NEW RELEASE!! Rebel Heart by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland ~ Sarah A’s Review


A Contemporary Romance Duet

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Authors
Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Rush and Gia’s story continues in the gripping conclusion to Rebel Heir…

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Sleep with your boss. Check.

Blow all your money on a rental you can’t afford. Check.

How to walk away from a man you fall in love with at the end of a summer:

…I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Rebel Heir is the second book in the Rush Series Duet.  Book One, Rebel Heir, is available for sale now.

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Rebel Heir left us on a huge reveal. Epic even. I was so happy to get my hands on Rebel Heart to see how that affected Rush and Gia’s relationship. Rebel Heart put my heart through the wringer in the best way. It was a major angst-fest, but I never for one second questioned Rush and Gia’s love for one another.

As much as I loved Gia and Rush in Rebel Heir, they were better in Rebel Heart. They were dealing with a pretty devastating revelation on top of all the things they already had on their hands and instead of acting out and being petulant about things they couldn’t change, they acted like adults and took the time and space they needed to work through everything. They communicated well, and it was so refreshing not to have assumptions and miscommunication be the root of conflict. I’m not saying it was an easy road, far from it, but I loved how it was handled.

Gia was in, quite possibly, the most unenviable position a woman can be in. I couldn’t imagine being her. Yet, she handled it with as much grace as a person in her place could. She didn’t make excuses; she didn’t whine in a corner. She grabbed her awful circumstances, reigned them in, and made the best she could of a life she never expected, even as she lost the life she thought she’d have for a hot minute. She was a pillar of strength while the world around her was crumbling. Sure, she had her moments of despair, who doesn’t, but she remained her smart-mouthed self, pulled on her big girl panties, and tried to make lemonade.

The new information was no less life-altering for Rush. After his behavior in the first part of Rebel Heir, I was pleasantly surprised by how well he handled himself in Rebel Heart. With one small exception, he didn’t resort to destructive behaviors to cope. He was unendingly supportive and protective, even when he wasn’t sure if he could come to terms with everything. I loved that he didn’t take what amounted to a monumental mistake on Gia’s part out on her since there was no way she could have anticipated the consequences.

Rebel Heart was a very moving story. It dealt with some pretty heavy subject matter in a considerate, sensible manner. One of my favorite things about it was how respectful Gia and Rush were of one another’s feelings, while still moving to protect themselves and heal from the pain they were dealing with. Having Rush’s relationship with a man who wasn’t his birth father, but a father-figure no less, play such a pivotal role in his decision-making process was fabulous. There were so many things about this book that were perfectly done; I could wax poetic about them forever, it seems.

Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland collaborations are some of my favorites. They do such an amazing job of playing off each other and coming up with new, interesting storylines; I always find myself completely lost in their books. The Rush series duet is undoubtedly my favorite work of theirs, to date, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next, as their work is just becoming better with time.

How to kick off a great summer in the Hamptons:

Snag a gorgeous rental on the beach. Check.

Get a job at a trendy summer haunt. Check.

How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:

Fall for the one guy with a dark leather jacket, scruff on his face, and intense eyes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the tony looking crowd.  A guy you can’t have when you’ll be leaving at the end of the season.

Check. Check. Check.

I should add—especially when the guy is your sexy, tattooed God of a boss.

Especially when he not only owns your place of employment but inherited half of the town.

Especially when he’s mean to you.

Or so I thought.

Until one night when he demanded I get in his car so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me walking in the dark.

That was sort of how it all started with Rush.

And then little by little, some of the walls of this hardass man started to come down.

I never expected that the two of us, seemingly opposites from the outside, would grow so close.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the rebel heir, especially when he made it clear he didn’t want to cross the line with me.

As the temperature turned cooler, the nights became hotter.  My summer became a lot more interesting—and complicated.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

Rebel Heir is the first book in the Rush Series Duet.  Book Two, Rebel Heart, will release six weeks later on May, 22, 2018.

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Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list seventeen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

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 Vi Keeland

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

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NOW AVAILABLE!! Crazy Hot Love by KL Grayson ~ Sarah A’s Review

Claire Daniels is good at a lot of things, but dating isn’t one of them. Although she enjoys men of all different shapes, colors, and sizes, she has one requirement: they must have a job on her approved-occupation list. It has to be safe, so they can come home every night, which means no cops, pilots, doctors, ranchers, and absolutely no firefighters.

She’s kept to her rules thus far—as long as you ignore the tiny crush she has on Trevor Allen, a crush that cannot move toward anything physical because Trevor is a firefighter and a rancher. Not to mention, he’s four years younger than she is and the brother of her two best friends.

Still, it sure would be nice to have him put out her fire.

Trevor Allen also has a few rules when it comes to Claire Daniels: no staring, flirting, smokin’ hot fantasies, or touching of any kind. He’s been lusting after Claire his whole life, but with a steady stream of willing women and two demanding jobs to hold his attention, he’s somehow managed to keep his hands off her.

Until they end up in a bathroom together—a small bathroom with very little room to move, leaving him pressed against Claire’s lush curves. What’s he supposed to do when she looks up at him with those big, green doe eyes and licks her lips? The only thing he can do: kiss the hell out of her, then convince her it can’t happen again.

Too bad he can’t convince himself.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
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I fell in love with the idea of Claire Trevor in Crazy Sexy Love, so I was ecstatic to get their story next. They had both seemed so enamored with each other, despite Claire’s reservations, it felt like a relief to get to explore what was going on in both of their heads, without trying to understand their interactions through another person’s observations.

I love a good friends-to-lovers story, and Crazy Hot Love delivered that storyline in spades. Trevor’s recollection of past events from his and Claire’s childhood and adolescence gave their story that little something extra that propelled it to another level. I loved how Ms. Grayson used that storytelling device to deepen Trevor and Claire’s relationship and demonstrate they’d always had a special connection. The ease of their affection was lovely and made believing in them effortless.

Trevor’s affection for Claire was sublime. He was such a fantastic partner to her, especially through her insecurities. Of course, he had his moments of being less than perfect, but he quickly realized his mistakes and took appropriate steps to correct his wrongs. I loved how boldly he loved Claire, he never tried to hide how deeply he cared for her, and there was something fantastically endearing about it.

I loved Claire, but sometimes she was frustrating. I understood her reservations and rules, living through the type of loss she had would forever color every second of her life, but it was hard to watch her try to settle for less and push away the good in her life. Watching her slowly peel back the layers of her pain and grief to finally understand that holding onto love was more important than letting her fear dictate the rest of her life. Her ‘a-ha’ moment was wonderful and made me fall more in love with her and Trevor’s love story.

Crazy Hot Love is the second book in KL Grayson’s Dirty Dicks series. These books are a series of interconnected standalones; you can read this book without first having read Crazy Sexy Love. Of course, if you have the inclination, reading all the books in order leads to the best reading experience, and you get to see a little of Trevor and Claire in the first book, which enhances their dynamic in this book. Crazy Hot Love is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Claire and Trevor.

KL Grayson is one of the authors whose work I have devoured every piece of. Her stories are consistently emotionally charged and feel like you’re catching up with old friends. I always feel personally invested in her stories, as if her characters’ happiness is my own. Every time I think her next book can’t possibly be as good as the last one, she proves me wrong and writes another compelling story for me to get lost in.

Three-time world champion bull rider Rhett Allen has never been afraid to get his hands dirty. Hard work, sweat, and determination have gotten him where he is today—and that’s holed up in a hospital room, wondering how he let that damn bull buck him off. He’s also wondering why he thought it was a good idea to let his twin brother talk him into returning home to heal.

Rhett has a million reasons to come home to Heaven, Texas, and only one reason to stay away. That reason comes in the form of a sweet and feisty girl who stole his heart long before he ever thought to give it away. The only problem…that girl has turned into a stunning woman.

Monroe Gallagher is downright sexy with more curves than he has notches in his bed post. It’s been six years since he’s seen her, six years since he’s felt any form of peace, and six years since she gripped his heart in her delicate little hands and squeezed the life out of it. The longer he’s in Heaven, the more he starts to realize that the heart she took from him—the one she crushed into a million pieces—she also never gave back.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
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K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.

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Worth the Risk by K Bromberg ~ Sarah A’s Review

Worth the Risk, an all-new, sexy standalone about taking chances and finding love when it’s least expected, from New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg, is available now!

This whole contest was supposed to be easy. I know, I know. Famous last words.

It’s a long story, but I messed up at work. Big time. To earn back the trust of my boss, I promised to save one of our magazines. Yep. That Hot Dad contest you’ve seen advertised all over the place was my idea. And if I’m successful, if I’m able to increase our online readership, then I get a shot at my dream job.

But the one thing I never expected to happen, happened: Contestant number ten, Grayson Malone. Hello, Mr. Difficult. And did I mention sexy as hell?

Unfortunately, he knows me. The old me, anyway. And while we might be older now, I remind him of before. Of the woman who broke his heart, who hardened him, and who left him alone to raise the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen.

But I don’t want a relationship. And I definitely don’t fall for single dads with baggage. Even ones with chiseled abs and killer smiles.

But he got to me. They got to me. Him and his son and their messy, crazy life.  But I got to him too. I see the stolen glances. I feel the walls he built start to crumble. I recognize that there’s an unexpected beauty to the chaos in his life.

And now that the contest is about to end, we’re left to decide whether the last six months were just fun or if what we have is worth risking it all?

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Hot, jaded, single dad? Check.  Stuck-up, entitled, heiress?  Check.  Unwarranted animosity because of past interactions and connections?  Check.  Lots of learning, growing, and overcoming expectations? Check.  Worth the Risk was a fascinating take on an enemies-to-lovers romance.

Grayson Malone was the brother whose story I was most looking forward to.  There’s always something about a single dad whose complete devotion to his child is so evident in every decision he makes, that calls to me.  Add that to the melancholy air about him and how could I not love him?  After reading his story and finding out what had made him the way he was, I was completely devoted to Grayson.  Even when he was being a judgmental jerkface.

I kinda wanted hate Sidney, for the same reasons Grayson did, but that first chapter?  I couldn’t.  Despite what she was on the outside, what her father thought she was, who she thought she was, sometimes, what she did for her friend proved the truth of who she was.  Watching her come into her own and discover that she was stronger, better, more compassionate than she had given herself credit for was heartwarming.

Sidney and Grayson’s connection grew on me just as it did on them.  I could feel the tension from their first interaction, but I couldn’t discern if it was derived from hate or chemistry.  Slowly that spark grew into a tangible thing, every time they were together, there was a current powering each touch, every glance, every word they shared.  I lived for the moment when it all exploded, and they could no longer resist the pull.  The hatred may have still been a defining force between them, but there is a reason people say there is a fine line between love and hate.

Luke was the shining star of this book.  If it weren’t for that sweet boy, there would be no Sidney and Grayson.  If it weren’t for his innocent coaxing and matchmaking, there is a good chance Sidney and Grayson would have let their pride get in the way of a truly magnificent relationship.  And the love both Grayson and (eventually) Sidney had for the boy completed them.  They both seemed to care so deeply, and in an all-consuming way, they needed something to temper that kind of overwhelming love.

Worth the Risk is the third book in K Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes series.  The series follows the Malone brothers, with each book being about a different brother.  This is the third and final brother’s story, but there will be another book, Control, about a family friend.  It is not necessary to read the first two books, Cuffed and Combust, to understand this book.  Worth the Risk is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Sidney and Grayson.

K. Bromberg writes fun, flirty, heartwarming contemporary romance. I have found each book I’ve read by her to be well-written and compelling. I love the strength of her heroines and how flawed each of her characters is, they all feel completely unique while still having the same ribbons of strength running through them.

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

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

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

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

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

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The Wright Love by KA Linde ~ Sarah A’s Review

A sexy new contemporary romance duet from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I have the perfect life.
Until the day my husband tragically dies.
Being a single mom and widow was never part of the plan.
When David Calloway enters my life, I have no room for love in my heart.
But he’s determined to do right by me.
Could he be the Wright love?

The Wright Love is the first book in the Wright Love Duet, and Sutton and David’s story will conclude in The Wright One—coming May 29th! Get ready for your newest binge read.

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It had been so long since I’d read a book by KA Linde, I thought this was the first one I had. Honestly, I was doing myself a disservice. I’ve had several of her books chilling on my kindle for years and have no excuse for not reading more of her work between 2013 and now. The Wright Love was so good, and now I know I need to go back and binge all the other Wright series books.

The first chapter of The Wright Love broke my heart. Sutton’s grief was palpable; a living breathing thing that was all-consuming and devastating. I was in no way prepared for how deeply her loss, a loss that happened before this book started, would affect me. And the opening scene where she visited her husband’s grave on the first anniversary of his death to talk to him just ravaged my soul.

David was amazing. His quiet support, his unending understanding, his gentle perusal of Sutton’s heart, it was wonderful to read about a hero who wasn’t an overbearing alpha (not that I don’t love them, but it’s nice to have a change). When we finally learned why he was so understanding of Sutton’s grief, my heart ached for him; an acute ache that comes with the understanding of what he’d been through. A sad as it was that they were able to commiserate on that level, it was lovely to see how much their mutual anguish allowed them to bond.

The pacing of The Wright Love was perfect for this story. Sutton was healing and in pain, unsure of what her future could or should hold, worried about her son, so her hesitance to move forward with anything was justifiable. David’s gentle and unwavering comfort of her allowed her to learn to trust him with her heart, while he slowly dismantled the walls she’d built around it. I loved their dynamic, it was so tender, so uplifting, while still maintaining a heat and intensity that couldn’t be denied.

I was taken aback by the climax of this book. I definitely didn’t see it coming, though thinking back, I wonder if I should have. There were enough breadcrumbs left throughout the book to make it very believable without completely spoiling the shock of the reveal. I am o anxious to get my hands on The Wright One to see how this new information affects Sutton and David, as well as the rest of the Wright clan.

The Wright Love is the first book in KA Linde’s Wright Love duet. This book is also part of the Wright series world. I can tell you from firsthand experience it is not necessary to have read the other Wright books before reading this duet. It did whet my appetite for the Wright siblings enough that I know I’ll be making time to read their books in the near future. The Wright Love is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Sutton and David.

It has been ages since I last read a KA Linde novel, long enough that I don’t remember much about the book I read before, and I was definitely missing out all these years. She did an excellent job of pulling me in and playing my heartstrings from the off and continued to pluck them throughout the novel. I was impressed by how emotionally charged her prose was and how deeply she made me connect with her characters. While this may have been the first book I’ve read by her for some time, it will not be my last. Far from it.

A new sexy contemporary romance duet from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

Secrets swarm all around.
My world is crumbling under the strain.
I don’t know if we can survive this.
My heart is in the Wright place.
But is his?

The Wright One is the last book in the Wright Love Duet that began in The Wright Love. Find out if Sutton and David survive their world of secrets in the conclusion to the Wright Love duet! 

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES MAY 29, 2018  ***
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K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

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Breathe by Carly Phillips ~ Sarah A’s Review

Breathe, an all-new second chance romance from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips is available now!

Fall in love with the Wards…

From troubled teen to successful general contractor, Jake Nichols turned his life around from his time in foster care. Divorced and single, he juggles his time between his daughter and his work. Next on his agenda, a new project that is his chance to prove his worth at the job he loves. Except he never anticipates that the only girl he’s ever loved and lost as a teen is now a grown and beautiful woman in charge of the project.

Phoebe Ward has survived and conquered a painful past that includes foster care and becoming a teenaged mom. She wants nothing more than to focus on the present but it’s hard when she looks into the eyes of her son, knowing she’s tried and failed to find his father. She’s resigned herself to raising him alone with the help of her family… Until a client meeting brings her face to face with her first love. A boy… now a sexy man she thought she’d never see again … and the father of her child.

So many years have gone by and both of their lives have changed drastically. Will they be able to put the past behind them and find the second chance they both deserve?

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Breathe was a sweet little romance.  I couldn’t put it down and finished the entire thing before lunch.  My heart ached for Phoebe and Jake from the start, and after finding out what their histories were like, it broke for them.  Books about people who have been in the foster care system always pull at my heartstrings and this one was a double-whammy.

I was astonished by Phoebe’s strength, especially when I found out her backstory.  She’s suffered so much heartbreak and loss in her short life, and she was still an amazing mom who never hesitated to put her son first and do whatever she needed to protect and provide for him.  Phoebe continually impressed me with her resilience when faced with challenges, even when the fears developed by her past reared their ugly heads.

Jake was wonderful.  I mean to the point of being the perfect man wonderful.  He was protective and understanding.  He was loving and patient.  He’d been to hell and back and still managed to make a success of himself and become a stellar father.  At every turn, I was impressed by his maturity and level-headedness.

Though the conflict was minimal in Breathe and somewhat predictable, it never felt stagnant.  There was so much to learn about Phoebe and Jake’s individual pasts, history together, and then getting reacquainted after so many years, the lack of action only served to heighten the importance of their connection and what they meant to one another.

Breathe is the second book in Carly Phillips’ Rosewood Bay series.  These books can be read as standalones, I haven’t read the first book, Fearless, and had no problems understanding exactly what was going on in this book.  I did find myself dying to read that book and will definitely be revisiting that first book before I read the third book, Freed.  Breathe is written in limited third-person perspective, alternatively following Phoebe and Jake’s thoughts.

I discovered Carly Phillips as part of a crossover event for one of my favorite authors, and I was so impressed with her writing, I knew I needed to consume anything of hers I could get my hands on.  Breathe delivered fabulously.  I loved the characters, the plot was so sweet, and the pacing was spot on.

“Are you my guardian?” she quipped, trying to keep things light as she tipped her head slightly, studying his tight, serious expression.

“I want to be.” His voice was serious as hell. His tone rubbed her in the most intimate way, her body swaying toward him.

“Jake.” He reached out a hand to cup her face, his calloused fingertips rough against her skin. So intense were his features, so erotic was his touch, his protectiveness cloaking her in heat. Her nipples even puckered into tight points of need.

“If I had my way, nobody would be able to take advantage of you, because they’d have to go through me in order to get to you.” Her face warmed at his words.

“That’s sweet of you to say.”

“I’m not feeling very sweet. In fact, I’m feeling pretty damned protective.” He was, and she liked it. A lot. His fingers skimmed her cheek as he spoke.

“I was lucky enough to find you again. I want a chance to see what could be between us,” he said, taking her off guard. But God, she wanted that, too.

Despite her brain telling her they needed to tread carefully, that they had a little boy to protect, her traitorous heart still wanted more. His blue gaze bored into hers, causing her heart to pound hard in her chest.

“I know things are complicated right now, but how many people get second chances?”

“Not many,” she agreed, knowing how lucky they were.

“So wouldn’t we be foolish to waste the opportunity?”

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Carly Phillips is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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GIVEAWAY & NEW RELEASE!! Merciless by Willow Winters ~ Sarah A’s Review

A ruthless man with a past to hide doesn’t let a soul close to him.
A coldhearted man at war doesn’t risk anything for anyone.
A depraved man with a beautiful woman at his mercy … he doesn’t fall for her.

She was only a bargaining chip.  Now she’s my property.
own her.
Nothing has thrilled me more than the thought of taking her how I’ve always wanted to.
To break her and make that soft voice of hers whimper with a strangled moan as I ravage her.

I know better than to give in to temptation and let her distract me from everything that’s at stake.

No matter how badly I crave more of her.
No matter how much the sordid thoughts plague me.
No matter if it’s the one thing that I’ve always wanted more than anything else.

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I’m feeling torn about this book, likely because I didn’t realize this wasn’t a standalone.  In my defense, there is no mention of a series or any other indication of Merciless having a cliffhanger.  That being said, the story was compelling, and I was completely invested in it for the entirety of the novel.

I hated to love or loved to hate, I’m not sure – it’s a fine line, Carter.  He was awful.  At this point, I’m really on the fence about him.  He’s mean, he’s demeaning, he’s cruel, but even with all that there is still something in him, small moments of compassion, the fact he was forced into a future he didn’t choose, that makes me want to like him.  Carter was quite an enigma in Merciless, and I’m hoping to figure out more about who he is in Heartless.

Aria isn’t much better, though I do feel more sympathetic toward her.  Her ups and downs, backs and forths, are frustrating.  I feel like I never know what she’s going to do or how she’s going to react in a situation, while I understood her motivations I didn’t understand much else about her.  Her paradoxical behavior was intriguing and understandable given her extreme circumstances.  I do hope that we’ll see more stability from her in the next book.

The relationship between Carter and Aria is tough to stomach.  There is such a disparity between their statuses and the power they had in their relationship; it was hard to decipher what was chemistry, what was Carter exerting his will control over Aria, and what was Aria’s self-preservation.  It was dark, twisted, and taboo but still oh so fascinating.  I felt dirty – in the best way – while I was reading this book because I was rooting for them so hard, even when I knew I should want Aria to have a choice in her life.

Merciless enraptured me.  I couldn’t consume it fast enough, even when I knew I was coming to the end and there were nowhere near enough pages left to complete the story.  The pacing was spot on, between the stuff going on with the ‘war’ Carter has been pulled into, to Aria’s imprisonment, to Carter’s history, there were so many moving parts I needed the next morsel of information as much as I needed my next breath.

Willow Winters is a gritty, intense writer.  Her books always leave me reeling and clamoring for what might be coming next.  She is excellent at building tension to a fever pitch and letting it linger to the point of discomfort.  I love the rawness she exhibits in her prose, it lends well to the types of stories she writes.  There hasn’t been a book of hers I’ve read and not wanted more of, but never so much as I did with Merciless, I’m going to be anxiously awaiting the release of Heartless.

Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Bestselling Romance Author. She likes her action hot and her bad boys hotter. She certainly doesn’t hold back on either one in her writing!

Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!

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NEW RELEASE!! Absinthe of the Heart by Monica James ~ Sarah A’s Review

Absinthe Of The Heart by Monica James is the first book in the Sins of the Heart series. 

Two households, unlike in dignity, in the City of Angels is where we lay our scene…

London Sinclair was the boy my mother warned me about for as long as I can remember. His name alone has brought my family nothing but shame and suffering, so it’s no surprise we’ve been sworn enemies since the first moment we met.

With his bedroom eyes and cocky smile, he has all the girls under his spell. I have one more year of school left, and then I’m home free because I’m guarding a secret, one I’m ashamed to keep.

The boy who is completely off-limits is the one who drives me, Holland Brooks, wild. I want London, and I think…he wants me, too.

Some may compare it to a Shakespearian tragedy, as our surnames have fated our future, but when a single night changes my life forever, I can’t leave the City of Angels fast enough.

Ten years later, I have atoned for my sins and return to Los Angeles a changed woman. I’ve come home to get married. But the moment London walks back into my life, one thing is clear. Ten years can’t undo that night—that single, sinful night when I gave into temptation—because I want to do it again.

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Absinthe of the Heart gutted me. I am completely blown away by how amazing this book was. I shouldn’t have expected any less after reading Monica James’ Memories from Yesterday series. The novel packed an emotional punch from the beginning and just kept pummeling my heart for the entirety of the story. I’m not sure how I’m going to survive until the next book is released because I NEED more of Holland and London.

You kind of get a twofer with this story. I loved getting that little glimpse into the beginning of Holland and London’s parents’ stories. It did such a fantastic job of setting up the emotional rollercoaster we were sent on through the rest of the book. And a rollercoaster it was; the highs were euphoric and the lows devastating. It didn’t matter how much I expected that next freefall, it always knocked the wind out of me and left me reeling.

London and Holland and Lincoln and Belle were so intertwined, from the very start, it was hard to see clearly exactly what their dynamics were going to be and how it was all going to unravel. I loved the Romeo and Juliet theme, and this twist on it was splendid. From the way they became star-crossed lovers to the miscommunication that drove them apart to the interesting circumstances that brought them back together, Monica James delivered on the ages-old theme of sworn enemies being fated to fall in love.

The chemistry between London and Holland – especially when they were still sure they hated one another – was explosive. Their interactions were fiery and impassioned. When they finally gave into the pull they felt and allowed themselves to admit there was more between them than unadulterated hatred it was visceral. I could feel each touch, each breath as readily as I could feel my own pulse. I found myself breathless with my heart pounding time and again while reading this novel, and if that isn’t the sign of sublime storytelling, I don’t know what is.

Absinthe of the Heart is the first book in Monica James’ Sins of Yesterday series. From everything I can tell these books are not going to be standalones and must be read in order. Absinthe of the Heart is written in first person perspective, narrated by Holland.

Monica James is quickly solidifying her place on my list of must-read authors. Her work is intense, emotional, and highly addictive. Her prose is beautiful and compelling. Beyond all that she creates wonderfully flawed, sympathetic characters, whom you have no option but to love and root for.

Before I get a chance to scold him, he presses his chest to mine and slowly reaches behind me. We’re caught in a deadlock. I’m barely breathing while he licks his bowed upper lip, unaffected. I shuffle backward, uncaring that I’ll probably fall off the edge because that alternative is far better than burying my nose into the length of his neck. He smells so good. I just want to take a bite.

But up goes my guard as I refuse to succumb to this insanity a second longer. “This is a new low, even for you. Manhandling a defenseless, injured woman.”

He has the gall to laugh. “You? Defenseless? That is one word I would never associate with you, Princess.” When that momentous nickname slips past his lips, we both freeze, him gingerly meeting my eyes.

A thousand emotions are reflected deep within those shadowy depths, transporting us both back to being seventeen. And just like that, my walls crumble. He clears his throat while I avert my eyes, focusing on a lone beer bottle cap on the floor.

There are bottles clinking and some sort of rustling happening behind me, but I don’t dare turn around to see what the commotion is. When he finally pulls away, I take a breath, but it’s in vain because he drops to his knees before me.

I have no idea what he’s doing until he lifts my injured ankle and presses a dishcloth filled with ice to the swollen flesh. The relief is instant, so I don’t fight it. I watch as he tends to me, on his knees, as it’s a sight I never thought I’d see. I envisioned London on his knees, begging for forgiveness more times than I care to admit, but this is different.

Something is selfless, almost repentant about his actions, and I can’t take pleasure in seeing him this way.

“Here.” He breaks the silence when he offers me his cell from his back pocket. My brain short-circuits. Not only is he tending to my wounds, but he’s now giving me a lifeline to get the hell out of here. But now that it’s within reach, I don’t want it as desperately as I thought I did.

Regardless, I accept the offering. The screen lights up with a picture of an adorable black Labrador. I don’t know why, but it throws me.

This is a part of London’s life, and I begin to wonder what else he holds close to his heart.

Over the past ten years, I exorcised London from every crevice of my mind and body, never allowing myself to slip back into the past. But being here now, I can’t help but be curious, especially because he looks different…he looks happy.

Absinthe of The Heart by Monica James will be released on May 14!

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.
When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt, and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers. She draws her inspiration from life.

She is a bestselling author in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, and the U.K.
Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals. She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks, and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on the weekends.

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Perfect Love Story by Natasha Madison ~ Sarah A’s Review & Excerpt

When one man’s death exposes a complex web of lies, three couples discover the true meaning of love, loss, and redemption.

Hailey

What do you do when you find out your whole life was a lie?

That your husband really wasn’t your husband but someone else’s.

That the vows you made to each other were simply empty promises.

You pick up and move to the country to start fresh.

When life hands you limes, you make sure you have tequila because your life is about to get stirred up.

Jensen

Married to my high school sweetheart, the best thing she gave me was my baby girl.

But we weren’t enough for her. I wasn’t enough for her.

The last thing I expected on my birthday was a Dear John letter, but that’s what I got when she upped and left.

Now, it’s just me and my girl against the world till the new girl moves in next door.

Is there such a thing as a perfect love story?

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Perfect Love Story wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it delivered the goods. I loved Jensen and Hailey, Mila was a doll, and the grandmothers – save one – gave me life. I hope to be as amazing as all of them were when I get to be of a certain age. This book had a little laughter, a lot of heartbreak, and a good helping of healing.

I was hooked from the first scene of Perfect Love Story. It started with such an emotionally taxing scene and then kept building layer upon layer of pain and devastation, I was fully invested in Hailey’s journey to finding herself by the time her Nanny intervened on her wallowing. Hailey was so broken, so blind-sided by who her husband was, her raw and visceral pain oozed from the pages.

The first half of this book was so rich, learning about Hailey’s husband and the fallout from his death, her moving and meeting Jensen’s family – particularly his fabulous grandmother and adorable daughter, finding out what Jensen’s ex-wife had done. I was so enraptured with all of it I didn’t even realize how much I’d read; it was that good.

I kind of loved how antagonistic their relationship was at the beginning and that Hailey didn’t let him get away with his foul behavior. As their affection for one another started making itself known, and they agreed to start over, their chemistry became palpable. They were wonderful together, and I loved how they allowed one another the space and time they needed to reconcile their respective pasts in a healthy way.

My only wish for this book would have been to have more conflict near the end. There was so much that had gone on in the beginning and in Jensen’s past the story didn’t feel lacking, but I felt like the story was lacking a climax.

Perfect Love Story is the first book in Natasha Madison’s Love series. Each book is about a different couple and is interconnected. Despite each book covering a different relationship, I have a feeling reading them all in order is going to make for the best understanding of the dynamics. Perfect Love story is told in present tense in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Hailey and Jensen.

I picked up this novel at the suggestion of one of my favorite authors, Natasha Madison was a complete unknown to me. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The story was engrossing, the characters were well-developed, and the writing was good. I will definitely be reading more of Ms. Madison’s work.

Chapter One
Hailey

“Hello.” Turning down “Glorious” by Macklemore blasting in the background while I washed the kitchen floor with Pine Sol and water, I answer the phone after the first ring.

“It’s me.” I hear my best friend and cousin, Crystal, say from the other end. “Where are you?” I can’t see her face, but I know something is wrong. Even though she’s asked me that question a million times before, this time it’s different. There is no carefree tone. This time, it’s curt and to the point with no laughter in her voice.

“I’m home,” I say, almost whispering as my hand shakes against my ear. My mouth suddenly goes dry, my neck starting to get hot. Something inside my stomach suddenly drops when a slow burn sets in.

“You need to come to the hospital.” Crystal is an emergency room nurse at St. Mary’s, so whatever feeling I was having before has now doubled. “Blake is on his way to get you.” When she mentions my brother, I now know something is gravely wrong. The honk outside doesn’t allow me to question her any further. “You need to get in the car, okay?” she says softly but firmly. “Listen to me, Hailey. Go outside and get here.” My head nods as the hand holding my phone to my ear falls away.

The front door opens, and Blake comes in, looking at me with sorrow and sadness. His brown eyes meet mine briefly, and then he looks down. He doesn’t say anything to me; he simply holds out his hand to me. I put my hand in his, and he leads me out to his truck. He opens the door for me, helping me take that step in.

As I’m looking at him, he pulls the seat belt over my chest and buckles me in. My mind’s still playing the phone call, trying to dissect the conversation. Trying to find one little word that can be the clue. “It’s going to be okay.” His voice breaks through the haze.

I nod my head at him, then he steps back and shuts the door, jogging over to his side. He gets in and puts the truck in drive. I’m on the outside looking in, watching my life fall apart without knowing it.

The only thing I’m certain of is that the sun is shining without a cloud in the sky. As I watch a bird soar through the sky almost in the same direction we are going, I think to myself, Bad things don’t happen when it’s sunny outside, right?

I watch the bird, not even realizing we’ve made it to the hospital. I don’t have a chance to open my door because Blake has it opened before I even think to reach for the handle. “You’re going to be okay,” he assures me as he raises his baseball cap to run his hands through his short dark hair.

“What’s going on?” I have a feeling my entire life is about to change, so I beg him to tell me before we walk through those doors. Blake doesn’t answer. He just reaches down to grab my hand and lead me through the revolving doors.

The harsh smell of antiseptic immediately fills my nose. Voices bombard me, though, none of them are familiar. Glancing around, I take in the hustle and bustle of the emergency room. My heartbeat echoes in my ears as I try in vain to locate a familiar face. I just need to know who we’re here for.

As we silently walk down the corridor, my mind never stops thinking about why we are here. I look up at Blake, asking the one question that makes my heart squeeze with such intense pain, it feels like it might explode.

“Is it Mom? Dad?” I can hear the pleading in my tone. He gives me nothing, continuing to look straight ahead. My eyes go back to the floor, following the tile pattern as we make our way beyond the entrance to the emergency room. The first thing I see is both of my parents, alive and healthy. My mother has tears running down her cheeks, and my father has his arm around her shoulders. They are standing next to the nurses’ station. I look back at Blake in horror. “Is it Nanny?”

He doesn’t have time to answer because Crystal comes out from behind the nurses’ station in her everyday uniform of blue scrubs and Crocs, wearing a stethoscope around her neck.

With one glance at her face, I stop my feet in their tracks. My feet are stuck to the floor as if someone crazy glued them to that spot. I can see the hurt and tears in her eyes. She looks at me with her head tilted sideways, her bottom lip trembling. My body blocks any movements I try to make. I try to advance to Crystal, but I can’t. My knees start to give out, and a horrible shrieking sound comes from somewhere.

I try turning my head to see where the yelling is coming from, but I can’t. I’m on my hands and knees in the hospital corridor. It isn’t until the coldness seeps through my hands that I realize I’m the one screaming. That wretched sound is coming from me. Me. My throat raw, my eyes burning, and my heart irrevocably broken. No words need to be said. No confirmation given. I don’t need them to bring me to a place where we can “talk quietly.” It’s at that moment I finally know what everyone else knows.

My husband is dead.

The Love Series is coming.

When one man’s death exposes a complex web of lies, three couples discover the true meaning of love, loss, and redemption.

Three couples, three different stories!

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES June 5,2018  ***
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 Broken Love Story ~ Cover Reveal June 29, 2018
***  PREORDER NOW ~ Releases July 10, 2018  ***
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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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Burn So Good by JH Croix ~ Sarah A’s Review

Ella

Life isn’t fair. I know that lesson well.

I said goodbye to Caleb ten years ago.

The boy I once loved is man now—a rugged, s*xy as h*ll man.

As a hotshot firefighter, he’s all about saving others.

Life ripped us apart, stealing more than I could’ve imagined.

Time didn’t heal all of my wounds, and time never let me forget what we once had.

Once again, he comes to my rescue.

This time, I’m running from a different set of demons.

Maybe this time we have a second chance.

 

Caleb

Fire burns hot and bright. It can destroy everything.

Just like it destroyed what I had with Ella.

What comes out of the ashes is stronger than ever.

Ella meant everything to me once upon a time.

We were young and foolish when tragedy tore us apart.

She went running, and I was too torn up to chase after her and make it right.

They say time heals all wounds.

Some things never die, and the fire between us burns hotter than ever.

I’ll do anything to keep her safe, to make her mine.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
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Burn So Good left me with mixed feelings.  I quite liked the story, but things were lacking.  I hate when writing, and editing detracts from the plot of a book, and I felt that pull while reading this novel.  I think with another round of editing and some better constructive feedback this book could have been excellent.

I loved Ella and Caleb together.  They were adorable and seemed to genuinely be better together than they were alone, not that we got to see much of them alone.  It was more of a feeling of completion when they were together that I didn’t feel when they were apart.  I especially loved that they didn’t try to hide the feeling that had lingered for the entirety of the time they were broken up.

The pacing of this book was excellent.  Between retelling Ella and Caleb’s past, uncovering little by little what had brought Ella home, rekindling their relationship, and all of the things going on in the present, there was a LOT of story to tell.  The way Ms. Croix laid this story out gave all those things significant attention without ever feeling rushed, stagnant, or disconnected.  I was impressed by how well she dealt with getting Ella and Caleb’s story on ‘paper.’

I did have quite a few struggles with this novel, though.  The first was the editing, there were a lot of issues with punctuation and echoing.  There were also several issues with continuity – there was one scene where Ella seemed to have unbuttoned Caleb’s pants three times.  I also felt like the author didn’t trust her readers, as shown by repetitive explanations of who supporting characters were, over explanations of simple situations, and other extraneous information that had little to do with the story being told.   Also, if I never read the words quickening, channel, and clench again, it’ll be too soon.

Burn So Good is the fifth book in JH Croix’s Into the Fire series, this book can be read as a standalone.  I haven’t read any of the previous titles in this series, and I never felt lost as to what was going on in this book.  There were enough inferences about the other couples to make me want to go back and check out their stories, but not so much that I felt I needed to or to spoil those books.  Burn So Good is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Ella and Caleb.

JH Croix is a new-to-me author.  She has excellent potential as a storyteller, her characterizations and plotting were good.  It was just a matter of dealing with the more technical aspects of writing where she seemed to flounder.  I think with some time, practice, and a better editorial team she could be an excellent wordsmith.

Caleb

My heart kicked up a notch just being close to her. It had been five years since I’d seen Ella. She looked up at me through the rain, her green eyes bright in the gray light. I felt as if I was spinning back in time—emotions jostling against each other in the process. I’d loved Ella fiercely once upon a time.

“I think so. Dana said I just need a few stitches, right?” she asked, her gaze swinging to Dana Halloran, one of the EMT’s on the scene.

Dana nodded from where she stood, turning back to Ella, her eyes bouncing between us briefly. She squirted disinfectant on a cotton ball, carefully dabbing at the cut on the side of Ella’s forehead. “That looks like all you’ll need. I’ll just clean this up and we’ll get going. They’ll take care of the stitches at the hospital.”

Ella looked back at me. “See, just a few stitches.”

“I’ll meet you at the hospital,” I said as Dana carefully taped a piece of gauze over the cut.

“You don’t need to do that,” Ella replied.

Dana stepped away and spoke to the ambulance driver. I focused on Ella. “I’ll meet you there,” I repeated.

“Caleb, you don’t have to take care of me. I’m…”

A flash of anger rose inside. I might not have been thinking too clearly, but for God’s sake. Ella had once meant everything to me. Then, everything went to hell.

“Ella, you just had a car accident. Is it absolutely necessary to act like we mean nothing to each other?”

 

Ella

We stared at each other again. Oh God. It felt so good to be close to him. For the first time in years, I felt like I could relax. I wanted to wrap myself in Caleb and stay there forever.

My next words startled me. “I miss you.” The moment those words escaped, I wanted to grab them and stuff them back inside. I didn’t need to blurt out all kinds of crazy, emotional stuff. This wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

Caleb stared at me, the hand circling on my back finally pausing. He swallowed, the sound audible in the room. My awareness of him was so heightened the hair on the back of my neck stood up. “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you,” he nearly growled.

Emotion was rushing through me, mingling with desire that should’ve seemed out of place given everything that had happened, but it didn’t. Wanting Caleb came as easily as breathing to me. It always had. I’d forgotten how powerful the draw was. Raw joy rose through the scrum of tattered regret and lingering pain, striking against that desire like flint to stone.

This was me, this was Caleb. Us. There had never been anyone but him in my heart, and my body knew it. He strummed every chord of my being simply by existing in space and time near me.

With a muttered imprecation, he dipped his head, kissing one corner of my mouth and then the other. Oh geez. I was a sucker for corner kisses, at least when it came to him. Two more kisses dusted at the corners of my mouth and then I sighed. His tongue swiped along the seam of my lips, and I let go with a low moan.

USA Today Bestselling Author J. H. Croix lives in a small town in the historical farmlands of Maine with her husband and two spoiled dogs. Croix writes steamy contemporary romance with strong independent women and rugged alpha men who aren’t afraid to show some emotion. Her love for quirky small-towns and the characters that inhabit them shines through in her writing. Take a walk on the wild side of romance with her bestselling novels!

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NOW AVAILABLE!! Bad Boy Brody by Tijan ~ Sarah A’s Review

One punch took him from Hollywood’s Golden Boy to Bad Boy Brody.

The media didn’t care he was grieving his brother’s death. They descended on him, but to change his reputation, his manager got him a deal.

Act in an indie film, one that already had Oscar buzz, and he’d get the movie roles he needed to secure his future.

He took the deal.

Yet he wasn’t prepared for the real-life people behind the script. He wasn’t prepared for the murder the movie was based on. And he really wasn’t prepared for her, the biggest secret of all.

She was wild. She was beautiful. She defied gravity.

But was she the leading role that would tame him?

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At first blush, I loved Bad Boy Brody.  This book was a joy to read, and I was utterly engrossed with Morgan and Brody’s story while I was in their world.  I wish the book had a cover that fit the story better, even after reading the cover copy, I was sure the story was going to be completely different than what it was.  The title, too, didn’t seem to fit the tone of the story well.  Bad Boy Brody was far better, far more emotional than either the cover or the title indicated.

I adored the setting of this book and how much Morgan’s land and the mustang herd that ran on it were a major player in moving the book forward.  These elements were so vital to Morgan, so crucial to the very core of the story; it was hard not to want to crawl onto that piece of land and watch the mustangs stampede across it.  It felt so real; I could almost taste the fresh, crisp mountain air.

I’m on an insta-love kick right now, and this book definitely fits that bill.  Their intense connection started before they even spoke to one another and that crazy bond continued to deepen with each interaction they had.  As a person who has felt that kind of pull toward another, I understood how they felt.  How they knew what was happening between them was bigger than they were, and it would be life-changing.  I found the way Tijan explored their attachment to one another fascinating, especially while we were also dealing with Morgan’s ties to her ‘sister’ mare and the herd.

Morgan was a captivating character.  From her tragic childhood to her acceptance and integration into the wild mustang herd, she was one of the most unique people I’ve ever read about.  There were parts of her character that were a little beyond belief, but for the most part, I could identify with her compulsion to seclude herself away from the human world and exist in a world where little beyond survival is important.  Her growth arc was compelling, too.  Watching her transform from the ghost she was in the initial chapters to the girl who was ready to take on the world for the people she loved, in the end, was cathartic.

I had a little harder time connecting with Brody.  I didn’t understand his motivations to stay in the world he was in, as it felt like he hated every minute of his work.  He only seemed truly happy when he was with Morgan, his nieces, or when he was free from all the social conventions he’d been trapped by.  I would have loved to have seen more growth from his character, but I was happy to see him begin to deal with the issues plaguing him.

My one wish for this book was tiny and, while important, almost felt like a throw-away line and that was Morgan mentioning a barn party.  It seemed so incongruous to her character that she not only would have gone to such a party but that she would have done what she said she’d done at it, that I had a hard time reconciling it.  I just wish that single line had been swapped out for something more in keeping with who Morgan was as a character.

I’m relatively new to Tijan’s writing, this is only my second book by her, but I love how diverse her writing is.  Ryan’s Bed will probably always hold my top spot for her books, but Bad Boy Brody was also a fantastically compelling story and held me captive from the first page to the last.  She’s excellent at building consuming worlds and real, flawed, sympathetic characters.  I find myself falling in love with her storytelling and know I’ll be a long-time reader of her work.

Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

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