Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wicked Torture by J. Kenner | ARC Review

Wicked Torture (Stark World #3) by J. Kenner
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 300
Source: eARC from InkSlinger PR
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Goodreads Description

Outwardly, Noah Carter is riding high as the tech world’s hottest new genius. Inside, he’s still reeling from the abduction of his wife and baby daughter eight years ago, and then the devastating discovery of his child’s body. For years, he kept up hope that his wife was alive, but now that she’s been declared legally dead, he’s thrown himself even more deeply into his work, cutting himself off from emotional ties because they just hurt too damn much.

Then he meets Kiki Porter, an eternal optimist with a killer work ethic and dreams of fronting a band. And everything changes. Even though he tries his damnedest to fight it…

Sexually, they are combustible together. But their true fire is emotional, though it is a slow to burn. But once it lights, it is all consuming. The relationship grows emotionally, the sex is hot, things are good.

But just when it’s looking like they might have a real future together, the past comes back to haunt them. And Noah’s going to have to decide what he’s willing to give up for love …

My Thoughts


Wicked Torture is the third book in the Stark World series. Although this is the third book in the series each of them can be read as a standalone. As can be expected when going into a book with characters who have been previously introduced, it was a little unsettling because I felt like there was information about Noah I should have already known. I felt like I was missing out on some things at first but I enjoyed working my way through Noah's story.

At the beginning of this story Noah is reeling with guilt over the loss of his wife and daughter. It has been almost 10 years since they were kidnapped and his daughter's body was found but he hasn't allowed himself to heal. After another failed attempt to distract himself he runs into Kiki, someone connected to his past. I appreciate that it wasn't completely easy for them. Even though the attraction between the two never died, they had to learn to trust each other again and I liked being able to see that process.

I'll admit I'm a skeptical person so I still didn't completely believe everything that happened with Noah's wife. Some parts seemed a little too easy and didn't explain everything that happened. Wicked Torture was a lot darker than I was expecting but I still wanted a little more. This was a fast read and it's one to check out if this sounds like your type of read.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting | ARC Review

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting
Publisher: SMP Swerve
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 444
Source: eARC from Publisher
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Goodreads Description

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical. 

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

My Thoughts


Before starting Hooking Up I didn't realize this would be following characters that first made an appearance in Shacking Up. This book can read as a standalone but if you guys care about reading things in order you should read that one first. This book opens following Amalie Whitfield. She has just gotten married and instead of celebrating everyone hears her husband cheating during the reception. Instead of dealing with everything, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone.

Since I didn't read Shacking Up and I didn't have any background about any of the characters, everything was new to me. This made it such an exciting read. I can't remember the last time I went through so many emotions while reading a book. Amie was such a unique and well written character. At first she seems polite and reserved but as she starts revealing more about herself it's clear that she's very sassy. I absolutely love Lex! I think he's my favorite male character from a romance novel that I've read recently. He's sexy and goes after what he wants but he's also sweet and caring. Lex is there for Amie when she needs it throughout the book and he does right her every single time even if it's not always what he wants.

I'm quickly discovering that Helena Hunting might be becoming one of my new favorite authors for contemporary romance novels. I can't wait to go back and read Shacking Up so I can see Amie's best friend Ruby fall in love and learn a little more about the characters from this book. Hooking Up is one of my favorite reads this year and I'm going to be recommending it to anyone that loves the genre!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Fairytale Christmas by Merrie Destefano | ARC Review

Fairytale Christmas (The Fair Folk Saga #1) by Merrie Destefano
Publisher: Self-Published
Expected Publication Date: December 4, 2017
Genre: YA/Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 98
Source: eARC from Author
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Goodreads Description

Three thousand years ago, a war began between the immortals and the mortals. It's a war that continues to this day...

Before history began, a legendary queen battled a foreign army, braved the death of her husband, and faced betrayal at the hand of someone she trusted. This is the story of Eire, Queen of the Faeries, the Immortal One, and the leader of the Tuatha de Danann. 

To this day, her homeland, Ireland, bears her name, and this is the story of the war that drove the Immortal Ones into exile. It's also the tale of how she found help from an unexpected place, leading her to a love like she had never known before.

Fairytale Christmas is a story that spans thousands of years. It's also the beginning of all of our fairytales and legends; it's where mortals and immortals survive because they love one another, proving that love is the greatest gift of all.

This is the first installment in the Saga of the Fair Folk, a journey that lasts until the end of time.

My Thoughts


Fairytale Christmas is the first book in what I believe is going to be a YA/Adult crossover novella series. This story follows Eire, Queen of the Faeries, as her homeland is invaded and the faeries are driven into exile. Honestly, that's an over simplification of the plot and I would suggest checking out the full description.

I really enjoyed the premise of the story. The plot was intriguing and the writing was really well done. All these things made the story easy to get into and was engaging to the point where I didn't want to stop reading. However, I felt like this was just the bones of a story. Since this novella was so short, there wasn't a lot of time to explore more than the plot. I didn't feel like I knew much about the different types of fat which made parts of this story a little confusing for me. Also, since the story was moving so fast I didn't feel like I got the time to connect with and really care about the characters.

I'm not sure if this story is based on any specific mythology. If it is, I've never read it (but I would be interested in reading it) and could explain why I didn't understand some of the things that were going on. I would love to see the author expand this into a full length novel so the characters and the world have room to grow. If you're looking for a quick, fun fantasy read give Fairytale Christmas a try!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Learning Hours by Sara Ney | Audiobook Review

The Learning Hours (How to Date a Douchebag #3) by Sara Ney
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 345
Source: Audiobook from InkSlinger PR
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Goodreads Description

He's not a douchebag; but that doesn't stop his friends from turning him into one.

MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO GET LAID.

So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters:

Are you the lucky lady who's going to break our roommate's cherry?
Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have a pulse. He will reciprakate with oral. Text him at: 555-254-5551


The morons can't even spell. And the texts I've been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I'm not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one.

THIS ISN'T THE KIND OF ATTENTION I WANT.

One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can't bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.

However, after seeing her in person, I know she's not the girl for me. But my friends won't let up--they just don't get it. Douchebags or not, there's one thing they'll never understand: GIRLS DON'T WANT ME. 

Especially her.

My Thoughts


The Learning Hours is book three in the How to Date a Douchebag series. Sara Ney is a new-to-me author so I didn't have any experience withe characters from the previous book. In my defense I didn't realize this part of the series before I started reading the series. Since everything was completely new to me, I didn't know what to expect.

When I first started reading I was apprehensive about the relationship between the two main characters. The two of them were so different and I didn't see how a relationship could work between the two. Rhett, who recently transferred schools, seems like a genuinely nice guy. He's not all like what I was expecting from the series title and it was refreshing. Laurel, on the other hand, was a lot different from any character I've read in new adult before and honestly I was a little annoyed with her for a while. She takes pride in her appearance but what I didn't like was how she used the way she looks to look down on and judge people, especially Rhett, before she even knows them. I appreciate that Laurel doesn't let her judgements stop her from getting to know Rhett and eventually acknowledges that her judgements were wrong.

This was the first time I've ever read/listened to a romance novel through audiobook. I really liked that there were two narratives for the dual perspectives. There were a couple things I wish were done differently. Since there were two narrators I would have liked to hear each narrator when their character spoke instead of being limited to when the perspective switched. This would have been especially usually for the text conversation instead of having to hear each name before the text that was sent. Besides little things like this I really enjoyed the audiobook. The Learning Hours was a lot of fun and the audiobook only added to the experience. The story is worth checking out whether you decide to read it or listen to the audiobook.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hangry by Lily Kate | Blog Tour

Hangry (The Girls #1) by Lily Kate
Publisher: Heat, Heart, and Humor Books
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 392
Source: eARC from InkSlinger PR
Find on Goodreads




Goodreads Description

han·gry  
/haNGɡrē/ 
adjective informal 
bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger. 
"I get very hangry if I miss a meal" 

From USA Today bestselling author Lily Kate comes a brand new series... 

Ladies & Gents, 

I sold my soul for a hamburger 

And I have no regrets. When a girl is trapped indefinitely in an elevator with a smoking hot burger and an empty stomach, even the strongest of women will crumble. 

The story goes like this: Bradley Hamilton, former professional hockey player and the most frustrating human alive, offered me half of his hamburger in exchange for a date. I took him up on the offer—while under duress—and now I’m stuck with the consequences. Specifically, the scorching kiss that has me drooling for more. 

However, there’s one whopper of a problem. This man has been a thorn in my side for the last twenty years—ever since he moved next door and became my older brother’s best friend. We’ve gone head to head for years, and now, he’s trying to buy out my restaurant in order to plop one of his big fat gyms there instead. 

I refuse to let him ruin my business. Unfortunately, Bradley Hamilton is like an order of french fries: you just can’t have one. It appears our lips are addicted to kissing. He’s alarmingly handsome. Deliciously confident. And worst of all? Underneath that salty exterior he’s starting to show signs of sweet. 

Brad Hamilton is my guilty pleasure, my cheat meal, my greatest craving. 

Which is why he’ll be one habit that’s hard to kick. 

My Thoughts


Hangry is the first book in a new series by Lily Kate. Although she has a few books out, this was my introduction to this author. Hangry follows Bradley Hamilton and Lexi Monroe. The two have known each other for 20 years but haven't really spoken for the last 3 years until they get stuck in an elevator together. They make a deal to go on a date together and the story takes off from there.

Before getting into my opinion, I think the synopsis gives away too much information and is a bit misleading. I felt the synopsis basically gave an outline of the story so I wasn't surprised by most of the events that happened. It was also misleading because certain events were exaggerated or they didn't happen as they were stated in the synopsis. Going into this book, I thought Hangry was an enemies-to-lovers story but it wasn't that kind of story. If possible I would know go into this novel knowing as little as possible, I think it would make the read a lot more enjoyable if you do.

Despite those things, I still think this was a decent storyline. After enemies-to-lovers, life long friends realizing that maybe they love each other is one of my favorite things to read about in contemporary romance novels. While frustrated with them at times, I found myself hoping the main characters worked through their issue and were able to be happy together. Since Lexi and Bradley have so much history, everything else would be worth it in the end. I can see this being a story lots of people enjoy but this one was missing some things for me. I want to check out more from this author in the future.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hard Wood by Lauren Blakely | Release Day!


From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes a hot and hilarious standalone romance about what happens when you have one week to convince your best friend’s little sister that you’re the one for her. What could possibly go wrong? It looks like things are about to get hard in the woods...Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud and insanely hot story, HARD WOOD!


Now available on all retailers! Grab your copy today, and get HARD WOOD in your hands!

   

✮✮✮ HARD WOOD is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮


From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy...

Women often say a good man is hard to find. And a hard man is even better.

That's why I'm quite a catch-- good, hard, loaded, and wait for it...I'm ready to settle down too. But the woman I want to pitch my tent with lives clear across the country. Neither of us wants to get lost in those woods. All I have to do is resist her for the week she's in town.

I try. I swear I try. But yeah, that doesn't work out.

And after one fantastic night with my good friend Mia, I'm ready to give her years of nights under the stars. What's a few thousand miles when love's involved? But there's a hitch in my plans -- she just hired my adventure tour company. If there's one thing I'm committed to, it's running a squeaky clean business. Number one on my list of iron-clad rules?

Don't screw your customers.

But what's a guy to do when she's so hard to resist? How hard can it be to keep our hands off each other for a quick group tour down the hills and over the trails? I'm about to find out, and I have a feeling I'm going to need a new badge of honor because things are about to get very hard in the woods.


You can find this sexy standalone romantic comedy available across all retailers now!

✦Kindle US ➜ http://amzn.to/2gudVgq

✦Kindle UK ➜ http://amzn.to/2xXwncq

✦Kindle CA ➜ http://amzn.to/2zsvfdd

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✦Kobo ➜ http://bit.ly/2tIJoQo

✦Nook ➜ http://bit.ly/2gLRTJ2

✦Google Play ➜ http://bit.ly/2x5DHPH

✦Amazon PB ➜ http://amzn.to/2x8Y54c

✦Amazon Audio ➜ http://amzn.to/2znV6Uu

✦Audible ➜ http://adbl.co/2x5FyE6

   


✦ The audiobook is narrated by Sebastian York! Get your copy today! ✦ Audible * Amazon Audio

   


Hard Wood is the kind of heart-racing, hope soaring, face-flushing love story that I love to read! It was sexy, romantic, funny and an absolute pleasure to read.” ~Red Cheeks Reads

"HARD WOOD was such an adorable love story! A hot guy and his famous cat looking for their happily ever after ... Perfect #RomCom!" ~Bianca at BJ’s Book Blog

 
 

"I never fail to fall in love with Lauren Blakely's stories. Hard Wood is a swoony romance that will warm your heart and possibly other body parts." ~Peggy Lee, Reading Keeps Me Sane Book Blog


Add it to Goodreads here! http://bit.ly/2uAoPJW

   


And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!

BIG ROCK MISTER O WELL HUNG FULL PACKAGE JOY RIDE

   


✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing HARD WOOD GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮

The HARD WOOD Urban Adventure Pack ($380 value) is filled with:

A stylish Michael Kors backpack for when a purse is not enough for your shopping adventture

$50 Gift Card to The Body Shop to pamper yourself after a long day

Your very own plush Zeus to snuggle with

A Smores Making Kit for a backyard adventure

http://laurenblakely.com/hard-wood-giveaway/



 About Lauren Blakely: A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she's sold more than 2 million books. In October, she'll release HARD WOOD, the final standalone romantic comedy in the Big Rock series. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter
 
   

If somehow you still aren't convinced, check out this excerpt!


I haven’t seen Mia in almost a month, since the last time she was in town staying with Max. I didn’t realize she’d be back a full week before her other brother Chase’s wedding, and am I ever glad to see her again.

She makes all parts of me quite happy indeed.

By happy, I mean hard as a rock.

Okay, fine. It’s not like I’m operating at full power this second. I’m thirty-three, not fifteen. I have plenty of self-control in the “when and where to pitch a tent” arena. All I’m saying is this woman gets me going, and I feel that zip down my body when I see her.

She’s on the phone, her eyebrows pinched, her expression harried. She drags her hand through her caramel-blond hair. As I walk closer, I hear her say, “I understand. Yes, I understand. Things happen.”

And that’s the sound of someone being disappointed.

Which is a terrible thing for this sexy-as-a-fiery-sunset woman to experience.

When she stops and ends her call, she spots me. She tilts her head, her eyes piercing, her brow furrowed, and her dimples killing me with cuteness. Her eyes roam from me to Zeus, and then she points at my boy. “I don’t know if anyone has told you this . . .”

I raise my eyebrows. “Tell me. What could it possibly be?”

Her eyes drift to the ground then back up. In a deadpan tone, she says, “But there’s a cat in your hat? Well, on your back, actually.”

“There is?” I crane my neck to peer over my shoulder. “You’re right. How did he get there?”

She parks her hands on her hips. “You’re in big trouble.”

“I’ve been bad, have I?”

She pushes my shoulder then wags her finger at me. “How did you keep this from me?”

I quirk an eyebrow. “The fact that there’s an awesome new Italian place down the street? It opened last month, and I planned to tell you.”

She huffs, rolling her eyes. “I’ve known you for months and you didn’t tell me you had a cat. Friends don’t hide pets from friends.”

She’s not in town that often. She hasn’t ever been to my apartment. And I don’t take Zeus upstairs to Max’s. But I’m not going to state the obvious. I’m going to have a little fun with her. Flirt with her. Because . . . that’s what we do.

“There’s a reason for that.”

Her eyes go wide, and she taps her toe, waiting. I drag a hand through my hair. Evie says my light brown hair is floppy, and she tells me this is a good thing. The ladies love floppy hair, she says. She’s been right so far. My hair’s been a big hit with the ladies, and other parts have, too.

“It’s a good reason,” I add.

“I’m waiting, Patrick. This really isn’t the type of intel you should hold back.”

I heave a sigh as if I’m going to make a huge admission, then I park a hand on her shoulder. Because, well, I’m a sneaky bastard and I’ll look for any opening to touch her. “Look, I’m going to be blunt. If I told you I had a hiking cat who rides shotgun in a backpack and can purr like he’s a jazz superstar, you’d have had no choice but to fall in love with me.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bad for Her by Christi Barth | Blog Tour

Bad for Her (Bad Boys Gone Good #1) by Christi Barth
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Source: eARC from InkSlinger PR
Find on Goodreads




Goodreads Description

Doctor Mollie Vickers loves the tight-knit community of her tiny Oregon town. But she’s not a fan of the limited dating options. Sleep with a guy who tried to copy off her in junior high? Pass. Mollie’s sex life is flatlining… until a deliciously handsome man she’s never seen before stops to help her fix a flat tire.

As an ex-mobster, Rafe Maguire’s no saint. But he’s trying to turn over a new leaf. Although he probably shouldn’t kiss the hot doctor on the side of the highway. Or suggest a no-strings fling with a woman he has no business pursuing. Rafe’s life is too complicated for love—his new WITSEC-provided identity doesn’t fit him at all and there’s a U.S. Marshal watching his every move. He can’t tell Mollie the truth… but their chemistry is scorching and being good doesn’t mean he can’t be a little bad.

Mollie can’t resist the guy who looks rough, talks tough, and is loyal to the bone. But it’s obvious Rafe is keeping secrets. When the truth comes out, Mollie must decide if she could ever love an ex-mobster… or if this bad boy has truly gone good.

My Thoughts


Lately I've read a lot of contemporary romance novels but Bad for Her is unique when compared to the books I've read that fit into this genre. Rafe Maguire is an ex-mobster and has entered into witness protection in order to keep his family safe. After some trail and error the brothers end up in a small town in Oregon. This is where Rafe meets Mollie Vickers, a doctor that live in Bandon, and there's an instant attraction between the two.

Characters usually have a big impact on my enjoyment while reading a story All the characters that had somewhat prominent roles were so well thought out. While reading I felt like I knew each of them and could point them out a street. It might sound weird to say but they breathed life into this story.

As much as I enjoyed the overall story, I was a bit disappointed with the ending. There was too much that I felt was left open ended. Since there are going to be more books in the series I'm guessing things concerning why the brothers were in witness protection in the first place will carry on to the next book(s). However, I wish there was some sense of resolution for that part of the story even it it was only a temporary one. I look forward to seeing what's next for the Maguire brothers.