Hollywood Prince by Natasha Madison ~ Sarah A’s Review

Behind the “lights, camera, action” of Hollywood lies a world of deception, love, and seduction. 

Are you ready for Hollywood Royalty?

Carter
A blonde, a brunette, a redhead…he can have his pick of them all on any given night and he knows it. They wait, hoping he looks up and gives them his signature smirk, choosing them over the others because that’s his game.

Except now he’s signed the contract of a lifetime, one with a pesky little clause that says his zipper must stay up and his playboy image has got to tamp down. It’ll be fine—a piece of cake, even—he can do this and he’s almost convinced himself of that … and then she walks in the room.

The new PR girl whom they’ve hired to change his image, she’s the star of all his dreams, but there’s one tiny little problem … she can’t stand him and all of his player ways.

He knows he only has thirty days to show her why they call him Hollywood’s Prince. He’s up for the challenge, so game on.

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This is a hard review for me to write, not because I didn’t like the story, quite the opposite. I loved Erin and Carter’s journey.  It’s the writing I have an issue with.  It’s taken me several books to come to the conclusion that Natasha Madison’s writing style doesn’t work for me; which is highly unfortunate because I love the stories once I wade through the extraneous stuff.

Erin and Carter’s relationship was adorable.  I really loved their meet-cute and all the incorrect assumptions they made about one another.  I also was obsessed with how easily they fell into a place of familiarity and comfort with each other.  There is something to be said for your soul recognizing its home and permitting you to open up all the most vulnerable places of you to that person.  That’s exactly what felt like was happening with Erin and Carter.  Their hearts recognized each other and after that, everything was out of their hands.

The connection between Erin and Carter seemed to develop very naturally.  They went from a tense professional relationship to a deep and steadfast friendship, that grew into a very intense and meaningful committed relationship.  The trust and camaraderie they’d established in the early days of their relationship gave them an incredibly solid foundation to build, and rebuild, their relationship on.  And, when they put that trust and respect through the wringer, it was that foundation that gave them a place to regroup and rise from the ashes.

My only wish for this book is in the writing, and I know it’s a me thing.  I found the descriptions tedious and overwrought.  There are several passages – mostly toward the beginning of the book – that feel clunky and in need of polishing.  Finally, I think there is too much emphasis on name branding throughout this entire series, and I found it distasteful.

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four-inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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Order by Kindle Alexander ~ Sarah A’s Review

Assistant District Attorney Alec Pierce wants a future with the sexy, tough-talking biker who came to his rescue six months ago. But when evidence capable of destroying his future comes to light, Alec sets a plan in motion to keep the man he loves from a district attorney bent on vengeance.

Will Alec’s efforts pay off or will he destroy them both in the process?

As a Disciples of Havoc member, Keyes Dixon rides the line between society’s moral code and that of his brothers. He straddles two worlds… One owns him and the other seduces him with the promise of a future. But when a rush to judgment has him swerving to miss the roadblocks suddenly in his lane, he’ll have to choose between the club that demands his loyalty and the gorgeous assistant district attorney who deserves his commitment.

Can Keyes escape his circumstances to take a chance on a future he wants?

Six months into what started as a one-night stand, both men must navigate their developing feelings as they remain bound by differing oaths that threaten to drive them apart. Not only does their future hang in the balance of opposing forces, but an unexpected strike of the gavel could send them on a collision course neither is prepared for.

Will havoc continue to determine their lives or is their love strong enough to bring order?

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I rode the struggle bus HARD with this book.  I loved the first book in the series, Havoc, but had an exceedingly difficult time connecting with this one.  Admittedly, I’m not in the best headspace, but that hasn’t detracted from other books I’ve read recently, so it’s not just that.

I felt like the beginning dragged, badly, and was repetitive. I could only handle Key struggling with his relationship so many times before I was ready to throw in the towel.  And Alec, for as understanding as he was, and as much as he had gleaned about Keyes’ childhood from police reports, seemed to be too pushy for the delicate nature of Keyes’ situation.  When they were together, and neither of them was overthinking things, I thought their relationship was beautiful, there just seemed to be a lot of unnecessary and tedious strife.

Kindle Alexander’s books usually keep me captivated from moment one, and I can’t put them down, devouring every word like they’re oxygen.  However, I found myself skimming scenes and skipping ahead to get to the meat of the story with Order.  When the story was moving forward it was excellent; it felt like there was a lot of filler in this book, for me, though.  I wish some of the fat had been trimmed in favor of keeping the story engaging and forward moving.  When books start getting stagnant, I check out, and unfortunately, that is what happened with this book.

Order could have been quite an excellent story, but as published, it just felt overstuffed with extraneous material, which diluted the primary storyline and spoiled the reading experience for me.

**2 STARS

Keyes Dixon’s life is challenging enough as a full patch member of the Disciples of Havoc Motorcycle Club but being a gay biker leaves him traveling down one tough road. With an abusive past and his vow to the club cementing his future, he doesn’t believe in love and steers clear of commitment. But a midnight ride leads to a chance meeting with a sexy pretty-boy in a wicked hot sports car that has him going down quicker than a Harley on ice.

Cocky Assistant District Attorney Alec Pierce lives in the shadow of his politically connected family. A life of privilege doesn’t equal a life of love, a fact made obvious at every family gathering. Driven yet lonely, Alec yields to his family’s demands for his career path, hoping for the acceptance he craves. Until he meets a gorgeous biker who tips the scales in the favor of truth…and he can no longer live a lie.

Can two men from completely different worlds…and sides of the law…find common ground, or will all their desires only wreak Havoc?

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Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!

I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an overactive imagination, maybe women’s hair!

Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen-year-old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle e-reader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event, I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fanfiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love, and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.

Find out more by visiting http://www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com

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NEW RELEASE!! Heart of the Devil by Meghan March ~ Sarah A’s Review

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes the stunning conclusion to the Forge Trilogy. In this final volume, ruthless billionaire Jericho Forge faces his toughest challenge. To emerge victorious, he’ll have to give up the one thing he’s never offered a woman—his heart.

It started as a game. She was nothing but my pawn.

But I was quick to see the error in my ways, and now she is everything I never knew I needed.

The value of a woman like India Baptiste is beyond measure.

But the problem with being a man like me? I’ve already screwed this up, and there’s no guarantee India will take me on for one last bet.

I’ll do whatever I have to do. Drop to my knees and offer her the only thing I have left. The one thing that’s only ever been hers—the heart of the devil.

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I’ve been so invested in the Forge trilogy when this book hit my Kindle on release day; I devoured the entire thing before lunch.  It was a high-octane finish to an intense and tangled series.  Jericho and India both suffered greatly in this book and had myriad revelations to reconcile before they were able to find solid ground on which to rebuild their lives.

Heart of the Devil jumps right in where Luck of the Devil left off, while I’d remembered what had happened, I forgot the urgency of the situation and my heart was pounding by the end of the second page.  I could feel Indy’s panic as surely as it was my own.  Even while I was reading both perspectives and knew exactly what was going on, the starkness of her emotions overrode any security I had about Jericho throughout the entirety of the book

India and Jericho’s relationship was put to the test in Heart of the Devil, and it served to make both characters face the depths of their feelings.  I loved the vulnerability they finally showed one another, since they’d both shown themselves to be impenetrable to even those closest to them.  Each needed the strength of the other to finally release everything they’d pent up through their lives.  It was quite interesting to realize how shockingly similar, yet strikingly different their pasts were, it was quite the juxtaposition, and I loved every part of discovering what made Jericho and Indy who they were.

The action of Heart of the Devil was insane.  I was sure of the direction the book was headed and BAM! shocking reveal, time and again I was utterly taken aback by what seemed to be happening and what was actually happening.  The entire Forge trilogy was rife with red herrings, I finally quit speculating as to what was going to happen and just buckled myself in for the wild ride Ms. March took us on.

Heart of the Devil is the third and final book in Meghan March’s Forge trilogy.  This series is one story told in three volumes and must be read in its entirety.  Heart of the Devil is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by India and Jericho.

“You can put that man in a suit, but he’ll never be tame.”

One look at Jericho Forge and I knew the rumors were true. He was a predator, and he had set his sights on me.

I knew better than to bet more than I could afford to lose that night. I knew better than to bet myself. But desperation leads to bad decisions, and I thought there was no way I could lose.

I was wrong. 

Now I have no choice but to make a deal with the devil.

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New York Times bestselling author Meghan March continues the story of ruthless, calculating billionaire Jericho Forge in Luck of the Devil. 

My poker face has always been one of my greatest assets, along with my grit and determination. I was beholden to no one. Asked permission for nothing.

Then Jericho Forge took my life by storm.

I traded my freedom for something infinitely more precious, but I didn’t realize he was holding an unbeatable hand.

Now, all I have to do is survive the high-stakes game that is my life—with my heart intact.

But not falling in love with Forge? That will take the luck of the devil. 

Luck of the Devil is the second book of the Forge Trilogy, and should be read following Deal with the Devil. The Forge Trilogy concludes in Heart of the Devil.

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Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

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5,331 Miles by Willow Aster ~ Sarah A’s Review

We spent a lifetime chasing firefly dreams

Jaxson and I devised a life list when we were kids in Holmes Chapel. Just a few things on that list:

*Climb the Eiffel Tower.
*Visit every zoo in the world.
*Eat peanut butter every day.

But all the promises he made dissolved into dust, so when he comes around years later wanting to go live out our list, I want no part of it…or him. The universe seems to agree with me because everything we try is a disaster.

The heart though—it’s a tricky beast; I’m just not sure mine is strong enough to survive Jaxson one more time.

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5,331 Miles didn’t come together until the last minute, and because of that format, it was hard to know if I liked the characters – or could forgive them – until the book was almost complete.  The way Willow Aster contrasted her timelines and made the past and present weave together was interesting, often frustrating, but the only way to tell this story and make me still love both Mirabelle and Jaxson.

For a good portion of 5,331 Miles, I found Mirabelle (Mira, Bells) frustrating as all get out.  I didn’t understand why she was so angry with Jaxson or why, when he was doing everything he could to prove his love and devotion to her, she refused to forgive him.  When I finally knew all of the things he’d done to her, all the things she’d been through, it was hard to see how she could put it all in the past.  I was exceedingly happy she took the time she needed to heal and find herself before she made any rash decisions about her future.  I don’t think she – or the readers – had any idea how much pain she’d been carrying around until she had space and safety to sift through all that emotional baggage.

I loved Jaxson from the off, then, little by little, he got more and more infuriating to me.  He’d been an awful friend for a long time while Bells desperately needed unconditional love and support, and it was hard to reconcile that self-absorbed teenager with the kind and loving man we knew him to be in the present.  As much as I appreciated how hard he tried to prove he’d changed from that awful boy, I felt like Jaxson was attempting to erase the past rather than make amends for it and it was a little frustrating.  I wish he would have done more to show her he knew how wrong he was in those actions from their past.

5,331 Miles was a much deeper story than I had anticipated.  Even into the final chapters of the book, it didn’t occur to me all of the trauma Mirabelle had encountered in her short life.  When it was all laid out, my heart broke for her.  Jaxson had done wonders to prove his love to her, but she had to work on herself before she could even think about loving another person.  Though 5,331 Miles was chock-full of romantic gestures, the most beautiful part of the story was when Mira took the time to let herself heal.  This was a beautiful book, and I am quite happy to have read and experienced Mirabelle and Jaxson’s tumultuous love story.

It was there all the time,
A love so pure, and so alive,
Went to hell and still survived
5,331 Miles

I grab a sweater before the song has finished playing and rush out of my flat, Winston’s ears flapping as he runs next to me. I open the door to my building and Jaxson is there in the parking lot, leaning against a car.

He doesn’t smile when he sees me. He looks like a tragic figure, devastatingly handsome and stoic; he puts his hands in his pockets and watches me get closer and closer.

When I’ve almost reached him, the car next to him starts and I gasp. It’s my dad. He smirks and gives me a brisk wave before backing up, not waiting around to see what happens.

I stop when my feet bump into Jaxson’s. He reaches out and wipes a tear from my cheek.

“Jaxson.” It comes out as a sob, and I lean my head onto his chest.

His arms circle around me, making me instantly feel better. Home. One of his hands moves to my hair and he gives it a soft tug, forcing me to look up at him.

“I don’t care where we are. I just want to be where you are,” he says. “Do you believe me yet? And does it matter?”

Tears fall down both of my cheeks and his thumbs catch them. “It matters,” I tell him. “It means everything.”

“You say the word and I will move heaven and earth to be with you. Nothing will come between us.”

And this time, for maybe the first time since my tenth birthday, I believe him.

“I’m done running,” I say.

His mouth crashes into mine, claiming what I’ve held back from him for so long.  

“Come inside,” I whisper against his lips.

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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All open international.

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Hollywood Princess by Natasha Madison ~ Sarah A’s Review

Behind the “lights, camera, action” of Hollywood lies a world of deception, love, and seduction.

Are you ready for Hollywood Royalty?

Kellie

An Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy—she has them all.
She’s the most sought-after woman in Hollywood.
Even if her rise to fame was a fluke, you can’t deny the camera loves her.
The problem is so does everyone else, and she’s about to leave on the biggest concert tour of her life. 
Headlining for the first time in five years.

Around the world in ninety days. Should be a piece of cake.
Until her new security detail walks in the room and she’s looking into the eyes of the only man who didn’t fall for her charm.

It’s only a matter of time till he falls for Hollywood’s Princess.

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I struggled with reading this book, and I’m struggling with writing a review for it too.  It wasn’t that I don’t love the love story; it was the rest of the book that fell flat to me.  There were several places where it felt like the plot had been going in one way, then the author decided to change direction and tried to force earlier details into the new narrative.  It made the experience of reading awkward.

I loved the glimpse of Kellie and Brian’s story we got in Hollywood Playboy and was so looking forward to this book.  Thankfully, their connection and relationship building was the high points of the novel, so I didn’t feel let down on it.  They were adorable together, and the care and affection they had for one another were evident from the beginning.  As much as I appreciated that things progressed slowly between them, I did some of the situations they were put in a little tedious and repetitive.

The suspense element of the book fell flat for me.  It often felt forgotten in favor of adding more scenes to cause tension between Brian and Kellie, which seemed a poor decision.  While I was able to figure out who the bad guy was pretty soon off, I felt like the payoff of how they figured out who was behind the stalking never happened.  Brian kept talking about how one element was going to be the key to discovering who was sending the items, but then we never found out why – or how – that item came into play.

If this book was just about Brian and Kellie, and their love story it would have been fantastic.  They were adorable together, and I believed in them.  When they were together and just being themselves, the story flowed nicely, and I felt completely invested in the book.  Kellie and Brian had terrific chemistry, and in a world as superficial as the one they lived in, it felt like it was built on something more substantial than their impossibly good looks.

At the beginning of chapter twenty-five, there is a considerable editing error.  I’m not sure what happened, I can only guess that a section got highlighted and deleted, but once sentence skips ahead to a completely different setting and situation.  There were also a handful of other editorial issues that need to be addressed.  I also found the name dropping, obsession with brand-names, and excessive descriptions of items tedious and unnecessary.

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four-inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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The Saint by LP Lovell ~ Sarah A’s Review

Check out this gorgeous cover for The Saint by LP Lovell! Add it to your TBR today!

*Please note: This is not a romance. The Saint is a dark suspense.*

My life was simple; God, business and myself, in that order.

Then I met an angel, and everything changed.

Only an angel can save the damned.

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I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about The Saint.  It was an intense and bizarre story.  For the most part, I was completely intrigued with every turn of events, but I felt unsettled, unsatisfied with the ending and that left me frustrated.  Honestly, if the current blurb had been the one I had read when I decided to read The Saint, I might have passed this one over.

The Saint is billed as a suspense, but I didn’t feel like it really lived up to that genre.  I never had the feeling that something ominous was looming on the horizon.  Never had any desire to try to figure out who was behind anything, because we knew who was behind everything, almost as soon as it happened.  The Saint felt like the first three-quarters of a dark romance, with none of the payoff of a satisfying conclusion.  To me, it felt like the book started as a romance, then the author wasn’t sure how to redeem the anti-hero, so she cut the ending short, called it a suspense novel, then hoped her loyal readers would take it at face value.  The Saint could have been a phenomenal story had Ms. Lovell clung to Saint’s ominous persona and fleshed out the relationship with him and Eden, all while he was keeping his secrets. It would have kept with the tenor of the story and given the reader some sense of closure regarding the story.

“You’re acting crazy…crazier than normal. Why would you employ Eden?”

“So we can watch her.” There’s no we about it. 

He snorts. “Two weeks ago you wanted me to kill her. Now you’re giving her a job. I see the way you look at her.”

Anger starts to bubble like lava, just waiting to spill over and destroy everything in its path. “And how is that?”

“Like she interests you. And nothing interests you aside from money.”

So he sees it. “My interest in her is money because she threatens it. Her brother threatens it.” The lies pour so easily from my lips with enough plausibility to fool my brother — he who knows me so well — the only one who would notice my attentions slipping.

“You aren’t focused.”

“I’m fine!” I instantly regret the slight loss of control, the snap in my voice because it proves an element of truth in his words. Pushing to my feet, I move to the bar and pour a half glass of whiskey before knocking back a full gulp and slamming the glass on the bar. I walk straight past him and yank the door open with a heavy groan of old hinges. I storm from the room, right into Eden. We collide, and she staggers back, dropping the tray of glasses in her hand. The crash can be heard over the music. 

She drops to her knees immediately, scrambling to pick up the glass. “I’m sorry,” she says, glancing up at me through long lashes. My cock twitches, my lungs shrink, and my pulse hammers out a staccato rhythm against my eardrums. She’s on her knees before me. Worshipping me, praying at my altar. The thought makes my cock painfully hard, and I can’t…think. A breath hisses through her lips, and she snatches her gaze away, lifting her hand. Blood pours from her finger, cascading down her hand so hypnotically. I drop to a crouch, grabbing her wrist and tugging her closer. The soft jazz music swells around us, and I know there’s a room full of people, but all I see is her…and her blood. So red, so vibrant. Our eyes meet, and I hold my breath, fighting the torrent of images flashing through my mind. Wings. Flames. Blood tears. Blood, blood, blood. Wings of crimson. An angel on her knees, a sacrificial offering. For me. To me. And she looks so good in blood, the crimson against that pristine, pale skin. No!

Shoving to my feet, I stagger away from her. “Clean that up,” I grunt before hurrying away. 

She tempts the very darkest parts of me to the surface. Which is precisely why she should be dead, a little voice pops up in my mind. It would be so easy, her existence washed from this planet and thus my mind, as bleach washes germs away. I would feel cleansed. Fixed. Right. But if an angel is the voice of your conscience, encouraging good, then this…craving must surely be the work of the devil. Burning, burning, burning. 

She tests me with her simple innocence and naivety, and how truly damned does that make me — that I should crave the destruction of something pure? She plays to my weaknesses, and that troubles me in ways I cannot fathom. This is what He wants, to watch me lose control, to watch me struggle for Him. 

I need to get out of this club. 

l’ve never run from anyone, but I’m fleeing from the monster she entices from deep inside me. I should never have offered her a job here. I keep walking, moving through the club and straight out of the front door, racing towards the salvation that I sorely need

I’m a priest, a messenger of God, a good man. At least that’s what I would have them all believe.

She’s a lost lamb, cast adrift from her flock and seeking shelter from the wolves snapping at her heels. She’s looking for salvation, protection, forgiveness for her sins. I’m not the man to give it to her. But for the first time in my life, I want to be.

Little does she know…

For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

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Lauren Lovell is an indie author from England. She suffers from a total lack of brain to mouth filter and is the friend you have to explain before you introduce her to anyone, and apologize for afterwards.
She’s a self-confessed shameless pervert, who may be suffering from slight peen envy. 

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NEW RELEASE!! Luck of the Devil by Meghan March ~ Sarah A’s Review

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March continues the story of ruthless, calculating billionaire Jericho Forge in Luck of the Devil. 

My poker face has always been one of my greatest assets, along with my grit and determination. I was beholden to no one. Asked permission for nothing.

Then Jericho Forge took my life by storm.

I traded my freedom for something infinitely more precious, but I didn’t realize he was holding an unbeatable hand.

Now, all I have to do is survive the high-stakes game that is my life—with my heart intact.

But not falling in love with Forge? That will take the luck of the devil. 

Luck of the Devil is the second book of the Forge Trilogy, and should be read following Deal with the Devil. The Forge Trilogy concludes in Heart of the Devil.

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Luck of the Devil was a great follow-up to Deal with the Devil.  Meghan March ramped-up the intensity of this book, ever so subtly, but with so much hinging on every decision it seemed every step, every choice, every breath the characters took could irrevocably destroy or reinforce the futures they were striving toward.  While I’ve loved each story I’ve read by Ms. March, the Forge trilogy is quickly becoming my favorite.

Throughout Deal with the Devil and for a good part of Luck of the Devil India and Jericho were building a house of cards that could so easily fall and destroy them both, with all the secrets and half-truths they’d been telling.  Once they both realized there was something powerful and rare growing between them, I was exceedingly happy to see them begin to open up, to share their lives and thoughts, to quit hiding behind their secrets.

Jericho and India are both forces to be reckoned with by themselves, once they decided to work together, they were completely unstoppable.  I have no doubt anyone who is working against either or both of them will rue the day they decided to make that choice.  The strength they both show to the world was only complemented by the vulnerability they were beginning to reveal to one another.  Their dynamic was so passionate and consuming; I can’t wait to see how their love story will play out in Heart of the Devil, because I’m sure it’s going to be quite a ride.

Luck of the Devil is the second book in Meghan March’s Forge trilogy.  These series is a continuous tale told in three parts and must be read in order.  There were a few guest appearances from characters in her other novels, but it is not necessary to have read those books to understand what is going on in this one.  Luck of the Devil is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by India and Jericho.

“You can put that man in a suit, but he’ll never be tame.”

One look at Jericho Forge and I knew the rumors were true. He was a predator, and he had set his sights on me.

I knew better than to bet more than I could afford to lose that night. I knew better than to bet myself. But desperation leads to bad decisions, and I thought there was no way I could lose.

I was wrong. 

Now I have no choice but to make a deal with the devil.

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Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

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One Tough Cowboy by Lora Leigh ~ Sarah A’s Review

First in a brand-new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick about one man’s pursuit of justice—and unbridled desire.

LAW AND ORDER. 
For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter—a man as strong as steel, with a heart of gold—has been her hero. It came as no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the ranch-hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how much she still wants him…

PRIDE AND PASSION
And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha. The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has grown into a full-raging fire. But when tragedy strikes, and their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe. But can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?

I’m going to keep this short since this book didn’t work for me in the big picture. There were some things I liked; I thought the suspense storyline was fascinating, and I wanted to know what happened enough to stick with the book even while I wasn’t buying into much else.

My biggest issue with One Tough Cowboy was the excessive and repetitive sex scenes. They got so redundant that I started skimming them for anything important that may have been moving Samantha and Hunter’s relationship forward, to no avail. It seemed, to me at least, that the author was far too focused on their sexual relationship and forgot to develop their emotional relationship in any way. They couldn’t be in a room together without being all over one another, to the detriment of letting the reader know why they cared for one another beyond have sex.

Secondly, for a traditionally published book, I found the editorial issues in this book to be glaring – even to my untrained eye. There was a lot of who/that confusion, various typos and misused words, and there was one point where an entire sentence was repeated. I was less than impressed with all of it.

On the plus side, the investigation and implications of it were riveting. I needed to finish the book, even if it didn’t work as a romance for me, so I could find out what was happening in Hunter’s county. I would have loved to see the end be a little more fleshed out – it felt awfully rushed and unrealistic in regards to what Samantha had experienced – and have a little more closure, since I’m not sure I can handle continuing this series, but I did understand that storyline was left a little open-ended since One Tough Cowboy is the beginning of a series.

Lora Leigh lives in the rolling hills of Kentucky, often found absorbing the ambience of this peaceful setting. She dreams in bright, vivid images of the characters intent on taking over her writing life, and fights a constant battle to put them on the hard drive of her computer before they can disappear as fast as they appeared. Lora’s family, and her writing life co-exist, if not in harmony, in relative peace with each other. Surrounded by a menagerie of pets, friends, and a teenage son who keeps her quick wit engaged, Lora’s life is filled with joys, aided by her fans whose hearts remind her daily why she writes.

Pricked by Winter Renshaw ~ Sarah A’s Review

He said it would only hurt a little …

On her sixteenth birthday, Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. On my twenty-second, I pricked mine on the needle of a tattoo machine wielded by a beautifully complicated man who would go on to become my ruin.

Madden Ransom was everything I was never allowed to be: unfeeling, opinionated, rebellious … free.

He was also everything I was never allowed to be with.

And while Sleeping Beauty fell into a peaceful slumber as she awaited true love’s kiss, I fell into something else entirely—my heart in the hands of a man who’d never given nor received anything remotely like love.

It turns out when Madden told me it would only hurt a little … he didn’t mean the tattoo.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
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I loved the premise of Pricked, the intrigue, the secrets, the rich girl/poor boy aesthetic. Pricked was different than I expected. I was sure it was going to be a bad boy alpha romance, but it was so much more than that. Madden was better than I could have anticipated. He was fascinating – and not because he was a reformed bad boy – in a way that tugged at my heart and made me feel a kinship with him. Once I learned his secrets, I understood a good portion of the reason why.

When I read the blurb and started this book, I was sure Pricked was going to be an opposites-attract novel. And it was, on the surface. Once we got to know Brighton and Madden more fully it was obvious, they were both very hurt – in different ways – and only showed the world the façade they’d built to protect themselves. They were both also looking for someone to love them, to give them a soft spot to land, and to show them their worth. Their hearts and souls were so similar; it was no wonder they found each other and fell into such an easy relationship.

The only thing I wish about Pricked was that the ending not be so rushed. I felt like we were going full-steam ahead and were going to get some real answers and closure, then BOOM, flash forward epilogue. Sure, everything was tied up in a neat little bow in the epilogue, but I would have loved to have seen how it all played out, rather than recapped. I know tons of readers are just in it for the love story, and that felt (mostly) complete to me, but there were a few other storylines that deserved better treatment than they got.

Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.

And if you’d like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here —> http://eepurl.com/bfQU2j

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Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry ~ Sarah A’s Review

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophecies of other people’s opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

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Freaking phenomenal. As with each book I read by Katie McGarry, Only a Breath Apart was utterly engrossing and wrung me through the emotional wringer. It wasn’t an easy read, it wasn’t particularly fun, it was painful, a little dark, and made me stretch my disbelief, but it was so incredibly rich and intriguing I was beyond consumed by every word, every twist, everything that made up Scarlett and Jesse’s story.

I was 100% not prepared for Scarlett’s story, or Jesse’s if I’m sincere. Her home life was hinted at in the blurb, but I could have never guessed exactly how bad her circumstances would actually be. Jesse’s life was a complete surprise to me. The darkness they’d lived through and were living in could have easily twisted them into awful people, but they both managed to rise beyond their situations and become stronger, better people than those who bore them. They broke my heart, both in the way they took the mantels of guilt and pain that had been thrust upon them and in the way they helped one another begin to shed those burdens and heal from the wounds left behind. Healing was an essential theme in Only a Breath Apart, and I loved that both Scarlett and Jesse found the strength to do what was necessary – even when it seemed impossibly difficult – to become whole again.

I found the secondary characters in Only a Breath Apart to be just as captivating as Scarlett and Jesse. This book wouldn’t have been as rich as it was without them. I loved how Ms. McGarry used them to push Scarlett and Jesse forward, to help them learn about themselves, to show them what life outside the constraints they’d put on it could be. I would love to live in this fascinating world of broken families, supernatural themes, and secrets forever – just to squeeze out each drop of mystery hidden behind the faces we met in Scarlett and Jesse’s story.

Late last year I had the opportunity to read a few books that relied heavily on the tarot, palm readings, and other psychic type themes, and became fascinated with it. Only a Breath Apart took all of those threads of interest I had developed, fanned those flames, and made me want to believe that there is something to the spiritual world beyond the things most people are taught within the walls of a church. I loved how Katie adapted those beliefs and wove the ideas of believing in something bigger – whether psychic abilities, curses, or mainstream religion – into Only a Breath Apart. It made the story feel otherworldly, while still being completely rooted in the often horrific reality of everyday life.

~JESSE~

“So you’re the decision maker now?”

He waits too many beats before speaking or maybe not enough. “I took on this role because, believe it or not, I care. I won’t pretend to understand the pain you’ve gone through, and I won’t pretend to understand your connection to this land. I’ve watched you grow up. I know, for you, this farm is like a Band-Aid on cuts that won’t stop bleeding.”

If that was meant to make me feel better, it didn’t. “You’ll never vote for me. You’re biased.”

“I’m not biased.”

For days I’ve been a stick under pressure, being bent too far. Finally, I snap. “I know you told Gran not to take me in after Mom died and to put me in foster care. You told her I was too broken and couldn’t be fixed. I know because I heard you. Tell me now you’re not biased.”

Guilt flashes over his face, and he tries to hide it as he flips through the folder in his hands. “If it helps, that’s why your grandmother set up the tribunal and chose two other people to help make the decision. Majority vote will win, and she believed you’ll rise to the challenge.”

I’m not sure if I respect him or hate him for not denying what we both know is true regarding the foster care. I’m also not sure how I feel that he doesn’t apologize either.

“She chose people who will give you a fair shake,” he continues. “This isn’t a death sentence. It’s a wakeup call. It’s August, and you have until May to prove you’re responsible. You have time. Take it. Prove me wrong.”

A growing sense of purpose takes root within me, and I do my best to funnel my anger and grief into it. “Who, besides you, is on the tribunal?”

If I tell you then I run the risk of you putting on a show for those people. This is your chance to change for the better. Take advantage of it.” Marshall leaves the paperwork on the antique table, shoves his folder back in his leather bag, and stands. “If it’s any consolation, I want you to succeed, but I want you to truly succeed. I won’t vote for you to keep the land unless you show me you understand what it means to run a farm of this magnitude.”

It’s no consolation. That’s him attempting to ease his guilt for when he votes against me.

“I’m sorry for your loss, Jesse. If you need to talk or if you’d like to stop by for a meal, you’re welcome at my house. And if you get tired of being here alone, you can live with us. We have plenty of room.”

I don’t believe any of that, but I nod because doing so will get him out of my home faster. Marshall stares at me for a few more seconds, as if contemplating saying more, but he doesn’t. Instead he walks out, shutting the door behind him.

His engine purrs to life and rocks crack under his moving tires. Then there’s silence. Maddening silence. I drop into Gran’s recliner, lower my head into my hands and close my eyes. I’ve lost Gran, and now I could lose my land. The only thing left that I love. The only thing in my life that brings me peace. “Why, Gran?”

I strain to listen in the silence, and my gut twists that there’s no response. “I miss you.”

Still no response and my head begins to throb. My cell in my back pocket vibrates. I dig it out, expecting to see a text from one of my friends, but I pop my neck to the right at the sight of Glory’s name. You need to stop by tomorrow night.

Me: No

Glory: I know of your grandmother’s plan

Me: So do I

Glory: But I know who the people are who will be deciding your future.

Me—stone cold frozen.

Glory: Stop by tomorrow at nine. I should be wrapping up my last session then.

Me: I won’t be there.

Glory: Yes, you will.

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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