Excerpts, New Adult, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance

Out now! Back to Yesterday – Whitney Barbetti

coverBack to Yesterday by Whitney Barbetti
Series: Bleeding Hearts #2
Genre: new adult, romance
Themes: second chance
Release date: 20th October, 2016

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The distance from Colorado to Maine is not far enough to escape the memories.
The time I’ve been away is not long enough to heal the pain.
I left Colorado, determined to discover who I am outside of my grief, but I fell apart along the way.
I’m lost again.

When Jude follows me, I can’t turn him away. But I can’t let him in, either.
Not all the way.
I know when he finds out my secret, the one I keep hidden in the darkest part of my heart, he’ll leave me.
Alone.
Like I was before.

Purchase it

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Sneak Peek

“Are you okay?”

He laughed, but it was without humor. He dropped his head and stared at his plate as I had minutes earlier. “Am I okay?” Shaking his head, he said, “No, I’m not fucking okay.” He pushed away from the table hard enough that the screech of the chair across the wooden floor startled me. Jude was always so steady, and while he wasn’t necessarily predictable, he wasn’t prone to outbursts of anger like this. He picked up his plate and walked to the sink and I stared at his back, willing him to talk to me. But I couldn’t ask that of him.

Picking up my plate, I debated what to do. It was surreal almost, being in Jude’s apartment but not touching him the way I wanted to. Finally, I joined him at the sink as he worked a sponge into a lather and swiped it across his plate. “Let me do it,” I said softly, reaching a hand in to take the sponge from him.

He let go of the plate and clasped my forearm as I reached into the sink. His touch was gentle as he turned my wrist over and rubbed a thumb slowly across the length of my vein, visible through my translucent skin. I could only hold my breath as he touched me like this, like he was memorizing the blue lines that ran the length of my forearm. His hands were warm, searching, and I realized that I’d been yearning for this, for the simple act of him touching my skin like it was delicate. His fingers moved down, and my closed fist opened to give him access to my palm, where he traced the lines in my hands. It was so intimate, even in its simplicity, that all I could do was watch him as he examined my hands. “I’ve missed you,” he said in a voice that was just short of a whisper. My heart turned over as he bent my fingers gently back into my fist and rubbed his soapy fingers over the knuckles.

When he let go of my hand and turned away from me, I felt goose bumps ignite across my skin. All I wanted was for him to keep touching me, but I’d hurt him. And he’d hurt me.

We had miles of pain between the two of us, and even though we were no longer miles apart, that pain existed between us like another person, holding both of us back.

“I missed you too,” I said too late, when I’d caught my breath again.

“Please,” he pleaded as he rinsed the plate in his hands. “I can’t hear you say that right now.”

Nodding, I backed away. I understood. This wasn’t the time or place, and we were little more than strangers right now. I was a new Trista, someone he had never known.

Likely, someone he didn’t want to know.

Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★

Reviewer’s note: this does not standalone. The first instalment is Into the Tomorrows and must be read first.

I’ve been waiting for this follow-up to Jude and Trista’s cliffhanger for what feels like ages. The first book in this series was something I’ve never quite read before, and something that has stayed with me. Although I enjoyed this follow up, I have to say that I found it slightly disappointing– mainly due to the characters.

One step forward, one breath out. One dream gone, one hope forgotten. A thousand wishes lost once they’d left my lips. He’d been in almost every one.

I feel like there is a slight discrepancy between the Jude from the first book and the Jude in this one – largely because, in my mind, he would never allow Trista to keep running due to his worry for her. Whereas he was more of a rock and offered a new, optimistic life in ITT, in BTY he was distant (both physically and emotionally), and didn’t have as much of an effect emotionally. I didn’t like Charlotte, and the absence of Milla and Colin was actually surprisingly noticeable.

Jude was a forever kind of guy. He wasn’t the guy you hooked up with on your quest for the last guy. He was the last guy. And in many ways, he was the first guy for me.

Similarly, because Trista was largely on her own, in contrast with ITT which had a significant focus on the relationships within the group, I struggled to remain as engaged with her. And she alone I found hideously irritating. She went from being strong, trying to sort her life out, to becoming obsessed with her victimhood and almost proud of her suffering, doing absolutely nothing to help herself when I was expecting/hoping for her to come out fighting.

Loneliness was my most loyal companion, and I didn’t want to drown it in a relationship just for the sake of not being alone.

I didn’t hate it; I was just left disappointed at reading about someone so obsessed with and tied up in her grief, and I felt that in some respects the events here were a little forced. I wanted the slow, meandering storyline and finding comfort with nature despite grief and the hardships of life – exploring Trista’s mind like the first book. I wanted my heart to ache again, but I never quite got there.

Bleeding Hearts series

  1. Into the Tomorrows
  2. Back to Yesterday
Erotic Romance, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance

Out now! Review: Bang Gang – Jade West

bang-gangBang Gang by Jade West
Series: standalone
Genre: erotic romance
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It’s one thing knowing your ex-boyfriend is a bit of a player, but it’s another thing altogether to find out he’s pimping himself out to anyone who’ll pay good money for it.

Not just himself, either. That would be far too regular for Darren Trent.

Darren Trent – my teenage sweetheart and father to my two young girls – is not just whoring himself out. Oh no. Darren Trent pimps himself out alongside four of his mechanic friends – all of them at the same time.

Five hot, sweaty mechanics at your service.

They call themselves the Bang Gang… you can imagine.

In a village our size I should keep my head down and hope the scandal blows over before the girls or my poor old Nanna catch wind of it.

Only it’s not blowing over. Far from it. It seems every woman in the village wants themselves a five-mechanic sandwich.

They make no qualms about it, either. Just rock on up to my café counter and ask how they can book themselves in for a Bang Gang special. Like I would know.

I definitely wouldn’t know. I hardly even know Darren Trent anymore. We split up a lifetime ago.

I definitely don’t think about him late at night. Don’t think about five mechanics and me as much as every other woman in this village.

And even if I did, I wouldn’t act on it. I wouldn’t draw the money from my savings account and have a go for myself.

And even if I did that. I definitely, definitely wouldn’t fall for him. Not again. Not after everything we went through. Not after splitting up the first time nearly brought me to my knees.

Not after settling into a decent routine, the girls and me, with no drama, no heartbreak, no crazy passions to rock the calm little boat we’re sailing on.

I mean, who would be stupid enough to risk all that over a hot, sweaty, oily bit of rough like Darren Trent?

Purchase it

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Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★

I want to start this review by saying that it took me a while to decide whether to rate this as a three or four star read. I went with three in the end, for reasons I will explain – despite having immensely enjoyed reading it.

I’d loved Jodie Symmonds when she’d forgotten how to love herself. I thought I’d loved her enough for both of us. But no. Life fucking sucks like that.

During the first half of the book, I was emotionally invested in the lives of these characters. I am deeply in love with Darren Trent (I appear to have a thing for the quiet, manly types who don’t quite understand how to be expressive), and I thought Jo was fabulous, too. I loved the fact that this book dealt with slightly older characters, with children – both of whom were deliciously developed, too.

I really, really enjoyed the slow burn, the details about their everyday lives, separate from one another, mixed with the gorgeous chemistry West is so brilliant at conveying through the pages. I loved how realistic their lives and characters were at this stage, and I was absolutely desperate for them to work it out – I’m a total sucker for a second-chance romance, and this was no different. And at this stage, I wassure this would be either a four or five star read.

Hard to feel lucky when you’re seeing your forever every fucking day as you hand your girls over and knowing you fucking blew it.

The second half, however, was a little disappointing for me. West’s trademark filthy sex scenes were massively toned down – and although I understand that she wanted the focus to be more on the romance, this is, in my opinion, the aspect of her writing that I actually enjoy the most. Yes, there were some erotic scenes, but there was nothing particularly special about them. And I missed that. I’d have like to have seen this deep, emotional love story with more filth, even if it isn’t quite to the same extent as, say, the Dirty Bad series.

Similarly, I found that there was quite a lot of forced angst here. From Mia’s issues at the Rally, to batshit crazy Lorraine’s ridiculous manipulation and one-dimensional development. It all felt very melodramatic and frustrating, and this is, unfortunately, where it lost the beautiful realism for me.

Five men. I’d be having the Bang Gang special.

A second-chance story to get invested in, Bang Gang is, no doubt, a good read from West. I just wish the second half had matched the excitement the first half had given me.

Drama, Reviews, Romance, Sales

Sale & Review: Calico – Callie Hart

calicoCalico by Callie Hart
Series: standalone
Genre: romantic drama
Themes: second chance
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Coralie

Twelve years ago, I ran to stay alive.

Port Royal, South Carolina, was my home. I was born there. I fell in love there. And I nearly died there. I never thought I’d go back. Now, after so many years, I have to return to bury the man who made my life a living hell. Some nights, I used to cry myself to sleep, praying my father would die. Other nights were different. Other nights, there was him.

Callan Cross.

My first confidante. My first kiss. My first love. My first everything: Callan was the glue that held me together when everything else was falling apart. He was my savior. He was there for me whenever I needed him…

Until he wasn’t.

Every night, I’ve seen the love of my life in my sleep.
I just never thought I’d have to face him again.

Callan

Twelve years ago, I f*#@ed up big time.

Living life through a camera lens is sometimes easier than dealing with it head on. Scratch that. It’s always easier. For over a decade, I’ve been a master of my art, taking photographs all over the world. Yet despite all of the countries I’ve visited, the amazing things I’ve seen, the beautiful women I’ve screwed, my heart has remained in pieces.

Coralie’s the only woman I’ve ever loved, will ever love. And I’m determined to show her that we’re meant to be together. Even if it means unearthing the bones of the past in the process.

A lifetime and a thousand miles have stood between us.
Now, there’s no length of time I won’t wait, no distance I won’t travel, in order to make her mine.

Purchase it (99c and FREE on KU)

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Review (taken from the pre-blog Goodreads archives)

★★★★★

I don’t give out five star reviews lightly. Never before have I felt a book affect me in such a way. Callie Hart has a knack for creating characters with the realistic rawness and darkness that many others lack. This was a struggle to read at points, conveying the all-consuming need to feel alive again, and the utter emptiness of the two lead characters unbelievably well.

I have never felt so strongly towards book characters before, and it is a testament to Callie’s writing that she managed to create such a complex but perfect relationship. I have to say that Callan Cross is my new book boyfriend (though perhaps I should amend it to my ‘story soul mate’, as ‘book boyfriend’ sounds too casual for my feelings towards him!).

I cried, I laughed, and my heart hurt whilst reading this. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Excerpts, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance, Suspense

RELEASE & REVIEW: Retrieval – Aly Martinez

retrieval-alyRetrieval by Aly Martinez
Series: The Retrieval Duet #1
Genre: romantic suspense
Themes: second chance
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One story. Two couples.

I proposed on our first date.
She laughed and told me I was insane. Less than a day later, she said yes.
It was a whirlwind, but we were happy…
Until we got greedy and wanted a family.

It was a life I couldn’t give her, not for lack of trying. Fertility just wasn’t on our side. We sought out doctors and treatments. Spent money we didn’t have. Lied to our families. Smiled for our friends. Put on a brave face for a world that didn’t understand.
Finally, we were successful…
Until we were forced to bury our son.

We were left broken, battered, and destroyed.
They say love is in the details, but it was the details that ruined us.

This is the story of how I took back what had always been mine.
The retrieval of my wife and our family.

Excerpt

“Where’d you get beer?” Elisabeth asked as she scrambled from the couch.

“Seth,” I replied, hanging my head and rubbing my eyes.

Jesus, I’d wanted to kiss her. She was being a bitch, spouting shit she didn’t mean just because she was too scared to let me in.

But, even through it, those plump lips were calling to me.

I’d never been able to resist that woman. Despite that we’d fallen apart, it hadn’t changed. The hum for her was still in my veins. It never went away, but for two years, it had been dormant. I’d packed it down so tightly that I’d hoped it had died. But, with one look, my body began thrumming like a live wire.

“Seth?” she asked as she bent over to straighten her tight, black pencil skirt.

It was a rare occasion to catch Elisabeth in something other than a perfectly pressed skirt and a pair of heels. But she’d been sleeping all day. It was wrinkled all to hell and back. The only thing her efforts succeeded in was drawing my attention down to her legs.

Legs that had spent many nights wrapped around my hips as she came while crying my name.

Shit. I should go.

But, after the way she’d latched on to me that morning, I wasn’t going anywhere.

“My assistant,” I answered. “I had him pick you up a bottle of wine, too.”

She blinked. “You have an assistant? Who delivers you beer? And your ex-wife wine?”

“No, I have an assistant who does whatever the fuck I need him to do. And, luckily for us, beer and wine happen to fall into the whatever-the-fuck-I-need-him-to-do category tonight.” She fought back a smile as I finished, “So do gyros.”

“Damn. I need to get one of those,” she mumbled to herself.

I smirked. “Cash my checks and you could afford one.”

It was a dick move, bringing up the money right then. But, despite her expert hand in decorating, that little starter house we’d bought with rose-colored glasses now needed a shit-ton of work.

Her back shot ramrod straight, fury crinkling the corners of her eyes as she snarled, “I’m not cashing your checks.”

I shrugged. “Guess you’ll have to figure out how to get your own wine and dinner after tonight.”

“I think I can manage,” she fired back.

“Suit yourself.” I pushed off the couch and meandered to the kitchen.

I went to the fridge and leaned in, searching for anything I could snack on. With the exception of at least a dozen Tupperware containers, she didn’t have much in the way of a quick bite.

Snagging a handful of grapes from the drawer, I made a mental note to send Seth to the grocery store after he’d delivered dinner.

Popping the grapes in my mouth one by one, I felt her watching me in what could only be defined as silent awe. I decided my best move would be to ignore it. “You know, I should have invented Tupperware. You alone could keep me in business,” I told her, retrieving a beer and then shutting the door.

She scoffed then muttered, “At least then I would have benefitted from you abandoning our marriage.”

Lava fresh off the volcanoes in Hell boiled in my veins.

I cocked my head to the side and questioned, “I’m sorry. Come again?”

“You should go,” she snapped.

Think a-fucking-gain.

“Nah, I’m good. Got any movies?”

I tipped the bottle to my lips, doing my best to calm the storm brewing within me, all while still fighting the desire to take her to the floor, plant myself between her legs, and remind her how that fucking attitude affected me.

Clearly, she had forgotten.

My cock had not.

“Roman, it’s been a crazy day. Please don’t do this tonight.”

“Do what?” I asked, leaning back against the huge, granite island.

She threw her hands out to the sides in frustration. “What you always do.”

“What do I always do, Lissy?”

“This!” she yelled.

I frowned and took another pull from my beer. “Haven’t been in our kitchen, drinking beer, in a long time. I hardly think it’s fair to say I always do it.”

Her eyes nearly bulged from her head. “My kitchen, Roman. This is my kitchen. Not ours. And you know good and damn well that is not what I’m talking about.”

My lips twitched as I pointed the neck of my bottle at her. “No. What I know good and damn well is that I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Or why you’re slinging unnecessary and, might I add, undeserved attitude at me like a short-order cook at the bitch house.”

“He did not say that to me,” she whispered to herself.

When I lifted a shoulder in a half shrug, she swung a pointed finger toward the door and yelled, “Get out!”

I grinned, crossing my legs at the ankle. “You always were cranky when you were hungry.”

And that was the exact moment her head exploded.

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Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★★

Never in a million years had I thought I’d be standing there, watching her walk away.

Never before have I started reading a book and felt my heart hurt so much. The opening to this was just one of the most devastating things I have ever read, and I immediately knew I’d be absolutely hooked.

What I appreciated the most about the first part of this duet is its originality. I found it refreshing to read a story from three different POVs, interlinked through the events of the subplot. All three characters were wonderfully complex, put in the most awful situations and struggling to put their lives back together – and who doesn’t like reading a story about this? The beginning of Elisabeth and Roman’s relationship is basically everything I ever dreamed of growing up, and it’s a very different and devastating feeling to start a novel watching such perfection fall apart. This is a different sort of second-chance romance, and I absolutely blitzed through it as I needed it to work out. I also can’t wait to explore more of Clara’s story in the sequel, her own life devastating in an entirely different way.

I’d always been amazed by how much punishment a heart could take. I was broken, battered, and destroyed. And yet, much to my dismay, as I watched the front door close behind her, my heart kept beating.

I think, in some respects, this could have done with being a longer read. There were a few more layers here which I’d have liked to have been explored, particularly Elisabeth’s relationship with Jon, and maybe a little more angst regarding Elisabeth and Roman’s present journey – but this is all likely to be included in the sequel. Similarly, I managed to guess the slight plot twist at the end, but this didn’t detract from my reading of the story in any way.

Although this is the first book I’ve read by Martinez, it definitely won’t be the last. She has a superb style of writingthat just forces one to keep reading, and the fact that she managed to make me care about two characters so much just from the opening is evidence alone of her skill.

Would I read the sequel? Um…yes. Yes.YES. I WANT IT NOW.

Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Let The Waves Come In – J.L. Leslie

let the waves come in

Let The Waves Come In by J.L. Leslie
Series: standalone in a series
Genre: romance
Theme: second-chance, love triangle
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I’m Aubrey Somers. I’ve landed my dream job. I have a great apartment and I still keep in touch with my best friend…even though he lives hundreds of miles away. I’ve even started dating again. I have a lot going for me.

It doesn’t matter that I have to take an anti-depressant everyday or see a therapist every other week. It doesn’t matter that I refuse to drive anywhere. The wreck that ruined everything I had is almost a distant memory. Almost.

But now I have two men in my life. Two men who want to be with me. Two men I never thought I’d have the chance to be with. And I feel like I’m drowning…

This book contains explicit language and sexual scenes. It is meant for adult readers only.

Review

Heat: ⭐
Plot: 
Rating: 

Having read the blurb, I went into this book expecting a gritty read, a struggle with depression at the forefront with a romance and love triangle thrown in. As it was, Aubrey’s depression (and indeed Declan’s PTSD) was barely mentioned. I would have enjoyed it more had it been a little darker and dealing more with these sensitive topics which were clearly aspects of these characters’ lives. Instead, Aubrey was distracted with a love triangle, of which one member just wasn’t human and likeable enough for me to really care for. I like my love triangles to tear me apart internally, to fall for both characters and have to make the impossible choice along with the protagonist.

Other than that, the writing and pacing were strong (apart from a habit of every fifth sentence being italicised despite being written in first person and in the characters’ heads anyway) and it was an easy book to read. I enjoyed it enough to want to read the sequel, but it just fell a little flat emotionally for me. I found the best parts were written from Declan’s viewpoint, because these tended to hold the most anguish and were the only times I really managed to feel a bit of a pang. I think my main issue overall was just that I was expecting a very different book.

Erotic Romance, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance, Suspense

RELEASE & REVIEW: Inevitable – A.S. Roberts

inevitable

Goodreads
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Dirty talking, tattooed Nathan Blackmore has it all, at least that’s what he wants everyone to believe. Six months ago the only woman he has ever loved walked out of his life. This super bike rider vowed never to look back and never to give his love again. Nathan’s self destruct button was pressed.

But that was then and this is now.

When Nathan and Bella Carpenter come face to face all the old feelings resurface. Bella, an investigative journalist, has a secret. A secret that has come back to haunt her, she needs to disappear, and disappear quickly. With her life possibly in danger the only person she can trust, no longer trusts her.

He wants the truth.
She is determined to keep her secret.
But what they both feel makes their passion inevitable.

Purchase

Amazon: http://amzn.to/29B6Ghh
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01HVGLC0M/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HVGLC0M/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01HVGLC0M/

Excerpt

‘Bugger!’ I exclaimed out loud, as once again I dropped the stunning antique pearl necklace I was supposed to be wearing as part of my bridesmaid garb. Alex had presented it to me yesterday as his gift to the bridesmaid and I was in love with it already. The pearls were large but not ostentatious, and they had a pretty almost golden creamy quality to them, but the clasp was frustrating me. Either that or I was all fingers and thumbs after my last encounter with Nathan. The pit of my stomach was still somersaulting at his words and actions towards me.

Was it possible to love and hate someone at the same time?

I was beginning to think that it most definitely was. I know he was hurt, but did he have to be so extremely cruel and hateful towards me? I was starting to hate him, the way he was treating me was brutal, but somewhere deep down inside I knew that I still preferred his torture of me to being ignored by him.

What did that make me? Some kind of masochist? It beggared belief.

I was fumbling around on the floor next to my large bed, on my hands and knees, trying to find the necklace, as it had bounced off somewhere out of my view.

‘Mmmm… my favourite position for submission.’ The deep voice of my willing tormentor filled my normally quiet and calm space. I sat up quickly and stared at the physical specimen filling nearly the entirety of the oak doorframe. I had never seen a smart Nathan before and he was quite simply stunning. Navy blue tailored trousers and a white button-down collared shirt, which was untucked and only buttoned in the middle, revealing his abs at the base and his tattoos at the top and the sleeves were rolled up, showing his heavily tattooed forearms. His hair was still wet, from the shower I presumed, and for the first time that I’d ever seen, his hair was smart and not sporting the just-fucked look he normally wore so well. My eyes ran the entire length of him and I took in his turned up trousers and bare feet. Typical Nathan, he was smart for the wedding but had added little twists to his outfit that just of screamed of his attitude and non-compliance.

Recovering slightly from the feelings he churned up inside me, I managed to retort, ‘I believe my door was closed, I didn’t hear you knock… what the hell do you want?’ Standing up now and clasping my necklace tightly in my fisted hand, I stared at the man now invading my privacy with his mere presence. He moved and prowled towards me, eating up the space between us. Once he had entered my personal space, I heard him inhale deeply.

‘Here, let me,’ he offered, as he held his calloused fingers out, to take the necklace from me. Semi-reluctantly, I handed it over to him, but with a sense of relief that I could now legitimately turn my back to him and close my eyes. My hair had been put up earlier by the hairdresser and it had lots of loose tendrils that I knew he would have to move or pick up one by one, to avoid them being tangled in the necklace. What I hadn’t considered, was the time he would take doing it. It was like some strange, extremely erotic foreplay. The necklace was placed gently around my neck, caressing my collarbones, then it was pulled tight so quickly I gasped, my eyes opened and my hand flew to my throat. As the necklace was competently fastened and then released, the coldness of each pearl touched my burning skin. He lifted each curl and tendril slowly and separately, stroking them between his fingertips and then replacing them gently over the top of the pearls. Each touch of his rough fingertips sent electric currents coursing through my system and my bare arms broke out immediately in goose bumps. I knew that no one else had ever made me feel the way he did, and unfortunately no one else would probably ever do so again. Suddenly Nathan pulled me to him, my back to his front, and immediately I felt the lined contours of his rock hard body and his erection as it stabbed into the small of my back. With my increased breathing rate, I knew I had told him everything I had been trying so hard to keep from him.

As if he had ever been in any doubt.

My body sang out loudly to his whenever we were within sight of each other. That’s what he did to me plain and simple and my avoidance, it seemed, was futile.

‘A pearl necklace… eh, Bella? I remember the last one I fucking gave to you as you begged me for my cock… and by the way you’re trembling in front of me now, I know that you damn well remember it, too.’ I felt his breath in my ear as he whispered to me, my core muscles tightening involuntarily.

My Grecian-style dress was sleeveless and crossed over my boobs. He easily removed the straps from my shoulders and replaced them with his large hands, moving but barely touching my skin, every moment was the torture he so obviously meant it to be. Not for the first time, I felt it was possible for me to spontaneously combust at his touch. The feeling of pleasure was quickly replaced by a sudden burst of sublime pain, as Nathan bit down on my shoulder and then very quickly licked the place where abruptly every nerve ending had seemingly gathered.

‘I could make you cum… here and now…’ Nathan’s rasping whisper filled the shell of my ear and broke my trance.

‘Bella… Are you coming? Frankie needs you.’ Ruby’s voice got louder as she came closer to my room. ‘Oh… everything OK in here?’ she added. I couldn’t see her but knew she was now poised in the doorway taking in the scene.

‘Yep…she’s nearly coming aren’t you, darlin,’ added the bastard behind me, as he placed the straps back onto my shoulders, effectively covering up his mark I knew I would be wearing. Almost in a sleep walking state I took one step forward away from him and turned, I picked up my grandmother’s pearl-earrings box from on top of the quilt cover and called out to the retreating figure, ‘Ruby… wait up, please… Thank you, Nathan, for your assistance.’

I hurried out of the stifling room and fell into step with Ruby, who offered me a concerned look. I shook my head at her and tried to convince her with a broad smile that it was nothing. I could still hear Nathan laughing behind me as I knocked on Frankie and Alex’s door. I opened it and plastered a mask onto my face.

‘I’m here, gorgeous girl… sorry about the delay… I was having trouble doing up my necklace. Here’s your something borrowed.’

Review

Title: Inevitable
Author: A.S. Roberts
Series: Fated #2 (can standalone. Unsure of series’ official name but this novel links in with FATED)
Genre: erotic romance, second-chance, suspense
Heat: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Rating: 3/5

I really did have a lot of fun reading this book. The characters were enticing and the plot was strong and always interesting. Despite the majority of the novel being a sort of road trip, the secrets revealed throughout ensured that it was never boring, and the climax was nicely satisfying. The sex scenes were wonderfully erotic, and Nathan really had a fabulously filthy mouth on him. In fact, the plot and characters were so strong that it made up for the downsides pretty significantly. A.S. Roberts is still a new author, and this does show in her writing, which for me was a little clumsy and I had to re-read a few paragraphs now and again, feeling that I’d missed something. There were a few too many exclamation, question and ellipsis marks thrown in, along with some rather specific pop culture/brand references which were a little unnecessary and simply detracted from the plot. Also – no one says “bloody” quite that often (and I say this as a Limey myself). Roberts has a lot of potential here, and is definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/81aa78941009/

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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

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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.

Crime, Dark, Release Blitz, Reviews, Romance, Suspense

RELEASE & REVIEW – Wicked Mafia Prince – Annika Martin

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Goodreads

Viktor

You were the love of my life.
Beautiful and radiant.
Then you betrayed our mafiya family—the only family we ever knew.
Grief-stricken, I did the honor killing.
Quick and vicious.
Your heart no longer beating. Mine ripped to shreds.
When I discovered you were innocent, I was destroyed.

Now, years later—somehow, impossibly—there you are, alive.
The nun who prays and never shows her face.
Trapped on the other side of a webcam.
How can it be?
They think I’m obsessed. Imagining ghosts.
But I’ll always know you.
I’ll always know my Tanechka.

Purchase

US: http://amzn.to/29SmTTJ
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Google Play: http://bit.ly/2a4zaTx

Review

Title: Wicked Mafia Prince
Author: Annika Martin
Series: Dangerous Royals #2
Genre: crime, dark, romance, suspense
Rating: ****

I’m very much enjoying the criminal world Martin has formed, fully fleshed out with brilliant characters and a fantastic plot. I just wish the instalments were a little longer, allowing the suspense to be drawn out and relationships to slowly come back together. Similarly, it would have been nice to have seen a bit more of Mira in this one. Despite this, I’m absolutely invested in these people and their darkness, the brutality and the romance and comfort found within that. I’m excited to continue within this world, as a lot more can be taken and consumed from it; this series is shaping up to be something great.

Blog Tours, Drama, Reviews, Romance

TOUR & REVIEW: Until Harry – L.A. Casey

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Goodreads

He was my best friend, my best not-really-big-brother, and my best protector.

He was my best everything.

He was mine.

Coming home is hard for Lane. Hard because Harry, her beloved uncle, has died suddenly, but also because of him. Kale.

Kale Hunt has been her best friend since childhood. But it was never that simple. He was Lane’s reason for leaving home and moving to New York. Seeing him with someone else, in love with someone else, shouldn’t have hurt. But it did. It really, really did. So she upped sticks and left, started a new life and cut herself off from her past.

But now she’s back, and all the feelings are right there. As if she had never left.

Emotions are running high for everyone, and tragedy has a funny way of bringing people together. But is Lane reading the signs right? Are they still just friends, or is there something more?

Excerpt

I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose as I reread the letter from my brother for the millionth time since I received it two days ago. It stated two things. One, my uncle passed away. My godfather and dear friend was gone. And two, I had to go home.

I wasn’t jumping for joy about either fact.

I looked up from the worn paper Lochlan’s letter was scribbled upon and gazed out the window of the train I was sitting inside.

The Yorkshire’s countryside passed me by, and in seconds I was lost in the green beauty of it. Unfortunately, the glamour of the never-ending dreamlike view wasn’t enough to mask the pain in my chest. The horrendous agony quickly brought me back to the present, and it screamed that I couldn’t run from it.

Not this time, Lane, a sour voice in my mind hissed. You can’t escape this.
Nothing beautiful to the naked eye or soothing to the delicate ear could erase the inevitable reality I would soon have to face head on. I shifted in my seat as my stomach roiled at the thought of what the next few days entailed.

Why did this have to happen? I glumly wondered.

Review

Title: Until Harry
Author: L.A. Casey
Series: standalone
Category: second-chance, friends-to-lovers, unrequited love, drama
Rating: ****

Another deeply emotional read and a top one of 2016. Although very dramatic and difficult to read in places due to the events depicted, this was a heartwarming and optimistic story of internal strength and living life to the fullest. It is about coming to terms with death and love, both in the book’s present and past, and the way the secrets unfolded was wonderful to experience.

This is the first book I’ve read by L.A. Casey, despite many recommendations, but it will definitely not be the last. I was highly impressed with the complexities of the characters and the reasons for the starting positions of Kale and Lane at the beginning, and enjoyed watching them finding their way back to one another whilst reading about their past and really getting invested in their relationship.

If you fancy a heartwarming sob-fest, this is the one for you.

Giveaway