Monday, 29 June 2015

The Allure of Julian LeFray by R.S. Grey - ARC review

Title: The Allure of Julian Lefray
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: June 29, 2015
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Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!

Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT's “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.


As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you're thinking- "But Jo, what’s the problem?"

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all...


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Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: June 2015.

There's a certain feeling I've come to expect will wash over me as I start in on a R.S. Grey book, it's a feeling of warmth and contentment, joy and frivolity, a little quirky, a little silly, a lot sexy and always fun, Grey has this ability to blend a rainbow of emotions into one tight, strong package, her characters are real, relatable, there's a sense that you could very easily slip in their world, and live the lives described.

Josephine Keller has always dreamed of greatness, of fashion houses, of product placement, of branding and blogging, of taking fashion trends to the masses, but first she has to get out of the middle of nowhere town in Texas she grew up in. Jo's big dreams for New York City life couldn't be further from reality though, what little money she had is fast running out and if she is ever going to bring her dream to fruition she's going to have to find a job and start developing connections within the industry and continue posting  on her blog What Jo Wore cementing her position as the future of social media fashion bloggers.

Julian LeFray has seen plenty of success in his young life, he's got wealth, looks and pedigree, when his sister Lorena takes some much needed time away from her fashion business Julian steps in and takes the reigns to ensure the business doesn't end up in the toilet, but while he may be business savvy his social media skills could definitely use some guidance, and Josephine Keller might just be the answer.

There's an inherent cuteness to R.S. Greys stories, her heroines are part quirky girl next door part sassy vixon, her hero's are alpha males without being arseholes, her books have spunk, and a boat load of character, the instant chemistry between Julian and Jo leapt off the page, it had a tangible quality, I could feel it in every conversation and meeting, every nuance, every sideways glance, every soft smile, every shared joke, every wink. What I loved the most about The Allure of Julian LeFray is that these characters aren't broken, they aren't nursing past's full of grief and despair, this is the kind of book I crave when I'm in a reading slump, when I'm down and out, or when I just want to escape for a few hours, Grey effortlessly draws me in EVERY SINGLE TIME, I never fail to feel connected, to feel invested, and LeFray was certainly no different, I didn't want it to end, the easy camaraderie between these two was both sweet and funny, and the chemistry smoking hot, Grey has easily cemented herself as a go to author for me.




Author Info:

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favourite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.


Priest: A Love Story by Sierra Simone - ARC review and giveaway details


There are many rules a priest can't break.

A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I've always been good at following rules.

Until she came.

My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.

I am a priest and this is my confession.

***Priest is a standalone, full-length novel with an HEA. For mature audiences only.***


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Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: June 2015.
"Whatever happens after this, I just want you to know that this was worth it. You were worth it. You were worth everything."

 In all honesty I'm not even sure where to begin with this book, the hype surrounding it was, is monumental, the taboo nature of the novel ensured this would be a book that readers would talk about, a Priest and a parishioner mixed up in a tawdry affair, how could it not be dark and dirty? I was expecting smut at it's best here, after all I do enjoy a bit of story less filth every now and again, but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by Sierra Simone's work, yes it's dirty and sexy and let's face it, smutastic, but there's also a story here, a good one, one that draws you in, one that grabs you and makes you feel for these characters.
Priest is told entirely from Father Bell's point of view, he's lived a life full of both joy and heartache, he didn't grow up wanting a life of servitude , rather after suffering through that would leave most broken and devoid of faith Tyler found meaning and purpose in doing the Lord's work, he wasn't a Saint, wasn't without sin, but he found a way to deal with the tragedy he had faced and was able to do work that alleviated some of the crushing pain and grief.
Poppy Danforth was groomed to be the perfect stepford wife, perfect breeding, wealth, academic excellence, intelligent, but despite having the world laid at her feet, she was hollow, without passion, she was destined for a life of working until she married someone her equal in business and breeding, until she had the picture perfect 2.5 children, where she would spend her days overseeing charitable donations surrounded by other stepford wives and more than likely a house of staff that would ever mitigate her being truly involved in her children's lives. Her life was constant charade, playing the role of the dutiful daughter until she would take on the role of the dutiful wife.
There's no denying that the chemisty between Father Bell and Poppy was cataclysmic, from the moment they meet separated by a confessional booth, there's an instant recognition of their souls, both running from a painful pasts, both hiding from something, both trying to live their lives the best they know how, there's this blinding soul deep connection that leaps off the page, you feel the sheer agony of wanting something you know you can't have, and  ultimately loving something so deeply at the cost of losing everything you've built your life around, due to the taboo nature of this story, we know with absolute clarity that a Priest and a parishioner can not have a secret relationship forever, but what makes this story so addictive is that Father Bell nor Poppy are not purely dominated by their physical urges, despite their initial attraction to one another, the connection that grows between them, the pure love they feel leaves the reader in no doubt the agony they experience trying to reconcile just how much their relationship could cost them both.
This is my first Sierra Simone novel, it's filthy and hot and naughty in all the ways I wanted, the taboo nature of the story had me literally bending over backwards to get a copy of this to review, Priest is so much more than I expected, there's a beautiful fragility to both Tyler and Poppy, a sense of two people fighting their way out of the darkness, surrendering themselves to a higher power, a deeper connection, one that is greater than lust, more than purely intimacy, one that fights the numbness that threatened to drown Poppy and the unresolved grief that was swallowing Tyler, one that allowed them to want more than they thought possible. If you are easily offended Priest may ruffle a few feathers, but beneath the hype, and the taboo concept is a book that with stay with me long after I turned the last page.

About Sierra Simone:

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.

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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Be My Temptation (Crawford Brothers #2) by Rachel Brookes - ARC Review


Title: Be My Temptation
Series: Book 2 of The Crawford Brothers (can be read as a standalone).
Author: Rachel Brookes
Release Date: June 29th 2015
Cover Designer: Wicked by Design



One night connected them.
One decision separated them.
One craving tempted them.

Ashlyn Hart was done with men, or at least those outside of her books. After stupidly falling for the charms of her cheating ex and having her heart broken yet again, she decided to create a new life. One that involved a career change, a new wardrobe, and the possibility of moving abroad. There was just one hurdle: the confident, stubborn and insanely-tempting Josh Crawford.

Josh Crawford hid behind the cliché bachelor lifestyle and a never-ending parade of women. He knew the game and played it well, but the night he tasted perfection four years ago never left him. Back then, he made a spur of the moment decision, one that he has battled with ever since. But beneath the playboy façade was a yearning that wouldn’t disappear. A craving for the only woman who could bring him to his knees: Ashlyn Hart.

Two weeks changes everything.
One night unravels the deepest of desires.
A simple taste unleashes memories that can’t be tamed.

When the girl who dreams of a happily ever after collides with the guy who lives the ultimate cliffhanger, what ending awaits them? Will fear overshadow love? Will the past play hindrance to the future, or will temptation conquer it all?

Amazon US:


Four years earlier


Jesus Christ, she was tight.

The more I edged in, the tighter her body squeezed my cock, which inevitably sent pleasure spiraling through me. The feeling of tightness, combined with her tiny whimpers, were like music to my ears, and acted as the perfect melody for the act I was about to perform. This moment started with a fleeting glance across the bar, a connection of our eyes, and the offering of a smirk; the same smirk I’d been known to use to get into the pants and apartments of girls plenty of times before.

I wondered if the look across the bar tonight was when she thought what was happening started. She would be sorely mistaken if she did. I had noticed Ashlyn Hart long ago. Ashlyn Hart was the stunning, blond-haired girl with the insane green eyes and kissable lips that grabbed my attention the start of freshman year. I first noticed her in the library, surrounded by books. Her glasses were sitting on the edge of her nose, and she was chewing on the end of a pen. Her blonde hair was piled on the top of her head, with loose strands surrounding her face, and she looked completely in her zone. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

Yep, I certainly noticed her for all the right reasons, and tonight was no different.

Tonight was the first night in God only knows how long that I succeeded in getting my older brother Ky to leave the seclusion of our apartment. He didn't even fight me, which was surprising. The moment we arrived at our local bar he started downing beers, while I started scoping out the other patrons, looking for some fun for the night. It seemed that fun would come in the form of Ashlyn Hart, and my eyes latched onto her fiercely.

She was toward the back, standing close to the guy I knew was her older brother, Austin. They were in a serious conversation, his hands on her shoulders, and she was looking up at him with wide eyes and a worry-filled face. Rumor around campus was that Ashlyn was from a well-off family from the West Coast, but she didn’t have much to do with them. Apparently she had fled for the east as soon as she finished high school and was here under a scholarship, which could explain why she always was studying. Although Austin was five or so years older than her, he would randomly come and visit, and I had seen her out with him a few times.

As soon as I saw her dodge her way through the crowd and head to the bar, I swooped in. She was a beautiful girl, and since I was a guy with an overactive imagination and a cock that really liked beautiful girls, she was definitely on my radar. Ashlyn was unique and refreshing. And though she hid behind her glasses and oversized clothing, her eyes, flawless face, and womanly curves that would be dangerous to any guy's libido, grabbed a tight hold of my attention.

Tonight, my plan was to test the waters, to see if she could be my fun for the night. I stepped up beside her at the packed bar as she waited to be served, and that would be the first of many times she’d shock me for the night. When Ashlyn greeted me by name, offered me a flirty smile, and gave me the indication that she was just as willing to test the waters as I was, I was completely floored. Where had this sassy woman been hiding? My interest skyrocketed, and I needed more. As we drank beer, I bought pizza for us both and she showed me another side of her, a side that had been hidden in the books and sweaters. Austin, her brother, had gone long ago, and at that moment all I saw was her, and all I wanted was all of Ashlyn Hart. It would seem that she had plans to give me all of her.

Now as she was wedged below me, looking up at me with the widest and most eager eyes I had ever seen, I couldn’t believe my luck. Her face was flushed, her lips parted, and her tits rose with every deep breath she took. She was a fucking delight to look at. My hands cupped her face and, with eager intent, my lips fell to hers as I feasted on the perfect pout that was previously covered with bright-red lipstick. I had been craving this moment for a long time, and I wasn't afraid to admit that. I didn’t know what got my attention most, whether it was the innocent look she had going on, which she completely obliterated tonight, or the fact that I never actually saw her with any other guys or girls. She was a one-woman show—a woman of mystery, and I would make it my mission to discover who she was.

"Fuck me, you're so tight." I moaned against her neck as I shifted my hips higher and attempted to push further into her slick wetness. Her whimpers increased, and her nails dug into my back, grating their way down to my ass with every tiny movement I made. Everything spun around me the moment I hit a barrier inside of her.

She couldn't be.

"Please don't stop," Ashlyn begged softly. I tore my face from the confines of her neck and my eyes met pleading green pits of desire that flickered with anxiety.

She was a virgin.

There was no way in hell I was doing this. No fucking way. I had never taken a girls virginity, and I wouldn't be starting tonight. I shifted and slowly began pulling out, but halted when her hands gripped my naked ass and held me in place.

“I don’t deserve this,” I whispered into the electric air as I avoided her gaze.

"Josh, do you really think I would have come here, kissed you like I’ve never kissed a guy before, gotten naked, and let it go as far as it has if I didn't want it?"

"Do you really want your first time to be with someone you barely know? I have wanted inside you from the moment I saw you, and it's because I'm just a guy who wants to fuck. You deserve romance, candles, and the whole shebang for your first time."

Her face twisted as a smile graced her lips and her eyes softened. "You bought me beer and pizza."

"Fucking hell, woman. Buying you beer and pizza does not entitle me entrance to your virginal pussy."

"Can you please stop saying virgin?"

"But you are a virgin; a sexy as fuck virgin, but still a virgin."

"Why are we even having this conversation?" She rolled her eyes, spitting the kind of sass that I was quickly learning was fucking incredible for my libido.

My gaze roamed over her face, and I found a woman who wanted exactly what I could give her. She tempted me from the very moment I laid eyes on her, and the confident woman now writhing beneath me was a woman I had never seen her portray before. The oversized sweaters, the glasses that sat on the edge of her nose, and the top knot she always sported were long gone. Now I was witnessing a sexy woman who wanted to give me her greatest gift. Her eyes burned with desire, and her lips were swollen from my earlier attack.

"Fuck!" I groaned and buried my face in her neck. Why was I even hesitating? If this was any other girl, I would have fucked her hard and fast and she would be on her way home, so why was I hesitating? I moaned as Ashlyn started lifting her hips and moving her body. My cock with a mind of its own found her hot, eager pussy, but soon I was reminded of what was at stake when I once again hit the barrier.

I pulled out quickly and slid off the bed with a huff.

"Josh!" Ashlyn called and covered her eyes with her arm. As I reached the door, I twisted back to look at her. She was stunning, and seeing her in my bed, naked and glorious, was crazy to comprehend. She had gone from being a one-night stand to someone who wanted me to become a forever memory. You always remembered the person who took your virginity. Fuck, I remember exactly who took mine when I was seventeen. Did I want to be a forever memory to Ashlyn Hart?

I shook my head and rushed out of the room with only one thing on my mind.

I'd give this girl romance.

As I scrounged around the living room for candles—why the fuck Ky and I had candles was anyone's guess—I heard movement coming from down the hall. The layout of the apartment allowed me to see into my bedroom, so I turned and saw Ashlyn sitting up on my bed, pulling on her shirt and fixing her hair.

Something in me switched as I began witnessing the loss of sassy Ashlyn, and I refused to allow her to leave. Everything about tonight had shifted, and now all I had was a carnal need to give her everything she wanted and then some.

"Do not cover yourself, Ashlyn. Lie back down, keep that shirt off, and be ready for me." I knew I was being bossy, but I couldn’t let her leave. Her eyes shot wide, and her head whipped around to look down the hall at me. Thankfully, she wasn't offended by my harsh tone. As if in slow motion, her hands disappeared behind her back and unclasped her bra, letting her plump tits bounce in freedom before she slowly lay back down. Fuck me dead, she was a vision of stunning beauty. I rushed around frantically, and finally found what I was looking for.

"What are you doing?" Ashlyn asked softly, her eyes following my every move as I entered my bedroom and closed the door behind me.

Without responding, I switched off the lights, and in the darkness stumbled my way to the dresser. A glow permeated the room as I ignited three vanilla-scented candles. Her shocked gasp rang through the room, and my eyes slammed shut at the intensity of the situation. What the fuck was I doing?

"Josh." Her voice was so delicate that it sounded like it would shatter if I didn’t acknowledge her.

I slowly turned to face her, and then crawled on the bed until my body covered hers.

"I'm not taking your virginity without giving you a little piece of romance, Ashy."

That would be the first time I’d use her nickname, and that would be the first time she would slowly take hold of my heart.


I woke to a delicious ache throbbing between my thighs, and a heavy arm over my naked stomach. I was on my back, my legs entwined with another’s, and warm breath tickling my neck. I was completely and utterly satisfied.

My mind was alive as I reminisced about every detail of the night before. Everything was so clear and concise, and locked so tightly in my memory bank that there was no chance I’d ever forget it. I’d handed my virginity to Josh Crawford on a platter, and he took it like it was his last meal.

With a subtle move, I turned my head until I was face to face with him. His eyes were closed, leaving his long lashes to caress his cheeks, and his even breathing told me he was still in a deep sleep. The lips that had devoured every inch of my body continued to taunt me as my gaze lingered over him.

Last night, after he brought the candles into the room, he climbed onto the bed and hovered over me. I would never forget the look that filtered over his face in those few seconds before his lips fell back to mine. He looked at me like I was the most precious commodity; like I was a gem that he wanted to discover and keep for eternity. It shocked me.

Josh spent the next thirty minutes kissing and caressing my body with his fingers, hands, and mouth until he thought I was ready. I was a panting mess. In one swift move, he pushed deep inside of me. I didn't know what to expect. Yes, it hurt, but only for a brief moment. Then I felt my body tremble with delight, and it felt like a thousand fireworks were set off in one go.

I knew of Josh, but I didn't know Josh. Does that make sense? I admired him from afar. He was dangerously sexy, and he’d wreaked havoc on my body and thoughts for months, even though he had absolutely no clue. His eyes reminded me of pots of melted dark chocolate, his lips were luscious, and he always had the just-got-fucked hair going on. His reputation around campus was that of a legend. I knew he slept around; I had overheard plenty of girls talking about him, and just how well-endowed he was, but that didn't stop me. If anything, it encouraged me. The question was bound to circulate: why did Ashlyn Hart give Josh Crawford, practically a stranger, her virginity? The answer was simple: my virginity was mine to give.

I wanted spontaneity, I wanted craziness, and I wanted someone who knew what they were doing. My life had been so structured and mapped out that I wanted to be in charge for once. I wanted to make the decision. I knew their virginity was a huge deal to some people; those who waited their whole lives to find that special someone to share it with. But I was never that girl. Judge me as you will.

I slowly lifted Josh's arm from my naked stomach and held my breath as he scrunched his face and shifted in bed. After sliding out, I stood completely naked next to him and waited. Now that would be an awkward good morning—him finding me naked and staring at him. Once he settled, I moved quickly and rounded his room, grabbing my panties, bra, jeans, and top that Josh had thrown around. I dressed quickly, threw my hair into a crazy-ass bun on the top of my head, and snuck out of his room, but not before giving him one last longing look. I was free. Or so I thought.

I gasped loudly, and my clutch fell from my hands and crashed to the floor as I rounded the hall and came face to face with Ky Crawford. Not only did he wear scruff better than most men, but the same could be said for the sweatpants that hung loosely on his hips. I knew who Ky Crawford was. Everyone knew who Ky Crawford was. He was the key witness against Jeremy Davis, who was charged and later convicted of the attack and rape of Eden Rivers. He was also the guy who had been destroying himself ever since.

His head jerked up at the sound of my clutch colliding with the floor tiles, and shock covered his face as his eyes ran over me.

"I'm sorry, I was just leaving," I said in a rush, crouching down to salvage my things while humiliation took over.

He crouched down beside me, and I cringed as he started to help pick up my lip-gloss and loose change. "You stayed here?"

"Um, yes. With Josh," I stammered, then jammed the last of my things into my clutch and rose to my feet.

"Well, fuck me," he said, amusement hitting his words as he joined me on his feet.

The small talk was making me flustered. Two attractive Crawfords in one day was too much for any girl to endure. "Sorry to bother you. I was just leaving."

"I've seen you around campus. You’re in some of Josh’s classes." Ky stepped away and headed to the kitchen. He moved straight to the coffee maker, switched it on, then pulled two mugs from the overhead cupboard. My eyes trained on him, and when he poured two steaming-hot, freshly-brewed coffees for him and Josh, I knew I had to get out of there. To say I was shocked beyond comprehension when he handed me a mug was an understatement.

Well, this was completely weird and unexpected. I lifted the coffee to my lips and sighed as the hot liquid flooded my veins and helped push aside the exhaustion that was quickly gripping my still-humming body.

I looked at him over the top of the mug before I asked, "Do you provide coffee to all the girls your brother brings home?"

His smile replaced the confused look I saw earlier. "He never brings girls back. Consider this a celebratory coffee. I think little Josh Crawford may be growing up."

Nervous laughter left my body as I tried to cover my shock. Josh never bought girls home, but here I was. I stammered as I said, "It’s just a one night thing. He’ll probably never see me again."

"You can’t be missed. I've seen you around campus. I’m pretty certain every man with a functioning cock has seen you."

I choked on my coffee at his blatant disregard of subtlety. "You Crawford boys aren't afraid to say what you really think, are you?"

“Over the past six months, I’ve learned that you just have to say what you think. Screw the consequences, because you don’t know if you’ll ever get the chance again.”

I watched as his eyes lost the sparkle and darted away from mine. Suddenly, the urge to offer this stranger comfort took over, and I decided to provide a little humor to get the sparkle back, so I took Ky’s advice and laid it out for him.

“Last night your brother rocked my world and bought me pizza and beer. And now you’ve made me the best coffee I’ve ever had. I might just get used to the Crawford brothers.”

He clinked his mug against mine and smiled. “My brother would be an idiot not to keep hold of you.”

“Well, yeah, I’m clearly a catch.”

And that was the first time I thought of Josh like that.

Kristine's Review: 
Reviewed: June 2015.

There are some books you want long before they are ever written, some stories you beg the author for, some that you believe in so fully long before pen has even touched paper, such was the case with Be My Temptation, back during the beta reading stage of Be My December, before the ink was even dry on the first book in the series, as I was giving the author my feedback and thoughts I started championing for Josh and Ashy's book, I believed in these two, I sensed there was a bigger story for them and I was desperate for it. When Rachel Brookes announced that she would be writing Be My Temptation I was overjoyed, I had HUGE expectations for this book to be everything I imagined and more.

Josh Crawford has had a line if beautiful women move through his life for as long as anyone can remember, he's gorgeous, successful and had a reputation that confirms he knows how to keep the ladies satisfied, he's also got a heart bigger than Texas and is the kind of friend that you can always count on, he's the kind of dirty talking alpha male you can't help falling for, and I did, wholeheartedly, before I'd even finished the first page.

Ash is blessed with great friends, a good job, a fantastic apartment close to her friends, and a boyfriend she cares deeply for, on the surface life couldn't be better, she's watched as her best friend found the love of his life, she's seen two people who deserve nothing but happiness draw strength from one another, be the light in each others darkness, and Ash wants that soul deep connection herself, she dreams of the fairy tale, the happily ever after, the man to love her for all her faults and fears not in spite of them, she wants romance, and lust, and intimacy and a connection that transcends time and space, she wants it all. She even thinks she might have found him only to be let down once again by someone who was supposed to love her.

Josh and Ash have been known pain and suffering, they've both known the hurt of sinking in the feelings of inadequacy, in the fear that you're not enough, and they've both sacrificed their own wants and needs for those they love, they've become master actors in their own lives, hiding the parts of themselves they don't think they can let the world see, but when a chain of events leads them to sharing a home, the tiny cracks will start to show, and everything they've kept hidden will finally play out in technicolour.

There is so much beauty in this story, there's a elegance to Brookes words, and raw and unyielding quality that draws you in, and demands your attention. There's a relatable feel to Be My Temptation, this story about a woman who has spent so much time feeling like she's not quite enough, that she doesn't deserve as much as those around her, that it's her lot in life to be walked over and mistreated, there's a rawness to her pain, and a beautiful fragility to Ash, and it spoke to me on a visceral level, because I've felt that, and I felt it in waves, emanating through the pages, I simultaneously wanted to hug her tight to make everything ok and slap her silly to tell her she's enough all on her own.

For me this was such a departure from Brookes previous work, BMT is a stripped down story, her past novels touched on abuse, neglect, rape and death elicit an immediate emotional response from the reader, but Temptation's strength is based solely on the reverence of her words, it's the way Brookes weaves the story, it's the characters she creates, it's two people who haven't had the worst or the greatest of lives, it's about first loves, and second chances, it's about life and love and the family you create, it's about accepting the person you are, and finding the person who will weather the storms with you, it's about find beauty in the simplest moments with the people you love.


About The Author

Rachel Brookes is the author of The Breathe Series and The Crawford Brothers and lives on the east coast of Australia where beaches, kangaroos and surfers roam free. She spends her days writing stories that contain a dash of drama, a cup of romance, a spoonful of sexiness and delicious men to season. She is crazy for The Walking Dead, a fan of long island iced teas, a cupcake creator and a lover of book boyfriends. Rachel sometimes forgets to eat, sleep has become non-existent and more often than not she can’t remember the last time she cleaned her apartment, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. When she steps away from her laptop, you’ll find her reading, people watching, taking photos and planning her next big adventure.

She is also obsessed with social media, so come say hi.

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Be My December (Crawford Brothers #1)


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GPI Be My December Review

Rock Chick Series by Kristen Ashley - Full series review

1. Rock Chick 

Indy Savage, cop's daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy's employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicating matters, Lee has decided he's interested, Indy's decided she's not. But she can't seem to keep Lee out of her life when she's repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she's finding dead bodies).

Indy's best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee's challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.

Amazon US

2. Rock Chick Rescue
Jet McAlister has a secret. Eddie Chavez has the hots for Jet (not to mention Eddie’s just plain hot). Jet has too many problems to realize that Eddie’s interested. Eddie loses patience when Jet ends her waitressing shift at a strip club with a knife at her throat. Since Eddie’s a cop, he figures he can help. Since Jet’s used to solving everyone’s problems she doesn’t want Eddie’s help.

Throw in a Dolly Parton look-alike, a gruff but lovable strip club owner, Jet’s ne’er do well father, his ne’er do well friend, Bear, Bear’s long-suffering, chain-smoking wife Lavonne and the crew from Rock Chick and you’ve got Rock Chick Rescue.

Rock Chick Rescue takes you on a wild ride with Jet, Eddie and the gang as they wrestle bad guys in a bagel shop, hit Denver’s backstreet poker tables (with big hair), and help the strippers at Smithie’s take down a would-be murderer.

Through this, Jet’s got to learn that even when life made you give up your dreams, you can still end up with the (hot) guy. Eddie’s got to rescue Jet from a bad man (so he can do better things with her) and teach her that some dreams can come true.

3. Rock Chick Redemption

Roxie’s on the run from a bad boyfriend who will not catch the hint that it is o-v-e-r. She’s in no mood for love at first sight, but when her eyes fall on Hank, it’s trouble from the get-go. Roxie tries to hold Hank at arms length but Hank wants to be a closer (as in, a lot closer). Roxie’s trouble catches up with her and Hank wants to help but Roxie knows in her heart that she’s no good for a white hat guy. The problem is no one agrees with her, especially her crazy hippie best friend Annette or her parents; the even crazier small-Indiana-town Herb and Trish. Toss into the mix the gang from Rock Chick and Rock Chick Rescue and Roxie finds herself totally outnumbered.

Climb in for another Rock Chick wild ride through Rock Chick Redemption. As the odds stack up against Roxie, she has no choice but to hold on and just ride it out through the kidnappings, car chases, society parties, a riot at the strip club, Hank getting “Mom Bombed” and one crazy night at the Haunted House.

During all this Hank works at convincing her she really wants to stay and he, along with the Hot Bunch, go all out to make her safe. Hank also needs to work on showing Roxie that her past decisions don’t mean her future can’t include something as downright delicious as… normal.

Amazon US

4. Rock Chick Renegade
Jules has got a score to settle against the drug dealers of Denver. Vance has made it his mission that Jules won’t get dead while dishing out vigilante justice. Jules doesn’t have time for romance, she’s too busy saving the world and she enlists Zip (the gunstore owner), Heavy (an ex-PI) and Frank (a mysterious recluse) to help.

The Rock Chicks of Fortnum’s Bookstore get involved to provide romantic advice and guidance, none of which Jules accepts at first. The Hot Bunch of Nightingale Investigations adopt Jules as one of their own. Even though Jules tries to hang on to her inner Head Crackin’ Mamma Jamma, the Rock Chicks; Hot Bunch; Jules’s long-suffering Uncle Nick; Jules’s friend the rotund, African-American, Jackie-O wannabe, May; and especially Vance will stop at nothing to wear her down.

But Jules makes some bad guys pretty angry and one is dedicated to taking her out. Vance and the Hot Bunch have to pull out all the stops to keep her alive. At the same time, Jules and Vance learn the true meaning of home but once they find this precious entity they’ve been searching for all their lives, will Jules’s enemies tear it away?
5. Rock Chick Revenge

Ava hates men, she has reason and she’s vowed not only never to get involved with another one again but also to exact vengeance on her best friend’s, lying, cheating husband. Since Luke, Ava’s childhood crush, is now a private investigator, she thinks to enlist him but changes her mind at the last second.

Too late, Luke knows she’s up to something and he’s already seen many a Rock Chick try to fight her own battles without the Hot Bunch stepping in. He’s having none of it. She’s having none of him. The clash of the Rock Chick and Hot Guy begins but Luke’s got the advantage. He has handcuffs and he’s not afraid to use them.

Amazon US

6. Rock Chick Reckoning

Stella’s the lead singer and lead guitarist of The Blue Moon Gypsies and Stella used to be Mace’s girl. Mace broke up with her, though, and the loss of him rocked her world. But Stella gets a call, late at night (again) from one of the members of her crazy band. She has to go play clean up (again) and runs into Mace and a shed load of police, and ends up getting shot.

Mace finds he doesn’t like it much that his ex-girlfriend got shot right in front of him but it’s worse. A very bad man has thrown down the gauntlet and all the Rock Chicks are in the firing line. Stella doesn’t want Mace to be the one to keep her alive, but she has no choice. Mainly because Mace isn’t giving her one.
7. Rock Chick Regret
Sadie Townsend is known by all as The Ice Princess and she’s worked hard to earn her reputation. Her father, a now-incarcerated Drug Lord, has kept her under his thumb her whole life and she’s learned enough from living in his world to give everyone the cold shoulder. But one inebriated night, she shows the Real Sadie to the undercover agent she knows is investigating her father, the handsome Hector Chavez, and he knows he’ll stop at nothing to have her.

Hector makes one (huge) mistake; he waits for Sadie to come to him. Tragedy strikes and Sadie’s got a choice, she can retreat behind her Ice Fortress or she can embrace the Rock Chick/Hot Bunch World. Guided by Hector, the Rock Chicks, the Hot Bunch and her new gay roommates, Buddy and Ralphie, Sadie negotiates a life out from under her father’s thumb, a life that includes poison, arson and learning how to make s’mores.


 8. Rock Chick Revolution

Ally Nightingale has secrets. Secrets she doesn't even share with the Rock Chicks. But two men know what she's up to. One has her back. The other has her heart, but he doesn't know it.

As Ally rewinds the last year of her life, she knows two things. One, she’s never going to get what every Rock Chick should have—her own Hot Bunch guy. And two, she’s a Nightingale through and through. She just isn’t sure what to do about that.

But as her secrets are revealed, the men in her life react. Darius Tucker, a lifelong friend, as usual takes her back. Ren Zano, the man she loves, isn’t quite so sure. The Rock Chicks, Hot Bunch and the entire gang at Fortnum’s weigh in, and a Rock Chick Revolution starts brewing.

It’s up to Ally to control it and prove what she knows down to her bones.

She’s a Rock Chick, she deserves her hot guy and she’s going to keep the one she wants…

Because she’s a Nightingale.

Amazon US

Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: June 2015.

I don't even know where to start with this review...I'm awe struck, I'm lost for words, I'm giddy and smiley, and swoony and gahhh I've had a permasmile on my face since last Thursday when I finally started in on Rock Chick after almost a year of badgering from one of my best friends. I started in on a Thursday afternoon and every spare moment I had I was reading, while in the car driving to work on audio, taking sneaky reading breaks while walking to the bathroom reading on my phone, staying up til all hours while the husband was well and truly fast asleep in dream land, I read and read and then read some more. Eight books over just over four days and I'm feeling a keen sense of loss, because the Rock Chicks and the Hot Bunch have become my friends, my family, I'm connected, I'm invested, I've felt every possible emotion there is and my world is richer for reading this series, some books are filled with fun and frivolity, some take you through the emotional wringer, some allow you to push aside your stresses and worries and just live in someone else's world for a few hours, and that in itself is what I wish for every time I pick up a new book, but what I didn't expect was just how much Kristen Ashley's words would impact on my heart and soul, how big of a  message this series would pack, how many life lessons would come out of this funny, outrageous, sexy and action packed adventure.

I was going to write a review for each book in this series but instead I have decided to do one mega review as this series as a whole has captured so much of my heart that it's near impossible to pull them apart, Kristen Ashley writes the kind of characters that you can sink your teeth into, her heroines share a common bond, their feisty and strong willed, tough and courageous, they fight for the sisterhood, and they welcome new comers with a fierceness that is both endearing and awe inspiring. The leading men are tough as nails, sexy as sin, they are protectors to their very core, strong and sure, not ruled by fear or failure, these men know immediately when someone is worth the effort, worth the fight because they have all fought their own battles to bring them to where they are.

 The Rock Chick series is the perfect blend of humour, heart and scorching heat, broody alpha males who know what they want, once they lock eyes on who they want, their fate is sealed and they'll stop at nothing to protect the one they love, they move at break neck speed to solidify their union, to prove that their feelings may be intense but they are real. Whether it was Lee proving that Indy had always been the one for him despite the years he spent pushing her away, or Mace proving to Stella that she had always been the light in his darkest night, or Luke showing Ava that no matter her weight or her appearance that he had always seen her, he'd seen the girl who's spirit and ability to love had saved him on so many occasions throughout his young life. With the additions to this rag tag team of misfits and outsiders people like Tex and Duke, Daisy and Shirleen, were accepted with open arms, there's a beautiful message in this series about acceptance and self love, about friendship and family, about the purest type of love, one where you look past the flaws, look past insecurity, look past mistakes and let people in, you accept help and love with every inch of your being, knowing that that love is given back ten fold.

There's a line in this series that stole my breath, it held my heart in it's hands, and I'm forever changed by reading KA's words,

"I can't be the star in your sky when you're the only star left shining in mine."

The raw beauty of these words, their sheer eloquence, the dichotomy of light and dark, of pain and healing, of accepting love and feeling alone, while KA may not have set out to write a series that would change someone's life, the end result remains the same, I am a better person for reading these books, and my world is a happier place after letting her words rush over my like a tidal wave.

As this series progresses, so does the nature of the stories, the nature of the threats against the Rock Chicks and Hot Bunch intensifies, the stories become a little darker as they held a vice like grip in my heart, at times I was laughing my arse off or I was fanning my face, others my heart was thundering in my chest because I knew with the utmost certainty that something big was going to happen and I didn't know if I was prepared to take that journey, but there in lies the sheer genius of Ms Ashley, when I was scared to go on, her words enveloped me, giving me a sense of calm, the characters that had become my friends would be there to hold my hand, to get me through.

My biggest surprise of this series was who I admired the most, which character struck a chord on a deep and fundamental level, but Jane captivated me, her steadfast belief in fairy tales, in happily ever afters, even as she watched all kind of fear and action taking place around her, always in the shadows, this woman stood her ground and believed, she was never a main character, always a maid and never a bride as the saying would go, but her undying thirst for seeing dreams come true warmed my heart in a way I didn't think was possible.

I may have been a KA virgin before picking up Rock Chick, but this series has ensured it definitely won't be my last, there's a simplicity and yet a sheer elegance to her words, they transcend the page, seeping through the ink into your mind, searing your soul, hands down a new favourite, one I will recommend to anyone looking for something to pull them out of a reading slump, to allow them the opportunity to slip away into another world for a few hours, to relieve them of boredom, or just to remind them that this life is filled with ups and downs, valleys and peaks, but it's how you ride out the darkness and the people you surround yourself with that makes it glorious.


About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Friday, 26 June 2015

You're a book blogger... Huh? What's that?

Have you ever wondered what's involved in running a book blog? How much time is spent on writing posts, reviews and reading? If your answers no I'm probably about to lose you, but if it's yes then you might be interested in continuing reading this blog post...

I'm going to take a step down memory lane for this entry, a few years ago I decided to pick up a book that people were raving about, my entire team at work (all eleven of us) decided to give it a go, you might of heard of this book, it was Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James. This series changed the way I looked at reading, not only because of the speed in which I devoured the series, or because of the content, or even that it reinvigorated my passion for the written word, what absolutely blew my mind was that this book opened a dialogue between work colleagues and friends, it gave us a topic to discuss, and avenue to open frank conversations about so much more than just BDSM and sex, it led to a deeper, more concrete bond between friends. 

From there I found Maryse Black, well known book blogger and I started reading with a renewed passion, I discovered Indie authors, and a whole new world of books and ultimately good friends were laid at my feet.

One such friend was Lilliana Anderson, Australian author, when she put out a call for ARC reviews I responded, having no idea what an ARC was, (I would find out it stands for Advanced Reader Copy) away I went, to read and review a book, when Lilliana asked me if I would be interested in BETA reading for her I was shocked, mainly because I had no idea what a BETA reader was, but Lilliana explained what was expected, I would read a draft of her book, I would give her feedback on characters, plot, pacing, what I thought worked, what didn't... It was a heady thing, giving a published author my honest thoughts on their words, one that hasn't changed, I still take the responsibility of being a beta reader seriously, almost two years and over twenty authors later. 

From beta reading and arc reviews, Glass Paper Ink was born, originally as a Facebook page, I had no clue what was involved, I thought I would have maybe ten followers, mainly family, I never had any idea that this blog would grow...

From there came book signings on Australian soil, #IADU in March 2014,  more authors to beta read for, new arcs to review, more books to read.

 In May the organising team asked if I would like to be involved with #SAE2014, Sydney Author Event was set to be a boutique style author signing set against the back drop of Syney Harbour in November and I jumped at the chance, the line up of incredible authors blew me away, people came from across  Australia  from around the world to visit our fair city and to meet authors, some for the very first time.

Ryn, Tash, Kell, Amanda, Natasha made the kind of team I was proud to be a part of. 

2015 saw a new year and exciting news for GPI, an actual blog was born, a one stop shop to catalogue my reviews, to share photos, my little corner of the Internet with the coolest logo ever (even if I do say so myself - created by Ben Ellis of BE Designs) 

Fast forward six months, and my days are spent working my full time job as a employment consultant, my lunch breaks are spent posting to social media, my drive to and from work is spent listening to books on audio so I don't waste precious time, my nights are spent beta reading for authors, reading arcs, writing reviews, preparing cover reveal posts, setting up giveaways, replying to review requests, responding to messages and emails.... book land never stops, it never sleeps, my blog diary is a colour coded wonderland 

I adore every second of this world I'm now part of, I barely sleep, I spend far too much time online and on Facebook, I always have my nose stuck in a book, and my book budget has grown in leaps and bounds, I think I underestimated how much time actually goes into operating a book blog, how much time is spent reading and then writing reviews. I've been lucky to have a husband who supports my foray into book land, Michael attends events with me, helps with the heavy lifting involved in event preparation and set up, he even gets my books signed when I'm busy being an organiser or author assistant. I think he secretly gets a kick out of the fact that authors, readers and bloggers know his name. 

August 2016 will see #SydneyAuthorEvent once again descend on our shores, and I can't wait to see what new adventures the life of a book blogger entails. 


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Stumbling In (The Shore Series #3) by M.R. Joseph - Arc Review



Everyone in Sandy Cove knows that Willow Taylor and Max Vincent are like oil and
water. They live to torment one another and if they survive being in the same room together, it’s nothing short of a miracle. Sure, Willow is rich, blonde and beautiful and Max is an achingly hot and talented up and coming rock star—but that just makes it easier for them to hate one another!
Until one night. One drunken night. It was just supposed to be a night of celebration after each of their best friends’, Harlow and Cruz, were reunited. But a few hours of civility leads to one night of unbridled, earth-shattering, cataclysmic sex. It doesn’t help that the details are sketchy in their minds because the off-the-charts after effects still linger. One thing is clear…that night changed everything. 
From that moment on, sabotaging each other’s hook-ups was their primary goal until a truce is made. A pact. No strings attached, no feelings, just more of what their bodies crave whenever they see one another. They both get what they want and no one gets hurt. 
Until someone does. Until love and tragedy gets in the way. The heat between Willow and Max is undeniable but will that spark of desire be enough to sustain them through the pain and heartache that threatens them?



Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: June 2015.

I have so much love for this author, M.R. Joseph seems to effortlessly weave stories of love and lust, of loss and regret, of second chances and new beginnings and every single time I find myself falling in love with new characters, as they cement themselves in my heart and soul, I celebrate their joys and commiserate with their sorrows, such is the type of connection I have with her characters, the soul deep affinity I feel for the people she creates.

Max is cocky, arrogant, on his way to being a rock god and funny as hell, he gives as good as he gets and isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Not only is he working the whole self assured angle but he's hiding this huge heart that truly cares for his friends, he's not some shallow, one dimensional character who's flat, his energy jumps off the page, his sense of fun is infectious, and his zest for life and for living each day endears him to the reader so effortlessly.

Willow is the original ice queen, she's rich, beautiful and uses sass and smart arse remarks to keep people at a distance. Willow isn't a new character as such, she's had a good life, loving parents, every luxury money could buy, she has the perfect example of what love is in her parents, and her friendship with Harlow has shown her the kind of love that can exist between friends, but even with all the trappings wealth can provide Willow still guards her heart. 

There's a beautiful fragility and yet a fierce strength in Willow, the dichotomy of the two warring sides of her personality made it so incredibly easy to be captivated by her, despite the seemingly shallow image she portrayed to the world at times there was always a depth lurking just below the surface, one that dragged you in, demanded your attention. There were moments of heart wrenching pain, unadulterated joy and soul shattering loss that stole my breath, Joseph's ability to weave a happy and at times silly and sexy romp through early adulthood, and yet blend it with characters that make you stop, and a story that tugs at your heartstrings shows the kind of talent that the author possesses. One that leaves me awe struck, stunned and ultimately so unbelievably overjoyed that I can lose myself so utterly in another world that's at once so real it's tangible, and yet so far away that I can watch the story unfold from the sidelines.

Stumbling In is a story of first impressions and second chances, it's a story of giving in, letting go, and allowing yourself to free fall, it's about believing in yourself, it's about trusting in those around you, it's about friends and lovers and family, there's such a beautiful message that underlies this entire story, and what I adore so much about M.R. Joseph is that, that message can mean something different to each reader, for me Stumbling In reminded me the kind of joy and love that's in this world when we are willing to open ourselves up to it, it reminded me that I am enough, I'm not just my past nor my present or my future, I'm a sum of all of it, and so much more, but more than anything this book reminded me that friendship is precious, to hold onto it with two hands, to savour it, to cherish it, to revel in it because when things fall apart, when you feel broken, the people you surround yourself with will be the ones to help hold you together.



Excerpt From Max-

Stumbling In-The Shore Series Book 3

I go to her and place my hand on her shoulder, and she turns around and I’m faced with the most unexpected thing that I think has ever happened. Willow turns around and grabs handfuls of my shirt and pulls me to her soft, wanting lips. She kisses me, and it’s just not a kiss that breathes lust but it breathes the fire of passion, of meaning. It makes my hair stand on end and leaves the skin beneath electrified. The soft motion of her mouth with mine, the scent of her hair and the taste of her tongue dancing inside my mouth, spins me into oblivion. There’s more to this kiss. I feel it in my bones. I feel it in my soul. She kisses me like we are music. We are the rhythm joining together with the notes and the melody. I grasp the back of her head and thread my fingers in her hair softly. I deepen the kiss and I reach the point where I swim in this moment so deep that I don’t want to come to the surface… and that’s when she pulls away and I know I’m fucked.

I’m so fucking fucked.

She holds her lips with her long, slender fingers. Her eyes find mine and I’m still lost in whatever that was. I can’t even ask her because I can’t even speak. It wasn’t the normal wanton kiss that happens between us when we just use each other. No, oh no, this was something else.

“Willow…” She holds up her hand to stop me.

“Let’s just leave it at that, Max.”

I walk past her slowly as I hear the relentlessness of the bus’s horn and slide open the door to her room. I turn around and she’s already back to leaning on the rail. Her body turned to the calm waters. The sun shines down on her bare, bronzed shoulders and the wind picks up and blows her hair around again. It’s the last time I’ll see her in person for a while and after that kiss, my head and something else right at this very moment doesn’t want it to be the last time. It’s not the right time to analyze what that kiss was. Maybe it was a goodbye kiss. A proper send off. The end of whatever we were to each other. Was it a blessing for me to go and see where it goes with Cora? What was that? I’ll tell you what it was. The unexpected.

“I’ll miss you, Willow.” Not being so sure she can hear me, I say it as I walk out the door. I leave her with my brain consisting of mush and my lips already feeling some sort of loss.

Most of all… a lot to think about.



I'm a book nerd turned writer who loves the 'Happily Ever After' mixed with a bit of suspense, drama, and the occasional cliffhanger! My love of books started me on my writing journey. I began writing my first book in July 2012 and since that time I have created 2 series. The first series 'The Reunion Series' debuted in November 2012 and two books followed. My new series 'The Shore Series" debuted in March 2014 and claimed Best Selling status shortly after the release of the first book. There will be 6 Shore Series books in all. I’m also the author of the Romantic Comedy, 39 & Holding. I live in Philadelphia with my adoringly handsome husband, and pretty cute kids if I may say so myself. You can always find me with the Kindle glued to my hands or in my car with the music turned up whileembarrassing my children with my mad car dancing skills.

Twitter~ @redkar_m