Book Reviews

Book review: You Were Made for This

You Were Made for This,

by Michelle Sacks

Publication: Little, Brown & Company; June 19, 2018

you were made for thisAbout the book: 

A gripping page-turner for fans of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW and THE PERFECT NANNY, Michelle Sacks’s You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darkest sides of marriage, motherhood, and friendship.

Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam, and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores the domestic life: baking, gardening, caring for her infant son. Sam, formerly an academic, is pursuing a new career as a filmmaker. Sometimes they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they’ve built.

When Merry’s childhood friend Frank visits their Swedish paradise, she immediately becomes part of the family. She bonds with Conor. And with Sam. She befriends the neighbors, and even finds herself embracing the domesticity she’s always seemed to scorn.

All their lives, Frank and Merry have been more like sisters than best friends. And that’s why Frank soon sees the things others might miss. Treacherous things, which are almost impossible to believe when looking at this perfect family. But Frank, of all people, knows that the truth is rarely what you want the world to see.

My Review:

If you’re looking for a twisted, crazy thriller by a debut author, then look no further than You Were Made for This, the upcoming novel from author Michelle Sacks. The blurb of this one immediately sparked my interest and it certainly did not disappoint. 

Sam and Merry are the seemingly perfect couple, living in a remote area of Sweden with their infant son, Conor. They go through each day making gag-worthy comments about how perfect their lives are and how happy they are when actually, they are both the biggest liars and manipulators on earth. Merry is incredibly unhappy in their idyllic home, frequently alone with their young son. Sam is nothing like the facade I saw at the beginning of the novel, and with each chapter, more honestly starts oozing out about what these people really think and feel. Add in Merry’s oldest, closest friend Frank to the mix, and things just continue to get more bizarre. Decades of an oddly close friendship between these women, coupled with bone-deep jealousy and resentment, it makes for an interesting friendship. Sam and Merry seem to be going through each day without any major hiccups (because they don’t know what the other is doing), but once Frank arrives for her visit, everything changes. 

Let me begin by saying that with exception little Conor, there are no likable characters in this novel. Even dead characters that are included during the characters’ memories, thoughts, etc. are completely wretched human beings. Those that have read my reviews before will remember, however, that I always give major kudos to authors that put so much into their characterization that I am able to have such despicable hatred for a fictional character. Michelle Sacks slowly reveals the inner-workings of the characters’minds throughout this novel and it just intensified my disgust with them all.

Furthermore, without giving spoilers, let me say that You Were Made for This is darkly emotional and could contain possible triggers regarding a wide variety of abuse, specifically involving children. Nevertheless, this is a novel that I could not put down. In spite of the horrible people in the novel and their obvious insanity, I had to keep reading to find out more. There are several twists and turns and multiple times where I felt as if I knew “whodunnit,” only to be proved wrong. Or actually, perhaps I wasn’t proved wrong because the sneaky, evil author left me wondering at the end who was the craziest, who did it, and where can these people seek psychiatric help. 

I highly recommend this to any lovers of psychological thrillers, especially if you like them a little different and unexpected. However, if you are a reader that needs definitive answers and closure, you may find yourself frustrated with the ambiguous ending. I am typically one that does like some concrete closure, yet I still absolutely loved this novel. You Were Made for This is disturbing, uncomfortable, and absolutely fabulous. Pre-order this one and put it at the top of your TBR.

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Pre-Order You Were Made for This on Amazon.

Learn more about debut author Michelle Sacks!

 

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Book Blitz, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Release Blitz, Review, & Giveaway: Until You Say I Do

 

 

Title: Until You Say I Do
Series: Until You #3
Author: D.M. Davis
Genre: Contemporary/New Adult Romance
Release Date: May 18, 2018
Blurb
The Until You
Series continues with Until You Say I Do.
“The first time I saw her, I knew she would be
mine. Clichéd?  Yes, but that doesn’t
make it any less true.”
Joseph
Trust is hard
earned, and easily broken even for those who believe they have triumphed and
now lie on the winning side of love.
Having won Samantha’s heart and trust, Joseph is determined to conquer
his next challenge of making her his wife and priming her for a career at
MCI. But, an old nemesis threatens the woman he loves, shaking her to her
foundation and jeopardizing their very happiness.
Can Samantha see beyond the evidence and believe in
the man she loves?
Will Joseph be able to prove his innocence
before it’s too late to say “I Do”?
Until You Say I Do is Book Three in Joseph and Samantha’s story, which began with Until
You Set Me Free
.
Intended for mature audiences.
Book 3 in the Until You series.
Note to Reader: 
You do not have to read Until You Books 1
& 2, but it would be best if you have as not all details are rehashed in
this book. Plus, you will miss out on getting to know Joseph and Samantha from
the beginning of their journey. It’s not to be missed.

 

My Review:

Welcome to my stop on the blitz for Until You Say I Do by D.M. Davis, book three in the Until You series! This series has had me laughing, crying, happy, frustrated, and every other emotion you can imagine, however, it was all worth it as I read this third installment in the series. If you haven’t read the first two novels in the series, I highly suggest doing so before reading this novel and/or my review 🙂

It hasn’t been any easy road for Joseph and Samantha, but things are finally starting to look up as they are planning their future together. Until, of course, bad memories from the past come back to haunt them causing danger, frustration, fear, and uncertainty.

I was initially aggravated to death by Joseph, wondering what sort of mess he had gotten himself into, but of course, he won me over as always, never making me doubt him for long. Samantha has definitely gotten strong and more assertive throughout this series, yet she still had several moments where she just frustrated me with her crying and whining. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and Joseph, but eventually their problems started getting a bit tiresome. Throughout this series, I must admit my favorite character is Michael. He absolutely gets a medal for most dedicated employee and friend of all time! My least favorite characters remain Samantha’s useless brother Jace, and her overly dramatic, selfish mother – both of which basically abandoned her after her father’s death.

Back to good stuff, I absolutely loved this novel and series. Until You Say I Do is the perfect finish to this series and wowed me with the chemistry, suspense, and love. I cannot recommend this series enough, just prepare to quickly become addicted!

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Author Bio
D.M.
Davis
 is a
Contemporary and New Adult Romance Author.
She is a
Texas native, wife, and mother. Her background is Project Management, technical
writing, and application development. D.M. has been a lifelong reader, and
wrote poetry in her early life, but has found her true passion in writing about
love and the intricate relationships between men and women.
She writes of
broken hearts and second chances, of dreamers looking for more than they have
and daring to reach for it.
D.M.
believes it is never too late to make a change in your own life, to become the
person you always wanted to be, but were afraid you were not worth the effort.
You are worth it. Take a chance on you. You never know what’s possible if you
don’t try. Believe in yourself as you believe in others, and see what life has
to offer.
She is currently working on two series of romance
novels: Until
You 
and Finding Grace

 

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Book Blitz, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Release blitz, review, & giveaway: I Loved You Then

 

Title: I Loved You THEN
Series: Bristol Backroads Duet #1

Standalone

Author: Jen Blau
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 18, 2018

 

Blurb

 

Love was supposed to protect us… but sometimes, love dies.
 
Emily’s life defines the American Dream.
She has a husband of eighteen years, two healthy teenage daughters, and a thriving business. But it’s all a lie.
 
Happily ever after was supposed to be enough, but her marriage is tattered, along with her self-esteem. She’s drowning and nobody sees her struggle.
 
UNTIL Logan, the town playboy breaks down her walls and reminds Emily who she was before putting them up.
 
Can she risk everything for the life she wants, or will Emily stay and continue to live the lie?

 

My Review:

*Trigger warning: this novel deals with themes of verbal and emotional abuse.

Welcome to my stop on the release blitz tour for Jen Blau’s debut novel, I Loved You Then. This is a story that many of us have lived ourselves or witnessed, a story about a marriage that has grown apart, that is not supportive, is selfish, and often, cruel. Emily and Ryan have been married for 18 years, have teenage twin daughters, and Ryan owns an auto-repair business. Things appear to be “o.k.” on the surface, but truthfully, Emily is trapped in an unhappy marriage with an alcoholic that completely discounts her own personal dreams. This book is emotional and difficult at times, but let me tell you – it is amazing!

Before the end of the first chapter, I honestly wanted to kick Ryan in the teeth. Why? Because I have lived that life (many years ago, thank God), where I am left home night after night, alone with the children/pets/etc., while my husband was out drinking, partying, flirting, cheating, etc. I was stunned at the similarities between my previous life and that of the main character, Emily. On the bright side, she has been working on and focusing on a screenplay for years, one that is nearly finished. But of course, guess who belittles and makes fun of her at every opportunity for her “stupid dream?” Yep, that would be Ryan. Emily’s best friend, Jules, is also married to a complete turd that treats Jules in much the same way that Ryan treats Emily. So, yes, these marriages are not very uplifting.

However, not long into the story, Emily starts noticing that one of Ryan’s friends, Logan, has started talking to her more while she’s working at the shop, and possibly flirting. She’s aware that adultery is not the answer to any of her problems, but as they build their friendship and learn more about each other, Emily slowly starts re-growing and spreading her wings in an attempt to find happiness.

Without ruining this novel with spoilers, I will try to summarize all of my ramblings by saying that I Loved You Then is a phenomenal debut novel that will be difficult at times, but will leave you with a smile. I feel that this is such an important novel to read, especially young adults just now looking for or beginning relationships with significant others. Verbal and emotional abuse does not leave marks on the outside, but the damage is just as detrimental and takes a lot of hard work to overcome. Not only does everyone need to recognize it for what it is, but also maintain hope that it can be overcome. Bravo to Jen Blau for this relevant, romantic, and engaging first novel!

 

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Excerpt
We both laughed
and clinked the plastic together before each taking a sip.
Licking the
sweetness from my lips, I lowered my glass with both hands, eyes following it.
“Can I ask you
something?”
“Sure, anything.”
Logan drained his portion of champagne and set his glass down. Sticking hands
in his pockets, he leaned his hip against the freezer to face me.
“Why do you care
so much?” I lifted my face, devoid of expression. “I mean about my writing.
About my work. All these years, I thought you were this tough, no feelings kind
of guy. Yet, you’ve shown so much… I don’t know. Emotion. Why?” 
Logan paused, a
soft grin on his face, then tilted his head and moved in closer. “I told you
before. You don’t know me as well as you think you do.”
Squirming, a
little embarrassed, I broke from his gaze and tucked my elbows close to my
side, still holding onto my champagne flute with both hands.
“Well I am glad
that you’re here.” I took in a deep breath and let it out slow, savoring the
moment as I looked to the rich sunset forming outside. Pinks, blues, lavenders.
Like cotton candy.  
I turned back,
Logan’s face only inches from mine.
“Me too,” he
answered. Just then, the breeze whipped in through the door. “It probably
should be Ryan, though. Right?” Logan pressed his lips tight, leaned back some
and looked away towards the sunset. 
My stomach
clenched at the mention of my husband’s name. “Maybe. But he wouldn’t be
toasting with me. That’s for sure.”
Lifting my glass,
I drained what was left in it. Logan didn’t miss a beat and reached for the
bottle, giving me a refill. I took a sip before continuing.
“And, I doubt
he’d care. I don’t think he wants me to succeed at anything; he has no concern
for my passions whatsoever. I’m not sure I’ll even tell him about this.”
I went quiet, my
head spinning, not only from the phone call and the champagne, but also from
the reality of my situation. The thought of Ryan dampened my celebratory mood.
“Hey…” Logan
removed the glass from my hands with the tip of his fingers and set it down.
“Let’s not talk about him right now. Okay?” Taking my arms, he pulled me close,
wrapping them around the back of his waist. Nervous, my heart pounded as I
caught the essence of carburetor mixed with his signature musky lemon cologne
from his t-shirt. He’d come from working at Monroe Auto, but he somehow smelled
good enough to go on a date.
“Okay,” I
murmured and looked up at him. He released his hands to hold my face. Rough and
calloused from working on cars all his life, his touch was still delicate as he
bent, taking my lips in his.
Logan kissed me,
light and gentle at first. Like I might break under his touch. But then, he
dragged me closer, pressing his body to mine and taking more of me into his
mouth, our kiss building intensity.
“I care,” he
whispered against my skin. 
My body wouldn’t
relax fully. We lived on the outskirts of town, but with the garage door open,
anyone could see right in. That would start some gossip.
“What’s wrong?”
He leaned back, picking up on my tension. Noooo,
don’t stop.
I pointed to the
open door, then wiped at my wet lips.
He smirked.
“That’s easy.” He walked to the side of the door and pressed the CLOSE button.
The walk-in door to the outside was still open, but this was enough to conceal
us.
He took back his
place with me, and I let go, running my hand up his back, feeling the warmth of
his skin. A moment later, Logan drew back again, his eyes fixed down into mine.
He kept his hands tangled behind my head in my long hair.
“He has no idea
what he has, Em. The depth of you is incredible. I see it. I see you.”
I squeezed my
eyes shut, trying not to cry again. Logan took notice and pulled me to his
chest in a hug.
With my eyes
still shut, I lifted away. Logan bent, our lips crashing again, before I opened
them.  I wanted to stay like this
forever.
A minute later, a
truck roared outside the garage door. Ryan.
“Shit!” Logan and
I broke from each other. I grabbed my glass, clearing my throat; he grabbed his
bottle of beer, and we composed ourselves quickly. He stayed close, though,
enough to touch the side of my body. We leaned with our backs against the deep
freeze as Ryan walked in the side door.
Everything that
had just happened–everything that has
happened–with Logan had felt right. Unfortunately, that still didn’t make it right.
“What the hell is
this?” Once inside, Ryan planted his legs wide and crossed his arms. His face
tightened, and he glared between the two of them.

 

Author Bio
Born and raised on a cattle farm in rural Nebraska, Jen still resides in the Midwest with her three children, two dogs and lots of happy cows.A proclaimed coffee, wine, and book snob, Jen writes about women and the depth of their life stories. Even before the “times-up” and new women’s movement, sharing light on women’s real lives was an important part of her vision and life purpose. I Loved You THEN is her first novel.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: One Summer

One Summer, by Jenny Hale

Publication: Bookouture; June 1, 2018

39790704About the book:

This summer will change everything…

Alice Emerson is in need of a new beginning. Broken-hearted after her beloved grandfather passes away and her relationship falls apart, she makes a pact with her best friend Sasha. Swapping city living for the beautiful sun-bleached beaches of the Outer Banks, they launch an ice cream shop together in the crumbling house by the sea where Alice spent blissful childhood holidays.

As Alice and Sasha settle into the close-knit community, making friends with the locals and tempting them with their delicious recipes, Alice finds herself falling for the warm charm and golden smile of mysterious doctor Jack Barnes. Spending time together during sunshine-filled days and long romantic evenings, Alice starts to wonder if he could be the one for her?

But just when Alice’s summer couldn’t be more perfect, she discovers an old letter tucked away in the beach house. It contains a family secret that turns Alice’s world upside down and makes her question everything she’s ever known. And then Jack complicates their summer romance with an unexpected offer…

Faced with a difficult decision, will Alice and Jack follow their hearts and find true happiness this summer?

One Summer is an utterly stunning, uplifting summer romance, about the power of friendship, discovering family secrets, and the beauty of falling in love by the sea.

My Review:

Today I have been  stuck inside while endless sheets of rain are falling. I mean, it is non-stop and miserable. So, I thought a light-hearted, beachy romance would be the perfect escape! Reading Jenny Hale’s upcoming novel, One Summer, just seemed perfect with its flirty, romantic, beach scene on the cover!

One Summer is about a dental receptionist named Alice, her young son Henry, and her best friend Sasha. Alice experiences a bad break-up with her boyfriend, Sasha is going through a divorce, and Alice has inherited her grandpa’s bike shop right on the beach in the Outer Banks. Initially planning to sell it, Alice’s wonderfully memories of her childhood their with Gramps, prompts her to move to the beach with Henry and Sasha to open a new ice cream shop. Once there, she meets a handsome doctor named Jack, in the area temporarily for a research study at the hospital and their neighbor, Melly, who instantly clicks with both Alice and Sasha.

Here is what I loved about this novel… First of all, the overall theme regarding Alice and her memories with Gramps while she was growing up. My fondest memories of my childhood contain my grandparents and the fun adventures we would have when I was visiting them. I liked Alice’s father, Frank, as well as, Jack’s father, Butch. Both of them just seemed to have this quiet kindness and wisdom. And of course, I loved the setting being that I am a huge fan of any and all things dealing with the Outer Banks.

The problem that I had with One Summer, was that it was a cumbersome read for me. Several parts went into too much detail and quite frequently, I was left wondering why the details were even significant or how they made sense at all. Then there were other parts where I just felt like I was following along with a story and suddenly someone yells, “cut to!” Frank, whom lives in Richmond, tells Alice on the phone that he found Henry’s hat behind the bookshelves that he had been clearing out due to boredom. But in the next sentence he is suggesting that he “stop by” because he’s in Tidewater visiting a friend.  Considering that it’s a 4 1/2 hour drive from Tidewater to the Outer Banks (assuming no traffic), I don’t understand how he just popped in. When the puppy disappears, why is there 1-2 pages about Alice putting her hair into a ponytail and getting dressed in nicer clothes than normal to go chase the pup? Has your dog ever escaped? Unless you were naked, did you stop to get all prettied up before running after him?

Despite my criticism, I can predict that if you are a fan of Jenny Hale and especially a sweet, happy beach-read, then you will enjoy One Summer. I enjoyed the overall premise of the story, but the pace was a little slow for me personally.

*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Learn more about author Jenny Hale.

Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Book Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Lovers at Seaside

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Lovers at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 9) by [Cole, Addison]

NEW RELEASE……..


Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers
features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends! All books can be read as stand-alone novels.

In Lovers at SEASIDE…

After months of long-distance communication, actress Parker Collins and artist Grayson Lacroux finally plan to reconnect in the seaside town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. But Parker never shows, and weeks pass without a word, leaving Grayson to believe he’s misinterpreted their budding relationship.

Parker has been running on autopilot ever since she lost her friend, mentor, and the only family she’s ever known, Bert Stein. Armed with junk food, tequila, and her big, lovable dog, she’s prepared to hole up and mourn—and determined to mend a fence Bert had never been able to with his estranged and bitter brother. But Parker didn’t count on the handsome artist she’s been fantasizing about for nearly a year walking in on her grief-induced drunken night.

When Grayson stumbles across Parker, he has no idea what to make of the gorgeous blonde who blew him off despite the chemistry between them. But that doesn’t stop him from feeling protective of the woman who’s consumed his thoughts for months, and when he learns of Parker’s plans to confront an angry old man, he refuses to leave her side. As Parker’s past unfolds, they’re led on an unexpected journey of discovery. Their connection deepens, until good intentions spark painful secrets, threatening the love they’ve found.



Lovers at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Seaside Lovers. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

Available to buy from …

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Barnes and Noble KOBO iBooks Paperback

My Review:

Goodness, I already loved this series but there are not enough words to convey my love for Lovers at Seaside! This installment is about actress Parker Collins and metal smith Grayson Lacroux. When Parker returns to Wellfleet to mourn the loss of her father-figure, Bert, she comes face to face with Grayson, whom she has been exchanging emails with for months about designs for a house. Grayson unexpectedly finds her at the house in Wellfleet during a drunken, horror-movie watching cry-fest, however, the sparks still immediately fly. But with his life in Wellfleet and her life as an actress, there were plenty of obstacles to overcome.

Grayson…. What could I possibly say about Grayson to accurately describe how fabulous he is? My now book boyfriend is amazing…  Sweet, caring, family guy, smart, creative, talented, dog-lover… What else is there to say? Parker is also fabulous when she is herself, rather than fussing over her appearance and the paparazzi. I loved her emotion and how she wore her heart on her sleeves, much like Grayson. And her love for her sweet dog Christmas just made her even more likeable.

As typical with this series, Addison Cole continues to grace readers in Lovers at Seaside with all of the ladies from earlier installments, including their communal breakfast moments, chunky-dunking, and envy-worthy friendship. Not only is this novel all about romance and friendship, but also deals with the subject of loss and grief that all of us can relate to. Cole addresses loss and grief realistically and with sensitivity that is beautiful and moving.

Once again, I have nothing but the highest praise for this amazing author and for the incredible seaside stories she continues to bring readers.

Also available in the Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series…

Read, Write, Love at Seaside – *FREE READ*
Dreaming at Seaside
Hearts at Seaside
Sunsets at Seaside
Secrets at Seaside
Nights at Seaside
Seized by Love at Seaside
Embraced at Seaside
Lovers at Seaside
Coming Soon!
Whispers at Seaside

About the author

SIGN UP for ADDISON’S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat. www.AddisonCole.com/Newsletter

DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison is proud to be part of the Main Street Romance family, a partnership with bestselling authors Nancy Naigle, RaeAnne Thayne, and Chris Keniston, bringing sweet happy-ever-after love stories to the Main Street Romance community. Join them at www.MainStreetRomance.com ~ open 24/7 just for you.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

Find Addison on the following sites….

Website Newsletter Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Goodreads Bookbub Amazon Author Page

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Secrets at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Secrets Book 5) by [Cole, Addison]

 

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Book Blitz, Book Reviews

Release Blitz & Review: Simmer

Title: Simmer

Author: Stephanie Rose

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 16, 2018

 





Blurb

Simmer (verb): to stew gently below or just at the
boiling point; to be in a state of incipient development
My life was always at a simmer… only stewing, never going
anywhere. I was left to fend for myself when it came to affection or love, so I
learned to go without. 
I refused to let them see how broken and lonely I was; it
was much easier to hide behind a false reality. I didn’t want anyone’s pity. I
didn’t need it. Pity wouldn’t put food on the table or keep a roof over our
heads. That was all me.
Now, I have a second chance at a dream long forgotten. It
demands hard work and sacrifice—with absolutely no distractions. A recipe I
already know all too well, raising a daughter on my own. 
Drew Kostas is everything I’ve ever wanted but couldn’t let
myself have. He’s younger, gorgeous, charming—and relentless. He sees beyond
the hardened shell I’ve built to protect myself, coaxing out a softer me I
don’t recognize. 
It doesn’t matter how I melt in his presence when the heat
between us threatens to boil over. 
That’s the thing about heat. When it rises, everyone gets
burned. 
Especially when they’re foolish enough to fall in love.

My Review:

Welcome to my stop on the release blitz tour for Stephanie Rose’s Simmer. Let me start by saying that I never read one of Rose’s earlier novels Rewrite, so I came into this with a clean slate and no prior opinions regarding Sara.

Single mother Sara has been struggling raising her daughter on her own, until recently she allowed the father and his wife back into her life. Now that she finally has the opportunity to finish culinary school, Josh has offered to move their daughter Victoria into his and his wife’s home while Sara is away at school. Despite the sacrifice of not being around her daughter, Sara chooses to finish her last year of school in order to provide a better future for her and her daughter. Once there, she meets a handsome, much-younger man named Drew, attending the same school but as an IT major. What starts as a fantastic friendship, however, soon develops into much more.

I struggled with this story because the idea of leaving my child to go away to school sounds absolutely unimaginable. Granted, they got to visit on breaks and Victoria was in very safe, happy, and capable hands, but for some reason that just bugged me. With that being said, I immediately loved Drew and the friendship that grew between him and Sara. After having a pretty crappy upbringing, Sara was struggling with several issues and Drew never failed to be there for her when needed. As things progressed and changed, I found myself on the edge of my seat, happily excited about how things would end up between the two of them.

This was my first time reading Stephanie Rose, however, it definitely won’t be my last. The characters were well-developed, there was a perfect balance between harmony and conflict, as well as, beautiful themes regarding love and family.

 

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Author Bio

 

 
Stephanie
Rose grew up loving words and making up stories. Being able to share them with
readers is her dream come true. This lifelong Bronx girl loves Starbucks, wine
and 80s rock. Her voice often gets mistaken for a Mob Wives trailer.
She married
her prom date and has a LEGO obsessed son. She believes there is nothing sexier
than a good guy who loves with all his heart and has made it her mission to
bring as many as she can to the page.
Follow her
everywhere, she loves hearing from readers!

 

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Book blitz, review, & giveaway: F*ucking Shattered

 

 

 

Title: F*cking Shattered
Author: K.B. Andrews
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Blurb

 

I’ve always been the shy, quiet one.

My best friend, the fun loving, outgoing one.

When she’s gone, taken away entirely way too soon,

I have to learn how to live.And not just for me, but for her too.

I have to live for the both of us.

That means doing things I’d never do, stepping out of the shadows

to join the rest of the world- taking chances, falling in love,

and getting into a little trouble along the way.

Losing my best friend broke me.

And when a person breaks,

They f*cking shatter.

 

My Review:

Note – I have read and reviewed this novel previously on my site, but just couldn’t resist participating in this book blitz for the fantastic K.B. Andrews!!

F*ucking Shattered has so many layers without being overly complex, and a story line that was fresh and unique. Jovi had always been reserved, not at all social, and basically had no big goals or dreams in life. One constant had been her best friend Katie, who always tried to get Jovi to live a little. After Katie’s death, Jovi decides to finish the bucket list for Katie, regardless of the numerous things that made her insanely nervous. This decision leads to a sexy, funny, emotional, and exhilarating awakening of a young woman. Andrews’ character development is always outstanding, but the slow, descriptive, and significant development of Jovi pulled me in, took hold, and didn’t let go until the last line of the novel.

Of course, I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with River. He is sexy, mysterious, smart, funny – the perfect package. As more of River is revealed throughout the novel, the reader gets a glimpse at a young man that has struggled for most of his life over several different issues. This made me love him even more, but I hated that secrets were kept. The blossoming friendship and relationship between Jovi and River is like a well-choreographed dance with the perfect balance of starts and stops, passion and tears, and of course, romance.

Although a lot of this novel revolves around a road trip, it is truly so much more than that. Andrews has created a captivating story that revolves around friendship, love, and most importantly, living one’s life to the fullest. F*ucking Shattered realistically illustrates the many stages of grieving and what a sudden loss can do to a person. But it also serves as a reminder that despite how difficult a loss can be, it’s important to carry on with our lives and cherish the precious memories that remain.

I always have difficulty labeling K.B.’s novels regarding genre, but I try to do it anyway to improve recommendations for readers. I would say that F*cking Shattered is contemporary romance/new adult romance and the main themes are definitely love, loss, and finding your true self and happy place despite tragedy.

Regardless of your preferred genre, this is a definite must-read. Between the fantastic characters and the phenomenal writing style of K.B. Andrews, this is a novel that will not disappoint. Once again she has propelled me into the story, made me feel that I was a part of it, and left me wanting more after the story was finished.

 

Purchase Links

99c for a limited time!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
Now also available in audio!

AMAZON / AUDIBLE

Playlist

 

Trailer
Excerpt
He
practically pushes me up to the bar and onto a barstool before motioning for
the bartender.
I make myself comfortable, hanging
my purse on the hook under the bar, as he orders us a drink.
He takes the seat next to me and I
look over at him, trying to figure him out and what he wants with me.
“What are you staring at?” he asks,
seeing me out of the corner of his bright blue eyes.
“I’m trying to figure out what your
deal is.”
He turns his body to face me. “Why
do I have to have a ‘deal’?”
I shrug as the bartender places our
drinks in front of us. I pick up the glass and take a sip as he slides over
some cash. “I don’t know. We met under these really weird circumstances, and
then we had a random hook up. I never expected to see you again.”
He sets his drink down and trains
his eyes on me. “Let me ask you this, why did you kiss me yesterday?”
I turn to look at myself in the
mirror hanging behind the bar. I don’t want him to see me, see that I’m lying. “As
a thank you for the drink.” The lie leaves my lips smoothly. I almost buy it
myself.
“Bullshit. What’s the real reason?”
I turn to him suddenly with my mouth
hanging open from him calling me out. “It’s none of your business.”
He laughs. “It’s none of my business
why you felt the need to sexually assault me?” He leans back, amusement written
all over his perfectly sculpted face. His eyes shine bright, even under the dim
lights of the bar.
Now it’s my turn to laugh. “Sexual
assault? I don’t think that’s what it was.” I pick up my drink and take another
swig, enjoying the burn it brings and the numbness that accompanies it.
“Did I give you the impression that
I wanted you to kiss me?”
I squint my eyes at him. What is he
getting at? “
No.
“Then why did you do it?” His eyes
hold a gleam of wicked amusement. He likes challenging me.
I let out a deep breath. “A friend
of mine made me this summer bucket list,” I admit a little breathless.
He nods like he understands. “And
this list said ‘kiss River’?” His voice is dead serious, but the expression on
his face is nothing short of sarcastic.
“No. It said ‘kiss a stranger’,” I
say, annoyance consuming me as I push my dark hair behind my ear.
He holds his arms up at his sides. “So
why me? What made you decided that I was the stranger you should kiss?”
God he annoys me so much! “I don’t
know. You were there, the list popped into my head. I figured, why not? I had
never seen you before in my life and I figured I never would again.”
“Ahh, so you took this bucket list
challenge, but you decided to play it the safe way.”
“What do you mean the safe way?” I
want to get up and leave because he pushes these buttons inside of me that make
me want to pull my hair out. It’s like he’s a child that just lives to annoy
me. But something inside of me won’t let me walk away that easy. It’s like I’m
a glutton for punishment, and just have to see what he will say next.
He pulls his barstool a bit closer,
causing his legs to be on either side of mine. Our legs are almost touching and
it causes a tingle to take over. “Okay, this list, I’m assuming, was meant to
get you out of your element, to make you do things you’d never do, and to learn
to live with what comes out of it instead of always playing it safe, right?” His
jaw flexes as he waits for the answer.
I nod. “Yeah, I guess.”
“Well, you’re not playing right.”
A puff of air leaves me in a rush. “There
are no rules!”
He holds up his finger. “That’s
where you’re wrong. Why bother with the list if you’re not going to do it
right? You thought you could cross things off without having to deal with the
consequences. Meaning, you kissed me because you thought you wouldn’t have to
mess with the awkwardness of having to run into me.”
I bite the inside of my cheek while
I think it over. But I can’t come up with an argument because he’s right. I’m
not doing this right. I need to put myself out there and learn what it’s like
to be truly vulnerable.
I pick up my glass and finish it
off.
River, apparently happy with the
inner turmoil he’s caused in me, leans back, smiling like a Cheshire cat. I
want to reach over and smack that smug look right off his face.
After a good, long minute of
silence, I turn to him. “So what should I do then? Just go up to a random
stranger in here and kiss them?”
He looks around, surveying the small
pub. “Yeah, go kiss that one.” He nods towards the back corner.

 

Author Bio

 

 

K.B.
Andrews was born and raised in a small town in Southern Illinois where she now
resides with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and a grouchy cat. She spends her
days with her nose in a book or eyes on a computer, working on her newest
story. To stay up to date on new releases and sales, follow on her Facebook,
Twitter, and Instagram, or sign up for text alerts: https://opturl.com/WP4831Z2

 

Author Links

**Giveaway**

Enter to win a signed paperback of F*cking Shattered!

 

Book Reviews

Book Release & Review: Taking Jake

Happy Release Day to K.B. Andrews & Kelly Moore!!!

 

Taking Jake (The Brooklyn Series Book 3),

by K.B. Andrews and Kelly Moore

Publication: May 14, 2018

Taking Jake (The Brooklyn Series Book 3) by [Moore, Kelly, Andrews, K.B.]About the book:

My life was finally perfect. No more cancer, a beautiful girlfriend, and a baby on the way. I couldn’t have been happier…then bam! I’m in a dark dingy cell being held for ransom.

I’m nothing more than a pawn…a bargaining chip for a cure that hasn’t been found. I either have to escape…or become a killer to get out of the hands of the man that my brother put behind bars years ago.

I won’t let him destroy my family and send us all on the run again.

It’s my turn to be the hero.

I can either kill or be killed.

My Review:

I’m so excited for today’s release of the third novel in the Brooklyn series, Taking Jake! Hopefully, you have read and seen my reviews of the previous novels in this series – but if not – you need to grab Taking Down Brooklyn and Taking Back Brooklyn and read those first!

Finally, John’s sweet and goofy brother Jake gets his own story. He is healthy, happy, in love, and a soon-to-be father. However, we know that in this series, things to get turned upside down very quickly. Although in prison, Knox is back in the picture, Jake is kidnapped, and Brooklyn is under tremendous pressure to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. And of course, everything has to go wrong when Zoe is extremely close to her due date with her and Jake’s first baby.

Brooklyn continued to amaze with her skills in the lab, moving on to cure Alzheimer’s – since she’s already cured cancer. There’s a part of me that found this element almost too much and too far-fetched, but I reminded myself that this is, in fact, a fictional story so I just went with it. Overall, I love everything about this novel, especially all of the silly pranks and jokes between the two couples. 

These two ladies have blown me away, once again, with suspense, romance, exciting characters, and an addictive story line. I loved the new character of Zoe and of course, loved reconnecting with John, Brooklyn, and the rest of their family. Taking Jake has plenty of humor, sad moments, and moments so happy that I wanted to jump up and down and clap! This one should definitely be added to your TBR, but remember to check out the other two books in the series first or if won’t be nearly as fantastic a read!

*Thanks to Kelly and K.B. for providing the opportunity for me to read and review this book!

Purchase Taking Jake on Amazon.

Learn more about author Kelly Moore!

Learn more about author K.B. Andrews!

 

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Forbidden Valentine

FORBIDDEN VALENTINE

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #4
Publication Date: February 14, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1QCWDpP
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2HBJv7w
iTunes: https://apple.co/2FDpy3H
B&N: http://bit.ly/2Iuwj5G
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DupZr1
Universal: http://bit.ly/2DrDUhH

SYNOPSIS:

It started with a drink.

It turned into a promise.

Ransom Scott lost his heart the day the woman he loved chose another man. Or so he thought. Estranged from his brother, distancing himself from the world, he’s been drowning his sorrows in cheap booze and women…determined to forget.

His world is falling apart, until a beautiful woman decides to take a chance on him.

Dani Deviche is as bewitching as she is innocent. Full of youth and vitality, she captivates him. Challenges him. She’s everything Ransom never thought to look for in the opposite sex, and he can’t get enough.

When a promise of friendship turns into something more, can Ransom fulfill his end of the bargain, or will a secret from Dani’s past destroy his last chance at happiness?

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Dance for Me

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #1
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

Universal: http://bit.ly/2FVDF3F

SYNOPSIS:

What if the person who stole your heart wasn’t who you thought they were?

When my parents passed away, I grew up fast. Learning to stand on my own two feet has been a challenge, but I’m making it… my way. I make no apologies for the path I’ve chosen. My choices have served me well, but no one knows the real me.

Except one man.

He’s a mystery to me. He’s controlling, demanding, and he has me wrapped around his little finger. Anything he wants, I’ll give it to him. The hours we share together aren’t about love. It’s just sex. Hot, dirty, passionate sex. It was never supposed to be anything more than that.

Until everything changed.

Now, I’m more confused than ever. The more I learn about him, the less I seem to understand. What I do know is that I’m falling, and I have the feeling when I land, it’s going to hurt.

goodreads-badge-add-38px

Lie to You

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #2
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

iTunes: https://apple.co/2pelkVR

B&N: http://bit.ly/2Du9AD3

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FE0bPl

Universal: http://bit.ly/2GviDH5

SYNOPSIS:

I thought he was the one. I thought we were headed someplace great. I didn’t know anything.

My mystery man is no longer such a mystery. He’s still commanding and headstrong, playing my body and mind like an instrument, but I’m finding there are layers to him I never could have dreamed. What I’ve learned since that fateful night in his apartment has me reeling. Now, though, the truth has taken a backstage to other, more pressing matters.

While I struggle to make a choice that will determine the direction of my future, lies that I thought had been carefully hidden away are coming to light. My head is such a mess I don’t know what’s up or down anymore. Will I be able to sort it all out, or will the life I’ve worked so hard to build come crashing down in a pile of secrets and lies?

goodreads-badge-add-38px

Fall for Him

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #3
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1GWB8PW
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2Drl8Xz
iTunes: https://apple.co/2pcK94q
B&N: http://bit.ly/2HDARW5
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Dugs3d
Universal: http://bit.ly/2pfJVJf

SYNOPSIS:

Two men. Both brothers. One life-changing decision.

I made my choice. One perfect weekend assured me I was right. One set of pictures proved me wrong.

Graduating college was supposed to be a happy time. Instead, I lost my best friend and suffered the worst kind of betrayal. Now, my whole life is in flux. I need my best friend. I need answers. There’s only one way to fix this. It’s time for a change. It’s time to take back control of my life, and the only way to do it is to face my problems head-on.

Even if it means walking into the lion’s den to do it.

goodreads-badge-add-38px

ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+Amazon Author PageGoodreads

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Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Giveaway

Blog tour, review, & giveaway: Fall for Him

Fall for Him

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #3
Publication Date: August 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1GWB8PW
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2Drl8Xz
iTunes: https://apple.co/2pcK94q
B&N: http://bit.ly/2HDARW5
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Dugs3d
Universal: http://bit.ly/2pfJVJf

SYNOPSIS:

Two men. Both brothers. One life-changing decision.

I made my choice. One perfect weekend assured me I was right. One set of pictures proved me wrong.

Graduating college was supposed to be a happy time. Instead, I lost my best friend and suffered the worst kind of betrayal. Now, my whole life is in flux. I need my best friend. I need answers. There’s only one way to fix this. It’s time for a change. It’s time to take back control of my life, and the only way to do it is to face my problems head-on.

Even if it means walking into the lion’s den to do it.

My Review:

Hopefully, you have already seen my rave reviews for the Forbidden series and it should come as no surprise that I absolutely loved book three, Fall for Him.

The second in the series, Lie to You, had my hopes so high for an HEA, but no…. I was left shocked, angry, mad, and heartbroken for Josephine. However, Josephine is determined to hold her head high, and after some planning and plotting with her best friends Annie and Brody, she decides to make Rebel regret losing her. Josephine has really developed into a strong, assertive young woman this time around, but on the other hand, author J.C. Valentine takes Rebel’s character even further showing several sweet and romantic moments.

I wasn’t really sure about how I felt about him overall when I started this novel, but I can absolutely say now that I love Rebel and want one of my own 🙂 Although he remained the alpha, arrogant, sexy man that we’ve already gotten to know, Fall for Him confirmed my earlier suspicions that he really does have a heart in there somewhere.

A very pleasant addition to this novel was Joe’s work associate/friend Darrell. He was hilarious, sweet, comforting – all of the best qualities of a friend and coworker. On the other hand, the author includes several evil, frustrating, conniving, crappy moments with company owner Florence and Joe’s coworker Jenna. These are not likable characters, at all. However, kudos to Valentine’s writing and character development leading me to despise them as much as I did!

Fall for Him has been my favorite in this series, leaving feeling all happy and romantic! This novel was sexy, sweet, suspenseful, frustrating, and a nail-biter. However, this novel and the series has quickly moved into my list of favorite reads. I can’t wait to read the fourth novel in the series about Ransom!

goodreads-badge-add-38px

Dance for Me

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #1
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

Universal: http://bit.ly/2FVDF3F

SYNOPSIS:

What if the person who stole your heart wasn’t who you thought they were?

When my parents passed away, I grew up fast. Learning to stand on my own two feet has been a challenge, but I’m making it… my way. I make no apologies for the path I’ve chosen. My choices have served me well, but no one knows the real me.

Except one man.

He’s a mystery to me. He’s controlling, demanding, and he has me wrapped around his little finger. Anything he wants, I’ll give it to him. The hours we share together aren’t about love. It’s just sex. Hot, dirty, passionate sex. It was never supposed to be anything more than that.

Until everything changed.

Now, I’m more confused than ever. The more I learn about him, the less I seem to understand. What I do know is that I’m falling, and I have the feeling when I land, it’s going to hurt.

goodreads-badge-add-38px

Lie to You

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #2
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

iTunes: https://apple.co/2pelkVR

B&N: http://bit.ly/2Du9AD3

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FE0bPl

Universal: http://bit.ly/2GviDH5

SYNOPSIS:

I thought he was the one. I thought we were headed someplace great. I didn’t know anything.

My mystery man is no longer such a mystery. He’s still commanding and headstrong, playing my body and mind like an instrument, but I’m finding there are layers to him I never could have dreamed. What I’ve learned since that fateful night in his apartment has me reeling. Now, though, the truth has taken a backstage to other, more pressing matters.

While I struggle to make a choice that will determine the direction of my future, lies that I thought had been carefully hidden away are coming to light. My head is such a mess I don’t know what’s up or down anymore. Will I be able to sort it all out, or will the life I’ve worked so hard to build come crashing down in a pile of secrets and lies?

goodreads-badge-add-38px

FORBIDDEN VALENTINE

by J.C. Valentine
Forbidden, #4
Publication Date: February 14, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance

BUY NOW!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1QCWDpP
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2HBJv7w
iTunes: https://apple.co/2FDpy3H
B&N: http://bit.ly/2Iuwj5G
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DupZr1
Universal: http://bit.ly/2DrDUhH

SYNOPSIS:

It started with a drink.

It turned into a promise.

Ransom Scott lost his heart the day the woman he loved chose another man. Or so he thought. Estranged from his brother, distancing himself from the world, he’s been drowning his sorrows in cheap booze and women…determined to forget.

His world is falling apart, until a beautiful woman decides to take a chance on him.

Dani Deviche is as bewitching as she is innocent. Full of youth and vitality, she captivates him. Challenges him. She’s everything Ransom never thought to look for in the opposite sex, and he can’t get enough.

When a promise of friendship turns into something more, can Ransom fulfill his end of the bargain, or will a secret from Dani’s past destroy his last chance at happiness?

goodreads-badge-add-38px

ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+Amazon Author PageGoodreads

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway