Review: First Touch by Laurelin Paige

Review: First Touch by Laurelin PaigeFirst Touch by Laurelin Paige
Series: First and Last #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin December 29, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven't spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what's more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.

Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she's drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she's forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?

Sometimes you read a book and you can see what’s coming, you know where it’s leading…you see the black hole, the fall, the break…yet it doesn’t deter you from frantically getting to the next page.  That was how I was reading First Touch. 

Emily is an up and coming Hollywood starlet in search of her missing and estranged best friend.  She has little to go on, a cryptic message for help and a few tabloid shots of her last known lover, Reeve Sallis.  Reeve, an elusive hotelier with a past mired in scandal and danger won’t be easy to get close to but he’s Emily’s best option to picking up Amber’s trail.

The last thing Emily expects to find is a man she could actually care for under the cold exterior and brutish behavior.  She can’t deny the connection they have or the fact that he sees something in her she tried to bury ages ago.  The closer she gets to him, the closer she gets to finding out what happened to Amber but also the closer she gets to falling in love with the man that may still be in love with her best friend….or may have killed her best friend. 

There is so much to say about this book yet so little I want to say because I don’t want to give anything away.  So little can be taken at face value.  SO FUCKING LITTLE. 

Paige slowly releases details of Emily, Amber and Reeve’s past and it builds the suspense perfectly.  You’re constantly waiting for the next little tidbit to surface.  Now, as I mentioned before, I saw the fall coming but never quite saw the road to the cliff.  Does that make sense? 

First Touch has so many great aspects…it’s steamy, dirty, dangerous, exciting and ending that leaves you in so much anticipation for the next installment.  Seriously, I’ve spent hours agonizing about what’s coming next.  It hurts my heart. A lot.  Though it’s going to be a bit of a wait for book two, Last Kiss, don’t let that deter you from reading this now.  I think it’s the kind of story that deserves a little reading torture, a little build up…plus, I don’t want to be alone in my pain! 😉


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Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth FlynnFirsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Published by St. Martin's Griffin January 05, 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Mercedes Ayres has a secret. Well, she has more than one and they are all doozies. But it’s her biggest, longest kept secret that leads to her newer, less well kept secrets.  The secrets that involve giving herself over to virgin boyfriends in the hopes of teaching them a trick or two in how to please their loving girlfriends.  You see Mercy had a bad experience with losing her virginity and in her damaged, young mind, she’s rationalized that she is doing something for the greater good.

She’s not trying to steal anyone’s boyfriend. In fact, she’ll go above and beyond teaching them about sex and actually help them plan the perfect nights for their girlfriends.  It was only supposed to be a few times, a few well chosen guys, a little good will and paying it forward.

Until it became something more like a coping mechanism. An escape from her less than satisfying life and from her horrific memories.  Now, it’s become a danger to her safety, to her friendships and to a relationship that could teach her what love really is supposed to be about.

Firsts starts off rather slow and took me a handful of chapters to feel any type of pull from the story. Mercedes…was actually pretty annoying. She’s young and delusional, which was really frustrating for me.  She continually repeats actions and then regrets them and it had me wanting to pull my hair out.

Then there is a shift in the story. Two characters, two friends, become more prominent in the story line and I became invested.  A new friend and a long time fuck buddy turned it around for me.  I think because that was when Mercy felt like a real person to me. Someone with a life that people actually did notice her for who she really is.  She became more than just a shell, she became more than just an empty character.

It’s also when the story becomes more heartbreaking.

Firsts is Flynn’s debut novel and I think it’s a promising one. It’s not perfect in its execution and lacked some real character depth, but it’s a brave story to tell and deals with some very real issues.  It makes you consider the teenage psyche and how tragic and dramatic situations really can take hold and skew your outlook on life.

 


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Black Heart’s Best of 2015 – Year End Wrap Up

What a year 2015 turned out to be for us black hearted ladies! It was our first full year as a blog and we’ve grown so much. Debbie and Ali traveled to a few places, including their first RT convention and YallWest. 

They also hit up an author event in Portland where they met, live and in person, Tiffany. Convincing her to become part of Black Heart was really easy with a few Vodka Tonics (with extra limes, of course) under her belt.  😉  We’re very happy to have her be part of the blog and part of our little family.

Also in Portland, was Leah.  She didn’t fall for our Vodka Tonic tricks though. But eventually gave in after a night of ridiculously fun haunted houses. Maybe we just needed to put the fear in her? Regardless of how she joined, she’s definitely a fun addition!

We’ve also grown our follower family and we love you all dearly. It warms our tar colored hearts that you all take time to interact and talk books with us every day. 

Below are a few of our favorite reads from the year, leave us a comment to tell us what your favorites were!

Moving forward, 2016 promises big (HUGE) things for us.  We’re hosting our second Emerald City Author Event next April in Seattle and our first event – Mile High Author Event – in Denver the following September. World domination will follow shortly after.

 

2015 Favorite Covers

PicMonkey CollageFave Covers

 

2015 Favorite Heroines

Hudson Lane from Claimed by Elle Kennedy (Ali’s Pick)

Hawthorne Macy from Hawthorne and Healthcliff by RK Ryals (Leah’s Pick)

Aliyana Lucia (Ally Prince) from Sweet Hope by Tillie Cole (Tiffany’s Pick)

 

2015 Favorite Heroes

Logan from The Single Game by Amanda Black (Ali’s Pick)

Joe Callahan from At Peace by Kristen Ashley (Debbie’s Pick)

Cole Masten from Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre (Leah’s Pick)

 

2015 Favorite Young Adult

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Debbie’s Pick)

Golden Sun by Pierce Brown (Leah’s Pick)

Dusty Deliquents by Mary & Sarah Elizabeth (Tiffany’s Pick)

Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott (Ali’s Pick)

 

2015 Steamiest Reads

Trust by Ella Frank (Leah’s Pick)

Reasonable Doubt Serials by Whitney G. (Tiffany’s Pick)

Priest by Sierra Simone (Ali’s Pick)

Deacon by Kristen Ashley (Debbie’s Pick)

 

2015 Biggest Letdowns

The Moment of Letting Go by J.A. Redmersky (Ali’s Pick)

Wrong by Jana Aston (Debbie’s Pick)

Black Balled by Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir (Leah’s Pick)

 

2015 Favorite Paranormal Reads

City in Ruins or In The Land of Tea and Ravens, both by RK Ryals (one is fantasy, one is slightly paranormal) (Leah’s Pick)

End of Days by Susan Ee (Ali’s Pick)

 

2015 Biggest Ugly Cry Reads

Arsen by Mia Asher (Tiffany’s Pick)

Letters Written in White by Kathryn Perez (Leah’s Pick)

Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti (Ali’s Pick)

The Shadows by J.R. Ward (Debbie’s Pick)

 

2015 Best Therapy Inducing Reads

Asking for It by Lilah Pace (Ali’s Pick)

The Shadows by J.R. Ward (Debbie’s Pick)

Jezebel by K Larsen (Leah’s Pick)

Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren (Tiffany’s Pick)

 

Ali’s Top Reads of the Year

Claimed by Elle Kennedy – All the Rage by Courtney Summers – Echo by E.K. Blair – Kick by Carmen Jenner

 

Debbie’s Top Reads of the Year

At Peace by Kristen AshleyRide Steady by Kristen Ashley – Thicker Than Blood by Madelin Sheehan & Claire C. Riley Sustained by Emma Chase

 

Leah’s Top Reads of the Year

Wings Over Poppies by JA DeRouenComplicate Me by M RobinsonHawthorne and Healthcliff by RK Ryals – End of Day by Jewel E Ann – Kulti by Mariana Zapata

 

Tiffany’s Top Reads of the Year

Sweet Fall by Tillie ColeConviction by Corinne MichaelsPaper Hearts by Claire Contreras

 


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Review: Sweet Soul by Tillie ColeSweet Soul by Tillie Cole
Published by Tillie Cole December 15, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Souls Unfractured
Amazon US | B&N
Goodreads

One shy lost soul.
One silent lonely heart.
One love to save them both.

Life has never been easy for twenty-year-old Levi Carillo. The youngest of the Carillo boys, Levi is nothing like his older brothers. He isn’t dark in looks or intimidating to everyone he meets. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. Haunted by a crippling shyness and the tragic events of his past, Levi spends his days with his head buried in his books, or training hard for his college football team. Too timid to talk to girls, Levi stays as far away as possible and completely on his own… until he saves the life of a troubled pretty blonde, a troubled pretty blonde that might just be the exception to his rule.

Elsie Hall is homeless. Or at least that’s all anyone ever sees. Everyday is a fight for survival on the cold streets of Seattle, everyday a struggle to find food and keep warm. Alone in life—a life that’s dangerous and cruel—her will to keep going is an ever-losing battle. In her world of silence, Elsie has given up hope that her life will contain anything but constant struggle and pain… until the beautiful boy she has severely wronged comes to her rescue at precisely the right time.

New Adult novel—contains sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up.

Have you ever read a book and been so intertwined with the characters and their world that you no longer have a sense of what is real or fiction?!

Have you ever read a book and been captivated by the shear amount of emotions being evoked within your soul?!

Have you ever read a book and and had to put your life on pause because there’s no way you can attempt to move on just yet?!

If  you have read anything by Tillie Cole than you have felt all of the above… So here I am 2,220 pages and five books later to be technical and I am left with the most bitter sweet feeling, EVER! It’s no surprise that The Sweet Home series is my favorite of all time and each book has claimed apart of my BLACK HEART, hell, it  claimed it entirely chambers and all.

Seeing as Sweet Soul was never planned but happened because there was such a demand I already knew Levi had a HEA from the Epilogue of Sweet Hope, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t struggle through many trials leading up to his happily ever after.  We watched him grow from a boy to a young man and even though he was never a main focal point in the books prior his character was none the less very prominent. In Sweet Hope there was a devastatingly, heartbreaking scene between him and Axel (Elpi) that brought me to my knees and that was one of the first times where I felt like I really got to experience Levi Carillo for more than just a younger brother to Austin and Axel. This shy boy was so much more than what we merely saw on the surface.

Elsie, Elsie, Elsie… As mentioned we knew she existed but knew nothing of her so meeting this kind-hearted  young woman was a complete treat! She broke my soul in so many ways, this silent broken girl, had endured events that I could have never imagined coming into this book. I loved the REALness of the issues she had and how it made me reflect on my own life and be even more grateful than I am for things that are easily taken for granted.

…Cruelty, the victor, not hope…

 

Levi brought a world of sound to Elsie’s silent and lonely life while in return she gave a voice to a shy, shy boy. The connection these two harbored was apparent from the beginning, but it wasn’t the kind of instant-love where you roll your eyes and want to punch someone, it was perfectly timed and in tune. These two had matching souls and it shone as bright as the moon, but add in some not so nice souls and it is bound to cause demons to make themselves known. Bullying was a big subject in this novel, it painted a picture of just how how damaging someones’s cruel intentions can be. How lasting someones careless tongue can cause a lifetime of self loathing and uncertainty making you believe you are in a world you don’t belong.

But… what was one of the most beautiful parts of this story was experiencing Levi help to see Elsie past her battered past that plagued her future. He too had many of his own trials that affected him but out of pure love, instead of worrying about himself he chose to let his love help heal another. Now Elsie was not just magically cured in a day nor was Levi but they were one another’s life line, and they created such a breathtaking dependency.

She understood. With few words, and little explanation, I knew Elsie understood me.

I can say plenty more but basically if you haven’t read this series, than you should! Just in case you take my word for it I’ve listed the order of series here, and to read Sweet Soul it is highly recommended you at least read all the Carillo Brothers novels.

Sweet Home (Rome & Molly #1)

Sweet Rome (Sweet Home retell in Rome’s POV #2)

Sweet Fall (Austin & Lexi #3)

Sweet Hope (Elpidio & Ally #4)

Sweet Soul (Levi & Elsie #5)

 

 

About Tillie Cole

After years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or in her dream of pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap, Stetson-wearing cowgirl… Ye-haw!
Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish, which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.


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Books We Want to Read This Winter

If you’re more into reading by the fire than Netflix & Chill, check out this list of books perfect to hunker down with during these cold and bleak months. All are perfect to read during winter because you’re going to need something to do while you stay inside and wait for spring.

 

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy
January 5, 2016

Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again—the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now—beautiful, quiet, composed—and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for.

I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe.

Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone.

So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer.

My father.

Books Links: Amazon US | Paperback | Amazon UK

 

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
January 5, 2016

Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn’t even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time.

Etta wakes, confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies–the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have ensnared her in their web.

Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light–threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home… forever.

Books Links: Amazon US | Hardcover | Amazon UK

 

The Score by Elle Kennedy

The Score by Elle Kennedy
January 11, 2016

He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

Books Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Sebring by Kristen Ashley

Sebring by Kristen Ashley
January 11, 2016

Nick Sebring has issues. Born feeling like an outsider in his own family, growing up under the shadow of a brother who could do anything, Nick isn’t that great of a guy. But when this culminates with Nick lashing out to hurt his brother through the woman he loves, Nick turns inward and makes some decisions about the man he intends to be.

And as he does this, he falls in love and truly learns the man that he’s grown to be.

When his love is murdered right before Nick’s eyes, Nick knows he has to avenge her. He knows how he’s going to avenge her. And he has no qualms using Olivia Shade to exact that vengeance.

Olivia Shade has grown up on the outside of her family too. Her problem is that they don’t want her outside. They want her all the way in, right under their thumbs. She pays the price for seeking escape and learns her lesson—she’ll never see a dawn where she wakes up free.

Then she meets Nick Sebring, and even as she fights it, the hope that died years ago starts to blossom. She can find love. She can have a man of her own. She can be happy. She can be free.

Olivia hopes while Nick schemes.

However, as Nick peels back the layers of all that is Olivia Shade, he finds something surprising. He understands its fragility. He falls in love with its beauty. He seeks to protect it.

But he forgets to protect his Livvie from one thing: Nick Sebring.

Books Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK |

 

The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
January 12, 2016

In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she’s more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her-even from her new and trusted friends-the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn’t help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she’s lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.

Books Links: Amazon US | Hardcover | Amazon UK

 

Appealed by Emma Chase

Appealed by Emma Chase
January 19, 2016

When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate—and prized—parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Louboutins.

When Kennedy looks at Brent, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue–worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school in order to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell for her.

But she’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore—she’s a Washington, DC, prosecutor with a long winning streak. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case, and Kennedy thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.

But things aren’t exactly working out the way she planned. Brent has his sights set on Kennedy, and every fiery exchange only makes him want her more—and makes her wonder if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. In the end, they may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.

Books Links: Amazon US | Paperback | Amazon UK

 

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning
January 19, 2016

In Karen Marie Moning’s latest installment of the epic #1 New York Times bestselling Fever series, Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada are back—and the stakes have never been higher or the chemistry hotter. Hurtling us into a realm of labyrinthine intrigue and consummate seduction,Feverborn is a riveting tale of ancient evil, lust, betrayal, forgiveness, and the redemptive power of love.

When the immortal Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged, and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of life itself—can save the planet.

But those who seek the mythic song must contend with old wounds and new enemies, passions that burn hot and hunger for vengeance that runs deep. The challenges are many: the Keltar at war with nine immortals who’ve secretly ruled Dublin for eons, Mac and Jada hunted by the masses, the Seelie queen nowhere to be found, and the most powerful Unseelie prince in all creation determined to rule both Fae and Man. Now the task of solving the ancient riddle of the Song of Making falls to a band of deadly warriors divided among—and within—themselves.

Once a normal city possessing a touch of ancient magic, Dublin is now a treacherously magical city with only a touch of normal. And on those war-torn streets, Mac will come face-to-face with her most savage enemy yet: herself.

Books Links: Amazon US | Hardcover | Amazon UK

 

  He Will Be My Ruin

He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker
January 19, 2016

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

Book Links:  Amazon US  |  Hardcover  |  Amazon UK

 

Defenseless

Defenseless by Corinne Michaels
January 19, 2016

My life is a secret.

His life is dangerous.

We’re both stubborn, calculating, and controlling.

Mark Dixon doesn’t know what he’s getting into.

He doesn’t know his games could cost us our lives. I have to do what is necessary to keep us alive, and that means guarding my heart.

But I know I’m defenseless against him, and in the end, he’ll force me to surrender.

 

Book Links:  Amazon US  |  Hardcover  |  Amazon UK 

 

Play to Win by Tiffany Snow

Play to Win by Tiffany Snow
February 23, 2016

PLAY FAIR . . . OR PLAY TO WIN?

Falling in love with polar-opposite men was an intoxicating ride that nearly ended Sage Reese’s life. Now it’s time for Sage to decide: Parker, the clean-cut, filthy-rich business magnate . . . or Ryker, the tough-as-nails undercover detective. Her choice? Neither. Because she can’t stand the thought of coming between two brothers-in-arms finally trying to repair their friendship.

Yet not everyone feels the same way, including a mysterious woman who’s come to Ryker and Parker for help. Sage knows firsthand how hard it is for the two former Marines to resist a damsel in distress. But something just doesn’t feel right.

Now there’s a danger closing in that only Sage can see, and she intends to do everything she can to protect Parker and Ryker-even at the risk of losing them both . . .

Books Links: Amazon US | Paperback | Amazon UK

 

Sin and Suffer Pepper Winters

Sin & Suffer by Pepper Winters
January 19, 2016

“Some say the past is in the past. That vengeance will hurt both innocent and guilty. I never believed those lies. Once my lust for revenge is sated, I’ll say goodbye to hatred. I’ll find a new beginning.”

SIN & SUFFER

She came from a past Arthur “Kill” Killian never forgot. She made him sin and made him suffer. She tugged him from the shadows and showed him he wasn’t as dead as he thought. And with her resurrection came betrayal, deceit, and war.

But then they took her. Stole her. Imprisoned her.

Now Kill’s carefully laid plans for vengeance are complete. He craves action, retribution-the blood of his enemies. War has begun. War is all they’ll know until they’ve paid their penance. He will get her back-and rewrite their destiny . . .

Book Links:  Amazon US  |  Paperback  |  Amazon UK 

 

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
March 8, 2016

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Books Links: Amazon US | Hardcover | Amazon UK

 

Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
March 8, 2016

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

Books Links: Amazon US | Hardcover | Amazon UK

 

What books are you looking forward to read this winter?
Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

 


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Review: In Pieces by Gia RileyIn Pieces Published by Gia Riley November 8, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

Rhett Taylor has a reputation to live up to. He’s the small town hero everyone expects to lead the team to victory. But looks can be deceiving, and the pressure unbearable – even after he confides in Kinsley West.

She may not have been the obvious choice to others, but he chose her anyway. Thanks to her newfound popularity, Kinsley’s no longer living in the shadow of her older brother. For once, she has an identity of her own.

But what builds quickly, often comes tumbling down. Piece by piece they find out how unpredictable young love can be. Can their love stand the test of time? Or will it be captured, only to be forgotten?

A roll of film sets their story in motion.
Each frame better than the last.

The real test comes when their whirlwind romance forces Kinsley to protect their secret – especially if she wants a future. Only Kinsley isn’t sure she can do it - not if she’s going to be left behind In Pieces.

I love finding good reads by mistake.  I stumbled upon this cover on Instagram and fell in love with the simplicity of it, I was lucky enough to read it early and meet this adorable little crew, even though now the book is released.

All of this may be new to her, but the way she’s looking at me right now isn’t the way she was looking at me when we left school today.  For the first time, I feel like she truly trusts me-that she’s not holding back, or keeping any secrets from me.

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Now there were a few things that put a kink in the reading for me, but not enough to make me stop.

The book opens up in Kinsley West’s POV and early on you learn about some crucial facts that make this young woman the person that she is.  It’s apparent right away that she is an eighteen year old girl aged a few years beyond her time, but for a little while she acts her age and what good that does her…

Rhett Taylor is your All American boy who is the star of the football team and every high school girls obsession.  I mean the boy is so damn cute and swoon-worthy he makes me wish I were eighteen again and riding in his F-150 with him.

She fits next to me like she’s always belonged there, and I realize this game isn’t going to be as easy as I thought it was.

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But this is where I had a little issue, as mentioned the first few chapters were in Kinsley’s POV and she explains their first encounter that sparks the fire to start their relationship and so on and so fourth.  I just wish I had a chapter or two in Rhett’s head to understand how his feelings evolved over time for her and became so intense.  In that aspect I felt a little robbed of the connection they shared.  However a few times I kind of began to  second guess their relationship but then there would be dialogue that redeemed any doubts I had.  Even though dual POV books are very common it doesn’t mean they are all good, but I thought Gia Riley did an amazing job of jumping between voices and keeping me in the moment with both characters.

This story was so freaking cute I couldn’t take it, it just gave me the warm and fuzzes all over and just when I thought things were going in one direction and I could predict how things may end, there was a bit of a twist, and I loved it! Rhett and Kinsley definitely won me over in quite a few ways. I loved how they interact with one another and their young love resonated off the pages for me, I’ll admit I may be in love with an 18-year old Rhett Taylor!

“I was made to love you, Kinsley West. We were always meant to be.”

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Another thing I did love were the surrounding characters, their stories definitely enhanced things instead of taking from it, I didn’t feel overwhelmed with side stories that didn’t belong.  BASICALLY I ENJOYED THIS BOOK. It was super sweet and just brightened up my BLACK HEART. 

 


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Rapid Reviews #2: My Soul to Keep, Misconduct, Dirty Rowdy Thing & Crash into You

Rapid Reviews

Ali’s quickie reviews of books read this past couple of months!

(Sorry I didn’t do full reviews – Fallout 4 has ruined my life.)

my soul to keepIt seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold…

KAI

I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music.
Mama was taken from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s pushed me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music’s brightest stars. Not now. Music is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go, not even for Rhyson Gray.

RHYSON

I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth. I thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s all I think about, like a song I can’t get out of my head. If I have to chase her, if I have to give up everything – I will. And once she’s mine, I won’t let go.

Amazon US  ∫  Amazon UK  ∫  B&N 

My Soul to Keep was my first venture into a Kennedy Ryan book, but I’ll definitely be digging into her other titles.  Shit, if all her guys are even remotely like Rhyson…she’ll become a favorite for sure.  He’s not without flaws. BIG flaws.  But his adorable quirkiness made me put up with his flaws. Well, mostly.  Anyway, Ryan wrote characters I could care about and a story I could become invested in and wrapped it all up with some great lines. Like these:

“I’m afraid if I have him completely, he’ll take all of me”

“Watching you guys trying to be friends is like watching porn with no penetration. Really hot, but no climax.”

“I want to make her laugh my ring tone.”

“The man I didn’t want to need feels like the breath in my lungs.”

I mean, come on.  Great lines! If you’re a fan of the friends to lovers thing and you don’t mind a bit of a cliffhanger, check this book out. Strong 4 Stars

 

Misconduct_CV.indd

Former tennis player Easton Bradbury is trying to be the best teacher she can be, trying to reach her bored students and trying to forget her past. What brought her to this stage in her life isn’t important. She can’t let it be. But now one parent-teacher meeting may be her undoing…

Meeting Tyler Marek for the first time makes it easy for Easton to see why his son is having trouble in school. The man knows how to manage businesses and wealth, not a teenage boy. Or a young teacher, for that matter, though he tries to. And yet…there is something about him that draws Easton in—a hint of vulnerability, a flash of attraction, a spark that might burn.

Wanting him is taboo. Needing him is undeniable. And his long-awaited touch will weaken Easton’s resolve—and reveal what should stay hidden…

Amazon US  ∫  Amazon UK  ∫  B&N 

The teacher will see you now, and if you’re her smoking hot student’s father…you may just get a little desk nookie.  Douglas does sexy really, really well.  Regardless of the genre, her stories suck you in and get you all hot and bothered.  I loved Misconduct, it’s one of my favorites of the year and will be a high contender for future re-reads.

It’s a bit fun, a bit light-hearted, a bit sad, and steamy as fuck.  I think it’s a given that if you have liked her previous titles, you will like this one.  It’s nothing like the Bully series, there’s no spoonful of angst fed with every chapter, but it’s got all the other aspects of Douglas‘ writing. (Find out a little more about the characters in our Dream Cast) 5 stars

 

DRT

From the New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, and Beautiful Player, Book Two of the brand-new Wild Seasons series that started with Sweet Filthy Boy – a story of friends, love, and lust.

Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other… which would explain why their marriage lasted only 12 hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman – or just what he needs.

 

 

 

Amazon US  ∫  Amazon UK  ∫  B&N 

I’ve seen several reviews of Dirty Rowdy Thing with comments about not liking this series as much as the first series or how Finn wasn’t a favorite. I say, don’t listen to that noise. I FLOVED Harlow and Finn.  It’s maybe my favorite Christina Lauren title yet and I think it’s due to how real these two characters were for me.

Harlow is very straight forward, such a breath of fresh air when the romance world is littered with heroine’s who play games.  Finn does play games, but only the kinky bedroom ones. (wink, wink) Yet, even with his bedroom antics, he’s still so damn caring.  Dirty Rowdy Thing still has that signature Christina Lauren humor but it just felt like a much more down to earth story.  That’s my opinion anyway and I’m sticking to it! 4.5 Stars

 

crash

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight A’s and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker—a guy she has no business even talking to. But after the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

The last thing Isaiah needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks. But when their shared love of street racing puts their lives in jeopardy, Isaiah and Rachel will have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

Amazon US  ∫  Amazon UK  ∫  B&N 

I’ve been working through this series slowly but surely and I’ve got to say, this was my favorite yet.  I adore Noah and Echo, but Rachel stole my heart.  Her vulnerability, her selflessness and everything she endures for her family – all of it just touched me.  Both as a mother and a daughter.  It completely resonated with me and cemented McGarry in the category of favorite authors for me.

I loved the story as a whole, but the Young family dynamics really stole it for me and I am eager to read more about them.  4 Stars

Miss Ali - Transparent


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