Review- Bountiful (True North #4) by Sarina Bowen

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

When small town girl meets big shot hockey player, sign me up for that. What was supposed to be a fun summer affair, turns into so much more when autumn came around. From page one the connection between sassy Zara, and hot AF Dave was off the charts. Neither was expecting more, and they are just two adults enjoying each other’s company, knowing they’ll never see each other again.

Except for the little fact that in at least one of their escapades, they forgot a condom. Et voila, one adorable little red-headed girl. Since limited information was exchanged between Zara, and her mystery man, she didn’t find him again.

Until now of course, when Dave is back for a wonderful summer holiday in Vermont. His memories of Zara are very fond, though the new circumstances definitely take him by surprise.

I loved how neither of them was ready for a child, pretty much never planned on having children, but then you see how they are with their daughter, and your heart just melts. Dave is so clueless it’s adorable, though he does go for it in the end. He just wants what is best for his daughter, and Zara. Luckily he has plenty of help.

Meanwhile Zara doesn’t know what to now that Dave is back. She’s happy for her daughter, and while she tries to focus on that, it seems Dave has only gotten hotter with age. That attraction, and chemistry is still there between them. Though Zara’s life is in Vermont, and Dave’s is in New York. What to do?

Bountiful was another wonderful addition to the True North series. I pretty much never heard of Vermont before this series, but Sarina Bowen has a way to describe it, that I definitely want to visit now. Anyway, as always she writes these wonderful, realistic characters, each with their own unique personalities, and interesting stories they want to tell. What I recommend for autumn is to grab yourself a big glass of cider, a warm blanket, a cozy chair, and settle down for a nice, steamy night with Zara and Dave in Bountiful.

4 stars

TRUE NORTH – READING ORDER AND PURCHASE LINKS

bittersweet  steadfast  keepsake

Bittersweet: My review – Amazon

SteadfastMy review – Amazon

KeepsakeMy review – Amazon

Review- Bountiful (True North #4) by Sarina Bowen

Bountiful: Amazon

Connect with Sarina BowenGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Excerpt- Sick Fux by Tillie Cole

When Ellis Earnshaw and Heathan James met as children, they couldn’t have been more different. Ellis was loud and beautiful – all blond hair, bright laughs and smiles. Heathan was dark and brooding, and obsessed with watching things die.

The pair forged an unlikely friendship, unique and strange. Until they were ripped apart by the sick cruelty of others, separated for years, both locked in a perpetual hell.

Eleven years later, Heathan is back for his girl. Back from a place from which he thought there was no return. Back to seek revenge on those who wronged them.

Time has made Heathan’s soul darker, polluted with hatred and the thirst for blood.

Time has made Ellis a shell of her former self, a little girl lost in the vastness of her pain.

As Heathan pulls Ellis out of her mental prison, reviving the essence of who she once was, down the rabbit hole they will go.

With malice in their hearts and vengeance in their veins, they will seek out the ones who hurt and destroyed them.
One at a time.

Each one more deadly than the last.

Tick Tock.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for ages 18 and over.

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

Rabbit turned off the country road we were on and pulled onto a dirt path. Bushy tree branches curled above us to create a tunnel. I leaned my head back and caught the last rays of sun slicing through the leaves. When I lifted my head I saw a building up ahead. A house made from wood stood before us.

Rabbit pulled the car to a halt. There were no sounds coming from this house. No screams or crying. Everything was just . . . silent.

Rabbit’s hands slid from the wheel, and without looking at me, he said, “This is where we’ll be staying for the next several days.”

I leaned forward and looked out of the window. “Your home?”

He shook his head. “The first stop on our adventure.” I looked at him and found his silver eyes were already on me. “We have many stops to go.”

My heart fluttered in nervous excitement. “And this is number one . . .” I whispered, more to myself than Rabbit.

Rabbit opened his door. I was still staring at the woods surrounding this place when my car door opened too. Rabbit stood, rabbit-headed cane in hand, waiting for me to leave the car. I swallowed back the nerves that were creeping up my throat and stepped out. The ground crunched beneath my shoes.

“This way.” Rabbit held his arm out toward the house. I fell into step beside him. I glanced all around us, searching for any sign of people. As if reading my mind, Rabbit said, “There is just you and I here for now. We will meet more people when our journey truly begins.”

“It has not begun?”

Rabbit led us to a wooden door and paused. Gripping the head of his cane tighter, he faced me and said, “Soon, darlin’. Before we go, we must prepare.” He opened the door. “But first . . . tea.”

My breath caught in my throat. Beyond the threshold lay the most perfect tea-party spread one ever did see. “Rabbit!” I gasped. My hands flew to my mouth. I took a step forward into the house and onward into the magical room just beyond. As I passed Rabbit I looked up to see him watching me. I moved swiftly to the long table in the center of the wooden-paneled room, and my eyes widened as I beheld the spread. A white tablecloth lay over the table. Tall seats were positioned around it—eight to be exact—and at each seat was set a plate, a teacup and a saucer. I ran my hand over the cloth and smiled at the silver-domed dishes in the center of the table. I looked behind me to find Rabbit, but he was nowhere in sight. Turning back to the table, I lifted the first silver dome to peek at what was underneath. My mouth watered when I saw strawberry tarts. Smiling in excitement, I skipped to the next. Victoria sponge. Desperate to see them all, I removed each cover—cucumber sandwiches, Bakewell tarts, Battenberg cake, carrot cake . . . so much cake! All of England’s finest delicacies.

My favorites.

A floorboard creaked behind me, and I turned to see Rabbit walking back into the room. I opened my mouth to ask him where everything came from, but then I spotted what he held in his hands.

“Tea?” I asked as Rabbit placed the silver tray, which held a teapot, a jug of milk and a bowl of sugar, on the table. I walked closer and closed my eyes as I inhaled deeply. “Earl Grey,” I whispered, smelling my absolute favorite tea in the entire world.
“Only ever Earl Grey for my little Dolly,” Rabbit confirmed and pulled out a chair for me. I sat down, and Rabbit tucked me in. He took the seat a few places down and gestured to the food. “Help yourself. After all, this tea party is in your honor.”

A giddy laugh escaped my throat as I reached forward and carefully selected a variety of cakes and sandwiches. When I had filled my plate, I took the teapot and poured myself a cup. Rabbit watched me with a peculiar look on his face. His lip was hooked at the corner, and his eyes were . . . soft. His eyes were never soft, always hard and focused, but as he looked at me now, they were almost gentle.

I swallowed, unsure what this strange feeling in my stomach was. I pressed my free hand to my stomach as a comfort against the strange tingling sensations inside. “Tea?” I offered, my voice barely above a whisper.

Rabbit nodded; not a word escaped his mouth. His gaze became more intense as I moved beside him and poured the steaming liquid into his cup. As my arm neared him, I felt him stiffen in his seat. Only a sliver of air prevented our limbs touching. His breathing grew labored as he watched me pour.

But we didn’t touch.

Clearing my throat, I placed the teapot back on the tray and moved to take my seat once again. Just as I took a step, an image floated into my head. Of me and Rabbit. Lips touching. My entire body tensed.

I heard Rabbit’s ragged breathing behind me. Goosebumps broke out along my body, chasing one another up my arms and up to the back of my neck. Shaking my head clear of the image, I sat back down.

I raised my eyes and found Rabbit watching me intensely. I lifted my teacup toward my lips. Rabbit did the same, but just as the lip of the teacup almost reached his mouth, I shouted, “Rabbit!” He froze. “Your little finger!” I scolded. I lowered my cup and shook my head. “You cannot drink tea without raising your little finger, silly!”

Rabbit exhaled, then bowed his head. “You’re right, darlin’. How could I forget?”

Get your copy of Sick Fux

sick fux

Connect with Tillie ColeGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

More dark romances by Tillie Cole

Hades Hangmen – Reading order and purchase links

It Ain't Me Babe  heart recaptured

It Ain’t Me, Babe (My review)

Heart Recaptured

souls unfractured  deep redemption  Damnable Grace (Hades Hangmen #5) by Tillie Cole

Souls Unfractured (My review)

Deep Redemption (My review)

Damnable Grace (My review)

Too Beautiful to Break (Romancing the Clarksons #4) by Tessa Bailey

A love of a lifetime . . .

Leaving Belmont Clarkson is the hardest thing Sage Alexander has ever done. From the moment they met, she knew Belmont was the one, and getting up close and personal with him on his family’s epic road trip has taken her desire to a new, even hotter level. But there’s no way she can go there—not without revealing secrets that could devastate them both.

Losing Sage is not an option. Belmont’s heart is hers, has alwaysbeen hers. He knows she’s hiding something from him, but nothing will stand in his way of telling her just how much she means to him. Finding her is easy—saving her from her past could cost him everything.

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

“You don’t have to leave right away,” Sage said when Belmont turned, watching her from beneath his eyebrows. “Can you wait here while I take a quick shower?”

Maybe that hadn’t been the right thing to say. His big back heaved and the touch of his tongue in her mouth came crashing in like a behemoth wave. They had crossed an unspoken boundary on the train platform. There was no going back to before, to when they stopped at rough, crushing embraces. As if that hadn’t been…more than sexual somehow.

“Yes, I’ll wait,” he said, his voice sounding like serrated metal. “I can light the fire for you.”

I’ll say. God, why did everything sound like an innuendo now? If her body weren’t flush and sweating beneath the jumpsuit, she would have laughed about it. But there was nothing funny about having Belmont looming mere yards away, looking like one word of encouragement would snap his chain and send him barreling toward her. “That would be perfect. I’ll just be…a few minutes.”

Sage all but dove into the itty-bitty bathroom, pressing her back up against the door and willing her racing heart to calm down. Why had she asked him to stay? Her resolve would weaken with every passing second. Biting down on her lower lip, she began the excruciating task of lowering the zipper of her jumpsuit, which kicked up a protest in her triceps and shoulder muscles. When she finally got it down, she gripped the hem of her T-shirt and attempted to lift it over her head.

Her arms wouldn’t cooperate. They flat out wouldn’t rise any higher than her ribs, leaving the T-shirt suspended in midair. Her muscles burned like someone had doused them in lighter fluid and held them above a flame. Sage’s agony must have escaped in the form of a whimper, because Belmont’s boots scraped just outside the door. And her stomach hollowed with awareness, lightning racing all over her skin.

“Sage.” His voice was deep, urgent. “Do you need help?”

No. Say no. She’d only gotten finished reminding him she didn’t need him. But in this case, it would be a lie and she’d done so much of that lately. With Belmont. The most truthful person she knew. “I can’t get my shirt off.” Her nose started to ache, the tip probably turning red. “My arms hurt.”

His growl was short and broken. A beat passed before the door opened and she felt Belmont filling the doorway behind her. She flicked a glance up to the ancient mirror and confirmed what she’d seen in her mind’s eyes. Belmont towering over her like an avenging angel, outlined by candlelight. He’d taken off his coat, leaving him in a black long-sleeved shirt, which he’d rolled up to the elbows. Every inch of visible skin was shot through with strained cords of muscle, as if his frustration were written on him like a road map.

Sage still had the shirt halfway lifted, so her lower back was visible. Not a big deal to most people. But Belmont had never seen anything below her neck. Or above her knees. With the jumpsuit peeled halfway down, the band of her underwear might even be peeking out.

Breathing grew difficult as Belmont took one step closer and took hold of the T-shirt, his knuckles grazing the small of her back. “You’re wearing”—his breath ghosted down her neck—“my shirt.”

Sage only realized she’d closed her eyes when they popped open. Oh God. In the shock of Belmont arriving, she’d forgotten. “I am?” Her mouth was parched. “L-look at that.”

“I am looking.” She jumped when Belmont reached over her shoulder with his left hand and turned on the shower, the sound of spray filling the room. Then the roughness of his knuckles returned, sliding up her spine along with the shirt. “I like knowing there was a layer of me standing between you and the earth.”

Her legs took on the consistency of Jell-O. His touch was a drug, making her languid, although it was different than the way he usually touched her. There was sex this time. So much of it. And it was that major difference that allowed Sage to accept the skimming of his fingers. Accept the part of herself that lusted. They were in a dark room and time had surely suspended anywhere outside this little plot of square footage. Words ached to leave her mouth, words that wouldn’t be suitable in the sunlight. This man, so warm and brave and large at her back, knew things about her no one else did. What was one more secret? “I stole it out of your suitcase. I broke a commandment and everything.”

“Why?” He breathed into her hair, sinking heat like an anchor in her belly. The shirt came off, her arms dropped to her sides, and she was left in nothing but a bra from the waist up. Inches from Belmont. “Why, sweetest girl?”

A light steam had begun curling in the air like beckoning fingers. Maybe this is a dream. It felt like one of the fevered fantasies she woke from on occasion, sweat slicking her breasts and neck. “Because I like the way you smell and it hadn’t been washed.”

His exhale was gravelly. “Sage.

“Yes.”

She thought he might not respond, but finally he asked a question that made her nipples turn to hard points. “Can you manage”—a long, windy inhale—“the bra?”

Sage tried. She really, truly did. Her arms felt as though they might break off and hit the floor, but she reached back until her muscles locked up, refusing to move farther. But Belmont was already there, pushing them back down, holding them at her hips.

Jesus. Please, stop. I can’t watch it.” His touch disappeared only for a second and then the cotton material of the bra tightened over her breasts. She could feel him working the back clasp with fingers she knew so well. They’d tunneled through her hair so many times, twisted in her clothing, but had never, ever, touched her with any kind of…intent. Intent to seduce. And that’s what he was doing, intentional or not. The inhibitions she’d held close forever, circled the drain, along with the shower water. “Your back is so beautiful.” A ghost of a fingertip traced down her spine. “But I need to leave before I—”

“What?”

“Before I turn you around.” They weren’t touching, but she could sense the shudder that ran through him. “Or look in that mirror.”

Right or wrong, the mine, their codependency aside, Sage knew if she let him leave just then, she would regret it for all time. Her body had been woken up. By one man. He’d kept her on the razor’s edge for thousands of miles, surrounding her with his power and taking it away. Over and over. And this fever wrapping around them in the tiny bathroom was completely different from easing his anxiety. Finally, she felt like a woman standing in front of him, instead of a calming device. This was mutual and alive and she couldn’t stand it to end. Tomorrow might be a different story, but this moment was the culmination of a thousand dreams and she could no more deny herself than she could forget his face.

“Belmont, do you think of the kiss?”

I never stop,” he groaned into her hair. “Never.”

She took a deep breath for courage. “Will you shower with me?”

Grab your copy of Too Beautiful To Break

TooBeautiful-Quote-Graphic-1

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Clarkson family, it’s definitely Sage and Belmont’s story I was most curious about.

The big brother. The silent guy. The one who stood a bit apart from the rest, though whose love and loyalty was clear to see. The man who’s so lost in his love for Sage it almost blinds him.

Having that love, that unwavering support, it’s almost crippling Sage. So used to relying on each other, Sage knows she can’t ask any more of him. Having to go back home, and fix the people she left, she knows she can’t take Belmont with her.

Somehow in her mind Sage believe she has to do this on her own. Belmont disagrees. Just the thought of her walking away destroys him. Belmont protects Sage, that’s what he does. So her having to fix things on her own is just not happening.

Though fighting her battles is not what she needs. While being there, and getting to know each other in a whole new way, Belmont will have to face some deep buried down demons.

Belmont is such a unique, and amazing character who’s captivated me from book one. The bond he and Sage share makes me swoon, and filled with longing for that kind of love. Too Beautiful To Break is a stunning conclusion to Romancing The Clarksons series. It has been a privilege to be taken on this journey with the Clarkson family.

4 stars

Romancing The Clarksons – Reading order and purchase links

too hot to handle tessa bailey  too wild to tame

Too Hot To Handle (My review)

Too Wild To Tame (My review)

Too Hard to Forget (Romancing the Clarksons #3) by Tessa Bailey  Review & Excerpt- Too Close to Call (Romancing the Clarksons #3.5) by Tessa Bailey  Too Beautiful to Break (Romancing the Clarksons #4) by Tessa Bailey

Too Hard To Forget (My review)

Too Close To Call (My review)

Too Beautiful To Break

Connect with Tessa BaileyWebsite – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon

Review- Beast (Boyle Heights #2) by Elizabeth Reyes

She holds the power to tame the

Beast . . .

or unleash him if he lets her in.

This close to turning his life around and just months away from the end of his probation, all Leo has to do is keep his inner demons in check.

But the Beast within is about to be reawakened.

One interview was all it was supposed to be. An interview with the daunting felon in the work-release program that leaves Allison breathless with anticipation for their next encounter.

Despite the risks of becoming involved, neither is able to fight the inexplicable draw they’re feeling.

Life keeps throwing them back together until the fateful night they stop fighting the inevitable and give into their desires. Suddenly, Leo has even more to look forward to in his new life.

Until his violent past catches up to him.

With the stakes infinitely higher now that Allison may also be at risk, the dormant Beast deep inside Leo threatens to unleash, ruining all the progress he’s made—worst of all any future with Allison.

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

First reaction: “Just finished reading Beast, and holy moly. You know Beast has a past, I mean with a name like that you know there’s a story. Even after you get to know that past,  you think you have an understanding. Spoiler: you don’t! When that Beast gets unleashed, I was not expecting it to go that dark and final. “

When Allison met Leo she was fascinated by this tall, brooding man. She saw beyond the face he showed the world, and wanted to get to know the man behind the beast.  With every turn Leo tried to push her away, tried to hide how much he wanted her, but staying away seemed impossible.

Mostly growing up in foster care, Allison’s youth hasn’t been rainbows  and sunshine, still I feel there is a certain innocence about her.  Though throughout this story I came to realize she’s a lot tougher than I gave her credit for. Her tenacity with Leo was kind of adorable. I kept picturing this huge, bulky, tattooed guy facing off with this five foot nothing girl, with curves for days.

I really do understand Leo’s hesitancy with Allison. Just out of prison, dark, very dark past, that might not be as much in the past as he would like, and the decade age gap are only the beginning. Still no matter how many reasons he comes up with that makes them a bad idea, he still falls for her. You can’t really blame him, as Allison is pretty awesome.

You know there are going to be obstacles, you can kind of guess what they might be, though they still took me by surprise. There were just so many angles they could come from. Though I’m a firm believer in love conquers all. Even though that sometimes means someone gets a beating.

I loved seeing Allison and Beast coming together, and can’t wait for the next story in the series.

3.5 stars

Boyle Heights – Reading order and purchase links

Review- Lila (Boyle Heights #1) by Elizabeth Reyes  Review- Beast (Boyle Heights #2) by Elizabeth Reyes

Lila (my review)

Beast

Connect with Elizabeth ReyesGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

All’s fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean missing out on what matters most

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

She’d taken the sofa, in her own house, and given me the bed. That didn’t make a lick of sense.

I crouched next to her, threading my fingers into the silky hair at her temples. “Honey.”

“Mmm.”

I bent to whisper, “Shelly.”

“Hmm?”

“I’m going to carry you to your bed. I’ll take the sofa.”

“Mmm.”

I grinned at her soft noises, at the untroubled expression on her face, and how her brow—even in sleep—still looked regal and stern.

Sliding my arms under her legs and shoulder, I picked her up. And, unfortunately, that woke her up.

She jerked in my arms. “What are you doing?”

“I’m taking you to the bed.”

“Don’t do that.”

“I don’t mind, I’ll take the sofa.” Our mouths were just inches apart, and hers was distracting.

She squirmed. “Put me down.”

Sighing unhappily, I did. I set her on her feet next to the couch. The blanket pooled at her feet and I stepped back to give her some space. It was dark, but I could see her just fine, and that meant I had to force my eyes to remain above her neck. The woman was wearing two pathetic scraps of fabric as pajamas. A thin little tank top and shorts. That’s it.

I set my jaw and turned to the side, waiting for her to walk past.

“Where are you?”

I glanced at her and realized she couldn’t see at all. She didn’t have a hand out, but the way her eyes were moving about the room gave away her blindness.

“I’m here.” I didn’t touch her, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to stop.

Shelly turned her head in my direction and took a deep breath. Still she didn’t reach for me. I didn’t know the specifics of what to expect after her Friday session, but I recalled Dr. West saying something about Shelly doing self-guided ERP exercises over this week.

“Can you see?” She licked her lips, her voice sandpapery. “Because I can’t see at all. It’s so dark.”

“I can see.” Unbidden, my eyes dropped to her body, to the swell of her breasts, the panel of bare stomach, the curve of her hips. Pinpricks of heat raised over my skin and I curled my hands into fists.

She shuffled forward and I caught her before she bumped into me, setting my hands gently at her waist.

“Let me take you to your room.” My voice was rough, for obvious reasons.

Saying nothing, she brought her hand to my forearm, her body gently colliding with mine. And then her hand on my arm slid up my bicep to my shoulder.

“Shelly.” I was running out of breath.

“I like this.”

“What?”

“Touching you.”

Oh fuck.

I held still and endured her hands moving over my body, down the front of my shirt, stopping at the hem, then pushing it up.

“Take this off.”

I did. I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let it drop to the floor.

We stood there, facing each other in the dark, not touching. Despite the session on Friday and the progress that had been made, I realized she wasn’t quite there yet. Dr. West was right, Friday was just a step, the first step. Shelly wasn’t able to initiate contact. Not yet.

Her hands balled into fists and she swayed forward, her breath struggling little puffs.

If anything was going to happen tonight, I had to initiate it. I had to be the one to touch first.

God, how I wanted her. How I wanted her above me, beneath me, surrounding me. But how could I?

“I know why I hesitate,” her voice was breathless, “but why do you hesitate?”

“Lots of reasons.”

“Give me one.”

“I don’t want to you use you.”

“I wish you would.”

That pulled a laugh from me, just a small relief from the mounting tension. My eyes moved over her body, an undeniable impulse to devour the sight of her, her legs, stomach, chest, then up her neck to her lips.

“You asked me on Saturday if sex was a big deal for me, or if it was you. The answer is both.”

She held very still, and I got the sense she was holding her breath, straining to listen.

“You are a big deal to me. I don’t want a fling. I don’t want a flirtation. I want promises.”

“What can I promise you?”

That you’ll love me. That I’ll be your priority.

She shifted her weight from foot to foot. A spike of anxiety that she might leave me like this had me acting without forethought. I lifted my hands to her waist again and immediately, her fingertips skimmed over skin of my lower stomach in response, making my muscles tense in hot anticipation. She grew more assertive as she caressed my sides, abdomen, ribs, chest, shoulders, and then back down.

Shelly stepped closer, a hint of thrilling contact between her breasts and my torso, and all the words and worries melted from my mind, died on my tongue, suffocated by the feel of her body, and the possibility of this moment.

Her finger hooked in the waistband of my jeans. “Take these off.” Her hand turned, her fingers and palm cupping me over my zipper.

Instinctively, I pressed myself into her touch even as I grabbed her wrist.

“Beau, I promise—”

She didn’t get to speak, because I kissed her, hard and wild, unbuttoning and unzipping my fly with one hand and bringing her palm inside my boxers with the other.

Read Beard In Mind Today

BEARD IN MIND BT BANNER

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

While it’s easy to love Beau, it’s Shelly who intrigues me. I really don’t know how Penny Reid keeps coming up with these unique characters, but I love it. Shelly couldn’t be more different from me, as I feel I’m more of a Beau type of person. Though that also means I can definitely understand why Beau is so fascinated by her.

Everything is changing around Beau, and he feels he’s not moving forward like everyone else. Mostly his twin about to move to Europe, is taking its toll. The last thing Beau needs is a new mechanic in his space, who’s almost too gorgeous to look at, but has the personality of a porcupine. Though Shelly is just the distraction that he needs.

I love Shelly’s honesty, and her interactions with Beau. She doesn’t hold back, and I was giddy to see Beau flail whenever he talked to her. Never thought I’d see the day where he would be lost for words. While he might call her aggravating, rude, stubborn, and peculiar, he also can’t deny she’s smart, creative, fascinating, and has a big heart for animals. It’s just humans Shelly has problems with.

As these two slowly try navigating whatever is going on between them, I enjoyed seeing a deeper side of Beau. We know him as the always happy, helpful Winston brother, turns out there is more than meets the eye. While figuring out Shelly was a pleasure for me. This combination of hard bolster, and soft inside, will make you want to hug her. Even though she might try to punch you for that.

Penny Reid has once again outdone herself with Beard In Mind. I just adore her unique love stories with fascinating characters. Whenever I finish one of her books I always feel a little bit smarter than when I started, and with a better understanding of the different human psyches. Everyone deserves their love story, and I believe most people will recognise some part of themselves in her characters.

4.5 stars

Winston Brothers – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone*

Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City #4) by Penny Reid  truth or beard  grin and beard

Beauty And The Mustache

Truth Or Beard (My review)

Grin & Beard It

beard & science  Beard in Waiting (Winston Brothers #3.5) by Penny Reid  Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

Beard Science (My review)

Beard In Waiting (Free Christmas story)

Beard In Mind

Connect with Penny ReidGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Review- In the Crease (Assassins #12) by Toni Aleo

Jensen Monroe is a unicorn. As handsome as any model, as polite as can be, a goalie of unmatched skill, and the best friend anyone could ask for. But he longs for a particular special someone to make his life complete. He’s been in love with Wren since he was a teenager, but as his best friend’s sister, she’s always been off-limits.

Wren Lemiere has prided herself on being a love ’em and leave ’em girl her whole life. She’s all about equal opportunity in the battle of the sexes. Why should guys like her brother and his best friends get to be the only ones allowed to play the dating game? One wrong move, however, and she finds herself in violation of her own rules.

In need of a fake husband and baby daddy for her unexpected bundle of joy, Wren finally accepts Jensen is the logical one to ask for help. Except he has a counteroffer…one with so many strings attached, they may just find themselves wrapped up in ties that bind. Forever.

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Eff Bradley! Wren is kickass, and I’m in love with Jensen!

You know the saying, “nice guys finish last”? Well Jensen is the nicest guy, and in this case being the last is a good thing, ’cause last means forever.

Being asked to Wren’s baby daddy was unexpected, though since he’s been crushing on her forever, an opportunity he won’t pass on. He knows given the opportunity he can make her fall in love with him.

Little does he know Wren also has a little crush on Jensen, she just believed he was out of her reach. Finding herself in a difficult situation, she does know she can count on him. What she wasn’t expecting was that Jensen doesn’t want to pretend, he wants it for real.

There were quite some unexpected surprises coming from Jensen. What was actually nice, otherwise the guy would be too perfect. Wren on the other hand is clearly faulted, though as I got to know her better, her reasoning became more clear, and I realised how awesome she truly is.

There is plenty of drama coming from all sides to keep the story flowing very nicely. Toni Aleo’s great blend of humor, romance, sexy times, hockey, and drama is once again on point. In The Crease is already added to my list of rereads.

4.5 stars

Assassins – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone, but have interconnecting characters*

taking shots  trying to score  empty net  falling for the backup

Taking ShotsAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Trying To ScoreAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Empty NetAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Falling For The BackupAmazon US – Amazon UK

4 & counting  blue lines  breaking away   laces

4 & Counting (FREE)

Blue LinesMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Breaking AwayMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Laces & LaceMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

  Very-2BMerry-2BHockey-2BHoliday-2Bhigh  wanting to forget  overtime  rushing the goal

A Very Merry Hockey HolidayMy review – Amazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

Wanting To ForgetAmazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

OvertimeMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Rushing The GoalMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

pucks-sticks-and-diapers-assassins-8-5-by-toni-aleo  review-excerpt-face-off-at-the-altar-assassins-9-by-toni-aleo  Delayed Call (Assassins #11) by Toni Aleo  Review- Twenty-Two (Assassins #11.5) by Toni Aleo

Puck, Sticks, and DiapersAmazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

Face-Off At The AltarMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Delayed CallMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Twenty-TwoAmazon US – Amazon UK

Review- In the Crease (Assassins #12) by Toni Aleo

In The Crease

Connect with Toni AleoGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon – Signed Books

Review & Excerpt: Royally Endowed (Royally #3) by Emma Chase

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, gorgeous royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
***
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to call him hers.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

Add To Goodreads

ECXERPT

Ellie

But then the mood shifts, as if the air becomes thicker, weighted, more . . . sultry.

Because slowly, Logan sinks down to one knee in front of me—looking in my eyes the whole time. In this position, I could touch his shoulders, comb my fingers through his thick, dark hair. He’s the perfect height for me to bend down and kiss his mouth—the perfect height for him to kiss me back . . . in a lot of places.

My breath hitches. And I wonder he feels it too.

There’s a sound of tearing Velcro, and Logan takes something off his ankle—a holster, with a small silver knife, about three inches long.

“Keep this on you all the time,” he says seriously. “Just in case. If you wear a skirt, the strap will fit around your thigh.”

And I almost laugh. Most girls get a ring from a guy on his knees. I get a murder weapon. But still, it makes me feel safe . . . watched over. Like I’m something precious that deserves to be protected.

I take the knife from him, testing the surprisingly solid, heavy weight of it in my hand. I press my index finger to the tip.

Logan grabs my wrist tightly. “Careful. It’s sharp.”

There’s a small, painless nick, a tiny bead of blood, so I put my finger in my mouth, sucking.

And Logan’s watching me again.

Watching my mouth.

His chest seems to rise just a little faster, and his throat ripples when he swallows. He bends his head, curves his strong back, and then I feel his hands on my ankle, securing the strap. His touch is warm and self-assured. It’s the way he always moves—confident and experienced. Logan knows his body and he knows how to use it, in every way possible.

I almost moan. The sound is in the back of my throat, but I keep it trapped. I never knew the ankle was an erogenous zone, but it sure as hell is now. A hot pulse of pleasure streaks from Logan’s fingers on my bare skin, up my thigh, between my legs.

And I throb there, growing swollen and heavy as he keeps his hands on me.

Can he tell? Does he know? He’s so aware of everything, always so attuned, I wonder if he can sense my arousal . . . feel it in the air that clings between us.

Get your copy of Royally Endowed

royally endowed

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

From Royally Screwed when we first met Ellie, and Logan, I just knew something was brewing between these two. Back then Ellie was too young, but years have passed now, and what once was a crush, turned into an infatuation, and now maybe even love.

Logan tried to resist the happy, daring Ellie, but every year it has become harder to resist her. It’s his job to protect the royal family, which she is now part of. Dating someone you have to protect is a big no-no. Logan will have to make the hard choice between love and duty.

I adored Ellie. A spirited young woman, discovering her place in the world, and enjoying every second of it. Her energy was infectious, and clearly one of the main reasons Logan is so attracted to her. She was excellent at pushing his buttons, anything to get a reaction out of him. The dynamic between them was often entertaining to read.

It’s been building up for years, and I could completely understand where Logan was coming from. His work is his life, even more so, his calling. Watching that inner struggle between love, and duty was interesting to follow.

I’m kind of sad to see this series coming to an end. Royally Endowed was a pleasure to read. Ellie and Logan were wonderful, and I’m so happy how everything turned out. I loved how they took their time, a chance for the attraction to grow more and more each day. Until it all explodes, some parts very well, some parts a bit scary. Though princesses get their prince in the end, right?!

3.5 stars

Royally – Reading order & purchase links

review-royally-screwed-royally-1-by-emma-chase  royally-matched-royally-2-by-emma-chase  Review & Excerpt: Royally Endowed (Royally #3) by Emma Chase

Royally Screwed: My review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Royally Matched: My review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Royally Endowed: Amazon USAmazon UK

Connect with Emma ChaseGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Kiss My Boots (Coming Home #2) by Harper Sloan

In this second of the sultry, Western-set Coming Home series from New York Times bestselling author Harper Sloan, Quinn Davis might finally have a shot at her own happily-ever-after—but will she let love in, or will she tell it to go ahead and kiss her boots?

Quinn Davis prefers to live her life quietly. She’s the stereotypical tomboy with two overprotective big brothers who have always been there to protect her, especially from devilishly handsome cowboys with silver tongues. That is, until Tate Montgomery comes riding into town. Their first meeting, however, is far from something out of a fairy tale and only further convinces Quinn that men aren’t worth her time.

The only place Tate Montgomery ever truly felt at home growing up was during the long, sweltering summer months he spent at his Gram and Paw’s farm in Pine Oak, Texas. Now, Tate has returned to his childhood sanctuary seeking a fresh start—but if he’s being entirely honest, he’s not just back for the wranglers and Stetsons. During those summers, Quinn was a friend-turned-young-love who Tate lost when life threw him a curveball and he cut all ties to his past; but all it takes is one glance at the raven-haired beauty he did his best to forget for him to realize just how much he’s been missing….

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I have a serious girl crush on Quinn Davis. She’s a mechanic, owns a cool horse, and has a tendency to say whatever is on her mind, often resulting in hilarious conversations. Though one thing she never really told anybody is how much Tate broke her heart.

Seeing her one true love back in town, is a shock to her system. All those past emotions come bubbling back up, and having Tate so close again is scaring the bejesus out of Quinn.

Leaving Quinn was the worst thing Tate ever did, and I truly get why he did it (families can suck!). I loved that he came back for her. The love he still had for Quinn just radiated of him, and winning her back is all he ever wanted.

Seeing these two lovers get a new chance at happily ever was charming to read. I felt the connection between Tate and Quinn off the pages. From the first flash back you’re just rooting for these two to get back together. Quinn’s sass, with Tate’s determination makes for some very fun, and interesting scenes. A cowboy romance to make your heart melt.

3 stars

Coming Home – Reading order and purchase links

Lost Rider (Coming Home #1) by Harper Sloan  Kiss My Boots (Coming Home #2) by Harper Sloan  Cowboy Up (Coming Home #3) by Harper Sloan

Lost Rider (my review)

Kiss My Boots

Cowboy Up (December 2017)

Connect with Harper SloanGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Trust by Kylie Scott

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”

I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”

“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”

“Bastard.”

“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.

“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”

“Not funny.”

I shrugged.

“You barely know the guy.”

“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”

“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.

“No we are not.” And I retreated.

“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.

Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”

“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”

He said nothing.

Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”

He slowly shook his head.

“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”

“This is crazy.”

“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”

“I’m just trying to be practical.”

“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”

“It does to me.”

Again, he said nothing.

In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.

“What?” I said, finally.

He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”

Get your copy of TRUST today!!!

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

They say that people who’ve gone through a traumatic event together, form a special bond. This is definitely the case for Edie and John. Being held at gunpoint is life altering. Edie’s life no longer feels her own. Her private school is even worse than before, the relationship with her best friend doesn’t feel the same, that overall feeling that no one can relate to you.

All except John. The boy who saved her. Who everyone else still sees as a drug dealing troublemaker, but to Edie he’s her hero. When Edie transfers to public school, she runs into him again, and an unlikely friendship forms.

Edie is desperate to feel alive, do the things she always shied away from. Gone is the nice, good girl, and the spiral goes downwards. Meanwhile for John, the robbery was a wake-up call. Trying to get his life on the right track, he has to fight all the prejudice, proof that he means business.

As their friendship evolves, John actually becomes the good influence Edie needs at that moment. They can confide in each other about what happened, how it makes them feel, and the daily life they struggle with. I very much-loved how Kylie Scott didn’t rush the romance. These are two teenagers trying to navigate a very difficult situation. We get to see that connection form, and grow over time.

Trust was excellent written, and Edie and John were fascinating characters. Impossible to put down, this story deals with a lot of teenage issues such as bullying, self-image, stereotypes, fighting prejudice… From the first chapter you get dragged into the story, and it holds you in its clutch way passed the last page. Trust is a young adult novel I will be rereading a lot.

4 stars

Get your copy of TRUST today!!!

Connect with Kylie ScottGoodreads – Website – Facebook – Twitter – Amazon

Hello Forever sarina bowen

A SINGLE BASKETBALL GAME CHANGES EVERYTHING…

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen is another sweet m/m story, where two main characters have to overcome some outside hate to find their happily ever after.

When Axel and Cax got outed by a priest when they were teenagers, their parents had quite a different reaction. Axel’s mom didn’t care, as long as he was happy. Cax’s dad was not accepting it. So much in fact that he made the family move, and the two guys never saw each other again. Until now.

Axel’s new job puts him at the same college where Cax works. While Axel has been able to live a normal life, exploring his sexuality and all that, Cax has been very much in the closet. Like Narnia deep into the closet. Though now that Axel is back, right in front of him, the pretend becomes more and more difficult to keep up.

The pull between Cax and Axel is inevitable, but overcoming the terror of Cax’s dad is quite the hurdle. Though I pleasantly believe in love conquers all.

I enjoyed getting to know these two new characters, and loved their dynamic. Hello Forever is a fast paced love story, with plenty of sexy times, and enough depth to keep things interesting. Fans of the m/m genre will definitely love this one.

3.5 stars

Hello Goodbye – Reading order and purchase links

*These books are standalones*

Review- Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen  Hello Forever sarina bowen

Goodbye Paradise (my review)

Hello Forever

Connect with Sarina BowenGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin

Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close–at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.

But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Paintbrush is Hannah Bucchin’s debut novel, and I loved it. A charming coming of age story, with colourful characters, realistic drama, hopeful dreams, and gives you that feel good vibe.

Mitchell and Josie both grew up in the same commune, but couldn’t be more different. While Mitchell can’t wait to leave the place, Josie thrives in the community. Besides driving to and from school together, you wouldn’t even really call them friends. Though after a major revelation by Mitchell’s mom, his world is turned upside down.

Graduation is almost here, and meanwhile Josie and Mitchell grow closer than ever before. Big decisions need to be made, feelings are involved, colourful secondary characters to keep you on your toes, and Paintbrush Community Village becomes one fascinating place to be.

Paintbrush is a perfect young adult summer read. Two great main characters, real issues, wonderfully written, inspiring message…what more could you need.

3.5 stars

Grab your copy of PAINTBRUSH 

Connect with Hannah Bucchin: GoodreadsWebsiteInstagramFacebookAmazon

Review & Excerpt- The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

“Headmaster Vanderbilt would like to introduce himself.”

Headmaster Vanderbilt turned out to be a guy probably only five years or so older than Theo. I expected someone stuffy, pretentious and more than a little condescending, but Headmaster Vanderbilt—a tall, reed-thin man who wore a tiny pair of rimless glasses perched on his big Roman nose—was warm and welcoming.

His welcome, in fact, would be the warmest I’d receive that day.

My first class was Microeconomics and to my horror Eloise, Finn and their whole crew took the class. I hadn’t been expecting to see them all together in one class and while the teacher introduced me I had to quickly put my mask of indifference on.

Eloise didn’t acknowledge my presence as I took a seat on the other side of the classroom. My eyes drifted to Finn but he was staring at the teacher, almost too studiously, like he was trying to avoid my gaze. I shook that suspicion off, knowing Finn thought he was superior to me—I probably wasn’t even on his radar.

Not that I cared if I was on his radar or not.

My Microeconomics teacher was pretty cool and I got through the class not feeling totally out of my depth. I considered that a positive for the day.

Fiction Writing was next and Charlotte was in my class. When I walked in, her eyes lit up and I thought I detected the beginnings of a smile before a thought passed over her expression. Her shoulders slumped, and she looked like she wanted to blend into the background.

I decided to ignore her weirdness and waved at her as the teacher approached to introduce herself. The teacher saw my exchange with Charlotte and insisted I sit with her.

“Hey,” I said as I took the seat beside her.

Charlotte gave me a half smile, half grimace. “Hi.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t cheat off you.”

Her answer was a tremulous smile.

Encouraged, I nodded at her violet dress. “That color looks awesome on you.”

Appearing almost taken aback, Charlotte glanced down at the dress and ran her fingertips over it. “Really? Bryce said it washed me out. She said I look trash in it.”

Of course she did. I got more than a few mean girl vibes off that girl. “Well, she’s wrong. It’s really cute.”

“Thanks.” Charlotte gave me a shy smile before wariness replaced it and she turned determinedly to face the front.

Her body language told me not to push talking to her, but I felt hope.

Smiling inwardly, I faced forward, too, and listened to the teacher as she started class.

Two classes passed and I already had more homework than I’d ever had back at Fair Oaks High. I wasn’t freaking out about it just yet, considering I had no friends and no extracurricular activities to distract me from all the schoolwork, but once I did I’d have to find a way to juggle it all.

As I was walking toward my next class I noticed the glances and full-on stares from my new schoolmates. Their looks varied from curious to sneering and I felt a tingle of wariness across the back of my neck. Turning a corner on my search for my Modern European History class, I came face-to-face with my stepsister-to-be and her girls. They sashayed down the hall like an ad for a TV show about beautiful popular high school kids, long hair fluttering out behind them like silk, long trim legs on display in their designer dresses and elongated by their Jimmy Choo sandals.

Eloise saw me, looked right through me and kept on walking without a word.

My skin felt hot with embarrassment at her obvious cut.

I watched her disappear around the corner with her best friends before looking around the hallway. That’s when I realized I hadn’t been imagining the sneers of my classmates.

A sick feeling settled in my gut as I wondered what the hell was going on.

Grab your copy of The Impossible Vastness of Us 

THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US - tour banner

REVIEW

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

You see that cover, you read that blurb, and you think: love triangle! At least that’s what I thought, and luckily I could not be more wrong. India, Finn, and Eloise’s situation is *dramatic pause* complicated.

Without giving anything away I can say that the story, and mostly the secrets will captivate you. Three young teenagers who are all hiding something. Though secrets do have the tendency to reveal themselves, and it’s so much fun trying to figure out what they are.

Lifestyle of the rich isn’t nearly as glamorous as you might think, and growing up in that environment can be quite toxic. Enter India, a girl from the other side of the track, and things are definitely becoming a lot more interesting.

Mostly I loved the friendship between the characters. The depth and intricacy of the story, and characters was wonderfully written. Strong teenagers, trying to find their place in the world, brilliantly written, and captivating from beginning to end. The Impossible Vastness Of Us is a young adult novel recommended for young and old(er).

4 stars

Start reading The Impossible Vastness of Us now!!!

Connect with Samantha Young: GoodreadsWebsiteTwitterFacebookAmazon

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review- Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I feel Until It Fades and He Will Be My Ruin couldn’t be more opposites. From mystery thriller to romance, quite a change-up again for K.A. Tucker, though I love that she pushes herself. Until It Fades is actually super sweet, though it wouldn’t be a K.A. Tucker novel if there weren’t some big secrets that keep you on your toes.

Most people wouldn’t mind their fifteen minutes of fame, definitely if it puts them into a positive spotlight. Though I completely understand why Catherine shuns that attention. While glad she could help someone for once, the aftermath she could have done without.

Though when hunky hockey icon Brett Madden gives you his attention, it’s hard to deny. Mixed feelings, his persistence, her past, more secrets, meddling family, it all keeps you severely invested in Until It Fades. The whole time you’ll be rooting for Brett and Catherine, she deserves that happiness. Meanwhile the secrets, and drama keeps you flipping the pages.

4 stars

Get you copy of UNTIL IT FADES

Connect with K.A. TuckerWebsite – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads – Amazon

stay-wags-2-by-sarina-bowen-elle-kennedy

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Though Blake will always be my favourite, Matt Eriksson is highly delectable. If you need a reminder: super hot hockey player, great dad, animal lover, and one surprising dirty mouth.

So it’s no surprise he’s Hailey’s favourite player. One could even say she has a little crush on the guy. I loved seeing how flustered she got the first couple of times she meets Matt. This normally strong, focused, professional woman, becomes a mess around him.

Matt has a little more game than Hailey, and deems himself very lucky she likes him so much. A blossoming romance, with some dirty bedroom or other rooms action, and low on the drama scale, this is my kind of book.

Though to be fair, Matt’s ex-wife needs an attitude adjustment. While there are the troubles of every relationship, though magnified by their busy schedule, I loved every interaction between Matt and Hailey. Their relationship feels very natural, with plenty of funny, adorable, and hot moments.

Another hit for Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. We get a hint on the next story, and I can’t wait! Stay was excellent written, wonderful characters, and a pleasure to read.

4 stars

WAGs Reading order and purchase links

good-boy-wags-1-by-sarina-bowen-elle-kennedy  stay-wags-2-by-sarina-bowen-elle-kennedy

Good Boy (my review)

Stay

Connect with Sarina BowenGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Connect with Elle KennedyGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Him – Reading order and purchase links

him  businessman working on laptop in black suit

HimMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

US: My review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Review & Excerpt- Too Close to Call (Romancing the Clarksons #3.5) by Tessa Bailey

All-American wide receiver Kyler Tate’s life is about to change. A fairytale college career skyrocketed him to the NFL draft. Adoration and opportunity are thrown in his direction wherever he goes, thanks to being chosen in the first round by the Los Angeles Rage.

None of the accolades mean anything, though, without his high school sweetheart, Bree Sutton, by his side. Four years ago, she walked away from Kyler, choosing a quiet life over the flash and notoriety his career would someday bring.

Now he’s back in their Indiana hometown, refusing to leave for Los Angeles without her. Demanding she give their life together a shot. Her heart never stopped bleeding for the love of her life, but Bree’s decision was final. Too bad their wild attraction has only been amplified by their separation, and Kyler won’t quit until Bree is wearing his ring.

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

“Bree.” Her blood snapped with electricity at the sound of her name, said in that low drawl. Kyler stepped to the forefront of the crowd. The green eyes that still graced her dreams zeroed in, raking over her like they couldn’t help it.

Heaven above, four years looked incredible on him. Extra inches had been added everywhere. His height. The athletic breadth of his shoulders. The corded biceps that tested the stitching of his T-shirt sleeves. Even his thighs, which were wrapped up in faded denim, were exploding with muscle; thighs she’d spent a good portion of her youth perched on since Kyler never allowed her to sit anywhere but his lap, no matter where they were or whether it was appropriate. “Hello.”

“Hello,” she whispered. “You’re in town.”

His slow nod was so familiar a ripple moved through her. “Here for the week. Can I get you that coffee?”

“No.” She flushed over her own abruptness. “I meant to say, I can’t stay. I’m going to be late for an appointment.”

“Fine. I’ll walk you out.”

His expression dared her to say no. Challenged her. And for the first time since Kyler left, sexual awareness danced in her middle, sending a swift tremble down the length of her legs. Because her body hadn’t forgotten what often lay on the other side of those challenges. “Fine,” she breathed. “Suit yourself.”

For all his sexual energy, Kyler was a gentleman, straight down to the soles of his feet. So Bree wasn’t one bit surprised when his long gait ate up the distance between them. He reached over her head to push open the glass door, sending his scent crashing into her senses, the combination so familiar, Bree’s nipples tightened until she winced. Grassy fields and Nautica Blue aftershave.

Their gazes clashed, but Bree couldn’t decide if he’d worn the scent on purpose. His steady eyes gave nothing away. Before hers could betray her curiosity, Bree turned and passed through the door Kyler held open. And hell if it wasn’t the longest walk in history, his presence behind her looming larger than a mountain. Every eyeball in the diner was sure to be on them and the attention made Bree twitchy, her fingers yanking on the strings of her hoodie.

She needed to get this reunion over with as soon as possible. Being around Kyler would only make her wonder what might have been. That kind of thinking was pointless. Destructive.

Back in high school, the writing had been on the wall when it came to Kyler. Everyone knew he’d been destined for greatness. That he would shake off Bloomfield and put his name in the history books. She’d been selfish to stay with him for so long, absorbing his love and attention, all the while knowing she’d wave good-bye to him someday. The decision was a painful one, but it had been made and now she would stick to it.

Grab your copy of Too Close To Call

TOO CLOSE TO CALL - Available Now

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Too Close To Call stands separate from the Clarksons family. Though Kyler might be familiar for the fans of the series.

This very talented man just got drafted in the NFL. Upon accepting his jersey, Kyler realises someone very important is missing.

Middle school sweethearts until Bree dumped him after graduation, Kyler has not moved on one bit. Too hurt, and too angry back then to fight for her. Now he’s back in town, and won’t leave without Bree.

Bree loved Kyler. Breaking up with him, she believed was the best for him. Though neither has been truly happy in the last four years.

It was so much fun to see Kyler trying to win Bree back. The love between them was still so clear to see. The sexual tension, and chemistry was off the charts. I loved the connection Kyler and Bree have, the history they share, and their unwavering devotion.

A sweet second chance romance novella, with some pleasantly surprising steamy scenes. A true love connection between two characters that makes you believe in fairy tale romances and happily ever after.

3.5 stars

Romancing The Clarksons – Reading order and purchase links

too hot to handle tessa bailey  too wild to tame

Too Hot To Handle (My review)

Too Wild To Tame (My review)

Too Hard to Forget (Romancing the Clarksons #3) by Tessa Bailey  Review & Excerpt- Too Close to Call (Romancing the Clarksons #3.5) by Tessa Bailey  Too Beautiful to Break (Romancing the Clarksons #4) by Tessa Bailey

Too Hard To Forget (My review)

Too Close To Call

Too Beautiful To Break (September 26, 2017)

Connect with Tessa BaileyWebsite – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon

Review- Hearts on Air (Hearts #6) by L.H. Cosway

3 weeks. 5 cities. 15 impossible stunts. One reality show.

Trevor Cross came into Reya Cabrera’s world with a bang and faded out with a whimper. They vowed to make it work, but life had other plans. After chasing his TV dreams for years, Trev finally became the UK’s next big reality star, but he alienated his family and friends in the process. Now he finally has everything he ever wanted. Women. Money. Fame. But none of it means anything when he doesn’t have the one thing that matters most: love.

Money leaves a gaping hole. Fame surrounds him with loneliness. And no woman makes him feel like Reya used to before the whirlwind of success pulled them apart.

He has a plan to get her back. However, with a hectic filming schedule looming, the only way to do that is to convince her to come on the road with him. Reya has been stuck in a rut for a while, and the opportunity to travel across Europe and play her music for new audiences seems like heaven. The only catch? She has to do it with the one boy who ever got close enough to break her heart. But he’s not a boy anymore, and as she gets to know him again she can’t deny her respect for the man he’s become.

Every time she’s around him her heart feels full of air, like a balloon about to pop. Little does she know, Trev’s feelings are just as tumultuous as hers. One thing’s for sure, these three weeks on the road together will either make them whole again or break them irrevocably.

Add to Goodreads

REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Ever since Trevor was introduced in Hearts Of Blue I’ve been wanting his story. I love his energy, the randomness that comes out of his mouth, and his loyalty.

And Reya, oh how I felt for her whenever Trev was after some new girl, or made some casual remark not realising her feelings.

Though luckily he finally saw the light, then screwed it all up. A bit more grown up, and self-knowledge, he’s ready for a second chance.

Reya doesn’t know if she’s ready to spend three weeks on the road with Trev. Which you know, it’s a bit silly, when it’s so clear to everyone that she still loves him, and he is also still very much in love with her.

On the one hand I really wanted to yell “Just kiss, and make up.” On the other hand I’m glad they didn’t. This gave us the opportunity to get to know the characters better, discover their issues, and therefore root even more for a happy ending.

I’m so happy with Hearts On Air. Reya is amazing. Trev can consider himself a lucky guy with a girl like that. Trev’s teasing is a highlight for me. He’s a great guy, not perfect, but it’s impossible for me not to adore him.

Hearts On Air can be read as a standalone, though we’re getting more stories after this one. A story I’ve wanted for two years, and it was everything I could ever want. L.H. Cosway writes amazingly wonderful stories. Her characters are fascinating, and I’ll keep reading whatever she writes! I love it all.

4.5 stars

Hearts – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone*

six of hearts  hearts of fire  king of hearts

Six Of HeartsAmazon US – Amazon UK

Hearts Of FireAmazon US – Amazon UK

King Of HeartsAmazon US – Amazon UK

hearts of blue  thief-of-hearts-lh-cosway  Review- Hearts on Air (Hearts #6) by L.H. Cosway

Hearts Of BlueAmazon US – Amazon UK

Thief Of Hearts: Amazon USAmazon UK

Hearts On Air

Connect with L.H. CoswayGoodreads – Website –Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway