October 29, 2015

EARLY REVIEW: Hard Beat (Driven #7)

Hard Beat (Driven #7), by K. Bromberg
Publish Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Foreign war correspondent Tanner Thomas is addicted to living on the edge. Needing the adrenaline rush of his job to help him cope with a personal loss, he throws himself back into the game, concentrating all his energy on getting the next big story.

But when he meets his new photojournalist, Beaux Croslyn, he can’t help but feel like he’s losing his focus—and maybe risking more…

With secrets she won’t address, Beaux is far from your ordinary woman. Determined to keep her distance, she’s willing to pull Tanner in closer and hide behind the sparks flying between them. But as Beaux’s past begins to put their relationship—and their lives—at risk, Tanner’s determination to find the truth puts them both in jeopardy.

He's ready to chase her to the ends of the earth to find out if what they had was real, or if the danger surrounding them was just an exquisite heat fated to burn out…

HARD BEAT is the seventh book in K. Bromberg's Driven series, but if I hadn't just told you that, I doubt you'd know that just by reading it. No doubt about it - this is a different sort of book than what we're used to seeing from Bromberg. Hard Beat might be stressful and edgy and dramatic, but it does still feature a hot bad boy living on the edge. And that's just one of the things that made this book great. 

Hard Beat focuses on Rylee's brother Tanner. He's a foreign war correspondent. I don't know about you, but this profession was a first for me. I've never read a book with a character who had this job before. I wonder what sort of intensive research Bromberg did before writing Hard Beat, because she made Tanner's job come to life. It's clear that it's a dangerous job, but the people who are doing it are 100% dedicated to the thrill of getting the story, no matter the danger. I really felt that through the whole thing. I was constantly worried about Tanner and Beaux as they navigated the intricacies of Middle Eastern politics and the US military presence there. 

That's the other thing that's totally unique about Hard Beat. It takes place nearly entirely in the Middle East. A specific country is never given, but one could assume it's a place like Afghanistan or Iraq. It seems a desolate setting for a book, but given Tanner's and Beaux's profession, it's really perfect. 

Tanner's photojournalist partner has recently been killed on the job, and he's having a hard time getting over it, mostly because she was also his best friend in the world. So, he's been saddled with a new partner - Beaux - and he's having a hard time with that as well. To say that he wasn't nice to her in the beginning is putting it mildly. He resents that she's there to take his former partner's place. And he resents that he's so attracted to her too. He's there to do a job that he's very serious about, and in his mind, Beaux is nothing but an unwanted distraction.

Relationships had always been fun while they lasted, but no one, and I mean no one, has ever made me thing for one iota of a second of hanging up my credentials. The day that happens will be the day I know love from lust.

For her part, Beaux is a tough chick. She has to be to do what she does. So, she fights back. Tanner and Beaux were like oil and water - they just could not get along no matter what happened. Honestly, Tanner was a total asshole to Beaux. I felt so badly for her. And, try as he may, Tanner just can't figure her out. There seems to be two sides to her - the side she allows him to see and the side that she keeps to herself. As their passionately abrasive encounters turn passionately hot and sexy, Tanner starts to question Beaux and her actions more and more. It's clear she's hiding things - he just has no idea what they are or why she won't tell him.

"You want something from me, and it has to do with whatever you're hiding up your sleeve. So now we're playing this game on my terms from here on out. How's it feel to want something you can't have?"

"I understand more than you'll ever know," she whispers.

For the entire book there's this overlying tension that was very palpable. As we get closer and closer to the end, and more of Beaux's secrets come out, that tension was manifested in very real ways on the page. Toward the end, there were a few WTF moments where I was totally confused and couldn't wait to have my questions about Beaux answered. I loved that about Hard Beat. It's for this reason that, unlike the last two books in this series, this is not a dual POV. Tanner tells the whole story, so we find out about Beaux's backstory at the same time he does. I imagine my reaction was pretty similar to his. 

This book was nearly perfect for me - truthfully, the only reason I couldn't give it 5 stars was because of the cover design. I know, I know - how petty, right? But, the couple on the cover looks like they belong in a law firm. Beaux and Tanner NEVER dressed like that - why would they in the middle of the desert? Cover design aside, I personally loved the shift in setting and feel of Hard Beat. It was fascinating and sexy and dangerous. We do see a little of Rylee and Colton, but for the most part, the focus is entirely on Tanner and Beaux and the dangerous job they have to do. There's still a lot more awesome stories to come in the Driven world, and I can't wait to see what's next. 

October 28, 2015

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Missing Dixie (Neon Dreams #3)

This series - goodness, it may be one of my most favorite new adult series ever. Certainly one of the most angsty and emotional and... wonderful. Read on for more gushing, and then don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end.

Missing Dixie (Neon Dreams #3), by Caisey Quinn
Publish Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: e-galley, provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Fighting for redemption…

I've lived most of my life in darkness, beneath the shadows of secrets and addictions. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt the only girl I'd ever loved-the one who brought me into the light. In my entire life I'd made one promise-a promise I'd intended to keep. I've broken that promise and now I have to live with the fallout. Dixie Lark hates me, and I have to tell her that I love her. I also have to tell her a truth that might destroy us forever.

Can she love me even if she can't forgive me?

Learning to move on…

Gavin Garrison broke his promise to my brother and he broke my heart in the process. I may never love anyone the way I've loved him, but at least I won't spend my life wondering what if. We had our one night and he walked away. I'm finally beginning to move on when my brother's wedding and a battle of the bands brings us back together.

Our band is getting a second chance, but I don't know if I can give him one. How do you hand your heart back to the person who set it on fire once already?

This book - hell, this whole series - has been a total emotional rollercoaster. Of the very best kind, too. Despite the slight detour in book two, Loving Dallas, this story has been all about Dixie and Gavin. They are the heart and soul of their country rock band and the loves of each others' lives, but, gosh - it seemed as if these two just couldn't catch a break, you know? In book 1, they were fighting their attraction and chemistry because of an ancient promise Gavin made to Dixie's brother. Once the cat was out of the bag and that promise was negated, it seemed like the road should be clear for them to finally be together, right?


Okay, first of all, I loved that MISSING DIXIE was told in dual POV. Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dreams #1) was not, so it was deliciously wonderful being inside Gavin's head for the first time. But, it was also totally frustrating, too. It was clear that this boy was totally gone over Dixie. He has been in love with her since they were kids and she would make sure he had enough to eat when his own mother didn't. The kind of love he felt for Dixie was huge and real and epic.
She's everything I ever wanted and the one thing I was never supposed to have. Now she's all I can think about. The scent of her, the taste of her, the feel of her.

It was these intense feelings that motivated Gavin to try and right all the wrongs in his life - mostly the wrongs that happened during the year Dixie spent away from him and Dallas when she was in college. The mysterious year that he won't tell her about, and yet, she wonders about constantly. But, in doing so, he keeps more secrets from her, and - boys, listen up - secrets KILL. They kill relationships and feelings and friendships, because the other person always finds out, and it's always much worse when it doesn't come from the source.

So, when Dixie finds out that Gavin has been around for months and hasn't contacted her, she's so upset. OF COURSE SHE IS. Especially when, the first time she sees him, he's got another woman hanging on his arm, and it's clear she knows him. And, all of a sudden, Dixie is just done. She's wasted most of her life loving this man who, she thinks, can and will never love her back.

Life is too short to spend it pining for someone who will never come around, wishing for something you will never have, and holding on to something or someone that doesn't want to be held.

And, Gavin, being the martyr that he is, decides to let her go. To let her continue to think things about him that just aren't entirely true. And, he does this mostly because he's scared that the real truth will be even worse for her.

Now, of course, at this point, I was ripping my hair out, yelling at both Dixie and Gavin to just get over it already! Never have I ever wanted two people to be together more than these two, and never has that seemed like such a remote possibility than in Missing Dixie. Dixie spends a lot of the book sad and angry at Gavin because of his secrets and his lies. Gavin spends a lot of the book sad and dejected because he wants Dixie so badly, but thinks that there's no way she will ever want him.

So, they ban together to try and give Dallas this one last thing - success for Leaving Amarillo - before parting, possibly for good. It forces them to have to be together in the same room, and to talk. All good things, because finally there seems to be hope. And sexy times, which were amazing. The chemistry between Gavin and Dixie has always been so volcanic. I love that they were friends long before they were lovers.

Rest assured - Gavin's secrets do come out, and wow. They are doozies. Thank goodness for my friends Kim from Kimberlyfaye Reads and Jen from Jenuine Cupcakes. They took the brunt of all my "OMGGGGGGG"s and "I just can't even..."s and "WTF just happened?!"s. Sorry, girls, for the extreme unloading of all my emo baggage. :)

I loved the ending. Gavin and Dixie, with the help of a new character, forge ahead and have somewhat of a non-traditional, yet no less awesome and happy, HEA. Dallas and Robyn are with them the whole way, so it was great that we kept up with their story even after their book was over. This rich, incredible story is going to stay with me for a long time to come.

Caisey Quinn lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series and several other New Adult Romance titles. Her Neon Dreams series about a country rock crossover band paying their dues in life and in love on their rocky road to fame is now available from Avon/William Morrow.

Connect with Caisey:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCaiseyQuinn
Twitter: @caiseyquinn
Website: http://www.caiseyquinnwrites.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/CaiseyQuinn

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October 27, 2015

RELEASE DAY EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4)

Surviving Ice - RWB banner

I am so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for K.A. Tucker's SURVIVING ICE! SURVIVING ICE is a standalone romantic suspense novel and is the fourth book in K.A. Tucker's Burying Water Series, published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Check out all the series deets, read an excerpt from Surviving Ice, and then enter the giveaway at the end!

  Surviving Ice - Cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo ** IndieBound

SURVIVING ICE Synopsis: Ivy Lee, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have finally found it working in her uncle’s tattoo shop in San Francisco. But all that changes when a robbery turns deadly, compelling her to pack up her things yet again.

When they need the best, they call him. That’s why Sebastian Riker is back in California, cleaning up the mess made after a tattoo shop owner with a penchant for blackmail got himself shot. But it’s impossible to get the answers he needs from a dead body, leaving him to look elsewhere. Namely, to the twenty-something-year-old niece who believes this was a random attack. Who needs to keep believing that until Sebastian finds what he’s searching for.

Ivy has one foot out of San Francisco when a chance encounter with a stranger stalls her departure. She’s always been drawn to intense men, so it’s no wonder that she now finds a reason to stay after all, quickly intoxicated by his dark smile, his intimidating strength, and his quiet control. That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter was no accident—and that their attraction could be her undoing.

Surviving Ice - RDL teaser

And don’t miss the previous titles in the Burying Water Series!








It’s just a regular ringtone. For me, though, it’s the wail of a war siren, and I’m immediately alert. There is only one person who has this number, and I didn’t expect him to use it again so soon.

The tile is cool against my bare feet as I roll out of bed. I collect the phone from the nightstand with one fluid movement, unhindered by sheets or the morning sluggishness that an average person might face. Stepping through the propped-open patio doors and onto the balcony, I answer with a low, curt “Yeah.” The sky is just beginning to lighten over the quiet bay. Dozens of boats sit moored below, their passengers lulled into deep sleep by the ocean air and rhythmic waves. I’m high enough up that I’m not likely to offend anyone with my lack of clothing, especially at this hour. Not that I’m truly concerned by it.


The code name is a sharp contrast to the warm breeze skating across my bare skin. My adrenaline begins to spike, all the same. Hearing it means that I will be forced to leave this haven soon. Sooner than I had hoped.

“How is recovery going?”

I instinctively peer down at the angry red scar on the outside of my thigh, where a bullet drilled into my flesh and muscle just three weeks ago, outside of Kabul. I nearly bled out before I made it to the doc. He patched me up on a makeshift operating table, buried deep in a maze of rooms, and charged me a hefty price.

“Like new,” I lie.

“Good.” Bentley’s voice is rich and smooth, a welcome sound in a sea of strangers. “Where are you now?”

I peer out over the beautiful vista of crystal blue water and whitewashed stone buildings, the volcanic rock cliffs in the distance, reluctant to divulge my location. I sank a good chunk of my last payout on renting this one-bedroom villa for the month. It’s my private sanctuary, where I can revel in anonymity and peace for a while, before finding somewhere else to drift to.

Bentley has never asked before.
But he also has the technical capabilities to trace this call. If he really wants to find out, then he will. In fact, the second I picked up, he probably already had his answer. “Where do I need to be?” I say instead.

“San Francisco.”

Author pic - KA TuckerBorn in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.            

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October 26, 2015

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Make It Last (Bowler University #3)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Make It Last (Bowler University #3), by Megan Erickson
Publish Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: paperback, borrowed
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) After graduating from Bowler University, the last place Cam Ruiz ever expected to find himself is his hometown. A bad job as a bouncer and worry over his mom’s health make living in Paradise anything but. There’s only one thing that can make his return any harder—running into the only girl he’s ever loved.

Tate Ellison made a mistake when she was eighteen, one that cost her the best thing she’s ever had. She’s always hoped the regret of losing Cam would fade over time. Too bad it’s only grown. She took comfort in the fact she’d never have to face him again, so his presence in Paradise throws her for a loop.

The pull between them is instant and when the truth of what happened years ago tumbles out, they share a mind-blowing kiss...which leads to more. But the past has a way of repeating itself. When all the cards are on the table, Cam and Tate must decide what they are willing to do to make it last.

Megan Erickson really knows how to punch you right in the feels, and Make It Last really lets you have it. I knew it would, though. Cam has always been the silent, brooding one of the group, so I just knew he had a hell of a story. And his second chance love story ended up being my favorite of the series.

Cam is in a difficult place. He's returning home for the first time in five years, and is surprised to run into his ex, Tate, whom he had assumed had moved on to bigger and better things after cheating on him and dumping him when they were teenagers. He's never moved on from her, so when he sees her still working the same job she was when he left, he's taken aback and left to wonder what's been going on with her this whole time. When the whole story comes out, Cam finds out that were not then and are not now what they seem. 

Cam had my heart from the very beginning. This guy is rock solid. He's sacrificing his future career to take care of his ailing mother, even though he knows that coming home will also cause him to relive all his memories with Tate. He's making the hard decisions in order to do what's right, and I love that about him so much. 

One could argue that that is exactly what Tate was doing as well. She sent Cam packing years before and has spent her time making sacrifices and hard decisions as well. I think Tate is super strong and deserves to be happy as much as Cam does. Unfortunately, Tate suffers from a martyr complex the size of the Northern Hemisphere. Tate has gotten so used to making tough choices, that she starts making them for not only herself, but for everyone else around her. And, even after that is pointed out to her, she still has a hard time stopping. 

There is definitely a different feel to Make It Last than the other two books in this series. Both Cam and Tate are facing some incredibly emotional and difficult situations in their lives - things that would send me to a corner to rock and weep. The best part about them is that they don't always handle things perfectly. They make mistakes and face the consequences. It was very real and believable. 

We get appearances from both Alec and Kat and Max and Lea, so as we are watching Cam and Tate try to wade through their past hurts and find a way to fix them and move forward, we see the other two couples starting new chapters in their lives. It was a great way to end the series. 

Cam's and Tate's journey back to one another is filled with poignant memories and some really sad moments. But, those are what made this book so awesome. I'm sad to say goodbye to the Bowler University friends, but so happy that Megan saved Cam's story for last. Talk about ending on a high note. 

October 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - 10/23

I love seeing everyone's book hauls for the week. It's exciting, and fun and it tells me what sales are still going on. :) And, thanks to Tynga's Reviews, we can do that with Stacking the Shelves! So, you show me mine, and you show me yours.

Digital ARCs Received for Review

Man, the amazing staff at Berkley/NAL really outdid themselves this week! I don't even know where to start with all this awesomeness!

Misconduct, by Penelope Douglas
Seduction in Session, by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake
What You Need, by Lorelei James
Off the Clock, by Roni Loren

October 21, 2015

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4)

Although I'm sorry to say goodbye to K.A. Tucker's Burying Water series, I am glad to help her celebrate SURVIVING ICE's release. This book was absolutely explosive - check out the excerpt and my review. And, don't forget the giveaway!

Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4), by K. A. Tucker
Publish Date:
October 27, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Ivy, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is finally looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have found it in San Francisco, but all that changes when she witnesses a terrible crime. She’s ready to pack up her things yet again, when a random encounter with a stranger keeps her in the city, giving her reason to stay after all.

That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter wasn’t random. Not at all…

I gotta be honest - Ivy has never been my favorite side character in the Burying Water series. She's been here and there since the beginning, first as a friend of Jesse's in Oregon. Then, as the cousin of a friend of River's in Ireland. And, now, as the niece of a tattoo shop owner in San Francisco. Ivy's location might differ frequently, but there are a few things about her that always stay the same - Ivy's abrasive attitude and her ability to beautifully ink people's skin. 

Ivy's nomadic lifestyle led her to her uncle's tattoo shop in San Francisco and just as she got comfortable there, he was gone and Ivy was faced with a choice - stay and run the shop herself, or pull up stakes yet again. As it turns out, it's a sexy stranger who stops into the shop for a large tattoo who keeps Ivy in place for a little longer than she planned. 

Sebastian is a former SEAL who now works for a private firm. This firm is involved in the untimely death of Ivy's uncle, and Sebastian is called in to clean up the mess - and anyone else who may be collateral damage. As we move through the story, we start to question the motives of the company we work for. Sebastian is married to the job, so he never thought that his company might not be on the up and up. Until Ivy. 

As in the three previous books in this series, there is a seriously suspenseful mystery woven throughout the romance. In fact, the romance is almost an afterthought - it happens in spite of both Sebastian's and Ivy's plans and intentions. Both of them are preoccupied with who murdered her uncle and why. Sebastian has a lot more information than he's letting on, but there comes a point where he starts to use that information to help Ivy instead of harming her. 

The real question was how Ivy would handle the fact that Sebastian was not exactly who he said he was once she found out. She's a hot head and pretty volatile, so you knew she would be mad, but the question was, would she be mad enough to kick him t the curb forever?

I have thoroughly enjoyed this suspenseful new adult series. Although I'm sorry it's over, it's been a really amazing experience as we met each couple, saw their huge barriers to happiness, and watched them over power them all. 

“You’re two hours late!” I holler, rolling the shade up, preparing my best scathing glare for Bobby. It’s not his giant frame I find looming outside, though.

It’s that guy from yesterday.

We simply stare at each other through the grimy glass for a moment: me, in surprise; him, something unreadable, his eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses. He’s swapped his black T-shirt for navy today, to go along with the jeans. Simple, clean, unremarkable. And yet very appealing on him.

“Is it Thursday yet?” There isn’t so much as a hint of a joke in his voice. I can’t tell if he’s serious.

“You’re persistent.”


“Persistence annoys me.”

Finally, a slight smile touches his lips, and I instantly find myself fighting the urge to match it. He slides his sunglasses off his face, meeting my eyes with that cool, indifferent gaze. “And what doesn’t annoy you?”

“Not much, honestly.”

Another staring match. As intense as the weight of his gaze is, it’s not nearly as uncomfortable as it was yesterday, now that I’m no longer wary of his intentions.

I should be difficult and tell him to come back in a few days. The thing is, I don’t want to be difficult. I want to be very easy for him right now, because I’ve been thinking about him more than is wise since yesterday. Especially since last night. If just a sketched picture and thoughts of him could get me off so quickly and easily, I wonder what the real man could do to me.

Not that I would ever flip my hair or giggle at his jokes or do anything else to make my interest obvious.

I unlock the door and pull it open, stepping back to give him room. “The guy I was supposed to be working on hasn’t shown up, so I guess you’re in luck, because I’m all ready to ink and I need skin to work on.” I let my gaze drift over his arms, honed with muscles and free of any markings, before moving over to his chest and stomach. Wondering if the rest of him is this perfect. Wondering exactly which part of him I’ll get to touch.

“You look more rested today,” he murmurs, a secretive smile touching his eyes. As if he can read my mind, as if he knows that he helped put me to sleep last night.

I don’t answer, pushing the door closed. I lock it once again with a sly smile. As far as I’m concerned, if Bobby shows up now, no one’s here.

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.


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October 20, 2015

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Reclaim Me (Chasing Fire #3)

Reclaim Me (Chasing Fire #3), by Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers
Publish Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Intermix
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) There’s almost nothing Alessandra Sinclair wouldn’t do for Hudson Chase. He was her first love, and she’s determined that he’ll be her last. But when the terrible truth Hudson has been hiding comes to light, Allie finds herself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a man from her past who’s determined to use what he knows to ruin Hudson. Now, the only way to save the man she loves may be to lose him forever…

Hudson has always known that the secrets he keeps could be his downfall, but he never expected them to put Allie’s life in danger as well. It’s time for him to come clean—before everything he’s ever wanted is destroyed…

This - THIS - is everything a series ender should be. There was danger and mystery and angst and some of the best romantic moments ever. Reclaim Me was the best way to close the book on Alessandra and Hudson's story.

After a crazy cliffhanger at the end of Release Me, I went into Reclaim Me feeling a bit trepidatious. Allie's horrible ex had cornered her, both literally and figuratively. She had very real reason to fear for both hers and Hudson's lives.

Now, see, I'm always a big fan of communication. I hate it when characters make decisions for their loved ones out of some misplaced sense of protection. They martyr themselves and become miserable, when, if they had just explained how they felt or what was going on and approached the problem together, it all could've turned out better for everyone. Allie had the perfect opportunity to act in that way here, and for awhile I thought I'd spend the entire book being frustrated at her actions and lack of trust in Hudson's ability to help her handle the situation.

However, Allie was an amazingly awesome heroine. She remembers how badly she functioned without Hudson in her life, and decides to not repeat past mistakes. And, thus, she and Hudson set out together to try and thwart Julian's plans and still remain together. Which is not an easy feat when it seems that Julian has them bested at every turn.

Julian was a truly loathsome man. There was not one single redeeming quality about him. Never once did he show remorse for his actions or any true affection for Allie. It made it easy to hate him. He was a great villain.

The shining star in Reclaim Me was Hudson, though. This dreamy man knows how to woo a woman. And, when that woman is THE woman, it's even better. Reclaim Me is told in dual POV, so we get to hear both Allie's and his thoughts on the events as they are unfolding. We witness Hudson's intense frustration at his inability to fix things right away. We witness his continually growing feelings for Allie, which I promise you will make you swoon HARD. And, we witness Hudson in full alpha mode as he wrangles the people around him and works his angles to help the woman he loves.

I really loved the fleshing out of the side relationship between Hudson's brother Nick and Allie's BFF Harper. Nick has come a very long way since book 1, and he's now a reliable source of advice and comfort for his big brother. And, Harper has always been Allie's voice of reason. Together, Nick and Harper are just what Allie and Hudson needed in this really difficult time.

Despite how nail biting Reclaim Me was, I was so sad to see Allie's and Hudson's story come to a close. It was a crazy, sexy, exciting ride, though, and one that I really enjoyed.

October 19, 2015

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Hold On Tight (Sea Breeze #8)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Hold On Tight (Sea Breeze #8), by Abbi Glines Publish Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Six years ago, Dewayne Falco's life changed. He lost someone he never expected to lose. Resigned to punish himself for something he felt he could have prevented, he goes through life without getting too close to anyone.

What he didn't expect was for the girl across the street to move back home and remind him of what they both lost: Dewayne's younger brother Dustin. However, when a miniature version of Dustin opens the door to greet him, Dewayne realizes he might not have lost everything after all.

Sienna Roy loved Dustin Falco most of her life. He was the boy next door, the high school basketball star and her best friend. But when his life was cut short, she realized he left a part of himself behind.

Now, she's back in Sea Breeze, thankful to have a home for her and Dustin's son, but not sure if she can ever forgive the people across the street who abandoned her when she needed them the most — The Falcos.

Betrayal, lies, and forbidden attraction might end Dewayne and Sienna's story before it's even begun.

I’ve been on a Sea Breeze binge the past four days or so. I’ve read Misbehaving, Bad For You and Hold On Tight right after the other. I don’t usually do that with books. I usually need a break from the same characters and world for a bit before I return. But, it had been awhile since I had read an Abbi Glines new adult book, and once I started, I remembered why I love them so much. This series is all about these epic loves that change lives and equally epic friendships that stand the test of time. What could be better than that?

Speaking of standing the test of time, Hold On Tight is an amazing second-chance love story, and easily became one of my favorites in this series. Dewayne Falco has been in love with his younger brother’s girl for years. But, his brother died, and Sienna left town abruptly, and Dewayne has been filling the void with lots of alcohol and women. But, then suddenly, Sienna comes back, and she has brought with her his brother’s son, whom Dewayne and his parents had no idea existed. Now, Dewayne is conflicted between wanting Sienna and wanting what’s best for Sienna, which he doesn’t think is him.

The Dewayne we see in Hold On Tight is very different from the Dewayne we’ve seen in all the previous books in the Sea Breeze series. The only time we’ve seen Dewayne has been when he’s at Live Bay with his friends, knocking back a cold one with a skanky chick on his lap. It’s obvious that he is still very tight with his friends from high school – he’s always ribbing them about falling victim to the “magical pussy,” and he always has their backs when they’re in trouble.

But, as soon as Dewayne sees his 5-year-old nephew, he turns to mush, and he knows that he would give this boy the moon if he asked for it. Ladies, if that doesn’t make your panties melt, I don’t know what will. Seeing Sienna right after meeting Micah just about laid Dewayne out for the count, though. I just loved that this petite woman and her little boy destroyed this big, brash man with just a look.

Sienna has had a horrific time of things since finding out she was pregnant with her dead boyfriend’s child. Her parents disowned her and shipped her away to live with an aunt she had never met. All her hundreds of letters to Dustin and Dewayne’s parents went unanswered. The only person Sienna can rely on in this world is her son. But, when she returns to town, it quickly becomes clear that things are not how she always thought they were.

For Sienna, everything is different in Sea Breeze. Most notably, she has the freedom to be with Dewayne if she wants to now, which is exciting and terrifying for her. But, Dewayne doesn’t seem to want her, and Sienna struggles with how that makes her feel. She’s been unwanted for a long time, and Dewayne is just one more in a long line.

Sienna broke my heart. I can’t even imagine how a 16-year-old girl could find the strength to survive all she went through. It’s no wonder she doesn’t trust easily any more or feel wanted or loved by anyone. Her relationship with her son was absolutely precious. I love how she kept the memory of his father alive and well, and I also loved how Micah was always stepping up to take care of his mother when he felt she needed it.

Sienna and Dewayne dance around each other for most of the book. The sexual tension between these two made me crazy! And it went on forever. It made the culmination of things all the more awesome, though. And the ending included a little twist that I didn’t see coming. I mean, I figured out parts of it, but not the whole picture. So, that was pretty cool too.

Only one more to go in the Sea Breeze series. I’m both excited to read it and kinda want to avoid reading it. Because if I read it, this epic series about amazing loves and incredible friendships will finally come to a close.

October 16, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - 10/16

I love seeing everyone's book hauls for the week. It's exciting, and fun and it tells me what sales are still going on. :) And, thanks to Tynga's Reviews, we can do that with Stacking the Shelves! So, I'll show you mine, and you show me yours.

Digital ARC for Review:

Finished Copies for Review:


One King's Way, by Samantha Young
Hard Beat, by K. Bromberg
Tough Enough, by M. Leighton
Wrapped and Strapped, by Lorelei James
Tied With Me, by Kristen Proby

So many thanks to the awesome people at Penguin Random House for all the lovely book mail this week. I love getting packages from them! 

And, I got Tied With Me in audio format because I love Jennifer Mack's and Eric Summerer's narration of this series SO. MUCH. This is the most fun audio series. 

October 14, 2015

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

It's that time of year again (HOLY CRAP, IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN)! For the fourth year in a row, I'm participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, sponsored by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, and in years past I've focused on one creepy character - vampires, ghosts and zombies. This year... 

Yeah, I've got nothing. 

I hate to disappoint with my lack of creativity, but I have something that might make you feel better. How about a book of your choice from The Book Depository (up to $15)

I thought that might help. 

So, you know what to do! Enter below and keep on hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

October 13, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky #1)

Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky #1), by Kristen Proby
Publish Date:
January 21, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

((From Goodreads) Josh King is an expert at running his family’s multi-million dollar ranch in Montana. (And all that outside manual labor has done wonders for sculpting his six-foot-three body, too.) But as sure footed as he is when it comes to the ranch, Josh doesn’t know anything about how to deal with an adolescent boy—so when his twelve-year-old nephew, Seth, is dropped off on his doorstep, looking scared and acting surly as hell, Josh knows he needs help in straightening him out.

Cara Donovan loves her quiet life as a teacher in her sleepy hometown, so she jumps at the chance to make a little money over the summer as a tutor. But when she learns she’ll be teaching Josh King’s nephew, Cara’s sweet summer job gets a little bit hotter. Cara tries to focus all her attention on tutoring Seth, but Josh proves to be a delicious distraction, while Josh’s memories of the shy girl he once teased in high school are nothing like the beautiful woman he’s facing now. Can he persuade her that there’s more between them than a summer fling?

With a series name like Love Under the Big Sky, how could I NOT want to read this book with the beautiful cover. The fact that it's penned by Kristen Proby was just icing on this beefy cowboy cupcake (if only that were a real thing). Even if her name wasn't on the cover, I would have known almost immediately that this was a Kristen Proby book. The word "formula" has somehow become a bad word in books. And, I think this is the perfect example of a formula that works time and time again.

I always know when I pick up a Kristen Proby book that the location will be rich and vibrant. That there will be an emotionally unavailable man that is gorgeous and inherently good. That the heroine is strong and capable. And that, as always, true love never runs smooth.

Loving Cara didn't disappoint at all. If I had it in hard copy format, I would've plowed through it in a day, no doubt. As it was, I found myself coming up with excuses to listen to the audio version, both because the story was captivating and because the audio version was so well done.

Josh was a great hero. He's everything you would expect in a series called Love Under the Big Sky. He's a big, strong rancher who is confident and commanding and sexy. I love that he's not this stereotypical cowboy. He wears a baseball cap instead of a Stetson. In addition to taking care of cattle, he's also taking care of his 12-year-old nephew. And, although Josh is painted as something of a womanizer, he's not cocky or douchey about it.

Cara isn't a stranger to Josh. They went to high school together and she was friends with him and his twin brother Zach. Cara's unpopularity from 10 years ago has stayed with her, so when Josh hires her to tutor his troubled nephew, but starts showing interest in her outside of her job duties, she's hard pressed to believe them.

I get Cara. I've been there myself. She's the girl who has grown into her looks and into a little bit of self esteem, but can't understand what a hot, successful man like Josh sees in her. But, Cara is good at her job. She's a great teacher, and she's wonderful at getting Seth, who has been through a horrible experience at the hands of his witch of a mother, to open up to the people who love him.

I loved how Cara and Josh were thrown together and how that one unexpected incident turned on the alpha protector in him. And, of course, once Cara and Josh are stuck under the same roof, it was only a matter of time before they were burning up the sheets. And "burn" is a appropriate word - these two were so hot together.

Best of all, they seemed to be fairly good at communicating. They talked a lot about problems they were having and how they were feeling. Of course, there were a few bumps in the road, but they seemed to overcome those fairly quickly and get back on track. Like most books from Kristen Proby, the drama and angst quotient was fairly low, which I definitely appreciated. It's why I sought out this book and decided to listen to it when I did, in fact. I love that I can count on her books to not get me all worked up and ready to strangle someone or cry a river of tears in my beer. There's enough drama to keep me engaged and interested. And the characters are extremely likable, so I want them to succeed together from the very beginning.

I also loved the nuggets from future books dropped in here and there. We have a great lead-in to both Lauren's and Jillian's stories, and I can't wait to get to them soon. I so enjoyed the audio versions, that I will most likely get those books in audio as well. It was my first time listening to both Elizabeth Louise and Deacon Lee, and I thought they did an outstanding job. I do love having two narrators read books done in dual POV, and these two were perfect for Josh and Cara. I'm happy to see they both narrate the other Love Under the Big Sky books as well, so thankfully, I'll get to spend more time with them soon.

October 12, 2015

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Bad For You (Sea Breeze #7)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Bad For You (Sea Breeze #7), by Abbi Glines
Publish Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Addiction was something Krit Corbin accepted as part of his nature a long time ago. He decided to embrace it and flip his finger at the rules. Women had always been the number one thing on his list of addictions. He couldn’t get enough. Being the lead singer in a rock band had only made access to his favorite addiction that much easier.

Being alone was the only thing Blythe Denton understood. The small town minister’s family that raised her hadn’t accepted her as their own. The minister’s wife had always made sure Blythe understood just how unworthy she was of love. When Blythe is sent away to college and given a chance to finally be free of living as an unwanted burden, she looks forward to having peace in her life. Being alone isn’t something that bothers her. She escapes reality in the stories she writes.

However, the ridiculously sexy tattooed guy who keeps throwing parties in the apartment above hers is driving her crazy. For starters, he doesn’t treat her like she would expect a guy with a different woman always hanging on his arm to treat someone as uninteresting as her.

She looks nothing like the gorgeous women she sees parading in and out of his apartment, but for some strange reason he keeps showing up at her door. During a party at his apartment, Krit’s new neighbor comes to the door with her long brown hair pulled up in a messy knot and a pair of glasses perched on her cute little nose. She wants him to turn down the music, but he convinces her to stay.

Krit Corbin may have just found his biggest addiction yet. And Blythe Denton realizes too late that she’s finally been claimed.

Normally, the bad-boy-falls-in-love-with-the-innocent-sheltered-girl trope doesn’t do it for me. Both characters always seem so overdone and a caricature of real people. For some reason, I didn’t feel that way about Bad For You. I loved this book

Perhaps the reason why Bad For You was so much better than other books that use this particular plot device is because we already know Krit. We’ve known him for several books now and really got to see him in action in the Sea Breeze book immediately before this one, Misbehaving. Yes, he’s a bad boy in every way down to the tats, piercings, rock band lead singer job and man-whoring ways. But, we also know that there is a lot more to Krit Corbin. He’s a good man with a good heart. He cares about his friends and his sister. And he desperately wants someone to love him for him.

In that aspect, Blythe is perfect for Krit. She’s as pure and transparent as they come. Having been raised in a terribly strict home and abused verbally and physically, she’s been conditioned to think everyone around her is better than her. She sees the good in everyone else and only the supposed “evil” inside her. She’s free and on her own for the first time in her life, and although she’s painfully shy and not good in large groups of people, she is determined to overcome this and finally live her life to the fullest.

Krit and Blythe are two broken people that are so good together. Although their shades of childhood abuse are similar, how they handled it and who they became because of it are very different. It seems that once they meet and start hanging out (initiated, of course, by Krit – he does have a habit of steamrolling over everyone in his path), they start to balance each other out. Blythe soothes the wildness and rough edges in Krit. And Krit brings Blythe out of her shell enough to make friends and get involved in living her life.

Best of all, they seem to encourage the value placed on themselves. Both Krit and Blythe think they are worthless people, destined to live only the most mediocre of lives. And then, once they meet, neither can understand why the other thinks those things of themselves. They both set out to show each other and the people around them how wonderful they are. And this has a profound effect on them, both individually and as a couple.

There aren’t quite as many sexy times in Bad For You, but it’s okay. There’s a crazy amount of sexual tension there between Blythe and Krit to keep you satisfied until the main event. And, can I just tell you how much I LOVED being inside Krit’s head? The boy is all over the place, but holy moly – it’s impossible to not love him with all your heart after reading his thoughts about both Blythe and about himself. It made Bad For You my most favoritest Sea Breeze book yet.

October 9, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - 10/9

I love seeing everyone's book hauls for the week. It's exciting, and fun and it tells me what sales are still going on. :) And, thanks to Tynga's Reviews, we can do that with Stacking the Shelves! So, you show me mine, and you show me yours.

Digital ARCs Received For Review:


I'm currently about 2/3 through Free Me, and OMG - the angst!! Many thanks to my good friends at Inkslinger PR for sending it my way to review. And get this - it's only $0.99 right now for Kindle.(You can purchase it here.) If you love emotional rollercoasters with lots of steam, seriously - go one-click this baby now. 

October 8, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Dirty (Dive Bar #1)

Awesome Aussie Kylie Scott has a new series coming out. I know! I love her Stage Dive series so much, and I'm so, so excited to see what comes next. As it turns out, that would be a new series called Dive Bar. And the first book in that series, DIRTY, is due out in April 2016. Just check out this cover...

Dirty (Dive Bar #1), by Kylie Scott
Publish Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Saint Martin's Griffin
new adult contemporary romance
To Buy:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(From Goodreads) When Vaughn returned to his childhood home, the last thing he expected was to find a brokenhearted bride in his shower. Or the complete drama and chaos that came with her.

Lydia doesn't know what to do. Finding out the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man, is another all together. Trying to escape it all, she runs...and finds herself in the arms of a handsome ex-musician turned bartender. But can a broke musician with a dubious future really be the Mr Perfect Lydia was looking for?

Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Stalk Kylie Scott: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

October 7, 2015

REVIEW: Dirty Thoughts (Mechanics of Love #1)

Dirty Thoughts (Mechanics of Love #1), by Megan Erickson
Publish Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Avon Impulse
e-book, purchased
adult contemporary romance
To Buy:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Cal Payton has gruff and grumbly down to an art...all the better for keeping people away. And it usually works. Until Jenna MacMillan - his biggest mistake - walks into Payton and Sons mechanic shop all grown up, looking like sunshine, and inspiring more than a few dirty thoughts.

Jenna was sure she was long over the boy she'd once loved with reckless abandon, but one look at the steel-eyed Cal Payton has her falling apart all over again. Ten years may have passed, but the pull is stronger than ever... and this Cal is all man.

Cal may have no intention of letting Jenna in, but she's always been his light, and it's getting harder to stay all alone in the dark. When a surprise from the past changes everything, Cal and Jenna must decide if their connection should be left alone or if it's exactly what they need for the future of their dreams.

Second-chance love story + Megan Erickson = HELL YES.

I’m so glad that Megan Erickson went back and wrote the stories of the enigmatic, charming Payton brothers, who were introduced in the second book of her Bowler University series, Make It Right. Cal Payton is the oldest brother, and definitely the most serious. He’s a man of few words – you can tell he’s always thinking about the right course of action before he makes a choice. And his family is the most important thing to him.

Family is something that Jenna wishes she had more of. Oh, she has parents and a brother, but they are all so concerned with appearances and their status in the community that the important parts of family get lost. Jenna has never been that way. She once thought she would have the kind of family she always wanted with her high school boyfriend, Cal Payton. But, then both hers and Cal’s decisions on one night 10 years ago destroyed everything.

Megan Erickson is so good at what she does. From the moment Jenna and Cal were reunited, the tension – both sexual and emotional – was so thick, I could’ve touched it. I didn’t know what had gone down between the two of them, but 5% into the book, I already wanted them to just sit down, talk, hug it out, and go get married and have babies and stuff. It was so obvious that 10 years apart meant nothing – they still loved each other madly. But… pride. And time. And baggage and stupid families. Ugh.

Reading about these two wading through their past hurts and present feelings was painful (in the best way possible). It seemed like they would take one step forward and two steps backward. Eventually, they get to a place where they feel like they can be friends again, but nothing more. OMG – how many times have we heard that before? Silly people.

As usual, there are complications with Jenna and Cal finding their way back to one another. Cal’s relationship (or lack thereof) with his mother is definitely a sore spot in his life. And, when his mother’s current life invades Cal’s, it only stirs things up with her more. But, it introduces a new dynamic to Cal’s and Jenna’s lives that neither of them saw coming. It made things even more challenging for Cal to get around in order to fully be with Jenna. But, luckily, the past 10 years have made a more determined and self-assured Jenna, and this time, I love her fire and determination when it came to winning back her man.

I wasn’t a fan of Jack Payton, Cal’s father, in Make It Right. I actually kind of hated him. But, in Dirty Thoughts, we can see that Jack has made strides since then. He’s still super crabby and incredibly stubborn, but he’s now kinda loveable, which shocked me. I didn’t think that was possible.

And, I adore Cal’s relationship with his brothers Max and Brent. We don’t get to see Cal interact with Max much in this book, but Brent is there a lot. Brent just loves pushing Cal’s buttons, but it’s obvious that he does it because he loves his big brother. Their relationship was my second favorite in this book.

My favorite, of course, being Jenna and Cal. They had a lot of past regrets and guilt to wade through. There were times when I wished I could just smack them both around a little until they saw the whole picture. Gah – I love books like that. And this was one of the best.