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Saturday, July 23, 2016

ARC Review: Stolen Innocence by Melody Anne

Ok, I like romance with dark themes. I'm a Anne Zaires/ Pepper Winters/ Ker Dukey etc. type reader. I've enjoyed several titles by all of those authors. I've also read Melody Anne books in the past. I've read her billionaire romance titles and this was nothing like any of them. I thought this book might be a balance of the darker themes that I like and the romance that I associate with Melody Anne but NO.

I actually don't think this book qualifies as a dark romance, or even a romance. I consider dark romance to be love stories with taboo themes mixed in. Here, there was no love story but lots of taboo. If you have any kind of rape and abuse triggers, pass on this one for sure. The book is about Mary/Elena who is kidnapped when she is 16 for the pleasure of some sick old perv. When the book starts, we are in the middle of the story and then the book is told going back in time. The beginning was intriguing. A lot of the reason I kept reading some of the more difficult material is because I wanted to see how the book got to that point. FYI, you don't find out in the first installment.

While Elena is being "broken" and "trained" she suffers all kinds of ridiculous abuse. When it is finally Elena's turn to 'please the master,' by a strange twist of fate she winds up in the hands of his son, Dalton. I can't really tell you much about Dalton except that he is very attractive to Elena and torn about his desire for her. It seems like Dalton might rescue Elena but then he kind of doesn't. I guess it's a case of the apple falling sort of but not too far from the tree. It's clear that Dalton is obsessed with Elena but that's kind of her problem. Men get obsessed with her and then do horrible things to her.

There is almost no happiness for Elena in this entire installment of the series. One horrific thing after another happens to her. When she thinks she can trust someone, that goes left quickly. You will need to read a book about rainbows, unicorns, and sunflowers by the time you finish this book.

I'm giving this book 3 stars because Melody Anne is a good writer and that comes across here. I might have given it 4 stars for writing but the author's writing style did not match the subject matter. Usually when you read the darker books, the language is gritty and explicit and matches what is happening in the book. Melody Anne still writes this book like it is a Harlequin romance from the early 90s. It just didn't fit what was occurring in the book and it was distracting.

I usually try to tell you if I recommend you read a book but that's tough to do here. If the things I talked about in this review don't bother you, this might be a good pick for you. For me, I just want more love and hope then was offered in this book.

**Copy provided by Author**

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ARC Review: Anything But Love by Daisy Prescott

Anything But Love is the third standalone story in the Wingmen series by Daisy Prescott. You do not need to read these in order to understand them, but they are interconnected. I have read and enjoyed Daisy's books in the past, so I was really excited for Anything But Love. While there were things I liked here, overall this one was just okay for me. 

Erik Kelso has worked hard to start his coffee company in Whidbey, so he heads to Cabo with his brother Carter for a weekend filled with sun and girls. But when he meets Caribou Caldwell, things get off on the wrong foot and Erik finds himself torn between thinking she is his worst nightmare but also his fantasy come to life. When Erik finds himself suddenly the center of attention, things change once again between him and Cari. Is there more to their connection, and what happens when Erik is no longer just a small town guy but the man that everyone wants? 

I liked Erik and Cari, but my biggest issue was that I just couldn't relate to them. I found myself struggling to care about them, and I just wasn't really feeling anything between them. Don't get me wrong there was attraction and I could tell that they liked one another when they weren't bickering, but I just didn't ever really feel their connection. They had some sexy moments and I did enjoy their banter, but it wasn't enough for me to ever be completely sold that these two were falling in love with one another. 

I also have to say that for the first third to half of the book I had a tough time even getting into the story. It was slow and there was a ton of set-up with not a lot happening. Things were very dry, and it was all I did this and I did that and then I did this. It just wasn't what I was used to from Daisy's books and it didn't have that same light, humorous yet sexy feel her stories typically do. There was nothing to hold my attention or captivate me as there usually is with her stories. So while I did things about this book, this wasn't my favorite of hers. While it wasn't a bad book, it did feel forced at times coming off as disjointed and without the effortless flow I am used to with her books. I know I will read more from Daisy in the future, but for me Erik and Cari's story was just okay.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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Feature and Giveaway: Gone Too Deep by Katie Ruggle

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

George Holloway has spent his life alone, exploring the treacherous beauty of the Colorado Rockies. He’s the best survival expert Search and Rescue has, which makes him the obvious choice to lead Ellie Price through deadly terrain to find her missing father. There’s just one problem—Ellie’s everything George isn’t. She’s a city girl, charming, gregarious, delicate, small. And when she looks up at him with those big, dark eyes, he swears he would tear the world apart to keep her safe.

With a killer on the loose, he may have no choice.

Ellie’s determined to find her father no matter the cost. But as she and her gorgeous mountain of a guide fight their way through an unforgiving wilderness, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a dangerous man in search of revenge. And they are now his prey…

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Friday, July 22, 2016

ARC Review: Going Down Easy by Carly Phillips

I like this book. It's a good boss/personal assistant romance with a few twists.

Lexi's life is not going according to plan. She had a great future set out for her but gave it up to take care of her sister. I can personally relate to Lexi's story and I really liked her as the leading character. Lexi takes a job as Kades assistant and I'm not exactly sure why. Lexi's dad seems to have plenty of money. He is one of Kade's primary investors and actually gets her the job with Kade. I would think he would just help Lexi out while she helped her sister but, ok, whatever. It brought Lexi and Kade together so how mad can you be that it didn't necessarily make sense?

Kade is the typical sexy nightmare boss and alpha male. The thing about Kade is that he's got real hurt in his past and real trust issues when it comes to women. Even though Kade was kind of rude at first, I really felt for him and liked him right away. I was kind of surprised by how quickly Kade decides that his relationship with Lexi is not going to remain strictly professional. Kade is instantly taken by Lexi's ability to stand up to him. Most people wilt when Kade goes all big bad wolf on them but Lexi stands up to Kade and he really likes it.

I loved that Kade does not waste any time letting Lexi know what he wants BUT, Kade knew that his personal issues would get in the way of a long term relationship. This happens in a lot of books but I always find it mildly irritating when characters hook up even though they know they are not looking for a relationship. It's ok if that is communicated but Kade never told Lexi about his issues. Luckily, Lexi was used to dealing with difficult personalities and quickly picked up on some of Kade's issues and was able to work around them. I think Kade is the first male Hero I've read about who had some mental issues (ADHD and mild OCD). Let me just reassure you, it does not overshadow his character and really did add some fascinating layers to this book.

The life circumstances and personal issues of these characters make this book more believable and less forgettable. I recommend you give this one a try.

**ARC provided by RockStarLit PR**

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Feature: Going Down Easy by Carly Phillips

Billionaire Bad Boys: Rich, Powerful and sexy as hell.

Billionaire Kaden Barnes has a reputation for being difficult and always getting his way.

Enigmatic and exacting, he's unable to keep an assistant for long. Enter his newest hire, Lexie Parker. She's no-nonsense, efficient and all business… She's also hot as sin and soon starring in Kaden's dirtiest fantasies.

As their passion for each other reaches a boiling point, neither can control theexplosive outcome when they finally give in to their desires. He may think he's calling the shots, but for this bad boy, going down easy has never felt so good.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

ARC Review: Full Heat by Carla Swaford

I am a total MC romance addict. It honestly does not take much to get me hooked on a MC book and leave me with a smile on my face. So when I tell you this was not good, take me seriously. I’m not being fickle or overly picky, this really was not good.

I do not like writing long reviews that list all the reasons a book was NOT good, because life is just too short but let me give you the highlights:

The book was a complete failure in logical consistency. No two events made sense when viewed together. For example, the book opens on kind of an intriguing note but even there, inconsistencies were present. MJ is way too comfortable around an MC while at the same time being the blushing innocent heroine. As the book goes on, MJ as the heroine makes even less sense because she gets more aggressive going as far as getting into it with another club chick who had a thing with Storm. I was reading it like WHAT? Where is all this coming from. I was so lost.

And then there is Storm….a total clustfu-k here. Storm goes from being a club prospect to the president after he gets out of jail. If you have ever read one of these books or know anything about MC’s, you would know that this is an outrageous journey into fantasy. It just doesn’t work this way. Also, Storm has to be one of the most disrespected club presidents ever. One of the things I love about MC romance is the alpha male hierarchy. Every member of the MC has his own bossy universe and the president rules them all but not in this book. In this book the club members violate Storm’s orders, mock him and even walk out on him. I was in a state of perpetual shock. In fact, I think the only reason I kept reading this book is because I couldn’t believe how it really didn’t make sense.

Ok, time to jump off this sinking ship. This book took me to the bad place. Storm is a mess, MJ is unbelievable and there is even some rape and abuse thrown in to really make things interesting (read: worse). Read at your own risk.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Seaside Lovers by Melissa Foster

Another fantastic book from Melissa Foster, Seaside Lovers was everything I was hoping it would be and more! I have yet to be disappointed by any of Melissa's books, and this one was really great! Seaside Lovers is the seventh Seaside Summers book and that is a part of her Love in Bloom series, but each book can be read as a standalone. Don't worry about starting here if you are new to her books, each one has interconnected characters but they do not need to be read in order to enjoy them. 

Seaside Lovers features Grayson Lacroux and Parker Collins. Parker is an actress and Grayson is an artist, though they have been communicating for months they have never met in person. Just as they are set to meet, Parker is shaken by the loss of her friend and mentor and retreats within herself. Planning to cope in the only way she knows how, Parker intends to mend some fences, but she never expects to cross paths with Grayson and for him to accompany her along the way. Soon Parker and Grayson are growing closer than ever, but as they face the future the past threatens to change everything that they are building. 

I really loved Parker and Grayson. These two were unique like all of Melissa's characters, and I felt really connected to them right away here. I absolutely loved the chemistry between them, and I thought that these two were perfect for one another. I was surprised not that I felt so invested in their connection and relationship, but that their connection was so strong for two people who had never met in person. While I have read stories like that before, I don't know that I have ever felt a connection that was as special as Parker and Grayson's here. Things just felt deeper between these two, and I couldn't get enough of them.

Overall, this was another winner from Melissa Foster and she continues to prove yet again why she is a go-to author for me! I honestly don't know how she does it, but each book Melissa Foster writes is new and fresh, sexy and fun. I am never bored, and I love that she writes books full of such love and friendship and are so well balanced. If you are looking for an all around great romance read, you can't go wrong with anything by Melissa Foster. I highly recommend any of her books, but this is definitely one of my new favorites from Melissa and it is one worth checking out!

**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

Feature and Giveaway: Dangerously Red by Kristin Miller

In part three of the new Dark and Dirty Tale serial by New York Times and USA best-selling author Kristin Miller, the time has come for Red to choose. But things are not always as they seem…

Before the night is through, I’ll join the Arcana wolf pack, declare a mate, and transition into a wolf for the first time. I must decide between Reaper, the devilishly sexy huntsman, and Lukas, the fiercely controlling Alpha. Both pleasure me senseless, taking me to heights I’ve never known. But I can’t have both.

Time is up, and I must choose.

But Lukas just dropped a bombshell. If I declare him as my mate, no other person is allowed to touch me. Ever. Not a handshake or a good-bye hug. Talk about stifling. Not to mention, the Omega has all but forbidden me to choose Reaper. As I stand before the pack, I must decide…the man who unleashes dark desires inside me, or the man I’m forbidden to love.

Get ready for scorching hot Alphas, a spitfire heroine, and a breathtaking ending!

The Dark and Dirty tale series is best enjoyed in order.

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I’ll never know what this feels like again—to be overcome by passion, and cherished beyond my wildest dreams. Not anymore. Not after I’m ensnared in Lukas’s controlled and demanding life. This January Wolf Moon might be the beginning of the rest of my life as a wolf, but right now, in this soul-deadening moment, it’s a death march. Will I be able to say Lukas’s name in front of everyone? And if I do, will Reaper simply stand there and let me go? As I pad down the staircase and my insides quiver with indecision, I’m not sure. Not about anything.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristin Miller is a teacher turned bestselling romance author from Northern California. For more info:

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

ARC Review: Bossman by Vi Keeland

I am a huge fan of Vi Keeland's, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on Bossman! I have really enjoyed everything I have read from her, and her stories are always sexy and fun to read. Bossman was everything I have come to love and expect from Vi Keeland, and I really liked this book. 

Chase and Reese didn't get off on the best foot. When they first met she was hiding out on a bad date telling her best friend how awful it was and he proceeded to tell her what he thought of her while also giving her dating advice. But then he and his date showed up at her table and pretended to know her. Reese found herself thinking of Chase after the date, knowing she would never see him again. Then a month later she finds out that he is her sexy new boss. Though both Chase and Reese aren't looking for love for their own reasons, they find themselves drawn to one another and soon they are unable to fight the growing feelings between them. 

I really liked the banter in this book! I couldn't get enough of it, and that is one thing that Vi Keeland really excels at. I am always captivated right from the start and her characters always have amazing chemistry. That was definitely the case here with Chase and Reese. While I did really like Chase, I will admit that I struggled a bit with Reese. It was hard for me to connect with her at times. I got tired of her pushing Chase away, and it got to be a bit frustrating. 

Overall, I still really enjoyed this book and I think this one is definitely worth the read. Vi Keeland always writes such sexy stories, and Bossman was one I couldn't put down. If you are a fan of Vi's, this is definitely one you won't want to miss! If you are new to Vi, this is a great place to start since it is a standalone story but I highly recommend anything with her name on it. I am already looking forward to more from Vi Keeland, and I can't wait to see what she writes next.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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ARC Review: Hands On by Cathryn Fox

I like the premise of this book, it's a super fast read and it had some hot parts. I just didn't leave the book feeling like it had a logical conclusion. I know it's the first part in a series but I hate a "part 1" that is really just a few chapters from a book.

In "Hands On," the "hands on" refers to Danielle's need for a sex tutor. Danielle gets a job as a sex therapy teacher. Small problem, she hasn't actually had any sex and has no experience to draw from. She gets in her head to ask the former high school jock and current NFL player for hands on lessons. Jack, of course agrees to be her teacher...sort of. Jack agrees to bang her brains out but he doesn't know why or that she's member of the v club.

The way Jack finds out about Danielle's virginity is that Danielle acts super awkward during foreplay. I get that she was a virgin but she was also a grown woman. As widely available as porn hub and it's freaky cousins are, I see NO reason for an adult woman to be acting as weird and silly about sex as Danielle did. Not only that, the woman has taken a job teaching sex How? How are you acting this freaked out ma'am?

I actually liked Jack's initial reaction. He wasn't an idiot or like always high so he figures out that Danielle was not the sex kitten she was trying to portray. Once Danielle confesses her ridiculous plan, Jack is on board for the sex but he sets out to make her first time special. I liked Jack for his efforts to give Danielle a more complete sex experience. What I found frustrating is that there is no actual sex in this installment. Well, there is some well described "self love" but no mutual satisfaction while the couple was in the same room. Unfortunately reading their phone sex was kind of silly.

All in all, this a pretty decent installment in the series but I think I would be feeling more excited if this were a longer book that got to more of the coupledom.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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