November 30, 2014

The 12 Days of New Adult Giveaway Hop

What better way to celebrate my favorite genre than to be one of over 50 stops on a new adult giveaway hop?! And what better book to offer up than one of the best new adult books I've read this year?

Want to win a pre-order of Jennifer L. Armentrout's Covenant series spin-off, THE RETURN? It's out in February 2015, so you won't get it for awhile, but I promise you - the wait will be worth it. I read it a few months ago, and... wow. It's full of so much awesomesauce.

I'll order you a paperback copy from The Book Depository, as long as it ships to where you live. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter, and then check out the rest of the stops during The Twelve Days of NA Giveaway Hop, organized by Val from Stuck In Books!

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November 28, 2014

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Shape of My Heart (2B Trilogy #3)

The time has come to say goodbye to our friends in apartment 2B. Ann Aguirre's new adult series closes with THE SHAPE OF MY HEART, and we finally get a peek into Max's life. Read my review and then enter the giveaway at the end. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

The Shape of My Heart (2B Trilogy #3), by Ann Aguirre
Published November 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.

Max has been a tortured soul ever since we met him in the first book. He's one of those guys that is the life of the party and the one all the girls jockey to go home with. On the surface, he appears to love the attention and everything else about his life. But, you've always got the sense that there's more to Max than what he wants others to see. In The Shape of My Heart, we learn about what makes him tick.

Courtney and Max have been friends for awhile, so when there's a death in his family, he asks Courtney if she would road trip with him back home to attend the funeral. Their trip awakens feelings in each other that they didn't know existed. But, after they get home, things get a lot more complicated as their roommates, friends and exes learn about their new relationship. And, while Max has introduced Courtney to his entire family and told her all his deepest and darkest secrets, it's harder for her to open up to someone else. 

My favorite part about this book was learning all about Max. He has a pretty sad story. His mom is dead, his dad is a drunk, and Max is harboring some seriously heartbreaking guilt over an event that occurred when he was just a young teenager. It was something that shaped everything about him. Max has covered all that up with a carefree attitude and by never letting anyone in. 

Interestingly, Courtney is very similar. She's this bisexual goth chick who is kind of rough around the edges and difficult to get close to. She lost someone close to her when she was a teenager, and that event has shaped who she is and the type of relationships she has. Does that story sound familiar? 

When Max and Courtney started to realize they had feelings that stretched beyond friendship, Courtney had a much harder time accepting it. She tried to play it off as just a lust thing, but Max was the real one. For a guy who kept a huge part of himself hidden from others for so long, he became very open and verbal about his feelings for Courtney pretty quickly. Because of what happened in Courtney's past, she has a much harder time coming to terms with these new feelings. But, I will give her props - once she got on board, she stayed there. She was rock solid, which was just what insecure, but passionate Max needed. 

The Shape of My Heart was told from Courtney's POV. I have to be honest with you - I had a really hard time connecting with her. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe because she's so completely different from me. Or, maybe it was because she was not very likable for awhile. I realize she was painted that way on purpose - she held nearly everyone at arm's length. It's a testament to Ann Aguirre's writing prowess that that stretched to me as the reader too. Even being in Courtney's head didn't help. She still felt like a stranger to me, and that disrupted my connection with the story as a whole. 

I loved Max, but I felt so sorry that he thought so little of himself. I get why that is, but it broke my heart again and again when he thought he wasn't good enough for most anything. A lot of the time, it seemed like he didn't have much of a backbone, and that was so frustrating! I wanted him to stand up for himself, take charge of his situations, and show Courtney and everyone else in his life exactly what he wants and not apologize for it. 

And, of course, when Max finally does that toward the end, I just wanted him to roll over and cave. I know, I know... it's like I can't make up my mind. But, just trust me on this one. You need to read it to understand. But, I bet you'll agree with me when you do. 

Without a doubt, the best part of The Shape of My Heart was the epilogue. It takes place six years in the future, and it gives us a glimpse into where our three 2B couples are in their lives now. They're all in different places doing different things, but they're (of course) all happy and successful at whatever it is they're doing. It really brought things full circle, and it was so incredibly satisfying. I hope this is not the last we've seen from Ann Aguirre in the new adult genre. 

About the Author

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.


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November 27, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Come Away With Me (With me in Seattle #1)

Come Away With Me (With Me in Seattle #1), by Kristen Proby
Published November 7, 2012
Publisher: self-published
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Being confronted on the beach by a sexy stranger wasn't part of Natalie Conner's plans for a peaceful morning taking photos. And why on earth would he think she's taking pictures of him, anyway? Who is he? One thing’s for sure, he’s hot, and incredibly romantic, feeding Natalie’s wounded soul.

Luke Williams just wants the world to give him a break, so seeing yet another camera aimed at his face has him ready to pounce on the beauty behind the lens. When he finds out she has no idea who he is, he's intrigued and more than a little tempted by her. Natalie has a body made for sex, a sassy mouth and Luke can’t get enough of her, but he’s not ready to tell her who he really his.

Natalie is a no nonsense girl who doesn’t do well with lies and secrets. What will happen to this new relationship when she discovers what Luke’s hiding?

If you need a super romantic, nearly completely angst- and drama-free read, you should definitely give Come Away With Me a try. I know I'm a little late to the With Me in Seattle party, but better late than never, right?

Natalie is confounded by the man she meets while taking pictures of the beach. He is beautiful, but angry and tries to steal her camera. She doesn't understand why he was so upset about the possibility that she was taking his picture. But, their initial meeting leads to another and then another, and before long, both are completely taken with one another. But, Luke's keeping what he does for a living a secret, and Natalie doesn't like secrets. 

After a few heavy reads in recent weeks, I have to say that Come Away With Me was a refreshing change. There were plenty of opportunities for Kristen Proby to take Natalie's and Luke's story to a dramatic place, but never once did she go there. The author could've introduced interfering paparazzi or a former lover gunning for Luke's affections, and both would've been perfectly reasonable and expected. But, neither happened.  

Natalie is a very private person, so when she finds out that Luke's a world-famous movie star and filthy rich, she's understandably mad and humiliated. That, and a misunderstanding toward the end of the book are the only real difficulties this couple has in the entire book, and both situations are resolved pretty quickly. All the other potential conflicts, like Luke's combative sister and Natalie's sexy client, are handled rationally and with love and support on both sides. Is it bad of me that there came a time when I actually WANTED them to have a real fight? 

Come Away With Me started to drag once Natalie and Luke got together and Luke's profession was revealed. The pronounced lack of drama and Natalie's and Luke's complete contentedness with each other got old pretty quickly. They were almost TOO happy. Every part of each others' body was "perfection," they screwed on every surface of both their houses and in every single car they rode in, and it was always completely mind-blowing. They reveled in their pet names for each other ("baby," "honey," "sweetheart," and the worst - "my love") and were always telling the other how hot, beautiful or sexy they are. 

I don't know. I just got kind of sick of the utter adoration, you know? Every couple has flaws. There's always something about the other that is less than their idea of perfect. The fact that this was not the case with Nat and Luke, frankly, irritated me. 

I got Come Away With Me for free for my Kindle, and then purchased the Audible version for only $1.99. Despite my irritations, it was most definitely money well spent. It's rare to find an audiobook that's this affordable, and for the hours of entertainment it brought me, I'd definitely do it again. The narrator, Jennifer Mack, did a really good job with the different voices. I really enjoyed the performance. 

This was my first Kristen Proby book, and while I definitely had my issues with it, there was a lot to like too. The writing was good, and the chemistry between Nat and Luke was well done. If you couldn't infer it from what I said earlier, there's a lot of hot sex in this book. That was a bit surprising, and frankly, one of my favorite parts. I really liked Natalie's best friend Jules, and was excited to see the next book is hers and Nate's story, which was kind of introduced in Come Away With Me. There was definitely enough to like to compel me to continue on with the series, and I look forward to doing that.

November 26, 2014


If you didn't take the opportunity to read each of the four parts of the Red & Wolfe novella serial from Ella James over the summer, now is your chance. The complete box set is live now, and you can get the entire set for a great price - only $5.99!

I have to tell you, I've read the first three of the four parts, and I promise you, James Wolfe will make you think. Hard. He does and says one thing, and then in the next moment, he does and says something completely different. He's complicated and arrogant and talented and completely sexy. It's no wonder Red was completely captivated by him. I've been meaning to finish up the series, and now I know I really need to!

Red & Wolfe, by Ella James
Publisher: self-published
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(Synopsis) When Sarah "Red" Ryder loses her job as an art critic for a Boston newspaper, she's brokenhearted. Worse than that? She's broke. Her boyfriend recently left her - for a tatted-up hottie with a dick - so she's stuck paying her hefty apartment rent alone. After two months unemployed, there's no money left. With no immediate family to turn to, Red reaches out to her estranged grandmother, a reclusive writer living on an island off the coast of Charleston. Several days later, Red receives $30,000 and an invitation to visit.

James Wolfe is not Red's grandmother. But he beckons her. Red has the ability to give him something he needs. He won't take "no" for an answer, and he doesn't mind screwing her over. He lost his conscience six years ago, when he was tried for the murder of his wife. Since then, life is about him - and the paintings he does under the mysterious pseudonym "W."

Wolfe needs the island to keep painting. To live his life away from prying eyes. To keep up the anonymity of "W."

Once he sees Red, he finds that he needs her, too. And Wolfe will have her. Any way he can.

About the Author

Ella James is a USA Today bestselling romance author. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 25 overall; two were listed among Amazon's Top 100 Bestselling Young Adult Ebooks in 2012. To find out more about Ella's projects and get dates on upcoming releases, you can stalk her on the following social media sites:

Learn more about Ella here --> Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Subscribe to her newsletter HERE


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November 25, 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This is one meme I can get on board with - I LOVE lists! I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Winter is officially from December through March. My list will encapsulate those books that will publish during that time, and I know I will need to read them immediately, but also other books that I've put off and want to catch up on.

1. Inspire by Cora Carmack - I just love this woman. I will read anything she writes. ANYTHING. Luckily, she doesn't make it hard for me. Inspire is a new adult book with roots in Greek mythology. And, the excerpts I've read so far are awesome. This one is a no-brainer. I can't wait!

2. Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout - New adult + faeries (YES! FAERIES!) + Jennifer L. Armentrout = OMGIWANTHISBOOKNOW

3. The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) by Richelle Mead - I think the wait for this one is killing me. I'm anxious to see how Richelle Mead makes Adrian's and Sydney's impossible situation possible.

4. Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson #7) by Darynda Jones - This book has been out for a month already, and I just haven't found the time for it yet. I love the narrator of the audio versions, so I will probably hold out for that. But, I definitely want to get it read before the 8th in the series comes out in the spring.

5. Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan - This book has been on my TBR for quite awhile. It was incredible ratings on Goodreads, and those of my friends who have read it have loved it. I really, REALLY need to see what all the fuss is about, and it's a goal of mine to do that sooner rather than later.

6. Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1) - It's been ages since I've hung out with Yelena, Valek, Ari, Janco and the gang from Maria V. Snyder's Study series. Gosh, I miss them. I was so excited to learn that Fire Study would not be the end of their story.

7. Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill - The next Chicagoland Vampires book is always high on my list. I never get tired of them. Merit and Ethan continue to be two of my most favorite characters ever.

8. Salt & Stone (Fire & Flood #2) by Victoria Scott - I fell completely in love with this series and its characters after reading Fire & Flood. I have a feeling that things are about to get even more difficult for Tella and Guy in Salt & Stone, and I can't wait to see how they handle it together.

9. Bound By Flames (Night Prince #3) by Jeaniene Frost - As if I wasn't already super excited to read the next book in Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress spin-off series, but then last week, she announced on her blog that Bound By Flames will NOT be the last of Vlad and Leila! There will be a fourth book coming, which means that things in the third book are bound to get scary. I. Can't. Wait.

10. Deliverance (Defiance #3) by C.J. Redwine - I own the first two books in this series, and only very recently got around to reading them (in fact, I'm working on the second one right now). I know I'll be anxious to finish up Logan's and Rachel's story, so this one has made my Christmas list for 2014.

November 24, 2014

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Believe (True Believers #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.

Believe (True Believers #3), by Erin McCarthy
Published January 21, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: paperback, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a na├»ve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

I read nearly the entire True Believers series back-to-back because the stories in each book were each so good both by themselves, and as part of a larger story about four college friends who find love in unexpected men. Believe is the third book in the series, and it's plot was alluded to in Sweet, which was the second book in the series.

In Believe, Robin is struggling over the summer as she tries to come to grips with the fact that she slept with her best friend Kylie's long-term boyfriend when she was black-out drunk one night. She meets a kindred spirit in Phoenix, the cousin of Tyler and Riley, who are her other BFFs' boyfriends. Phoenix is going through his own stuff, having just got out of prison, so falling in love was way far down on his to-do list. But, eventually, Kylie comes back to start the new school year, and Robin will have to eventually own up to what happened. 

The best part about Believe is that it's the first book in this series that is written in dual POV. It was such a delightful surprise when I read the first chapter from Phoenix's POV. At first he was a pretty broody and cranky guy (who wouldn't be after just getting out of the clink?), so it was nice to get a glimpse inside his head. 

It was good that the main issue of Robin sleeping with Nathan, her BFF Kylie's boyfriend of over a year, wasn't glossed over or solved easily. This is a huge deal, as any girl can attest to. Normally, I'd automatically hate on the girl who would do that to a friend. But, in this case, I actually felt horrible for Robin. She was black-out drunk when it happened, and as soon as she realized what she had done, she made it clear to Nathan that it was a huge mistake and would never happen again. Even when he stalked her afterward, she never once led him on. And, Robin was so adversely affected by this one event that it set in motion some major changes to her life. 

Phoenix never had been a drinker. So, when Robin swears off all alcohol forever, she finds it easy and comfortable to be with Phoenix. He's never going to pressure her to go have a drink at a bar. And, he's never going to look sideways at her when she goes for a Coke instead of a beer. Plus, they are both artistic and appreciate art and music. They really seemed to be pretty perfect for each other. 

Except, both were harboring secrets. Robin didn't want to tell Phoenix about what happened with Nathan because she didn't want him to think she was a slut or a bad friend, even though she thought those things about herself. Phoenix didn't want Robin to know about his anger management problem that had landed him in prison in the first place. People warned both of them from starting a relationship together, but when things click with someone, you just have to find a way around the difficulties. And, most times, that only makes a couple stronger. 

Of course, as you would expect, there comes a time when both of their situations blow up in their faces. Robin's drunken night with Nathan is discovered by everyone and Phoenix's rage is put on display. It was only after they each handle their situations badly that they realize that the first step to making your life better is to find a partner to help you with the hard stuff. When you try and go it alone is when you fall. 

Believe was another awesome addition to the True Believers series, and after it was over, it was easy to move right on to the last book, Shatter, which is Kylie's story. More on that one soon.   

November 21, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Primal Law (Alpha Pack #1)

Primal Law (Alpha Pack #1), by J.D. Tyler
Published August 2, 2011
Publisher: NAL
Format: audiobook, gifted
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Founded by a group of former Navy SEALS, the Alpha Pack is a top-secret team of wolf shifters with Psy powers tasked with eliminating the most dangerous predators in the world. But the gift of their abilities comes at a price…

After a massacre decimates half his team and leaves him crippled, Jaxon Law must relearn how to fight—and battle the anger and guilt threatening to overwhelm him. But when he rescues a beautiful woman who reawakens his primal instincts, Jax is unprepared for the dangers that lie ahead.

On the run from her employer, brilliant lab assistant Kira Locke has evidence that leads the Alpha Pack on a hunt for someone targeting human civilians with Psy abilities. And as Jax and Kira circle both the killer and each other, Jax will have to decide if the deep connection he feels with Kira is worth breaking the ultimate shifter rule—because bonding with Kira means putting his abilities at risk, and they might be the only tools he has to keep his mate alive…

OMG, it's been way too long since I've read a good, classic-style paranormal romance. I've had the audio version of Primal Law on my iPod for months now, and after I finished the book prior to it, and was scrolling through my choices, this book really stood out. All of a sudden, I absolutely HAD to listen to it. Decision made. 

In Primal Law, we are introduced to the Alpha Pack, a group of shifters that used to be Navy SEALS. Each member of the team has an extra special ability outside of the fact that they can shift into wolves. These abilities come in handy when on missions - or when trying to save a damsel in distress, as Jaxon Law does in Las Vegas one night. He is inexplicably drawn to the woman he saves - Kira. In between trying to get a handle on these new feelings for her, he and his team are compelled to learn more about Kira's former employer and the nasty human experiments they are conducting. 

This book was exactly what I needed. Who doesn't love a good book about a bunch of hunky shifters, right? The Alpha Pack was the best part about Primal Law, hands down. I was thrilled when I thought it was just five or six guys who can change into massive wolves. But, J.D. Tyler surprised me by adding extra powers on top of that. Like, one of the guys can call up fire with his hands. Another can see glimpses of the future. And Jaxon can even rewind time. I loved this unique twist on your run-of-the-mill werewolves. 

Did I mention that the shifters aren't the only supernatural creatures in this world? Oh no. There are lots them in Primal Law, and I love that even the characters in the story don't know all about them or what all is out there in the world. It's like, they are discovering these races along with the reader, so that was pretty cool. We became most familiar with a fae prince, a gremlin and a sorcerer. And, the way that they were all introduced to the storyline was creative and fit in with the rest of the story. 

Kira was the token human in the story. She's ballsy and smart and pretty much fearless. She has a very tender heart too, which causes Jax a lot of stress since she's always putting herself in danger to help someone else. I also liked that Kira questioned everything and didn't accept it at face value just because someone told her to. 

Jax is the extra broody member of the Alpha Pack. He has a lot on his conscience. A mission gone bad weighs on him still, six months after the fact. He feels like it was his fault, and to make matters worse, he still sports an injury that sometimes hampers his ability to walk or run. But, when he meets Kira, everything changes. He fights it - I mean, he's a virile, independent man. He wasn't prepared to be shackled with a mate. But, once he gives in to it, he changes, at least toward Kira. One of my favorite parts of the books about shifters is their uber protective nature when it comes to their mates. It's SO swoon-worthy. Jax was no different. I loved how grumbly he got when other males got too touchy feely with Kira. I loved how he tried to keep her from charging into danger, and how on alert he was when he couldn't convince her to stay home. 

Jax's and Kira's relationship was sweet and sexy. I liked that Primal Law was a dual POV book, too. Jax's perspective on everything that went on between the two of them was interesting and enlightening. He and Kira were great together. 

I really liked the audio version. Kirsten Potter was a new narrator to me, and I thought she did a fantastic job. I'll definitely be checking out her other work. 

Speaking of, things were set up nicely to bring you into the second book in the series. I've already added it to my Audible wishlist. So, the next time I get a hankering for a good shifter book, I'll be ready.  

November 20, 2014

REVIEW: One Night Promised (One Night #1)

One Night Promised (One Night #1), by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published July 17, 2014
Publisher: Forever Romance
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3 STARS

(From Goodreads) Livy notices him the moment he walks into the coffee shop. He's heart-stoppingly stunning, with a blue-eyed gaze so piercing she's almost too distracted to take his order. When he walks out the door, she thinks she'll never see him again. Then she finds the note he left on his napkin . . . signed M.

All he wants is one night to worship her. No feelings, no commitment, nothing but pleasure. Every defense mechanism Livy has adopted during her solitary life is at risk of being obliterated by this confounding man. He's obnoxious but well-mannered. He's a gentleman but aloof. He's passionate but emotionless. Yet the fascination is so powerful, Livy can't deny him... or herself.

M awakens something in Livy, something deep and addictive that she never knew existed -- and that she fears only he can satisfy. But she senses that behind the fast cars, fancy suits, and posh apartment, he's aching inside. To have him, body and soul, she'll have to brave his dark secrets. Delving into his world and breaking down his defenses become her obsession - an obsession that could shatter her heart beyond repair..

Where do I begin? One Night Promised is going to be a hard book for me to review. I had some serious problems with it - so many that I very nearly DNF'd it several times. But, I kept hearing that the last 15% made all the BS worth it, so I wanted to hold on until then. In the end, I was glad I did, because all those other reviewers were right. 

Livy has led a very sheltered life for the past seven years. She lives with her grandmother, has no real ambitions beyond learning to work the cappuccino machine at the coffee shop in which she works, and only hangs out with her mostly gay BFF. And then Miller happens. He walks into the coffee shop, insults her, and then completely turns her world upside down. But, both Livy and Miller have some pretty heavy secrets to work around, and by the time they figure them out, it could wreck them.

My first mistake was entering into this book thinking it would be a repeat of Jodi Ellen Malpas' This Man series, which I loved. I knew that One Night Promised also took place in England, also included an alpha male and also included secrets on his part, just like in the This Man series. Right away, however, I realized that having those preconceived notions gave me one strike before even cracking the spine. 

The differences between the This Man series and the One Night series were apparent right away. The first difference I noticed was in our female MC. Livy was no Ava - not by a mile. Livy was very nearly ridiculous. She has sheltered herself so severely over the past seven years of her life, that even completely benign and innocent altercations with anyone other than those she's familiar with cause her to react in over-the-top and unbelievable ways. For instance, at a waitress job early in the book, when she is handed a $50 tip from a rich guy, she's so opposed and uncomfortable with it, she throws it in the garbage. THROWS A $50 BILL IN THE FREAKING TRASH. Who does that?

Livy lives with her meddling, but sweet, grandmother, and is loathe to leave her. She never knew her dad, and her mom took off years before. Livy went through some wild lifestyle stuff when she was 17, and after coming to her senses, kind of swung to the other end of the spectrum. The other thing about Livy that bothered me a lot was that it seemed like she had very little self-control or self-respect when it came to Miller. He wasn't always nice to her, but because he made her lady bits tingle every time she locked eyes with him, she continued to pant after him. I swear, she lost her mind every time they were in the same room. It was infuriating. I just wanted her to woman up, tell Miller to shove it and make HIM come crawling back to her instead of the other way around. 

Oh yes - Miller. He was no Jesse Ward. Yes, Miller was controlling and alpha and manly. What he was NOT was charismatic and charming, which are absolutely essential characteristics when dealing with a control freak. Without the endearing qualities, the guy just seems like an ass - which was pretty much Miller most of the time. As a character, he was flat and stiff. There was no depth to him. The only thing that drove me onward was his secrets. It was apparent immediately that he had them, and I hate feeling out of the loop, so I was determined to figure them out. He wasn't very forthcoming with them, even after Livy spilled all of her darkest and deepest skeletons. It made me wonder what was so bad that he was so afraid of the full disclosure. 

The reader doesn't find out until around 85% what Miller's big secret is, and it really is a doozy. Honestly, I feel kind of stupid that I didn't see it coming, because after it's revealed, I remembered all the signs earlier that pointed to it. The revelation of the big secret ended up going hand-in-hand with a crazy cliffhanger. The two things put together accomplished what I had previously thought impossible. As soon as I was done, I downloaded the second book in the series, One Night Denied, from NetGalley. I actually started reading it right away. Surprising, I know. But, what can I say? Over the course of this entire book, Livy's and Miller's relationship became way more interesting than the characters did on their own. It was hot and angsty and drama-filled, which are all good bookish things. Stay tuned for more on the second book in this series.   

November 19, 2014

REVIEW: Not Until you (Loving on the Edge #3.5)

Not Until You (Loving on the Edge #3.5), by Roni Loren
Published November 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: paperback, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Cela knows how to be good. She’s had a lifetime of practice. But on the night of her college graduation, she decides she’s earned one wild night before she has to move back home to her overprotective family. So when the hot neighbor she’s been quietly fantasizing about for a year suggests a game of Never Have I Ever, she’s ready. But what starts out as a simple game takes an unexpected turn. Because Ian Foster doesn’t play games he can’t win.

Foster knows his desires aren’t for the faint of heart, especially not for someone as sweet and innocent as his pretty neighbor. But when Cela shows up at his door with an invitation that surprises him, he can’t resist indulging. Cela has no idea what she’s in for. The secret dark side of this man’s need will both intrigue and terrify her. But Cela has a secret of her own—and a new game to see just how far they’re both willing to go, and how much they’re willing to risk by crossing every boundary of desire.

I violated my own MO when it came to Not Until You. I had never read a book by Roni Loren before this one. Yes, I know it's #3.5, and therefore, right in the middle of the series. I don't usually do that. I'm very anal about reading series in order. But, the description of Not Until You, coupled with recommendations from my good friend Hannah, compelled me to break out of my mold and read it now. 

In Not Until you, Cela is on the cusp of starting her new career and moving on with her life past college. She's appalled when she realizes that in the entire time she was in college, and then veterinary school, she hasn't really experienced that life to the fullest, and it irks her. That desire to experience a thrill compels her to knock on her neighbor's door and ask the two completely gorgeous guys that live there if they want to help her celebrate her graduation. That starts a whirlwind romance with Ian Foster, a man Cela knows nothing about, but is willing to learn. 

Foster and Pike were so... compelling. And so different from one another. Foster is broody and stoic and professional. Pike is wild, crazy and fun. They are complete opposites, and it makes me wonder how they became BFFs in the first place (maybe I should read one of the first three books in the series, huh?). Despite the differences in their personalities, they complement each other well. They seemed to know just what the other was thinking, when to back off and when to help. 

That came in handy when Cela entered the picture. The intention was for a single night of super hot fun. And the three of them absolutely had that. Until Foster asks Pike for the rest of the night alone with her, and Foster discovers a secret about Cela that makes her even more intriguing to him. Suddenly, Foster can't stay away from her, no matter what he thinks he SHOULD do. 

Cela's sort of in the same headspace. She wanted one night with her hot neighbors, but that one night caused her to develop feelings for Foster that she didn't expect. She found out things about him and he found out things about her that connected them to each other, despite their desire to follow their lives trajectories in the opposite directions. Cela is to join her overbearing father in his veterinary practice in a town a few hours away. Foster is to continue his job as a part owner of a kinky sex club. 

But, Cela and Foster find their solace in each other, very unexpectedly. It completely unsettles them - especially Foster. They both find themselves doing things completely out of character. Foster is softer and more romantic, despite his slightly deviant side. Cela is wild, kinky and unpredictable, despite having been raised to be the stable and responsible one. I loved watching both of them test their new boundaries with each other and learn the relationship ropes together. They screw up, they make up, and then they screw up again. It's sweet and awesome. 

I loved how Cela and Foster's bedrooms were on the opposite sides of one wall. How they could hear each other in their rooms and know whether they were walking around, sleeping or doing other things with other people (before they got together, of course). It lent this tender and personal facet to their story that I thought was pretty important. 

My first foray into Roni Loren's work proved to be super crazy hot and so entertaining. I think now is a good time to go back and catch up on the rest of the books in this awesome series. I did spoil myself on a few of the couples featured in Not Until You, but it's all good. For some reason, I don't really mind. 

November 18, 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This is one meme I can get on board with - I LOVE lists! I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

1. The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), by JR Ward - After the crazy life of the BDB turned back to Wrath and Beth in book #12, the spotlight also shined a bit brighter on Trez and iAm - The Shadows. Their story, along with several others in the BDB world, is shaping up to be one of the best yet.

2. Bound By Flames (Night Prince #3), by Jeaniene Frost - This will bring a close to Vlad and Leila's story, and although I'll be so, SO sad to say goodbye, the finale is sure to be amazing. I can't tell you how much I love Vlad. Next to Bones and Cat, he's my most favoritest of all of Ms. Frost's characters.

3. The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6), by Richelle Mead - This is another series ender, and possibly the end of an era (although, I'm pulling for Richelle Mead to make another spin-off about Jill). No more Vampire Academy world books - *gasp*! That's so sad, especially since the Bloodlines series has shaped up to be even better than the original.

4. Salt & Stone (Fire & Flood #2), by Victoria Scott - Fire & Flood was one of my favorite YA reads in 2014. It was fresh, original, and created a new swoony book boyfriend in Guy. I can't wait to see what perils and challenges await Tella and Guy as they brave the ocean and mountains together with their pandoras.

5. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), by Marissa Meyer - Is it bad of me to say that I don't really care too much about Queen Levana's back story? I really just want to get to the super good stuff and find out what happens to Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and their men. Unfortunately, I have to wait a WHOLE YEAR yet to find out. 

6. End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days #3), by Susan Ee - OMG, it feels like I've been waiting FOREVER for the last Penryn book to come out. And, we still have another six whole months to go (I see a re-read in my future)! But, I'm still super excited for the last book in this series to come out and see what happens to Penryn, her creepy sister, and most of all, Raffe.

7. The Forgotten Crown (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten), by Julie Kagawa - Like its name, I feel like this series has been forgotten, in favor of Julie's new (albeit super awesomesauce) new series, Talon. But, hey! Remember The Iron Traitor? And how it ended on a crazy cliffhanger? Like, THIRTEEN MONTHS AGO?

8. Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11), by Chloe Neill - I will never get tired of the Chicagoland Vampire books. Hell - things are just getting really interesting for all the vampires in this world, and especially for Merit and Ethan. The eleventh book brings back Morgan Greer, whom we haven't heard from in quite awhile. that might make this one the best book yet.

9. All Played Out (Rusk University #3), by Cora Carmack - Since I've been on Cora's Rusk University street team since the beginning, I feel like the characters in this series are extra special to me. I know I'm going to laugh - a lot - while reading the next book in the series. It follows Mateo Torres, wide receiver, and all around funny guy. And, I also feel like I need to check in on my girl Stella and see how she's doing.

10. Captivated By You (Crossfire #4), by Sylvia Day - Truthfully, the wait is essentially over for this one, as it releases today. I only have to wait for the UPS truck to back up to my front door and drop this hot number on my doorstep. But, I've been waiting for more than a year for this one, so I'm super excited to see what's in store now for Gideon and Eva.


November 17, 2014


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.

Caged In Winter, by Brighton Walsh
Published November 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: e-arc, provided by NetGalley
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouthwatering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby hands, he’s shocked at her response…...

Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.

But now, every time she turns around, Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want….

New-to-me author Brighton Walsh blew me away with Caged In Winter. It was intense and sexy and sweet, albeit a bit frustrating at times. Frustrating is good in books, though. It's okay if you want to throw your Kindle across the room or if people in public places look at you funny as you yell at your paperback. It means the book is getting to you and you're invested in the characters and the story. I definitely got into Caged in Winter.

Cade is a hero. He has sacrificed his dreams for his sister and niece. He studies hard to become a sous chef. And, he doesn't like to see men treat women with disrespect. Which is why he steps in to save a pretty waitress from a handsy customer. As it turns out, that's exactly what she didn't want, and has no trouble telling him so. Her attitude and her looks confound him, and Cade finds he can't shake the girl from his mind. 

I've got to be honest with you. Winter was REALLY hard to like. For a long time. She and Cade were just so dichotomous, I think it made her seem ever harsher than what she may have been if Cade had even one cranky bone in his body. As it was, Cade was completely wonderful, so when Winter threw him the cold shoulder again and again and again, it just made her seem like a bitch. 

On one hand, I get it. Winter had no one. She had been left down again and again by people. And, she was so close to graduation, she didn't feel like she needed the complication of a man at this point in her life. Her mantra was, keep your head down, plow through the last semester of school, and figure everything else out on the other side. 

For Cade, Winter was another person he could save. I'm not sure how Cade kept pressing on in the face of such blatant disinterest on Winter's part, but he did. She shot him down over and over again, and he kept coming back for more. Of course, he eventually wore her down with his delicious cooking and his sensitive, caring nature, but it was a very hard-won fight. 

And, it was because Cade was so wonderful that I had such a hard time liking Winter. I wanted her to give in to him so much sooner than when she did. I didn't want her to get so angry with him for just being a nice guy. She was so nasty and horrible to him when he didn't do anything wrong. Winter made me absolutely crazy. 

Once she gave in to the inevitable, however, I really settled in. It was fun to read about Cade breaking down Winter's walls. It was also nice and realistic to read about how, when the two of them finally became a couple, other areas in their lives suffered - like school. It was very realistic. When you're so wrapped up in another person, other things in your life don't command as much attention. Both Winter and Cade were in their final semester of school, and their studies suffered when they started spending their studying time getting busy with each other instead. 

Inevitably, as it usually happens, circumstances pull Cade and Winter apart. I loved how, in the end, Winter was the one to chase Cade - finally. It seemed like things had come full circle for them, and it made the end that much sweeter. 

Caged In Winter was told in dual POV. It was crazy hot and sexy and satisfied my never ending thirst for emotional, romantic and lady-bit tingly new adult reads. It was fantastic, and I can't wait for the next book by Brighton Walsh that will take place in this world.

November 14, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Unexpectedly Yours (Beachwood Bay #6)

Melody Grace is one of my favorite one-click authors. I will seriously read ANYTHING she writes. Her Beachwood Bay series is one of my favorite new adult series, and the great news is, it's continuing next month with the next addition to her Beachwood Bay spinoff - The Callahans. Ready to see the cover of UNEXPECTEDLY YOURS?

Unexpectedly Yours (Beachwood Bay #6), by Melody Grace
To Be Published December, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: iBooks

(From Goodreads) Sophie Young has been dreaming about the perfect Christmas in New York ever since she was a kid. But when her boyfriend bails on their romantic trip for two, she finds herself stranded in the city on Christmas Eve, with only a holiday-hating smooth-talking, utterly sexy stranger for company…
Rock-star Austin Kelly is fed up with Christmas – he’s more interested in who’s going to be cozying up under the mistletoe. But when his little black book comes up empty, he finds himself on a whirlwind tour of the city with the most unlikely partner in festive fun…
The snow is falling, but things are definitely heating up inside. And by the time the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve, there will be plenty to celebrate with old friends and familiar faces back in Beachwood Bay.

A heart-warming, sexy new stand-alone holiday novella from New York Times bestselling author Melody Grace!

Not familiar yet with Melody's Beachwood Bay series? As luck would have it, you can be introduced to how it all started  - with Emerson and Juliet - for free. The very first novella in the series, UNTOUCHED, is free on Amazon!

Untouched (Beachwood Bay #0.5), by Melody Grace
To Buy: iBooks * Amazon

(From Goodreads) Emerson Ray is trouble. Juliet knows it the minute she lays eyes on Beachwood Bay's resident bad boy. Forced to spend her summer before college in the sleepy beach town, she never expected to crash into the most devastating guy she’s ever met—or for Emerson’s blue eyes to strip through her dark secrets, and make her feel a desire she’s never known. Their connection is undeniable, but Juliet is torn. She knows, once she gives him everything, there’ll be no turning back.

Juliet McKenzie is dangerous. Emerson can tell from the way she blows through all his defences, laying bare the demons he’s carried alone all his life. He’s left a trail of broken hearts and empty beds in his wake, but Juliet is different. Her innocence is intoxicating—and the passion she keeps hidden, just below the surface. He wants to be the only one to set it free, but with every kiss, he’s closer to losing control and doing the one thing he swore he never would: fall in love.

One summer. Two damaged hearts. Their story is only just beginning…

About the Author

Melody Grace is the New York Times bestselling author of the Beachwood Bay series. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach lover, after spending her life with her nose in a book, she decided it was time she wrote one herself. She loves steamy romance novels, happily-ever-afters, and lusting after fictional menfolk. She is author of USA Today & international bestselling Beachwood Bay series.

November 13, 2014

REVIEW: Romancing the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #5)

Romancing the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #5), by Jessica Clare
Published November 4, 2014
Publisher: Intermix
Format: e-book, provided by NetGalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt's daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she’s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart.

Violet is Jonathan’s weakness—he’s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet’s memories have a sharper edge. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan’s attentions turn seductive, she’s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can’t help but wonder... does he really want her, or just what she's hiding?

I've fallen completely in love with Jessica Clare's Billionaire Boys Club series. I've been very curious about Jonathan Lyons. He's been a relatively quiet member of the secret society thus far, which of course means that his story was sure to be one of the most interesting. 

Jonathan Lyons has been in love with Violet DeWitt for ten years. The death of his mentor and her father cause them to come together once more to fulfill her father's dying wish. Although their pairing is volatile at first, it doesn't take them long to rediscover why they fell in love in the past. 

There were several things about Romancing the Billionaire that make this book different from the others in this series. The first thing is that Jonathan is already in love when we first see him. He knew Violet when he was a teen, and she dumped him without an obvious reason. He never got over it and he never found someone else. So, the book starts with him already having this connection to this woman that is obviously strong and lasting. 

Violet is also still as much in love with Jonathan as he is with her. But, her love is accompanied by a world of hurt and anger that takes awhile for her to get past. There are legitimate reasons why she's so upset, and most of them have to do with her manipulative deceased father. When those reasons come out, it completely changes the game for Jonathan and Violet, and all of a sudden, the focus isn't as much on their past, but more on their mission to complete for her father. 

Romancing the Billionaire is one part romance novel one part Indiana Jones movie. It actually reminded me more of National Treasure - Jonathan and Violet are given a clue to decipher, which leads to another clue, and another and so forth. Their clues take them around the world, and uses their past experiences and their shared love of history and archaeology to bring them together as a formidable team. They worked well together, both in the field and in the bedroom. 

Holy smokes - when these two decided to get over their past hurts and get down to the business of loving each other again, they were amazing. Jonathan is incredibly sweet and sensitive, even though he does seem to put his foot in his mouth a lot. Violet is tough and strong, but all that seems to fly out the window when in Jonathan's presence. Their shared moments alone were tender and bittersweet and hot and sexy. It was incredibly satisfying. 

Because Jonathan and Violet spent most of their time on the road, we didn't see much from the other boys in the club. We saw Cade the most often, as he and Jonathan are the closest of friends among the group. Cade helps Violet out in several key places in the book - it was fun seeing him in the fun and playful role for a change. 

If you haven't started this series yet, I highly recommend it. Each book is a light and quick read - perfect for a day of escapism. I loved it.