Saturday, 27 February 2016

Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by Sarina Bowen - Cover Reveal

COMING SEPTEMBER 6th: A sexy new hockey series from Sarina Bowen. 


In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.
Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast...

"Romantic and hilarious, Rookie Move will hook you from page one. Nobody does hockey like Sarina Bowen." --Elle Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of the Off Campus series.

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Sarina is  giving away a signed paperback (reader's choice) and the right to name a teammate in Brooklyn Bruisers #2.
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Friday, 26 February 2016

Wicked Heart (Starcrossed #3) by Leisa Rayven - ARC Review

Released: 3rd May 2016.


Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

He's also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.

After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will lead to a scandal that echoes around the world.

Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: February 2016.

There's something inherently thrilling when you truly connect with an author's words, when you lose track of time and space, when you blink and you're turning the last page, simultaneously sad that it's over but so very grateful for the journey. For me that's slipping into reader space, the feeling of diving into Rayven's exquisite prose, wrapping you in warmth and joy like an old trusted blanket, it's both comforting and exhilarating, the sense that you know with certainty that you're about to meet characters that will become old friends, that their stories will stay with you long after the last line is read. To say I adored Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet would be a massive understatement, Cassie and Ethan hold a special place in my heart, despite countless rereads I still have that feeling of exhilaration wash over me, still find new lines that sear into my soul, leave their footprints on my heart, I want to drown in her words, get lost in them, revel in their beauty. Elissa in the previous stories in the Starcossed series was somewhat of an enigma, feisty, hilarious, tough, she was part cheerleader and part coach, championing her brother's strengths while being forthright about his transgressions, everything about her screamed that she deserved her own story, that despite being more comfortable behind the scenes as it were, she was indisputably a shining star.

"God Elissa, I ...I'm a bit lost for words here. Seeing you again is..."

Before The Grove Elissa Holt was ready to tackle the world of stage production, her love of the stage was clear but where so many dream of being front and centre, acting out lines and taking their bows to a cheering audience, she had long since discovered her passion lead her behind the scenes, her rules are fairly simple, be professional, get the job done and don't date an actor, when she meets Liam Quinn her new world order is obliterated, he's strong, sexy, confident, he encourages her quirky sense of humour, finds her sarcasm endearing and sets her pulse racing, he makes her wants things she swore she never would again.

"You can't look at me like that and expect me to respect our friends pact. You really can't"    
 "How am I looking at you?"    
 "Like you want to straddle my face."

Despite their undoubtable connection, their raw, sizzling chemistry fate has other lives in store for them, years later seeing the man who once starred in everyone of her fantasies is, well it's like waking up from a dream, or a nightmare and she's not sure which. Liam Quinn is no longer hers, he's now one part of a Hollywood mega couple, the fairy-tale,  he's no longer up and coming, Liam has made it, with his gorgeous fiancée Angel by his side, they are an unstoppable force, despite their past Elissa and Liam make a pact to be friends and co-workers, it can't be that hard right?

"Tonight I saw myself in that dress, and it hit me. You're getting married. You. To someone else. I mean, I knew you were, but I didn't know, you know? And now I do, and it sucks."

The connection between Elissa and Liam leaps off the page, it's tangible, so very real that you can reach out and grab it, it's not just their undeniable sexual chemistry, which they exude in spades, it's the sly smiles when no one is looking, the side glances, the indiscriminate ways they react to each other, the lost looks, every inch of their bond, despite how long has passed since they stood in front of each other it was evident.

"Liss, I can't live without you anymore, and I'm tired of pretending that I can."
Elissa's ability to continue on despite everything had me steadfastly in her corner, her wit, her quirks, her determination always present, loving her was effortless, but there was more to her than just her connection to Liam, there was the way she and Josh knew each other inherently, their ability to finish each others sentences endearing, their witty banter, the soul deep connection of best friends that made me swoony with delight, the way she was able to find common ground with the woman who should of been her arch nemesis Angel, the way she was adored by everyone around her, made her the kind of heroine that I knew without a doubt would stand out in my mind long after I put Wicked Heart down.

"Ask me to give up a limb and I swear, I'll find a way to do it. But don't ask me to live without you anymore. I can't. I'm so goddamn in love with you, it hurts."

Some books come along at precisely the right time, they are utterly captivating, impossible to put down, Rayven's words have the ability the decimate my heart, her raw and unyielding talent leaves me breathless, the moments of sheer brilliance that make want to set the book down and just reflect, let her words resonate, revel in them, there wasn't a moment in Wicked Heart where I wasn't invested, where I wasn't cheering for Elissa, for Liam. There's a sense of coming home in Rayven's works, her characters so real, that it's like catching up with old friends, reminiscing over shared memories, laughing and smiling at the joyous moments and commiserating over the sad ones, I ventured between wanting to jump up and down with them celebrating their successes, and wanting to wrap my arms around them when their hearts were breaking. Rayven's love of the written word, her love of the stage is evident, her ability to craft stories that leave you sated and yet desperate for more clear, with her ability to seamlessly blend humour, heat and heart, her stories are simultaneously uproariously funny and heartbreakingly real. Long after you turn the last page Wicked Heart is the kind of story that you will want to revisit time and time again.

Exclusive Interview with Leisa Rayven:

Kristine: Firstly I want to thank you for taking time out to answer these questions for Glass Paper Ink Leisa, how are you feeling with Wicked Heart hitting e-readers and bookshelves worldwide?

Leisa: Well, every time I have a new book coming out, I feel like a new parent. Authors have a habit of referring to their novels as 'book babies' and that's exactly how it feels. It's like you gestate the story for ages, and then you write and rewrite and pour your heart and soul onto the pages, then finally, you give birth to the finished version of your world and your characters, and you hold up your new baby for the whole world to see. And you desperately want the rest of the world to love your words as much as you do and tell you its pretty. So yeah, I'm excited and nervous. I hope readers like it.

K: Ethan Holt is such a beloved hero, how do you think fans will react to Liam Quinn? 

L: You know, I was sooooo nervous about that when I started sending Wicked Heart to pre-readers. Readers were so passionate about Ethan, and he has such a huge evolution during Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet, that I wasn't sure how readers would respond to Liam, considering he's a much simpler man who isn't tortured by all of Ethan's issues and insecurities. To my great relief, the reaction to Liam has been staggeringly positive. He's a man who knows what he wants and is confident enough to go after it, one hundred percent. In fact readers have been loving him so much he has his own hashtag on social media - #LiamFuckingQuinn. Also, one well-known book blogger (who you may know) started the hashtag #EthanWho. It makes me laugh.

K: Contemporary romance heroes quite often tend to fall into the bad boy/man-whore category, coming off as the stereotype, Ethan, Connor, Liam and Josh all are such multilayered characters, they aren't just one part of their personalities nor are they the quintessential bad boy waiting for the good girl to save them, how did they come about for you? 

L: Well, first of all, thank you so much for saying that. It's a huge compliment to hear. Character creation is a very organic process for me. I really try to get into the heads of my characters well before I start writing them. I do a lot of character studies, diary entries, and inner monologues related to their lives; just trying to make them a fully rounded person with their good point as well as their flaws. I find I have to really understand a character's motivations in order to write them convincingly, and whether they're the hero or the villain, I need to like them on some level. Ethan, Connor, Liam, and Josh are they way they are because I like writing male characters I'd like to hang out with.

K: Cassie Taylor and now Elissa Holt are such strong female leads, showing that it's possible to be both sassy, strong, independent, whilst also being unsure, reflective and real. It's quite a feat to showcase a heroine who's not afraid to have those moments of doubt, to be upset, heartbroken even without coming off as whiny. Who or what if anything was your inspiration for your female leads?
L: I've been blessed in my life to be surrounded by a whole host of incredible women, not only in my private life, but also in my professional life. And even though none of them are perfect, (and really, who of us is?) they all have their remarkable qualities, and so many things about them, including their determination and passion, make me adore them unhealthy amounts. Just like my male characters, I write female leads who I'd like to be my friends. They're not based on any one person, but rather a conglomeration of many women I've known throughout my life.

K: The Starcrossed series now spans three books, what has been your favourite scene to write so far?

L: Oh, wow. Why don't you ask me which of my kids I like the best. Lol! Um … that's a very hard question. Some of my favourite scenes to write in any book are the ones in which characters share their first kiss. Everything leading up to the first time two people cross the line from friends into something else is fascinating to me, filled with so much tension, passion, and anticipation. It's a full-body experience like no other, and there's always that moment when lips touch for the first time that's heavy with both extreme relief, and sudden, unfathomable hunger. It's an enigmatic dichotomy that mesmerizes me.

K: What I've adored so much has been that this series hasn't just focused on your leads, I've loved getting to know your greater ensemble, Elissa had intrigued me so much in Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet, was Wicked Heart always part of the plan or did that come about afterwards? 

L: I'd never actually planned to give Elissa her own story even though I adored writing her, but when my editor Rose Hilliard suggested it, I was like, "Oh my God, YES! Let's do that!"
Elissa is really close to my heart, because when I was in drama school, my best friend was a stage manager, so I gave her a lot of my friend's qualities. Not only that, as an actor, I have an unending respect for stage managers and their backstage crews. Actors are the showponies of the theatre world and always get all the glory, while the stage manager and crew are the ones that hold the whole production together and work twice as hard. They're always in the theatre for HOURS before the actors swan in, slap on their make-up and costumes, and prance out onto stage. I'm glad Elissa gets her turn in the spotlight in this book.

K: Your love of the stage is evident in the Starcrossed series, was there a defining moment that made you decide to swap stage for writing? 
L: Yes. Being a woman over the age of twenty-five in the entertainment industry. Hah! It sounds like a joke, but it's really not. So much in acting is based on looks. I mean, look at Hollywood. Male actors are allowed to stay active and virile in movies well into their fifties and even sixties, but do you know what doesn't change? The age of their love interests. You'll rarely see a woman over thirty playing opposite a male lead, no matter how old he is. So, yeah. As a female actor, roles start drying up the moment you get your first wrinkle. As it happens, my love for writing has always been with me, simmering in the background. And even though I didn't expect to have such a definite career change at this point in my life, I'm sooooo very glad I did. Instead of primping and preening for hours before schlepping around to auditions and screentests these days, I stay in my pajamas and write all day. I mean, how cool is that? Plus, I've gotten to meet some of the most incredible, talented, intelligent, inspirational women in the whole world, and I'm talking about fellow authors, book bloggers, and readers. I'm so grateful that my writing has brought these incredible ladies into my life.

K: The #BadRomeoFilm is garnering a lot of interest, and I for one can't wait to see it in its entirety. What's the process been like so far, can you tell me a little of how it came about?

L: I've had so much fun making this film, and it's one of those situations that was both surreal and wonderful. I was contacted by someone from a small independent production company who asked if they could make a book trailer for Bad Romeo. One of the directors had read the book and fell in love with it, so when they offered to cast and shoot a custom-made trailer, I was all in. They brought me on-board to write the screenplay, and even convinced me to play hard-ass acting coach, Erika Eden, and then we all got so enthusiastic about the project, it ballooned from a three-minute trailer into a half-hour extravaganza.
The thing that blew me away the most, (apart from everyone in the cast and crew donating their time for free,) was seeing the actors bringing my words and scenes to life. I mean, as an actor I've interpreted someone else's words countless times, but suddenly, the shoe was on the other foot, and I'll admit, I had a quiet tear at our first table read when Cassie and Ethan were coming to life right in front of me. It was one of the most special and amazing moments ever.

K: Connor Baine is without a doubt the iconic good guy - sweet, loyal, sexy, and unfortunately relegated to the friend zone. Is this the last we'll see of him or will we get a chance to find out if nice guys really do finish last?

L: Funny you should ask, because heaps of readers have asked me about a Connor book and are dying to see the poor guy get the happy ending they believe he so richly deserves. I've actually started writing Connor's story even though I have no idea if I'll ever have an avenue of getting it published. Rest assured, if my publisher ever asks for Connor's book, I'd be all over that in record time.

K: What's next for Leisa Rayven, I know you recently attended RT in Vegas, and will be signing in the States again in August before making your way back to Sydney for SAE2016. With a packed touring schedule and filming commitments, what's next in terms of writing? 

L: I actually have two books I'm working on right now and about five more outlined, so I could happily lock myself away in a cabin in the woods for about twelve months and still have more books to write. I feel like my head is so full of stories and characters right now, it might explode. I need some quality time alone with my laptop so I can purge everything onto paper.
Hopefully I'll more news about what's coming up in late 2016/early 2017 soon. :)

K: Thanks for indulging me in my rambling and stopping by today Leisa

L: Thanks for the chat!

About Leisa Rayven:

Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, was published through Macmillan New York in December 2014. The sequel, BROKEN JULIET was released in April 2015, and the final book in Leisa’s Starcrossed series, WICKED HEART, will hit bookstores and kindles on May 3rd, 2016.

The Starcrossed series has gained hordes of passionate fans all over the world, and the books have now been translated into eight foreign languages. Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet have also featured on international best seller lists in Brazil and Germany.

Leisa Rayven lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.

(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.)
Connect with Leisa on Facebook
Visit Leisa's Website

Monday, 22 February 2016

Fame (Not Like The Movies #1) by Lauren McKellar - ARC Review


She’s supposed to cover the stories.
Not be one.

Madison Winters has life in the bag. Gorgeous fiancé? Check. Promotion to become editor of the country’s hottest fashion magazine? Check. Limited edition pair of Manolo Blahniks? Checkity-check.
Catching her fiancé with his pants down isn’t something she expects. In the space of twenty-four hours, Madison loses it all—not even her shoes will be saved.
Swapping sass + bide for sweatpants and Dior for the downward dog is going to be hell. The last thing Madison’s broken heart needs is a run-in with America’s newest playboy. Can she ever recover from this?

Tate Masters has it all—Hollywood’s latest golden boy has washboard abs, a killer smile, and a leading role in the next A-list movie.
Until a secret from his past is splashed all over the headlines, and that ‘good boy’ image fast-tracks to the gutter.
Now the media hunt is on, and they’re baying for Tate’s blood. One night of wild behaviour sees him wake up next to a gorgeous Aussie brunette—and she’s everything Tate’s afraid of.
Keeping secrets has never been this hard.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

For me Lauren McKellar's writing has always been evocative, her prose beautiful, her Crazy in Love and Emerald Cove series have broached a line between what I would call older YA and NA, veering on the "safer" when it comes to sex, not necessarily fade to black or suggestive romance like what I've come to expect from YA, but her writing has always focused on the connection between in more than just the physical sense. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Fame, the premise intrigued me, the idea itself felt fresh for McKellar, I was in need of something light, something funny, something sexy, something I could lose myself in, forget about my worries and just slip into reader space and be entertained, Fame was effortless, in every sense of the word.

When Madison Winters walks into work one morning she is prepared for her life to change, she certainly wasn't mistaken, the cushy promotion she expected...gone...her loving fiancé...gone...catching him in a compromising position with another woman will tend to do that... in the blink of an eye everything changes, when she's sent to an exotic island for a yoga retreat she figures this might be the break from her new reality she desperately needs, I mean how much else can actually happen to her right?

"The first rule of one-night stands is that you don't stick around, not unless you're hoping for something more."

Tate Masters is living a dream existence, as Hollywood's golden boy, with his squeaky clean image life is good, until tales from his past come calling, suddenly the golden boy is just like every other Hollywood bad boy, his future success depends on his ability to shush the nay sayers and put out a united front with his girlfriend, and keep his head down without raising anymore questions, shooting on an exotic island seems like the perfect thing for him, and really how much could go wrong there?

Madison is strong, resilient, brave, even in the face of her life crumbling she keeps going, from the high flying lifestyle she was quickly becoming accustomed to a much less exotic life, she knows her only option is to not give up, interspersed with sharp wit, exotic locales so beautifully described that the sights and smells bounce off the page and sinfully sexy moments are heartbreakingly honest and raw scenes where you truly feel what Madison is thinking and feeling, the crushing grief of saying goodbye to the life she had imagined, of realising that what she had always believed was true and real had long since disappeared into the ether. Ironically losing everything might just be exactly what she needed in order to figure out what it truly is she wants from her life, written in a way that Fame had me simultaneously devouring the pages whilst trying desperately to savour the feeling that McKellar conjured.

The author shows her depth here, having cemented her place as a go to writer of heavy emotion, one who's ability to discuss even the hardest of topics with sensitivity transcends the usual YA/NA crossover, her talent not limited to one genre, where my previous favourites by the author left me feeling solemn and introspective, Fame was a breath of fresh air, hilariously funny, incredibly sexy, ultimately swoon worthy, Madison and Tate left me smiling long after I turned the last page.

About Lauren McKellar:

Lauren K. McKellar is the writer of contemporary romance reads that make you feel. With a passion for all things fiction, she is a hybrid-published best-selling Australian author of young and new adult books.
In addition to her fiction work, Lauren edits manuscripts for both publishing houses and a host of successful independent authors, working on both structural and line elements. She loves working collaboratively to achieve a common end goal.
Lauren lives by the beach in Australia with her husband and their two dogs. Most of the time, all three of them are well behaved.

Connect with Lauren on Facebook

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sticks (Black Addiction #2) by T Gephart - ARC Review


Kenzie Clark had made plenty of mistakes. Who cared? Life was all about the journey, and if you couldn’t enjoy the ride then what was the point. The tough-talking guitarist from Brooklyn, NY worked hard so she could play even harder. But some mistakes weren’t so easy to walk away from. Joey Shaw, drummer for Black Addiction, was exactly that kind of a mistake.

How could one night of fun turn into a life long commitment? That’s exactly what Joey was asking himself when Kenzie showed up a few weeks later—the soon-to-be baby bump with his name written all over it. He could barely tie his shoes; how in the hell was he going to raise a kid?

With neither of them ready to become parents, it was always going to be a difficult, but there was no way either of them were walking away. Come hell or high water, they were having this baby—together.

Hopefully they would both be still standing by the birth.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: February 2016.

I'm a huge fan of T Gephart's work, her Power Station series got me hooked for more fun, sexy, romps through the lives of rock stars, there's something super exciting about living vicariously through a rocker's life, there's more to life than just guitars and girls, the stage and sexy times....okay there's that too, but behind the sexy scenes and the stage is witty banter, snappy one liners, characters who you wished were friends, even with the continuation of the Black Addiction series, there's a thread running through from the original Lexi series that has a sense of coming home, of revisiting old friends and meeting new ones.

Joey Shaw has long been the larrikin of the group, the man with the sticks who keeps the beat on stage and keeps beds warm off, very rarely serious, Joey is the man you contact when you want a fun night out, not who you contact when your would is tilted on it's axis. Joey might seem like a party guy, but the more you see of him, the more there is than meets the eye.

"Like if I was going to accidentally get someone pregnant, I'm glad it was you."

Kenzie Clark has led a pretty interesting life, as guitarist for her Beauty Queens from Mars she knows the in and outs of the struggling music scene, always one show away from hitting the big time, she's found what she loves in music, and has her sights set on following that dream until it becomes a reality, amassing a following and having steady gigs to bring in cash flow, things seem to be running smoothly. Until two little lines appear on a pregnancy test, that one night weeks ago with friend and fellow rocker Shaw has just come back to bite her in the arse, screaming fans are about to be swapped for a screaming baby.

"Well then, put your money where your mouth is. A little healthy competition should make it interesting."
There was so much that was fun here, Joey and Kenzie's connection was clear from the beginning, part friendship, part professional admiration, everything from their early interactions felt real, I understood implicitly how these two fell into bed, and how they could continue on with their lives afterwards, but what I truly loved was the commitment from them to stick whatever this was out for the long haul, their automatic and unwavering decision that raise their child together, so often we see denials or the blame game play out in unexpected pregnancies in books, but I adored Joey's automatic decision to step up to the plate, it was instantly endearing and hinted to there being so much more to Joey that I had previously expected.

 I loved that Kenzie's pregnancy felt factual, that everything wasn't sunshine and rainbows, there was more to her character than the obligatory glowing mumma statements. I loved that the banter between these two never slowed, the chemistry always simmering below the surface, ready to ignite, I loved that I felt all of her indecision, all of her moments of confusion, all of her joy, Kenzie with her kicking arse and taking names attitude was tested by mood swings, hormones, a growing body and her growing attraction to the father of her child, I loved hearing her voice throughout as she figured out everything, sorted out her feelings about her baby, about Joey, about her work, her passion, her life, she had that fierceness that demanded your attention, that demanded you cheer for her.

"It's not the sex I wanted, it was you."

Sticks was a fun, light, sexy romp, filled with humour and heart, I couldn't put it down, while there's a level of make believe here dealing with famous rockers, nothing ever felt overdone or unrealistic, Gephart has me swooning at Joey's sweet words and gestures, the barter between he and Kenzie had me giggling and smiling like a goon, and the fast paced ride ensured I devoured very word, with enough drama and angst to keep me glued to the pages, Sticks was the perfect way to spend my night with old friends and new acquaintances, imagining the world Gephart created and wishing desperately to be part of it.

About T Gephart:

T Gephart is an indie author from Melbourne, Australia.

T's approach to life has been somewhat unconventional. Rather than going to University, she jumped on a plane to Los Angeles, USA in search of adventure. While this first trip left her somewhat underwhelmed and largely depleted of funds it fueled her appetite for travel and life experience.

With a rather eclectic resume, which reads more like the fiction she writes than an actual employment history, T struggled to find her niche in the world.

While on a subsequent trip the United States in 1999, T met and married her husband. Their whirlwind courtship and interesting impromptu convenience store wedding set the tone for their life together, which is anything but ordinary. They have lived in Louisiana, Guam and Australia and have travelled extensively throughout the US. T has two beautiful young children and one four legged child, Woodley the wonder dog.

An avid reader, T became increasingly frustrated by the lack of strong female characters in the books she was reading. She wanted to read about a woman she could identify with, someone strong, independent and confident who didn't lack femininity. Out of this need, she decided to pen her first book, A Twist of Fate. She enjoyed the process so much that when it was over she couldn't let it go.

T loves to travel, laugh and surround herself with colourful characters. This inevitably spills into her writing and makes for an interesting journey - she is well and truly enjoying the ride!

Based on her life experiences, T has plenty of material for her books and has a wealth of ideas to keep you all enthralled.
Connect with T Gephart on Facebook

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

US (HIM #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy - Review


 Can your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?

Five months in, NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He's living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves–Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There's just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.

Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It's not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn't help that his new job isn't going as smoothly as he'd hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.

Or can they? When Wes's nosiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?

Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes, and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: February 2016.

Most stories end when the main characters find their happily ever after, so it's always fun when authors allow us to revisit our beloved characters again, unfortunately as much as I love to take a step back into the lives of the characters that touched me so deeply the first time around, it can often feel stilted, that certainly wasn't the case here, Kennedy and Bowen captured my attention instantly, falling back into Wes and Jamie's lives was effortless, the more I read, the deeper in love I fell with these two crazy, courageous, sexy men, the more desperate I was for more.

With Bowen and Kennedy's trade mark wit, and snark Wes and Jamie felt like old friends, their love and attraction is clear, their chemistry undeniable but hiding this big love from the world comes at a price, being able to walk down the street holding your partners hand is one of those sweet moments that I think most of us take for granted, being able to update your social media status to in a relationship one of those relationship milestones that has become all to important in today's society, for two people who fought long an hard to cement their relationship, to be able to admit to themselves what they had was special, was worth taking that leap of faith that any new relationship is, is slowly stripping away at the layers of the happy they built around themselves.

"I roll onto my back and start counting the weeks until the end of the season. I don't think I can take this anymore. Not if it makes Jamie unhappy."

 The bittersweet part of US comes from the fact that Jamie and Wes knew their budding relationship would face setbacks, they would have to jump hurdles in order to be together, maintaining a secret relationship, pretending to be roommates, purely friends was always going to be tough, denying their attraction to each other in public, keeping Wes in the spotlight purely for his skills on the ice  and not his sexual orientation during his rookie year was always the plan,  but in the face of starting a new life together even that seemed like a hurdle they could take in their stride, but the more they are both pulled in different directions, as communication breaks down, and it becomes easier to slip into their own minds and focus less and less on actually talking things through open and honestly the more the once solid foundation they thought they had begins to crumble.

"Do I yell at him now? Is that the right thing to do? I don't know what Jamie needs. If I knew, I'd give it to him."

Fear and helplessness are stifling, it can choke you so slowly that you don't even notice it at first, when you suddenly go from happy and in love to feeling confused and alone, no amount of love filled platitudes can bring you back from the brink, peppered throughout those moments that tug at your heart, that make you want to climb into the book just to hold both Jamie and Wes, while brushing their hair away from their faces and murmuring that everything is going to be okay, are moments of giddy anticipation, swoon worthy romance and laugh out loud hilarity, Blake, the loud and lovable larrikin of a team mate that he is, is simultaneously uproariously funny, with his sheep proclamations and bad Mafioso jokes, as he is heart-warmingly sweet. His obnoxiousness is strangely endearing, and balances Wes's uptight and controlling ways, and left me wanting more from not only the hero's of this story but from Blake as well.

For me a lot of the MM I have read steers towards the physical connection only, focusing on the sexual chemistry only to sell the story, Bowen and Kennedy balance the down right blazing inferno that is Wes and Jamie, while centring around a fluid and organic tale about two people who found each other again, found something bigger than either of them had ever experienced, something bigger than labels like straight, gay or bi. Everything about US captivated me instantly, I couldn't put it down, couldn't look away, I forgot about my phone, lost track of time, and found myself so fully immersed in them that I was both desperate for more and didn't want it to end, my only hope is that this isn't the end for these characters. Honest, raw, thought provoking, US is the kind of book you will savour long after your turn the last page.

About the Authors:

Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

Stay tuned for a new Vermont contemporary romance series and hockey novels including Rookie Move.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
Connect with Sarina on Facebook

Elle Kennedy:

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Connect with Elle on Facebook

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Finding North by Carmen Jenner - Review

Released: 25th February 2016.


Red Maine’s blue-collared bad boy, North Underwood, has a dirty little secret—Will Tanner.

Friends since kindergarten, North had been the one to jump first, and his fall into Will’s bed ten years ago had been no exception. Will and North had been inseparable, but things change, people grow apart, and even a blazing flame can dwindle to a dying ember over time.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

After a run in with a bottle of Bundy rum, Will and North find themselves in a compromising and all too familiar position.

Blurred lines, bad decisions, and one wrong foot after another lead these two down a spiral of sarcasm, secrets, and sex, but when North’s hetero status is called into question he can’t figure up from down. And despite Will telling himself he wouldn’t fall again, he’s head over heels and wandering without a compass.

Love is love.

Love is truth.

Love … shouldn’t be this damn hard to figure out.


Purchase Links:

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2016.

"North was my childhood. My first love. But he's nothing to me now. We're nothing. We stopped freefalling, and now we're standing still."
I've read quite a lot of MM over the past few years, and while most undoubtedly have got me hot under the collar, feeding off a raw sexual magnetism that the characters possess, few have truly found a place in my heart for examining what it means to find a bond with someone that so much of the world tells them they shouldn't be attracted to, for me so much of the MM I've read has focused solely on the sexual connection, without focusing on the soul deep connection. We live in a world full of stereotypes, of ideals like falling in love is joyous, and yet accompanied by addendums like, only if the person you fall for doesn't deviate from the preconceived norm, it's a unfortunate fact that even in 2016 people still fear what they don't understand, and the reality is there is so much fear and repression surrounding homosexuality, it goes against so many religious and cultural teachings, as far as the story goes boy and girl meet, fall in love, get married, have babies, that's it, the end... but what happens when despite all you've been taught growing up flies in the face of what you feel, what you have no choice but in feeling, in knowing to be true?

"Hell, I didn't fall. I'm still f*cking falling, and there isn't a safety net in the world big enough to catch me."

For Red Maine's resident manwhore North Underwood, life is's pretty average actually, he spends his days at the mill doing physically demanding work, he drinks at his local after knock off, he's had his fair share of willing women to warm his bed, what he doesn't have is a connection to his once best mate Will Tanner, the once inseparable pair now have little to talk about, they certainly aren't friends, their conversation is limited to ordering a drink across a bar, years of friendship during their formative years is a distance memory, until North is given a chance to reconnect with Will, and he'll be damned not to take advantage of it, despite the lewd comments that get thrown around touting Will's sexuality as anything other than normal, despite the hate speech and vitriol that his homophobic father and co workers are sure to send his way, there's a sense of longing for what was, and of hope for what never may be.

"When his eyes meet mine they're both furious and full of fear. That's all he is: fear. From head to toe, a frightened little boy, so afraid to feel. So afraid to be found out as a faggot."
It's no big secret that I often listen to music when reading and reviewing, there's a line in Hanging By A Moment where Jason Wade croons that's he desperate for change, starving for truth, there's a feeling that in that moment it's both Will and North he's singing about, Will having spent so many years waiting for North to admit what he was feeling and North desperate for the courage, the strength to go after what he's wanted, when Wade sings "I'm closer to where I started, I'm chasing after you." there's that sense of being on a merry go round, the sense that the past twelve years apart have faded into dust, that North has got one foot out the door, and Will is still standing in the same spot he was all those years ago, still chasing after the idea of something that could be great but only if they both are willing to take a chance.

"I'd go through all of that for just one day of not having to hide, but it doesn't matter, because North will never change. Twelve years on and I'm still his dirty little secret. And the thing that tears me apart is the knowledge that this is all I've ever be."

There's a strangling sense of repression in Finding North, much like the title suggest, Jenner's latest work examines more than just coming out and sexuality, more than predetermined gender roles, bravely looking at sexuality as fluid, as more than black and white, as more than I like men or I like women, it takes a look at small town life, where sometimes the most convenient way to live is buried deep in the closet, where discrimination is more than just shouted words, or rude gestures, it's hatred, and violence, and destruction, it's FEAR.

"The fear, a blackness that roils constantly in my belly, threatens to overcome me and all I want to do is sink to my knees and sob. Instead, I fall into Will, and I find it's a pretty soft place to land."

There's so much more here than two men fighting and falling for each other, there's more than childhood bestfriends realising that there was more there for them, there's more here than a man who isn't quite sure what he identifies as or who he is. Finding North captivated me from the very first page, Will's voice full of innocence and wonder cemented that I couldn't put it down. Jenner's writing continues to go from strength to strength, her multi dimensional approach to contemporary romance means that Finding North is about more than steamy MM sex scenes, while are present - there's a element of it feeling natural, raw, unscripted, and more than that, her ability to create places like Red Maine that feel so inherently real that you can feel the dust swirling around your skin, sense the sun beating down hot on your face, but the thing that cements her place as author who leaves me giddy with anticipation for what's coming next, is her ability to create characters that are flawed, passionate, selfish, nervous, angry, sarcastic, loving, desperate... relatable...REAL...characters like Will and North, who wear their pasts, their indiscretions, their faults and their flaws like a badge of honour, saying this is who I am, I'm not perfect and that's okay, because who I am is enough.
This story gives a voice to anyone who has ever felt alone, unaccepted, unloved, it begs them to believe a little more, to accept those parts of themselves that cut like shards of glass tearing away at their strength, at their hope, Finding North tells the reader that we're all a little bent, a little broken and that's okay.

About The Author:

Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA TODAY and international bestselling author of the Sugartown, Savage Saints, and Taint series.
Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU 2015.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore MAC addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?

Website / Facebook

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons #1) by Christina Lauren


One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.
Find on Goodreads

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: April 2014.

I received an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Hmmm...where do I start with Ansel Guillaume - my sweet filthy boy?? I am a huge Christina Lauren fan, their Beautiful series had my laughing, swooning and fanning myself all over the place, but as much as I loved, no adored the Beautiful series, SFB for me was on another level, and in my opinion Christina Lauren's best work yet.

Mia Holland takes off to Vegas with friends for the weekend, one last hurrah before the responsibility of adult life takes over. But when you let loose for the night anything can happen, including a group wedding, with Mia ending up marrying the sweet talking, sex Frenchman Ansel, and during your drunken haze telling him under no circumstances to allow you to dissolve this marriage, instead to give it a chance for the Summer.

What I adored about Mia is her strength, her resilience, she has lost her way, maybe following the path set in front of her isn't the one meant for her. When Ansel gives her opportunity to follow him to France for the summer how can she refuse? As much as I loved Mia, I adored the transformation in Ansel from confident, worry free, sexy as sin Frenchman in Vegas to professional, suave, business man in France. Seeing him reconcile two different sides of his personality, trying to be everything to those who depended on him, both professionally and personally.

Sweet Filthy Boy had me laughing out loud, swooning like a love sick teenager and praying to the Gods of writing that I wouldn't have to throw my kindle against the wall. Christina Lauren you surpassed every expectation I had for Sweet Filthy Boy.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US:
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Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:

About Christina Lauren:


Christina Lauren is the pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced twelve New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 28+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

Friday, 12 February 2016

LOVE WILL by Lori L. Otto - Cover Reveal

Title: Love Will
Author: Lori L. Otto
Release Date: Late April 2016
Find on Goodreads
The brilliant mind of 24-year-old Will Rosser never rests. Literally. Scientifically-inclined and musically-gifted, he thinks in equations, hears songs in colors, dreams in geometric shapes and is forever trying to solve the world’s unsolvable problems. Whether he’s trying to escape his unpleasant childhood or forget the mistakes he perpetuates with women he barely knows, he rarely finds a moment’s peace.
When his best friend, Damon, invites him to go on tour as his lead guitarist, Will decides it’s a chance to get away from his bad habits in New York and to make some changes in his life. He’ll have to walk away from a career few people are suited for, but he knows in his heart he’ll return to his work as an astrophysicist once he gets his life on track.
There are parents to forgive or forget, and for Will, they’re decisions he won’t take lightly. He strives to make his siblings proud; to no longer have them make excuses for him. He has to consider his personal life. The only time he ever allowed himself to love a girl, she broke his heart, the pieces splintering around him as he flew across country from Utah to New York when he was just a teenager.
Most of all, though, Will wants peace of mind–something he’s never had–and he knows the only way to get that is to face his painful past.
For Will, a tour across the States allows him to reconstruct the man he’s known he’s capable of being. He comes face-to-face with his own demons, making choices along the way that threaten some relationships and strengthen others. He meets Shea, a woman that challenges him, and a spark ignites on a blustery, winter night.
Just as Will thinks he’s safe to fall in love again, he’s reminded that his past will always be his past, and no matter how distant, it will follow him wherever he goes. When that past threatens his future, Will’s sleepless nights return, and the woman he has fallen for has to decide where in his life she belongs. 
On my way back to the hotel, I see Damon eating alone in a burger joint. “Mind if I join you?”
“Not at all. If you haven’t eaten, you should get the Baby Bella. Oh, my God.”
“That’s what you’re eating?” He nods. A waitress arrives within seconds, and I point to his burger to show her it’s what I want. “And a Coke, please.” I catch myself watching her as she walks away. I can’t deny that she’s attractive. In hopes of getting my mind off her, I glance around at the other patrons. “Is it me, or does this place make you want to grow a full beard and become a mountain man?”
“These river trips and shit? We need to come back and do that sometime.”
“When the beards come in,” he says with a mouthful of food.
“Of course.”
“Where’s everyone else?”
“I’m sure Ben’s gettin’ some action from his girl online…”
“That was a given, man.”
“Tavo’s playing pool at this cowboy bar. It has saddles for barstools. I’m not shittin’ you.”
“Pool, huh? Could I make some money?”
“You gonna go hustle? Some scrawny city boy in that place? Mountain men, Will. We just talked about that.”
“They don’t scare me. And whatever, I’m not scrawny.” I puff out my chest just to make my point… but I’m not.
“Compared to Wooly Mammoth over there, and his sidekick, Big Bad John?” He nods to two guys in plaid flannel shirts walking down the street as if they’ve just dismounted a couple of bulls. “Pretty sure they had an axe to grind with you before you even walked in just because of your damned Yankees cap.”
“Fuck you and fuck your Mets.” He laughs at me as the waitress sets down a soda for me.
“You’re not scrawny,” she says softly to me, poking her head in between us.
“See? Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” She flutters her lashes at me, smiling.
Damon’s staring at me when my eyes meet his. “What?”
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Why were you looking at her like that?”
“Like what?”
“Like you wanted to mount her and grind your axe into her…”
“Oh, shut the fuck up. I was not.” He raises his brows. “Jesus Christ, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but the hormones don’t just stop flowing when you meet a woman you like.”
“A hundred bucks says she gives you her number… and you’ve got your own room here for one more night. This has ethical dilemma written all over it.”
“It does not! And I’m not taking that bet. I’m saving my money.”
He chuckles. “You know she’s giving you her digits.”
“Probably…” I can’t help it if I know the signs. “I’m not gonna keep them… or call her. Why don’t you ask her out?”
“Not my type. She has no meat on her bones whatsoever. I have to have something to hold on to.”
“You’re saying if she came on to you, you’d turn her down?” I ask him point blank.
He thinks for just a split second. “No.”
“Dipshit. Hey, you didn’t mention Peron… what’s he up to?”
“He was in the fitness center.”
“No, I said Peron.” He nods. “Peron’s working out?”
“I might have a running buddy?” I ask, over-dramatically.
“You might…”
“Here’s your burger.” Our waitress takes a seat on the empty stool next to Damon.
“You’re Damon Littlefield, aren’t you?”
I grin as I take a bite of my food, now wishing I’d taken the bet. It would have been a quicker and easier way to make money than a round of pool. Nah, I like a little bit of a challenge.
“I hear you like to have a little fun,” she flirts.
“Yeah,” he admits to her.
“Into three-ways?”
He clears his throat before answering. “My favorite of all the ways.”
“So stupid,” I whisper under my breath, earning an elbow in my side.
“What about him?” she asks, nodding at me. I shake my head politely.
“Not Will’s favorite thing…”
“But… would he?”
“I think he might want to know who the third party was.”
“No,” I say, trying to be polite.
“Oh, it’d be you,” she says to Damon.
“Wait, what?” he asks.
She has my attention, too. “Sorry?” I’m biting my lip, stifling a laugh if she’s suggesting what I think she’s suggesting.
“I wanted to see if you two wanted to have a three-way with me.”
“Oh, God, no,” Damon says even before the laughter escapes my lips. “No, see… it’s not like that with us. No. We’ve known each other for too long.”
“Eight years. And neither of us are, uh… curious at all, in that aspect. Sorry. I’ve already seen more of Damon than I ever want to.”
“You wouldn’t have to do anything with each other… just, you know… watch… and maybe touch.”
“Oh, we know…” I say. We’ve seen porn, thank you very much. “I have to pass. Damon, you’re a handsome guy, but, uh…”
“You’re an ugly son-of-a-bitch,” he tells me. “Fuck that.”
We both start laughing as our waitress gets up, clearly embarrassed. “Look, I’m flattered,” I tell her. “We–we–are flattered. It’s just not something we’re into.”
She nods, smiles, and returns to us. “Well, I get off at nine, if either one of you are interested in a little solo action…”
“I’ll be here at five after,” Damon says quickly. “And if you have a girl friend you want to bring…”
“For him?” she asks, nodding to me.
“For him, or for us…” he says.
I glare at him, then start shaking my head vehemently. “Not for me. That’s all you guys. Or maybe Tavo. Or Peron. Or anyone other than me.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” she says. “I’m Ralli, by the way.”
“Cute name,” Damon says. “Suits you.”
“I might need one of these alcoholic shakes to get this image out of my head,” I joke with him.
“Might I suggest the Mudslide?” he asks. “Dark chocolate oozing with sweet, vanilla custard.”
“Awww, fuck,” I say, throwing down my burger on my plate. “You’re the absolute worst.” He can’t stop laughing, and eventually I join in with him, now thinking about how ludicrous her invitation was. When I can talk, I finally pose a question to him. “Do we look like we swing both ways?”
“Compared to…” He gestures to the abundance of mountain men around us.
“Yeah, we’re not coming back until we get the facial hair thing figured out.”
“You better start now.”
“Mine grows fast!” I argue, feeling the stubble on my chin.
“Your mustache takes awhile, though. The beard’s good, but there’s something weird about part of your upper lip.”
“It’s a scar, you idiot. It’s never gonna grow right.” I drag my finger over the line on my lip that I can barely even feel anymore.
“I guess we can’t come back.”
“I don’t think mountain men will take points off for a scar. Girls even like it. You just have to be perfectly coiffed. Can’t have a single imperfection… spend more on beauty products than any woman I know.”
“But feel my skin.” He picks up my hand.
“No!” I pull my hand back into my body, chuckling again. “We do look like we swing both ways. It’s your fault, too.”
He puts his arm across my shoulders and plants a kiss on my cheek.
“We’re so getting beat up as soon as we walk out of this place…” I mutter.
“We’re both too pretty.”
“I’m not shaving anymore,” I vow. “So, Ralli, huh?” I ask him, starting to eat again.
Will Rosser is smart.
Will Rosser is creative.
Will Rosser is driven.

Will Rosser is no Jon Scott.
After an exhilarating, collaborative writing project, Lori L. Otto had an idea for an original novel. The characters and their rich stories would keep her awake at night, and even with barely any sleep, she felt more alert and alive than she had in years. Her days off were spent in cafés, sandwich shops and bookstores, feverishly trying to get all of the details out of her head and onto paper.
In the spring of 2009, after a few months of writing, Lori decided to tweak one chapter from the novel-in-progress and enter it as a short story in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, where she was awarded Honorable Mention in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category.
A year later, she completed a series of three novels–Lost and Found, Time Stands Still, and Never Look Back–which were published in the spring of 2011. Since then, she has published seven more full-length novels and two novellas, as well as a book of extras and short stories. Her current work-in-progress, Love Will, is scheduled to be released in April of 2016.