighter-in-training will have to fight his own intense feelings—to keep their little charade from turning into a major disaster . . .

She leaned her back against the door and shut her eyes, her face ghostly white. Her hands shook as she adjusted the strap of her purse on her shoulder.
Frowning, Zack shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans and headed toward her. She smiled weakly when she saw him, her lips twitching up for a second, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. Her fingers curled around the strap of her purse, her knuckles going the same shade of white as her face. Something hot and protective tightened his chest, and for a crazy second, he wanted to reach out and pull her into his arms, to promise her that, whatever it was, she’d be okay.
Instead he stopped a few feet in front of her, his hands still in his pockets. “Alexa? You okay?”
Her eyes met his, and she sucked in a shaky breath. “I...Oh God.” She pressed her hands to her face and let out a soft sob, her shoulders trembling.
Zack yanked his hands from his pockets and pulled Alexa into his arms, cradling her against his chest. She felt so tiny, so vulnerable. She barely reached his shoulder despite the fact that she had heels on.
“What happened? Did someone hurt you?” he whispered into her light-blond hair, so fine and soft under his fingers as he stroked the back of her head. So help him God, if someone had hurt her, he would make them bleed.
She pulled back, just enough to look up at him, and he noticed the mascara smudged under her eye. He left his arms around her. It would’ve felt wrong to take them away.
She shook her head slowly, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. “I...don’t think...I can’t.”
“Do you want to go outside? Get some fresh air?” Maybe if she calmed down a little, she’d be able to tell him what the hell had her so...It was more than upset.
The poor girl was fucking spooked.
She hesitated a second before nodding. Without a word he tucked her under his arm, shielding her from the view of the other party guests. He led her down a hallway off the foyer and into the garage, where a side door led into the quiet, dark backyard. The noise from the party filtered out through the open windows, mingling with the soft gurgle of water from the pool. A cool spring breeze rustled the palm fronds and teased Alexa’s shoulder-length hair around her jaw. She brushed it aside as he led her to a stone bench off to the right, their backs to the house.
For several moments they just sat, Alexa sniffling and staring blankly at the still water of the pool. Zack stroked a hand up and down her back, hoping to comfort her in some way. He’d spent the past year as a bodyguard honing his protective instincts, and they now came to life, alarm bells ringing through his skull. Something was very, very wrong.
When she finally spoke, she surprised him with her question. “Who’s the party for? Sierra was cagey about it on the phone earlier.”
Zack glanced back at the house. “Oh. Uh, for Taylor and Colt. They got married in Vegas last weekend.”
Alexa’s head whipped around. “What? But didn’t they just get together?”
“They’re crazy.” She shook her head, but he could hear the smile in her voice.
“That’s what I said.”
Gently, she laid a hand on his arm, the tips of her fingers warm against his skin. “Are you okay?”
Fuck, she was so sweet. He was supposed to be comforting her and finding out why she’d suddenly burst into tears, and she was worried about him because his ex-girlfriend had eloped.
He laid a hand over hers, allowing himself the luxury of tracing his thumb over her delicate knuckles. “I’m fine. Just surprised, like everyone, I think. You gonna tell me what’s wrong?”
She sighed heavily. “I don’t even know where to start.” “Beginning’s usually a good place.”

She scoffed out a laugh. “That would take too long.”
He turned to face her. “Did someone hurt you? What happened, Alexa?”
A tremble coursed through her, and he wished he were wearing more than a T-shirt and jeans so that he had a jacket or a sweater to offer her. But he didn’t, so instead he pulled her close and tucked her against him. “Please tell me. I want to help.”
She swallowed thickly and looked up at him, meeting his gaze. “I...I think my dad’s a murderer and that I might be in a lot of trouble.”

I was lucky enough to get to beta-read this book. Which was really awesome because I had devoured the first two books in the series and it felt like this 3rd one wasn't going to come out for eons and I'm not known for my patience. And I really adored the first two in the Bodyguard series so to say that the bar was set extremely high for this 3rd one would be a massive understatement.

One of the first things you'll notice when you pick up a couple of books by Wyatt is that she doesn't forget characters. It's nice to have an author that doesn't forget about previous characters and actually actively includes them in the the current book. It's cool to see how their stories continue to play out. 

Flawed characters are the absolute best in my mind. Our main character, Alexa, is the perfect example of this. She's so unsure of herself and you can see how her parents really did a number on her. Being able to watch the progression of personal growth is one of my favorite things to experience while reading. Sometimes they flounder and sometimes they succeed, you just never know what will happen but the ride you're taken on while the characters go through these changes isn't something that you'll soon forget. Wyatt did such an amazing job with Alexa. I adored her right from the beginning until the very last sentence. She was such a beautiful disaster. 

Now on to Zack. I had this love/hate relationship with Zack from the very first Bodyguard book. And I REALLY hated him at one point. But that definitely changed with this one. He's this protective and super attentive pretend boyfriend for Alexa. The love and absolute adoration he showed Alexa was almost heart-breaking. You just root for this handsome man - hoping that somehow, things can work out with Alexa because he kind of seems absolutely perfect for her. Ugh. I could just go on and on about Zack. Dude. I can't believe how quickly I changed my tune about him. 

I think the thing that really struck me with this book is how the suspense was kicked up quite a few notches from Wyatt's previous books. You can absolutely see and feel the growth that she's had as an author and oh my gosh, the villain in this book!! Perfect. I wouldn't have changed one thing about the villain. 

In case you didn't guess, I am a massive fan of the series and of Wyatt. She's one of those authors that you just go out and buy their book without reading the blurb or anything because you know you're in for an amazing ride. Make sure you read the series from the beginning because you'll find a new favorite. 

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

Available TODAY!

Tara Wyatt has 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, February 27, 2017

Book Review, Giveaway and Book Blitz: The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon

The third installment to this AWESOME series is out tomorrow!! I've been a massive fan of Jessica Lemmon since the first book in this series (The Billionaire Bachelor) came out last year. Now all three of these books are stand-alones but your reading experience will be so much better if you read all of them! Plus ... take a look at these covers ... you're welcome ... 

Find the whole series on Goodreads!

Let's get to the good stuff ... and don't miss the giveaway at the bottom!!

Beauty and the Beastly Billionaire . . .
Eli Crane is one tough bastard. After an explosion left him injured and honorably discharged from the Marines, all he wants is to be left alone. Yet his brothers insist he take a greater role in the family business. They've hired him ten personal assistants-and Eli sent each one packing as fast as possible. But when beautiful number eleven walks through the door, Eli will do anything to make her stay.

Isabella Sawyer's employment agency can't afford to lose Eli Crane's business. Her plan: to personally take on the role of his PA, and secure her reputation with the wealthy elite in Chicago. But this beauty and her hot billionaire bad boy soon find themselves mixing business with pleasure in the most delicious ways. And passionate, stubborn Isabella won't rest until she tames this wicked beast . .

Everyone loves a little sneak peek!!
Standing, she smoothed her hands down her pants and flipped her hair. She had planned to quietly finish her work and leave without seeing him again. No such luck. And no hiding that she was heading his way when her heels clicked along the concrete floor.
The kiss had happened. The button incident had happened. There was no taking it back. Regardless of how either of them felt about it, she was going to continue working here. So. She would deal with the here and now.
Since the sun was shining, Eli’s lair was welcome instead of foreboding. No fire cracked in the hearth today. Also unlike his usual, he wasn’t at his desk. He was at the printer.
“This yours?” He offered a sheet of paper.
“Yes.” She couldn’t keep from explaining. “Pressed the Print button by accident.”
Mi printer es su printer.”
Isa accepted the document and Eli sank his hands into his jeans pockets, his forearms flexing with the movement.
“I wasn’t—”
“I shouldn’t—” they said at the same time.
He pursed his lips and she looked at her shoes. “Go ahead.” She was going to say, I wasn’t offended when you kissed me, but now that she’d had a millisecond to think it through, maybe she should pretend the kiss hadn’t happened. Which was . . . impossible. Standing this close to him, it’s all she could think about.
“I shouldn’t have ruined your shirt,” he said.
“I dared you to.”
“Why?” His eyebrows compressed along with his lips.
“Because you have accepted the role of beast, but I don’t believe that’s who you are.” She let her gaze linger on his face before tracking down his body. “And because I like a challenge.”
“Do you?” He took a wide step toward her.
She matched his move and took one step closer to him. “Yes. I don’t wilt easily.”
He threaded her hair between his fingers, a look of longing and hurt mingling in his eyes. “I was about to lie and say I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
Shivers climbed her spine as she remembered how firm his lips felt against hers. “Maybe . . . you shouldn’t have stopped.”

I've read quite a few books by Jessica Lemmon and they never cease to just amaze me. I've been lucky enough to read this entire series and not once, has Lemmon let me down! Her writing style is kind of flawless in my mind. The characters ALWAYS keep me entertained, the plot is ALWAYS captivating and I ALWAYS end up giving her books 5 (well deserved) stars. This one was no exception.

Of all three books, this one made me nervous to think about reading. The only reason for that was the main character, Eli. Eli was injured while he was with his Marines overseas. I just knew that this one would be tough to swallow at times because of the severity of his injuries, his feelings and just how Eli, as a character, was presented in previous books. This dude makes it very clear that he wants to be left alone. While it's never said (I don't believe ... I sped through this one), he's got a mad case of survivor's guilt and it completely consumes this poor man. I thought that I would have a difficult time connecting with Eli but he is ornery as hell and for some reason, I just love that! Plus, he's protective and dashingly handsome. Neither of those things is in any way bad.

Once again, Lemmon wrote some fantastic chemistry for Eli and Isabella. You're left just sitting on the edge of your seat, wishing and hoping that something would come from all of the pseudo/awkward flirting that was going on. I really want to say something else but I don't want to ruin it!!! It's goood. Trust me.

All in all, I think that this might be my favorite of the series. There was so much buildup about Eli in the previous two books that you really don't know what you're going to get when you crack the spine on this one. It is so much more than I had hoped it would be. It's a series that I'll think about in the future and I'll definitely read again. Lemmon is my author hero. This lady knows how to keep a reader entertained.

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

Available: February 28th, 2017
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Goodreads | Google Play | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Contact the author here:
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?


I really don't know anything about this author or this series. And I'm assuming it's in a series and I'm pretty sure this isn't the first book but I don't know. It's not labeled on Goodreads and since that's basically my Book Reviewer Bible, that's what I go by. 

If you've ever read any of my reviews, I make it very clear that I don't usually pick up a book in the middle of the series. For the most part, I end up hating myself because I didn't read those first books because even on the self proclaimed "stand-alone" novels, you do miss out on stuff and your reading experience is so much more rich when you get those first novels under your belt. Now, on very rare occasions, I do break that unwritten rule. Kinda like I did this time. But this time it was not intentional. And I'm kicking myself because I'm wondering if there was another book that came before this one. Am I missing out on important info? Pivotal plot points that would have changed my rating for this book? I have no clue. And I'm not going to search for that info either. It is what it is at this point and I can't unring the 'already read' bell. 

The story really skipped around and at times was in a super hurry to go where, I don't know. That's why I was wondering if I had missed something that was within the pages of a previous book. The characters were okay but I really know absolutely nothing about swimming except that Michael Phelps is super fast. FYI, that bit of info does not help you in this book. I played sports growing up, so I understood the dedication and how that impacted their character and was the driving force behind who the characters are within these pages. 

I kind of enjoyed the chemistry between Maggie and Levi but it wasn't anything that really stuck out to me. I didn't really see this as a romance novel as others have classified it. I saw it more as a coming of age story. You experience a big turning point in the lives of these young people and get to watch as they make choices that will impact their future. So from that aspect, it was pretty interesting. 

Just when I have overcome the skipping around and rushing of the plot, the epilogue comes around. And I didn't understand that AT ALL. It was about characters that I didn't even know! Sure, they mentioned Maggie and Levi but it was nothing like what I love about epilogues. I like getting a peek into the future of the characters that I've fallen in love with. I didn't get that kind of satisfaction and it just cemented my initial feelings on this book. Not for me. 

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

Available: July 1st, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: Properly Groomed (Wedding Favors #3) by Boone Brux

When Joya Bennett wakes up after her brother’s wedding, half-naked and lying next to her lifelong crush, she’s mortified. OMG, did she try to jump his bones? Worse, did she succeed? Intending to lay low and housesit for her brother until the embarrassment fades, she sneaks away before he wakes up.

What she didn’t plan on is having company.

Lincoln Fisher doesn’t do relationships, but if he did, his friend’s little sister would be the one to tie him down. Good thing Joya had one too many drinks during the reception or he’d have crossed a line. Her brother would kill him if he found out all the places Linc wanted to kiss the sexy, auburn-haired beauty.

And now they’re stuck in the same house. For two weeks.

She’s off-limits. And he needs to keep it that way, even if the heat building between them is hot enough to blow off the roof…


It is a rare occasion when a book that Entangled Publishing has put out doesn't knock my socks off. Unfortunately, this is one of those times. 

I think that the big take-away that I had with this one was the fact that I was able to put it down. It just didn't hold my attention and make me feel like I was losing a part of myself when I had to put this book down. 

I really didn't connect with any of the characters. They were okay ... but not one of them was one that I thought about after the pages were closed. To be honest, I finished this one a while ago and when I got it back out to write this review, I couldn't remember even one quality about any of the characters. Actually, I couldn't even remember what their names were. That's not a good sign. 

The meat of the story was just okay as well. Nothing that stuck out as funny or sweet or memorable. It was just okay. The pace of the book was fine but it felt stale. The romance was lacking something - excitement. I didn't get those butterflies when Lincoln and Joya were together, I didn't get that palpable chemistry that I love so much when reading. 

All of these issues might be because I haven't read the other two books in the series. Absolutely. Maybe that is what was wrong with this reading experience. It could very well be the disconnect that I felt. 

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be picking up another book from this author. This one just wasn't for me. 

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

Available Now
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