WISH YOU WERE HERE
By: Renee Carlino
Release Day: August 15, 2017
You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks.
Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse.
Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.
Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Charlotte Martin lives a messy life. Her love life needs help. She has the worst taste in men. Her job is a waste, but needs it to pay her bills. She hasn’t quite found her purpose. Or career. And her twenties are almost over. One night, her best friend Helen forces them to go out after she too had her heart broken. Again. They literally run into Adam Bramwell. Her soul catches fire at the sight of this man. He’s mysterious yet fascinating. They embark on a night together. The chemistry is crazy. Intense. Overwhelming. Magical. So when they wake up and Adam is confused and brushes Charlotte off. She is left bewildered. And even though they just met, she is shattered.
Months later she can’t shake Adam. Even after she meets someone. The way he made her heart soar with just one night. The way he made her want to live. Instead of simply existing coaxing through life. But Adam. Everything about her wants him, but the idea of Adam holds her back. This is NOT what you think. There is no love triangle. The secret literally hits you like a freight train. I sat there on the couch in tears. Shaking. From the very beginning, I felt that something was off. There are clues as the story unravels, but nothing prepares you for what comes to light. And for what comes after.
You lit up my night...my fucking life, Charlotte."
Riveting. Poignant. Absolutely earth shattering, this is a romance I’ve never read before. The author is a master is weaving together a love story no one could ever execute. The writing electrifies you. The prose keeps you engaged from beginning to end. The characters inspire you. The author challenges you to understand love in a way that only she can present to the reader. Exhilarating. Gripping. This story consumes you. I was left absolutely breathless.
"As long as there is love in this world, we will be a part of it."
My only qualm about this book is that everything happens SO fast. Charlotte. Adam. Him. But can’t love exist without thought? It’s about emotions. FEELINGS. Why do we have to think in love? Don’t we fall in love? And that right there is why I love this author so much. Even when I have issues regarding the storyline, it happens to be something I adore in her writing. Love isn’t forced. Love is fate. Love is happenstance. Predestined. Loves goes against time and circumstance. Unique and unforgettable, once again Renee Carlino pens a compelling love story that will leave a mark on my heart now and for a long time to come.
Read an Excerpt
“You’re making love sound tragic,” I said.
“No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?”
“Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.” “Don’t forget about sex,” he said.
“Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we
"We were practically naked every second of the day.”
“I like that.”
“When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.”
“What are they like? Our children.”
“Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.”
Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children?
His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things.
“I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be."
I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.”
About the Author
Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com
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Blog Tour: The Darkest Sunrise by Aly Martinez, Stacy's review and Pre-order for Book 2! @AlyMartinezAuth
Well thanks a lot Aly Martinez!!! I'm dead now. Omg WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?!?!????????? I NEED THE SECOND BOOK ASAP!
Ok. So, after A heartbreaking prologue I had a feeling that this book was going to get to me, plus I've seen a lot of buzz about this series on Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads. I was worried though because books that have a lot of buzz sometimes fall flat and this book definitely did not fall flat! In fact, it’s just the opposite. Full of intrigue, and mysterious characters, and one HUGE plot twist, this book is just what you need, especially if you’re a sucker for cliffhangers, because WATCH OUT.
If I'm honest it took a while for me to get into the first 35% or so of the story. It was just a little slow for me, which is totally understandable considering we needed to get to know the characters and back stories etc... but once all those technicalities got out of the way it was like BAM, you're on a roller coaster ride of this beautifully difficult courtship between two people who are so obviously damaged. But, at the same time they desperately need something to hang on to. Something to take them out of their darkness while at the same time, remaining in the darkness. Their relationship is short and choppy, and some might call it insta-love-ish, but I didn't see it that way at all. I think Aly Martinez did a great job of making their short term relationship seem deeply rooted and they had a very close emotional connection. Both grieving different types of loss, but dealing with insurmountable pain.
Charlotte and Porter have this invisible connection. It's magnetic and sweet and awkward, and it's hard not to fall in love with them out of sheer agony for what they're going through. But neither of them want to force their baggage on each other, so it's interesting to see how they get around that while at the same time trying to slowly integrate their lives.
There's not really much more I can say, because practically everything is a spoiler. All I know is that I need book 2 immediately because Aly Martinez left like the biggest cliffhanger EVER!! In all seriousness, what a great start, this series is going to be super popular!
THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #2) Coming July 27th
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Words destroyed me.
“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”
“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”
“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.
Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.
In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2sX0Yo9
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2tG4oJ9
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2u9VhU1
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2u0aVAI
About The Author
Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.
Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.
She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.
AUTHOR LINKS:Website: www.alymartinez.com
"I can’t believe the things we do in the night when we feel like there will never be daylight again."
High school sweethearts that never were... Aaric Christos wanted Bryn Kelly from the moment he first saw her, and she denied him regardless of the way she felt about him. But, that was years ago. Bryn is older now and her entrepreneurial mind needs Aaric, and his money. Aaric has plenty of money to throw around, and that's exactly what Bryn is hoping for. He likes to invest in start-ups and all she wants is for him to latch on to her idea so she can do her thing and prove to him and herself that it was all worth it.
“I wanted you before. That doesn’t hold a candle to the way I want you now.”
It's obvious from the very beginning that the sexual tension is through the roof. I mean come on, this guy oozes sex and charm and danger, even his name is sexy! And, I adore Bryn, she's smart and persistent and she has these great endearing quirks about her that add humor and vulnerability to her character. Both of these characters make you fall in love with them effortlessly, and sometimes I really need that! It's refreshing.
"You make me want to protect you and at the same time you make me want to break you."
There is angst! I wasn't really expecting that, but nevertheless, there it was! As this story consumes you with its lovely slow burn, it also keeps you right on that edge because there are some things in the plot that you aren't quite sure about. Things that will make you scratch your head and say hmmnnn, I wonder where this is going? And I LOVE that! Everything about the the slow burn and the angst was sexy too! It was all just very smooth and charismatic, the mood was set and the characters brought all of that together in the most delicious way.
"The way she looks. The way she walks. The way she smiles. The way she talks. The solar-plexus punching, gut-wrenching, bucket-of-water feeling of seeing my future in her eyes."
I really respect the way Katy Evans builds her stories and her characters. She sets the tone like a movie, and I'm over here like, wow the cinematography is great! I could see everything I was reading so perfectly in my head, and a simple walk through New York turned into a beautiful memory and one of my favorite parts of this story, amongst many. There's something to be said for writing that can translate so well into a vivid landscape that only I can see, that we all get to create because of great writing! I'm definitely recommending this one if you want a super sexy, fun summer read!
Read An Excerpt
I hop off the train and walk several walks to his building.
It’s a brownstone in Park Avenue, one of the most elite of the elite spaces in town.
My lungs feel a little bit overworked from awe as I head up the steps to the double doors, grateful that I came dressed to kill in a little black dress, a jacket, and pumps. Simple, but effective.
See, I may be feeling a little awkward, but at least I don’t look it.
I’m greeted by his maid. She’s dressed in black and white, her hair drawn back in a neat bun, her expression stoic and formal as she leads me down the hall to a gorgeous study.
I catch my breath when I notice all the books and shelves.
It’s like a reader’s paradise in here. There’s a sleek chrome bar, a modern mahogany glass-topped desk, and two huge whiskey-colored leather chairs that almost swallow me up when I’m instructed to wait in one.
I drum my fingers, inhaling the scent of leather and wine, remembering a guy I knew with his mechanic navy-blue uniform, black streaks on his jaw, his big nose always the first thing you’d see, which was a pity because he had beautiful eyes and a really sinful pair of lips.
He’s living in luxury now. Wow. Good for him.
I hear footsteps approaching and the little hair on my arms prick at attention. My head turns as a tall, dark figure steps into the room, and the most intimidating guy I’ve ever seen enters and crosses the room toward the desk. He walks like he’s the shit…his strides proud and composed, elegant and powerful.
Christos, I hear myself breathe in surprise.
He’s so tall now…six three, at least. Dirty-blonde hair, gold-green eyes, chiseled jaw, and a gorgeous profile.
All in black, he looks very much a New Yorker.
He’s wearing a black jacket, black pants, and a black turtleneck beneath the jacket...
I stare at him, my jaw hanging a little bit open. The man is….all man. Testosterone. Muscles. Height. Width. My chest hurts all of a sudden because I realize…
The boy you knew is gone.
I force myself to stand. “Thank you for seeing me.”
He heads to the bar to pour two drinks, then he prowls over, takes the whiskey leather chair across from mine and leans forward, pushing a glass of cognac with one finger across a small table, toward me.
And he waits.
But my stomach dips as if he’d said something ultra-sexy and decadent.
“You might not remember me, I’m sorry to be reaching out like this,” I say, nervous.
“What do you want?”
There’s a pleasant shiver as he speaks. Recognition of his voice, even though it’s far deeper than I remember.
“I was told you sometimes invest in startups.”
“I’d say more than sometimes.” He raises his eyebrows as if I should’ve done my homework better.
Ugh, Bryn! Focus! Be SMART! Make yourself and your business irresistible! A silence settles as he eyes me, slowly setting his drink down as he leans forward and finally, unexpectedly, smiles. At me.
It’s just a smile.
But the world tilts under its impact.
“Hello, little bit.” Amusement touches his gaze as he tilts his head and watches me. “You know, I’d think you’d have grown up the ten-plus years since I last saw you. At least an inch.” He leans back in his seat, seemingly displeased. Wow, this guy is not the lanky kid I knew once. This guy oozes danger.
Every ounce of “boy” is gone. Oh God. For a moment I wish that we could go back in time and I could discuss my startup with the guy I knew before.
But time travel is not really my talent, and it seems like I have yet to see if I even have any special talents at all—depending on what this guy thinks.
“I grew two in width,” I shock myself saying.
He laughs then, his eyes drinking me in openly.
“Shame on you, you’re not trying to see if it’s true?” I ask him, frowning now.
He shrugs casually, his lips curved at the corners. “I can’t help it. Something has to have changed.”
“Because nothing good ever lasts. Even you, little bit.” A smile touches those unforgettable gold-green eyes.
A shiver runs through me. Because…
Christos recognized me.
“I can tell you’re as incorrigible as ever.” I shake my head, but I’m smiling, truly just relieved that he recognized me.
“I try to be,” he purrs dangerously.
I’m feeling warm all of a sudden. I can’t believe I’m staring at him so much, but it’s like I cannot take my eyes away. He looks achingly familiar, but at the same time, so different I cannot help but stare and track the differences in his features. The way his jaw squared out even more, the way his body filled out with hard, lean muscles that shift and ripple beneath his expensive designer clothes. I cannot believe that this is a guy I knew once.
He seems to silently be taking in my changes too, his keen stare allowing me to see that he seems to approve of it all. Even the dress I’m wearing. “You changed enough for the both of us,” I blurt.
“Really. How so?” he asks.
“You grew into your nose.”
“Really?” He chuckles as if despite himself.
“Width and height too. Quite a bit,” I add.
“Anything else,” he prods, one eyebrow rising.
“You learned how to dress.”
He looks down at his black suit. “This old thing?” He grins, then shifts forward, sobering up. “What can I do for you, Bryn? Considering I’m rather surprised to see you here, I’m eager for you to satiate my curiosity.” His stare becomes keen.
“So am I. I didn’t expect to be here,” I admit, and for a moment when I look into his eyes, all I see is someone I’ve seen before. Someone who belonged in my life long ago. “You know when you had that misplaced crush on me and told me one day I’d know what it felt like to throw pebbles at someone’s window wanting them to open? I’m sort of throwing rocks here.”
“Not to sing me a love song,” he says flatly, his eyes shuttering.
“No. Well, you know that was never....I mean...” Don’t bring up your rejection of him, Bryn! “It’s for something better. Business.”
“I knew that’d get you.” I smile privately. “So it’s true your love is money now.”
“She gives back what I put in. Though her ass isn’t as juicy as I like,” he says nonchalantly.
“Wow. No matter how polished you look, your mouth is still as crude as ever.”
“Thank you,” he purrs, his eyes grinning at me.
I laugh. Then I sober up and realize he’s waiting for me to speak. “I’m looking for money for my startup,” I say.
“One hundred thousand.”
“I don’t invest less than a million.” He twirls his whiskey in his glass, eyeing the liquid.
“Well then, I’ll ask for a million.”
He raises his brows, setting his glass down. “It’s not how much you want to ask for, it’s how much the company’s worth.” Eyebrows up, he skewers me with a cold, intimidating look.
“It’ll be worth more than a million, trust me,” I bluff.
“Good for you. Except…” he leans back with a rustle of clothes, every athletic inch of his black-clad body flowing sinuously like a feline with the move, “considering that has yet to happen and I’ll need to trust you on that, my trust needs to be earned.”
This version of Christos is even more intimidating than the old one, unfortunately.
I try to hide it, keeping my voice as level as possible. “How does one earn your trust?”
“I’d tell you if I were interested, but I’m not exactly sure that I am.” He eyes me as if debating in silence.
This guy is the only guy in the world that unnerves me in this way, and I can’t seem to slow the fast pounding of my heart in my chest as I try to remember what I came here to say.
“I have a full presentation for you. I’m not taking no for an answer.” I reach into my briefcase.
“Darling. Are you ready?”
I start at the female voice and glance at a gorgeous woman striding into the study. Christos continues looking at me as he stands and reaches for the cell phone the woman extends out.
“We’re done here,” he answers her as he pockets the phone, his gaze remaining on me.
“I’ll wait for you in the car.” She leans up and kisses his jaw, her hands proprietary on his chest, then sends me a woman-to-woman claiming look, before she swishes away, all glittering jewels and lean body.
There’s a silence as he approaches, and for a second all I can hear is the sound of a toilet flushing, taking my only opportunity with a possible investor away.
“I’ll think about it,” he says.
“I said I’ll think about it,” he says from the door.
“Please do,” I say as he exits the room. I cup the sides of my mouth, “I’ll be back tomorrow. Same time?” I say jokingly.
I’m surprised when I hear footsteps returning. He pauses when our eyes meet. “I’ll make contact,” he says, raising his eyebrows meaningfully, “If I’m interested in hearing more.” He nods. “Nice to see you, Bryn.”
“Nice to see you. Christos.”
Well, that went sort of awful.
About The Author
Katy Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.
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Release Day! All I Am: Drew's Story (A This Man Novella). Stacy's Review, and #Giveaway @JodiEllenMalpas @ForeverRomance
"No commitment. No complications. Just raw, carnal fucking."
It's been years since I read the This Man series, and to be honest, there's no need to read those books before you read this novella. But, there are character connections so if that's something that bothers you, maybe read that series first, It's one of my favorites! But other than that, if you want a fun, quick, sexy-as-hell read, look no further! Jesse Ward makes some appearances too! Which, was so nice, but this book is ALL DREW.
“This isn’t a date, Raya. The only expectation I have is a wet pussy.”
Drew Davies is a hot single dad with a kinky habit that leads him to some spectacular night-time extracurricular activities. He doesn't date, and he's perfectly content living life his way. Hux is a sex club and he's found comfort in releasing himself there, pun intended.
"this isn’t a date. All you need to know is that I have a cock and I have ability, and with them I can blow your mind.”
Raya Rivers specifically requested Drew at Hux because he came highly recommended. She wanted someone cold, and emotionless, and that's exactly who Drew could be for her. She had needs and omg did Drew fulfill them!
"I think I just made love to a woman. I don’t make love to women. I don’t gaze into their eyes. I don’t sink my nose into their skin and try to store their scent. Shit,"
The chemistry is great, the sex is HOT, the romance levels are just perfect. It's a little insta-love-ish but, I think for this book and its length, combined with how quickly you get to know the characters- it's great! Drew is the perfect mix of hot alpha male and swoon worthy book boyfriend, and in typical JEM fashion, he falls at the knees of a woman in a way that we can all appreciate and fantasize about. If you need a quick read that will tickle you in all the right places, this little novella is packed with all the sexiness you need!
“I was at Hux to avoid the complications of feelings. To get lost for a while without worrying about trust. I had planned on being just as cold and emotionless as I requested, but I couldn’t. Not with you. You weren’t supposed to be so amazing.”
Read An Excerpt
‘What do you want, Raya?’
She steps toward me tentatively, as if she’s questioning what she’s doing. And when she reaches me, her chest pressed to mine, she gazes up at me. ‘I don’t know.’ Her eyes are wild and unsure. ‘But I know that every time we’re close, something powerful takes over. And you’re trying hard to fight it. You’re warm and cold. What are you scared of?’
‘You.’ My mouth is on her before I can think better of it, and I’ve lifted her from her feet before my tongue breaches the seam on her lips. We should talk, but this is the only thing I know what to say right now, and when her arms circle my shoulders, her mouth opening up, inviting me in, I know she’s okay with it. I know she gets it.
With one arm around her waist holding her to me and one secured on the nape of her neck, I walk to my office, my kiss deep, my blood racing, my heart bouncing off my ribcage. I set her on her feet and take the hem of her dress, pulling it up over her head, losing her lips for just a second in the process. She wrenches my shirt open, scattering buttons in the process, her hands immediately finding my skin beneath. My forward steps encourages her backwards, our kiss deepening as she unfastens my trousers and I push her knickers down her thighs.
We’re all over the place, desperation getting the better of us, a mess of tongues, hands and bodies. I pull some strength from nowhere, seize her hands and break our kiss, breathing heavily. Her unsure brown eyes soon prompts me to start ridding myself of the rest of my clothes, all under her watchful gaze. Until I’m naked.
‘This wasn’t supposed to happen,’ she whispers.
About The Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.
Social Media Links
Emmeline Austin wants a night filled with adventure when her friends decide to desert her for some random guys, so she decides to take the reins of her own life and marry a man she's just met. This isn't a spoiler, as is it happens almost immediately. What happens in Vegas and all... This is when we first meet Nick Slater, and Emmeline doesn't see him again until 9 years later. When she moves to Montana to follow her dream of being a kindergarten teacher. The Cover Chapel is small town romance at its best and for those of you that are into overbearing alphas and the women that own their hearts, this book gives new meaning to whirlwind romance!
Nick is persistent and HOT and he wants another chance. But, Emmy has a boyfriend and doesn't want to let Nick back in even though she can't forget about the night that insta-love took over her world and she recklessly gave her heart to a stranger. So, she reluctantly agrees to give him a chance to explain. “Five dates. One week,” Normally I would call this a second chance romance, but in this case since the first chance lasted less than 24 hours I can't really classify it that way. And to be honest, the second chance, even though it was 9 years later was a little too insta-love as well. I mean, I guess it could happen but, for me personally I'm not the biggest fan of that type of thing. But for those that are, it was done really well! Nick was way more alpha-male than I'd thought he'd be too, almost too overbearing at times. But I’ve got to give a guy props for trying so hard. He really was sweet and protective and he says the most swoonworthy things to get Emmy back.
I did not read the first book in this series, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, what I can say is that the writing is exceptional. Even though the chemistry and love aspect was super quick, the character development was great and I love the added element of suspense and danger, that totally brought up the angst factor and kept me going. The second half of the book was where it really locked me in, so if all that stuff I mentioned turns you off, just keep going because the latter part of the book is way stronger than the first, in my opinion. And I have to say that by the time the book ended, I had a huge smile on my face and I was kind of surprised by that myself!! I will definitely be going back to read the first book in the series, The Coppersmith Farmhouse. And I’m really looking forward to book 3, The Lucky Heart which comes out this August. These are all standalone novels with interconnected characters, so if you’re a stickler for order than read book one first. I guess I’m a rebel because I’ve never really cared about rules or order and I enjoyed it just fine! This really is the perfect read for summer, great characters, great writing and overall a cute and sexy story that can pull anyone out of a bad mood. This book reads like the perfect fairy tale that every woman wants.
About The Author
Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.
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New Release! When it's Real by Erin Watt. Stacy's review, book trailer & Teasers.@authorerinwatt @ninabocci
"That Oakley I can handle. But this one? The one who smolders at me and writes me apology songs? I’m so out of my element here."
I first fell in love with the Erin Watt writing duo when they gave us The Royals, and that completely ruined me! So, when I found out they were writing a standalone YA together I was ecstatic! Of course, I was worried that I would compare the two series but I didn't, and I'm glad I didn't because they're completely different but, both equally amazing.
"I want her to see Oakley Ford, not the douche she thinks is making her life miserable."
Oakley Ford is a pop star who became famous at the young age of 14. He needs a fake girlfriend to keep up his failing reputation, because now that he's 19 he's turned into quite the heartthrob. He's done this whole fake girlfriend thing before, but it failed miserably so of course he's somewhat apprehensive. This is where Vaughn Bennett comes in. Her sister, Paisley works for his management team and Vaughn's picture is spotted at her desk, and just like that, a new fake girlfriend plan is hatched. Vaughn's parents died when she was 15 and left behind her younger twin brothers and older sister. So, she needs money to take care of her family, so she agrees, apprehensively, just like Oakley did.
"I wanted to know what it felt like to be her, and the only way I knew how to do that was to put my mouth against hers."
This reads like a movie, like a cute, sexy teenage romance. This isn't a frenemy to lover’s trope, but it definitely felt like it at times. It's not too heavy, but there are some deep hidden feelings that plague both characters. The character development is great as well, because you really get a sense of who Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett are before they were thrust into this crazy superficial contract. And you learn even more about their backgrounds and where they come from as they go on this journey together. You really get a sense that Oakley wants to break out of this role of being a pop star and wants to be recognized as a real human being. And Vaughn gave that to him, she ends up being his muse, his passion, and everything he ever wanted. Oakley just wants to be normal, do normal things that people his age do. Fall in love the way his peers do. And he sees that in Vaughn. His manager and PR people see it differently though, and that's where it gets messy.
“The good ones put your character to the flame and burn away all the rest of the shit until you come out a better you. She’s one of the good ones.”
The chemistry between V and Oakley is great, and I loved how their young love was strained and angsty at times. They also have the cutest banter ever, and the little things that Oak would do for her like giving her a tiramisu recipe, and all he wanted was to give her "shivers". These two are seriously the cutest ever, and I totally fell in love with them.
“I’m good with my tongue, Vaughn.” I smile at her. “You’re gonna find that out soon enough.”
About The Author
Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun–and sometimes crazy–ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.
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Release Blitz: Love Me in the Dark by Mia Asher, Stacy's review & teaser. @miaasherauthor @givemebooksblog
Title: Love Me in the Dark
Author: Mia Asher
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 10, 2017
“I want you to need me like I need you. Violate you like you violate my thoughts. Fill you without shame and mercy. Lose myself in your body and never come back,”
Love Me in the Dark is raw and forbidden and it leaves you with a depraved sense of satisfaction that might shock you, and from beginning to end I had no clue what was going to happen next! If you've ever wanted to throw your kindle before, that was child's play, you might want to get padded walls because your throw will be a heavy one. This is a new author to me so I went in knowing nothing except for the rumors I've heard that she will kill me with angst and most likely hurt me. BUT, I wiped my brain of that stuff the best I could because every author deserves a clean start.
Well let me tell you... you know how people say "I've felt every emotion reading this book?" Well I did. I got MAD, I was frustrated, annoyed, happy, sad, IN LOVE, on the edge, I almost gave up at one point. Like I was SO close to throwing the towel in. Something inside me told me to keep going, so I did. And I'm so glad I that I did. There were things that I didn't like and things that I loved, and in the end the love is what won the day, so I'll try my best to explain why.
Valentina is in love with her husband, and she's desperately trying to be the good wife and connect with him in the way she's supposed to, which won't be easy considering his past transgressions. They are supposed to be meeting in Paris, but V's husband once again abandons her, alone. In Paris. Where there's a hot guy tempting her every second of the day. So, she decides to take some "me" time to reexamine her life and how she feels about herself. Once her husband bails on her she basically turns her trip into an Eat, Pray, Love, type experience.
To be honest, in the beginning I had such a hard time connecting with the characters, and that was so frustrating for me, because I love the idea of this book. It has angst written all over it, but that didn't come until later. The character development was slightly lacking in my opinion. I just didn't feel like I knew the characters at all, and with this type of storyline I think you really need to be invested in the character to fall in love with them, especially if said character will be doing immoral things. Don't get me wrong, I'm always down for cheating, stalkers, sociopaths etc... but I still need to connect in order to completely commit. And that connection did come, just not as early on as I wanted.
Around 40% I finally fell into a groove with the writing, which is further along than I would have liked. But at that point it was getting good and I couldn't stop. Go figure. Sébastien, and his little owl were growing on me, and that made me so happy because I really didn't want to give up on this book. Sébastien and his past continually haunt him throughout the story and I was very invested in seeing that through.
Cut to about 60% and I'm all in. Wow, what a turnaround! This almost never happens to me! Man oh man this is getting gooood! At this point I'm fully invested and I'm not sure how I feel so differently now than I did in the beginning but I'm so, SO happy for the change! I guess this is why you should never give up on a book or DNF to early on because damn-- I would have been pinching myself for missing out on all of the goodness. It's like leaving a baseball game too early and BAM there's a comeback and you've missed all the greatest highlights! I'm so glad I stayed.
I think this really took a turn for me when I was finally able to appreciate the setting. These characters being in Paris, with all of the lights, sounds, music and culture. It's like, if they weren't at this exact place, in this exact time, that none of this would even be happening. Having La Bohème on repeat definitely helped I'm sure, and that's when I realized how creative and sensual the writing is, it was like a fog was lifted and I was like, wow this is really great. I think I actually learned something about myself while reading this book, realizing that not everything is black and white and that patience really is a worthy companion. This book did lots of things to me, some bad, some good, but ultimately it was a great read because I felt all of those things.
I'm a writer, a hopeless romantic, a wanderer, a dreamer, a cynic, and a believer. And, I might be a
bit crazy - but who isn't?
I believe in happy endings however I know that not everyone is lucky enough to get one, but such is life. I think fine lines exist to be pushed and possibly crossed.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/miaasherauthor
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WELCOME TO ST. ANNE
The loss of her mother turned her world upside down and revealed a truth she had never known. Her entire life felt like a lie.
Now, she lives on her own terms. She does what – and who – she wants, when she wants. She can’t get hurt if she doesn’t let anyone get close enough. Being lonely is just the price she has to pay. She isn’t about to let a man like Brig get to her, no matter how good his looks or intentions.
As one of St. Anne’s favorite sons, he has lived a charmed life, never wanting for anything. Family, friends, business – he is wealthy in ways that mean more than dollar signs. He doesn’t know what it means to fail. Foul-mouthed and beautiful, yet cautious, Sonny is everything he never knew he wanted. But when it comes to her, want has become need, and for the first time in his life, he has to fight for something.
Sonny has spent so much time keeping people out that the idea of letting Brig in feels dangerous.
But danger is already coming for her
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Emerson (Sonny) Decker doesn’t let anyone get close. After losing her mother, the trajectory of her life has forever changed once her death revealed a truth. She is determined to live life by her rules. And no one is going to change that. Not even Brigham (Brig) O’Neal . The town’s favorite son. He’s drop dead gorgeous. Wealthy. And is known to always get what he wants. He doesn’t understand why Sonny keeps him at a distance. The more he pushes, the more he pulls away. He’s never been challenged, but Sonny is one challenge he is up for. And he shows no sign of giving up.
The push and pull between Sonny and Brig was a slow burn. Sonny usually has no issue with loving and leaving them, but with Brig everything is so different. She knows that once her walls come down there’s simply no turning back. Brig makes her want to break every rule that she has established for herself. Brig is drawn to Sonny’s hardened exterior. He knows beneath her snarky and witty personality there’s a woman his heart wants to love. Their story isn’t an easy one, but Brig is patient. And he knows his connection with Sonny is one of a kind. The build up of their connection will have you on edge and once desires are given into, you feel everything. There is also a suspense type of feel within the story that the author subtly threads throughout. This will have you turning the pages.
Beautifully Broken is a southern romance that I think will easily charm any reader. The book is narrated seamlessly by dual POVs which truly allows you to experience Sonny and Brig’s story from their eyes. The town of St. Anne was very interesting with so many striking characters that I know we haven’t heard the last of them. While the author was great with executing a complex storyline, I do wish that the characters were introduced rather than told to us. They were presented in such a way that I felt like I was expected to know who they were, except I didn’t. As if I was in the middle of a series rather than the first of a series. Nonetheless, this debut was a great one. I found it to be funny, heartbreaking at times, but overall a solid and enjoyable read.
Em Frances is a foul-mouthed, filterless Jersey girl who lives in northern Florida with an extremely patient and tolerant husband and their two dogs.
When she isn't writing, or when she's supposed to be writing (lol), she's usually on Facebook, reading or binge-watching TV...and sometimes all three at the same time!
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Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life and death has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other s company. It s either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he s left with his lawyer. The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.
At turns humorous, biting, poignant, and surprisingly tender, ASHES puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal."
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Estranged brothers, Tom and Jason Prendergast have one thing in common. An abhorrence towards their alcoholic and abusive father. The man left years of scars that no one can see. Scars that no one understands, but them. It’s been years since they have seen each other. It’s not until their father’s death that they are forced to face each other again. Tension is high. Neither brother willing to let go of the deception of the other. Even in death, their father haunts them. He’s made a demand for them to drive across the country to scatter his ashes. It’s a stipulation that neither brother wants to participate in, but because of circumstances, they both decide to do so. And it will forever change the trajectory of their lives.
This book is so much more than a journey. It’s an experience. Tom and Jason relive a lot of the pain caused by their father as they embark on this long drive together. Their pain is deep and full of layers that neither knew existed. They realize just how much their past currently affects them. There is also anger and resentment. The betrayal is something that these brothers can’t simply put behind them. It’s at the forefront of everything. Their resentment and their inability to move on. I don’t want to talk too much about the plot. But the author is definitely talented in his ability to truly allow the reader to feel the depth of emotions and connections of these characters.
I’d like to admit something. I am usually a contemporary romance kind of reader. And this has no romance at all. But when I read the blurb, something spoke to me. I felt like this was a story that I needed to read. And I am so glad I did. The writing is absolutely magnetic with it’s refined prose and compelling storyline. The author is definitely a master in his craft of storytelling as he allows the reader to completely resonate with his characters’ story. You feel their pain and sorrow, but also their joy and laughter. These men are older than the characters I’m used to reading about, yet I found myself completely enthralled by what these two have been through and what was to come. The way this book was executed and written, allowed me to emotionally connect with the character regardless of our differences.
Ashes was a poignant and thought provoking read for me. The story is so much deeper than any review could ever describe. The author tactfully covers so many relevant and sensitive topics. And he does so with a decorum that I found to be admirable. This was my first read by this author and definitely not my last.
Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin' Chair. He is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, Pressed Pennies, A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novella), Just in Time (novella), The Thursday Night Club (novella, released November 2014) and Gooseberry Island (novel, released January 2015). His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com
Ten years I trained to be the best boxer there is. I had fighters blood pumping through my veins and I was a lethal opponent. One to be feared. Twelve years I spent with my first love, we were childhood sweethearts and I was ready to make her my wife. My brother would have been my best man, his wife would have been her maid of honor.
11 minutes 13 seconds.
That was all the time it took to rip my fucking world apart.
I. Am. Broken.
And not the kind of broken that can be fucking fixed. Ever. I will always be imprisoned in a darkness I can never fully escape from. Infected with a disease that can never be cured.
Every fucking day I struggle to survive. I've not felt alive until now.
Skylar fucking Barrett.
She is an actress, a millionaire, every man’s wet dream. On the surface she has everything; wants for nothing. But I see what lies beneath her facade. She walks a fine line between the dark and the light. She’s a sinner and a savior. And she has chosen me. She needs my protection and I. Need. Her.
I know I can protect her.
I know I can destroy her.
She is my redemption. My destruction.
But she is mine.
Even if it ruins us both.
Six years ago, I would have been running in the late afternoon, when the island was alive with tourists and friends alike. I was friendly with everyone; no one feared me like they do now. Six years ago I had a much different reputation in Eastsound, the town golden boy destined to make a name for myself in the boxing game. But now things are much different. My reputation has been tarnished by my quick temper, and when I fucking snap, everything goes dark. I lose control.
And in a close-knit town like Eastsound, the gossips in it live to remember your failures over your triumphs and never forgive your past. Not that I want or need their forgiveness. I deserve their condemnatory punishment.
As I turn a corner onto Main Street, named that because it’s literally the only street in the small town of Eastsound, I feel my shoe loosen around my foot. The goddamn thing is untied.
“Fuck!” I fucking hate when my concentration is broken because all the good memories associated with those smells dissipate from my mind as the momentary lapse in concentration allows a chance for the darkness to descend.
Reluctantly I bend down to tie my shoe and hear a door creak open a short distance away. I glance up instinctively and see her. She walks out onto the balcony from a room on the second floor of The Lighthouse Inn like a living fantasy. I take a few steps forward toward the edge of the sidewalk to get a better look. Because I know. I fucking know this is a sight I would be happy to have seared into my memory from now until the day I die. My breath, which just moments ago had been hard and fast from running, halts in my chest as if time and existence has frozen around me because even the universe can sense how fucking spectacular her presence is. She’s quite simply beautiful, breathtaking, and somewhat familiar.
Shit. I know that face. I don’t even need a photographic memory to remember who she is. I just need to not live in a fucking cave. Everyone knows her. It’s Skylar Barrett. I know she’s been filming something around here, the whole island has been talking about it for months, but never thought I’d see her. My sister used to watch that stupid Mandy Mayhem every Saturday morning. It was fucking torture.
And here she is to torture me again, only this time in a very different way, because she’s all grown up. Her auburn hair drapes messily over one shoulder as she stares out at the ocean. She must have just woken up as she appears to be wearing something she slept in and there is a tranquil vibe about her, a type of calmness that comes before the day fucks you up. A pink tank top fits tightly to her petite body and a pair of white shorts hang off her hipbones.
Fuck me, she has the most perfect body I’ve seen on any woman. Ever. Trust me when I say I have seen a fucking lot. Unfortunately I’m too far away to see her facial features, more importantly her eyes. Beautiful eyes are my Achilles’ heel. That’s what drew me to her. I shut my eyes to get the image of her out of my head as quickly as fucking possible.
Once upon a time I would have made some grand gesture, like scaling the balcony and asking this girl out on a date, and she would have said yes. Most chicks do, and in less than three hours after meeting one I can have my name replacing God’s while they scream it in my bed.
Or a bar bathroom.
Or the back seat of a car.
Or the front seat of a car.
Or the hood of a car. I’m not picky.
But this chick, this woman, she is one you wife the fuck up. As quickly as possible. And yes, I can tell this just from looking at her. I’m one hundred percent certain I’m not Skylar Barrett material either. I’m not relationship material in general. I can’t go down that road again. It will hurt too much in the end, and it will end.
What a great debut from Andrea Joan! I laughed. I cried. I yelled! This book was packed full of quality writing and a great story line to keep your mind fully occupied throughout!
Liam, a quick tempered ex-boxer and Skylar, a Hollywood star, have quite the explosive chemistry. Together they make for an exciting couple as they wade through a new relationship with both their tragic pasts weaving together.
As much as Liam has his asshole tendencies, he also has that protective, sweet boyfriend quality every one of our beloved book heroines deserve. And don't even get me started with Skylar! She's incredibly funny and sweetly endearing. I absolutely adored her!
I'm pretty sure Skylar had one of the worst fathers I've ever read in a book. He was horrendously awful! I knew at some point Liam would save her from him, but OMG waiting for the outcome was torture! Well worth the wait though.
There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you flipping the pages, never wanting to stop reading until it's over and they are safely in each other's arms. It was quite the ride and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it!
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