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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Fortune (Not Like The Movies #2) by Lauren K. McKellar




Blurb:

Grace Storey can’t wait to escape her small-town chaos and head for the big city for three main reasons: Work. Better cell-phone service. And the prospect of meeting her very own Prince Charming. After all, when the guy you crushed on since high school turns out to be a psychopath, and the only viable alternative is Creepy Keith, you need to take drastic measures to ensure life as a crazy cat lady is not in your future.
What she doesn't need is a bad-boy musician with a penchant for getting under her skin. Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll are the last things on her mind.

Darcy Fortune has three things on his mind: Sex. Drugs. And rock ’n’ roll (in that order). It’s how it has to be to keep the pain from his past at bay. After all, when you’ve hurt someone you love, it’s easier to numb the pain to keep on surviving. Easier to turn off your feelings than face the cold, harsh truth.
What he doesn’t expect is the sassy reporter with so much soul in her eyes. Could this woman be the one who breaks him?

Staying in control has never been as dangerous as this.

Find on Goodreads


Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2hOzRHv
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2hQMDVJ
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2zXi8nF
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2AWQm8j


Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: November 2017.

Down and out country girl Grace Storey meets famous rock star Darcy Fortune... fake relationships ... can you hear the angels singing in the background, I totally did, the normal girl meets super famous dude was one of my first beloved tropes so it's always fun to revisit. 

Grace has left the comfort and safety of home for the big city, her trek from her country town has been long and trying, the last thing she wants or needs is to run into a sexy stranger in a compromising position when she just wants a hot shower and warm bed. Darcy is charismatic in a way she isn't used to, utterly dangerous to a girl just trying to get her life sorted out.

Darcy knows all about enjoying the perks of being a rock star, seeing the world thanks to his record company, and having no shortage of women just waiting for their chance for one night with him, as with anything though, all perks have their downsides - people only seem to want something when you're at the top and no one cares about anything that can't bring them into the spotlight by association.

This might just be my favourite work by this author to date, it's pacing - spot on, the angst - real and most importantly believable, the relationship that grows and develops between Darcy and Grace felt organic - I like a good dash of reality in my fiction, and McKellar nailed it for me here. This story was fun and light and had all the hallmarks of everything I look for in my romantic comedies, a breath of fresh air, Fortune left me smiling from ear to ear.
 




About Lauren K. McKellar:



Lauren K. McKellar is a writer of contemporary romance reads that make you feel. This hybrid-published USA Today best-selling author loves writing books with stunning local settings, heart-throb heroes, and leading ladies who overcome great hardships in their lives.
In addition to writing, Lauren loves to read, and you can often find her up at all hours of the night with a glass of wine, some chocolate, and a good book. She lives by the beach in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband, infant son, and their two dogs. Most of the time, all four of them are well behaved.

Connect with Lauren on Facebook





One Shot (Chances #1) by BJ Harvey


Blurb:

Boy meets girl, boy wins girl, boy nails girl -- boy’s gone by morning.

I think for sure it must've been a dream because there’s no way a guy could look like that, touch me like that and be so in tune with me on every known level, and disappear, leaving me with nothing but a good story to tell my friends.

When he walks into my bar three months later, everything I thought I knew and what we’d had disappears in the blink of an eye and the blinding light of the three-carat diamond on his fiancée's hand.

It seems what I thought was a dream is now my most complicated reality, and I've got absolutely no idea how to fix it - or if I even want to.

Find on Goodreads




Purchase Links:
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2AjPyxZ
iBooks - http://apple.co/2AALHZn
B&N - http://bit.ly/2mlYzAf
Kobo - http://bit.ly/2yx2Qmc
Google - http://bit.ly/2ht6oip



Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: November 2017.

Harvey has long been an author I enjoy, her books filled to the brim with soon worthy heroes, wise cracking strong heroines and equal amounts of laugh out loud funny mixed with fan your face steam, One Shot had that in equal measure but what truly stood out for me was the angst, and holy moly was this one angst filled story.

Prologues are a tricky mistress for me, when done well they leave me hungry for the story, they fuel my desire for the words and leave me desperate and insatiable, it's more than a want to continue reading, it's an urge, primal, a NEED to set aside any plans and dive into the world the author has created. 

“You completely and utterly intoxicate me. You just have to breathe and I’m reeled back in.”

Millen seems like the total package, charismatic, sexy, confident without being cocky, his dedication to proving to Kenzie that he wasn't just another guy after a quick romp truly endearing, I wanted to believe in him, in his lustful gaze and earnest words, I knew there had to be more to the story then what it seemed because I genuinely wanted to care for the suave and sexy Millen. 

“When we’re apart I’m broken. When we’re together I’m whole.”

Kenzie is the kind of heroine I expect from Harvey, string, independent, funny as f*ck, the no nonsense, grab the world by the balls kindle of woman most days I aspire to be. Kenzie could seemingly take on the world and still be standing at the end of it, and yet unlike other men, Millen make his home in her heart almost immediately. 

One Shot as the title suggests is a story about those moments in life that have the ability to shape and change us irrevocably, Harvey kept me on the edge of my seat as my emotions waged a war inside me, this story was irreverent and funny at times, and yet absolutely heartbreaking at other, showing the author's ability to change gears, I wanted to LOVE LOVE LOVE One Shot, while I enjoyed the authors departure from her usual style including the angsty overall feel of the story, the ending felt rushed for me, I wanted more from those final chapters after such a build up. For lovers of angst ridden romance this will no doubt be a hit, as always I enjoyed the authors ability to create a world I wanted to lose myself in for a few hours, unfortunately it wasn't my favourite of hers. 



About BJ Harvey:


BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She also regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer and a funny romance thinker upper.

An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly but loving every minute of it. She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.

Connect with BJ on Facebook






Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Fortunate Ones by R.S. Grey



Blurb:

At Twin Oaks Country Club, there are the fortunate ones, and then there are the rest of us: the waiters, the caddies, the valets, and in my case, the cabana girls. Most days, I’m poolside in a pleated skirt, dishing out margaritas to tycoons and titans. It’s not exactly my dream job, but it does come with one perk…

James Ashwood.

He’s my silver lining in a custom black suit.

Besides being a legacy member at the club, he’s a tech mogul and Austin’s most eligible bachelor. Oh, and those dimples? Yeah, they make my stomach dip too.

On good days, I catch his sleek Porsche winding down the tree-lined drive. On better days, I steal a glimpse of his handsome profile as we pass in the hall. And on the absolute best day, I find him alone at the bar, looking for company.

“Come have a seat.”

Those four little words set me down a path I never could have imagined. Private planes, penthouse suites, and temptations around every corner make it impossible to keep my distance. His world feels decadent and wild—but overindulgence comes with a cost. Every kiss comes with strings. Every erotic encounter is a promise I’m not ready to keep.

When I pump the brakes, he hits the gas. James doesn’t want to go slow—he wants a commitment.

And the thing about the fortunate ones?

They’re used to getting what they want.

Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2z1g2kp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2xF88f6
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2hpzrUB
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2zTF44d

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: October 2017.

Oh gosh... I've just endured a .... well let's just say an unpleasant day at work, it was long and tedious and headache inducing and yet I still have a smile on my face, I'm physically drained but my heart is still soaring, and I have R.S. Grey to thank for that. 

In true Grey style The Fortunate Ones was sassy and sexy and laugh out loud funny, but even more than that there was a synchronicity to her words that made this story absolutely impossible to put down, in fact I don't remember the last time I stayed up all night reading, that feeling of complete and utter FOMO if I dare putting my kindle down for long enough to rest my eyes, and yet last night as the clock struck one (don't judge me I get up early and can't read all night like I used to) I was still lying on my side devouring Grey's exquisite prose as they wrapped themselves around my heart like a warm embrace, as I turned the last page, my soul filled with joy and smile on my face I slept a soft dreamless sleep, still thinking of James and Brooke.

"Some people carve their initials so deeply into your heart, they’ll always be a part of you."

Brooke Davenport had big plans at school and college, and for a few years those dreams came to a bright, beautiful fruition, living and travelling abroad while working as an Au pair life seemed almost perfect, but when her perfect job came to an abrupt end Brooke found herself back in Austin, and virgin daiquiris to precocious preteens. This is certainly isn't the job or life she had planned for herself, but it pays the bills and contributes to her savings account that will one day take her around the world again when she lands her next Au pairing role.

James Ashwood is the talk of Austin, he's a tech genius, devastatingly handsome and a legacy member of Twin Oaks, from afar he could be the cool and aloof billionaire some say he is, or just maybe he's a man in his thirties who's looking for something real and genuine away from the world of hangers on and followers.

Before you think this is a tale of poor little cabana girl who gets saved by the big bad James Ashcroft, you're way off.... like wayyyyy off. Forget all the regular tropes because The Fortunate Ones was so much more than a coming on age for a twenty something young woman, or a billionaire hero or anything else you've ever read, this was fresh and fun and full of chemistry that leapt off the page.

"That's great. I want those things for you too, but I want to be honest about what I want. I'm sick of serial dating, sick of living out of an empty house I don't want to come home to at the end of the day."

Gahhhh I'm trying to relay every moment I loved without giving away too much,  I could wax lyrical about every moment that had me laughing out loud, swooing or clutching my heart. I could shout praise at Grey for absolutely captivating me from the first page until the very last line, I have been a long time fan of her work, several of her titles have earned their places of my favourites lists, The Fortunate Ones is certainly no different, in fact it's easily earned its place alongside my very favourite books of 2017 and my Top Reads of all time.




About R.S. Grey:


Rachel is a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, metaphors and similes, black labs, and cold weather.

Connect with Rachel on Facebook





Thursday, 26 October 2017

CUFFED (Everyday Heroes #1) by K. Bromberg






Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes a new series about three brothers, the job that calls them, and the women who challenge them.

“I hate you. I never want to see you again.”

Grant Malone is not the reason I moved back to Sunnyville—at least that’s what I tell myself. Yet, those parting words I said to him back in third grade, ring in my ears every time a townsperson brings up one of the Malone boys. I thought time had healed my wounds. I was wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I finally saw him again.

Twenty years does a lot to turn a boy into a man. One who hits all my buttons—sexy, funny, attractive, and a police officer. But Grant is off limits because he knows too much about my past.

But I’m drawn to him. That damn uniform of his doesn’t hurt either. It’ll be my downfall. I know it.

What’s one night of sex going to hurt . . . right?

***

I’ve always loved Emmy Reeves.

That’s why I’m shocked to see her all these years later. The shy girl I once knew is all grown up.

Adventurous and full of life, she owns my heart now, just as much as she did back then. Convincing her of that is a whole different story.

I’ll give her the one night she asks for—like that’s a hardship—but when it comes to letting her walk away after, she has another thing coming. There’s no way in hell I’m letting her go this time without a fight.

Find on Goodreads



Purchase Links:



Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: October 2017


I am adrift in a sea of emotion, I feel as though I'm struggling to find words to do this story justice despite how many rereads of passages and quiet moments of contemplation I've had since picking up Cuffed for the first time. In true Bromberg style, this story tested me, there were moments where I teetered over the edge of a snicker right into a loud boisterous guffaw, and in the next moment I sat stunned with tears streaming down my cheeks, heart breaking. I went into Cuffed absolutely blind, with that hot cover I expected light and sexy, but the thing about Bromberg's books is that while they may be laugh out loud funny at times, and absolutely bursting at the seems with sizzingly sexy escapades there is *always* so much damn heart and soul that her words change you, they implode and set your world on fire, in a dazzling technicolour display that simultaneously shatters your heart and gently pieces it back together. 


"She’s sunshine with a little bit of hurricane thrown in, and I’m willingly walking straight into her storm with nothing more than the clothes on my back."

Grant Malone was once upon a time a little boy who would take on the world to protect his best friend, the years have passed and little Grant is now a man but who he is hasn't changed, Grant now spends his days trying to keep his community safe, as a police officer with a predetermined hero complex and father who once protected and served there was never going to be another choice for Grant.

Emerson Reeves was once the little girl with the big eyes who loved her best friend Grant, but Emmy had secrets, secrets that break and shatter and when her world exploded she turned her back on everything she had known. Emerson is back for the first time in twenty years and she's fiery and independent and she's definitely not a little girl in need of saving anymore.


"You’re used to calling the shots and being in control. News flash, I don’t budge when I’m pushed and no one controls what I do."

As Grant and Emmy collide and memories of a past one wants to remember and the other wants to forget rise to the surface, only the strongest will survive the fall out that remains. With rich characterisation and a story that had the ability to absolutely decimate me one moment and leave me joyous the next I found myself putting Cuffed down several times to revel in the sheer unrelenting beauty of Bromberg's words and shroud myself in her raw and jagged imagery. Bromberg has never shied away from tackling heavy or sensitive topics, in fact it was her ability to do so with sensitivity and grace that cemented me a long time fan of her work, but even with that I was unprepared for the effect this story would have on me, how much this book would make me feel.

"We forget the memories and just chase the moments."
Years ago I would of read Cuffed and handled the heavy subject matter in the abstract, because while I knew of it happening, my world was untouched. Now, well now however I know differently, and my heart shattered over and over again reading this story, because it hit too close to home, and like Grant I know with certainty that I can't save everyone, I can't take away someone's hurts, nor can I erase their memories. Therein lie the beauty of Cuffed, in the subtle message of Bromberg's words, words that shake even the strongest resolves and leave you knowing with absolute certainty that the greatest gift we can give someone is support, that they are already the hero of their story and don't need saving, that sometimes love is found in the darkest of places. It only thrives once it hits the light.

"This hurt doesn't take away my pain, only being strong will. I am in control of me. I will survive despite it. I am loved regardless of it." 





About K. Bromberg:


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

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, Kristy has sold over one million copies of her books across sixteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by Passionflix with the first movie slated to release in the summer of 2018.

She recently released a two book, sports romance series, The Player and The Catch. Cuffed is the first book in her new Everyday Heroes trilogy. This three-book series will be about three brothers who are emergency responders, the jobs that call to them, and the women who challenge them. The remaining standalones in the series are Combust (January 29th) and Cockpit (Spring 2018).

Connect with Kristy on Facebook




Saturday, 7 October 2017

Bountiful (True North #4) by Sarina Bowen



Mark your calendars - October 20th...It's apple picking season. It's also time for a brand new True North story. Bountiful is Zara's story. Remember Zara? She is Griff's ex, and the bartender at The Mountain Goat. She has a cute little baby daughter, and hasn't told a soul who the father is. More about Bountiful...

Blurb:

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Hockey star Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

Pre-order at Amazon US | iBooks | Kobo | Nook  


Excerpt:

“Last call,” she said to me as she wiped down the bar. “Can I get you anything else?”
“Not unless you’ll let me buy you a drink. Seems like you might need to unwind after that last bit of bullshit.”
She gave me a wry smile. “You’re sweet to ask. But I can’t accept. Company policy.”
“Uh-huh.” I took out my wallet and put a fifty on the bar. “First of all, I’m not sweet.”
Her eyes widened a little when I said that. Now I had her attention.
“And secondly, company policy my ass. It’s you who calls the shots in this place. Nobody else but you. I can see why you need a handy excuse, though. If you couldn’t pull the ‘company policy’ out of your pocket sometimes, the men would be buying the sexy bartender drinks left and right all night long, I bet. You’d never get a moment’s peace.”
A smile stole across her features. “Yeah, sure. I have to keep a stick back here behind the bar just to beat back all the men.”
“You don’t need that stick, gorgeous, because you give ’em the evil eye and they run off, knowing they’re not man enough for you. But every guy who drinks in this bar has the secret, fervent wish that fortune would smile down on him just long enough for him to earn an hour of your undivided attention.”
Zara rolled her dark eyes, but a telltale blush splashed her cheekbones. “You know how to lay it on thick.”
“No need.” I shook my head. “Just telling you how it is. Now I think you should do a shot with me, and we’ll toast your unapproachability.”
She laughed, and her eyes lit up for the first time tonight. “You are smooth, mister. I’m almost tempted.”
“Almost? Damn.”
She smiled. “There aren’t any taxis out here in the woods, and I’ve been pouring your beers all night. If you do a shot with me, it won’t be safe to drive away from here. And it’s quitting time.”
“Well. Now that you mention it…” I reached across the bar and laid a hand very gently over her smooth one. Our gazes collided as I stroked my thumb across the back of her hand. “Driving after doing shots with you wouldn’t be such a great plan. I’d have to stick around for a couple hours until it wears off.”
Zara waited a beat before retrieving her hand from beneath mine. “I see.”
“Do you?” I put both elbows on the bar and leaned forward. She was trying to play it cool, but my not-so-subtle message was getting through. I saw the blush beginning to creep across those fine cheekbones. She and I had chemistry, damn it. We’d been eye-fucking each other all night. “Look. I think you had a stressful evening. And I’m really good at stress relief. Like, pro level.”
She braced both hands on the bar and smiled at me. “Are you always this forward?”
“Nope.” I shook my head. “Some women can’t handle the truth. But I’ve watched you run this place. You’re in charge of everything that happens inside these walls, and I’ll bet that gets old. I’m thinking you might like to hand over the reins once in a while. Let someone else take charge. Tonight that someone is gonna be me...”



Friday, 6 October 2017

PUCK LOVE by Carmen Jenner


Blurb:

Stella Hart is the hottest thing in country music. For ten years, she’s been Nashville’s darling. She’s pure, sweet, and a positive role model in an industry rife with scandals, sex, and sequins. Men want to own her, women want to be her—everyone wants a piece of her, and Stella? Well, she wants out.

As the center for the Calgary Crushers, Van Ross isn’t afraid of the spotlight, but he doesn’t much like it either. Despite his reputation as a player, the NHL’s bad boy lives for only two things: the game, and his younger brother. That’s why when he comes across a country music superstar seeking refuge at his home in the Canadian Rockies, he’s not too happy with the media sh*tstorm this surprise houseguest brings.

With a nationwide manhunt, paparazzi dogging their every move, producers of a reality TV show baying for blood, and a record label desperate to see their “good girl” returned safely home, Van and Stella’s lives are snowballing out of control.
While Van would like nothing more than to show the purest of them all how well he handles his er ... stick, Stella is no puck bunny. Nor is she as innocent as she’d have the world believe.

With chemistry like theirs, tension runs high on and off the ice, but the end game is the same for both players: line up the puck, take the shot, and score. If only their hearts understood the play.

Puck fame and fortune.
Puck right and wrong.
Puck love.

Find it on Goodreads


Purchase Links:



Kristine's Review:
Review: October 2017.

When news of Puck Love hit the interwebs I was instantly intrigued, I mean talk of a book from Carmen Jenner without death and destruction... without rape or torture... a book that's fun and light and won't make me shriek or cry.... GET OUT OF TOWN....I knew I *needed* this book like I needed my next breath. It's not secret I've been on a happy book binge of late, give me happy and laugh out loud funny and I'll be all over it like ...well myself at a Tieks sale.

Stella Hart is the undisputed GOOD GIRL of the Country music scene, she's loved by little girls, teenage boys and parents alike, the World is her stage and she *seems* like she's got everything figured out. Unfortunately for Stella, she's just barely holding on. Suffering from crippling anxiety, each SOLD OUT show on her Tour seems harder to get ready for, each night the voices and fears getting louder and louder and harder to hide away. 

When Stella finally has had enough and makes a break for it, hilarity ensues, and for maybe the first time in a long time she can breathe without feeling like drowning. I remember listening people talking about anxiety years ago and not really getting it. I mean sure panic attacks seemed legitimate enough, but it was still in the abstract, I mean surely anxiety couldn't possibly be *that* bad. Funny isn't it, that earlier this year I found myself huddled in the corner of my bedroom mid panic attack trying to remind myself how to breathe with tears running down my face, so anxious over an upcoming signing that the thought of not packing the right clothes left me a bleary eyed mess. As I read the opening chapters of Puck Love I FINALLY *got* it, I understood Stella in my bones, I understood inherently why running was the ONLY option she could live with, I felt a soul deep connection to Jenner's words, it was the most holy of UH HAAAA moments, in the most unlikely of places.

"You wanna try on your own?"
"No, don't let go."
"You looking for an excuse to hold my hand, country?"
"No, I'm afraid of falling."
"But that's the best part." He grins, squeezes my hand tighter, and I have a feeling he's right. 

While I may have had a earth shattering connection to Puck Love in the opening chapters what followed was a fun filled adventure as Van the BADBOY of Ice Hockey crosses paths with Stella the enteral GOODGIRL of country music, and boy did Stella give him a run for his money. Van The Man, strong and stoic, the man who wants nothing more than to flatten anyone who gets in his way on the ice, and keep his life off the ice private. From the outside Van looks like the typical sports star, but beneath the bravado and icy glare - he's a man who's ready for something real away from the ice. And Stella, well Stella has wanted real for as long as she can remember and for the first time in a long time, she might have found someone who will give that to her.

Jenner keeps us enthralled with her trademark blend of snarky banter and tantalising sexual chemistry, but where she truly flexes her muscles is delivering a story that doesn't rely on emotion and angst to deliver something thrilling, from a quirky beginning that had me genuinely invested to a story about two people who as poster children for the lifestyle's of the rich and famous shouldn't be entirely relatable but inherently made Puck Love a book that was not only easy to devour but to love, leaving this reader smiling long after she turned the last page. 








About Carmen Jenner:


Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA Today and international bestselling author.

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 makeup 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?








Sunday, 1 October 2017

Logan (Preston Punks #2) by Jay McLean



Blurb:

As a kid, Logan Preston was a brat.
Through his teens, he became the bad boy.
Now, at nineteen, no one knows what the hell to expect.

High school dropout, Logan Preston is a
good-for-nothing stoner.
A black sheep.
A disappointment.
The worst Preston Punk of the lot.
At least that’s how everyone in his small town
makes him feel.
But Logan Preston has secrets.
Secrets so dark and so deep below the surface that the only way he can fight them is to stay high, high, high.
He wears cockiness as a mask.
Arrogance as his armor.
Until one girl, one night, asks one life-changing question:
What's beneath the bravado, Logan Preston?



Purchase Links:




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: September 2017.

Over a week has passed and I’m no closer to adequately describing the raw and unrelenting beauty this book possesses. From an auspicious beginning to an absolutely breathtaking ending, Logan captured every emotion leaving me desperate for more while delivering the story I craved. Everything about this story had me utterly invested, from the first moments Logan was an enigma, a boy that went off the rails somewhere along the lines and seemed content to remain there. His weekends of  debauchery seem to be early adulthood rebellion at it's finest, until it isn't anymore. The more McLean hinted to demons darkening his door the more his methods of letting go had a sinister twist. 

Keeping secrets isn't exclusive to Logan, Audrey has a past of her own, and much like Logan uses quick wit and sarcasm with a healthy dose of bravado to cover the things she best keep hidden. Two people trying to just be without divulging their past hurts to the world, two people using everything at their disposal to guard their hearts from further devastation. Two people who absolutely and utterly stole my heart.

I wanted this review to scream from the rooftops my absolute adoration for this author, I wanted to tell you how this story shattered me in all the ways a great book can, I wanted to shout my love for these beautifully broken characters and the way they made me feel and the journey they took me on. I wanted to revel in the emotion they wretched from me and tell you at great length how bereft I felt as I turned the last page. More than any of this, I need you to read this story, I need you to allow yourself to be swept away by two young people who asked each other the only important question there is... what if we try?





About Jay McLean:





Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

Connect with Jay on Facebook





Sunday, 20 August 2017

Commitment by KM Golland - Exclusive Excerpt & Review

 

Release Date: 21 August 2018.

Blurb:

Natasha Jones loves her life, her husband and their two young sons. She works hard both at home and as an Events Supervisor at City Towers. But when a relationship with her work colleague unexpectedly progresses, Tash begins to question whether or not her marriage has passed its ‘Use by’ date.

Dean Jones is a numbers man but has no idea that his number could be up where his marriage is concerned. Never one to really speak his mind, he has always opted to just go with the flow in order to keep his wife happy.

Passion, intimacy, and communication have taken a backseat to demanding careers, a mortgage and family life, and it’s not until Tash and Dean stand to lose everything they have built together that the spark between them begins to flicker again.

And boy does it flicker ...
and ignite ...
and nearly burn the entire neighbourhood down!

Can Tash and Dean keep this newly lit flame alive and save their marriage? Or will temptation make the commitment seem too much to bear?

GPI Exclusive Excerpt:

I didn’t want to be disappointed with how our anniversary had panned out, but I was. It had just been another normal day, except that we had sex. Not sexytimes. Just sex. Plain old boring sex that nearly put me to sleep.
After dinner when he’d suggested we watch “Captain America” instead of “Love Actually”, my desire for anything intimate had long passed, and all I’d wanted was to just go to bed and read because, nowadays, the pages in my books gave me more sexual gratification than the man who slept beside me.
It was sad but true.
When he’d mentioned ‘looking for my cat’, ‘my cat’ had figuratively hissed in warning. I hadn’t wanted to play hush-the-kids-are-asleep robotic, shitty sex, even though I’d given in out of guilt in the end and played it. It was disheartening, really, having sex with my husband because I felt guilty for not having it with him. Sex shouldn’t be like that when you love someone. It should be exciting, rewarding … enjoyable. It shouldn’t be an obligation or a score settler. But that was exactly what it had become where I was concerned. And I hated that.
Sighing, the mere thought of feeling that way pained me. I loved Dean wholeheartedly and I always would. He just didn’t push the buttons on my body that I wanted him to press. And I wasn’t sure at what point in our marriage that had changed or why, nor was I sure if it were his fault or mine. Because, although small, my porthole sized libido still existed. I wanted sex. I just wanted something different. Something new. Something surprising.
I wanted something a little less predictable.
Unfortunately, Dean was as predictable as a clock. Rhythmic. Formulaic. He liked routine. Did that make him boring? Yeah, kinda. Yet I couldn’t deny that his consistency was comforting, because he was also dependable and reliable — a double-edged sword with a bittersweet slice.
Lying in bed and staring at the ceiling, I wondered if ‘comfortable’ was what a marriage should be above all else, if ease and the absence of irregularity really were the key to sustaining longevity within a partnership.
“God, I hope not,” I said quietly to myself. That notion didn’t sit well with me at all, but maybe that notion was the answer and my expectations of spontaneity were unreasonable. Maybe I was just greedy.


Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2uV3trV
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2uVjrm5
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2x2PEFc
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2x2UZwa

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: 2017

There's a point in every wedding ceremony, when saying one's vows that we utter promises to one another, we promise to love each other, in sickness and in health, richer or poorer, we promise to forsake all others, we essentially promise to choose each other, every day, every month, every year of our forever's.

When standing there in front of a priest/officiant, in front of our families and friends it seems so very simple, because for most of us, we chose this person that moment of our first date, first kiss, first intimate moment, we chose them when they got down on one knee or in my case passed me a ring box while overlooking Saddleback Mountain, we chose to spend our remaining days building a life with our partner. As sure as I am that we are so very sure of our vows on that day, I also know that more often than not we find ourselves questioning our choices, our commitment at some point in our marriages. Be it five years, ten years or twenty years, most of us will feel stifled by that tricky bitch complacency, that honeymoon phase we fondly remember seems so long ago, jobs, children, pets, household chores have taken precedent, we forget about who we once were before the dreaded C word, and often we find our once bright and vibrant relationship...stagnant. Getting dressed up for date night is a thing of a past, sexy lingerie sits long forgotten in the back of the draw, the I love you's  still fall quickly from our lips but now out of routine.

Commitment tells the story of Tash and Dean, their story is heady and romantic, over a decade together, a lifetime, two beautiful sons, surrounded by good family and friends, their marriage seems solid,  they say I love you freely, easily, they share a connection that only comes from many years together, even after all the years that have passed Dean still see's the beautiful sexy woman he married, Tash still see's the handsome man who once stole her breath, but she also see's the man who can't for the life of him hang his keys on the hook near the door, and he see's the woman who falls asleep far too quickly and leaves him to jerk off in the dark.

I'll be honest, in true KM Golland style I was expecting a funny, sexy romp with Commitment, a story purely about bringing the sexy back, what I found instead was a poignant tale of two people who truly love each other but aren't quite sure what they are missing that their friends seem to have. That old saying that you can't see the wood for the tree's resonated so deeply for me here, I've had those moments, I've felt unsure in my marriage, I've felt like everyone else must be in on some secret I wasn't privy to, I've felt under appreciated, invisible, like a flatmate instead of a lover or a spouse, I've lost that spark and wondered if marriage is truly supposed to last forever, in truth I still do at times, I had moments reading Tash's thoughts sure that Golland had somehow hijacked my brain and scooped out my most secret thoughts.
It was confronting, and so very real that I found myself sitting in my bathroom quietly crying, because finally I could give voice to these thoughts swirling in my mind, but more than that for once I felt a little less alone.


There's so much beauty in Golland's words, there's a honesty in this story, there's a rawness that is so very confronting, it makes you think, but more importantly, it makes you feel. Mixed in between sassy banter, uproariously funny exchanges, swoon worthy romance and scintillatingly sexy hijinks is a story that needs to be told. I've often regarded author's like Taylor Jenkins Reid as the creator of life lessons instead of a writer, after finishing Commitment, KM Golland has cemented her place as the teacher of truths, the creator of life lessons, a writer of real life.



About KM Golland:


“I'm an author. I am married. I am a mother of two adorable little people. I'm a bookworm, craftworm, movieworm, and sportsworm. I'm also a self-confessed shop-aholic, tea-aholic, car-aholic, and choc-aholic.” Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, K.M. Golland studied law and worked as a conveyancer before putting her career on hold to raise her children. She then traded her legal work for her love of writing and found her dream career.

Connect with KM Golland on Facebook





Thursday, 13 July 2017

Timeless: Andy's Mindsong by Barbara S. Stewart


Blurb:

Andy Stevens is back.
He’s returned to his island to come to terms with a lifetime of memories

Rock God Andy Stevens, lead singer for the band Traveler, has come to a crossroads in his life. He’s living his Golden Years and finds himself torn between the present and the past. One phone call leads him on a determined course to find the answers, and come to terms with his unsettled soul.

His heart leads him to a place where his restless soul is at home – his island - Eleuthera. He digs his toes in the sand, deep in his memories, and relives, remembers, and reconciles a life that brings him the answers to the ‘whys’ i that led to the choices he’s made over the years. Love, lost love, love renewed, family, illness, life, and death... his hope is to find peace. Soul searching, he sifts through all the good, sad, and bad in search of what he longs for.

Take a walk back in time with Andy – for the last time.

Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2vfURI8
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2sTIild
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2tPZsl0

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: July 2017.

Some books stay with you long after you turn the last page, the characters become imprinted on your heart, their journey stays with you, allowing you to reminisce on their joys and sorrows as if they were a beloved friend. Rock and Roll Never Forgets is one such title, an epic love story spanning years between Andy and Bethy, through joy and heartache and everything in between, Stewart weaved a story that absolutely steals your heart.

Stewarts latest offering is Andy's swansong, deeply reflective, incredibly poignant and intensely personal, Timeless captures the sorrow of heartbreak and regret, and the joy of first loves, last loves, forever loves. Timeless reads as a memoir, a heartfelt reflection of every beautiful memory interlaced with the moments of regret over wasted time and bad decisions.

I was unprepared for the emotional response Stewart's words would elicit, unprepared for the feelings revisiting with Andy would produce, the overwhelming sense of finality that reading Timeless would bring, the absolutely beauty of this story, was the sense of closure it brought with it, the sated smile Stewart's words left on my face, often in life we tell ourselves it's the journey not the destination that's important, I humbly thank this author for so brilliantly reminding me of that once again.

"Each word, each laugh, each revelation made me fall deeper in love with her."




About Barbara S. Stewart:


I'm Barbara, I read. I write. I come from the northeast, born in Havre de Grace, MD, and grew up in Pennsylvania. In my teens we moved to the Space Coast area of Florida. Now I live in Middleburg, Florida (Jacksonville area) with my husband, Gene.

I've worked in the electronics industry, and most recently in healthcare. I give back by volunteering whenever I can, and in 2009, I received The American Cancer Society's HOPE Award for volunteerism.

The stories I write come from my heart. I'm never sure where they are going until I get there. Most often, a song begins to paint a picture that becomes a love story. Sprinkled through my stories are humor and sadness based on real life experiences shared with family and friends. I write with emotion, pulling from memories and events that made me who I am. My readers tell me they feel like they know the characters I share with them. I like to call my writing 'the sound-track of my life.'

A reviewer on Amazon recently said, "This isn't a romance, it's a love story." (readingmaven)

As a writer, I hope you continue this journey, travel with me, see what song inspires me next, and I hope that you see more growth with each page you turn.

I love to read; it's a gift that was shared with me by my mom - Alis. She introduced me to her favorites like Little Women, Christy, and the Nancy Drew books. Books are an escape, a journey into new and different places and I've been many places I never dreamed of. My favorite genre is romance. I to explore and support other authors who paint a picture through words that allow me to feel the story. Some of my favorites are Adriana Trigiani, Maggi Myers, and Nora Roberts.

Connect with Barbara on Facebook






Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Catch (The Player #2) by K. Bromberg



Blurb:

After an unexpected twist of fate, All-Star catcher Easton Wylder is left questioning the loyalty of everyone around him.

Even the woman who shares his bed, Scout Dalton.

But if Easton thought being uprooted to the last place he expected was the only challenge life had to throw at him, he was dead wrong.

With an ailing shoulder and his career in limbo, his decision to make an unexpected change leads him to question everything – Scout’s love, family loyalties, and whether he can conquer the one obstacle he’s never been able to overcome. The secret he’s never shared with anyone.

He may be a man pushed to his limits, but he’s hell-bent on proving his worth no matter the cost.  

Find on Goodreads



Purchase Links:




Kristine's Review:
Review: June 2017

Where do I even begin right now, I'm sitting here typing through bleary eyes, struggling to put into words everything I'm feeling, the swarm of emotions raging within me, mind a mess, heart beating wildly. I am overcome by the author's eloquence, by her ability to craft a beautifully raw story about life and love and pain and forgiveness. I am lost at sea, drowning in my feelings, as every word, every smile, every soft look and furtive glance washes over me one last time.

From the dramatic end of The Player I expected The Catch to begin with a bang, I expected fireworks and drama and that big AH HA moment where everything fell into place, I often forget that is not this particular author's way, Ms Bromberg likes to tease and titillate, I secretly think she likes the build up, the edge of your seat, need to know more feeling, she wants you so deeply invested in her characters and in her story that you're begging to know what comes next, and I was, so utterly invested, so incredibly engaged that I forgot about the journey, that at it's very core this story isn't just about a baseball star and a sports rehab hotshot, it's about families and life and love and despair and hurt and forgiveness, and grief and anguish, about finding someone who will love the parts of you're not even sure how to love yourself.

There were so many moments throughout this book that I found myself staggered by the sheer beauty of Bromberg's words, moments I found myself in awe of her ability to convey in words feelings and emotions I have never been able to...

"Both of their eyes close as she drinks - hers as she gets the fix she needs from the drug that provides it and his from knowing his love for her is not enough to break the cycle."

It's lines like that that make me stop, make me revel in old feelings of loss and despair, it's those moments that remind me of a childhood spent loving a father who loved the bottle more, it's those moments that quiet the buzz of adrenaline running through my veins and leave me spellbound that someone could write something so eloquently beautiful and raw that carve open that long closed part of mind and allow me to feel a little less alone.

"He hates her addiction - that much is obvious - so, he does the only thing he can: love her."
Bromberg quickly became a favourite author for me several years ago, with her witty banter and heartfelt dialogue, her strong heroines and dashing leading men. But beneath all that, what I truly adored was her ability to create characters who were rich and dense, who were flawed and relatable, who showed that we all face darkness in our lives, we all face trials and tribulations that we have to overcome, it was in those quiet moments when her characters were filled with pain and despair that the gravity of her message, the strength of her writing shone through.

"I want you. All of you. Your flaws. Your mistakes. Your achievements. Your shortcomings. Your love."

It's in those moments in The Catch, where Scout and Easton grow as individuals and together that Bromberg shows her talent, it's the small glances, the shy smiles, the looks of longing, of desperation, of passion and of love that show her ability to craft a story where the characters leap off the page and into our hearts. Where this story transcends everything I expected and gave me so much more than I could of hoped for, reminding me that ultimately the very greatest gift we can receive is unconditional love, a love that defies question, a love that knows no limit, that can not be defined.

"someone will love the parts of you that no one else knows how to love."



About K. Bromberg:



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

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, Kristy has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

Her latest release is a sports romance (two books) titled The Player and The Catch. Up next is The Everyday Heroes series: three books on three brothers who are all emergency responders. And there are many more already outlined and ready to be written.

Connect with Kristy on Facebook