Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for The Darkest Sunrise DUET by Aly Martinez



THE DARKEST SUNRISE:

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.

“You’re pregnant.”
“It’s a boy.”
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Lies.
Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.

Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.

“He’s gone.”
For ten years, the darkness consumed me.

In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”


THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET:

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Lies.
Words destroyed me.

“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”
“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”
“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

More lies.

Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.

Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.
“He’s gone.”

In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”


REVIEW: 5 GUT-WRENCHING STARS
"He'd made the darkness a beautiful place filled with understanding and acceptance."

I am saying this now: this duet has got to be one of the most emotional reads I have read this year, if not ever. Not only do we get Aly's signature humor, but we get real drama, with consequences that are entrenched deep in this book. The reality of the pain, the scariness of the possibilities, and the depth of the emotions I felt for these characters....my gosh. I didn't want to put these books down!! Even though I read them both throughout the week leading up to Christmas, I had to step away repeatedly. It was awful putting these down, because not only did the 'problems' play on in my mind long after I stopped reading, but each time I got to squeeze in some of their story, I just had more time to think about it in between. Having read this slowly, having marinated in the drama, slowly rotating the what-ifs and the possibilities around in my mind, this duet took over my life for a week! I was so engrossed in Porter and Charlotte, I was daydreaming a lot just thinking about them. <sigh> So good!

"Happiness was a state of mind, not something you had to hold on to for fear you'd never get it back." 

I wrote this on my Facebook page:
As a mommy, my mommy heart is broken.
As a woman, my logical heart is broken.
As a reader, my emotional heart is broken.

Because it's TRUE!!! It's SO true!!! I was so heartbroken over everything that was happening, and I was completely enraptured from the first page of the first book until the last page of the last book. This duet picked on my fear as a mommy on so many different levels, but it also made me SEE the other side. The reality of the situation was nothing short of soul scraping; I was hurting so much. I purposely don't read books that have kids in pain in them. I can't allow myself to accept and deal with it fictionally because I never want to put myself in the parents' shoes, EVER. This book was going to test my comfort levels on all fronts: Love, Pain, Death, Loss. And boy did it ever. My heart ached the entire time I read it. It was beautiful....

In this book, words had a different effect. Words had a profound meaning. Words had an emotional punch. Anytime I read Aly's words, they trip me up. I always stutter-step when I read them, and not because I can't understand them....it's because of the force of her words give me pause. She breathes life into her words. She makes me think. She makes me question. She makes me feel. I 'heard' the rasp in his voice. I 'felt' the searing pain from her tears. Aly doesn't just tell a story....she makes me feel the story. Every. Single. Time. It tells me something when I've 'just' opened a book, but when I look down, I'm already at 24%. Her words, they move me. 

By 35%, I was gasping and giggling. I loved the way she brought Porter and Charlotte to life. If there were ever a book, a set of characters that were so right for each other, this one would definitely be at the top of that list. I loved Porter's strength in the way he handled things in the dark and brought them to the manageable light. I loved Charlotte's trust in his strength for her, but I loved seeing her grow and show her resilience in the face of all that life threw at her. Porter and Charlotte were definitely an amazing team when it came to lovers in life and dreamers in love. With all that these two went through; the heart-wrenching pain, the torture and the heartache, you most definitely got to feel their happiness as well. I felt all their pain, but I felt all their joy and love as well. I loved this couple SO much!! 

One thing Aly does with finesse is to not only match the perfect emotions with the storyline, but she can match the humor and the love that is necessary to make the book that much more real. The humor was tongue in cheek; Porter and Charlotte had this defense mechanism they used so well, but it just worked. It really worked. Nothing was over the top. The drama was intense and authentic, the love was strong and fathomable, and the reality was vital and true. Aly drew you into their plight while playing with your heart, only to push you away and hurt you with their sorrowful truths. The basis of this storyline will hit you in your core and it will drag you through the depths of your emotional lows to get to your unimaginable highs. This was an amazing duet, and Aly's words were phenomenal. Amazing. Just.....amazing.

"Our situations were different, but the same shade of black painted both of our souls."
~BEE
PURCHASE LINKS

THE DARKEST SUNRISE

THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET




~MEET ALY MARTINEZ~
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five- including a set of twins. Currently living in Chicago, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

~CONNECT WITH ALY~

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Sinful Empire by Meghan March



SINFUL EMPIRE
by MEGHAN MARCH

The Mount Trilogy concludes with Sinful Empire!
What’s mine, I keep, and that includes Keira Kilgore.

It’s no longer enough to have her in my debt. No longer enough to own her body.

I want something more.

She can try to resist, but I’ll never give her up.

Nothing will keep us apart.

Not her. Not my enemies. No one.

Her debt will only be paid one way—with her heart.

Sinful Empire is the third and final book in the Mount Trilogy.



REVIEW: 4 STARS
"Lachlan Mount isn't just ruthless - he's a study in perseverance."

Finally, the conclusion!! I needed this, and I am sooo glad I got it. The wait was hell. Pure hell. But that should say something, because not many authors can hold my attention through three books, and Meghan March was able to do just that with this series. I was easily caught up in this world of wicked that Meghan weaved and I loved that I could get lost and watch as everything unfolded. Like I said in my first two reviews, it was nice to be able to get swept up into this dark underworld of tunnels and lies, of danger and lust, only to be hit with a cold reality of an ill-fated love that was bound and determined to win. I loved seeing this variance in the storyline where there was a great deal of push and pull in all aspects of the storyline. Some outlined and detailed, some implied, but well-read nonetheless.

Behind this feistiness that we know Keira possesses, she has a very level head and a mind for business. She is quite meticulous in that aspect, and I did enjoy seeing her suss things out and get answers she needed before flying off the handle. This push and pull between these two characters was not necessarily because of the words between these two characters, but the definition of who they were to each other and how they morphed into what they were. Such a drastic difference from how they started out.

I love a he said/she said POV change in a book, and being able to read Mount's POV just gave me a deeper understanding to his reasonings for all things he did. He was a complex character that I enjoyed very much, with a good balance between sweet and control. There were some mitigating circumstances that gave me a gasp and some aha moments, but I love how they played into the storyline. There are some twists and turns that I honestly didn't see coming, and it really was neat to discover them as I read. The proliferation of this storyline, how these two grew so much in their relationship, was very intriguing. I liked seeing that take flight.

"Don't make this out to be a goddamned fairy tale, Keira. That's sure as hell not what it is."

There were some WTF revelations, but it made me push on to find out how it all worked together! I wanted to roll my eyes at some of the drama, I'll be honest - but as I read it, my trust in March's ability to NOT make me roll them based on the type of drama we had, much respect. She earned some more of my trust with my book-drama-hating heart. Even though I had a little bit of trouble with said drama and reconciling it within my mind, I can see how it could and would possibly happen. The truth and responsibility of Lachlan's heart and how he felt responsible for those around him helped me come to terms with it and how it was 'missed'.

"That's who I am, Keira. Harsh. Brutal. Without remorse."

This truly was a story about a man who wasn't going to give up his quest to obtain what he felt was rightfully his. But, it was equally showcasing a woman that was coming into her own realizations and taking her life into her own hands while running her empire. We already knew that Keira was a spitfire of a woman, and that is part of what Lachlan loved about her, so I liked seeing this power struggle with her mind and her heart throughout the first two books. But this final book allowed us to see less of a struggle of power and more of an acceptance of reality when it came to their hearts. Almost akin to some sort of exchange of power in some aspects, and an agreement in others.

Did this series need to be split into three books? Probably not, in my humble opinion. But knowing that I'm struggling with that question tells me I questioned it more than a few times. There was a lot going on, enough to obviously and easily fill three books, but I feel there were enough revelations in this third and final book to warrant it. Although some parts may have felt a tad slow or wordy, it was nothing to deter me from continuing to read. Not by any means. As far as this being the conclusion, I can say definitively this series was well worth the read.

All in all, this final book did hold me captive like the first two before it had. In this one, we saw a sort of 'softening' of Lachlan. I'm a teensy-weensy bit let down at how soft he went, but I couldn't help but fall in love with how deep his fight became to have Keira become his. No, I am not a fan of a softer man, because I'm like 'em in charge, but I'll admit that seeing some sort of reconciliation with the fact that Lachlan Mount does indeed have a heart was a really neat thing to read. This book finished really strong and I enjoyed this series, so I can easily recommend it.

The nerd in me loved the chess references in this one and they fit sooo well.

"When the prize is right, no amount of effort is too much."
~BEE


PURCHASE RUTHLESS KING: http://amzn.to/2hE6vb0
My spoiler free review of Ruthless King: http://bit.ly/2gUUmi0

PURCHASE DEFIANT QUEEN: http://amzn.to/2hO4hcW
My spoiler free review of Defiant Queen: http://bit.ly/2z6bIQd

PURCHASE SINFUL EMPIRE: http://amzn.to/2jEKo8J


~MEET MEGHAN MARCH~
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She's also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she's ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

~CONNECT WITH MEGHAN~

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Behind the Bars by Brittainy Cherry


BEHIND THE BARS
by BRITTAINY CHERRY

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.

Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.

Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.

Caged.

Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, I became her darkest storm.


REVIEW: 2 DRAMATIC STARS
"Music isn't everything."

There is nothing more mentally and emotionally challenging to me as a blogger than to completely disagree with the majority of reviewers out there. But, thankfully, this is an opinion based blog that I get to discuss what I love about books and what doesn't work for me. Normally, this book would have been a DNF based on how I was feeling as early on as I was feeling it, and I wouldn't have reviewed it on the blog, but since I talked it up so much on my Facebook page and provided preorder links for it, I felt that it deserved an appropriate review. While my review is NOT of a popular opinion, as many others that have read it loved it, this is my merely own opinion. This will NOT be disrespectful, and I have really enjoyed a few of the books I have read already by Brittainy Cherry, so I'm not trolling or being rude by giving my opinion. Like I said, it deeply saddens me that I just did not like this book at all.

If intense massive drama is your deal, this book will work for you. There is PLENTY of it in here.
If drama for drama's sake is ok in your book, then this book is definitely for you. It lost me somewhere along the way, but more specifically from 20% on. 

This book had such an amazing premise behind it and the potential was high, but the insane amount of drama and the unbelievable use of many clichés that surrounded the characters' actions, the overall storyline, and their words took away from my being able to enjoy it. The first 20%, I was really enjoying the buildup and the introduction to these characters; the whole 'getting to know you' stage read really very well.....and then, well, BAM. It went downhill dramatically. It was literally one blow on top of another. There was no break in said drama, providing plenty of eye roll worthy moments. But not just actions, things said to each other were just grossly used in a manner that was not endearing at all. My jaw hung many times. I will admit, in between all the crazy drama, there were some swoon-worthy moments, but alas they were severely overshadowed by the ridiculousness that it was just too hard to even recognize or enjoy them.

I lost the connection to the characters and the story at 20% but powered on, figuring it must have been a 'me' thing. By 80%, I was flipping tables (in my imagination) and throwing my iPad (on my soft couch) because the ridiculousness knew no bounds. By the time I got to the end, I was throwing papers up (figuratively) while rolling my eyes. I was honestly so tempted to DNF this one, and I felt that I had no reason to see this through. The amount of head shakes, eye rolls, and WTFs leaving my mouth were just insane. I wrote down all the issues I had, but I won't blast them in my review because it will most definitely take away from the 'element of surprise' or the possible discovery of the story if you do read it.....but I can tell you, for me it wasn't genuine at all. It was really rough and I don't even know how to break it all down without spoiling anything. Between the wishy-washy and horrid characters, the hypocrisy in their words, and the fact that I didn't feel any emotional connection towards the story, it made for a rough read.

I will stand behind my word and will give away a copy of this book since I did a review for it. I personally cannot recommend it, but I know many have loved it and raved about it and I don't want to stand in the way of someone else loving it as well. I am all about the book love, but sadly this one just did not work for me. If you would like to enter for your chance to win an ecopy of this book, please enter on the FB post below.

"Music is the only thing."







~MEET BRITTAINY CHERRY~
Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing--poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she's not running a million errands and crafting stories, she's probably playing with her adorable pets.

~CONNECT WITH BRITTAINY~

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Shear Heaven by Katy Regnery



From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes an all-new twist on a beloved fairytale!

In this "Rapunzel" retelling, Bella Capelli, a hair stylist who works on the 32nd floor of the New York Metro Tower Hotel, meets His Serene Highness Prince Nico De'Medici, in town for the wedding of his twin sister, Valentina. Though the two come from vastly different worlds, and Nico is promised to another, the handsome prince can't seem to stay away from sweet Bella. After a whirlwind week of romance, will they manage to find their happily-ever-after?

SHEAR HEAVEN is a 30,000 word standalone novella based on "Rapunzel." Intended for readers 18+ due to scenes of graphic intimacy.



REVIEW: 4.5 Stars
"Let's not ask for eternity when we have now."

I am at the point that whenever I see Katy has a new fairytale out, I clear my calendar. I have to. Next to her It's You series, this is my FAVORITE series from her and I LOVE every.single.one of the retellings she has done so far. I cannot explain the ease in which she tells a story. The love in which she describes a feeling. The perception in which she makes you fall in love. I love Katy's fairytales. Love. Them. I never roll my eyes at the innocence or the situations, but I read with wonder in my heart. There is such a purity behind her words, a depth mixed with reality, that I don't often encounter and I love it. She just transports me to another world full of innocence, happiness, and love.

This one? It's beautiful, it's simply....magical. I know 'magical' sounds cliché but it's true in this case!! This story was Rapunzel's story, and it was a young at heart, perfectly described version of LOVE, all while maintaining the backstory originally laid out, but completely modernized. Katy is one of those rare authors that can articulate so well in her writing. I think one of my favorite things about her writing is that she is so descriptive in such a way that I can't help but 'watch' it play out. She just makes you remember the giddiness of falling in love. The reason for true love. It's all right here....in her words. Seriously, she breaks it down just like that. I love that she manages to add some heat and swooniness to a fairytale, but it's fitting and so real. There is actual depth to her stories and I love that she can do all that with a fairytale. I promise you will smile!! 

My thoughts: Nico is trying to come to terms with duty vs reality, want vs need, and love vs station, and when Bella catches his eye, it's a beautiful love to witness blooming. Bella struck a chord with him. She made him see colors in a dull world. She brought to life his very breath he needed to exist and I felt so caught up in their whirlwind romance that I was smiling the entire time I read it. I loved the urgency in their feelings, the stolen moments, the secret dates. The need to be around each other and just feel content. It was so sigh-worthy.

"Falling for someone isn't safe. It's...exhilarating and wonderful. And yes, I'd rather have it than not. But you must allow me these moments of sadness. Of knowing that what I have now is so perfect yet so finite."

If you haven't read any of her fairytales, you are truly missing out. If you liked fairytales when you were younger,  you will most definitely like these ones as an adult. Katy adds reality and heat to her stories, while still maintaining the purity of the fairytale atmosphere; something that just makes me smile. I literally wanted to queue the birds, the fluttery hearts, and dance in twirls with my hands placed upon my heart. And all the Italian in this book? I giggle thinking about it, but I read every word with an accent. HAHAHA! I loved this one!! 

While this is a novella, it clearly redefined the term because Katy told a complete story chock full of emotion and wonder. I never felt it was too short (well, I could have kept reading their story!), and I never felt the length took away from the depth of the story. 

All in all, Katy's words feel beautiful and her stories feel otherworldly....as in a fantastical fairytale world. Innocence abounds, love is pure, and the heart is vulnerable. I don't like a lot of innocence in my books, but I love Katy's magical fairytales. I love how she transports me and makes me remember the magic of the truth in love. 

"He tasted those lips, and it had only whetted his appetite further."
~BEE


PURCHASE




~ABOUT KATY REGNERY~
Katy Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy. 

Now exclusively self-published, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled Blueberry Lane Series which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story and Ambler families of Philadelphia, the four-book, bestselling a modern fairytale series, the standalone novel, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and a standalone novella, Frosted. 

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015, and four of her books: The Vixen and the Vet (a modern fairytale), Never Let You Go (a modern fairytale), Falling for Fitz(The English Brothers #2) and By Proxy (Heart of Montana #1) have been #1 genre bestsellers on Amazon. 

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

~CONNECT WITH KATY~

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Book Review for Undeniably You by Jewel E Ann

UNDENIABLY YOU
by JEWEL E ANN

One crazy dog—one awkward vet—one naked pool guy—and one life-changing month in California to make friends, fall in love, and twist fate.

Who gets paid to walk a dog and recline by the pool all day? Sydney Montgomery, aspiring museum curator and professional house-sitter, that’s who.

When her aunt and uncle need a house and dog sitter for thirty days in Palo Alto, Sydney can’t turn down the chance to be closer to her sister in L.A. Within twenty-four hours of her arrival, Sydney’s cleaning up runny dog poo, taking an uncooperative pooch to a handsome yet awkward vet, and being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a naked “pool guy.”

Lautner, “pool guy,” has a hot body and a cool persona. With eyes of iridescent blue oceans, he is mesmerizing, sexy, and addictive. What he is not—the pool guy.

Dr. Lautner Sullivan is a college wide receiver turned pediatric resident. He knows how to woo a woman with flowers, pastries, and sweet tea. Lautner is every girl’s dream, but Sydney is not every girl. She’s immune to rainbows, fairytales, pixy dust, and the “L” word.

The attraction is immediate, the friendship is earned, and the love is undeniable. Thirty days is their forever, but forever is not long enough.



REVIEW: 4 Gut Twisting STARS

The power of What If. The validity of FATE
This book had it in spades. 

This review feels very ADHD to me because I had SO many thoughts and so many comments on my kindle, and I just threw them in here. I am going to try to make some sense of my jumbled thoughts because I loved this book. I loved the journey; oh man, did I ever love it!! I loved the characters, flaws and all. And let me tell you, the heroine in this book was flawed in her thinking and in her personal mentality. That's always hard to read, but for once, I was able to connect with her because of her insecurities and flaws and I hope that YOU will be able to as well. There is just something about Jewel E Ann.....her words evoke emotions, her stories move you and your thoughts, and her characters are so worthy of your time. The depth in which she tells a story does not go unnoticed by me at all. She is easily becoming one of my favorites....a 'dessert' of sorts. You know how you save the best for last so you can savor it? I am savoring my reads that I have left of hers, but I am equally excited to jump into her back catalog.

Let us discuss this book, but let me tell you about the chemistry first. It was INsane. Absolutely insane. Like, top notch, grab your honey, INSANE. And hot? Yes, very hot. But you know what I giggled at?? It was all by chance/fate/happenstance! I am a firm believer in fate, and this entire story was based off chance/fate/happenstance and so it made my little heart swoon. Whatever you want to call it, just listen to it, and when divine intervention stands in front of you and pushes you somewhere.....just listen. fall. go with the flow. After reading this story, I couldn't sigh enough. I loved it. I really did.

Sydney, I feel, had a very good head on her shoulders. She made wise decisions. She had goals she was going to attain. She had direction in her life and didn't let anyone or anything stand in her way. In other words, she was stubborn beyond belief, hard-headed, and quite driven. Unfortunately, with these.....ahem, attributes, she sort of got hung up on some 'issues'.  From the outside looking in, we can easily get mad at her decisions. We can pass judgement and we can turn up our noses. It's easy. But her insecurities and flaws are what made me be able to connect with her better. Seriously, if I thought about it....she was able to mentally rationalize it all in her own little warped mind as to why she was doing/not doing something and so I was along for the ride. I needed to see this one through because the powers that be had other things in store for her.

Lautner, ooohmygosh. I am pretty sure I have a new book boyfriend to be listed in my favorites. I sought out his every thought, his every word, his every action and reaction to anything Sydney said and did. Painful, or not, their emotions were real. He knew. He knew and he fought and he tried and he went through hell and back. The trials and tribulations he went through in this book broke my little tiny heart. (I hear it's two sizes too small) I love when a man is a man, but knows how to fight for his woman, but he's also flawed. He also has his breakdowns and needs to own up and fix them. I mean it when I say these characters had depth and vulnerability down.

I am completely smitten with her wordsmithing. I love the way she weaves a story together and takes me on a journey; one that I am not going to forget anytime soon.

This book was very memorable. It left me raw and heartbroken at 61% and I wasn't too sure I was going to be able to continue on, but that seems to be a theme with Miss Jewel, because she has done this to me a number of times now. And maybe, that being her MO, is what is constantly pulling me back. I know that she can jack me up, but then put me back together again, fully and wholly.

I loved this book. I loved how jacked up it made me feel. I loved the angst. I loved how easily I connected with Sydney, but also how mad she made me!!! The one thing I have to say first and foremost is that we did NOT get a perfect heroine. She was truly YOUNG and FLAWED, she made irrational decisions, she was stubborn.....yet so.very.relatable.

I love a book that renders me useless...one that completely captivates me and makes me push everything aside so that I can just be consumed by the characters and the storyline, the feelings and the emotions.

Oh my gosh....the emotions in her words. The angst in her story. The love in her pool boy. OMG. Be still my heart. I felt every single emotion you could possibly feel with this one and I am so in love. I have read three books by Jewel now, and I have to say she is a win for me every time. I have read her recent ones, and this one is one of her oldest, and while there are very obvious differences in her ability to tell a story, the angst she throws out in every story I have read, it's amazing. I know I am a seeker of angst, I am sure it's written somewhere. She set this....tone, this setting, that was just fluid in the story. I know that things weren't always easy, but she set this tone that had me clenching my stomach and biting my nails nonstop.

Right after I finished this one, I couldn't form rational sentences because the 'what if's' were aplenty and when an author makes me think so much about a book after I've finished it, that tells me something. Like I said, I have read Jewel's newest newest books, so going back to her first ones and reading them, I can see she has always had a knack for amazing men, deep characters, and angsty storylines, but she has obviously had a good foundation to start from. I truly enjoy her words and the stories she gifts us with. I can't wait to read more by her.

~BEE

PURCHASE: 
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2kpg6ap


~MEET JEWEL E ANN~
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.

With 10 years of flossing lectures under belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.

When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree a a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course . . .heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

~CONNECT WITH JEWEL~

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Book Review and Giveaway for Etern1ty by Erin Noelle

ETERN1TY
by ERIN NOELLE

Numbers.
They complete me.
Nothing makes sense without them, the building blocks of logic.
A math teacher by day, a statistics doctorate student at night, my obsession to solve problems is constantly fed.
I'm exactly where I want to be in life, no unknown variables or unsolved formulas.
Until I meet her.
Lyra.
The woman beyond the numbers.
How can I stay away, when everything about her draws me in?
But how can I fall in love, when she won't promise me eternity?



REVIEW: 4.5 STARS
"Clarity is often easiest found in the chaos."

This series is the very reason I know I need to expand my reading palette. I only went into this one because of the synopsis and the knowledge that it was Erin Noelle. But since I had previously enjoyed her writing in the other two books I read, I knew I could trust her with my hesitant mind. Erin's smooth with her words, and her storylines flow. She's an easy read, guaranteed. However, this time with the subject matter being 'other worldly', I knew that it was going to stretch my imagination beyond it's comfort levels. I am so thankful to her for that, and I am glad I read this one. Tavian and Lyra's love is not one soon to be forgotten.

These characters had their own quirks, their own lives, their own problems they lived with. When they were thrown together by fate, the world started to make more sense and you could feel that instant calming of their world around them. The total arresting charisma that Tavian had, he was just magical to me. He embodied the perfect man: gentleman, alpha, dirty talker, protector. He was strength personified, and that made me fall even harder for him. He had a certain confidence in his love for her that was so sexy to read, you can't help but swoon while taking this journey with them. And the way he protected her and loved her? He loved her with every part of him. E V E R Y part of him. And Lyra, for all that she went through as a young girl, to everything she tried to deal with as an adult, she was a tough one living the only life she knew how....and that wasn't living. 

"The instinct I feel to protect her is rivaled only by my overwhelming desire to corrupt her."

There was a lighter feel to this book. The tone was definitely lighter, but the need and desire between Lyra and Tavian did not go unnoticed. Between her innocence and his dirty mouth, I was smitten with these two. With all the drama of book one, book two was a nice smooth transition into life with a newfound knowledge of what it meant to love with your whole heart, and to live life with that love by your side, guiding you every step of the way. I loved how she wrote this one, and the progression of their story was easily followed given the way she wrote and titled each chapter. This book had a sigh-worthy love that literally made me swoon. 

I just.....gosh, I don't know what to say. She arrested my mind and hijacked my heart. I was bound to these two and their journey, and I didn't want it to end. It read so quickly and so smoothly; I looked up and I was already halfway done. I was shocked, but the story just sucked me in as I devoured it. This one was so unique, and with these two facing such turmoil and uncertainty, the calm and the chaos in their life was calmed by each other's love. You could feel that in Erin's words. This was the perfect ending to their story and I really loved it. 

"Your love is my anchor. Your trust is my strength. And I will give you all of me from now until the end of eternity."
~BEE


PURCHASE EXP1RE:
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2zh4KL3

My review for Exp1re: http://bit.ly/2hEOOZo
PURCHASE ETERN1TY:


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~MEET ERIN NOELLE~
Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. In 2013, she published the Book Boyfriend Series, which included books Metamorphosis, Ambrosia, and Euphoria. Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and/ or the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.

~CONNECT WITH ERIN~

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Check out Erin's books HERE.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Darkness Matters by Jay McLean


DARKNESS MATTERS
by JAY MCLEAN

It’s the same old story, really.
Good versus evil.
Heroes versus villains.
Light versus dark.
For two years, college freshman Noah Morgan lived his life somewhere in the middle, fighting darkness and light, always searching for answers to a single question:
Why, Noah, why?
The same three words keep him up at night, struggling for air while gripping a plastic cylinder containing white pills to match the white label with his name printed in ink as deep and dark as his memories—memories that turned him into a recluse.
A shut-in.
An introvert.
Luckily for him, that’s not how the girl next door sees him.



REVIEW: 5 STARS
"I learned that sometimes, there is no reason, and there are no answers. There just is."

Quirky isn't the right word for this author's style of writing, but while I search for the perfect one I'm needing to describe it and the amazingness that is this story, lemme tell you my thoughts. First of all, I felt like I was in a dark room, sitting on a lone chair, with a swinging bulb, illuminating me as it swung by. That was my vision because while she gave us tidbits of information, I felt like I was sitting in the dark waiting for that light to swing back my way, in turn, shedding some proverbial 'light' on this mystery I was reading. This book, this story....it snuck up on me. It quietly kidnapped my mind. Quietly. Effortlessly. This was a one-sitting read, and I was blown away. You guys: Blown. Away. This book was fanfuckingtastic.

IF this wasn't Jay McLean
And IF I hadn't read her before
And IF I wasn't anticipating some epic twist, I don't know that I would have kept reading this one.

Not that it was a bad story; not even a little bit.
Not that it was poorly written; on the contrary.

It would have been because I don't honestly know many authors that would have been able to hold my mind captive for that long, keeping me turning the pages, with very little to go on throughout the entire story. It was just one massive mystery that pulled at me, but I couldn't stop reading it if I tried. I was really intrigued. I was super curious. I wanted to know, but I wasn't sure how long it was going to take to decipher the story I was reading. I almost felt strung along, but I was going willingly. I will be honest, this book is best gone in completely BLIND. Avoid the spoilers, look past the naysayers, enjoy this book for everything magical that Jay's words can bring you. This one was a well told story that was so in-depth, yet it continually piqued my curiosity the more I read.

That ending? I am still on the fence about it, but I feel sated. This is also where I take the opportunity to see where McLean was trying to take this book. And for that very reason alone, it makes me love her writing that much more, especially since I am fairly new to her. I don't necessarily need a buttoned up, following the ABCs, bullet-pointed HEA. I can go with non-traditional, forward thinking, thought provoking ones because sometimes the idea of being able to ponder what happens is sometimes a very fun thing to do. This was one of the slowest burning stories I have read in a long while and it consumed me. I want to talk about this one...discuss it.....debate it. I want to seek more answers. I want to hear more of their story. I want to love on Noah and Andie so much more. My gosh. I feel like I am reeling right now.

One of my favorite things about this book was an unexpected, soul crushing, eye-opening moment that tore me up. Damn you, Jay, that got me good right in my little heart. 95% in, and I gasped. I may have welled up a little even. I am completely speechless.

This title has a profound meaning. I think my heart has been forever altered.

Brilliant. That's the word I was looking for to describe her writing.....brilliant.

"Say something beautiful."
~BEE


PURCHASE:


~MEET JAY McLEAN~
Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

~CONNECT WITH JAY~

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Van by Sawyer Bennett


VAN 
by SAWYER BENNETT

As one of the league’s toughest enforcers, Van Turner is ruthless on the ice. He plays hard because it’s the only way to channel the rage boiling inside, and a reputation as an A-hole is better than everyone knowing the truth. Van has spent his entire life running from a secret that’s kept him from getting involved in relationships—or accepting lucrative deals with East Coast teams. Then the Carolina Cold Fury makes him an offer he can’t refuse . . . and Van meets a woman he can’t resist.

Simone Fournier is the stubborn one in her family—and that’s saying something, considering her brothers are two of the Cold Fury’s biggest stars. Simone gets what she wants, and what she wants is Van. Still, there’s a part of him Simone can’t reach, no matter how hard she tries. In private, he’s all fire and passion. In public, he freezes her out. Van may want to push her away, but Simone won’t let him go that easily. Because this time, she’s playing for keeps.

Sawyer Bennett’s New York Times bestselling Carolina Cold Fury series can be read together or separately.


REVIEW: 4.5 STARS
"God, you're a fucking hot lunatic."

Another Sawyer Bennett book being reviewed by ME? Who woulda thunk it, right? I know, I have an irrational love affair of all things Sawyer, but I just can't stop reading her books. This book ended up being a very good story, if not one of my favorites in the series. And once I got into it, I was turning the pages rather quickly to see how it all went down. She always has a story that flows and reads quickly. In this one, Simone and Van are two very different individuals. They couldn't have been any more different. They had two very different upbringings, live different lifestyles, and possess warring personalities. But one thing is for sure, they are combustible. Sparks fly when they are together, which leads to a tantalizing read. The dynamic between these two characters was very different than any of hers I have read and I loved it.

At first, Simone was the younger sister; the innocent sister we met in Lucas. But in this book, she was this wild, brash, and quite unapologetic go-getter when it came to Van and his affections. I wasn't entirely sure how to take her. I mean, she seriously was ridiculously confident, and I'm still battling if it was strength or if it was arrogance. I told a friend while I was reading that I wasn't sure if she was super confident, or if I was jealous of her confidence, but that girl didn't quit. AT. ALL. She knew she wanted something, and she went after it. Stalker mode and all. I may have been a little concerned for Van's safety in his own bedroom for a minute there.....

Van, he was a seriously closed off, looking-from-the-outside-in, asshole. Genuine. But once we figured out the actual reason for his abrasive and boorish attitude, there was a little leeway in my heart for that kind of personality coming from him. We met him in Lucas, and the stories do overlap, but we didn't really 'know' him, and so that led to some serious wondering on my side which helped build up the anticipation for this one. Oh man, I am pretty sure I fell hard for him after getting to know him.

"Her fierce determination, snarky attitude, and weirdly sweet disposition makes her beyond intriguing to me."

There were some honest to goodness, serious heartfelt moments in this book and Van had me wrapped around his pinky. I mean, given everything that happened to him growing up, and the fact that he never really got a chance to discuss his past with anyone, my heart just broke for him. I am glad Simone was the one that was able to ease it out of him and be there for him. Their relationship took a 180, but it was a necessary one and the old adage is true that there is someone out there for everyone. That ONE person will make you rethink your own answers, and that is what I loved about this book. Inside and outside of the bedroom, these two pushed every button with each other, and it was so necessary and it worked. I loved how these two were there for each other.

One thing has to be said about their attraction: While Simone knew what she wanted, Van fought it all the way, but once he finally gave in? Oh man, that dominance he had in him was so freaking sexy. And Simone giving in and allowing him to own her like that? It was the sexiest and most insanely hot thing to see happening. Their growth in this book was easily one of my favorite things to read! She was so forward and he was so closed off, but their role reversal in the bedroom was all sorts of HOT. So very hot. Woah! I feel like there was such an emotional exchange of power in this book, and it was a subtle one the way it was written. We went from a sexually heavy 'hookup' with little conversation between them, to a story with an intense relationship brewing between them. I truly felt that after everything was said and done, Van came out stronger than ever. I honestly loved how this one all worked out.

I don't know how she does it, but Bennett keeps writing this series, story by story, player by player, and I keep getting sucked into it, one book at a time. Yes, I openly, actively, and continually admit that this is one of my favorite series from her, and she proves why with each new installment. Each player gets their own story, and I keep getting roped into them. So yes, I'm looking forward to Reed and Marek so very much. I don't want this series to end, but I know she only has so many teammates.....but hear me out, Sawyer. We have trades? We have kids? I don't want it to end!!!

"I know you, Van Turner. And I think you're mighty fine."
~BEE



The Carolina Cold Fury series can be read together or separately:


ALEX: http://amzn.to/2zCm9z7


GARRETT: http://amzn.to/2BmSwPH


ZACK: http://amzn.to/2iT5IUT


RYKER: http://amzn.to/2A6eaJA


HAWKE: http://amzn.to/2hRYO12


MAX: http://amzn.to/2hRZ1Bm


ROMAN: http://amzn.to/2iT6ocT


LUCAS: http://amzn.to/2zq9kDV


VAN: http://amzn.to/2Bm75mi


REED: http://amzn.to/BiVhmE


MAREK: http://amzn.to/DRttFU





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~ABOUT SAWYER BENNETT~
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn't have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series, the Last Call Series and the Carolina Cold Fury Hockey Series.

~CONNECT WITH SAWYER~

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Bad Habit by Charleigh Rose


BAD HABIT
by CHARLEIGH ROSE

BRIAR
I was infatuated with Asher Kelley the moment he came tumbling through my brother’s window five years ago.
Even bruised and bloodied, he was the most beautiful boy I'd ever seen.
We couldn't ever be together.
I was too young, and he was too untouchable.
He was too troubled, and I was too naive.
But the heart is rebellious, and mine decided it didn’t care about any of those things.
As I got older, harmless flirting turned to stolen moments in dark corners.
Until one day, he was gone without a trace.
Now, three years later, he’s back.
Callous and cruel.
He’s my brother’s best friend. My parents’ worst nightmare.
I should hate him.
But like a Bad Habit, I can’t quit him.

ASHER
I was drawn to Briar Vale from the first time she looked up at me with stars in her big, blue eyes.
She was just a kid, nothing but elbows and knees, but she was the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen.
We could never be together.
I was too old and she was too off limits.
She was too good and I was too fucked up.
Eventually, the temptation became too much to resist.
I risked everything for a kiss and she betrayed me.
Three years have passed and I’m forced to see her again, but now she's all grown up.
She’s my best friend’s baby sister. My downfall.
I hate her for what she did.
But she's always been my drug of choice.


REVIEW: 3.5 STARS
"Two selfish hearts, hiding and lying and sneaking, with blatant disregard to anyone else."

Welp!!! It's official....I read and enjoyed my first Charleigh Rose book! She is a very new to me author, and she writes taboo/forbidden romance and we all know how much I love that, so picking this one up was an easy decision. This one, yep. yep. yep. I enjoyed this one. Age gap and all. There was a lot more good than the bad, but this book had a little bit of both. Having said that, I cannot wait to read more from her after this one. With an easy to follow storyline, and a pull between two characters that they couldn't fight, this one really worked well for me and I didn't want to stop reading it.

I feel like Charleigh Rose captured some emotions and actions perfectly for this type of story. I was able to feel the giddiness of a young, first love, and I enjoyed remembering those butterflies and doing the things that made me blush. This is a young love book. Young love making mistakes and fixing those mistakes. Young love finally understanding what true love is. Asher was fighting a moral fight, for all intents and purposes. I mean, how does an older guy love a younger girl!? It messed with him bad. It messed with her even worse. A conundrum of epic proportions. The build up of tension, desire, need and teenage lust was all there.

FYI -- For those that don't enjoy taboo/forbidden love stories, this might offend some, but I always say, love doesn't always have an age barrier. As horrible as that sounds, it is a very valid truth. I realize the age difference between the two characters can be problematic for some, and I respect that, but it didn't bother me at all. I remember being 14 and in love with my 17 year old boyfriend...and we dated until he was in college and I was still in high school. We were both young and dumb, so this was just one of those books that made me remember when I was that young and doing dumb things I probably shouldn't have been doing. Was it/ is it right? Probably not, but memorable in many ways. Everyone reads a book through their own eyes and is able to apply their experiences to the books that we are reading. This one, I loved it for the simple reason that it gave me an escape, with some butterflies and some swoony times to boot. It’ll probably come across as juvenile to some, and it may have been in some aspects -- the characters were young and they had a very young love. It may come across as not deep to others. Maybe it wasn't, but this type of read was definitely nice when I didn't need heavy and emotional. This book checked off every single box I needed for an easy, good read this holiday break. So yes, I really enjoyed it.

WHAT DID I QUESTION OR HAVE A HARD TIME WITH?

Honestly, not a lot really bothered me with this book because I enjoyed it overall, but some things just didn't sit well with me. Charleigh did a good job separating the rich lifestyle with the boy from the other side of the tracks; showing the privilege and the unprivileged, the give in one life and the take in the other. However, her leaving and her parents never questioning it? I realize this was a book about privileged kids, and I certainly remember some kids from my little town that had SO much freedom growing up that it shocked me what they could get away with, so this wasn't so entirely far-fetched for me, but that seemed off. I have seen it, but I just had a hard time with it in this story because of how far reaching it felt. Like I said, not completely out of the norm for me growing up in a small town, but.....yeah.

The drama in this one was a little over the top for me, but it worked well in the story. I know that is very contradictory, but I wanted to mention it because I hate drama for drama's sake. This one didn't feel like it was for drama's sake, per se, but it was a little dramatic for me. While I didn't truly understand the reasoning as to why they were separated, it seemed to be the catalyst for the story and sort of pushed it along, but it was definitely proof of their maturity level and age in this book. But again, they were very young kids and so they didn't make the best choices or decisions sometimes.

Some small inconsistencies that were missed in the beta/editing stages, as well as some timeline issues, caused a few double takes for me (June party/August breeze). Easy to gloss over, but they gave me pause a few times, almost as if parts were pieced together. Also, some of the action sequences and transitions didn't line up completely, or we missed some steps along the way. Some things were discussed in depth, and some were skipped over completely. Again, not a deal breaker for me since the story kept me entertained the entire time I read it, but they were things that caused a read/re-read scenario for me so that I could figure out where I was going (laying down/standing up kind of issues). I am just glad that the story was entertaining overall, so I was enjoying it while I read it.

FINAL OPINION: For me, this was nice. It wasn't heavy, but I felt the emotions behind their actions. It wasn't deep, but I felt the growth behind their love. It was an easy read that I didn't have to think about while reading and it was the greatest escape for me after this holiday weekend. So easy to follow, so easy to read, so easy to fall in love. Charleigh Rose created this world of characters that I can’t wait to read more of. I’m excited for more in this standalone series, because the baseline story has already been set and I want to get to know them better. While it sounds like I am just tearing this book apart in my review, I'm not. I don't want it to come across as me hating it because that couldn't be farther from the truth. I can and will read more by Charleigh Rose. I really enjoyed this book and loved Asher and all his brooding ways. I loved Briar's attitude and her carefree outlook on life. I loved that these two fought to do the right thing, but couldn't truly fight it within each other's presence and that was what I really enjoyed. That push and pull between the two characters; knowing that what they were doing would have been frowned upon by everyone in their lives. I look forward to more reads from her because she definitely has a knack for telling a story.

"Being loved by him is magic, but being left by him is tragic."
~BEE


AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED


~MEET CHARLEIGH ROSE~
 Charliegh Rose just outed herself in this book. I will allow you to read her bio at the end of this book so that you can get a better understanding of who she is.

~CONNECT WITH CHARLEIGH~

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