Monday, May 2, 2016

Cover Reveal: On Higher Ground by Melissa Collins

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Releasing May 18, 2016
ON HIGHER GROUND


When there’s no peace after war… When there’s no solace after death… When there’s only pain and suffering… Anxiety and loss… All you can hope to find is something more… Something that makes you whole and complete Something that puts you On Higher Ground



Add to your TBR on Goodreads.
On Higher Ground is a follow up to On Solid Ground 
which is on sale for only 99 cents
Grab your copy today! 
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Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson

Title: Leveling the Field
Author: Megan Erickson
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Gamers #4
Main Characters: Ethan and Lissa
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: Entangled
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Reclusive magazine exec Ethan Talley is furious when his business partner hires a photographer—a gorgeous photographer who insists on speaking her mind, damn it—to take pictures for an upcoming article. No matter how badly he wants the woman…under him, over him, against the nearest wall…he has reasons for not wanting to be on camera anymore, and his scars are only one of them.

It takes approximately two seconds for Lissa Kingsman to recognize Ethan as the popular YouTube gamer who fell off the planet years ago. But this Ethan is different than the charming man she used to watch, and the crush she had on him then is nothing compared to the way she’s lusting after the brooding man he is today. If sex is all he can give her, fine. Why not use that bearskin rug in her studio for something other than a prop? But she’s determined to put a chink in his armor, no matter how much he resists.
 

My Review:
Oooh, this was a great story. Ethan is scarred both inside and out. Ten years ago he was in a car accident that left him messed up. Now he lives the life of a hermit, only going to work...he's part owner of Gamer's Magazine...and home. 

Lissa meets him when she's a photographer for an article featuring the famous magazine, but Ethan refuses to have his horrifically scarred face photographed. Lissa doesn't see Ethan's scars as a detraction. Her sister was scarred and committed suicide. To Lissa, the scars inside a person are much worse and scarier. She's immediately drawn to Ethan, then she realizes exactly who he used to be. Ten years ago, Ethan was a cocky confident guy who charmed millions. Now, he's no where near that and Lissa wants to help. And that's all before the two realize their incredible chemistry. 

Both characters have reasons not to get involved...that really aren't a good deterrent to amazing sexual chemistry. They just can't help themselves...over and over again. 

My heart hurt for both these people. Despite their differences, their pain is eerily the same. They've both suffered horrible, sad losses that have left their marks. But they've dealt with their pain in markedly different ways. I liked seeing that difference and how seeing that helped to heal Ethan. He's a guy who needs to desperately make a change before he loses himself completely. 

I liked how Lissa sees him as just Ethan. While the scars are there, they are just a part of him...no big thing, except in the sense that HE is letting them hold him back. I liked how she approaches showing him a different view through her camera lens. She uses it to heal and it was a great aspect to the story. 

The book had lots of emotional angst that I love, but it was tempered with sexy times and even fun times. The glitter bomb had me laughing out loud. It's a great book and I definitely recommend it. In fact, I recommend the entire series. You can read any of the books perfectly well as stand-alones, but all four books are definitely worth the read. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Sleeping with the Opposition by J.K. Coi

Title: Sleeping with the Opposition
Author: J.K. Coi
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bad Boy Bosses #3
Main Characters: Leo and Bria
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: Entangled
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Leo Markham has everything a man could want. Money. Power. Respect. But there's only one thing he needs—Bria. The trouble is, she's determined to move on, despite the breathtaking passion still between them. Sure, he's made mistakes, but he'll make her forgive him. He has to.

Shocked to find herself facing her devastatingly gorgeous ex as opposing counsel in the courtroom, Bria knows she can't let Leo hurt her again. He's the only man she'll ever love, but he wasn’t there when she needed him most. She's just going to have to learn to resist the pull of his lethal magnetism.

Leo is determined to win Bria back no matter what it takes. He isn’t about to lose the only woman who’s ever had his heart.


My Review:
I really enjoyed this book, although it's an emotionally difficult story to read. This story is about an estranged husband and wife who are still both deeply in love, although they are on their way to getting divorced. Leo doesn't understand why, but Bria is adamant about it. Leo can't give her the support she needs, and while she believes that he loves her, she can't go through the pain of being alone when something bad goes wrong. She needs her husband for the bad times, too, not just the good, happy, sexy times.

It probably doesn't help that they are both divorce lawyers...they see the worst in marriage every single day. Although I will admit, I loved Bria's ability to do her job in this story. She excels at negotiating middle ground for her clients so that everyone is happy. She just can't seem to do the same for her and Leo. Leo is determined that if he out-stubborn's her, she will realize that she's made a mistake. He doesn't really see what the issue is for Bria. 

These are two characters who were definitely molded by their dysfunctional childhoods and they have to work past that before they can have their happily ever after. Bria's right in that a marriage won't work if it's not a partnership in both good times and bad. Both of these characters have to find their empathy for their partner before they can even hope to be happy. It was a good lesson and I thought it made for an amazing story. 

I also liked the couple who played in the background of the story who were working through their own divorce throughout the course of the book and how their negotiations translated against Leo and Bria's negotiations. 

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this story and plan to reread it again someday.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Phase Shift by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen

Title: Phase Shift
Author: Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
My Rating: A+

Genre: Sci Fi Romance (m/m)
Series: Chaos Station #5
Main Characters: Zed and Flick
Release Date: May 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Zander and Felix’s relationship has always pushed boundaries—personal and professional alike—but their love and commitment is stronger than ever. So strong that Zander’s ready to ask commitment-shy Felix the question of a lifetime when he’s interrupted. The Chaos is being hacked, and crucial, top secret information about the project that created Zander—and his fellow super soldiers—has been leaked.

Neither man could have expected the enormity of what’s discovered at the end of the data trail: an entire colony of super soldiers run by the very doctor who changed Zander’s life forever. And now she needs them both—Zander to train her new crop of soldiers, and Felix’s new crystalline arm to stabilize their body chemistry.

With help from the unlikeliest of allies, Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew must destroy the project and all its ill-gotten information. But when the team is split up and Felix is MIA after a dangerous run, galactic disaster is a very real possibility…and Zander may have missed his chance to ask for forever.

Book Five of Chaos Station


My Review:

Whew...the last book in the series. Just typing that and the tears start flowing. I've fallen in love with Zed and Flick and I'm still not sure I'm ready to let them go, but the good news is...I can continue to reread their story over and over again. Because I have loved this entire series and this final book did NOT disappoint. 

This book started out with an argument...Zed wants to get married. Flick doesn't see the need...he's already fully, completely committed...why do they need something more? It's just a piece a paper. But unlike Flick, Zed grew up with ceremony and tradition as a normal thing in his world. He wants to stand up in front of his friends and family and tell them all that he belongs to Flick. They disagree, and then life gets crazy once again when someone hacks into their ship's files...breaking into the Dreamweaver Project files. Anyone messing with that experimental, deadly program that almost killed Zed is dangerous. They can't let them get away without discovering what the hackers are doing with that information. And the adventure begins from there...

This is another dangerous, adrenaline filled adventure that takes the Chaos and its crew to the extremes of their limits. It was so good. There were moments when I laughed (Elias's line, "Yay" was one of the best lines in the ENTIRE series) and of course, I cried...more than once. Zed and Flick never asked to be the saviors of the galaxy, but once again, that becomes their mission. My heart broke for Zed when he's trying to deal with the Guardians, who don't understand the idea of gray areas. 

If anyone deserves a break, these two do. But I love with their plan for the future (no spoilers...just know that I love how the authors wrapped everything up so perfectly.)

In this final book, there were a lot of scenes that featured the entire crew and I loved that. I also liked the final moments between Zed and Brennan...who has been one of my favorite characters from his very first scene on the page. While I hate that the series is ending, the authors did an amazing job tying it all up perfectly. The book was romantic and sweet and stress-inducing and emotional. I stretched out reading it over three days just because I wasn't ready to let go. But when I hit the end, I smiled, because I was satisfied with where the characters went with their plans for the future. I love them so much and only want them to be happy...together...with many, many, many more sexy times between them. 

When I started this series, I was excited about a male/male science fiction series. While I like reading sci fi, I honestly don't pick it up very often. This series is the exception to that rule. In fact, as the series has grown, this has become one of my top three series loves of all time (for those of you taking note...my other two favorites are Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooter series and Sherilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series). When I started writing this review I went back and looked at all my review for the five books. Not a single one of them rated lower than A...two of them received A+ ratings. That NEVER happens for me to love books across a series that consistently. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Links to my reviews for the entire series:
1. Chaos Station 
2. Lonely Shore
3. Skip Trace
4. Inversion Point
5. Phase Shift (you just read this review)

Note: I honestly think this is the first time in my reading history where every single book in the series received an A or A+ rating...all 5-stars. Yes, this series is that outstanding.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Perfection by R.L.Mathewson (audiobook)

Title: Perfection
Author: R.L. Mathewson
My Rating: B+
Narrator: Fran Jules

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Neighbor From Hell #2
Main Characters: Zoe and Trevor
Release Date: March 2014 (audiobook)
Publisher: Audible
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Zoe is used to taking care of herself and has long ago accepted that if anything bad was going to happen, it was going to happen to her. So when she loses her job over something most bosses would probably be happy with and her life starts going down hill from there she doesn't expect it to get any better. She certainly didn't expect any help from the loud jerk next door, but then again she has nothing to lose so puts her trust in him and hopes for the best. What she didn't expect was the once in a lifetime opportunity that he offers her through an arrangement where they both benefit and no one is supposed to get hurt, but she should have known better because her luck has never been that good.

Like most Bradfords, Trevor has a soft spot for food, but that's about all. He leads a pretty straightforward life and likes to keep things simple and that includes his relationships. He wants the perfect woman and knows exactly what she'll be like. So when he discovers much to his horror that he's thinking about his frumpy little neighbor he decides the best way to get his head straight is by working her out of his system. He'll keep her around, but only until he finds perfection.


My Review:
Overall.... 4.00
Performance... 4.75

Story.... 3.75

Okay, I have to say...despite my lower rating on this one, overall, I did really enjoy it. 

My problem with it...I had a serious issue with the hero. He's a bit of a misogynist jerk. I hate how he talks and thinks about Zoe throughout so much of the book. In his opinion, she's good enough to have sex with, but isn't nearly attractive or perfect enough to be The One for him. *gah* I wanted to kick him in the balls...and then he had the gall to be upset when Emma had confidence issues. 

I love that Emma is a curvy girl. Overall, she's fairly confident, but she also thinks she's not good enough for the really good-looking Trevor. Throughout the book, they're having sex, but it isn't a temporary thing. Although the sex and their friendship is amazing...for Trevor, it's just until he finds The One and for Emma, she just plans to enjoy it as long as Trevor will have her. 

Does that scenario make anyone else sad? It definitely did me. If you ask me, Trevor wasn't good enough for Emma and although the book is really written well, very humorous, and highly entertaining, I'm still not sure how I felt about the first 3/4's of the book. 

But the last quarter was AMAZING...because finally Trevor realized what he had and how badly he'd been blowing it all along. I just wish that realization had come a bit earlier. 

But I did enjoy it. The Bradford stomach's still make me laugh and in this book the legendary Bradford appetite goes even further. That thread was awesome. I also loved all of Trevor's family...his uncle, Jared, and his cousin, Jason (hero from bk #1), who were both incredible characters in this book. 

So not an entirely positive review, but I'm still so glad that I "read" it and once again...Fran Jules, the narrator was BRILLIANT. I want to go out and listen to every single book she's done...yes, she's that good. 

And note...I did immediately move to listening to book #3. I'm loving this series!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Return of the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon

Title: Return of the Bad Boy 
Author: Jessica Lemmon
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Second Chance #4
Main Characters: Asher and Gloria
Release Date: April 2016
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot...pushing close to erotic

Story Overview:
He's a mess...

Asher Knight has three constants in his life: music, beautiful women, and a bottle of Jack. He lives for the next gig, the next city, and dreams only of a life spent in front of an arena full of screaming fans. But Asher's nomad ways come to a sudden stop when he learns he's the father of a three-year-old from a past relationship and suddenly this rock star bad boy is forced to put down roots.

Only she can clean up

Gloria Shields is no one's fool. Sure, the sexual chemistry between her and Asher has always been intense, but she'd never risk giving her heart to a man who has a perfect record for breaking them. Except the man desperate to make things right with his newfound son is nothing like the rock god she's guarded her heart against for years. And it isn't long before she starts to wonder if life with this bad boy might be the best thing that's ever happened to her.


My Review:
Okay, I'll admit it...I'm probably going to be in the minority here, but this wasn't my favorite book in the series and it's hard to pinpoint exactly why. Honestly, I think I just never really connected with Gloria, but that's the nature of her character. She's prickly and withdrawn and doesn't like to connect with anyone. And she stays that way almost throughout the entire book. She has her moments, but every time she moves forward a step in letting someone in, she steps back about ten more within 12 hours...all the way through the end. As a reader, I just needed...more. She flip-flopped so many times, it was hard to believe that she and Asher will make it for the long-haul. :( I don't like that feeling.

But I did enjoy reading the book and I LOVED Asher. He's trying so hard...to be everything he can be for his son, Hawk...to convince Glo that they are worth the emotional risk...to take care of things for the band (i.e. writing the music for the next album). BUT it's ALL an uphill battle for him. 

Needless to say there is a lot of drama in this book. There's a lot of drinking used as stress relief (hey, they live in a rock and roll world). And there is a lot of baby-mama-drama because the baby mama is an immature groupie who shouldn't really be allowed to procreate until she grows up a LOT. There is also a whole heck of a lot of sex in this book. Asher is used to banging groupies every night. He likes to use his nine inches (yeah, I could have used a few less references to this) as often as possible. But I think the drama between the two would have lessened if they had used their words more often to solve their problems rather than their hormones....but again, that's probably just me. 

Like I said, this wasn't my favorite, but I loved it as a finale for the series. The scenes with the group were incredible. I adored the epilogue and all the weddings. I've enjoyed this entire series. While this wasn't my favorite, I'd still recommend it because it was an enjoyable read especially after having read the other three books. I loved these bad boys and they had a fitting end to their penis bandit days/reputation, too, that had me laughing out loud.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The Bad Boy's Guarantee by Sara Daniel

Title: The Bad Boy's Guarantee
Author: Sara Daniel
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Bad Boys of Regret Hollow #3
Main Characters: Haley and Seth
Release Date: April 2016
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
If she trusts him, she can have it all…or lose everything.

Between working her day job in the city and tending her father’s small-town bar every weekend, Haley Miller can’t remember the last time she had a date. When she trips over a stack of her dad’s unpaid bills and into the man of her dreams, she knows the night is guaranteed to be the best of her life…or the worst.

Seth Gardner returns to Regret Hollow to save his family’s business from their landlord’s financial mismanagement. The chance to finally act on his crush on Haley is a bonus he’s not about to turn down. But if he waits too long to confess his secrets, he’ll lose her trust and his chance.

Just when Haley thinks she can have the love and the life she always dreamed of, she discovers everything was built on a lie. Seth will lose her unless he can guarantee a lasting love built from nothing more than their fantasies.
 


My Review:
This is another really short little story, but it worked for me. Seth is a lawyer and has come home to help out his aunt and uncle sort out the developer who's threatening to shut their pizza shop down. They rent the building from Haley's dad who's been very tight-lipped or completely non-responsive about what's going on. 

Haley has no idea that this is happening. Her father had a heart attack a year ago and she's been coming home on weekends to help take up the slack at his bar so he can rest and recover. She has no idea that things are as bad as they are. 

Seth and Haley knew one another in high school. He was the geeky nerd. She was the high school bad girl. Neither ever knew that the other had a crush on them. So there's that existing attraction already brewing between them and the business issues become a bit secondary as they realize that they really do have something in between them. 

It's a quick story, but I liked it. I had NO IDEA how in the world the author could work out that fantasy sequence to possibly work, but she did, and it worked for me as the reader, too. 

The nice thing about these little novellas is that they're quick. You can read them and get a pretty satisfying contemporary romance with very little time commitment. They're well written...a little shallow for a happily ever after, but they definitely work as a happily for now grouping of books. Each book in the series covers a different couple so you get to see more of them in the later books, too, which helps. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.




If she trusts him, she could have it all…or lose everything.
Out April 26th – The Bad Boy’s Guarantee (The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow #3) by Sara Daniel
Title: The Bad Boy’s Guarantee
Author: Sara Daniel
Series: The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Blurb: Between working her day job in the city and tending her father’s small-town bar every weekend, Haley Miller can’t remember the last time she had a date. When she trips over a stack of her dad’s unpaid bills and into the man of her dreams, she knows the night is guaranteed to be the best of her life…or the worst.
Seth Gardner returns to Regret Hollow to save his family’s business from their landlord’s financial mismanagement. The chance to finally act on his crush on Haley is a bonus he’s not about to turn down. But if he waits too long to confess his secrets, he’ll lose her trust and his chance.
Just when Haley thinks she can have the love and the life she always dreamed of, she discovers everything was built on a lie. Seth will lose her unless he can guarantee a lasting love built from nothing more than their fantasies.
For more information on The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow – visit Sara Daniel’s webpage.


About Sara Daniel:
Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to steamy and everything in between. She grew up in a small town and was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. She has no regrets about turning her back on her accounting degree to write romance, but she deeply regrets her inability to keep track of her car keys.

Find out more about Sara: 
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


More from The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow:
The Bad Boy’s Gift
Available from:  
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks
The Bad Boy’s Guilt
Available from:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks
The Bad Boy’s Goodness – Releasing May 10, 2016
Available for pre-order from:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks


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Excerpt:

            “Are your plans so urgent that you can’t make out with me right now?”

Nothing in his life couldn’t wait until after he’d kissed her. “No.”

“Good. Then I don’t want to know about them.” She dived at his mouth, thrusting her tongue inside.

As much as he enjoyed her bold moves, he couldn’t let her think he didn’t have anything to match them. He met her stroke for stroke, exploring her sweetness, demanding more.

She rubbed her thigh over his leg, and he glided his hand up her silky, smooth skin under her skirt until his fingers reached the delectable curve of her ass. She really had come prepared to carry out her fantasy. She moaned something incoherent, and he inched his fingers higher, the heat from her core drawing him closer.

“Do you always go commando under your sexy skirts?” He needed to explore her heat and sweetness more than he needed his next breath. The good guy inside warned him to stop touching her until they’d settled everything between their families’ businesses, but after discovering the freedom of reinventing himself, he couldn’t stop.

She pulled away, pushing against his chest until their bodies broke contact and he had no choice but to release his hold on her. “I need to do something. I’ll be right back.”

Disappointment threatened to choke him, as she chose the right, responsible option. He’d been foolish to hope a staid attorney who wore a freaking business suit to a basement drinking party would be enough for her. Of course he didn’t fit in with her crowd.

            He’d never been a bad boy and didn’t know her well enough to guarantee her the satisfaction she demanded.