Once again Kandi Steiner delivers a book that will take your soul and breathe life into it. She did it with A Iove letter to whiskey, and with this book I can't even tell you how full my heart is. I just read a book that is now a part of me, I will never forget this beautiful love story or how it made me feel. Full of great characters and that irresistible slow burn that we all crave, with just the right amount of angst, this is a story you need in your life asap!
Wren Ballard is a 27 year old boutique owner/clothing designer trying to get back on her feet and gain some independence after the failure of her 10 year marriage. She's trying to embrace her freedom and do a little soul searching in order to resume her regularly programmed life, and she has a major addiction with 90's music which automatically made her my literary soulmate.
Summertime is the perfect time for a fling In my opinion and set just outside of Seattle in a cozy cabin town, this book truly transports you to that fantasyland desperately needed to fully escape. And of course, per usual, Kandi's words are breathtakingly beautiful without being overly descriptive or dragging on, in fact it's just the opposite. The descriptions are so vivid and natural, I felt like I was smelling the smells in the mountain air and hearing all of the wonderful sounds of the cabin and the boots on the hiking trail, and the purrs of the vagabond cat, it was just perfect. Like movie picture, perfect. I wanted to live every moment with these characters because of the lyrical quality of the words. This story is a precious little gem that I want to wrap up and keep safe in my jewelry box of favorite books.
Anderson... Oh this man. Anderson Black is a local handyman in town and he's struggling to get by from day to day because of the weight he bears of an unreasonable guilt he carries with him. He's broody, short winded and ruggedly handsome and I loved watching his transformation from a wounded soul into a dream come true. Watching a man live with so much pain and guilt and then witnessing him come full circle at the heels of a woman who owns his heart is one of the most romantic things ever. Kandi captures this so perfectly, I can't even explain or comprehend how she does it, but it takes your breath away and makes you pause and really think about the beauty of love and what it overcomes to shine so brightly in the end. Her writing is simply, magical.
Watching these two characters rise and fall through the courtship of their relationship was everything I'd hoped it would be. All the unknowns and doubts and vulnerability peaks made this book seem so real to me, I can't gush enough about how well this was done. In the end, I went through every emotion on my book-emotions-requisite-list-- and that's saying a lot! I laughed, I cried, I oohhh'd & ahhh'd, I gasped and goosebumped. It was great, like really REALLY great. I can only hope this story moves other readers in the way it moved me because it is currently at the top of my list.
I had just grabbed my oversized hat and slipped my sunglasses on when I spotted Anderson walking up the drive with a large trash bag slung over his shoulder. He wore a simple, black V-neck and distressed jeans, an outfit way too dark and hot for the heat. A light sheen of sweat gathered on his neck as he made his way toward my cabin, his eyes hidden behind all-black sunglasses.
"Change your mind?" I asked, not even fighting the grin on my face as I walked outside and leaned against the banister.
Anderson squinted up at me, his boots heavy as they hit each stair. "About?"
"Tubing?" I asked. That was why he was here, right?
"Oh." He shook his head as he hit the top stair, shrugging the bag off his shoulders to hold it by the neck in one fist. "No, I have somewhere to be..." His voice trailed off, and even through the tinted shades of his glasses I felt his eyes on my chest. I'd strapped on my favorite boho print bathing suit and paired it with a dainty gold chain that wrapped around my neck once before dipping between my chest and crossing over my ribs.
He sniffed, holding the bag out toward me. "I just came to drop these off. My clothes. Well, the ones that could probably use a little TLC."
My eyes lit up and I reached for the bag, but Anderson snatched it back, brows shooting up into his forehead.
"No frills, Wren."
I threw my hands up in surrender. "I promise."
He smirked, just slightly, and handed the bag over, tucking his hands in his front pockets.
"Are you sure you don't want to come?" I asked, peering into the bag at my project before setting it just inside the cabin and locking the door behind me.
"I can't," he said, lips pressed together. He was tense, the muscles on his forearms tight as he glanced around at pretty much everything but me.
I opened my mouth to ask why but was cut off by the sound of a truck flying into my drive, tires sliding against the gravel.
Tucker was in the driver's seat with Davie in the passenger. Sarah and Yvette sat in the back, laughing with their hands up as the truck skidded to a stop. They were both sprawled out on a pile of tubes, wearing bathing suit tops and tiny shorts.
All of their faces froze when they saw Anderson.
"Hey, you ready, Wren?" Tucker asked warily, his eyes moving from where Anderson stood in front of me, to me, and back again.
"Yeah, one sec!" I called back.
I turned to Anderson, but his eyes were hard on Tucker, jaw ticking under his skin. When he faced me once more, an anchor fell from my throat into the pit of my stomach, immobilizing me completely. Because even though I 'd tried to convince myself I was wrong, I recognized the look in his eyes.
And when his nose flared and he took one big step toward me, our chests brushing, his hand reaching out to rest almost imperceptibly on my hip, the anchor in my stomach exploded into flames, burning a desire so fierce I inhaled a toxic breath and didn't let it go.
"Be careful, okay?" His eyes locked on mine just before he leaned in and swiftly kissed my cheek.
He turned on his heel and jogged down the stairs and past the truck. Sarah called his name, but he didn't acknowledge her, just kept his gaze forward until he'd disappeared from view.
And then everyone looked at me.
~About The Author~
Blog Tour: JUST LIKE THAT by Nicola Rendell, Stacy's review, excerpt & teasers. @AuthorNRendell @ArdentPRose
This book was so much fun! It starts off with a chance encounter at an airport, and I'm already excited because I love any kind of scene in an airport. The instant chemistry was done perfectly and I love when a book starts off by making me smile! It just felt really nice to read a trope that could have easily felt cliché but it absolutely did not. It felt real and reminded me of the humility that life brings when not everything goes your way, but you make the best of it regardless of the situation. Throw in a sexy guy with just the right amount of cockiness and I was hooked!
Told in alternating dual first person pov’s, this story flowed so well and before I knew it I was half way through. I don't always like the POV from the hero unless the book is in third person or during the epilogue, but in this story, it fit perfectly. And I loved being inside the head of Russ because he's so damn funny and hearing his vulnerability from the inside while being so confident on the outside made his character so endearing and swoon-worthy for sure!
Penny is priceless! I absolutely adore her character, she's funny and quirky and is testing her limits with her self-proclaimed NO MAN DIET. After making some bad decisions in regards to men it's easy to see why she'd want to abstain from temptation, but we all have an Achilles heel and Penny's is definitely in the form of Russ. Hot, cocky, beautiful, RUSS.
Russ is only in town for a short period of time so he decides to try his luck at a no-strings deal with Penny. This quickly turns into a passionate fling and let me tell you the chemistry between these two was truly delectable. I found myself in such a happy place while reading because the story had such a well-rounded vibe to it. Not too much drama or angst and it just made me feel good, I can't really explain it any other way than that. Plus, the writing was great and I know I emphasized how good the flow was earlier but it really was so smooth and I can't stress enough how important that is to me. I love gliding through a story and not realizing how far in I am.
As the story progressed I really loved the anticipatory feel of what was going to happen. Like I said, the angst factor isn't huge but it's great to see these two people navigate through their growing feelings for each other and not knowing what that means since their arrangement is supposed to be short lived. Some things come into question about trusting one another and there are some super hilarious moments and some really hot sexy times too! This was a great read that I totally enjoyed and will probably read again when I need something to put me in a great mood. Definitely one click worthy!
There’s all sorts of sexy Russ-rustle-rustling as he tries on his clothes. It takes all my willpower to stop myself from running over to his changing room and pressing my eye up to the slats like I’m looking through a peep hole. He slings his shirt over the top of the changing room door, then steps out of his shoes and socks. I can almost hear a drumroll in my head and then it happens: his suit pants fall to the ground.
Maybe today’s boxer briefs are light gray, like a sporty heather gray, because that would just be…
I grab a random black dress off the rack and dash into the second changing room. As I shut the door, I hear Maisie saying something like, “Boy, I sure could use some help with all these sunglasses, ahem-ahem.” But I ignore it. As the rustling next door continues, I unfasten the knot on my sundress and let it fall from my shoulders, so I’m standing in my bra and panties in front of the very unflattering full-length mirror. I’m hoping it’s unflattering. It damned well better be unflattering. But then I notice a very faint bruise on my hip, in exactly the pattern of his fingers as he gripped me last night. I slide my fingertips along it and turn to warm caramel inside.
“What kind of movie is it?” I ask him as I finagle my hands through the spaghetti straps above my head and tug the new dress down over my body. It’s a size too small and hugs me like shrink-wrap.
“Romantic comedy.” His zipper slides up. “Workplace romance.”
I shimmy into the dress and stare at my reflection. There are times in my life when I am acutely aware of that devil-angel-shoulder situation, and this is one of them. Looking at myself in the mirror, and I can almost see the two of them in position. The devil is a real vixen. Combat boots, and a raspy, sultry voice. No bullshit and a very respectable smoky eyeliner. She likes her music feminist and her tequila straight. On the other shoulder sits the angel. She’s a dead-ringer for my fourth-grade librarian. She smells like mothballs, her lipstick flakes off when she talks, and she’s big into smooth jazz. I hate her. Also, she’s pretty much always exactly right. Double-demerit.
The angel says, “Penelope Eloise Darling. Why can’t you find yourself a nice man with a steady job? That eHarmony questionnaire doesn’t take that long. Just think: you could find a nice Baptist minister in Tallahassee! At least you’d live in the same state!”
I suck in my stomach so hard that I feel dizzy, and try to pull up my zipper. Not even close. I cinch the fabric shut with one hand, suck in harder, and give it a yank. It bites into me, and I stretch the dress to the side as far as I can, testing the tensile strength of 1% spandex to its limit.
The devil takes out her hip flask and downs a pull of tequila while she considers her black nail polish. “Fuck that noise, Pen. You want him, take him. Boom. Done.”
The zipper finally cooperates. I don’t even look like myself, this thing is so tight. I spin slightly and look at my ass, over my shoulder.
Which is when the door squeaks open. I fully expect it to be Maisie, brandishing her Kindle and saying something like, “I knew I’d seen that jawline before,” but it isn’t. It’s him.
“Oh, fuck. Sorry, I thought this was my…” He trails off.
The desire ricochets between us like a pinball trapped at the bottom of an arcade machine. He’s in shorts that fit him like a glove, and a soft navy T-shirt, with a vintage Pac-Man logo, washed out and faded. And he’s found a hat, like a super-stylish baseball hat with mesh on the back. Plus, flip-flops.
I thought he was handsome before, but this, this… Casual, and carefree, and look at those shoulders. Peeking out from the sleeve of the T-shirt is the bottom edge of his tattoo on the curve of his massive bicep.
Here lies Penelope Darling, who died of a swoon.
He lets out a breathy, quiet whistle. “I’m buying that for you.”
The way he talks, that dominance, makes me feel like I’m some new but treasured thing. I’m not used to it, but one thing is for sure: I like it. Except even in my haze, it’s the angel that answers first. “No, no, no. I’ll never wear it.”
“I don’t care.”
Frivolous retail purchases especially for me? “We…should get to work.”
His eyes move up and down over me again so deliciously slowly that I feel a shiver up my spine. “I'll show you getting to work.” He takes a step toward me, and runs his hand up the side of my dress.
I grab ahold of the hanger rack behind me as my knees start to get a little wobbly. “I’ll take you to the boardwalk first. Rides. Ball-and-hammer. Funnel cakes.” He’s reducing me to bullet points. I can’t even string two nouns and a verb.
He pulls his hand away with a frustrated grunt. “Fine. But I’m buying it for you. No arguments. Got it?” he says finally, and then heads back to his changing room.
The devil turns to the angel, who’s got her lips in a tight, prudish line. But the devil? She gives zero fucks, and she raises her hip flask to me. “Here’s to romantic comedy.”
Toodles, Man Wagon.
Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
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The Gravity of Us by Brittainy C. Cherry
Release Date: April 13th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Quirkybird Designs
Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.
I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.
Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.
Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.
Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.
Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.
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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Doesn’t it tire you?” “To feel so much.”
“Doesn’t it tire you to not feel at all?”
Typically when I write my review, I give a quick synopsis of the book. But honestly? This is the kind of book you go into blind. You only want to know their names. Because these are characters that you will love. Cry over. Lose sleep over. They stay with you. Long after you finish. Graham and Lucy are absolutely a testament to the greatest love. He is dark. She is light. He can’t breathe. She becomes his air. His heart is heavy and wounded. Her heart only knows how to love harder. She thinks she’s free. But she never knew true freedom and happiness until she knew his heart.
“And I realized you were the first and only thing that ever made my heartbeats come to life.”
Inspiring. Breathtaking. This is their love. I could talk forever about just how poetically beautiful this story was written. Deeply moving and brilliantly executed, this story is heart stopping. The storyline unique and unforgettable. This author goes deep. Lucy and Graham are two souls that were an accident. Never meant to be. Their love should not exist. But fate and destiny has its own rules. Darkness and light find each other regardless of their circumstance. Powerful. Magical. Their love is EVERYTHING.
“You’re in love with me?”
“With every piece of my soul.”
The Gravity Of Us was a poignant and compelling read. I was easily lost within the pages. Every word was thoughtful. The manifestation of the words and storyline was meticulous and purposeful. This book was deeply meaningful and exhilarating. There aren’t enough words to truly explain how deeply I was moved. The declarations of love had to be the most beautiful words I’ve ever read in my life. The words of this author are a gift. Truly. So don’t read this book. Live it. Experience it. Wrap yourself within the deep emotions of Lucy and Graham’s story. I guarantee that this will challenge everything you felt love could ever do. Just when you think you can’t, love tells you that it’s possible.
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The Air He Breathes
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The Fire Between High and Low
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Hi! I'm Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I'm learning, things I'm re-learning, things I'm forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.
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Praised by Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills as "the usual Grey crisp writing, lovable heroes that you kinda want to slap, and a heroine that doesn't back down," Resistance on Ice is another fun standalone novel in the bestselling Boys of Winter hockey romance series.
Hockey star Nolan Solvenson is nothing short of skilled perfection, both on and off the ice. Or so everyone thinks. His teammates are constantly hitting him up for advice, but really, when it comes to his own life, Nolan can't seem to make the right moves anymore.
Blame it all on Lainey Shelburne, a woman he wants but is determined to keep at arm’s length. That’s why, after a few sexy encounters, he unceremoniously blows her off.
When they’re reunited, facing off against the fiery cocktail waitress becomes the challenge of his life. Lainey is furious with him for dumping her and wants nothing more than to kick him in the junk. But Nolan—typical man—is only interested in getting Lainey back in his bed.
That plan is shot all to hell when they reach a shaky truce and Lainey drops the bomb that all she’s looking for now is a "just friends" relationship with Nolan.
Take that, Mr. Hot Right Winger!
Suddenly, the "know-it-all" athlete is skating on thin ice as he tries to hide his burgeoning feelings from the one woman who has the ability to thaw his heart. But is Lainey willing to try a relationship with him again? Can Nolan resist the urge to walk away?
Resistance on Ice is a fun standalone novel and the second installment in the bestselling Boys of Winter hockey romance series.
Sports Romance/Romantic Comedy
**EACH BOOK IN THE BOYS OF WINTER SERIES FEATURES A DIFFERENT SMOKING HOT HOCKEY PLAYER'S STORY**
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Nolan Solvenson is known for having his life together. He is the one that friends turn to when they need advice on getting back on track. If everyone only knew how much of a front he puts up. That his world is quite the opposite. So he remains guarded. Until Lainey Shelburne. Nolan is determined to keep her away, until he can no longer do so. After a few times together, he completely blows her off. Most girls would cry in a corner and wonder what they did wrong. Not Lainey! She is fierce! And mad! So when he comes to the realization that he can’t deny what they had, she tells him she just wants to be friends. Because trusting him would only mean heartbreak. Again. But Nolan? That is a challenge he is up for and he has no intentions of backing down.
The chemistry between Nolan and Lainey was off the charts. The building of their relationship was a true testament to the author’s talent of character development with a witty and fun storyline. This is a friends to lover and second chance romance all rolled up into one. While S.R.Grey is known for her more heartfelt stories, but she was quickly cemented her place in the romantic comedy romance genre with this amazing new series! The execution was skillfully manifested in a story that I found hard to put down. I just about read it in one sitting! If you are a fan of this author or even just a fan of sports romantic comedy then you MUST read this book! And if you are a fan of neither, I guarantee this book will make you one.
This was seriously THE best romantic comedy of the year! The author is extremely talented in allowing her readers to get lost in her words with her authentically hilarious storyline and genuine characters. Resistance On Ice has the perfect balance of steam and passion with humor. She has this innate ability for her readers to truly connect with her characters through heart and of course laughter. Although a romantic comedy, they still have sparks of S.R. Grey’s natural ability to give us a heartfelt and thought provoking read. Nolan and Lainey have something deep and their story is one to not be missed. I am so looking forward to the continuation of this series with the next couple.
S.R. Grey is an Amazon Top 100 and a #1 Barnes & Noble Bestselling author. She is the author of the brand new Boys of Winter hockey romance series, the popular Judge Me Not books, the Promises series, the Inevitability duology, A Harbour Falls Mystery trilogy, and the Laid Bare series of novellas. Ms. Grey's works have appeared on multiple Amazon Bestseller lists, including Top 100 several times. She is also a #1 Bestselling Author on Barnes & Noble and a Top 100 Bestselling Author on iTunes.
Wedlocked by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine
Cover Reveal: March 2nd, 2017
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Cover Designer: Jay Aheer
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Because you have believed in them,
Celebrated with them,
Loved and encouraged them,
Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine invite you to join
Ace Samuel Locke
Saturday the Twenty-Fourth of May
At Six-O’Clock in the Evening
The Grand Floridian Hotel
4406 Palm Way
For Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After
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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I literally finished this book with tears in my eyes. Not because of sadness, but because of the journey of this couple and their friends and I might be a little (okay, A LOT!) that we have come to the end. Every time these two authors get together, it’s like magic at their fingertips put on paper. You know you are about to get lost in the words. But this? This was like the book I never knew I needed. It surpassed anything I could have ever hoped for for Ace Locke and Dylan Prescott.
What a ride! We are thrown into Ace and Dylan’s wedding planning frenzy and dealing with their wedding planner, Paige. And it wouldn’t be right if the paparazzi and drama didn’t follow this couple. I refuse to go too much into the plot as this book is an experience! Just know that you truly don’t understand the depth of their love until you read this book. To witness such love is a privilege. Their love is bold and brave. Powerful and earthshattering. Loud and fierce. They love in bright colors. They love through the dark. They have been through so much to get to this point and their love never wavered or faltered. Through their ups and downs, their devotion to each other became a source of strength for them both. This book was the perfect balance of heat and passion. Laughter and tears. Make no mistake. This book is HOT! Ace and Dylan are FIRE on these pages. Titillating and sensual, these authors know to execute an engaging, yet fun and sexy storyline. The actualization of this masterpiece is felt deep inside the words of this book and its characters. I can’t say this enough. My heart was SO FULL because of this story.
Heartwarming and oh so sexy like true Ella and Brooke style, this book was EVERYTHING. I laughed, I cried, I was completely consumed by the continuation of their story and just what it took to get them to the altar. Dylan and Ace are so much more than lovers. Their bond goes deeper than most. These soul mates are unlike any couple I’ve ever read about. The talent of these authors is endless. And their ability to continuously and flawlessly execute a co-written story is simply unmatched. Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine, your words have bewitched me. I found it difficult to put this book down. There are cameos from characters from books of both authors which will have you reminiscing hardcore. Told with such precision and charm, this is a must read! Ace and Dylan your love is intoxicating and profound. Their vows had me in tears as their declaration of love in front of all those they love was nothing short of breathtaking. Wedlocked is truly an unforgettable read. It was bittersweet yet the perfect ending to the journey of these two amazing men.
Ace Locke and Dylan "Daydream" Prescott have stolen my heart again, and in this beautiful conclusion to their story they solidified that in the most memorable way, that being the wedding of the year! It was so perfect, I laughed (a lot) I cried, I swooned and I thoroughly enjoyed every word.
Wedlocked takes place a pretty much where Locked (book 2) left off, give or take a couple months. And right away I fell back into place with some of my favorite characters. You really get a mixed bag of great people in this book, including characters from Ella’s temptation series, and Sunset Cove series, and my FAVORITE women of all time from Brooke’s hilarious L.A. Liaisons series. I don’t want to focus too much on that, because this story is all about Ace and Dylan, but these characters hold such a special place in my heart and I firmly believe that the relationships formed throughout this series are what make it so heartwarming and relevant.
Dylan and Ace are back with their natural and funny banter about everything from wedding planning to awkward parents, and some pretty great sexual interactions as well, and by great, I mean hot. With these two sexy men, even the slightest innuendo is like foreplay for the reader. Ella and Brooke have taken co-writing to another level, and have truly mastered their craft and I swear they share one brain. I know everyone uses the phrase “seamless transition” and I’m sure that Ella and Brooke have heard this more than once, but it’s absolutely true and I think that only attests to how great they are as a fierce writing duo. It’s pretty remarkable.
Can we talk about the Cabo bachelor party for a minute? That was seriously so much fun, I loved every word of it! It was hilarious and clever and I really felt like it belonged in a movie. The videographer aspect of it was genius and I laughed so hard at what Ace and Dylan had planned for their friends and family. (Oh, Carlos. LOL) I’m pretty sure they did it to torture their people, but it was great entertainment for me! Definitely one of the highlights of this book amongst many others.
This book was exactly what I needed, it’s so full of love and romance and it just filled my little bookie heart in so many ways. With everything that Ace and Dylan have gone through, it was so nice to see all of those loose ends get tied up and give them peace for their life moving forward. And those wedding vows, don’t even get me started. I was a sobbing, snotting, blubbering mess and I want to thank Ella and Brooke for giving that to me because I was sincerely moved by all the words. By the end of this book I was done for, and with my red puffy eyes and wet cheeks, I sat down to write this review in hopes that people would read it and see how much this series has moved me. I hope all of my romance reader friends will give these books a chance because they are so worth it. These amazing writers put their heart and soul into their characters and you can feel it so deeply from the opposite side of the page, and I hope they keep writing together forever because it really is magic what they’re able to accomplish together.
SO YOU’RE GONNA want to keep your toes on the tail of the board and grip the rails under your chest like this,” Dylan said as he lay across the surfboard to show me the basics of his favorite pastime on the secluded stretch of beach. Not that I was paying much attention to the words coming out of his mouth. I was much more interested in the way his muscles flexed beneath the skintight Body Glove wetsuit he wore.
As he pushed himself up into a standing position, my gaze traveled down the broad expanse of his back and down to his ass.
“See how my dominant leg is in the back, and— Ace? Are you paying attention?”
“Mhmm,” I murmured as I bit down on my lower lip and continued my perusal.
Dylan turned to face me, and his hands went to his hips. “Oh yeah?” he said when I looked up. “What did I just say?”
Taking a step forward, I gave him a cocky grin and tugged him off the surfboard and onto the sand until he was flush against me. Then I let my hands roam down over the firm, round muscles of his ass. “Something about being a dominant in the back,” I said, nipping at his lobe. “So why don’t you turn around?”
A groan of frustration left Dylan then, but his head tilted to the side to let my lips trail down his neck. “You’re not gonna feel so cocky when you can’t get up on that board.”
“Oh, I can always get it up, don’t you worry.”
His hands covered my chest and he gently pushed me away. “How about you prove it, hotshot?” Then he pointed to the longboard I’d rented for the weekend. “Why don’t you show me how it’s done.”
“It’s more fun watching you.”
“Ace. Get your ass on that board.”
I squinted in the sun and grinned. “You gonna be this bossy all weekend?”
“If you’re lucky.”
I took a step back so I was by my board, and crossed my arms. I had my wetsuit on, but it was still undone and hanging around my hips while Dylan walked me through this process step by step, and my move had the desired effect. He rubbed a hand up the back of his neck and over his hair, leaving it tousled and oh so sexy.
“What?” I asked. “I’m back on my side of the board.”
“Don’t try and act innocent with me, Locke. I’m trying to teach you a new skill. One that will keep you from hurting yourself. And you’re standing there being all…” He waved his hand up and down, gesturing to my exposed upper body.
“See. Stop it,” he said, and then pointed to the board. “And zip up that damn wetsuit so I can’t see all your muscles.”
I arched a brow as I moved to slip my arms through the stretchy synthetic material, and when I reached for the zipper and pulled it up to the base of my skull, Dylan groaned.
“Okay, that’s almost worse than no wetsuit.”
“I’m sorry. You’re not checking me out, are you? Because you’re supposed to be paying close attention to teaching me something that could save my life,” I said as I turned around and made a show of bending down to get on the board.
“You having fun right now?” Dylan asked.
“Maybe a little.”
“Yeah, well, let’s hope that holds true when the wave dumps you on your ass.”
I let out a sigh and gripped the board just as he’d told me, because the truth of the matter was, I had never surfed a day in my life. I grew up in Chicago, for God’s sake. But Dylan, with his sun-kissed hair, long, lean body, and eyes the color of the sea, looked right at home with the sun shining down on him as his feet sank into the sand by my head.
“Let’s try this a couple more times here on land, and then we’ll get you out in the water. We won’t have you trying to stand up just yet. But if you can get the hang of at least catching the wave into the shore, we might be able to progress.” He crouched down and said, “Remember, toes on the tail of the board and grip the rails, and then push up.”
As I did as he instructed, I paused in the push-up position and was rewarded when he leaned in and took my lips in a sweet kiss.
“Again,” he whispered, and I moved back down to repeat the move, and this time when I paused, I was rewarded with a deeper kiss. When he pulled away too soon, I grumbled and he laughed, straightening. “Any more of that and we won’t make it into the water. On your feet, Locke, it’s time to hit the waves.”
About Ella Frank:
Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”
A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web at www.ellafrank.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ella.frank.author
Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.
Connect with Ella:
Newsletter – www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn
Bookbub - http://bit.ly/29d67dD
Website – www.ellafrank.com
Twitter – @EllaFrank2012
FB - www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31
FB Street Team - www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/
Instagram - www.instagram.com/ellafrank1/
About Brooke Blaine:
You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.
She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series.
If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.
Connect with Brooke:
FB Street Team- www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.
In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.
But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.
It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.
Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.
Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?
Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord's name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone. For more about its previous publication, you can read this blog post.
➜ Amazon: http://amzn.to/2n5znL6
➜ iBooks: soon
➜ B&N: http://geni.us/GPnook
➜ Kobo: http://geni.us/GPkobo
➜ Google: http://geni.us/GPgoogle
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Caleb and Joshua (Josh) grew up on a polygamist religious compound. One that most of us would consider a cult. Their world revolved around working at the farm and prayer. Caleb and Josh have been best friends since they could remember. These men were to eventually get themselves ready to have a large family which included many wives. But Josh was always seen as the weak one. He was bullied by his peers. Caleb was always the one to step in for him. To shield him from all the evil thrown at Josh that he could. And Josh has always been grateful for this. The truth is he’s in love with Caleb. Always has been. But he knows Caleb will never feel the same. Until Josh is forced from the compound. Homeless. Lost. Forgotten. Little did he know that Caleb had plans. And they’ve included him. Always.
“Whether I’m stupid or smart, and whether you still love me anymore, or not. I never could help loving you. It’s just the way I’m wired.”
This story was truly a tumultuous and heart wrenching journey. Two men who grew up believing their feelings were a sin are now in the real in the real world and they are left to fend for themselves. And they must learn so much that as people we take for granted. These two have so many obstacles to overcome. And their sexual orientation is just the beginning. I don’t want to give too much away regarding the plot. But you get the privilege of watching love in it’s rawest form. When they realize their feelings for each other there are no constraints. Their guards come down. The shame no more when they are together. They do fear what others may think. And that becomes a point of contention between them. They’ve escaped the cult, but they know that doesn’t guarantee that the outside world is going to accept them either. All I will say here is that their journey is worth it. Read this book!
I think the author is brave for writing a story such as this. Not that religion takes a huge part in this book, but it puts things into perspective. To live a life that you were always told was wrong. The author challenges the reader to truly see things from Caleb and Josh’s eyes. This is so much more than a friends to lover story. Fans of M/M will love this as well as those who have never read M/M. In true Sarina Bowen fashion, things do get steamy but this further adds to the passion between these two men. Their intimate moments give such depth to the story and how these two best friends found the greatest love in each other. I found Goodbye Paradise to be authentic and genuine in its depiction of love in the face of fear and the unknown.
Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.
She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college.
Waiting for more Ivy Years? You can read more about upcoming volumes in the four book series athttp://www.sarinabowen.com/theivyyears
Also, the Gravity series.
Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
To be kept abreast of new releases, please feel free to sign up for the mailing list at http://www.sarinabowen.com/contact.
Or visit the her Facebook page, or tweet her @sarinabowen
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!
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
I knew little of Raphael Amado’s history with my family, but when he turned up on our doorstep demanding restitution, my grandfather quickly conceded. That restitution? Me.
Six months later, on my eighteenth birthday, Raphael came for me. He stole me from my home, taking me to his Tuscan estate, where from the crumbling chapel to the burnt-down vineyard, to the cellar that haunted him, the past stalked him like a shadow. It waited for him, hid behind corners for him and trapped him at every turn.
As much as Raphael's cruelty terrified me, his darkness seduced me. But in the end, it was his tenderness that devastated me.
Sofia came to me like an offering. Like a virgin to be sacrificed at the altar. But truth was, her grandfather betrayed her. I guess we had that in common. He’d screwed me too.
I knew hate. I'd vowed vengeance. This was never supposed to be about anything else. But in the end, her innocence broke me. The very thing I would destroy, destroyed me.
ADD TO GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/2kN3byi
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2mLqtUP
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/dishonorable
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I will admit that I am not usually a reader of dark romance. I love angst and suspense, however I am usually unable to connect to the characters and/or the storyline. But when it comes to Natasha Knight’s novels I can never say no. There is something about them. Although dark and twisty, they just pull you in and never let you go. Dishonorable was no different. This was my favorite of hers to date.
“Take care when fighting the monsters you don’t become one.”
Raphael Amado has a history with Sofia Guardia’s family. He wants revenge. A debt to be paid. To teach her grandfather a lesson, he takes Sofia as his bride. Unwilling and hesitant, she goes as she knows this will protect her family. Most importantly her sister’s future. In a sense, she has become collateral damage. I won’t go into the plot too much, but the way this story is executed was simply brilliant and addicting. I held on to every last word. I was hooked from the prologue but to learn the family history and how everything unfolds truly testifies to the gifted talent of this author.
“Because some part of me, it liked this side of him. This damaged, dark, broken soul. It longed to touch him. To touch that fractured part of him. The one that left him open and lost and dangerous.”
In true Natasha Knight fashion, this is not for the faint at heart. Raphael is fractured. His soul in pieces. There is no lightness that revolves around him. He simply lives in darkness. The story is flawlessly narrated in dual POVs. It flows effortlessly moving between both the voices of Sofia and Raphael and the pacing of the story is skillfully fulfilled. This book is also very hot. The steam and darkness is perfectly balanced with emotions that simply jump off the page. You will feel anger for Raphael. And your heart will also bleed for him and everything he has endured. The author allows you to feel his resentment and despair. His only light and hope for redemption was found in Sofia. While she was taken and she found it hard to love a man like him, she accepted everything about him. Even the darkest parts. And the monsters he battled inside due to his past. I never wanted to put this book down. The actualization of the storyline was masterfully done.
Dishonorable is an intense read. There’s greed, betrayal, lies. It’s a vivid telling of when darkness challenges light in the face of redemption. There are so many twists and turns in this story that you can never guess what is to happen next. Their past, present and future are tied to each other and their families in so many ways. As the storyline unfolds you are absolutely blown away with how each detail adds to the intricate plot. It’s a powerful love story, yet it will make you question everything about love and all it can go against. It reminds you that love always threatens darkness even when it seems impossible. Sofia and Raphael’s love story is a tumultuous one. With so many ups and downs. But their journey is worth it. It may not be a story that fits every couple, but it’s theirs. If you are a fan of dark romance, be sure to read Natasha Knight. This was certainly an unforgettable read.
Devil You Know by L.A. Fiore, Stacy's review, #ReleaseBlitz #Giveaway #Teasers #Excerpt @lafioreauthor @givemebooksblog
I knew this book was going to rip me apart when I was already in tears before the prologue was even over. Just wow. This isn't just a second chance romance, this is an epic love story that takes you through 14 years of two people that were meant to be, but never quite got it right. These two go through some pretty crazy circumstances both together and apart, and it is truly a heady journey you go on while reading their story.
Damien Tate had a rough life, with both parents abandoning him, one physically the other emotionally and all he wanted to do was escape the evil that was his mother and let me tell you she is absolutely horrific. So, when Damien found Thea Ahern, the twin sister of his best friend, he finally found some peace in knowing that not all women were bad. Just seventeen years old when they first met, they had a first love romance that could never be forgotten, but once they turned 18 they knew they had a decision to make.
Thea was off to college at NYU and Damien enlisted in the Army for a long time, longer than expected considering he went into special forces. And when he finally came home for good, so many years later he was a different man shrouded in mystery and a broody temperament that Thea took on as a challenge. He was her theoretical onion that needed peeling.
This book goes way deeper than your typical love story. Thea's family is the heart and soul of this book, and Damien is and always has been a part of the Ahern family, so when the twists and turns come into play it really gives you a broader idea of what is going on. The character development is great, even with the side characters like Anton (Oh how I love Anton!!) and Thea's brother Cam. I really fell in love with those guys as the book progressed. The same goes for Kimber and Ryder, Thea's best friends. But things aren't always as they seem and when truths are revealed I was filled with all kinds of emotions. The angst was oh so present, because even though it wasn't glaringly obvious, the undertone of something big was always just below the surface. It's what drove me to keep going, because I was like ahhhhh what is going onnnnn, when will I find outttttt?!? Yes, if that sounds like whining it is. Because I was.
I loved the weird dynamic to Thea and Damien's relationship, and it cracked me up that the silliest things like pizza toppings or Thea's mindless rambling could bring Damien back to Earth, or that a simple rare smile from Damien would make his despondent and abrasive temperament irrelevant in Thea's eyes. I was really pulling for these two because after all those years I was ready for them just to be happy already!
This is really a great story that takes you on an unexpected journey of love and deceit and SO many other things, the writing was great and the author did a wonderful job of keeping me my interest piqued the whole time, I'm really excited to read more by this author. Great, GREAT read.
Before I could scan the crowd for Damian, a hand wrapped around mine...one with cuts and blood on the knuckles. It was Damian and he looked pissed.
“What the fuck are you doing here?”
My heart hurt seeing his face—a cut near his left eye, blood smeared down his cheek and a blooming bruise on his jaw. “I heard you and Cam talking. I was curious.”
He had been walking me toward the exit but those words stopped him. His feet sort of rooted themselves to the concrete floor as his head turned in my direction. “So you walked here alone?”
“It wasn’t far.”
That wasn’t the right answer apparently because he hissed between his teeth. It wasn’t an actual word, just a release of frustration.
He started toward the exit again. “What are you fighting when you are out there?”
We had just reached the stairs when he pulled me behind them and pressed me up against the wall. “Come again?”
“When you fight, what are you fighting?”
“Not who am I fighting?”
“No, your opponent isn’t what you’re fighting.”
He leaned in and lowered his head to look me right in the eyes. “How do you know that?”
I gently wiped the blood from his face. “I know you.”
He had the strangest reaction to that. He closed his eyes, like he was in pain, and lowered his forehead to my shoulder. “This can’t happen.”
Those words caused a chill to move right down my spine. He was wrong. It totally could and should happen. “Why not?”
He lifted his head and for the first time I saw so much more in those eyes. “Cam is a good friend and your parents are like my own.”
His lips brushed along my jaw and I had to lock my knees to keep from sliding down the wall. “And if I did to you all the things I wanted, I couldn’t sit at their table without them knowing that I claimed every part of you.”
L.A. Fiore is the author of several books including: Beautifully Damaged, Beautifully Forgotten, Beautifully Decadent, His Light in the Dark and A Glimpse of the Dream. She's also the social secretary for her two children, a tamer of ill-mannered cats, the companion to one awesome dog and married to her best friend. She likes her wine red, her shrimp chilled and her social gatherings small and intimate.
Title: Something in the Way
It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn’t be broken...no matter how hard we tried.
I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I’d learn that life isn’t always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn’t matter. My older sister saw him next.
Set in the 90's I was the exact same age as Lake, so I totally connected with all of the 90's references and loved reliving those things through Lakes eyes.
She's a 16-year-old girl who's super smart with an extremely strict father who has her future planned out for her. This book is Southern California based and there's even mention of USC. I swear this book was written for me.
Lake meets a handsome construction worker on her way home from school and he's quite a bit older, 7 years to be exact. His name is Manning and Lake feels immediately attached to him in some sort of way, but she can't place those feelings just yet. This has forbidden written all over it! And those weird feelings you get when reading a forbidden romance, the ones that threaten your morality but you don't care? Yep, those feelings were present the whole time, and I loved how the author navigated those tricky waters because that can't be easy. And as a reader I can see how other readers might feel, and I think the author was very smart with her writing, especially with the events that occurred at the end which I won't divulge for obvious reasons.
I was completely sucked in to this story. Not only was I waiting for something to happen, I assumed it would be predictable and there would be a time jump in order to eradicate the forbidden aspect, and I was so pleased that this didn't happen! There's nothing worse than predictability in a storyline, and I truly loved how innocent this felt, while at the same time feeling taboo and naughty.
You really get a STORY, and it's kind of beautiful. I love that I was able to really get to know these characters and their back stories. Manning is such a good guy, laced with subtle mystery and his attachment to Lake and her older sister is so peculiar, while being completely normal at the same time. Lake’s older sister, Tiffany isn’t my favorite character but I appreciate her significance to the story and she kind of grew on me towards the end. The more time that passes since I finished this book, the more I love it. Like I really, REALLY love it. I can’t wait for May because I need book 2 like right now! This was a great read, and if you can be open minded and get over the cliffhanger I know people will love this book, and I can tell that this will be a great series already!
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Three book besties who love to read and discuss books. We are addicted to all kinds of romance with Alpha Hero's, Kick-ass Heroine's and plenty of angst.
After The Break
Alison G. Bailey
A. Meredith Walters
Brittainy C. Cherry
Devil You Know
D. Nichole King
Double Cover Reveal
Jane Harvey Berrick
Just Like That
Love Between The Lines
Love Me In The Dark
My Black Hole Heart
Never Let You Go
Never Stop Falling
Never Tear Us Apart
Penny In London
Rachel Van Dyken
Release Blitz Giveaway
Release Day Blitz
Something In The Way
Swear On This Life
Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Bird And The Sword
The Gravity Of Us
The One Real Thing
This Is War
Touch The Sky
You Are Here