BACK TO TOP

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



Thursday, 15 June 2017

Bad Penny by Staci Hart



Blurb:

Nothing good comes after the third date.

Date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he’ll get weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him-through-the-streets-begging-him-to-love-me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked or that he can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.

Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.

Find Bad Penny on Goodreads



Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2suAw4n
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2torX7F
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2rtA0DG
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2sCtzxR


Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2017.

When Staci Hart announced Bad Penny saying this book would be different from her previous ones she couldn't have been more right, Penny is brash, without filter and truly seems to have mastered the art of giving zero f*cks. She calls it as she see's it, refuses to behave demurely or deny her sexual urges because of societal expectation and says whatever it is she's thinking without fear of judgement or retribution, in saying that she's also inherently good and kind, despite wanting to show the world she's heartless, she has possibly the biggest heart of any of Hart's characters to date. Her bright hair, piercings and tattoo's may give off a don't even try me vibe, but underneath the sass and bravado, underneath the feisty and in control heroine is a young woman who's been burnt one too many times and is just trying to find a way she can navigate her life without ending up as someone's collateral damage.

"Here's the thing, Bodie. When I love, I don't do it halfway, I go all the way into the fire until it burns me up. It's obsessive. I lost myself once to someone else, and I'm not doing it again."

Penny's take on dating, is very clear, she doesn't date, she has short sexual entanglements and she moves on, before the guy can get attached and before she can go crazy, it's a simple rule that's been treating her well, her three hook up rule keeps everyone involved safe, and until she meets Bodie, her plan seems fool proof, when the hot blonde surfer catches her eye she's sure she can put her plan into action and walk away unscathed.

"Penny could take over the world if she wanted to. She could take me over. She kind of already had."

Bodie is tanned and toned to perfection, built in all the right places, with the face of a God and the worlds sexiest dimple he sets Penny's heart racing, chemistry in spades and an instant connection - everything about him screams to Penny's carefree, wild side, lust and attraction bubbling between them, but more than that Brodie is the ultimate nice guy, inherently good and decent, he see's beyond Penny's quirks, past her feisty attitude, to the young woman she hides underneath, he knows in the first meeting that she is exactly who he wants, if he can just figure out how to hold on to her long enough for her to see it too.

"But that was what Bodie did. He anticipated what I required and gave it to me, even when the gift was his silence. He cared for me without demand, without expectation."

Bad Penny is SEXY, and I mean balls to the wall, often times explicit sexy, and I'll be honest here, as my reading preferences have changed over the years I often find myself skimming my way through long or frequent sex scenes, feeling that it fails to propel the story forward and for me ends up feeling more like filler, and from the outset I suspected this book would be heavy on the sex, with Penny and her blatant sexuality I was concerned I'd find myself less engaged and  yet, I found myself so utterly invested in Penny's development and growth that I couldn't look away.

"You are the toughest chick I know, and the very last thing I expect from you is to let fear stop you from doing anything. Jump out the plane , Pen."

Undoubtedly the hero of this story is Penny, it's her journey from somewhat broken and flawed that absolutely grabbed me and demanded my attention. While I may not have always been able to connect with Penny and her behaviour, I inherently understood her fears and shared her pain, because at some point inside most of us lies that frightened girl, who has been burnt one too many times and is just trying to find a way to piece ourselves back together, the girl who refuses to apologise for how she healed herself and the decisions she's made to get where she is, and at the very heart of it, that's what made Penny so damn lovable and relatable, not her sass or bravado, not her wild at heart life mantra, nor her man eater ways, it's how truly unapologetic she is as she goes about her day to day life, it's the number of heartbreaks and dalliances with the crazy train she has endured and said f*ck it to the world, while pulling up her big girl panties and getting on with it. Bad Penny is laugh out loud funny, absolutely inappropriate at times in the best possible way, sinfully sexy while still maintaining that sweet edge, Hart shows her writing chops by delivering a story with the right amount of angst, commensurate to the age of the lead characters, ensuring nothing felt out of place or overdone, making Bad Penny utterly engaging and impossible to put down.






About Staci Hart:


Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

Connect with Staci on Facebook
Join Staci's Reader Group





Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Foxe and the Hound by R.S. Grey


Blurb:

A full-length STANDALONE romantic comedy from USA TODAY bestselling author R.S. Grey.

When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.

ind on Goodreads

Purchase Links:



Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2017.

I fell in love in with R.S. Grey's words way back when with  With This Heart and Behind His Lens, as her back catalogue has grown, so has my affection for her stories, from the quirky and fun, to the heartfelt and serious, Grey has ensnared my heart and captured my mind with her witty dialogue, relatable characters and explosive chemistry, her writing always leaving eager for more, and yet entirely sated. After a period of failing to connect with books, I finally hit my stride, discovering titles that left me giddy and desperate for more, I'll be honest, with each book I finished feeling overjoyed and elated there was also a sense of trepidation, because what if the next book doesn't continue your loved up book spree, what then... I shouldn't have been worried, especially not where Ms Grey is concerned, because while I have been a long time fan of the authors words, The Foxe and the Hound became a new top recommendation.


“I didn't plan to be this dysfunctional at 27, but dysfunctionality has a way of creeping up on you. One second, you're 22, wrapping up your undergraduate degree from a top business school, and then suddenly, you're sitting alone in your car at 27, wondering how five years slipped trough your fingers without so much as a blink.”  

To say Madeleine Thatcher has had a tough run would be an understatement, ever the eternal optimist even Madeline is starting to doubt how long she can continue, perennially single, regularly behind on rent, and working a job she loves but never seems to be making it in is starting to take its toll. Once again running late for work, her life and giant mountain dog of a puppy sends her careening into the newest addition to her small town, unbeknownst to all involved Madeleine's life is about to change.

Adam Foxe relocated from Chicago after some messy personal issues, he's quite content to just jump into his new practice and keep a low profile, after all who needs messy personal entanglements after everything he's just left behind? His first meeting with Madeleine Thatcher left a sour taste in his mouth, unfortunately he can't stop thinking about her either. Adam's not the only one, despite his surely demeanour, Madeleine can't deny the attraction she feels, everything about their tenuous interactions is almost laughable and yet neither seems to be able to stay away.

"I like you. If I were dating right now, I'd want to be with you, okay?
He bends down so his gaze meets mine. Even still, I do my best to focus on the gym floor.
"The reason I've been ignoring your calls  and emails is because I like you too much." 


Grey writes adorkable romantic entanglements like no other, there's a cringe worthy element to Madeleine and Adam's interaction that makes it absolutely impossible to put down, there's a realness there, despite the settings created that allow the reader to truly believe in the story unfolding between not only the hero and heroine but their friends and peers. The push and pull Grey creates is utterly spellbinding, I found myself so enchanted to that I didn't want to put it down, the snarky banter had me laughing out loud, the pure absurdity of certain moments felt so incredibility right that I lapped up her words, telling anyone who would listen to buy this book!

Uproariously funny, scintillatingly sexy and stunningly sweet, The Foxe and the Hound hit all the right notes for me, even with all of that, what I truly adored was the story beneath, the story of a young woman who's quietly questioning her life, and the choices she's made up to this point, the one who's questioning if she should pack up and start again somewhere new, or whether she's destined to stay where she is right now, coupled with the young man, who had thought he had life completely figured out, and had his happily ever after in his sights, who instead if left questioning if all the decisions he made were the right ones, there's a beautiful dichotomy in these two characters, who the reader knows are perfect for each other but can't quite step out of their own heads for long enough to realise it. Hands down a TOP Recommendation of 2017, and a MUST READ for all book lovers.



About R.S. Grey:



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

Connect with Rachel on Facebook




Dating-ish (Knitting in the Cty #6) by Penny Reid


Blurb:

There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris:
1) She’s fed up with online dating,
2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and
3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of human kind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:

Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2slZXRI
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2ro2PjA
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2slWRNJ
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2rEpUzK
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2sdCenw



Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: June 2017.

Over a week later and I'm still ruminating over Dating-ish, the basis of this story was instantly intriguing, there's something inherently thrilling about diving into a Penny Reid novel, it's filled with a sense of the unknown, never quite sure what you're going to find. For fans of the Knitting in the City series, we finally get to embark on Marie's story, for those new to this crafty bunch, it's a seamless introduction to an old group of friends.

“Whatever happened to taking the time to actually know a person?"

"People don’t do that anymore.” Sandra flicked her wrist toward Ashley’s image on the laptop. “It’s all swipe left for sex or right to murder.”
“Not quite, but, yeah. It’s pretty bad out there.”  


Tinder, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, HER, Grindr most of us have used some sort of dating app in our quest to meet THE ONE, after all we're busy 20, 30, 40 and beyond somethings, we work chaotic jobs, live in a fast paced world, and we won't say no to a little help when it comes to finding a good match. Before marriage I saw Saturday nights with equal amounts of joy and trepidation, I was happy being single but I saw my coupled off friends and wondered if I was missing out on something, I wanted to meet someone, I wanted the butterflies and the swoony eyes, the elation over receiving that text and trying to figure out how long I had to wait before replying, and don't even get me started on weird first dates, and the sheer horror of some of those blind dates, awkward introductions, stilted conversations, longingly staring at your phone praying it will ring, the entire process is not for the faint of heart, at least in my experience. The worst part of my tale of woe, isn't even the bad first dates, it's what comes after, it's the meeting someone and clicking, it's the hanging out and becoming something else entirely, it's the threat of the dreaded FRIEND ZONE, and for a girl who's lived a great deal of her life in that murky grey area, I've got to tell you, it's tough, because feelings get involved, and you realise the line between friendship and more is actually pretty blurry.

“I’m gonna give you some unsolicited advice, okay?” Dan peered at me, as though making sure I knew to take his words seriously. “But it’s good advice, even though I’m tired as hell, so it might not make much sense.”
“Sure. Go for it.” Even in my muddled state, I couldn’t help but smile at my friend.
“You like that guy, you tell him flat out. You just lay what you want and everything out there. Don’t waste time not saying things that need to be said. He’ll always be in your mind, wrecking the possibility of things with other people, because your heart can’t move on until it knows for sure a door is closed.”
I managed a reassuring smile. “Thanks for the ad—”
“But then, if the door opens, make sure it’s the right door, not a different door. Because then you’ll be in the room, but it’s not the right room. And then you’re stuck in the room, you’ve committed to the room, and you’d be an asshole for trying a new door in the same house when you’re already in a room. And then your f*cking heart won’t stop looking for a window.”  


When Marie goes out on a quasi blind date she's hopeful, surely it's her turn right, she's a good catch, she has a good job, great friends, her own place, sure she's not Rockafeller but she does okay for herself, what has potential soon crumbles, dissolving in the most awkward of first dates, so bad it's entirely laughable, and just when she thinks the whole thing is done and dusted, life has a way of throwing her a curveball, in the form of the socially awkward Matt. As Marie begins her quest to find out if services bought and rendered can make up for a real life intimate relationship, something bizarre happens, the man who was once the enemy, becomes someone who makes her life better.

“Maybe the answer is: Don’t be an asshole, think before you open your trap, take responsibility for your words. Meaning, apologize when you’re wrong and correct yourself moving forward—and don’t constantly look for reasons to be offended and police well-meaning people’s words. We want folks to talk to each other, right? Not just hang out with like-minded people all the time. Everyone is ignorant about something, and everyone is offended by something. If people can’t have a calm, respectful dialogue without being hurt by ignorance, or without offending with insensitivity, then what the hell are we supposed to do? Surround ourselves with robots who don’t challenge our ideas?”



At its heart, Dating-ish is essentially a frienemies/friends to lovers rom com, but like everything Reid writes, it's also so much more than that, with her ability to engage in a moral debate of sorts with the reader, I often find myself, asking more questions, of not just my own thoughts and beliefs but of the world around me. There were so many moments that I found myself stopping to process my emotional response Reid's words, from the outset I found myself drawn to Marie, from her self deprecating humour, to the care she easily bestowed on all lucky enough to be loved by her, but more than that I sympathised with her in the way only someone who has felt the sting of developing feeling for someone who won't or can't reciprocate them, I felt that physical, crushing pain for her in the quiet moments when she allowed herself to break, and because of that I could feel her joy when she smiled and laughed.

“Only you get to decide how you stand, what you stand for, and when you do it.”  


Penny Reid has easily become one of my go to authors, I find myself drawn to her words, like a moth to a flame, her often poignant dialogue and spirited thought provoking prose is what leaves me remarking to book friends "I feel smarter reading her books", there's a simple, unassuming beauty in Marie and Matt's story, one filled with undeniable heart, and a health amount of humour, that had me utterly invested from the very first page, even now I find myself struggling to make sense of everything I felt reading this book, the emotions often too big to adequately describe, and the sucker punch to the gut to real and raw, Dating-ish left an indelible mark on my heart, one I'll wear proudly.





About Penny Reid:


Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Connect with Penny on Facebook






Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Way Back Home by Carmen Jenner


Blurb:


August Cotton shouldn’t be here. When a tragic accident calls him home to Magnolia Springs, this returned Veteran adds his parents to the list of things he’s lost in recent years, right along with his IED detection dog and his left leg. As the sole guardian of his four-year-old sister, August must rely on his Marine training in raising a tiny hellion who’s as stubborn as he is. But the Corps could never prepare him for this. Nor could they prepare him for Olivia Anders, a woman who’ll stop at nothing to get her way.

As owner of Paws for Cause, Olivia is no stranger to the broken men and women who return home from war. She’s no stranger to broken dogs either. In fact, she’s made it her mission to pair the two and enrich both of their lives, but pairing ornery and aloof August Cotton will take some work. The last thing August wants is some pushy southern woman occupying his parents’ bed and breakfast and forcing him to open up about the hell he narrowly escaped, but that’s exactly what Olivia intends.

They complete one another, and yet they can’t stand to be in the same room.

Can Olivia make this hardened Marine feel again and finally show his heart the way back home?

*** Intended for a mature 18+ audience only. This book may contain triggers for some readers.***

Find on Goodreads



Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2rnXQiX
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2slNrBR
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2qA7qQU
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2rjIwSC




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2017.

When I read my first Carmen Jenner book I remember thinking, wow she writes tattooed bad boys so well, then when she turned her hand to rock stars I again had the same thought, would you believe it, with each of the new tropes she tackled, from motorcycle gangs, to small town factory workers, to returned veterans, she has captured the very essence of characterisation that allows the hero and heroine to exist in a real state, off the page, and in our hearts.

"There's nothing like feeling lonely when you're surrounded by a crowd."

When I first met Olivia Anders, it was her take no sh*t attitude and resilience I adored, she was strong and feisty, determined to do her part to keep making the world a better place. There was a sense of someone who had seen and experienced far more than she had let on, and it was both endearing and inspired.

"Every day I tell myself I'm brave, I'm strong, that the past does not dictate who I am or the woman I've become. I keep hoping that one day it'll stick."

August Cotton has had a pretty crap run, he enlisted and went off to war, never really expecting to return to the life he left behind, returning home under the worst of circumstances has left the brittle and battered man even more determined to steer of everyone and everything in his small town. August has lost too much, left to rear his baby sister, the last thing he needs or wants is a pushy Olivia telling him what he needs and wants.

"Because wounds on the inside can be so much harder to heal than those of the flesh."

In true Jenner style, The Way Back Home is full of angst and emotion, everything about Olivia drawing you in, while August resolutely pushes you away, the building tension and blinding chemistry make this story impossible to put down, but its true beauty comes from those unparalleled moments of raw and real anguish, the moments that we watch as the walls these two people painstakingly built come crashing down, it's in those moments that Carmen Jenner truly shines, as she tugs and pulls at your heart, bruising it, battering it, before piecing it back together slowly and surely and sending you on your way.




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?

Connect with Carmen on Facebook






Plight by KM Golland


Blurb:


Plight [plahyt]
Noun: a difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.
Verb: pledge or solemnly promise. Be engaged to be married.

I promised myself to a man. Well, technically, I promised myself to a boy. We were eight years old. Neighbours. He gave me a Cheezel, pushed it onto my finger, and asked me to marry him.
I ate the Cheezel.
I also said, “Yes” but that we’d have to wait until we were thirty.
It was my thirtieth birthday last week and now he’s calling in that promise.
Seriously, Elliot Parker is insane if he thinks that an out of the blue private Facebook message stipulating the binding law of an oral contractual agreement is going to seal our twenty-two-year bullshit engagement.
Insane.
I wonder if he really does look like his profile picture, though.

Find on Goodreads


Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2qArK09
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2qFof89
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2rU0MED
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2qzMeKB
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2slH7dk


Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2017.

Plight was such a fun premise, two childhood best friends who agreed to get married when they grew up, a deal sealed with a cheezel, I mean lets be honest, most of us wore our cheezel rings with pride when we were kids, the only caveat was that Danielle refused to don a white dress unless she was single at thirty. As is inevitable, Danielle and Elliot have drifted apart, well over a decade has passed since they last spoke, and for better or worse Danielle has moved on with her life, just after turning thirty, she receives a private message from none other that her betrothed, when Elliot reaches out to honour his proposal from all those years before, we know in true KM Golland style the fun is just beginning.


"Elliot Parker is insane if he thinks that a private Facebook message stipulation the binding law of an oral contractual agreement is going to seal our twenty-two year bullshit deal. In.Sane."


Danielle is every part the sassy and strong heroine I've come to expect from KM Golland, despite a few set backs in her life, Danielle is doing just fine, thank you very much, not one to be reliant on others, or ask for anyone's help or approval, she is tackling each day with vigour and determination. When the boy she once loved more than herself or her traitorous teenage heart could handle waltzes back into her life and demands her time and attention she's finding old feelings rushing back to the surface, childhood crushes and teenage heartbreaks, and all these emotions she didn't ever want to have to deal with.



"Except Danielle had never been the girl of my dreams, she’d been the girl of my reality, my best friend and that was even better."

Elliot was always a resourceful kid, but Elliot as an adult, who has set his sights on the ultimate prize isn't going to let Danielle's annoyance get in his way, the girl of his dreams has always been Danielle, despite all the twists and turns his life has taken he has always been sure of one thing, and now that Danielle is back within reach he will stop at nothing to convince her what they have is real, what they have is not something you walk away from, that what they have is forever.

Everything about Plight is engaging, Danielle and Elliot entice you with their witty banter, but beneath the hilarity is a tender love story that begs you to read a little deeper, and surrender to the magic that Golland weaves. Equal parts heat and heart and Golland's trademark humour Plight is the perfect Sunday afternoon read that feels familiar and intriguing all at the same time.











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 on Facebook





Sunday, 21 May 2017

All That I Am (Men of Monroe #1) by Rachel Brookes



Blurb:

A kickass home décor boutique – tick
A sassy mouth and absolutely no filter – tick
A wall so strong no man could ever tear it down - tick, tick, tick!

Or so I thought.

Until I meet Detective Ben Hunt, the owner of exquisite blue eyes, a god-like physique and a seductive smirk that makes me weak at the knees. He charges into my life like a force of nature. No matter how hard I try to keep the walls up around my heart, he’s made it his mission to shatter them. I have no chance of resisting him, but I would make sure I won this tug of war.

Which was what I wanted.

Right? When did the idea of losing myself to him start to sound so good?

I wish Ben was the only battle I faced. There’s a reason this small town needs a good detective. One way or another I’m going to have to brace for impact, because no wall I build can stop the new threat thundering toward Monroe.

After all, secrets only stay a secret for so long around here.

Find on Goodreads


Purchase Links:




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2017.

When Rachel Brookes first spoke of All That I Am over a year ago, the thought of midtown American filled with these alpha broody men had me intrigued, I mean was it based on a real place, could I visit there?? The Author often teased that ATIA would be different to her previous books, and for a fan of her earlier work, statements like that could be met with equal parts eager anticipation and trepidation. Change after all is good, but there's often a healthy sense of fear that you may not love what comes next. In Brookes' newest release she shows a growth that even I as a seasoned reader wasn't anticipating, there's certainly a deeper realisation of her characters, one that is sure to resonate deeply with old and new readers alike.

"The scariest part wasn't what he said. The scariest part was how it made me feel."

For a self confessed lover of Alpha Hero's Brookes certainly created the strong, brooding type to a tea, Ben Hunt comes across as gruff and demanding, hard edged and tightly controlled, he commands a certain air of authority that his career belies. Hunt is clearly not a man to be trifled with, as a decorated Detective he is clearly a shrewd operator, determined to undercover the worst of society and put them behind bars where they can't hurt anyone else.

"My heart screamed as his words penetrated. How could I love what he said but in the next breath want to erase every memory I had of him."

On the outset Sasha Hamilton is all sass and bravado, she's strong, determined and independent, she's had enough knock downs and set backs in her life to have learnt how to look after herself, she's been meticulous in surrounding herself with a small group of people she trusts, to those outside her circle Sasha is the girl about town, who's carefree and loving life, but on the inside she's still weathering the effects of one too many past hurts to fully trust anyone or let them in.

"Give me the keys to your heart, Sweetheart. You won't regret it. Let me get in there and start clearing out the hurt. I don't want to keep losing you."

When the hot headed Hunt and smart mouthed Sasha collide both of their lives shift, it's a battle of wills, where they need to be prepared to bend and break to have a chance at something permanent and real. Brookes' flexes ability to create the kind of angsty, suspense that romance readers love, with a sense of foreboding that overshadows so much of this story, I felt myself simultaneously wanting to read more and savour what I was sure to be short lived moments of peace. With a heady mix of impending fear, and heart swelling joy, All That I Am struck all the right notes for a book that felt almost impossible to put down. For fans of Kristen Ashley, lovers of dirty talking, raw and masculine absolute alpha males, of strong and fiery heroines who seem to come back swinging no matter how many times the world seems to knock them down, for fans of steamy romance with a side of edge of your seat suspense, and most importantly, for readers who want to be immersed so deeply in their books that they don't ever want to leave All That I Am is for you.

"Let me be the man who gives you the life a woman as incredible as you deserves."




About Rachel Brookes:


Rachel Brookes is from the east coast of Australia and writes angst ridden love stories with a pinch of craziness, a dash of drama, a cup of romance, and a bucketload of sexiness. With five novels currently published, she is constantly writing and getting ready to release her next hero and heroine into the world. An avid reader, Rachel can often be found with her kindle in her hand, and getting lost in a happily ever after. She has an unhealthy obsession with The Walking Dead, and social media, and loves hearing from readers.

Connect with Rachel on Facebook




Sunday, 14 May 2017

Mister Romance (Masters of Romance #1) by Leisa Rayven



Blurb:

Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough. Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret.

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.

Don’t miss this sizzling new standalone from the internationally best selling author of Bad Romeo, Broken Juliet, and Wicked Heart.


Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2pjAaMS
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2q4Ypvx
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2qqzVjn
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2pvVwCd
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2q5g8D3




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2017.

So here's the thing, I'm a sucker for certain tropes, childhood best friends, brothers best friend, enemies to lovers, and male escorts... it's with an almost giddy sense of anticipation that I find myself diving into these stories, add to that, the author has easily become an automatic 1click for me and you may be able to guess reaction to the idea alone of Mister Romance, I mean Leisa Rayven is the woman who created Ethan Holt and Cassie Taylor... and for those who have been following GPI for a while now, you'll no doubt remember my reaction the Starcrossed series, in truth, I still have that same reaction, it's part awed by the story and part far too emotionally invested in fictional characters to be classified as sane.

Now that you know my trope loves, let me add that the idea of opposite's attracting is another one of the things that makes me giddy, so combining Eden Tate, perhaps the worlds most cynical and anti love young woman, with Max, Mr Romance himself, who's goal is to create the most romantic of situations for his clients and you're almost guaranteed to make me just about beg for more.

Eden, is young, smart and sassy, she's knows all about failed relationships, and partners that split when things get hard. She's seen first hand the devastation a broken relationship can have on a person, let alone on a family. Despite those around her seemingly charmed by the notions of forever loves and happily ever afters, Eden is determined not to end up distraught after believing in something that isn't real, instead she's focusing on fixing her stalling career and finally busting out of the click bait nonsense articles her boss is forcing her to write. Eden is determined to become the savvy investigative journalist she's always dreamt of, when she stumbles on Mister Romance - a $5000 a date escort who is servicing the social elite and making romantic dreams come true, she might just have found the key to her professional success.


"Is that why I'm hesitating? Because on some level, I think this man, who's sitting there pretending to be another man, sees through the person I'm pretending to be."


Max AKA Mr Romance has created a lucrative career out of wining and dining rich women and fulfilling their romantic fantasies. He's not trading sexual acts, and all parties involved are consenting adults, so he's hardly doing anything wrong...right?? When Eden infiltrates his inner sanctum and threatens to expose not only his business but his wealthy clients, his only option is to issue a challenge he knows Eden won't be able to refuse.


"I'm trying to ignore how goddamn attracted I am to you."


I've been finding myself more and more drawn to the not quite slow burn books of late, where I once craved lots of sex and fast gratification in my books, I now find myself gravitating to that deliciously sexy chemistry that you only find in stories where the build is just as important if not more than the climax. I want that edge of my seat feeling, you know the one...where you're desperate to read more, to live and breathe the story, where you're so enamoured by the characters that you want to be them, know them, everything about the story draws you in and demands you pay attention, you're hungry for that first touch, first kiss, first everything... gahhhhh...it's that heady feeling of need and desire and love and lust that tickles your senses that I crave, and within the first chapter I was feeling those initial stirrings pulsing through my blood, in a matter of pages I was so utterly invested that I was buzzing and on edge ready for everything Rayven was bound to throw at me. The more I read, the more intense my reaction, before I knew it I was desperate, the authors ability to convey emotion and elicit a response from the reader overwhelming.


"Their partners give them sex, but what they truly crave is for someone to see them. Value them. Love them. That's what Maxwell does."


The beauty of this story lies in not only Rayven's exquisite prose, but her snappy dialogue and sharp characterisation. Eden and Max leapt from the page, I craved their interactions as much they did, feeling rather than simply reading their conversations. Everything about Mister Romance flowed effortlessly from the page, creating a story that felt more film than book, making it utterly addictive leaving me entirely unable to put it down.




About Leisa Rayven:


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

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

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

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and she is now the proud mother of numerous book babies, including BAD ROMEO, BROKEN JULIET, and WICKED HEART. (Macmillan New York)

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three judgmental cats, and a kangaroo named Howard. (*NB: Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.*)

Contact with Leisa on Facebook


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Game Ender (Game #4) by BJ Harvey




Blurb:

From USA Today bestselling author BJ Harvey comes the fourth and final book in the Game series and this time it's the reformed playboy and the single mom.

***

"You have chlamydia."

Three words no man wants to hear.

I've always been liberal with my appreciation of the female form, a firm believer in the 'try before you buy' principle, but living life to the fullest obviously didn't end well for me considering the unexpected—and very unwelcome—consequence of my free and easy past.

After living through the horrendous experience that was informing my recent sexual partners of my acquired 'condition,’ I made a vow to myself – and a bet with my best friend—that the next woman I sleep with will be the ‘one.’

What I will learn is that even when something happens and the games come to an end, there's always the chance of something—or someone—crashing in and changing everything.

So this is my story. It may start with a venereal disease, but I promise you, I’m determined to get my happy ending.


Find on Goodreads



Purchase Links:




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: April 2017.

There are several sayings when it comes to things coming to a close....you should always go out with a bang, or save the best for last, after rereading the last book in the Game series I'm even more sure that Harvey heeded these old adages. As I sit here and reflect on the feelings Game Ender evoked, the sense of quiet contemplation, of heady excitement, that rush of love blossoming organically, slowly, the giddy feeling of seeing someone you already know for the very first time, of seeing the parts of them you previously missed and discovering them with wonder and excitement.

Thomas has always had a pretty liberal view when it comes to sex, as long as both parties are consenting adults who are enjoying themselves why not indulge, he'd thought his interactions were not only consensual, but safe, until obviously he wasn't, when Thomas discovers he had contracted an STI, he realises he needs to stop indulging in the one nights and start looking for the forever.

“I want the first time to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses. One that brands her, burns into her soul and ruins her for all future kisses from anyone but me.”  

Amy has always been self sufficient, when life throws obstacles in her path she finds a way to jump over it, or get around it, she refuses to cry poor me syndrome or wallow in self pity. When Amy finds herself with some unexpected news, like always, she charges onward.

As Thomas and Amy development an unlikely friendship, forged through shared experience, they begin to truly see each other for the first time, more than just passing physical attraction, these two start to truly understand what it means to experience that once in a lifetime bonds they see their friends living and begin to realise it could be possible for them to.

“Us girls have our moments of crazy, the measure of a man is how well he copes with them.”  

With the quintessential wit and sass that I've come to expect from Harvey, with sexy hijinks and hilariously funny moments, everything about Game Ender was a joy to read. What I truly enjoyed most about the final instalment in this series was how real this story felt, how despite it being a work of fiction there were moments that were raw and genuine and so darn real. This story felt more adult, having that sense of angst I crave from contemporary romance, without feeling too young or too much, their issues were age appropriate, their dilemma's expected and ultimately what resulted was a story that just felt good to immerse myself in and forget about my own troubles for a little while.


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