My First, My Last by Lacey Silks *Review and Excerpt *

 

My First, My Last
My First, My Last
by Lacey Silks

An Adult Contemporary Romance
From MyLit Publishing
Released on July 21st 2014

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Fate has kept them apart for twenty years.
Their roads hadn’t crossed and the stars didn’t align until now…

Matured, more experienced, pierced, tattooed and hot as hell, Adrian steps back into Mia’s life to reclaim his first love.

And the moment she sees him she can’t even remember her own name.

Adrian Reed had always remained in Mia’s heart. After all, he was her first boyfriend and the man she’d lost her virginity to, but that was twenty years ago. His sudden appearance at a bar, on a girls night out, has Mia acting like the fifteen year old girl she was when they parted.

But life now is not as simple as it was twenty years ago. With two kids, a hopeful ex-husband and new insecurities, Mia finds opening up to a new relationship more challenging.

Will she give her first love another chance, or will she push him away, this time for good?

 

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Review

3-starsI love second chance stories and this one caught my attention because the main characters were more matured than what I usually read.

From the very beginning we see Mia and Adrian reunited. Mia is both surprised and overwhelmed which I could understand, but I found her thought process to be confusing. On the one hand she was happy that she had a second chance with Adrian and on the other she hesitated to commit. It went like this for a while, which lessened my interest in the story. For a divorced woman who accepted Adrian as the love she never forgot she sure doubted their connection. Her hesitations and doubts only served to portray her as immature.

The other factor that made this such a hard read for me was the fact that most of the first half of the book lacks any engaging dialog. To me, dialogue is one of the most important elements in a story–especially one where the main characters are getting to know each other.

Thankfully things picked up pace and a bit more emotion came to the story towards the second half of it.

I admit that I enjoyed Adrian and Mia’s chemistry. Although their lust was intense, the emotions they felt towards each other always made their presence know whenever they got together. This I appreciated a lot since it helped me to see how deeply connected they were.

All in all, a sweet second chance story with plenty of emotions and sizzling chemistry to round it all up.

*I received this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

Excerpt

I ignored Adrian’s chummy sense of humor and swam toward the waterfall. There, the shallower bottom allowed me to stand, and I adjusted my nearly nonexistent attire. Within seconds Adrian’s arms were around me, reaching down from behind for my hands. Our fingers interlaced and I lifted my head up and tilted it back, meeting his larger lips. His mouth covered mine. The dominance of his strength transferred through the kiss. I twisted in his arms, turning to face him, and felt myself being lifted out of the water. I held onto his neck, wrapping my legs around his waist, pressing myself to him like a savage, but I just couldn’t get enough of his divine lips. He stepped to the right and my back touched the cold rock surface. My lower lip found itself in his mouth as he bit it tenderly, and then his tongue dipped back inside me, grazing against mine, curving gently between my tender gums.

My hands played with his wet hair as his fingers dug into my ass, molding my behind as he held me. Underneath my ass, his arousal was hard and I fought the urge to jump off him and feel his length grow in my hands. God, how I wanted him! I wasn’t sure how long we remained like this—like two reckless teenagers without a care in the world, savoring each second of our deep kiss, twining our limbs, completely enveloped in each other. There was something so enticing about kissing the first man who’d stolen my heart. The first one who had kissed me, touched me, and made love to me: the one whom I’d bared my body to for the first time. The man who’d first seen me naked and christened my skin with his hands and lips like it was created only for him.

My sex dripped with desire for him. When my feet finally touched the ground, his free hand slid up my hip and ribcage, grasping my breast. I sucked in his breath, needing him to rip that bathing suit off me. A deep yearning surged through my veins. Adrian’s hard cock poked through his shorts into my belly. I stepped up on my toes, careful not to slip so that I could grind myself against him. Frenzy built inside me with each twist of my hips. I was

no longer a responsible mother, but a woman whose needs had been denied for far too long. I wanted to feel all the exquisite things he could do with my body as a man.

“Let’s get more comfortable, T.” He pulled away, his suggestion thick with lust.
“Hello.”

 

 

 

About the Author

Author of Erotic Romance, Lacey Silks writes her stories from life experiences, dreams and fantasies. She likes a pinkish shade on a woman’s cheeks, men with large feet and sexy lingerie, especially when it’s torn off the body. Her favorite piece of clothing is a birthday suit.

When she’s not thinking about writing steamy stories, which is a rare occasion, Lacey enjoys camping and skiing with her family (not at the same time of course). She’s a happily married wife blessed with two kids who adore going to the library. She’s an early bird by nature, but loves the nightly adventures with her hubby which provide good content for her books.

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Point of Redemption (Nordic Lords MC, #2) by Stacey Lynn *Review and Excerpt*

 

Point of Redemption (Nordic Lords MC, #2)
Point of Redemption (Nordic Lords MC, #2)
by Stacey Lynn

Released July 30, 2014

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Lies. Heartbreak. Betrayal.

No one knew the devastation of those three words more than Faith Winston and five years ago, she endured every one of them. All she wanted was to feel safe and marry the very man who promised to love her and protect her, Ryker Knight.

But growing up in the Nordic Lords Motorcycle Club, she should have known she couldn’t have a happy ending. Instead, her world became a nightmare. The bikers—her family—abandoned her, leaving her to crash without their safety net.

Ryker Knight has spent the last five years consumed with guilt, running from the ghosts that haunt him. That is until his past catches up with him the moment his brother needs his help. Returning home to Jasper Bay, he’s forced to face the same ghosts he was running from. Only to find that the woman he loved is trapped in a hell of her own, entrenched behind enemy lines —and it’s all his fault.

And even though Ryker’s life comes with priorities that he can’t – and won’t – turn his back on, he refuses to leave Jasper Bay until he’s found Faith.

But will she want to return to the life she’s always wanted even if Ryker is no longer capable of giving her what he once promised?

 

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Review

4 stars3.5 stars

Ryker left his hometown after a disastrous night that chattered the world he lived in–in the MC and his personal life. Now he lives his life with no romantic entanglements and no complications. At least not until his brother calls him for help. It is then that he finds the mess he left behind has grown even more complicated and it centers around the one woman he never managed to forget.

Faith’s life hasn’t been the same since Ryker left town. Her life is a living hell that she has no hope to escape. She lives in fear of her mother’s life and her own while drowning in the guilt she carries because of how she must live her life to survive. Not even having Ryker back in town soothes her fears–she’s that far gone.

I admit that it’s my own fault for not loving this story, mainly because I came into it with great expectations after meeting Ryker in the Point of Return. That said, I still think that it was a very good story even if I didn’t love it.

I think my main problem with this story was the fact that although the connection between the characters was made apparent, I didn’t get to experience it first-hand. Much of the time I was told about it and those few times when I got to experience it weren’t enough for me to become emotional invested in Ryker and Faith’s relationship.

That’s not to say that the story lacked romance. Stacey Lynn brought that element forth while still maintaining the darkness surrounding Faith’s life and the MC world she was a part of. I liked that she kept that aspect of the story intact even when she brought in the intense and often times emotional moments that took place between Ryker and Faith.

Another element that helped to keep me interested in the story was how the conflict was played out. I liked the twists and turns that Stacey Lynn brought to the story as well as the answers to previous questions. She managed to maintain my curiosity as the story unfolded, which in and of itself is a great feat considering I wasn’t vested in the romance that was taking place.

All in all, an intense read that shed light into Faith and Ryker’s past relationship and helped to move the series along.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

*This is not full edited and excerpt may be changed or deleted prior to publication*

“Don’t you get it, Ryker?” She stepped away from me and slowly turned around. Before I could process what she was doing, her back faced me as she lowered her robe. With her arms bent at the sides, the robe fell down her back and draped across the back of her waist. She reached up with one hand and pulled her hair over her shoulder so I could see the black lace.

I wanted to run my hands over her skin and feel the lace beneath my fingers. But I stopped myself. My eyebrows pulled in, confused as to what she was trying to show me.

“Look,” she said. “Look closer.”

I did. I moved in and bent down and watched her shiver beneath my hooded gaze. And then I felt the need to hit something because I could finally see what she wanted me to see.

“Faith,” I said as I lightly reached out and began tracing the scars with the tip of my thumb. My teeth ground together and my jaw radiated in pain from trying not to scream at her. I could barely see them under the lace, but they were there. White scars, some still pink. I moved the robe down, wishing the lace was gone so I could see the maze of angry slashes and scars that decorated her fucking gorgeous skin.

“What is this?” I growled. The back of the robe was fisted in my hands and I pulled it off. I didn’t see the beauty in front of me, the woman who could always make my dick hard in seconds. Now I saw the broken and marred skin and all of it was my own damn fucking fault for not taking a minute five years ago to stop and think for one damn second.

Faith looked at me from over her shoulder. I dragged my eyes, reluctantly pulling them off her skin and scars, and saw the deadness in her eyes. “Disobedience has its consequences.”

She shrugged her shoulders and moved away from me, but I stopped her. One hand went to her waist and I tightened my grip on her hip before she could walk away. I stared at my hand on her skin wishing I was touching her for a different reason.

“I’m so fucking sorry.”

Her eyes grew wet before she looked away from me to the floor. My fingers twitched on her hip and I felt her jump slightly.

“Faith,” I said, my throat raw with pain and regret. “We’ll free you from them. I fucking swear it.”

She spun around and my hand fell from her skin down to my side. She reached out, grabbed the robe from my other hand, and shrugged it on, knotting the belt tightly around her waist.

“What you don’t understand,” she said quietly, “is that I’ll never be free again.”

 

Point of Return (Nordic Lords MC, #1)

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About the Author

Amazon Bestselling Author of 
the Just One Song series, Don’t Lie to Me,
 Remembering Us and the Nordic Lords MC series.

I am a wife, a mom, and a writer. I can often be found curled up on the couch with a good book, or obsessively eating Skittles in a very complicated and organized manner. No joke.

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Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield *Review*

Hello and thanks to LeAnn’s Book Reviews for letting me be here today!

I’m Z.A. Maxfield, coming at you from lovely sunny southern California where I’m blogging about my latest release, Home The Hard Way.

Home the Hard Way

 

 

I’m doing a giveaway and there are a couple different ways to win! At each tour stop, one lucky winner will get to choose any book from my backlist, so if you’re new to Z.A. Maxfield, this is a great way to find out if you want to dive in! At the end of the tour, I’ll be giving away a Riptide gift certificate, so you’re going to want to follow along the whole blog tour HERE for your best chance at a prize!

Here’s the blurb for Home the Hard Way: Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

Read more about Home The Hard Way HERE

There’s two ways to win today! Comment below for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist AND you can also enter the tour-wide giveaway!

 

Review

4 stars

Dare is not happy returning to Palladian but it’s his best option career-wise. Ghosts from his past are soon haunting him, but none of them compare to Finn Fowler. As childhood friends, Finn looked up to Dare and he thrived under Finn’s worship. But now after years being apart, Dare doesn’t recognize Finn. As Dare struggles to piece together his life in his hometown he must try to keep a clear mind in regards to the events that are happening in Palladian. But things get even more complicated as he gets to know more about Finn and the case he’s working on.

From the moment Dare stood up for Finn in grade school, Finn never left his side–until Dare left after tragedy struck his family. Finn’s past is filled with hurt and judgement, but that hasn’t stopped him from making a life for himself in the town that hurt him. But as things spiral out of control in Palladian, Finn finds himself in the middle of a situation where accusations are thrown haphazardly and secrets are being revealed.

I was intrigued from the very beginning, which is a good thing when starting a book. Especially one packed-full of details to follow through.

Initially I was intrigued by Dare. I wanted to know what was his story, why he left town when he was 15 and why he came back if he was so unhappy to be there. Of course, as the story progressed and other characters and facts starting surfacing I was more than a little invested in how it would all turn out.

I have to say that there was never a dull moment as the story continued to develop. Especially once Finn came into the picture.

Z.A. Maxfield sure didn’t pull any punches when telling his story. My heart went out to him immediately when I first learned about his childhood and my admiration for who he became increased as I saw how far he had gotten in life. I loved his sensitive and caring side, not only when it came to his aunt, but with how he cared for Dare. Sure, there were misunderstandings, but he did care about him in a deeper level and it showed in how he struggled to come to terms with his emotions towards Dare and how it conflicted with the secret he kept.

The author’s writing was superb. I found myself riveted in the story, analyzing facts and anticipating what was to come next. She did a great job in introducing all sorts of characters that helped to move the story along and paired it with little details of town-life that added to the thrill of the events that were happening. Gossip, secrets and betrayals were just a couple of elements thrown into an already complicated situation and I devoured it all.

I could say more, but I enjoyed the little surprises thrown at me too much to spoil the experience for you. All in all, an intriguin read packed-full of suspense and emotions.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

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About the Author

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Readers can visit ZAM at her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

 

Lead (Stage Dive, #3) by Kylie Scott *Review and Excerpt*

Lead (Stage Dive, #3)
Lead (Stage Dive, #3)
by Kylie Scott

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From St. Martin’s Griffin
Released July 29th 2014

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Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it’s booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

 

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Review

5-stars

 

As the lead singer for Stage Dive, Jimmy has had his fill of women, drugs and alcohol. Although he has gone through rehab and made great strides toward getting his act together, the band advises him to hire an assistant to keep an eye on him.

In comes Lena. Not necessarily a “sober companion”, she is great at time management and getting things done. Although hesitant at first to act as Jimmy’s companion, Lena soon finds herself drawn to the man. He has many layers to him and she can’t help but be intrigued by all of them.

And here I thought this series couldn’t get any better, what a story!

If you follow the series, you know some of Jimmy’s backstory. His problem with addiction was first highlighted on Lick and some of his sobriety was referenced in Play. So of course, I was curious about his whole story and thankfully Kylie Scott didn’t disappoint.

What I liked most about this story was the many layers the author managed to bring into both character’s personalities. Both of them had moments were their humorous side won out, where their emotions ran rampant and where their lust overtook them. I loved them together and could not get enough.

Lena was an awesome character and the perfect partner for Jimmy. She had a great personality that complemented what Jimmy needed to get through his days. Starting as employer and employee, they soon found themselves forming a friendship based on trust, loyalty and support. She brought out the best in Jimmy and with each moment spent together, Lena started to get emotionally attached to him. She gave as good as she got and had a great sense of humor. I had a lot of laugh-out-loud moments due to her alone.

An arm shot out, wrapping around my neck, pulling me in against him. His whole body trembled.
“You okay?” I asked.
A nod.
“Feeling a little emotional, huh?” I petted his hair. “That’s okay. It was an emotional blow job.”

My favorite moments were those where they spent time just hanging out, making each other laugh and getting to know each other. I appreciated the fact that although Lena had started having feelings for Jimmy early on, she never backed down from a fight–especially when it concerned Jimmy’s welfare. And although he was clueless most of the time and was an jerk to her a time or two, she never wavered in her loyalty or her support for him. She was always there for him–in good days and bad days. She loved him–warts and all– and I had to admire her for that.

“Every part of me wanted him, I yearned for him on the cellular level. There could be no escaping emotions of this magnitude. His good and bad, dark and light, his nice parts and his nasty. Everything he was, I loved, and it left me feeling utterly helpless.”

I admit, Jimmy hadn’t made a big impression on me in the previous books but somehow I knew that his story would change my view of him. And it did. He was moody most of the time, but underneath it all he was caring, loyal and understanding. I enjoyed how clueless he was when it came to Lena and how frustrated he became with her. But it was those rare moments when he let his guard down that were my favorite. He gave tiny glimpses of his real self to Lena until she finally managed to get over all the walls he had built around himself.

Whatever else he might be, Jimmy Ferris was special and complicated, beautiful and beastly, all rolled into one.

Lena and Jimmy’s chemistry was very, very good, but what I loved about them was how deeply connected they were. From that initial encounter where the first crack showed in Jimmy’s armor through their bickering and all the way through the sexual tension that always hovered around them, Jimmy and Lena’s connection never failed to grow and strengthen. It could be them watching TV, running or simply sharing a meal–their connection was always present.

“Don’t hate me, Lena,” he whispered. “You want to be mad at me when I do dumb things, that’s fine. But don’t ever hate me. I couldn’t take that, not from you.”

Of course I can’t leave out the presence of the secondary characters. Once again we get to visit a little with Ev, David, Mal, Annie and Ben. They all added to the story in one way or another and I appreciated what they each brought about. I’m especially curious now about Ben’s story. I can’t wait to know more about him.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the series it can be read as a stand alone. However, it would be an even more wonderful read if you got to experience the other character’s stories. Then you can get a clearer picture of the bond the band members and their partners have formed. Plus, who doesn’t love rock stars and their broody ways!

*I received an copy of this title through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“Lena, you seen my old black Led Zep shirt?”

“Nope.”

“You sure?” His brows became one dark cranky line. The scratches on his face were healing well, thank goodness. Though it didn’t reduce my desire to throttle his mother on a daily basis.

“Yes. I haven’t seen it.”

Can’t find it anywhere…”

“And this is a surprise, how?” I slipped my hands into my back jean’s pockets. “Jimmy, you own more clothing than Cher, Brittney, and Elvis, put together. Things are bound to go missing.”

“Sure you haven’t seen it?”

“For goodness sake, what do you think, Jimmy? That I stole it to sleep in or something?” I laughed bitterly. Sure as hell, the truth deserved a good mocking. I’d sunk so despicably low.

I hadn’t even meant to steal the stupid thing, but the shirt had been mixed up with my laundry a few days ago. It’d been the first top I laid my hand on after stepping out of the shower, ready to go to bed. Without thought, I’d put it on and it’d been so soft, the scent of him lingering beneath the laundry detergent. Every night since, I’d found myself in it come bedtime. My shame knew no limits. And no, I still hadn’t quit. The words still hadn’t come even close to leaving my mouth.

He frowned. “No.”

“That I have some deep secret longing to feel close to you resulting in my stealing your shirt like some creepy perv?”

“Course I don’t fucking think that,” he replied crankily, reaching up to grip the top of the doorframe. All of his bulging muscles stretched the arms of his white T-shirt in the nicest way. It was all I could do not to start drooling, my heart beat taking up residence somewhere down between my thighs. And who could blame it? Not me. Maybe if I got laid, this would go away and things would return to normal. It’d seemed safer to avoid rubbing up against any men just in case I got carried away and started dating again. This new situation, however, changed everything.

“Well, of course not! That would be crazy.” And wasn’t that the god’s honest truth? Cray-zeee. Lock me up and throw away the key because it wasn’t like I didn’t know better.

“Just can’t figure out where the hell it could be.”

Angels couldn’t have smiled as innocently. They might have tried, but they would have failed, the dirty-mouthed, winged, little liars. “Jimmy, I don’t know where it is. But I’ll look around for it later, okay?”

“Yeah,” he said, and then added as an afterthought, “and stop looking at me weird.”

“I’m not!”

 

Stage Dive Series

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Lick (Stage Dive, #1)

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Play (Stage Dive, #2)

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Deep (Stage Dive #4) available January 6th, 2015

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About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Australian Romance Writer.

Kylie is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

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Email: kylie@kylie-scott.com

 

 

 

 

 

Addicted (Ethan Frost #2) by Tracy Wolff *Review*

 

Addicted (Ethan Frost, #2)
Addicted (Ethan Frost #2)
by Tracy Wolff

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From LoveSwept
Released on July 15, 2014

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Ethan Frost returns in the breathtaking conclusion to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s seductive novel Ruined—perfect for fans of Release Me and Bared to You.

As Chloe Girard discovers, there’s love . . . and then there’s addiction.

Ethan Frost is everything a woman could want in a man. He’s rich, gorgeous, powerful, one of the most eligible bachelors in the world.

But that’s not why I’m with him.

I love Ethan for all the things no one else gets to see: his innate kindness, his reckless

spontaneity, his unwavering determination to use his brilliance for good. I love the way he looks at me, the way he touches me. The way he makes me forget the wreckage of my past and the twisted fear that still lives inside me.

But sometimes it terrifies me how much I crave him, how much I need him just to breathe. I always thought it would be my past that ruined us, but there’s a darkness in Ethan I never dreamed existed. Can we survive as his secrets surface—threatening to unravel us both?

 

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Review

4 stars

Addicted picks up right where Ruined left off. If you haven’t read Ruined I recommend you do so that you can better understand Chloe and Ethan’s relationship and the state of their relationship at present time.

After reading and loving Ruined I was looking forward to getting my hands on Addicted. And although I liked it A LOT, I can’t say that I loved it. Mainly because of Chloe.

Once again, Tracy Wolff delivers in the emotional front as well as in the heat department. Ethan and Chloe’s connection continues to grow and deepen and their chemistry remains as sizzling as ever. In that regards, the author didn’t pull any punches. From devastation to regret all the way through lust and love, Ethan and Chloe’s emotions were perfectly portrayed to impact the reader. I felt their pain over their situation and cheered for them when they started to make amends and seemed to get things right. Of course, I also wanted to shake some sense into them a time or three, especially in regards to Chloe.

I understood where she was coming from but I didn’t appreciate how many times she used Ethan as a escape-goat for their relationship’s troubles. Yes, he had things he was guilty of doing or saying, but her reluctance to look at herself as a guilty party just served to get on my nerves. Thankfully, most times than not she came out of her pity party a bit more enlightened and determined to do right by Ethan and their relationship.

Like I mentioned before, their chemistry was maintained throughout. I liked the contrast between the hard, edgy scenes and the slow and tender ones. What never faltered was the emotions each brought to each encounter or the intensity of the pairing. Yep, I highlighted passages–again and again!

Addicted served as a great conclusion to Ethan and Chloe’s journey to finding and enjoying love. It had the passion that initially brought them together, emotions that got more intense as their love grew and a also served to bring closure to some of Ethan and Chloe’s past.

All in all, a great romantic read. I wouldn’t mind more from these characters.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Ethan Frost Series

Ruined (Ethan Frost, #1)

Ruined (Ethan Frost, #1)

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About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff lives in Texas and teaches writing at her local community college. She is married and the mother of three young sons.

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Because I’m Disposable by Rosie Somers *Review and Excerpt*

 

Because I'm Disposable
Because I’m Disposable
by Rosie Somers

A Young Adult Contemporary
Releasing July 9th

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Sixteen-year-old Callista Tanner was in the bathroom slitting her wrists the night her father took a fatal plunge down the stairs. People around her think she attempted suicide because she found him dead — or worse, because she had a guilty conscience. Few know the truth; Michael Tanner had been beating her for years.

The freedom that should have come with her father’s death becomes a cage of rumors and self-doubt. Callie seeks escape in the most destructive ways, bringing her emotional scars to the surface for the world to see.

One bright spot exists in Callie’s dark world.

Lincoln Devaux refuses to let Callie sink fully into the depths of her own depression, stepping into her life when she needs someone the most. She tries to push him away, but Link is determined to save Callie from herself. Even when she doesn’t think she’s worth saving.

 

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Review

4 stars
3.5 stars

Callie hasn’t had it easy in any way. As she starts to put the pieces of her past in order she recognizes that although facing her greatest threat was hard, healing and moving on can be even harder.

By no means was this a light and easy read, but Callie’s story was interesting and wanting to see her achieve some order in her life was what kept me reading throughout.

The pace of the story dragged in places, but this I attribute to Callie’s frame of mind. Her though process tended to veer off course, but considering what she had been through and how she struggled to get over it, I came to overlook it easily. I would have appreciated a bit more character development though, but the story was too short to allow for that. It helped that the author didn’t pull any punches when telling Callie’s story for it made it easier for me to understand where she was coming from.

Callie’s journey of self-discovery touched on many points, especially on the hardships of being a teenage girl in high school while trying to find yourself. Confusion, doubts and rebellion were among the emotions that Callie portrayed, which helped to paint a more realistic picture of her journey.

Overall, I enjoyed Callie’s story. Although her growth was slow in coming, at least it felt realistic–especially for a teenage girl who had so much to get over.

All in all, an emotional coming of age story.

 

Trailer

 

Excerpt

I felt a little voyeuristic, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away as he steered the mower to the edge of his lawn. My gaze was absolutely glued to him when he shrugged out of his shirt and tossed it toward the driveway. It fluttered gracefully down onto the concrete slab, the white cotton contrasting with the grey surface.

Link shirtless was a sight to behold. He was tan and toned, muscular in all the right places, lean in all the rest. His denim shorts hung low on his hips, revealing a hint of black boxer briefs. Muscles flexed and rippled as he bent to pull the starter on the mower. It took him a few tries to get it started, but once he did, he took off, clearing a strip of grass the length of his yard and swinging around to make a pass the other direction.

With the afternoon sun beating down on him, that delicious tan was only going to improve. In no time, his skin was glistening with sweat. I knew I shouldn’t be watching him mow the lawn, or at least I shouldn’t be enjoying it so much. Especially not after he’d blown me off. But there was no denying Link was nice to look at. I really had been missing out not paying attention to him all these years.

Link made short work of cutting the lawn, and then proceeded to do the best thing I’d ever seen. He jogged over to the garden hose, turned the knob, and held the stream of water directly over his head. I got up on my knees, practically pressing my face against the glass to get a better look. Water sluiced over him like a dream, soaking his hair and streaming down over his shoulders, his chest, turning the light denim of his

shorts dark. As he used his free hand to spread the water, rubbing it into his skin and washing the dirt and sweat away, I was so glad I’d ignored my instincts to not watch him.

I made a slow perusal of his body, taking in the sinew, the musculature, the shadows and peaks of his abs and chest. Then I moved up: up to his full lips, open to capture some of the liquid pouring down his face; up to his eyes, closed in rapture. His eyes opened. And speared me.

I couldn’t move for a moment, just stayed pinned to the spot, locked in a staring contest with him. I’d been caught spying. My stomach tumbled in mortification, and my heart raced into oblivion. What must have been a hundred years later, I recovered control over my limbs and ducked down below the windowsill. Ugh … I would never be able to face Link again.

 

About the Author

Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year-round sunshine. She can often be found in her favorite spot on her favorite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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Spotlight: My Hot Series by Isabella Johns *Series Review*

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My Hot Series
by Isabella Johns

An Erotic Romance Stories
From Island Programs, Inc

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My Hot Quartet

quartetMy Hot Quartet is the complete, steamy collection of Volumes 1-4 of the “My Hot…” series.
What happens when a single working mom in her forties meets her dream erotic buddy with benefits?….My Hot Fireman!

What happens when a woman in her twenties unlocks the secrets of her body thanks to two very sexy men?….My Hot Menage!

What happens when a woman turning thirty gets engaged and has an off-the-charts, sizzling tryst with the most anonymous, hottest man she ever met?….My Hot Stranger!

And what happens when a woman in her fifties, completely empty-nesting, embarks on the “ride of her life” with her domineering, leather-clad motorcycle instructor?….My Hot Biker!

Four decades of women, each with her own personal conflict, who meet the hottest men on the planet, who get in touch with their carnal side, shed society’s norms and expectations, throw caution to the wind, and express the true deep passion, lust, and desire within them….

My Hot Quartet!
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My Hot Teacher

https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402336566l/22448581.jpgWhat happens when a college senior finally meets the man of her dreams and he happens to be her new, young, totally hot English professor?

Celine vows that senior year will be different…when she finally reinvents herself as someone secure, sophisticated, and sexy! After encountering the exquisite fineness of Professor Beard, she’s sure that this will be her time.

With an unusual boldness, Celine sets in motion a journey of erotic self-discovery with her new teacher, who is not only handsome and kind, but masterful and seductive, a man, not a college boy, someone capable of releasing the smoldering passion that has been buried within her for so long.

But Celine also needs a man who can love her back with the same intensity she feels for him. Is the Professor the one? Their burning connection gifts her with the confidence to go for it in a way she never thought possible.

An epic, romantic journey of lust, love, and bliss…My Hot Teacher!

 

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Series Review

3-5 stars

 

Like the name states, My Hot Quartet. is a set of four stories that center around women who find themselves taking part in steamy encounters that change their life one way or another.

In My Hot Fireman the heroine is a divorced mother who fantasizes about a fireman she watches from her window. One thing leads to another and she finds herself taking a tour of the station where she schedules a tour of her own for a later time. And what a tour it is! As fantasies go, this one was plenty hot.

With My Hot Menage we find a woman who struggles to achieve orgasm. Thankfully, she has a man who is willing to help her find what she needs to finally achieve ultimate pleasure. And did he deliver! I loved their connection and the way Art went about solving the problem. A very pleasant experience indeed!

In My Hot Stranger a woman has a passionate encounter with a stranger in an alley. Through that one encounter she learns many things about herself. Mainly that her life was lacking passion and spontaneity. I loved the concept of an encounter with a stranger and how the author went about bringing it to the page.

My Hot Biker is about a married woman that’s ready to try something new–learning how to ride a motorcycle. This story had BDSM elements that I’m not that keen on, so for me it wasn’t that great a story. Although it was not my favorite it still had that hotness factor that I came to expect from the author.

In My Hot Teacher we find Celine, a college student, who hasn’t had any luck in the romance department. From the very beginning we get a clear picture of how bad her attempts at sex and romance have become. Some were funny and other were just ridiculous. Poor woman, no wonder she went after the professor!

Mind you, Professor Beard is a fine, hot man. He engages in a sexual relationship with Celine until emotions come into play to muddle the situation–for both of them.

I loved the concept behind the story and although it has been done before, the author took it one step further by adding a little twist to it. I liked that Celine grew more confident as the story progressed, I just wished she wouldn’t ramble so much. Her thought process was at times too much. But at least I knew what she was thinking and the state of her emotions, something I would have loved to see from the Professor.

Needless to say that there was sex in the story and that it was very good. The passion never lacked and although I would have appreciated some more dialogue and development of their connection, Celine and the Professor still had something more than physical attraction between them.

All in all, a hot, steamy collection of stories that will leave you fantasizing about one of all of these men.

*I received these titles in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

About the Author

Isabella Johns
Okay, let’s be honest, marriage can sometimes be a mixed bag…and so can dating…and so can being alone.

Perhaps like me you find yourself staring at every hot fireman, policeman, tennis pro, personal trainer, lifeguard, handsome stranger…and wondering what if?

What if somehow he was interested in me and we had a chance to start a mind blowing bonfire, sparks everywhere, body coming alive again?

I catch myself ogling and wondering far too often, with desire and need that continue to grow as my thoughts take on more intensity, lust, kink, and downright dirtiness. I’m sure that if I don’t get the real thing soon I’m going to burst. My salvation? Putting hands to the keypad (at least it keeps my fingers occupied).

So I hope MY HOT FIREMAN gives you one enjoyable variation on my theme, and the many stories to come in the MY HOT… series add even more titillating variety. I’ll be most pleased if they inspire in you, as they have for me, a little joyous relief, a splendid break from the carpooling, food shopping, dinner planning, commuting, annoying boss, boring partner, or demanding children.

I’ll be most thrilled if these trysts, these steamy encounters, these vulnerable expressions of pure intimacy—that are so vivid in my mind, in my heart, and a few choice other places—seem as deliciously real and true for you.

WE DESERVE IT!

Enjoy.

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Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West *Review and Excerpt*

Pieces of Olivia (Charleston Haven, #1)
Pieces of Olivia (Charleston Haven #1)
by Melissa West

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Penguin/InterMix
Released July 15, 2014

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Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life.

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars.

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…

 

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Review

4 stars

Olivia is somewhat ready to start her new college life. She wants to leave the scars of her past behind, but she still carries a lot of guilt inside. Determined to make the best out of this new start, she starts moving into her new dorm room only to find a man sleeping in one of the beds. Surprised but unable to keep her eyes from the handsome guy in front of her, Olivia fights the tingling sensations Preston’s presence brings about.

Preston is not a one woman kind of man. He has been burned before and has no desire to go that route ever again. But he was not counting on being drawn to Olivia the way he is.

Both harbor painful secrets, but their connection will not quit. And when time spent together leads them to something more, trust will become their only ally.

What I enjoyed most about this story was how the romance developed slowly. From an initial friendship with an undercurrent of physical attraction where flirtatious banter and easy dialogue brought forth a true connection all the way through to a loving intimate relationship were needs and fears were shared, Preston and Olivia’s romance was a mix of sweet and intense.

I liked how Melissa West allowed Olivia to come into herself in a manner that felt believable to me. Her growth didn’t seem far-fetched or rushed. It helped that Olivia had a good head on her shoulders and knew what she needed to do to be able to move forward in her life. She recognized the steps she needed to take in order to begin a relationship with Preston and I admire her strength when the time came to reveal her secrets to him.

As for Preson’s secret, I have to say that it didn’t come as much of a surprise to me. I still can’t understand a lot of his behavior in response to that, but that’s mainly on me.

The secondary characters played an integral part in this story too. I enjoyed what they added to the story and how they related to Olivia. Their interactions with her helped to reveal other sides of her which in turn gave me a well rounded view of her as a character.

All in all, a sweet yet emotional story about letting go and moving on.

*I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“What’s in the box?”

I glanced down at the box like it was poison in my hand. “Rose gave me homework.”

“Oh yeah? What is it?”

“I don’t know. I’m afraid to look.” I closed my eyes slowly, hating the pathetic girl I was becoming in front of him, but somehow with Preston, I didn’t feel that natural urge to cover up my fears and insecurities. I could be myself around him, because I knew he would see through the lie. Like he already knew what I would say even before I thought of my response.

Preston reached out and took the box from my hand, tucking it under his arm. “Come on. I’ll drive you back to Liberty.”

“What about London?” The words were out so quickly that I didn’t have time to register what they suggested.

Preston stuttered, clearly taken off guard. “Uh, what about her?” He cocked an eyebrow at me, his lips angling up a fraction of an inch. But that was enough. He knew what the question meant. Damn it!

“I don’t know. She seemed . . . uncomfortable. You know, on Thursday.” God. Was he drunk at the party? Maybe he didn’t remember what happened. Or maybe he didn’t think the way we were, pressed together, his palms cupping my face, was unusual or intimate.

“Oh, right. She’s fine.”

My eyes narrowed. He was being intentionally shady, which meant they were still doing whatever it was he did with girls. I felt my resolve falter at the thought and peered behind me to see Rose giving me two thumbs up. I closed my eyes and shook my head, defeated. “Fine. I’ll ride in your damn truck.”

Preston grinned and started to reply, but then his gaze traveled past me to Rose’s office, his eyebrows shooting up. “Is that your therapist?”
I walked around him toward his truck. “Yes.”

“She’s waving at me.”

I sighed. Of course she was. Thank you, Rose. If I ever speak to you again, I’m going to turn you into one of those ghosts you love. “Are we going or not?”
I slipped into the truck, waiting as Preston stopped outside his door to see if Rose was still watching him. He raised his hand to wave, and I buried my face in my hands. I was going to need heavier medication to survive this humiliation. Damn Rose and her deliberateness. I knew she just wanted me to trust other people, to step outside my “safe zone,” but we were going to have to talk about her methods.

Preston finally slid in beside me and passed over the box. “It’s light.”

“What is?”

“The box,” he said, nodding toward it. “Have you guessed what’s inside?”

“No. But I’m pretty sure I know what it has to do with.” I pictured things from my bedroom or items from each of my friends or newspaper clippings about the fire.

He eyed the box. “I’m betting it’s empty. She seems a little out there. Maybe she’s messing with you.”

“I’m not that lucky.”

“Then, I bet it’s . . .” He tapped his long index fingers against the steering wheel, drawing my attention over, making me remember the feel of them against my skin. “Fake spiders.”

“What? She isn’t going to give me a box of fake spiders. Who does that? That’s stupid.”

Preston laughed. “Okay then, you take a guess.”
I shook my head. “I don’t know.”

“Try.”

“I can’t. I don’t know.”

“God, stop being such a girl and take a damn guess.”

“Testy! And I take offense. I’m not being a girl.”

“Then put your money where your mouth is and guess. Make it a good one.”
I shook my head again, but this time I was smiling. “Fine. I bet the box is full of worms, the squishy kind with glitter in them.”

“What brand? Because if we’re talking Strike King, then maybe I’ll just . . .” He reached for the box and I swatted his hand away, laughing.

“Hey! Find your own crazy box.”
 Preston grasped my hand as I was swatting his away, his fingers gliding over my knuckles then fingertips before he released. Suddenly, the air in the truck felt thick, the space between us small. I swallowed hard, wishing I could ask him what was happening between us, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear his answer. For now, I felt safe in the dream world, where I could imagine Preston wanting me without having to risk my heart. I knew I would eventually have to date again, feel again, but for now I’d rather play out the dream, which I guessed was exactly what Rose had meant by her stupid safe zone.

We reached Liberty and said goodbye, all the while my heart jumping in my chest, begging me to stay a little longer. I could avoid reality. I could pretend. But I couldn’t deny the truth to myself any longer.

I had fallen for Preston Riggs.

 

About the Author

 

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/InterMix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

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Tempting Tatum by Kaylee Ryan *Review and Excerpt*

 

Tempting Tatum
Tempting Tatum
by Kaylee Ryan

A New Adult Romance
Released on July 8, 2014

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What do you do when your whole life crashes and burns? How do you get through the flames?

Tatum Thompson is living the dream. Her life is perfect; with a loving boyfriend, loving parents and a soon to be college graduate how can life get better? Life is good until it isn’t. When tragedy strikes Tatum runs to Josh only to find him in a compromising position with someone else. Turning away from the only life she knew, Tatum is forced to alter her life plan.

Blaise Richards is a tattoo artist who moonlights as a volunteer fire fighter. Lies and deception leave his broken heart closed until the beautiful green eyed girl casts her spell over him. She’s making him feel things he’s never felt. Making him want things he thought he would never want.

Tatum wants Mr. just for tonight.

Blaise wants Tatum to be his forever.

Can Mr. Just for tonight convince Tatum that she’s the one? How long can Tatum resist Blaise’s determination to make her his?

 

 

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Review

4 stars

 

Tatum has had a rough couple of months. She knows she needs to leave her past behind, but it’s easier said than done. Thankfully, she has a good support system in her best friend and her boyfriend and decides to start anew by moving with them to another town. Once there, she’s lucky enough to find a job that she loves and meets the one man that will change her life for the best.

Blaise has been burned before so he doesn’t do relationships anymore. His focus is volunteering as a firefighter (*swoon*), managing his tattoo parlor (*sigh*) and his family (*melt*). But from the moment he meets Tatum, he can’t think of nothing else. Drawn by the pain behind her eyes and her easy manner, Blaise tries to deny that he has found his one.

I loved this story!

Kaylee Ryan didn’t pull any punches drawing me into the story. From the very beginning I was emotionally invested in Tatum’s story. I felt her pain and cried right along with her when her world shattered into a million pieces. I admired her determination to move on with her life and the way she went about her attraction to Blaise.

Tatum and Blaise’s connection was immediate and their chemistry easily palpable, but what I enjoyed the most were their honest interactions, the tender touches and their conflicted emotions regarding what was developing between them. I loved that they questioned, analyzed and pondered what laid behind their connection. Yes, they had an insta-love kind of relationship, but the author went to great lengths to back that up with plenty dialogue too so that when the time came for them to be together, I didn’t for a moment doubt their feelings.

Along with the sizzling chemistry there was also a great range in emotions. From Tatum’s pain in losing her parents and being betrayed to her excitement in starting in a new town all the way through Blaise’s affection towards Tatum and the thrill he felt at pursuing her, Kaylee Ryan brought it all to the page in a way that helped me connect to both characters. I found myself cheering them on, even if I wanted to shake some sense into them a time or two.

All in all, an emotional but sweet romantic read with lots of funny and steamy moments to round it all up!

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

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Excerpt

As soon as she walks into the fucking room, my eyes are glued to her. Her hair is bunched up on the top of her head in a mess of curls. She has on a pair of work out shorts and a tank top, nothing special, and to me she’s never looked better.

Brent is talking. I think he’s thanking me for helping him move Tatum today. I’m trying to listen to him, but it’s not working out too well. I can’t pull my eyes away from her.

As soon as she’s close enough for me to touch her, I have to shove my hands into the pockets of my shorts to keep from reaching out and pulling her into me. Ember helps as she wraps her arms around Tatum, yammering on about how excited she is. I know it’s irrational, but I’m jealous of my baby sister right now.

Once Ember finally releases her, Leah grabs Ember and leads her down the hall. I’m hoping Brent goes as well so I can be alone with her for even just a few seconds.

Lady luck is on my side. I smile as Brent follows Leah and my sister to start loading Tatum’s things. I reach out and grab her hand. This girl…I’ve never been like this before, needing to touch someone, needing the connection. I lace our fingers together. I’ve missed her. I know it makes no sense, but it is what it is.

Tatum is looking down at our entwined fingers. She doesn’t retreat, so I take that as a good sign. Lifting her chin I say, “Hey you.”

She replies with a croaked hi. The crack in her voice calms me. She feels this, too. She has to. This can’t be one-sided. “Let’s get you moved,” I whisper. To my surprise as much as hers, I kiss her forehead. I lead her down the hall to join the others. I don’t trust myself to be alone with her. I gently squeeze her hand and let go before placing it on the small of her back. I’m not ready to not have that connection with her.

 

About the Author

Kaylee has had a passion for reading since she was a little girl. That passion has slowly led to spinning romantic tales, and a one-click addiction. When she doesn’t have her nose stuck in her kindle or fingers glued to the keyboard, you can find Kaylee hanging out with friends and family. She loves all genres of music and enjoys scrapbooking. She lives in Ohio with her husband (her real life happily ever after) and their rambunctious little boy.

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In Your Eyes (Mates #3) by Cardeno C. *Review and Video Trailer*

 

In Your Eyes (Mates #3)
In Your Eyes (Mates #3)
by Cardeno C.

A M/M Shifter Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released on July 14th 2014

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Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. Taking control comes easily to Samuel, but relating to people, including those he’s supposed to lead, is a constant challenge.

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for putting him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then tries to avoid him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

When a battle between their fathers results in tragedy, Samuel and Korban are thrown together. With his world crashing down around him, Samuel must save his pack and show them he can lead. But first, Korban needs to save Samuel by inspiring him to feel. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past the rules they’ve been taught to realize they are destined to fit together.

 

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Review

5-stars

It is no surprise to those who know me that I get excited whenever Cardeno releases a new book. This time was no different. However, this time around I had the pleasure of reading the ARC weeks before it was bound to be delivered even to other blogs for review. My task–to gather a few quotes for teaser images and create a video trailer. *insert happy dance here*

As you can imagine, the pressure was on. I had to keep my wits about me and deliver on all fronts. And of course, I had to write a review–it’s what I do!

What I enjoyed most about this story were the characters. From the very start I was drawn to Samuel. An introvert who was strong, smart yet vulnerable in a way that affected him deeply, Samuel’s story was one that kept me intrigued throughout. His growth as the story progressed was beautiful. He stumbled, analyzed, stood his ground and relented in every way that counted and I had to admire him for that.

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I loved that Cardeno didn’t pull any punches in bringing to the page Sam’s faults as well as his other attributes. As the next alpha line, he knew his duties and what was expected of him, so it was a treat to see how he carefully navigated through the obstacles that were thrown at him from all sides. As character development goes, Cardeno didn’t miss a beat with Sam.

Of course, Korban was just as great a character too. I admired his strength of character and his loyalty. Even from a young age he knew what he must do and how he needed to approach Samuel.

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The secondary characters added to the story too, which I appreciated. Some added to the world Cardeno had built in book one, others were downright creepy and the other while Samuel’s parents helped him find his way in any way the could. I believe that this story was mainly about Sam’s journey and how his path led him to Korban, but the conflict that was paired with it was just as intriguing.

As with any book by Cardeno, the emotions were in the forefront and led the story throughout. From Sam’s frustrations (and there were many!) to his father’s worry all the way through the tenderness in which Korban drew Sam in, every single emotion was there jumping off the page. I loved it!

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Needless to say that Cardeno brought the sexy once again. Those two were as sensual together as they were adorable. Ha! That Samuel surprised me for sure!

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Mates series it can be read as a stand alone. But I do recommend reading the other books in the series just so that you don’t miss out on this little shifter world Cardeno created or on any of the other intriguing characters that have taken part in the series.

All in all, a fantastic story of self-discovery, acceptance and fated love.

*I received a copy of this title from the author.

 

About the Author

CC_banner9

Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset. Cardeno feels that characters write their own stories and just hopes to find enough time to get those stories on the page.

Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”

You can learn more about Cardeno’s writing at www.cardenoc.com.

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Other Books by Cardeno

~ Mates Series

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates, #1)Until Forever Comes (Mates, #2)

 

Wake Me Up Inside

Until Forever Comes

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