Sunday, May 31, 2015

ARC Review: Sweet Ache (Driven #6) by K. Bromberg

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Signet
400 Pages

The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Burn turns up the heat when a sexy bet turns into so much more…

Hawkin Play, the bad boy rock star with a good guy heart, has lived a lifetime of cleaning up after his twin brother’s mistakes. Hunter’s most recent screw-up could land Hawke in jail and risk the band’s future. Hawke agrees to guest lecture at a local college to stay in the judge’s good graces—and a bet with his bandmate to seduce his sexy teaching assistant is icing on the cake.

Quinlan Westin is harder to bed than Hawke imagined. She knows his type and is determined to avoid the rocker at all costs—even if their attraction runs deeper than simple lust.

Just as Hawke might finally be winning over the girl, his brother has other plans. When Hunter realizes his twin finally has a weakness, he’ll stop at nothing to take advantage…

 Ok, not going to lie, I didn't go into this book with very high hopes. I had only read Slow Burn (Driven #5) by Bromberg and I wasn't too impressed. But holy crap, by the end of the first chapter, I knew I was going to love this one. 

Rock star Hawkin Play meets his match in Quinlan Westin and their romance just burns through the pages. Talk about hot! The chemistry between these two was just off the charts. From the moment they meet, when Hawkin finds out that Quin is his TA for a college class where he's a quest lecturer, there's instant spark. Quin seems immune to the charms of this known playboy and Hawkin is not used to being told no. After she turns him down once, Hawkin makes a bet with his fellow bandmate that he'll get Quin in bed before the semester is done. 

I think it's important to make every moment count.

Hawkin is your typical rockstar - mostly. He loves his job, he loves women and he loves to party. But there's a darkness to him that comes in the form of his twin brother. Constantly trying to hold onto a promise he made his late father, Hawkin finds himself once again bailing his brother out. Only this time, it could end up costing him his career and freedom. 
Quin is tired of picking the wrong man. While she doesn't mind the occasional hookup, she realizes that she wants more. Seeing her wayward brother finally settled has her wanting that. When she meets Hawkin, she knows he's not the one to settle with, but she's inexplicably drawn to him. She knows he's hiding something and it's something she thinks is worth sticking around for.
Aside from their chemistry just being off the charts, Bromberg spends time building up their friendship. You can see almost instantly why these two are drawn to each other and you can almost pinpoint the exact moment when Quin becomes more than a bet. While the sex scenes were very steamy, my favorite parts were seeing how seamlessly Quin fit in with Hawkin's bandmates. She just fit and his bands reactions to her were great. 

This book was steamy, sweet, and humorous. There was also an underlying story about wanting to belong and the true meaning of family. If you're looking for a hot summer read, look no further. Sweet Ache is for you.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tasty Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway: Risk It (Rule Breakers #4) by Jennifer Chance

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Hey guys, I so happy to be part of the Tasty Book Tours party for Risk It, the fourth book in the Rule Breakers series. I've enjoyed the other books in this series and am excited to see where Chance takes us next! Check out the other stops of the tour here.

by Jennifer Chance

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 2, 2016
Publisher: Loveswept

224 Pages

Jennifer Chance’s Rule Breakers series turns up the heat as a wealthy playboy and a beautiful con artist engage in a high-stakes game of seduction.

As dominating in business as he is in bed, Rand Sterling Winston IV always gets what he wants. And even before he realizes that she’s scammed him into paying triple the cost for her friend’s painting, he wants Dani Michaels. To catch her alone, Rand demands that she personally deliver his purchase. The attraction between them is immediate and electric, and he knows she feels it, too. So when the part-time petty thief rebuffs his advances, he gives her a choice: a night in jail or an evening with him.

Despite her checkered past, Dani has never met someone like Rand: brooding, intense, and oh so tempting. Only a man with a broken soul could make control feel this dangerous. Still, when Rand proposes a no-strings, no-holds-barred affair, Dani’s more than a little intrigued. It’ll be the trickiest con she’s ever run and a chance to indulge her steamiest fantasies—nothing more. But as their encounters grow increasingly intimate, Dani uncovers a vulnerable side to Rand’s steely exterior and opens her heart to the ultimate risk.

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Rand didn’t try to stop her as she exited his office, the door to which was fortunately only locked  from the inside. He didn’t say anything at all, in fact, and she felt the familiar rush of satisfaction, also spiced by the familiar taste of danger. This man was bad for her. He made her want to do foolish things.

But if they were foolish things that he couldn’t catch, well . . .

She’d made it all the way to the outer office when she glanced over to the lights on Pearson’s desk. They were flashing red now, but she didn’t think too much about that, given that the woman was gone and there was no one manning the phones. Then she punched the elevator button, and that flashed red as well.

Flashing red elevator buttons were never good.


Dani turned to see Rand silhouetted in the doorway of his office, the rain still pounding the glass of the windows behind him. It looked really cold out there, cold and wet. Which wasn’t going to be any fun at all, she had a feeling.

“Miss Michaels, it appears you have removed something from my office.” He held up the letter opener. “I’d thought I’d been quite clever, watching you as closely as I was. But once again, you have proven me wrong.”

Dani shrugged. “Score one for the con.” By his own admission, Rand hadn’t been the one to catch her. The flashing lights on Pearson’s desk console must be some sort of tech, quite a few levels up from the jobs she usually ran. And who microchipped crystal bunnies anyway, for the love of God?

Still, that didn’t mean she had to give in gracefully. He wanted to find the silly thing, that was on him.

Dani lifted her chin as Rand approached, his gaze drifting over her. She felt its scorching heat as he lingered on her neck, her breasts, her legs. “Now where could you have hidden something of mine?” he murmured. “Not your purse, I think. Too simple.”

That did make her smile. “Simple is sometimes smart.”

“And nobody would accuse you of not being smart—usually. And yet, you could have just walked away from my office without any memento at all, and guaranteed that you’d never see me again. Why didn’t you do that, I wonder?” Rand was close enough now to touch her, and he lifted his left hand to Dani’s temple, sliding it down until his fingers rested lightly on her neck, just over the point where her pulse was thumping quickly. Rand’s smile was all the acknowledgement he gave of her reaction, but it was his other hand she focused on as he traced the collar of her zip-fronted dress down, down, until his fingers caressed the small chrome pull between her breasts.

“I seem to recall this was zipped down just slightly further,” he said. “You’ll forgive me if I notice such things.” And with a quick, efficient move, he dipped his fingers into the vee of her neckline and drew out the tiny crystal rabbit, holding it up to the light. His gaze never left hers, however. If he’d tracked the spike in her pulse when his soft fingers had grazed her breasts, he gave no indication.

Dani smiled coolly, also not breaking eye contact. “Well, you got me. Losers walk, so I’m outtie.”

“Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple as that.”

Rand’s voice was deliberately slow, lazy. As if he knew with each passing word her tension level would ratchet up a notch. “The system is alarmed to notify security automatically in the event of any breach, and given the nature of the work we do here, a uniformed police officer is on duty at all times. Those individuals are even now on their way up to arrest you, as a matter of standard procedure. I can call them off, of course. And I’m more than happy to do so.” His smile grew a little more certain, and Dani felt her back go up. “In exchange for dinner.”

She blinked at him, startled. “You’re going to have me arrested if I don’t go out with you?”

“Not at all.” Rand bent closer, his gaze never leaving hers. “I’m going to have you arrested for attempting to steal an item of extreme sentimental value from me. You will spend the night in jail as I decide what charges I’m willing to press for such a violation of my trust and my personal sense of security.” His lips twisted cynically, but the interest in his eyes was very real. He weighed the small crystal rabbit in his hand as if it were gold bullion. “Or, if you agree to have dinner with me, I’ll call off the police. It’s your choice.”

Dani sighed and shook her head, then leaned up on her toes to caress Rand’s lips with hers,
and cup his chin with her hand. He really did have the most unbelievably beautiful mouth, she thought. It fit the rest of his criminally gorgeous face to a tee. She sighed as she eased back down on her platform heels, her fingers dropping to trace his lapel, smoothing his perfect suit against his perfect body. Then she smiled and met his gaze again, noting the hard, intense shot of victory in his eyes.

“I’ll take my chances in jail.”

So who wants more? Don't forget to check back within the next few days when I will be posting my review of RISK IT!

Big thanks to Tasty Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this book tour!

Friday, May 22, 2015

ARC Review: Under the Lights (Boys of Fall #1) by Shannon Stacey

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Jove
304 Pages

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Kowalski Family novels, a sweet, sexy new series about taking hits, making second chances, and finding love…

They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship winning football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again…

Chase Sanders’s life has taken a lot of crazy turns lately. But returning to his hometown to help his old coach keep his high school football team afloat might be the craziest thing to happen to him yet. That is, until he starts falling for the last person he should—Coach’s gorgeous daughter…

Kelly McDonnell learned the hard way that cocky, charming men are nothing but trouble, so she knows Chase is bad news. Still, she can’t resist his smile—or the rest of him. But when his loyalty to her father conflicts with their growing attraction, any hope for a relationship might be blocked before it can even begin…

Well, this book was certainly the cutesy that I needed right now. 

Chase Sanders is called back to his hometown to help save the football team that he was once part of. With his life currently in shambles, he drops it all to go back to Stewart Mills and to the coach who was more like a father than his own ever was. Having been part of the championship team, Chase and other teammates arrive for two weeks full of events and parades to hopefully raise enough money to fund the current football team.

Kelly McDonnell is the coach's daughter and one of the three women putting these festivities on. She will stop at nothing to make sure the teenagers in her town have something positive to look forward to. And just because she had a crush on Chase back in the day doesn't mean that would affect anything now, right?


Chase and Kelly have immediate chemistry from the moment he drives back into town, blowing through the stop sign and getting pulled over by Kelly herself. She's a cop now and fights daily to maintain the respect she has from the community. She doesn't need Chase messing that up. Not that Chase would even go near Kelly. She's the coach's daughter, and that means she's off limits. But try as they might, they keep finding their way back to each other. 

What began as a teen crush evolves into a friendship with the hopes of more. Stacey really takes the time to build the friendship between the two so that when Kelly is worried about taking it further as to not hurt the friendship, you believe it. 

The small town feel really helped set the scene of the book. Everyone knew everyone else and one persons business was everyone else's. The side characters added to the flow and made me want to know more about them as well. When this book showed up on my doorstep from the publisher, I was a little wary. But I am happy that I gave it a chance and am looking forward to seeing what else the patrons of Stewart Mills get up to in the next books.

I received a copy of the novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: Never Never: Part 2 (Never Never #2) by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 17, 2015
Publisher: Hoover Ink
111 Pages

“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.
And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.”

Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can't imagine, beckons to be found.

“Where are you, Charlie?”

So...I'm still confused, but I'm starting to put together little theories in my head with the little tidbits of information we do have. My theories are slightly extreme, not going to lie.

Never Never Part 1 left off with Charlie missing and Silas on the verge of losing his memories again. Part 2 picks up right where it's predecessor left off. Silas wakes in his car with no memory of who he is. Confused and disoriented, he tries to piece together the mystery of what's happening to them by going through all of the letters he wrote to himself. 

While I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, I enjoyed this one. I think it's because we actually got more out of the story here. The first was just a giant WTF moment while in the second, we know about the memory loss but now we are finding out more about their pasts and the clues are actually leading somewhere. I feel like I'm part of the Scooby gang frantically trying to solve the mystery.

There's not a whole lot of Charlie, which makes me happy. I'm still not a fan of hers and the more we learn about her, the more I just don't like her. Instead, we mostly get Silas. I feel for him, I really do. He's so obviously in love with Charlie (though I have no clue why) and so desperate to find her, even if he can't remember why he wants to do this. Helping him on his mission is his brother Landon, who is a cutie in his own right. 

The book ends on another cliff hanger which I was unprepared for. I thought this was a two-parter and the closer I got to the end, the more panicked I was because there was no way it was going to be solved with less than 4% remaining on my kindle. All in all, a much better showing with this one but still...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: Broken Hearts, Fence, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge #1) by Katie Finn

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Square Fish
380 Pages

Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence. Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don’t hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends to make amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago—including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh—to believe she’s someone else. As though the summer wasn’t complicated enough already.

Can Gemma keep up the charade? Or will she be found out by the very people she’s been hiding from?

I don't know if this book was supposed to be as predictable as it was, but...

I called everything. Even the "big twist" at the end. Now, this doesn't mean that I disliked the book because I didn't. It just means that either I have super sleuth powers when it comes to unearthing plots or the author wasn't as sly as she thought she was.

Gemma Hart is...well, she's kind of a horrible person and kind of dumb. When she was eleven, she was convinced that her parents separation was a passing thing and that by the end of summer they would be back to being one big happy family. Realizing this wasn't going to happen, she plots to to remove the one thing standing in her way: her fathers new girlfriend and her daughter. Now, five years later, Gemma is returning to the Hamptons to spend the summer with her father. She figures there's no way she'll run into Hallie (the daughter she hurt) and things even start looking up when she meets a cute boy on the train. But as fate would have it, the cute boy aka Josh is Hallie's older brother and she suddenly finds herself face to face with the friend she hurt. So what does she do? She lies. She pretends to be someone else. She figures that she'll get Hallie to like her again and then apologize, thus revealing who she really is.

I honestly don't understand how a girl this old doesn't get how wrong this is. You're going to lie to someone to get them to like you only to reveal your lie and hope for the best? Nope. That's not how life works. On top of that, what she did to Hallie's mom in the past was something that even an eleven year old would know was wrong. And how she didn't get caught, I'll never know.

Now, I know that it seems like I didn't like the book. And I did. It wasn't amazing, but it kept me reading - even if it was just to find out if I was correct about my suspicions. But honestly, I was interested in what would happen with Josh. Gemma didn't really have any interactions with him back in the day but I was sure that he knew everything that happened and once he found out who she was, shit was going to hit the fan. I felt for Josh. He was dealing with a break up and was having trust issues, and along comes Gemma who he clicks with instantly but she's lying to him and it's a pretty big lie. I spent the whole book just waiting for this to blow up in her face. And there were a lot of near misses, let me tell you.

Aside from the my issues with the story, I really enjoyed Finn's writing. It felt like I was watching a high school drama series and I just couldn't look away. The book definitely ends on a cliff hanger that sets up the next installment and color me curious, I want to know what happens. And I believe T Swift said it best:

Monday, May 11, 2015

ARC Review: Center Ice (Corrigan Falls Raiders #1) by Cate Cameron

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
196 Pages

The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

Well, wasn't this just adorable? Also, hockey - bonus points.

Who knew getting attacked by a squirrel would lead to this? Karen Webber's life has been seriously altered. After the death of her mother, she's forced to live with the father she never knew and his other family. What makes it even more awkward is that her father cheated on his wife with Karen's mother. Talk about fun family bonding time. Besides being heartbroken over losing her mother, she's angry at her father, confused about where she fits in, and lonely. During one of her morning runs, she falls victim to a squirrel attack only to be saved by a very attractive boy.

Tyler MacDonald is known throughout Corrigan Falls. It's a small town, but a hockey town. And Tyler is their star player. Ask anyone and they'll tell you he's bound for the NHL. Anyone except Tyler. While the NHL is his goal, the pressure to excel is burying him. Between his father and his agent Tyler has no release, no time for himself- except for his morning runs. When he sees Karen, he's instantly drawn to her. Turns out she may be the one escape he needs, but not all see it that way.

I am a huge hockey fan and I loved all of the ins and outs of this business that Cameron incorporated into the plot. It seemed to make it much more of a story about growing up than just a teen romance. It also provided more depth to a character like Tyler who is pretty much only known for two things: hockey and sleeping around. Reading about his nerves of the future and planning out his career made him more realistic and I enjoyed him more because of it. 

With Karen, she was harder to like. I felt really bad for her. Her situation was horrible. But at the same time, she did nothing to lessen the stress. While I get the animosity between her and her older halfsister, the way Karen treated her dad's wife was downright horrible. Between constantly throwing out how her father was a cheater and then stomping around like the world owed her something, I was honestly waiting for them to send her off somewhere else. But I tried to give her some slack. She was young and didn't really understand that other people were also hurting in this situation. 

There were a lot of cute little moments between Tyler and Karen, and it was fun to watch their characters fall in love. There were also some very interesting family dynamics playing out. You have Karen's new family who, for the most part, were trying to make her welcome, but she didn't want to be there. Then you had Tyler's parents who were basically living the worst people ever and only cared if their son made it to the NHL, not if he was happy (oh my god, I hated his father!).

Cameron definitely has my interest in this series and I will continue to read it. I'm looking forward to learning more about the other guys on the team. 

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Book Review: Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: NAL Trade
304 Pages

A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional —not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

It's interesting to me that this is considered a standalone book when we've met these characters (and others) in another series of Lee's. I'm assuming it's because of the jump from New Adult to Adult? Anyway...

After the death of her father, Dakota Nakos finds herself running the casino he left behind. As if dealing with this loss wasn't enough, now it seems like the Native American community Dakota was raised in doesn't want her or her mother there anymore. Add that to her ex showing up, and Dakota is just thrown out of sorts. She feels like she's drowning and it's looking like the only way out is the boy from her past and she's not quite sure that's a road she wants to go down again.

When Shane finds out about Mr. Nakos death, he stops at nothing to get home. Not only was Mr. Nakos father to his best friend and the girl he loved, but Mr. Nakos was also like a father to Shane. Upon his arrival, he instantly notices that somethings not right. Tensions are high, but no one is talking. Shane decides he's sticking around to find out what's going on - and to finally figure out what's between him and Dakota.

I really like Lee's writing. She's an author that I warmed up to, having not been to impressed with the first book I read from her. In Two of Hearts, Lee ups the game by jumping into adult with these characters and also throws in a little mystery: who killed Mr. Nakos and why? The setting was also one I hadn't read before. Set on an Indian reservation in the Midwest, I enjoyed how this book placed emphasis on the importance of culture and family.

The chemistry between Dakota and Shane was clearly visible. The two share a past - his best friend is her older brother, not too mention the almost relationship they had. Their past actually lends itself to moving the plot forward instead of getting us stuck there. It's because Shane knew Dakota so well that he was able to anticipate her reactions and also investigate the murder of her father more indepthly. However, despite their obvious chemistry, there was a giant game of push and pull happening. Shane knew what he wanted and was going after it. Dakota had no clue what she wanted and even after she figured it out, still pulled away. She was very up and down with Shane, but it was believable given what her family was going through and the stress of owning a casino. I enjoyed both the drama and the romance of this book.

In my mind, this will always be grouped in with the Between Breaths series. I can't help it. My mind just associates it with that set. That's not a bad thing, though, as I thoroughly enjoyed that series.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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