Secrets Hidden in the Glass by Cate Beauman ~ Sarah A’s Review

Today we have the release day blitz for Secrets Hidden In the Glass by Cate Beauman! Check it out and get your copy today!

 Stained glass artist Callie Davis is in desperate need of a vacation. Burnt out and on the edge of a nervous breakdown, she’s fleeing the pressures of her career and is taking refuge on Massachusetts’ tiny Carter Island. Callie yearns for long, lazy days and pretty walks on the beach—blessed solitude and an escape from the complications of her life. Then she bumps into gorgeous Nate Carter and everything changes.

Sheriff Nathan Carter couldn’t be happier now that the height of the summer season has finally come and gone. After four endless months, tourists have packed their bags and headed for the mainland. The quiet days of autumn are about to befall the town—the way Nate and his fellow Sandersonians like it best.

But nothing ends up quite the way Nate expects when he meets the beautiful blonde with the big blue eyes. Callie’s pretty smiles hide secrets—deep, dark mysteries that could cost them both their lives if they continue digging into the past and cross a killer’s path.

Amazon | iBooks | BN | Kobo

This book is long, like really long.  And it felt long as I was reading it.  I did enjoy the time I spend reading it, but it wasn’t one of those books I got so lost in I didn’t notice the time passing.  I’m torn as to how to rate this book, the plot was good, the characters were interesting, but it didn’t keep my interest well.

Cate Beauman wrote some very compelling characters in this book.  Callie’s life was incredibly heartbreaking, even the best parts of it – before her time on the island – were rife with pain and dissatisfaction.  She was such an amazing person in spite of a past that could have led her to be very damaged.  Nate was the epitome of perfection; seriously I don’t think the guy had a fault – he was one of those guys who, when asked in a job interview about their worst traits, says he just is too hard a worker, too kind, too compassionate.  I want to hate him for it, but I can’t, he was EXACTLY what Callie needed and deserved.

Secrets Hidden in the Glass was fairly predictable.  I had more or less figured out what had happened, and who was at fault before I was halfway through the book.  I still wanted to know the whys and hows of how everything happened, so that part kept me flipping through the pages to find that out and make sure Callie got her answers and found true love and happiness, but there was no great mystery.  Even with the lack of intrigue, it was a fun and interesting book; learning about the island, its residents and secrets was one of the best parts of the book.

The writing in Secrets Hidden in the Glass was much like the title, excessively wordy.  Often, I was so lost in what I was being told; I didn’t see what was actually going on.  There was so much information it often took away from the things that were most important.  There were some passages I tried to skim, but it was so difficult to glean the vital information there was no way to focus on just that.

The world Cate Beauman built in Secrets was the highlight of this book.  There were so many layers to the history and the families living there; it felt rich and real.  The interesting dynamics of a small town made the book feel comfortable.  There were some characters I’m desperately interested in finding out more about, so I hope Ms. Beauman will continue writing within this world.

 

 

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal.

 Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Website

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain ~ Sarah A’s Review

A stand-alone psychological thriller.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?

In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Thomas disappears without a trace.

The second girl in nine years.

Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, stuffed in a well beside the creek that feeds the town’s water supply.

The killer was never found.

As the small town mobilizes and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?

For Jennifer’s friend Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer’s disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Gun Shy is twisted and dark.  And sickening.  And I loved it.  It is absolutely not for the faint of heart, not for lovers of sweet romantic love stories, not for people with delicate sensibilities.  This is a book for the people who seek the darkest corners, who are driven by revenge and have a fascination with things good girls shouldn’t enjoy.  This book fed into the blackest, bleakest parts of my psyche and satisfied them in a way few things are able.

I said I love this book, but I think I might hate it also.  I’m not sure.  Honestly, I’m not sure of anything right now.  I don’t know if I was supposed to love any of the characters or hate them.  And I definitely feel both ways about most of them.  Every feeling I had while I was reading this book was warped and stretched and transformed into something else.  I don’t trust anything I thought I knew about Gun Creek or its residents.

Cassie’s story is not romantic, even the love she feels is not romantic.  Her love is tainted, broken, deranged.  Her life molded by some of the most horrific things a person can experience.  She took those traumas and honed them into something sharp and unfathomable.  I found her to be so intriguing, so irresistible; I wonder if a little of Cassie doesn’t live inside of me.

When I think back and ask myself if there is anything more I would have liked from this story, I’m hard-pressed to commit to anything.  Would I have loved to have seen a more complete conclusion to a couple of storylines? Yes.  Do I think that the ambiguity of those storylines was intentional? Yes.  This book isn’t a romance and shouldn’t be treated as such.  Those storylines played their parts, and when they’d moved the characters to the place they were supposed to be, they were left as they should have been.

Despite many recommendations from my friends, this is the first book I’ve read by Lili St. Germain, and she blew me away.  From stylistic formatting choices, to interesting imagery, to the intricate and demanding prose she wrote with, I appreciated the outside the box approach she took when writing Gun Shy.  Ms. St. Germain challenged me with this book, it was not an easy book to read, and I admire her for testing me with it.

After reading this entire book, I’m stunned.  Just astonished by every single part of it.  I am sure that I will keep thinking about Gun Creek and Cassie and Damon and Leo and everyone in this book for some time to come.  The experience of this book was so delightfully unsettling; I have plenty of material to ruminate on for ages.

 

Lili writes dark, delicious romance full of love, lust and revenge. Her USA Today Bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the young woman who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a trilogy that explores the beginnings of the club, published through HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, excellent coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads

In Pieces by Danielle Pearl ~ Blog Tour & Excerpt

Three years ago she was left in pieces . . . Most college freshmen love the newfound freedom of living on campus, but none of them craves it like Beth Caplan. One ill-fated night when she was fifteen left her locked in a posh prison of private tutors. It’s for the best, everyone said, and maybe it was. But after years of hard work and healing, the one person who never thought of her as broken could be the one to break her all over again. And Beth can’t seem to stay away now any more than she could all those years ago.

As soon as David March learned his best friend’s little sister was enrolling at his school, he promised to look after her, and promised himself he’d keep a safe distance. But the sweet little girl he’d grown up with has transformed into a gorgeous young woman, and she’s attracting attention from people she shouldn’t-like the ex who nearly destroyed her and a strange new student with a disturbing habit of showing up wherever Beth goes. But for David, the most troubling discovery is realizing that he doesn’t just want Beth to be safe. He wants her to be his.

Amazon USiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Amazon UK

David
Present Day

Beth slams the door of the Uber and runs barefoot into the building, her heels dangling from her hand by their straps. I give her a thirty-second head start, clenching my jaw shut to resist calling after her with something I might regret, knowing my temper and the still-potent buzz of alcohol have the potential to create the perfect storm right now.

Beth bypasses the small elevator bank and veers left toward the stairwell, heaving the door open and making sure to slam it loudly behind her.

I shake my head in disapproval, wanting to berate her for even that—taking the stairs alone at night when she knows the elevators are safer. Even if the small part of my brain that’s still somewhat rational admits that my building is relatively safe in general. But it’s her mentality that’s making me crazy. With everything going on right now, and everything she knows about this fucked- up world, why would she take risks with her safety at all?

I shove my hand through my hair and slam my foot into the doorjamb. I just can’t fucking believe her right now! And she has the balls to stomp away from me as if I’m the fucking bad guy?

I haven’t had much occasion for indignation in my life, but right now it’s making me grind my teeth into fucking dust. Because the reality is Beth could get hurt again. She could get hurt worse.

My brain gets caught on that last thought, and I can’t get past it no matter how hard I try. It rages through me until my blood boils over, the buzz of alcohol feeding the flames like gasoline as they fire me back into motion. I crush what’s left of my cigarette under my shoe, and march up the rest of the steps and down our hallway. I’m already reaching for the door with my keys when I realize it’s fucking ajar, and the sight of it incenses me even more.

Could she possibly be any more cavalier with her goddamned safety?

It’s after one in the motherfucking morning! Who the hell leaves their front door open in the middle of the night like an invitation for trouble? Especially someone who, on top of everything else, just spent the entire fucking night drinking. She once told me she thought I was trouble. She has no fucking idea what trouble even is.

I barge through the door, all out of patience and ready to tell her off, but the apartment is dark, the only light glowing from the crack beneath the bedroom door. Beth’s presence would be impossible to miss, though, what with the sound of her tramping around the room, violently yanking and slamming drawers like she wants the whole damned building to feel her wrath.

Well, at least that’s one feeling that is definitely fucking mutual.

I throw the bedroom door open with more force than I intend, and Beth jumps at the reverberating bang as it smacks against the opposite wall. But she catches herself without even glancing my way, continuing about her business like I don’t even fucking exist.

My outrage dissipates as I take her in. Her long blonde hair is haphazardly piled on top of her head, and she’s already changed into a T-shirt and yoga pants. My eyes get stuck on her ass for several seconds before I even process the fact that she’s shoving her shit into her duffle bag.

She yanks open another drawer—the one I’d cleared for her bras and underwear—and panic rolls through me. It doesn’t mix well with the indignation. Or the booze.

Somehow I manage to force enough patience to keep from unloading my every grievance on her at once, and I just stand here glowering, biting back every word I couldn’t wait to get out just moments ago—those words now lodged uncomfortably in my throat, held hostage by that fucking duffel. And suddenly I resent that, too. The fact that Beth has the nerve to vilify me for looking out for her. For taking her out to do something she fucking loves. But more than anything, I resent that I fucking care. That the sight of her packing her things affects me. Not just my feelings—my motherfucking feelings—but my actions, too.

It gives her a kind of control—power. It’s not a dynamic I’m used to with women, and it’s left me a little lost and a lot confused. And even more pissed the fuck off. It’s enough to demolish even my pretense of patience, my composure shattering in one fell swoop, and I spring into action, thrusting myself in front of her in challenge.

“’The fuck are you doing?” I demand.

Beth’s jaw locks, but she just sidesteps around me.

“Beth,” I warn.

She snatches handfuls of panties from her drawer—my drawer—with enough hostility that I worry for the integrity of the delicate lace, and my inebriated mind actually pities them until I remember it’s me she’s fucking pissed at. The appearance of her underwear doesn’t help my focus, either. But watching her shove them purposefully into her bag snaps me back to reality. Or it snaps me the fuck out of my Beth-panty-coma, at least.

“What the fucking hell are you doing?” I repeat as calmly as I can manage—which, it turns out, isn’t calm at all. But where the hell does she think she’s going in the middle of the goddamned night?

“Taking my stuff and going back to my dorm,” Beth deadpans, and it takes me a second to realize she’s not actually kidding.

I shake my head and grab her upper arms. “The fuck you are!”

Beth wrenches from my grip, and I have to release her or risk hurting her, which is not a fucking option. “The fuck I am, is right!” she shouts, skirting back around me to stuff more clothes into her bag.

And, finally, I lose it.

I grab the offending fucking duffle and flop it upside-down, shaking it violently until all of her shit falls onto my bed in an unceremonious pile of all things Beth.

“What the hell are you doing!” she hisses, climbing onto the bed to regather her clothes.

I don’t even think. I take hold of her calves and jerk her knees straight, and she squeals with surprise, falling facedown onto the bed, right atop the heap of clothing. But I don’t back off. I grab her hips and flip her onto her back in one not-so-smooth movement, bending over her and planting my palms on either side of her face in a makeshift cage. Beth’s lips part in a small o of shock, but she can’t escape my gaze, trapped beneath me like she is.

But that goes both ways, and I force myself to close my eyes, and inhale a choppy rush of air before meeting hers.
Something changes when I reopen my eyes. Beth’s temper seems to have dissipated, her dark blonde brows pulled together in helpless bemusement. Her eyes are deep blue oceans, and they draw me in like an undertow, luring me into their shallows before drowning me in their depths.

But, somehow, they calm me, and the anger is drained right out of me as something tugs inside my chest. For a moment I forget how we even got here. All I register are her sharp, shallow breaths as they whisper against my lips in soft gusts.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I know this is dangerous—her lying beneath me like this. It calls to that reckless part of me. The same part that risked dancing with her tonight…that wants to just say fuck it, again and again and again. The part that can’t remember the reasons to stay away.

Beth’s tongue darts out to lick her bottom lip, and my dick jumps in my jeans, still swollen and aching, which it has been all night on some level or another. I suck in an uneven breath, the air hissing between my teeth, and I know I need to either get off of her or inside her in the next sixty seconds.

Danielle Pearl is the Amazon and iBooks international best selling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children. She is a life long book enthusiast who has been writing ever since she could hold a pencil.

Danielle went to Boston University and worked in marketing before she published her first novel, Normal in 2014. She writes mature Mature Young Adult and New Adult Contemporary Romance.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon

Unloved by Katy Regnery ~ Sarah A’s Review

The sins of the father. The burden of the son.

My name is Cassidy Porter…

My father, Paul Isaac Porter, was executed twenty years ago for the brutal murder of twelve innocent girls.

Though I was only eight-years-old at the time, I am aware – every day of my life – that I am his child, his only son.

To protect the world from the poison in my veins, I live a quiet life, off the grid, away from humanity.

I promised myself, and my mother, not to infect innocent lives with the darkness that swirls within me, waiting to make itself known.

It’s a promise I would have kept…if Brynn Cadogan hadn’t stumbled into my life.

Now I exist between heaven and hell: falling for a woman who wants to love me, while all along reminding myself that I must remain…

Unloved.

**NOTE: This book is intended for readers 18+**

Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA
Paperbacks: Unsigned | Signed

 

Unloved is easily one of the best romances I’ve read in some time.  I was drawn in from the first page and hated to have to put it down for any reason.  Brynn and Cassidy completely captivated me, and they nestled themselves deep within my heart.  Conveying just how special this book is going to be nearly impossible.

Heartbreak was a central theme in Unloved, both Brynn and Cassidy had been dealt more tragedy in their lives than either of them were equipped to deal with.  I found the way they each utilized their own heartache to find understanding in the other particularly poignant.

Unloved is told from both Brynn and Cassidy’s POVs.  Their voices were distinct, they each had unique speech patterns and word preferences.  I am a sucker for dual POV because I love having the insight into each of the character’s thought processes, this book was a perfect example of why having that information was so important.  Particularly having Cassidy’s viewpoint, I think if we didn’t have it he might have been a hard character to love.

Brynn, Cassidy, and their relationship drove this story.  Of course, there were outside factors that manipulated their journey towards one another, but Unloved is a character-driven novel.  Getting to know them and watch the spark of lust, need, and attraction blossom into something solid and lasting, all while fighting the future they knew was coming made my heart both swell and shatter simultaneously.  They were a wonderful demonstration of what truly selfless love looks like.

Katy Regnery is an author I read frequently, her books are fun and interesting, but NOTHING I’ve read by her before Unloved comes close to the book I just read.  I was completely blown away by the writing in this book.  Her prose was sublime, each word, each sentence, building to a crescendo I could have never expected.  If this is a sign of the direction her art is taking I will be a faithful worshipper of her words.

ALP AuthBio2 Owl

katy-regneryNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.

In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Facebook | Website/Newsletter | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

Dirty Little Promise by Kendall Ryan ~ Sarah A’s Review

DIRTY LITTLE PROMISE

Forbidden Desires Book 2

Conflicted in the depth of her feelings for bad boy Gavin Kingsley, lonely librarian Emma Bell knows he’s all wrong for her—yet the heart wants what it wants.

But if she gives into his dark, erotic desires will she lose herself completely?

Passion, drama and suspense combine in the highly-anticipated conclusion to Emma Bell’s love affair with the alpha and enigmatic Kingsley brothers. Secrets will be exposed, sides will be chosen, and nothing will ever be the same.

This is book two in the series, following Dirty Little Secret.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

After I finished Dirty Little Secret, I was DYING to get my hands on this book.  I had to know what happened to Emma, Cooper, & Gavin.  Kendall Ryan did not disappoint with Dirty Little Promise.  I left the book feeling content and fulfilled, yet still eager to find out about the next brother in Torrid Little Affair.

Dirty Little Secret left us with far more questions than answers, it was a great cliffhanger and had left me both satisfied with the story I had read and begging for more.  Dirty Little Promise did not disappoint in fleshing out all of those secrets and questions that were left in the air.  At least, regarding the primary Kingsley brother in this book.  The other brothers are still full of secrets, and I have so many questions about them.

I loved how easily Emma and the brother of her choosing were able to open up to one another.  How, once they decided to not keep secrets from one another and lay it all on the line, they easily trusted one another and didn’t let misleading situations to destroy the trust they had built.  There were times when it would have been far easier to jump to the easiest – and worst – conclusion but the strength of their relationship was in allowing each other the chance to explain everything.  Too often in romance books jumping to conclusions lends to heartbreak and pain, when a simple explanation would clear everything up.  It was nice to see this trope bucked in favor of a loving and trusting relationship.

A lot was happening in this book.  At times it seemed a concerted effort was orchestrated to keep Emma and her Kingsley brother from being together.  Each time it looked like things were calming down for them another thing popped up, the amount of action in this book served well to keep me on my toes and turning those pages as fast as I could.  Since the relationship was figured out and settled relatively quickly, it was all those forces against it that served to really cement their love.  How they dealt with those awful things showed how much they truly belonged together.  I also appreciated neither Emma or the brother in question let other people’s opinions of their relationship taint what they knew was right.  It was a breath of fresh air to see two people so confident in their love.

My only wish for this book would be that the resolutions to the conflicts would have been more fleshed out.  I like to really dig in deep on those types of things, and I felt like the solutions to the problem vexing their relationship were just wrapped up too quickly for my preferences.  It wasn’t that they weren’t wrapped up well, just that I would have loved to see more of the intricacies of the motivations of people behind the problems.

Kendall Ryan’s writing was perfect for this story.  It was a perfect balance between showing the love and affection the couple had for one another and the outside forces working for and against them.  There was a roughness to the Kingsley brother’s chapters and a confident softness to Emma’s.  Ms. Ryan also left enough breadcrumbs about the other brothers throughout the book to make me need to know their stories, to make me want to see them find their happiness.

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
Forbidden Desires Book 1

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

TORRID LITTLE AFFAIR
Forbidden Desires book
 3
December 11, 2017

iBooks

TEMPTING LITTLE TEASE
Forbidden Desires book
 4
RELEASE DATE: March 19, 2018

iBooks

NAUGHTY LITTLE SCANDAL
Forbidden Desires book
 5
RELEASE DATE: May 11, 2018

iBooks

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Facebook | WebsiteTwitter | Subscribe to NewletterPinterest | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY!! Breakaway by Sophia Henry ~ Sarah A’s Review

In a standalone hockey romance that tugs at readers’ heartstrings, a broken ex-pro learns to live and love again—all thanks to the complicated, wonderful nurse who gives him a second chance.

Brianna Collins needs to break away from her overbearing family. Her parents expect her to “fix” her brother after a series of concussions derailed his hockey career. Unfortunately, no doctor will give him clearance to play, and she’s finished with being the person they rely on to perform a miracle that will never happen. For Bree, a six-month nursing assignment at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the perfect escape.

Luke Daniels, former forward for the NHL’s Charlotte Aviators, has spent close to a year rehabbing a career-threatening injury—and distracting himself however he can. Worlds collide when Luke realizes that the girl from his latest one-night-stand happens to be the new nurse at the hospital where he volunteers in the pediatric unit. What’s more, Bree’s the only person who makes him excited about life again.

Despite her initial reservations, Luke can’t help pursuing sweet, beautiful Bree. Then he realizes it was her brother whose career he ended with an accidental hit, and he falls back on the thing that’s always helped suppress his demons: alcohol. But if Luke doesn’t kick his old habits, he just may lose the one thing he loves more than hockey.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Books-A-Million

When I decided to read this book, I was unaware it was part of a series.  The fifth book in the series, in fact.  Pleasantly, these books were true standalones, and I did not ever feel like I was missing information I needed from the initial books in the series.  Of course, there were references to the other characters and their relationships, but those moments were so brief I brushed them off and continued with the book I was reading.

I’m quite torn on my feeling about Breakaway.  I loved most of the book; I found Bree and Luke interesting and dynamic.  Even the secondary characters had unique personalities, and the relationships between all the characters were interesting.  However, some things just felt odd to me.

The story in Breakaway was fun and interesting.  There were just enough funny moments to balance out some of the darker themes that Sophia Henry broached in this book.  I appreciated that she took the risk to deal with what it’s like to love a person living with addiction, those moments with Luke, his mother, and their past were visceral and gripping.  The different and authentic family dynamics she wrote about were also compelling; I particularly appreciate the way she juxtaposed Luke, Bree, and – to some extent – Mason’s struggles with their parents and their upbringings.

One of my most significant issues was the timeline.  It felt very muddy to me.  The author did a pretty good job of not mentioning many exact dates but the time periods over which things happened seemed to vary wildly.  One of the most glaring of those times where I experienced confusion over exactly how much time had passed in regard to Luke’s time working a ‘desk job’ for the team.  Initially, he went in to talk to his boss six months after his surgery then a little later he said he’d been working a desk job for the entire year since his surgery.  There were other moments like this, where I wasn’t sure if there was just missing information as to what the characters had been doing in the meantime, if more time had passed than was accounted for, or if there was only a mistake in the timeline.  It was this ambiguity I found hard to accept.

The sex in this book was dealt with in a way I’ve never really experienced.  It wasn’t fade to black, but it wasn’t a complete sex scene either.  It was jarring the way they were handled.  As soon as the sex had begun – not implied, as you expect with a fade to black scenario – and I was anticipating the intimacy that can only really be experienced in that vulnerable position the scene abruptly changed to something post-coital.  I’m not a huge fan of sex scenes unless they serve to move the couple forward in some way, but this was just too awkward and abrupt for me.

I’m reserving my judgment on Sophia Henry’s writing for now.  Some parts of this book were great, while others were lackluster, so I feel like I would be doing her a disservice to make a decision about her as an author based off this single book.  While I doubt I’ll be rushing out to purchase other her other books immediately, I would definitely pick up another if I found the blurb intriguing.

Amazon | B&NiBooks |  Kobo | GooglePlay | Books-A-Million

 Amazon | B&N |  iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Books-A-Million

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Books-A-Million

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Books-A-Million

Award-Winning Author, Sophia Henry, is a proud Detroit native who fell in love with reading, writing and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.
She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts.

$25 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT AND REVIEW – The Next Generation by S.C. Stephens

S.C. Stephens’s THE NEXT GENERATION is available TODAY and paranormal lovers won’t want to miss this one! Read an excerpt below and pick up your copy today!

 

About THE NEXT GENERATION

Fitting in can be hard for anyone. But for Julian and Nika Adams, it’s especially challenging. Born as partial vampires, a rare offshoot of pureblood vampires, the twins have had to deceive people their entire lives—distancing themselves from their peers.

Nika desperately wants a hero, a soulmate, someone she can trust with every fibre of her soul—someone as amazing as her father. The boys at her high school aren’t impressing, but luckily for Nika, Hunter Evans has moved into the neighborhood.

Julian desperately wishes he could sever the empathic bond he has with his sister. While it was fun to experience each other’s emotions when they were kids, now that Julian finds himself pining for a girl he can’t have, sharing his feelings is the last thing he wants to do.

Add THE NEXT GENERATION to your Goodreads shelf here!

 

Get your copy of THE NEXT GENERATION now!

Amazon / iBooks / Kobo / B&N

 

 

Read an excerpt of THE NEXT GENERATION now:

A slice of anger ran up my spine—I shivered with the strength of it. As I closed my eyes, intense, rolling hatred seared my body, tightened my muscles. I wasn’t angry at Arianna’s comment; I actually found it rather amusing. No, the anger scorching my soul wasn’t coming from me, but from Julian. And it was strong. He was pissed.

My eyes snapped to where I could feel him in the gym. He was moving away from the massive room, hopefully coming out to join me. Curiosity and concern blossomed in my chest. I really wanted to know why Julian was so angry. Although, knowing him, I did have one guess…

“I’ll work on that…” I murmured to Arianna as I felt Julian leave the gym and enter the boy’s locker room. Frowning, I wondered what the heck he was doing. His anger had spiked as he’d left the gym, not diminished. My concern heightened. I should go see what’s wrong with him.

Knowing Julian could feel me just as well as I could feel him, I tried to squelch the worry bubbling inside my stomach. I even tried sending calming feelings Julian’s way, but it wasn’t working. Whatever had him riled up wasn’t letting go; he was getting angrier and angrier.

Arianna laughed, then she started going into elaborate detail about all the dates she wanted to go on, and which boy she wanted to take on them—she had about five or six mapped out already. Tuning her out, I tried listening for my brother. I couldn’t hear him through the people and structures in the way though. My ears just weren’t enhanced enough. It irritated me sometimes that my family’s gifts were weaker in Julian and me—the two of us were much more human than vampire. But that allowed us to feel more normal than the others, and I did appreciate that fact. The limitations were just really inconvenient at times. While any of the other vampires in my family could have easily picked out the conversation Julian was having, all I was getting was low, husky murmuring. But his emotions were simmering, and that was all I needed to know.

Glancing at Arianna, I gathered all my stuff and zipped up my bag. She raised an eyebrow, but didn’t pause in telling me all about her imaginary date rock climbing with Jake McKinley. Giving her a soft smile, so she didn’t get too suspicious, I started to stand. “I’ll be right back, Arianna, I—” Dread locked up my muscles, and I halted mid-sentence and mid-stance. Fear. Julian was feeling fear now. His anger had been rising to a boiling point, but now it had shifted to stark terror, and I had no idea why. Dropping my bag to the ground, I hauled ass across the football field.

“Nika? Where are you going? What’s wrong?”

I ignored Arianna’s concern and kept running. I had to get to Julian. I could have blurred to him in a split-second, but hampering my abilities had been drilled into me since birth, and I wouldn’t go against that training unless the situation absolutely demanded it. And when Julian’s fear shifted to panic…I began to believe that the situation demanded it.

But knowing that Arianna was staring at me as I ran away curbed the desire to blur to Julian. I wouldn’t freak out my friend if I could help it. And aside from extreme panic and lingering fear, Julian was okay. Well, he wasn’t in pain at any rate.

Pulling open the doors to the gym, the metal singing in complaint at my force, I suddenly felt a rush of agony. Gasping, I paused in my step. The zing of hurt had exploded over me, almost like I’d felt it myself. I hadn’t, though; it was separate from my own feelings of fearful concern. The pain had come from Julian…and renewed anger came right behind it.

Once I was inside the gymnasium, my hearing finally picked him up. He was cursing, and there was a lot of scuffling. It sounded like he’d gotten himself into a fight. Odd. Julian wasn’t one to pick on people. But then again, if what had happened earlier in the gym to make him so happy was what I was afraid it was…then yeah, he might have started this fight.

Cursing under my breath as another bout of pain lashed Julian’s body, I glanced around the empty halls. Seeing it was clear, I sped off after Julian. In mere seconds, I was at the edge of a group of people in the boy’s locker room. They were all cheering on a couple of guys going at it in the center. Two bodies were sprawled on the tile floor of the open shower, wild punches being slung everywhere.

From the blood bond and our emotional connection, I knew Julian was amid the melee. Silence shocked me for a second as I stood on the periphery and watched my brother through the cracks in the teenagers surrounding him. He’d gained the upper hand and was straddling a senior: Russell Morrison. I watched in horror as Julian successfully landed a punch to Russell’s jaw. So many racing heartbeats thudded in the room…it was nearly deafening. What the hell?

Knowing that our supernatural strength was superior to every other kid at this school made fear cut through my startled state. Julian could seriously hurt Russell if he wasn’t careful, and with the amount of pain and anger Julian was feeling right now, he didn’t seem to be worried about being careful anymore. He was completely out of control.

“Julian!” I screeched, an edge of panic to my voice. He could not get in a fight with a pure human. He’d accidentally kill him.

 

Whitney’s Four Star Review

I’ve been waiting for what feels like foreeeeever for the continuation of the Conversion series. After all, Teren is my favorite fictional vampire so I couldn’t wait to see him as a dad.

The twins, Nika and Julian, are teens in this book and I’d definitely say it’s appropriate for YA readers. The caveat is that you will get more understanding of the series and background if you read the first three Conversion books and those are not so teen friendly!

The story is told from Julian and Nika’s POV and maybe slightly more from Nika although there is plenty for you to get to know Julian well. Both have a love interest for parts/all of the story and the author does a great job of balancing both and creating a story that has a lot going on but doesn’t feel overwhelming.

I got the twist immediately, it’s not hard to figure out but I won’t give away any of the plot. Just know that some of the story regarding the history and future of vampires from the original books is expanded on here and clearly will be in future books.

I adored seeing what all the old characters are up to and meeting all the new ones as well. I also want to give a shout out to Hot Ben! He totally stole my heart. Definite recommendation if you’re a fan of the original books.

About S.C. Stephens

S.C. Stephens is a bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance.

Her debut novel, Thoughtless, an angst-filled love triangle charged with insurmountable passion and the unforgettable Kellan Kyle, took the literary world by storm. Amazed and surprised by the response to the release of Thoughtless in 2009, more stories were quick to follow. Stephens has been writing nonstop ever since.

In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer’s block reducing music, heading out the movies and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads

 

The Choices I’ve Made by J.L. Berg ~ Sarah A’s Review

Death is easy.

Surviving it? That’s the hard part.

Dr. Jake Jameson knows this all too well. Losing his mother at the age of eighteen, he walks away from his small hometown and the painful memories it holds, vowing to never return again.

Twelve years later, he finds himself driving back down the coast of North Carolina. When his father leaves him a small medical practice, he has no choice but to heed the call until he can find someone else to take it off his hands.

But coming back home means facing everything he left behind, including the one woman who might make it impossible to leave again.

Molly McIntyre has spent her entire life in one town. Taking over her parents’ small inn, she’s settled into a quiet, happy life. But all of that comes to an abrupt halt when Jake shows up at her door in need of a place to stay.

Molly loathes everything about this man, but she can’t find it in her heart to refuse his request.

After over a decade, these former lovers quickly discover what once burned brightly between them has only grown in their time apart. Soon they must decide if the choices they’ve made have led them back to each other for a second chance or one final goodbye.

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Choices I’ve Made was such a beautifully slow burn.  GAH!  I loved this book.  Molly and Jake’s story tugged at my heartstrings, it bruised and damaged my heart in the most wonderful way.  It completely warmed the deepest, coldest corners of my heart as they made the journey from shattered souls to people who were whole and complete in themselves.

This book drew me in from almost the very first page.  After I read the prologue I NEEDED to know why Jake had made the decision he had, when obviously he was so very much in love with the girl he spoke of.  From there each new revelation, each new devastation only served to further entice me into Molly and Jake’s lives.

It was obvious Jake had suffered some pretty devastating losses as a child and Molly was terrified of putting herself in a position to lose everything again.  It was also obvious neither of them realized just how damaged they were, it was an interesting dynamic.  Once they each realized what was going on with the other, and eventually themselves, it warmed my very soul to see them each make the decision to work on healing themselves, for themselves, before they made any promises to one another.  Too often we see characters fix their broken pieces for someone else when that type of healing needs to come from within.

My only wish for this book would have been to see some of that healing journey they each went on in real time.  It was nice to have the recap of what they’d realized and why, but I always hope to see those epiphanies in real time.

JL Berg did a fantastic job writing this book.  Her words drew me in and made me care deeply for each character; well – there was one I just straight up hated, but evoking emotion is the goal here, right?  I also appreciated how she built the story, particularly how she began Molly and Jake’s journey back toward one another in such an unexpected way.  Stepping out of the typical romance structure box was a huge win for me, it made this book stand out in a sea of books where it can be difficult to find individuality.

After two glasses of wine and an hour of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I’d had enough self-pity for one day. Rising from my cozy chair, I took one last look at the sparkling water as the moon rose high in the sky. How one could ever get used to a view like that, I’d never know. I’d been raised in this house, and still, it never ceased to take my breath away.

After a quick stop by the kitchen sink to rinse out my glass, I headed to the large pantry, deciding I needed a little baking therapy to pass the time. Although the Lovells had offered to take care of their own meals since I comped the room, I decided to treat them for their help over the last week.

As much as I hated to admit it, I couldn’t have done it all without them.

Grabbing flour, sugar, and a few more items, I settled on a family favorite recipe—zucchini bread. I’d added my own little flair to it over the years, but the basic recipe was still the same.

There was something almost restorative about the process of mixing ingredients. With no need for a recipe anymore, I found myself humming a song I’d heard on the radio earlier in the day, and my mood began to lift.

That was, until the doorbell rang.

Wiping my hands on a dish towel, I checked my appearance in the hallway mirror, rolling my eyes at the flour that coated my cheeks.

My mom always said I was a messy baker. I guessed some things never changed.

Putting on my best face possible, I prepared myself, morphing into the hostess with the mostest. It didn’t always happen, but every now and again, I’d have unexpected visitors. People who’d missed the last ferry and were in desperate need for a place to stay or others who had just fallen in love and didn’t want to leave.

In every case, I always found a place for them, sometimes even giving up my own rooms to accommodate them. Pulling open the door, I greeted the late-night visitor with a bright smile. But, the moment I saw his face, that familiar rugged jaw and piercing blue eyes, my smile faded into something less than pleasing.

“What are you doing here, Jake?” I nearly snarled.

“Is that any way to greet a guest?” he replied sluggishly. He was clearly drunk.

“Did you drive here in that state?” I asked, looking over his shoulder to make sure a car wasn’t wrapped around the neighbor’s tree.

“No,” he answered. “Waited until I was parked outside before I popped open the bourbon. Did you know, if you park right there”—he pointed behind him, making his sloppy posture even worse—“you can see the backyard? You still like to sit out on the deck, huh?”

My cheeks heated with anger as I realized my private moment of sulking had been witnessed by none other than hotshot Jake Jameson. I sighed, noticing the way his eyes followed mine.

“What do you want?” I finally asked, averting his gaze.

“I’m a wayward tourist in need of a place to stay.”

My arms folded across my chest as he made himself at home, breezing past me to stumble into the sitting room. His large body seemed to melt into the couch as I tried not to think about all the things we’d done in this room while my parents were out of the house.

“You have a place to stay, Jake,” I reminded him. “And, no matter how much you try to convince yourself, you’re no tourist. Not even a fancy degree could change that twang in your voice.”

He laughed, a sound that made my spine tingle. “You’re right. I can’t seem to shake it. But it does do me some favors every now and then.” He gave me a quick grin and a wink, causing me to nearly spit fire.

The idea of him using his stupid accent to get women into bed—it shouldn’t have affected me so, but it did.

It really did.

“Look,” I said, feeling my never-ending river of patience suddenly drying up, “it’s late, and I know you’ve had a rough day, but—”

“I tried, Molly. God, how I tried.”

“Tried what?” I asked, pinching the bridge of my nose.

“I tried to forget you. But I never could. I tried to forget this place and all it represented, but the memories never faded. You never faded.”

My heart galloped a little faster, but luckily my anger won the race. “You’ve got to go, Jake. You can’t stay here.”

“But I can’t go back there, Mols. I can’t go back to that house. There are too many ghosts. Too many memories. It hurts.”

The way he’d said it reminded me of the scared boy I’d once held in my arms as he wept for his mother. It tugged at the few remaining heartstrings I had for this man, and suddenly, I found myself caving.

“Fine.”

He instantly perked up, turning his head, as his bright blue eyes found mine again.

“But you will pay double, and don’t expect any special treatment.”

He nodded as he tried to stand, swaying back and forth. I ran forward, keeping him from crashing into my antique coffee table. The generosity I’d felt just moments before was already starting to bite me in the ass.

“Got it,” he said as my hands wrapped around his muscled biceps. That intense stare of his was back as his fingers found mine. “You won’t even know I’m here,” he whispered, the smell of bourbon on his breath.

“Highly unlikely,” I grumbled, pulling my hand from his. The heat of it remained, like a brand against my skin. “Now, you can take the—”

“Yellow room,” he said, finishing my sentence.

It had always been a favorite of his. Mine, too.

“Fine,” I replied, trying to seem unaffected by his demand. “I assume you still remember the way?”

He held up his palm in front of his face. “Like the back of my hand.”

“That’s the front, Doctor.”

He laughed, sounding drunker than I’d ever seen him. “Right.” Taking a few steps forward, his body brushed against mine. “I like it when you call me doctor.”

I took a deep breath, putting some much-needed space between us.

“You would. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have bread to bake.”

“Bread!” he nearly shouted before chuckling under his breath. He said in a hushed tone, “I love bread.”

“Go to bed, Jake.”

“You first.”

Those two words were like a cold bucket of water. His gaze suddenly sharpened as a tingle went down my spine. Both of us knew he wasn’t talking about sleeping, and for a moment, I let him know it.

No eye roll or quick-witted comeback. I just stood there, letting myself indulge in a single moment that signified a lifetime of memories.

And then the jerk threw up on my shoes.

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | YouTube

Fix Me Not by Carey Heywood ~ Sarah A’s Review

Paige Sullivan’s life is a train wreck. In a matter of months, she lost her business, her swanky apartment, and her big city life. Now she’s stuck in Nowhere, New Hampshire, sleeping on her mom’s couch. If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s forced to do odd jobs for money. She has a plan though, and once she’s saved enough, she’s out of there. That is, as long as she doesn’t murder her sexy new employer first.

Asher Thompson is the ruggedly handsome hermit of the Thompson clan. Tall, ridiculously sexy despite his beard, and annoyingly aloof, his main concern is his privacy. He fills his days with his work as a carpenter and the peaceful solitude of his lake house. A peaceful solitude that vanished the moment Paige Sullivan stormed into his life, hell-bent on driving him crazy.

The problem is, opposites attract and each time they cross paths she works her way further under his skin.

** AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED **

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

 

Fix Me Not was a cute, sweet, easy afternoon read.  Like all of Carey Heywood’s books, these characters felt like old friends.  That is why I return to her books time and again – they’re familiar and comfortable – and sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy the peace that type of a book brings.  The writing, plot, and characterizations this book are effortless.  There was nothing horribly surprising or challenging, it was a breeze to read, and after some relative heavy books it was a nice change of pace.

I found Asher to be the most intriguing of the Thompson siblings in Fix Her Up and I was excited to see what made him tick and how he’d come to the decision to seclude himself from society.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like I got much in the way of answers as far as that was concerned.  The only explanations given seemed trite and incongruent with the other aspects of his personality.  I just wish this aspect of Asher’s life was more fully explored in a way that truly explained his behavior.  For me, it just felt like a missed opportunity to touch on some important and heavier themes.

There were also some missed opportunities with Paige and her relationship with her mother.  As antagonistic as it was, it felt like there were some underlying issues that were never mentioned.  I kept hoping that Ms. Heywood would delve into their dynamic more fully but it was left unexplained all together.

Though I truly wish some of those more difficult aspects of the book weren’t fully explored, I was satisfied with the story that was told in Fix Me Not.  Asher and Paige had an adorable relationship, and I enjoyed the way they challenged one another to explore parts of themselves they weren’t fully comfortable with.  I also really liked that we got to check in with some of the other Thompsons and am looking forward to continuing to witness the siblings find their futures.

Fix Her Up (The Fix Series #1) – KINDLE COUNTDOWN $0.99 SEPT. 22-29
** AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED **

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Goodreads

New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Supporting her all the way are her husband, three sometimes-adorable children, a mischievous black cat, and their nine-pound attack Yorkie.

Facebook | Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

 

One Kindle Fire (US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

The Outskirts by TM Frazier ~ Sarah A’s Review

Sawyer wants a life of her own.

Finn wants to forget he ever had one.

After a tragedy, Finn Hollis escapes into the swamp to be alone.

That is until Sawyer Dixon shows up, all SCORCHING HOT innocence, claiming she owns the land less than fifty feet from his front door.

Sawyer gets under his SKIN, but even worse?

She makes him WANT things.

Things Finn hasn’t wanted in a very very long time.

Finn WANTS Sawyer gone.

Almost as much as he wants her in his BED.

The Outskirts is Book One in the Outskirts Duet.

~ AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED~

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA
Amazon Paperback

I’m struggling as to how to review this book.  Not because I didn’t like it, but because it’s hard to say anything real about it without giving away parts of the story that each reader should find out for themselves.   There was a reason the blurb for The Outskirts was vague and I’d like to honor the author’s decision in that.

While I have heard so many good things about T.M. Frazier and her King series, I had yet to pick up one of her novels.  After reading The Outskirts, I understand the hype.  Ms. Frazier has quite a way with words.  Her prose is engrossing and beautiful.  She writes in a way that makes the voice of each of her characters unique, yet it still holds a specific style of writing that is her own.

I loved the characters in this book.  The way that both Sawyer and Finn had experienced devastating traumas in their lives and then dealt with them in diametrically opposite ways was an excellent way to begin to highlight how different they really are. They were set up to be perfect counterpoints to one another and the complemented each other wonderfully.  The dynamic between Finn and Sawyer made this book for me.  The secondary characters were equally excellent and lent a fun outlet to the intensity of the rest of the story.

I’m glad that T.M. Frazier focused primarily on the world and relationship building in this book.  Packing it with tons of action would have detracted from what was happening between Finn and Sawyer, as well as the specter of their pasts.  There was just enough action to learn about how each character reacts under pressure and to what lengths they’ll go for the people they care most about.  I was impressed with Ms. Frazier’s feel for that perfect balance in The Outskirts.

The Outskirts is part one of a duet, so the story is not complete in one book.  I’ve read books where a cliffhanger feels forced or even like a ploy, but that was not the case with this book.  While I have a million questions about what is going to happen in The Outliers, I feel comfortable with where things were left.  That being said, I still can’t wait for the next book.  Finn and Sawyer won me over and I am eagerly anticipating what is in store for them!

T.M.Frazier is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband and her young daughter.

When she’s not writing she loves talking to her readers, country music, reading and traveling. Her debut novel, The Dark Light of Day was published in September of 2013 and when she started writing it she intended for it to be a light beachy romance.

Well…it has a beach in it!

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Newsletter