Rough Ride

Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley

4.5 stars 

“Men are breakable. They just hide the cracks better than we do.” 

When Rosalie gets beaten by her boyfriend and his motorcycle club for being an informant to Chaos, she wants nothing to do with that life ever again. But Snapper, the Chaos man who was partnered to her, isn’t ready to let her go, especially now that her boyfriend is out of the picture. Snapper has always wanted Rosalie, and now is his chance to prove it to her.

“If you care about someone, it’s not about going that extra mile. It’s about giving everything.” 

I kind of laughed to myself when I received this arc, because when I think of a novella, I think 100 pages or less. Well, for Kristen Ashley, just under 300 pages IS shorter than her usual novel, but I loved every second of this book.

While I love the Chaos series by Ashley, I have to admit that I didn’t remember who Rosalie or Snapper were….. or even some of the other characters that I may have looked up while reading this novel. But despite not remembering them, I fell in love with this couple. My heart broke for Rosalie and I wanted her to get her happy ending. And Snapper got the chance to go after the girl he always wanted.

This is the kind of motorcycle club books I love, there will never be another series out there like this one.

“I found the one who was perfect for me.” 

**I will note, this novella cannot be read as a standalone, it really only makes sense if you’ve read the other books in this series** 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

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A Crack in Everything

A Crack in Everything by LH Cosway

5 stars 

“You’re sunshine, Evelyn, and there’s nothing but clouds around here.” 

I’M NOT CRYING. THERE’S JUST WATER LEAKING OUT OF MY FACE. 

Boy am I glad I waited to read this book until part 2 is out. I’m gonna try and squeeze in a semi-comprehensible review here but it’s probably just gonna be me screaming all over the place.

Evelyn is a teen living in a bad part of Dublin. One day when he’s running away from a gang, Dylan rushes into Evelyn’s apartment for a place to hide. From then on the two become friends and then more. But there are sinister forces working against the two of them that threaten to tear them apart.

“It was warm here. And safe. I loved kissing him. I could kiss him forever. If only I could.” 

I basically spent the first half of the book like this:

And the last fourth of the book like this:

What can I say, I love this book! And then it ripped my cold little heart to shreds. LH Cosway is Queen of the Feels and I will forever be her devoted servant, taking her heart lashings with every book.

I would say more but honestly I need to dive into book two ASAP so I’m off to do just that!

“I loved Dylan O’Dea. And probably would forever.” 

Brooklynaire

Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

4 stars! 

“Everything seems fine and ordinary. Or at least it did until I hit my head.” 

Brooklyn Bruiser fans, we finally have Nate and Becca’s story! And it was SO worth the wait!

Becca has worked for billionaire Nate since the beginning, before he earned all the money and fame. Over seven years the two have had a great friendship and worked really well together. And while both are attracted to the other, neither one of them knows it or will admit it.

When Becca injures her head on the ice, Nate steps in to help take care of her. Doctors cannot figure out exactly what is wrong, and it’s extremely frustrating for Becca who just wants to get back to work. Staying at Nate’s place, she does her best to work out the past few years and how they ended up where they are now.

“We work together all the time. I can’t be the girl who just casually sleeps with her boss.” 

The thing I love about Sarina Bowen is, I enjoy her books 99.999999% of the time. Her writing style just works for me. Brooklynaire was such a fun read and a great escape from reality. I spent the majority of my weekend reading this avoiding real life tasks like cleaning and leaving my house.

While technically this is the fourth novel in the Brooklyn Bruisers series, it can totally be read as a standalone. Believe me, I skipped book two (hides in shame). I loved this story and glad we finally got to see Nate and Becca’s side of things and why it took them so long to give up the ghost and get together.

Sexy, fun and entertaining, this is the book you want to one-click right when it releases right away!

“Everything worthwhile is complicated.” 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

Next Year in Havana

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

4.5 stars! 

“Am I dangerous?”
“I have a feeling you just might be.” 

I made a resolution to myself last year that I would make more of an effort to read new to me authors when selecting future books. Chanel Cleeton is a new to me author, and when I saw the cover and title of this book I knew I needed to get my hands on it. And man oh man am I so glad I did because I loved this story.

Next Year in Havana is told in present day by Marisol, a young woman grieving her recently deceased grandmother, Elisa, and goes to Cuba to spread her ashes. We also get Elisa’s story in 1958 Cuba, a story of love and a divided country.

That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, but know both stories present and past are beautiful and will surprise you.

“I walk down these streets, and I look out to the sea, and I want to feel as though I belong here, but I am a visitor here, a guest in my own country.”
“Then you know what it means to be Cuban.” 

Cuba has always been a subject of interest for me, but not one strong enough for me to do some heavy research. Reading this book I felt I learned a lot about the country and its history, its present day happenings as well. At times the characters I felt got a little bit too political and by that I mean I did skim some political stuffs because it was feeling repetitive and preachy, but I honestly didn’t mind it that much because I’m giving it 4.5 stars.

Normally when a book is told from two point of views I find I like one more than the other, but that really wasn’t the case in this book. I loved Marisol and Elisa’s stories equally, wanting to know more about both and never wanting to skip a POV. Both women are caught in impossible situations because of issues beyond their control. They feel powerless, and yet do everything they can for the people they love.

Reading this book I felt as if I was transported to Cuba. I’ve never been but felt I have based on the descriptive nature of this book. Cleeton is excellent at bringing her readers into her story and I honestly can say I am dying for her to write more books like this one.

I know I will remember this book for years to come.

“No one warned me love would hurt so much.” 

ARC provided by the publisher 

Moonlight Sins

Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L Armentrout

3.5 stars 

“Legend goes that only two things can happen to women of the de Vincent family or women who come here. They either end up…. unstable or they end up dead.” 

Moonlight Sins is the beginning of a new contemporary romance series by Jennifer Armentrout and this book was a promising start! Julia is a live in nurse who gets hired by a wealthy client to care for a family member. But when she gets to her new job in Louisiana she doesn’t realize it’s one of the wealthiest families in the country.

The person she’s to care for is to remain a secret, and the house she’s staying in has eerie flickering lights and the sounds of footsteps. Julia also finds herself attracted to one of the de Vincent men Lucian, a notorious playboy. And he seems to have taken a liking to her too…

“You know what we are. What we always end up doing to people. We destroy them and then go about our lives like nothing fucking happened.” 

I really enjoyed this story, Jennifer Armentrout is great at writing mystery and heroes to swoon over. This first book in a series holds so much potential and I cannot wait to see how the rest of the series goes.

The romance was really sweet, but surprisingly I found myself more interested in the mystery plot of the book more than the romance. I was hooked and wanted all my questions answered, so I sped through this book!

Fans of mystery romance genre, you will love this book!

“How can you be here and be the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen?” 

ARC provided by the author. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

The Wedding Date

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

4.5 stars! 

You know how they always say never judge a book by its cover? Sometimes THEY’RE WRONG. Because this cover is cute AF and so was this book!!!! Such a refreshing read, I enjoyed it so much!

The Wedding Date is about Alexa, who when visiting her sister in a hotel gets stuck in the elevator with a hot guy, Drew, when the power goes out. Right off the bat they hit it off and Drew asks Alexa to be hit date at a wedding the next day and she agrees.

One fake night of dating and the two begin seeing each other on the weekends (as she is in the Bay Area and he’s in Los Angeles). But a relationship that starts out as fake cannot end up real, right?

This was the perfect book to pick up and forget your problems. Once I picked it up I didn’t want to put it down. While it’s not as big on the sexy times as most romances, it’s one where you will fall in love right along with the characters.

Sweet, fun, enlightening and romantic, this debut novel needs to be your next read!

ARC was provided by the publisher 

Man Hands

Man Hands by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

3.5 stars 

Man Hands is about divorcee Brynn, when she divorces from her husband she’s left with a very low self-esteem. Her friends take her to a party and convince her to kiss the first man she sees, and she does exactly that. And she ends up doing more than that with him, then running off when it’s done.

But the hookup returns, and she learns his name is Tom. And Tom has an unusual proposition for her.

Let me start off by saying this book is VERY funny. Sarina and Tanya hit the humor spot really well. And this book was FILLED with sexy times. But I felt the romance wasn’t developed very well and wish we had more of that than sex scenes.

Plus when I thought home renovation tv personality I thought of Chip Gaines from Fixer Upper and sorry not sorry, I don’t find him attractive.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review 

Villain

Villain

Cover Design by Samantha Young

 The sexy and emotional companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.

 Nadia Ray is not just a broadcast meteorologist. She’s Boston’s morning television It Girl. Successful and independent, she’s put a past she’s ashamed of behind her and is forging a future she can be proud of. However, when her new boss discovers her secret he blackmails her, intent on using Nadia’s popularity to make them the number one morning show in Massachusetts. He wants her to be part of uncovering the city’s biggest scandal – a secret billionaire Caine Carraway is hiding.

Soon Nadia is thrown into the path of Caine’s best friend: sexy, wealthy bachelor Henry Lexington. But she doesn’t encounter the dashing high society gentleman Henry is purported to be. Instead she’s faced with an insulting and defensive villain who misjudges her at every turn.

When Henry finally realizes the truth, and decides to make amends, Nadia wants nothing to do with him. But she underestimates his determination and charm and soon they find themselves embroiled in an intense, passionate affair.

An affair Nadia knows must come to an end before their feelings grow any deeper and he discovers her secrets.

After all, Henry Lexington isn’t the only one who played the part of a villain once…

My review:

4 stars!! 

“I acted like my story deserved a hero. But only a heroine deserves a hero. And I wasn’t a heroine. I couldn’t be. The truth was in someone else’s story… I was a villain.” 

Villain is the story of Nadia, a broadcast meteorologist. When her boss blackmail’s her into doing some deep digging into a wealthy man, his best friend Henry decides to fight back. Sparks fly, and hatred of each other evolves when Nadia and Henry realize they are both not what they seem.

But Nadia has a past that can threaten any relationship before it starts. That combined with severe trust issues promises an emotional and bumpy ride for these two.

“Grand gestures and fireworks are part of our lives; they’re not extraordinary to us. But when we get home and we close the door behind us and it’s just you and me…. that’s our extraordinary, right?” 

I love romances where the guy chases the girl. There’s just something so amazing about a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. Nadia was so unsure things would work and he never wavered. There were moment when this story seemed as if it would be cliché and predictable, but it had just enough angst and humor to push it over the edge and make it something a little bit more than the usual.

I read Samantha Young because she never fails to deliver me a satisfying story, and I will read her books as long as she keeps writing them because of this. A truly talented writer, I hope she never stops.

“I was born into a life of privilege… but I never knew true wealth until I met you.” 

ARC provided by the author. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

 

Out December 5th in digital edition.

 

Preorder Links:

AMAZON US – http://amzn.to/2giFLfF
AMAZON UK – http://amzn.to/2yxhpZz

KOBO US – http://bit.ly/2i1siJr

KOBO UK – http://bit.ly/2yQpdGp

iBOOKS UK & US, & GOOGLE PLAY Links Coming Soon!

 

 

Connect with Samantha Young online:

Website:http://authorsamanthayoung.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorsamanthayoung

Twitter: @AuthorSamYoung

Instagram: @AuthorSamanthaYoung

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/samyoungauthor

 

 

Roomies

Roomies by Christina Lauren

4.5 stars! 

“You’re too beautiful to be inexperienced in love.” 

Roomies is a charming book that sneaks up on you and grabs your heart! Holland has had a crush on subway musician Calvin for months who then saves her when she gets attacked on the subway. Recognizing his musical talent, she is able to get him his big break in broadway. There’s only one problem, he’s from Ireland and has been living in America illegally for the last four years.

Holland finds a crazy solution, she decides to marry Calvin so he can be in the show. Marriage of convenience turns into lovers, and maybe something more. But how can either of them know if this relationship is real?

I loved this book. It started off a bit slow at the beginning, but this is a story that BUILDS. By the end I was so in love with this couple and wanted them to find their happiness. I see a lot of reviews calling this book sweet, and I totally agree. But it did have small doses of angsty bits that gave my angst whore self the hit I needed to bring this rating up!

Holland was an amazing heroine, unsure of where she was in life and yet not at all annoying. She didn’t see herself clearly, others around her did and Calvin always wanted what was best for her, trying to put her needs before his as much as he could. To me this was also a slow build romance, starting out strangers then friends then lovers, then finally more. You need to have the patience for this couple because it’s well worth it.

This is a story you savor, one you think about when you set the book down and continue to think about once you’ve finished it. I highly recommend roomies, it’s a perfect book to curl up with.

“I think you might be the best girl there ever was.”
“I think you’re the best boy there ever was, too.” 

ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

Citywide

Citywide by Santino Hassell

Full disclosure, I only read Rerouted. Before all of you jump on me, I am allowed to read what I want to read, and I honestly was only interested in Chris, Jace and Aiden. Not that I have to justify my reading choices to anyone, but I have no desire to read the other two novellas because those characters don’t call to me.

That being said, I LOVED Rerouted. I could read about these three men for, well, forever. I wish they had their own full length novel. It’s about Chris, a bisexual man who finds himself as the extra to a married gay couple Jace and Aiden. Jace and Aiden have been together 20 years and are polyamorous, but lately they only want one man to make them a trio. When a blackout leaves the three of them stuck together, it’s up to the couple to convince Chris he’s perfect for them.

As I said before, I loved this story. Chris I wanted to hug the entire time, I understood all of his insecurities and where he is coming from. It’s easy to want him to fall into his happily ever after, but some things needed to be worked out and I think Hassell did a great job of covering all those issues.

Citywide can technically be read as a standalone, but I think maybe you should read Third Rail a short story first to get some background.

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata

4.5 stars! 

“Not liking you is like fighting gravity.” 

After her boyfriend dumps her, Gabby is asked to go on tour with her twin brother selling merchandise for his band. Which would be fine, if she wasn’t insanely attracted to the lead singer of the other traveling band, Sacha. Three months and a bunch of countries, everyone will be tight together making for some interesting happenings.

“Because if I remember correctly, your text message said, ‘I just kicked the hottest guy I’ve probably ever seen in the ass.’ And I asked you what he looked like and you texted me back, ‘Like a double bacon cheeseburger I’d take a bite out of.” 

Mariana Zapata is an author who has never let me down. I’ve read six of her books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. She takes the time to develop her characters and her relationships, so everything feels more real. I love that she writes slow burn instead of instalove, I love seeing the journey her characters take when falling for each other.

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin is an excellent book and falls in the middle of the spectrum, not my favorite Zapata and not my least favorite. It’s a solid rock star romance, but I also wondered why none of the band players were running around getting laid with everything that moved. Not that I want that, but I wonder if this was a more accurate depiction of the lifestyle where it takes place.

You need to start reading Zapata if you haven’t already. And if you have read some of her books, bump this one up the to be read list.

“He was the end to my beginning.” 

Dear Aaron

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

4 stars! 

Full confession, I totally went into this book knowing mini spoilers. By that I mean I knew the majority of the first half of the book was in epistolary form aka written in emails, IMs and texts. I think it helped knowing that going in, because if I hadn’t I think I would have quit this book, and that would be a damn shame.

Dear Aaron is a love story between a soldier and his assigned pen pal. Ruby and Aaron meet via email when he is deployed in the Middle East through a letters to soldiers program. Over time, they become very good friends and some feelings develop, at least on one side.

I really don’t want to say more than that, go into this knowing it’s a slow burn, the first half the interactions are all written, and that it’s a long book and you’ll be good. Mariana Zapata writes the best slow burn romance. Hands down. You want a romance you’ll long for? Turn to this woman’s books. And while this one was on the sweeter side for me, I still found myself smiling as I was reading it.

This book was really a double edged sword for Zapata, and by that I mean the way it’s written is a tough balance. Too much written interaction and it’s too long, not enough and then people would complain it’s not developed enough. While it’s not perfect, I think she did an excellent job in building the relationship she did and that many readers will enjoy it.

I’m off to read the rest of Zapata’s books! I have two more to go until I run out and will sit here waiting for her to publish more!

My Best Friend’s Ex

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

3 stars 

Meghan Quinn is a relatively new author to me. I’ve seen her at lots of author events, Big Apple, Love N Colorado, Love N Vegas, etc… so she’s an author I’ve been meaning to read. When I saw this book was only $1.20 on Amazon, I snapped this baby up! And while I enjoyed it (remember peeps, I don’t consider a 3 a negative rating!!) I think my sense of humor doesn’t really mesh well with Quinn’s. It’s a little bit too much for me, I’m more of the sarcasm and one-liners kind of humor than in your face almost slap sticky.

I really did enjoy this book, mostly the second half because it was hotter and angstier than the first half. I think lots of readers would love this book and the story, it’s a good trope. I just wish we had seen more of the best friend, we only saw her at 48% and then a little bit near the end, we saw all of Emma’s other friends more than the “best” friend.

Many of my trusted book friends have told me to read Dear Life, and I think I will try that. This book was a lot of fun and that light read many readers are searching for. And I’m also glad I read a new to me author and broke outside of my comfort zone.

Drive

Drive by Kate Stewart

ALL THE STARS! 

“Music is the heart’s greatest librarian.” 

Top recommendation and one of the best books of the year for me! Drive made me fall in love with the romance genre again. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, since August I have only had one 5 star romance read, and it was MM not MF. I had given up hope on this genre and on the indie romance community but after reading Drive I’m back and ready for more!

Drive is the story of Stella, a music journalist gets some shocking news and decides to drive home instead of taking her flight. Along the way she remembers her past and the events that led to her present circumstances. That’s all I’m going to tell you, I went in blind and I think the experience of reading this book is more enjoyable this way.

“A gravitational pull lured me to him. I wanted inside his head. And that was just the start of what I wanted.” 

Kate Stewart is an author I find myself recommending all the time and wish more people would read. Her writing is very versatile, each book a unique and heartfelt experience. Drive follows in the same vein, at the heart of it is music. The songs mentioned at the beginning of the chapters (the ones I knew and didn’t have to pick up) I could hear in my mind as I was reading. I don’t listen to music when reading because I find it hard to focus on one or the other, but if you enjoy music while reading, I recommend the spotify playlist Kate made for this book.

This was the book that I wanted to read into the early hours of the morning, the one where I was cursing my job that I love because I wanted to stay up late reading this book but needed sleep instead. It didn’t take me long to realize while reading this book was something special, and I was only halfway through when I started sending book recommendations of it to other readers on Goodreads. This is the book that you know will stay with you forever, the one that when you hear certain songs you’ll remember how you felt when reading it.

Stella is a heroine that is flawed, emotional and beautiful. I loved her outlook on life, that even though bad things had happened to her she tried her hardest and kept going. We see her struggling as a college student, to working her way up the music world. And while this book is a love story, it’s also about how Stella found her way back to her true self. How she picked up the pieces and told the world to go screw itself and fought her way to the top.

Not sure what else to say, it’s obvious I loved this book. If you haven’t picked up a book by Kate yet I want to smack you. Just make sure you don’t end 2017 without reading this book. You won’t regret it.

“He was my song, my soul, my everything, and his love had propelled me forward into the woman I wanted to be.” 

Maverick

Maverick by Karina Halle

3.75 stars! 

“Love is chaos.” 

Maverick is the story of Riley a young beautiful woman working in search and rescue. After a traumatic working experience where Riley lost a friend, she moves to Canada for a new job. John “Mav” Maverick is her new boss, and right off the bat they know there’s chemistry between them. But employees are forbidden from dating in search and rescue, so they must do what they can to keep away from each other.

“The feeling I have in my chest is completely unfamiliar. It’s like a combination of a warm bath and someone dropping a toaster in it. It’s both calming and electrifying and there’s no other way to explain it, but I have both feelings at once when I look at her.” 

This book was a fun and hot break from reality. Riley and Mav had some serious chemistry and waiting for them to get together was everything! It was nice to revisit the true north world and see characters we met in Wild Card. While this is “second” in a series, you can easily read this book as a standalone novel, you don’t need any backstory. That being said I am excited for Del and Fox’s story, I hope it will be super angsty!

ARC provided by the author. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product.