Kristen Ashley’s MIDNIGHT SOUL – Excerpt Reveal

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EXCERPT:

Franka

“You need to leave,” I declared.

His brows drew together a moment before his expression showed clearly that comprehension had dawned.

Sadly, comprehension might have dawned but he didn’t leave.

He crouched by the bed and offered in a soft voice, “You need me to carry you to the other room so you can have a bit of privacy?”

Dear goddess.

He thought I needed a chamber pot.

But…

What was happening to my face?

Dear goddess!

The heat I felt in my cheeks could be nothing other than me blushing.

I didn’t blush. I’d never blushed. Not even when I’d set about seducing my first lover at age sixteen.

I needed to be quit of this man as soon as possible.

“No…I…do…not,” I bit out.

“Sure?” he asked kindly.

“I need you to leave, Noctorno,” I used his full name in an effort to irritate, something that worked if the flare in his eyes was any indication, “so Josette can prepare me. We’re away to Kristian’s this morning.”

Another drawing of his brows before he asked, “What?”

“After my toilette, Josette and I are to my sleigh so we can begin our journey to my brother’s home.”

His eyes got bigger as his mouth inquired peculiarly, “Are you high?”

“No,” I answered his ridiculous question unnecessarily, “Indeed, I’m low. As you can see since I’m lying abed.”

For a second he just stared at me.

Then he threw his head back and burst into loud, deep, beautiful laughter.

I wanted to throw something at him.

Unfortunately, in my current position, this was not an option open to me.

“I fail to see what’s amusing,” I noted.

He controlled his mirth only to mutter, “I’ll explain it later.” He went on more distinctly, “Frannie, you’re not goin’ to your brother’s today. Ortomorrow. Or until you’re fit. Then, maybe Valentine will spirit you there, or whatever the fuck that’s called. But for the foreseeable future, your ass is in that bed and you’re resting so you can heal.”

Well!

Who did he think he was, telling me what I would or would not do?

“As you’ve determined,” I began, “this is not the first time I’ve been in this condition so I do believe that I know best what I’m capable of and…”

I stopped speaking because he came slightly out of his crouch so he could put his face into my face and he was no longer looking mirthful.

He was looking angry.

Very angry.

“That was when you had no one lookin’ out for you but that’s not the case anymore. So this is how it’s gonna be,” he announced.

He then, to my shock, irritation and outrage, announced how it was going to be.

Like he had the right to tell me how it was going to be!

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MIDNIGHT SOUL Synopsis:
Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.

And things aren’t going real great there.

Noc is recruited to help save that world.

What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.

FrankaDrakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.

When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.

When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her mask slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.

And then make her want to stay.

Preorder MIDNIGHT SOUL here!

Amazon * Barnes and Noble GooglePlay * iBooksKobo

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

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And Don’t Miss the First Books in the Fantasyland Series-On Sale Now!

WILDEST DREAMS

THE GOLDEN DYNASTY

FANTASTICAL

BROKEN DOVE

 
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About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

Links:

WEBSITE * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * NEWSLETTER * GOODREADS * PINTEREST * INSTAGRAM

 

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MIDNIGHT SOUL Synopsis:

Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.

And things aren’t going real great there.

Noc is recruited to help save that world.

What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.

Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.

When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.

When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her mask slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.

And then make her want to stay.

Blog Tour 1

Preorder MIDNIGHT SOUL here!

Amazon * Barnes and Noble GooglePlay * iBooksKobo

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

And Don’t Miss the First Books in the Fantasyland Series-On Sale Now!

WILDEST DREAMS

THE GOLDEN DYNASTY

FANTASTICAL

BROKEN DOVE

Kristen Ashley Pic

About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

Links:

WEBSITE * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * NEWSLETTER * GOODREADS * PINTEREST * INSTAGRAM

Beautiful Boy

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Beautiful Boy by Leddy Harper

3 stars

I was a big fan of Leddy’s Harpers My Biggest Mistake, such an angsty emotional read. So going into Beautiful Boy I didn’t really know what to expect, I didn’t even read the blurb. This book is about two teens who work on a school project together, and they act on the attraction between them. Consequences come into play and it alters their lives for years later when the two reconnect.

The first 20% or so of this book was a huge slam dunk for me, it had everything! Lots of emotions and feelings flying everywhere and I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. But after 20%…. it felt like an entirely different book from the one I started. Which isn’t a bad thing, but the flow of the book completely changed and I found it hard to get back into the swing of things. Plus everything that was happening was internal dialogue instead of actions.

I had a hard time putting my finger on Nolan, sometimes I hated him, and other times I felt for him. He was a complicated hero and not easy to figure out. Novah was a strong heroine and didn’t seem to let the past prevent her from being tough when she needed to be, she was a survivor.

If you are looking for an emotional and shocking read, this is the book for you. Leddy is a compelling writer and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

ARC provided by author 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.

Would You Rather [Book Tag]

Hello!

I was tagged by Feeding My Addiction to answer a few questions. Click on the link to see her answers!

The Questions

Would you rather only read trilogies or only read standalones?

Oh dear, I am going to go with trilogies/series because I always HAVE to know what happens to the characters. My one amendment would be that I’d like to wait to read them when all of the books are released, otherwise I forget everything. I love standalones too, but series are like tv shows to me and I love additional character development.

Would you rather only read male or female authors?

Personally, female authors. Nothing wrong with male authors but sometimes when they try to write a female character it’s a little bit offensive. I’m sure it goes both ways on that. Plus I read more romance and young adult and those are female heavy author zones.

Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Honestly it depends on the best deal. I’m going to say Barnes and Noble because I can touch and feel the books like a total weirdo. And they sell those Funko Pop figurines that I love. I usually do huge orders from amazon, but shop more frequently at B&N

But I’d also like to take this moment to do a little shout out to all my local indie bookstores I frequent. Try to support indie book stores!!!

The Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood, CA

Once Upon A Time bookstore in Montrose, CA

Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA

Book Castle/Movie World in Burbank, CA

Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?

If it’s a series I’d prefer a tv show, standalone book a movie please!

Would you rather read only 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

I would die if I could only do 5 pages a day. That’s like 3 street signs. So of course 5 books a week.

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

Reviewer, I’m honestly terrible at writing (even my reviews) so I don’t want to imagine the horror of a book I wrote. Plus I have no good ideas.

Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

I AM A LIBRARIAN! MUAHAHA! No seriously a librarian. I’m terrible at business so I love the book peddling side of it to the public. Plus I’m not forcing them to pay for the book I recommend.

Would you rather read only your favorite genre, or ever other genre but your favorite?

Oh, god I don’t have a favorite genre. I mix it up so much. Can I cheat and pass this question? PASS.

Would you rather only read e-books or physical books?

Physical books. I love my Kindle, but in the zombie apocalypse we won’t have electricity so I need something that will be readable forever 😉

I’m tagging Lana at Dirty Girl Romance and Kara at Book Babes Unite next!

Better When He’s Bold Excerpt and Giveaway

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Better When He’s Bold Giveaway and Excerpt!!!

GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Link: 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTE3MmMxYTA5NWI0YjhkMjZkNWU0YzM1M2E1YzU2OjIyOQ==/?

About BETTER WHEN HE’S BOLD:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover, comes the second book in a combustible new series, Welcome to the Point, that is sexier, darker, and better than ever.

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who is bad. . . . Welcome to the Point.

In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them. Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like The Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?

Brysen Carter has always seen the real Race—a guy too pretty, too smooth, and way too dangerous. Basking in his golden glow is very tempting, but Brysen knows she’ll eventually get burned. She has enough problems without the risky danger and mayhem that comes with a guy like Race. Too bad Brysen faces a threat close to home that might be more dangerous than anything The Point has ever produced.. And the only person interested in keeping her safe is the one man she can’t allow herself to have.

Sometimes being bold is the only way to stay alive. But can she let Race save her life . . . if it means losing herself to him?

mess her up

Excerpt:

I wheeled the Mustang into the compound and watched to make sure the gates swung closed behind us. The security lights flickered on overhead, casting her in an ethereal, bluish glow. Everything about her was refined and pure looking. God, I wanted to mess her up. I wanted my hands in her hair, my marks on her skin, and my taste in her mouth. I wanted her to look as rough as she made me feel on the inside. No one had ever riled me up like that before. Maybe because I was so used to just getting without having to ask, and Brysen never offered that to me. I always had to ask her what the next move was going to be, and her answers often surprised me. She was not a sure bet, and I think the challenge of that made her even more desirable.

“The lengths we go to in order to keep our family safe, to do right by those we love, is often a weighty burden to bear.” I got out of the car and went around to let her out of the passenger side. When I pulled her up, I pressed her back into the side of the car with the full length of my body and bent down so that my mouth hovered enticingly over the plump ridge of hers.

“I would do anything for Dovie, anything. I have done things for her that made me hate the man I had to be in order to do them, but it was in her best interest. I admire you being able to put your own life down and pick up a different one out of loyalty to your sister, but somewhere in there, you need to remember she’s going to have to learn to take care of herself. She’ll eventually have to admit that your parents are fucked and move on with her own life. Dovie found the one person in the world to love who has the ability to insulate her from anything the Point wants to throw at her. Your sister will eventually have to find her stability as well. She won’t need you forever.”

I saw something flare deep in those cerulean eyes, a spark of pain, maybe of realization that I was right, but then it was gone and she was pressing up on her tiptoes and sealing her mouth over mine. I let my hands glide down her sides and fall under her backside. She had the nicest butt on any girl I had ever seen, the nicest body really. There was no end to all her curves and dips, and anywhere my hands decided to land, they were filled with firm and sexy flesh. The brief glimpse I had had of her out of her towel the last time we were this close together had been enough to burn out the image of any other female I might’ve seen naked in the last few years. All I could see was Brysen and her pretty, pale skin, her high breasts with perfectly pink nipples, and her most private of places that were just at elegant and alluring as the rest of her. She was a blond bombshell and I could feel my body urging me to stop playing around and finally seal the deal with her.

About Jay Crownover:

jc

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Links:

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

BETTER WHEN HE’S BOLDGoodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

better

Top 10 books I read in 2014

There are so many books I read this year that were winners. Bravo for a wonderful year in books! These are the top 10 books this year that stuck their hooks in my heart and will never let go. I highly recommend picking up all of these books for a an amazing read.

10. The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by L. B. Simmons

Beautiful story of a young woman who must come to terms with her past and present.

9. Hothouse Flower by Krista and Becca Ritchie

The story of Daisy and Ryke and how their friendship becomes a full blown forbidden romance. Must read all of the previous Addicted series books before this one.

8. rock by Anyta Sunday

An M/M romance between two stepbrothers in New Zealand. This book has some serious feels.

7. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A young married couple takes unusual risks to save their marriage when they find they cannot stand each other anymore. Both agree to take an extended amount of time apart from each other to find out what they want.

6. Thin Love by Eden Butler

The angsty and intense romance of college sweethearts Keira and Kona.

5. Dust to Dust by Karina Halle

The conclusion to the Experiment in Terror series, Dex and Perry must fight the ultimate evil in their lives.

4. Rome by Jay Crownover

The unlikely romance of military man Rome, and pixie tattooed Cora.

3. The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

Modern day telling of the Medusa myth, and the God Hermes who saved her.

2. Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young

Friends to lovers tale of Nate and Olivia. I’ve lost track of how many times I have reread this book this year. Truly a masterful romance!

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

The 3rd book about Celeana Sardothien, the king’s assassin. I can’t say much else for fear of spoilers, but I’m pretty sure my head exploded with how amazing this book is!

 

The Collectors’ Society

The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons

3.5 Binary stars

collectors' society collage

“In pages we find worlds. In words, we find life.”

Do you think you know your literary characters? You might not know them as well as you thought.

Locked up in an asylum in Victorian London, Alice is hiding many secrets about her past. Upon a visit from a stranger with a mission, Alice is thrust into modern day New York City with a new purpose in her life. You see, Timelines were created out of our beloved books and tales, and the characters in them brought to life. They can travel in and out of them, and many choose to remain in the modern world as a part of the Collectors’ Society. I won’t get into it too much, but basically the Timelines existence is in peril, and Alice has been drafted into the fight to help save them, so that her Wonderland can be saved before it is deleted forever.

I really loved the concept of this book. I loved the world building. I loved the idea that the novels we read are only one side of the story and the authors’ perception of the events in them. And we all know that perception doesn’t mean truth. Heather Lyons in my opinion is a master at taking well known characters (or in the Deep End of the Sea’s case, mythological characters) and making them her own with their own new personalities.

“Sometimes our pasts are chains we cannot let go of, even if the key is in our hands. They define us in ways we resent, and yet they are somewhat precious, too. Because, logically, we understand that our pasts have made us who we are.”

Alice is incredibly secretive, even keeping secrets from the reader, which at times was infuriating as I was left a bit confused. All events and most secrets did reveal themselves, but mostly near the end of the book. The addition of Mary Lennox was a personal favorite of mine as The Secret Garden is a book I grew up on. And the choice Ms. Lyons made in making her into the nice bitchy girl was a wonderful touch.

Ladies, I am in the minority on the character of Finn. I didn’t care all too much for him. It may sound bad but Finn was too good of a guy, like too good to exist kind of a hero. He literally was perfect, the entire book. Handsome, fit, sensitive, caring, kind, loving. Maybe I’m just reading too much Alpha male’s in my books, but I wanted a little more from him. I honestly could not see how he fell for Alice when she exposed so little of herself to him.

The White King on the other hand, I want a prequel book in Wonderland so we can get his story with Alice! I was honestly rooting for the White King more than I was for Finn! A doomed romance where two people love each other but cannot be together? His passion and despair were so strong, I felt more emotion in the scenes with him and Alice than the ones she had with Finn. So I know it’ll never be, but I’m on Team White King. I shall make buttons and everything.

“Your destiny is not in Wonderland, no matter how much we may wish differently.”

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, but at some points it was slow and a little bit confusing. I feel if more of the backstory behind Alice’s life hadn’t been kept a secret for so long, I would have understood her and her actions a lot more earlier on. I also went into this thinking it was a standalone, but after reading the ending I think there is more to come.

drink me