RELEASE DAY BLITZ, EXCERPT & REVIEW – Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
***
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

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Excerpt

Ellie

But then the mood shifts, as if the air becomes thicker, weighted, more . . . sultry.

Because slowly, Logan sinks down to one knee in front of me—looking in my eyes the whole time. In this position, I could touch his shoulders, comb my fingers through his thick, dark hair. He’s the perfect height for me to bend down and kiss his mouth—the perfect height for him to kiss me back . . . in a lot of places.

My breath hitches. And I wonder he feels it too.

There’s a sound of tearing Velcro, and Logan takes something off his ankle—a holster, with a small silver knife, about three inches long.

“Keep this on you all the time,” he says seriously. “Just in case. If you wear a skirt, the strap will fit around your thigh.”

And I almost laugh. Most girls get a ring from a guy on his knees. I get a murder weapon. But still, it makes me feel safe . . . watched over. Like I’m something precious that deserves to be protected.

I take the knife from him, testing the surprisingly solid, heavy weight of it in my hand. I press my index finger to the tip.

Logan grabs my wrist tightly. “Careful. It’s sharp.”

There’s a small, painless nick, a tiny bead of blood, so I put my finger in my mouth, sucking.

And Logan’s watching me again.

Watching my mouth.

His chest seems to rise just a little faster, and his throat ripples when he swallows. He bends his head, curves his strong back, and then I feel his hands on my ankle, securing the strap. His touch is warm and self-assured. It’s the way he always moves—confident and experienced. Logan knows his body and he knows how to use it, in every way possible.

I almost moan. The sound is in the back of my throat, but I keep it trapped. I never knew the ankle was an erogenous zone, but it sure as hell is now. A hot pulse of pleasure streaks from Logan’s fingers on my bare skin, up my thigh, between my legs.

And I throb there, growing swollen and heavy as he keeps his hands on me.

Can he tell? Does he know? He’s so aware of everything, always so attuned, I wonder if he can sense my arousal . . . feel it in the air that clings between us.

Patricia’s Review

Chase has scripted a slow-burning romance full of all the intricacies I’ve come to love from her stories. I am a sucker for her heroes and heroines – often times visualizing myself as the leading lady in her stories – and this was no exception. I wanted to be Ellie – experiencing all the excitement of becoming royalty overnight but especially having that palpable chemistry with Logan St James. These two were fun but oh so intense and I was grateful for the comedic relief that Chase masterfully interjected through the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ellie and Logan’s story and also getting caught up with the remaining royal family introduced in the prior installments. My only complaint is that I felt cheated out of the skipped months of the story. I simply wanted more – more of watching Ellie become that strong woman she was destined to become and more of the pining that had me begging for more.

Royally Endowed is the third installment in the Royally Series and while it can be read as a standalone, it’s best enjoyed in the sequence it was written.

Overall Rating 4 Stars – I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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All of You, All of Me by Claudia Burgoa ~ Sarah A’s Review

One heinous tragedy changed my entire family forever.
That morning, my world crumbled. I lost my parents.
Now, I live by certain rules.
Don’t let anyone know what goes on inside your head.
Stay away from crowds.
Never fall in love.
Though, that was until her. She has me questioning everything.
It’s the haunted eyes.
The sultry voice.
The sweetness under her armor.
Everything about her captivates me. The surge of energy we create with one touch has me searching for her, even when there’s also something dark underneath her bright smile.
Unable to resist the desire toward her, I break my rules giving her all of me while expecting all of her.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / B&N / KOBO / iBooks

THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS!!  If you know me at all, you know I tend to be pretty passionate about mental health.  I regularly rate books lower when they use portray mental health issues incorrectly, particularly when those issues are magically solved by falling in love.  That’s not how it works, that’s not how any of it works.  It is a daily fight and there are days when having someone to fight by your side helps and there are other days when it can become a hindrance; Claudia Burgoa illustrated those struggles brilliantly in this book.

While I don’t have much personal experience with the types of mental illness portrayed in this book, I do have experience with others as well as a functional knowledge of what the types of things Willow and Hunter were dealing with can be like, through my training as a crisis counselor.  I absolutely loved seeing the way those intense mood swings and anxiety attacks were portrayed in writing.  I have a hard enough time explaining what an anxiety attack can feel like to people I’m physically in front of with all of the words and body language at my disposal, it was amazing to see how Ms. Burgoa was able to shift the tone of thought so thoroughly almost mid-sentence.

My hands down favorite part of this book was that Willow and Hunter both took the necessary steps to get well by themselves before committing to anything together.  Love can look like a bandage that will heal anything, but if you don’t treat the wound correctly it will only fester and get infected under that bandage until you can no longer ignore it.  The fact that they had the strength and foresight to see that they needed to work on themselves alone before they could work on being an ‘us’ was wonderfully refreshing in a romance novel.  Honestly, I would have loved to have seen a little more of their actual treatment, as I always find that fascinating, but not including it did not take away from the story in the least bit.

There were a few times in the book I had a hard time knowing when a passage had transitioned from present to recent past back to present.  Paragraphs would seemingly be in the present, then recap off-page events, then continue on in the present; I found myself, on more than one occasion, confused by how we’d ended up in certain a place or time.  It didn’t detract much from the story, it just made a few moments more confusing than they needed to be.

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Claudia Burgoa.  If this book was indicative of her other writing I’ll be checking out her backlist as well as anything she has coming up on her release radar.  I will most definitely be waiting to see more of the secondary characters from this book.  Willow’s sister was very intriguing, as were the other Everhart brothers.  I can’t wait to see how things play out for all of them.

Claudia grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera.She lives in Colorado working for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, her geek husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

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RELEASE BLITZ AND REVIEW – Beneath the Truth by Meghan March

 

 

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes the final sexy standalone set in the Beneath world of New Orleans.

I used to believe there were lines in life you don’t cross.
Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Until I learned people don’t always practice what they preach.
I turned in my badge and gun and walked away from everything.
Then I got the call no one wants, and I’m back in New Orleans.
What I don’t expect is for her to be here too.
Another line you don’t cross?
Don’t touch your best friend’s little sister.
She’s always been off-limits.
Too bad I don’t follow the rules anymore.

 

Amazon | iBooks | BN | Kobo

Excerpt

Wham. My heart slammed against my ribs as it sped up about twenty beats per minute.

The heat and delicious woodsy citrus scent radiating from his body did good things to me. Things that made me want to do very bad things to him. I wasn’t a seventeen-year-old virgin anymore. I knew my way around a man, but I had to admit, the hipsters in Cali had nothing on a homegrown Louisiana man like Rhett.

When he spoke, he leaned in so close that I could feel his breath on my ear. “You missed that shot on purpose.”

My gaze jumped from the sexy five o’clock shadow shading his jaw to his piercing green eyes.

“Wha-what are you talking about?” I smacked myself mentally when my old stammer kicked in. Of course he would cause it.

“That shot. You missed on purpose. I saw you adjust at the last minute. Why?”

I swallowed the saliva pooling in my mouth and decided to take the safest exit from this situation. Lying.

“Cue slipped.”

His eyes narrowed on me. “You’re lying and you’re terrible at it, just like you’ve always been.” He reached up and pressed his thumb to my left eyebrow. “You get a twitch right here.”

Oh my God. Rhett Hennessy is touching me. And what’s more . . . he knows my tell. He noticed me!

The fifteen-year-old inside me did a terrible cartwheel at the realization. Okay, more of a round-off. With a tumble in the grass to finish. Whatever.

But outwardly, I was trapped in that green gaze until he decided to let me go—or until I came to my senses.

I cleared my throat and sidestepped him. “Whatever you say, hotshot. I need another drink.”

Focusing on putting one four-inch heel in front of the other without biting it, I escaped to the table and reached for the whiskey glass I’d left behind, interrupting my brother and the waitress. They both stared at me as I chugged the contents.

I’d always wondered what it would feel like to have Rhett’s attention, and now I knew. In a word, it was . . . unnerving.

“How’s the game going?” my brother asked.

“Fine.” Keeping my answer short meant he couldn’t tell that I was lying. Heath wasn’t nearly as observant as Rhett.

“You winning?”

Thanking the Lord that Heath obviously hadn’t been watching, I shrugged. “I guess.”

He glanced toward Rhett and then back to me. “The sister I know and love doesn’t lose at pool. Ever. Even to Rhett Hennessy.”

I lowered the glass to the table and straightened my shoulders. “Like they say, things change.”

He nodded slowly. “That may be true about most things, Flounder. But you’re a pool shark and we both know it.”

Before I could respond, Heath’s attention jumped back to the waitress. I took another ten seconds to gather myself, also known as drinking offensively in my mind, before I crossed the floor to face off against my former obsession.

“You all right, Red?” Rhett asked.

“Don’t call me that. And I’ve never been better.”

His gaze dipped to my feet and dragged up my body. “I can agree with that statement.”

Whoa. Who is this guy with the innuendo? A glance at his empty whiskey glass told me he was drinking heavily as well. Was this the booze talking? Or was Rhett Hennessy not just noticing me, but noticing me?

Either way, I had to play it cool. Or at least pretend to play it cool, since it seemed I might fall short.

“Your turn, hotshot. Better not miss, because I’ll clear the table next time,” I said, but my cocky attitude backfired.

Rhett didn’t miss. He sank his balls and then the eight, ending the game almost as quickly as it started. He returned his cue to the rack and turned to face me, all traces of the earlier heat banked, his expression shuttered.

“Game over.”

What the hell just happened?

Whitney’s Four Star Review

Beneath the Truth is a solid ending to a series I’ve been wrapped up in since it started. Although all the books can technically stand alone, the characters and the plot line develop steadily if you read them in order. And because of that, I’ve been dying (maybe panting!) for Rhett since we met him.

The stoic cop with a heart of gold finally gets a chance at love with his best friend’s little sister! Don’t worry, no spoilers here so I won’t reveal much about the plot or the heroine but she is awesome. Aerial is super smart and a bit of a bad ass but in a subtle way. They’re pretty perfect for each other so it’s funny and sexy watching their relationship play out.

The characters do not disappoint. There were some aspects of the storyline I didn’t love and I wish I could say what they were but I can’t! I just felt there was one part especially that was over the top and didn’t add to the story. But thankfully I was able to get over it and really enjoy the majority of the book.

If you’ve been following the series, I think you’ll be happy with the end of this series if you’re a bit sad like me. The good news is that we get to meet a character who will lead into Meghan’s new series which is very intriguing. And Meghan… if you’re out there reading this. I WANT Rhett’s brothers to get books too!

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY – Alex in Wonderland by Max Monroe

Alex in Wonderland

by Max Monroe

Disclaimer: Exercise caution while reading. Evidence shows that Matt Hadder’s vibrant sexiness and alpha manner may lead to confusion, arousal, and questioning the necessity of one’s own moral code.
*Authors may not responsible for any subsequent illegal activity.

Synopsis

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Max Monroe comes a new, sexy, and exciting twist on fairytales.

I’m Matt Hadder. 
I’ve been called ruthless, savage—even brutal—by the men and women who work for me. And I’ve earned my reputation.

Wonderland Inc., a party planning organization for every major player in the world, is Oz, and I’m its Wizard. I can make anything—drugs, prostitutes, deals—appear for a night and disappear just as quickly.

This doesn’t make me good or bad—it makes me essential.

Wonderland Inc. was my life, until a beautiful contradiction of innocence and impurity, obedience and rebelliousness named Alex Little stepped in and turned both of our worlds upside down.

Welcome to Wonderland, Alex.
A place where everything appears normal.
But we’re all mad.

Excerpt

“It is. It’s just…jarring.”

      “You don’t find it natural?” I asked, putting a hand to her back and making her step closer. The pleasure girl moaned and writhed, her skin a flushed rose of arousal as Spade continued to play with her. Lou Diamond had joined them now too, feasting on her breasts and stroking his cock while kneeling on the plush red couch behind her opened leg.

      Alex shook her head and nodded at the same time, her every nerve ending buzzing with confusion over what she’d been taught was appropriate, and the very opposite way she felt.

      “That could be you,” I whispered, leaning into her back and grazing the shell of her ear with my breath.

      She shivered—for about a millisecond—before bounding away and turning to meet my eyes, panic stark in hers. “Me? Do that? Like…right here? In front of people?” she stuttered. “No. No. Um, no.”

      Excitement shot down my spine at her anxiousness. “No?” I questioned, careful to keep my tone reproachful. I wanted her to feel pressured—just to see if she could withstand it.

      After a brief pause, she confirmed with a curt, determined shake of her head. “No.”

      At six foot six and two hundred and seventy pounds, I was nothing short of physically intimidating. I was impressed by her backbone.

      “Okay,” I agreed easily. Her eyes widened, and her plump lips parted. I took pleasure in her surprise.

Buy It Now

iBooks: https://goo.gl/LzhaXL
AMAZON: https://goo.gl/ptgvCx
AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/JS1rqH
AMAZON AU: https://goo.gl/fyN787
AMAZON CA: https://goo.gl/PWeogP
Kobo: https://goo.gl/UwJg5f
Nook: https://goo.gl/ACjMsX
Google Play: Coming soon!

Alex in Wonderland Playlist: https://goo.gl/3RuzsK

Whitney’s Four Star Review

In a twist from their usual light and fluffy, Max Monroe has delivered a fast paced and semi-dark romcom. Readers of their previous work will find Alex in Wonderland quite different with much more subtle humor and less silliness. More intensity, a little suspense but still a whole lot of sexy!

I haven’t made up my mind yet whether I liked this as much as their other books but it was certainly enjoyable. Alex is fun as a down on her luck gal who loves to talk to her cat and has a talent for running petty cons while maintaining an air of innocence. Matt is sexy AF. He’s not a ‘bad’ guy necessarily but he ain’t no saint either. He walks a fine line between savior and sinner and I loved him from the beginning.

The writing, like most of this duo’s books, will keep you turning the pages. I think a perfect balance was struck with this book. There are equal parts suspense, sexy times, and amusing moments. Like I mentioned before, the humor in this book is much different than their other books. I’d describe it as more classic humor and less raunchy, over the top crazy. (And I love their raunchy, over the top crazy so that’s not a negative statement!).

This book stands alone but there are a few side characters I’d be totally interested in reading more about. Bravo to Max Monroe for trying something different and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Enter the Giveaway HERE

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Perilous Trust by Barbara Freethy ~ Sarah A’s Review

In PERILOUS TRUST, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! OFF THE GRID: An FBI Trilogy offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.

It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…

Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.

The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.

When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…

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This was a great suspense novel.  If I were to give percentages on what made this book up it would be 90% suspense, 10% romance and the romance could have easily been left out and not made too much of a difference to the novel as a whole.  In fact, there were times when I felt like the romance should have been left out in favor of everything else going on.

I did enjoy the chemistry between Sophie and Damon, while they were working together, trying to figure out their next step in staying safe, it was the moments that were just about their relationship that were lacking.  They felt strange and forced, and, honestly, it seemed as if the author wasn’t completely comfortable writing about a relationship with no other outside forces affecting it.  Ms. Freethy was much more in touch with her characters when they were dealing with traumatic situations than she was when they were safe.

The suspense in this novel was definitely the thing that kept me reading.  While I was able to figure out most of twists and turns, the motives behind what was going on were lost on me until the very end.  It was obvious that Ms. Freethy’s talents lay far more in the realm of secrets, lies, and action than in romance.  Her suspense writing in this book will keep me coming back for the rest of the books in this trilogy.

Had I not gone into Perilous Trust expecting the type of romantic suspense I’m used to reading – relatively equal parts romance and suspense – I would likely have rated it higher.  My rating of this novel was primarily based on my preconceived notions and, had I not gone into it with them, I probably would have enjoyed the book much more for what it was than been let down by what I felt was missing.

“Why did you run away from your apartment, your friends, your father’s coworkers? Why did you just disappear, Sophie?” Damon asked.

“Because someone killed my dad.”

“It’s possible it was an accident.”

“You don’t believe that any more than I do.”

“Maybe not, but I think something specific spooked you.”

“You mean like the two men I saw going into my apartment building?”

“You saw the men who broke into your apartment?” he asked in surprise.

“I don’t know if they were the ones, but they could have been.”

“What did they look like?”

“Law enforcement, maybe—I don’t know.”

Damon stared back at her, and she could see him running through her words in his head. “Why would you be afraid of law enforcement when your father is FBI?”

“Gut instinct,” she lied, knowing she wouldn’t have been afraid at all if her father hadn’t told her to be. “And it looks like I was right to run. If I’d gone to my apartment, who knows what would have happened?”

His lips drew into a hard line. “Look, Sophie, I want to help you.”

“Why? Why on earth would you want to help me?”

His gaze darkened, and the air sizzled between them as they found themselves back in a place probably neither of them wanted to revisit, but they were there all the same.

“We’re not friends,” she said quickly, needing to break the tension. “We’re not anything. We haven’t seen each other in four years. Why do you care where I am, what I’m doing? Is it because of loyalty to my dad? That has to be it, right? Nothing else could have made you drive all the way up here.”

“I should have called you after that night,” he said.

“I’m not looking for an apology.”

“Aren’t you?”

“No. Maybe. No,” she said, hating to sound so uncertain. “None of that is important now. I have bigger problems.”

“Then let’s talk about now,” he said, relief in his eyes as he changed the subject. “I respected your father. He was a mentor to me. I owe him for that, and I know that he would want me to help you. He trusted me, and I hope you can trust me, too.”

“I don’t know if my father trusted you,” she said, shaking her head.

Surprise and anger flared in his eyes. “Why would you say that?”

“Because he told me not to trust anyone from the bureau, and since you’re an agent, that includes you. Please, just go. Just leave me alone,” she pleaded, desperate to get him out of the cabin before she did something even more stupid—like start to trust him. “I’ll disappear. I’ll go somewhere no one else knows about. You don’t have to worry about me. You’ve done your duty. You came after me. You did that for my dad. Now do something for me—leave me alone. You’ve managed it for four years. You can keep going.”

His mouth tightened. “I’m not leaving you alone. You won’t be safe. You can’t get help from a friend, because you’ll put them in danger, and even if you are very careful, you’ll make a mistake. You don’t know how to stay off the radar, but I do. You’re going to have to trust someone at some point. You’re going to have to put your anger aside and let it be me.”

Before she could answer, she was suddenly hit with a shower of glass from the nearby window.

What the hell had just happened?

Another pane blew out, and something whizzed by her ear.

Damon grabbed her arm and pulled down as a third window exploded.

Someone was shooting at her!

 

Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble.

Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL’S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME.

For more information, visit her website at www.barbarafreethy.com

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RELEASE BLITZ, REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY – Alex in Wonderland by Max Monroe

Alex in Wonderland

by Max Monroe

Disclaimer: Exercise caution while reading. Evidence shows that Matt Hadder’s vibrant sexiness and alpha manner may lead to confusion, arousal, and questioning the necessity of one’s own moral code.
*Authors may not responsible for any subsequent illegal activity.

Synopsis

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Max Monroe comes a new, sexy, and exciting twist on fairytales.

I’m Matt Hadder. 
I’ve been called ruthless, savage—even brutal—by the men and women who work for me. And I’ve earned my reputation.

Wonderland Inc., a party planning organization for every major player in the world, is Oz, and I’m its Wizard. I can make anything—drugs, prostitutes, deals—appear for a night and disappear just as quickly.

This doesn’t make me good or bad—it makes me essential.

Wonderland Inc. was my life, until a beautiful contradiction of innocence and impurity, obedience and rebelliousness named Alex Little stepped in and turned both of our worlds upside down.

Welcome to Wonderland, Alex.
A place where everything appears normal.
But we’re all mad.

Buy It Now

iBooks: https://goo.gl/LzhaXL
AMAZON: https://goo.gl/ptgvCx
AMAZON UK: https://goo.gl/JS1rqH
AMAZON AU: https://goo.gl/fyN787
AMAZON CA: https://goo.gl/PWeogP
Kobo: https://goo.gl/UwJg5f
Nook: https://goo.gl/ACjMsX
Google Play: Coming soon!

Whitney’s Four Star Review

In a twist from their usual light and fluffy, Max Monroe has delivered a fast paced and semi-dark romcom. Readers of their previous work will find Alex in Wonderland quite different with much more subtle humor and less silliness. More intensity, a little suspense but still a whole lot of sexy!

I haven’t made up my mind yet whether I liked this as much as their other books but it was certainly enjoyable. Alex is fun as a down on her luck gal who loves to talk to her cat and has a talent for running petty cons while maintaining an air of innocence. Matt is sexy AF. He’s not a ‘bad’ guy necessarily but he ain’t no saint either. He walks a fine line between savior and sinner and I loved him from the beginning.

The writing, like most of this duo’s books, will keep you turning the pages. I think a perfect balance was struck with this book. There are equal parts suspense, sexy times, and amusing moments. Like I mentioned before, the humor in this book is much different than their other books. I’d describe it as more classic humor and less raunchy, over the top crazy. (And I love their raunchy, over the top crazy so that’s not a negative statement!).

This book stands alone but there are a few side characters I’d be totally interested in reading more about. Bravo to Max Monroe for trying something different and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Enter the Giveaway HERE

Stalk Max Monroe Here:

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The Brightest Sunset by Aly Martinez ~ Sarah A’s Review

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Bullshit.

Words destroyed me.

“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”

“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”

“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.

Lies.

Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.

Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.

“He’s gone.”

In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise.

“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”

Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Screw Brady.  Seriously, that guy is a jerk.  I get that he was in pain, but there was no excuse for how inhumanely he treated everyone else involved with the horrific situation they’d all found themselves in at the hands of a severely mentally disturbed woman.  Whew. I feel better having got that off my chest.

The Brightest Sunset was the perfect counterpoint to The Darkest Sunrise.  While Sunrise was based primarily on the destruction of the lives of Charlotte and Porter, Sunset was about them rising from the ashes of the hellfire that had consumed them.  It was about them learning to step into the light while still allowing the darkness to exist as it needed to.  It was about healing and becoming whole people who deserved so much more than what they’d learned to live with.  It was the perfect way to end this story that was built on all the worst fears a parent can have.

I loved watching Charlotte come into her own in this book.  As strong and amazing as she was in The Darkest Sunrise, she was still only a shell of a person.  Seeing her stand up for herself and her family against the people who had guided every moment of her life, regardless of their intentions, for ten years, was marvelous.  Seeing Charlotte in the light was staggering.  Equally awe-inducing was watching the journey that Porter went on in tasting an iota of the pain Charlotte had feasted on for ten years, then fighting to get back the family they both deserved with reckless abandon.

I love this duet, I have often found that duets struggle to retain the intensity of the first book all the way through the second.  That was not the case with these books.  While the tenor of The Brightest Sunset changed and morphed into something softer around the edges than the jagged beauty of The Darkest Sunrise, it was equally impactful in its message.

The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #1)
Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

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Trust by Kylie Scott ~ Sarah A’s Review

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

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Trust did not hit the mark, for me.  It wasn’t bad, far from it, but it was lacking the ‘it’ factor that makes me need to continue reading the story.  There were moments that were wonderful, but there were also a lot of things that just didn’t quite deliver.  The first few chapters of the book hooked me enough to read the entire thing, if it had started a scene or two later I may have written it off and missed some of those truly great moments.

One of my favorite things about this book was how both John and Edie reacted to living through a hostage situation that others didn’t live through.  It was lovely to see how severe trauma can affect two people in such different ways, while still having the same underlying desire.  Both simply wanted to live to their full potential, even if they took vastly different approaches to expressing that desire.

My greatest wish for this book would have been to have John’s POV for some of the chapters.  Since we only see what Edie observes it was hard for me to understand how their relationship evolved.  I could easily believe their friendship, but John’s apparent disinterest made it hard for me to understand how it developed into more than that without seeing what was going on in his head.  Maybe that was the point and I missed it, that we don’t always know what a person is thinking until they act on it.  Once they moved beyond the bounds of platonic friendship it was easy to see that he cared for her in that way, it was just his journey to that point that seemed to be missing.

Edie was pretty great, it was nice to see a girl who wasn’t the typical Barbie doll type as the heroine in a romance.  I loved seeing her stand up for herself and her friends against people who didn’t even deserve one second of her attention.  It was also nice to see her internal turmoil about the things she didn’t appreciate about herself, how she combatted those feelings, and slowly learned to love herself.  Her character arc was important and interesting.  Her growth made the book worth reading.

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”

I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”

“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”

“Bastard.”

“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.

“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”

“Not funny.”

I shrugged.

“You barely know the guy.”

“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”

“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.

“No we are not.” And I retreated.

“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.

Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”

“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”

He said nothing.

Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”

He slowly shook his head.

“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”

“This is crazy.”

“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”

“I’m just trying to be practical.”

“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”

“It does to me.”

Again, he said nothing.

In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.

“What?” I said, finally.

He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”

 

TRUST by Kylie Scott (Official Book Trailer) from FILM 14 on Vimeo.

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

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Firefly by Molly McAdams ~ Sarah A’s Review

As the Princess of the Irish-American Mob, there’s no shortage of men ready to help guard and protect me. To slowly suffocate me to the point of seeking freedom—a place where I can breathe.

Kieran Hayes has been saving me for as long as I can remember. It’s in his blood, and one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Until my favorite trait became his biggest flaw, making me resent the man I love. An unwavering warrior, his love for me has been shrouded by those instincts.

Save Lily. Protect Lily. Hide Lily. Cage Lily.

What I wasn’t prepared for was Dare—the man who would set my world on fire with just one touch. He saw straight through to my soul, as though he knew I was desperate for freedom, and silently demanded my heart from the beginning.

And I didn’t expect Dare to be Demitri Borello—the reason for so many deaths in my family. A man who will take my life the moment he finds out who I am.

Despite it all, I’ll love him until that moment comes.

A fire will die if there is no oxygen for it to consume. Ours is rapidly stealing every last breath we can sacrifice to it.

***The Redemption series is a series of romantic suspense standalones***

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This book was a slow burn.  When I was reading I found it somewhat frustrating but upon completion of the book, it was well worth it.  Gah.  I am not quite sure how to explain what the experience of reading Firefly; all I can really say is that it was fascinating and worth the singed nerves.

Firefly is the second book in Molly McAdams Redemption series.  You absolutely do not need to read both books to understand what is going on.  While they occur in the same world they are only tangentially connected. No character crossover, no (real) storyline crossover, no cliffhangers. Each book is a complete standalone. The only relation between the two is that they both deal with the seediest parts of the underworld.  And they do that well.

I’m not sure if I should classify this as a love triangle or not.  For one person it definitely was, for the others, not so much.  It was an interesting dynamic to know how Lily was feeling about both Dare and Kieran, and how they were both feeling about her.  My heart for Lily because of how deeply hurt she’d been by all the people who were meant to love and protect her.  It was completely shredded for Kieran because he was trapped in a life, a role, a persona he absolutely loathed and no matter what he did he was going lose everything he wanted most.  Dare, however, was a bit of an enigma to me, he seemed to so easily compartmentalize the pieces of himself it was fascinating to see those different facets and how he dealt with his emotions in each role.

Firefly took a minute to find its wings.  The first half or so was full of tension building, of layering an intricate backstory for everyone involved in the book, and it was worth all that build-up.  Once the intense conflict began happening all those varied histories met and exploded in something that could have been easily devastating for all involved.  I appreciated how Ms. McAdams dealt with the fall-out and brought this story to a resolution that was appropriate for the characters.

Molly McAdams writing is always great.  She’s uniquely capable of playing her readers’ heartstrings like a virtuoso.  It’s in the way she’s able to convey what an emotion feels like, that unique physical reaction – one each person experiences in their own, slightly different way – with such accuracy, that makes her stories sing.  I love how her stories build in magnitude and complexity as they go on, until they reach a soaring peak, then resolve with a perfect harmony.

“Nothing’s getting past me,” I assured her.

Her breath washed over my lips as I leaned in to kiss her again when she whispered, “I thought we were talking about you.”

I paused for a few seconds, then looked up into her hazel eyes. “What?”

“I think I’m in danger from you.”

My brow pulled tight, and I forced out a low, frustrated laugh. “Me.”

She nodded again, the movement of her head so slow as her eyes explored mine. “I need you to let me go for so many reasons, but I easily forget why when you don’t. I think there was a reason neither of us crossed that invisible barrier before today. Because being in your arms?” She hesitated, her tongue quickly darting out to wet her lips. “Trust me, it’s dangerous.”

A weight pressed down on my chest, making it hard to breathe. Because damn it if she wasn’t right.

There were dozens of girls over the years who’d meant nothing more than a night. Maybe two. Not one could I remember the name of, most I couldn’t remember their face.

Then there’d been one who I would’ve sold my soul for if I could’ve had one more night with her.

My days with her had been everything. A slow burn that had built over time until I hadn’t been able to get enough of her. Until she’d meant too much.

And there hadn’t been a girl since.

Not a second glance. Not a thought. Nothing.

Until one morning at Brooks a few years ago.

But there was nothing slow about the thoughts and needs for the girl pressed against me. There hadn’t been since the very first morning I’d found her staring at a mirror like it had the power to destroy her world. Like that possibility fascinated her.

Fuck, if I didn’t need to find out why.

Dangerous was exactly what we were. Only she had no idea just how much.

My gut twisted as unwanted thoughts entered my mind, but I pushed them away. Because I knew what I needed to do. I needed to let her go and force myself not to follow.

But when there’s a flicker of light in your life after so much darkness, it’s impossible to stay away.

And this girl burned so damn bright.

Calling to me and beckoning me toward her, and I knew no matter how many times I let her slip away, I would follow her just to catch her again.

I brushed my thumb across her full lips. “Goddamn, firefly.”

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Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland ~ Sarah A’s Review

The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.

He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.

When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.

You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend–smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.

He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done.

Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.

Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy.

Oops.  My mistake. 

Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.

I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?

That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.

Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.

I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.

Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.

This was going to be interesting…

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The levity of the blurb and the smirking, partially undressed man on the cover belied how moving and heart-wrenching this story actually was.  I thought I was picking up a bit of light reading after some pretty intense reads, but I was happily mistaken.  While it did start out with a fair amount of frivolity, it soon took on a much heavier tone than I had anticipated.

The chemistry between Rachel and Caine was amazing but it was their pasts, the things they were struggling with, that made this book for me.  I have long been a sucker for a book about people with devastating pasts, so as soon as there was a hint of what they’d each lived through I was completely hooked on this book.  I was so intrigued by Caine and Rachel I finished this book in a single afternoon.  I had to see how they healed and overcame the horrors of their pasts, in order to move forward with the futures they deserved.

Some of my favorite moments in Beautiful Mistake were Caine’s flashback scenes, so much so that I wish we could have seen some glimpses into Rachel’s past the same way.  It was a unique way of telling the story though, keeping the present almost completely in Rachel’s POV and all of Caine’s POV a glimpse at the past.  It made it much easier to delineate what was going on and keep things in correct time line.

I found myself wanting to know more about Caine both Caine and Rachel’s sisters, I did feel we were left unsatisfied there, especially with the situation Caine’s sister was in.  Several of the secondary characters were very intriguing to me and I could easily see an entire world being built around this book.  They all had rich backstories and I would love to know more about all of them.  Isn’t that what makes a great book though, being able to live with the characters long after you’ve closed that back cover?

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than 1.5 million books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in sixteen languages. She resides 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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