Review: The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts

Review: The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora RobertsThe Return Of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts
April 1, 1995
Genres: Romance
Pages: 251
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

Ten years after disappearing from Antietam, Maryland, the bad boy has returned. Cleaned up and successful now--and still dangerously good-looking--Rafe MacKade sets the town on fire, and tongues wagging.

Lovely newcomer Regan Jones is intrigued--what kind of man could cause this sort of talk? She's just about to find out....

Nora Roberts and I have a history.  A long history of torn covers and hidden novels.  She pretty much started my romance reading journey, changing me from a sci-fi nerd to tearing off romance novel covers so my Daddy wouldn’t find the books and kill my young, perverted ass.  

I have read so many of her books, I’m like a walking NR encyclopedia.  I’d find them at garage sales and buy anything with her name of them.  

But… it’s been years since I’ve read something from her.  Years.   And I randomly came across The Return Of Rafe MacKade, so I jumped on it.   Because… why not?  Not many authors can write male characters like my girl Nora.  And when the universe tells me to buy a book, I usually listen.  

The story revolves around two characters, Rafe and Regan.  Rafe is one of four brothers, known around their small town and no-good bad boys.  Their momma died when they were young, and their Dad did what he could to keep the farm above water.  The boys were always getting arrested, fighting at bars, stealing cars, you name it.  No one expected any of them to mount to anything, and never did they.

After Rafe’s dad dies, he decides he’s done with the small town life, the spiderweb of gossip, and he needs a place where he isn’t one of the MacKade boys.   He packs up and…disappears.

Fast forward a decade and Regan finds herself getting away from the fancy silver spoon life, the big city, and fat bank accounts of her parents… and settling in a teeny town.  She sells antiques and decorates houses, lives a simple life, and relies on no one but herself.   Then one day she hears talk of the infamous Rafe MacKade coming home to his brothers (which are now a lawyer, a farmer, and the town Sheriff.)  

Rafe buys this creepy, haunted house and needs help decorating it with the correct period pieces.  They meet.  Sparks fly.  Clothes come off.  They have a business and personal relationship, and they’re the talk of town.  Good, sweet Regan is shacking up with bad boy Rafe…whodathunkit?

The story has some danger, so ghostly encounters, lots of caveman tactics, and hot (and a bit flowery) sex scenes.  The MacKade brothers are freaking awesome – full of punching, laughing, alpha maleness that you seriously can’t get enough of.  It’s a very typical Nora Roberts story, but fuck me, I loved it.  The characters were fascinating, and you finish this book wanting to read the next three back to back just so you can get more of these delicious brothers.

So, yes, all four are now sitting on my Kindle and I’ll be binging on a childhood favorite author the next couple days, and maybe revisiting some of my old favorites.  (Speaking of, do you have any Nora Roberts favorites?  I love all of her Ireland series, especially the band family one.  Or, the lighthouse witch series.  The boat building brothers series… God, I could go on and on.  Let me know if there’s a series I should check out!)

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.

She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”


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Audiobook Review: The Coincidence Of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

Audiobook Review:  The Coincidence Of Coconut Cake by Amy ReichertThe Coincidence Of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert
Published by Simon & Schuster July 21, 2015
Genres: Women's Fiction, Romance
Pages: 318
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Length: 7 hours and 32 minutes
Amazon US
Goodreads

YOU'VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.

Awwww, this story!  I’m not even sure how I found it, to be honest.  It could have been some random recommended read by Amazon, or maybe I noticed it scrolling through Goodreads and saw a cake on the cover and automatically clicked, because…  well, cake.   But I am SO glad I did.

The Coincidence Of Coconut Cake is a quirky, adorable and delicious story told in third person narrative (which I’m weirdly picky about, and it’s done brilliantly, FYI.)  And while I might say “read” a few times in this review, really…I listened to it.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say don’t buy this book, well…that’s not right.  Buy it, but please, please, download the audio version, too.  The narrator is phenomenal, so much so, I spent a while going through all of her other books and after scrolling through a ton of weird self-help and Amish books, found she did some Elle Kennedy books too and promptly downloaded those.  I’m totally in love with her voice, her pronunciations, her story-telling skills.  Seriously.  The book goes back and forth with American, English, and some European accents and she did so good.  (Plus hearing the accents is a total bonus rather than reading them in your head.)

Okay, the story.  The story is focused on Lou, a chef.  And Al, a British food critic who recently moved to Milwaukee.  Al writes under a fake name and is notorious for amazingly harsh reviews that pretty much end up destroying one’s business if he hates them.

So, of course, when Lou finds her fiance wrapped in the arms of another woman, she had a terrible, horrible night at her restaurant fucking all sorts of food up…. which gets served to Al.   Womp, womp, wompppp.  Sucks to be Lou, right?

Lou and Al meet a couple times randomly, and after seeing each other at the pub, they agree to go out so Lou and show Al how amazing her city is (Al wants to get the fuck out of the cold, snowy, cow-town and find greener pastures to explore, pun intended.)  They both agree to not talk about their jobs, since Al wants to stay anonymous and Lou doesn’t want to tell a stranger about her dying restaurant and failed dreams.

Their relationship is adorable.  They both love food and all their dates are deliciously described.  And OMG, I was hungry this entire story and probably gained five pounds in three days from the munchies it caused.  Plus…  who knew Milwaukee could be so cool?  It was never on the List-Of-Places-For-Leah-To-Explore, but now?  Now I want to wear my fancy Romeos and fly over and eat a lot of cheese curds.

The side characters of this story are half the enjoyment.  The friends, the customers, the co-workers… all of them quirky in their own way, playing perfect roles to make the main characters that much more interesting, yet casting their own bright light of awesomeness.

This book was like watching an adorable romcom.  You pretty much know what’s going to happen and how it’ll end, but it doesn’t matter.  You love every second of it, you giggle, you snack, you smile the entire time.   I will definitely listen to this book again, and think of these characters often.

 

 


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Review:  Swear On This Life by Renee CarlinoSwear On This Life by Renee Carlino
Published by Atria Books August 9, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

Aw, man. “Before We Were Strangers” was a TOP top read for me last year. So when I heard Swear On This Life was coming out, I was so excited. All the early reviews were raving about how amazing and life changing the story was.  I’ve read Carlino before, so I know how much her stories can settle deep inside you and consume your mind for days and weeks.

But for me, it fell a bit flat. I loved the premise of a novel being told inside the novel, and actually, the inside story was the only part I enjoyed. I liked those characters. I liked their story. They were young, and dealt really hard cards, and even in the toughest of times, they tried their hardest to prevail.  They loved when they were never even showed what love was.  They tried for each other when no one had ever put effort into them.  

But the two real characters? I really disliked them. Neither seemed to have any redeeming qualities at all. I couldn’t connect with them and found myself wanting them to stop talking and to go back to reading the “other book”.

Plus… when they reunited? And the ending? Both so anti-climatic it was almost painful. So much build up, so much angst and tension and excitement.. and both of those parts of the book were quite unsatisfactory.  I wanted  their happiness and success so bad I could taste it, but neither were really celebrated.

The reviews are really amazing for the book, so I’m probably one of the only readers feeling a bit underwhelmed. So, if you like second-chance romances, especially about kids on the wrong side of the tracks who find themselves later in life… definitely give it a try. Renee Carlino is a fantastic writer, seriously. I just didn’t connect with this specific set of characters.

*2.5-3 stars*


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Blog Tour: Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley [Review, Excerpt + Giveaway]

Blog Tour: Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley [Review, Excerpt + Giveaway]Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #5
Published by Kristen Ashley August 15, 2016
Genres: Romance, Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Wildest Dreams
Also by this author: At Peace
Amazon US

Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.

And things aren’t going real great there.

Noc is recruited to help save that world.

What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.

Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.

When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.

When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her mask slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.

And then make her want to stay.

While I was excited to jump back into this otherworldly place with magical creatures and epic fairytale romances, I was also hesitant to bid adieu to a world that I fell for hard and fast. I mean, who seriously enjoys saying goodbye to a world and characters they have fallen in love with? Not I. But even with a bit of a resistance, I dived in whole heartedly into Midnight Soul and discovered that even villains can be redeemed and find their own HEA.

The choice of having Franka Drakkar as the heroine for the final installment of this series was a bit of a peculiar choice, in my opinion, since Franka has pretty much been that villainous bitch from the very beginning. While I enjoyed her as a villain, I personally wasn’t sure how much I would like her as a lead. But once I started reading, I grew more and more intrigued and wanted to know more about what made her such a stone-cold, black-hearted bitch. I think villains are always the most complex characters in a story and I was curious to see how many layers there were to this thick-skinned venomous woman. 

“You are not one fuckin’ thing like they think you are, are you?”
“I’m exactly what they think I am.”

It didn’t take KA very long to have me in tears while I watched her break down Franka’s walls and reveal to us the reasons why Franka was so selfish, ruthless and conniving. Kristen gives you a front row seat to Franka’s hellish reality and this one particular scene left me in some serious tears. As painful as it was to see Franka be brought down so low, it’s what we (as readers) needed to see to understand why Franka needed to play the devious and malicious character. And discovering the root of all her evil wasn’t only eye-opening for me, but also for Noc and all the other main characters in this series. Their reactions were palpable and I especially loved seeing Frey’s response and reaction to discovering what had been going on with his cousin for so many years. I already loved the guy and seeing him being the protective cousin made me love him even more. 

“What makes a hero is the one that’s left standing when the others are dead. Or the one that gave his life so the others could live. That’s a fuckin’ hero.”

Now what I really loved the most about the romantic pairing in Midnight Soul was that Kristen Ashley shook things up a bit by pairing a man from the “real” world and a woman from the fantasy parallel world. I think it just made more sense that Franka would end up being with a man not from her world. A man who hadn’t seen first-hand her malicious ways and didn’t have any preconceived notions about her character. Noc’s patience and steady support during Franka’s transformation is what really makes your heart flutter. He definitely shows a lot more patience than KA’s other heroes, but in Franka’s state, it’s just what she needed.

While I admired the fact that Noc took his time with Frannie (as he liked to call her because he thought that Franka sounded too harsh) and I think it was the right decision, this is where the story lost me for a bit. Compared to the other books in the series, Midnight Soul definitely moves at a much slower pace. The couples no longer have to fight evil tyrants or wicked witches, so the meat of this story was solely Franka and Noc’s romance and giving us a look at the lives of the previous couples. While I loved catching up with the previous characters and appreciated seeing Franka and Noc’s relationship evolve from friendship to love, I was hoping there would have been a greater story arc before we got to the epilogue. The story does pick up during the second half of the book and this is the part that I really enjoyed. KA kinda gives a throwback to book one by showing us Franka’s reaction to the “real” world. Yes, KA mixes things up again by bringing the fantasyland character to our world. Just like how I enjoyed reading Finnie’s reaction to fantasyland, Franka’s reactions to our world was really cute. It really makes you realize how we sometimes take for granted all the little luxurious we enjoy  like a modern toilet or getting a mani and pedi.

“You don’t have a midnight soul, Frannie. Your soul is so bright, I look too close, I’d be blinded.”

Saying goodbye to characters is always hard but Kristen Ashley does a magnificent job in telling Franka and Noc’s journey to happily ever after; and delivers one hell of a send off for the rest of the Fantasyland couples by giving us one of my favorite ever KA epilogues. While Midnight Soul might have started on a slow note for me, Ashley solidly delivers a fitting ending for a series that I have grown to love in such a short period of time. As always, KA kills the epilogue and really left me satisfied and happy for all the characters in this series. She also gives us a taste of a budding romance that I’m hoping she’ll eventually turn in to a novella. For fans of this series, this is a do.not.miss.read. 

MS Teaser 1

~ ~ Excerpt ~~

~Franka~

“You need to leave,” I declared.

His brows drew together a moment before his expression showed clearly that comprehension had dawned.

Sadly, comprehension might have dawned but he didn’t leave.

He crouched by the bed and offered in a soft voice, “You need me to carry you to the other room so you can have a bit of privacy?”

Dear goddess.

He thought I needed a chamber pot.

But…

What was happening to my face?

Dear goddess!

The heat I felt in my cheeks could be nothing other than me blushing.

I didn’t blush. I’d never blushed. Not even when I’d set about seducing my first lover at age sixteen.

I needed to be quit of this man as soon as possible.

“No…I…do…not,” I bit out.

“Sure?” he asked kindly.

“I need you to leave, Noctorno,” I used his full name in an effort to irritate, something that worked if the flare in his eyes was any indication, “so Josette can prepare me. We’re away to Kristian’s this morning.”

Another drawing of his brows before he asked, “What?”

“After my toilette, Josette and I are to my sleigh so we can begin our journey to my brother’s home.”

His eyes got bigger as his mouth inquired peculiarly, “Are you high?”

“No,” I answered his ridiculous question unnecessarily, “Indeed, I’m low. As you can see since I’m lying abed.”

For a second he just stared at me.

Then he threw his head back and burst into loud, deep, beautiful laughter.

I wanted to throw something at him.

Unfortunately, in my current position, this was not an option open to me.

“I fail to see what’s amusing,” I noted.

He controlled his mirth only to mutter, “I’ll explain it later.” He went on more distinctly, “Frannie, you’re not goin’ to your brother’s today. Or tomorrow. Or until you’re fit. Then, maybe Valentine will spirit you there, or whatever the fuck that’s called. But for the foreseeable future, your ass is in that bed and you’re resting so you can heal.”

Well!

Who did he think he was, telling me what I would or would not do?

“As you’ve determined,” I began, “this is not the first time I’ve been in this condition so I do believe that I know best what I’m capable of and…”

I stopped speaking because he came slightly out of his crouch so he could put his face into my face and he was no longer looking mirthful.

He was looking angry.

Very angry.

“That was when you had no one lookin’ out for you but that’s not the case anymore. So this is how it’s gonna be,” he announced.

He then, to my shock, irritation and outrage, announced how it was going to be.

Like he had the right to tell me how it was going to be!

~~Giveaway~~

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.


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Review: Reaper’s Fire by Joanna Wylde

Review: Reaper’s Fire by Joanna WyldeReaper's Fire by Joanna Wylde
Published by Berkley August 9, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Reaper's Property
Amazon US
Goodreads

The club comes first.

I’ve lived by those words my whole life—assumed I’d die by them, too, and I never had a problem with that. My Reaper brothers took my back and I took theirs and it was enough. Then I met her. Tinker Garrett. She’s beautiful, she’s loyal, and she works so damned hard it scares me sometimes . . . She deserves a good man—one better than me. I can’t take her yet because the club still needs me. There’s another woman, another job, another fight just ahead.

Now she’ll learn I’ve been lying to her all along. None of it’s real. Not my name, not my job, not even the clothes I wear. She thinks I’m nice. She pretends we’re just friends, that I’ve still got a soul . . . Mine’s been dead for years. Now I’m on fire for this woman, and a man can only burn for so long before he destroys everything around him.

I’m coming for you, Tinker.

Soon.

Tinker just may be my favorite Wylde heroine yet!  She’s amazingly adorable and takes family and friendship very seriously.

Reaper’s Fire is the sixth book in the Reaper’s MC series. If you’ve made it this far, you know a few things.

1 – You should have a decent idea of where the story line heads.

2 – You already know Wylde has a wicked talent at balancing drama, humor, humanity and steamy romance.

3 – You’ll already be planning on one clicking this baby and you don’t really need me to try to sell it to you. So, I’ll widdle my thoughts down to these:

While Reaper’s Fire starts off fairly sad, Wylde eases it with cute and quirky humor. Especially between Gage and Tinker. Their flirting and growing attachment made me smile (I’m a huge sucker for some good flirting). As did the interactions between Tinker and her friends. They were very human and very fun.

My only issue with Reaper’s Fire is that some issues were left unresolved. I imagine it’s because they will play a role in future books, so I’m not all together bummed by this. It really makes me look forward to the next book, but at the same time…I was ready to see a certain someone go down.

So, maybe this isn’t my favorite of all the Reaper’s book, but it has my favorite heroine. I’ll take that as a huge win!

Previously_Sent_RFTEASER

 

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Review:  Hard Rules by Lisa Renee JonesHard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones
Published by St. Martin's Griffin August 9th, 2016
Genres: Romance, Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Damage Control
Amazon US
Goodreads

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in the smoldering, scorching first novel in the explosively sexy new Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

How bad do you want it?

The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family's business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring him between good and evil.

Emily is consumed by Shane, pushed sexually in ways she never dreamed of, falling deeper into the all-encompassing passion that is this man. She trusts him. He trusts her, but therein lies the danger. Emily has a secret, the very thing that brought her to him in the first place, and that secret that could that destroy them both.

This book.  I have so much to stay about this story and I’m not even sure where to begin.

When the ARC sign-up came across our email, I read the blurb and was immediately interested. “Wall Street meets Sons of Anarchy.”  Um… yes please!

But here’s the thing. We all know what a finicky reader I am. Due to that I don’t typically sign up for books with new-to-me authors, because I hate signing up for reviews when I end up not loving the book. Can you say awkward? It’s one thing to read it on my own time and not love it, but when I sign up for a release and I’m just not sure about an author… well, yeah. I tend to say away. 

But I couldn’t, because I was super intrigued and I wanted this story.  So I did it. I signed up.

And I am so glad I popped my Lisa Renee Jones cherry because this book was everything I want in a story. Mystery, lies, secrets, steamy sex, angst, suspense, LOL moments… you name it.

I will say, it was a bit of a rougher start for me. There was a finger-zap meeting at the very beginning, which is one of my pet peeves and DNF triggers… plus the Alpha had a lot of sly one-liners which I tend to roll my eyes at. But I’m telling you, those one-liners are smooth as fucking butter and I ended up highlighting like…twenty of them. They. Were. Hot.

Emily, the main character, is an absolute secret. We really know nothing about this chick except she loves sweet coffee, is a light weight drinker, can stand her own against the toughest mother fuckers on this planet, and she’s on the run from something or someone. She has multiple burner phones, has major secrets she keeps close to herself, and while she’s slumming it with crap jobs and a bare apartment, she obviously has expensive tastes and came from money at some point.

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Then there’s Shane. 

Okay, so, you can’t see me…but I’m grinning like a loon. I typed his name and then just stared at my laptop with the biggest shit-eating grin on my face for like 10 seconds. Shane is HOT. Super alpha.  Super dreamy. He’s this big shot lawyer from New York who’s moved back to his hometown in Colorado to join his family’s business because his Dad is dying from cancer and his dad and brother are horrible human beings who play with dirty money and have mafia connections they’re entwining with the company. Shane wants to take over and turn it back into a profitable, lucrative business… but to do this he has to play just as dirty as his own blood and push them out. In any way possible.

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Saying his family is a disaster is putting it lightly. When I thought they couldn’t get any worse, they proved me wrong. Over and over again.

All the while Emily is stuck in between all of the family’s mess while she’s trying to figure her shit out and keep her secrets secret.

It’s just a complete cluster fuck of what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen-next?! moments. All you want is to figure out all of the lies, all of the connections and see the big picture. I’m usually really good at reading between the lines and figuring out the big a-ha! moments early… but this entire story I was in the dark just begging for a glimpse of light to help me out.

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Shane and Emily have such a heated chemistry, and their pull is visceral. You can feel it. They’re constantly pushing each other away, but you know it won’t last long. They totally, 100% need each other.

And before you know it, you’re at 95% and you’re pissed the fuck off because you know the story is coming to an end and you just don’t want it to. You want more. You even consider emailing the author, begging her for more, but then you realize that’s a little weird, so instead you tell your husband all about the story and plot and your ideas about what’s going to happen next until you notice he’s just nodding his head absent-mindedly every few seconds while he watches the golf channel.

Anyways. My first LRJ book was an absolute knock out and I cannot wait until book two. Shit is about to hit the fans and I have a box of popcorn just waiting for the show. These secrets can’t stay hidden forever and oh em gee I need a front row seat for when it all starts to crumble.

ALSO! Check out our Facebook page tomorrow (the 11th) because Lisa Renee Jones is hosting a super-duper amazing giveaway. You seriously don’t want to miss it!

 

 

About Lisa Renee Jones

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.


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Review: Furious Rush by S.C. StephensFurious Rush by S.C. Stephens
Published by Forever Romance August 23, 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

For Mackenzie Cox, racing motorcycles is in her blood. Born into a family legacy, she's determined to show the world that she has inherited her father's talent in this male-dominated sport. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonised by her rival team's newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Hayden, exceedingly arrogant and outrageously attractive, immediately gets under Kenzie's skin and she can't help but be distracted.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense - and strictly forbidden - attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie needs a win, and she also needs to stay away from Hayden. Unfortunately for her though, one thing has become all too clear: she can't.

Fuelled by passion, driven by desire, Hayden and Mackenzie both want to win more than anything else. Except for, maybe, each other. But anger, jealousy and extreme competitiveness aren't their only obstacles . . .

I’ve put off reading S.C. Stephens for years. When I saw the synopsis for Furious Rush, I decided it was time to pick up a title of hers. I really liked the sound of a female racer and throw a little forbidden romance in to anything and I will get excited.

Kenzie has a lot to prove as not only a female in the racing world but as the daughter of a legend. She’s also got the weight of being successful enough to keep her father’s racing business alive. She can’t afford distractions and she definitely can’t afford to be wrapped up in anyone who plays for the rival team.

Hayden shows up at a volatile time in Kenzie’s life and their strange connection drives her to train harder than ever before and push limits she would have never previously considered. Family ties, rules and the law – be damned.

All sounds pretty exciting right? It should have been and for some, I’m sure it will be. For me, it really wasn’t.

I found no connection with any of the characters. Kenzie, while she had an admirable drive, was way too lacking in the backbone department and truthfully…kind of just a bitch. Hayden never found ground with me either. I never had a feel for who he was or why he did the things he did. As for the supporting cast, well, they either are not very memorable or they are memorable as just not very good people.

Being a character driven reader, this was very difficult for me. Sometimes, the story is so amazing that I can look past a lack of solid connection with the characters. I just couldn’t do that here. No matter how hard I tried. 

I almost gave up at one point, fairly early on, when Kenzie does – this thing – at a bar. On a mechanical bull. In front of a crowd. I did not understand this. At all.  On top of that really strange moment, the forbidden romance was too contrived for my liking. I understood the rivalry between the two racing camps’ owners, but to take it as far as it went seemed all too extreme.

Plus, there was sooo much thrown into the story and some I still don’t understand why it was there. Maybe there is a future title coming that will further some of the story lines that seemed to be there for added drama but never found any purpose or resolution. I can only hope that’s the case, I think the story needs it. Needless to say, this one wasn’t for me but I’m sure it will find a fan base with those who like a drama filled New Adult read.

 


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