Sunday, 31 January 2016

Bite The Bullet (Bitten #5) by CC Wood



I don't know what happened to my life.

Just a few months ago, I was independent and had an exciting job I loved. Now, along with my friends, I'm in hiding.

Why? Because I'm one of the Five, a group of human women bestowed with powers and abilities to fight and control supernatural beings. A prophesy was written about us centuries ago. We are supposed to save the world, though none of us knows how.

Now, Cornelius, the leader of a malevolent group known as the Faction believes that by killing us and absorbing our power, he will become unstoppable in his bid to control not only the supernatural domain, but the entire world.

After evading capture and an attempt on my life forced me into months of hiding, I finally have a chance to take action against the Faction — as bait.

Asher Leroux, the vampire tasked with helping me, makes me feel things I don't understand. It's as if he fills the empty places in my soul, spaces that I didn't know existed.

As the final battle draws closer, I know that defeating the Faction won't give me back the life I once had, but maybe that's not such a bad deal after all.


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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

I've stated that I'm not a huge reader of paranormal romance, I'm not sure why exactly but with the exception of the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, the Undead series by Mary Janice Davidson and the fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien I've never really had the urge to read them, and yet I read CC Woods Love Bites and I was so utterly invested that I couldn't put it down, nor could I maintain my claim that paranormal romance wasn't for me.

In the final instalment in the Bitten series Shannon is at a cross roads, her life and the lives of her closest friends has been put on hold, in hiding, alone and desperate for a way to end this war that they have been fighting against Cornelius and The Faction, she's ready to resort to desperate measures to finally ensure her friends are safe. When she approaches Connor to turn her into a vampire, she thinks she finally sees a way out of all their problems. Vampire lore states that there are rules to adhere to for turning people, there's sacred bonds that form, and lines you can't cross, which leaves Shannon at the mercy of the unmated vampires, like Asher Leroux.

Shannon has guarded her heart for a long time, her friends have found their chosen mate, but she's never understood or felt that soul deep kind of connection that they seem to have found, but with Asher she feels something intense, other worldly, something different to anything she could of imagined, but if she's going to have a chance at ending the war they are facing she might have to admit to the attraction she feels and put more than just her body on the line but her heart as well.

CC Wood created a fun, fast, sexy, action packed thrill ride, Bite the Bullet was sexy and scintillating, everything about this story sucked me in, held me captive, and made me desperate for more, Shannon was the kind of heroine I adore, strong, feisty, determined, she's not scared to put herself on the line, she's faced more situations that would leave me crying in the corner than I would like to admit, but more than that she's got a huge heart that I couldn't help loving her even more for. Asher may have been the big strong vamp in this story but for me the hero of this story is Shannon. Bite The Bullet had me utterly captivated, I was invested from the very first page as we stepped inside Shannon's mind and buckled in for her adventure, everything about this story held me on the edge of my seat, desperate for more, CC Wood found the perfect balance between sexy and swoon worthy romance, between action and adrenaline, between fantasy and reality, everything about this book left me both sated and desperate for more, I've made it my resolution to start at the beginning and dive into Love Bites this week, it seems Ms Wood has made me realise that I might just be a fan of paranormal romance after all.

Purchase Other titles in this series:

Bite Me (Bitten #1):
Once Bitten, Too Shy (Bitten #2):
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bitten (Bitten #3):
One Little Bite (Bitten #3.5):
Love Bites (Bitten #4):

About CC Wood:

A native Texan, C.C. Wood grew up either reading or playing the piano. Years later, she’s still not grown up and doing the same things. Since the voices in her head never shut up, C.C. decided to share their crazy stories and started writing books.

Now that she has a baby girl at home, C.C.’s non-writing time is usually spent cleaning up poopy diapers or feeding the poop machine. Sometimes she teaches piano, cooks, or spends time bugging her hubby and two beagles.

Visit CC Wood on Facebook

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Loud is How I Love You (Hub City #1) by Mercy Brown - ARC Review

Released: 19th January 2016.


One girl’s heart gets rocked to the core in the first novel in this sexy New Adult series.

Twenty-one-year-old front girl Emmylou knows that getting her band noticed in the ‘90s indie rock scene will be no easy task. She definitely knows better than to break the number one rule of the band: Don't sleep with your bandmates! But after she ends up having the best sex of her life with her guitarist, Travis, she finds following that rule is a lot harder than it sounds.

When the band gets the gig of their dreams, making it big seems just within reach. But Emmy’s inability to keep her hands off Travis threatens everything they’ve worked for. Can Emmy find a way to break the rules and not blow the chance of a lifetime?

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

Loud Is How I Love You is set against the backdrop if the 90's indie rock scene, when Seattle grunge is still playing on the radio, when the Kurt Cobain's of the world are King and the likes of Justin Bieber's of the world aren't even born yet, Music is meant to be loud and raw and visceral, bringing about a feeling or emotion when banging you head along to it.

Emmylou has big plans for her life, at the forefront, it's getting her band noticed, they have talent, that's undisputable, but so do so many other bands just fighting to get heard, everything is simple, adhering to her rules, number one being don't screw with the band dynamics, and sleeping with her guitarist Travis would definitely do that, too bad it's already happened and she can't go back, only she can't stop, and she can't move forward either.

Loud Is How I Love You played out like a movie reel running through my mind, everything from the 90's flashbacks, to the music mentioned playing like a soundtrack to a tale that's more than just girl meets boy, girl and boy fall for each other and girl freaks out in order to maintain some semblance of what she had before, Loud is outlandishly funny, sexy in a way that a story with a twenty one year old female lead promises to be, and refreshingly real as Emmylou takes the reader on a journey through all of her moments of freak outs and stark realisations that everything she ever dreamt of might not be the thing she really wants.

"Stay loud so I don't lose you, I will follow the sound of you anywhere."
Loud was full of life and vitality, full of heart and angst, that kept me coming back for more, left me salivating for more of Emmylou and all her quirks, of Travis and he swoon worthy ways, of the rag tag members of Soft and all their motley crew of friends. From the first page to the last line I was enraptured, I'm eagerly awaiting Sonia's chance to tell her story in Stay Until We Break.

Purchase Links:

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About Mercy Brown:

Mercy Brown is a retired indie rock front girl turned author and LOUD IS HOW I LOVE YOU is her first book. LOUD is a New Adult novel and will be published by Intermix (Berkley-Penguin) in January 2016. LOUD is based, very, very loosely on Mercy's experiences fronting bands in the 90s. A follow-up will be published in June 2016.

Mercy is represented by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency.


Monday, 11 January 2016

ACED by K. Bromberg - Review

“Colton is back and better than ever. Be ready for another lap around the track that you’ll never want to get off.”Corinne Michaels, USA Today Bestselling Author


Rylee and Colton's ride continues...
One moment. Six years ago.

The night she made the world around me so much more than just a blur. Now it's the catalyst that threatens to tear us apart.

Our happily was supposed to be ever after. So why do I feel like it's slipping through my fingers?

How can one moment, when our world seemed so right, resurface and cause our perfect life to spiral out of control?

I can't lose her.

She's my checkered flag.


Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

"Remember, son, marriage isn't about how madly in love you are through the good times, but how committed you are to each other in the bad times."

I'm sitting here staring at my computer screen, trying desperately to put what I'm feeling down on paper so to speak, and I've got to be honest...I'm struggling, because I don't know how to do ACED justice, I don't know how to eloquently say what I need to tell you, which is that this book captured my heart, it crushed it, it tore it apart, and it taped it back together. Years ago when I picked up Driven I fell in love with Colton Donovan and Rylee Thomas, because yes Colton was the epitome of alpha males we love, but more than that he had demons, demons that have dominated his life, dominated so much of it, before Rylee he used racing and women to numb himself, he tried to f*ck everything out of his system but that's the thing about your past it never truly goes away, and no one understood that better than Rylee because she had a past that haunted her, they both understood what it was like to want to desperately forget and together found a connection they never expected.

"The only thing you can do is to turn your wounds into wisdom."

Aced begins years later, Rylee and Colton have freed the ghosts of their collective pasts, they've grown together, they've leant on each other, they've built a foundation so solid that nothing could ever break them, they've lived through the worst life has to throw at them and come out stronger, more resilient, but that's the thing about life, it continues to throw curveballs at you, continues to test your limits, push you to colour outside the lines, forces you to take one step forward and two steps back, to keep getting up.

"I love that you raced me even when I didn't have any wheels on the f*cking track."

Bromberg gives fans readers back their beloved Rylee and Colton, and every ounce of love I had for them came rushing back, I felt it in spades, I felt that soul deep connection between two people who were made for each other, who chose to be with each other, two bestfriends in every sense of the word, a bond forged in fire, but now years on from that first meeting in a broom closet, they have waves rolling in, ready to knock them off their proverbial boards, the more the scamper to right themselves, the faster and harder the waves crash into them.

"No one has control of life, Rylee. That's the beauty and fear in living it."

There's a expectancy of fantasy to contemporary romance, we don't want to read about average hero's who work the 9til5 and come home to eat dinner, watch an hour of sports and fall asleep, we want a hero we can dream about, fantasise about, revel in, and while Colton Donovan is certainty not your average Joe, there's a sense of normalcy here, an overriding sense of I've experienced that, I've been there, I know your pain because I've felt it too, for an author to be able to take the reader on a journey where she can elicit an emotional response is telling of their prowess, but to take a story that's fantastical in so many ways, and have readers connect with it because they've been through it, to take something away from it, to use it to help heal a part of themselves that they worried would always be broken, is a testament to her exceptional talent.

"You're only alive if you bruise."

I feel as though I'm being deliberately evasive, and I am because you don't want me to ruin this for you, BELIEVE ME on this, you want to go in like I did, pulling on my imaginary protective armour, because I knew, I KNEW with absolute certainty that I was about to take a journey, one that I may not of been ready for, and I devoured Aced, as I turned the last page, I put my kindle down and just breathed, as my emotions ebbed and flowed, and I looked back on every moment, every smile, every shared look, every soft touch, from the beginning, through five books, and thousands of words, then I picked it back up and started Aced all over again.

Bromberg shows such growth in her writing, which astounds me as I've always been captivated by her ability to draw you in, to make you truly live and breathe her words. This story is captivating from the very first line until the last page, her prose exquisite, her ability to cradle your heart in her hands, while she begs you to trust her to take Colton and Rylee where their story needs to go. Heart stopping, mesmerizing, the old adage that it's not about the destination, but the journey is true here, Bromberg valiantly and sensitively takes the reader on a journey that will leave them both sated and desperate for more.

Purchase Links:

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Also Available By K. Bromberg


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About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

She’s a mixture of most of her female characters: sassy, intelligent, stubborn, reserved, outgoing, driven, emotional, strong, and wears her heart on her sleeve. All of which she displays daily with her husband and three children where they live in Southern California.

On a whim, K. Bromberg decided to try her hand at this writing thing. Since then she has written The Driven Series (Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced), the standalone Driven Novels (Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, Hard Beat, Aced, and a short story titled UnRaveled. She is currently working on new projects and a few surprises for her readers.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media.

Connect With Kristy


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Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Mother Road by Meghan Quinn - ARC Review

THE MOTHER ROAD by Meghan Quinn

NA Romantic Comedy

Release date: January 12, 2016

Cover Designed by: Meghan Quinn


Never in a million years would I have pictured myself as an axe-wielding, dragon lady, chopping up multi-colored flannel shirts into my very own plaid mulch. But here I am, chopping away my frustrations.

It all started when my brother, Paul, convinced me to go on one last family road trip across the Mother Road with him and my dad.. Just like old times, right? Wrong. What Paul fails to mention is his best man, Porter, will be joining us, who just so happens to be my childhood crush and the man who broke my heart four years ago.

What is supposed to be a fun, family bonding experience across Route 66 turns into a war of pranks, awkward moments and bathrooms full of dirty flannel shirts and day old beard clippings. Paul’s know-it-all attitude and Porter’s devilish charm brings me to the brink of my sanity on my seven day trek across the United States with three bearded men in a small 1980’s RV.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.  
Childhood friends.... CHECK.....
Second Chance Love story ..... CHECK...
Older brothers bestmate ....CHECK....
Friends to Lovers....CHECK...
Roadtrip story....CHECK....
Holy Moly, did Meghan Quinn read my crack hit list???? Anyone who knows me knows that these are the stories I LIVE for, give me one of these tropes and I'm on it, but this is the amalgamation of everything I love!
Marley McMann has got a pretty sweet life, she's created the career she always wanted, as a successful beauty blogger, that's built a strong following and is gaining the recognition of leaders in the beauty and cosmetic field who want to use her site to advertise their products and for her to test their range, she's got her professional life figured out, and it's a long way from the country girl she left behind four years ago.
Porter Smith is a born and bred farm boy, when his home life left a lot to be desired, Gloria and Bernie McMann took him in and loved him like their own, Paul and Porter became instant best friends, and Marley met the boy she would spend her entire childhood and adolescence swooning over, Porter was always respectful, honourable to a fault, and when he and Marley finally had a chance to explore what they felt for each other the night of Marley's Prom, Porter as always did the right thing, and walked away.
Fast Forward to now, weeks before Paul marries the love of his life Savannah, he and his father have a proposition for Marley, one last trip along the Mother Road, the ultimate is Winnebago holidays, an ode to their family, an ode to Gloria, one last great hurrah before sending Paul into matrimony, and in itself the trip is something Marley looks forward to, until she doesn't, until she has the see Porter again, the man who broke her heart by walking away, the man who taught her about childhood crushes, and teenage love, the man she's spent four year trying to forget.
"We're living in two different worlds, Marley, and they don't meet up."
In typical Meghan Quinn style I knew without a shadow of a doubt that The Mother Road would be hilarious, and it is, seamlessly blending witty retorts, with the kind of childish hilarity that anyone one with a sibling will recognise, but more than that The Mother Road was sweet, super sweet at times, because underneath Porter's bravado and Marley's feisty comebacks are two people who want each other with a desperation they have both tried to supress, but they love each other on a fundamental level, a love that started out as something so pure, and blossomed into something romantic, fuelled by lust and desire, but it's that purity, that faith in each other, that determination to see the other live the kind of life they only imagined, even if it means that you won't be part of it.
"My love for Marley is strong enough for me to let her go; too bad my heart is still battered and bruised from the first time I said goodbye."
Everything about The Mother Road drew me in, I was invested, enraptured, spellbound, this story is about so much more than a roadtrip, so much more than an ode to the ties that bind, so much more than more than two people who have spent most of their lives orbiting around one another. It's filthy and hilarious and sexy and sweet, Quinn pulled no punches here, she laid it all out there asking the reader to join Marley, Porter, Paul and Bernie to hold on tight and enjoy the ride, Porter is a little bit alpha, a lot swoonworthy and the kind of man any father would be proud to see with his little girl, and Marley is both strong and fragile, tough and sweet, she's the kind of heroine you can help but love, because underneath that confident exterior is a young woman who's known the man of her dreams her entire life and just wants him to truly see her.
"These hands, they were made to protect me heart, to guide me through life, and to take care of me like your mom used to."
There's a beautiful message here, one that's buried under the hilarity, under the side splitting comedy, under the constant pranks, it's one that reminds us as the reader that we should do the things that scare us, we shouldn't go through life guarding our hearts to the point that we miss out on the good, to scared of the bad, Quinn reminds the reader that everything you want is on the other side of fear, and sometimes we just have to do it anyway, The Mother Road is a story of love, family and no regrets, one that not only made me laugh, but made my heart smile, it left me feeling strong and sure, invincible, it cemented Quinn as a force to be reckoned with in not only romantic comedy but contemporary romance.
About Meghan Quinn:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.
Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.
Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!





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Monday, 4 January 2016

Licked (L.A. Liaisons #1) Brooke Blaine - Review


As the owner of Licked, an eclectic ice creamery and bar, Ryleigh Phillips doesn't have time for that love stuff. Serving up Nibble My Nuts sundaes and Drunken Sailor boozy shakes are as close to an orgasmic affair as she's had in months thanks to her expanding empire—until the night of her ten-year high school reunion.

When Ryleigh's crush, gorgeous ex-football god Cameron Mathis, comes streaking into her life (literally—streaking), she begins to wonder if she really can have it all.

Wouldn't it just figure that the moment you think life is perfect is when it falls spectacularly apart?

Enter Hunter Morgan, the contractor in charge of Licked's renovations. Devastatingly handsome, and a smartass to boot, he's got his eyes on Ryleigh from the moment he finds her passed out on his couch (yeah, that's a long story). There's just one tiny complication—he happens to be Cameron's best friend.

When the lines between relationships and friendships blur, and it's impossible to choose between two delicious flavors, what's a girl to do? Taste a sample of each? Or go out and get LICKED?

Kristine's Review: 
Reviewed: January 2016.

Have you ever just been idly browsing your Facebook feed when you stumble across a cover that intrigues you, you start to read the blurb and #1click it before you even reach the end??? Well that was me last night... I saw one of my friends post about Licked and by the second line of the blurb I was sold, I shared that badboy on the blog and in my group, immediately I had readers declaring their love of this book, and I wondered how I'd missed it, this afternoon I dove in, and the rest as they say is history.

Ryleigh Phillips seems to have it all together, great friends, successful business an adult themed Ice creamery on the cusp of expanding and not to mention a rocking heel collection, but things for Ryleigh weren't always so peachy, as a lover of all things rockabilly and 1950s and 1960s she's always been a bit quirky, a high school can be absolute torture for anyone who deviates from the norm, Ryleigh never felt like she fit, she always felt like she was on the outside looking in, if kids are cruel then teenage girls are absolute bitches. Her one good memory of high school was Cameron Mathis, star of the football team, he was a dreamboat, and she lusted after him from afar. When she begrudgingly attends her high school reunion she has only one agenda, to find Cameron and make a move. When she runs into him in the most unorthodox if ways it looks like she's not the only one who has fond memories, her high school crush might just be set to become her real life adult boyfriend, all of her adolescent dreams could be about to come true, but there's only one small problem, Cameron's roommate and best friend Hunter Morgan makes her stomach flip flop, he's infuriating and cocky and creative and talented, but he's not Cameron, so we is she feeling so conflicted???

“If you can’t tell your friends to fuck off with a smile and know they aren’t going anywhere, then you don’t have real friends.”  

Everything about Licked drew me in, from Ryleigh and her crazy loud group of friends - Paige, Quinn, Shayne and Zoe, to the charming and chivalrous Cameron, to the sexy and confident Hunter, Blaine's narrative is so natural, that I can hear Ryleigh's every though playing through my mind, she's quirky, and fun, and full of life, she's got a self deprecating sense of humour and she's got this easiness about her that effortlessly draws people to her, from her witty one liners, to her internal thoughts I was giggling from beginning to end, but the beauty of Licked wasn't just the sexually charged chemistry between Hunter and Ryleigh, or the witty zingers that flew between Ry and her girls, but Blaine's ability to seamlessly take the reader from laughing to swooning to heartbreaking anguish.

"It scares me to want you as much as I do, because you could hurt me. Break me. And I've been broken before."

I loved every damn second of this story, I adored watching these characters come to life, simply put I was invested from the first page, I wanted to slink into the world Blaine created, I wanted to hang out in Licked and After Dark and consume delicious desserts and craftily named cocktails, I wanted to swoon over Hunter while he worked, I wanted to be there for girls night.

"And all those things I don't know about you yet - I love those too."
The second I turned the last page I jumped on Goodreads to find out anything I could about Hooker, the next book in the L.A. Liaisons series, I stalked Brooke Blaine's Facebook page to find a blurb or a teaser or anything just to satiate my thirst for more of these characters, which should tell you how deeply I fell in love with this book. Do yourself a favour and #1click this beauty, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Purchase Links:

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About Brooke Blaine:

You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.

She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Head to Brooke's Website:

Hero by Samantha Young - Review


The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren't his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they're on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

Find Hero on Goodreads

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

Yesterday I asked my blog reader group out of two books what I should read next, the resounding answer was HERO, one member went so far as to say if this wasn't a GOLD Lipstick review then I didn't deserve my lipstick rating... I'm not even a little miffed to say she was 100% correct, this book ...gahhh everything about Hero captivated me immediately, Alexa was a character I loved at first sight, she was strong and feisty and pure of heart and good and so incredibly intriguing, during another bout of insomnia and ill health, I picked it up hoping that I would fall asleep at some point, instead I devoured Samantha Young's words, I couldn't of put this book down if I tried, with Young's trademark wit, her sexy styling and characters that make you feel, I was hooked, line and sinker.

It's an interesting premise here, Alexa uncovered her father's deception a few years ago, and boy was it a doozy, it shattered the precarious happiness of her family and alienated her from her once watertight bond with her mother, it obliterated everything she once believed and changed her life, after the death of her estranged mother a few months ago, her world crumbled, but her father's deception didn't only effect Alexa and her mother, they were only two of the people who were collateral damage, enter Caine Carraway. Alexa is determined to prove she's nothing like her father, but Caine has no interest in her, he works tirelessly to break her, but she refuses to crumble.

“You cannot kill your boss on the first day, you cannot kill your boss on the first day, you cannot kill your boss period”  

When circumstances lead to Alexa being under Caine's employ, she believes she finally has an in to prove that the sins of the father don't have to repeat themselves, but Caine is adamant that she is nothing more than his PA, his interactions with her are curt, he throws tasks at her that would frazzle even the most professional of people, Alexa has never been so effected by a man before, and she's determined to prove that all she wants is for Caine to find happiness, what she doesn't know is she is not the only one impacted by their interaction, their bond quickly deepens and before long they are involved in a hot and sexually explosive affair, Caine is determined to keep things purely sexual and Alexa hopes that there is more for them then just the physical connection.

“This isn’t just sex, Caine. This is an affair.” I held my hand up to stop his coming protest. “I’m not suggesting permanency. I’m suggesting that you admit that there’s a difference in what we’re doing here. We aren’t two people who just have sex now and then. There are feelings here whether we want to admit it or not. I’m not asking for forever, I’m asking you to stop pushing me away. I’m asking you to be real with me for however long this lasts.”  

I expected a sexy, witty romance, I purposely went into Hero blind, I had purchased it back in February 2015, and within moments of turning the first page, I was kicking myself for taking so long to read it, because Hero is incredibly sexy, with the trademark wit I've come to expect from Ms Young, but this story was so much more than that, with secrets and lies at every turn, Hero had all the markings of suspenseful thrill ride, I knew something *BIG* was coming, I kept waiting for find out what *IT* was and boy each and every time another part of the puzzle came to light, I became more desperate, I wanted, no I needed to know why Caine truly believed he wasn't a good fit for Alexa, but what truly had me enraptured was Alexa's tenacity, her strength in the face of adversity, her belief in Caine and all of those around her, she made me hopeful, even when her faith wavered, even when my heart shattered for her, even when I wanted to wrap her in my arms, wipe her tears and reassure her, I had faith and hope carving out space in my battered heart, because my silly, swoony, romantic thirst for happily ever afters is what draws me to reading, to getting lost in a book, to forgetting the time, to handing my heart over to an author every time I turn the first page, begging them to handle it with care.

“Don’t you get it?” he said, his voice gruff with emotion. “I’ve never met anyone like you before. There’s no one like you. I keep waiting to not feel like this, because there are times I can’t bear it. To care this much. To worry about you day in and day out, even before the attack. I love you so fucking much. I sometimes . . . I feel consumed by it.”  

Hero was a witty, sexy thrill ride, filled with poignant moments of heartbreaking clarity, of twists and turns, of one woman's journey to find a place to belong and to prove to a man who once lost everything that we are more than just one part of ourselves, that the sins of the father aren't destined to repeat themselves, but more than anything that life is about flailing and falling, and getting back up despite the darkness that often plagues us, Hero is about not letting the past hold you captive, it's about forgiveness and redemption, my only regret is not starting this book sooner.

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About Samantha Young:

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET and Best Romance 2014 for BEFORE JAMAICA LANE. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha's first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in twenty-nine countries.

Visit Samantha's Website:

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Vegas Love by Jillian Dodd - Review


Hollywood actress, Ashlyn Roberts, just had the worst week of her life. Her ex released a sex tape of them and just when she was convinced her current boyfriend was a keeper for standing by her side, he breaks up with her at a friend’s wedding. She’s planning to drown her sorrows in booze when she meets a sexy stranger as she’s leaving the wedding and they end up in Vegas, married.

Cash Crawford is offered a dream job working with his brother as a junior talent agent. He’ll put his shiny new law degree to good use and make a bunch of money in the process. His first task is simple: Keep Ashlyn Roberts out of trouble and don’t sleep with her.
Which might be kind of tough, since they definitely consummated their Vegas wedding.

Will this one night stand end in the quickie divorce they promised each other? Or will they realize they got lucky in love?

A standalone contemporary romance by USA Today Bestselling Author, Jillian Dodd.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2015.

Ashlyn Roberts is a Hollywood star, the lifestyles of the rich and famous seem perfect right?? Wrong!! First her ex leaks their sex tape, things could be worse right...she's still got her
 boyband boyfriend sticking by her, sure things suck right now, but all is not lost, she's got love and her friends wedding to celebrate...until it is, when her boyfriend leaves her too at the wedding, she's finally has enough, this relationship stuff is too much, she's sick of playing the role everyone wants her to play, she wants to let loose and have fun and forget about paparazzi and leaked video's and the sexy stranger she's just met might just be enough to make her forget everything for one night.

Cash Crawford has a shiny new law degree, and the job offer of a lifetime working with his brother, his new job is simple, keep his brother's client Ashlyn out of the spotlight and safe, and don't sleep with her. Sounds simple in theory right?? Wrong again.

When Cash and Ashlyn's worlds collide they share an intense chemistry, one night of wild, unbridled passion and a marriage license meant more to them then either of them would like to admit, but then the morning came and Ashlyn snuck away like a ghost in the night, their connection should have ended, but life doesn't always do what one expects, and if has a bigger plan for them then Cash and Ashlyn expects. Do they proceed like the night in Vegas never happened or do they get to know each other, become friends and actually see if their marriage could work??

It's an interesting concept, strangers who end up married in Vegas, all of the things we look for in a relationship are already there, intense connection, sexual chemistry, the ability to just be with the other person, but Cash's brother is relying on him to do his job and keep his pants zipped, and Ashlyn is expected to do her job, keep her social profile high while keeping on the straight and narrow, there's friends, family and professional contacts in the mix, but for the first time in a long time Ashlyn has people who are truly on her side, and Cash can see himself settling down, with one woman and starting something real.

Vegas Love was my first book by Jillian Dodd, with references to her previous series I'm intrigued to dive in and read more, this was a super cute, fun, fast, sexy read, it has believable drama, heart-warming moments, and made me giggle with glee, sometimes you just need to pick up a book that makes you smile and that doesn't feel like angst overload, and Vegas Love was perfect for that. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the fun filled romp and would recommend it to anyone looking for something with a great blend of heart, heat and humour.

About Jillian Dodd:

Jillian Dodd is the author of The Keatyn Chronicles Series, The Captive Films Series, and the That Boy Series. She lives in sunny Florida.

Visit Jillian Dodd's Website:

LEV: A Shot Callers Novel Belle Aurora - Review


From the moment Lev Leokov spots the young woman hiding behind her hair in the middle of the gentleman's club, he can't take his eyes off of her.
For the very first time in his life, he is affected. Having been told his entire life that he can't process or understand emotion, he considers it a big deal.

When Mina Harris gets caught red-handed with a wallet that isn't hers, she falls apart. She's tired, lonely and hasn't eaten in days.

Lev offers her an ultimatum... A nice warm bed, a hot meal and a job, or the cops.

Mina takes her chances with Lev.
After all, a person with nothing has nothing left to lose.

***This book enters the world of the extended Leokov family which are introduced in Friend-Zoned, however, is unrelated... release date TBA**

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

“Being alive was easy. Living, on the other hand…well, that was a little harder.”  

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up LEV, actually that's a lie I expected something dark, gritty, it had been a long while since I'd dived into one of Belle Aurora's books, and my memories of RAW obviously left a mark. LEV started ominous enough, Mina Harris is cold and hungry, her very existence is so far out of my realm of experience that my heart ached for her, desperation and despair make you do things you never dreamt of, after narrowly escaping a fate that threatened to send her down a path she didn't want to travel, she finds herself in a gentlemen's club, her plan is simple, seduce a man, get his wallet, and take off with enough money to enable her to eat for the first time in what feels like forever. Mina finds her mark and immediately realises how easy it could be, no seduction needed, grab the dangling wallet, grab some money and run for it, that is until Lev Leokov is standing in her way, Lev seeing something in Mina, feeling something foreign to him, the need to save and protect, offer's her two choices, a place to stay, and a job serving drinks, or the police. Mina has been on her own for so long she's wary of the offer, but faced with a chance of salvation she grasps it.

“I’m not ashamed of who you are. And the only time I would look down on you is if I were helping you back up.”  

LEV was an easy read, the connection between Mina and Lev was fun to explore, her past should have broken her but when given the chance she flourished, and Lev's inability to feel emotional responses tempered all of his interactions, he has definite alpha qualities and yet he was almost an anti hero for me, which is strange in itself that I felt that way, because there's never a doubt in this story that Lev is a good guy, one better than most, he's ruthless when it serves his purpose, and yet he's a devoted family man. Mina and Lev made for an interesting coupling, but what grabbed my attention throughout the story was the romantic lives of Lev's brother Sasha and sister Nastasia, the briefest glimpses of their romantic entanglements had me desperate for more, and I'm excited to see where Aurora takes these characters in the future.

“Love,” he advised gently, “is a doing word. And sometimes the people who least deserve it are the ones who need it most.”  
Aurora writes some swoon worthy moments here, we see the emotional pull Lev has on Mina early on, he is no doubt her saviour and there was always that voice in my head that told me that Mina had no hope in not falling for her white knight, his unconventional way of addressing her, his inability to truly feel anything of consequence made me wonder whether he could be the kind of leading man I love, I shouldn't of worried, it was utterly pointless especially with lines like the one below, my heart was in danger of exploding right out of my chest.

“My arms around her waist tightened a little. I never wanted to let go. “I don’t know what love is,” I started quietly. “But if I could love anyone…” I pressed a gentle kiss behind her ear, pulling her close. “I would love you. Very much.”
LEV was surprisingly fun, for what I expected to be a dark and harrowing story, I was pleasantly surprised to find the perfect book to curl up with on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I read it in one sitting with a glass of wine in hand, slowly sipping away while Aurora reminded me to expect the unexpected, while this book didn't change the way I view the world, it was an entertaining easy read that was highly enjoyable, one that has ensured I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for other books in the Shot Callers series, I struggled with how to rate this one, I flipped in my decision, but so much of how I rate and review is based on not just how quickly I read them, but how desperate I am for more while reading, and in truth I devoured this, I blinked and I was finished, time ceased to exist and I sunk into Aurora's words.



About Belle Aurora:

When finding an author pick of this talented lady use your own photo

Belle Aurora was born in the land down under.
At an early age she fell in love with reading. Boredom one summer had her scouring the bookshelves at home. She stumbled across Sandra Brown’s Breath of Scandal and fell in love with romance.
Having been brought up in a loud and boisterous family of Croatian descent, she developed a natural love for dramatics and humor. Only some years ago had she discovered a new love.
Humorous romance novels.
Kristen Ashley and R.L. Mathewson had opened a brand new world where she could lose herself yet feel safe and at home in their stories. Belle has been known to become a screeching banshee while anxiously awaiting their newest titles.
Belle never thought she would write. It had never interested her until recently. Friend-Zoned began to form and in February this year Belle typed the words Chapter One. And she fell in love.
With words.
With writing.
With a creative imagination she never knew she harbored.

Visit Belle Aurora on Facebook

Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City #5) by Penny Reid - ARC Review

Released: 19th January 2016.


There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except… not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2015

For followers of How I Met Your Mother they will remember the famous line from the show that "nothing good happens after 2am"... well I'm here to tell you they were wrong, you see last night while plagued by a case of insomnia I decided to pick up a book, at 2am, thinking soon enough my eyes would grow tired and I would finally fall asleep...I did grow tired, I fell asleep with my kindle clutched tightly to my chest and a smile on my face... at 4.30am.

I've been a long time fan of Penny Reid's work, her words have always had an incredible impact on my heart, her characters are always quirky, her stories always veer from the stereotypical romance, and Happily Ever Ninja was certainly no different, wrapped up in this wild ride of drama and angst and suspense was a story that I encourage anyone who's ever questioned their life choices to read.

"You're becoming invisible under the weight of unhappiness."

Fiona and Greg have created a life many would envy, they have a nice home, two healthy, happy, well adjusted young children, they have great loving and supportive friends, and after over a decade together Fi and Greg still look at each other the way they did when they first fell in love, their insatiable need for each other is still there, their sex life still rocking, the only problem is that Greg's career means that he is away for months at a time. Long distance relationships aren't new to them though, their relationship was built on a foundation of loving each other from a distance, it's was what it was, there was no point in complaining about things you couldn't change.

Happily Ever Ninja captured my attention immediately, and while Fiona recounts the hardships of living a semi single parent existence, struggling under the strain of being the sole provider for emotional stability in her young children's lives, to be the PTA mom she thinks her kids deserve, the role of Super Mom and Super Wife and Super Friend and...well you get it, Fi is juggling a whole world of balls right now, and the exhaustion and fatigue of that mentally is enough to bring someone to their knees, and if I'm honest I think the reason this book struck a chord so heavily is because so many of us have felt the need to wear each of those aforementioned capes, to be everything to everyone. Reid isn't done there though, she takes the reader on a action packed, adrenaline fuelled adventure, one I wasn't ready for, I expected a story about a couple weathering that stage of indifference in their marriage, where they took stock of their lives and decided if this was what they always wanted, instead I got both.

"Tell me the truth. Are you happy? With us? With kids and a wife..."
 "That's like asking me, 'Are you happy your heart beats?'"

Reid weaves a story of jungle trails, and weapons and criminal empires and clandestine operations, that left me on the edge of my seat begging for more, I was thrown into an episode of Covert Affairs and I was breathless with anticipation, I was hooked watching everything transpire, but more than anything I felt a kinship to Fiona, because I've felt some of those same things, regardless of the setting the hero of this story was very much their marriage. Life is tough, marriage is hard, it's a choice you make every single day to be present and to be an active member of it, it's about communication, it's about putting your dirty socks in the hamper, it's wiping down the counter after making a sandwich, it's still wanting to get naked with your partner despite the stretch marks and extra pounds, it's feeling wanted and needed, it's asking for help, it's sharing the load, marriage is so much more than just lofty ideals of loving the other person until death do us part, it's more than grand gestures on Valentine's Day, it's making a commitment every day of every week of every year and being willing to your partner what do we do now, where do we go from here?? I'm not ashamed to admit that I had forgotten that, that reading Happily Ever Ninja left me with tears in my eyes at times because I desperately needed to be reminded that standing before God and forsaking all others, was not code for making sure the house was perfectly clean, or the Mr's shirts were ironed or dinner was 5 star feast, my commitment to my husband was to be present in my marriage, to put us first, to build a life with him.

 My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you."

Reid takes the reader on a fantastical journey, filled with kick arse hero's and heroine's, with snappy one liners, sharp wit, and a sense of quirk I've come to expect from her books, but more than that, Reid reminded me that life is what you make it, it's the people you surround yourself with and it's you believing in yourself enough to say I deserve this, I deserve you.

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Read Ninja at First Sight: An Origin Story:

About Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is a part time author of romantic fiction. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to two diminutive adults (boy-8 and girl-5), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Please feel free to drop her a line. She'd be happy to hijack your thoughts! You can find her on her blog or email her: pennreid at gmail dot com