Drama, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance

War Poppy by Nicole Lynne

war-poppy-ebook-coverWar Poppy by Nicole Lynne
Series: War Series #1
Genre: romantic drama
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Poppy

Love and war. Two words that should have little association, but to me the two go hand in hand. Both are a tragedy. They rip you open and spit you out. The war killed my husband, Connor, shattered my will to live, and took my best friend. Brandon may not have physically died in that war, but his soul did. And now we’re left to pick up the wreckage. Expected to move on when all that is left is the ruins of a life we once had.

Brandon

War. It took everything from me, even myself. When you’re only able to exist, death seems like a blessing. Pain…a welcome distraction. I ran from everything associated with my past, and then she found me, fighting, drowning myself in whisky, trying to forget. She reminds me of Connor, of what I’ve lost—what we’ve lost. In the midst of destruction, she’s a salvation I don’t deserve.

I shouldn’t love him.

I shouldn’t love her.

Love is a war we never should have fought.

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Giveaway

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Review by Evelyn

Heat: 3/5
Rating: 5/5

If you’re a fan of light-hearted, wishy-washy romance as a form of escapism, turn away. This is a dark, gritty read, delving deep into PTSD, alcoholism and toxic relationships. This is the sort of book that grips your heart, makes you laugh, makes you love, and makes you weep. It carries with it ‘that feeling’ – the one that hits just before the Red Wedding in GoT. Where things are leading a certain direction, but suddenly they no longer seem quite right. ‘That feeling’ is the most harrowing sensation, where things are cascading and there is no way to stop them, but you also cannot stop yourself from reading on.

Poppy and Brandon were beautifully crafted and beautifully broken, finding toxic comfort in one another’s pain, with a deeply felt, painful romance that absolutely broke me. It was one the romantic in me wanted so desperately to work out, while my brain was shouting at my Kindle and their treatment of one another. My emotions were at war, but my heart, as ever, won.

One of the best books of the year so far (and only my second five-star rating of 2017), I’d absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes a deeper, more thoughtful read. LP Lovell and Stevie J Cole completely depart from their typical writing, and do so in an extraordinary way. I hope they write more like this, as their styles compliment one another absolutely perfectly, and by pulling this off they have shown how capable and talented they both are, departing from their comfort zones in such a way.

Drama, Reviews, Romance

Review: See Through Heart – Amie Knight

see-through-heart-ebook-coverSee Through Heart by Amie Knight
Series: standalone
Genre: new adult
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Ainsley came into my life in a flurry of vibrant colors, lighting my world up when all seemed lost.

It wasn’t our quiet nights by the creek or stolen kisses surrounded by a sea of cotton that saved me.  

It was her.  

She was my comfort when life threw one ugly tragedy after another at me. 

Until she dealt me the greatest blow.  

Now, abandonment, betrayal, and death darken every corner of my life.  Anger and hurt burn bright where love and trust once lived.  

But, now, she’s back.  Sure, she’s changed, but I see through it—straight to her heart.

Purchase it

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Review

Themes: friends to lovers, second chance
Heat: ★★★
Rating: ★★★

This is the debut release from author Amie Knight.

I had never been kissed in my life, but I knew that this was special. I knew that kisses like this were rare and beautiful. A kiss like this was born from years of friendship and love.

There was a lot of emotion in these pages. I’m not going to lie, I did cry once or twice, and it was absolutely not what I was expecting to happen when I started reading this book. It was interesting to see how tragedy affected the main characters, and how drama also managed to bring them back together.

Knight did an absolutely brilliant job of establishing this relationship, with the first half of the novel following the Ainsley and Adrian as they met as children and grew up, and the second half bringing them back together following these gut-wrenching events. I really cared for these characters, and I found their relationship beautiful.

“Let’s pretend we are just a boy and a girl in love. That our lives aren’t encompassed in overwhelming sorrow and heartbreak. That we aren’t swimming in a never-ending sea of grief. Please, let me have this. This moment of beautiful in all of this ugly.”

Where I struggled a little bit was with Adrian’s character. For some reason, he just didn’t feel consistent enough to me, and I didn’t quite believe that he wouldn’t have gone after Ainsley when she left. Similarly, I felt like although the first half did a perfect job of setting everything up (before callously destroying it!), the second half seemed a little rushed for me. I wanted a little more pain, a little more tension, but instead it all worked out fairly easily and became more of a sweet read.

There were several subplots which just didn’t go anywhere, such as Adrian and his father, and the subplot with Anthony and Kelley (though maybe the latter is being left for a sequel? Let’s hope so).

She could run from me, but what she couldn’t do was hide her heart. Whether she liked it or not, I owned it. It was mine.

A stellar effort for a first novel, the first half left me devastated while the second was just a little too fast for such an emotionally intense read. This is definitely an author to keep watching.

Drama, Excerpts, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance

Out now! Review & Sneak Peek: A Love Letter to Whiskey – Kandi Steiner

a-love-letter-to-whiskey-ebook-coverA Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner
Series: standalone
Genre: romantic drama
Themes: star-crossed lovers
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It’s crazy how fast the buzz comes back after you’ve been sober for so long.

 Whiskey stood there, on my doorstep, just like he had one year before. Except this time, there was no rain, no anger, no wedding invitation it was just us.

 It was just him the old friend, the easy smile, the twisted solace wrapped in a glittering bottle.

It was just me the alcoholic, pretending like I didn’t want to taste him, realizing too quickly that months of being clean didn’t make me crave him any less. 

But we can’t start here.

No, to tell this story right, we need to go back. 

Back to the beginning.

Back to the very first drop. 

This is my love letter to Whiskey. I only hope he reads it. 

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Sneak Peek

The first time I tasted Whiskey, I fell flat on my face.

Literally.

I was drunk from the very first sip, and I guess that should have been my sign to stay away.

Jenna and I were running the trail around the lake near her house, sweat dripping into our eyes from the intense South Florida heat. It was early September, but in South Florida, it might as well have been July. There was no “boots and scarves” season, unless you counted the approximately six weeks in January and February where the temperature dropped below eighty degrees.

As it was, we were battling ninety-plus degrees, me trying to be a show off and prove I could keep up with Jenna’s cheerleading training program. She had finally made the varsity squad, and with that privilege came ridiculous standards she had to uphold. I hated running — absolutely loathed it. I would much rather have been on my surf board that day. But fortunately for Jenna, she had a competitive best friend who never turned down a challenge. So when she asked me to train with her, I’d agreed eagerly, even knowing I’d have screaming ribs and calves by the end of the day.

I saw him first.

I was just a few steps ahead of Jenna, and I’d been staring down at my hot pink sneakers as they hit the concrete. When I looked up, he was about fifty feet away, and even from that distance I could tell I was in trouble. He seemed sort of average at first — brown hair, lean build, soaked white running shirt — but the closer he got, the more I realized just how edible he was. I noticed the shift in the muscles of his legs as he ran, the way his hair bounced slightly, how he pressed his lips together in concentration as he neared us. 

I looked over my shoulder, attempting to waggle my eyebrows at Jenna and give her the secret best friend code for “hot guy up ahead”, but she had stopped to tie her shoes. And when I turned back around, it was too late.

I smacked into him — hard — and fell to the pavement, rolling a bit to soften the fall. He cursed and I groaned, more from embarrassment than pain. I wish I could say I gracefully picked myself up, smiled radiantly, and asked him for his number, but the truth is I lost the ability to do anything the minute I looked up at him.

It was an unfamiliar, warm ache that spread through my chest as I used my hand to shield the sun streaming in behind his silhouette, just how you’d expect the first sip of whiskey to feel. He was bent over, hand outstretched, saying something that wasn’t registering because I had somehow managed to slip my hand into his and just that one touch had set my skin on fire.

Handsome wasn’t the right word to describe him, but it was all I kept thinking as I traced his features. His hair was a sort of mocha color, damp at the roots, falling onto his forehead just slightly. His eyes were wide — almost too round — and a mixture of gold, green, and the deepest brown. I didn’t coin the nickname Whiskey until much later, but it was that moment that I saw it for the first time — those were whiskey eyes. The kind of eyes you get lost in. The kind that drink you in. He had the longest lashes and a firm, square jaw. It was so hard, the edges so clean that I would have sworn he was angry with me if it weren’t for the smile on his face.He was still talking as my eyes fell over his broad chest before snapping back up to his sideways grin.

“Oh my God, are you fucking blind?!” Jenna’s voice snapped me from my haze as she shoved Whiskey out of the way and latched onto my hand, ripping me back to standing position. I’d barely caught my balance before she whipped around to continue her scolding. “How about you brush that long ass hair out of your eyes and watch where you’re going, huh champ?”

Oh no.

I didn’t even have time to call dibs, I couldn’t even think the word, let alone say it, before it was too late. I watched it, in slow motion, as Whiskey fell for my best friend before I even had the chance to say a single word to him. 

Jenna was standing tall, arms crossed, one hip popped in her usual fashion as she waited for him to defend himself. This was her protocol — it was one of the reasons we got along. We were both what you’d call “spitfires”, but Jenna had the distinct advantage of being cripplingly gorgeous on top of having an attitude. She flipped her long, wavy blonde ponytail behind her and cocked a brow.

And then he did, too.

His smile grew wider as he met her eyes, and it was the same look I’d watched fall over guy after countless guy. Jenna was a unicorn, and men were enamored by her. As they should have been — she had platinum blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, legs for days and a personality to boot. Now, before you go thinking that I was the insecure best friend – I had it going on, too. I worked hard, I was talented – just not at the things traditional high school boys valued.

But we’ll get to that.

“Hi,” Whiskey finally said, extending his hand to Jenna this time. His eyes were warm, smile inviting — if I had to pick the right word for him, just one, I’d say charming. He just oozed charm. “I’m Jamie.”

“Well, Jamie, maybe you should make an appointment with the eye doctor before you run over another innocent jogger. And you owe Brecks an apology.” She nodded to me then and I cringed at my name, wondering why she felt the need to spill it at all. She always called me B — everyone did — so why did she choose the moment I was face to face with the first boy to ever make my heart accelerate to use my full name?

Jamie was still grinning, eying Jenna, trying to figure her out, but he turned to me after a moment with that same crooked smile. “I’m sorry, I should have been watching where I was going.” He said the words with conviction, but lifted his brows on that last line because he and I both knew who wasn’t paying attention to the trail, and he wasn’t the guilty party. 

“It’s fine,” I murmured, because for some reason I was still having a difficult time finding my voice. Jamie tilted his head just a fraction, his eyes hard on me this time, and I felt naked beneath his gaze. I’d never had anyone look at me that way — completely zeroed in. It was unnerving and exhilarating, too. 

But before I could latch onto the feeling, he turned back to Jenna, their eyes meeting as slow smiles spread on both of their faces. I’d seen it a million times, but this was the first time I felt sick watching it happen.

I saw him first, but it didn’t matter.

Because he saw her.

Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★★

This is what a book should do to you.

But sometimes, even when we know something is bad for us, we do it anyway. Maybe for the thrill, maybe to cure our curiosity, or maybe just to lie to ourselves a little longer.

I’ll keep my review brief (for once), as I don’t want to give away any spoilers whatsoever here. If there is one book you pick up to read this year, it needs to be this one. This was one of those books that has your heart racing from the very beginning, with absolutely no respite. I loved every second of it, and had to savour it and read it slowly, rather than devouring it like usual.

I watched him, my conscience telling me to walk away while my body screamed for me to never let go.

This was a star-crossed relationship to invest in, one that broke my heart more times than I can count, yet still made me come back to read more. I felt like I was in that same toxic, obsessive, painful relationship as the one depicted in these pages. The exquisite details, the small things, of how the characters sat and how they looked at and touched one another, just laid everything out so nakedly, with worries, fears and vulnerabilities.

It turned out a Whiskey stain was just as permanent as ink, and I wondered if I would ever truly wash myself clean.

It is increasingly rare for me to give a five star review to any book, but this one thoroughly deserved it. Utter perfection.

Drama, Erotica, Release Blitz, Reviews

Out now! Review: Four – S.C. Daiko

imageFour by S.C. Daiko
Series: Three #2 (can standalone)
Genre: erotica
Themes: menage
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It’s been a year since Max and I overcame our commitment fears and chased away our demons, a year in a blissful poly relationship with Steve. And now we’re all set to become four.
It should be the best time of my life, of our lives; trying for a baby with the two hot men who keep me warm at night.
But when Steve’s friend James arrives from London, an over-the-top-theatrical scene player with his own agenda, and a whole lotta history just waiting to reignite, Steve suddenly doesn’t seem like the guy we fell in love with.
He’s changing, morphing into a different man before our eyes.
***
Lauren Price is happy living with the two men she loves and life couldn’t be any sweeter. What started as just a little fun a year ago – a girl, two guys, and a whole lot of sex – has become a deep three-way love she hopes will last forever.
They want to be a four – Max, Lauren, Steve and their unborn baby. That’s what they said, that’s what they planned.
But life in love doesn’t follow the rules, and soon four doesn’t look quite like the three-plus-one Lauren intended it to be.

Purchase it

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Review

Heat: ★★★★
Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer’s note: although this can be read as a standalone, I would highly recommend reading the previous instalment first to fully immerse yourself into this poly relationship.

I will keep this particular review brief as I don’t want to give away any spoilers. What I will say about the plot is that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting, in fact it was much deeper and dealt with a topic not really touched upon by romance authors, and certainly not by erotica authors. Daiko transgressed some genre boundaries here, delivering yet another wonderfully sexy read, but this time with a much deeper emotional toll.

Aside from the plot, I find Daiko’s writing style to be quite formal, which sometimes takes a little time to properly reel me in, and at other times has made it difficult to emotionally invest myself in these characters, but due to the subject matter I didn’t have that problem in Four.

I still wish that we’d have had some chapters from Steve’s POV, though Daiko has addressed this in a recent blog post. I have to say I actually feel it would have strengthened the characterisation of Max and Lauren, to have seen them through Steve’s eyes, but understand the reasoning that Steve wears his emotions on his sleeve.

Whatever will be, will be, is my new motto; part of living beautifully is accepting the rough with the smooth in life and doing the best that you can.

A deeply bittersweet read, Daiko leaves you wet from both the vagina and the eyes. I’m looking forward to reading the prequel.

Drama, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance

RELEASE & REVIEW: Torrid Affair – Callie Anderson

torrid-affair-ebook-coverTorrid Affair by Callie Anderson
Series: standalone
Genre: romantic drama
Themes: affair

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I’m fucked.

The life I have lived for the past ten years is built solely on lies and secrets.

But I can’t help myself.

I’m in love with two different men. And one of them is my brother-in-law.

He’s my drug. My fire. My addiction.

But he’s married to my best friend. And I’m married to my husband.

I’m not ashamed. I have no guilt.

None.

I’m not fucked. I’m a fucked up person.

This is the story of how I ruined my life.

Purchase it

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Giveaway

There is a giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card

Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer’s note: this book is centred around an affair. Don’t read if that’s a hard limit for you. Don’t be a twat.

We should have been enemies. It would have been easier to hate him than to not fall in love with him.

I read the synopsis to this and had to read it. Like many others, I find reading about affairs to be a very tense and difficult thing, but I thought I’d put myself out there and really give it a go. And I’m glad I gave it the chance.

This novel is structured into three parts, with the first part taking up around 50% (but, also, for me, being the most interesting too). This large, slowly paced part was vital in understanding the characters and their long and dramatic histories and relationships, whilst also sowing the seeds for future events. It deals with Nate and Brielle’s meeting and all the student dramas following it. Now, I’m not a huge fan of young adult books and college romances, but Anderson dealt with this extremely maturely, successfully writing a book for adults despite much of it being set at this life stage.

The final two parts, set in the present day, were much quicker paced. If anything, I actually felt they were a little too quick, not allowing the same amount of build up and angst as the first. And I have to say that the climax was refreshingly unexpected for me, so it’s definitely worth sticking with until the end.

No matter how wrong a situation is, when your heart wants something, there isn’t anything you can do to fight it.

I also felt somewhat surprised that I didn’t have the emotional response I was expecting. This is largely due to the fact that I just didn’t like Del or Julian. Neither of them seemed to be worth of their spouses, thus I was simply rooting for Nate and Brielle the entire time without really caring that it was an affair. This is probably where I was a little disappointed, too. I was really braced for this gutting, devastating emotional pull which made my heart race, but it never quite reached that stage.

My dreams were a fairytale that ended with a bullshit happily ever after.

Overall, a strong affair romance which was let down slightly by its lack of emotional resonance, despite its originality.

Drama, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Torn – Carian Cole

Torn Ebook CoverTorn by Carian Cole
Series: Devils Wolves #1
Genre: romantic drama
Themes: forbidden love
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He’s loved me since the day I was born.
He’s taken care of me.
He’s awakened me.

Tor. My father’s best friend.
Fifteen years older than me, he’s always been my protector. The one I should never, ever want.
But I was born to be his.

She’s always loved me.
She’s shattered me.
She’s healed me.
Kenzi. My best friend’s daughter.
I held her the day she was born, and I never let go.
She’s forbidden to me. But she’s the only one that really gets me.
We’re slowly being torn apart by everything we love.
Everything we want.
Everything we desire.

And now I want the one thing I can’t have… I want her.

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Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★

I wish you weren’t who you are…

This forbidden love romance started off strong enough. I haven’t read Cole’s Ashes & Embers series, and although this spin-off does standalone, I feel that I would have had a deeper understanding of Asher’s character in this, and his past.

I’ll start by saying that I’m a sucker for forbidden romances. I love the drama, the inevitable anguish, and frankly, I love the taboo, too. And this novel had plenty of all of that. Mixed in was a rather emotional, heartbreaking subplot, which made this a recipe for a tearjerker. And, regardless of its flaws, the strength of the story really ensured that this was an enjoyable, slow-paced read.

The characters, although interesting, didn’t quite feel fully developed for me. They occasionally acted very out of character, with Asher towards the end saying and doing things that just didn’t fit the character built up for him. Similarly, I just couldn’t quite get Tor. There were a load of supporting characters which seemed to have their own massive problems too, and a lot of this just felt like a load of build-up for the sequels, rather than having relevance to the story.

I have no past without him, and no future without him.

Where I struggled most was with the writing. To me, the dialogue felt stilted, very forced and robotic; like dialogue being used as a narrative device for both telling the story and attempting to add complexities to the characters. For example, there were conversations between characters which, although an everyday occurrence in reality, simply aren’t necessary to the plot within the pages of a book, and rather than successfully make these characters seem more real, more layered, they instead just detracted from the overall storyline. There’s a fine line between attention to detail and the everyday for realism, and just plain overloading.

Similarly, there were a few occasions where it felt like Cole was trying too much with her language, attempting to make parts sound profound. Instead, it felt like I was reading something disjointed, a patchwork quilt with none of it quite matching but being put together regardless. I would have preferred a more relaxed narrative, something more fluid and easier to read.

We all let go. We followed our hearts. And we all ended up together again.

Yes, this novel had its flaws. It was by no means perfect. Yet, despite this, I still very much enjoyed immersing myself within this world and these characters lives, enjoying the storyline, even if parts just weren’t my cup of tea. Would I read the sequel? I think so, yes. And I’d like to read the original series, too.

Drama, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: In The Spur Of Heath – Sydney Ledger

in the spur of heathIn The Spur Of Heath – Sydney Ledger
Series: In The Spur Of Heath #1
Genre: romantic drama
Themes: forbidden love, friends to lovers, love triangle, unrequited love
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Two hot men, one confused girl and a shitload of emotional trauma; Never let two men fall in love with you, girls. It never ends well…

Reese Singh – the sarcastic, strong-willed Trini girl; a little mean, a little defiant, a little indecisive and a whole lot of fun.
Heath Andrews – the Australian sweetheart, the best friend. The beautiful, harmless soul, and slightly clueless crush of Reese.
Jake Cavanaugh – the seductive, gorgeous lecturer. A witty confidante with a heart of gold. Forever immaculately dressed, and a few haunting secrets up his sleeve.

In pursuit of love from her best friend, Heath; Reese, a free-spirited Trinidadian girl who migrated to the US to pursue a degree in Film, finds herself amidst an even bigger problem when she begins having an unexpected student-teacher affair with the most attractive teacher on campus, Jake Cavanaugh.

Internally conflicted by her love for Heath & her erotic relationship with Jake, things begin to spiral wildly out of control when Jake’s illusive past comes back to haunt him & their budding relationship. Forcing the ultimate decision…

The Best Friend or The Forbidden Love Affair?

A witty erotic romance with a touch of suspense, lots of drama and a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Contains strong sexual content, adult situations and language

Review

Heat: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Rating:
⭐ ⭐

We then slowly pulled away, our eyes still locked and that’s when I realised that it was more than just acting, it was real.

I really wanted to like this. The premise was great; I am a fan of love triangles when they are done well. I am a fan of forbidden love, when it’s done well. I’m a fan of friends to lovers, when it’s done well. I’m a fan of unrequited love, when it’s done well. The problem here is that there are too many themes and romantic tropes all chucked together. It’s like choosing all your favourite ingredients and mixing them together because they should taste great. But it’s not great; the flavours don’t work together, and it’s messy.

The novel opened up with a big infodump, rather than having these character descriptions and pasts weaved seamlessly into the narrative. Yet, once it feels like you get the hang of it and know where you’re going, something completely new is thrown in – in this case, a dose of crime and suspense – and just totally ruins the suspense of disbelief. Not to mention seeming completely out of character. With some of these aspects and themes removed, this novel would have probably been half the length and twice as readable.

I was in the spur of Heath, and with being in the spur of Heath, I eventually lost myself. I broke every bit of morality left in me because I wanted to have my cake and eat it too.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrative voice. There were too many exclamations, and despite it being in first person, this seemed to be an omniscient first person narrative. If the reader needed to know these details, it would have been more effective to either use different POVs or to come out of Reese’s brain and use a third person voice instead. There was also a lot of telling, not showing – I like to be able to make my own mind up about how to feel, rather than be told that particular things are sad or infuriating

Ledger is a new author, and there is certainly potential here. The killer climax, something I was absolutely not expecting, being one example. There was simply too much here to fully be able to invest in the characters, particularly when Reese herself became unrelatable and unlikeable in how long she messed around with these two.

Drama, New Adult, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance

RELEASE & REVIEW: I Can’t Die Alone – Regina Bartley

i can't die alone

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She was alone on a journey to find a man she’d never met. She had a backpack filled with three days worth of clothing, and old photograph, and a letter dated 1997. With one goal in mind she set out to find the man from the letter, the man named Benjamin Cooper. The only thing that she knew about this man was that he was married to her mother many years ago, and according to his letter he loved her. That was the only conformation she needed to search for him.

Tori Holt had no family left that she knew of, and one chance to find someone to share her last days with. Otherwise, she’d die alone. The doctors said she wouldn’t live to see her twenty-first birthday, the birthday that was only three months away. Time was not on her side, but she didn’t care. Tori knew right from the beginning that this journey wouldn’t be easy. But it didn’t stop her, because nothing about her life had been easy.

Then she met Bo, the handsome boy who kept her company on a park bench.
Bo was the son of a man named Benjamin, the man from a letter dated 1997.

The hardest part about finding love is letting it go.
The easiest part about the journey is the moment it all makes sense.

Purchase

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UK: http://amzn.to/2bi4EEZ

Review

Title: I Can’t Die Alone
Author: Regina Bartley
Series: standalone
Genre: new adult, romantic drama
Rating: 3/5

This is one of those novels dealing with a very difficult subject matter, hard to read for anyone in possession of a heart. I’m not embarrassed to say I cried pretty much all the way through, and that the final 25% I couldn’t actually see through my tears any more.

I think, however, the only real criticism I have is that it was too short a read. For something so heavy, extra time could have been devoted to developing both the characters and the relationships a little further. Because of the length, it felt like Bo and Tori fell for one another a little too quickly, and I didn’t have enough time to really explore either of the characters enough to really become invested and cry in a more gutted way. Regardless, this was a heartwarming but bittersweet journey, with an excellent premise.

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba3ffd551238

Drama, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance

RELEASE & REVIEW: Rounding Third – Michelle Lynn

Rounding Third Ebook Cover

Goodreads

I was destined for stardom.
From the age of seven, I was an all-star.
Parents praised me, coaches worshipped me.
As I got older, girls begged for me.
I was Beltline’s baseball God, guaranteed to put this small town on the map.

Then, after one night, that future vanished.

The legend was laid to rest.
I gave up my scholarship.
I fled from Beltline.
I left the girl behind.

Now, I’m back.

Purchase

US: http://bit.ly/RTAMZNUS
UK: http://bit.ly/RTAMZNUK
B&N: http://bit.ly/RoundingThirdNOOK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/RoundingThirdKOBO
iBooks: http://apple.co/2a64PBs

Excerpt

Jogging up the stairs to the second floor, I sneak into the back row of the classroom. I pull out my laptop and quickly catch up with the professor’s lecture. The guy a couple seats down passes a syllabus over, and when I turn to thank him, I’m reminded that nothing comes easy in my life.

“Is there a reason you were holding my girlfriend’s hand?” Ella’s boyfriend whispers, sliding into the open seat between us.

Well…shit.

“She won’t be your girlfriend for long,” my cockiness answers for me. My arrogance is a great intimidator that’s always worked in getting me what I want.

“Who are you?”

As his beady eyes try to daunt me, I get an up close look at him. I can see why El might have fallen for him. He’s a safe bet. Probably riding the coattails of his family’s money, paving his way with his arrogant little bitch frat brothers. It only assures me of one thing. I don’t have to fight him for El. This guy wouldn’t start a fight if I fucked her right in the middle of his bed. El is just a trophy to him. He doesn’t love her like I do.

“I’m just an old friend. We have a long history together.” I glance at him from the corner of my eye, offering him a quick wink.

His knuckles whiten as he clenches his pen. It couldn’t be more satisfying, knowing I’m getting under his skin.

His annoyed expression tells me that Ella hasn’t been so open about her life and her past. This guy doesn’t have a shot.

“She’s taken, so keep your hands to yourself.”

A few heads flip around after his voice heightens.

Not needing a professor to hate me on day one, I lean in closer to whisper in his ear, “I can’t make any promises. It’s nothing personal, believe me, but technically, she’s always been mine.” I ease back against my chair right as the professor’s eyes catch mine.

Liam’s head whips around, and I wait for him to ask me to take our discussion outside. But he cowers, like I knew he would.

“Try to steal her away from me, and see what happens,” he says.

“I’m not going to have to try hard. Your time with her was over the moment she saw me.”

The professor forcefully clears her throat, eyeing us. If we don’t end this conversation soon, we’ll both be kicked out.

“Don’t be so cocky, asshole. The fact that I don’t know anything about you, and the fact that she’s never mentioned your name, show what she really thinks of you.”

“You two”—the professor points, and a hundred pairs of eyes turn in our direction—“since you’re so chatty, maybe you should be conducting the lecture this morning?” She crosses her arms over her purple blouse and waits for our answer.

“Sorry, Professor Knight,” Douche Bag says.

“Sorry,” I say.

She nods and starts the lecture back up again, her eyes continuing to linger on us.

He slides over to his original seat.

I strike my earlier thought. I have no idea what El sees in this weak shithead.

I lean over the now vacant chair, testing my luck one final time. “Don’t worry. I’ll be around. We can continue this conversation soon.”

He scoffs me off, shaking his head. His fingers start tapping on the keys of his laptop as he accepts his defeat for this round.

Review

Title: Rounding Third
Author: Michelle Lynn
Series: Infield #1
Genre: second-chance romance, drama
Heat: 2/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Rating: 3/5

It took me a while to become emotionally invested in this one. There was such a dramatic backstory which, although served to advance the plot and explain the need for a second-chance, didn’t really impact emotionally on the present day story for me. More so when paired with flashbacks as a narrative device (really not keen on this; it irritates me to the extent of my not really caring what they are projecting). I also found some of the relationships to be pretty immature, and there were a few threads that just weren’t wrapped up in the end, such as Ella’s freshman year – though perhaps they will be addressed in the sequel. The characters on the baseball team were nicely fleshed out, if not again a bit irritating with their childish behaviour.

I enjoyed it more towards the end, when I found myself a little anxious for Crosby, but for me there were too few likeable supporting characters, or at least characters with redeeming qualities, to really be invested in this. Having said that, I am still interested in the sequel and seeing where this series goes. It has potential.