Irish Kiss by Sienna Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Saoirse

I wanted him since the day I met him. Long haired, tattooed and tall as an Irish giant. He was more than just handsome, he was drop dead gorgeous. And the only one who ever truly cared. It didn’t matter to him that my father was a criminal and my mother a whore. He saw me, understood me.

I could be anything I wanted, he said.
Except his.
Because I was too young and he was my Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Diarmuid

It’s been years since I last saw her. No longer a girl, she has a body of a woman. When our eyes met again, I saw the only one who ever broke through my asshole mask. She never judged me. She saw me, accepted me.

She could be anything she wanted.
Except mine.
Cause she’s only seventeen and I’m trying my hardest not to fall for her.

If I give in, she will ruin me.

*This is a slow-burn, angsty love story spanning across a seven-year time period with sexual situations and drug-use involving characters under the age of eighteen.
Irish Kiss is a complete standalone novel with a Happily Ever After, but damn, it is going to hurt along the way.*

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If you read and loved All the Ugly and Wonderful things and loved it, this book is for you. If you hated it or never wanted to read it, then this book may not be one to add to your TBR. It’s not quite as dark or morally questionable as that book was, but it’s darn close, and I loved it for exactly that reason. I love when a book pushes limits without quite crossing the line into something irredeemable.

Irish Kiss is the first book in Sienna Blake’s Irish Kiss series. There was a little glimpse into the lives of the next two heroes in this book, and I’ll tell you, I can’t wait to see what Ms. Blake has in store for us. Irish Kiss is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Saoirse and Diarmuid.

Irish Kiss was an interesting take on a mentor/mentee relationship and how having a person who genuinely cares with no strings attached can lead to a deeper connection than either person was looking for. Both Saoirse and Diarmuid sorely lacked in the kind of devotion a person needs from their family, especially in their formative years. Diarmuid eventually found something akin to that type of love but was still in need of acceptance he hadn’t found elsewhere. Saoirse had never experienced love that didn’t come with expectations, even into adulthood, so when she found the kind of unwavering support and faith Diarmuid offered her, it was inevitable that she’d depend on his steadiness.

I can not properly express how much my heart hurt for these two, both for the things they’d lived through and for the love they both held but couldn’t explore. It was painful to watch them each struggle with the lives they had and the decisions they felt forced to make. The love they had for one another felt so real, so pure, it was hard not to root for them to be together even while it was morally repugnant. The connection between the two of them was visceral, and I ached for them to explore it, regardless of the consequences.

I only have a couple of wishes for this book. The first would have been to see more of Diarmuid’s past. We got small glimpses of it, and know the broad strokes, but he just seemed so interesting. I would have loved to know more about what made him who he was. I also didn’t understand Ava’s motives from the beginning, she didn’t even seem to like Diarmuid, so I had no idea why she was so intent on keeping him. Having her motivations regarding him – from the beginning – would have helped clarify that entire storyline.

I first discovered Sienna Blake when she published Paper Dolls, and I have loved everything she’s written since then. She has a unique voice and writes books about people from all different walks of life. She’s one of few authors who can write about a jaded billionaire with the same accuracy and passion she can write about a destitute child. Her books all have an underlying darkness that I find fascinating. I also love how she uses the locale of her books to help tell her characters’ stories. Honestly, I’m just enamored with her work and can’t wait for whatever she’s working on next.

Diarmuid let out a sigh. “I don’t want to fight.”

“Who’s fighting?” I said through gritted teeth.

“Fine. See you next Friday.”

Inside, I fought the growing swell of inevitability. Diarmuid and I could never be anything. The longer I tried, the harder I tried, the harder my heart would smash when he finally broke it again.

I didn’t think my heart could take being shattered twice.

“I can’t do this anymore,” I said, fighting back tears. “I can’t be around you when everything screams at me that we are meant to be something. And you…you with your fucking cool logic and detached emotion. You’re like a zombie. You don’t feel anything.”

“I feel.” He grabbed my arm, causing my gaze to snap to his. “God dammit, Saoirse, I feel. Too much.”

“Then why don’t you—”

“Feeling something and choosing not to act on it for the greater good, that’s what being an adult is about. Being an adult is not about age, it’s about how you act.”

“Are you’re saying I’m not an adult?”

“No, I’m saying what we want and what we should do are two different things.”

“That’s shit.”

“That’s life.”

I shoved his hand off me, all the old cracks in my heart reappearing. “Leave me alone. You hurt me too much, Diarmuid. You hurt too fucking much.”

I shoved open his door and tumbled out onto the sidewalk. Running for the house, fumbling for my keys, I tried to get some distance from him. I heard him behind me, calling for me to stop.

Why did he have to keep chasing me? Why couldn’t he just leave me alone?

This time I couldn’t let him catch me. I would break if he did.

I tumbled in through the front door.

“Saoirse, stop.”

I did not. He followed me into the house, his footsteps crashing across the old wooden floors. If I could just get to my room, it had a lock inside the door. He grabbed me right as I turned the corner into the short corridor before the stairs.

His hands gripped me around my waist as he slammed me against the wall. His other hand gripped my chin, forcing me to look right into his tortured, burning eyes.

“You think I don’t feel? Dear God, Saoirse,” he sounded furious, “the things I want to do to you… It kills me that I’m not allowed to touch you the way I want. It fucking tears me apart to hold myself back from stripping you naked and worshipping every single fucking inch of you with my tongue. It’s like I’ve become a savage inside. A beast.”

I felt every single one of his words in every single one of my cells, ringing out like bells.

His fingers on my chin became soft, tracing my cheek, his eyes growing tender. “This is what you do to me. No one else. No one. Ever.”

I sucked in a breath and let out a moan. His words were like hands all over my body.

“Please,” I breathed,” touch me.”

Sienna Blake is a storyteller & ink slinger, word spinner of love stories with grit, and alter ego of a USA Today Bestselling Author.

She loves all things that make her heart race — roller coasters, thrillers and rowdy unrestrained sex. She likes to explore the darker side of human nature in her writing.

If she told you who she really was, she’d have to kill you. Because of her passion for crime and forensics, she’d totally get away with your murder.

Sign up for my newsletter and get Paper Dolls, a full-length romantic suspense as a thank you gift. You’ll also be the first to hear about new releases, sales and giveaways ► www.subscribepage.com/SiennaBlake

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Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry ~ Sarah A’s Review

From critically acclaimed author Katie McGarry, comes SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME—a story of two people from different worlds pushing themselves, and each other, to get what they deserve!

SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME is now available at all fine book retailers. Grab your copy today!

“Doesn’t matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It’s over.”

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

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This book started out SLOW; I felt like I was moving backward at times during the first half of the book.  Fortunately, the second half completely redeemed the book.  After I finished the book and looked back at the beginning, I don’t think it could have moved any quicker or the poignancy of what happened throughout the rest of the book.

Say You’ll Remember Me is a standalone novel.  It is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Elle and Drix.

I loved the characters from the beginning.  I found them both to be surprisingly relatable, considering they were teenagers. The secondary characters – particularly Drix’ brother, Axle – were wonderful.  They were just as well-developed and sympathetic as Elle and Drix, and I would love to read more about all of them.

This book broke my heart a lot more than I expected.  From what Drix had been through, to Elle’s parents, the different types of neglect and ways they’d been used tore at my heart.  I didn’t expect to feel so deeply invested in them and the way people kept failing them, whether those failures were intentional or not.  Katie McGarry did a great job of juxtaposing Elle and Drix, on the surface they seemed diametrically opposed, but the more we learned about each of them, it was evident they were both struggling with the need to be more than what people saw on the surface.

Initially, I would have said I wished the beginning had not been as drawn out as it was.  After completing the book and reflecting on the book in its entirety, I know the book wouldn’t have been as impactful without it being exactly as it was.  There was one event I REALLY wish hadn’t happened, but that horrific heartbreak heightened the emotional fallout of the other events in the novel and pushed the book into being more than your typical young adult novel.

Katie McGarry won me over, as a reader, years ago with Pushing the Limits.  While Say You’ll Remember Me wasn’t quite the emotional powerhouse that book was, for me.  It still highlighted important issues and made me think of things I’d never considered before.  That is one of my favorite things about this author and YA books, that attention to social issues that aren’t always touched on in other genres.

~Ellison~

The two of us are different. Complete sliding scale different. The only thing we have in common, as far as I can tell, is that he appears about my age and that we are both wearing shoes. My sandals to his scuffed combat boots. His sagging jeans with rips and white T-shirt to my ironed khaki shorts and fitted blue top. My diamond earrings and gold bracelet with a heart charm to his black belt that has metal studs and silver chain that hangs from his belt loop to his wallet.

By looks, I should have more in common with the loser college boys, but it’s this guy I’m comfortable with. “What’s your name?”

He throws the ball, and he’s right, he sucks at it. While he has unbelievable power, his aim’s completely off. The ball hits the back curtain with a loud thud, then drops to the floor. “Drix.”

“Drix?” I repeat to make sure I heard him correctly.

“Drix. It’s short for Hendrix. Like Jimi Hendrix.”

“That’s cool.” Because it is.

I wait for him to ask for my name, but he doesn’t. Instead he says, “Are you here alone?”

He throws the second ball, and this time he hits the top of the three bottles, sending that one to the ground.

“No. My parents are here. I’m supposed to meet them at the convention center. What about you? What happened to the people you were with? Or are you here alone now?”

“Yes, but no.” Drix pulls his arm back, releases the ball, and when the ball hits the bottom bottles, my heart lifts with the idea that he won, but only one of the bottles goes flying. The other stays completely untouched.

He turns in my direction, but his gaze roams over my shoulder, then flickers to the left. Drix then glances behind him, and when he returns his attention to me he raises his eyebrows. “They appear to be gone.”

That’s awesome news, but I’m still stuck on his answer of “yes but no.” Honestly, I’m stuck on him. He’s a million questions without a single answer, and he makes me incredibly curious.

“My parents weren’t thrilled about me hanging out alone at the midway, but I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. It’s just Whack-A-Mole, you know?”

“And a ball toss.”

“And a ball toss. None of it should have been complicated.”

“Shouldn’t have been.”

“Elle!” Part of me is relieved to see Andrew craning his neck over the crowd. Another part of me is majorly disappointed. There aren’t many times in my life I’m left alone. Not many times I’m able to explore new places and people without someone hovering and not many opportunities when I would meet someone like Drix.

“Elle,” Andrew calls again. I wave at him, hoping it will buy me a few seconds, and he waves back in a way that tells me he needs me to walk in his direction. That works well for me.

“Is that a friend of yours?” Drix asks.

“Yes, but no.” I borrow his answer because it’s apropos. Andrew’s a few years older. More friend of our family than a personal friend of mine, and I don’t like the idea of explaining that my parents think I need a babysitter.

Drix’s mouth twitches at my words, and my lips also edge upwards. “I just made you smile a third time. Is this a Guinness Book of World Records thing?”

“I liked your answer.”

“I’m just creative like that.”

Order your copy of SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, register and you will receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a novella that features your favorite Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road characters!

From the Pushing the Limits series, Noah, Beth, Isaiah, West and Logan are all grown up. Catch up with your favorite characters as one of them finally says, I do.

Pigpen, Eli and Addison from the Thunder Road series: Three separate personalities who still needed to find love…and still had someone important to meet.

This is a limited time offer! So hurry! Registration ends on February 3, 2018! You must register your order to receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

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Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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Combust by K. Bromberg ~ Sarah A’s Review

From New York Times Bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes the second standalone book in the Everyday Heroes series. Just how hot will firefighter Grady Malone turn up the heat?

Songwriter Dylan McCoy has been burned.

By her boyfriend she found in her bed . . . with someone else.

By the contract she signed that obligates her to work with him until the songs for his new album are complete.

By her agent when she asked Dylan to keep their breakup on the down-low.

When she finds herself in Sunnyville, she refuses to let her new roommate burn her too. Still . . . a rebound has never looked so good.

That’s her first thought when she sees firefighter Grady Malone.
Sexy. Charismatic. Unapologetic. He’s a man who carries his own scars—the ones on his back, the survivor’s guilt on his soul, and the fear in his heart.

When an unexpected visitor puts their roommate status to the test, will their undeniable attraction burn out, or will they both take a chance and play with fire?

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A little humor, a dash of angst, a sprinkle of heartbreak, and a lot of healing; that’s what went into making this book such a great read.  Combust was heavy enough to keep me wholly invested in the characters, their histories, and their healing, while still having enough levity to keep it from feeling like the subject matter was as heavy as it actually was.

Combust is the second book in K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes series.  It can be read as a standalone, as each book deals with a different couple, but the men in these stories are brothers, so there are cameos from the other couple in this book.  If you are going to read all of them, I suggest reading in order, just to get the experience as intended.  Combust is written in dual first-person perspective, in Dylan and Grady’s voices.

Dylan was such a relatable character.  She was so strong in some areas and in others, so insecure.  The things she struggled with, in particular, her looks, is something almost every woman I know has dealt with.  It was good to see that not be her primary storyline, however.  My favorite thing about Dylan was her ability to admit her shortcomings and use them to support those around her and help them come to terms with the things they weren’t happy with themselves.

Grady, oh Grady.  He broke my heart in so many ways.  I can’t begin to relate to the kind of grief and fear he lived with day in and day out, and that is what made him so human.  Often book boyfriends are this unattainable demi-god of perfection – and I’m not saying Grady didn’t fit that mold in some ways – but the pain of existing, most days, for him grounded him.  Knowing that he bore the scars of his past and felt them every moment made my heart yearn for him to forgive himself.

Combust was a highly emotional book, from the highs of Dylan getting to prove she was more than her ex thought, to the lows of reliving what were the worst moments of Grady’s life, it was quite a rollercoaster.  From Dylan’s lyrics to Petunia to Grady’s resolution to never put someone in the position to lose him, K. Bromberg delivered a fascinating story of healing and learning to love yourself.

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New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales: http://bit.ly/254MWtI

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Escape by Jay Crownover ~ Sarah A’s Review

Everything inside of him is screaming that he needs to run, he needs to go, he needs to escape.

Lane Warner is used to being overshadowed and overlooked.

After all, he’s the youngest brother and the most laid back one in the family. He’s the one known for going with the flow and not making waves, even when things seem to be at their worst.

Very few things in life have had the ability to rile Lane up and get under his skin. At the top of that list is his childhood friend Brynn Fox…no…Brynn Warner. The fact that they share a last name was the one thing that has the power to light him up and spin him out of control like no other. There was no calm, cool and collected when it comes to all the reasons why Brynn had to become part of his family.

It’s slowly killing him to keep wanting what he can’t have, so Lane sees only one way to stop himself from doing something they’ll both regret…he has to leave.

Everything inside of her is calling out to find him, to follow, to bring him home.

Brynn Warner is used to being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After all, she’s the daughter of an unrepentant gold-digger who never once blinked at being the cause of her daughter’s pain and suffering.

Very few things in her life have ever brought happiness and a sense of security. At the very top of that list is Lane Warner. She has unwaveringly loved the youngest Warner since the first minute she laid eyes on him. He was everything Brynn ever wanted and everything she knew she could never have.

Sometimes the right choice is the one that hurts the most and Brynn’s had to make a few that felt like they might be the end of her.

When Lane takes off, one thing is clear, the only choice Brynn has is to go after him.

She’s going to bring her wayward cowboy home….whatever it takes.

Escape is a standalone novel, the third book in the Getaway series, which features the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women who dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

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Escape was a story about going home, but it was also a lesson in knowing that home isn’t a place but the people in it. It was also a tale about family being more than the people you share DNA with; your family is made of the people who love and care for you regardless of what you can offer or the things you’ve done in the past. As happy as I am to have finally seen the final Warner find his forever, I’m also a little bit sad that they’re all paired up, I can only hope that we get to see more of this world through the stories of the secondary characters.

Escape is the third book in Jay Crownover’s Getaway series. It can be read as a standalone, but the first two books set up a lot of the tension and world that Brynn and Lane are living in. Escape is told in dual first-person perspective – with the exception of the prologue, which is told in third-person – by Lane and Brynn.

I am ecstatic that Escape was not what I expected. I was certain it was going to be full of Brynn and Lane fighting against what they both wanted because they were sure they didn’t deserve it. I loved getting a book that focused on them figuring out what they had. The tension that had been brewing between them through the first two books had given me enough anticipation for the resolution of their issues. If there was ever a couple, who had been dealt enough of a shitty hand before their story even started it was them, so seeing them start to figure out how to shovel out from under the past and look to the future warmed my heart.

I was a little surprised by the suspense in Escape. Considering how much suspense was in the first two books in the series, it shouldn’t have, but I was not expecting the turn it took while they were headed home from California. I was happy to see them have something to work together on, and think it helped immensely with their relationship to have something to focus on outside of themselves. Bauer’s story was heartbreaking, and I am happy baby Warner and Brynn stumbled upon him and took him under their wings. No doubt, his story, and many others, would have ended quite differently without their intervention. And maybe the intervention of a certain sexy cop from Denver.

Jay Crownover is a long-time favorite of mine. I love the grittiness of her characters and how she makes their flaws turn into assets. Her writing style is raw and visceral, and I always feel so many things when I read her books. I can’t wait to see what all she has in store for her readers and hope she revisits the Getaway crew so we can find out the stories of some of the secondary characters.

Brynn

For the first time in days, it felt like my world was set back to rights.

Everything was crooked and off center the minute Lane walked out of the house in Wyoming and disappeared. I couldn’t think straight. Every step I took was wobbly and unsteady. From the moment I opened my eyes, to the second I fell into a fitful sleep at night, it was like I saw things through a grainy black and white filter. There was no color in any of my days when Lane was gone. There was no joy or light. There was only a massive void where I knew I should be able to feel my heart hurting and my soul suffering, the way they always did when it came to the youngest Warner, but when he left there was nothing.

I thought I knew what it felt like to have everything inside of me freeze and shatter. When word came that Lane had been shot while trying to protect his niece from a madman hell-bent on destroying everything that was important to Sutton, I was sure I would never be able to breathe or feel again. That icy pain, that frigid fear had nothing on the numbness that followed when Lane walked out the door seconds after Jack dropped to his knee. At that moment, I knew I was supposed to focus on the man asking me to share his life with him, the one who wanted me for me, and not because he was driven by some chivalrous need to save me from my messed up family and tumultuous home life.

But I hadn’t been focused on Jack. All I could see was the resignation and regret flashing through Lane’s pale blue eyes. We were both reliving the moment another man had asked me to marry him. Only that time, Lane hadn’t been able to escape the outcome. He’d been reminded of it for years, every waking moment when I’d technically held the title of his stepmom. I was something neither one of us could get away from no matter how hard we tried. It was amazing how much one little yes could change everything.

Now that he was standing in front of me, looking much thinner and more haggard than he had even when he came home from the hospital, I finally felt like I could inhale again. Everything that was fuzzy and blurred around the edges pulled back into sharp focus. I could look at the sky behind his tousled head and see that it was the same stormy blue as his eyes. I could also focus on the lines of tension and stress radiating out of the corners of those eyes and the bruised, dark hollows underneath them. Without him, nothing felt like it mattered. There was no home. There was no peace of mind. There was no safety and security.

When he was close, the littlest things felt hugely important and essential. The twitch of his lips into a wry grin spread warmth that chased away the emptiness for the first time in what felt like forever. The heat radiating off of his long, lean body made my heart kick back to life. When his arms wrapped around me for a seriously overdue hug, I finally felt alive. Finally felt something other than the echoing loneliness and hollowness that consumed me the minute he turned his back on me. Even with Daye trapped between us, I still felt a tingle at every single spot where his body touched mine.

“It’s so good to see you.” I meant it with every fiber of my being. Looking at him, even as worn and as drawn as he appeared, settled something deep inside of me.

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Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

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Blog Tour and Review-Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

 

KEEP HER SAFE

 K.A. TUCKER

National Bestselling Author

 Making a Murderer meets Scandal in this story of police corruption, family secrets, and illicit affairs from bestselling author K.A. Tucker, celebrated for her “propulsive plot twists and searing seduction” (USA TODAY).

Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.

Complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling, Keep Her Safe solidifies K.A. Tucker’s reputation as one of today’s most talented new voices in romantic suspense.

I absolutely love everything that K.A. Tucker writes. Keep Her Safe is a new standalone novel from K.A.. This book is filled with lots of drama, suspense, and a little bit of romance. This book is told in alternating POVs some from the past and some from the present which I really enjoyed.

Noah has always lived a pretty comfortable life as the son of the Austin police chief. He never expected his life would take such a turn until the night his mother commits suicide and his whole world is flipped upside down. He finds out his mother has been keeping secrets from him and now he needs to get to the bottom of everything and figure out what really happened to his mom’s old friend Abe Wilkes. He starts by getting in touch with Abe’s daughter Grace.

Grace’s world was flipped upside down when her dad was killed. Her mother couldn’t handle the news and used drugs to deal with it. Grace had to learn at a young age to take care of herself and her mother. When her old friend Noah comes back into her life things quickly take another turn. Together these two must work together to figure out what really happened to Grace’s dad and what caused the friendship between their parents to end.

I loved the connection between Noah and Grace. The secondary characters added lots of depth to the storyline. I loved all the twists and turns this story took and all the emotions it brought our in me. It had me on the edge of my seat until the very end and I found myself not being able to put the book down. I can’t wait to see what K.A. is working on next!!

**** 5 Stars****

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA TODAY, The Globe and Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publishers Weekly. She currently resides in a quaint town outside Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.

KEEP HER SAFE

by K.A. Tucker

Atria Books Paperback | On-sale: January 23, 2018 | 448 pages | ISBN: 9781501133404, $16.00

eBook: 9781501133428, $7.99

 

FIND K.A. TUCKER ONLINE:

http://www.katuckerbooks.com/

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 Don’t Miss K.A. Tucker’s Beloved Ten Tiny Breaths Series!!

 

Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland ~ Sarah A’s Review

 Sex, Not Love a standalone Contemporary Romance Novel from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Vi Keeland

My relationship with Hunter Delucia started backwards.

We met at a wedding—him sitting on the groom’s side, me sitting on the bride’s.  Stealing glances at each other throughout the night, there was no denying an intense, mutual attraction.

I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter.  Hunter held me tightly while we danced and suggested we explore the chemistry sparking between us.  His blunt, dirty mouth should’ve turned me off.  But for some crazy reason, it had the opposite effect on me.

We ended up back in my hotel room.  The next morning, I headed home to New York leaving him behind in California with the wrong number.

I thought about him often, but after my last relationship, I’d sworn off of charming, cocky, gorgeous-as-sin men. A year later, Hunter and I met again at the birth of our friends’ baby.  Our attraction hadn’t dulled one bit.  After a whirlwind trip, he demanded a real phone number this time.  So I left him with my mother’s—she could scare away any man with her talks of babies and marriage—and flew back home.

I’d thought it was funny, until the following week when he rang the bell at Mom’s house for Sunday night dinner.  The crazy, gorgeous man had won over my mother and taken an eight-week assignment in my city.  He proposed we spend that time screwing each other out of our systems.

Eight weeks of mind-blowing sex with no strings attached? What did I have to lose?

Nothing, I thought.

It’s just sex, not love.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

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Natalia and Hunter’s story was much heavier than I had anticipated. The ability to weave these substantial themes into books that are otherwise light fair is one of the things I most appreciate about Vi Keeland as an author. She continually surprises me with the seamless ways she pairs the levity of the characters personalities with the weight of their pasts.

Sex, Not Love is a stand-alone novel. It is told in dual first-person POV, by Natalia and Hunter. Several of Hunter’s chapters are flashbacks.

The chemistry between Natalia and Hunter was immediate and explosive. Even though this was a slow-burn romance, there was never any question of how amazing they would be together. I don’t usually care much for the slow-build love stories, but it absolutely worked in this book. Without having all of the time these two did to figure out what they wanted and needed, they could have easily imploded. As it was they built such an amazing foundation in the time they spent fighting their connection; it made the moment they gave in to their attraction incredibly poignant.

My favorite part of Sex, Not Love were Natalia and Hunter’s backstories. Their pasts colored their thought processes and reactions so profoundly; it was wonderful to see why. I deeply appreciated how those histories were told, too. Much of Natalia’s past was known from the beginning of the story, while Hunter’s was slowly revealed throughout the novel, had they been told in any other way I don’t think it would have had the same impact.

This is where I would usually post my wishes for a book. However, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book. While there were times I craved the instant gratification of them being together earlier in the book, their story wouldn’t have worked out that way. Sex, Not Love was ideally paced and precisely plotted to best fit the characters it was written about.

Vi Keeland continues to impress me with her writing. She writes interesting, flawed characters and makes them highly relatable. Never have I had a difficult time putting myself in the shoes of her characters. The way Ms. Keeland builds her stories from lighthearted romps to the reveal of the heavy underlying themes always impresses me. She far surpasses my expectations with every book I read from her.

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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GIVEAWAY!! Whore by Willow Aster ~ Excerpt

“I need a reason to exist.”

Beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong-willed, wealthy—Lilith Fontenot seems by all appearances, to have it all. But that’s not how the highest paid prostitute in New Orleans sees herself.

A stain on society. A scourge. A waste. Outsider. Prisoner…

Any idyllic dream of the normal life she may have once imagined, Lilith buried long ago. Her only plan now is survival.

But mob boss Nico Santelli and community center owner Soti Christos have not given up on Lilith. Each has his own very specific, very opposing, plans for her, and neither will rest until it becomes a reality.

WHORE is a singularly bracing take on an ancient tale of tireless love, betrayal, and the possibility of redemption.

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It’s all about her.

I give her a shaky smile and she returns a faint one. I kneel down and sit in front of where her arms are resting on the tile. The water splashes as I put a leg on either side of her.

Her hands drag leisurely up my legs until they reach my waist, and then she pulls hard, until I slip in the water with her. Her smile is full of mischief. My chest might cave in, it’s pounding so hard.

“There. Doesn’t it feel good in here?” She puts her arms around my neck and wraps her legs around my waist.

I grip her thighs, drawing her closer. “Like heaven,” I mutter.

Her hands dig into my hair, as she leans in and gives me the barest whisper of a kiss. Her eyes seem shy, but then she traces my bottom lip with her tongue. She smiles when it becomes obvious just how much her touch controls me.

“I like you, husband,” she whispers.

“I like you, too, my wife,” I whisper against her lips.

Our kiss deepens and I can’t tell if she’s trembling or if it’s me. Our hands are everywhere at once. My tongue twists with hers like it has finally found its favorite place. Our bodies leave no room for doubt. She engraves her name on my heart; I know exactly when it happens. She leans back just long enough to look in my eyes, as if checking to see if this is real. What she sees there reassures her, and we both shake with the knowledge of it. Two lost souls, found.

Whore by Willow Aster from Bibliophile Productions on Vimeo.

Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and the upcoming release, Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.

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Torrid Little Affair by Kendall Ryan ~ Sarah A’s Review

The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. And I have the perfect candidate all picked out.

My new assistant is tempting beyond belief with her curvy body and take-no-shit attitude. All those luscious curves, and a juicy ass I’m already in love with. God, the things that I would do to that ass…

But it’s the haunted look in her eyes that speaks to me. Like she’s taken just as much shit in her past as I have—maybe more. We both deserve a little fun.

Love can’t fix everything. Mind-blowing sex and a few killer orgasms, on the other hand?

I have a feeling those might do the trick.

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I was so looking forward to Cooper’s book.  He was so sweet and lovable in the first two books; I was desperate to see him get his happy ending.  I had such high hopes for his story and had built it up so much in my mind; the actual experience didn’t quite measure up to my imagination.  The story was still fantastic; it was my own preconceived notions that spoiled it for me.

Torrid Little Affair is the third book in Kendall Ryan’s Forbidden Desires series.  It is the only book, thus far, that can be read as a standalone, but Cooper is a major player in the first two books so reading them would be beneficial to understanding the place he’s in when this book begins.  Torrid Little Affair is told in dual first person – by Corinne & Cooper.

I was a little surprised by how quickly this story moved.  Ms. Ryan hit the ground running with Cooper’s story and kept up that fast pace until the end.  I particularly enjoyed how effortlessly Cooper and Corinne’s arrangement evolved into something they both needed but didn’t think they were ready for in any way.  The way they were able to open up to one another and trust each other with most of the broken parts of themselves was lovely, as it seemed like they both needed someone to be wholly invested in them with no expectations.

The only wish I have for Torrid Little Affair is that it had delved farther into Corinne’s past and rehashed Cooper’s a little more for the readers who hadn’t read the first books and for those of us who maybe didn’t have total recall of all he’d been through.  I felt as if there was a significant build-up to a few major events that had colored Corinne’s timidity and fears, but the traumas she’d experienced didn’t seem to mesh with what was hinted at.

I’m in love with this world Kendall Ryan has constructed in her Forbidden Desires series.  All of the brothers captivate me, and I can’t wait to find out more about them.  While Cooper’s story didn’t hit me as hard as Gavin’s did, I still loved getting to see him find happiness and his own true love.  I can’t wait for Quinn’s story; he’s been a bit of an outlier in the first three books and that air of mystery that surrounds him has me fully intrigued.

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
Forbidden Desires Book 1

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DIRTY LITTLE PROMISE
Forbidden Desires book 2

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TORRID LITTLE AFFAIR
Forbidden Desires book 3

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

iBooks

NAUGHTY LITTLE SCANDAL
Forbidden Desires book
 5
RELEASE DATE: May 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.

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CUFFED by K. Bromberg ~ Sarah A Review

From the New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes a new series about three brothers, the job that calls them, and the women who challenge them.

“I hate you. I never want to see you again.”

Grant Malone is not the reason I moved back to Sunnyville—at least that’s what I tell myself. Yet, those parting words I said to him back in third grade, ring in my ears every time a townsperson brings up one of the Malone boys. I thought time had healed my wounds. I was wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I finally saw him again.

Twenty years does a lot to turn a boy into a man. One who hits all my buttons—sexy, funny, attractive, and a police officer. But Grant is off limits because he knows too much about my past.

But I’m drawn to him. That damn uniform of his doesn’t hurt either. It’ll be my downfall. I know it.

What’s one night of sex going to hurt . . . right?

*** 

I’ve always loved Emmy Reeves.

That’s why I’m shocked to see her all these years later. The shy girl I once knew is all grown up.

Adventurous and full of life, she owns my heart now, just as much as she did back then. Convincing her of that is a whole different story.

I’ll give her the one night she asks for—like that’s a hardship—but when it comes to letting her walk away after, she has another thing coming. There’s no way in hell I’m letting her go this time without a fight.

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Occasionally I read a book that completely belies my expectations; this is one of them. Neither the blurb nor the cover begins to hint at just how heavy Cuffed is. I had expected an angsty friends-to-lovers romance, but this was so much more. It dealt with incredibly heavy themes and the fall-out from the choices that are made in an effort to help others.

After finishing the book, I found that I was unsure of my feelings regarding Emerson. Her past garners my full sympathies and motherly love, but her prickly, flighty, standoffish personality in the present makes it hard for me to understand her appeal as an adult. I know a lot of her behavior was a defense mechanism and perhaps part of her appeal is her refusal to commit to anything permanent, I just found her frustrating.

The Grant we got to know in the book seemed nothing like the Grant his brothers and partner talked about in reference to his past behavior with women. I’m glad we didn’t see that aspect of his behavior because it would have been off-putting. As he was in the book Grant was amazing. I loved how caring he was in relation to both the people he loved and the people he was entrusted to serve and protect. It was immediately apparent he was the type of person who would do anything it took to make sure innocent people are safe. He is the quintessential good cop.

Broken promises and rules were an essential plot point in Cuffed. Almost every significant development in both Emerson and Grant’s lives was caused by breaking a rule or promise. All of those broken things resulted in momentous life changes and new outlooks for both of them. I also appreciated how heavily the idea of trust and how people can manipulate it was used in Cuffed. It was interesting to see how all of these things that are easily broken were tied together in a story about taking the broken pieces of a person and knitting them back together into a whole and happy person.

I wish I had a better grasp on where this story was taking place, usually I can place myself inside of the world of a book but the locations in Cuffed seemed very disconnected to me. Perhaps a better handle on where Sunnyville is and where the primary locations are in relation to one another will come as the series progresses. I also felt like there were some storylines that seemed specific to this book but were never fully fleshed out; particularly the situation with the other person vying for the promotion Grant wanted with and their fathers. I hope to find out more about what went on there because it seemed to be a significant event in the Malones history.

While I had not read a K. Bromberg book before this one, it felt familiar, comfortable. Her writing was fluid and straightforward. It wasn’t a book that pushed my limits but one that kept me fully invested in the story. I’m sure I’ll continue to return to her books when I want to read something that makes me feel like I’m catching up with an old friend.

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales: http://bit.ly/254MWtI

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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.

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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

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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.

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