Hearts of Fire

Hearts of Fire by LH Cosway

4 Flower stars

“You wanted me?” I said quietly.
“All the time.”
“I never saw. I thought I was the one who watched you.”
“You were. That’s why I started watching back.”

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Hearts of Fire is the second book in the Hearts series by LH Cosway and is about Jack, the younger brother of Jay from the first book. If you’ve read the first book, you know Jay believes Jack died in a fire, but outside forces have kept them apart. Now that Jack has grown up he works for the circus as a fire breather. Lille lives in a small Irish town, oppressed by her mother and yearns for something more. When she’s offered a job to work for the circus leaving town the next day, she decides to go with them.

The circus isn’t what she expected, it’s full of wonderful people and terrible ones. Many make it clear they don’t want Lille there, including Jack. But despite this, Lille feels really happy working for the circus, she feels free.

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“Why do you call me flower?”
“Because when I touch you, you fucking bloom.”

LH Cosway is one of those authors I’ve always been meaning to get around to. I read her book Six of Hearts and enjoyed, as well as her co-written novel with Penny Reid and liked that one too. So why I waited so long to pick up another one of her books, I have no idea. From beginning to end I couldn’t put this book down. Both Jack and Lille were such enthralling characters and I couldn’t get enough of either one of them.

I’m not normally one for suspense but I did like the mystery element added into this plot. It was just enough where it enhanced the plot without overshadowing it or being a footnote. Jack himself could be a dick at times but ultimately I found he was a wonderful hero. Lille was pretty awesome too. She followed her heart even if it made her feel foolish at times.

I will definitely be reading the rest of this series!

“You’re the love of my life, and I need you so much I can’t breathe without it.”

Us

Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

4 stars

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Us is the highly anticipated sequel to the book Him by two of my favorite authors. After two childhood friends reconnected and fell in love, Wes and Jamie are living together in Canada pursuing their dreams. Wes is playing for an NHL team and Jamie is coaching a youth hockey team. Wes’s schedule is rough on them both, he’s constantly traveling at away games and Jamie is often left behind due to his own job commitments.

On top of the crazy schedule, Wes and Jamie aren’t really “out” yet. There’s never been an openly gay member of the NHL before and Wes doesn’t know how it would affect his career. Adding even more fuel to the fire, a teammate of Wes moved into the building and is CONSTANTLY around, meaning even less boyfriend together time for Jamie and Wes. To make matters worse (yes there’s even more) poor Jamie is having a hard time at his job, but has trouble discussing this with Wes. So basically this sequel proves that not everyone can ride off into the sunset and have everything be rainbows forever and ever.

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Within the last two years or so, both Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy have become some of my favorites authors, separate and together in their writing. Whenever I read one of their books it flows and is effortless, I never find myself putting the book down to do other things. Us was the same way I read it straight through. While I preferred the angst of friends to lovers in the first book, I still enjoyed this follow up and the trials and tribulations Jamie and Wes went through.

All of the issues mentioned above, it seemed impossible that all would be resolved but actually the authors pulled it off. Even if it wasn’t because the characters were motivated and it was actually external forces. To me this felt like the characters were forced into decisions instead of making them on their own because of genuine want. I also wanted to smack both of the guys for being oblivious of each other and for keeping so many secrets.

I did love the introduction of a possible love story between Jamie’s sister and Wes’s teammate. Is that going to happen? Pretty please? Don’t care how, I want it now!!

ARC kindly provided by authors in exchange for an honest review

Out of Focus Release and Excerpt!

OOF FOR WEB - Copy

Out of Focus Release and Excerpt! 

*** Upper New Adult Spinoff Standalone to the USA Today Bestselling Novel, Under the Influence***

 

“Shhhh, Cassandra, it’s our little secret.”

Secrets are stubborn things when they refuse to remain hidden. They tear through your soul, clawing and lashing until the pain becomes so unbearable, you’re left no choice but to silently scream your agony. No one hears you, of course. You smile on the outside and drift through life as though your mind is at peace, but all the while, you remain your own tortured prisoner. Sealed inside the darkened, soundproof room of your conscience, deafening cries echo as you plead for someone to unlock the door and release you from your nightmares. And eventually, when no one comes, you find ways to cope. To dull the suffering the only way you know how.

But what happens when you’ve become so numb, when everything around you has become so blurred, that you begin to lose focus on the saving grace standing directly in front of you? When you’ve anesthetized yourself to the point of losing consciousness, forced to watch as his once solid image fades away, lost to your reach in the haze as it smothers you?

What do you do then?

You fight. You heal. Then you bring him back.

Well, my name is Cassie Cooper, and it’s time.

No more secrets.

This is my story.

 

***WARNING – The subject matter of this novel centers around the psychological effects due to sexual abuse experienced during childhood. For this reason, as well as sexual situations, language, and adult themes, suggested reading age is 17+.***

 

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BUY LINK:

AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01A7HZXES/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?qid=1452034692&sr=8-8&pi=CB192198896_AA75_QL70&keywords=lb+simmons

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01A7HZXES/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?qid=1452036714&sr=8-5&pi=CB192561891_AA75&keywords=lb+simmons

 

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26801177-out-of-focus?from_search=true&search_version=service

Author Bio:

L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

 

NEWSLETTER http://bit.ly/1S2FWcV

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lbsimmonsauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lbsimmons33

Website: http://www.lbsimmons.com/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6580347.L_B_Simmons

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/L.B.-Simmons/e/B00B26XOTA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1423076274&sr=1-2-ent

 

 

EXCERPTS

“You’ve been watching my apartment?”

Grady’s mouth quirks and when my eyes fall directly to his perfect lips, the heat from before resurges between us. I swallow deeply as he slowly inches forward, the warmth of his body searing my skin as he hovers near me. Then those lips pass my own to land on the shell of my ear before he whispers, “My men watch your apartment.”

He chuckles and his heated breaths fan my ear, sending a wave of goosebumps rising along my skin. “For the first time in my career, I was forced to take myself off surveillance. Because while my main objective was to keep an eye on your surroundings, all I could focus on was beautiful, irresistible you. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from you, and because of that, my involvement was compromised.”

By this point, I’m no longer breathing, so as soon as he retracts his presence and is once again relaxing in his chair, a whoosh of air enters my lungs. After drawing a long breath in and releasing it, I do the only thing I can do.

I blink.

Grady chuckles.

I blink again.

Then I clear my throat and break my one-question rule, again. “Exactly how long have you been watching me?”

Grady leans forward, pressing his forearms on his thighs and lacing his hands so they dangle between his knees. Then he opens his mouth and completely blows my mind.

“I’ve been watching you long enough to know something broke you. Something you keep hidden, something that weighs on your soul. You pretend, but your eyes betray you. There’s pain hidden within them, but when you smile, really smile, the pain is gone and you’re you. Not the person you pretend to be. And like I said earlier, I find that very interesting. I want to know what makes you smile, how to make you smile, and how to keep that smile a permanent fixture on that gorgeous face of yours. And more importantly, I want to know why you feel unworthy of that smile, and how to fix that too.”

He gives me a crooked grin and shakes his head. “I guess what I’m saying, is I would very much like the chance to get to know you, if you’ll let me.”

I blink, then swallow. Because once again, there is nothing I can say that could ever match that.

He laughs silently, gorgeous smile on full display, then extends his hand. “Do you trust me?”

Trust. It’s another one of those small words that carries such profound meaning.

I trusted once.

And it was that trust that broke me.

I dared to trust a second time.

And the evil hands of Silas Kincaid slaughtered that.

I don’t know if I have it in me to trust a third time. I really don’t. Not with someone who makes me laugh, or someone who makes me feel things completely unprecedented. Someone who without a doubt carries the power to completely shatter me.

Right on cue, voices slither through my mind, screaming their protest. Their warnings.

Only Spencer deserves light and sunshine.

 

Not you, Cassandra. Never for you.

 

You will always be alone.

 

All alone.

 

As you deserve.

 

I look away to the empty chairs across the table.

The voices rejoice in their victory while the obvious fact in front of me slices another gash in my chest.

I’m all alone.

Grady’s voice is barely heard about their yelling. But soon, the soothing tenor enters my mind and stifles their screams. “Don’t get lost in that head of yours. I’m right here. Focus on me.”

I tear my gaze away from the chairs to find myself immersed in a beautiful sapphire stare, so earnest and sincere as his outreached hand remains, waiting for me to find the courage to take hold. My chin trembles and moisture coats my eyes. I swallow and allow his stare to fortify me as I attempt to will the voices away.

I’m so tired of pretending.

And maybe it’s the prolonged exhaustion, but as I root myself into those damn eyes, I find myself succumbing to their comfort.

I know I cannot fully grant his request.

Or can I?

As I search deep within myself, I find there’s just not enough courage left in my reserve.

But still, I want.

But you don’t deserve that. You never have.

I want.

But you can’t have.

God, do I want.

Inhaling deeply, I hold his gaze and after several heavy seconds, I finally release my breath. My arm reaches forward, and as his hand wraps around mine, I revel in its warmth. It travels through my body and its heat settles in my cheeks. I narrow my eyes, but decide in this moment, I will give him all I can give. “I want to trust you.”

 

EXCERPT 2

Only twenty-three years old, and I’m so goddamn tired.

I used to be so much stronger. I somehow kept the voices at bay, the memories locked away safely, contained within the confines of my mind. But with each passing day, I feel the glow of my once-luminous strength fading. Darkness encases me now, bowing the walls of protection I put into place years ago. My past is an ever-present nightmare, repeatedly tapping, slowly fracturing the window of my sanity.

I have no doubt that it’s only a matter of time before the glass finally breaks. Blackness will eventually seep through its cracks and deliver me from the safety of my façade into a reality that will destroy me.

My reality.

I’ve done my part. I’ve kept the secrets thrust upon me with dedicated believability. My portrayal of who I am has become a blurred, hazy version of the once very distinct Cassie Cooper.

I read an ungodly amount of trashy romance novels.

I’m the overtly sexual and foul-mouthed friend who will say anything to get a laugh.

And I have exactly zero fucks to give to what anyone else thinks about my actions.

But the reality, the actuality, is this:

I read obsessively to escape my own world. To live the dreams of others when, for so long, the reoccurrence of my nightmares has been my reality. I read to fall in love and find a happily ever after, even if it is purely imagined. With each story I read, I’m able to live and love vicariously through the characters in my books. It’s the only plausible way for me to survive.

I threw away my virginity at the age of thirteen just to prove something. And when I found that proof, that vindication I was looking for, I sought it every chance I could. Sex is about control for me. Nothing more. The act will never be about making love, like it is for the heroines in my books. I will never be granted the beauty of that gift.

I use humor as a form of avoidance. I draw upon laughter to block the pain. And I smile to mask the agony of the eight-year-old soul who weeps within me.

And the fucks . . . well, that’s not entirely accurate either.

I have given two to be exact: One to my best friend of seventeen years. She knows nothing of my past, and although she so willingly disclosed the horrors of hers, mine remains hidden for no other reason than to avoid the pity she would undoubtedly cast my way if I were to ever tell her. I don’t want her pity. I would sooner die than have her look at me in any other way than with pride.

The other died with the person to whom it was given. Anthony “Rat” Marchione. He was my one allowance of naïveté. The one person I actually wanted to touch me, to hold me, to love me. He was going to rescue me from my brokenness as though I were a character in one of my books. Young and senseless, I thought he was to be my eventual happily ever after, but tragically, he was murdered five years ago.

Black coldness waits in vain to leech the void where his once beautiful existence filled the pieces of my irrevocably shattered heart. Where he temporarily healed the hurt of the innocent child and quieted the voices that tormented her.

He’s gone now. I’ve accepted that. And in turn, I have relinquished all dreams associated with finding the light at the end of this miserable tunnel.

I will keep trudging through this life . . . this sentence handed to me for someone else’s crime, my payment shackled by secrets and weighted with lies. I will continue to do so with the same fraudulent smile on my lips and play the part of the strong heroine so convincingly, that even I believe it.

It’s only a matter of time before my fictional strength wears out—when I’m no longer hidden safely inside my protective blur—and I have to face the very real and lucid image of my past.

But until that time comes, I’ll do all I can do.

All I have ever done.

I will pretend.

The Lie

My review:

The Lie by Karina Halle

5 stars

“Our love was wrong. A lie we told ourselves. And it cost us the world.”

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The Lie is the story of Brigs and Natasha, who had a connection at one time but was lost due to unforeseen circumstances. Reunited years later in London, the two find that sparks still fly between them. But both are haunted by the years they spent apart, words that burned and choices that broke them. Now they have a second chance at love and the two of them will fight hard to keep it.

“Love is the right thing, isn’t it?”

So if you’ve read The Play (and if you haven’t, you should because it’s amazing) you know that Brigs has been through a horrible tragedy that ruined his family. After the death of his wife and son, he is still haunted by it years later. But Natasha is the only person he feels a true connection with, so even though he feels guilt, he goes for her. The same is true for Natasha, despite her more recent difficult past, she feels at home around Brigs.

“I can see it in your eyes, Brigs. I always have. You’re haunted. And it’s not by Miranda or Hamish. You’re haunted by yourself.”

I love that once Brigs and Natasha got together, there was never drama between the two of them dragging them apart. And by this I mean any issues their relationship faced were from external forces, and not because of something one of them did. Their relationship felt mature to me and it was refreshing. Most of the time in romance it happens where one of them messes up and the author does this for dramatic effect, but Natasha and Brigs were not like this, and I loved that about them. I also loved how genuine both of them were in their relationship, they both spoke from the heart and even though it was difficult a lot of the time, they were honestwith each other the entire time.

“We’re going to fucking burn this world to the ground. And there’s no better way to go than in flames with him.”

The language and word choice were brilliant in this book. I’m not normally a highlighter, but I found myself highlighting passages because I loved what was said and how it was said. This was a book filled with beautiful words and phrases and I loved every minute of it.

“We are forever surrounded by ashes. But we are fire. And fire rises.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review

—————————————————————————————-

Their love led to a lie.

Their truth led to the end.

Scottish enigma Brigs McGregor is crawling out from the ashes. After losing his wife and son in a car accident – and, subsequently, his job – he’s finally moving forward with his life, securing a prestigious teaching position at the University of London and starting a new chapter in the city. Slowly, but surely, he’s pushing past the guilt and putting his tragic past behind him.

Until he sees her.

Natasha Trudeau once loved a man so much she thought she’d die without him. But their love was wrong, doomed from the start, and when their world crashed around them, Natasha was nearly buried in the rubble. It took years of moving on to forget him, and now that she’s in London, she’s ready to start over again.

Until she sees him.

Because some loves are too dangerous to ever rekindle.

And some loves are too powerful to ignore.

Can you ever have a second chance at a love that ruined you?

The Lie is a second-chance romance with a dark, forbidden twist.

 

iBooks pre-ordergeo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-lie/id1061522210?mt=11

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27570367-the-lie?from_search=true&search_version=service

 

ABOUT KARINA HALLE

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.

 

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetalBlonde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle?from_search=true

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Karina-Halle/e/B0050KE63C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407546895&sr=8-2-ent

EXCERPT

Without even thinking, I end up in Natasha’s neighborhood, on her street. I pull the car over and stare at her building. I can drive off. I can go blow off some steam with Lachlan. I can drive and scream and wish to god that things were different.

But I don’t want to do it alone.

I get out of the car and head to her flat.

I knock on her door, wondering if she’s even in, if she might still be sleeping. It’s still early on a Saturday and we don’t see each other on the weekends without it being work related, such as seeing a classic film at the cinema. I hadn’t planned to talk to her until Monday, her last week of work as my research assistant before going back to London.

My heart pinches at that thought.

She’s leaving me.

What the hell am I doing?

But then the door opens slowly and she’s staring at me with wide eyes, her hair piled on top of her head in a messy bun, a fluffy robe around her body.

“Sorry,” I say quickly, immediately feeling bad. “Did I wake you up?”

She yawns. “Kind of, but I should be getting up anyway. What’s, um, up?”

I rub my lips together. “I…I wanted to know if you wanted to go for a drive?”

“Where?”

I shrug. “I don’t know. Far away. But not too far. I have to be back by twelve-thirty for Hamish.”

“What time is it now?”

“Eight-thirty.”

She rolls her eyes. “And you were wondering if you woke me up. I should still be sleeping for at least another two hours.”

I nod, embarrassed at my enthusiasm. I’m being inappropriate. “I should go.”

I turn around, but she reaches out and grabs my arm, holding tight. “No, don’t,” she says. “I want to go with you. Just give me five minutes, okay?”

I turn to look at her and she’s flashing me a persuasive smile.

“I’ll be in the car,” I tell her.

Somehow she’s true to her word. In five minutes she’s jogging down the steps of her building, dressed in jeans and a tank top that shows off the tawny warmth of her summer tan. She hasn’t touched her hair at all; it’s still up in that bedhead bun, and there isn’t a bit of makeup on her. She doesn’t need it. She looks joyful. She looks absolutely beautiful.

“You’re fast,” I tell her as she slips into the passenger seat.

She giddily drums her hands across the dash and beams at me. “I’m fast when I want to be. I love this car. Where are we going again? Oh right, somewhere far away. Can we get coffee first? I’m dying.”

I can’t help but grin at her as I turn the key. The car starts on the first turn. She’s my good luck charm. “You don’t seem like you need coffee.”

“I always need coffee,” she says emphatically. “You know this. So where to?”

“I honestly don’t know. You pick.”

“Do you have a map?”

“Of Scotland?”

“Yeah.”

I nod at the glove compartment. “In there.”

She opens it and it falls open with a clunk. She takes out an old faded road map and starts looking it over.

“Anything strike your eye?”

“I’m looking for Loch Ness.”

“That’s too far.”

“Okay, is there like another lake with a swamp monster?”

“Nearly all the lochs are in the Highlands.”

Arrrrrrrrrr in the Highlands,” she says playfully, imitating my accent.

“Okay, maybe no coffee for you.”

“Don’t be cruel, Professor Blue Eyes.” She goes back to studying the map but the mention of my nickname makes a small fire build inside me. And not one of anger.

She points on the map. “Here. Balmoral.”

“That’s where the Queen lives.”

“I know. I want to say hello.”

“It’s a two-hour drive,” I point out.

“Well, then we better get cracking,” she says. “The Queen is expecting us.”

She’s definitely full of spirit today. It seems to latch onto me and I ingest it like a tonic. She’s erasing all the humiliation and pain from the morning.

We head out of the city, taking the A-90 to the M-90 and speed north. After we get her some coffee and we share a couple of sausage rolls for breakfast, I warn her that we literally will see the estate and have to head back. But she doesn’t mind.

And honestly, neither do I. I crank the old radio on the car to pick up an oldies station playing a special on Otis Redding. The day is warm and gorgeous, and even though we’re going fast, our windows are down, enjoying the wind and the sun on our skin.

About an hour into our drive, Natasha turns to me and says, “Tell me the truth. Why did you come to get me this morning?”

“Was it that unusual?” I ask without looking at her.

“Yes,” she says. “The last time you came to my house without me knowing…”

“Back then I was following up on an email. I wanted to know if you were all right,” I tell her before she can tell me anything else about that night.

“And now I want to know if you’re all right,” she says gently.

I glance at her. There’s a softness in her eyes that undoes me. I grip the wheel hard, conscious of my every movement and how they might appear to her. A good man, after the night she kissed me, the night I kissed her right back, would have never been alone with her again.

But I’m not a good man.

I’m a man who is slowly but surely falling in the wrong direction.

The Lessons

The Lessons by Elizabeth Brown

3 stars

What happens when a thirty-year-old virgin hires a sex surrogate to take care of her “little problem”?

I decided to read The Lessons on a whim because the premise sounded really intriguing. At the age of thirty Natalie hasn’t lost her virginity and she decides to take it into her own hands. Hiring a company with a sexual surrogate, the process takes her through her physical and emotional issues behind why she hasn’t been intimate with anyone yet. By chance she met Ryan, her surrogate before her sessions in a more normal setting. As time goes by there are undeniable feelings between them, but breaking the contract is more complicated than you would think.

I really liked that the author would go behind the emotional issues behind why Natalie got to this point in her life and it’s entirely believable. She had a very hard time opening herself up to others based on her foster youth past and it got to a point where her age just made it worse.

I didn’t really connect with this book because I felt the heroine was very oblivious and the hero just seemed a little too good to be true. I would have enjoyed this more if the characters had been a bit more memorable. I enjoyed myself as I read this book, but I would not reread it again.

ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Mind

The Mind by Kate Stewart

5 lightning stars

“I’ve had enough years of doing the wrong shit and being with the wrong women. I took one look at you and a thousand memories we hadn’t made hit me in waves. I can’t explain it and it may seem fast to you, but to me, it’s as natural as taking my next breath.”

The Mind is a spinoff novella of The Fall, as well as being a prequel novella to the next book in the series. We met Rose and Grant in The Fall, and fell in love with them there. This book has their whole love story. I highly recommend reading The Fall before reading The Mind because they are connected fairly well.

When Grant saw Rose for the first time, it was love at first sight. He just had to convince Rose of that fact too. Due to sheer persistence and an undeniable connection, Grant and Rose forge a relationship unlike any the two of them have ever had.

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“Grant moved me in a way that he had taken complete care of both. My heart was heavy with love; my soul was filled with contentment.”

So if I am being completely honest here, I expected to enjoy this book but I didn’t plan on loving it as much as I did. Having read The Fall and knowing the result of Grant and Rose’s love story, I was a bit hesitant going into this one. But like I said despite my reservations I loved this book and couldn’t put it down until the very end.

So there is instalove in this book, not something I typically enjoy in my romance books but I kind of knew going in that there would be, so I was able to suspend my disbelief early on and enjoy. It also helped that Grant’s feelings were entirely believable based on his persistence and honesty with Rose. Also for a short story, instalove is kind of necessary because otherwise it wouldn’t come altogether. I loved that Rose on her end struggled with her intense feelings and their fast relationship. While she was initially attracted to Grant and could not deny their connection, she didn’t believe she could love someone so quickly and it took some convincing from Grant to bring her over. This is actually one of my favorite tropes in romance, where the guy is the one convincing the girl to be all in.

I will say this book completely broke my heart and had me SOBBING. The real ugly cry snot and all. I even knew what was coming and that almost made my heartbreak worse because I KNEW. So now that I’ve cried all of the water out of my body I am going to go and watch something very happy. I rate books on how they made me feel, and since this one had all of the feels, I grant it a 5 star read.

“I won’t ever give you a reason to want to walk away. I’ll love you the way you deserve to be loved, always. That’s my promise.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Happy Ever Ninja

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

5 badass mother stars!!!

I gotta say, Penny Reid continues to deliver a different kind of heroine to the romance genre. And every single one of them is incredible! Fiona was a heroine that I’ve never seen before and I fell in love with her almost immediately. Seriously, I have a girl crush on her (the kind where you idolize, not attraction lol). How many romances have you read that contain a badass mother who balances a job, kids and more? Other than this one I couldn’t name another title.

“Someone needs to appreciate Fiona for her badass skills, Greg. Because they are fucking awesome.”

Greg and Fiona were college sweethearts and have been married for about fourteen years. Greg works in Africa on oil projects while Fiona stays at home in Chicago and watches the kids and works. It’s a difficult situation but the two of them make it work. When Fiona learns that Greg has been kidnapped and held for ransom, she takes it upon herself to go after him and get him back.

If you’ve read the previous books in this series, you know that Fiona used to be a member of the CIA. So the idea of her going off to rescue her man wasn’t at all preposterous, in fact it was pretty much expected. And with the help of her friends she’s able to sneak into Africa.

I loved this book. Seriously. I’m not a mother, I’m not a wife, and yet I was easily able to relate to Fiona and her struggles and issues. And just because the characters were already married, doesn’t mean that the romance factor isn’t present in this book. In a way it enhanced it because we know these two people are in love, and watching them fight for their love was every bit as romantic as watching a couple fall in love.

There’s also the distinctive brand of Penny Reid humor we come to expect from her books, it’s one of the things that make her books so special. I laughed a lot while reading this book, it never failed to put a smile on my face. Greg and Fiona have this wonderful banter that makes me want to hug them both, but not interrupt them so as I can continue to watch them banter.

“I need you to clean the apartment, and pick up your goddamn socks, and stop making mindless messes-like we have magical cleaning fairies who orgasm every time they do the laundry.”

Separate from the story, my all-time favorite part of this book was the letters and notes at the beginning of each chapter from real life couples. Some of them made me laugh, some smile and others made my heart flutter. It was such a nice touch that added a lot to the book. I found myself wanting to highlight the letter before every chapter I loved them so much.

Every Penny Reid book I’ve read I have loved or enjoyed. I think it goes without saying now that she could write anything and I would love it. Even a description of paint drying on walls.

“My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Adore Release Blitz

adore-releaseday

Excerpt 

 

I grab the spatula and slap frosting on the cake like I’m flogging it. Dean comes up behind me.

 

“I missed you,” he remarks.

 

I growl in response. “I love you,” he adds.

 

Another growl rumbles in my throat. I turn and smack Dean’s chest with the spatula, leaving a smear of chocolate on his shirt.

 

“You were supposed to be home at eight,” I say accusingly. “I had it all planned out. Nicholas was going to be sleeping peacefully, I’d be showered and all prettied up with lingerie on under my dress, waiting for you with a glass of scotch and a delicious gourmet dinner, followed by homemade chocolate cake. Afterward, I was planning to take you upstairs and actually get sexy.

 

“However, since you were inconsiderate enough to come home three hours early, you get nothing.” I wave the spatula in the air and turn back to the cake. “Nothing!”

 

“Oh, I’ve got something.” Dean slides his hands around my waist and pushes his groin up against my bottom. “I’ve got the hottest, sexiest, most perfect wife in the universe.”

 

“Hah. Good luck with that.”

 

“Mmm.” Dean pushes my hair away from my nape and kisses the back of my neck. “You smell like Spaghetti Os with meatballs. My favorite.”

 

“Again…” I push my hips backward in a half-hearted attempt to shove him away, but the movement only presses my ass closer against him. “Good luck.”

 

“I don’t need anymore luck.” Dean presses his lips in a line over the ridge of my collarbone. “I’ve already got you.”

 

About ADORE (Spiral of Bliss #4)

Liv and Dean West have always fallen together, but this time they might fall apart…

Liv and Dean have everything…almost. With a rambunctious toddler, crazy work schedules, and too many responsibilities, they’ve lost sight of their passionate, intimate marriage. And Professor West is none too happy about that.

Determined to lure his wife into hot new adventures, Dean struggles with his need to have Liv all to himself and the reality of sharing her with the world.

Then he gets an opportunity that could change their lives…and Liv is faced with the prospect of her white knight going places where she can’t follow.

Add ADORE to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28473071-adore

Get your hands on ADORE now:

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OAIaxV

iBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/adore/id1072252717?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/adore-8

 

 

Need to catch up on the series? Learn more about AROUSE (Spiral of Bliss  #1)!

 

Add AROUSE to Goodreads (http://bit.ly/1UwSeIi)

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ATUZ76S/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arouse-nina-lane/1114203132?ean=2940016437378

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/arouse-a-spiral-of-bliss-novel-book-one

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/arouse-a-spiral-of-bliss-novel/id643510480?ls=1&mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Nina_Lane_Arouse_A_Spiral_of_Bliss_Novel_Book_One?id=Q9-TAgAAQBAJ

 

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About Nina Lane

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances and spicy erotica. Originally from California, she holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

 

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Getting Him Back

Getting Him Back by K. A. Mitchell

3 stars 
Ethan is excited to join his high school boyfriend at college, so he’s blindsided when his boyfriend breaks up with him on day one. Heart broken, Ethan decides to get him back, and tries to get information from his ex’s roommate to gain some insight. What Ethan doesn’t expect is to start developing feelings of the sexual kind for Wyatt, the roommate.

I enjoyed this sweet MM romance book, but I didn’t love. I found it hard to believe that after Ethan was so determined to get his boyfriend back, just to fall for another guy almost immediately (it was a matter of weeks after having been with the same guy for years). What ensued was a fairly sweet relationship development between Ethan and Wyatt with very minor issues between the two.

3 star reads are the hardest to review because while I enjoyed it, there’s nothing to love or be upset about. It just is. I guess I hoped to feel a bit more from this one, but it was very low angst and like I said, any issues were very minor. And while there wasn’t a cliffhanger the story wasn’t over, and I probably won’t continue reading this couple.

ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Rebel Spring

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

4.5 stars!

“Evil is a choice one makes, not a natural state of being.”

So I don’t usually do this, but this review is going to be told mostly in gifs. To be more specific, Mean Girls gifs. AWWWW YEAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Me while reading this series:

After the events of the previous book, three kingdoms have become one under the rule of the tyrant King Gaius. The land has transformed into one where no one is safe and survival is not easy. The king has become crazy with the notion that magic will further his power and he is doing everything he can to work magic into his own plans.

Jonas has become the leader of the rebellion against King Gaius who was once his ally. He got better in this book than the last but he seemed to make some decisions.
This was Jonas throughout the book with his revenge plans:

Lucia spends the majority of her time in a powerful sleep (aka coma) and also struggles with the attentions of Magnus.

I am joining Jasmine and Christine in the I Hate Lucia club of which I declare myself the treasurer.
Seriously this gif describes her perfectly:

Magnus oh that beautiful man.

So tortured and misunderstood by those around him. He keeps an ice cold facade and keeps everyone at an arm’s length.

Meanwhile Cleo is dealing with the destruction of her kingdom. She is literally left at the whims of the King and others, a prisoner in her own home.

^^this was the most relevant gif I could find (and no Cleo is not a slut).

Anyways I am totally binging this series and you all need to read it too.

“Sometimes, to regain sanity, one had to acknowledge and embrace the madness.”