Blog Tour - Breaking Fences (The Breaking Series #2) by @Juliana_Haygert ~ Brianna's Review and Giveaway
*I received an early copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.*
When I finished “Breaking the Reins” last year, I was in love with Juliana’s style of contemporary romance. Upon finding out that she was continuing the series, I knew I had to read this one. This was especially true when I saw the synopsis for the story, and who it was about. Overall, I’m definitely glad I read this, and it was yet another winner for me.
The main character of this book was Bia, the little sister of Leo from book one. She was strong, a lover of horses, and stubborn. I liked the fact that she didn’t change for anyone, especially guys. Her compassion for horses was great to read about, and I loved seeing the story from her eyes. I felt bad for her, considering the obstacles she faced. However, I found it really admirable that Bia tried her best to do something for herself by going to the ranch, even when things weren’t going so well for her.
The side characters in this book were interesting. There was Tom, a helper on the ranch that Bia went to in this novel. He was an older man, but I really liked seeing his interactions with Bia. I felt like they had a nice relationship. I just wish that we would have found out what became of him at the end of the story. Then, there was Jonah, who was really creepy, and caused Bia a lot of problems. Finally, there was Garrett, Bia’s love interest and Jonah’s half-brother. I really liked him. He was a cowboy, and had a passion for horses like Bia did, and it was obvious that the two were good together as a couple. He did some not-so-good things in this book and I found his hot-and-cold act a bit annoying, but I liked him overall. It helped that he had a very sad and sympathetic backstory, of course.
The plot of this novel was all about Bia going off to school in Colorado, and getting more than she bargained for. There were lies, rumors, and awful sorority girls. In the midst of all that, she ended up finding Jonah and Garrett’s family ranch, where she spent lots of time with horses, and did work for free. I found that I really liked this story, despite how annoyed I sometimes got at the actions of Bia and Garrett. The pace wasn’t too slow, and I found it hard to put the book down for any reason.
Overall, this was a really good book. It had a strong-willed heroine whom I liked, and a good love interest with a fully-developed backstory. There were horses, lies, and college life. I definitely think that this was a good second book in the Breaking series, and I’d recommend it to any contemporary romance fan, and even more to contemporary New Adult fans.
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.
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Title: Five Ways To Fall
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Category: New Adult
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Sometimes you can’t change—and sometimes you just don’t want to. Discover Ben’s side of the story in this fourth novel by the beloved, top-selling indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths,One Tiny Lie, and Four Seconds to Lose.
Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her.
Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about.
If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…
I have followed Ten Tiny Breaths since it was an itty-bitty indie baby. As the series progresses, I have discovered more characters to fall in love with and even though I didn’t know much about Ben, I couldn’t wait for his story.
It’s time for Ben to leave his job at Penny’s to join the corporate world as a hot shot lawyer, Ben has one last fling in Cancun before having to be an official grown up. It is there he meets the feisty, purple haired Reese, after a hilarious night of mishaps and with Ben left hanging, he never does see his mysterious beauty again. Until his first day on the new job of course.
Reese has been given her last chance, after a run in with the law, her step dad tells her it is time to step up and do something with her life. So Reese abides by the rules for a change until her embarrassing date from Cancun reappears and suddenly the ‘no inter-office relationships’ rule is the one she is struggling to keep.
Five Ways to Fall was a fun read about Ben and Reese denying they wanted anything more, Reese had her douche of an ex to deal with (sometimes with the help of Ben) and Ben had a sad past he had to confront before he could truly let himself be happy.
I liked both Ben’s character and Reese’s character individually but I did struggle to feel the connection between them as a couple. I think it’s difficult to strike the balance between building a friendship and building chemistry. For Reese and Ben, I think the friendship part dominated their relationship, although there was plenty of flirting and subtle touches and teases, I didn’t get that overwhelming sense of ‘OMG they need to get together ASAP!’. For over 60% of the book, Reese was still hung up on her ex-boyfriend; she was confusing the need for revenge with wanting him back, so I think that added to the hindrance of her growing relationship with Ben. Don’t get me wrong, as I mentioned, I loved both characters I just found myself a little underwhelmed with their storyline and connection they shared.
Although Five Ways to Fall is part of the Ten Tiny Breaths series, it is very much a standalone. There were a few references and appearances from the previous characters, although I wish we had more. I enjoy when books link to the characters we fell in love with in the first place, and I think it’s fun to see them all interact, I couldn’t help but wish we got more of it in this book, especially since it is the last in the series.
Five Ways to Fall was a good addition to the Ten Tiny Breaths series, it was great to learn more about Ben as a person and I’m really glad we got to meet a character like Reese. It was a quick, easy read and I have no doubt fans of the series will adore it.
Check out the entire series . . .
ONE TINY LIE
FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE
And Don’t forget to Preorder…
IN HER WAKE: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella
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Title: Rusty Nailed
Author: Alice Clayton
Release Date: June 24th 2014
Genre: Contemporary - Romance
In this sequel to Wallbanger, fan favorites Caroline Reynolds and Simon Parker negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in Sausalito.
Playing house was never so much fun, or so confusing. With her boss on an extended honeymoon, Caroline’s working crazy-long hours to keep the interior design company running, especially since she’s also the lead designer for the renovation of a gorgeous old hotel. And with Simon, her hotshot photographer boyfriend, gallivanting all over the world for his job, the couple is heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. No complaints about the great reunion sex, though!
Then a trip back east to his childhood home has Simon questioning his nomadic lifestyle. He decides to be home more. A lot more. And he wants Caroline home more, too. Though their friends romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort out their relationship. Sure, more togetherness is a good thing, but does less traveling and working have to mean the other extreme? Apple pie and picket fences? With this second book in the Cocktail series, USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy confection of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up!
Rusty Nailed gives us a glimpse of what’s going on in the lives of Simon and Caroline (and Clive too of course, that sly little bugger!). Perhaps the word glimpse isn’t exactly the correct word, because it is their book, but in my mind I felt there just wasn’t enough about them. I was expecting a book packed full of Simon and Caroline goodness. Not that what was there wasn’t good, because hey, it was freaking fabulous, I just wanted less about what ridiculous antics Sophia and Neil were doing to get back at each other and what places Jillian was now at and going to next on her European honeymoon tour.
The story really begins at Simon’s High School reunion. This is where Caroline gets to see where he came from, and what parts of his past, make up her Simon of the present. This is also where Simon begins to re-evaluate what he is doing with his life and where he wants to be in the future. Once he starts changing things up, it starts to rock Caroline’s world, in a sense. She’s not quite sure what Simon’s behaviour all means. Between this and the other heart-sinking circumstance that they are dealing with, she finally let’s all of her bottled up emotions blow up. Thankfully, it is quickly defused, because they needed to band together. And let’s face it, they really are too fabulous together for it to make sense if they were to ever spend any significant periods of time apart.
It was so fun to see them progress to this point in their lives. To see them really mesh together and work through things as the happy, funny, and sexy couple we have all come to know and love. As with Alice’s other book couple, Jack and Grace, I really don’t think I could ever get enough of them.
HEA’s come in all different forms depending on the book couple or the writer (and holy crap YAY!!) Alice isn’t completely done with theirs. Simon and Caroline are getting a novella, but apparently we have to wait till 2015!! Oh well (Cue the poor me violin’s and insert the grumpy cat memes here). With that being said, I am so freaking excited to see what Alice has in store for us next with Screwdrivered!
Simon Parker is one of my most favorite guys EVER. Like EVERRRRRRR. I love that dude so much. He bang’s walls, he eats zucchini bread, he deals with cat drama for his chick. He realizes that a peep hole holds more significance than a shanty conversation. I think Simon holds the key to his own Happy Ending. I’m almost certain that Simon might be his own enemy, and his own remedy.
Caroline……………………..Simon…………………………. Good GOD I love them so!!!
There is something to be said about the infamous WALLBANGER. That story made me want to learn, and feel, and touch. Great stories bring us life. The saga of Simon and Caroline is a story that I could read on, and on, and onnnnnnnnnnn.
These two don’t have a traditional story. It’s so supremely awkward and sweet. It’s weird right?
I mean, for real. This chick has a crazy cat with an awesome name… AND, on top of that she can turn a “mixer” into a Regular event, and make zucchini bread into something that we all should want and NEED. I mean really, what person doesn’t want baked goods right?
I have full respect…
That being said… I was looking forward to this story so deeply, so profoundly that I almost couldn’t contain myself when it came into fruition. I was like BAM! Rusty Nailed is here!! Like finally!!!
Am I satisfied with the full event? No… Unfortunately I am not. Do I think Alice is clever and witty, and AMAZING? Of Course!
The writing speaks for itself. I firmly believe that there are a special few that can fully grasp the wit that IS Alice Clayton…
That being said… I find this a mediocre piece of work of what the Author is capable of.
This story was entirely abundant in writing standards. But I totally expected more by such an esteemed Author. Alice Clayton is one of my “Genius” Authors. I will love her FOREVER! And I recommend WALLBANGER with all of my heart. I just really wanted more “guts” to this second installment.
Rusty Nailed is a good read, just not a great one. I wanted to love it so terribly bad! Do you get more Simon and Caroline? Of course you do! That’s the whole point of the series moving forward. But for me personally, I need angst and SHIT, and Angst!! Good lord I love SIMON SO MUCH!!!! And to see him living his day-to-day life was cool… but it wasn’t profound. I NEEDED PROFOUND. I needed tears. I needed something more than what I got.
Simon is one of my favorite guys EVER. He’s quirky, he’s funny, and he’s HOT! SOOOO HOT! Caroline & Simon will always be one of my fave couples forever. And no matter what-- I can honestly say that it was nice to get even a little taste of them. And Alice Clayton… Oh Alice, you will forever hold a piece of my heart . I just wanted more.
Title: White Collared Part Four: Passion
Author: Shelly Bell
Series: White Collared #4
Genre: Erotic Suspense
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Part Four: Passion
In the thrilling conclusion of Shelly Bell's White Collared series, Kate and Jaxon are finally free to
put the past behind them, but a shocking betrayal could have deadly consequences that neither saw
Compelled by truth …
With Alyssa's murder solved, Kate attempts to fix the damage to her relationship with Jaxon, but
with his reputation and career destroyed by false accusations, Jaxon asks for time to consider their
future. Yet as hard as Kate tries, she can't extinguish her desire for Jaxon, or forget the pleasure she's
found in submission.
Dominated by love …
In an attempt to convince Jaxon they truly belong together, Kate allows him to dominate her
completely, signifying her trust and proving her love. But just as everything she's ever dreamed of
is finally within her grasp, Kate discovers a chilling secret from Alyssa's past that brings her world
crashing down … and reveals a murderer hiding in plain sight.
After the unexpected conclusion of White Collared Part Three, I thought it was all over. Shelly Bell played with me (lol!) I really thought I was wrong, but she threw us one more curve all.
This time around Kate's past is completely revealed. We've had bits and pieces throughout the series, but we finally get the some concrete details. I had lots of questions throughout this book and I was glad to finally get them answered. Nick is just as overprotective of Kate as he had always been, but this time it's making me even more uncomfortable. Jaxon and Kate perfect chemistry and with Nick getting in the way time and time again, I just wanted him gone.
Alyssa's murderer is finally revealed and it was definitely someone I suspected in the last book. What I loved the most about this series was that it kept me guessing. From the moment I read part one, I had a lists of suspects. It wasn't until part three that I really had one main suspect, but once again I thought I was wrong. I loved that this series kept me on edge from beginning to end and part four was the perfect conclusion.
The only problem I had was that I was expecting the BDSM aspect of it to stand out more. Jaxon and Kate do embrace that lifestyle, but I just wanted the author to take it a step further.
If you are looking for a sexy, fast-paced story that will keep you on your toes, this one is definitely for you!
The end to the sexy, suspenseful ride of Jaxon and Kate is finally here. Alyssa’s case seemed as if a conclusion had been reached, secret relationships were revealed as well as connected paths. Nick –as always - was there for Kate when Jaxon couldn’t be and I’m not going to lie, this irked me as Nick was trying to get between them at every opportunity.
The secrets didn’t stop, Kate discovered a link to the past that shed light on new suspects and it made her question everything she believed to be true. This was one of my favourite things about this series, nothing was ever set in stone, shocks and surprises were just around the corner and my theories would be smashed to smithereens by the swipe of a page. I love a book that engages me and from the start I was continually trying to connect the dots and reach a conclusion before Kate did. When the truth finally came out, I wasn’t as surprised as I had guessed the main details and it was great to read the finer details and how they all connected.
The White Collared series is one of my favourite novella serials; it was full of hot passion, a sexy Alpha male and a deep level of suspense and mystery. The first page engrossed me and I don’t think I paused for breath until the very last. I did expect the level of BDSM to be greater, I thought it was going to play a bigger part as this was Jaxon’s background. What we did get was sexy, Jaxon and Kate played their parts well but I was expecting it to play a bigger role.
I loved the way in which the book ended, it was a sexy lighthearted note and further reminded me that Kate is a lucky, lucky girl!
I enjoyed Shelly Bell’s writing throughout the entire series, I was engrossed from the start and she created some intriguing and twisted characters. I highly recommend this series to all fans of Adult Erotic Suspense.
Shelly is a member of Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.
Blog Tour: Secrets Unveiled (Secrets #2) by Jill Patten (@jill_patten)~ Stacy's Review, Excerpt, Teasers & #Giveaway
Secrets are meant to be kept, but sometimes those unspoken words can become toxic - destroying you and the ones you love.
Seventeen year old Courtney Peterson always thought her future would consist of marrying her high-school sweetheart, becoming a stay-at-home mom, and living a happily ever after. All that changes when she finds out the boy who stole her heart three years ago resorts to cheating. Ending that relationship will be harder than she could imagine, but she is determined to move on, agreeing to go on a blind date with the older and cryptic Jaxon.
Jaxon Vaughn blazes into town for a short visit, taking steps down a new path in life. After facing unexpected tragedies at a young age and turning to self-destruction, he aches to redeem himself by opening a bar in his grandmother’s hometown. It is there he meets the pure and soulful Courtney, whom awakens the guilt that dejectedly haunts him.
Distance and circumstances may separate them, but they are unable to ignore the chemistry that draws them together. Can their relationship survive, or will it be shattered by clingy exes, mysterious phantoms from the past and unforeseen misfortunes?
Book one left me with a major cliffy that had me pining for the rest of the story almost immediately, and I was so glad that I had it on hand. Jaxon had my heart hurting from the very beginning to the very end. He is such a dynamic character, not only during his pain, but also during his growth. It was really hard to not feel for him in a loving manor. I found myself reaching towards him through the whole book. I just wanted him to be okay, and to make Courtney ok. I think I pretty much had the same expectations for him as a character that he did for himself. Like as if he were real. The Author does an AMAZING job of portraying the ugly and the pretty that IS this book. It’s crazy.
Courtney and Jaxon’s story is not a traditional one AT ALL. So don’t go into this book thinking you’re going to get a typical rainbows and unicorn romance because you won’t. Is it hot? Yes, the sexual chemistry is through the roof hot! Is there romance? Duh, of course. BUT-- it’s different I’ll just leave it at that. I really can’t say much without spoiling the book, but I will say this. I cried. Like I really cried with actual tears. And I found myself talking to the BOOK!! Who does that?
In the end I brought myself to completely understand this story for what it was. Which is GREAT. Such a unique little gem in the midst of this book world! And I’m so glad I had the pleasure of reading it. Jill Patten did something that most Authors do not do. She surprised me into a book that I had no clue I would love. LIKE NO CLUE. I actually like the story more now that it’s over. I love when I feel that way. This series is a definite must read. So uniquely bittersweet and special.
Making a spontaneous decision, I turned the key in the ignition, bringing my truck to life. She hummed loudly, which only intensified my edginess even more. Troy was going to be pissed I was bailing on him, but I was pretty sure Val had already filled him in on the state she found me in the parking lot. I couldn’t take a chance on going in there feeling wired up like a live electrical current. One little remark would be all it would take to set me off. Fighting with Troy wasn’t something I wanted to add to my plate right now.
Somehow I made it home without killing myself or someone else. Leaning across the bench seat, I opened my glove box and made the irrational decision to take the ludicrous contents with me.
Fuck, I needed a dog or some kind of pet who would greet me with unconditional love when I returned home. My loneliness was swallowing me into the depths of perdition. Hell fed on all the black and grey that crept throughout my being.
Jill has always loved to read, even during reading labs in middle school for reading comprehension. Judy Blume was her first author she hero-worshipped, maturing to revere the works of Stephen King. With all the fantastic authors today, she simply cannot choose a favorite. Her taste is very eclectic and she loves almost all genres. When she's not captivated by her fictional characters, she spends time with her sweet husband and two beautiful children.
Music is her muse. Jill also loves elephants, sarcasm, and anything made with sugar, especially sweet tea. She enjoys all things rude and crude and laughs at stuff she probably shouldn't. She has been accused of being bossy a time or two, but doesn't really see it herself.
All in all, Jill is just a small town girl in this great big world trying to enable your book addiction.
Website / Goodreads /Twitter / Facebook / Amazon Author page
Blog Tour: Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2) by Chelsea Fine(@ChelseaFine)~ Stacy's Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . .
Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be . . .
Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them . . . was each other.
When I read book one of the Finding Fate series I really fell in love with Chelsea’s writing. She has a great way of describing specific things, and really giving you a feel of what her characters are feeling. The storyline is not only creative but so unique and different. She is very specific in her placement of words, and by the time you’re done reading this book every little clue and meaning is revealed perfectly.
This is a cute little quirky love story about Daren Ackwood and Kayla Turner, two people who are brought back into each other’s lives in a rather unconventional way. These two weren’t really in each other’s lives to begin with, it was more of an acquaintance situation from when they were younger. Kayla’s father has passed and has some very unique demands in his will which include both Kayla and Daren. Two people who before this awkward meeting, were virtual strangers.
Both characters start off on this journey having a chip on their shoulder about the other person, both thinking unfavorable things about one another based on assumptions. Kayla and Daren are literally forced together in order to fulfill the wishes in the will. Daren used to work for Kayla’s father and see’s him as a sort of father figure, and this utterly confuses Kayla considering she didn’t have the same sort of admiration for her dad. So when Mr. Turner throws them this curve ball from beyond the grave both Kayla and Daren find it intriguing and infuriating at the same time.
So as their journey starts and unfolds you can’t help but love the chemistry between these two characters. They are both highly attractive people with Darren having quite the reputation, “The Woman Whisperer” or “Legendary Lover,” the latter one being self-proclaimed I believe. Daren’s personality is pretty cute, and actually very infectious and he’s somewhat cocky but not overbearingly so.
“I’m not a stranger. And I’ll have you know, a lot of girls would be happy to be handcuffed to me.” “Some actually have been.”
“Kayla Turner is the hottest almost brat I’ve ever seen.”
Kayla seems a little more reserved than Daren, but she seems to be letting him in, inch by inch very slowly. It’s so obvious that these two want each other but the fact that they are connected through the will just seems to aggravate them throughout this crazy scavenger hunt that they are on. There are definitely some twists and turns throughout the story, and the revelation that Kayla finally learns is so sweet and endearing. I truly believe this book is about hope, and believing in people that they are truly good and capable of change. That was done really well, and I loved it.
This book is told in dual alternating POV’s and can be read as a standalone. You meet Daren in book one and to be honest it was really great to see him evolve throughout the series, but it’s not necessary to the story in book two. Also, this book was quite a bit steamier than the first book. Ok A LOT steamier… It was a great read with some really sweet and beautiful moments, and I won’t hesitate to read anything from this Author in the future, she has a great way with words and I would totally recommend this book, this series actually-- I’m really looking forward to book three.
“It’s hard to see love when you have it, but when it’s gone you’re blind to anything else.”
“His kisses are little pieces of him, laid upon my body.”
The inheritance really could be only twenty dollars—or less—and spending an afternoon chained to Daren Ackwood to find it could be a complete waste of time, not to mention horribly awkward given our romantic encounter last night, but it’s worth a shot. Because if it turns out to be a substantial amount of money, everything could change.
Not only could I go back to nursing school, but I could afford a decent apartment and buy myself some time to find a new job—one where my boss isn’t demanding I work for free or flash him in order to pay off my mother’s debt.
Ugh. My life can really only go uphill from where I’m at.
I know money can’t buy happiness, and I believe that. But it would be nice to be out from under Big Joe’s threatening thumb. And sleeping in a cockroach-free apartment while eating regular hot meals wouldn’t be bad either.
I hurry down the sidewalk toward Mr. Perkins’s office, tripping a little in my shoes. Maybe wearing the skirt and heels again wasn’t such a great idea. But I wanted to look professional and responsible, and the gray dress is too hot and the only other pair of shoes I own are my beat-up sneakers from last night. I didn’t think a pencil skirt and a pair of dirty sneakers really said I can be trusted with my deceased father’s money. So I went with the pumps.
I wobble as my shoe catches on a small pebble and curse under my breath.
High heels really are a bitch.
Up ahead, I see Daren round a corner and hurry toward the office, now just a few yards down the sidewalk. I relax a little, knowing he’s not there yet. As we near each other, my stomach fills with butterflies. I don’t know what I’m more anxious about—the inheritance or seeing Daren.
We reach Eddie’s door at the same time.
“Good morning.” He smiles broadly.
“Morning,” I respond with a cheerful smile of my own.
Our smiles are exaggerated, like we’re trying to prove just how “okay” we are with the thing that never happened last night. Then our eyes meet in brief a clash of lust, and tension fills the air.
Daren is the first to break it. “So. You ready to do this?”
“I am,” I say.
The tension returns, but this time it’s laced with nervousness. We’re about to lock ourselves together. For money. The morning after we dry humped each other against a bar. It’s nothing less than weird and desperate. Which begs the question, why is Daren doing this?
I know why I’m subjecting myself to this craziness but I’m still not sure why Daren has agreed—especially without knowing how much money is at stake. Is he in it for the thrill? Is he just bored?
Whatever his reasons are, I’m grateful.
We enter the office and Eddie looks up from his messy desk, his glasses perched on his shiny head. Today he’s wearing a yellow button-up shirt with a plaid bow tie to match his plaid pants. The look suits him.
“You’ve returned,” he says brightly, standing to greet us. “I guess this means you’ve come to a decision about Mr. Turner’s letter?”
“We have,” I say.
Daren nods. “Yes.”
“Excellent.” Eddie clasps his hands together. “What have you decided?”
Daren and I exchange an anxious look. My stomach does a flip-flop, afraid he’s going to change his mind, but then he gives me a subtle nod and I nod back.
We turn to face Eddie, hold out our wrists, and at the same time say, “Cuff us.”
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Blog Tour - Intoxicated (Billionaire Bachelors Club #3.5) by Monica Murphy ~ Ava's Review and Giveaway
Author: Monica Murphy
Series: Billionaire Bachelors Club #3.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2014
New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy wraps up her sexy Billionaire Bachelors Club series with a wedding to remember. But this time, they’re not bachelors anymore, and the groom … is one of them.
It’s Gage and Marina’s wedding day, but wedded bliss seems a long way off: Ivy’s just gone into labor. Marina’s missing her matron of honor. And Bryn’s giving Matt the silent treatment.
It’s up to Archer, Gage, and Matt to make sure this day goes off without a hitch. But between brides and babies, there’s the not-so-little issue of the million-dollar bet to attend to. If only they can figure out who won … and who’s paying up. Is everyone a winner? Or will someone leave broke—and brokenhearted?
You could say Intoxicated is made up of three epilogues, although each story in the Billionaire Bachelors Club was ‘wrapped up’ there were lots of unanswered questions and outcomes that left us hanging. In this final novella, we find out if Archer and Ivy have a bouncing boy or a sweet girl, Marina and Gage finally tie the knot and then Matt and Brynn; well they always add comic relief to any situation!
For fans of the series, this is a sweet, sweet ending to the fun journey that started out as a bet. It was great to see the men admit defeat and hang up their bachelor hats for good. There was plenty of romance, laughter, sexy times and some drama thrown in too.
I would have liked more group time; the story did follow the individual couples with a small overlap with Gage, Matt, Brynn and Marina. I thought to wrap up the series it would have been great to see the gang altogether. With that being said I’m glad I got the answers to their happily ever afters and beyond.
As always, Monica Murphy’s writing is so easy to read, I loved the characters she created and I will miss them but I can’t wait to see what is next in line. :-)
“You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Bryn. You helped me turn my life around. Helped me find love. I owe it all to you.”
[The baby] has also brought Ivy and me closer. I’m stunned at how much I love my wife, how much my love grows for her day in and day out. She’s a wonderful mother, a great wife-my passion for her is at an all-time high.”
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Author: Christine Brae
Release Date: June 16, 2014
Banal. Lifeless and Colorless. These are the words that describe my life. I’ve made the right choices, done all the right things. I’m strong, intelligent and highly successful.
I’ve lived scrupulously, loved greatly, and shared my blessings equitably.
But life hasn’t been fair with me.
Now I’m drowning in the middle of the ocean, desperately searching for the shore, surrendering to the fact that I will never be happy.
Then he came along.
Life is unpredictable. You can play it safe and resist change for fear of the unknown. Or you can close your eyes and take the leap with the knowledge that your life will change forever.
Which one will I choose?
My name is Jade Richmond and this is my story.
Insipid has to be the most heartbreakingly beautiful story I have ever read. The author Christine Brae is a genius. I know this because I've read her other books. But. This. Book. It went beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It was painful. It was brilliant. I didn't just read this book. I lived it.
"Life happens at every moment."
"Live or exist. The choice has always been mine."
Jade Richmond doesn't live. She exists. Her past and present circumstances has made her this way. While a strong and successful business woman, her life is the complete opposite. She is broken beyond repair. Constantly in a state of dread and runs from anything that has the potential to make her happy. Until him. He changes the game for her. Giving away the details of this story would be a complete disservice to the reader. You need to immerse yourself in the story. And you will.
"The high from a touch that cures the deepest of wounds...it will never leave me. I will never recover from this."
Insipid is not your average story. This is not the usual formulaic boy and girl have horrible past lives and find each other and fall in love. This is not that story. Christine Brae doesn't write those stories. Insipid hurts. It will leave you reeling. You will be upset, confused, frustrated. And you will love it. You cannot help but become involved in these characters lives. Their stories will consume you. You will FEEL for them. You will hold on to every word.
"And just like that, he released all his doubts inside me, trusting me, giving me everything of himself, his heart, his soul. His life."
This story is highly romantic. Yet different. You will find that love doesn't come in small neat little packages. It comes when you least expect it. When you need it. It comes when you don't go looking for it. You may even question your beliefs about love. This story goes deep. How can love exist when life throws so much at you? If you've loved before and lost it how do you go on? Can love really have second chances? The emotions in this story are raw. The main character Jade may not be liked by everyone. So why read the book? Because we all have flaws. These characters are genuine. We all make mistakes. When it comes down to it, our past defines us. However it is up to us on how we move forward. Insipid attests to that truth.
"Whatever the reasons, whatever the circumstances, you were the one that my heart chose to help me pick up the pieces of my broken soul."
The writing of this story is flawless. Every single word contributes to this beautiful story. The transition from present to past and back to present was seamless. The story flows really well. Insipid comes back full circle. The characters you meet in this story are broken in some way, but you will love them. You will not read this story. You will experience it. You will live it. Insipid goes where contemporary romance doesn't go. It shows the bad. The ugly. That love exists even in the deepest darkest places. In all things, choose life. Choose love.
When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.
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Title: Reciprocity (Breach #3)
Author: K.I. Lynn
Release Date: June 9, 2014
The final installment of the Breach Trilogy!
Things are finally looking up for Nathan and Lila. Though separated at work, their life together is just beginning.
They’re working hard to lock up Lila’s past, when Nathan’s comes knocking at the door with a gift—a warning that happiness can, and will, be taken away.
Is running away the only option to stay alive? Can they ever find the peace they deserve?
The battle for survival has begun.
That was probably why Drew, Caroline, Nathan, and I all went out to lunch—to relax. We’d decided on a sandwich shop not far from the office, specializing in grilled subs and fresh-cut fries. Drew drove Caroline and me, while Nathan was a few minutes behind due to a meeting with a client.
After ordering for Nathan and myself, I searched for a table for the four of us. The restaurant was pretty empty, being that it was mid-week, so there were lots of options. I found one and waited for the others to join me.
“So, are you changing your name, hyphenating, or keeping Palmer?” Drew asked as he took the seat across from me. He’d learned fast that the seat beside me was reserved for Nathan.
I shook my head like mad. “Hell, no… Am I keeping Palmer?” I scoffed. It wasn’t hard to imagine where the anger stormed from for a name that’d been mine for thirty years. “As soon as we get back, Palmer is gone. I don’t want to be associated with that man anymore.” I smiled at him, pushing all the negativity away.
Drew nodded. “I figured. Can’t call you DAP anymore. Maybe I’ll just start DAT. Who DAT?”
I rolled my eyes and let out a small snicker. “That is the stupidest name. You haven’t called me that in years, therefore it and all incarnations are void.”
“I can always bring it back.”
“No. Its statute of limitations is eighty years.”
“I’d like to appeal.”
“Appeal denied.” I clasped my hands together and cocked my head at him.
“You don’t have the appropriate paperwork.”
“What the hell is going on over here? Lawyer porn?” Caroline asked as she sat next to Drew.
“We were discussing DAP.”
Caroline paused, then shook her head. “That was the stupidest nickname.”
“Oh, come on, it was different.” The muscles in his forearm flexed, and he grinned.
“It made it sound like you were calling her some cleaning agent. ‘DAP will get out all your stains!’”
“Lila works just fine,” I said and took a bite of my sandwich.
“I’ve got some names for her, but they aren’t for polite company.” Nathan’s arm wrapped around me as he sat down and pulled me close for a kiss.
I looked up at him. “What about Honeybear?”
“Honeybear?” Caroline and Drew asked in unison.
I could swear Nathan’s cheeks pinked up. “Yeah, you’re my Honeybear. Public or private, but I’d prefer private. I’ve got an image to keep up, after all.”
“That’s worse than DAP.” Drew had a look of disgust on his face.
“I think it’s cute. Very different and shows a different side of Nate.” Caroline smiled across the table at us.
“Thank you, Caroline.” Nathan smiled back at her, then took a bite of his sandwich, moaning as he chewed.
I let out a giggle. “Hungry?”
“Fuck, yes. I haven’t eaten all day. Someone wanted to exercise this morning, and I missed breakfast.” He elbowed me and grinned.
“Oh, God, I don’t want to hear about the kinky, fucked up shit you two get into.” Drew made a gagging sound, then set his sandwich down. “Great. Now all I can see is your fucking hairy balls.”
“Hey, I said exercise—you’re the one who twisted it into my ass being naked.” Nathan chuckled. “And what the hell are you doing see my balls? I thought you’d be envisioning Lila, though I’m glad you weren’t, but is there something you need to tell us?”
Drew glared at Nathan, then shot a fry in his direction. “Shut the fuck up.”
Caroline rolled her eyes. “Yup, bunch of professional lawyers over here, not that anyone would guess.”
Drew sat up straighter and held his head high. “Professional when we need to be.”
Caroline quirked her brow at them. “Frat boys the rest of the time?”
Drew took a bite, then wiped his mouth. “You know I wasn’t a frat boy.”
“True, but I’m willing to bet Nate was.” Caroline turned her blue eyes back to Nathan, and he held up his right hand.
I gasped in shock and pulled back. “My God, what am I marrying?”
He eyed me sideways, his lip twitching up. “Prince Charming, remember?”
I scoffed. “This is one fucked up fairy tale.”
Nathan nodded, then he turned toward me, his eyes softening as he pulled me closer. “Yes, it is, but it’s ours.”
“Oh, by the way, I ran into someone who knows you when we were at the bridal shop.” I’d forgotten all about it.
His brow quirked. “Yeah? Who?”
I wracked my brain trying to remember his name. “Mack something. Said you met back when you were working on the Marconi case.”
Nathan swallowed hard, and set his sandwich down as he turned away from me. His profile didn’t stop me from seeing the color leave his skin. My stomach dropped, and a sickness washed over me. The air around him had become so thick that I was certain Drew and Caroline noticed his abrupt change in demeanor.
He only had that reaction when the Marconi were brought up.
“What else did he say?”
It’d been an innocent run-in, or so I thought. “Congratulations. That’s it.”
He turned back to me, his lips twitching into a forced smile, but his eyes couldn’t hide the combination of anger and dread.
“So, did you hear about Blackwell?” Caroline asked. “Seems he’s all the scandal with that intern Tara.”
I turned to look at her, mouthing a “thank you” as Drew jumped in, steering the conversation away and saving our peaceful lunch as much as possible.
Since she began posting stories online, she’s garnered acclaim for her diverse stories and hard hitting writing style. Two stories and characters are never the same, her brain moving through different ideas faster than she can write them down as it also plots its quest for world domination…or cheese. Whichever is easier to obtain… Usually it’s cheese.
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Blog Tour - White Collared Part Three: Revenge by Shelly Bell ~Double Review, Ten Fun Facts & Giveaway!
Title: White Collared Part Three: Revenge
Author: Shelly Bell
Series: White Collared #3
Genre: Erotic Suspense
Release Date: June 17, 2014
In the third sexy installment of Shelly Bell's serialized erotic thriller, Kate will finally entrust Jaxon with her secrets, but the lies he's told have the power to break her heart … and threaten her life.
Motivated by honor …
After a gruesome discovery, the men in Kate's life unite to protect her from imminent danger, but Jaxon becomes consumed by the fierce desire to possess her fully. Kate trusts him enough to surrender to him in the bedroom, but she still fears the vulnerability of complete and utter submission.
Enslaved by pleasure …
Jaxon continues to push Kate's sexual and emotional boundaries, penetrating her defenses and crumbling the walls she has built around the painful memories of her past. But just as she opens her heart and accepts a future with Jaxon, the devastating truth about Alyssa's death shatters the tenuous bond they share, testing their relationship and propelling her directly into the path of a desperate murderer.
In this third installment, my list of suspects got shorter. But the question still remains in my mind, is he the real killer? Or was my main suspect this whole time the actual killer?
So in this book we become one hundred percent sure that the killer is out to get Kate. This causes Nick's (over)protective instincts to go all out. At this point, I don't trust him at all and at times makes me uncomfortable on how close he gets to Kate. I know they are friends, I guess, but come on! Getting major creepy vibes from him at this point.
We also get more information on what causes Kate's panic attacks and what was it that happened in her past that traumatized her so much (which is actually connected to her panic attacks). I had been coming to my own conclusions about it through this series, so it was nice to finally have the complete story.
Jaxon also comes clean about his connection to one of the victims and I sighed in relief. Even though I hadn't connected much to him in book one, I absolutely adore him in this one.
By the end of the book, I knew there was more to who killed those women, or is there more to it? I don't know. I'm still reeling from that twist at the end, so anything can happen in the next and final White Collared installment!
Also, I do wish the BDSM aspect of the book would've been taken to the next level in this one, but I'm looking forward to see what happens between Jaxon and Kate in the next one.
If you're looking for a sexy, mysterious, and quick read that will have you second-guessing who the killer is, this one is for you!
“He commanded her body, possessed her heart, and touched her soul.”
Part three continues on from the cliff hanger we were left with, the entire pace of the book is kicked up a notch and you can just feel the tension and suspense bubbling away. Kate’s life is in danger after a case of mistaken identity and Jaxon and Nick step up security. Both men are still going head to head for Kate’s affections.
So far, physically Jaxon was winning and their connection continued to be explosive. So much so that Kate began to let her guard down and allow Jaxon to take her beyond her hard limits.
“To give her body was easy. To give a piece of her heart was more difficult. But tonight she was gifting him a part of her soul. He’d wormed his way into it the last time they’d made love, and now she’d hand him a piece to carry within his own.”
Kate’s past finally came tumbling out, I must admit I concocted something more sordid in my head so when they truth was revealed, I felt deep sympathy for Kate as it so clearly affected her life every day. But by baring her soul to Jaxon, it did bring them closer together as well as confirming Jaxon’s fiercely protective side.
“I don’t understand. What do you want from me?”
Everything. Every breath. Every thought. Every smile. Every damned tear.” His eyes darkened. “I won’t share you. Not with Nick. Not with anyone.” He nuzzled her neck. “If another man breathes the same air as you, I want to rip his lungs out. Break his nose so he can’t inhale the sweet perfume of your arousal. Blind him so he won’t see you smile. Burn his hands so he’ll never touch you. I want all of you.”
One scene in the story felt out of place for me, perhaps it was messing up my fantasy for Jaxon and Kate but I felt it was out of character for both of them, for Kate to experiment in such a way and for Jaxon to allow it. He made it clear he didn’t share and I just felt it pulled me from the story as I spent too much time thinking about this particular scene and why that had to be the only way for Kate to obtain information. I wanted Jaxon to flex his muscles at that point and go all caveman!
I was quietly confident that I had picked the killer but the plot is so full of twists and turns that I began to question my choice and everybody became a suspect. I liked the fact I was kept on high alert, it increased the excitement of the story and I trusted no one. Well apart from Jax, I always trusted him from day one. I could tell he had always been genuine with Kate and she sparked something inside of him that he had never felt before.
“You looked at me. . .like I was a hero. And for a brief second, I felt like one. Not a man who needed his wife’s money to set him up with a business. Not a man who lived in a house that never felt like a home. Not a man who’d failed to save his wife. You made me believe my life was beginning at a time when it felt like my life was ending. My second chance to do it right.”
The story is blazing ahead at full speed and I really can’t wait to read the concluding part to discover if my hunch has been right from the beginning. It’s finally time to get those all important answers.
2. I began writing it in response to the ill-informed and prejudicial media reports which sensationalized the case due to the alleged suspect’s involvement in the BDSM lifestyle.
3. I created the sex club, Benediction, from rumors I’ve heard throughout the years that a similar exclusive club exists in Metro-Detroit.
4. White Collared is a murder mystery. See if you can figure it out!
5. There’s a love triangle between the heroine Kate Martin, her boss Nick Trenton, and her client Jaxon Deveroux. Will you be #TeamJaxon or #TeamNick? I was rooting for both of them. Together.
6. Kate is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and while she’s worked hard to get rid of her accent, in her head (and mine), she sounds a bit like Marge from the movie, Fargo.
7. Kate rides a Harley. To work. In winter.
8. Everybody in the book has a secret. Just remember that.
9. As I wrote, I pictured Henry Cavill in the role of Jaxon Deveroux. He’s in Metro-Detroit this summer along with Ben Affleck (with whom I share a birthday) shooting Batman vs. Superman. I’m thinking of stalking them.
10. I didn’t write the book and chop it into pieces to bilk readers out of their hard-earned money. Trust me, I’m a reader too, and I love reading serials! I wrote it as a serial to increase the excitement of the reading experience and stimulate both mind and body.
Shelly is a member of Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.
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