Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Rock the Heart" By: Michelle A. Valentine Review

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Rock the Heart
By: Michelle A. Valentine

Synopsis
For the last four years, good girl Lane has regretted breaking up with Noel Falcon. She thought she was sensible when she told him his dreams of being a rock star would get him nowhere, but now that he's a rock god and her career is stagnant, she realizes just how wrong she was. When Noel hires the marketing company where Lane is an intern, she’s forced to see him again. If she wants to land her dream job as executive within the company, she has to win him over and secure his account. Too bad Noel is still pissed at her for breaking his heart.

When Lane’s company flies her to a Black Falcon concert to gain Noel’s attention, emotions run high the moment she sees him and realizes she’s far from over him. But Noel’s countless trysts with groupies and his cocky attitude make Lane believe he isn’t the same guy she once loved—now he seems to only want her body. Then after Lane discloses she needs him to procure a job, Noel proves he’s a changed man by forcing her to go on the road with him in order to get it.

After Lane reluctantly takes Noel up on his offer, she becomes willing to do whatever it takes to keep him satisfied, even if it means succumbing to his seductive ways. Lane soon finds deception is a dangerous game and she’s not the only one playing


My Thoughts
    Lanie is shocked when she is assigned the Black Falcon for her new marketing campaign. Brand new at her company, she is surprised to be assigned to such a huge client as a relatively new employee. It isn’t until she realizes that she will be working closely with her ex-boyfriend, Noel, that she understands that her new client may have been assigned, not for her brain but for her past with the lead singer.
     Noel has secrets he goes to great lengths to hide from Lanie. Serious about finding his way back to her, Noel wants to guard his heart and keep things hidden while drawing Lanie closer and closer. Filled with fantastic secondary characters and a fiery main romance, the question becomes, what secrets does Noel really have and can Lanie live with the consequences.
     I really enjoyed Noel and Lanie’s adventure through Rock the Heart. Their shared pasts created a fantastic backdrop and it made an intregal part of the story blossom. Plus their scenes seemed to just burn off the pages.
    My favorite parts though included Noel’s bandmates. I enjoyed Lanie don’t get me wrong, but the scenes with his bandmates were funny, lighthearted, and realistic. You could easily see why Noel considered them family and steered clear of his own.
    All in all a really cute, creative romance with a little drama towards the end. Sweet and fun with the right amount of naughty mixed in, Rock the Heart is the first in what I can only hope is a long series featuring the Black Falcon band. Next up is Rock My Bed, featuring Aubrey and Riff.
    
Book Details
Publisher: Michelle A Valentine Books
Date of Publication: November 15, 2012
# of Pages: 330
ASIN: B00A86JP4S
Source: Personal Purchase
Location: New York, NY

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Breaking All the Rules" By: Cynthia Sax Review

19439218
Breaking All the Rules
By: Cynthia Sax


Synopsis
Nathan Lawford, Blaine Technologies' chief financial officer, is known as the Iceman. He conducts his personal and business affairs without emotion, never allowing himself to become involved with anyone. When Nate sees something or someone he wants, he negotiates, paying a simple, set monetary price.
Now he wants Camille, the company's green-haired intern.
Camille Joplin Trent never expected to be paid to pleasure the man of her dreams. She can't quite figure out why this is a bad thing. Nate is intelligent, handsome, sophisticated, everything she's ever wanted in a lover and never thought she could have. Their contract is for a month, thirty lust-filled days of making every sexual fantasy they've ever had come true. At the end of this month, the rules state their relationship will end.
Of course, Camille has never been good at following rules.


My Thoughts
     Camille is almost the anti-corporate executive. With bright green hair, a devil may care attitude, a hacker/hippie mentality, and multiple piercings, Camille is used to being the outsider. Yet every time she sees Nate Lawford, she can’t help but think there may be something more in his eyes than contempt. Meeting everyday in the elevator, they seem to stalk one another, as a lion would a gazelle.
    Nate proposes a unique idea to Camille after a steamy encounter...be completely his for a month. Camille is at first intrigued by the idea but once within Nate’s home and in his possession, they find out just how well they fit with one another. Nate’s entire life has been measured and metered, devoid of emotion and parental love. With Camille, he is encouraged to be emotional and isn’t bothered at all by her unconventional choices in both wardrobe and hair color.
     I loved this story so stinkin’ much. Oye. I knew I was going to love Camille when she first appeared in Flashes of Me. She’s such a flower child rebel, she’s so adorable and fun loving. Nate, I honestly didn’t like. He seemed so cold and just unapproachable. However, he is totally redeemed when you meet his wildly crazy parents and see how he treats Camille when he’s finally allowed to just be himself.
    Wonderfully sexy and witty, Breaking All the Rules, is a sweet, sensual story that finally tells the story of our favorite green haired hacker Camille and the cold but perhaps misunderstood Nate. Camille has to fight her inhibitions and self consciousness while Nate is forced out of his unemotional shell. I thoroughly enjoyed both the eroticism of the story while also telling a highly involved character driven story. Easily read as a stand alone book, if you haven’t read sort of the precurser, check out Flashes of Me also!


Book Details
Publisher: Avon Red Impulse
Date of Publication: March 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0062328212
# of Pages: 100
Source: Edelweiss- for Review

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Flashes of Me" By: Cynthia Sax Review

18469087
Flashes of Me
By: Cynthia Sax


Synopsis
Henley, the head of cyber security at Blaine Technologies, is a man no one crosses. He watches employees constantly, using his network of cameras, and enforces his rules by any means possible. Rumors of his violent past, along with his scarred hands and huge size, have resulted in his being feared by everyone … almost everyone.
Katalina, the new intern, worries about the revelation of her most painful secret much more than she fears her sexy boss's wrath. She sees the loneliness in his dark eyes, feels the gentleness in his marred fingers, tastes the need in his kisses … and she knows he watches her. His silly rules about not stripping for the cameras and no sex at the office are destined to be broken.
Kat likes to be watched. Henley can't look away. Will this beauty be able to tame her beastly boss?


My Thoughts
   When Katalina begins a new job at Blaine Technologies, she is immediately transfixed by a huge, gentle giant who just happens to be the head of security. He’s handsome, intelligent, and utterly bewitched her from the first minutes of their meeting. Attempting to provoke him into approaching her, Kataline realizes he can see everything she does. So Kat proceeds to entice Henley, the head of Cyber Security, as much as possible, leading to a delightful back and forth.
    So I was a bit back and forth on this book. It gets very naughty pretty quickly, but once I got over the first two or three chapters, I was engrossed in the characters. Henley is such an enigma and I honestly could have read about him for a whole other book. Raw and emotional, Sax does a pretty darn good job of writing how these two completely opposite characters look at their lives in completely different ways...which in turn, make the book a quick read and an even better ending.


Note: I totally read this series out of order so I completely condone reading this book even if you haven’t read the previous installments.



Book Details
Publisher: Avon Red Impulse
Date of Publication: February 18, 2014
# of Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780062328182

Source: Personal Purchase

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"The Viper" By: Kele Moon Review & Blog Tour

22700076
The Viper
By: Kele Moon

Synopsis
Marcos Rivera is a fighter. A gang member. Someone who has seen the dark side of humankind and survived. He has lost family and gained enemies. He has stolen cars and destroyed hearts, stripping one for money and the other for pleasure. His past is haunted and his future is bleak. 
Until her.

Katie Foster is a high school history teacher. Smart, strong, and sexy. She is a woman Marcos shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t touch. Shouldn’t love. He met her in Garnet, a backwards, hick town that’s the last place in the world he wants to be, but he finds himself going back for a taste of the forbidden. 
Katie represents all that is good in the world, and Marcos knows he’s nothing but trouble for her perfect life. He fights and he screws. He commits crimes and he breaks the rules. He will never change and he will never escape his gang lifestyle. 
Or can he?


What happens when two different people from two very different walks of life risk it all by giving into the passion that threatens to consume both of them? Can a woman who only knows how to play it safe give her heart to a man who lives hard and loves harder?

Will she survive The Viper?

My Thoughts
     Marcos and Katie’s paths cross in an unconventional way, they meet one another on a cold winter’s night when Marcos’ car crashes into Katie’s. She becomes injured and its in those brief, crucial minutes they form a connection that is unbreakable. Their widely different backgrounds don’t matter, those moments stolen in the dead of night cemented their relationship. Yet the world seems to be conspiring to keep these two people apart.
     Marcos is better known as a thug. He is a well known gang member from Florida and has even spent time in prison for gang activities. He has no future except for gang related activities. Yet when confronted with the absolute goodness that Katie represents, he can’t help but want something more from life. Katie, a high school teacher, has been a good girl all of her life. Went to school, had a job, always colored inside the lines...until her intense attraction to Marcos, who could be trouble to her very ordered life.
    I absolutely adore Kele Moon. She has a way of writing characters, who even though they may have major flaws (hello, gangbanger!!) you completely and utterly fall in love with them. Criminals, thieves, and violent to the extreme, I still was able to sympathize and understand their motivations.
   The romance, oye the romance. Katie has been sheltered all her life and its as if Marcos brings light into her world. The same is true for Marcos, he has been living this chaotic existence and with Katie and her naive  and calm nature, his life starts to make sense. He in turn becomes more calm and better able to make sense of the chaos around him. These two wildly different people, who while on paper should never ever work, completely click and bring order to one another.
     Kele Moon has once again knocked my socks off with her writing. Wildly romantic, funny, sweet, and full of suspense with a teensy bit of mystery, The Viper is a fantastic start to a series I know I am already going to love. Real and original, Marcos and Katie’s story is agonizing but ultimately uplifting. Filled with glimpses into the lives of her previous series, the new series will hopefully take place in our favorite town of Garnet as well. Moon’s voice is simple yet her story is complex and unforgettable. Another  fantastically well done story, I can’t wait to read the next book in the Untamed Hearts series, The Slayer.


**Note, the books can be read alone, but as I adore them and think they add so much, 
I would totally recommend reading Defying the Odds, 
Star Crossed, and Crossing the Line. **

Untamed Hearts Series
1. The Viper
2. The Slayer

Links:

Follow the rest of the tour here

Author Bio: 
A freckle faced, redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives off pushing the 
envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love there are no rules and true love knows no bounds. So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who had infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts–They wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Author Social Links: 

Tour Giveaway Info
Kele is offering the following prizes for the tour wide giveaway. The giveaway is open 
internationally and ends 08/31/2014 @ 11:59 PM CST. 
1 x $25 Amazon or B&N gift card (winners choice) 
5 x eBook copy from any of Kele's backlist including The Viper 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Heroes Are My Weakness" By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips Review

19367048
Heroes Are My Weakness
By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips


Synopsis
The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
A sinister house looming over the sea ...
He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.
But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It's going to be a long, hot winter.


My Thoughts
      Antoinette, “Annie” to her friends, is at the end of her rope, ending up on a solitary road in the middle of a blizzard on an island she only knew as a child. Her mother has died, leaving behind a small cabin filled with bad memories but quickly becomes the only refuge Annie has. When she returns to her former childhood home, she is assaulted by the memories of her mother and the presence of her former crush, Theo Harp, only creates a more tense situation.
     Theo has overcome a very sinister childhood to become an accomplished horror author. He lives a truly solitary life and is still dealing with the death of his twin sister and the suicide of his wife. Unused to any disruptions in his lonely existence, he is disturbed by Annie’s return to her childhood home that coincidentally is just down the hill from his very own mansion. Theo and Annie come together in an explosion of murderous intentions, revealed secrets, a little laughter and a whole lotta love.
    From the very beginning, you can tell this isn’t your usual Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. There is a very dark tone even in the first few pages that isn’t readily apparent in Phillips’ other novels. While it was very different for me, and at times I couldn’t believe my “go to” author was the actual author of what I was reading, the book worked for me.
      There is a lot going on in this one, so bear with me a moment. Crazy siblings, homicidal wives, mistaken identities, greed, lies, crucial family dynamics, hidden fortunes, unknown fathers, and a whole lot more make up Heroes Are My Weakness. Theo and Annie’s relationship takes a backseat sometimes, but it builds slowly and surely. Not as sexy as some of her other books, I found myself enjoying the mysteries as they unfolded and was satisfied with the outcome of the story.    
     A different tone from other Phillips books, Heroes Are My Weakness takes on a whole new world where no one is safe from the machinations of others. Theo and Annie have led fairly disastrous lives but through no fault of their own, but lets face it, without their pasts they wouldn’t have ended up together. Different than her own novels, but no less special, Seppie fans will find her newest one no less intriguing than her famed Stars series.


Book Details
Publisher: William Morrow
# of Pages: 384
Date of Publication: August 26, 2014
ISBN: 9780062106117
Source: Edelweiss - For Review
Location: Maine

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Rusty Nailed' By: Alice Clayton Review

18775203
Rusty Nailed
By: Alice Clayton


Synopsis
In this sequel to Wallbanger, the second book in the Cocktail series, fan favorites Caroline and Simon negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in San Francisco.
Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on her honeymoon, Caroline’s working crazy long hours to keep the interior design company running—especially since she’s also the lead designer for the renovation of a gorgeous old hotel on Sausalito. So with her hotshot photographer boyfriend gallivanting all over the world for his job, she and Simon are heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. Neither has any complaints about the great reunion sex, though! Then Simon decides he’s tired of so much travelling, and he’s suddenly home more. A lot more. And wanting Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort their relationship out. Neither wants “out of sight, out of mind,” but can they create their own happy mid-ground cliché? 
USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy cocktail of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up.
My Thoughts
     A fantastic follow up to Wallbanger, Caroline and Simon are living their happily ever after in Rusty Nailed. This is the story of what happens after finding your soulmate. They love one another desperately, but finding room in life for each other proves to be a bit more difficult than either anticipated.
      I adored Caroline and Simon in Wallbanger, so I was thrilled when I heard the sequel was coming out. Totally going to name drop, but I was lucky enough to meet Alice Clayton in May at a Chicago book signing. Trust me, I tried to get some hints at what was to come, and she was a steel trap. Fantastically nutty and a girl you’d totally want to have a martini with, let me assure you.
     Simon and Caroline are going through growing pains in the months following the end of Wallbanger. Simon slowly becomes disenchanted with his life as a world traveler and wants to spend more time with Caroline. After traveling for years, he’s content to be at home. Caroline begins to question if he’s truly content or if more things are really happening under his tough exterior.
     I would strongly recommend reading Wallbanger before picking up Rusty Nailed. Irreverently hilarious and ultra sexy, Rusty Nailed is utterly wonderful. Alice Clayton has another hit on her hand!


Book Details
Publisher: Gallery Books
# of Pages: 388
ISBN: 9781476766669
Date of Publication: June 24, 2014
Location: San Francisco, California
Source: Personal Purchase

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Finding Me" By: Michelle Knight Review

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings
Finding Me
By: Michelle Knight


Synopsis
Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood,

Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken. In

Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.


My Thoughts
    I was astonished by the news reports when Michelle Knight was liberated from captivity in Cleveland. I had looked forward to hearing Michelle’s story and when I saw that she had a book coming out, I immediately made sure my library purchased the book. Reading this account through Michelle’s words was horrific, heartbreaking,  awe inspiring, and ultimately a story of survival when dealing with monsters.
     Michelle Knight was taken and held hostage by Ariel Castro for over a decade. Blockaded in a house in Cleveland, Michelle was held with two others and suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of her captor. Sexual, mental and physical abuse was a daily occurrence.
     I felt as if the book was written in a conversational style that really worked for me. While horrific, I could feel Michelle’s spirit. While graphic in places, the book wasn’t nearly as graphic as I’m sure it could have been. In the end, Michelle seems to have accepted that bad things happen but isn’t about to let it shape her future life. Trying to better herself, Michelle is going to school, meeting new people and isn’t going to let her past effect who she is going to become.
    Not for the weak of heart, Finding Me is an amazing story of survival. A fast read, Michelle’s story touched my heart in a way that I can’t really explain. Painful to read, Michelle is now a story of hope.


Book Details
Publisher: Weinstein Books
# of Pages: 252
ISBN: 9781602862562
Date of Publication: May 6, 2014
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Source: Library Checkout

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"The Promise" By: Kristen Ashley Review

15817542
The Promise
By: Kristen Ashley

Synopsis
Since his brother’s death, Benny Bianchi has been nursing his grudge against the woman he thinks led to his brother’s downfall. He does this to bury the feelings he has for Francesca Concetti, his brother’s girl. But when Frankie takes a bullet while on the run with Benny’s cousin’s woman, Benny has to face those feelings.
The problem is Frankie has decided she’s paid her penance. Penance she didn’t deserve to pay. She’s done with Benny and the Bianchi family. She’s starting a new life away from Chicago and her heartbreaking history.
Benny has decided differently.
But Frankie has more demons she’s battling. Demons Benny wants to help her face. But life has landed so many hard knocks on Frankie she’s terrified of believing in the promise of Benny Bianchi and the good life he’s offering.
Frankie’s new life leads her to The ‘Burg, where Benny has ties, and she finds she not only hasn’t succeeded in getting away, she’s doesn’t want to.

My Thoughts
    Benny’s brother died in a hail of bullets several years ago, but his memory is still holds a  bitterness in Benny’s heart. Benny and his family hold his former girlfriend, Francesca Concetti responsible for his death. For years she’s walked around with this on her conscience, even though she had nothing to do with her former flame’s demise. Regardless though, she always felt tied with Benny’s family. When unforeseen events force Frankie back into the lives of Benny’s family, Benny and his family find themselves realizing things aren’t always what they seem and forgiveness is long overdue.
     We the readers first meet Frankie and Benny in one of my favorite Ashley novels, At Peace. Taking us back to Chicago, Kristen Ashley writes an absolutely unputdownable romance between these two hardheaded, irresistible characters. Even while spending a majority of the novel living in different cities, Ashley is able to keep the sexual tension at a premium.
     Full of sexy times, with great characters, fantastic secondaries,  and a fast paced but sweet story, this is classic Ashley at her finest. While reading the other books in the series is helpful, its not necessary. Another winner and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

The Burg
1. For You
3. Golden Trail
4. Games of the Heart

Book Details
Publisher: Smashwords
Date of Publication: July 8, 2014
# of Pages: 518
ISBN: 978-1310502040
Location: Indiana
Source: Personal Purchase

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Truly" By: Ruthie Knox Review

18481904
Truly
By: Ruthie Knox


Synopsis
May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin? Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.


My Thoughts
     May finds Ben at one of the lowest points in her life. She is sitting in a bar, without a dollar to her name, after stabbing her NFL ex-boyfriend in the hand with a fork over a botched proposal. Lost and alone in New York, Mary glances at Ben in a bar and decides he just may be her saving grace.
    Ben is no hero. Fresh from a shattering divorce that ruined him career wise, he is coasting. No real job, no real passions, no home and no family to speak of, when May approaches Ben in a bar he is a little perturbed. Deciding for once to be the nice guy, he invites her to spend the night..one night until she catches her plane home. That one night turns into a week of laughter, friendship, misunderstandings, sexytimes and love.
     Ruthie Knox is one of the best writers out there now, bar none. She writes such real characters with such honesty behind them that I simply devour her stories. Truly isn’t the easiest book to read, these two character have such sad pasts that they aren’t easy people to like. Ben from the get go seemed so condescending but as I read, I realized he was just misunderstood and circumstances had misconstrued his actions.
     As I said before, Truly isn’t an easy read. Ben is a tortured soul with no forseeable way out of his misery. May is misunderstood by all of those around her, until Ben. He really sees her, not the perfect image she portrays. As they get to know one another better, its so illuminating to who they are exactly. They don’t become themselves until they are together and it isn’t until they accept one another that they can truly accept who they are at heart.
     Knox writes people to where you know them inside and out. You clearly see them change and grow and as they find true love, you yourself fall in love. May was a mess but she was the best kind of mess. I adored her and her conflicted emotions and while Ben had to grow on me, he had to grow on May too.
    Truly is another Knox classic. Well written, heartwarming, sweet, super sexy with a dash of heartbreak and soulsearching, I devoured this fabulous story within two days. Honestly, two days of not getting dressed and spending the day in bed reading because I had to know what happened next. An absolutely fabulous read about two imperfect people, I can’t wait to see what Ruthie Knox will come up with next.


New York Series
1. Truly
2. Madly (January 2015)

Book Details
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
# of Pages: 365
Date of Publication: August 5, 2014
ISBN: 9780345545268
Source: Netgalley
Location: New York, NY