Blog Tour ~ Besotted (The Billionaire Banker #3) by Georgia Le Carre ~ Excerpt, Double Review and Giveaway
‘What about BDSM? Are you going to teach me something about that?’
He looks at me over the rim of his glass. ‘Why? Are you interested in being a submissive?’
‘I don’t know. I could be. What is it?’
‘It’s a game.’
‘I like games. Start me off and I’ll tell you if I like it.’
He stops smiling, his eyes change, darken. Very deliberately he pushes his glass of orange juice to the middle of the table, reaches for the carton of milk and holding it right in front of him, slowly tips it sideways until the milk in it pours onto the table. I watch the puddle grow on the table. At some point well before the carton is empty he stops pouring. I lift my eyes from the spill and look at him. His eyes are expressionless, watchful. The silence stretches. I break it. ‘Well?’
‘Clean it up,’ he says.
‘I don’t need to repeat myself, do I? It is a punishable offence.’
For a moment I feel confused. Was this the thing that has everybody hot up the collar? Do I want to be his little slave? The answer is obvious and immediate. I don’t. Definitely not. But I’ll let it play a little more and see where this little game goes. I turn towards the paper towels.
‘Not with the paper towel.’ His voice cracks like a whip.
I turn towards him slowly. Our eyes clash, a look of impatience about his. What does he want me to do? Clean the table with my tongue? The thought is unsexy, off-putting. ‘With what, then?’
He leans back and folds his arms across his chest. ‘With your sex.’
And suddenly I am wet. The idea is shocking but incredibly, unbelievably erotic. I hook my thumbs into the scrap of white lace around my hips, push it all the way down and step out of it.
‘Give them to me.’
I bend down to retrieve them and walk towards him. I look into his eyes as I drop my bunched up knickers into his outstretched hand. He puts them into his trouser pocket.
I hop onto the table with my legs apart so he can see what I am doing, I bend forward and flattening my thighs, slowly drag my sex across the liquid. Something flashes in his eyes. The milk is cold on my warm skin. When I have swept myself across the spill I stop and look to him.
He nods slowly. ‘You,’ he says, and there is a touch of admiration in his voice, ‘are an excellent pupil. You never do more than what you are instructed to do.’
I say nothing. Just hold myself in that position.
‘Now spread your legs,’ he orders.
“All I know is when he first kissed me a lifetime ago, he didn’t kiss my lips, he kissed my soul.”
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
Besotted is the third book in the Billionaire Banker series, it picks up immediately Forty Two days. Admittedly, there were still some elements of the storyline I didn’t understand such as the sacrifice Lana was talking about and the history with Blake’s father but I got enough information to follow the storyline.
I did worry this book was going to be a ‘filler’ or stopgap as such and in one sense that was true, the plot didn’t move along greatly for Blake and Lana but on the other hand, I really enjoyed reading about their relationship and it was great to see them grow closer as a couple.
In terms of writing style, this was my favourite so far by Georgia, I found myself highlighting several passages and I truly believed in the declarations between Blake and Lana. At times, their dialogue did seem stilted an unnatural but I felt this lessened as the story progressed.
“His mouth moves in closer and closer until his lips meet mine. I open my mouth to taste him. Ah...He enters my soul. In the shadows of our bedroom, time stills.”
“There is no one else but you, Lana. You’ve got me so I can’t even think straight.” His eyes move hungrily over my face. “I crave your mouth, your skin, your hair. Every morning I wake up ravenous for you, then I pace around during the day starving for you, and at night just after I’ve had you I start to crave your hot, sweet body all over again.”
Both Blake and Lana’s characters continue to grow, Lana is more confident within herself (the love of a good man will do that to you) and with the truth about Sorab out in the open, Lana could truly be herself.
Blake’s Alpha side was out in full force and this side I liked very much, coupled with his caring manner and vulnerability when it came to Lana and Sorab, I was a goner.
“You can never run away from me, Lana. I would journey into the underworld to find you. You are mine.”
“Until I met you I had never wanted a woman’s tears, but I want yours. I want your sighs, I want your laughter, I want your joy, your smell, your smile. I want it all.”
Blake’s brother Marcus tries to cause bother between the couple, as does Victoria-Blake’s scorned ex. Surprisingly Victoria’s POV was included, this did give an insight into just how crazy she really was.
I must admit, going into the fourth book and knowing it’s from a character we met so very briefly in book one, it feels out of place. I do worry the momentum the series has gained so far may dwindle but with that being said, I shall start it with an open mind and see what surprises lay in store.
Although Besotted is the shortest book in the series so far, I enjoyed it and feel we are getting into a rhythm with Blake and Lana. I do hope they get to live in peace very shortly.
“I stare at him. So close to me, still so foreign and yet, my whole life. This is the man I had not intended to love. And now I cannot imagine my life without him.”
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
Besotted is the third book in the Billionaire Banker series, picks up where Forty-two days ended, and after staying up all night to read the last one "Forty Two Days," I was excited to read this one, as I was left with a few questions that I was desperate to get answers from. I wanted to know how Lana, and especially Blake were going deal with the aftermath of what had happened.
“I cannot lie to you, Lana. If I have to I will sacrifice myself for you, over and over”
“He will never again have to pretend to be anything he is not. Or wear his make with me”
Lana has always been open with her feeling so I liked that I there was more emotion from Blake, and also that there was a bit more about Blake’s family. It’s apparent, and I guess understandable, with a family like his that he still has some secrets/ demons haunting him about his past. But that being said I was frustrated as I was expecting more angst, drama, and more of my question to be answered. I just wanted to know more. I felt that if the book been slightly longer maybe this could have happened.
“I am mesmerized by his gaze. Here is the man who has a hold on me, on my soul. And the has the keys to secret rooms I have yet to open”
I did love was the bonus materials at the end of the book. Georgia La Carre added at the end of the book. I have to say was a little, well ok! I was very excited when I saw that it was Blake’s POV for some key scene from the last book. Which I loved as I had said in my review for Forty-Two Days, that I felt was missing. I needed to know what Blake was thinking.
“I cannot stop. I cannot control my emotions. I cannot resist her. Cannot live without her. I don’t allow myself to feel”
Lana and Blake have great chemistry, and their love for each other is undeniable. Blake is so protective of Lana and his son. I love how Blake is still and maybe more Alpha! (Swoon) I love their sexy scene together there wasn’t as many was I would have liked, but what there was still hot.
“I crave you mouth, your skin, your hair. Every morning I wake up ravenous for you, then I pace around during the day starving for you”
Overall I did like Besotted, and being back in the lives of Lana and Blake, and seeing the changes in them, but like I said before I would have liked it if it had been longer with more angst. I am looking forward to reading Seduce Me the final book in the series, although if I’m honest I don’t really know what to expect, as its from a different characters POV, and not from Lana or Blake’s POV which I would have loved. I need more Blake and more of his POV!!! I do hope that even though Marcus, Victoria (that is one crazy lady) and let's not forget Blake’s mother, could still cause problems for Lana and Blake they get the ending they deserved.
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you….I could walk through my garden forever”. ~Alfred Tennyson.
Series order. . .
Georgia Le Carre writes contemporary and adult romance.
She lives in a little old 19th century romantic cottage, surrounded by the most magical garden, filled with fruit and walnut trees and teeming with wildlife.
Her diet includes all things chocolate and a voracious appetite for Romance reads, particularly new authors with a fresh voice.
When she is not feeding words into Amy, her precious laptop, she can be found lost in a long walk in the woods, particularly on moonlit nights; and often with the man of her dreams.
Most known for her starring role in a popular sitcom as a child, S.L. Jennings went on to earn her law degree from Harvard at the young age of 16. While studying for the bar exam and recording her debut hit album, she also won the Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking invention of calorie-free wine. When she isn’t conquering the seas in her yacht or flying her Gulfstream, she likes to spin elaborate webs of lies and has even documented a few of these said falsehoods.
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“She’d found a way between the cracks in my armor and blew it apart.”
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I adore Tenley and Hayden but Hayden even more so after this book which I didn't think was possible! He is a diamond in the rough! Clipped Wings was definitely Tenley’s story whereas this time around it was Hayden’s turn to take centre stage. From book one, I knew Hayden was harbouring a lot of pain but I had no idea how much until Inked Armour; there were several times I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug him!
“I just don’t want you to leave me again. I can’t do this without you anymore.”
Hayden has been hurting ever since Tenley’s departure, he sees her return home as a betrayal to their relationship and what he had to offer her and I’ve got to admit I wasn’t best pleased with Tenley for making him feel this way. I know Tenley had her past to confront as well so I did feel for both of them. I just wanted them to be together as I knew that’s what would heal them both.
“Hayden was right. Knowing wouldn’t change the past. Letting go was the only way. And I didn’t need the answers because the person I loved and wanted was sitting right in front of me. Hayden was my present and my future.”
I have become a fast fan of Helena Hunting, I love the characters she has created, Hayden could have easily faded into the background as just another tatted, pierced reformed bad boy, yet he didn’t. His character was endearing and everything about him appealed to me. I felt his pain when Tenley left; I felt his anxiety when his past returned but most of all I felt the love he had for Tenley and his makeshift family that meant the world to him. If you can’t guess by now, I really did love him!
Tenley never fails to surprise me, her character grew so much in this book, and she confronted her demons head on. She pulled strength from Hayden and she became the girl that he knew she had the potential to be. She made a split second decision to leave without telling Hayden, she broke the trust between them but she spent all of her time making it up to him and proving she was in it for the long haul. I couldn’t fault her for that.
“Because it made my relationship with Connor feel like a fucking farce. The way I feel about you? I never felt anything like that for him.”
“Just like the first time we were together, he cupped my chin in his palm and whispered hoarsely, “Look at me.” His icy-blue eyes shone with vulnerability. “I – I need-” He shook his head. “You’re mine.” His body stiffened. It felt as if I had always been his. My heart belonged to him for as long as he wanted to keep it.”
Tenley’s creepy advisor was back and this time Tenley didn’t give up without a fight, although Hayden made sure McCreeperson got the message in case it wasn’t made clear.
“You will not recommend her to another male advisor, or I will come back here and beat the living fuck out of you. If Tenley tells me that you so much as looked at her, I will come back and beat the fuck out of you. And if you touch her again, so help me God, I will rip your dick off and feed it to you.”
Yeah I’m gonna need a Hayden of my own thanks!
Not only was he protective over Tenley, he was dominant in the bedroom too, Hayden was a man who liked to take charge and he knew how to please Tenley. The passion between them was palpable; the scenes were very hot indeed. But it wasn’t all Hayden’s doing. Tenley would remind him she was just as capable at taking charge liked he did with her.
“Jesus!” My head slammed back into the couch as I exploded; hot and violent and pulsing as she sucked and swallowed. When I finally stopped coming, she gently laid my used cock on my stomach. Then she leaned over and gave it an affectionate kiss and a pat, as if it were her pet. Which it kind of was.”
TK was back and I think my heart melted at every scene Hayden and TK shared together, they were just too cute! And of course the Ink and tattoos played a vital role in the story and I loved how it was incorporated, it was a big part of both Hayden and Tenley’s life. I felt the depth of their connection during the time they spent in Hayden’s studio it tethered them together.
“We were so similar in our pain. If only we could cancel each other’s out.”
As I mentioned earlier, the storyline focused on Hayden’s past, he had issues still to work through and with nightmares plaguing him, he couldn’t ignore it any longer. I felt the pacing towards the end sped up and I wanted more detail on the events that transpired, at one point I actually thought it was going to end on a cliffhanger as I didn’t think there was enough time for the problem to be resolved. Time jumps were used to cover the outcome and I did feel like it was skimmed over too quickly. For it being a huge part of Hayden’s life, I expected it to be explored fully.
Helena’s writing was lovely to read and I easily fell back into the Inked Armour world, I loved the supporting cast, they were the family both Hayden and Tenley needed. I found myself highlighting many passages, as Helena’s writing was great. I felt everything along with these characters, their heavy heartache, their uplifting joy and pure need for each other.
“You have no idea what I’m going to do to you.” It was a warning and a plea. We needed each other on the most basic level. It was that simple.”
I love my epilogues and I was swiping my kindle frantically looking for one! With the story feeling rushed towards the end and the lack of epilogue I wasn’t left with the warm and fuzzies that I was after, I wanted to peek into Tenley and Hayden’s future and be left knowing they were all loved up and deliriously happy. I can’t help it, I’m an epilogue junkie ;) As far as I’m aware Tenley and Hayden’s journey is over but if it isn’t I wouldn’t be completely shocked either.
At the end of Clipped Wings I questioned if a second book was needed, I wanted their relationship all wrapped up in a one-part bow. Now I know how foolish that thought was, Tenley and Hayden needed this book, they had so much to work through and over come, both separately and together. I’m glad they were given this chance and it just cemented my love for them both.
Clipped Wings and Inked Armour is a great series from Helena Hunting and not one to be missed.
*ARC was received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
For Tenley… Now I don’t want to be too mean to you, but good god woman would it have killed you to at least text poor Hayden once to let him know you were still there? To give him that little peace of mind so that he knew you were ok? And what about TK? Were you not worried about her at all? It’s a good thing Hayden had TK, she totally saved his sanity while you were absent. It a marvelous thing what a tiny kitten can do for the human psyche. I kind of wished that when you came home both TK and Hayden would have snubbed you for longer. Yes, I know you had your reasons for leaving, but still, I don’t think you even understand how much you hurt Hayden (and by that I also mean us readers). Ok, mini rant is over… I get it. I now see why Hayden forgave you so fast. My, my how that boy does love you so hard!
For Hayden… I am so glad that Tenley finally came back home to you. Even though it was a bumpy ride, to get your HEA, you two had the bones to stick it out. The love and bond you share is like no other. Any girl would be lucky to have the love you have to give, and Tenley now knows how to accept that love and keep it forever. I am glad she was there for you throughout the painstakingly long process to settle your past. To be by your side through it all and help you come through with your head held high. That’s true love, baby!
These two really did make me a bit insane! This story made me furious at times, but at other times sad, and hopefully and weepy. I thought perhaps Tenley tended to dwell on the whole Sienna issue a bit too much, which made her sound too insecure for my liking (and yes I know she had her own personal reasons), I just like my heroine’s to be more confident. I liked the Hayden story line and that of his past and what happened to his parents and the resolution of their murders. It kept my attention and I like a little mystery like that in the books I read. Their chemistry jumped off the pages, and you could just tell how much they meant to each other. And as always, their sexy times were smokin’ hot!
Even though (please don’t hurt me) I didn’t have the same mad love for Inked Armor as I did for Clipped Wings, it is absolutely essential to read to see them finish their long journey to the love they so clearly deserved. Hayden and Tenley (and can’t forget about little TK) are definitely one of my favourite book couples!
"I missed our physical connection. I missed the way he tasted, the feel of his skin, the endless lines of ink covering his body. I wanted him back—but I needed to be worthy of him first.”
When I read Clipped Wings, Hayden & Tenley cemented a special place in my heart. And when I finished reading Inked Armor that place was solidified. At the end of Clipped Wings we are left with a bit of a cliffhanger, so like always, I was a little worried with how the outcome would be in Inked Armor. Plus I couldn’t wait to get back to Hayden and his sweet ways! I just knew that no matter what happened that he would be just as perfect as he was before, and I wasn’t disappointed.
“I was so fucking empty without you. I’m so empty.”
From the very beginning your heart will feel for Hayden, he’s so profoundly lost without Tenley that you can’t help but ache with him throughout the beginning of the book. And when the connection does come it’s one of uncertainty and pain. He wants her so badly, but he can’t quite come to terms with the fact that she left him in the first place. What he doesn’t realize is that she is going through the same withdrawals from him although he would never know this with the way Tenley blatantly avoided him. She has her reasons, but even I was a little perturbed with her at this point. Like sheesh girl, at least pick up the phone--let him know you care about him a little! It was just hard watching sweet sexy Hayden go through that crap!
“It’s always the same dream. I can’t get to you in time and then you’re gone, and there’s nothing I can do to stop the emptiness.”
This story moved a bit slower for me than Clipped Wings, but I honestly didn’t mind that. I actually found it to be cohesive and in stride with how this situation would play out in real life. I knew that once Tenley & Hayden got their crap together that it wouldn’t be instant rainbows and unicorns, and that Hayden would harbor a lot of reluctance towards Tenley for breaking him the way she did. Their connection was obviously there, and the flame between them was still super hot but it was definitely a slow progression to get them where they needed to be. Helena’s writing is smart and witty, and her characters are loveable and cute so I didn’t mind the shift in tempo one bit. And can I just say how much I love the crap that comes out of Hayden’s mouth! Stuff like this:
“I’m going to make you come so hard, so many times; the only thing you’ll be able to think about is what it will be like when I’m finally inside you again.”
“I’m having a conversation with my kitty.” (NOT the actual cat)
Going through this little journey you’re constantly worried that something is going to blow up in your face, because at certain points it seems like it’s almost going too good for Hayden & Tenley. Even though there is a serious undertone that it’s not ok, hence the “blow up” scared part! Does that make any sense? Kind of like in a real relationship when you get back together with someone and it feels so right yet your afraid the whole time what the other person is feeling isn’t the same as what you’re feeling, THAT is this book! I knew what they were feeling but I’m not sure they knew that about each other, and to me that’s what makes a good book, or at least that is what made this book good. You really get a sense of normality with these two characters, and I just love them, both of them. As usual, you have the same witty banter between these two, and their cute little cat “TK” is back, and just as adorable as you could imagine. Or maybe it’s Hayden who is adorable because of how he is with TK, yeah, probably the latter.
“It’s okay, little buddy, that’s your mom. She went on a trip, but she’s back now.”
So basically this book had a totally different vibe than the first book, and I really appreciated that. I love when I can read about someone’s story and have it feel like it’s a part of my story as well. Some books and character’s are just really special to me and this book and these characters are a part of that. I really- REALLY love this series, and I would recommend it to anyone!
“Hayden, you are everything I could ever want. You are the place I want to be.”
“It’s not just about wanting you. It’s this fucking need. No matter what I do, how close I get, it’s like I’m consumed by it.”
Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's putting her English degree to good use by writing popular fiction. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.
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*Win a copy of book one!*
In an instant, he’s crouched down in front of me, hands spreading me open wider before dipping his tongue inside me. I continue massaging myself as he laps me up like I’m the only one who can quench his thirst. He sickens me, and as soon as I feel the swirl of hate manifest, I turn every part of me off and simply go through the movements I know he likes. I’m a well-oiled machine at this point, flawless in my performance.
He has no idea that I’m the poison in his bones, making my home in his soul. I’ve crept under his skin, and he never suspected a thing other than everything I’ve wanted him to, but he’s made my life a hell, and payback is a wicked bitch that comes in the form of me. I’m the devil seeped within the cracks of him. What he doesn’t know is that it’s because of him that I am what I am, and he’s fallen into the cobwebs of my lies like a fool. I guess I should love him for that, because when he least suspects it, he’s going to give me everything I’ve been seeking— vengeance.
USA Today bestselling author and International bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her dynamic and intense writing style. Noted for her ability to create fleshed-out characters that will evoke a realm of reactions, you can be assured that her stories will linger with you far beyond the last word.
A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.
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Blog Tour: Whisper to Me (Between Breaths #3) by Christina Lee ~ Ava and Kat's Reviews + Paperback Giveaway
I’m going to say this now just in case (for some weird reason) you don’t read the rest of my review… If you haven’t read any of Christina’s books, you’re really missing out! I love the cleanliness of her writing style, the beauty of her storytelling, and her ability to pull you in from the very beginning. I love, LOVE her books! And you know what makes them even more enjoyable, other than all of her amazing author skills? Knowing what an absolute sweetheart she is, and that she truly appreciates her readers! I just love when authors take the time for saying “Thank you for reading”, and she always takes the time to engage her readers and it really means a lot.
Kai had loved Rachel for years. He watched the girl he loved change the true her for someone else and eventually watched her being crushed by that very same person. He then swooped in to take care of her in a friend’s only way, and eventually after high school they both went their separate ways. But the moment he saw her years later, he knew his love for her never died.
He kept tabs on her throughout college. He learned that she liked to use guys for sex. But now that they are back in the same town he is determined to make sure it’s him that she uses. No, he’s not a dick for thinking like that, he loves her and doesn’t want her to be with anyone else but him. Kai has his own issues. Rachel helps him see he doesn’t need to be dependant on his addictions, he can depend on her. They can use each other to make it through the tough times. And it is those times that brought them together and made them realise they belong together.
“The girl I ached for was finally noticing me in the same way… The girl of my fucking dreams”
I loved the slow build of their emotional connection, their hotter than now “secret” hook-ups (doing your best friends older brother without her knowing... scandalous!), all the little glimpses into the past and how it all started between the two of them are what made Kai and Rachel so special and unforgettable. Kai has the right amount of bad boy/protector/nurturer/holy hotness. He also has the piercings in all the right places, which by the way, is one of my new requirements for making it onto my book boyfriends laminated list. He will definitely make your heart skip a beat.
There were so many great scenes in this book, but the bathroom at the casino was one of my favourite hot moments. And the place she found her underwear afterword’s had me smiling. Smooth, Kai, very smooth.
Now the worst parts of these stories is the inevitable break-up. We always know it’s going to happen, and the reasons aren't always the same, but it’s the moment of how they come back together that makes the story. The moment they realise how stupid the reason for leaving was. Because what’s better than being with your one true love? Nothing, that’s what. And you know it’s special even when the people around you know, without you having to say a word. This is the "Are you gonna get the girl?" moment. That moment in the story where Rachel learns exactly when Kai fell in love with her. The moment he knew, the reason he stop being afraid and came back to her to make her see just how great they are together.
"Right in that instant-the second before you reached me? That's when I knew"
This was the best part of the story. The part where that little sob escapes your throat and you hope that there is no one around to witness your tears fall.
This is the third book in the series and my new favourite! You may also like to know that Bennett and Avery from the first book, All of You, make an ultra swoony appearance you won't want to miss!
“Having his strong arm around me made me feel protected. Safe. Like I was home.”
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I had briefly met Rachel in the previous two books, not much about her character was given away so this book can be read as a standalone. Rachel is called home for the summer to help her mum with the family shop. Rachel had been avoiding home for the last three years after she suffered a fatal accident. She didn’t want to be seen as the pitied girl anymore. But that meant she left her best friends Dakota and Kai behind and it also meant she created a new persona at college. Rachel realised things had to change when her past and present self collided.
Kai had been there for Rachel all throughout her recovery. For him, his feelings morphed from caring for his little sister’s best friend to falling in love. But Rachel and Kai weren’t in the right state of mind and Kai escaped from his responsibilities and went off the rails just a smidge. On his return home and seeing Rachel back and under the same roof, it shakes his resolve and Kai knows he won’t be able to hide his feelings for a second time.
I think what surprised me most was Kai’s role in this story; I felt his point of view (which I loved) dominated Rachel’s and there was more of it. We got to know him better and even though Rachel had just as much as a journey to travel, Kai really let us in and I was drawn to his character more.
I do a have weakness for guys who lay it all on the line and with Kai and his secret love for Rachel, I hung on his every word and I adored his vulnerable side.
“If I was going to bury myself inside Rachel, the girl of my fucking dreams, I wanted it to be under different circumstances. I wanted to see something beyond lust in her eyes. I wanted her to really see me for who I was. I needed her to want every single piece of me, beyond the physical.”
If that wasn’t enough, Kai was one hot book boyfriend. He deserved a medal for holding back his true feelings from Rachel and his control was continually tested. It made for some hot scenes!
“Without any warning, I tugged her mouth up to mine and drove my tongue past her lips, deep and forceful. She grabbed my shoulders and whimpered against me. If I couldn’t bury myself inside her tonight. I’d fuck her with my tongue instead.”
This is my favourite Christina Lee book in the series so far, I think if you nail the connection between the characters then the rest falls into place, with Rachel and Kai having previous history this automatically deepened their connection and I was rooting for them from the start. Rachel was guarded and I didn’t get her like I did Kai, but this could have been due to her holding back from everyone. Kai was the star of the story and there were some lovely heartfelt passages throughout. My favourite scenes were when Kai and Rachel would spend time in Kai’s room just getting to know each other all over again, it strengthened their relationship. There was a great balance of sexual tension, tender moments and some real sweet romantic moments and that made for an enjoyable read.
“I watched her expression as the lights from the set illuminated her features, and I saw how lost she was in the moment. She was engrossed as I was, and it felt like something has shifted between us. I wasn’t ready to name it, nor did I want to. I just wanted to feel it, experience it, live it tonight-with this girl who meant the world to me.”
“His head swung down, his lips delicately hovering near mine. And it was the most delicious torment. Exhilarating and excruciating all at once. To wait for the love of your life to kiss you.”
I did feel the pace was uneven in the last few remaining chapters, there were a few time jumps to cover some of the events that took place and it slowed down the momentum somewhat. But what I did like was both Kai and Rachel taking responsibility for their lives and deciding how they wanted to proceed.
“When I neared him, he reached out his hand. “Grab it. I don’t want to lose you.” As soon as I gripped his fingers, I could breathe again. He was my anchor, my respite, my North Star. I don’t want to lose you either, Kai.”
I do love my epilogues but I am known to survive without them, I understand the series will continue so I didn’t necessarily need Kai and Rachel’s future all wrapped up but I felt their story ended mid scene and I was frantically swiping the last page looking for more. I’m greedy, I’ll admit and just wanted a little more of a concluding feel to their journey.
“I was desperate for him. Desperate to experience every single part of him. He nipped at my bottom lip, and I opened my mouth to allow him entrance. Into my heart. Into my world. Into my soul.”
Whisper To Me is a great addition to the Between Breaths series. I have no doubt Kai will sweep you off your feet as he did me, and I suggest you 1-click this today!
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys.
She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
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“What we know is the unrequited possibility, the temptation of the idea. The make-believe. The adventure. But when you choose the adventure, it becomes real life.”
I really enjoyed the Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren, so of course I was super excited to read about Ansel, the Sweet Filthy Boy.
The story starts off when Mia and her friends are on their way to Vegas to celebrate their college graduation and impending move to go to grad school. despite being socially awkward (which I can totally relate!) Mia hopes to break out of her shell and let loose for at least that weekend. There, they meet three very hot guys. The connection between Mia and Ansel is off the charts, but that's not all. She's able to talk to him from the get-go like no one before. After some funny moments between the six friends, the couples go their merry way.
Mia's attraction to Ansel (and vise-versa) leads to one reckless, but hot, night between the two. When Ansel proposes Mia goes with him to Paris for the summer, there's nothing she can't say but yes to him.
"I want to love all of my life as much as I love this night.”
I liked both characters. Ansel is in fact a sweet, but filthy boy (or man). When I first "met" him in Vegas he oozed charm and charisma. I instantly liked him, but wanted to see what was so filthy about him *wink wink.* Mia really came out of her shell and I loved to see her embrace what was it that turned her on and tell Ansel about it.
“Life is built of these little horrible moments and the giant expanses of awesome in between.”
Their relationship did hit an awkward bum in the road once they made it to Paris. The fun and reckless vibe is somewhat gone and reality steps in. Mia is alone most of the time, due to Ansel's time-consuming career, which allowed her to explore the beautiful city of Paris. I, for one, would love to one day visit this city, so I really enjoyed the descriptions of the people, places, food, and language.
Like always, Christina Lauren's writing really shone in this book. There's even a little secret that is revealed that might leave you with your mouth hanging open in shock.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and especially loved the writing. If you've read CL's previous or even if you're new to them, you will fall for this sweet and sexy romance.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"I want to love all of my life as much as I love this night."
It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Christina Lauren and I was excited to read a new series from them (although I could read about the BB gang until the cows come home!). Sweet Filthy Boy is a fun change and a great introduction into new characters.
Mia is having a last hurrah in Vegas with her girl friends to celebrate the end of college before she heads of to graduate school. Never did she expect to bump into the sexy, French Ansel who happened to be in Vegas celebrating with his friends. Of course, the events that follow take everyone by surprise but for us it means some hilarious reading!
“You just implied you’re banging me tonight.” His grin gets bigger as his hands snake around my waist. “Play your cards right.” “I forgot my cards.” His smile wilts dramatically . “But I did bring my penis.”
From the moment they first met, I felt the connection between Ansel and Mia, pure unadulterated attraction and I knew it was a sign of the sexy times ahead!
"He doesn't look away, so I feel I can't, either, even though my knees want to buckle. He could kiss me right this second and it wouldn't be soon enough."
Ansel is determined to prove to Mia that their weekend wasn't a mistake and he invites her to Paris for the summer, to give their relationship a fair chance. Mia decides to follow Ansel on a crazy whim, the bright lights of Paris and nights with Ansel appeal to her but unfortunately, reality paints a different picture and Ansel and Mia struggle to find their status quo in Paris.
“For a perfect minute, I can imagine this endless life: sunny Sundays in the park with Ansel and the promise of his body all over mine when the sun goes down.”
I did feel for both Ansel and Mia when they first arrived in Paris, their relationship became awkward and I felt that through the pages. They both used escapism to help them overcome their issues and whilst that worked for a while (and we got to enjoy some great sexy times due to this) reality had a way of catching up with them.
As usual, I adore Christina and Lauren's writing; I get sucked in and feel everything they are describing. I usually read with a smile on my face as the beautiful words unfold on each page. I did wish for Ansel's point of view at certain points during the book, I think because he had a few secrets, I really wanted to know how he felt and of course I wanted to know more about the night in Vegas!
It's been a while since a book twist has genuinely shocked me and you can ask my RT roomies (who also happen to be my fellow Belles) that my jaw hit the floor when a certain identity was revealed. I did not see that coming and I was a little mad at Ansel for his handling of the situation, of course I couldn't stay mad for long as he was coming from a good place. As hard as it was to read, it was the catalyst Mia needed to figure out what she wanted from life and how she would proceed. Running away to France was the romantic dream but she needed to make plans for real life.
As always, the girls end their story realistically, there is no over the top HEA (even though I love them) but it ends in such a way that is perfect for the characters and it is believable too. Mia and Ansel will appear throughout the series so I look forward to seeing their relationship progress in the other books.
Sweet Filthy Boy is a refreshing new venture from the ladies who gave us Bennett, Max and Will and I have no doubt Ansel will sweep you off your feet too!
"I go off like a bomb the second he presses his lips to my ear and whispers , “What you feel, Cerise? I feel it, too . Fuck, Mia, I feel everything for you.”
Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. Married to the cutest boy in school, she has a thirteen year old daughter, is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter, and also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.
You can follow their shenanigans at: their website or @lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!
For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @beautifulbastrd.
Title: After This Night
Author: Lauren Blakely
Series: Seductive Nights #2
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: May 12, 2014
This is the conclusion of Julia and Clay's story that began in the New York Times Bestseller Night After Night.
"Why do you like me tied up sometimes?"
"Because the way I feel for you is so out of control that this is one way for me to feel in control again."
Their world was passion, pleasure and secrets.
Far too many secrets. But Clay Nichols can't get Julia Bell out of his mind. He's so drawn to her, and to the nights they shared, that he can't focus on work or business. Only her. And she's pissing him off with her hot and cold act. She has her reasons though-she's trying to stay one step ahead of the trouble that's been chasing her for months now, thanks to the criminal world her ex dragged her into. If only she can get out of this mess, then maybe she can invite the man who ignites her back in her life, so she can have him-heart, mind and body.
He won't take less than all of her, and the full truth too. When he runs into her again at her sister's wedding, they have a second chance but she'll have to let him all the way in. And they'll learn just how much more there is to the intense sexual chemistry they share, and whether love can carry them well past the danger of her past and into a new future, after this night...
Please note: This book is intended for 18+ due to dirty talk, light bondage, and lots of sexy scenes.
"I am so glad you walked into my bar, and into my life, and into my heart."
I enjoyed part one of Clay and Julia's journey, two sexy characters with a seductive storyline but at the end I was left wanting more. I wanted more from each character, more depth, more feeling and a greater bond between them. I got what I wanted in spades during their second part. I adored After This Night. Clay and Julia are now one of my favourite couples of Lauren's. By opening up to each other and revealing their vulnerable side, it in turn let me in as the reader and I was on their side all of the way.
Julia is a strong book heroine so of course she wins brownie points from me. She is rather stubborn but I got where she was coming from, she wanted to deal with her troubles in her own way. It would have been easy to accept help but she was in this far and was determined to see it through. Towards the end I did worry her determination would wreck her chance of happiness with Clay but after cooling off, she came to her senses and let's be honest, she could only resist Clay for so long. ;-)
"You can rest your head between my legs while I massage you."
He laughed, "If I'm between your legs, there's no massaging going on. Unless it's of you and with my tongue."
Clay. Oh Heavens above, Clay Nichols, what a man! In book one he gave off this aloof persona, he wasn't looking for a serious connection..blah blah.. Of course, Julia changes all that for him and what we get to see in After This Night is the man underneath the hard exterior and oh boy did I melt! He was just the right mixture of Alpha male and secret sweetheart.
"No man has ever wanted a woman like I want you. No man has ever craved a woman as deeply as I crave you. And no man has ever fallen this hard and this fast for a woman."
"How have you fallen?" She asked, overwhelmed with all she felt for him, with the way her body seemed to reach for him, to need him.
"With everything I have. There is no part of me that isn't in love with you."
This time it was Clay begging Julia to open up and let him in. He wanted to protect her and take her troubles away but he also respected her and gave her the space she needed to do it on her own. Even at the end, I was never mad at him, his actions came from his heart and he was protecting Julia once again. Oh, he is one of my favourite book boyfriends without a doubt!
"He knew better than to lie to himself. He was doing this because he'd made the choice to trust her. The alternative-being without her-was too much to bear."
I really enjoyed Lauren's writing (as I always do) but this book just sucked me in, I was awake well past 2am until I had savoured every word. The main storyline centred on Julia and the trouble she was left with due to her douche of an ex, as this was the focus, it allowed the characters to take centre stage and that's the main reason I was able to fall for both of them fully. I loved the interaction between them, their flirty emails and 'entertaining' phone calls. It all contributed to strengthening their relationship and by the time they met again, I was ready to throw myself at Clay if Julia didn't!!
"Why do you like me tied up sometimes?"
"Because." He cupped the back of her head in a strong hand.
"Because the way I feel for you is so out of control that this is one way for me to feel control again,"
"She ran a thumb over his lips, watching his eyes float closed as he hitched in his breath. "I'm already drunk on you, Clay."
"Stay that way," he said. "I need you to stay that way."
My other favourite thing about this series is the way it connects with each book so far. I love seeing other characters pop up and they are included in a fun way, even settings from Lauren's other series' got a mention. It creates a familiar world and one that I don't want to end any time soon.
Having just arrived home from The Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans, one thing that stuck out for me was the definitions of romance, from sexy, erotic to erotica. Many authors described erotic romance playing an integral part in a couple's relationship. The sex isn't there as a filler, no it drives their relationship forward and during each scene something changes for a character. As I read After This Night, this couldn't be more evident. Julia and Clay were the closest they had been during these scenes, they bared all to each other and it was some of the most erotic scenes I had read. These scenes weren't just written for entertainment, they bound Clay and Julia to each other, thus deepening my connection to them and their story line.
"Neither of them said another word as he looked at her as if he were inhaling her, as if the very sight of her was oxygen in his lungs. Electricity charged through her under his gaze. She wanted him to eat her up, to taste her, to touch her all over. Everywhere-this man needed to be everywhere on her body, in her body, in her heart, in her mind."
"He took possession of her mouth, his lips devouring hers as he rocked deeper into her. He kept her restrained with his body, his arms, his cock, his lips, his tongue, his power his control that he desperately need to balance his obsession. She felt it all too, every ounce of him, of his desire and his need for her. Giving herself to him, she let him take her how he had to, because when he did, he brought them both over the edge."
After This Night is my favourite Lauren Blakely book to date. I can't recommend it highly enough and I urge you to read and fall in love with these characters and one of my favourite authors immediately!
He laughed. “That’s what you want to be doing? Because I’d like to be fucking you if you were here.”
“Well, that too. But then I’d put on your shirt.”
“You like that, don’t you?”
“I know you do too,” she said.
“I do. Seeing you in my shirt and your heels is my kryptonite.”
“Oh, is that it? That’s your kryptonite?”
“Or maybe it’s just that you are,” he whispered, admitting more than he wanted to.
“I think the same could be said here.”
There was a pause, and though they were three thousand miles apart, the silence was heady. He was in a drugged-out state tonight. This woman was his pill, and closeness with her was what he craved most even as he feared she would destroy his heart. Smash it to a million tiny pieces and eat it for lunch. But he had a built-in barrier in distance, and with no trips to San Francisco on his immediate calendar he saw nothing wrong with this temporary moment of relief from the pressure inside of him from wanting her. They couldn’t be together in any meaningful way, and he couldn’t get hurt if he didn’t actually see her. Right? Right, he answered for himself.
“What are we doing, Julia?” he asked, and he was sure she could hear the longing in his tone, but he didn’t care. There was no need to hide it after they’d just broken down and pleasured themselves together.
“I wish I knew,” she said, her voice wistful and full of yearning. “I really wish I knew.”
He heaved a sigh, trying to sort out his thoughts, but his brain was a mixed-up mess and he didn’t know how to untangle all the threads. Or if he wanted to remain tangled up with her instead.
“What are you going to do when we hang up?” he asked, changing direction.
“Read a book.”
“What are you reading these days?”
“A crazy story about a guy who treks across Antarctica.”
“That does sound crazy.”
“Yeah. He’s kind of hallucinating and talking to penguins right now,” she said with a small laugh.
“Can you blame him? I have to imagine if you’re stuck in the polar ice cap that talking to penguins might be a rare source of comfort.”
“As long as he doesn’t eat the penguins I’ll keep reading it.”
“Here’s to no penguin meals in the books we read.”
“What will you do?”
“I suspect I will fall fast asleep and dream of a beautiful redhead on the other side of the country.”
“She would like that dream very much,” she said in a sweet voice, the kind that worked its way beneath all the hard edges in him, and settled deep in his heart. “Will I talk to you again soon?”
He took a fueling breath, and put his armor back on, steeling himself. “I don’t know the answer to that.”
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Blog Tour: Loving Charley (Full Circle #3) by Casey Peeler ~ Includes Excerpt, Playlist, and Giveaway
Title: Loving Charley (Full Circle #3)
Author: Casey Peeler
Release Date: May 18, 2014
When Charley decides to make Dylan famous, she never thought about the repercussions that might occur, and how it would affect everyone around her.
Now that she has followed through with the plan, she is unsure of what the future holds. She has to decide what is more important in life: living her dream, speaking the truth, or keeping quiet.
Charley’s life comes full circle when her freshman year comes to an end. Will Dylan be in her past and Cash in her future? Or will Dylan continue to be an eerie constant in her life?
When I walk past them, they stop talking. I stop and look at them and give them a dose of their own medicine. “Yeah, I am that girl. Got anything else you wanna know?” I say with my bag tossed over my shoulder and my arms crossed.
“We didn’t say anything,” one girl states with an eye roll.
“That’s what I thought.” I make my way back to the stands, placing my bag down and walking toward the pool. Tori and Georgia must see the heat rising in my face because they ask me what the hell just happened as soon as I meet them.
“Some Davidson bitches we’re running their traps already. So, I just asked if they had any more questions.”
Georgia laughs. “They are so in for it! Charley’s gonna kick their ass today in the water.”
“Damn right, I am,” I say as I dip my cap into the pool, place it on my head and add my goggles. It’s time to give them .
After reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston her senior year of high school and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.
Casey is an avid reader, blogger (Hardcover Therapy,) and now author.
Her goal is to one day be an author who is recognized nationwide like Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Tiffany King, and Amanda Bennett.
When Casey isn’t reading, you can find her listening to country music, spending the day at the lake, being a wife and dance mom, and spending time with friends and family.
Her perfect day consists of water, sand between her toes, a cold beverage, and a great book!
Website/ Facebook/ FB Author Group/ Twitter/ Goodreads/ Pinterest/ YouTube
Title: Synchrony (Destiny #2)
Author: Cindy Ray Hale
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: April 8, 2014
When her parents discover she’s been sneaking out with Isaac Robinson, the forbidden Baptist boy, Mormon girl Destiny Clark decides it’s time to keep their relationship quiet. As their relationship moves to shakier ground, Destiny discovers that Isaac has a terrible secret, and she is left completely shattered.
The moment Destiny feels all hope is lost, Preston Nelson, her longtime church friend and Isaac's bitter rival, arrives like a beacon of light. It isn't long before two separate disasters strike for Preston and Destiny's best friend, Hannah. As Destiny helps them through their issues, she discovers that sometimes the best way to forget about your own problems is to help a friend in need.
Just as her heart begins to mend and her friendship with Preston begins to heat up, Isaac walks back into her life, threatening to rekindle the feelings she’d hoped to bury forever. Will Destiny and Preston find the synchrony they so desperately need, or will she find a way to forgive Isaac and return to his outstretched arms?
Synchrony is an amazing follow up from the first book in the series, Destiny. It has reminded me that no matter what, my love for the YA genre will never falter. The author has truly poured her heart and soul into this story. You feel it in her characters. Their words, their actions. If you loved Destiny, Synchrony will absolutely blow you away.
"What kind of life would you have with him?"
"A beautiful one."
Synchrony picks up a bit after where Destiny left off. At this point, her parents have found out about the forbidden relationship she has developed with Isaac Robinson, the Baptist boy. Isaac and Destiny grow closer and encounter many ups and downs. Their foundation is completely rocked to its core when Destiny discovers Isaac's secret. Isaac is distraught over it, but knows everything needed to be out. Destiny is not so forgiving. Her heart is shattered. In pieces. In walks Preston Nelson to save the day once again. Destiny leans on him and they become even closer. Disaster strikes in this circle of teens, and feelings from all angles reemerge. Is Preston who Destiny wants? Or does her connection with Isaac beyond anything she could even imagine?
"My heart and soul craved Destiny. She completed me on levels that I didn't know were possible, and we'd only scratched the surface...Destiny offered me a life beyond my imagining."
Destiny. Isaac. Preston. Did not see that coming! Ok, well maybe I did, but I did not expect for my heart to be pulling for both boys. They each care and adore Destiny in their own ways. They are both genuine and real. Isaac goes against all his beliefs and what he was taught all his life, just for love. And Preston? He feels this connection to protect Destiny from everything. Even Isaac. You will see Destiny go through a lot with both of the boys. I do not want to give away the story. But your heart will be torn in two, just like Destiny's. You will fall in love with her. You will cry with her. You will just FEEL.
"But at the same time, I don't know how I can live without you."
Where do I stand? Team Isaac of course. It's not that I don't love Preston, I do. He is kind, thoughtful, and wants nothing more to love Destiny. But Isaac? He loves without conviction. While religion is a huge part of who he is, his love for Destiny blinds him. He sees only her. She is right for him. And no matter what his dad and his teachings have told him, love is never wrong. Not with Destiny. I honestly have NO idea where this story is going to go and who will ultimately be with Destiny, but I am SO excited to find out. I may be hoping (BEGGING!) for a release soon!
"It was like we were magnets with opposite poles attracting, and deep inside, our souls knew we were supposed to be together."
If you are going into this thinking it's "just" a love triangle, it is SO much more than that. Yes, there is angst and definitely emotion. However, it is about a group of young people finding themselves, falling in love, and their journey is just beginning. Although teenagers, I found that the voices of these characters are strong. I love that the author gives her characters such strong voices as it allows readers of all ages to relate to them and their story.
"He was loyal down to the marrow in his bones, and I knew, like I should have always know, he would never break my heart if I gave it to him."
Synchrony is one of the most effortlessly and flawlessly written books I've read in awhile. Although the story is told in the POV of three characters-Destiny, Isaac, and Preston, it flows exceptionally well. You get the entire story, not just pieces. You are given access to see what the main characters are thinking, feeling. As a fan of contemporary romance I usually turn to YA when I need a FEEL romance. Basically I lived 'Synchrony' as I read it. Yes. Lived. Every word. There was real, raw, genuine angst and emotion. It gave me ALL THE FEELS. I gasped. I put my kindle down. I said "OH NO" out loud. This story is beautiful beyond words. You will feel for every single character. No matter their age, you will relate. I cannot wait for the third book in this series.
Check Out Book One...
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Read Bianca's Review HERE!
Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster's son at her Baptist high school. When they're cast together in the school's production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage.
As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend.
But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?
Weaving around Destiny and Isaac's alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.
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For more information on The Destiny Trilogy and Cindy’s upcoming books visit http://destinybycindyhale.blogspot.com/ or follow @CindyRayHale on Twitter.
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Title: All Lined Up
Author: Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Category: New Adult
Release Date: May 13, 2014
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits--Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.
In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.
Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.
But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.
Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.
Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.
And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.
“In Texas, two things are cherished above all else – football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.”
Being the daughter of a coach means that football has always been a big part of Dallas Cole’s life, and not always in a good way. She has a difficult relationship with her father she has always felt second best to football with him. The players feared her or use her to get closer to her dad, and after her ex turned out to be an ass, as a result, she has vowed to stay away from football players, and certainly never date one again.
“I will never be the person who cares more, because that person is always the one that gets hurt more”
That is until she meets Carson McClain quarterback who has just transferred to Rush University who has his own issues. Both have their reason for not being together, but the attraction they feel for each other means that this is not as easy to do even with the risks involved.
‘" I need to stay focused on football, of how it's the only chance I stand of a decent future"
I enjoyed the storyline told from dual point of view. It was sweet, sexy and funny. As it was lower on the drama than I expected, and relatively angst free it meant it was an easy read. Love the football aspect of the story, and for me being English, American football is not something that I know much about, however, Cora wrote in a way that I felt that I was able to understand it and as if watching from the sideline.
I really like Dallas she had a love for dancing, and could be funny, sarcastic, and say what she was thinking, but at the same time she was guarded with her heart, and could be shy, and nervous, which I could understand as she was fighting to get some independence from her father, and his overprotective ways.
Carson was a sweetheart. He was all about football, didn’t think he had room for anything else until he meets Dallas. Loved the way he felt about Dallas. They had great chemistry together you could see it from the first time they meet. They were good together, and I like the way their friendship/ relationship developed slowly and I was rooting for them all the way.
“I can’t walk away from you because I don’t’ want to. There are a thousands things I want and need to do, but you trump all of them. You drive me to distraction, and all I want to do is get lost in you. All I want to do is make you lose it, too."
“I want to dive into him headfirst, submerge myself in the way he makes me feel, and not come up for air until I have no other choice”
I loved Dallas’s best friend Stella such a great and interesting character, and a great friend. I really like their relationship they were total opposite, but she brings out Dallas of her comfort zone. Then there was Ryan I like him too. I must admit I was a little disappointed to discover the next book will not be about Stella and Ryan as I have high hopes for those two. I think they could be good together,
Even thought I liked the ending, as it cliffhanger free, I wish the epilogue had of been years later, and not just months, as I would have like read a bit more about Dallas and Carson, so I’m hoping that as the is the first in the Rush University series we will see more on them in future books, and, therefore, with that in mind I’m looking forward to reading the next book ‘ALL Broke Down’ which will be Silas’s story even thought I wasn’t a fan of his I have a feeling that Cora is going to make me change my mind about him.
Overall I enjoy this book, it’s not full of hot steamy sex filled scenes, but I didn’t mind, as it was definitely fun, cute, sweet, and flirty. I like Cora’s writing style as she always has a way of drawing me in with such likeable characters. All Lined up has a different feel from the Losing It series, and for me in a good way. If you are a fan of Cora and her books, then I recommend you give this one a try. And don’t forget to the read the ‘Behind the Book’ part at the end of the book where Cora writes about what the book means to her, and how it has effected her since and whilst writing it. It was touching to read.
I was a big fan of Cora's début New Adult novel, Losing It and it had been a while since I had read any of her books. The theme of American Football piqued my interest and I had to try All Lined Up.
Dallas thought starting college would be the fresh start she craved, but that idea was ruined the moment her dad accepted the football coach position at the same university. Dallas craved to be known as more than the coach’s daughter and she wanted the freedom to choose dance liked she had dreamed of, but her overbearing father quickly put a stop to all those dreams. Dallas wants to be reckless and let go for a change and she finds that with hottie Carson but her excitement takes a nosedive when she discovers Carson is no different, he of course is a football player just like the rest of them.
I liked Dallas’ character, I felt she was portrayed realistically and I liked the fact she respected herself and wanted to wait before going further with Carson, this allowed their relationship to deepen and they shared a lot of really tender moments.
“No one in my entire life has ever told me I have a big heart.”
I touch the hand she has braced on her knee, just for a few seconds, and say,
“Then no one in your entire life has been paying much attention.”
“He’s slow, waiting for me to say no, I think. But no matter how many pieces of me want to say no, there are far more begging me to say yes.”
“I want you, Dallas. I have since the moment I met you. And when you’re actually ready, I won’t waste one moment before I take you to bed. But you’re more than this. We’re more than this.”
Dallas’ relationship was strained with her father at best. He struggled to bring her up single-handed and she felt football always came first. I did expect more drama with her father and I assumed the climax of the story would have centred around that element, I was expecting more from that dynamic but with that being said, their relationship did grow and it was nice to see them reach a mutual understanding in the end.
Carson McClain was a jock with a heart of Gold. He worked hard for his place on the football team, nothing was handed to him easily and it made him a better person for it. He couldn’t afford a distraction in the form of red headed Dallas but their connection was undeniable and Carson tried his best to stay away when he learned she was also his coach’s daughter, but the heart wants what the heart wants and soon a sweet, loving relationship had blossomed. Carson was simply sweet. He cared a lot for Dallas and he always put her needs before his own.
“What could you possibly have to be sorry about?”
“I made you feel that . . . that ache.”
She smiles. “Only because I was stubborn enough to think I couldn’t have you.”
“You have me. Completely.”
I think my favourite moment between them was the slip up during the phone conversation near the end. I loved that it was Carson putting his heart on the line, instead of the girl for a change.
All Lined Up was a softer read than what I was expecting, the storyline had the potential to be packed full of drama and angst but instead it just moseyed along nicely. Now don't get me wrong, that's not necessarily a bad thing, this book was an easy read and one that I devoured quickly. I was compelled to finish it but I think that was due to the fact I was chasing the drama, I was convinced I was on the precipice of something monumental happening. When I did reach the end, I wasn’t deflated, I was just left rather un-feeling. Dallas and Carson’s story felt unfinished, even though it was wrapped up, I just felt we could have had more from their future. I didn’t feel one way or another for them, their story just felt nice and easy and I was looking for more.
Cora’s writing is easy to read, there is less humour than Losing It but it was an undercurrent in the background and worked well. Cora also did a great job of creating the sexual chemistry beween them. It was clear Dallas wasn’t ready to take her relationship to the next level but we didn’t miss out on their need and want for each other, it continued to build as the story progressed. Carson and Dallas’ relationship was so sweet and there were many beautiful passages that I loved.
“Carson McClain, you scare me like nothing has ever scared me before. You drive me crazy and make me laugh and push my buttons on purpose. You make me feel safe and smart and pretty. Sometimes I think I might actually melt when you wrap your arms around me, and right now I feel a little bit like I might die if you don’t kiss me.”
“You’re the only thing that makes me feel better when I’m tired or frustrated. You’re the thing that quiets all my worries and doubts and fears. You’re it for me. So run if you’d like, but I’ll follow."
All Lined up is a good story for people new to the new adult genre; it will ease you in gently. It is an easy read with likeable characters and a drama free plot. And for die hard Cora fans, it will be a definite 1-click.
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