Thursday, 30 June 2016

Stand (Black Addiction #3) by T Gephart


Good times didn’t last forever. While Beth Hart had enjoyed being the sometimes girlfriend of Max Reynolds—the hot bass player for Black Addiction—she knew it would never be more than a casual fling. He was destined for greatness, and she cared too much to hold him back. So, before she lost her heart and her sanity, she said goodbye to the Bronx, moved to Manhattan and left her party-girl days in the past—along with Max.

Nothing made Max happier than being a success in his own right. And in the last few years, he and his band had well and truly earned it. Moving to the city and enjoying the spoils of his new lifestyle made perfect sense, and he loved his new address. It wasn’t his new huge penthouse apartment that got him excited; it was his new neighbor. The one girl he regretted letting go—Beth.

He wanted her back and would do anything to make it happen. Hopefully it wasn’t too late.

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Prologue - Beth


It was the calm before the storm.

Neither of us had spoken about it last night, both too caught up in each other to care what it all meant. He was irresistible and I saw no reason to fight the urge. No matter how many times we drifted apart, we always seemed to end up back together. Maybe it was sheer magnetism, maybe it was his amazing smile? Or maybe it was his delicious well-toned body that did amazing things to mine? It could have been any of those reasons, but mostly it was because of the way he made me feel.


Some of my best memories featured the man sleeping soundly beside me. And it wasn’t even about the sex, although . . . yeah, his talents weren’t only restricted to the stage. There was just something about him. Something bigger than what he already was, and I knew living in the Bronx and working at Staples wasn’t his destiny.

Sadly, neither was I.

International rock sensation Power Station had seen it too, signing up Black Addiction—Max’s band—to be their support act for a huge stadium tour. They’d already wowed the crowds at Madison Square Garden, the other crowds would follow too and then the world would see what I already knew.

Max Reynolds was a rock star.

We’d taken a break from each other around three months ago. No messy break up, no drama—just our lives taking us in different directions. It wasn’t a new thing for us, and in some ways, it just worked. But last night wasn’t us getting back together; last night was something else entirely.

His eyes were shut tight as he slept, completely unaware as I watched him. His perfect lips parted just slightly as the air whistled past. And I knew this would be the last time we could do this; at some point we’d stop the revolving door.

“Hey.” He slid open an eye, his trademark panty-melting grin not far behind. “You’re awake. Feeling okay?”

“Yep, I know better than to try and keep up with you and your band.” I couldn’t help but smile back. “How about you? You had a pretty serious commitment with that bottle of Jäger.” Don’t know why I asked; I’d never seen him rocking the next morning regret like most of us did.

“Never felt better.” He smirked, his fingers trailing up my side, tickling my skin until they reached my breast. His talented fingers palmed me, hinting that he had other things on his mind other than his lack of hangover. “And my only commitment last night was pleasing you. So, tell me . . . how did I do?”

God, he was smooth.

He had this uncanny ability to make you feel like you were the only woman in the room, like nothing else mattered, and even if I knew it was temporary, I loved it.

“I think you got all the confirmation you needed last night.” I grinned as I nestled into his side. “If you want your ego stroked, you’ll have to go elsewhere.”

“That’s not what I want you to stroke, Beth,” he whispered into my ear, his voice loaded with suggestion.

“I should probably go.” It’s not that I didn’t want to stay, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know where this would end up. Sleep was not part of that equation.

“Why? Stay in bed with me.” His muscular, inked arms caged me against his body, the heat between us having nothing to do with the temperature in the room. “I’m almost positive you won’t regret it.”

I wouldn’t regret it.

I never would.

But in my heart I knew that this was the end of the road for the two of us. And as much as I wanted to keep going by his side, he had to walk it alone. How much longer could I stay? A week, a month, a year? He needed to be single. Free to do whatever he wanted to do when that spotlight finally hit him and not wonder if it would have been different without a girlfriend ball-and-chain. I wouldn’t be the source of anyone’s regrets, not least someone as special as Max. He was on the cusp of something great, and I cared too much to hold him back.

“You need sleep, you have a show tonight.” My hands moved over his chest. “We both know if I stay, there will be no sleep.” I tried in vain to free myself from his arm prison, my attempt laughable as he pulled me closer.

“Sleep’s overrated.” The words vibrated against my ear as I closed my eyes and remembered the moment. The one that would be the last time in his arms.

“You might not be dealing with a hangover, but you can’t outrun fatigue. Sleep and I’ll see you when you get back in town.”

It was a lie, an easy one to tell, knowing that when he came back things would be different. We would be different, and I think deep down he knew it was goodbye.

“Beth.” His lips pressed against the back of my neck, my short black hair offering me little protection as his hot breath defied logic and gave me goose bumps. “We’ll always end up like this, you and me.”

Not always, not anymore.

I didn’t dare say it. More because I didn’t want to hear it even though I knew it was the right thing to do.

“You going to let me go?” I asked, his arms showing no sign of releasing me

“For now.” He kissed my neck before loosening his hold and allowing me to sit up.

“You’re going to do great on this tour; this is what you’ve been waiting for.” I didn’t have to even force the smile on my face, I was genuinely happy for him. “Your life is about to change.”

“Whatever happens, happens.” His arms flexed and anchored at the back of his neck. “I’m still going to be me, that won’t ever change.”

“Good.” I fished my T-shirt from the edge of the bed and threw it over my head. “And I’ll be your biggest fan.” It was an easy promise to make; being supportive was something that I planned to continue. And something I could do even if it wasn’t by his side.

“Just promise you won’t get all weird and start stealing my underwear to sell on eBay.” He watched me as I slid on my own and grabbed my jeans from the floor.

“So, I should put back the pair I have stuffed into my purse?” I turned back to face him as I pulled up my jeans, batting my eyes seductively for effect.

I hadn’t actually stolen a pair of his boxer briefs, but it was easier than the inevitable so-this-is-where-it-ends that needed to happen.

“Call me, Beth.” He didn’t hesitate, his eyes looking directly into mine. It was as if he already knew that I probably wouldn’t but wouldn’t push the issue either. It was a weird stalemate, so much left unsaid, but all those words not spoken completely understood.

“See ya, Max.” I allowed myself one last look at him before scooping up my shoes and shuffling out of the room. The door closed behind me giving me a resting place for a second before I walked out of his house.

We both needed this. It wasn’t just for him; this was for me too. Together neither of us would reach our full potential, and we owed each other that. I was more than just a bass player’s girlfriend. I was more than a girl with tattoos, funky hair and a short skirt. If I stayed . . . he was too easy to fall in love with.

There was no sadness when I left; my heart wasn’t breaking. I was excited about what the future held for both of us and while I’d miss him, someday we would both be thankful.

In time we would both move on, and hopefully when he thought of me, he’d remember good things.

I would always, when I thought of him.

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2016.

There's something deeply satisfying for me about stand alone series, they always feel fresh and exciting and yet oddly familiar, being able to indulge in beloved characters while discovering new ones is like catching up with friends from University or old work colleagues, you spend long enough there to remember why you loved them and how much fun you used to have, and in the process get to meet partners and spouses, and hell sometimes even their children, you get a glimpse into the past and foresight into their future, you instantly see how much you have all changed, how much you've all grown in the time that had passed. When you reconnect with old friends in books you get to see all the time that passed, the leaps and bounds the characters have made, you see a lifetime of love and happiness play out before your eyes, while getting to know these new people who will soon become "your people".

Max in the previous books in the Black Addiction series seemed mostly laid back, he had the kind of swagger that makes grown women turn to mush, he had confidence, sure he could totally dominate that alpha vibe when pushed or when someone he cared about was pushed, but mostly for me he was the kind of guy girls wanted to bang like a drum and guys wanted to be like. He seemed somewhat unaffected by the trappings of wealth and rock stardom, in fact one the biggest things I loved about him and the entirety of Black Addiction was their ability to take their rise to fame in their stride. Knowing Max was seemingly unfazed by most things, I *knew* it would have to be someone pretty darn special to make him stop and take notice.

The idea of a famed celebrity or Rockstar falling for the girl who got away certainly isn't new, in fact it's the second chance romance of it all that has me practically begging the author for an early release date, but what happens when the 'one who got away' didn't really get away at all, when there was no messy break up, no broken hearts strewn across the continent, no big angsty 'I hate you because  I'll always love you' moment? Oh the adultness of it all.... in the case of Stand by Ms Gephart it was refreshing and exhilarating.

I've often spoken about my distaste for the oh no we didn't communicate properly despite being adults and being in an adult relationsip but we're still pining for one another and will eventually do the hate/love dance when we meet again plotline, in all honesty that overused trope often leaves me feeling mildly stabby, here in Stand there was none of that, if you get that all consuming I want to shake my kindle feeling like me - you can sigh with relief because you are safe. Instead Gephart effortlessly delivered a story about two people who once meant something to each other, two people who were more than just lovers, more than just friends, something that was infinitely more and yet both were too young and naïve to realise it, who found each other again as more adultier adults, two people who set out to create something bigger than the life they were living back when they called the Bronx home.

"We are not high fiving over sex, Jules....We didn't turn into frat boys last time I checked."

Everything about Stand drew me in, incredibly funny, sexy as hell, with heartbreakingly tender moments that made me swoon with delight, earlier tonight I was discussing books with those 'oh my god' moments, you know the ones...the ones that have that huge shock value scene that you sit there questioning long after you've turned the last page, sure at the time I have that 'whoaaa what did I just read moment' but often what I'm truly after is a story that I can just read, I can sink into, I can escape into, one that makes me giggle, makes me blush crimson, makes me SMILE, books that are solid from beginning to end, the ones that just grab me on the first page as if to say 'hey you, get comfy because you're not going to want to put me down'. Gephart did that, from the very first line of the prologue I was captivated, I didn't care what else hit my kindle while I was reading because I was so invested in Max and Beth that I didn't want anything or anyone else clouding my Black Addiction haze.

"I'd heard those lyrics a hundred times before, and they'd never meant as much as they did at that moment. I loved him. I'd always loved him. And even if it didn't last forever, there would never be a moment I'd regret it."

T Gephart once again had showing all the signs of a happy book nerd, uproarious laughter, sly smirks, knowing smiles, happy sighs... her writing absolutely reminding me how much I adore her work, my trip back to the boys and girl of Black Addiction, my little dalliance with Power Station made me eager for a reread of the entire two series, when your reading time is limited and reviews are mounting in your diary, you know just how big of a statement that is. It was bittersweet reading Stand, because I knew that once I finished I'd have to say goodbye to these characters I'd come to love, until I remembered that that's the beauty of reading, that your friends are only a reread away.

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 traveled 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 and who didn’t lack femininity. Out of this need, she decided to pen her first book, A Twist of Fate. T set herself the challenge to write something that was interesting, compelling and yet easy enough to read that was still enjoyable. Pulling from her own past “colorful” experiences and the amazing personalities she has surrounded herself with, she had no shortage of inspiration. With a strong slant on erotic fiction, her core characters are empowered women who don’t have to sacrifice their femininity. 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 colorful 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.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dirty Royals: A Sexy Manhatten Fairytale Part 3 by Michelle A. Valentine


My evil plan is right on schedule.
I have her right where I want her, and soon I’ll be ready to lower the boom.
That is, if I can force myself to screw her over.
She’s got to me—made me care about her—and now I have two loves—my company and the Feisty Princess.
I can’t have them both.
It’s time to choose.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2016.

If Naughty King was dinner and Feisty Princess was foreplay than Dirty Royals was very much the main event. Alexander and Margot are married, their chemistry off the charts, the competition to outwit each other continues in the background, but in the wake of news of Margot's father's sudden death all thoughts of hostile take overs and backdoor wheeling's and dealings are pushed aside. In the final instalment of this aptly named sexy Manhattan fairytale Valentine delves deeper into the connection that originally started as openly hostile and animalistic lust.

Alexander's past comes hurtling back, dredging up painful memories and reinforcing his belief in love and it fleeting nature, his relationships are closely guarded, the image portrayed to the world at large was carefully constructed, Margot slowly breaking through the walls he built to keep his heart safe. The more Alexander struggles with what he knows to be the smart business decision and in the process destroying any chance of a future with a woman that has come to mean more to him than he ever anticipated, the more he has to decide the kind of man he wants to be.

"I'm falling in love with you, Alexander. I want to make this work with you, but I have to know I can trust you."

Margot has led a semi charmed life, loving parents, an opulent childhood, despite all the trappings of a great life Margot knows a thing or two about heartbreak, despite her snappy one liners and resting bitch face, there's a beautiful warmth to her, and openness, a willingness to trust and even love again that makes her so much stronger than the Alexander's of the world, it was singlehandedly the thing that made me adore her, made me cheer loudly for her, made me steadfastly and resolutely stand in her corner, in all the ways Alexander was the naughty King of this series, Margot was the unrivaled Queen.

"I love you, too. I have for a while now, but I was scared. Getting my heart broken again. I tried to keep my distance from you because I knew you had the power to destroy me."

Fast paced, emotionally driven, Valentine once again captivates the readers attention, while the conclusion to this series focuses more solidly on the bond between Alexander and Margot, as well as the bonds between sister and brother, between mother and daughter, examines the ties that bind and those that have fallen away. Sweetly romantic at times, heartbreakingly real, my only complaint was that the final instalment felt too rushed for me, I wanted more in the final chapters, I wanted more of the love connection and all that followed. A sweet and sexy conclusion to a fun and dirty serial, Dirty Deals packs a punch.

About Michelle A. Valentine:

New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned author of erotic romance and New Adult novels. Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos and sexy musicians inspired her BLACK FALCON series.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen


The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2016.

Sarina Bowen wormed her way into my heart with her Ivy Years series and her co-written duology Him and Us, her writing style fresh and inviting, and yet as familiar as a warm embrace, her ability to draw the reader in almost immediately and to capture their attention almost effortlessly is a true testament to the talent she possesses.

Griff Shipley once had a possible NFL career in his future but the unexpected death of his father meant that his career aspirations were cut short so he could return home to take over running his families farm in Vermont. Griff is proof that life can change in the blink of an eye, ever since that fateful day he's spent his days doing what's expected of him, what's needed of him to assure his father's legacy doesn't die out. He's not resentful of the hand he's been dealt, but he also doesn't have a lot of time to spend devoting to women or relationships, until his eyes land on the sexy damsel in distress.

Audrey Kidder has lived under her mother's shadow for as long as she can remember, she flunked out of college and out of her mother's good graces years ago, discovering culinary school was the one bright spark in her otherwise dull existence. When he car gets a flat whilst on the backroads of Vermont the last person she expects to see is Griff Shipley, her one time college hook up.

Audrey has her fill of sh*t kicker jobs since embarking on a career as a chef, after all there's a reason they call it grunt work, as the wife of a chef I've heard horror stories of the kinds of jobs you can be given, peeling 180kg of carrots, cooking 100 chafing trays of mash potato, yep imagine you're most hated tasks in the kitchen and then picture doing it for 10 hours all the while being called "oi you" or "prep girl" sounds like a barrel of laughs right! Our plucky heroine isn't to be deterred though, out from corporate's rule, Audrey has been given a task, secure farmers in the Vermont area who will sell farm fresh to table produce at a good price for her boss, corporate owner of some of the best known restaurants around. In theory it seems easy enough, only things never run smoothly for Ms Kidder, but her greatest lesson might be entirely different from the one she originally imagined.

"This right here was my five year plan. I didn't know how it was going to work out yet. But I wasn't giving up."

Exactly like title, this story is equal parts sexy, sweet romance, and zappy, punchy, angst, Bowen's pacing as usual is en pointe, delivering every well timed zinger and sizzling swoon worthy sigh with great aplomb. Where Bittersweet could of been just another life after college story about the misunderstood jock and the down on her luck rich girl, it was a story that had depth, that evoked emotion, they say the thing about good books is that they always finish too fast, which was certainly true here. Not only did Griff and Audrey become the kind of hero and heroine you want to befriend, you would want to know, but Griff's family and farm hands were multi faceted, adding layer after layer to the story, sparking off ideas and hopes for the following books in this series. When an author so effortlessly captures you, has you invested, makes you crave more of her words while still reading, you know with certainty that it's a book you won't want to end.

Filled with the perfect blend of scintillating sexy moments that had me tugging at my collar, snark and wit as Griff and Audrey battled one another for control, and the absolute heart string tugging, swoon worthy moments where I found myself grinning like a goon as two people learnt to rely on someone else emotionally after so long of convincing themselves that they were an island. With Bittersweet I expected a deliciously dirty, sexy romp filled with mountain man, what I got instead was a beautifully rounded story that had me smiling from the first page, until the very last line.

About Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in 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.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.

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Saturday, 18 June 2016

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA Today—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2016.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is often lauded for writing pieces that make the reader approach a subject from another angle, One True Loves is certainly no different. The concept at face value seems common enough, in book world I know I've read plenty of stories where a widow/widower is given a second chance at love and happiness after grieving the passing of their spouse, in fact books that deal with grief sensitively and with honor are often the ones I remember clearly long after I turn the last page, but Jenkins Reid uses this well versed plotline and flips it on it's head.

Emma first see's Jesse in high school, after pining away for him for the requisite time as is expected in teenage girl years she accepts that she may never be the object of his affection. One night everything changes, after years of doing exactly what is expected by everyone around them, Emma and Jesse find their soul mate in the other, the person who makes them reassess their lives, makes them dream for something bigger than the world they currently inhabit, corny yes, but they complete each other in a way they never dreamt possible. After school they blow the pop stand that is small town life and set out on an adventure of sightseeing a world they never dreamt existed, they grew up together in all the ways that were important, they created a life together, planned a future together, stood in front of one another and declared their undying love for each other, they swore they would forsake all others, that their bond was in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I've stood there on that alter, I've declared my love for someone, I know inherently the weight those vows hold. It's the beginning of your happily ever after, well it's supposed to be , tragically on the eve of Emma and Jesse's first wedding anniversary, whilst on a work trip, Jesse's flight goes down and he's gone, just like that, in the blink of an eye, Emma's world stops... it just STOPS... their plans for wedding anniversary celebrations - cancelled, their plans for travel and the future - gone, children and family and all the memories you imagine you will have, the years of joy and happiness you expect in your future...POOF...gone. It's a bitter pill to swallow, from having everything in the palm of your hand, to an emptiness so strong that you feel you may never be whole.

One True Loves stole my breath from the very first page, you see the story bared too many similarities to a couple I met while on my honeymoon, allow me a moment to digress, my husband and I married on 20th February 2011, while honeymooning in Fiji, we met a couple, also newlyweds, as we chatted over cocktails in the pool bar we discovered that we shared mutual friends, that M&M as I'll refer to them, actually got married the day before us, in a church not 30 minutes away, friends who attended our wedding, also attended theirs the night before, we laughed about what a small world it was, we shared our stories with each other, I learnt that M&M were high school sweethearts, their wedding was truly the beginning of their happily ever after, they radiated love for one another, they doted on one another, their love was tangible, and yet not in that nauseating sweetie, baby, hunny kind of way. We spend half of our honeymoon together, went out for meals, relaxed in a tropical oasis and just enjoyed getting to know each other, we made plans to catch up back home, we saw each other briefly over the coming year, but never had that dinner like we planned.  Unexpectedly in February 2012 M passed away, a week shy of their first anniversary, we were heartbroken for them, unable to reconcile what had taken place, unable to comprehend what M must be feeling, the pain the anguish, the devastation, we stood at his funeral and we wept with her, we wept for him, we wept for not only the loss of life, but for loss of dreams, we grieved the loss of the future they had planned. Earlier this year M walked down the aisle for the second time and married the second love of her life, for someone who once believed in one true love, life taught her that there's room in her heart for more than just one soul mate. Their story was one that floated through my mind while reading One True Loves, because while M like Emma has met two men that she loves unconditionally, and experienced that not all love is meant to last forever, for Emma she has the chance with her first love again. Years after Jesse is declared deceased, when Emma has grieved the loss of her first husband, when she moved on and forged a new life for herself, when she found love again, and once again found herself engaged to be married to Sam, she receives a phone call that will cause her world to stop once again, only this time Jesse isn't gone, this tine he's back, her husband is alive, and he's coming home for her. We're only supposed to have one true love right, that's the way fairy tales go... but when your past and your present collide, who will hold your future?

"I am who I am because I loved you once."

I want to tell you about every moment that made my heart soar, from those delicious first moments of young love with Emma and Jesse embarked on what would become a love of a life time, I want to tell you all the ways that this book broke my heart, in those moments where grief and pain bubbled to the surface, when we felt every emotion Emma felt as she tried to navigate life in the early days after Jesse's passing, I want to tell you about the real, raw anguish as Sam felt as he had to let Emma go to decide who she wanted as her future, the sense of unjustness that Jesse felt as he struggled to reconcile where the missing years had gone and the impact his disappearance had on Emma's life as well. I want to tell you how I was so enamoured by this story that I read it cover to cover twice because I wasn't ready to say goodbye, because I wanted to revel in Jenkins Reid's words just a little longer, how I felt that Emma and Jesse and Sam deserved more than me just putting down their story and moving on with my life, that I felt someone had to celebrate this incredible journey. I want to tell you how I kept my husband updated throughout the story because despite being an ardent non reader, he could tell by my reaction to this book that it was something special. I want to tell you my favourite quotes and how they are scored on my heart, but I also want you to read this book without knowing any more than is mentioned in the blurb. Over a year ago, a trusted friend described TJR as an author of life lessons, an author who pushes you to think outside the square, who begs you to leave your preconceived notions of right and wrong at the door and trust her to take you on a journey, and after losing myself in this story I unequivocally agree. One True Loves is without a doubt a PLATINUM read for me. Raw, unapologetic and poignant, a must read for ANY book lover.

About Taylor Jenkins Reid:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. Her first novel, Forever, Interrupted, was named one of the "11 Debuts We Love" by Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @tjenkinsreid.
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Friday, 17 June 2016

Everywhere and Every Way (Billionaire Builders #1) by Jennifer Probst


Hot on the heels of her beloved Marriage to a Billionaire novels, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst nails it with the first in an all-new sexy romance series featuring red-hot contractor siblings who give the Property Brothers a run for their money!

Ever the responsible eldest brother, Caleb Pierce started working for his father’s luxury contracting business at a young age, dreaming of one day sitting in the boss’s chair. But his father’s will throws a wrench in his plans by stipulating that Caleb share control of the family business with his two estranged brothers.

Things only get more complicated when demanding high-end home designer Morgan hires Caleb to build her a customized dream house that matches her specifications to a T—or she’ll use her powerful connections to poison the Pierce brothers’ reputation. Not one to ignore a challenge, Caleb vows to get the job done—if only he can stop getting distracted by his new client’s perfect…amenities.

But there’s more to icy Morgan than meets the eye. And Caleb’s not the only one who knows how to use a stud-finder. In fact, Morgan is pretty sure she’s found hers—and he looks quite enticing in a hard hat. As sparks fly between Morgan and Caleb despite his best intentions not to mix business and pleasure, will she finally warm up and help him lay the foundation for everlasting love?

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2016.

I have been a long time fan of Jennifer Probst's work, from her Wedding and  Searching series, the intermingling of characters, the angst, the drama, the romance, the sexy will they won't they dance, everything about Probst's words have me captivated. As I took my first steps into her new creation I was entranced, this story immediately captivated me and I was sure I'd found another winner, Morgan Raines is smart, sassy and a consummate professional, she isn't afraid to play with the big boys, she's not easily intimidated, nor will she run away at the first sign of trouble. Caleb Pierce had somewhere along the line lost most of what he once held dear, in quick succession he lost his mother, then his fiancé, and then his brothers, left behind managing the family business along with his father, Caleb's life revolved around all work and no play. When his father dies suddenly and his brothers return Caleb is about to rediscover exactly what family means to him.

The chemistry between Morgan and Caleb is undeniable, electric immediately, with synapses firing between the two from their very first meeting, there is certainly no question that these two are made for one another. With their quick wit, their ability to fuel the raging inferno between them with glances and words alone. Both so similar in so many ways, devoting their lives to their profession, sacrificing personal joys and milestones to focus on building their businesses, both experiencing trials and tribulations that altered their original path and forced them to reassess what they wanted.

While there were moments where I absolutely loved Everywhere and Every Way, the back and forth banter, the smouldering gazes, the side glances and heated moments of contact, moments that I could drown in their budding romance, revel in their story, there was something about it that missed the 5 Lipstick mark for me, while I felt their connection  early on, the ending felt rushed for me, losing that elusive IT factor that would deem this a new favourite. I'm interested to see where Ms Probst takes this series next with two brothers both vying for attention, I'm certainly intrigued by the lives of the other Pierce brothers.

About Jennifer Probst:

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She is the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Marriage Bargain. She is published both erotic and sexy contemporary romance with Entangled, Decadent, Red Sage and TWRP. She has also written a children's book, Buffy and the Carrot, co-written with her twelve year old niece, along with a short story, "A Life Worth Living."

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Don't Wake The Dead (The Wraith Files #1) by CC Wood

Original Cover


My name is Zoe Thorne and I'm just an ordinary woman. My life is mundane, and that's perfectly fine with me; I work a boring job, watch TV, read books, and sleep alone. There's nothing special about me.

Except that I can see ghosts.

After suffering years of rejection due to my freakish ability, I'm determined to hide my "gift" from others. That is until I meet Malachi Flemming and his peculiar yet amusing friends. Mal hosts a paranormal web show titled The Wraith Files and when he discovers my talent, he offers me a job. Well, offer may not be the right word.

He won't take no for an answer.

One night, we stumble across a spirit on the side of a deserted, country road. He seems lost and scared, convinced someone murdered him. Mal's interest is piqued and he insists on helping me investigate the accident. The deeper we dig, the clearer it becomes that the killer doesn't want us to discover the truth.

Desperate people will go to any lengths to keep their secrets buried. Sometimes it's best not to wake the dead unless you plan to join them.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2016.

Every single time CC Wood announces that she's writing paranormal romance I have that moment of telling myself that I don't read PNR, I don't enjoy it, no really it's a conversation I have with myself EVERY SINGLE TIME. Each time I find myself wondering what it's about, whether I will enjoy it, all this posturing has lead me to a conclusion, I may not enjoy paranormal romance, but I love Ms Wood's paranormal romance, I never feel like I'm drowning in ghosts and werewolves and vampires OH MY, despite the fanciful characters from the other world her works always have a realistic, tangible quality to them, I find myself easily getting lost in the story, slipping into readerspace and just revelling in her words. In Don't Wake The Dead we're introduced to Zoe Thorne, Zoe is your normal, everyday young woman, she's working a job she doesn't love, surrounding but a pretty non existent social life and her two best friends are a well meaning man eater Jonelle and a ghost Terri, yep you heard right, Zoe's current roommate is the deceased former inhabitant of her apartment, after a lifetime of hiding her gifts, Zoe is quick to dismiss ghosts and the paranormal existence, she learnt early on that disclosing her abilities only serves to alienate her, leaving her the town pariah.

"Well, golly gee, Mal, most people would think I was crazy if I started telling them that I can see ghosts. Oh, and talk to them."

When Zoe finds herself out of a job, and Malachi (Mal) Flemming comes knocking on her door with a sweet deal to film a webisode from her haunted apartment, it seems like a fairly easy way to make some quick cash, only she isn't prepared for all that will happen when Mal and his merry band of Blaine and Stony come to document the paranormal existence in her home.

"What is it with you and your obsession with my sex life?"
"One of us should have one and you're the only one with a pulse." 
Where I was expecting something predominantly focus on the existence of the otherworld, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the main focus was purely the story, while it did have paranormal elements Don't Wake The Dead is definitely a story that contemporary romance or romantic comedy readers will be able to sink their teeth into. Zoe and Mal have an electric chemistry, one that sizzles and crackles and truly bursts from the page, while Wood serves up the sexual tension in spades, she also delivers on the gut busting laughs, and the perfect comedic timing she has become known for, it's a hard task to set the tone for a story and to continue to deliver it throughout the story when it shifts in style from paranormal romance to suspense and drama to comedy. While together Mal and Zoe are exciting and fresh, and so darn intriguing that you can't look away, but individually they are genuine and funny, sassy and sexy, slow burn romance done exquisitely, add to that the other colourful characters like Jonelle and Terri, and Blaine and Stony and Wood has created the kind of ensemble where you hope each get their own story. From the first page I was intrigued, by the end of the first chapter I was utterly captivated, by the half way point I was so desperately invested that I couldn't decide whether I wanted the devour the pages or savor them and take my time. Intermixed with moments of sheer hilarity, and breathtaking suspense, were moments so beautifully tender and heartbreakingly real that left me desperate for more. At the end of yet another review for CC Woods work I stand by my former claim; PNR as a genre may not be for me, but Wood's take on PNR certainly is.

About CC Wood:

A native Texan, C.C. 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.

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