Audio Review with Giveaway: Texas Family (Texas Series, Book 4) by R.J. Scott

Narrator: Sean Crisden
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Length: 4hrs 19 mins
Texas Series
The Heart of Texas (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK

Texas Winter (Book #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Blurb:

Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes begin a journey that will change their lives forever.

Set against the backdrop of the Double D, the cast of the Texas audiobooks face changes that won’t leave a single one of them untouched.

Jack and Riley want to extend their small family of three. Their first choice is surrogacy with Jack as the father, and when all this begins smoothly both men can’t help but contemplate at what point would things go wrong. After all, their lives are far from normal, and nothing is ever smooth.

Add a small four-year-old boy in foster care into the mix, and suddenly things become a whole lot more complicated.

four-stars

I really enjoyed this one as much as book 1. It is book four and I am still shipping Riley and Jack Campbell Hayes. These two continue to be a great place in their relationship and we got more emotional moments in this installment. I love what the author R.J. Scott did in this book, adding to the foundation of the main couple and expanding their family. I also love that author writes realistic relationship and family dynamics, nothing over the top and ridiculous. The narrator Sean Crisden did a great job delineating the various characters. I was able to follow each story with no mix-ups.

Riley and Jack are at a point in their marriage where they decided to expand their family. This story takes us through the process as the couple finds a surrogate, deal with their individual as well as collective fears as a gay couple having a child in Texas.

My favorite part of this story was how the surrogate really made it a seamless process. She was communicative and kind as Riley and Jack navigated this new terrain. I was both excited, happy and full of angst for the couple. the new children will definitely make the next book very interesting because the Campbell-Hayes family really grew in size. I was hoping for more clarity with Eden and Sean. This couple has been struggling for some time and I thought this book would deal with it but it wasn’t really resolved. I still found this journey endearing and entertaining.

If you want a romance that revolves around family with a western feel, you will love this story.

Ezi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Audioreview: Lingus by Mariana Zapata

Narrator: Callie Dalton

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Lingus by Mariana Zapata
Release Date: October 26, 2016
Format: Audiobook (10 hrs and 49 mins)
Genre: Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio

Blurb: Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn’t know.

“My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn.”

When 25-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she’s both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expects is to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship and a love born out of the most unexpected of places.

four-stars

The blurb/synopsis doesn’t accurately describe the heart of this novel nor does it do the love story justice. The porn convention was a backdrop to a friends to lover trope.

Katherine Berger goes to a porn convention with her bestie and while she was attempting to discretely pick her panties out of her butt, a guy named Tristan saw her. Tristan began teasing her and it was a beginning of a friendship and later romance. If you have listened to a Mariana Zapata book, you know that the journey to love tends to be longer and slower than the norm. Usually I enjoy the ride but this book felt longer than the previous books by the author. I liked the friendship but it was always clear that Kat wanted more than his friendship and was waiting around for Tristan to want her back. I loved the humor, I also loved the friendship but I found Tristan underdeveloped. We never really got to know him as Robby Lingus and I didn’t believe people in law school or law firms wouldn’t find out his job. Tristan seemed a tad antisocial but I would have liked to get to know his layers more. I know an ex-girlfriend led him into porn, and he was using it to pay for school. He clearly didn’t care for it but he never really talked about it. Kat, her dad, and their bond was explored along with her loving relationship with her girlfriends showed with care and precision. Tristan was really the unknown in this equation.

With that said, I laughed listening to this audiobook.  Mariana Zapata has a gift in building realistic relationships. This story was special because the friendships were authentic. The friendship between Kat and her girlfriends as well as Kat and Tristan was so real to me. I felt elated and satisfied when Kat and Tristan finally took the leap together.  I will read any and everything this author releases. I enjoy her work that much and I always know the journey to the happy ending will be worth it.

Ezi

Release Day Review: A World Apart by Mel Gough

Source: NineStar Press

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: A World Apart by Mel Gough
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Pages: • Format: Kindle e-arc (196 pages)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: NineStar Press
Purchase Links: •NineStar Press Amazon US

Synopsis: Ben Griers is the darling of Corinth Georgia’s Police Department—intelligent, handsome, and hardworking. Thanks to his beautiful wife and clever daughter, Ben’s family is the envy of the town. Yet desperate unhappiness is hiding just below the surface.

When Donnie Saunders, a deadbeat redneck with a temper, is brought to the Corinth PD as a suspect in a hit-and-run, Ben finds himself surprisingly intrigued by the man. He quickly establishes Donnie’s innocence but can’t shake the feeling that Donnie is hiding something. When they unexpectedly encounter each other again at an AA meeting in Atlanta, sparks begin to fly.

With his marriage on the verge of collapse, Ben is grateful for the other man’s affection. But he is soon struggling to help an increasingly vulnerable Donnie, while at the same time having to deal with the upheaval in his own life. Ben eventually realizes that they cannot achieve happiness together unless they confront their darkest secrets.

two-half-stars

I would describe reading this book as getting into a vehicle where the author took me on a high-speed car chase where I was hoping it would end well but my heart was in my stomach a lot.

It started with a very dramatic courtroom scene. The entire book, I kept waiting for the courtroom scene to tie in, but it didn’t really impact the story as I thought it would. There was such potential but it wasn’t realized here as there was no real foundation laid for this romance nor real chemistry between the characters.

The main characters met when Police Officer Ben Griers saw his best friend and fellow officer Jason being overly aggressive with a suspect. Ben stepped in and insisted that Jason release the suspect Donnie Saunders since Jason had no evidence connecting Donnie to an alleged hit-and-run accident. Donnie was grateful and went on his way. It seemed that something passed between them although it felt like sympathy, a bit of pity and gratitude.

Later at an AA meeting, Ben ran into Donnie and there was a recognition of sorts. Two struggling people trying to find their way out of their predicaments. Ben was having problems in his marriage so the reader was supposed to understand why and how Donnie evoked feelings that seemed dead in Ben. Other than having substance abuse issues that they were working through, I don’t see anything these two had in common. The author didn’t really set a foundation of loneliness for Ben, though it was clear that Donnie had a very troubled past and no real support system. Ben quickly stepped into Donnie’s life and started helping him with his illness with no hesitation. Considering he has a daughter and a wife, it was unbelievable that he didn’t even give a second thought to how this would affect their lives. Ben’s wife seemed like a reasonable person. I am not entirely sure what was the real problems in their marriage and why it couldn’t be addressed via counseling and effort.

There was a very heavy subject with serious issues all around, but they weren’t worked in carefully. The subjects of bisexuality, addiction and severe health condition should have made for a great hurt-comfort read but unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. Ben’s wife, daughter and even best friend Jason were all relationships that I didn’t really comprehend because there was no real depth to the dialogue nor real expression of emotion amongst these characters. They all seemed to be good people at heart, but seomthing just wasn’t right so they were glossed over. The writing was so uneven that it felt like I was holding on for dear life through this rather shallow journey of the character’s lives.

  I had high hopes for the book based on the enticing blurb but I was disappointed.

Resurrection (Redemption Harbor #1) by Katie Reus

Series:
Narrator: Sophie Eastlake
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Resurrection by Katie Reus
Series: Redemption Harbor #1
Release Date: July 7th 2017
Pages: 6 hrs and 24 mins
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published By: KR Press, LLC

Blurb: She faked her own death…

Skye Arévalo left the CIA and faked her death to protect Colt Stuart, the only man she ever loved. Months later, a brutal kidnapping draws her to quietly infiltrate a dangerous cartel. Just when she thinks she’s home free, things go horribly wrong and she escapes with bloodthirsty enemies on her heels…only to find herself face to face with a bewildered and angry Colt.

He’ll cross every line to save her…

When Colt, a former Marine, finds out the woman he loved betrayed him, he’s shocked and hurt, but it doesn’t stop him from breaking every law on the books to keep her alive. Unfortunately, it might not be enough to stop a powerful enemy who will do anything to see the world burn and Skye dead.

three-half-stars

I love Katie Reus because her writing style just evokes a range of emotion because her characters are so multi-faceted. The combination of good writing with one of my favorite narrators, Sophie Eastlake, was clearly a winning duo. The narrator shined at the task of bringing these characters to life and I finished this audiobook in one day.

In this series beginner, we have two couples intertwined as the two male leads are former marines, CIA operatives and friends for years. Off the bat, there was action, adventure and love on the table. Two men grieving for the loss of the lady loves. Colt Stuart is silently mourning the death of his partner and love Skye Arevalo who died in a warehouse explosion in the line of duty. Meanwhile one of his best friend Mercer was not handling the loss of his wife Mary Grace well at all. Even though he didn’t share his suspicious, Colt suspected that Mary Grace was still alive somewhere and he decide to mount a rescue off the books (unsanctioned by the CIA) before he said anything to Mercer.

During the course of mission, Colt found that Mary Grace was indeed alive and had been rescued by a rogue agent, his “dead” lover Skye. This revelation led to examination of two couples that loved each other desperately but operated very differently. I must admit that I gravitated more towards Mercer and Mary Grace than the actual lead Colt and Skye. They were more emotionally connected and sappy where Skye and Colt were more physically aggressive and passionate. They weren’t as verbal and open about their feelings, but it is clear their devotion was a strong as Mercer and Mary Grace’s.

The underlying story was a familiar theme and the villain was an obvious one, but I enjoyed the unfolding of the story nonetheless. This story was intriguing, suspenseful and romantic. Katie Reus is just one of best in this genre. I know that second book is going to be even better.

Ezi

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Standalone Sunday (8/23/17): The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Narrator: Bahni Turpin, Orlagh Cassidy

Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!

Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list

My Standalone Pick this week is: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. I’m currently listening to this audiobook narrated by Bhani Turpin & Orlagh Cassidy. I chose this book because, well, my book club is reading it. So technically, it was chosen for me. However, it is a reminder that the once upon a time, people in this country owned other people and thought they were less than human.

Have you read or listened to this book? Did you enjoy it? Share your thoughts.

BLURB:
When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family. Orphaned while onboard a ship from Ireland to America, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles an opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

ADD TO GOODREADS 

Release Blitz: Gabriel (Legacy Ranch, #2) by R.J. Scott

Series:
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

Length: 55,000 approx
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Kyle (The First Legacy)Amazon US | Amazon UK
Blurb:
Trapped in darkness, can an escort find a man to help him into the light?Gabriel Reyes never gave in. He fought and was hurt, was abused but escaped with his life. He made his way in the world using the one thing he was good at: sex. He earned a place with a man who controls everything but Gabriel is safe; he’s made it.Cameron Stafford hires Gabriel for a night, needing nothing more than a pretend boyfriend to get his dysfunctional family off his back. With the money he has in the bank and his own hotel, why won’t they just leave him alone? It doesn’t matter that a degenerative disease has stolen his vision, or that his last boyfriend was a bastard who tried to steal from him; for now he has purpose.

When Gabriel and Cam fall for each other, can they find real happiness and, maybe, a forever that will save them both?A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas. Please be aware: emotional and physical abuse are depicted on the page in this book.

Trapped in darkness, can an escort find a man to help him into the light?Gabriel Reyes never gave in. He fought and was hurt, was abused but escaped with his life. He made his way in the world using the one thing he was good at: sex. He earned a place with a man who controls everything but Gabriel is safe; he’s made it.Cameron Stafford hires Gabriel for a night, needing nothing more than a pretend boyfriend to get his dysfunctional family off his back. With the money he has in the bank and his own hotel, why won’t they just leave him alone? It doesn’t matter that a degenerative disease has stolen his vision, or that his last boyfriend was a bastard who tried to steal from him; for now he has purpose.When Gabriel and Cam fall for each other, can they find real happiness and, maybe, a forever that will save them both?A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.
☀️Please be aware: emotional and physical abuse are depicted on the page in this book.four-stars

I love reading RJ Scott books because she tackles sensitive matters with delicacy and grace. Her writing style is very visceral and poignant that I am often moved to tears. As with book 1, this second book was very angsty, emotionally taxing and subtly encouraging. The threads of hope kept me going through the hard to read parts because I know that we will eventually make it over to the other side. I would encourage readers to read Kyle, Book 1, to truly appreciate the importance of Legacy Ranch in this series because the impact of the safe haven was more evident in the first book. Gabriel was first mentioned as one of the four boys abused the Bar Five Ranch by Hank Castille, who is currently in jail after the boys including Gabriel testified against Hank in court.

In this sequel, the reader was introduced to an emotionally and physically battered Gabriel who lives with Stefan, the man who “takes care of him and gives him what he needs” aka his pimp. It is clear from the start that Gabriel is in an incredible amount of physical, mental and emotional pain. When Gabriel is hired for a night to pretend to be the boyfriend of Cam Stafford, a rich, blind man, I saw the first real lifeline to a drowning Gabriel. Cam Stafford was the owner of the hotel where Stefan frequently set up Gabriel’s appointments, so Cam and his bodyguard Six had time to study Gabriel. The “work” association created an emotional link between two men whom found it difficult to connect with anyone due to abuse they continually suffered.
This book was difficult because the abuse was truly distressing, but the author kept giving the characters reasons to be optimistic. It was heartbreaking to read how warped Stefan’s actions with Gabriel were. The abusers were so sadistic that it required true acts of courage to break free. Eventually Kyle and Cam made it possible for Gabriel to ask for help and begin the process of deciding that he wanted to live. Legacy Ranch and the therapy there was the first step in Gabriel’s healing process. It took a lot to get there but I was so thankful that there was even a place for Gabriel and people who wanted so desperately to help him.

My chief complaint was that Cam didn’t really address his own issues. There were some self-worth issues there as well and it was just glossed over. Cam’s family situation was a hot mess. I felt bad for him too because no one seemed to have his back from when he was twelve. Having money didn’t make him immune to emotional abuse. I would have loved Cam spending some time at the ranch to work on himself while Gabriel worked on himself. I still loved him as a character because Cam tried his best to help and support Gabriel in getting the help he needed.
This series is well written and realistic that as the author warns readers, it may cause triggers for victims. I really enjoy RJ Scott’s work and can’t wait for book 3.

August 7 – Making It Happen,

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Kyle (Legacy Ranch #1) by R.J. Scott

Series:
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Signal Boost Promotions

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Kyle by R.J. Scott
Series: Legacy Ranch #1
Release Date: August 31st 2016
Pages: • Format: Kindle edition (193 pages)
Genre: M-M Romance
Published By: Love Lane Books
Purchase Links: Amazon US

Two men destroyed by the past learn to live—and love—again.

Kyle Braden has nowhere else to go. With no money and no prospects, he turns to the only man who promises him help. Jack Campbell-Hayes wants to show Kyle that he can be more than he ever thought.

Kyle begins to see how far he’s come from being the scarred man who shut everyone out, when the first person through the doors of Legacy Ranch is Jason; a young man with nightmares that follow him when he's awake.

Lost in the system and with three years on the streets marking every inch of his body, Jason Smith is scared. His life is an evil mess of hate and despair, and even the offer of a fresh start and a clean bed isn’t enough for him feel safe. Until Kyle comes into his life and shows him that it's okay not to be in control.

For these broken men, Legacy Ranch offers more than a place to live and work.

It offers hope.

A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.

four-stars

Two wounded young men end up at the ranch for healing.

Jason Smith was selling himself to make money to survive but when some associates got murdered, Jason was brought to the Double D Ranch, in Dallas Texas to help him find a new path and purpose in life. At the ranch, he was placed under the authority of Kyle Braden, a young man who also sought refuge the ranch after years of sexual abuse and torture.
The owners of Double D Ranch, Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes, were creating a safe haven called Legacy Ranch for those in need to find comfort and healing through equine therapy. The two traumatized young men seemed so different other than their nightmares. Jason seemed obnoxious and loud, whereas Kyle did his best to fade into the background or be invisible. The construction of the Legacy Ranch provided them occupation while they figured out what to do. But work is where Jason and Kyle began to see their similarities and bond over the painful pasts, which was hard as trust was not easily given by both guys.
Slowly, Jason and Kyle gained each other’s confidence and also developed an attraction. I really appreciated the author for not rushing them into a sexual relationship because Jason and Kyle were really not ready to be romantic. I love the pace of the story, I love the patience that everyone at Double D Ranch showed to those around them and I love the idea of horses as confidantes.
I found this story to be sad and sweet, painful yet encouraging because there was light at the end of the tunnel for the hurt young men.

The journey towards healing wasn’t smooth nor was it complete by the end of the book. But Jason and Kyle were headed that way and that was so gratifying for me as a reader. My favorite quote was Kyle saying to Jason “Don’t ever leave me. Don’t kiss anyone else. Stay with me for the rest of my life. That has to be love.” It was sweet and endearing. It felt like rising above all that muck in his head to ask for something he hadn’t felt he deserved in a long time.  This book was so full of feels and the ending was the best part. If you want a book where you will experience a myriad of emotions ending with happiness, then give this author and this series a chance.

About R.J. Scott

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I’ve has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can’t tell a six year old not to lick the bowl!

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I’m also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I’m always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Audiobook Review: Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

Narrator: Callie Dalton
Source: Tantor Audio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Under Locke by Mariana Zapata
Release Date: January 19th, 2014
Format: Audiobook (16 hrs and 5 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other. But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop… she should have chosen the strip club.

four-half-stars

If you have read Mariana Zapata, then you know you are in for a slow yet well developed romance. I haven’t read one that I didn’t enjoy and this book was no exception.

Iris “Ritz” Taylor lost her mom, and having no way to take care of herself, moved to Austin, Texas to live with her half brother Sonny. They shared a deadbeat dad who seemed to prefer getting in trouble than taking care of the kids he kept creating. Sonny worked a garage, but arranged for Ritz to work at a tattoo parlor owned by his friend named Declan “Dex” Locke. When Iris showed up, she met this Dex and it wasn’t love at first sight at all. Dex was definitely a douche and a naive Iris was the recipient of his constant venom.

This book detailed the journey as Iris and worked hard to rebuild her life and protect herself from the loan sharks her father But slowly, Iris showed her grit as she and Sonny tried to handle the loan sharks who decided to target them since they can’t find Iris’s dad. This required help from Dex and soon Sonny found herself living with Dex for protection. The two got to know each other and sparks flew.

Callie Dalton did a great job narrating this story. Her voice for Ritz had a youthful and hopeful note and her voice for Dex was gruffy, rude and bossy. The chemistry and angst was palpable that I was on pins and needles waiting for Dex to declare his feelings to Ritz.

Mariana Zapata has become one of my new favorites for a meaningful adult-ish romance (not overly sexy) with characters that are entertaining. I think this is my second favorite book from her so far.

Cover Reveal: Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

We are excited to bring you the upcoming standalone from New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Penelope Ward.

DRUNK DIAL will release on AUGUST 21!

 

Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, RBA designs
Cover Model: Vadim Ivanov
Cover Photography: Kevin Roldan

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

A complete STANDALONE.

Add to Goodreads

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Sign up to be alerted when it goes live on Amazon here

(No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.)

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

Connect with Penelope Ward
Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram

Other standalones from Penelope Ward:

Mack Daddy:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19

Neighbor Dearest:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aWvypX
iBooks: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
Nook: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY

Stepbrother Dearest:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg
iBooks: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
Nook: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

RoomHate:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/294lIeT
iBooks: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
Nook: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW

Mister Moneybags: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ny7GhN
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
Nook: http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho

Playboy Pilot: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dbetFA
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: http://bit.ly/2c9vRdV
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ctb6dv

Stuck-Up Suit: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
Nook: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/stuck-up-suit

Cocky Bastard: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MvHLg2
iBooks: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
Nook: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO
Sins of Sevin:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3
iBooks: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
Nook: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE
kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

Jake Undone (Jake #1):
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC
Nook: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
iBooks: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

Jake Understood (Jake #2):
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves
Nook: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z
iBooks: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC
kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

My Skylar
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F
iBooks: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
Nook: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi
kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Gemini:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE
Nook: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
iBooks: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by J.M. Darhower

Series:
Narrator: Iggy Toma, Kasha Kensington
Source: Tantor Audio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Title: Menace by J.M. Darhower
Series: Scarlet Scars #1
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 51 mins)
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio
Purchase Links: • Tantor Audio
 

three-stars

J.M. Darhower is my one of my favorite writers when it comes to Mob stories so I was so stoked when this audiobook was released. I may have had Sempre in the back of my mind, or something similar in plot. This was far from it and this one didn’t grip me like that story. J.M Darhower is a great storyteller so I knew if I hung in there, I would be rewarded.
The story starts with dancer/hooker Scarlet (Morgan Myer) selling herself for protection and information from powerful underworld bosses. I couldn’t figure out the significance of the information other than she was hiding from another boss. But it was clear most of her actions were motivated out of an extreme amount of fear.
The hero Lorenzo Gambino vacillated between being a sociopath to a moody/angry mobster. You can’t be unfeeling if you are in a constant state of rage. Just sayin’. Anyway, I am unclear of Scarlet really sought him out as a protector or just picked the pocket of the wrong dude. But that moment seemed to bind them and despite several attempts to pull away from each other, they always drawn back to the other. The sex scenes were definitely the best part of this book because they were steamy, fascinating and provocative.
I couldn’t decide if Lorenzo’s curiosity was based on the great sex or the Russian monster that scared Scarlet more than him. It was like a pissing contest because Lorenzo wanted to meet the Russian who thought he was thought his game was gangsta than Lorenzo’s.
Honestly, the author took her time in getting to the heart of the plot. I prefer faster paced stories or at least great character development to compensate for slower paced yet suspenseful accounts. I didn’t feel that the characters were fleshed out that well but the author did enough to get me to like them.
I was hoping the book would get better and the last two chapters were probably the best in the book and made everything make more sense. It made Scarlet make more sense to me and then I felt empathy for her plight. Lorenzo remains an enigma for me so the jury is out on his character. The writing and the narrators kept my attention and I really need book 2 to be released as this one ended on a cliff hanger.

Ezi