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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review and Giveaway: The Story of Us by Tara Sivec


From USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec comes an emotional, breathtakingly romantic new book about the power of first love and the promise of second chances.

How much can a man take before he breaks?

1,843 days. That's how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I'll do anything to get back to her.

Only Shelby Eubanks isn't the girl I left behind all those years ago. She's someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother's ambitions. But I won't give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.

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***** 5 Stars *****

Let me start off by saying... Fuck Tara Sivec and her fucking feelings! If you follow my reviews, you know I am not an emotional reader. I RARELY cry. I RARELY feel all emotional reading books. Of coarse Tara just had to break me with this book!

I really think that the above should be enough said, but I think I should just talk a little more about something. Shouldn't I? Maybe I shouldn't...

I VOW that Eli and Shelby's story is going to rip you apart and sooth you over and over again. The real story of their shared past comes out little by little. And each time, your heart will break a little more for these characters. My emotions were all over this place throughout this story.

I feel like I should just write paragraph after paragraph about this story, but you know I won't. You know I will not give you anything other than the important things you need to know. (If you want more than that, I am sure you can find a million reviews telling you the whole story or a rewrite of the synopsis masked as a review elsewhere.) Really, in case you haven't caught on. THIS STORY WILL BREAK ALL OF YOUR EMOTIONS and you will love and loath every single second of it!

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.

After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted as Best Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards for 2014.

In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she'll do and naps she'll take when she ever gets spare time.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

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*** 3 Stars ***

I was overly excited to get my hands on this book. The synopsis drew me right in. I was expecting a thrilling story full of twists and turns. I thought for sure that this would be one of my favorites of the year...

The blurb does a wonderful job giving you an idea of what the story is about... but that is about it. I honestly had to force myself to finish this book. The delivery and development of this story were lacking.

The characters all seemed like twelve year olds. Nothing they did or said felt true to who they were supposed to be. They were all weak and unlikable.

The format of how this story is told is unique and should have worked for it. I won't lie, I was very disappointed in this story by the time I finished it. I had expected to have my draw dropped at least once, my heart to race at some point... Sadly that just never happened.

Review: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

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**** 3.5 Stars ****

I have read a few of Christina Lauren's books in the past. Some I liked, some where eh for me. This one is somewhere in the middle of like and eh. 

This is one of those books that showed great potential, but then the actual telling of the story hit its mark. There was too much unnecessary, uninteresting things thrown in the story that did nothing for the story other than slow it down. All of the filler about the ins and outs of the industry were totally unnecessary.

The characters in this book were not as well developed as they should have been. They were very immature for their ages. Thus making many of their interactions with one another very juvenile. I just couldn't connect with them at all.

The overall plot kept the story going for me. It may have drug in many parts, but I kept on trucking to the end. I did laugh a few times. I think those times that evoked a true laugh out loud moment are what helped me finish this book.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Review: Lilac and Old Gold by Jeff Siebold

DUPLICITY. MANIPULATION. MURDER.

Zeke’s job is to keep his client alive. Hired to protect a clever counterfeiter who escaped a Mexican cartel, Zeke Traynor begins the job with a ransom exchange that goes bad and a client who disappears. A former counterintelligence agent, Zeke uses all of his skills to find and protect Alberto Cruz from the cartel’s assassin. But when the twisted killer strikes, Zeke realizes that to end the threat he must also neutralize the head of the cartel, Jefe.

Lilac and Old Gold, A Zeke Traynor Mystery is the first novel in a series of mystery thrillers. If you like fast-action and plenty of twists and turns, you’ll love the intelligent and tension-filled Zeke Traynor mysteries.

Experience Lilac and Old Gold for yourself, and enjoy the ride!


**** 4 Stars ****

I am so picky when it comes to thrillers and mysteries. I was scared to read this because I didn't want to not like it. I desperately wanted this book to hook me.... and it DID! I can't wait to dive into the next two books of this series, Bluegrass and Crimson and Ardmore Green!

I admit, at first, I had a hard time following Jeff's writing style. It didn't take me long to get into the groove with his style. This book was a lot more complex than I had anticipated. I found myself rereading a few parts because I felt like I was missing something... Please note that my missing something wasn't because of the writing; it was totally me for not paying enough attention while I was reading.

This story took me on some twists and turns that I did and didn't see coming. I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn't wait to see where the story took me by the time I reached the end.

Mr. Siebold is defenitely an author to keep your eye out for. And he has won me over. For those who like mystery and thrillers, definitely give this book a chance!

Review: Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

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*** 3.5 Stars ***

This was my first Helena Hunting books. Everyone has always been raving about how awesome and funny her books are. I dove in with high hopes...

I am not sure what to say. This was a very slow read for me. I struggled through most of it. I can recognize why people love her books. However, for me, I need more to keep my interest. I only giggled a few times. Maybe my humor button was broken when I read this?

I didn't particularly care for the characters. They didn't catch me in the way I like characters to. I found them lacking, forced.

The plot was unique enough. Like I said before though. It went too slow for me. It just didn't keep my attention. I wouldn't say this is a bad book, but I am definitely not over the moon about it. Will I read others of Helena's books in the future? Most likely. I am not counting her out.

Friday, May 26, 2017

It's A Birthday Celebration and Giveaway with R.L. Griffin

Stella's future was set, and it was a bright one. She was engaged to a man she adored, and was headed to law school in the fall. Tragically, her perfectly planned future ends just as it was beginning.

With no ties to family or friends, Stella finds herself alone in a new city, spiraling out of control. Her typical day comes to a close with her passed out on the floor; sometimes clothed.

Luckily, her new roommate, essentially a stranger, is dead set on getting Stella past her grief and back to functioning within society. Putting one foot in front of the other, she climbs up from the bottom of a bottle. Even with all her progress, Stella walks through life unfeeling, numb. Defiant, she sends out warning signals for the world to keep away. But, is that what she really wants?

With the steadfast help of a few tight knit friends, she gradually begins to feel again. She starts to savor the flavor of food again; lets herself notice how the handsome bartender glances at her. Still, after allowing herself a fling, she wonders if she will ever be able to let go of her shattered past, fully enjoy the present, or get over what she thought would be her perfect future and with the man who destroyed her heart.

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Graphic borrowed from a Goodreads review
***** FIVE STAR REVIEW *****

"She was held together by a thread. Not even a strong fishing wire, but the kind of thread that could fray and break in the wind. A thread that could unravel at any moment, scattering and smashing all the pieces of her that she as trying desperately to keep together."

I am always apprehensive with reading books from new authors, especially when it's their first book. Just like usual, I am blown away by R.L. Griffin! She writes with the right amount of heart and imagination! This book could not be any better!

I experienced so much with this book! Heartbreak. Loss. Longing. Love. Rejection. Heartbreak again. Love. This is truly a story of a woman trying to find her way back in to "living" after losing the one thing she lived for. I found myself forgetting that this was just a book, not something my friend was going through. It's so well written and intriguing. I could not put it down!

Poor Stella. She has lost her fiance. She is in a place where she doesn't know anyone. She has been lucky enough to have her new roommates, who were strangers to her, being her rocks through such a horrible tragedy. She goes through the emotions and grief as anyone would. She denies herself the life she should be living. Just trying to move on and live life is the hardest thing for her. Then, love finds her again. But like anyone else, she denies it. She runs from it. She refuses to give in to it. The love of her life is gone and there is no one else who can fill that void. Will she find that happiness or will she find that her life as she thought it was, was never really as it seemed?

I can't seem to put in to words how wonderful this book is! Just take my word for it.... You will not regret reading this book! 


R.L. lives in the Atlanta area with her husband, son, and two dogs. After going to law school at American University, Washington College of Law, she settled back in the state in which she grew up but only after she fell in love with D.C. She worked in the Senate during the impeachment trial and the Department of Justice.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Release Day and Review: Plus One by Aleatha Romig

 

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A fun, sexy new stand-alone from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

He's sexy and confident, the kind of man every woman notices. You know, the one with the to-die-for body and panty-melting smirk. And then there's the way his designer suits drape over his broad shoulders and big...well, we've all heard the rumors, the ones that say he's up for any challenge.

But I can't see him that way. He's my boss—technically one of the owners of the company where I work—and definitely not in my league. Men like him don't notice women like me, and they don't date them.

And I don't date men like him.

Until that one time that I catch him in a compromising position when I'm also in need of a last-minute date for a wedding...and then it's not real. It's blackmail.

For one weekend, he's my plus-one.

Beautiful and unobtainable.

From the moment she walked into my office with those stunning blue eyes and crazy sensual curves, she's been on my mind. Three years and never once has she acted interested in me. Usually I flash a million-dollar smile and women fall to their knees, some literally.

Not her.

Then on the occasion that I agree to let another woman do that—fall to her knees—guess who happens to catch us?

It may not be the most conventional way to get on her radar, but I didn't get this far in business without knowing when to seize an opportunity. If this sexy little firecracker with perfectly kissable lips thinks she can blackmail me into attending her cousin's wedding, I'm going to jump at the chance to be her plus-one.

You love her darker side. Now it's time to meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha, as she trades her renowned twists and turns for laughs and love with this sexy new stand-alone romance, PLUS ONE.


I'm in an alternate universe and it's every fantasy I never knew I had. What CEO of a billion-dollar company dreams of enjoying a farm in the middle of nowhere? Who imagines waking in a small bedroom, complete with a canopy bed and sunshine streaming through pink curtains, as birds sing? What owner of a 7,000-square-foot penthouse with a to-die-for view of the Empire State Building enjoys the hominess of a hundred-year-old, 3,000-square-foot farmhouse with a wraparound porch, creaky floors, and a view of cornfields? Sitting with a cup of steaming black coffee, I listen as Kimbra and her brother Kevin bicker back and forth while helping their mother in the large eat-in kitchen. The warm spring air is filled with the sizzle of frying as the aroma of coffee, eggs, and bacon reminds me of some of the best diners in New York. Although Kimbra's dad, Oscar, is talking, I can't concentrate on anything but Kimbra—Kimberly Ann. That's what everyone here calls her. "Because of you, I'm out ten bucks." Kevin says, not doing a good job of whispering. "Me?" Kimbra asks. "What did I do?" Kevin tilts his head my way. "You brought a real guy here. I put money on him being made up." Kimbra reaches out and punches his shoulder. He lifts his hands in surrender. "No. Listen. I was sure it was a good bet. When Mom said your boyfriend's name wasn't Timothy, but Duncan, and you didn't want him in the wedding, Susan and I figured he wasn't real. I bet Jimmy ten bucks this fake Duncan guy would be a no-show. Susan and I were sure that before last night, you'd have some reason why at the last minute he couldn't attend. You know, like you’d make up some accident or something." Her brother is about as good at speaking softly as he is at being nice to his sister. "Shut up!" Kimbra whispers back. "Obviously he's real." Kevin's head falls back in laughter. "He's real, all right. Last night I thought your old bed was going to collapse." Kimbra's eyes flash to me. And though I look down at my coffee and pray her dad isn't listening, the gleam in her expression makes my cock twitch with the memories of the night before.

**** 4 Star Review ****
I always seem to enjoy stories with fake fiance's. There is something about them that always seems to keep me entertained. Aside from the fake fiance', there is always a ton of laughs, a little heartbreak and a happy ending. I don't know how anyone couldn't love these stories.

Aside from this book being thoroughly entertaining, Aleatha's writing is superb. It speaks volumes of the talent of a writer when he or she can switch genres and hit a home run. Aleatha didn't just hit a home run with this book, she hit a grand slam. Aleatha's switch from the dark side to a lighter side is a huge success. I wouldn't mind reader a little lighter from her from time to time. Maybe not all of the time; just every once in a while.

aleatharomig1 Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she's not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams! Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha's twisted style with an increase in heat. In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016. 2017 brings Aleatha's first "Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha" with PLUS ONE, a fun, sexy romantic comedy. Aleatha is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.