*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
Loliver are adorable! I have lost count of the number of times I said that during Dark Wild Night but believe me, they are!
Lola and Oliver were the only couple not to hook up after their crazy stint in Vegas and it turned out to be the best decision they made. After that night, a beautiful friendship was born. Christina Lauren created the best friends to lovers story. I am a huge fan of this trope and the fact that Loliver were ADORABLE was the icing on the cake.
The thing I love most about CLo’s books (aside from EVERYTHING) is the characters they create. There is always some aspect I can relate to, there is always some aspect that makes them real and I forget for a moment that I’m reading fiction. Because seriously a couple like Loliver needs to exist in this world!
I adored the geek side of both Oliver and Lola. They bonded over their love for comic books and I loved the commentary running throughout the book, creating a story within a story. I thought the climax of the plot was a little subdued but sometimes you don’t need the dramatics, sometimes life’s lessons are dramatic enough and that worked well for both Oliver and Lola. CLo flipped the relationship dynamic on its head and I swooned when it was Oliver admitting his feelings and vowing to wait until Lola caught up. *sigh.*
Another great offering from Christina Lauren, you don’t want to miss this one!
Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. Married to the cutest boy in school, she has a thirteen year old daughter, is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter, and also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.
You can follow their shenanigans at: their website or @lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!
For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @beautifulbastrd.
Release Day Launch - One More Kiss (White Pine #2.5) by Kim Amos ~ Ava's Review, Prologue and Giveaway!
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
One More Kiss is a novella in the White Pine series. It details the beginning of Randall and Betty‘s relationship that we have met through the previous books.
One More Kiss was a sweet, reminiscent tale with tender moments as well as some funny ones. If you were to read this story as a standalone it might not have as much significance, it’s better to have a little bit of history on the characters first, but if you did, you should still find it an enjoyable read.
I like the White Pine community the author has created. I enjoy reading small town romances and Kim Amos captures the drama and speculation that happens in this town. The writing flows well and I always look forward to more, hence my yearning for Randall and Betty to have their own full novel. But alas, this little snippet did the trick.
This novella is short, sweet and to the point. It’s worth a read.
Title: A Shattered Heart
Author: Tiffany King
Series: Fractured Lives #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 28, 2015
From Tiffany King, USA Today Bestselling Author of A Shattered Moment, comes book 2 in the Fractured Lives Series.
A Shattered Heart is the story of Kathleen "Kat" Darby who discovers that although you can run away, you can never escape the ghosts from your past.
Physically, Kat Darby walked away relatively unscathed from the tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation. Emotionally, her scars run much deeper from the loss of two of her best friends and her longtime boyfriend, Dan. Unable to face the constant reminders of the person she thought she would love forever, Kat leaves for twelve months to study art in France before returning home to start her life again.
Life in Florida proves more difficult than Kat anticipated with remnants of the accident still lingering. The only solace she can find is in her love for art until she runs into Brian, the younger brother of her deceased former boyfriend. Finding they can lean on eachother, Kat and Brian find comfort in their emotional common bond. When an unexpected romance develops, Kat must decide if she is willing to face the ghosts from her past in order to love again.
“I wanted to wipe away the haunted look in your eyes and smooth out the crease of grief between your brows...I wanted to be the reason you started living again.”
A Shattered Heart is the story of Kat Darby and how she navigates her life after a car crash that changed her world. I enjoyed book one in this series and when given the chance to read Kat’s story, I jumped right in.
Kat lost not only some of her best friends in the car crash; she also lost the love of her life, Dan. Kat didn’t know how to live incomplete so instead she ran. She ran from her friends, her family and her responsibilities. But running only took Kat so far, and before long, Kat knew in order to move on she had to face her past.
But with Kat’s past came harsh truths she didn’t want to face. Her friends Zach and Mac wanted answers and then came Brian, Dan’s younger brother. He wanted to be there for Kat but at times, his likeness was just too painful for Kat to bear.
I understood how Kat felt, I could certainly empathise with her but there were a few times in the story I felt myself tiring of her martyr ways. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the girl was grieving but in regards to the story, I felt it was losing its rhythm and I just wanted Kat to breathe easy again.
I must admit when I discovered Kat’s love interest was her late boyfriend’s brother I felt unsure. Could I root for two characters that I doubted should be together? The short answer is yes I can and Tiffany King proved that to me. Brian was no longer just Dan’s little brother, he had grown into his own, and he cared for Kat and wanted to see her live again. He ticked all the right book boyfriend boxes and only a few scenes after I met him; I knew he was the man to heal Kat.
A Shattered Heart is at times a sombre tale, it’s emotional and hard to read but then when that glimmer of hope shines through we are reminded that there is life after love and everyone deserves a second chance.
If you are looking for a heart felt, well written, New Adult series then this one is worth checking out.
Where to connect with Tiffany
Facebook-Author Tiffany King
Release Day Launch - The Air He Breathes (Romance Elements #1) by Brittainy C. Cherry ~ Includes Ava and Bianca's Reviews.
Title: The Air He Breathes
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Series: Romance Elements #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 25, 2015
I was warned about Tristan Cole.
“Stay away from him,” people said.
It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.
But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.
We were both empty.
We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.
Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.
How do you put into words a book that touched your soul? Can words even come close to how much this book meant to me? How much it meant in my heart? Not sure if any words can truly describe the magic of this author’s writing of this story. But I am going to try.
Tristan Cole is left devastated by tragedy. It shatters his world. His life as he knows it is gone. He becomes angry, lonely. He is no longer living. He simply exists. To the outside he is cold and cruel. In the inside he is just numb. When he meets Elizabeth, he recognizes something in her eyes. Loss maybe? Loneliness? He sees himself in her eyes. A lost soul.
“Do I scare, you Elizabeth?” he whispered.
“Because I see you.”
After losing the love of her life, Elizabeth returns to her home determined to live for her and her daughter. But that is no easy feat. There are reminders everywhere. Her heart feels empty, her soul missing it’s other half. While she is told to stay away from Tristan, Elizabeth can’t help but be drawn to his darkness as she recognizes the same in herself. Tristan wants nothing to do with her. He fights every time she attempts to get close to him. He tries to scare her away with his harsh words and rude demeanor. But Elizabeth SEES him. She sees underneath the darkness. That maybe... just maybe there is a light somewhere in his heart. And Tristan soon recognizes that perhaps Elizabeth is his light.
“You’re beautiful. You’re a beautiful, broken kind of monster.”
The Air He Breathes is heartbreaking. You are emotionally invested the entire time you are reading. The author is brilliant in the way she crafts her story and characters. She doesn’t just give life to her characters, she breathes her heart and soul into them. This is demonstrated in the way she allows you to FEEL while reading. Every sad event, every joyous occasion...you LIVE within those pages. I am purposefully not talking about the plot as you should immerse yourself in this beautiful story.
“Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.”
“How did two people so broken find each other’s shattered pieces?”
Tristan and Elizabeth find solace in each other, but they also find a great love. They find the missing pieces to their shattered hearts. Tristan loves fiercely. His love is LOUD. You feel his heart beat again the moment he realizes he loves Elizabeth. His love protects, his love is brave. His heart speaks love. Always. Elizabeth’s love? Her love is powerful. It’s strong. Her love never falters for Tristan. Despite their circumstances, she loves with her entire soul. So many write about love. But this story? There is none like. The Air He Breathes challenges love. It puts love against things you never knew was possible. They love through pain, heartache, and tragedy. Their love is truth. Their love is light. Their love? It saves.
“Show me the shadows that keep you up at night. Kiss me with your darkness.”
Can we talk about the writing? It’s magical and overwhelming. Every word is carefully crafted to add to the story. The author seamlessly wrote both POVs and transitioned between the present and the past. I have read other books by this author and every time I am blown away by her genius ability to write such powerful words. Words that invoke emotions. Words that you feel. Words that make you cry, laugh. Live.
“I didn’t know it was possible. I didn’t know the broken pieces of a heart could still beat for love.”
The Air He Breathes gave me LIFE. You know when someone asks you what book could you read over and over and never get tired of? This would be THE book. Don't go into this book thinking you know this story. Because you don't You'll never read one like this. Tristan and Elizabeth? I will never forget their inspiring love story. Their love overcame so much. But isn't that what love does? Love endures. It bears all things. Their love did that. And so much more.
“Maybe he loved our scars the most. Maybe the truest form of love grew from the deepest kinds of pain.”
Wow, The Air He Breathes was my first Brittainy C. Cherry book and I have to say, it’s not for the faint-hearted. It will tug at your heartstrings but don’t worry you will come out the other side smiling.
Both Liz and Tristan are living broken lives. Moving on and breathing again seems an impossible feat but what if you met someone just as broken? Just as scarred? Could it then be possible to breathe again? To live again? To maybe even love again?
This was a lovely story, I did like the way in which the characters interconnected at times and it had drama that I wasn’t expecting. I will say I was expecting to ugly cry and even though I didn’t come near, I still got a lump in my throat and discovered a new author and great characters.
There was a part in the story that I didn’t connect with, and upon discussing it with a friend; I came to the conclusion that it’s due to personal experience. We each read books differently and because of my own experiences I could never imagine this situatuion happening. It was uncomfortable to read at times and I wasn’t sure if I could fall for these characters. But grief affects others in different ways and even though I didn’t particularly like that one element of the story, it made the characters real. Warts and all.
I liked Brittainy’s writing style and I wasn’t expecting the humorous tone to her words. It worked really well and was injected just at the right time when the storyline needed it.
I loved the characters, I love the journey they embarked on and I loved the white feathers.
For lovers of serendipity and second chances, I highly recommend this book to you.
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Title: Hard As Steel
Author: Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #4.5
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 22, 2015
About HARD AS STEEL: A Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Novella
After identifying her employer's dangerous enemies, Jessica Jakes takes refuge at the compound of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. Fellow Hard Ink tattooist and Raven leader Ike Young promises to keep Jess safe for as long as it takes, which would be perfect if his close, personal, round-the-clock protection didn't make it so hard to hide just how much she wants him—and always has.
Ike Young loved and lost a woman in trouble once before. The last thing he needs is alone time with the sexiest and feistiest woman he's ever known, one he's purposely kept at a distance for years. Now, Ike's not sure he can keep his hands or his heart to himself—or that he even wants to anymore. And that means he has to do whatever it takes to hold on to Jess forever.
They stared at each for a long moment. Jess went from feeling amused to awkward to observed…and that made her hot. Especially as she was standing there in nothing but a towel.
As if he could hear her thoughts, Ike’s gaze slowly ran down her neck to her chest. She wiped at something there and the wetness on the fingers told her it had been a droplet of water from her hair. Ike watched the movement of her hand openly, hungrily, and his desire made her bold, daring, hungry in return.
Without giving herself time to second guess the idea, she reached out and lightly dragged her wet fingers against his bottom lip.
And it was like she’d unleashed a beast.
Ike grabbed her wrist and hauled her to him. He was on her everywhere. His hands in her hair, on her back, grabbing her ass and lifting her up. His tongue licked the exact route that water droplet had taken, from chest to neck to ear. And then he was kissing her, fucking her mouth with his tongue, absolutely devouring her.
Jess held on like her life depended on it, and at some point she became aware of the breeze on her bare skin. She’d dropped the towel, which meant she was totally buck-ass naked in Ike’s big arms, and she couldn’t have cared less.
Ike licked her mouth, sucked her tongue, nipped at her lips. He turned and made for the stairs, and Jess thought she might die from sheer joy and anticipation. He tasted like strength and sin and sex, and she tightened her legs around his hips as he carried her to the loft, eager to see if all of him tasted so good—or even better.
When they reached the second floor, Ike growled low in his throat and his grip tightened on her on her ass, his fingers digging in. She moaned and--
Cool air from the ceiling fan washed over Jess as Ike dropped her onto the bed—and promptly turned around to leave. Jess was so stunned she couldn’t speak. Just as he hit the top of the steps, he said, “Don’t fucking tease me, Jessica. I’m trying to do right by you, but I’m still just a goddamned man.”
If there was ever a perfect crossover novella to end one series and begin another, Hard As Steel is it! Ike and Jess were relatively unknown characters to me but in the space over just over one hundred pages, I cared for them, rooted for them and rejoiced with them!
Hard As Steel is one sexy little novella. It captured the sizzling chemistry between Ike Young and Jessica James. All Ike wanted to do was to protect Jess, he told himself she was off limits but Jess had a sass that I liked and I’m glad she didn’t take no for answer.
I love the Hard Ink series and this novella was a perfect bonus, I’m glad I got to know Ike and Jess, and the crew of new characters that were introduced just makes me hungry for the Raven Riders series.
Laura Kaye is becoming one of my must read authors. She creates real characters, evokes real feelings and provides real entertainment. Everything I could want in an author.
I highly recommend this series!
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Release Week Blitz - And Then He Kissed Me (White Pine #2) by Kim Amos ~ Ava's Review and Giveaway!!
Title: And Then He Kissed Me
Author: Kim Amos
Series: White Pine #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2015
PLAYING WITH FIRE...
Five years ago, Audrey Tanner flung caution to the wind and herself into the arms of an emerald-eyed bad boy biker she met at the White Pine Asparagus Festival. Two blissful weeks together convinced her that Kieran Callaghan was The One-until The One blew town without a word, leaving her brokenhearted. Now, starting a new job at the new Harley Davidson showroom, Audrey is floored to meet her new boss: Kieran. He's still hot as hell, but she won't fall for his sexy smile again. This time, she's calling the shots.
...OR PLAYING FOR KEEPS?
Kieran never thought he'd return to White Pine, Minnesota, much less see Audrey again. Gorgeous and smart as ever, she's just as irresistible as he remembered. She still doesn't know why he had to leave-or that he's missed her every day since. But he can't deny he wants more than the no-strings fling Audrey proposes. As things between them heat up, Kieran must choose between the secret he's sworn to keep and the woman he never stopped loving.
I wanted to read a small town romance as it’s not something I know a lot about so when And Then He Kissed Me came up, I jumped at the chance. This book had everything I was expecting and more. It was set in a quaint town with lots of interesting, likeable characters and a couple I couldn’t help but root for.
I do love a second chance romance and that’s what I got between Audrey and Kieran. They had a whirlwind love affair only for Kieran to abruptly leave without an explanation. Now—five years later—Kieran is back and determined to make amends with Audrey.
Audrey was a strong female character and I yearn for them in stories. Life dealt her a less than stellar hand and instead of letting it get her down, Audrey pulled up her boots and got on with life.
I liked Kieran’s character, it was obvious he had to leave Audrey for a reason so immediately I did feel for him and never did I have him pegged as the bad guy. I also liked that his secret was revealed quite early on so that I wasn’t left hanging during the course of the book.
This is my first story by Kim Amos and I immediately found her writing easy to read. I loved the small community she created and even though I started this series at book two, I was able to read it as a standalone and now I’m intrigued enough to want to read book one.
And Then He Kissed Me was more than a sweet romance, there was an element of suspense—no matter how subtle—with a bit of mystery too. I really liked this theme and it kept me reading into the wee hours.
If you are looking for a small town, second chance romance with endearing characters and a lot of heart, then I recommend you try this one.
Release Day Blitz - Hard to Let Go (Hard Ink #4) by Laura Kaye ~ Excerpt, Ava's Review and Giveaway!
Title: Hard to Let Go
Author: Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters his biggest complication yet—a seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.
A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo shop following a bad break-up—and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with the criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights . . . and in his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.
Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.
He turned the knob, and the door opened.
“Go away,” came a strained voice.
Beckett poked his head through the opening. Kat sat in a ball in the corner, her legs pulled up to her chest, her arms hugging herself tight.
“Aw, Jesus, Beckett. Really?” Her face was splotchy and her eyes watery, though he didn’t see any tears.
Ten-to-one she was going through some adrenaline letdown right now, too. Which no doubt made it all worse. That shit could fuck you up even when you were used to how it left you feeling drained and shaky, by how all the stress you’d suppressed during the height of the crisis boomeranged twice over after the fact.
He came into the room, closed the door, and turned the lock for good measure. And then he crossed to Kat, scooped his arms under her knees and behind her back and lifted her up against him.
She smacked his chest. “Put me down.”
“No.” He moved to the edge of the bed.
“I don’t need this right now, Beckett. Put me down.”
“Yes, you do,” he said, sitting on the edge of the mattress. He pulled her face in against his throat and smoothed her hair back from her cheek. She trembled against him, just the littlest bit, her skin hot to the touch. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and hugged her tighter. “You did good, kid.”
Every one of her muscles went tight. Her hand fisted in his shirt. And her breath caught as she buried her face against his neck and shoulder.
Then Kat burst out crying.
And it was like being torn apart and put back together, all at once. He hated her pain, but he adored that she wasn’t hiding herself from him, and that she was letting him be there for her.
He didn’t shush her, or try to talk her down, or encourage her to dry her eyes. To be sure, her tears were like daggers in his heart—they hurt like fucking hell. But the only way she was going to feel better was to let this shit out. Ironic realization for him—he did actually see that. But just because you could see what was good for others didn’t mean you had the first goddamned idea how to apply those principles in your own life. And that was a problem for another time anyway.
What mattered right now was Kat. What mattered … was Kat.
It was finally time for the last instalment of the Hard Ink series. It was time for the fallen soldiers to get the justice they deserved and it was also Beckett Murda’s time to get the girl.
If you have been following the men of Hard Ink like I have, you will not be disappointed with Hard To Let Go. It is a fitting end to the series with its perfect blend of suspense, romance and surprises.
I still can’t believe the books span over a time frame of 3-4 weeks, so much happens but at the same time it’s like no time has passed at all. I think the author did a great job with every technical aspect of the story.
Kat and Beckett’s relationship was hot right from the start, their love/hate chemistry was believable and they both brought out the best and worst in each other. My favourite element of Kaye’s characters is their vulnerability, in particular the big, stoic army men. Each had a sensitive side, they had their own demons to fight with but when that part was exposed and explored, that’s when I fell for them completely.
“Beckett realized that as satisfied as his body was in this moment, it was his soul that was all lit up inside. Because even though it wouldn’t last, for right now he was wanted and he was good. And he so rarely experienced either that it was one of the most special moments of his life.”
“When he didn’t say anything right away, she stroked her fingers down his cheek. “What?” she whispered.
He sorted through the whirl in his mind. “What I’m asking is...for you not to give up on me.” Beckett shook his head. “I’ll get my shit together. I promise.”
Hard To Let Go was an enjoyable read for me. Kat was probably my favourite female character of the series; I loved her feistiness and her drive to help not only her brothers but their team as well. There was plenty of suspense building up into a great crescendo and the series ended on a high. I’m a huge fan of Laura Kaye’s writing and although I’m sad to see the end of the Hard Ink crew, I look forward to the next series and can’t wait to fall in love with a whole new set of characters.
If you are a fan of romantic suspense then this series is not to be missed.
Grab the rest of the series now...
Praise for HARD TO LET GO:
“Kaye wraps up her bestselling series with this action-packed story, highlighting her talent for alpha military heroes, hot romance, and an ensemble cast of characters who are unique and engaging. A super sexy, high-octane romantic suspense novel that concludes the popular Hard Ink series in a completely satisfying way.” ~Kirkus Reviews
“TOP PICK! Kaye brings her Hard Ink series to a spectacular conclusion that successfully wraps up the overarching mystery and brings closure to her compelling characters. Kaye really nails it with this awesome book and series!” ~RT Book Reviews
“HARD TO LET GO will blow you away! Anyone who has been following Laura Kaye’s fantastic Hard Ink series will expect something great for the last book in the series, and to say HARD TO LET GO does not disappoint would be the understatement of the year! Ms. Kaye writes sex scenes like it’s nobody’s business, and the blistering chemistry between Kat and Becket will leave you panting and begging for more! If you expected world-class action in HARD TO LET GO, think again and multiply that by ten! HARD TO LET GO has to be the most explosive conclusion to a series ever! Do not miss it at any cost!” ~Fresh Fiction
Praise for the Hard Ink Series:
"TOP PICK! If you're looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion, then Kaye has just the book and the series for you." ~RT Book Reviews Magazine
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Release Day Launch - The Song of David (The Law of Moses #2) by Amy Harmon ~ Ava's Review and Gift Card Giveaway!
Title: The Song of David
Author: Amy Harmon
Series: The Law of Moses #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 13, 2015
Cover by: Hang Le
She said I was like a song. Her favorite song. A song isn’t something you can see. It’s something you feel, something you move to, something that disappears after the last note is played.
I won my first fight when I was eleven years old, and I’ve been throwing punches ever since. Fighting is the purest, truest, most elemental thing there is. Some people describe heaven as a sea of unending white. Where choirs sing and loved ones await. But for me, heaven was something else. It sounded like the bell at the beginning of a round, it tasted like adrenaline, it burned like sweat in my eyes and fire in my belly. It looked like the blur of screaming crowds and an opponent who wanted my blood.
For me, heaven was the octagon.
Until I met Millie, and heaven became something different. I became something different. I knew I loved her when I watched her stand perfectly still in the middle of a crowded room, people swarming, buzzing, slipping around her, her straight dancer’s posture unyielding, her chin high, her hands loose at her sides. No one seemed to see her at all, except for the few who squeezed past her, tossing exasperated looks at her unsmiling face. When they realized she wasn’t normal, they hurried away. Why was it that no one saw her, yet she was the first thing I saw?
If heaven was the octagon, then she was my angel at the center of it all, the girl with the power to take me down and lift me up again. The girl I wanted to fight for, the girl I wanted to claim. The girl who taught me that sometimes the biggest heroes go unsung and the most important battles are the ones we don’t think we can win.
“When you’re with me. I feel like I glimpse a David nobody else knows is there. It’s the Song of David, and nobody else can hear it but me.”
I get excited when it’s time for a new Amy Harmon book because I know I’m going to experience an amazing story filled with unique characters as well as a plot that will break my heart but mend it at the same time.
The Song of David was no different and for that I’m truly thankful. Amy can write anything and I’ll read it. I finished the book days ago, yet every teaser or quote I see has my eyes watering. Amy’s talent is creating characters that I care for deeply, so much so, I feel protective of them and if they hurt I hurt. That’s storytelling at its finest for me.
We met David ‘Tag’ Taggert in book one, The Law of Moses, and in order to get the optimum experience you need to read this series in order. I was surprised to find Moses featured so heavily in David’s book, it worked exceptionally well but I think in order to appreciate why, you need to uncover Moses and Tag’s friendship in book one first.
Tag is unsettled in life. Scarred by the loss of his sister, he deems himself unworthy of love. He ‘d be the first to put his neck on the line for the people that mean the most to him yet he still feels he doesn’t deserve this in return. It isn’t until he meets Amelie and her younger brother Henry that cause him see the world and his self through a different set of eyes.
“Everyone is loyal is loyal to him, but it’s only because he was loyal first, because he stuck his neck out for them. Not because they asked, but because they needed help. It kind of became Tag’s purpose. I saw him change, saw him decide to live, to fight, to embrace life. I watched him find himself.”
I adored both Amelie (Millie) and Henry’s characters. Each were exceptional in their own right and formed the heart of the story. I loved Millie’s fearless attitude, and her gentle loving of David was exactly what they both needed.
“The world was a scary place for most people. For Amelie, it was downright lethal. She was completely vulnerable. If the world it too flat, people like me will slide right off. And yet she didn’t hesitate at all.”
““David?” I almost looked around to see who she was talking to and then remembered my own name. It sounded different on her lips.”
Amy has a way of creating not just two notable main characters but the supporting cast play an integral part in her stories as well. In TSoD Henry stood out for me. Tag took Henry under his wing and taught him to stand up for himself and to believe in who he was as a person. As if I needed even more reason to fall for David. I was already hook, line and sinker by chapter two!
“He’s the eyes. I’m the heart. He’s the hands, and I’m the head.”
The Song of David had me in tears, but that came to no surprise, as heart wrenching and Amy Harmon have now become synonymous for me. I cared deeply for each character and I was frantically messaging my friend throughout as I was on the edge of my seat, dreading the outcome. I trusted Amy and her words, they are forever uplifting and healing but my anxiety was high and I thought what if David’s book in the one to break me, what if it doesn’t end the way I want it to.
Of course there was no need to panic. I was left with a full heart and a smile on my face and I hope you are too. This series is one not to be missed.
Buy it. Live it. Love it.
“I’d rather have a piece of a dream than no dream at all.”
Amy Harmon has written seven novels - the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, Infinity + One and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her newest release, The Law of Moses, is now available. For updates on upcoming book releases, author posts and more, join Amy at www.authoramyharmon.com
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Title: The History of Us
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Genre: M/m Romance
Category: New Adult
Release Date: June 11, 2015
Sometimes it's not about coming out, it's about settling in.
Eighteen-year-old Bradley Collins came out a year ago and hasn't looked back since. Who cares if he doesn’t know any other gay people? Bradley has friends and basketball—that’s all he needs. Even if that means always sitting on the sidelines when the guys go out looking for girls.
When cute film-boy TJ tries to flirt with Bradley while his friends are doing their thing, he freaks. Yeah, he’s gay, but he’s never had the opportunity to go out with a boy before. He’s never had to worry about how his friends will react to seeing him with a guy.
Bradley accompanies TJ on a road trip to film TJ’s senior project documentary. In each city they visit, they meet with people from different walks of life, and Bradley learns there’s a whole lot more to being honest about himself than just coming out. He still has to figure out who he really is, and learn to be okay with what he discovers.
I am a huge fan of Nyrae Dawn’s writing and each new book confirms why I am. The History of Us puts a new slant on m/m romance and I think it can really help people who struggle with who they are, regardless of their orientation.
“Sometimes it’s not about coming out, it’s about settling in.”
This quote encompasses Bradley’s journey within The History of Us. Bradley is open about his sexuality, he’s told his mom and his best friends, so that’s all there is to it, right? If that’s true, why does the thought of holding hands with a guy cause Bradley’s stomach to roll, or the thought of introducing a guy to his friends make Bradley sweat? To Bradley, coming out and admitting he is gay is the easy part, but actually being gay? That’s a different thing entirely.
“I don’t want to discover the new me. I just want to fully understand who the old one is, and to be totally okay with him.”
THoU was a character driven, heartfelt story. I really loved the journey Nyrae took us on. TJ was this larger than life character that caught Bradley’s attention. TJ was everything Bradley wanted to be: comfortable and proud in his own skin. Bradley embarks on a road trip with TJ, chronicling different stories of both men and women that are gay and the struggles they faced to get to where they are today. It was hard and uncomfortable for Bradley to hear but completely necessary.
“We’re gonna be in trouble, Bradley.”
I sort of sit up a little higher in my seat.
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“Because I might start to like who you find.” He shrugs. “And who knows if you will.”
The trip itself and the characters Bradley and TJ met definitely gave me food for thought. We may live in a modern world where giant leaps have been made but unfortunately prejudice will always exist. Nyrae brought those issues to life, it was real, it was raw and it was beautiful.
The growth in both TJ and Bradley was evident and by the end it was great to see Bradley want to take a stand for himself. The road wasn’t easy but to Bradley, the destination was worth it.
“My chest still aches. I can’t stop thinking about the day, but as TJ throws a leg over me, and buries his face in my chest, I realize I’ve never felt so settled in my own skin either.”
If you are looking for a real, relatable m/m romance then you don’t need to look any further, #1Click this today.
Meet TJ and Bradley
image by Jeminabox
She feels a special pull to characters in their teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she adores exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing. Luckily for her, he doesn’t either.
Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters. She loves people who aren’t perfect, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.
Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.
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Title: 21 Stolen Kisses
Author: Lauren Blakely
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Category: New Adult
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
When I first met him I resisted.
Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass.
That was a lie. It never faded.
And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard.
There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us.
Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword.
Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love -- the big, intense, never-been-like-this-before love -- landed me in therapy.
Now I'm heading to college, and it's time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he's still in my life?
Because the one man I've always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can't have…
And he wants me just as fiercely.
Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?
“I turn eighteen in a few more weeks,” I say, like my birthday is an open invitation for us to slam back into each other.
He nods. “I know.”
A breeze blow by and rustles his hair. A lock falls out of place. Instinct takes over. I raise my hand to reach for his hair.
But he’s faster. He grasps my wrist, and the second he does, the moment expands. It stretches and unfolds into the thing I will replay tonight and tomorrow and the next day. I stare at his hand clasped around my wrist, flashing back to all the times he held my hand, touched my wrist, and ran his fingers along my arm. I shiver as the memories collide, the past slamming into the present.
I look up from our hands to his eyes. Blazing, full of heat. Full of all that restraint from him that I know so well.
I have only read one other Lauren Blakely book and have countless of others in my TBR. Unfortunately, I hadn't had the opportunity to read any of them until 21 Stolen Kisses came along. I mean if you know me you know that I absolutely LOVE forbidden romance stories and the synopsis of this promised just that. Of course, once I finished reading it, it was not exactly what I had in mind.
Kennedy and Noah are perfect for each other. They instantly connect over their shared love for Broadway (and off-Broadway) musicals, and they have found that they can let go and be themselves when they're with one another. So what's the problem? Noah happens to be a bit older than she is for one. How old? She is seventeen; just eight years younger than he is. But the biggest obstacle in the way of the the love between these two? The fact that Noah is not only Kennedy's mom's agent, but her mom also considers him one of her closest friends.
But this book is not just about the romance between these two. The romance aspect of it actually felt like a secondary storyline at times.
Kennedy has been weighed down by the lies of someone close to her for years. She figures that the to make right the wrongs that she feels she had a hand in is to write these love letters to those that have been hurt because of the lies.
K's character growth throughout the book and the way she dealt with what was thrown her way was why I fell in love with this book. Of course, the snippets of Kennedy's love letter to Noah thrown in between chapters was also one of my favorite things. The one thing that stopped me from giving this book five stars was the fact that I wanted to get to know Noah a bit more since the book did focus mainly on Kennedy and what she was dealing with. Also, even though I started reading this book because of the forbidden aspect, their relationship didn't really feel forbidden to me (maybe because they were so perfect for each other? Hmm Maybe?).
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It had been a while since I started reading a book that I just could not put down til the wee hours of the morning. Lauren Blakely wrote one truly beautiful book and I cannot wait to read what she comes up with next!
“Maybe we wanted to be found out. I think I do. I do want to be found. Because I don’t want the way I feel for you to be a secret.”
I’m a huge fan of Lauren Blakely and if she writes it, I will read it. 21 Stolen Kisses may be teased as a forbidden romance but don’t be fooled, it is so much more.
Kennedy’s view of love has been warped by her parents’ marriage. Kennedy struggles with her mother’s actions and the impact it has had on her own life. So much so, the guilt is weighing her down. In the midst of it all, she meets Noah, someone who should be off limits but he becomes her talisman, someone she can rely on and put her trust in.
21 Stolen Kisses was all about Kennedy’s journey. As an emerging adult, Kennedy takes charge of her life and begins to make amends for the wrongdoing her mother did. It is only when Kennedy begins to absolve her sins does she discover the type of person she wants to be.
This is my favourite book by Lauren Blakely in terms of writing. It was romance at its best and Lauren’s words made me fall in love with love. I loved the flashback kisses and the way in which the classic love letters were weaved throughout the storyline. The romance, although it could have been frowned upon, was never sordid and I loved that it was actually Kennedy in charge of the relationship the whole time. Noah gave her the space she needed and Kennedy was the one to decide their fate.
My only wish was that I got to know Noah better. Understandably, Kennedy was the main focus and the beginning of their relationship was only touched upon but for me to fall completely head over heels for Noah, I wanted to get inside his head and discover why he fell for Kennedy knowing she was only seventeen when he was twenty-five. Their relationship blossomed from friendship and I understood the progression but ultimately I wanted to understand his actions to completely root for him.
21 Stolen Kisses is a new adult, coming of age romance, it is very different from Lauren’s erotic series, but it proves how effortlessly Lauren can switch between the two and write both styles flawlessly.
This is definitely worth a read.
Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers!
Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller.
This summer she'll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).
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5 + Stars
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