Monday, July 16, 2018

Sink or Swim by L.A. Witt

Title: Sink or Swim
Author: L.A. Witt
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Anchor Point #8
Main Characters: Alhazar and Dylan
Release Date: July 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
When need meets fear, can two very different men find common ground?

Alhazar Bukhari spent his Navy career in the closet. Now he’s retired, divorced, and hungry for the love he’s never had a chance to experience. He tries to put his faith in Allah to bring the right man into his life, but it’s hard to be patient after all this time.

Chaplain Dylan Pedersen spends his days counseling Sailors, and his nights with men he doesn’t know. Months after finally escaping an abusive relationship, he’s terrified of anything more than a physical connection. Maybe it’s a sin, but he’s too lonely to not let men into his bed, and too scared to let them into his heart.

When Alhazar’s civilian job brings him aboard the USS Fort Stevens, and his daily prayers bring him into Dylan’s chapel, the chemistry is instantaneous. Sex and friendship quickly evolve into more, but Dylan’s too haunted by his recent past to be the man Alhazar wants. Alhazar needs love, Dylan needs time, and if they can’t find some sort of balance, they’ll sink before they ever have a chance to swim.
 


My Review:
I do not like having religion in my romance, so I went into this story with a bit of trepidation. And yes, religion played somewhat heavily into this book...and I didn't love that. But it is who these two men are, although I wouldn't consider either of them heavily devout...no, not even the chaplain, although religion does weigh heavily on him with guilt over his sexual promiscuity. Again, I really didn't love that, but it didn't stop me from reading the book when it has in other stories, which is a testament that I truly enjoyed the story overall. 

Because there are some amazing aspects to the religion that came up in the story that I really liked. My husband was in the military for 20 years and I always loved that all religions were accepted at the base chapel...even Wiccan. I loved how accepting Dylan is of Alzahar's beliefs. No, they don't match his own, but he doesn't condemn him for that...omg, the world NEEDS more people like this...so, so much!!!

I enjoyed getting to see a bit more of the Muslim faith in action, too. I knew they did prayers and that they had to face different directions, but I didn't realize how frequently that had to happen. And I love the idea of the soothing aspect of it and just centering a person...seriously, while I'm not Muslim, I could see how a few minutes of meditation a day in the same kind of idea could help center a person and focus them. 

So, a mixed bag on the religious aspect of the story, but like I said, I have a very low threshold for patience on this subject in my reading, so the fact that it didn't drive me to dnf the book is huge in itself. And I did like the two guys. I liked how they related to one another and their differences. Dylan is an incredible character just in that he's working so hard to help...everyone who comes through the chapel. I loved how protective Alzahar was with Dylan, his coworker, and his kids. 

Overall, it wasn't my favorite book in the series, but I did really enjoy it and thought it brought another interesting twist to this series that I never would have expected. As always, L.A. Witt writes incredibly accurate stories about life in the military and with every book I'm more amazed by her skill to step into the hearts of such different, varied characters. She is the queen of military romance!

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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Guardian of Darkness by Katie Reus (audiobook)

Title:  Guardian of Darkness
Author: Katie Reus
My Rating: A
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Darkness #7
Main Characters: Gabriel and Vega
Release Date: May 2018 (audiobook)
Publisher: 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
He saw her die in a vision… 

Before five years ago, Gabriel had never met Vega, but he knows how she's going to die. He knows he'll be involved... unless he can make sure they never meet, never cross paths, so that his vision will never come true. So he left his pack behind, joined the Stavros pack and was determined to never let that future play out. To never meet her at all. Fate had other plans—and she walked right into his life when he least expected it. For the last five years he’s avoided Vega whenever possible even while trying to keep an eye on her. But when she gets cagey with her pack and disappears, he has no choice but to follow her. Now, circumstances are forcing them to work together and he’s determined to protect her against any threat. If that means dying for her, he’s more than willing to. But she doesn’t want his protection. If anything, she’s determined to prove she’s stronger than everyone thinks. 

She’s writing her own future… 

Vega isn’t the same moody teenager who came to live with the Stavros pack all those years ago. With college behind her, she’s been recruited by a division of the government’s supernatural Black Ops. Trained and more than ready for her first mission, she doesn’t expect Gabriel to crash her assignment. To save her cover, they pretend to be a couple. But soon lines are blurred and neither can deny the incendiary attraction between them. As they race to stop a man who wants to sell out their people to the highest bidder, they find themselves fighting for a future together. With time running out, she has no choice but to rely on the irresistible male who’s turned her world upside down. Unfortunately, in order to save the woman he loves, Gabriel has to give her up. 

Length: NOVEL 


My Review:
Overview: 4.5
Narrator: 4.25
Story: 4.5

I love that for this book, the author has taken us full circle. In the very first book about Vega's parents, she was still just a teenager. But now she's really come into her own and is branching out into her options...options that mom and dad probably won't approve of. But it's for sure that her mentor and sometimes bodyguard, Gabriel, won't approve. But with his history, Gabriel is the first one to really recognize that Vega might be into something over her head. 

But for the last couple of years, Gabriel has tried to separate himself from Vega. She pulls at him more than any other female ever has, but he knows if he gives in, it will cost Vega her very life. 

I have to say I like the way this story played out. There were a lot of little twists and turns that I didn't see coming. It made for a great audio listen that I managed to devour in pretty much a single day just because I didn't want to step away from the story. 

I highly recommend it...and the entire series. The audiobooks have been highly enjoyable and I've loved immersing myself into this world the last couple of months. Jeffrey Kafer is an incredible narrator and the stories are simply good entertainment. 

Definitely recommend!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cover Reveal: Hold You Close by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow

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“I’ll never be able to keep her.”

Hold You Close, an all-new second chance standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Corinne Michaels and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow, is coming August 20th!

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Hold You Close by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow
Publication Date: August 20, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Photographer: Lauren Watson Perry, Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Design: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative
Synopsis
From NYT Bestseller Corinne Michaels & USA Today Bestseller Melanie Harlow, comes a second chance standalone romance.
Ian Chase broke my heart at seventeen, and I’ve spent the last eighteen years hating him for it.
He makes it easy, with his smart mouth and playboy lifestyle—which I unfortunately have to observe since he lives behind me. Every time I see him climbing out of his pool, practically naked and unreasonably sexy, my blood boils.
I’ve always loved to loathe him.
I never planned to need him.
***
London Parish is my little sister’s best friend, not that it stopped me from falling for her.
Our history is complicated. The only thing we have in common is being godparents to my sister’s three adorable kids—until our lives are changed in one tragic moment.
Now we’re trying to raise the children we love, mourn an unthinkable loss, and fight an undeniable attraction.
My life is already upside-down, and the last thing I need is for old feelings to resurface.
Because I’ll never be able to keep her, no matter how hard I try to hold her close.
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Pre-Order Now
For a text alert when Hold You Close is available on all platforms:
Text CMBOOKS TO 77948
Or
Text HARLOT to 77948
*US only due to carrier restrictions*
Add to Goodreads:http://bit.ly/2L5BB8J
About the authors:
New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love. Corinne (1 of 1)-4matte.jpg Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak. Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit. Harlow Headshot Color.jpg
Get Connected!
Connect with Corinne:
Stay up to date with Corinne and sign up for her mailing list:
To sign up for monthly text alerts: Text CMBOOKS TO 77948
*US only due to carrier restrictions*
Connect with Melanie:
Stay up to date with Melanie, sign up for her Mailing List: http://www.melanieharlow.com/subscribe/
To sign up for monthly text alerts: Text HARLOT to 77948

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Heart of Glass by Nicole Jacquelyn

Title: Heart of Glass
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Fostering Love #3
Main Characters: Trevor and Morgan
Release Date: July 2018
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
The next standalone novel from Nicole Jacquelyn about love, friendship, and forgiveness. 

Henry Harris was living his dream as a staff sergeant in the Marines. When he's killed in action, his devastated family is in for one more shock: he had a daughter they never knew about.

Morgan Riley has been raising Etta on her own, and that's always been fine by her - until Henry's brother Trevor arrives on her doorstep, willing to do anything to help and make up for his brother's mistakes. Their attraction feels wrong, but Morgan can't seem to turn him away.

Trevor is suddenly in too deep. He has always wanted a family, but Etta and Morgan come with complications. Yet as Etta brings them closer together, Trevor begins to imagine giving Morgan and Etta the life his brother never could. But he wonders if Morgan will ever learn to trust another man with her heart, especially a man whose last name is Harris.

My Review:
I've enjoyed this entire series by Nicole Jacquelyn and this story was no exception to that. I also really liked where she began the story, although I'm equally surprised by that. There's a prologue in the story that tells exactly what Henry's state of mind was before he was killed in action. That teeny tiny insight was so good to have. I really loved that the author chose to start the book in that unusual point of view. 

Then the real story begins of Trevor and Morgan...both people who have lost Henry, but in different ways. No matter how you look at it, there is no way for their relationship to be easy. Their situation is not easy. But I liked that once Trevor committed, he never questioned if he was making the right decision. He loves Morgan and that's all that matters to him. So many times in this situation, the author might have made a different choice to change the conflict, so I love that she didn't go there. 

A story that begins with a death is never an easy thing to handle, but this book was done really well. Yes, there were moments of  sadness, but I never felt so sad that I needed to cry through the story. It had the perfect levels of emotion, so that the story focused on the possibility, not the loss. 

I really liked that. Morgan has an interesting backstory and there were a couple of gasp out loud moments that I loved in the story. I also really loved how both she and Trevor related to Etta (AND OMG, LOVED her name!!! So sweet).

Overall this was just a really enjoyable read. I liked it a lot and definitely recommend it. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest and voluntary review.

I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

Title: I Think I Love You 
Author: Lauren Layne
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Oxford #5
Main Characters: Brit and Hunter
Release Date: July 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
A game of seduction between two best friends goes deliciously wrong in an irresistible Oxford Novel that brims with wit and sexual tension. Library Journal hails Layne’s work as exemplary contemporary romance.”
 
Brit Robbins knows that dating in New York City is hard—she just hoped to have it mastered by age thirty. But after yet another promising suitor says they have no sparks, Brit decides it’s time to torch her dating game and try a new plan. And who better to coach Brit through the art of seduction than the guy who first gave her the “let’s be friends” card?
 
Hunter Cross has always figured there’s nothing his best friend Brit can do to surprise him. But Brit’s request is a surprise he doesn’t see coming—and one he’s definitely not prepared for. Hunter and Brit have always been careful to keep things perfectly platonic, but the fake dates and faux flirting are starting to feel like the real deal. And soon Hunter realizes he has taught Brit too well. Not only has she become an expert at seduction, the man becoming thoroughly seduced is him.
 
Lauren Layne’s New York Times bestselling Oxford Novel series can be read in any order:
IRRESISTIBLY YOURS
I WISH YOU WERE MINE
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
I THINK I LOVE YOU

My Review:
My favorite all-time trope...friends to lovers and this was the perfect example. 

Hunter and Brit have been best friends for years. They know everything about one another including their dating habits. But when Brit is dumped by yet another guy for vague reasons, Brit decides she needs some help...some coaching in her dating life. All the guys like her, but they just don't see her as a romantic match...more like a buddy. Obviously she's doing something wrong. What good is it to have a guy for a best friend if she can't go to him to figure this out. But of course, you know where that's going to go...

Even knowing exactly where the book was going to go, this book was so much fun to read. I loved both Brit and Hunter and of course all the Oxford and Stiletto crew were there and every single one of them are amazing. I just loved every minute of reading the book. 

Every time I read a Lauren Layne it's like getting a little treat of amazing reading just for me and this book was no exception to that. I loved this book. I loved Hunter and Brit. I loved the romance. I loved the friendship. I loved everything about it. 

I definitely recommend this book!

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

Charmed at First Sight by Sharla Lovelace

Title: Charmed at First Sight 
Author: Sharla Lovelace
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Charmed in Texas #4
Main Characters: Micah and Leo
Release Date: July 2018
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
In the small town of Charmed, Texas, plenty of folks have found the path to true love. But now two outsiders have arrived to shake things up . . . 
 
Never one to do things by the book, Micah Roman couldn’t just chalk it up to bridal jitters, or even quietly call off her wedding to her long-time fiancĂ©. No, she has to high-tail it out of the church sporting a dress that cost more than her car, and jump on the back of a smoking-hot stranger’s motorcycle. Her knight in all-black is headed to a town called Charmed, so that’s where she’ll go and try to lay low. Except their appearance raises plenty of eyebrows . . . and a sudden, intense attraction she has no business exploring. 
  
Who knew picking up a damsel in distress would lead to lust at first sight? Leo McKane headed to Charmed prepared to deal with some family secrets—including his status as long-lost brother. This runaway bride is an unexpected distraction his set agenda and loner lifestyle doesn’t include. She’s everywhere he turns, getting under his skin with her quirky, headstrong ways and eyes he can’t forget. But when Micah’s jilted ex comes looking for her and opens up his shady past, Leo knows he has a choice to make. 
 
They both do. 

Run to safer ground again? Or take a leap that their untrusting hearts are wary to take.
My Review:
The beginning of this book is truly an epic scene...every runaway bride scene you've ever seen in a movie or TV show...this was that scene...complete with the bad boy on the Harley. It was awesome and truly a brilliant way to begin this fabulous book. 

And that initial scene really sets up the hot mess that Micah is in real life. Micah has spent the last 8 years with one guy and becoming a person that she doesn't even recognize. So when she takes off on Leo's motorcycle...she's truly shedding her old life and sets off on a journey of self-discovery. She has to find who she is in her own skin again.

And seriously, for all his bad-boy ways, Leo is the perfect guy for Micah. He sees her and despite her hot mess status, he likes her a lot. He likes her spunk and the fact that she's taken this huge risk. Every time she's on the precipice of giving in to her fear, Leo is there to encourage her and push her toward what she truly wanted in the first place. I love how he empowers and infuses her with confidence. Micah is a better person with Leo. 

So, yeah, I liked this book. This entire series has been phenomenal. Fans who have read the other books are going to love this one. Although, be warned...there are some serious tears to be shed toward the end. But I love these characters and this town so much. This author has shown me this characters and made them so real. I'm definitely fully invested in all their stories. 

It was a fabulous read and the sexual chemistry between Leo and Micah is SIZZLING. Seriously, there could have been smoke rising from the pages on my kindle there was so much heat between the two of them. It's a slow, sensuous build between them and it makes for a spell-binding read. I didn't want to put it down. 

Highly recommend.

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

Monday, July 9, 2018

Giving Up the Boss by Victoria Davies

Title: Giving Up the Boss
Author: Victoria Davies
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series
Main Characters: Harry and Joe
Release Date: July 2018
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Executive assistant Lori has finally said those three little words to her boss, Jackson Sinclair, that have haunted her for months–– Goodbye, I quit.  Yep. That happened. Then she sort of ran over him. It was an accident. No. Really. It was. Now he can’t remember anything––and it’s up to her to keep his billion-dollar corporation running until he gets his memory back.

Billionaire Jackson Sinclair wakes up in a hospital to a life he can’t remember. The only person who feels familiar is Lori. The more he learns about his past, though, the more it disturbs him. He was kind of cold, and he can’t imagine why the lovely Lori put up with him. And she is lovely, as in, he can’t stop thinking about her. But he has a company to save, and there’s no time for that sort thing. Especially when it seems like his assistant is hiding something from him.


As his condition shows no signs of healing, Lori can’t help wonder what’s best, telling the truth about his accident and losing the man of her dreams or keeping quiet and living the best lie of her life.

My Review:

I love amnesia stories so when I saw the description of this one, I snatched it up although I've never read this author before. I was not disappointed. This book was so freaking good. I loved this story!

Lori has been in love with her boss for years, but as his executive assistant, he never sees her. So, she's finally had enough...she has to quit for the sake of her heart. She finally works up her courage and does it, but she's so upset when she leaves the parking garage, she doesn't realize someone's about to step in front of her car until it's too late. She hits him, breaking his wrist and his head...he can't remember anything. Unfortunately, it's the worst timing as his multi-billionaire dollar company is on the verge of a takeover attempt that he has to prevent. No one can know that he's not running at full capacity. 

I LOVED the way this story unfolded. Before Jackson functioned as something of a robot, but he doesn't remember that version of himself and honestly cannot fathom being as cold as everyone tells him he used to be. That's NOT who he is...now. He also can't believe that Lori didn't matter to him before, because now she's everything. 

This is why I love amnesia stories. How often would you like to start over with a clean slate? That's what this kind of story offers. For Lori, she doesn't expect it to last after he gets his memory back, but she can't resist the temptation of enjoying it while she can. Besides which, this version of Jackson isn't taking no for an answer. 

I loved this story. I loved that Jackson's had a bit of a personality transplant with his injury and I love how strong Lori tries to stay. Everything about this story worked for me. 

This may have been my first Victoria Davies read, but it definitely won't be my last. I highly recommend this book.

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

Fight For You by Nina Crespo

Title: Fight For You
Author: Nina Crespo
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: The Kingman Brothers #2
Main Characters: Aiden and Delanie
Release Date: July 2018
Publisher: Pocket Star
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
In this second of the Kingman Brothers series, Aiden Kingman is reunited with the woman he mistakenly wronged seven years ago...and this time around, he’s determined to make things right.

Seven years ago, Aiden Kingman had to choose between betraying Delanie Clark and her father or staying loyal to his father’s company. He chose his father—losing Delanie in the process—and he’s regretted it ever since. Now as CEO and partner in Kingman Partners International, he needs to finalize buying a retreat property, but there’s one major hold up: Delanie is the contract negotiator for the owner, and she doesn’t trust him.

Delanie and her father lost everything when Aiden’s father lied about his intentions for buying her family’s mountain retreat. She swore that she would never have anything to do with Aiden Kingman again. But now she’s facing him across the negotiating table, and sparks that had previously been stamped out reignite between them. When tragedy places the deal on the line, will they put their history behind them? Or will the deal cost them both their second chance at love?


Nina Crespo, author of the charming and sexy Forget You, is back with a sizzling romance that will have you believing in second chances, forgiveness, and learning to love despite the past.
My Review:
This book is a second chance at love story that neither the hero nor the heroine ever saw coming. 

Seven years before the two were desperately in love when a deal between Aiden's family and Delaney's father destroyed it all. Aiden's dad is a selfish jerk...that hasn't changed in seven years. What has changed is that Aiden has made it out from under his thumb so he has choices in how he conducts business now...because he owns it with his brother, King.

So, when Delaney is sent to negotiate a deal with him, he's ready to convince her to give him a second chance. She's not so sure. Yes, she's still attracted to him, but she will never trust him again. 

I enjoyed the story. While there were a few moments when I wanted to kick everyone involved because of really bad decisions, I really loved the scenes at the resort that they're negotiating over (and love how that ultimately turned out). There was some fantastic chemistry between the hero and heroine and an interesting side-plot with everything going into the deal that the two of them are trying to negotiate. 

I liked the first book in the series (King and Sophie) and I enjoyed this one, too. While you can certainly read this one as a stand alone, it helps to understand all the family dynamics to have read the first one beforehand. Also, it was really fun to see King and Sophie in this story. 

I recommend it!

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

Tight Quarters by Annabeth Albert

Title: Tight Quarters
Author: Annabeth Albert
My Rating: A+

Genre: Military Romance (m/m)
Series: Out of Uniform #6
Main Characters: Del and Spencer
Release Date: July 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone.

Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.

My Review:
I was beginning to think that I wasn't going to have another A+ rated book this year as it's been a few months, but this one qualified. This book was so, so good. So well-written. Such a complex story with all the details just amazingly researched. I loved this book. 

The book is about Bacon (Del) who is a SEAL and Spencer who's an embedded reporter placed in Del's SEAL team. Del messed up his trigger finger and as the team sniper, he's the one given the job of babysitting Spencer. His job...do whatever he has to do to make sure that Spencer makes it out of their mission alive, even if it costs Del's team. Not exactly an easy place to be. Del is pansexual, but he's not out to anyone but his best friend on the team. They just had two of their members get out and there are rumors that the two were romantically linked (rumors that are true), so there's a high sense of homophobia within the team right now that makes everyone uneasy. 

So, of course when they get an embedded reporter that no one wants there endangering their mission, he has to be a gay one. It's a PR mess just waiting to happen and Del is stuck in the middle of it. He tries really hard not to be friendly to Spencer, but it doesn't take long for Spencer to win him over. It helps that Del was a huge fan of Spencer's writing before he ever showed up. 

The build between the two is very slow. While he's embedded, they absolutely can't engage. They truly don't want to engage even after the mission, but with the adrenaline and chemistry, things happen. 

I loved this romance. These two guys together were so, so good. I loved them both. It's a great story and I loved every minute of reading it...at the same time I was mourning the fact that the page count was declining because I didn't want the story to end. I loved it!

This one is a HIGHLY RECOMMEND from me!

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