Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Review, Blitz & Giveaway: Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Kristin Vayden, Stephanie Fournet

It. Is. Out. 
Your next favorite book was released this week!

Make sure you visit the link to the giveaway!




Offsides by Elise Faber

Job title:
Executive Assistant for CEO of Prestige Media Group

Job description:
(1) Deal with a massive amount of emails.
(2) Schedule conference calls and meetings with top athletes and other hugely important people.
(3) Pick up dry cleaning and food, consult on tie selection, make dinner reservations, and book flights . . . basically act as a wife-on-steroids.
(4) THE IMPORTANT ONE: Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with Devon Scott—demanding boss, former NHL player, and all-around gorgeous specimen of the male persuasion.

Job performance:
Failing.
Absolutely failing at number four.



Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet

Life couldn’t be better for Charlie Woodruff.

After a year of holding out, she’s finally landed the job she’s always wanted in the city of her dreams. An apartment she can afford and new friends at work make the transition easy.
When she meets a gorgeous stranger who makes her laugh and steals her breath, it seems like the icing on the cake...

Until Charlie discovers he’s a client.

Hutch Barlow — newly drafted wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders — looks like an avenging angel, hangs on her every word, and is completely off-limits. The trouble is he also refuses to take “no” for an answer.

And if she’s being honest, Charlie doesn’t want him to.

But seeing him means she could lose everything — including her heart.


Off Limits by Kristin Vayden

Everything about Ava screams off limits.
To want her is to invite disaster.
To pursue her is to risk my job.
To kiss her might cost me my best friend.
But all those risks seem small in light of the first problem.
She hates me.

To her I’m a sell out, choosing to advance my career rather than protect my biggest client.
Her brother.
And my best friend.
She hasn’t spoken to me in over a year, but that ends now.
Because I’m done with holding back.
To hell with the consequences.
Wish me luck . . .



 


I've never been a big fan of anthologies. I just usually don't enjoy short stories. The worst thing in the world is to get so invested in a story just for it to end abruptly. One of my all-time favorite authors asked me to read an anthology last year and I couldn't turn it down ... and it wasn't bad!! It was awesome! So when I saw that Stephanie Fournet was also doing the anthology thing, I jumped on it. And in no way was I disappointed. Quite the opposite. I found two new authors that I love! I'm just going to touch on each little novella very briefly. I don't want to ruin any of the magic that you'll find within these pages. 

Offsides by Elise Faber:
O. M. G. (First of all, I'm in my mid-thirties. It takes a lot to use those three letters because I'm pretty sure I'm 20 years too old for them. But it was warranted.) The beginning of this novella ... perfection. I just basically fell in love with the entire anthology with just the first few pages of Offsides. The characters, Becca and Devon, couldn't have been more perfect together and just as characters in general. Elise Faber wrote this in such a way that I got all tingly and had some heart clenching moments. For an author to be able to create those types of feelings within a reader is fantastic and not very common. Sure, you'll feel happy or sad for something going on within the novel that you're reading but to bring out something deeper ... it just doesn't happen often. The entire story was like this. It was gripping and sweet and flirty and nothing less than perfect. I figured that this would for sure be the best of the three in this anthology.

Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet:
The first one was the best of the three? Negative. This one was just as good! I love Fournet and I knew that this would be great but I didn't think that it would be THIS good. I won't lie, in the beginning, I didn't think that I would relate to the main character, Charlie. She's this health nut, squared. She ate something that was like 100 calories and flipped her shit. Dude. I'm excited if I don't eat more than two fun-sized KitKats a day. I'm an emotional eater and I frequently eat my feelings. You can see the difference between Charlie and I. But you know what? Even with those differences, I really dug Charlie. The story that Fournet created around Charlie and Hutch was sweet and endearing and taboo!! Love the taboo relationships. And geez ... was this my favorite of the three? I don't know at this point. They are both so amazing at this point. But I do want a Hutch. This dude ... he's great at the chase. You know what I'm talking about. You push a guy away because you think that you should but deep down, you really don't want to and deep down, he knows that. So he doesn't give up. He's just one of those characters that make you just melt. Great novella. But I need more Hutch. Way more. 

Off Limits by Kristin Vayden:
Those first two were my favorites? Negative. This was gooood. So good. I can't choose my favorite at this point. I really liked Ava and Markus. Ava is spunky and fiercely protective of her twin brother. Once again, (not in a bad way) we're thrust into a story of semi-taboo love. It's especially awesome when one of the two in this no-no love story doesn't realize that they are actually a part of it. I think that is one of my favorite things about this. Like both of the other two stories, this one moved along at a great clip and I found myself not wanting to put it down because I just had to know what was going to happen next. And the chemistry between these two!! You can't hope for much more than what Vayden has given us within these pages. Gosh, another new author and I'll read anything and everything that she puts out, just like the other two. 

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






 ELISE FABER

Aside from writing romance, Elise’s passions are chocolate, Star Wars, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team — the Sharks! — are playing). She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice. Elise is the mom to two exuberant boys and is thoroughly addicted to Dancing With the Stars. Connect with her on facebook (facebook.com/elisefaberauthor), twitter (@faberelise), instagram (@elisefaber) or http://www.elisefaber.com.



STEPHANIE FOURNET
Stephanie Fournet, author of five novels including Leave a Mark and You First, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana — not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and sometimes their daughter Hannah even comes home from college to visit them. When she isn’t writing romance novels, Stephanie is usually helping students get into college or running.  She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and stephaniefournet.com.



KRISTIN VAYDEN
Kristin’s inspiration for the romance she writes comes from her tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes. With five children to chase, she is never at a loss for someone to kiss, something to cook or some mess to clean but she loves every moment of it! Life is full — of blessings and adventure! Needless to say she’s a big fan of coffee and wine… and living in Washington she’s within walking distance of both! Follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kristinvaydenauthor) And Instagram @kristinkatjoyce and Twitter @KristinVayden!




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review: Fake Engagement Real Temptation by Joya Ryan


 Oh. My. God. Carrie Morgan can’t escape her cheating ex fiancĂ©. She goes on her Hawaiian honeymoon fantasy vacation to prove she’s over him—but he’s there with his mistress in tow. Good thing Carrie’s annoyingly over-protective friend Blake came with her. How’s she going to prove to her ex she’s over him? Easy. One… Two… Three… She grabs Blake and kisses him.

Blake Harris isn’t about to let anyone take advantage of his heartbroken friend Carrie. And that includes himself, even if she’s sexy as sin in that bikini. Then she kisses him—and he’s on fire. Damage done, but he can back off. Except he sees that broken look in Carrie’s eyes. No. Hell no. New plan. He intends to show her ex just what he’s thrown away.

The kisses? For show. The heat? Part of the performance. The private practice sessions? Uh-oh. Those are starting to feel a bit too real…



 


I have really hit the book jackpot lately. Yet another amazing book under my belt for the year. AND I've found a new author to book-stalk, which is awesome. 

I know that a book is super good when I have to force myself to stop reading so that I can write notes. Even when I give myself an ultimatum, I still have a difficult time putting the book down. But if I don't, I end up with what I did this time. I had one note. It said "5". Well that's not one bit helpful, right? Luckily, loving a book so much means that I don't forget much about it but I do have a problem with spilling the beans on stuff that needs to stay secret until you get to that part of the book. So I'm going to try to not give any spoilers. I'll be as vague as possible ... hopefully. 

Carrie's fiance is a cheater and I wish it could go without saying but he's a massive d-bag. So Carrie decides to chunk him a deuce and go on her honeymoon alone because she's built up this massive fantasy which is almost too unrealistic to happen. But when she gets to Hawaii, her douchecanoe ex is there with his side chick. And this is when the excitement starts. Carrie is obviously broken down and despite that, you can just sense how tough this lady really is. To have the cojones to go on a honeymoon (more specifically: a very romantic, lovey dovey, honeymoon) alone is awesome. 

It's all good until her big brother's (very dashing and protective) best friend, Blake, decides to insert himself into the situation and pretend to be Carrie's newest love interest. You guessed it, it's all to make the a-hole ex regret ever cheating on Carrie. You might have also guessed that two people on a romantic island getaway, pretending to be in love might lead to something. I won't say if it does ... but this IS a romance novel ...

The characters were great, I loved Carrie from the very beginning and Blake ... who wouldn't love this perfectly created fictional creature. The sparks flew between these two and it will make you blow through the pages. The story is exciting from the beginning to end and there's never a dull moment. Definitely a book I'll be reading again ... probably this summer as I sit by the pool and try to block out the sounds of our boys beating each other with pool noodles and squealing because SOMEHOW, water got in their eyes. In the pool. Which is weird. Anyway ... great book, great author and wonderful reading experience!

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



Available Now



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Review: Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel L. Demeter


Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.






I've never been super excited about fairy tale retellings. I'm not really sure why that is but I have a pretty good feeling that it's because when you grow up hearing stories (or watching movies) about these fairy tales, you grow attached. Beauty and the Beast was a big one for me. I adore that Disney movie and it's hard to believe that it can be improved upon. So when Rachel Demeter sent me a message asking me to give her newest novel a read, I was a bit nervous. What if I picked it up and absolutely hated it? That's a reader's worst nightmare. But that's not how it turned out. Not at all. 

First of all, the cover is absolutely beautiful. I'm definitely a cover-judger. I'll admit it. Now on to the most important part ... the actual book. As I started reading, I kept finding myself sitting on the edge of my chair, just waiting for this book to mimic Beauty and the Beast. I was just so sure that it was going to happen and I think that it really took something away from those first few chapters. I ended up stopping and going back to the beginning but without the jaded thoughts. Because not once did it mimic Beauty and the Beast. Of course it was reminiscent but it never went to mimicry. It was so much more. 

This. This is what Beauty and the Beast should have been. It's probably what it would have been if it had been written for an adult audience. Isabelle was the perfect heroine. She was the perfect combination of contradictions. She was so very strong but at the same time, very fragile. She was extremely brave yet skittish. She loved beauty but also saw the beauty in flaws. She was exactly what I envisioned our beloved Belle would be like. And Prince Adam ... you want to just weep for him but at the same time, you're rooting for the handsomely scarred prince. He has put up these walls around himself and his heart, refusing to let anyone in. Getting to experience Prince Adam as he tries to traverse the rocky landscape of his transforming life was something I wish I could get back. I want that first read magic again because it was absolutely phenomenal. 

I don't want to say too much about the story itself because I don't want to ruin any of the many surprises. All I will say is that it is a story that will stay with me. I'll definitely be rereading this one and I absolutely cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out because THIS is what Rachel Demeter was meant to do. These fairy tale retellings. It blew me out of the water and I'm so excited about this little sub-genre but I know I can't read something from someone else because it just won't be as good. Just have to wait for the next one from Demeter. And it won't be a patient wait! 

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



Available: March 15th, 2017