I’ve always believed in what I can see, what I can hear and what I can touch. Surfing was my religion and destiny was just a fairy-tale. But one summer, over ten days during the hottest February on record, all that changed. I found hope – the kind of hope that sustains you, even when you don’t want to be sustained.
The night Emily disappeared, I was branded. She became the girl on the ‘missing’ posters, and I became the one trying to keep everyone from falling apart. I thought that somehow it would keep me from being devoured by the emptiness inside me. Five years later, I was beginning to appreciate how deluded I really was.
Then Maia showed up. New in town, with a past as mysterious as she was, she reminded me so much of Emily that I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near her. What I didn’t realise was that there were forces at play that neither of us could possibly understand.
It takes a determined soul to alter destiny. There is a loophole, a back door, and the events that unfolded during those ten days showed me how that loophole can change everything.
Do you believe in fate? If so, let me tell you my story. If not, what happened to me might change your mind.
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense/Women's Fiction
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Hours later as I write this review, I am still thinking about this story and it’s characters. HOURS later. It’s been awhile since I’ve truly felt a book like this. It consumed me. I was lost inside the pages and never left until the very last word. The Trouble With Paper Planes absolutely moved me.
“Perhaps the shared wonder at what we had stumbled across was part of the magic.”
It’s been five years since Emily has been missing. Heath has never been the same. His other half gone. Missing. His life? Empty. Every day is a struggle. He knows he should accept she isn’t coming back and move on, but a flicker of hope continues to live within him. When Maia shows up in town, she has an uncanny resemblance to Emily. But she isn’t Emily. The similarities cause him so much pain, but he is drawn to her.
You will question destiny. You will question fate. The underlying connection between Maia and Heath is deep. Maia is emotionally lost. And Heath makes her want to be found. Heath finds it easier to breathe with Maia in his life. And it goes further than the resemblance to Emily. Maia reminds him that there’s a difference between living and simply existing. The Trouble With Paper Planes is for the reader to experience and get lost in. Discussing the plot any further would do a disservice to the reader. You will LIVE this book.
“...but to hand someone the key to your happiness is the most courageous move you’ll ever make.”
I am not sure if words can truly describe Maia and Heath. Their feelings are on a level that some of us that have ever been in love would be even half lucky to experience.They are unlike any other couple you will ever meet. You feel their pain, their sense of loss, and the spark they ignite within each other. But their love? Their love transcends.
Can we talk about the WORDS? This story truly attests to the talent of the author and not only her writing style but her words. Her words are powerful. Inspiring. I was emotionally overwhelmed in the best way possible. The prologue grabbed me. The story mesmerized me. And the epilogue? I cried my heart out. Not because it was sad. Just the beauty in the ending. It reminded me just how connected I became to these characters and their heartbreaking yet beautiful story.
“I ached for her. My body, my heart, my soul- every part of me.”
If I could give The Trouble With Paper Planes a million stars, I would. This brilliant, thought provoking story is not predictable. You cannot go into it thinking you know exactly what is going to happen. This is not that kind of book. It easily shatters the mold. The author does not conform to the typical romance genre. She takes chances. Risks. And I commend her for doing so. Isn’t that what reading is about? Pushing us to think differently? This author does that and more. This story? It gave me LIFE.
“If forever lasts a hundred years, it’s not gonna be nearly enough.”
The Trouble With Paper Planes will challenge all your thoughts on love, destiny, and fate. This poignant story will leave an imprint on your heart. It will stay with me for a long time to come. So as I end this review, remember that love wins. Always. For love overcomes all things. Bears all things. And sometimes. Just sometimes. Love is magic.
“Are you nervous right now?”
“Tell me why.” His demand, steady and calm, gives me the courage I need to tell him. To open a vein and bleed my insecurities.
“I’m not perfect,” I whisper.
“And neither am I, Willow. I don’t want perfect. What so many see as perfect, to me, is fake. Perfect isn’t achievable naturally. No one, and I mean no one, is perfect.”
I’m shaking my head before he’s even done speaking, but one long finger comes up and presses against my lips before I can speak.
“No, let me finish. There isn’t beauty in perfection. It’s as fake as the image the word projects. Beauty is found in imperfection, Willow, because to admit you’re not perfect means you’re admitting you’re not whole and absolute. When I think of myself, I see someone willing to admit he’s as far from complete as it gets because, in order to get to that perfection, I need to find the other part of me who will make my life better. To take all the faults I have and fill them, and only then will I be there. You see, the way I see it, the only way to become perfect is to find that perfectly imperfect person who brings it out of you.”
When he stops, I swear I might have stopped breathing. How am I supposed to respond to that?
“Do you trust me?” he asks, his voice strong and sure.
“Yes, Kane. Nerves or not, I do.”
“Then let me show you what I see when I look at you.”
He brings his hands up, framing my face once again in a way I’m quickly becoming addicted to the feeling of. His warm eyes implore, begging me without words to let him continue. I do not intend to stop him, regardless of the butterflies currently taking over my system. I’m all in.
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero--the super alpha kind!
Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.
Website | Facebook | Twitter
I feel his emotions in living color. As if they are my own.
If he’s angry, I rage with him. If he’s grieving, I do too. When he thinks about the past, I’m right there, walking beside him. I am the window to his soul, and yet, in spite of that, he’s a riddle with no solution.
A puzzle with too many missing pieces.
We always want what we can’t have. All I wanted was some peace and quiet. To fall in love with someone untouched by the magic of Woodland Creek. I craved normalcy.
But not as much as I craved him.
When he returns to town a broken hero, there’s no choice to be made. I will reach him when no one else can. Together, we will face a future he doesn’t want.
Why? Because our love is pure magic.
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/208ztjb
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As a fan of Jenni Moen’s writing, I was quite intrigued when I found out she was writing a paranormal romance. More specifically, a shifter romance. I tend to be picky about the PNR I read. This was my first shifter type romance and I am glad to say it won’t be my last. This author does not disappoint. This story truly shows the versatility in her writing.
“It was almost as if there was a direct line between her soul and mine. Some thread tethered our hearts and gave access to her thoughts.”
Quinn Dearborn returns to Woodland Creek as a broken man. He doesn’t feel like the town’s hero he once was. War changes things. War certainly changed him. A shadow of his former self, Quinn does not venture out much. On the one occasion that his friends coerced him into a public setting, he comes into contact with Willow Ryker. The girl who once saved him. But this time she is no longer the girl from high school. Willow is now the most beautiful woman. Strong, steadfast, and determined. The complete opposite of Quinn. As Quinn feels like fleeing town, there is something holding him there.
“I’m in like with you, Willow Ryker.”
Quinn is drawn to Willow. On a deep level that cannot simply be put into words. Circumstances allow them to work together in Willow's home. And the chemistry is not lost on either of them. Over time, there are stolen glances that only the heart understands. Willow is a special kind. She feels what others feel. And with Quinn, her abilities are even more so exemplified. She not only feels his emotions. She SEES them. His soul is shattered and it takes a toll on Willow as how can she be so drawn to a man that brings her pain? Nevertheless, she still craves his presence. His touch. She wants to understand everything that makes him the man he is today.
“I want to know what makes your heart ache, Quinn. I want you to tell me about every bruise and crack. I want you to name your demons so I can be beside you when you slay them. I want to be you therapy, Quinn.”
The love between Quinn and Willow is simply magic. All consuming, fierce, their love is unlike anything you have ever read. They are connected on a level that you will not find in many stories. Their love is strong, resilient. Unyielding. Quinn loved Willow through all the demons he battled. Willow loved him through the pain and his past. Despite what they were up against, their love always endured.
“Were the broken pieces of my soul cutting her too?”
The writing in this novel was captivating. I truly enjoyed the way the author allowed the story to unfold. Rather than tell you the story, the author’s characters simply pull you in. While slow building, it allows the reader to truly immerse themselves in the story as everything comes to light and is revealed. I felt the emotions. I was gripped by the mysteriousness that surrounded the story and the characters. The author definitely demonstrates how she can write just about anything.
“To him the scars were probably merely another reminder of the war he’d fought and the battles he’d lost, but to me, they epitomized all of his best qualities. Brave, resilient, and strong.”
Dearborn is true contemporary romance with a paranormal twist. I think the author brilliantly balanced the two. Neither the romance or the paranormal activity overshadowed the other. This magical book was a love story that reminds us that the soul never leaves the one it is tethered to.
He chuckled, low and throaty. “Yeah.”
When I forced my eyes back to his face, I found him carefully watching me as if he was trying to gauge what I was thinking. A small smile pulled at the corners of his mouth.
“Let me help.” My voice was breathless. I needed to get a grip. He was just a man.
A very wet, very handsome, very sexy man. But still just a man. It wasn’t as if I’d never been around a man before.
I blotted at his face with the dry towel, taking care to get the water out of the fuzzies of his beard. The towel slipped from my fingers, but they remained on his face, brushing lightly against the coarse bristly hair. The feel of them against my fingertips was as if someone defibrillated my already racing heart.
I stared at the lips he’d denied me the night before.
They twitched as desire coiled around us, begging one of us to make the first move.
It would have to be him. After last night, I wouldn’t make the first move.
Kiss me, Quinn. Kiss me so I’ll know. Don’t turn away again.
He sat still as a tree, and I held my breath, waiting for him to bend. My hand slipped from his beard and trailed down his neck. Apparently, it hadn’t gotten the memo that we were waiting for Quinn to make the first move.
“Willow?” he muttered.
It was only my name, but it held every question I didn’t want him to ask, every doubt I didn’t want him to acknowledge.
BEAUTY AND THE BOSS by Diane Alberts
November 16, 2015
Modern Fairytale / Entangled Publishing: Indulgence
Beauty is about to tame her beast...
Researcher Maggie Donovan has no luck with men, and it doesn't help that she can't keep her eyes off of her sexy boss - the one everyone else in the office calls The Beast. Relationships in the office are forbidden. So no one is more surprised than Maggie when she pretends to be his fiancée to save him during a difficult situation. Not only has she put her job on the line, but the future of the company.
Billionaire Benjamin Gale III doesn't believe in love or romance, but the look on his mother's face when Maggie tells her that she's his fiancée is worth millions. Instead of firing her for her insubordination, he goes along with the ruse. In his arms-and in his bed-she'd be everything he could ever want…which is why he can't have her.
But if he doesn't let her go, they'll lose everything…
Mr. Gale, who probably wanted to strangle her, choked and dragged his hands down his face. “Maggie, you don’t—”
“It’s okay. I told you I didn’t want to announce it yet, but I’m ready.” She forced a smile. His mouth opened, closed, then pressed into a thin line. “We can tell the whole world how much we love each other if you want...Benjamin.”
He made a strangled sound and tugged on his tie. He seemed more shocked than anything, but he had to be angry underneath that cold exterior of his. “Love--?”
She cast a quick glance at Mrs. Gale, who was starting to turn blue from lack of oxygen, before turning back to her boss. Not giving him a chance to ruin the ruse she’d thrown together, she launched herself into his arms and kissed him, right in his office in front of his mother.
The second their mouths touched, it was as if she’d woken up from a long, deep sleep.
This wasn’t a kiss--not really--and she was fully aware of that.
But her body didn’t get the message.
His mouth softened under hers, and after a moment of sheer awkwardness, he closed his arms around her and hauled her against his chest. Though she’d initiated the kiss, it didn’t take long for him to show her who was in charge of it. A small shift of his chin, and he was the kisser instead of the kissed.
He turned her slightly, facing away from his mother, and ran his tongue against the seam of her sealed lips. She gasped, shocked he’d actually gone there, and he took full advantage of the situation. He tasted like wine and something else she couldn’t place, and that was about as far as she got before she couldn’t think of anything except his lips on hers, his tongue against hers. She curled her hands into his shirt, and a small moan escaped her. She jumped at the sound, jerking back and covering her mouth in surprise.
Mr. Gale stared down at her, breathing heavily, his focus clearly on her mouth. It did weird things to her insides-- things that made her want to launch herself back into his arms, only for real this time, and take that kiss a step further.
Like, stepping right into his bed.
Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. She’s hit the Top 100 lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble numerous times with numerous titles. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6
by Janet Nissenson
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
They say you never forget your first love...
Lauren McKinnon has always prided herself on never backing down from a challenge, living life to its fullest, and refusing to be ruled by her emotions. She is the quintessential wild child who became a bold, fearless woman, she doesn’t believe in regrets or second chances, and thinks that true love only happens in fairy tales. Except for the time it happened to her one magical summer. But unlike fairy tales, in real life love can also be cruel, and after having her heart broken Lauren has vowed to never allow herself to be vulnerable again.
Ben Rafferty has always been a loner, never truly belonging anywhere or to anyone, until the summer he visits Big Sur and meets the girl he immediately recognizes as his soulmate. But Lauren’s star shines far too brightly, and to stay with her means the real possibility of dimming that brilliant light. The decision to leave her behind will be the most difficult of his life, and for years later he’s left to wonder what would have happened if he’d stayed.
When their paths inevitably cross again, Lauren’s pride and refusal to forgive continues to keep them apart, as does the new woman in Ben’s life. As truths are eventually revealed, and emotions can no longer be denied, will Lauren and Ben finally find their way back to each other, or will they be destined to forever remain apart?
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Can this author do any wrong? Once again she brilliantly weaves a raw, touching, and heartfelt story about two beautiful souls that never truly got over their first love.
Lauren McKinnon. She is a tough girl. Beautiful and bold, she never backs down to anything. She knows what she wants and is in charge of every aspect of her life. Until Ben Rafferty comes barreling in, arriving on her door step. Literally. She has taken to this man. Something about him intrigues her. She sees something deeper than this lonely man. And for Ben? He’s a man with no home or place to call his. But he finds solace and peace in Lauren. A light he never knew he needed in his dark world. These two strangers become lovers. And like all love stories, there’s a beginning...and an end. Ben sacrifices his feelings and walks away from the best thing that has ever happened to him. He left his heart with Lauren and he has every intention on letting her keep it.
When the past comes crashing down for Lauren and Ben, they realize that their wounds were never healed. Their hearts, never mended. After six years, you still feel that sizzle between them. The electricity between these two are off the charts. Their underlying desire and passion for each other is still very alive. But things have changed. Ben and Lauren are not in any position to give into temptation. One of them is already promised to someone else. Too bad they didn’t realize that you only belong to the one you selflessly give your heart to.
“Don’t you realize, Blue Eyes, that you were my dream?”
The romance in Sensational is deep and passionate. There is no insta love between Ben and Lauren. Their tangible connection will have your heart beating. Their declarations of love are magical in not only the words, but the emotions felt in the writing. Oh Ben, you kind hearted beautiful soul. My heart felt the inner struggle that Ben and Lauren endured. While Lauren still feels that fire for Ben, she is still left scarred from the past. Her heart is still shattered to pieces. No man has ever been brave enough to put those pieces back together. But her soul already knew that only Ben could be the one to make her feel whole.
I want to commend the author for truly writing a strong and beautiful heroine. There are so many times where I read a story and the heroine is portrayed as meek or timid. Or love simply changes the heroine. This is not the case for Lauren. She is fierce yet has the biggest heart you have ever read about. Despite her broken heart, she strives to be an amazing person that makes the best of her circumstances. I found Lauren to be awe inspiring, fun, and refreshing. I believe we need more women like her in the literary world.
There is so much depth to the author’s writing. She never ceases to amaze me. She meticulously chooses each word to add to her stories. Her writing is the answer to a reader’s dream as she effortlessly allows you be become embedded within the pages. Until you are lost in the story. Lost in the characters and their lives. She pours her heart and soul into her characters and this is felt in their development. Her characters are in no way one dimensional. They are multi layered and all exhibit a realness factor about them that makes it easy to truly relatable.
“It’s like an electrical storm every time the two of you are in the same room.”
Sensational is a breathtaking romance. Their story is captivating and I could not put this one down. While Ben and Lauren suffered from the heartache of all those years ago, they come to realize that love heals. Love endures. And their love certainly did.
Serendipity (Book, #1):
All You Need is Love (Book, #1.5):
Splendor (Book, #2)
Shattered (Book, #3)
Sensational (Book, #4)
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
November 9 is romance at it’s best. The feels, the words. THE WORDS. This was certainly one of my favorite Colleen Hoover books. If you listen closely, that is my heart still going crazy over this story.
"You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”
November 9. This date has SO much meaning. Deep meaning. It’s truly significant. To Ben Kessler and Fallon O’ Neill. They meet on this date and their lives are forever changed. I refuse to spoil anything, but do know that these characters demonstrate such strength. Physically. Emotionally. They add to the beauty in the human spirit. Fallon is about to move across the country the day she meets Ben. Their meeting and the depth of their connection cannot be explained in any simple terms. You must be placed in their story to understand. They don't rush into anything, but something exists between them. The next several years of their lives isn’t like anything you have ever read about.
“Because it’s easy to fall in love, Ben. The hard part comes when you want out.”
Fallon and Ben did not fall victim to the insta love idea. They decide to meet every year on the same date. They do not have any contact with each other. But each time they meet, their life is in a different place. Their feelings and emotions are even more invested in the other. Being in each other’s presence is their solace in the cruel and complicated world. Their time together was priceless. But they do fall. Effortlessly. Irrevocably. Their love is beautiful. But not easy.
“I imagine he kisses the same way he writes. Gentle strokes of the keys, each word thought through and completed with purpose.”
The words are so raw in its delivery. Poetic in nature. Lyrical in that it’s addicting. I read this in one sitting. The author is brilliant in captivating her readers. I applaud the author for the writing of this story. It’s different. It doesn’t adhere to the normal romance reciple. While the synopsis suggests Ben and Fallon are apart most of the novel, you as the reader will never feel that. You are totally connected to these two beginning to end.
“I didn’t even know kisses could really make eyelids flutter open. But they do and mine did.”
Ben Kessler. Be still my heart. I love how he loves. Deeply. Fiercely. Relentlessly. Their love cannot compare to any others, but it’s their love story. It belongs to them. My emotions were high in this one. I held on to every word. Every declaration of love spoken. My heart soared. November 9 is a romance that also reminds us of the beauty in the resilient heart.
“It took four years for me to finally fall completely in love with him. It only took four pages to stop."
If I could describe this book in a few words, I would say heart stopping romance. There are scenes that BREAK me. I’m talking throw down my kindle. Tear up. Breathe for a few minutes. And then pick the kindle back up to continue. I don’t want to spoil and I wouldn’t say there was an ugly cry per se. But Colleen is a genius at allowing her to FEEL her writing. Ben and Fallon’s story is not an easy one. Your heart is fully invested in their story. And I believe that is why their actions hit you.
“Because I know your heart, Ben, and your heart is only capable of love.”
November 9 is everything my heart needed. Colleen I have been in love with your writing since Slammed, and this is the first time since Hopeless that I felt such butterflies as I read this story. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the rest of the books written, November 9 just held my heart hostage. The words. The characters. Everything. I felt it all. As I write this review weeks later, everything is flooding back. November 9 was a powerful and beautiful read. It simply gave me LIFE.
Happiness. Sadness. Anger. Confusion. Angst. Dread. Yes, these are all the things I felt while reading November 9. Colleen did a fabulous job with the emotional roller coaster ride in the telling of Ben and Fallon's story.
The story pretty much takes place on November 9th every year, starting with the day they met. While I was worried the majority of the story would be Ben and Fallon apart, living their lives and missing each other, that wasn't the case. It was a story about every November 9th when they meet up again (with some exceptions to the rule). I thought it was a great premise, Colleen did a fantastic job of keeping their chemistry alive throughout the story even with them having limited communication throughout the years. That right there is a sign of a brilliant story teller.
I was pretty much in love with the story up until the fourth November 9th. It was then I was hit with the angst. Oh Ben, how I wanted to hate you then. How could you even... My heart broke. I was sure it wasn't going to end well after that. But alas, he had much more in store for my sad heart.
There were a few things about the story that I didn't like, AT ALL. Take Ben's mother for one. I think she could have been a little more sensitive in the way she dealt with things (come on Colleen! That was incredibly cruel!). The outcome could have have the same results, with a less dramatic path being followed.
The real plot twist was KILLER! I want so hard to believe that love can overcome anything that happened in the past. That love prevails and forgiveness can be the ultimate reward. My book loving heart and need for that HEA says YES, but my real life heart says NO, NO, NO! I just don't even know what I would have done. Hello, confusion!
I, of course, always love a great HEA. I'm happy that Fallon and Ben were able to come together at the end, even though it was hard to handle. I'm not so sure I could have done the same.
Fallon the Transient and Ben the Writer totally captured my heart in this one! In true Colleen Hoover fashion, she weaves her thoughts and quirkiness in to every single word of this book, and you can actually feel all of the emotions coming from each character. I’m not a huge fan of dual POV books, but it totally works in this story, and more than that—it’s extremely necessary in order to grab the whole concept behind the plot.
It all starts one day in a restaurant. Ben overhears a conversation that Fallon is having with her father, and he decides to swoop in and play superman. Obviously Fallon’s dad isn’t parent of the year, and if I tell you why Ben is there, at the restaurant in the first place this review would be spoiler city, and I won’t do that.
So after Ben brazenly saves Fallon at dinner with her dad, these two kids decide to spend the rest of the day together. The chemistry between Ben and Fallon is off the charts- immediately, but it’s not the super sexy, drool worthy chemistry that you’d expect in a romance novel. It’s awkward and special and so perfect for the two of them.
I would normally say that this storyline seems unrealistic and too fantastical, but I can’t say that because that’s the whole reason why we read books. To escape and enter in to a world that is kind of silly and unrealistic. And that’s exactly everything within the pages of this book. And I would totally be annoyed and rolling my eyes if this was anyone other than Colleen. She has a way of manipulating the unrealistic and making you believe that everything she writes is real, or the possibility that it could be. And that alone is why she’s so unbelievably talented, and why this book kept me up until 3 AM in the morning.
These characters are actually pretty complex, so when they decide to do something as simple as meet up once a year for the next five years, I was so happy with the simplicity behind that decision. This is also where I would normally be bothered by this plot. But I wasn’t, because as simple as it sounds, it wasn’t at all. Ben and Fallon decide to go ahead with this crazy idea of seeing each other once a year, with no contact in between, AT ALL. So that would be a total of five days of actual contact, and that’s not even five full days, because some of their meetings are only a few hours, Crazy right? But it works, and I fell for it, and them.
I really loved the way this story came together in the end, but there are a couple of things that bothered me while reading, and I can’t say what because… spoilers. But I really did enjoy the crap out of this book, and the only reason it’s getting four stars rather than five is because something was missing for me. It wasn’t the writing, or the plot, or even the things I mentioned above that I can’t mention. I just didn’t get that ahhhhhhhh, slump in the chair, and feel satisfied feeling that I wanted to get. It was really, really good, and I encourage everyone to read it. I was just like 80% satisfied in the end, and I soooooo wanted to be 100%.
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.
UNTAMED by S.C. Stephens (November 3, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Thoughtful #5)
The spotlight doesn’t only shine. Sometimes, it burns.
Being the bad-boy bassist for the world’s hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife Anna. The one thing it hasn’t brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.
Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he’s caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos—one that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he’s seen an ache in her eyes, and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers…
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I have been a huge fan of this series. And not only because of my love for #SexyKK but all of the D Bags. And when I heard Mr. Griffin Hancock was getting a book? I knew I HAD to read this one!
Untamed takes place in the present. This means that in no way is this a retelling of any of the other books. It is all Griffin’s story as a married rock star. With the current popularity of the band, Griff feels left out. He wants some time to shine. To show fans that he is not just the guy in shadows. He has talent, and he is ready to showcase just how much he has to offer. But the guys, Kellan, Matt, and Evan are not so sure. Griff has never taken anything seriously. Everything is a total joke. The one small chance he is given, he fails. Miserably. And that is all the more reason why to not give him a chance to take the lead while risking the band’s reputation. Frustrated, Griff goes on a whole new adventure. And his family is along for the ride . He feels that the band is not being fair, and is determined to make it all on his own. He doesn’t think he needs the band. Little does he know that everything he needs has always been right in front of his face.
There are some definite laugh out loud moments in Untamed. Griff is hilarious. He’s witty, sharp, and his sense of humor is off the charts. But there are also some emotional and somber moments. We get to see just how much Griff battles with wanting to be great but also provide for his family. The author’s writing demonstrates how well she knows her characters. Nothing is ever forced. Griff is everything we know him to be and so much more. I love that we get to see Griffin in his element as a rockstar, but also as a husband and father. He has grown so much as a person and we are so lucky as readers that we get to experience this. Griff's story definitely needed to be told.
I had no idea what to expect when it came to Griff’s book. He’s self-centered, selfish, and still bangs like the rockstar that he is. Except it’s with his woman, his wife, Anna. I had no idea just how big of a heart he really had. Untamed is so much more than Griff wanting to be in the spotlight. At the end of the day, we all just want to know we serve a purpose. And it took Griff and the rest of the guys hitting rock bottom to truly understand how great of a role everyone plays in that band. Thank you S.C. Stephens for giving us more of the D Bags. They have been terribly missed.
S.C. Stephens Q&A
1. What do you think readers will be surprised to see from Griffin in UNTAMED?
I think readers will be surprised to see how much he grows in this book. He’s evolved a lot since Thoughtless, but that growth is nothing compared to Untamed.
2. What’s your favorite quote or scene from UNTAMED?
Oh man…there are so many! But my ultimate favorite scene is at the end. I don’t want to spoil it, so I can’t really talk about it, but he lets his guard down and is completely open and vulnerable. It’s such a shocking difference from how he normally is that it really gets to me. I choke up every time.
3. What are three things we’d find on your writing desk?
My iPod, my laptop, and my Ned Stark figurine. He helps keep me focused, because… Winter is coming.
4. If UNTAMED was being made into a movie, who would you want to play Griffin?
Chris Hemsworth. And I would need to be on set every day.
I’ve included the NetGalley widget below as well just in case you haven’t gotten it yet. Please let me know if you need anything else!
Title: The Weight Of Rain
Author: Mariah Dietz
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: October 27, 2015
One night changed my life—one that I barely remember.
When I close my eyes, my mind paints a picture of his smile and shades the contours of his hands, the deep scar around his bicep.
I'm an artist, yet my hands are unsteady. With his presence, he has unknowingly broken that something inside of me that makes me who I am.
Being around him is like standing in a rainstorm. First the drops tickle my skin, and then they coat me, refusing to be ignored. Finally, they soak into me, reaching parts of me I don’t think anyone has ever touched.
When dreams turn into reality, will the picture in my mind transfer to paper?
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Lauren (Lo) Crosby is left haunted by a stranger’s touch and their time together. Several weeks later after she met him, she cannot get him out of her head. His presence remains with her. While she cannot remember his name or details to find him, she remembers their moment. And how she wants nothing more than to experience a moment like that all over again. It was passionate. They connected on a level she never thought possible. He saw parts of her that she’s never shown anyone. In every way. But what happens when she comes face to face with this stranger?
“Did you want to be found?”
“You have no idea how much I wanted you to find me.”
I absolutely cannot say his name in this review, or that may ruin everything. The experience of reading this book as everything unravels is thrilling. You find out pretty soon who this guy is but when you do, things are put into perspective. You realize that fate never gets it wrong. That love finds a way through through the impossible at all times. Their journey is not easy, but so worth it.
“...emotions are like drops of rain, and whether I want to or not, I feel all of them.”
There are some major FEELS in this book. Lauren is a very talented artist. Determined to prove her family wrong about her major and career choice, she works non stop at perfecting her talent in school and beyond. She has dreams and aspirations. But even with that, she sometimes doubt herself. She’s never had someone admire her talent and truly care about her. Until him. He changes things. As she wants to fall into the background, he pulls her out to shine on a pedestal. One she’s not so sure she deserves. Yet he believes so strongly that she belongs there. He SEES her. And everything she is. He sees and loves her beyond the surface.
“I think I could lose myself watching you discover yourself.”
The writing is flawless. I was easily captivated not only by the writing, but by execution of the story. The author has a natural talent of weaving together a beautiful story with flawed and compassionate characters. They are also strong, and very witty. There is such a realness factor to them. You are easily immersed into their world and everything within. And you don’t want to leave. The words are almost lyrical in nature. I loved the flow of this story. Once you start you become lost in the beauty of the writing and all it encompasses and the meaning it adds to the story. To put simply, the writing is brilliant.
“God I’m glad I wrecked you as badly as you did me.”
What happens when you are determined not to love, but the heart doesn’t listen? You love harder. You feel the inner struggle for both of them. Wanting to love, but not exactly sure how. But the thing about the heart is that it loves deeply. Relentlessly. Without regard. For love always ends up where it belongs. The guy in this story WILL steal your heart. He loves with a love so deep and overwhelming. His love for Lauren transcends. He loves her beyond her insecurities and her doubts. And Lauren loves him as fiercely. They both love with conviction. Whole heartedly. Their love simply knows no end. There is no insta anything here. While their connection is instant, there is a slow build to trusting and loving. Lauren and her guy are no strangers to love and the disappointment it can bring.
“You’ve coated every last part of my skin and have worked your way into every depth of me, parts I didn’t even know existed.”
The Weight Of Rain was such a profound and beautiful love story. If there was a recipe for true and real romance, this book would be it. It’s unlike anything you will ever read. Their love is somewhat unconventional. But it’s their story. They endure highs and lows. But nevertheless, it’s worth everything they have been through. I cannot stress enough the writing in this story and how it sets this book apart from others. This book is likely to stay with me for a long time to come.
“The weight of our love is greater than anything, and it will always be just as the rain: inescapable.”