Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top Ten of 2015!


In 2015, I read 407 books. 
Of those, 37 were in the running for my TOP TEN.

I have definite trends in my reading likes...
22 were contemporary romance.
4 were new adult.
3 were romantic suspense.
3 were erotic romance.
3 were military suspense.
4 were within a sports trope
1 was paranormal romance.
1 was sci fi.
13 were m/m stories.
22 were m/f stories.
2 were menage stories.

And several authors had TWO books on my original list:
Mary Calmes
Amy Lane
Kora Knight (Upending Tad series)
Kim Holden
and for the second year in a row...
Lauren Layne
had two books on my list

whew...
I love doing this post, but at the same time, it's so freaking hard to narrow down.

But I did it. 
Here is the list of my 
TOP TEN FAVORITE BOOKS I READ IN 2015...
(listed in the order I read them...links take you to my review which has purchase links)

Story Overview:
Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.
 

Story Overview:
John Carey is just out of rehab and dying inside when he gets word that Tory, the guy who loved him and broke him, has removed himself from the world in the most bitter way possible—and left John to clean up his mess.

Forced back to his hometown in Florida, John's craving a hit with every memory when he meets Tory's neighbor. Spacey and judgmental, Galen Henderson has been rotting in his crappy apartment since a motorcycle accident robbed him of his mobility, his looks, and his boyfriend all in one mistake. Galen's been hiding at the bottom of an oxy bottle, but when John shows up, he feels obligated to help wade through the wreckage of Tory's life.

The last thing John needs is another relationship with an addict, and the last thing Galen wants is a conscience. Both of them are shocked when they find that their battered souls can learn from and heal one another. It doesn't hurt that they're both getting a crash course on how growing up and getting past your worst mistakes sure beats the alternative—and that true love is something to fight to keep if your lover is fighting to love you back.

Story Overview:
First love. Second chance?  

As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next! 

Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob's father isn't exactly welcoming. 

Riley doesn't trust Phoenix, doesn't want her in Jacob's life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he's about to find both—if they can forgive the mistakes in their past…

Story Overview:
All Andi Parker has ever wanted, all she’s ever dreamed of, is a spot on the Olympic track team. But when an accident leaves her hospitalized with serious injuries and shattered dreams, she’s not only uncertain what her future holds but also completely alone.

Drew Slater is a wanted man. Professional football teams want him for his arm. Women want him for his good looks and magnetic personality. But the well-crafted disguise he wears, the one that helps him score on and off the field, hides secrets. Conceals lies. Threatens the happiness of everyone around him.

One chance encounter brings Andi and Drew together, changing their worlds in ways they never thought possible. Unfortunately, what they thought they knew about themselves—and about each other—might just be the biggest lie of all.

Story Overview:
Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they've gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back… faith and something more. 

As a marshal and a soldier, Ian’s expected to lead. But the power and control that brings Ian success and fulfillment in the field isn't working anywhere else. Ian’s always resisted all kinds of tied down, but having no home—and no one to come home to—is slowly eating him up inside. Over time, Ian has grudgingly accepted that going anywhere without his partner simply doesn't work. Now Miro just has to convince him that getting tangled up in heartstrings isn't being tied down at all.

Story Overview:
Complete novel.

In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers-- and their penchant for making good music when they weren't getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams--made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind. 

Between the heartbreak of leaving Grant and the terrifying, glamorous life of rock stardom, Mackey is adrift and sinking fast. When he's hit rock bottom, Trav Ford shows up, courtesy of their record company and a producer who wants to see what Mackey can do if he doesn't flame out first. But cleaning up his act means coming clean about Grant, and that's not easy to do or say. Mackey might make it with Trav's help--but Trav's not sure he's going to survive falling in love with Mackey. 

Mackey James Sanders comes with a whole lot of messy, painful baggage, and law-and-order Trav doesn't do messy or painful. And just when Trav thinks they may have mastered every demon in Mackey's past, the biggest, baddest demon of all comes knocking.

Story Overview:
Charming, adventurous Zach Chase has always craved the spotlight, and now he’s on the hunt for publicity for his family’s storm-chasing business. So when a reality TV network approaches him with the idea for a show profiling their work, he can’t resist. But the last person he expects to walk into the meeting is the former love of his life.

Production assistant Maddi Hayes was once engaged to Zach—until she was almost killed by a tornado he was out chasing. She walked away from her fiancĂ© and their future together, convinced she’d always come second to his dangerous career.

Dreading the show and anxious over working so closely with Zach, Maddi also knows this project could mean big things for her career. If only Zach weren’t still so infuriating…and so infuriatingly sexy. Can they finally let go of their stormy past? Or will the passion still raging between them win in the end?

Story Overview:
Secrets. 
Everyone has one. 
Some are bigger than others. 
And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you ... 
And some will end you. 

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks. 

They both feel it. 
But they each have a reason to fight it. 
They each have a secret. 

And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you … 
And some will end you. 

Story Overview:
Kyle Reeves was trained by his father to do one thing: be the very best. So he isn't daunted by the Delta Force selection process—the toughest military training on earth—or when the very best woman falls into his arms.

Carla Anderson buried her heart in Arlington when she lost her mother and brother to combat. She wants nothing more than to give her all in the line of duty until she too is laid down beside them, and Delta training might just be the challenge she's looking for. Little did she know, the true challenge was coming in the shape of a sexy, alpha-male military operative.


Surviving brutal training is just the beginning of the merciless path to Delta, but it's also the dawn of the hottest passion Kyle and Carla have ever known… 

Story Overview:
Nick O'Flaherty and Kelly Abbott had their happy ending in sight when a friend’s call for help almost ended with them losing it to the blade of a knife. Now, in the aftermath of near-disaster, both men are trying to heal and move on.

Moving on together, though, is harder than either of them realized it would be. Kelly struggles with simply being a lover instead of the Doc, while Nick is mired in his recovery. The distance between them inches along in stilted silence.

Desperately seeking solace, Nick finally gathers the courage to sort through the possessions his dear friend and fellow Sidewinder teammate Elias Sanchez left him when he died. Instead of comforting memories, Nick and Kelly find a stack of letters and strict instructions from Eli that prompt them to send out a call for assistance. With Eli’s letters in hand, Sidewinder sets out on one last mission together, seeking peace and absolution from beyond the grave—and from each other.
 


2015 was a great reading year for me. 
If you'd like to see the entire list of 37 books that were in the running for my top 10, you can follow this link and it will take you to the 3-4 pages of reviews of all those books that I loved this year. 






Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Headed for Trouble by Shiloh Walker

Title: Headed for Trouble
Author: Shiloh Walker
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: #1
Main Characters: Ian and Neve
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
SHE'S A SMALL-TOWN GIRL WITH BIG DREAMS.

Nine years ago, Neve McKay fled her small Southern town and disapproving family to seek a career in the big city. Now she's finally coming home - and hoping for a fresh start. But the relationship that shattered her world still haunts her. And even among her nearest and dearest, she doesn't feel safe.

CAN THIS BAD BOY BE THE ANSWER TO HER PRAYERS?

Ian Campbell is a pure Scottish muscle - as hard and handsome as they come. But when Neve walks into his bar, his heart melts . . . and he vows to have this gorgeous and somewhat vulnerable woman in his life - for better or for worse. What is Neve's tragic secret? And how can Neve expect Ian to protect her, when doing so could put his own life at risk? The only thing Ian knows for sure is that he will do whatever it takes to keep her out of harm's way - and in his loving arms.

My Review:
The McKay siblings are going to make a great basis for this series. In this book we got to meet the youngest who everyone knew as trouble when she left this small town at the age of 18. She wasn't really trouble; she was troubleD. When she was 8 she was in trapped in the car that killed her parents for over an hour. Serious trauma, and she was so young. But so were her big brother and sister. Brannon was 13, Moira was only 18...neither old enough to know how to take care of her and her emotional health...so she began acting out, and then she disappeared and no one has really been in contact with her in 10 years. 

But those 10 years were almost as traumatic as her life at home had been because she got into an abusive relationship. She barely escaped with her life and has run home hoping to find a safe place. She finds it...with her family...and Ian, the bartender and manager at her brother's bar.

This is an absolutely fabulous book. There are a couple of twists and turns in the story line that I didn't see coming that I thought were brilliant. In the midst of Ian and Neve's fabulously hot and sexy romance, we also get great glimpses into her siblings upcoming relationships/books. I loved this story. All the characters were really well-formed, even the minor supporting characters. From the time I started the book I didn't want to put it down. Neve's ex was seriously creepy and his stalking kept me on the edge of my kindle the entire read, not knowing when he would strike. 

This was simply the perfect opening book for the series. I loved it...a lot. Now I'm ready...bring on book #2, Brannon and Hannah's book...OMG!! I cannot wait!

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

Between a Vamp and a Hard Place by Jessica Sims

Title: Between a Vamp and a Hard Place
Author: Jessica Sims
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Midnight Liaisons #5
Main Characters: Lindsey and Rand
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: Pocket
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
In the wickedly funny spirit of bestselling authors Kerrelyn Sparks and Molly Harper, this sexy paranormal romance features an estate broker and a 600-year-old vampire out for revenge.

Lindsey Hughes loves antiques and couldn’t be happier to make a living in the estate sale business. But when her assistant accidentally buys an entire estate without her approval, Lindsey is forced to clean up the mess herself.

Lindsey travels to the newly purchased, age-old house in Venice, Italy, and soon discovers more than she (never) bargained for. While digging through the hoarder’s trove that fills every floor, she finds a secret staircase behind a wall that leads to a strange coffin…with an even stranger inhabitant.

Vampire Rand FitzWulf has been in his coffin for 600 years. But now that he’s awake, he’s ravenous, and there’s a delicious-smelling woman with a rare blood type in his basement. Luckily, Lindsey has more to offer than blood: she agrees to travel throughout Europe with Rand to help him get revenge on the one who turned him. But as the unlikely pair grows closer, will the billionaire vampire be overtaken by his thirst for blood—or his thirst for love?
 


My Review:
I liked this book. It was fun and super sexy. Lindsey has an antique business. Her partner bought them access to an apartment in Venice for a month. In that time they need to clear out as much as they can for resale. But what Lindsey doesn't expect to find is a coffin in the basement. A coffin with a man in it with a stake through his heart. Thinking this is some sort of joke, she removes the stake and finds herself suddenly feeding a bloodthirsty vampire. 

Rand's situation is what really makes this book an excellent, emotional read. He's been in that coffin for 600 years and has lost so much of life because of it. When he went in, it was the middle ages. Imagine waking up from that era to now. He's just so...lost. Like Lindsey, I wanted to just wrap him up and protect him...even when he is a misogynistic prick. LOL...it takes him a little bit to settle into this timeframe and the way the world works now. Luckily, Lindsey is ready to school him and he's drawn enough to her to want to comply with her wishes. 

I'll be honest...I'm a bit over the whole vampire trope, but something about this series by Jessica Sims pulls me in every time I start one of her books. I like the way she writes her characters. They feel so real. I could honestly see hanging out with Lindsey at a coffee shop and the visuals of her and Rand together, especially at the end, simply melted my heart. I like them as characters, so I read and cheer on their HEA the entire time. 

The book was fun and at times really suspenseful. I loved the humor that Gemma, Lindsey's friend and business partner added to the story. When she's with the Dragon, I just kept laughing out loud, because Gemma just has that snarky sense of humor, even under pressure. 

It was a fun book...set in the romantic, gorgeous setting of Venice (even if that caused our vampire some discomfort). I loved the visuals of the apartment when the girls were treasure hunting and then the mad dashes across Europe were awesome. And honestly, the ending of the whole story couldn't have been more perfect. I loved reading this book and can promise you that I will continue to keep up with this series by Jessica Sims...it's a good one!

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

Anything For You by Kristan Higgins

Title: Anything For You
Author: Kristan Higgins
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Blue Heron #5
Main Characters: Jessica and Connor
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
Before you get down on bended knee…

…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.

When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have isperfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.

But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…
 


My Review:
Ouch, my heart. Seriously, Jessica's life and circumstance broke my heart throughout this entire story. I just wanted to wrap her up in Connor's arms and fix everything in her life for her. But she's in pretty good hands with Connor, too, although she definitely pushed his limits. This guy truly loves her. 

At the heart of all of Jessica's issues are her alcoholic parents. Her entire life has been made up of trying to protect her little brother from the repercussions of their choices. Seriously, everything she does is to take care of him...and not all those choices have been pretty. As a result, she doesn't have the best self-image to believe that Connor can really love her. She also can't see how it could ever work between them. Her brother has her number one loyalty. Nothing else can or will come before that...not even the love of her life. No matter that she's loved him for twenty years when she was 12. But that doesn't mean that she can't yearn for something more with Connor...and that's where the heartbreak comes because she simply can't see them working long-term. No one sticks by her like that.

The book starts with Connor proposing and then goes back and forth in time to explain just how Jessica and Connor got to this impossible place. With every revelation in time, my heart hurt just a little bit more. These two are so good for one another and their love is so true...it's withstood so much. But she just can't see it. But Jessica is such an amazing, strong character. She just doesn't see it. Connor is too though. His love...although so tested to its limits...is so strong for her. They have so many ups and downs, but he just can't give up on them in the end, and I love that about him. Jessica deserves this kind of devotion after what she's gone through. It makes my heart happy. 

It's a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. And of course it was awesome to get to revisit Blue Heron and see where all the other characters are in their relationships now...so many babies and weddings. I love it. And the way that the book ended was simply PERFECTION. Melt-my-heart and all-the-angst-was-worth-it perfect. *Happy sighs all around.*

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

Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy

Title: Kill Without Mercy
Author: Alexandra Ivy
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: ARES #1
Main Characters: Rafe and Annie
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: Zebra
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
From the hellhole of a Taliban prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES Security.

Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he's eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can't just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…



There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried.
My Review:
I love it when I come into a series on the very first book. That's what this book is. This is the first in the ARES Security series. What is ARES security? It's a private security company that is just getting started by 5 soldiers who were all held captive for weeks in Afghanistan. That created a really strong bond between these men. They each have their very distinct talents after their years in Spec Ops that they bring to the new security company. Because the company is just getting started also, this book is a great place to get to know these men. 

The main character from ARES Security in this book is Rafe. Rate has had to go back home to take care of his estranged Grandfather's estate and there he runs into Annie, who is also visiting the town. But she's there for very different reasons. When she was 10 her father was arrested as a serial killer. He was murdered in his jail cell hours later. When the killings originally happened, Annie had visions about them. Well, now with the 15th anniversary, the visions are back. Annie is in town to make sure that the murders haven't begun again. 

This book was equal parts psychological suspense and romance and it was really, very good...although I will admit to figuring out a lot of the mystery fairly early in the book. There were a couple of tiny details that I missed along the way, but overall it was a fantastic read and I'm excited with what the author has set up here for the series. I love the guys and how committed they are to one another. It's a great team and I love how different they all are.

Rate feels an immediate connection to Annie that was a bit off-putting for me personally just because it was so incredibly fast. And once he's in, he's all in...150%. And it should be noted that the author stated that this was very much his personality, but I still had a strange little niggle about just how fast he was completely committed to her. Other than that, the book was amazing. I loved how the author showed Annie's empathy. She's been through this incredible horror in her life, but still can see how the "bad guy" got to where he was and feel sad about that. I loved that glimpse of humanity. 

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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Altered by Marnee Blake

Title: Altered
Author: Marnee Blake
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: #1
Main Characters: Blue and Seth
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: Entangled
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
A new adult romance from Entangled's Embrace imprint...

When "normal" ends, survival begins...

The sickness came on suddenly and violently. When it was done, waitress Blue Michaels was different in a really strange way. And the entire town of Glory was dead...except for her.

Only that's not exactly true. A handful of people made it, including U.S. Army Specialist Seth Campbell, who was caught in the wrong town at the worst time. He's fierce and protective, and way too good-looking. As much as they need a leader—as much as Blue wants to trust him—there are too many questions and not enough time for answers. Now they are hunted. But what their pursuers don't know is each of them has strange new powers. And they'll use their "gifts" to survive...no matter who stands in their way.

My Review:
This was a book I picked up for review when my schedule was already packed simply because I could not resist the story description. It sounded so good. Luckily I was not disappointed. This book was really good. 

At first glance, this looks like a typical dystopian story, but it isn't. In fact it's more of a military suspense because everything that happened in this story only happened to one small town, Glory Colorado...Blue's home. Seth just happened to be passing through before heading to his elite spec ops training in NC. But Blue and Seth aren't the only ones who survived. No, this story is about the ragtag group of five who made it out of this little town, not only alive, but ALTERED. (you can just hear the dum-dum-dum music, right?)

And the book is just that good. Once it begins, it's non-stop action and adventure. Something went very very wrong in this town and now someone is determined to cover it up...which means capturing the five who've been changed. The issue with that is that they all have super-power-like powers now...which doesn't make their capture easy.

It's a really great and creative setup. I loved this first book and yes, it is a first. The story was left VERY open-ended...not to the point where it's a heart wrenching cliffhanger, but the stories are certainly not over or resolved. I'm ready...bring on book #2. 

I loved Blue and her wariness of everything to do with the situation until someone threatens someone from their tight group and then she's balls to the wall. Seth is steadfast and used to high stress situations, but that doesn't make his responsibility for this ragtag group of untrained non-soldiers any easier. He's terrified a decision he'll make will get someone killed. There's Kitty who's experiencing life for the first time ever but can't even enjoy it because of her new skills that are driving her batshit crazy. Jack with his over the top reactions and Luke who is simply overwhelmed and trying to survive. I liked them all in their own way. They all had their moments (even Jack) when their terror shown through. None of them asked for this, but I applauded them every step of the way as they learned how to work as a team and are just trying to survive. 

It's going to be interesting to see where this author takes their story. I can't wait!

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

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Good Enough by Kade Boehme

Title: Good Enough
Author: Kade Boehme
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Payton and Noah
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
The day Payton Grady returns home to Seattle after a few years away, he sees a gorgeous club kid who accidentally leaves an interesting scarf behind at the bus stop. In a silly attempt to locate the owner, Payton’s best friend places an ad on Craigslist. Two years later, Payton and his friend are shocked to receive a response from the erstwhile club kid. After balking, Payton’s stunned to find his missed opportunity was with someone from his past — his ex-boyfriend from college.

Noah Di Cicco has been wracked with guilt since college when he crushed Payton. His insecurities and betrayal destroyed their relationship, and eventually Noah's whole life. Six years and the experience of a rock bottom have changed Noah.

Now that Noah knows he’s good enough for love, both men remember what they had, while moving past the hurt they caused each other so long ago. Maybe they can be good enough together.



2nd Edition. Revised, heavily re-edited, and expanded.

My Review:
Straight up...I loved this book. This story is a second chance at love trope (which is one of my favorites) and it's done really well. This is a story about two guys who were best friends for 2 years in college before they became more and then were exclusive boyfriends for 2 more years...until it all exploded. 

The story is told in a series of flashbacks intermixed with the current day story, which make it all so much more emotional to read. There were moments when I felt physically sick about the pain happening on the pages of the book...for both Noah and Payton. Because these were two men that did love one another, but they were REALLY young when they got together. They also both had insecurities that came into play with their mistakes. Noah's mistakes are the ones that are most front and center in the story because he cheated...everyone knows that's bad, so it's easy to point the finger at him as the bad guy in this relationship. But I almost feel as if Payton's sins are worse because what he did systematically tore Noah down whether he meant to or not. Noah was an art student and Payton felt that was an inferior course of study. His comments were cutting and hurtful...and honestly, within the storyline, I personally wanted more retribution and realization for him. He got a glimpse of how hurtful he was, but I don't feel like he ever really fully appreciated just how deep those things he did and said went into Noah's psyche.

The book is deeply emotional as you would guess. These two guys have a lot of issues to work out and the last 6 years haven't been the kindest to Noah. Over and over my heart broke throughout this story. But I love that even with all the pain and hurt between them, there is still so much love there that shines through even during the worst moments. There is pain, but neither of them gets any enjoyment out of hurting the other...no matter how bitter things have become. When they lash out, it's purely out of self-defense. For that reason, their relationship and the validity of it in the long-term works for me even with all the absolutely horrible stuff behind them. 

I loved this story, but there were a few minor timeline issues in the book that dropped this from a 5 star to a 4 star read for me...and honestly the issues probably just came from the re-edit on it. I'm pretty sure that there's a new sex scene into the book because later there's another and with the way things are stated in the later scene, it sounds like the first time they'd had penetrative sex with one another since their breakup...which wasn't the case. Also, there are two scenes with Chase, Noah's friend. In the second, he's supposedly just learning things that they'd already discussed in an earlier scene...so he already knew this information. Like I said...minor things in the overall story, but they jarred me out of the book and I began to second guess that I read things wrong (note: I did go back and check that I'd read them right before I wrote my review.)

So, while there were a couple of things that weren't quite right about the book, I still absolutely adored it. The emotional impact of the story is very high and even with the bad things each of the characters did, I loved them and felt so much empathy towards their situation and their pain. Also, I love the epilogue. I needed that to believe in the health of their future. Overall, it was just a really good, emotionally satisfying read.