Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: More Than You Know (The Harrisons #1) by Jennifer Gracen

Hotel owner Dane Harrison, middle brother of a wealthy Long Island family, needs a lounge singer for his new luxury property. With her stunning voice and amazing curves, Julia Shay is perfect. She also seems to be the only woman in New York City who isn’t falling at Dane’s feet. And despite her feisty attitude and his rule against workplace affairs, he wants her—in his arms, in his bed, anywhere and everywhere.

Julia loves her new job, and she knows better than to think she can keep it and Dane. Even if he wasn’t her boss, Julia’s painful history has given her ample reason to steer clear of rich, powerful charmers. Still, their chemistry is unlike anything she’s known, and when it becomes too much to resist, they agree to one no-strings night together. But instead of quenching the fire, the intense encounter only proves how much they have to lose—or win…


This is my first novel by author Jennifer Gracen. I don't know if I could say definitively that I'm a lifelong fan but More Than You Know wasn't too shabby. I had a few problems with the story and all of that, which is why I'm a bit on the fence at this point.

At the beginning of the novel, the timeline was uber confusing. I wasn't really for sure what day it was in the book during the first ... I don't know ... 30 pages? The story just jumps around. A LOT. Let's say the first day in the book is Monday and then all of the sudden it's Friday and then it jumps two weeks and then a week and then a month. It was just hard to get a grip on exactly what was going on when I don't even know what day it is and everything. I wish that the time had been more clearly established or if it wouldn't have jumped around, that would have worked as well. I felt like it detracted from the story because instead of focusing on what in the world was going on, I was trying to figure out WHEN it was going on. It was just distracting. 

It was about halfway into the story that I felt like something was off. You know when you leave the house and you just have this feeling like you forgot something but you have no idea what it is? That's this book for me. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, I really enjoyed Dane, Julia and (mostly) Kelvin and I enjoyed the story for the most part but there was just something missing. I think it may have been a spark but I have no idea what kind ... the spark between the reader and the book ... the spark between the two main characters ... the spark of something. Maybe that is what it is ... a spark between the main characters. Yeah ... now that I have all of this written, maybe that is part of it. The author tries to convey the spark between Dane and Julia but for some reason, it just wasn't believable. I didn't get that HOT DAMN! feeling when I was reading about these two characters. I wanted it so very badly because I liked the story between the two but I just never felt like it was there. Thanks for going on that roundabout journey with me to figure out what I was talking about. 

This brings us to the ending. Which was depressing. I just didn't like it and it didn't feel like it was true to the characters or the storyline. It was ... MEH. It ended how I thought that it would but when I thought that it should go out with a bang, it just fizzled and died on me. Not how I expected and I wish that it were different but it is what it is. Maybe I'll pick up another book by Gracen in the future and I'll have a different reading experience. Hopefully. 

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

Available: December 29th, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review: Haunted Love by Jessica Frances

My name is Thea Bell and I was murdered.

I always assumed that death was the end. So when my life was cruelly taken away from me, I never thought I would get a second chance to say what I needed to.

But then I was given a choice, a choice that allowed me to see the people I had left behind, and I knew I had to take it.

I wanted to say a proper goodbye. I needed justice for what happened to me.

But even in death, things rarely go to plan.

I never expected to meet him. I didn't anticipate falling in love. I hadn't considered the repercussions of coming back. I never realized I would put another person in danger.

I didn't know my actions were going to haunt us forever.

My name is Detective Aiden Mercer, and I think I have gone insane.

I am seeing the murder victim of my current case alive and in the flesh, and that is simply not possible.

I can see her, hear her, touch her. She’s real to me, however I know this cannot be real. Right?

But try telling my heart that, because as I grow closer to catching Thea’s killer, I also fall deeper into trouble.

Because love is rarely anything but trouble and I know this love will haunt me forever. 

I've never been a big ghosty person. I'm not saying that I don't believe in ghosts ... I'll just say that I don't NOT believe in ghosts. I've never really enjoyed movies about ghosts (except Ghostbusters, hello!) and because of that, I've not picked up a book about them either. I find the whole concept a bit creepy, actually. Just a thought of someone watching ... nope. Nopeity nope nope. I was a little shocked when I felt this book kind of call out to me to read it. I second guessed myself and decided that I wouldn't even try it and then I changed my mind a few days later. I'm glad that I did! While I may not pick up a ghost book every day because of my experience with Haunted Love, I definitely won't count them out in the future!

Before I get into the super deep stuff on this one, I did want to talk about the amount of mistakes ... it's staggering. There were at least two per page. I have to be mistaken, right? Yeah, I'm not. The mistakes were word mashups ... likethingsbeingwrittenwithnospaces ... which is super annoying and sometimes confusing and THEN throw in a few homophone issues (overseas/oversees). It was a little frustrating and really took away from the overall experience of the book. The no spaces thing ... dude. I would be totally pissed if this is what my editor put out there. I just wish that this had been an ARC and then I wouldn't even need to bring this up but it is what it is! Hopefully, it will be fixed for future editions.

Finding a connection with a character within the first few pages of a book usually means that I have found a new favorite author. And I did. I instantly fell in love with Thea. I loved her spirit, drive and compassion. She was a very well-rounded person ... for a ghost. Experiencing her journey with her made me love her that much more. I can't really understand her situation because I've never been a spirit but the author really makes you empathize with Thea and put yourself in her shoes. I enjoyed every part of the book that she was involved in. 

Detective Aiden ... gosh, I think I might have enjoyed him as much, if not more, than Thea. He is one of those "good catches" that almost every mom has talked to her daughter about. He's a well respected police detective that makes it a personal mission to close every case as quickly as possible even if it means the loss of any kind of personal life he would have otherwise had. He's hyper focused on his job and you can't help but love him for that fact alone. The situation between Aiden and Thea was heart-wrenching. It was difficult to read at times because you quickly realize the no-win situation they are both in. And I'll just say this ... there is a situation involving Aiden, Thea, a tree and a heavy make-out session ... that whole cringe-worthy scenario makes the entire book worth reading. 

I won't say anything else about the book because there are numerous secrets that you need to experience on your own but if you enjoy any kind of romance novel, you'll enjoy this one. Don't let the ghost thing hold you back because it makes for an amazing story. 

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

Available Now

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Spotlight Tour & Giveaway: How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English

I was lucky enough to be approached about a spotlight tour for How to Seduce a Scot! I was more than happy to be included and I can't wait to share info about How to Seduce a Scot, which will be released December 1st, 2015! Make sure that you check out the giveaway at the bottom of the page!

He’s the terror of the ton...

The plan is simple:
1. Descend from the Highlands to face the aggravation of a London Season;
2. Foist his wild sister off on some gullible English lord;
3. Retreat before the ladies of the scandalized ton can get any ideas.

Determined to see his hellion of a sister wed, Highlander Alexander Waters is willing to face anything—even the English. He just didn’t expect his own rough manners to cause such a riot…or for a blooming English rose to catch his eye.

Gently bred Catherine Middlebrook must find a respectable man to marry or her family will be ruined. She won’t allow herself to be distracted by Highland barbarians…no matter how her body may thrill whenever Alex is near.

Catherine wasn’t part of the plan, but as their battle of wills escalates, Alex comes to realize this “proper” English girl is as wild as the Highlands themselves...and nothing will stop him from having her.

 Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo | Books A Million | Indie Bound


"I beg your pardon, sir, but we have not been introduced."
It took Alex a moment to comprehend the statement, for he was too busy breathing in the scent of rose petals… It was not just the blossoms in her hair that entranced him. Her skin smelled of roses warmed by the summer sun… Where had he suddenly acquired this fascination with their scent?
           As she gazed up at him with clear green eyes—which filled with more genteel irritation by the moment—he knew that it was not the scent of roses in particular that fascinated him. It was her.

What Kind of Historical Romance Heroine Are You Quiz:

Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina.

Contact Christ English:

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Book Review: Tracing the Line (Without a Trace #3) by Ally Bishop

They say love doesn’t hurt.

But it’s a lie. I promise you, love someone long enough, and they’ll destroy your soul.

I’ve spent my life taking care of everyone else: my family, my ex-hus- band, my friends. Deep down, I know I should focus on myself, but how can I when I’ve got one sister about to implode while the other battles her own guilt?

The minute I met Kai Isaac, I should’ve run in the opposite direction. His business isn’t one I want any part of, and I’ve got way too much drama in my life already.

But his kiss...those eyes...the raging inferno he creates when he touches me...I can’t stay away. Life’s reeling out of control, and he’s my only refuge from the storm.

My sister Lux says trusting someone means not knowing everything about them and being okay with it...but what if not knowing the truth ruins everything?


I'm going to be super honest from the get go with this one ... this is going to be a brutal review. I'm going to try to keep all of my criticism completely constructive and I hope that it comes off that way ... sometimes I'm a tad less than eloquent. And really ... I don't know if I read a completely different book from what everyone else has read or what but I didn't come close to giving this one five stars and I'll be interested to see their take on it since mine is the polar opposite.

Here goes ... right off the bat, I felt a bit of an immature vibe coming from all of the characters but especially the sisters. This is the first book that I've read by Ally Bishop, so I'm not totally for sure if that was what she was going for or if it just came off as immature to me for some other reason (that I have yet to discover and pinpoint). Since I'm talking about the characters, I might as well mention how confusing the main character is ... not be cause the character herself is confusing but because I didn't really know who the main character was. Is it Zi or Lux or Blue? It seemed as if all three received equal time within the pages of Tracing the Line and it was a bit off-putting. I would have liked for just one to take the spotlight. And I could have issues with this since I've not read any of the other books in the series, I guess. My bad.

The sex scenes. Oh, sweet baby Jesus. The sex scenes. I tell you what, Zi and Kai went from being shy around each other to mach-1 within 2.5 seconds. I know that books are fictional but damn. That was just too fast and it didn't seem plausible to me. But then again, I started skipping sex scenes after I was 60% through the book because they all had the same vibe to them and it seemed like the same stuff happened ... in the same order ... and the characters thought/said the same thing that they had said during the last encounter. I just didn't connect the sex scenes with the characters at all, it didn't seem authentic for them to me. 

The plot of the novel sounded interesting to me when I first picked Tracing the Line up and while it kept my interest at first, I quickly realized that the story was moving along at a snail's pace. This could be because there were like 578 different things going on to all of the characters in the novel and you have to keep up with so many different things and every other page, someone is having some sort of crisis that can only be solved with sex or gouging your eyes out. Wait ... that was what I wanted to do. There were just too many cooks in the kitchen on this one. Too many things going on, too many controversies, too many medical issues, too many drug issues, too many sex issues, too many marriage issues and so on, ad nauseam. 

By the time I was three quarters of the way through the novel, I was really just hoping that there was some asteroid heading for Earth that Bruce Willis couldn't demolish in time and it ends up hitting the town where everyone in this book was and BOOM! the end. I liked this book quite a bit when I first picked it up; I was confused with the seemingly multiple main characters but I liked the blurb and the direction the story was heading. I just wish that the last 80% panned out for me like the first 20% did. I HATE not liking a book. I'm glad that I gave it a try but I'm also a tiny bit glad that it's over. 

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

Available Now

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: The Beauty of Lies (Stand by Me #1) by Brinda Berry

Secrets are exposed, trust is betrayed and two people face the beauty of lies.

Leo Jensen has a secret--he is Mr. Expose, a blogger that reveals the truth about liars and frauds. It's a way to make a living, and he's had a motherlode of experience with liars. Cheaters. Women who live for drama and carry more hidden baggage than a Boeing 747. Even his twin sister can't seem to admit the truth about her relationships, so finding an honest woman is about as likely as finding a unicorn in the middle of Nashville.

Harper Wade wishes life had a do-over button. She'd press that sucker and reset the last four years. Now, she has the chance to start fresh and make things right, but first she has to retrieve the damning evidence of her past from an annoying blogger. She's doing all the things she knows she shouldn't--breaking and entering, lying by omission, falling for the hot guy next door. Too bad he holds the key to her clean slate.


You know what? Despite the not-so-great reviews that are being left about this book, I really enjoyed it! This is one of those times that I'm glad that I didn't read any reviews or info about a book before I picked it up because I probably would have been turned off and not picked it up at all. Sometimes I do read reviews before picking up a novel but I always stick to the higher ranking ones just because I don't want to hear the bad stuff until I decide it's bad stuff. 

Anyhow ... I thought that the chemistry between the main characters was pretty great. I enjoyed watching their relationship ebb and flow with what was going on within the pages. There were a few times that I rolled my eyes because things seemed to happen a bit too easily in some of the situations and it wasn't really realistic to me. That being said ... I really enjoyed the interactions between the ex, Leo and Harper. It was almost like a train-wreck that I couldn't turn away from. I was just itching to see what this ex was going to do next and if they would cause problems and heaven help me, let them be bad problems because Brinda Berry is an awesome writer who can write some interesting dialogue between characters that will keep you on your toes. 

The storyline was interesting ... I don't think that I've read anything like this before and the twists and turns were unexpected and highly amusing. For the most part, I never really knew where the plot was heading or what was going to happen next. That's really a breath of fresh air because I've just read so many books that I can sometimes pick out what is going to happen next and then I turn into the book-fun-sucker since I'm ruining everything for myself. 

I'll probably read something else by this author again. I enjoyed just about everything about this novel except one thing. The copy that I received didn't say that it was an advance reader copy. ARC's are sometimes full of errors with punctuation, grammar and spelling. This book had quite a few issues but it was not written anywhere in it that it was an ARC. I really hope that it is and this version isn't being sold anywhere.

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

Available Now

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review: Damaged Goods (The Damaged #1) by J.C. Hannigan

Everly Daniels can't seem to fall out of love with Grayson Dixon. Five years after locking eyes with him, Everly is drawn to him like a moth to a flame. He has a pull on her that she can't seem to break, even if she wanted to. Grayson may be the love of her life, but he doesn't make it easy. He has built walls around himself that only Everly can breach. But Grayson knows he is not the good guy. He's reckless and careless, and even if Everly brings a little color into his life, he worries he will destroy her, and cares too much to let that happen. She has always been the shy wallflower who is afraid to participate. But senior year, all that is about to change. 

Damaged Goods. Man. This was a rough one for me. By the way ... this book has been touted as a New Adult novel and it isn't. This is a straight up YA novel. The kids are in high school and they act like they are in middle school. Damaged Goods isn't filled with the maturity expected at a NA level. Aww ... I know that's mean ... especially since maturity is a relative term. There was a fair amount of eye-rolling on my part because it was just too much at times. TOO. MUCH. 

This book follows a young lady as she tries to get over a boy that she had met years before. She met him in middle school and he got so far under her skin that she just couldn't let go. This is a common thing to happen, we've all had that one guy/gal that we just thought was the cat's meow and we were borderline obsessed with them. That young love is what initially drew me to this novel. But at the same time, that same young love is what made me realize that maybe I'm just too old to be reading these YA/NA novels now because it also irritated the crap out of me and made me want to put the book down.

Damaged Goods wasn't bad ... I just think it wasn't that good either. My blog is slowly shifting towards romance novels and while I can't get enough of them, I've realized that I have some pretty crazy standards about them these days. One of my biggest issues with this book (and this is a bit of a spoiler, so stop reading if you don't want to know!!) was that for a romance novel, the hero in the whole story is absent for about 75% of the book. The kicker is that you never really know for sure why. You're sitting here wondering what the hell is going on and why Everly would put up with being used and then there is a glimpse of a reason and just as fast, it disappears like a fart in the wind. Weird way of describing it, right? Well, it's not if you take into account the screwed up look that will appear on your face when these glimpses come and go.

The storyline also just dragged on. Mostly to the point of me having to skip paragraphs and eventually pages just so that I could get to the end of the book. Things just took so very long to happen and the in-between time was a gnarly experience. Also, by the time I got to the last page, I felt like I knew the characters but I didn't KNOW the characters. I had read all about their actions and you get plenty of inner thoughts but I didn't feel like I knew what made them tick. That's a little disconcerting if you don't fully understand a character at the end of 248 pages. I should know at least something other than the surface things. 

This is also a series and the book ends on a cliff-hanger. But it is one that will forever be in the unknown for me because I know that I won't read another novel by this author. Hannigan is a decent writer but just not one for me. I wish you better luck than I had with Damaged Goods.

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

Available Now

Friday, November 13, 2015

Review: Ex-Billionaire Escort (The Escort Collection) by Leigh James

Rising actress Lowell Barton has problems… lots of them.
One night, she tries to solve them with margaritas… lots of them. Unfortunately, she throws them up all over a police officer's shoes. Then a video of the incident shows up all over the Internet. Now she needs to do damage control. Fast. What she needs is a story juicy enough to throw off the press. A new boyfriend—a perfect, smoking hot new boyfriend—would be just the thing. Unfortunately, it's just the thing she doesn't have.
Deciding to throw caution to the wind and money at her mounting problems, Lowell hires a date. But when sexy escort Kyle Richards steps out of her past and onto her doorstep, she finds herself in a fresh hell she couldn't have imagined.

Is he the stepbrother-escort from hell, or just the thing to save her career—and herself?

Lowell’s about to find out. One thing she knows for sure: only desperate times call for measures this desperate. 


Before I get into my review I wanted to talk about the title for a minute because it's a bit confusing. There seem to be two titles for this book that you'll find on Goodreads. I'm not totally for sure which one is the correct version but I'm leaning towards Ex-Billionaire Escort. There are also two completely different covers ... I'll just put the links at the bottom of my review so it is easy to find, no matter the name or cover.

I couldn't put this one down. I had so much stuff to do yesterday, yet if I had a free minute, I had this book in my hands. I found myself totally immersed into the world of Lowell and Kyle and I absolutely adored every single second of it. I don't say that very often about any book. I'm usually pretty hard on them because I've just read so many. But this one was a bit different for me ... it's about a step-brother and step-sister romance. Not something I've ever read before and that's because at first, I had a stomach turning reaction to the whole idea. I mean, they aren't blood related but they are technically brother and sister and that is taboo. Well ... ex-stepbrother and ex-stepsister ... anyhow. I'm glad that I took a giant leap out of my comfort zone because I've found another author that I really enjoy reading.

Leigh James kept me totally hooked from the very first page of this book. I loved how she set up the characters, I loved experiencing that transformation between and within each one. Actually, that may be my favorite part ... watching characters evolve into something different ... better or worse, I don't really care ... it's just something magical to read and I'm hoping that her other books are like this as well with regards to that because if so, I'll be delving into each and every single one of them.

Like I said, the basis of the story was something that I hadn't experienced before ... actually, I don't think I've read a book about an escort before either. I really enjoyed how the author kept this book moving along so quickly. The flow was awesome, there weren't any slow or sluggy (yes, I know that sluggy isn't a word but it should be) parts and I didn't find anything in this book that was just useless information or a waste of space. 

I'll definitely read something else by this author some day. This was a good book and it has not received the ratings that I think it should have but it is what it is, I guess. You should give this a shot if you enjoy reading about stubborn but ruggedly handsome men who sometimes make poor choices and especially if you enjoy reading about a young woman who doesn't give up and stands up for herself. 

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

Available Now

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review: Rebel Love (The Dirty Sinners Motorcycle Club) by Jodi Linton

She wants revenge...

The Dirty Sinners Motorcycle Club is Em Connors's only family, but she's ready to risk everything--both her club and her life--for vengeance. Ten months ago, she was brutally attacked and her lover gunned down by a rival gang member. Now, she's using her position as the Dirty Sinners president to track down the truth and exact her revenge.

He'll risk it all...

With his partner murdered by a local motorcycle gang, Houston police officer Cade Jackson jumps at the chance to go back undercover and bring down the woman the department calls the Motorcycle Princess. But the sexy-as-hell leader awakens a hunger in Cade. Dark desires run deep--and he intends on teaching Em exactly how dirty he can be. But when his cover is blown, Cade must choose to uphold the law or protect the woman he's grown to going rogue.


I'm going to be straight with you ... I had to put Rebel Love in the DNF pile after I was 83% through it. I can count on one hand how many books I've not finished. Unfortunately, this book gets to join those ranks. I wish that it had turned out differently ... the book and my reading experience but it is what it is. Forcing myself to read and experience even more of this book past that 83% mark would have just made me more disgruntled and wouldn't have made a difference in my rating. 

From the very beginning, I enjoyed the premise of this book. I just got hooked on Sons of Anarchy a couple of months ago (totally late, I know) and so I thought that this book would run along those lines and be right up my alley. But that isn't how it played out. As much as I was interested in the book, it was slow and wordy from about a third of the way in. I've read other books by this author and while this slow burn style of writing seems to be her thing, it's never really bothered me this much until this book. The book just felt so ... heavy and dense ... like I was slogging through a boggy marsh. By the time I got to the point where I put it down, I was just so tired of the entire story because it seemed so wordy and ... uninteresting. I just couldn't stay focused, I was skipping parts of a sentence at first, then full sentences and then paragraphs. The need to skip is never a good feeling to have as a reader. I should want to experience each and every word so that I don't miss anything but that just didn't happen with this book.

The meat of the story was good, I liked the idea of an undercover cop going underground to find out what happened to his partner. I even liked the Cade character. I thought that he seemed realistic and I enjoyed most of the scenes that he was in. Em ... the female lead ... was a different story. I didn't like her at all. I didn't like her being wishy-washy, I didn't like how she behaved or what she said or what she thought. I just didn't connect with her on any level. Not even as a woman. I don't know what caused this type of disconnect but it was there and it was very evident. 

Unfortunately, I think this will be my last Jodi Linton novel. I enjoyed the other two for the most part but now Rebel Love has just turned me off of her. A lot of people really enjoyed this one, so you might as well. I hope you do because I wouldn't wish this kind of reading experience on anyone. 

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

Available: January 4th, 2016