Posts Categorized: Romance

5 Star Book Review: WILD ACES by Marni Mann (@MarniMann) #FavoriteAuthor

February 21, 2016 Book Review, Erotic Romance, Favorite Books, Romance 0

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Amazon | Goodreads

 

Wild Aces by Marni Mann: My Review

 

My Rating: 5 Stars

“He was masks and mystery and willing to take a risk with someone he didn’t even know. He was dark nights of phone sex and gambling, a gravelly voice that could make me wet from afar.”

Every so often, an author comes along that has a profound effect on on me as a reader. When I picked up Seductive Shadows  on a whim a few years ago, it was just another book that I was reading for a book tour. I pick books to review on instinct; I generally know what I like and what I enjoy reading and I choose accordingly. I was only a few pages in to Shadows when I realized this book was something truly special. To this day, Marni’s Shadows Series and her Bar Harbor Series remain at the top of my all time favorite reads and each of those books touched me deeply.

That being said, Wild Aces had A LOT to live up to. Thankfully, it did not disappoint. I may have had a slightly less intense personal connection to this story in particular, but in many ways that actually made the reading experience more enjoyable. Though I know each time I pick up one of Marni’s books I’m going to love it, the stories tend to connect to my own life and experiences, and visiting my own past is not always pleasant. This time around, however, I was able to be transported to someone else’s world for a few hours, and be consumed by Trapper and Brea’s story rather than my own.

Trapper and Brea have some crazy intense chemistry. In the beginning, they meet for only a few minutes and sparks fly. Unexpectedly, their connection only strengthens when they are apart, even though they’ve never seen each other’s faces. There are some HOT sexting and phone sex scenes that build anticipation for their eventual meeting. So I’m all pumped up for this amazing “first” meeting (first time with no masks – they originally met at a masquerade party) and then there’s this earth shattering twist. Now there’s a mystery to solve and the twists and turns keep coming throughout the story.

Combine an unpredictable rollercoaster of a plot with Mann’s always captivating writing, lovable and relatable characters, hot sex scenes and palpable emotion, and the result is a fantastic read. In addition, there’s definitely an element of darkness as death and child abuse are explored in an honest and gritty fashion. As usual, Mann finds away to balance the darkness with light; she knows how to break my heart and somehow put the pieces back together on just a few hours.  As a whole, Wild Aces is a sexy, sensual, fearless, exciting, and multi-faceted read. Also, for those of you who don’t appreciate a cliffhanger, Wild Aces is a standalone.

*I received an advance copy of Wild Aces in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Wild Aces

 

Wild Aces

 

Trapper Montgomery

His darkness drew me in.
A mystery with a past I wanted to solve.
He was cold, like ice, but set me on fire.
A heat I hadn’t felt in ages.
But when I saw his face, I burned…
In mourning
Again.

Brea Bradley
She melted from my voice–shuddered from my touch.
But trembled from the memories
That my face brought back.
She wanted more…
Maybe even him.
I wasn’t the hand she counted on.
But I was what she was dealt…
A Wild Ace with no way to win.

 

More *Favorites* From Marni Mann

 

Pulled-Beneath pulled within

 

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Book Review: DISILLUSIONED (Swept Away #2) by J.S. Cooper

October 14, 2015 Book Review, Romance, Romantic Suspense 0

Book Review: DISILLUSIONED by J.S. Cooper

Amazon | Goodreads

Check out my review of Book #1 in the Swept Away Series: Illusion by J.S. Cooper.

 

Disillusioned (Swept Away #2) by J.S. Cooper: My Review

 

My Rating: 4 Stars

“This was wrong on so many levels. I was confused on so many levels. Staring at a naked Jakob was heaven and hell, and I didn’t know if he was an angel here to save me or a devil waiting to pull me into the pit of fire.”

 Disillusioned, the second book in J.S. Cooper’s Swept Away trilogy, is just as dark, mysterious, and sexy as the first book in the series, maybe even more so. This fast-paced page-turner takes us deeper in to the web of lies surrounding Bianca and Jakob. As circumstances surrounding them become more complicated, intense, and dangerous, so does their romantic relationship. Without a doubt they have attraction, chemistry, and maybe even affection, but there are so many questions and so much distrust. They both have some theories about what is happening, who is threatening them, and who is behind it all, but just when I thought I had anything figured out, everything gets turned upside down again. This book has real suspense; it’s truly difficult to unravel mysteries surrounding the characters.

Unfortunately, I don’t love Bianca’s character. At times it seemed she was getting it together, gathering the strength to really deal with the craziness around her, but then she’d go all weak and naïve. She constantly puts herself in unnecessary danger and I really wanted to shake her! Regardless of my personal feelings for her, her story is certainly compelling and I can’t deny that I want a good outcome for her.

In my heart of hearts, I want to believe that Jakob is a good guy. He’s gorgeous and I love when he goes in to alpha protective mode but I just can’t be sure he’s genuine. I don’t doubt that he has some real feelings for Bianca but on top of the secrets uncovered already, I’m pretty sure he’s hiding plenty more. But let’s face it, good or bad, I wouldn’t send him away, either.

“ ‘We didn’t have a beautiful beginning.’ He shrugged. ‘It seems only natural that we won’t have a beautiful ending.’

‘So we just settle for a beautiful middle?’

‘No.’ He leaned forward and kissed me hard, his eyes burning into mine. ‘We settle for an explosive middle. We settle for a middle that makes up for the end of the world. We settle for a middle that we can carry to our graves.’ “

 *Swoon* I know, not super practical or realistic, right? But this is fiction. It’s romantic, sexy, exciting, bite your nails because you have no clue what’s going to happen, swoony fiction. This series is equal parts romance and suspense, and can easily appeal to readers that enjoy either or both. I’m dying for the next book and can’t wait to find out what happens next. Readers should keep in mind that this is a series that should be read in order, and the books end with cliffhangers. If you don’t like cliffhangers, I would suggest waiting for the series to be completed before starting.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of honest review.

 

The Swept Away Series by J.S. Cooper

 

Illusion by J.S. Cooper

Illusion

Indie sensation and New York Times bestselling author of the Ex Games series and the Private Club series, J.S. Cooper introduces the Swept Away series—three new, dark and sexy romances about a woman marooned on a desert island with a mysterious stranger—but is he friend or foe?

The day started like every other day…

Bianca London finds herself kidnapped and locked up in a van with a strange man. Ten hours later, they’re dumped on a deserted island. Bianca has no idea what’s going on and her attraction to this stranger is the only thing keeping her fear at bay.

Jakob Bradley wants only to figure out why they’ve been left on the island and how they can get off. But as the days go by, he can’t ignore his growing fascination with Bianca.

In order to survive, Bianca and Jakob must figure out how they’re connected, but as they grow closer, secrets are revealed that may destroy everything they thought they knew about each other.

Amazon | Goodreads | My Review

 

Disillusioned by J.S. Cooper

Disillusioned

Following on the heels of Illusion, indie sensation and New York Times bestselling author J.S. Cooper brings us the second novel in the Swept Away series, a trilogy of dark and sexy romances about a woman marooned on a desert island with a sexy stranger—but is he friend or foe?

When Bianca and Jakob awake on a sandy shore in the middle of nowhere, their first thoughts are of survival. But as they explore their surroundings and try to discover who stranded them on the island, they can’t deny the electricity surging between them. Soon it’s more than just a campfire keeping them warm…

But just as Bianca is starting to trust Jakob, she uncovers a clue to their abduction—and he may know more than he’s letting on. Was Jakob just as surprised as she to find himself alone with her…or could the man she’s fallen for be her captor?

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Resolution by J.S. Cooper

Resolution

Indie sensation and New York Times bestselling author J.S. Cooper brings us the final novel in the Swept Away series, a trilogy of heart-pounding romances about a woman marooned on a desert island with a sexy stranger—but is he friend or foe?

When Bianca and Jakob first awoke on a sandy shore in the middle of nowhere, their thoughts were only concerned with survival. But as they explored their surroundings and tried to find out who left them stranded on the island, electricity surged between them. Soon after, Bianca uncovered clues to her abduction, but was left with even more unanswered questions, especially about Jakob’s true motives…

Now, Bianca just wants the truth. Nothing was as it seemed, especially with Jakob. As she discovers cross upon double cross, all she can trust is her instinct, her connection with him. So they decide to return to the island in hopes of finally learning the truth. Bianca and Jakob have been thrown together and torn apart by their secrets—but can she trust him enough to rescue her at last?

Amazon | Goodreads

 


5 Star Book Review: THE AFFILIATE (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde (@AuthorKALinde)

October 12, 2015 Book Review, Fantasy, Romance 0

Book Review: The Affiliate by K.A. Linde

Amazon | Goodreads

 

The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde: My Review

 

My Rating: 5 Stars

“What you seek lies where you cannot seek it. What you find cannot be found.”

As someone who loves fantasy books, when I discovered that K.A. Linde had recently released a fantasy romance, I was all over it. She’s an author I’ve enjoyed in the past, writing in a genre I particularly enjoy, so it was a no brainer. The Affiliate absolutely did not disappoint. With it’s fantastic world-building, wonderful characters, swoony romance, and intriguing storyline, it’s a great read.

This book has lots of very good characters. As the story progresses and Cyrene’s inner circle grows, the reader is rewarded with a team of characters that illustrate the value of friendship and trust. Cyrene is strong on her own, but unstoppable with her friends around her. The “good” group is easily balanced by a group of “not so good” or at least antagonistic characters. I like that many characters exist in a grey area; it’s clear they are working towards mostly for themselves, but their motivations are somewhat unclear. This makes for a richer story than a typical good vs. evil.

And Cyrene! I love, love, love that she is a clever, gutsy, strong female lead, surrounded by lots of other strong females, good and bad. She has a vulnerability, and is not immune to romance (in the form of a handsome king!) but when it really comes down to it, she’s brave, and she chooses a path that is best for her.

With her world-building, Linde expertly weaves a complex backdrop for the engaging storyline. I always had a clear picture of what everything looked like, without being bogged down. There was plenty of action as well as romance, and the two were well-balanced. I only had one small issue with the story, and it’s hardly an issue at all. It has to do with the story’s “pacing”. It moved along quickly enough, but I struggled with the reveal of key pieces of the mystery puzzle. A lot of information is revealed at the very end, which made for an exciting climax, but I wish that a few more bits and pieces of information were given throughout the story, and I think this would have been possible without spoiling anything. It would have kept me even more engaged that I already was. Keep in mind, this is a very small detail that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of an excellent book.

I’m super excited to have a new fantasy series to anticipate, and The Ascension shows a ton of promise. Linde succeeds in writing a book that will easily please both fantasy and romance readers; if you’re a reader who generally reads straight romance, I recommend you give this one a try, and hopefully find a new genre to love.

” ‘She has this pull. When I’m with her, the throne slips away, and I’m just a man with a beautiful woman. It both intrigues and terrifies me.’ He splayed his hands before him. ‘I can never be anything but the king… but when I’m with her, I want to be.’ “

 

 

About The Affiliate

 

Book Review: The Affiliate by K.A. Linde

The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde

On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland—an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks.

When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…

King Edric himself.

Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Also check out my review of Avoiding Responsibility by K.A. Linde!

Avoiding Responsibility by K.A. Line

 


5 Star Book Review: SECRET SISTERS by Jayne Ann Krentz (@JayneAnnKrentz)

October 7, 2015 Adult, Book Review, Romance, Romantic Suspense 0

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Amazon (pre-order) | Goodreads

 

My Review

My Rating: 5 Stars

“It wasn’t easy to start talking about a secret that had been kept for eighteen years.”

Secret Sisters has all of the elements of an excellent romantic suspense. First of all, it has the perfect setting. Though it begins in the desert of the southwest, much of the story takes place on a  dreary island in the Pacific northwest. A spooky, nearly abandoned hotel is haunted by secret ghosts of the past (not literally) that just won’t stay secret. A harrowing night eighteen years earlier is just one part of a huge web lies, deceit, murder, and mystery that has brought the entire cast of characters back to the island.

I loved the pace of the story and the manner in which clues were revealed. There was always enough information to form my own theories, but never enough that the mysteries were too easy to solve. This made the story completely addictive and nearly impossible to put down. There were several instances where I felt I might have things figured out, but there was always a twist waiting to turn things upside down. Not only do we get to unravel the dangerous murder mysteries, but our characters had their own secret pasts, and we are slowly fed bits of information until a clear picture is formed.

The characters are all strong, but I particularly enjoyed the female leads, Madeline and Daphne. They are both strong characters, successful in their own right, and strong in the face of danger; they never felt like damsels in distress having to be rescued by the big, tough men. They still have relatable vulnerability, but it never translates as weakness. In addition to the main characters, an entire cast of secondary characters really adds depth to the story.

I appreciated that the plot was slightly heavy on the mystery and suspense side, but a little lighter on the romance. There was just enough romance and chemistry and even a few breathtaking romantic moments, but the focus was more on the exciting story. Frankly, I was relieved that this truly engaging and fast-paced mystery/suspense didn’t get bogged down by unnecessary relationship drama. Our main couple, Jack and Madeline, are both blunt, efficient people, and it wouldn’t have felt genuine if they spent to much time being indecisive and overly emotional. They didn’t need that. Their romance was subtle, simple, and to the point, making it all the more powerful.

With it’s cleverly constructed mysteries, excellently written characters, perfectly ominous setting, and just the right amount of romance, Secret Sisters is and addictive and exciting read.

” ‘It’s all right,’ she said. ‘I won’t shatter.’

‘I know that. You’re strong.’ Her wrapped one big hand around the back of her head and drew her mouth down to his. ‘But I sure as hell will fracture into a million little pieces if I screw this up.’ “

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

About Secret Sisters

 

Book Review - Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

 

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One and River Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth….

Amazon (pre-order) | Goodreads

 


Book Review: JUST ONE SIP by Scarlett Dawn @ScarlettDawnUSA

February 11, 2015 Book Review, Romance 0

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About the Book

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Scarlett Dawn, turns up the heat with two best friends, who were always meant for each other, in the first novella of The Club series, Just One Sip

Lucy Plume knows Jet Mak is the man she wants to marry. Her thoughts have never wavered to another. Lucy knows all of Jet’s secrets, his family’s secrets, and doesn’t give a damn. He is her best friend, her lover, her confidant…her all. But can she finally find the courage to say yes?

Jet Mak knows Lucy Plume is the woman he wants to marry. He’s known since they were children. Lucy is the only woman who can make him smile and groan at the same time. She tests his patience beyond what most men would endure, but he doesn’t care. He wants her, and everyone knows it. If only Lucy would say yes…

This is a multi-author project–you can find all The Club books at http://www.theclub.website/.

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

” ‘You know Jet isn’t the type of man to take just one sip from.’

My lips twitched. ‘Actually, you’re wrong. He’s the man I want to take just one sip from every minute of every hour of every day. For the rest of my life.’ “

Though it’s just a novella, Just One Sip still has all of the elements of a good read: intriguing characters that are well developed, even in a short format, a juicy romantic plot, and just enough steam. Jet and Lucy’s best friends to lovers story is sweet, hot, and satisfying.

The book’s timeline skips around a bit, so it’s important to check the heading when starting a new chapter so that you know where you are. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to it, but the story still flowed. It  made complete sense and the glimpses in to the past enhanced the story of the present. As with all of Dawn’s books that I have read, the writing style is uniquely hers: clear and well-written, with genuine dialogue and emotion, sexiness, and a quirky sense of humor.

Though Jet and Lucy’s romance is a story all in it’s own, it seems that there’s more going on in the background. There’s a mysterious air surrounding Jet and Lucy’s family, as well as The Club. I’ll be looking out for future books in the series to see where this story might lead.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of honest review.

 

About the Author

 

Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave.

She lives in the Midwest, where she loves to ‘people watch’ and daydream. She adores her music loud and her fries covered in cheese.

Scarlett Dawn’s website: http://www.scarlettdawn.net.

CLICK HERE to read more of my reviews of Scarlett’s books.

 


Book Review: BREATHING BLACK by Piper Payne (@Piper_Payne)

December 9, 2014 Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance, Mystery/Suspense, Romantic Suspense 0

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New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance/Thriller

Released December 2, 2014

 

About Breathing Black

 

GRITTY. INTENSE. EMOTIONALLY HONEST.
A stunning debut novel that will leave you breathless.

A desolate childhood; a scarred, jaded, damaged girl. Larkin Grant knew she couldn’t end up like her mother … so she ran. All her belongings packed in the back of a rusted, brown Cadillac, her best friend June in the passenger seat as the co-pilot, she fled Aspen and never looked back.

A new life in a new city, Larkin was finally starting to breathe again, an unfamiliar sense of happiness seeping into her lungs. Landon Black, the boy she loved from afar, came back into her life despite leaving him and her awful memories buried hundreds of miles away. A weakened pulse brought back to life.

He said she was beautiful. She was starting to believe him. He pursued her and changed the course of everyone’s plans. Life had dealt Larkin a cruel hand, but maybe this was it. Maybe the boy that never knew she existed finally saw her and came to free her from the darkness of her past.

But we are never truly free. There are secrets that bind us and lies that unravel from the most beautiful of lips. Blackness that suffocates and makes us question everything we thought we knew. Larkin and Landon are intertwined in ways they never imagined, their future unclear as ghosts come back to haunt them.

Friendship. Revenge. Love. Drugs. Murder. Deceit.

The first in a two-book series, Breathing Black is a mix of suspense and breathless romance. It’s a provocative tale that challenges what one is willing to do to protect the ones they love. An emotional journey where trust isn’t an option and falling in love never hurt so bad.

 

My Review

 

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My Rating: 4.5 Stars

“When I was younger I was never shown what love was. I didn’t even know what it felt like. I could barely remember a time when I was hugged or kissed. I had no physical or emotional connection to the world. The line between love and hate had always been so this for me that sometimes it was hard to decipher the difference.”

Heartbreaking and filled with raw emotion, complicated romance, and thrilling suspense, Breathing Black is a breathless page-turner. Starting as what seems like a second-chance romance for a broken girl and her high-school crush, it quickly becomes obvious that there is way more to this story. Something feels amiss as we weave through flashbacks of Larkin’s dark past and her present relationship with Landon Black. It was impossible to put the book down, never knowing quite what was in store or who could be trusted.

I thoroughly enjoyed the group of characters in this book. Larkin and June with their tragic pasts and the new family that they have made with their close friends. They are a funny and caring group, looking after each other. Larkin and June have made what they could of an awful situation and have moved on, but their past is not completely buried and it’s been there all this time, just lurking in the shadows. I loved how they stick together and support and protect each other, even in a potentially life-threatening situation.

As far as romance, this book has a few surprises. It definitely did not turn out the way I expected and I was very happy about that. I only hope that the exciting romance that seems to be just beginning as the book comes to a close can survive what’s to come.

Larkin’s story is that of a broken girl, struggling just to keep going when her world seems to be spinning out of control. She hopes for love but never believes she deserves it, and that just broke my heart. The author bravely tackles the horrors of substance abuse, sexual abuse, and self-harm with honesty. This gritty, intense, and emotional story is multi-layered, with engaging characters, and a lot of darkness punctuated by tiny pin-points of light. Just maybe, if Larkin and June can finally put their past to rest, they can have the love, peace, and happiness that I wish for them. We won’t find out, however, until the next book is released. If you are not a fan of cliffhangers then I recommend waiting for the second book to be released before reading the series. I am anxiously awaiting the next book and can’t wait to read more!

“I want him because when he touches me it feels honest, when he comforts me I feel a flicker of peace, and when he makes me smile I feel happiness deep in my chest.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of honest review.

 

Breathing Black Quote Flaws

 

About the Author

 

My love for literature and writing is an addiction. My mind is continually telling stories and I have a queue of books I want to write being stacked up in my brain. I don’t know how to write pretty and perfect so I write perfectly flawed and unpredictable. Just like life.

I’m married to my best friend and I’m mother to three little miracles. I love going to farmers markets, bookstores, and long drives with my family in my ruby red Bronco. I also have an unhealthy love for makeup, Oreos, Halloween, queso dip, psychic readings, sushi, massages, and Redd’s Apple Ale.

Website  | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


5 Star Book Review: SHIVER by C.M. Foss

December 4, 2014 Book Review, Book Tour, Contemporary Romance 0

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Title: Shiver

Author: CM Foss

Release Date: Nov 22, 2014

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

About Shiver

 

This is a love story.

This is a romantic story.

Except bananas. Bananas are never romantic.

Lissa was a twenty-year-old girl trying to make it in the equestrian world. She was sassy and smart, strong and a little weird. And she had no idea what she was doing.

Ethan was twenty-seven, tattooed, tall, dark, and hot. And lugging some baggage. He’d already made it in the business and brought Lissa on to help get her on her feet. And it turned out, he liked a little weird.

Ethan made it clear that he wasn’t in the market for a relationship. Lissa was happy to learn the ropes and push her attraction aside.

But how do you draw the line when every touch makes you…shiver?

 

My Review

 

swooning

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

“I loved that she could kick around in the dirt, sit on any horse, and then muck stalls without batting an eye- looking stunningly gorgeous, I might add- and then turn into pure elegance at a black tie event and charm all our clients. She still fascinated me. And it was a very good thing.”

Shiver delivers not only a unique, engaging, and beautifully hopeful romance, it gives readers a glimpse in to an intriguing world that few people get to see. I picked up this book with just a hint of trepidation. I’m a professional horseman myself, I was in love with cover, and was cautiously hoping for a book that accurately portrays the equestrian world and is still a romance that will appeal to all readers of the genre. I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed and loved this book!

Ethan and Lissa’s romance was joy to read. One minute I was laughing at their antics and the next minute I was breathless and teary from an intense scene. They have a genuine chemistry and their journey towards a relationship has the perfect balance of heat and humor. I fell in love with both characters along the way: down-to-earth and tenacious Lissa, with her quirky sense of humor and just enough vulnerability and the sexy, tattooed Ethan who is all man, but had me swooning when his romantic side peeked out. Together they must endure some serious challenges. I loved that the author throws some real-life shit at this couple and they handle it not perfectly, but together. Only part of the story is what we normally find in romance novels: couple starts to fall in love, they have some emotional struggles and turmoil and eventually figure it out, but here we get a surprising glimpse in to life after the “honeymoon period”.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sometimes heartbreaking, but still sweet and steamy romance, and I was thrilled to read a book that gives readers a true perspective in to the equestrian world. There’s not so much information that it overwhelms the reader, but just enough to provide an interesting back-drop for Lissa and Ethan’s story. It’s clearly written by someone who knows the industry from the inside, as it can only exist in a nowhere small town in the heart of Virginia’s horse country, where the very wealthy mingle with the hard working horse trainers, everyone meets up at the local pub, and most black tie events end up one way or another with me back at the barn in a ball gown. Shiver is a excellent debut novel: well-written with captivating characters, genuine dialogue, plenty of sexiness, a sense of humor, and a unique perspective. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

” ‘I think the world of you,’ he whispered. ‘You are my world,’ I whispered back.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of honest review.

 

Teaser 1

 

Excerpt

 

“Dance with me?” Lawrence’s voice behind me pulled me from my musings.

I turned with a smile. “Why thank you, sir.”

I followed him onto the dance floor, the orchestra playing a Frank Sinatra ballad. He swept me into his arms like, well, like the perfect gay best friend.

“Don’t you say it.”

“Say what?” I asked innocently.

“I am not your gay best friend. I have sisters. They took dance lessons. My mom made me partner them.”

I couldn’t help laughing loudly, drawing some disapproving glances. He quickly spun me and dipped me in playful retaliation. As he drew me back up, I stood staring straight into Ethan’s heated gaze.

“Can I cut in?” he asked without breaking our eye contact.

From the corner of my eye, I caught Lawrence nodding and stepping away before I was pulled flush to Ethan and we glided across the floor.

“You look absolutely stunning.” He breathed softly into my ear, his right hand settling low, really low, on my bare back, and I shivered.

“Cold?” I felt him smile.

“No, I’m not cold,” I stated quietly, enjoying the feel of being in his arms, the texture of him beneath his tuxedo, and the touch of our hands.

“Are you having fun tonight?”

“I am.” I nodded slowly. “I didn’t know you would be here.”

“I came as a trophy.”

I pulled back to look in his eyes. “Whose trophy? And why?” I was a little irrationally angry and felt stupid that I thought we were having a kind of moment, only to find out he was here with someone else.

“Why are you angry? You do realize you’re here with a date too, right?”

I waved him off. “Lawrence and I are just friends. He’s my arm candy for the night. And maybe a kiss at midnight if I get tipsy enough.”

He glared at me, jaw flexing back and forth. “You’re just friends who sleep together?”

“No. Just friends. As in… actual friends. Nothing more.”

“Why have you both been blatantly flaunting your relationship in front of me then?”

I shrugged. “It tickled me.”

“It tickled you,” he repeated slowly, dangerously.

“Yes. It did. It tickled me to see your mood swings every day, and I was making bets on when you were going to start your period.”

Despite his irritation, he laughed out loud. “God, you’re weird.” He pulled me closer, wrapping my arms up around his neck and sliding his hands down my bare arms and then down my back, settling them there. “I don’t know what I’m doing with you,” he muttered softly.

 

About the Author

 

AuthorI live in beautiful Northern Virginia with my incredible husband, two awesome kids, three dogs, and two budgies. My husband and I both grew up riding and competing horses and have our own equestrian operation that we run together. In my spare time, I read through the hundreds of stories awaiting me on my e-reader.

My love of books started early, and my mom used to ration my reading time so I didn’t go through them too quickly. I love all things romantic, whether it’s dark or light or silly or dirty, but I really love a happy ending!

In my small moments of quiet time, you’ll find me sipping on wine and reading while any movie where people randomly burst into song or dance plays in the background.

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5 Star Book Review: KING TOMB by Scarlett Dawn (@ScarlettDawnUSA) #FaveAuthor

November 21, 2014 Book Review, Fantasy Romance, Favorite Books, New Adult, Paranormal Romance 0

 

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This is the final book in Lily’s story, but there is much more to come from this series. Find out more HERE!

 

About King Tomb (Forever Evermore #3)

 

From Scarlett Dawn comes the stunning, sexy, sensual, surprising, spell-binding conclusion to the bestselling first Forever Evermore trilogy.

Queen Shifter, Lily Ruckler, has found solace in brutal warfare. Her bloodied fists and bared fangs fill the holes left in her memory, the blank spaces that leave her soul aching and empty. Her only pleasure is in blood; her only salvation is the relationship she has with her infant child, the baby of unknown origins who brings her solace and stability.

When Elder Harcourt summons Lily and her protector Antonio back to the United States, Lily thinks nothing unusual about the change of location. But a standard reconnaissance mission leaves her trapped inside King Zeller’s private quarters, and at his mercy. Surprise attraction rapidly turns to a battle of wills and an intense power struggle that leaves no clear victor but plenty of resentment.

They are not allowed to nurse their wounds. In order to win the war against the Commoners, the King Vampire and Queen Shifter must work together. It should be easy. The war is turning, the battle is deadly, and both Lily and Ezra love the cold cleanliness of combat. But their chance meeting has led to more than an unlikely alliance. Secrets have a way of surfacing, especially on a torn-up battlefield, and Lily and Ezra are about to re-learn all they cannot remember. If they can’t control their emotions and responses, it will be to their own ruin and the destruction of everything around them.

 

My Review

 

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My Rating: 5 Stars

Note: If you have not read the earlier books in the trilogy, this review contains some vague spoilers. I highly recommend reading this series in order.

“And yes, I would be having many helpings of this man, no matter the obvious cost to my soul… because it was already beginning to feel like he completed it.”

King Tomb is an epic conclusion to an epic trilogy that has the most epic of love stories. Confession time: I cried writing this review. I spent the two books falling in love with Lily and Ezra, rooting for their romance, laughing at their antics, and feeling breathless at their intense and passionate connection. I tore me apart when their relationship was threatened and they were pulled apart. It was soul crushing watching two characters who so obviously belong together struggle to find each other all over again.

What would you do if you woke up in a world with no memory of your true love, only an empty, black hole where your heart and love used to reside? I don’t know what I’d do. Lily chooses to harden herself, to become a perfect killing machine and commit herself to winning the Com war. Ezra does much the same and they become hard, cold, and emotionless, with no recognition for the happiness they once had. So here’s the bonus: we get to see Lily and Ezra meet all over again, get all of that intense emotion and sexual chemistry all over again, and wait breathlessly while wondering if they’ll ever figure out what happened before. I bit my nails nubs and loved every second of it.

This installment is a fantastic addition to an already awesome series. It has everything I’ve come to look for from this series and this author, brave writing with exciting plot twists, action, adventure, mystery, mind-blowing sex, lovable characters, engaging world building, brilliant dialogue, and clever wit. This book felt just a bit darker but the characters are older now, have been through hell, and there’s so much at stake. I missed seeing as much of Jack and Pearl but was totally satisfied by Lily and Ezra’s story. I can’t recommend this series enough and absolutely can not wait to see what’s to come.

“My heart broke time and again, then blistered with agonized adoration. It pumped deep within my soul. The blackness that had consumed me was flooded with nothing but pure, gut-wrenching love.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of honest review.

 

About the Author

 

Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave.

She lives in the Midwest, where she loves to ‘people watch’ and daydream. She adores her music loud and her fries covered in cheese.

Scarlett Dawn’s website: http://www.scarlettdawn.net

 

Tattooed Book Reviews of the Forever Evermore Series

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5 Star Book Review: SINK by Scarlett Dawn (@ScarlettDawnUSA) #FaveAuthor #SexySciFi

November 21, 2014 Book Review, Fantasy Romance, Mystery/Suspense, New Adult, Sci-Fi 0

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Cold Mark serial, Book #2

 

About Sink

 

The second installment to the bestselling Cold Mark serial launches with Sink, where fear and willpower battle from within…

Braita Valorn’s pampered existence with the Plumas of the west was cut short by her own hand. Being their Soul only complicates matters as she hides inside their enemy’s territory. Danger lurks, and Braita’s lack of knowledge of the planet, Triaz, is now abundantly clear.

Braita’s only strength against the deadly Mian is the blessed sun that lights the day hours.

On a mission to find her best friend, Jax, she must infiltrate the Crank Pit, a brutal complex where Mian enter, only to leave absent a heartbeat. Nothing transpires as planned. Braita’s reckless behavior lands her right into her adversaries’ custody—the Plumas of the east. Will Braita find the answers she’s been searching for…or will she sink further into a sensual world she never thought possible?

 

My Review

 

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My Rating: 5 Stars

“Huffing and settling under the covers, I muttered under my breath- in English, ‘Barbarians.’ Dark eyes, so very captivating against his white, long hair, held mine steadily. ‘That we are.’ “

As a reader, I’m a fan of the cliffhanger. I love the anticipation and the reward I get when I finally get to read something I’ve waited for; it makes it that much more exciting for me. Sink was well worth the wait. So worth it in fact that I’m questioning my devotion to the cliffhanger. I really don’t know if I can wait for the next one! (Note: If you are not a fan of cliffhangers I would wait until the completion of the Cold Mark Saga before diving in.)

I love edgy, exciting, fun, unique, and sexy sci-fi romance, and Sink is all those things. It’s totally transportive and easily and immediately pulled me deeper into the mysterious world of Triaz. We’re learning about the planet right along with Braita, and each new discovery adds another layer to the story that started with Fall. Braita is a really enjoyable female character to read, tough and brave yet vulnerable.

I can’t fail to mention that Braita is surrounded by some seriously hot, but seriously violent alien men. The combination of raw sexuality and danger is pretty captivating. The story is fast-paced and sexy, with exciting twists, turns, and surprises, all highlighted with the author’s clever sense of humor that I’ve come to love so much. I totally recommend this to fans of sci-fi romance, and if you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, the Cold Mark Saga, with it’s short installments is a great place to start. I’m waiting not so patiently for the next one.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of honest review.

We have to wait until February for Book #3, but check it out HERE!

 

Tattooed Book Review of Cold Mark Saga #1, Fall

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About the Author

Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave.

She lives in the Midwest, where she loves to ‘people watch’ and daydream. She adores her music loud and her fries covered in cheese.

Scarlett Dawn’s website: http://www.scarlettdawn.net

 


Book Review: ALEX by Sawyer Bennett (@BennettBooks) *HOT hockey player alert!*

November 18, 2014 Adult, Book Review, Contemporary Romance 0

*This review was original published at RomanceatRandom.com on October 3, 2014.*

 

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About Alex

 

USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett scores big-time with the first novel in a sexy new series hot enough to melt the ice.

Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

 

My Review

 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

“I should let her go… right now, right this very minute.

But I’m a selfish bastard and I’m not going to do it. I’m going to keep her until I’m ready to destroy her, and then I’ll just add that to the pile of guilt I’m already suffering under.”

An emotional romance with a hint of darkness, ALEX is at once sexy, heartbreaking and hopeful. Bennett bravely tackles issues of abuse and addiction, and still delivers a sizzling sports romance.

Cold as ice. That’s how I would describe hockey star Alex Crossman. He’s gorgeous, he’s a loner, and he’s broken. Growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father has left him unable to form meaningful relationships. That is, until he meets Sutton Price. Now, I’m all about my book boyfriends, and Alex is certainly worthy, but Sutton is the clear star of this story. She too has an abusive past, but she has done everything to overcome it. She’s grounded, strong, smart, generous, and caring. She’s relatable, a girlfriend that we all want and the kind of person we should aspire to be. I want to hang out with her and have a glass of wine, and dish about her super hot hockey player boyfriend. As much as I enjoyed Alex and Sutton together, she’s the character I fell in love with.

These two characters have some serious chemistry together. There’s plenty of tension from their first meeting and it only builds from there, until it’s boiling over. The result is some fantastic sex, all raw and frenzied and rough and just plain hot sex. Alex may have trouble talking about his feelings, but he has no trouble with communicating with his hands, tongue, and his… well, you know. This author has a way of writing stories that are emotional and romantic but also intensely sexy; she finds a perfect balance.

“There is no sweet tenderness from him, but I can still feel a world of care within his touch. I can sometimes hear it in the way he moans, but most definitely he gives it away when he talks as he f***s me.”

Around the halfway point of the book, the story moved a little slow for my taste, but it picked up and I was rewarded with a really fantastic HEA that left me grinning like an idiot with tears in my eyes. All of the ups and downs and hoping that these two would truly find each other was worth it. It’s a story of addiction and healing, of friendships and family relationships, and ultimately of love, forgiveness, and acceptance. As a whole, this is a very good read. Engaging and cleanly written, with a thoughtful and multi-layered plot, lovable characters, intense emotion, a bit of humor, hopeful romance, and some panty-melting sex scenes. There are also a few colorful secondary characters and I hope we get some of their stories in future reads. (Hint: More Garrett, please!!)

“She brought color into my otherwise gray existence, and for that I owe her everything.”

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of honest review.

 

Ask and you shall receive… Garrett is coming February 2015!

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