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Spotlight Tour: Author J. Bailes ‘Shaken Series’ *Reviews*

Welcome to the spotlight event for J. Bailes, author of the Shaken series. Below you will find all relevant information regarding both titles in the series plus my reviews.

Title: Shattered and Shaken (Shaken, #1)

Release Date: September 17th 2013

Source: eArc provided by the author

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Synopsis

Allie Anderson has encountered more heartache than any one person deserves to experience. She’s lost her father to cancer, her brother to war, and the love of her life-Wyatt, took her most prized possession and vanished without notice. Wyatt once held Allie’s heart in the palm of his hand-he crushed it.

Blake, Allie’s best friend turned lover is everything she needs; he’d give her the moon if she asked for it, but there’s one problem-he wants Allie entirely.How can Allie give herself to Blake when she’s not sure there’s a her to give away? Allie’s heart is like a puzzle that’s unfinished and missing pieces-it’s impossible to put together.

After being MIA the last four years, Wyatt returns home. Allie’s forced to make a decision on who she wants or who she believes she needs. No matter who she chooses someone will be devastated.

Allie’s life begins to fall into place, her heart begins to heal, and happy is no longer a foreign emotion-until she’s betrayed by the two people she trusted most.

Her heart’s left shattered into a million pieces, how much pain can one person tolerate? Is her heart permanently damaged? Hearts are like broken glass; you can put it back together again, but it will never be the same.

Buy the Book

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Review

3-5 stars

3.5 stars

Allie is just trying to move on with her life, but the grief and heartbreak that struck her in the last couple of years has left her a broken mess of emotions. She doesn’t know know to take that first step towards healing so she’s been going through the motions never fully engaging in her life.

One person who’s helped her through some of the tough times is Blake. She’s developed a flirty relationship with him and even though she knows that he is attracted to her and she to him, she also knows that she’s a shell of the girl she used to be and until she starts healing she can’t offer him more than friendship.

Thankfully, Blake is relentless and is always there to support her in any way he can, helping Allie heal and allowing her to come to terms with some of her issues.

This was a very good story to get into. For me, it had all the elements I’ve come to expect from an intriguing read. Packed-full of the emotions I crave and starring the conflicted characters I’ve come to expect from the genre. However, Allie didn’t appeal to me. I just could NOT connect to her or relate to completely. Yes, I understood where she was coming from but I just could not understand some of her thoughts and actions.

That aside, I believe this was a wonderful debut novel. J Bailes brought forth the emotions to the page in a way that felt real. Every event in its proper place to impose the greatest impact on the reader and leave you wanting to know more.

I loved Blake. He was caring, supportive and loyal. He was always patient in regards to Allie’s conflicted emotions and when he unleashed his passionate side? Phew! Amazing! That man was H-O-T! I really didn’t think that he deserved some of Allie’s mixed feelings, but once she accepted what was developing between them I was happy for Blake that he finally got what he was yearning for.

As the first book in a series, Shattered and Shaken brought the necessary intrigue and storyline to keep the reader interested in the eventual outcome of the story. It introduced the main players and told Allie’s story properly. I just wished I could have connected to her so that I could invest myself more in the relationship that developed. But I admit that her whiplash-inducing thoughts and actions just threw me off.

I’m still looking forward to the next story in the series. I’m curious to hear the other side of the story and see what’s in store for Allie, Blake and Wyatt.

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

Title: All for Allie (Shaken, #1.5)

Release Date: December 2nd 2013

Source: eArc provided by the author

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Synopsis

Walking away from her was the hardest decision I ever made.

Leaving her without an explanation broke us both. Our hearts have been left shattered. I could make excuses. I could lay the blame on others, but still I made the decision. I had to. It was the only way to protect the both of them.

After all of Allie’s loss, my thought was only on her and her happiness. On her love and need for her big brother. I was replaceable, Kyle wasn’t. I wouldn’t allow him to crush her heart with his death.

I knew I had follow him. I would throw myself on top of bombs, in front of bullets, whatever it took to get him home to her, alive. There are two sides to every story, and you’ve only heard one. Don’t be so quick to judge; I hate myself for what I’ve done. But all that I did, it was all for Allie.

Buy the Book

Amazon

Review

4 stars

Well, I’m conflicted! As a member of Team Blake, after reading this story I have to admit that I admire the hell out of Wyatt.

In this story we get to hear the other side of the story – Wyatt’s. Through his eyes we get to experience how deeply he cared for Allie and how conflicted he was about his decision to leave her.

The author did an amazing job in bringing Wyatt’s emotions to the page in a way that helped me connect to him and understand where he was coming from. For a moment, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to side with Wyatt since I loved Blake so much. But by laying him bare in the page, the author made it easy for me to see why he did what he did.

There’s not much I can say about this story without giving too much away. However, if you have read Shattered and Shaken you will come to understand the reasoning behind his actions. Questions were answered, new ones arose, but in the end the same still remains – What will happen now that he’s back?

All in all, a great follow-up story that shed light into some of the issues that Allie had to deal with while still leaving room for the story to go in any direction the characters led it too.

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

About the Author

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Born and raised in Nashville, TN. A mother of three, wife to one, and nursing student turned writer. Loves all things pink, glittery, and chocolate.

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Angels in Leather by Bella Jewel *ARC Review*

Angels In Leather Cover

Title: Angles in Leather (Rebels On Bikes #1)

Author: Bella Jewel

Release Date: February 13, 2014

ARC Source: Author

Genre: MC Romance

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Synopsis

A girl on the run.

Her father gave her one task before he died. To deliver a package.
Now she has the baddest biker in the state after her.

He wants what she’s got.

Secrets in both the past and the present threaten to destroy what she is working so hard for.

He threatens to ruin her heart.

Two worlds will collide to make something explosive.

Buy the Book
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Review

5-stars

Meadow is on the run. She’s been at it since her father was killed in front of her. Her only mission is to outrun Axel and deliver the USB her father gave her before he died. But Axel continues to hunt her and try as she might she can’t outrun him and his buddies.

Axel needs to get the information Meadow is carrying, but she keeps slipping through his fingers anytime he has her close. Add to that the face that the girl he once knew has turned into an amazing woman and he’s in a world of trouble. His protective instinct fighting against his mission lead him into a journey where his life as he has lived it for the past years turns on its axis.

Lust. Betrayal. Confessions. Need. Pain. Peace.

Bella Jewel has a knack for building a world where the men are hard and edgy but yet so damn lovable. I loved Axel. He was broken and had lost all hope of ever feeling again the emotions that Meadow brought in him. I wanted to comfort him just as many times as I wanted to throttle him. *sigh*

“She needs to know… she just needs to know that she’s not nothing. If that’s all I can give her, then I’ll give it with all I am.”

I appreciated the fact that Bella Jewel brought both Axel and Meadow’s emotions to the page in a way that felt real. Every reaction, every interaction and every event was placed in the page to bring the utmost impact.

Meadow was a great character too. She was strong and gave as good as she got, but underneath it all she just wanted to lead a ‘normal’ life. She missed out on so much as a young girl and coming face to face with the one man she never forgot and finding herself in the situation she was currently in would have broken even the strongest of souls, but she stood her ground and continued forward. Although there were times where she was close to losing hope, she never gave in. Not even Axel’s actions nor his cold affront derailed her from getting to the bottom of what was happening.

“Watching him lose control, watching the way his eyes almost haze over, and the way his mouth drops open with a groan, has everything inside me wanting more. Needing more of this. Of him. I whimper just from the sight of him releasing alone. He’s so perfect. Even when he doesn’t see it.”

Needless to say that Meadow and Axel’s chemistry was off-the-charts HOT. Even during the chase and especially after she was captured you could feel the underlying sexual tension between them. They shared a connection that was developed years before, but even time and Axel’s behavior could not diminish it. Kudos to Bella Jewel for bringing it to the surface and developing it even amongst all the chaos the story entailed.

“Once you go here, Cricket, you can’t go back. If you accept this, all of me, then I’m never lettin’ you go.” His voice is serious , his tone determined. I smile up at him. “I say, bring it on.”

From the lust that sizzled between Meadow and Axel all through the conflicted emotions each was feeling about engaging one another I devoured it all. I got teary-eyed a couple of times, tapped the hell out of my tablet in frustration and anticipation and grinned and drooled when those two came together (no pun intended!). As a first book in the series, Angels in Leather was fantastic.

All in all, an emotional, hot and riveting read about second chances in a world where those chances at love are few and far between.

*I received an ARC of this title from the author in exchange of my honest opinion as part of my participation in this event.

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Excerpt

“Fight me, don’t you stop,” Axel breathes into my ear. “I won’t hurt you, Cricket,” he murmurs, running his finger down the side of my face. “But I need you to fight.”

So, that’s what I do.

I start by squirming, trying to twist my body around. He presses his body against mine, and reaches up, tangling his fingers into the fence. He thrusts his hips, ramming both out bodies harder into the wire. I groan, and throw my head back, hitting him in the face. He snarls, and takes my hands, quickly uncuffing me before pulling them harshly behind my back and jerking my body back into his.

I hear the cuffs drop onto the ground.

I guess he’s letting me play this fairly.

“Stop that,” he rasps into my ear. “I’ll make it hurt if you do that again.”

“Maybe I want it to hurt,” I hiss, fisting my hands together and shoving them backwards into his stomach.

He stumbles off me with a grunt, and I spin around, ducking to the left and attempting to run. I don’t get two steps before Axel lashes out, taking my ankle and pulling me so hard I go down into the dirt. My face just misses being smashed into it by mere centimeters. Axel flattens his body over mine, and takes my head in his hands, jerking my head back by my hair and breathing down on me. “You’re being a bad girl,” he husks, running a finger down the side of my face.

“You’re not letting me play fair,” I whisper. “I was cuffed before, it wasn’t a fair chase.”

I feel his weight lift off me, and he jerks me up, pulling me into a standing position.

“Run, then. I’ll give you five seconds, and if I catch you again, Meadow, I’m going to f**k you,” he murmurs, then his eyes grow lusty. “Hard.”
I turn without answering, and I run into the trees at the back of the lot. I hear Axel counting loudly, and my body shivers. I am sweating now, and my breathing is hard and ragged, but the chase is so worth that. I hear Axel take off after me, and I squeal with delight as I weave through the trees. It’s dark, but I can see enough because of the lights surrounding the club house.

“The minute I get hold of you,” Axel yells. “I’m goin’ to rip your panties down and put my d**k so deep inside you, you’re goin’ to scream.”
I shiver, and swallow. I make my way to the fence line again, and I press myself against it for a second, letting my eyes scan the trees. 
“Then I’m goin’ to kiss you so hard your lips will bleed.”

Oh my.

I take off, using the fence line as a guide to get back to the other end of the lot. I can hear Axel to my left, and I know he’s gaining on me, but if I run, it’ll make a lot of noise and he’ll figure out where I am.

“Come out come out wherever you are,” he sings. “You know I’ll make you come so much your legs will give way.”

I feel a smile on my face as I keep moving along the fence, keeping my body

plastered against it. I can feel my own arousal dampening my panties, and now I’m eager for him to get his hands on me. I want to know what he’s got to give.

“You can run, Cricket, but you can’t hide.”

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Author Bio

Bella Jewel

Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She’s crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell’s Knights was released in August 2013.

Author Social Media Links
Facebook | Website | Goodreads

 

 

Six Brothers (Gypsy Brothers #2) by Lili St. Germain *Review and Excerpt*

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Title: Six Brothers (Gypsy Brothers #2)

Author: Lili St. Germain

Genre: Erotica

Release Date: February 10, 2014

Teaser Images Album: https://www.facebook.com/lili.saintgermain.18/media_set?set=a.1420044061573251.1073741833.100007030117518&type=3

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Synopsis

I have lied.

I have cheated.

I have given my body and my life to the man who destroyed my family and left me for dead.

I have killed, I have sinned, and worst of all, I have enjoyed the misery of others.

I have licked the salty tears of a father mourning his firstborn son, and nothing has ever tasted so sweet.

I have died, and I have been resurrected, a phoenix from the ashes.

I know I’m going to hell. I’ll burn in the fiery pits alongside Dornan and his sons for the things I’ve done, and for the things I’m about to do.

But I don’t care. It will be worth every lick of the devil’s flames on my guilty flesh to destroy Dornan Ross.

One down. Six to go.

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Buy the Book

 iTunes | Amazon

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Review

4 stars

And here I thought I was ready for Six Brothers. Pfft! That would be a resounding NO.

If I thought Seven Sons had it all, I was mistaken. This story has MORE – more of the gritty, the darker and the edgy.

Sammi aka Juliette continues with her quest to eliminate Dornan’s sons one by one and she’s not opposed to strike when Dornan’s defenses are down. Picking up where Seven Sons left off, Lili St, Germain places Sammi in the middle of the chaos unfolding after Chad’s death.

Dornan is overwhelmed by Chad’s death and Sammi figures that she must provide him comfort at his time of need. Although disgusted by the lengths she goes through to gain Dornan’s trust, she soldiers on even going so far as to find pleasure in Dornan’s suffering. But the one regret she does carry centers solely on that one brother, Jace, the boy who won her heart so long ago and the one she will have to betray to complete her plan.

Conflicted emotions.

Violent encounters.

Revealed Confessions.

Deranged Pleasures. 

This story had it all and then some. I appreciated the bit of back history that was revealed in the story and the times where Sammi showed some vulnerability. Granted, these were few and and far between, but they were there nonetheless, which only helped me to better understand Sammi’s need for revenge.

Once again the author managed to draw me into the story, kept a hold of my attention throughout and left me wanting more. I want more of Jace, more of Sammi and more of the revenge. No, this is not your clean cut type of story, but I wouldn’t accept Sammi’s story any other way. She is not sick, delusional or confused – she is a woman who was wronged horrendously as a child and it’s her time to hand her wrong-doers what they rightly deserve.

All in all, an excellent chapter in Sammi’s quest for revenge with emotions abound, intrigue and a bit of forbidden romance thrown into the mix to keep me more than interested.

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Prologue

Some people would call me a whore. A girl who sold her soul to the devil. Who let him inside her, with no remorse. Who danced with the monster who destroyed everything.

To those people, I say only this: I didn’t have to sell Dornan Ross my soul. He already owned it. And once I’ve killed him, maybe I can get it back.

When I think about life before Juliette Portland supposedly died, I think of the midday sun, and the way it caught the water, making a million tiny diamonds glisten in the Venice Beach waves. I think of laughter and first kisses, of ice cream, stolen beer, and Ferris wheels.

I think of how much I loved Jason Ross, and how valiantly he fought to protect me when the rest of his family were beating and fucking me to within an inch of my life.

I think about my father, and how whenever he was near, I felt safe, no matter what.

I think about my mother, and how indifferent she was to my existence, to the point where my father was going to take me away from everything, including her, so that we could have a life free of the constant danger that a club like the Gypsy Brothers meant.

I think of how, if he had succeeded, what a wonderful life that would have been.

It’s true what they say—keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Only, they forgot to add: Don’t keep your enemies so close that they can strike without warning. That was my father’s mistake. That was our fatal undoing.

When I was planning my revenge, I vowed not to make the same mistakes he did. Allowing the enemy too close—Dornan was VP of the club, my father had been the President, but he had been quickly losing control as Dornan and his sons outnumbered him.

I vowed not to make the same mistakes my father did. But here, now, laying pinned beneath Dornan as he fills me with his rage and grief, his eldest son dead by my hand and the funeral in just a few hours, I have to wonder if I’m heading down the exact path that led to our destruction all those years ago.

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six brothers

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Book One – Seven Sons (Gypsy Brothers #1)

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Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide | Barnes & Noble

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About the Author

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Lili writes dark erotica and NA. Her debut serial novel, Seven Sons, is due to be released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband, good coffee, hanging at the beach and running. She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

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Touched By Another by t.h. snyder *Review and Excerpt*

 

Title: Touched By Another (Touch #3)

Author: t.h. snyder

Release Date: January 26th 2014

Book Trailer: http://vimeo.com/82864893

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Lately, Emma MacIntyre has been pretending to live the life of a perfect wife while her husband Keith takes control over her family business. With the loss of her parents to a tragic car accident and a fight that causes her brother, Riley, to move out of state Emma chooses to stand by her husband.

While sorting out her parent’s estate, Emma stumbles across a few hidden secrets that she suspects Keith has kept her from. Heartbroken Emma turns to her brother for support, hoping to also rekindle their own broken relationship. When she moves to Boston Emma finds herself reacting to a complete stranger when he is willing to comfort her and listen to her pain.

Is Emma ready to move on with her life and leave the hurt of her failing marriage behind? Will Emma fight the urge to fall once she has been Touched by Another?

Buy the Book
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Series Review

3-5 stars

I had the opportunity to read these 3 books back to back so I thought it best if I did a combined review instead of one for each book. I usually don’t go about it this way, but each story in the series takes place within the same timeline and are intricately woven together.

I don’t mind having stories in a series overlap, but I can’t help but think that it could have been brought to the page in a different manner.

In Touch Me, book 1 in the series, we get to experience Char and Riley’s story. Although an insta-love story, which I’m not usually a fan of, the author did bring forth their connection making it easier for me to overlook my dislike of the concept. I loved their banter and their easy camaraderie. I thought Riley was a bit too perfect and understanding, but I could see he truly cared for Char.

In this book we get to meet Derrick, Char’s best friend. He’s been dating Char’s sister, Chloe, since they were teenagers and now are going through a long distance relationship while Chloe pursues her dream in Los Angeles and Derrick remains in Boston.

Touched by You, book 2 in the series, tells the story about how Derrick and Chloe came to be a couple and the hardships they’ve had to endure to still be together.

Of the three stories, this was my favorite. It had more range in emotions and although it overlapped with the previous book, it also brought along events that affected not only Derrick and Chloe but Char and Riley too.

I enjoyed watching as Derrick and Chloe’s relationship strengthened with each new obstacle thrown their way. They were determined to make it work, but their downfall was inevitable as long as distance remained in their path. Thankfully, their love for each other was strong enough that when tragedy struck and they found themselves facing an uncertain future they could depend on each other and give their relationship another chance.

Emma has been living with Derrick while she gets settled in her new life in Boston. After leaving her husband, she needed to move away from reminders of her former live. She spends time with her brother, Riley, as well as with Char and Derrick. She’s not looking for a relationship, but appreciates the kindness she’s been shown since she arrived in Boston, especially Pete’s. There is something in the quiet man that draws her to him.

Pete just got out of a relationship and is not ready to start a new one. But Emma is new to the city and he wants to make her feel comfortable now that she’s planning to start her life anew. As they start to spend time together, they develop a solid friendship based on trust and mutual respect. Neither one of them wants to risk their friendship by exploring the attraction that simmers between them but fate is a sneaky bitch. Acknowledging the fact that life’s too short to live wondering what if and regretting actions not taken, Emma and Pete give into their attraction and feelings.

Touched by Another tells Emma and Pete’s second chance story. I loved watching them together and thought they fit perfectly – both hurt by past relationships, but longing to connect to someone. Their interactions were honest and deepened the romantic connection that was developing as the story progressed.

And here is where my problem lies. Much of the content of this story became repetitive to me, especially when full dialogue I had read in Touched by You was brought to the page. Again, I don’t mind stories intersecting, but I felt that details and aspects of the story that dealt with Emma and Pete’s developing romance were not explored fully. I felt cheated in a way because I wanted to experience their relationship fully regardless of the events that transpired.

In conclusion, each story was sweet and romantic with interesting characters that not only had chemistry but were deeply connected to each other. I enjoyed each couple’s journey and was glad to see them take advantage of their second chance in life

Excerpt

There really is so much we need to talk about and I don’t want to push her into anything too soon. The last thing I want to do is hurt her or scare her because I’m moving too fast.

It drives me crazy how much I care about her. I watch as she talks with everyone. Her smile and those eyes can light up a room, at least for me they can. She’s such a caring person; always putting the needs of others before her own. I know one of the things she wanted to accomplish with her move to Boston was to start putting herself first more often. It’s hard for her; it’s not in her nature to push others away. It’s one of her qualities that makes me love her so much. No matter what she needs or what I want to do for her, she always makes a point to make sure I have what I need first.

She’s something so special to me now that I don’t know what I would do if I lost her.

About the Author


t. h. Snyder was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. For six years she worked in the field of higher education while earning her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Management from University of Phoenix. She’s a single mother to two children. She became an avid reader in spring of 2012 and since has read over 250 books. Her genre of interest ranges from Romance to thrilling Paranormal. This is more than just a hobby for her, it’s a passion to read the words of great authors and bring life to their stories with her reviews and character castings. She started writing her first novel in June of 2013 and is anxious to see where this journey takes her!!

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Other Books in the Touch Series
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