Review: Her Winning Formula (Hot & Nerdy #3) by Shannyn Schroeder

Her Winning Formula Book Cover Her Winning Formula
Hot & Nerdy #3
Shannyn Schroeder
New Adult Romance
eKensington
November 24th 2014
eGalley
98
NetGalley

 

Spring break was supposed to be a last blast of fun for three friends before the reality of adulthood set in. But for the trio’s science whiz, it’s an education in instant attraction…

Chemistry major Felicity Stone can tell you everything about the way chemicals interact, but when it comes to social interaction, she needs schooling. Abandoned by her friends, Felicity is faced with spending spring break alone—unless she accepts a gorgeous stranger’s invitation to pose as his girlfriend at a family wedding. Not one to turn down a research opportunity, Felicity never expected it to produce such breathtaking results…

Teacher and baseball coach Lucas Tanner is fascinated by Felicity’s potent mix of spirit and scientist, not to mention her delicious curves. When Felicity asks him to return the favor by teaching her how to pick up guys, he can’t refuse—but he’s not at all happy with the idea of her using a formula for flirting on anyone but him. Can he convince her that together they have the perfect chemistry?

 

 

Review

While in route to her spring break destination Felicity meets Lucas. Since her plans have been changed and she’s no longer meeting her best friends Charlie and Layla, Felicity decides to go along with Lucas’ plan to have her play his girlfriend while he attends his brother’s wedding. Not much of a hardship since he’s gorgeous, she just has to remember that’s she’s just laying a part and keep her distance.

Lucas is drawn to Felicity’s smarts and understated beauty. So having her playing his girlfriend for a few days sounds like a win-win situation for him. He gets to keep his ex-girlfriend at bay while spending time with a sexy, intriguing woman. But what he wasn’t counting on were the emotions that would arise with spending time with Felicity.

I liked the premise behind the story and thought that the author did a great job in bringing something different to this popular trope. But what I couldn’t get over was the insta-love scenario coupled with the lack of connection between the characters.

Usually I can overlook the insta-love in a story if the connection between the two individuals is firmly established on the page. However, that was not the case with Her Winning Formula. Yes, there was a connection between Felicity and Lucas, but it wasn’t expanded upon. Although I enjoyed their interactions, I felt there was something missing–that essential ‘thing’–needed to take their relationship to the next level.

Having said that, I did enjoyed getting to know the characters, the chemistry they shared and how the author went about bringing it all together in the end.

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

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Review: Her Perfect Game (Hot & Nerdy #2) by Shannyn Schroeder

Her Perfect Game Book Cover Her Perfect Game
Hot & Nerdy #2
Shannyn Schroeder
New Adult Romance
eKensington
October 27th 2014
eGalley
124
NetGalley

 

Spring break is supposed to be a week of fun in the sun for three childhood friends about to graduate from college. But one of them is ready to get her game on somewhere else…

Charlie Castle is an expert archer and a fierce warrior—in her favorite video game, anyway. But college life was a program she couldn't quite master. To land a cybertech job without a degree, she's entering a "hackfest" over spring break—where she also hopes to meet the sweet gamer who's been flirting with her online. Instead, she runs into the hot guy who walked away years ago, and can't fight the desire that comes rushing back.

Jonah Best has never gotten over Charlie, whose kisses were always as deliciously creative as her coding. But now that they're face to face again, he doesn't know how to admit that her online admirer is really him—or how to convince her that he's offering her a job for her incredible skills, not her sex appeal. Can Jonah cut through their communication glitches and persuade Charlie that the next level up for them should be forever?

 

 

Review

Although I enjoyed this story, I did find a couple of faults within it.

Charlie is a gamer and a college dropout who spent money she couldn’t spare to attend a convention in the hopes of not only networking herself into acquiring a job, but also to meet her fellow gamer and the man she can’t stop thinking about.

Jonah never did get over Charlie and has regretted leaving her ever since. Thankfully, he was able to connect with her through their shared love of gaming, but it wasn’t enough. So when the chance to connect with her in person falls into his lap, he jumps at the chance without even knowing how his presence would be received.

As you could imagine there was bound to be some drama in this story since Charlie wasn’t expecting to run into Joshua at the convention. Thankfully, the drama was kept to a minimum in that regards.

I got the chance to experience first hand how sorry Jonah was for walking away and cheered him on even when it looked like he didn’t have a chance. However, he was charming, funny and as sexy as Charlie remembered so soon sparks where flying.

I liked Jonah and Charlie together but I felt like I never really got to see the connection they shared on the page. It was touched upon briefly, but not nearly enough for me. I understood they had a past, but I would have loved to see that connection reflected in the present too.

Add to that the added conflict the author introduced and the romance sort of fazed out of the picture. Don’t get me wrong, there were some moments that played a key role in their relationship, but for me the romance got lost in the shuffle. That’s not to say that it wasn’t intriguing to read about that kind of thing happening, it just didn’t seem important in the scheme of things.

Having said that, I did enjoy the time Jonah and Charlie spent together, their easy manner and the chemistry they shared. I just wish I could have gotten more of the romance and less of the gaming world.

All in all, a great tie-in book in the series that told the story about a second chance at love.

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

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Sexy New Release! Blue Blooded (Benediction #3) by Shelly Bell *Review*

Blue Blooded Book Cover Blue Blooded
Benediction #3
Shelly Bell
Erotic Romance
Avon Impulse
October 13th 2015
eGalley
Publisher via Barclay Publicity

 

A woman who refuses to be tied down...

Investigative reporter Rachel Dawson is always looking for her next big story. While working on a feature about BDSM, she lands a one-night, no-holds-barred pass into the exclusive sex club, Benediction. Rachel doesn't have a deviant bone in her body—or so she thought—until the infuriating, ex-soldier Logan Bradford convinces her to try rope bondage under his capable hands. But a steamy night turns deadly when Rachel and Logan witness a gruesome murder.

A Dom who's determined to bind her to him...

Framed for a crime they didn't commit and hunted by corrupt FBI agents, they flee. As Rachel and Logan search for evidence to clear their names, the attraction they've been fighting ignites into fiery passion. Love is the last thing Rachel wants, but night by night, as Logan binds her body, he unravels the knots around her heart. And when they uncover a shocking political conspiracy, Rachel will stop at nothing to reveal the truth…and it just might kill her.

 

 
review
After spending the good part of a week feeding my series OCD and reading the previous books in the series, I found myself having mixed feelings about starting Blue Blooded.

You see, Rachel had not made a huge impression on me and I was hesitant about reading her story. Thankfully, Logan was one of the previous characters that had caught my eye so I decided to give the book a try before letting myself be led by my feelings towards Rachel.

And I am glad that I decided to go ahead with this read. Although the beginning felt a bit awkward with that first scene between Logan and Rachel, as the story progressed and the plot started evolving, I found myself immerse in the story and enjoying both the romance and the intrigue brought the author brought to the page.

Of course, it helped that Logan and Rachel had great chemistry and that the author didn’t miss a beat in bringing it to the page. Those two were hot together and the sexual tension whenever they were together jumped off the page.

Although not an overly emotional story, Shelly Bell did infuse some rather intense emotions–especially in regards to Logan and Rachel’s hesitancy in coming together. They both had issues they needed to deal with and these brought about a nice range of emotions that helped to round up the story well.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in the Benediction series it can be read as a stand alone. I enjoyed visiting with some of the past characters and getting to know some new ones along the way. There was action, some mystery and a hell of a lot of steamy scenes to keep me interested throughout.

All in all, a fantastic steamy read with the right kind of elements blended in to make it worthwhile.

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

 

About the Author

A sucker for a happy ending, Shelly Bell writes sensual romance often with a bit of kink and action-filled erotic thrillers with high-emotional stakes for her alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines.

She began writing upon the insistence of her husband who dragged her to the store and bought her a laptop. When she’s not working her day job, taking care of her family, or writing, you’ll find her reading the latest smutty romance.

She currently writes for Avon Red Impulse, Loose Id, and Soul Mate Publishing.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Review: Her Best Shot (Hot & Nerdy #1) by Shannyn Schroeder

Her Best Shot Book Cover Her Best Shot
Hot & Nerdy #1
Shannyn Schroeder
New Adult Romance
eKensington
September 29th 2014
eGalley
130
NetGalley

 

With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn’t count on such incredible heat…

Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party—until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves…

Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She’s more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he’s counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible…on forever?

 

 

 

Review

Short and sweet with some added spice!

What I enjoyed the most about this story was the fact that it felt complete. Often times with books of this length you are left wanting, confused or a combination of the two. However, although short with a insta-love scenario Her Best Shot delivered a little bit of everything.

There was character development, some emotions, plenty of sizzling chemistry and a connection between the characters.

I loved Phin! Not only did he have a mysterious air about him, once he set loose he was H.O.T! I enjoyed him plenty and wouldn’t have minded a bit more of him throughout.

Layla wasn’t a bad character to know, but she had her moments where her immaturity (or should I say naiveté?) showed, which irritated me to no end. Quick to assume and eager to experience life, she made some rash decisions but ultimately learned from her mistakes.

I did enjoy her moments with Phin and thought she was a good match for him. She changed Phin’s life when she got involved with him, unknowingly helping him see what path to follow next in his life. So you can see why I came to like her in the end.

All in all, a great start to a series and a sexy, fun romance between an unlikely pair.

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

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Tour: Finding Emma by K. Ryan *Review, Excerpt, Playlist and Giveaway*

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Finding Emma
by K. Ryan

A Contemporary Romance
Released October 20, 2015

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For the last year, Emma Owens has been quietly detached from everything and everyone. Desperate to escape the demons that chased her out of her hometown, she’s learned that life here in Milwaukee is just less complicated and less tragic when it’s a one-woman show.

In the span of one week, everything about her carefully orchestrated solitude comes crashing down. Then again, she can’t really ignore the scratching coming from her patio door or the hungry, pleading grey eyes reflecting in the moonlight. Those four little white paws and that tiger-striped fur thaws some of the ice keeping her heart on lockdown and she’s attached before she knows what hits her.

Emma doesn’t have any better luck ignoring another pair of eyes, and her new neighbor, Finn Matthews, with his shy persistence and a painful past of his own, slowly chips away at the rest of the ice trapping Emma in her insecurities and her loneliness.

Taking a chance on her new roommate and her next-door neighbor opens a door she’d previously slammed shut: the door to a new lease on life and the right to forgive, to fight back, and to heal.

And the craziest part about it?

It all started with a stray cat.

She was lost…and he found her.

**Finding Emma is a full-length, standalone contemporary romance. Due to language and some sexual situations, this book is not intended for readers under 18**

 

Finding Emma Cover

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Review

I love it when a book draws you in from the very beginning making you want to drop everything so you can focus solely on the story. This was the case for Finding Emma.

From the start, the author made sure that the reader had a chance to connect with Emma. I loved that I got to experience her thoughts and emotions first-hand since it allowed me to get to know her fears, her doubts and the things she wanted but didn’t allowed herself to have.

Of course, it helped tremendously that she was paired with Finn. He was charming, funny and provided Emma with the acceptance and comfort she needed in her life. I enjoyed their interactions and the way the author went about developing that initial connection into something more. Some flirty banter, some honest exchanges and even some shared silences, helped to strengthen the bond between them.

Although a romance, Finding Emma deals with so much more. From cyber-bullying to family relations, K Ryan did a fantastic job in bringing all the elements together so that they flowed seamlessly on the page. This my first book by this author, but I’m certain it won’t be the last. All in all, the characters were interesting, their connection real and the overall conflict was engaging and its resolution well thought out.

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

Excerpt

“You look nice,” he told me, gesturing to the outfit he didn’t need to know I’d inappropriately agonized over.

“Thanks,” I grinned.

I was painfully aware of how overeager I sounded right now, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. The Browning Adonis had arrived. All mental functioning was shot now.

He just winked back at me and as he took a few unsteady steps to the middle of my kitchen, I found myself running an anxious hand through my hair, watching Finn survey my little cardboard box of an apartment.

“So you cleaned up a little, huh?” he cast me a knowing glance from over his shoulder.

“Don’t worry,” I shook my head, gesturing into the open air between us. “This isn’t for you. You saw this place before. It looked like a tornado ripped through here.”

“Nah,” he just batted a hand. “It wasn’t that bad. You’ve obviously never seen my place after a game day.”

I could only imagine…and then I realized I still wasn’t completely ready. Ugh. This was just pizza. That was it. And here I was, over-analyzing and freaking out over nothing more than a shared pizza between neighbors.

“Um, I just, uh…still need a few minutes,” I told him sheepishly, already feeling a slight flush creep across my cheeks in embarrassment. “I was on the phone with my sister-in-law before and I wasn’t—”

“I know,” Finn cut in with that sexy, sly grin that threatened to buckle my knees. “I’m early. Sorry about that. I just…well, I guess I just didn’t wanna wait another 10 minutes, you know?”

And with those words, all the doubt lingering over what this was, my own hang-ups, Finn’s intentions…everything…it all just slipped away.

“So, take your time,” Finn went on, leaning an arm against the dividing wall between my kitchen and my living room. “I can wait.”

There was something about the way one side of his lips rolled into a soft curl that told me those words might have a deeper meaning. If I stood there for too long, I had a sinking feeling I might do or say something I’d kick myself for later, so I gladly took the out he’d given me and retreated to the bathroom to put the finishing touches on my hair and my makeup.

Now, as I stood in front of the mirror with a tube of mascara in my hand and Finn Matthews waiting in my kitchen, I couldn’t help but feel like a complete idiot. There was a kind, generous, patient, funny, and devastatingly handsome man in my apartment and here I was, locked in the bathroom because I didn’t know what else to do. Because I was nervous. Because I was scared.

This was beyond stupid.

Laughing to myself, I swiped another layer of mascara on, passed a brush through my long, caramel-colored waves, tousled my bangs, spritzed a dab of perfume on just for good measure, and took one more glance in the mirror. There was a man out there I wanted to spend time with and I was just getting in my own way. Cristina’s words of encouragement echoed in my ears, but it was more than just that.

In spite of the short time I’d known him, and in spite of the sudden frenzied feelings of chaos he inspired in me, there was also an inexplicable aura of calm around him, too. Acceptance, even. Like nothing I’d done before meeting him, no place I’d been, and no ugly, pain-leaden past following me from Hickory really mattered all that much to him.

I could do and say anything in front of him, embarrass or lay myself bare, and he wouldn’t care. It was as if the past didn’t exist and with him, there was only now. It was as if he’d judged me from the moment we met, but hadn’t found me wanting…hadn’t tried to push me into anything I wasn’t ready for. He’d given me space, followed my lead, but shown me a different path at the same time. A new possibility. A new chance.

There was a safety in Finn Matthews’s presence I never thought I’d ever feel again.

It was liberation. It was a rediscovery. It was a door opening. It was that elusive second chance I’d been chasing since the moment I left my hometown without looking back. It was the possibility, the real, honest-to-goodness possibility, that everything might be okay now.

I glanced back at my reflection again and shook my head, a mirthless laugh escaping my lips. Turning this into something it wasn’t would only end up hurting myself in the long run. And while the idea that redemption, forgiveness, and second chances were irrevocably intertwined with a man, especially a man I barely knew, flew directly in the face of being the independent woman I’d once prided myself on being, maybe that was something I could live with.

That last thought was enough to propel me from the bathroom and back towards my poor excuse for a living room and I found Finn leaning against the wall with Oliver tucked under his arm and his free hand scratching underneath my cat’s chin.

Something clicked into place for me then and the time for second-guessing and overanalyzing was over. My feet padded over to him and the sight of that bright smile curling into his handsome face, the smile that was all for me, only spurred me towards him. Just as he pushed off the wall and turned to face me, my hands slid over both his cheeks to bring in him closer and then I pressed my lips against his mouth.

It only lasted for a moment, but when I pulled back, Oliver abruptly dropped to the carpet. Finn’s lips curved and his free arm snaked around my waist to pull me in as close to his chest as possible as his head dipped lower to capture my lips.

This time he didn’t let me pull back so easily. This time his lips parted, sealing his mouth over mine, taking the control and pressing me even deeper into his chest. My hands trailed down his cheeks to his neck, finally resting over the hard, sinewy muscles over his worn T-shirt.

His lips continued their ministrations and my feet lifted up onto my toes, Finn pulling me along with him as he leaned back. Then, he settled me back onto my feet, placing sweet, feather-light kisses against my lips and the hand around my waist drifted a little further down, curving down the side of my hip.

That was a little more than I felt ready for and when I pulled back just enough, Finn didn’t miss a beat, sliding his hand back up to its original resting place.

“Sorry,” he murmured against my lips.

I laughed and he quickly caught it with his mouth.

“It’s okay,” I managed to get out in between kisses with another laugh.

There was something about how careful he was being with me that told me pulling back and pumping the brakes was absolutely fine with him. No pressure and no need to rush something that just felt so good.

 

Finding Emma Teaser 4

 

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About K. Ryan

K. Ryan
K. Ryan is a former English teacher, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2009. In between ‘real life’ duties, she’s been writing the Carry Your Heart series quietly on the side for the last two years. When not writing, she’s either binge-watching something on Netflix, running, reading, or cheering on the Packers. She lives in the Green Bay area with her crazy-supportive boyfriend and the best decision of her adult life, a not-so-stray cat named Oliver.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

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Spotlight: Stop at Nothing (Protect and Serve #1) by Kate SeRine *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Stop at Nothing (Protect and Serve #1)
by Kate SeRine

A Suspenseful Romance
From Sourcebooks Casablanca
Releasing November 3rd 2015

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When a high-profile investigation goes wrong, FBI Agent Kyle Dawson is transferred back home where he is forced to confront his demons…and the only woman he ever loved. Three years ago, Kyle and Abby Morrow shared a wild, passionate summer—then Abby broke his heart.

NOW SHE NEEDS HIS HELP

Kyle never stopped loving Abby. So when Abby uncovers evidence of a human-trafficking ring, leading to her sister’s kidnapping, he swears he’ll stop at nothing to bring her sister home and keep Abby safe. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse and blindsided by their own explosive desires, they must set aside the past before it’s too late.

 

9781492618348

Pre-Order!
Amazon | Apple | BAM | B&N |
Chapters | Indiebound | Kobo

 

This November Kate SeRine releases the first in her riveting new romantic suspense series, Stop at Nothing. To celebrate, the hero of Stop at Nothing, FBI Agent Kyle Dawson, has agreed to answer a quick Q&A for us!

 What’s your least favorite part about your job?

(Sighs) Some days are pretty rough. There are just some cases that get to me, you know? You learn how to disconnect, compartmentalize to keep it all at a distance. But some days you just can’t. And it’s hard to talk about those experiences with people who’ve never been there, so it can eat away at you.

 

Review

3-stars
3.25 stars

FBI Agent Kyle Dawson returns home after having some problems during a case he was working on in New Orleans. The news of his transfer is not such a problem for him, it’s running into the woman who broke his heart three years ago that has him weary. He decides to make contact first so that Abby is not surprised by his return. He isn’t surprised when his call goes unanswered.

Abby Morrow works at the Sheriff’s Office–alongside Kyle’s father. She recently accepted some freelance work and uncovers some information that she needs to investigate further. She doesn’t expect to be in harm’s way, but when she and her nephew are threatened Kyle is the first number she calls.

Stop at Nothing is the first book in the Protect & Serve series and served its purpose well. Not only did it set the ground for other upcoming books, but it also gave the reader a chance to get to know the array of characters that will be (hopefully!) having their stories told.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I found I like her writing. The story was suspenseful without being over the top and the plot intriguing enough to keep me guessing as to what would be happening next.

My only regret in this story was that I didn’t get to experience Kyle and Abby’s connection first-hand. The author did make a reference to their past relationship, but not enough to convince me of their ‘love’. What was more frustrating was that their connection didn’t make itself known either when they reunited.

Kyle and Abby spent a lot of time together, but most of their time was spent talking about the case. The few candid moments and honest interactions were always interrupted, leaving me hanging and wanting more. I guess I should have been convinced because they had chemistry. However, even that was lacking some more development. There was heat there when they were together, but it wasn’t as explosive as I expected it to be. After all, they did share “a wild, passionate summer” three years before.

All in all, a good start to a series. I am curious about Kyle’s brothers after learning a little bit about their lives. I will certainly be on the look out for the books to come.

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

 

Stop-At-Nothing---Graphic

 

Excerpt

Sweetheart.

Abby suppressed a shudder as that one word speared straight through the heart. When Kyle Dawson had suddenly appeared in the doorway of her sister’s living room, she’d thought she was hallucinating. But there he was, coming to her when she most desperately longed for him, his black brows drawn together in a frown, the already angular planes of his face even harsher in his distress.

Kyle ducked down a little so he was at eye level with her, those intense sapphire blue eyes showing the depth of his concern as he searched her gaze. “Abby?”

“I interrupted the intruder,” she explained, her gaze flitting briefly toward the Sheriff, who’d looked skeptical from the start and was giving her the stink-eye even now. She cleared her throat a couple of times, before adding, “We scuffled. He got away.”

Kyle nodded, his eyes narrowed. “Was that before or after he cut the power to the house and managed to get by the alarm system?”

She should’ve known Kyle would see through her story. He seemed to have almost a sixth sense when it came to crime scenes. But the photo of Emma bound and gagged suddenly came to mind, her concern for Emma’s safety preventing Abby from confiding in Kyle.

“Clearly, he’d done his homework and had been casing the place, watching for an opportunity to break in when the family was out of town,” she said.

That at least wasn’t a lie. The guy had been prepared. He’d known exactly what he was doing. And she’d hazard a guess that he’d also known Curtis was out of town and that Abby and Tyler were there alone.

Speaking of Curtis… Where the hell was he anyway?

Kyle gave her a knowing look. “Abby—”

“I’m sure Mac and the boys can handle it,” she interrupted, inwardly cringing, knowing that the reference to his father was a low blow. But it had the desired effect.

“You heard the young lady,” Sheriff Dawson interjected. “Gentlemen”—he motioned to Gabe and Tom—“please escort Agent Dawson from the premises.”

Gabe took a step forward to obey his father’s order, but Tom put a restraining hand on his arm and shook his head.

“You look like you could use a little air,” Kyle said, gently but firmly taking hold of Abby’s elbow and leading her toward the doorway. She glanced over her shoulder at Tyler, reluctant to leave him after what they’d been through, but she saw Joe sitting beside him, chatting quietly to put the boy at ease.

Still, as great as it was to see Kyle, she wasn’t exactly eager to be alone with him again. Silence had a way of opening the door to some really uncomfortable questions that she wasn’t exactly ready to answer. That didn’t even include the total bullshit she was feeding everyone about what had really happened.

“Excuse me, Agent, but I have some additional questions for my deputy,” Mac said, his tone even in spite of the anger that flashed in his eyes. “And I would thank you not to interfere with my investigation, young man.”

Kyle lifted his free arm to his side and bent slightly at the waist, offering his father a mocking bow. “Wouldn’t dream of interfering, Sheriff.”

Before his father could offer another word, Kyle ushered Abby from the room and out the front door. Abby’s heart began to race as he led her farther into the growing darkness beyond the headlights and flashing blue-and-reds on the various vehicles.

Once they were out of earshot of any of the other officers, Kyle finally released her and turned to face her, hands on his hips. “Spill it. And don’t give me any bullshit about interrupting a robbery. I could hear some of what was going on. I know he was after something you have—or he thinks you have.”

Abby turned her head away, staring into the darkness crowding in along the dense tree line that bordered the property. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I told you what happened.”

Kyle grasped her chin and forced her gaze back to his. “Abby, it’s me. You could always talk to me. Let me help you.”

 

About the Author

Kate SeRine writes award-winning romantic suspense and paranormal romance. A past recipient of an Emily Award and the National Readers Choice Award, she has also been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest, Finally a Bride Contest, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She lives with her husband and two sons outside Indianapolis, Indiana. Connect with Kate at www.kateserine.com. 

 

 

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New Release! The Fall Up by Aly Martinez *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

Maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.

the fall up book tour

The Fall Up
by Aly Martinez

A Contemporary Romance
For Release October 26th 2015

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I wanted to jump.
He made me fall.

As a celebrity, I lived in the public eye, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself in the spotlight.

Until he found me.

Sam Rivers was a gorgeous, tattooed stranger who saved my life with nothing more than a simple conversation.

But we were both standing on that bridge for a reason the night we met. The secrets of our pasts brought us together—and then tore us apart.

Could we find a reason to hold on as life constantly pulled us down?

Or maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.

 

the fall up cover ebook

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo

 

Review

4 stars

Levy is an award winning singer going through the motions of her life. She performs, she volunteers…Wash. Rinse. Repeat. However, she doesn’t seem to want to change a thing about it, even though it’s slowly draining her both mentally and physically. Her only form of escape these days is standing on a bridge alone at night. Little does she know how her life will come to change when she decides to strike up a conversation with the handsome stranger next to her.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was how Aly Martinez showcased Sam and Levy’s connection every chance she got. Be it through quiet exchanges, heated looks, flirty banter or just plain old sex scenes, Sam and Levy’s connection jumped off the page. Of course, it helped tremendously that they had an underlying yet intense chemistry that made itself know from the very start.

As I’ve come to expect from this author, Aly also delivered in the range of emotions she brought to the page. Both Sam and Levy were harboring some pretty deep issues and these in turn affected their relationship and their lives as individuals. But what I appreciated the most was the fact that although the emotions were intense and the story dealt with some heavy subjects, it never detracted from the romance or its sweet flirty vibe. At least not for me and that’s saying something. 😉

Another element I came to enjoy a lot, were the characters and their growth throughout the story. It was great to see how Levy came to recognize her weaknesses without ever losing sight of who she was and what she wanted out of her life or her career. It made her journey as the story progressed that much more enjoyable knowing that she was setting herself straight so she could succeed in building something with Sam.

Sam was no slouch either. He was fighting his way through his sister’s death and the guilt he felt in regards to that event. He recognized the potential of what he was starting to develop with Levy, so he pushed on because he couldn’t be the man Levy needed if he didn’t heal himself first. I came to admire his loyalty to his friends and family and his determination to make things work with Levy whatever obstacles were thrown in his way.

Of course, there was the added heat element. Although their chemistry was easily palpable it was slow in burning until finally (FINALLY!) they gave in to their attraction. That first kiss alone and thee subsequent encounter was well worth the wait. Thank you Aly!

All in all, a fantastic mix of elements that brought about a sweet, fun and emotional read.

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

 

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Excerpt

“Thank fuck!” Sam said, swinging the door open before Devon even had the car in park.

“Oh, this isn’t my place. We’re just dropping Devon off. I’m about twenty minutes across town?”  I tossed him a sugary smile then boldly shifted my hand into his lap, purposely brushing the bulge under his denim.

Grabbing my wrist, he narrowed his eyes and called out, “Devon, I’m gonna need to borrow a bedroom.”

I burst out laughing as Devon cursed loudly.

“Fine. This is my place. No smoking inside though,” I snipped as I climbed from the SUV.

“You better have some seriously exciting extracurricular activities to keep me distracted, then.”

“I have Ping-Pong!”

“Not exactly what I was thinking.” He mischievously cocked his head. “But I guess paddles and balls are as good a start as any.” Dipping down, he hoisted me over his shoulder. “Point me to the Ping-Pong table, my lady.”

I didn’t. I laughed hysterically as he carried me inside. Then I directed him to my bedroom instead.

I heard Devon locking up the house as Sam deposited me on the bed.

“Jesus. This view.”  He pushed the curtains back. “Why the hell would you ever go up to the bridge when you have this here?”

“I don’t know,” I answered, pulling my earrings off and placing them on my nightstand.

Oh, but I knew. It might not have been what had originally sent me up that bridge, but it was why my feet carried me back every night. And that very reason was currently standing in front of me with entirely too much clothing on.

“You want a beer?” I asked, sliding my shoes off.

“Nah, I’m good.” He faced me, and I could tell something was off with his demeanor. He didn’t inch any closer. Instead, his lips were tight and his eyes uncomfortably flashed around the room.

It suddenly didn’t feel like Sam standing in front of me at all.

He felt like a stranger who had just come face-to-face with Levee Williams.

Damn it.

“Why are you looking at me like that? Are you about to freak out?” I whispered, nervously moistening my lips.

He shoved his hands into his pockets. “I’m not really sure yet. But I’m gonna need you to stop licking your lips long enough for me to figure it out.” His mouth cracked into a wide grin, and my shoulders relaxed.

Now that was a flash of my Sam.

“Want to tell me what’s going on?” I asked.

“It’s just… I think this is the first time I’ve realized that you’re some big-time celebrity. I might be in over my head here, Designer Shoes.”

“I just make music, Sam.” I returned his smile and very slowly prowled in his direction. “Imagine how I feel though. You’re Samuel Nathan Rivers. A tough, tattooed furniture designer who makes six figures a year but is too afraid to tell his mommy he votes democratic.” I giggled as he frowned humorously. Stopping in front of him, I dragged a fingernail down his chest then teased the waistband of his jeans. “Have you considered that maybe I’m the one who’s in over her head here?” I leaned forward to nip at his lips, but he spun us around.

“Excellent point. I’m going to need you to try really hard to keep it together, Levee. You haven’t even seen my six-pack and huge cock, yet.” He smirked and attempted to return my nip, but I stepped out of his reach.

“You brought beer and chicken?” I feigned excitement.

That one corny joke was all it took to bring my Sam back completely.

With a sexy smile and a coy shrug, he seductively backed me toward the bed. “What can I say? I like to be prepared.”

“Clearly,” I breathed.

He moved in close so his lips were only a centimeter away, but for as much as I wanted him, it was agonizing. “Clearly,” he repeated, his smoky yet sweet breath breezing across my mouth.

His strong arm looped around my waist, tugging me against his chest, while I stared into his hooded eyes, eagerly waiting for him to make a move.

Any move.

Every move.

 

the fall up teaser use

 

About the Author

aly martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

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Tour: A Friendly Arrangement (Friends First, #2) by Christine Warner *Review and Giveaway*

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A Friendly Arrangement (Friends First, #2)
by Christine Warner

A Contemporary Romance
From Entangled
Released October 26th, 2015

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What happens when your plus one becomes “the one”?

Holly Haggerty and Roth Esterly are two besties with everything in common–they’re neighbors, career-driven, and commitment-phobes. Tired of always being set up on dates by well-meaning friends and family, they take matters into their own hands: they will be the other’s plus one–a little friendly arrangement between friends.

Easy…until a steamy night where they cross the line. But that’s okay, they’ll add an addendum–one that includes a little action between the sheets…on top of the sheets…and without the sheets. But there are rules. Dating and sex are exclusive until one of them decides to terminate the agreement. No slumber parties. And if either party becomes emotionally involved they will break things off with no hard feelings.

When unexpected news changes their plans and turns their fun arrangement into something more serious, Holly and Roth must come to terms with what’s more important–what they thought they wanted, or what they really need.

 

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Review

3-stars

Friend-to-lovers stories are one of my favorite, so when I saw this title I jumped at the chance to see two ‘besties’ fall for each other. Sadly, it didn’t pan out as expected.

I guess my main issue with this story was the fact that I didn’t quite connect with the characters. In the blurb and throughout the story Roth and Holly refer to themselves as ‘besties’, so imagine my surprise when as the story progressed I found they didn’t know each other as well as two best friends should. This I could come to overlook easily if there were an added element that would take what they shared to another level. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t there.

I found the characters to be interesting and quite good together, especially when they acted their age and not like two irritating tweens. They shared a great deal of chemistry and had great rapport which helped tremendously in those moments when they reverted to their silly ways.

Like I said, Roth and Holly did have great chemistry, but their attraction for each other was something that they could both do with or without. It didn’t seem like a necessity for them to spend time together unless it served their purpose of getting their friends and family off their backs or their need to get off.

Having said that, I still think that A Friendly Arrangement was a good entertaining story. It had intriguing characters that ultimately showed some growth, an engaging storyline and some smexy scenes. I just think my expectations ran too high since I love this trope so much.

All in all, a fun and sexy read.

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

 

About the Author

Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her family, three laptops (she might have a slight addiction, or maybe it’s a fear of one imploding from overuse) and a much loved assortment of furry friends.

Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic.  A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities.  She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy heroines.

A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and her website at christine-warner.com.

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New Release! His Work Of Art (Hot & Nerdy #4) by Shannyn Schroeder *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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His Work Of Art (Hot & Nerdy, #4)
by Shannyn Schroeder

A New Adult Romance
From Lyrical Press
Released October 27th 2015

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Reese Carter is definitely not your average college girl. She’d prefer to spend Saturday nights playing Hero’s Crusade than attending a wild frat party on campus. When she bands together with Adam, fellow comic enthusiast and illustrator, it appears that Reese has formed a dream team sure to propel her writing into the comic hall of fame.

Adam Hayes has never met a girl like Reese. She’s sassy, smart, and loves talking comics, although he can’t see why she’d choose DC over Marvel. He’s thrilled to finally put his artistic chops to use in their upcoming comic project. But this relationship is strictly professional. Or so he tells himself. When the two combine forces, they churn out magic in more ways than they had planned; they never expected to develop a steamy romantic sub-plot of their own…

 

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Review

4 stars

Reese has come up with a fantastic female superhero comic book as final project to one of her classes. She not only has to write it, she also has to have it sketched, marketed and published. Reese knows the perfect artist to use, but she’s hesitant to approach him. She has a crush on Adam, but their interactions have been few and not that impressionable. However, she needs to hand in a kick-ass comic and she knows Adam can deliver on that front.

Adam is working at her mother’s comic book store where Reese is a regular customer. He has admired her good looks quite a few times, but being the product of an interracial relationship that ended in divorce, Adam is reluctant to get involved with Reese. He’s experienced first-hand how hurtful people can be and prefers to spare himself and Reese that type of hardship.

With all the time spent together working on the comic, Reese and Adam find it difficult to keep their attraction for each other at bay. But when emotions start coming into play, things start to get more complicated. Can Reese help Adam get over his issues or will Adam walk away before they could explore the connection that’s grown between them?

As a follower of the series, I couldn’t wait to get into this story. Especially since I’ve come to enjoy Shannyn Schroeder’s way of bringing the different stories to the page. In the previous books, the stories revolved around three ‘nerdy’ friends who found love with ‘hot’ men when they least expected it. Three women, three different stories all happening simultaneously. With these new set of stories we get a similar concept but this time it revolves around three male friends. How could I not read it?!

What I most enjoyed about this story was the way the author showcased Reese and Adam’s connection. Although there was an inkling of chemistry between these two, what stood out for me immediately was the easy way they related to one another. Their friendly bickering over their comics preference and their easy banter had me grinning and cheering them on. Of course, as their connection grew the chemistry between them became more apparent. Stolen touches, heated looks and one hell of a first kiss had me sold on them getting together.

Of course, there had to be obstacles in their paths which brought about a whole set of rampant emotions. The characters expressed these accordingly and the author made them clear on the page. However the story never felt overwhelming in any sense.

Don’t let the fact that this is the fourth book in the series keep you from giving it a try. It can be read as a stand alone, focusing mainly on Reese and Adam’s relationship. It also served to introduce Hunter and Free, Adam’s friends, who will have their stories told in the near future.

All in all, a sweet yet hot little romance.

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

 

Excerpt

She reached for a slice as Adam walked in the back. He returned with some napkins, which was good because she now had sauce dripping on her chin. “Thanks,” she mumbled around a mouthful of hot cheese. Just as she wiped at her chin, a blob of sauce landed on her cargo pants. She rubbed at it, resigned to another stain.

The corners of his mouth lifted, but he said nothing. He leaned against the counter in front of the register. They ate in silence through their first pieces. They’d worked a long time to figure out how to approach this partnership.

No matter what, collaboration was rough.

Adam wiped his hands on a napkin. “Do you think this is going to work?”

“What? Us?” Probably not the best wording.

He nodded.

“As long as you give up your boob fixation, yeah.” She blew out a heavy breath that puffed her bangs away from her forehead. “It’s harder than I thought. It’d be cool if we could just do a Vulcan mind meld, and you could see inside my head and know what I’m picturing. If I had any artistic skill, I’d attempt to draw it myself. But I find stick figures challenging.”

“So Lyrid can’t have big tits. I get it. You can stop telling me. But I’m not going to draw her like a guy either.”

The jab hit home. More times than she cared to think about, people had commented on her appearance. “I don’t want her to be a guy. But real women don’t have a two-inch waist to go with their ginormous boobs.”

“Lyrid isn’t real. She’s a character. A fantasy.”

But why did the fantasy always have to be sex goddess? “Can we settle on a happy medium?” She squinted at him and searched for the right words. “Curvy, but not voluptuous?” She pointed at him. “And no spillage.”

“Spillage?”

She cupped her hands in front of her own small chest. “Spillage. Popping out of a ridiculous outfit.”

Adam dropped his pizza back in the box and went to the drawing table. He flipped up his sketch pad. An intense expression took over his face and Reese stared. She couldn’t look away. His long fingers moved quickly with a pencil in his left hand. She knew that when he was finished, smudges would be smeared on the edge of his palm as well as on his fingertips.

It was like she was no longer in the room.

 

Hot & Nerdy Series

Her Best Shot (Hot & Nerdy, #1)
Her Best Shot (Hot & Nerdy #1)
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Her Perfect Game (Hot & Nerdy, #2)
Her Perfect Game (Hot & Nerdy #2)
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Her Winning Formula (Hot & Nerdy, #3)
Her Winning Formula (Hot & Nerdy #3)
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About the Author

Shannyn

Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”

So she did. And she hasn’t looked back since.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

She is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the new Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends and their last spring break. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

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My Reviews:

New Release! A Moment of Weakness by Brooklyn Skye *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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A Moment of Weakness
by Brooklyn Skye

A Contemporary Romance
From Entangled
Released October 19th 2015

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Until her new job starts in September, buttoned-up elementary school teacher Laurel Harris is at loose ends and in need of cash. Fortunately her best friend’s older brother is a single dad and desperately needs a nanny. Or so she’s told. She doesn’t anticipate him being such a menacing, muscled, and undeniably gorgeous man…or that he has zero interest in hiring a nanny.

Micah Crane will do right by his young daughter, no matter the cost. And right now, that cost is juggling parenthood with long hours at his bar and working as an enforcer for a notorious crime boss. He doesn’t need another complication in his life, but the sweet, frustratingly opinionated little blonde hell-bent on caring for his daughter stirs his blood like no woman ever has.

All it takes is a moment of weakness to ignite the lust blazing between them. A moment that will unravel their self-control and unleash all of Micah’s darkest secrets…

momentofweakness

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Review

3-stars

I liked Micah and admired his determination to do right by his daughter. He was a hard-working man who had to made some hard decisions and now has to live with their consequences. He was stubborn and proud, but could also be mean and unapologetic. Sadly, it was his mean streak that turned me off.

Then there was Laurel. A young woman who wanted to change the world one child at a time, Laurel was smart, quirky and hard-working. In the beginning, I admired her strength of character and her resolve in not getting involved with Micah. She did an amazing job with Shae and had her moments when she stood up to Micah. However, by the end of the story my admiration dwindled. I think she forgave Micah too easily, especially after what he said to her before she left.

These character flaws along with a lack of connection between Laurel and Micah are the reasons why this story was just ‘okay’. Although I enjoyed the overall concept and felt no need to skim or give up reading this story at any point, I can’t say that the story made an impact on me. However, I did enjoy Shae and April’s characters and what they brought to the story. I also enjoyed the sexual tension Micah and Laurel shared. Although not as ‘Brazen’ as I’ve come to expect from this imprint, the scenes were hot and showcased the intense attraction between these two.

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

 

Teaser 2

 

Excerpt

She opened her mouth, but before she could get anything out, he said, “How about we show you where you’ll be sleeping,” and walked out of the kitchen, gesturing for her to follow.

Silently, she trailed him, her suitcase bumping along the carpeted hallway. With each step, she catalogued what she knew of him so far.

Right foot. Raising six-year-old alone.

Left foot. Has taken some precautions in keeping Shaelynn safe, but might need some help with that.

Right foot. His backside is really, really nice to look at.

Left foot. I wonder if those muscles under his back pockets feel as hard as they look—

“It’s only a two-bedroom apartment,” he said, suddenly coming to a stop. The movement was too fast, and by the time her brain caught up, she was already slamming into the back of him. Right against the butt she’d been staring at.

Oh my god.

He twirled fast and clamped his huge hand around the top of her arm to steady her, those brown eyes ticking from her eyes to her forehead to her ears, mouth, over her shoulder, then back to her eyes. The force of his stare triggered a nervous giggle from her lips.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, forcing her gaze to stay with his even though the intensity was making her a little dizzy. “I didn’t expect you to stop right there.”

“We’re at the end of the hallway,” he said, unamused.

Right. But… She pointed to where the carpet dead ended. “I couldn’t see because of your…”

Butt. Not a chance she’d admit that.

Your entire ginormous body blocking my view. Yeah, not that either.

“Because of…um, you,” she said, swallowing down what she hoped was all of her embarrassment.

 

Teaser 1

 

About the Author

Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. She writes young adult, new adult, and romance fiction.

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