Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for The Hard Truth About Sunshine by Sawyer Bennett


New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett has written her most gripping and poignant tale yet. Provocatively heart-breaking, audaciously irreverent and romantically fulfilling, The Hard Truth About Sunshine exposes just how very thin the line is between a full life and an empty existence.

Despite having narrowly escaped death's clutches, Christopher Barlow is grateful for nothing. His capacity to love has been crushed. He hates everyone and everything, completely unable to see past the gray stain of misery that coats his perception of the world. It's only after he involuntarily joins a band of depressed misfits who are struggling to overcome their own problems, does Christopher start to re-evaluate his lot in life.

What could they possibly learn from one another? How could they possibly help each other to heal? And the question that Christopher asks himself over and over again... can he learn to love again?

He's about to find out as he embarks upon a cross country trip with a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who can't decide whether she wants to live or die.

Four people with nothing in common but their destination. They will encounter adventure, thrills, loss and love. And within their travels they will learn the greatest lesson of all.

The hard truth about sunshine...

Warning: This book deals with some tough issues including suicide and sexual abuse.

WOW. <-- period. 
"Each one of us hates our life. It's a burden to us. It's unfair. It's nothing but misery and torment, and we're pissed we're the ones who have to suffer it."

This wasn't your normal hot and sexy, angsty and uplifting book. We normally get a very sweet and light, sexy and fun read from Sawyer Bennett. but this time was far from it. Nope. . . this time we got a read that pushed some emotional buttons, charged our mental batteries, and jumpstarted our hearts with a ride that was truthful and intense. There were trigger warnings on it for a reason.

The depth and emotions we got while reading this one were pretty extreme. From low to lower and back up, this book was intense beyond measure. Yes, we do have a love story within the words of this very powerful life story that we get to partake in, but I loved that it focused on ALL of the characters that we meet. I am still shaking my was so darn deep. It really made me stop and think, realize and wonder. On the outside looking in, I'm not sure how I would have handled this 'life'; this journey they were on. Strong or broken, these characters all left an impression on me.

A couple times I wanted to stop. Not because the book was bad or the writing was terrible. I don't think I can pinpoint exactly what the reason was because I was knee deep in curiosities while I was reading it. Such a contradiction, right? I wanted to know what happened. I wanted to understand the meaning of the title. I wanted to see why this one was so different from all her others and why everyone was just very softly applauding it, while loudly recommending it. I'm speechless, and if there is ONE thing I can suggest, it's go in blind. Go in and just let go of all your preconceived notions about what you think a meaningful book should be. Let go and accept. Read. Understand. Enjoy.

I'm writing this review immediately after reading it....I'm still thinking about it and likely will for some time. I'm still trying to decide my feelings overall and understanding what I just read. For the lack of a better phrase for me, this was a band of emotional misfits. With serious drama and life imbalances split between the four main characters, this book was a rough read and I won't deny the depth and the pain that I experienced while reading it. It angered me. It saddened me. It enlightened me. It was a moving book, and knowing what I know now, this would NOT be my normal read. But having read this, I am so glad I did and went in blind, because I am a better person for having read it.

So many emotions. So many conflicting emotions. Everyone, if you can handle it, you should read this book.

"I bet if you spent as much time seeking positivity as you do reveling in negativity, you'd feel a hell of a lot better about yourself."

◆     ◆     ◆     ◆     ◆     ◆     

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.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

EXCERPT for Twist by Kylie Scott


I watched the streetlights cast shadows on the angle of his cheekbone, the furrow of his brow. Strange how his manly beauty had grown on me, redefining or rather stretching my usual boundaries.

Perhaps some people’s allure came from the inside out. A good thing. Their ways and their words did the wooing instead of their physical appeal. Not to diss Joe’s impressive physique. As nice as a pretty face was, though, the personality, the person beneath the skin, should matter more. Anything else was pretty shallow and unlikely to last. Guess that was the difference between my scratching an itch with a stranger and the way this man had me tied up in knots. And not even neat, sea-worthy knots. I’m talking, haven’t washed or brushed your hair in forever and there’s a big old mess back there.


At the bar, he’d flirted with me. Full-on flirted with me, his supposed platonic friend who was not his type. No way did I know what to do. Normally Valerie would be first on my hit list of people to call. But she’d just tell me to jump him, regardless of what else was going on, or any possible consequences. Plus, with him beside me it would be kind of uncool. But a couple of whisky sours or no, I was pretty certain I hadn’t imagined his interest.

As Mom had always said, however, best to be sure.

“What are the renovating plans for tomorrow?” I asked.

“Rip out the old fittings and prepare the space for new.”

I nodded. “So we’ll be doing some pounding and screwing?”

“Ah, yeah.” The man cast me a look out of the corner of his eye. “Sound okay?”

“Absolutely. Can’t wait to get my hands back on that big hard hammer.”

“Great,” he said, throwing me another questioning look.

I gave a nice bland smile.

Yeah, pal. Two could play at the what-the- fuck-is- going-on flirting game. I turned in my seat, all the better to face him. “Did you want to bang, Joe?”

“What did you say?” Wide eyes flashed my way.

“Like I did on that wall today. That was fun,” I said with all due sincerity. “Will we be doing more of that?”

A pause. “Sure.”


Another quizzical look.

“Something wrong?” I inquired politely.

“No.” His Adam’s apple dipped as he swallowed hard, shifting in his seat, gaze decidedly unsure. The poor fool couldn’t begin to understand the crazy he’d unleashed with his little taunt. Get rough with the man? My starved libido was well beyond the rough-and- tumble stage. No more hiding or denying, sticking to the sidelines of life. It was my time to step forward and be brave. When it came to Joe Collins, I was more than ready to say yes.

“I just . . .” he started. “Never mind.”

Neither of us spoke as he pulled into a parking space a short walk down from the hotel. I leaned over, placing my hand on his denim-covered thigh. The muscle tensed beneath my fingers.

Shame on me for straying a little close to his loins.

“Thanks so much for tonight, Joe. I’m so glad we decided to be friends. Because you, sir, make a great friend.”

“Right. Good.” A frown. “How much did you have to drink again?”

“Not nearly enough. Quick, let’s get to my hotel room so I can have more!” I threw open my door.

“Okay.” Hands stuffed in his pockets, he followed me inside, lingering a step or two behind. Guess he didn’t like it when people’s moods got all mixed up and mercurial either. Funny, that.

I nodded to the dude at the front desk and pressed the button on the elevator. It opened immediately. Mirrors and old-timeylooking wooden framing decorated the small space. We both leaned against the back wall as it slowly ascended.

“Yeah, sure can’t wait to do some banging, and pounding, and screwing around with you, Joe.” I smiled. “Sound good?”

He just gave me a dry look from his superior height. All confusion gone from his handsome face. Confined spaces only made him seem bigger, even more imposing than usual. No way, no day, however, was I crawling back into my shell or turning into a shadow. We’d agreed to work on our issues, so fine, I was putting it out there.

Still, my bravado was fading, I could barely meet his eyes. The man affected me in all the ways.

“It’s hard, no pun intended this time, because sometimes it feels like you want to be just friends,” I said. “But then other times you flirt with me and I honestly don’t know what’s going on. No huge surprise there, I know. Social awkwardness is my jam. But I thought I mostly understood where you were coming from.”

A ding from the elevator and the doors opened at our stop. I walked out, his bearded hotness following slowly behind, stalking me almost. For certain his usual cool, easy-going- guy persona was missing in action. The man radiated tension, intensity, even. 

And if he didn’t, I definitely did.

Inside the hotel room I went for mood lighting, only turning on the table and bedside lamps. I rubbed sweaty hands against the sides of my pants. “What you said back at the bar about me getting rough with you, however. Now, that almost sounded like a dare.”

“Did it?"

“It did.”

Arms hanging loose at his sides, he just watched me, saying nothing. Jerk.

“So tell me.” I stood at the foot of the bed, facing him. Every part of me was wired, wide awake. “What’s going on, Joe?”

His shoulders rose and fell on a deep breath. “I realized something tonight.”


“That I was falling into old habits. Doing what was easy instead of doing what I wanted.”


“It was just before you spilled ice on that guy’s pants.”

“Sure. I can see how you’d be seduced by my smooth moves,” I said, voice filled with much doubt. My insides were ready to spontaneously combust. I swear I could feel sweat breaking out all over me, the man was just that hot. Also, my nerves were on high alert.

One corner of his lips tipped up. “You know how you said you weren’t jealous?”


“Well, I was.”

Wow. I had nothing.

“This is the part where you’re supposed to admit you were jealous too,” he supplied.

“I didn’t think it needed to be said. I’m not that good a liar.”

“True,” he said. “Anyway, I made the pass at you and then I was leaving it up to you to figure out what you want. To be brave and make the next move.”

Softly, I laughed and shook my head. Men were such idiots.

“Make the first move? This isn’t a game. As I said last time the subject of sex came up, previous hurt feelings, etc. It’s going to get complicated.”

“Yeah, probably,” he said, voice deeper than I’d ever heard it.


When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot bearded bartender Joe Collins only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, fascinating, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman—except that she lives across the country. Soon they're emailing up a storm and telling each other their deepest, darkest secrets...except the one that really matters.

When Alex pays Joe a surprise visit, however, they both discover that when it comes to love, it's always better with a twist.


Love—on the rocks….

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that come with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to scream or cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together.

Just when this runaway bride has nowhere left to turn, a handsome stranger offers her a broad, muscular shoulder to cry on. Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessmen she's normally drawn to. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and is facing his own crossroads. But Lydia's already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong--maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?


Given his well-earned bad boy reputation, Eric is having a tough time scoring.. When single Jean moves to town, she seems heaven sent by the sex gods. Only problem is, she not only wants nothing to do with him, but it turns out that she’s pregnant.

Starting over in a small town, Jean is determined to turn her wild lifestyle around and be the kind of mother she always wished she’d had. Since local bar owner and all round hottie, Eric Collins, is now determined to steer clear of her pregnant self, it should be easy. When she goes into labour during a snow storm and her car slides on some ice, it’s Eric who comes to the rescue.

There seems to be a bond between them now, but is it enough? And can Eric give up his manwhore ways to be the man Jean needs?

New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author - Kylie is a long time fan of love stories, rock n roll, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

You can learn more about Kylie from



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chapter Reveal for Tortured by Nicole Williams


Whenever he had to leave, it was torture. You’d think I’d get used to it, but I didn’t—each time got harder. This one might have felt especially brutal because of how long he’d be gone. A year.

We’d done weeks, we’d done months, but we’d never done the full year.

​Being with someone in the military, I knew I’d have to get used to it. The separation. The worry.

The loneliness. The feeling that I was trying to catch my breath for however long he was gone.

​It was a way of life. And he was my life. So I’d just have to figure it out.

​“I’m never going to look at dog tags the same way again.” Brecken’s mouth turned up as his eyes roamed over me splayed across the backseat as he tucked in his T-shirt. He twisted his wrist, his gaze moving to his watch. A crease folded into his forehead. “But I’m going to need those back before I climb onto that bus. Something about military regulations. Not wandering around enemy territory without them. Those marines are sticklers for the rules.”

He was trying to make me feel better—trying to get me to smile—but little could lift my spirits other than finding out he didn’t have to leave for the Middle East for twelve long months.

​“You don’t need them. Not really.”

​“Why’s that?”

​“Because you only need them if you’re planning on dying, and so help me god, I’m not taking these off my neck if you have plans for some kind of a hero’s death.” My hand curled almost defensively around the metal tags hanging against my bare skin as I focused on the way the cool metal warmed in my hand. The way it seemed to come to life in my hold.

​“I’m not planning on dying over there. I’m not going to die,” he corrected the moment my eyebrow started to lift. “But I do have plans of scoring some gnarly war wound so I have a story to tell our grandkids one day and can hang one of those Purple Hearts off my chest.”

​I flattened my face as best as I could, even though it was kind of impossible with the way he was grinning at me as he wrestled his jeans back into place. “Not funny.”

​“Come on. It’ll make me look tough.”

​“You already look tough. Too tough,” I added as I scanned him for the millionth time since he’d arrived back in Medford for a week-long vacation before shipping out. Whenever I looked at him, I didn’t just see the good-looking guy others did—I saw every good memory from my past. I saw every good memory that would be formed in the future. Brecken had been a part of my life since I was eight, and he was as much a part of me as I was.

​“Nah, I need one of those big, angry-looking scars running across my chest. Or one of those bullet hole scars on my thigh. Something real tough like that.”

​“And why do you need your dog tags for that?” My fingers tightened around the thin metal ovals, refusing to let them go as if I hoped in doing so, he couldn’t go either.

​“Blood transfusion. Medics are going to need to know my blood type when they’re trying to patch up my unconscious body.”

​“Unconscious body?”

​He nodded all solemn-like. “I can’t be one of those guys who earns his Purple Heart by getting a scratch on some barbed wire. I need to lose a quart or two of blood, maybe even code on the operating table. Something worthy of that medal.”

​The thought of Brecken marching through a hostile country with a rifle in his hands, with god only knew what aimed his way, made me feel weak with worry. The thought of him fighting for his life in some marine medical tent about took whatever was left of my sanity.

​I must not have been doing a good job hiding my emotions, because his face broke when he saw my eyes, his arms opening toward me. “It’s going to be okay, Camryn. I’m going to be okay.

We’re going to be okay. The year will fly by, and before we know it, we’ll be getting married and buying a little house as close to the beach as we can afford. Okay?”

His arms wound around me, swallowing my body, and I let him tuck me close to him. I’d never known the feeling of being safe until Brecken Connolly’s arms had shown me the meaning.

​My hand planted in the middle of his chest, feeling his heartbeat vibrate against my palm. “Why can’t we just get married now? Why can’t I join the marines and go with you, wherever that is, so we can be together?”

His laugh was muffled from his mouth being pressed against my temple. “Well, you can’t join the marines and my unit because the military’s under this impression that us marines of the male species become distracted and one-track minded when the women we love are marching beside us. They’re convinced the only things on our minds are protecting you, flirting with you, or screwing you.”

​Quietly, I counted off on my fingers, “Protecting, flirting, screwing . . .” Then I nodded. “Damn, they sure have you pegged.”

Brecken’s fingers brushed up and down the bend of my waist. “And we can’t get married right now because you’ve got two more months of high school to finish before you earn that nifty diploma thing.” He kept going, undeterred by my grumble. “And I need to save some money to give you a proper ring and wedding. I’m not doing the courthouse thing with cheap silver bands.

Not for you. You deserve the best.”

My head tucked beneath his chin as I let him hold me in the backseat of his aunt’s old Corsica.

The only good thing I could say about the car—which was a coin toss if it would start any give day—was that it had a decent-sized backseat that Brecken and I had made more than ample use of. Growing up in a strict household with my dad as Brecken grew up in the packed household a few houses down, privacy had been in short supply for both of us. Thankfully, his aunt was willing to lend Brecken her car whenever she could, like today, when I’d just made love to the only boy I’d ever loved for the last time for the next year.

My fingers curled into his chest as I willed time to freeze. “I have the best.”

Brecken grunted like he doubted that, his head lifting to check out the windshield. We were parked way back in the bus depot lot. His bus would be leaving for the long drive back to Camp Pendleton in a few short minutes.

“Besides, you already got me a ring.” I raised my left hand in front of him, rolling my fingers so he could see the adjustable birthstone ring on my finger.

He shook his head. “I won that for you at an arcade when we were ten.”

“It cost you twelve hundred tickets too. You saved up all summer to get that many tickets.”

His fingers touched the ring, twisting it around with a small smile on his face. “And it probably has the street value of a nickel. Not exactly the kind of wedding ring I want my wife to have.”

I found myself staring at the ring with him. The gold paint had started chipping off the thin band years ago, but the small pink birthstone still sparkled when the light hit it just right. “Well, it’s priceless to me. I don’t care what the street value is. Or how many tickets it cost.”

“Even so, I’m getting you a nice ring. With all of the hazard pay I’ll earn this year, you’d better start working that left ring finger out so it can bear the weight of the diamond I’ll be dropping on it.”

I was glad he couldn’t see my face, because he hated knowing how worried I was about him. He said hazard pay like a sales rep mentioned a bonus, but I heard it for what it really was—the government giving you a little more money for the likelihood of losing your life increasing.

“One more year. That’s it. Then we’ll be able to be together like we’ve always planned. Away from here.” Brecken’s arms loosened around me. We didn’t have much longer. “Away from these people.”

An uneven exhale came from him, the muscles in his arms twitching. I knew who he was talking about without him going into detail. Neither of our lives had been charmed or particularly easy, but mine had been worse. Being raised by a single dad who was so strict he made a monk’s life seem carefree, I’d had an unusual upbringing. Brecken only knew what I let him know about it, which was barely half of the reality.

“I don’t like leaving you alone with him,” he said, his voice a note lower. “If things get hard again, just leave. Move in with my insane family or a hotel or anywhere. Don’t let him hurt you. Words or fists. He does it again”—Brecken’s hands curled into balls as his back stiffened—“I’ll kill him. I swear I will.”

“He won’t,” I said instantly, in my most convincing voice. “He’s working on all that. Not drinking as much.” I made sure to hold his stare to sell as much conviction as I was capable.

My dad wasn’t just a strict man. He was a sad one, a lonely one. After my mom left, he’d turned into someone else, almost like she’d taken everything that had been good about him and stuffed it in that small suitcase too. Since I was the only one around and bore a striking resemblance to my mom, I’d taken the brunt of my dad’s grief. In the form of cutting words and, occasionally, outstretched palms.

Brecken had been walking down the sidewalk one day when he saw my dad strike me across the cheek for attempting to leave the house in a skirt he described as “fitting for a whore.”

Brecken had only been thirteen, but he’d taken my dad down, managing to land a few punches before I could pull him off.

My dad stopped hitting me after that. At least where anyone passing by could see.

Not that I needed to tell Brecken that now. Though I guessed it would get him to stay a while longer . . . if only to be charged with murder and thrown into prison for the next twenty to thirty years.

Suddenly, that year didn’t seem so bad.

“He won’t,” I reiterated, when Brecken continued to give me that penetrating stare, like he was capable of finding a lie if I was hiding one.

Both of his brows lifted. “He better not.”

“If anything happens, I’ll crash at your family’s place, I swear.”

Sitting up, he pulled his wallet out of his back pocket. “With fourteen people sharing twelve hundred square feet of space, good luck finding a quiet spot to do your homework.” He pulled every bill out of his wallet. Even the last crumbled dollar. “Take this, hide it from your dad, and use it if you need to. That’s enough to get you a week or so at a hotel that isn’t a dump, and as soon as I get my next paycheck, I’ll send more.”

My head was shaking as I tried to stuff the money back into his wallet. He’d already closed it and was sliding it back into his pocket though. “I’ll be fine.”

Brecken’s gaze dropped to the money in my hand. “Yeah, I know.”


“Camryn,” he mimicked.

“I’m not taking the last dollar in your wallet.”

“Why not?” he asked, making a face. “I’d give you the shirt off my back, the air in my lungs, the last drop of blood in my veins. The last dollar’s a cakewalk compared to, you know, dying of suffocation or bleeding out.” He winked as he folded my fingers around the wad of money in my hand, then he leaned down to pull on his boots. He was moving quickly, glancing in the direction of the buses like he was making sure his wasn’t pulling away from the curb yet.

“Do you want to walk with me to the bus?” His focus stayed on cinching up his last boot as he waited for my answer.

He already knew it though. Good-byes weren’t my forte. Especially not the kind where I had to wave good-bye to the man I loved as he prepared to head into the middle of a war zone for the next year. Good-bye came with a whole different context when you said it to a marine.

“I know, Blue Bird. I know.” He sighed, his eyes narrowing at the weathered floorboards before he reached for the dog tags still hanging around my neck.

I didn’t make any move to lift my head or slide my hair aside to make it easier for him. As long as those tags were on my neck instead of his, he was safe. He was alive.

“I’m not going to die over there,” he whispered, pulling the tags over his head. They clinked together as they fell against his chest. “I’m coming back to you.”

My throat was burning from trying to keep myself from crying. “You can’t promise that.”

He reached for the blanket that had fallen on the floor and gently tucked it around my still-naked body. It was strange how I’d forgotten I was naked until he’d taken his tags off of me. Now though, I felt bare. Exposed. Vulnerable. My dress was somewhere around, even though I didn’t see it. We’d barely managed to make it to the parking lot before falling into the backseat together.

“Yes I can,” he said, his thumb tracing my collarbone before tucking the other corner around my shoulder. “Have I ever broken a promise to you?” He angled himself so he was in front of me, so I was forced to look him in the eyes.

“This is different. You can’t know for sure.”

“I’m going to enjoy watching you eat those words when I’m standing in front of that pretty face in twelve months, Blue Bird.”

I pulled the blanket tighter around me. “You know I don’t like it when you call me that when I’m mad at you.”

“You’re mad? At me?” He blinked. “Why?”

“You know why.” My eyes automatically moved toward the line of buses.

“To set the record straight, it’s the marine corps sending me to Iraq. Not me by personal choice.”

“No, but you made the personal choice to join the marine corps.”

“Yeah, because I didn’t want to spend the next twenty years pumping gas at the Qwik Mart.” His hand curled around the back of the front seat. “We’ve talked about this, Camryn. I’m not cut out for college, and I sure as shit am not going to spend my life working a minimum-wage part-time job and stuck in Medford. The marines is a chance at a real life. A career where I can be promoted and provide for a family and get a chance to kick a little ass every once in a while.” He leaned forward to kiss my forehead. Then my lips. “This is the ticket to that life we’ve been talking about for years. But it comes with a price.” His mouth covered mine again, this time a bit longer. “I’ll be okay. I’ll make it back.”

My eyes closed so I could focus on the taste of him left behind on my mouth. “You’re always the first to charge into anything. You don’t hang back. You don’t like the shadows. You like being the one who cast those shadows.”

When my eyes finally opened, I found his dark blue ones inches away from mine. His light hair, buzzed short so he was all ready for deployment, the few freckles scattered across the bridge of his nose, the way his jaw tightened when he stared at me, those were the things I’d remember when I’d lay awake at night, wondering where he was. If he was safe. If he was thinking about me. As long as I held on to a part of him, he could never really leave me.

“I’m coming home to you,” he said like a solemn vow. “It might be in more than one piece, but I’m coming home to you.”

I tucked his tags inside his shirt. They’d become cold again. “A thousand pieces, I don’t care. Just come home.”

His smile was almost as forced as mine as he leaned in, pulling me into his arms one last time.

He held me for a minute, one hand secured around my neck, the other around my back, rocking me against him. Then he kissed me one last time. “Gotta go, Blue Bird. The Middle East isn’t going to settle itself down.”

As he threw open the back door to go around to the trunk to grab his bag, I leaned across the seat. He was leaving. For what felt like forever. “Yeah, don’t think you’re single-handedly responsible for tackling that agenda either.”

Throwing the bag over his shoulder, he crouched beside me. This smile wasn’t contrived. It was real. Perfect. “I’ll see you soon.”


His hand formed around my cheek as his thumb traced the seam of my lips. “Sounds better than see you in a year, right?” Tucking his thumb into his mouth, tasting my lips on it, he gave me a wicked smirk before shoving to a stand and starting toward the buses. “I’m coming back for you, Camryn Blue Gardner, so you’d better be waiting for me, or I’ll just have to come find you and remind you why you fell crazy in love with me.”

Tucking the blanket around myself, I slid out of the car, leaning over the open door. “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be waiting.”

He’d started to jog backward. “Waiting as in a few days until some other guy makes his play?”

My eyes rolled as I gave him a look. Brecken and I’d been together since I was fifteen and he was seventeen. Even before that, we’d been inseparable, no one able to come between us.

I cupped my hand around my mouth. “Waiting as in forever.”

“I won’t keep you waiting that long. Just long enough.” He was shouting now, the rumbling buses muffling his voice.

“Long enough for what?” I yelled back.

Even with this much distance between us, I didn’t miss it. The look in his eyes. The tip of his smile. “For you to agree to marry me the moment I get back.”

The breeze played with my hair, sending it away from him, like forces out of our control were already pulling us apart. “I will!”

He paused just below the bus steps, his eyes consuming me from a hundred yards away. “It’s, I do, Blue Bird. I do.” He grinned and handed his bag off to the person stuffing them into one of the outside compartments. Then his hands cupped around his mouth, and he dropped his head back. “I do, too!”

His voice echoed across the parking lot, earning the attention of more than just me.

That was it. He climbed the stairs, turned the corner, and disappeared inside the bus. I wouldn’t see him for a year. I might not see him ever . . .

My jaw tensed as I put a stop to that train of thought. Wedding vows and rings were the last things on my mind as his bus lurched away from the curb.

“Just come back to me,” I whispered to no one. “Just come back.”


When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was.

When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel.

Years go by.
She builds a new life.
She leaves the old one behind.

Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison. One she can't be saved from.

The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered.

Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen


Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord's name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

REVIEW: 4.5 Stars
"I survived it. And he was the reason why."

Coming off a not so stellar week of trying to read and subsequently quitting FOUR books, I was in a rough slump. I was honestly scared that I was broken! <gasp> I know, crazy thought. Having said that, I have now realized it wasn't me....I'm NOT broken!! HA! I just wasn't picking up the right books with the right storylines that I needed to keep me entertained. Sarina ended that horrible streak for me, and did it with panache! I am so glad I sat down to read this book. I devoured it!! It was just the book I needed to pull me out of my slump.

With pure writing and an easy to follow storyline, Josh and Caleb's story took me on a journey that allowed me to let go and fall in love for the first time again. I say again, because this book described perfectly what falling in love for the first time is like and what true love is meant to be like; and what an honest true first love it really was. I got caught up in it. This book embodied strength, mastered sexiness, and was the epitome of true love finding it's way. I loved their love!! Loved it! As usual, Sarina wrote a very well rounded story that started from the beginning and grew right along with us. This story was beautiful and heartwarming with the perfect amount of character growth, and just a touch of drama thrown in. I was in deep from the minute I opened the book and didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. It wasn't angsty, it wasn't drama overload, and it wasn't rushed. Some scenarios had me questioning things, but not so much that it really affected my feelings on the book. I was immediately caught up in the writing and it was a very relaxing read. One that I read rather quickly and I felt myself happily immersed in her storytelling.

Innocence was captured with bravado. I know that sounds so counterintuitive, but I couldn't help but root for them, to feel some sort of connection with them as they tried to not only navigate their feelings for each other, but also figuring out what was in store for them 'out there'. With the intensity of their childhood, Josh and Caleb were living with such guilt and sin in their hearts and minds, but the one thing they knew was that they had this need to be with their true soulmate....and they found it in each other. The journey they took was a heartfelt journey; one that really made falling in love with them effortless. Definitely a worthy read for anyone that wants to sit down and relax with a great book.

I am so excited to check out the next book in this duet, Hello Forever. Make sure to add it to your TBR!

"As he always did, Josh tasted like everything I'd always wanted."


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Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

The Ivy Years is her college hockey series. Centered around the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college, The Year We Fell Down began breaking hearts in March, 2014. There are three novels and a novella in the series so far. See for updates.

HIM is a bestselling sexy, sporty hockey LGBT novel co-written with Elle Kennedy.

For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.

Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

She would be honored to connect with you at




Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Behind His Lens by Beth Michele

A fast-paced, fun, dirty M/M Novella.

Sometimes life throws us curve balls.

Jake Donovan was mine.

It was supposed to be a one-time thing. A birthday gift for my girlfriend Willow. He wasn't supposed to have this effect on me.

But he did.

He wasn't supposed to consume me.

But he did.

He wasn't supposed to touch me in places no other man had before.

But he did.

And I wanted him to do it again.

"Frozen in place by his kiss, and his words, I watched him walk away, wondering if he wasn't the only one losing control."

This book was FUN! and HOT! and STEAMY! Holy I have read a few of Beth Michele's book, but I definitely think this one was her hottest one yet! Did I mention it was hot? No.....hmmm.


"Before he came along, I'd all but forgotten what this felt like. Not being able to keep your hands off someone, consumed by thoughts of touching them, fucking them."

I didn't highlight much as I was reading through this quick novella, because once I got into the story, I was sucked right in. Literally!! But one thing that stood out for me was when Colt finally accepted that maybe he's denying himself something that is instrumental to who he is. The setup, while it was a tad bit awkward at first, proved to be the perfect catalyst for their story. Once Colt seeming to come to terms with what he was feeling, it was one hot meeting after another. And pssst......Jake was one sexy, cocky son-of-a-gun!!! I liked that he made Colt squirm and made him feel things he couldn't explain himself.

Not a lot I can say and not give anything away, novella size and all, but I definitely liked the fact that it had a full sized "punch" when it came to the feelings. I felt the insecurity, the curiosity, and the relief that came once Colt realized who he was and was able to admit it and move forward with his desires.

For being a novella, I didn't feel like the story was lacking anything....which is crazy for me. I'm not a huge novella reader because it usually lacks a buildup and a smooth transition from scene to scene without feeling jumpy and "quick". The pacing was great, the characters were fleshed out pretty well, and the ending was PERFECT. It made me have a little giggle-smile there! This was a really great story and I can easily recommend it!!

"That hint of vulnerability -- another glimpse into his heart -- made me want to do it all the more."
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA:



Beth Michele is the author of Love LoveLovelyScarred BeautifulFinding AutumnRex and For the Love of Raindrops. She is a Connecticut native who loves spending time with her husband and two children. If you can’t find her, though, she’s probably hiding out with her kindle somewhere quiet, preferably a spot overlooking the ocean. She has an affinity for Twizzlers, is a hopeless romantic, and a happily ever after fanatic.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Book Review for American Prince by Sierra Simone

I’ve been many things.

I’ve been a son and a stepbrother. An Army captain and a Vice President. 

But only with Him am I a prince. His little prince.

Only with Maxen and Greer does my world make sense, only between them can I find peace from the demons that haunt me. But men like me aren’t made to be happy. We don’t deserve it. And I should have known a love as sharp as ours could cut both ways.

My name is Embry Moore and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States…for now.

This is the story of an American Prince.

"I ache for the feeling of being cradled between the two bodies I love best in this world, the feel of their sweat-slicked skin and hard muscles, and the biting teeth they used when they couldn't find the right words to whisper to me."

So this book was full of emotion....hard, intense, honest, RAW emotion. It was all kinds of sexy! Not only did we get Embry's side of the story, we got some more of Greer's as well. I will say again that while I enjoy the actual storyline and the BDSM content, which doesn't bother me at all, this one still had some demeaning sides to it and it was hard to stomach in some points -- this book series is not for the faint of heart. Did I enjoy this book? Hell yes. I was completely enthralled in the story and I couldn't put it down. It was provocative and heart wrenching. It was most definitely thought provoking! I thought about 'so much more' while I read this book. And let's discuss the sex scenes right up front!! They were intense. A brilliant mixture of volatile and hot, sweet and rough, painful and sensuous. I felt like I was peeking in on something so intimate and pure to them and it was really alluring at times. It almost felt like I was eavesdropping on something so personal, something so beautiful between Embry, Greer and Ash. 

I'm not sure I can really give an honest rating on this series just yet since we are mid series and my thoughts have raced from one end of the spectrum to the other, but I have to tell you that after my conflicted review for American Queen, I am left completely and fully in official book hangover mode. Was it lighter and airier? Not really. Was it softer on the BDSM side? Not even a little bit. It was so much In this book, I felt all the pain. I felt all the turmoil between their hearts and minds and souls. I felt the rush and the relief. The give and the take. I seriously felt so much with this book. Oh my, I really enjoyed it A LOT. 

"I can barely breathe, he kisses me so deeply, but I don't care. I don't want to, don't want any air that Ash himself hasn't given me."

The honesty:
Did some actions and reactions make me shake my head? Again, yes. This very definitely happened. Were there parts that had me asking if sex was thrown in for just "sex"? Sadly, yes there were times I thought that and I won't deny that in my mind some of it may have seemed frivolous -- at the time. I seriously questioned "Why are we having sex now!!??" at a crucial point in the story, but after reading the entire book, I see how it played into the plot perfectly well. Miss Sierra was calculated in her writing of this series. Well played Sierra, well played. I don't pretend to understand the depth of the feelings an emotions that tie in with their actions/scenes, but if I know anything at all, it's that Sierra can write a salaciously good book with a storyline meant to invade your mind. 

I don't ever want to question an author's idea for their story, because it is 'their' story to tell, and please do not take it that I am. The first book made me shake my head a bit, but this one made my eyes bug out and my mouth gape open a couple times; really had me turning the pages seeking more truth and better understanding. But, it also had me reading slow enough that I could put the book down and truly ponder the meaning behind some of the actions and words that were said. Actions had double meanings, words had heart and soul behind them. This book was so much more enjoyable for me than the first one. I am very anxious for the next installment....the finale.

The reality:
I am completely sucked in. Enthralled. This book was an eye opening read. It was an experience that took me on a detailed tour of this visceral need for such emotions and feelings all centered around these three people that know from the deepest crevices of their hearts one thing: they are meant to be together and to love one another. That their love is pure and to never question the validity of it. The sensuality was ratcheted up throughout the entire book. I questioned how in the world something so perverse and raw (to me) can be turned into something so hot? I wanted to call it morbid curiosity. What does it say about me? Why do I keep reading? It begs the question, how are you so turned off while being simultaneously turned on? Damn you, Sierra. You twisted up my mind and jacked up my thinking process!

--> One of my biggest concerns about a cliffhanger months later is that it's always hard for me to get back into the story. True to Sierra's ability to write a well crafted story, I was able to jump in and hit the floor running with this next installment to their story. I am anxiously awaiting American King now because that story is certain to hold ALL the answers to my questions...and then some.

When you are can purge your pain in the AMERICAN PRINCE THERAPY ROOM. Trust me, you will need it. I love how this book rests on memorable moments. Beautiful moments that engulf the love they have for each other, individually and all together. It feels almost trivial to say how intense this book was....because it was so.much.more.

"How could I make him understand? That it had to be like this? That I had to be conquered, not wooed? Because it was new to me too; only with Ash did this part of me exist. I could still barely put words to it inside my own head."


It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

This is the story of an American Queen. 



Start the Trilogy with American Queen Today!


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Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.