Wicked Beast (Wicked Ever After, #2) by Nazarea Andrews @InkslingerPR and @NazareaAndrews

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BLURB:

James “Beast” Lutz isn’t like his friends.
He doesn’t crave control the way Charm and Mal do, and he doesn’t play the games Wolf thrives on.
He lives on his knees, all of his strength bent to the will of his Domme.
He’s never regretted that, until now.
Now, when he’s trapped in an arrangement serving a Domme who can’t keep a sub.
Now, when he’s not sure how to trust a woman wrapped in mystery and less sure he wants to.
But the more he gets to know the Domme everyone knows as Beauty, the more Beast realizes everything he thought he knew was wrong.
Teaser:
My knees ache, my back stings from the cane. And then she kisses me, and it’s delicate. It’s as soft as she has ever been with me, all gentle pressure and the tentative nip of teeth. It drags a groan from me and I want to reach for her.
And it terrifies me.

PURCHASE WICKED CHARMING (Now Live):  Amazon US ** Kobo ** Barnes & Noble

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About Nazarea Andrews

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

Audio Series Review: The Royals by Erin Watt

  • The Royals Series by Erin Watts

Title: Paper Princess (Book 1); Broken Prince (Book 2); Twisted Palace (Book 3) by Erin Watt
Series: The Royals
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Format: Audiobook (about 9 hours each)
Published By: Everafter Romance; Audible
Purchase Links:
• •

four-half-stars

What a page turner. These books were so engaging, full of angst so be prepared to read the entire series without coming up for air. I must say that Erin Watt impressed me with their versatility as authors. This book featured a solid character building, plot development and completely absorbing story. What I liked best about this series written by Erin Watt (the duo Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick) was the fact that this new adult romance was uncomfortable, disconcerting but yet incredibly addicting. The characters were developed in such a way that you both liked and disliked them but you were secretly hoping for them to be redeemed. It was a wild ride.


In Book 1 can best be described as a sort of rags to riches, but with a touch of Pretty woman, Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast. the reader is introduced to Ella’s past and shown how she came to be a fighter and street smart. The heroine Ella Harper has been through a lot but when it seems like she can’t be in a worse situation, an angel named Callum Royal appears. Ella is rescued from her life of poverty and transported to castle where Royals reign supreme.
Then Ella is rescued by her father’s best friend Callum Royal where she comes to live with his family, including five sons. Book 1 illustrates the transition of the Royal brothers hating Ella and treat her abominably to Ella eventually gaining their acceptance and esteem as a sister. Ella’s transition from public school into a highly prestigious prep school called Park Prep was full of teenage drama. In fact, that school was mean girls meets the old Eastside High from the movie Lean on Me starring Morgan Freeman. Their school theme song should have been “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns-n-Roses. I’m not sure what would be harder, Park Prep or prison. Both institutions had bullies, hardened criminals and administrators that look the other way. It was a good thing Ella had experience from her days working at the strip club or she would have been destroyed by those rich kids. I could see the “good guys” lurking behind every mean word and action aimed at extinguishing Ella’s esteem, well from the Royals, not so much the school kids. Eventually, Ella and Reed Royal make a love connection, which puts them in a precarious position.
By the end of the book, Battle lines and alliances were revealed between the major players, Callum, Reed, Ella, Easton versus Brooke (Callum’s ex), Dinah (Ella’s stepmother), the Delacorte family from Park Prep school. It was intense to say the least. This book ends in a wicked cliffhanger so make sure to have book two ready to go.


Book 2 presented a change in narration, where the story was primarily told from Reed’s perspective as opposed to the first book where Ella was the primary story teller. It gives Reed the opportunity to introduce himself to the readers and attempt to explain his behavior.
The bulk of the story focused on the rebuilding of the broken trust between Ella Harper and Reed Royal as well as the unveiling of more family secrets. Ella’s father Steve who had been presumed dead returned so that shifts the battle lines a bit.
I didn’t feel like the authors really fleshed out Brooke and Dinah’s relationship as well as motivations at all. Plus, I can’t help but wonder if the real love relationship is between Callum and Steve. Again, this book ends in a cliffhanger as a major character is murdered.


In the third and final book in this angst-filled trilogy, I expected many of my long-standing questions to be address. I was somewhat disappointed because now I felt strung along for a long time.
In this book 3, The Royals are the town pariah right now, with the murder charge still shining a negative light on the Royals and more specifically Reed. I never doubted that Reed and Ella would figure out how to keep their relationship afloat. I knew the Royals would end up on top but I wanted to know who was getting the best of them and why. I also like the ceasefire with Jordan, but I would have liked to know that Jordan was turning over a new leaf in general. Most importantly, I wanted to know how the murderer got away for so long and who aided the murderer. I was right about the murderer but correct on the why and how. I was still confused as the nature of everyone’s relationships. These unanswered questions have left me dangling on but I still enjoyed this screwed up Royal Family.

With all that said, I need these questions answered.
Did Brooke not share with Dinah what she learned, or did Dinah know it before?
Did Steve erase the videos because Reed wasn’t the only one there?
Did Dinah know what really happened to her bestfriend?
What really happened with Steve?
How was Callum so oblivious about Steve?
What was the real deal with Gideon and Dinah? How could an intelligent guy like Gideon not seek easily available legal advice regarding Dinah?
How could Callum know about Reed & Brooke and not Gideon & Dinah, especially with all the cameras in the house?
So is Easton an addict and what’s the family going to do about it?
And Steve…I don’t understand Steve’s motivations at all.

Ezi

Review: Inheritance by Sean Michael

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: Inheritance by Sean Michael
Release Date: February 1st 2017
Pages: 88
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links: Amazon US Dreamspinner Press
Cash McCord loves his life. He owns the family ranch, works hard and invites the occasional cowboy into his bed. All that changes when his brother Jack and Jack’s wife Val are killed in a car crash, leaving behind six kids.

Cash is made guardian along with Val’s brother Brad Rafferty. Brad couldn’t be more different than Cash. A Yankee, Brad is a video game developer who works twelve to fourteen hour days at his desk. The two men lock horns on sight, neither man happy to have the other around, but neither willing to give up guardianship of their nieces and nephews.

Can they manage to keep the kids together, and keep from killing each other at the same time?

 

 

three-stars
This was a nice short story about family recovering from a tragedy to heal and put the family back together. Cash McCord lost his brother Jack and Brad Rafferty lost his sister Val in a terrible car accident. The couple left behind six young kids and happened to have appointed both Cash and Brad as co-guardians. The problem was that Cash lived on his family ranch in Texas and Jack lived up north. The two adults had to navigate their own grief and also figure out how two single men will keep six young children from getting lost in the grief.

As with most novellas, there was no real character development and the romance between the Cash and Brad developed rather quickly. However, the chemistry between them was very enjoyable. Once they made the romantic connection, it seemed solid and that was so important especially for the children. I think their unity really helped the kids to feel safe and secure in their time of grief. It was nice to have men with minimal drama but plenty of integrity.
The kids added some levity to a heavy subject with their humorous questions to their gay uncles.

About Sean Michael

Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Sean’s available for interviews, by the way. He can always be talked into, well talking about himself.

Calm Before the Storm (Rising Storm #5) by Larissa Ione

Rising Storm - Header banner We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for CALM BEFORE THE STORM by Larissa Ione! CALM BEFORE THE STORM is Episode 5 in the Rising Storm Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights! Grab your copy of the latest episode in this awesome series today!

Calm Before the Storm - CoverRising Storm Episode 5 (Oct. 22): Larissa Ione’s Calm Before the Storm

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Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy…

Nestled among rolling hills and painted with vibrant wildflowers, the bucolic town of Storm, Texas, seems like nothing short of perfection.

But there are secrets beneath the facade. Dark secrets. Powerful secrets. The kind that can destroy lives and tear families apart. The kind that can cut through a town like a tempest, leaving jealousy and destruction in its wake, along with shattered hopes and broken dreams. All it takes is one little thing to shatter that polish.

Reading like an on-going drama in the tradition of classic day and night-time soap operas like Dallas, Dynasty, and All My Children, Rising Storm is full of scandal, deceit, romance, passion, and secrets.

With 1001 Dark Nights as the “producer,” Julie Kenner and Dee Davis use a television model with each week building on the last to create a storyline that fulfills the promise of a drama-filled soap opera. Joining Kenner and Davis in the “writer’s room” is an incredible group of New York Times bestselling authors such as Lexi Blake, Elisabeth Naughton, Larissa Ione, Rebecca Zanetti and Lisa Mondello who have brought their vision of Storm to life.

A serial soap opera containing eight episodes in season one, the season premiere of Rising Storm, TEMPEST RISING, debuted September 24th with each subsequent episode releasing consecutively this fall.

So get ready. The storm is coming.

Calm Before the Storm - Teaser 1

About CALM BEFORE THE STORM: Episode 5 of the Rising Storm Series

Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.

Marcus Alvarez fled Storm when his father’s drinking drove him over the edge. With his mother and sisters in crisis, Marcus is forced to return to the town he thought he’d left behind. But it is his attraction to a very grown up Brittany Rush that just might be enough to guarantee that he stays.

Sexy man in aviator sunglasses touching his hair

MY REVIEW

Marcus Alvarez finally came back home after running away years ago. In his words, we find out why he left and got more confirmation about his father Hector’s mean and cruel behavior towards his wife and Marcus, but never for this precious daughter Dakota. There is more heat simmering between Marcus and Brittany Rush, the senator’s daughter. I like the whole wrong side of the tracks and rich girl theme, but I know the Rush family will do something to crush the Alvarez family.  I like Marcus and it is clear that he is a good person. I hope he can save his little sister Dakota because she is entangled in a mess.

I am more excited by the fact that Ginny’s story is to unravel and throw a lot of people into a tailspin. She has a budding relationship with veteran Logan, but Jacob’s family will not appreciate being lied to.

This series is still very enjoyable and I plan to continue shortly.

 

Experience Rising Storm Here…

Rising Storm - Book Banner 2Rising Storm Episode 1 (Sept. 24): Julie Kenner’s Tempest Rising
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Rising Storm Episode 2 (Oct. 1): Lexi Blake’s White Lightning
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Rising Storm Episode 3 (Oct. 8): Elisabeth Naughton’s Crosswinds
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Rising Storm Episode 4 (Oct. 15): Jennifer Probst’s Dance in the Wind
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Rising Storm Episode 5 (Oct. 22): Larissa Ione’s Calm Before the Storm
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Rising Storm Episode 6 (Oct. 29): Rebecca Zanetti’s Take the Storm
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Rising Storm Episode 7 (Nov. 5): Lisa Mondello’s Weather the Storm
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Rising Storm Episode 8 (Nov. 12): Dee Davis’s Thunder Rolls
Amazon ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble* GooglePlay

Attractive young couple about to kiss against wooden planks background

Author pic - Larissa IoneAbout Larissa Ione:

Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

Rising StormWebsite | Facebook |Twitter | 1001 Dark Nights | Rising Storm on Goodreads

Prairie landscapes

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Audio Review: Unshakeable Faith by Lisa Worrall

Audio Review: Unshakeable Faith by Lisa Worrall

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: Unshakeable Faith by Lisa Worrall
Release Date: December 19, 2016
Pages: 242 Format: Audiobook (9 hrs, 51 mins)
Published By: Dreamspinner Press Audio
Purchase Links: Barnes & Noble Amazon US Dreamspinner Publishing

Of all the bars in all the towns in all the world, the stranger walks into Brody Tyler’s. With no memory and a name he chose from a newspaper, Nash is a gamble—one Brody is willing to take. It isn’t long before Brody and Nash fall in love, but then a tragic accident shatters their cozy world, resetting Nash’s memory once again.

The “new” Nash Walker is a businessman with a bottom line, and he doesn’t care what or who gets stomped on. Waking up in a hospital bed after a hit-and-run with no idea where he’s been for the past six months is bad enough, but someone trying to kill him is even worse. Enter Brody Tyler, accidental bodyguard.

Brody’s determined to help Nash remember and bring back the man he loves. Nash thinks Brody’s a drop-dead gorgeous pain in the ass. If only he could remember….

three-half-stars

Bar owner Brody Tyler finds a stranger who doesn’t remember who is he is and for some reason, Brody feels responsible for the John Doe. Against the advice of his friends, Brody gives this amnesiac a name, “Nash” and then shelter in his own place. They begin to fall for each other and soon Brody and Nash went from friendship into a cute romance. Then Nash gains back a little of his memory

The romance goes a little wonky here because the sweet stranger becomes a tad of jerk to the man who practically saved him. Nash is revealed to be a ruthless businessman named Nash (Brody picked the name out of a newspaper article) and someone is out to eliminate him.
 Brody appoints himself as Nash’s bodyguard despite not being as effective but it is clear that Brody cares so much for Nash that he was trying.

When Nash gained all his memory back, the book lost some of the steam in the romance department as the plot focuses on who is after Nash and why they want him. Unfortunately, I figured this one out pretty early, so my interest lay with their budding romance. The author seemed to be laying a foundation for a great romance, but then in the middle to end, the romance is stilted because Nash started acting like a jerk. I liked the Nash from the 20% of the book because he was so sweet, guileless and just considerate. I liked Brody a lot but I was unsure why the nameless guy had such a hold on him.

The beginning was the best part of the story for me and when the characters were at their sweetest. I think I was expecting more cohesion and more sweetness throughout the book. Overall, it was a satisfaction audio experience.

 

Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach #13) by Abbi Glines

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.

Up in Flames Book Cover Up in Flames
Rosemary Beach #13
Abbi Glines
Romance; New Adult
Atria Books
June 28th 2016
e-book
256

Spoiled. Selfish. Rich girl. Villain. Slut.

As the Prada-clad bad girl of Rosemary Beach, Nan Dillon has been called every vile name under the hot summer sun. Some of her reputation is deserved—she’s never had to worry about anything but maintaining her perfect figure and splitting Daddy’s private jet with her brother, Rush.

But Nan is far from happy. Rush has another kid on the way and doesn’t have time to catch up with his sister. Grant, the last guy she truly cared about, chose to be with her half-sister, Harlow, instead of her. And Harlow, who has never gotten over the way Nan treated her when she first moved to town, remains distant.

So when Major asks her out, she jumps at the chance to date the gorgeous charmer. Though she doesn’t know much about the sweet-talking Texan, and though it’s clear he doesn’t want to be exclusive, dating him beats hanging out with vapid socialites or watching Netflix alone at home.

For a while, Nan deals with Major’s playboy ways, but after he burns her one too many times, she takes off for an impromptu wild weekend in Vegas. There, she meets Gannon, a darkly seductive and oh-so-dangerous businessman who knows exactly how to handle her.

With Major asking for a second chance and Gannon haunting her dreams, Nan has to decide who to give her heart to. But what she doesn’t realize is that these players are involved in a much bigger game—and they’re already two moves ahead of her.

Finally, Nan Dillion gets her day in the sun and I have been waiting a long time for it. However, Nan herself summarized her character best by saying

“I wasn’t Blaire or Harlow. I didn’t inspire men to want to change for me.”

You’re damn right Nan. You lacked the goodness that those girls had and it was a disappointing series ending book. After reading this book, I still don’t like you one bit. We met Nan, Rush’s awful little sister in book 1 and I was ready for Abbi Glines to redeem this character and show the readers why Nan wasn’t the uber witch I had believed her to be for this entire series. I can say this author’s effort in showing Nan in a more favorable light didn’t work at all.

On top of this Nan’s unrepentant ways, the reader got a major dose of Major, who had an unsavory job as well as a large appetite for the ladies. *Eye roll*

I find the triangle with Nan, Major and Cope to be a red herring. The copious amounts of sex were intended to camouflage a shallow plot. I just didn’t feel genuine affection between Nan and these guys, not like the other couples. I think if Nan had that earth moving love, she would have been changed and truly understood the women she wronged along the way in this series.
I had to ask myself if the author even intended to redeem Nan because for the prior 12 books, Nan has been a conniving mean girl. Is it even possible to redeem such a villain after such long period of parading their schemes and plots? Unfortunately, the author for waiting for long for me.

Plus, there was nothing that Nan did take showed contrition. This one really lacked substance and frankly speaking I am shocked at how everyone seems to have forgiven Nan when I don’t recall her asking for forgiveness. I am glad she seemed to grow some and feel like she has some worth as a person. But I cannot point to anything I enjoyed about this story at all. It just was a huge disappointment for me.

*Special Thanks to Atria Books via Netgalley for the e-book given in exchange for an honest review.

Ezi

Hanging The Stars by Rhys Ford

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.

hanging-the-starsHanging The Stars: by Rhys Ford
Series:Half Moon Bay #2
Release Date: December 5th, 2016
Pages: 206 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Angel Daniels grew up hard, one step ahead of the law and always looking over his shoulder. A grifter’s son, he’d learned every con and trick in the book but ached for a normal life. Once out on his own, Angel returns to Half Moon Bay where he once found…and then lost…love.

Now, Angel’s life is a frantic mess of schedules and chaos. Between running his bakery and raising his troubled eleven-year-old half-brother, Roman, Angel has a hectic but happy life. Then West Harris returns to Half Moon Bay and threatens to break Angel all over again by taking away the only home he and Rome ever had.

When they were young, Angel taught West how to love and laugh but when Angel moved on, West locked his heart up and threw away the key. Older and hardened, West returns to Half Moon and finds himself face-to-face with the man he’d lost. Now, West is torn between killing Angel or holding him tight.

But rekindling their passionate relationship is jeopardized as someone wants one or both of them dead, and as the terrifying danger mounts, neither man knows if the menace will bring them together or forever tear them apart.

four-stars

I might be a teeny tiny tad biased. I love Rhys Ford, so I’m always going to fangirl over her writing and books. Hanging the Stars is book 2 in the Half Moon Bay series. This book started off with a bang, and definitely ended with one. I sometimes tell myself that I wish Rhys could write a straight contemporary story with no mystery heavy plot. Well, I do believe she did that with Fish Stick Fridays which I love. But to me Hanging the Stars is so much more contemporary then anything she’s every written in my opinion. I mean, I feel all gooey inside with these two. It was like BAM with the love, romance, and feelings. I’m not complaining, because it’s what I want constantly from her, but I’m shocked. West and Daniels start a relationships after not seeing each other for 10 years. They are each in different places in their lives, but past grievances seems to put them right back where they left off.

“What makes you think I’m not already in love, Just?” Angel whispered. “Because I’ve been in love with him before I even knew his damned name.”

Do you see what I’m saying? That quote was so romantic to me. Angel surprised me the most. I swear, when I started reading this that I didn’t expect him to be so warm & loving. I expected plenty of angst from these two based on how it ended. I mean of course West was a hard ass and didn’t disappoint. My opinion of his has definitely changed from book 1. He’s had years now to form some sort of relationship with Lang, Deacon and Zig. He seems to be a less bitter man. Angel is taking care of his younger brother and trying to show Rome that nothing or no one can come between them or take him away from him either.

It wouldn’t be a Rhys book without an explosion, shooting, or action packed car crash. This one didn’t disappoint. I kinda guessed who the bad guy was after a while. It was a pretty easy process of elimination. I mean, they both went through blood, sweat, and tears in this book. I did have a minor issue with after not seeing, or hearing from one another for so long that as soon as they are in direct contact with one another the passion ignites. I’m not bad at it, but it didn’t seem real. If I didn’t see my first love after ten years, or talk to them but seen them again. I think anger, tears and frustration would be my first reaction. Everyone is different so I digress on this point.

Ford is still able to produce the best side characters as well. Frank, Marzo, and Justin were amazing. I truly loved them, and liked what they were able to do for their respected counterparts. Justin definitely needs a novella or a book soon. I was crushing on him by the end of the story.

West and Angel decide to give this a relationship a go. It’s not the best of times, but waiting seems dumb when someone is trying to kill them obviously. Sure some of these events were a tad bit over the top. But it didn’t stop Angel & West from being together. There relationship moved fast on the page to me, but I do like how Angel & Rome made West a better person. They actually gave him a heart, or something similar that he’s never got. Also liked Lang & West brotherhood progressing. These two are different as night and day, but the love is still there. All in all, I thought this was a pretty enjoyable book. I find myself having super grabby hands when it comes to a Rhys Ford novel. I can never say no, she’s a favorite author of mine for a reason. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you? Fish Stick Fridays is awesome, and everything is better in pairs!

“The truth is, Lang,” Angel whispered, ” your brother hangs the stars in my goddamn sky. It sounds stupid and maybe corny, but when he’s around me, it’s like the night’s full of light. So yeah, I love him. I love him pretty hard.”

About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

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.

hnhHer Naughty Holiday: by Tiffany Reisz
Series: Men at Work, #2
Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Pages:224 • Format: Kindle Edition
Published By: Harlequin Blaze
Purchase Links:
AmazonARe

A feast she wasn’t expecting!

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over “Clover’s Bad Life Choices.” This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind.

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn’t expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!

 

three-half-stars

I think Tiffany Reisz is one of the few romance authors that I auto-buy and auto-read. I’ve read her entire catalog and I honestly can say the woman is a brilliant freaking writing. I nominated The Bourbon Thief for Best Fiction at the Goodreads 2016 Book Awards. How it wasn’t nominated? I have no idea, but it was really freaking good, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Like the first book in this Holiday series, this was really good. I enjoyed the writing, the chemistry, and laughed a lot. My biggest issue was that I didn’t like Clover. I know, it’s not fair to say it, but I’m a strong woman and I just couldn’t deal with her mild-mannered nature. I know it’s unfair, because everyone can’t be blunt or honest like I am. Everyone’s personality isn’t like mine, but it’s one of the reasons I shy away from male-female romance. I don’t do well with women without a back-bone. I don’t deal with people treating other folks a certain way and you not speaking your mind or standing up for yourself. Family is definitely included. I speak from experience!

It did change the tone of the story for me. I wasn’t sold on the book for the first 25%. I kinda was taken aback my the heroine in the story. This is from an author whose woman are always strong, vocal, smart, and witty. Clover was the opposite for me in everything that I’ve read by Reisz, but I guess that’s what makes her an amazing writer. I couldn’t connect with Clover, but I’m sure other people can. I like that we do get different personalities and it isn’t the same person in every story. So while, I didn’t enjoy her completely, I did end up liking her by the end. Erick might have been the perfect guy just for Clover. The mouth on that man was ridiculously hot. He was so funny, and I loved his asshole-ish behavior at the end. That’s my time of man. He’s humor was fantastic, and I wish he would have kicked Hunter’s butt.

I really liked the prose of this story. I love the fake relationship trope. I think Clover and Erick were incredible together. Plus the instalove with extremely enduring. Sure it had it cheesy moments, but I loved the witty banter between the two. I did find the chemistry realistic after they’ve spent 12 hours together. I loved Ruthie’s relationship with her father. I would love to see these two again in the future. As usual Reisz kicks butt with her characters. I really liked it, and can’t wait for the next one!

About Tiffany Reisz

Tiffany Reisz is the author of the highly acclaimed series The Original Sinners. Her first novel, The Siren, won the RT Book Reviews Editor’s Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance of 2012. Slightly shameless, Tiffany dropped out of a conservative Southern seminary in order to pursue a career as a writer. This move, while possibly putting her eternal salvation in peril, has worked out better than she anticipated. She lives in Oregon with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer.

Rented Heart by Garrett Leigh

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.

(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads) three-stars
Rented Heart Book Cover Rented Heart
Garrett Leigh
Gay Romance
Riptide Publishing
September 10th 2016
e-book
228

Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.

Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for.

Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.

Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.

This book didn’t stimulate any feelings of empathy in me or draw me in on any level. The writing was easy to follow but the story felt shallow and ordinary. Rich man Liam Mallaney was in mourning since his husband Cory passed away and he was lonely. After about a year of celibacy, Liam went out to a club. The man he met turned out to be a sex worker Zac Payne and after incredible sex, they found that they couldn’t stop thinking about each other.

There was baggage on both sides, but it was kind of dull Pretty Woman/man story.
Though more time was spent on Zac’s background, I didn’t find that the author really developed both characters that well. Given this author’s prior work, I was surprised with the slow pace of the story and the lack of emotional connection I felt.

*Special Thanks to Riptide Publishing via Netgalley for the e-book given in exchange for an honest review.

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

Steadfast (True North #2) by Sarina Bowen

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.

Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there's no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.

For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.

She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.

No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie's police chief father. But it's a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.
four-stars
Steadfast Book Cover Steadfast
True North #2
Sarina Bowen
Contemporary Romance
Rennie Road Books
July 12, 2016
audibook; e-book
313

She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.
Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there's no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.

Sophie Haines is stunned by his reappearance. After a three year absence, the man who killed her brother and broke her heart is suddenly everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never volunteer in the church kitchen.

No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie's police chief father. But it's a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.


I really enjoyed this sequel. This author definitely puts some thought and research into this book because I felt like I gain a new perspective into the struggles of a recovering addict. I really empathized with Oliver and how every day his thirst for a fix was rated. Wow, my heart went out to both Jude and Sophie.

Jude Nickel’s seasonal employment at the Shipley farm was over and he was forced to return home to Colebury, a town he had been avoiding since he was released from prison and his drug rehab program. There were a lot of painful issues from his father to the loss of the only woman he has ever loved. I was on pins and needles since the relapse rate for recovering opiate addicts released from jail can be as high as 80%. But Jude was determined and with some luck along with the Shipley Clan, Jude was able to establish some routine in his life.

I appreciate the way the author wrote the reunion between Jude and Sophie Haines. It wasn’t all flowers and candy, but it wasn’t as brutal as I had expected. Sophie was a good heroine. She was strong, loyal and persistent. I wonder how she turned out that way because it wasn’t due to her parents. Her fortitude was the perfect counterbalance to the seemingly broken Jude. In her flashbacks, Jude was cocky, brash and sassy. Present day Jude was a man who was doing his best to navigate his land mine of a life. It was apparent that Jude took his sobriety very seriously and it was wonderful to see Mae Shipley and the others keep an eye on him.

Jude and Sophie had that abiding love and it was healing for the both of them. Sophie’s family dynamics was the only befuddling subplot in this book. There was no true explanation for the behavior and it made their actions baffling. It kept this story from being a 5-star read.
I still enjoyed every other character and felt emotionally engaged to their love story. I can’t wait for Zach’s book.

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.