Mar 23, 2014

Flawed Perfection by Cassandra Giov Anni *Review*


Bobby Beckerson was the American All-Star hockey player--he was the spitting image of perfection to his family. Goofy, sweet and undeniably gorgeous, he had everything but the one girl he wanted: River Ahlers.

River Ahlers is successful in everything but love. She's been in love with Adam Beckerson since they were kids. Worst of all she's stuck right in the middle of the brothers dueling over everything and anything, and she doesn't even know she's the ultimate prize.

Adam Beckerson was a boy with a guitar, a smile that sunk girls' hearts and a stone wall around his own. He was anything but perfect, and no matter how hard he tried he was nothing compared to Bobby. Sweet, damaged, with boyish good-looks, nobody thought Adam loved anyone but himself.

Bobby loved River, River loved Adam and Adam only loved himself--or so everyone thought. Then one night everything changes, and as it threatens to destroy everyone involved a tragedy strikes that will break them all...

GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance




I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this story for an honest review. Pictures used as part of this review are used for fun and do not belong to me.

Bobby is the star, the apple of his parent’s eye and a local hockey legend. Everything is Bobby’s for the taking, everything except for the girl he loves, the girl who happens to love his little brother.

“He was hot; there was no denying that, but when he touched me I didn’t feel a spark. I only felt the tenderness of a friendship that began as children.” 

Adam is the black sheep, the family disappointment and the easily dismissed one. Struggling to thrive in the shadow of his older brother, Adam takes solace in his music and easy women. These woman are completely different than the only one he wants and the one he knows he doesn’t deserve. 

“He was good at making me feel like I was the only girl in the world. This was the reason I was trapped in a never ending cycle of meaningless relationships. I didn’t really want a relationship if it wasn’t with Adam…” 

River is the prize, the childhood friend who grew into a woman they adore. The only problem is… she doesn’t want to be a prize. Bobby and Adam are the only people that have ever made River feel loved and appreciated. One is her best friend and the other is her heart. The loss of one would break her and the loss of the other would simply end her. Can River find happiness with either brother without destroying everyone involved?

“You’re the first girl I fantasized about, the first girl that made every part of me feel like it was on fire… and every time I see you I still feel it. It’s like you’re the only thing I ever really needed.” 


I struggled after finishing Flawed Perfection with how I could possibly review the book without giving away any major spoilers. I don’t want to ruin this for anyone so I will just say that author Cassandra Giovanni is an excellent writer who created a fairly addictive story that in turns managed to make me frustrated, happy, angry, sad and shocked. Bobby, Adam, and River are described with such detail and affection that I felt I knew them on a personal level. I wanted to smack them when they did something stupid and hug them when they needed comfort. 

If you are not a fan of cliffhangers, please consider yourself warned, the ending of Flawed Perfection caught me completely off-guard. There are cliffhangers and then there are endings that essentially take a live grenade, pull the pin, and toss it -- just obliterating everything you knew from the chapters preceding it. Flawed Perfection definitely ends with an explosion. After finishing this story I just sat there in a bit of a daze because I have no clue where Giovanni is going to take the story next. Again no spoilers, but what starts as an angsty love triangle between a lovable heroine and two polar opposite brothers morphs into a completely different animal. Have tissues at the ready and prep for a little boot stomp to the heart.

“So we crumbled. A broken family even further broken by the lack of the one thing that held it together.” 

Flawed Perfection is book one in the Beautifully Flawed series and will be followed by Pieces of Perfection in Spring 2014. Hopefully my heart will have healed up by then because I’m definitely going to have read it and see what comes next (fingers crossed for a HEA or just some happy).

Fans of love triangles, tears, and major plot twists – Flawed Perfection is the read for you.

Happy reading.

Mar 18, 2014

Pulled Beneath by Marni Mann *Review*


What happens when you uncover years of secrets and find out everything you thought to be true was a lie?

Drew Stevens finds her world turned upside down when her parents are brutally murdered. Soon after, she learns she inherited a property in Bar Harbor, Maine, from recently deceased grandparents that she believed had died when she was a baby.

Drew travels north to settle her grandparents’ estate, but finds more questions than answers as the truth starts unraveling. What she didn’t expect to find was Saint, whose reputation is as tumultuous as his past. But the very thing that brings them together is the same thing that keeps them emotionally caged.

With Saint's scars so deep and Drew's so fresh, can the pair heal from their painful wounds or will they be pulled beneath the darkness of their pasts?




I received a copy of this story for an honest review. Pictures used as part of this review are used for fun and do not belong to me.

If you lost everyone you loved, would you have the courage to start over? If everything you knew turned out to be a lie, would you be strong enough to forgive? Those are the questions facing heroine Drew Stevens in author Marni Mann’s new novel Pulled Beneath. Emotional and gutsy, Pulled Beneath tugged on my heartstrings while keeping me hooked with a suspenseful plot line and a touching romance. This was a real page turner and I recommend it without reservation.


Drew Stevens was just starting to test the waters of post-college life when tragedy struck in the shape of a tweaked out druggie. A botched robbery resulting in the violent death of both her parents sends Drew into a downward spiral of alcohol and isolation. A secondary blow comes with the discovery that the grandparents she never knew have also passed, leaving her their waterfront estate in Bar Harbor, Maine. With the encouragement of her best friend Gianna and the faithful companionship of her yellow lab Bella, Drew heads to Maine looking for a brief escape and a few seconds of peace.

“I didn’t need any more awkward expressions staring back at me, more pans of food that I would never eat, more apologies for something that wasn’t their fault. I just wanted a longer pause… and none of them could give me that.” 

As Drew struggles to understand the family her mother kept hidden, she finds herself drawn to a dark young man nicknamed Saint. Despite warnings from several locals to keep her distance from the supposedly notorious womanizer, the pain Saint radiates speaks of a loss Drew knows all too well. 

“Someone who hasn’t experienced what we have, they don’t understand that kind of pain, or the things we do to defuse it.” 

If you’re looking for hard-core sex and characters repeatedly hitting the sheets, Pulled Beneath is not for you. At its core, Pulled Beneath is a story about two young people finding the strength to restart their lives after surviving crushing losses. Author Mann manages to balance Drew and Saint’s heartbreak with a lot of romantic potential and hopes for a brighter future. Pulled Beneath has just a few brief scenes of physical intimacy and I actually found it refreshing. Mann made sure that when those scenes happened, they truly meant something to her characters and to the readers.

“Something passed between us, more than just an understanding… more than just the heat of our hands on each other. It was possibility. A chance to see what would happen without the heavy expectations that came with a promise.” 

Pulled Beneath is the first book in Mann’s new Bar Harbor Series. I’m hooked so I will 100% be back to check out book two.

Don’t miss out on this one; Pulled Beneath is worth picking up.

Happy reading.


Mar 14, 2014

Gabbie S. Duran *Spotlight & Giveaway*



What happens when you take a chance one night … make a decision that will change your life forever?

Kasey Wilson, the girl next door, had a crush on the boy next door … Joseph Mitchell was that boy. 

Kasey was left with the consequences of her decision when Joseph left her behind, leaving for the Marine Corps. She never thought she would see Joseph again, leaving her to continue on with her life, moving forward. 

But fate has a way of intervening …

Joseph Mitchell always lived with the regret of walking away that night, never to see Kasey again. Finally ready to settle down, he’s now engaged to someone else. But when he finds Kasey again, he learns of a secret she’s been keeping, a secret that will change both their lives forever. 

Can they finally have the relationship they never had? Or will Joseph be forced to walk away again?




She awoke with no memory of who she was, but one clue will lead her to him… 

Abigail Adams had it all, she's a gorgeous supermodel, has a wealthy fiancé, and a career on the rise. But that quickly changes when she wakes up in the hospital not remembering anything. The only memories she does have are not her own, but of a total stranger. 

When Abigail discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her, she leaves him and runs to the arms of the one man she is hoping will give her the answers she seeks. 

Matt Garcia is used to playing the field, keeping his heart guarded, but then Abigail Adams unexpectedly shows up at his door hoping he will be the answer she is looking for. Will he finally learn to take a break from his no strings attached lifestyle and show her that she doesn’t need her past, but the future he is willing to offer her? 

With every unspoken memory she regains, will she learn to open up her heart to a total stranger, or will she keep it guarded like he does? 

New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, not intended for readers under the age of 18.





Gabbie is a Southern California native, who currently lives with her wonderful husband, two amazing kids and a senior citizen kitty. When she’s not writing you can find her reading or sneaking off for a run. Some might say it’s a crazy life, but she wouldn’t change anything about it.



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Mar 11, 2014

Blood and Fire by Tori L. Ridgewood *Spotlight*


What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering... 

The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November nights of the former mining town. But how will Rayvin’s motley crew of spellcasters and shapeshifters cope when they discover the threat they face is even greater than they imagined?





After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn herthumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

Tori is currently working on Crystal and Wand: Book Three of The Talbot Trilogy. She lives in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher at a local high school.







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Mar 2, 2014

Peyton's Ride *Giveaway*



She's about to trade her treasured motorcycle in on a much wilder ride--Ian Coghlan.

Divorcee Peyton Reynolds is ready to escape the the judgement of a small town, bad memories of her failed marriage, and the grief of her mother's death. A month long, cross-country ride should do just the trick. One last check-up on her new cruiser has her tripping over her hormones while alone in the garage with the town's sexy bad boy, Ian Coghlan.

Tattooed, pierced, and able to shape-shift, Ian will give her the ride of her life

Ian Coghlan knows he's nothing but disaster for a woman like Peyton. His place in the Wild Hunt and killer instincts have held him back from acting on a five-year attraction. When the curvy brunette responds to one tiny grin with a spark of interest, sockets fly out of the toolboxes and Peyton is knocked to the floor.

That month of solitude she wanted just disappeared, but the consolation prize is looking pretty...damn...hot.

With the magic of the Hunt in the air, Pixie pranks abound, and his old biker gang roars into the parking lot, dousing the heat in the garage with the cold dredges of mayhem. Peyton's life is on the line with his bad brothers' return to his world, and Ian has to decide if he can let her go or if he's willing risk her eternal hatred by changing her life forever.





For a girl whose first book was called “The Scariest Forest Ever,” the jump to romance may seem to be a far one. But a love of happy endings and the stories she kept making up in her head for strangers on the street lead to an unhealthy amount of time spent behind the keyboard typing away and giggling mischievously over sassy heroines, 
sexy heroes, and healthy sprinklings of geek humor. 

With time split between a day job staring at teeth, two little girls, college courses, workaholic husband, and too many voices in her head, Jennifer still finds time to sneak off and devour all the books she can find – even if it means hiding in the closet to read them.

She insists on her jokes being dirty, drinks spiked, and tattoos placed in intriguing, muscular places you can only find when the clothes come off.


2 winners will win an ebook copy of Peyton's Ride by Jennifer James! 

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Mar 1, 2014

Reaper by Mina Carter *Review*


The World after the End of the World will never be the same again…

Sanctuary. Clichéd name, but the sentiment is still the same. Ten years after the end of the world, ex-soldier Mason and a small group of humans defend their fortified town against creatures of myth and legend made real. But with dwindling game to hunt and a lycan pack in the area looking for an easy meal, just surviving is getting harder every day.

Andy has a few screws loose, and she knows it. She’s been on the road since the bombs fell and changed humanity forever. Driven by inhuman instincts, she tracks the newly and soon-to-be dead and dispatches their souls to the afterlife. Sometimes they go quietly, most put up a fight. She doesn’t care either way. Her ambition in life is to find her next hit of coffee and one day, maybe, sleep in a real bed again.

Then Andy’s instincts bring her to Sanctuary and its enigmatic leader, Mason, and even the world after the end of the world will never be the same again…

Warning: Contains a snarky female Reaper with a hair-trigger temper and a caffeine addiction, a hot ex-commando with an attitude and a twisted sense of humour and a happily ever after that defies death itself.





I received a copy of this story for an honest review. Pictures used as part of this review are for fun and do not belong to me.

Reaper made me one very happy paranormal fan-girl. Author Mina Carter has created a solid dystopian/paranormal romance with a wicked sense of humor and a refreshingly simple couple. Human boy meets not-so-human girl, sparks ignite, and one may have to kill the other to survive if they both aren’t killed by other monsters first. See… simple. 

Ten years ago the world literally went to hell. Vampires, Werewolves, Ghouls – every scary monster turned out to be real and the carnage they wrought was epic. With humanity decimated survivors are left with two options, either band together for safety or take their chances wandering alone.

Mason’s background as a soldier prepared him for the worst. Those skills coupled with his ability to detect non-humans have made him invaluable to the small community he has helped build. When a dark young woman enters looking for a place to stay for the night Mason’s loyalties are tested. He knows she’s not human but for the first time ever he’s compelled to get up close and personal with a monster.

Andy knows death. She’s killed herself several times but has the pesky habit of coming right back. It tends to happen when you’re a Grim Reaper. Resigned to her fate, Andy spends her days in solitude walking the roads looking for the souls she’s duty bound to collect. Drawn to a well-armed and well-warded community, Andy is thrown for a loop by the attraction she feels for a brawny military man who gladly wants to send her non-human self packing. 

Can Mason and Andy give in to their attraction without betraying their responsibilities? Or will they need to turn to each other to face much scarier monsters?


For as dark as the plot sounds, Reaper was a really fun read for me. The writing was solid, the plot moved lightning fast and was a twist on the end of the world as we know it, both Mason and Andy got their own POV’s with clear/distinct voices, and the romance between the leads managed to be sweet and pack some zing. The best part for me was the balance of dark elements with humor. I have a weakness for any author that can work in some levity and Carter does that frequently with great dialogue and the lead characters inner monologues. One of my favorite lines:

“Oh, for God’s sake girl, get a grip. He’s a good-looking guy and you’re an intelligent woman. No need to start thinking with your damn ovaries.” 

Do yourself a favor and read Reaper. Even if you’re not a paranormal fan, this is just an original read that is worth checking out. If author Mina Carter revisits Mason and Andy, I will definitely be back for more. 

Happy reading. 

Peyton's Ride by Jennifer James *Review*


She's about to trade her treasured motorcycle in on a much wilder ride--Ian Coghlan.

Divorcee Peyton Reynolds is ready to escape the the judgement of a small town, bad memories of her failed marriage, and the grief of her mother's death. A month long, cross-country ride should do just the trick. One last check-up on her new cruiser has her tripping over her hormones while alone in the garage with the town's sexy bad boy, Ian Coghlan.

Tattooed, pierced, and able to shape-shift, Ian will give her the ride of her life. 

Ian Coghlan knows he's nothing but disaster for a woman like Peyton. His place in the Wild Hunt and killer instincts have held him back from acting on a five-year attraction. When the curvy brunette responds to one tiny grin with a spark of interest, sockets fly out of the toolboxes and Peyton is knocked to the floor.

That month of solitude she wanted just disappeared, but the consolation prize is looking pretty...damn...hot.

With the magic of the Hunt in the air, Pixie pranks abound, and his old biker gang roars into the parking lot, dousing the heat in the garage with the cold dredges of mayhem. Peyton's life is on the line with his bad brothers' return to his world, and Ian has to decide if he can let her go or if he's willing risk her eternal hatred by changing her life forever.





I received a copy of this story for an honest review.  Pictures used as part of this review were used for fun and do not belong to me.

From full length novels to quick novellas, everything I’ve had the opportunity to read and review of Jennifer James’s I have enjoyed and readily recommended. I’m happy to report that Peyton’s Ride is another solid addition to her writing resume. Take one sexy cougar unsure of how to put her claws into action, add one ridiculously hot pierced and tattooed mechanic who happens to be a supernatural powerhouse, mix in a mutual love of motorcycles and you get one hell of a ride.

Peyton Reynolds is not feeling on top of her game. Betrayed by her cheating bastard of a husband and left as the sole the caretaker to a mother ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease, Peyton’s few moments of joy have come on the back of her old motorcycle. With her divorce finalized and her mother now passed, Peyton’s determined to put herself first and embrace her love of the open road.


Fae Ian Coghlan was cast out of the mythical Wild Hunt for his inability to find a mate. Hiding himself in middle of nowhere Georgia, Ian passes endless days selling and fixing bikes. He has always enjoyed Peyton’s brief visits to the shop, but today her presence is different. Today that spark of interest Ian felt for Peyton ignites into a blazing inferno. When the Wild Hunt shows up at the shop, Ian knows it’s no coincidence. Could Peyton be his missing mate? And if so, can he fight off his Fae brothers long enough to claim her?


Peyton’s Ride was so fun and uniquely interesting that I couldn’t put it down, I burnt through the story in one quick sitting. Peyton and Ian manage to be super lovable and blush-inducing hot. Both had their own hurts but maintained their pride and sense of humor. I loved how each not so secretly checked each other out as they gradually made their mutual interest known. Once they connected, the amount of heat the two generated made me worry if my Kindle was going to start steaming.

If there’s any complaint about Peyton’s Ride it’s that I need more of the Wild Hunt… like right now. Fae mythology has always been interesting to me and James really sparked my interest with Peyton’s Ride. If she revisits Peyton and Ian or expands on the other members of the Wild Hunt I will be on it in a heartbeat. So much sexy, fun potential.

While I keep my fingers crossed, check out Peyton’s Ride.

Happy reading.

 
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