Review: Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

Review: Anti Stepbrother by TijanAnti Stepbrother by Tijan
August 21, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 321
Format: Audio, eBook
Source: Purchased
Length: 10 hours 26 minutes

He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

*Stand-alone novel

Where has CADEN BANKS been my entire life?!

Or more importantly why have I waited so long to read a title from TIJAN?!

I picked up AS shortly after its release in August for my reading preparation for the Mile High Author Event last year and I seriously FELL IN LOVE, madly in love with this book.  I’ve learned after quite a bit of trial and error that I love brooding heroes, quirky heroines, college romances, and somewhat realistic situations… Well this book had it all!  And I can’t go without mentioning that there was a Gilmore Girls’ reference which basically sealed the deal for me.

So with my growing obsession of audiobooks I seriously was on pins and needles waiting for the audio to release and it did not disappoint.  November 15th was marked on my calendar and as soon as the day came I listened all day and fell even more in love with Summer and Caden then I even thought possible.

Bailey Carr and Vikas Adam performed this story perfectly!

Summer Stoltz has this festering crush on her stepbrother Kevin and now that they are in college together she finally thinks its her chance… until she meets Caden Banks the big asshole.  But as time passes and her what begins as an accidental run in with Caden, who also happens to be Kevins fraternity brother, turns into a friendship that no one expected it becomes harder to see him as the  asshole she initially judged him as.

Summer and Caden develop this easy routine where they fall in line with one another and it felt like watching two magnets connect without any fuss.  I adored that so much of the book was spent exploring their friendship and adjusting to each others needs and then wanting to insert themselves into one anothers lives.

And once feelings are recognized is it only one sided?  What if the want for more than a friendship isn’t reciprocated?  All the unknowns surely can drive a person crazy.

Then the plot turned a bit more serious than I expected and for me this either goes one of two ways: it crashes and burns or it is the greatest thing to ever happen.  Since I want to give this book a million stars I am sure you can guess which direction it went.

Perfection, I don’t know what else to say about this book other than it was perfectly timed and executed.  In fear of ruining it with spoilers I will say whether you read the ebook, paperback, or listen to the audio the book translates well in any case!  One more thing, CHAPTER 35, chapter fucking 35.  Seriously I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve listened/read that specific chapter but I will say that it is in the double digits. 






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Review: Unhinge by Calia Read

Review: Unhinge by Calia ReadUnhinge Published by Ballantine Books Genres: Romantic Suspense, Suspense
Pages: 401
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Hold your breath and count to ten. Soon it will be over before it ever began.

No matter how many times Victoria Donovan repeats that phrase to herself, she’s still trapped behind the walls of a mental institution. Once upon a time, her life was like a fantasy: Wes, the handsome fiancé, followed by a storybook wedding and a white picket fence. But then a picture-perfect marriage twisted into something sinister. And as Victoria’s world warped from dream to nightmare, her husband’s obsessions pushed her beyond the breaking point.

At first Fairfax Mental Health Institute seems like a safe place for Victoria to heal with her baby, Evelyn, and to hide from Wes, presumed dead by everyone except Victoria. Her husband is still alive, she has no doubt: He slips into her room at night to torment and tempt her. One smoldering kiss and she’s powerless. Of course, no one believes her about these visits. When she meets a sexy, mysterious stranger intent on helping her recall her past, Victoria isn’t sure she can trust him. But deep in her heart, she also knows that the only way out of Fairfax is to remember the way she came in.

I finished Unhinge by Calia Read about two months ago and that woman knows how to fuck your mind a thousand ways till Sunday and leave you with your jaw hanging on the ground. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Okay this is only my second title from her but both times I have been completely flabbergasted!

Never am I ever able to predict anything that happens in her books, I drive myself half insane trying to come up with scenarios that all end up being wrong.

Pretend Mommy had me super intrigued since Unravel and whoa… whoa… whoa…

Victoria whether she be the villain or the victim her story is one that kept me on the edge of my seat! I’ve said this before but just to drive my point home, Calia Read is one of the most descriptive writers I have ever read from. She describes without over indulging in needless details but the picture she paints is vivid and vast. I can see everything playing out in my mind from the garden Victoria has grown to the master bedroom she shares with her husband.

Pretend Mommy, Victoria, is a character we were introduced to in Unravel as mentioned but we know from the start of her story she is already “crazy” seeing as she is in Fairfax to begin with. So with that knowledge it’s hard to believe that she really isn’t crazy and I mean her nickname is Pretend Mommy.  This is one of the reasons I am basically bald after reading Calia Reads books because for the life of me I cannot predict anything, she is just that damn good! 

Carrying on with Victoria she has no knowledge of how she ended up in a crazy facility or why she is there… her only memories are of her husband and even those are extra spotty. Wes seems to be the perfect husband who gives Victoria the entire world and they live this perfectly polished life until the subject of children is brought up.  It definitely adds in some kinks to what seems to perfect when they become reproductively challenged.  Their days become longer, nights turn colder, touches no longer linger and they can’t seem to find their way back to what once was.  

Then… it all makes sense and my mind is FUCKED! I had to keep reading the same parts over and over not because anything was wrong  with it but because I just couldn’t believe what happened like how did she pull all that off right under my nose.  Bam, bam, and bam freaking damn genius Calia Read is.  

If you like/love suspense you NEED to read this!~


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Review: Tonic by Staci Hart

Review: Tonic by Staci HartTonic Published by Promise Socks Publishing October 13, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review

Joel Anderson doesn’t take anything seriously.

Not his relationships, which have been few and far between since his brutal divorce. Not the drama of working in a tattoo parlor, which seems to be around every corner. When things get him down, he smiles and cracks a joke. But he’s not the kind of man you cross, or you’ll find yourself at the wrong end of his fists.

Annika Belousov takes everything seriously.

Like her job as a reality television producer, given that she typically has something to prove. Or her love life, which is defined by a series of requirements — affluent, ambitious, accomplished, to name a few. Definitely her family, who worked their whole lives to afford her every opportunity, a sacrifice she doesn’t take lightly. When she’s tapped to produce a reality show at Joel’s shop, she doesn’t think twice, just goes in for the kill, as if there were any other way.
The second Annika walks into Joel’s shop, he makes it his mission to crack her open, but she’s not having it. He’s all wrong — too crass, too hairy, too un-serious. But it doesn’t take her long to find out there’s more to him than smirks and tattoos. And what she finds could put her career and his heart on the line.

Not that Joel cares. Because for the first time in a long time, he’s found his tonic.

*** A standalone Romantic Comedy ***

Let me start by saying if I read a romantic comedy romance novel usually like to go into it without knowing it its a romantic comedy. There’s just too much pressure associated with it for me… Like what if it isn’t funny during the parts it’s supposed to be funny and I just roll my eyes and then that leads me to think that the author thinks their funny but they really aren’t. I’m not saying I don’t like to laugh I just don’t like knowing when I’m supposed to laugh. Also… This is going to sound bad but PLEASE UNDERSTAND I do not mean it to be meant in a bad way but sometimes I shy away from the genre too because I think there won’t be enough story in it like it’ll be more shits and giggles than storyline. I know, I know that isn’t fair it’s just that I’m usually on a scale that goes from makes me cry a few tears or makes me cry enough to sail Noah’s Ark and the books that make me cry usually don’t make me laugh that much.

With that prefaced let me go on to say that I FUCKING LOVED TONIC by Staci Hart. I really did laugh so much but more than that I loved the STORY. Joel and Annika rocked my world, I seriously was so sad once it ended, I did not want to let these characters go! Annika was this ice queen to everyone who knew her and she took no shit and gave no fucks. Except for with her family she was this soft woman who would do anything to make them happy. Joel was this sexy big beast bear just a really good fucking guy like good to the point where you’re just like damn he’s pretty GREAT! I loved that he was more than 10 years older than her, it was just so attractive. These two together are completely explosive…

Processed with MOLDIV

Joel’s tattoo shop just agreed to sign on with a tv network to begin filming a reality tv show and and Annika is the show runner, the instant they meet she hates him and he is intrigued by her.


Filming begins and Annika’s feelings for Joel take on a life of their own and the irritation she once associated with him turns into heated moments that become harder and harder for her to ignore. He challenges her at every chance he gets and is dead set on getting her in his bed but he wants more from her beyond that. He catches these small glimpses of her when she isn’t completely uptight and he finds himself enamored with this woman. When Annika does give in it’s like everything that should seem so wrong is completely right. Joel doesn’t hold back with her body and he gives her everything she didn’t know she needed but more so than that he feeds a deeper connection that only leaves them both hungry for more. But Annika knows she can’t involve herself with this man any further than she has, she has a job to do and cannot let her judgement be clouded in anyway. In fear of not being able to have Annika the way Joel wants, which turns into every way, he makes her a bullshit deal. The only problem is that deep down they both know the deal they’re making is a LIE.

Their arrangement is going well until it isn’t… Shit gets REAL and the foundation crumbles beneath them. My emotions went haywire and I couldn’t help it I may have let my eyes leak a little. I couldn’t stop saying “FUCK!” really it was the only word I was capable of. Oh and another thing I loved is that when they argued with one another it was a free for all they didn’t say things to purposely hurt each other but things they had to purge like it would more so hurt them to keep it in. I’m sure that made absolutely no damn sense but I keep thinking back to the argument they have and Joel tells Annika fuck you, not to be malicious but because in that moment she deserved that and he told her.

All in all though this is my first book from Staci and I wish I had more eyeballs to read all of her books. This story had depth and so many more emotions than I planned for. If all romantic comedies could make me sad than I will read them all!

I feel like one more time I need to talk about Joel, I loved him so damn much. I love how old he was, how mature he was, how hairy he was, how tattooed he was, his sheer size (he seriously is size beast bear), oh and his heart, his heart was a million sizes bigger than him. But more than all of that he was so real in his way of life just upfront and honest.

Is it too early to re-read this again?!




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Review: The Player by Claire Contreras

Review: The Player by Claire ContrerasThe Player by Claire Contreras
Published by Claire Contreras October 10, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Paper hearts

I'm naturally gifted on the field and between the sheets. With flashy cars and enough media attention to put the Royal Family to shame, I’m the definition of Most Eligible Bachelor.

Every man wants to be me and every woman wants to tame me. Until Camila.

The moment I lay eyes on her, I know I have to have her.

She wants to keep me at arm's length.
I want her naked in my bed.

She thinks our worlds are too different.
All I want her to think about is screaming my name.

She says I’m bad news.


Warren Silva stole my heart, kicked it around a little like a soccer ball and scored all the GOALS! Okay that was kind of cheesy but I fell so in love with him… He was sort of naive with tattoos and gosh those tattoos! 

I mean there’s no way you could read the book and not picture the man on the cover, no possible way. You just can’t. I’m convinced. I need to stop being a girl about a hot guy and get my shit together. *deep breath, okay not that deep I’m sick and it’s making me cough harder* 

But the story, well that’s the best part! Both Camila and Warren were my favorite.  Claire has a way of making me love her heroines though (cause I don’t like many, shocker I know) there’s always an air of realness to hers though where you connect with them in small and big ways making the characters emotions translate into something so much more REAL. And Warren he was crass, bold, and foul so basically perfect and everything you want in a man, right?  Really though he even had a real side and even when he fucked up I loved him, it was so hard no to. 


Their not so chance encounter led War on a conquest to get Camila in his bed before he is headed for home in three weeks and and he was convinced it would be easy as pie until she continuously opens her mouth and turns him down… A little down the line Camila decides to give him a chance and reinforces the rules that it has to be as friends and completely platonic.  But eventually those lines blur blissfully and three weeks looms over their heads before they know it neither of them wanting to part ways… 


In between things get heated with War and Camila, he was so vocal in his need for her and in return it made Camila brave in what she wanted from him.  The give and take was relentless and definitely A PAGE TURNER, like I was almost shy reading some parts and I am not a prude! But this was DAMN HOT!

Their time spent together was always easy and fun and the banter quick and witty like for once I was rooting for a HEA (not that this story isn’t a HEA) I just didn’t want any of these characters to hurt for a single second… Which is saying a lot because I love when shit gets heavy and all emotional and people die or hurt one another.  But the hurt was definitely happening in this one and where did that leave two of new favorite characters..? 


Without me even getting into “the mess” you know the part where shit just takes a turn for the worse and shit hits the fan and you say the fuck word one too many times cause you know they are going to split for awhile with battered hearts and bruised knees.  There is always that impending doom that Camila lives in NY and Warren lives overseas way across the pond… So in the hopes anything becomes resolved how would it ever work when both treasure their homelands and have careers that can’t be moved… 

Can they make it work? 

Where will they live? 

Can they forgive each other? 

Will Nas be there? 

These are all the things that I questioned and of course they were answered but I won’t tell you, you’ll have to read to find out.  But I will say this Camila does forgive and that is one of the things I loved so much about her, her grace of forgiveness.  She didn’t hold this terrible grudge and milk it for all it was worth she forgave and then faced REALITY. Good or bad she dealt with it, period. 





About Claire Contreras

Claire is a New York Times & USA Today Best Selling author, mother of two, wife of one, owner of three dogs, and breast cancer survivor.

She enjoys writing anything from children’s stories to erotic suspense, but her most notable work is a contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she’s reading and dreaming about places she wants to visit.

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Review: Deep Redemption by Tillie Cole

Review: Deep Redemption by Tillie ColeDeep Redemption by Tillie Cole
Published by Tillie Cole July 12th, 2016
Genres: Dark, Dark Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Souls Unfractured
Also by this author: Souls Unfractured


He was born to ascend.
He was destined to lead.
He was never meant to fail.

Prophet Cain lies broken and defeated on the floor of his cell. A cell he has been thrown into by the one person who was supposed to stand by his side until the end. His flesh and blood, his only companion. His beloved twin brother.
Cain has sacrificed everything for his people. He left the safety and security of his life of study to infiltrate the infamous Hades Hangmen. He lived with them, rode with them, and then betrayed them. All in the name of a faith he can now feel slipping away from him. Like everything else he once held dear…

But then his isolation is broken. Another prisoner is brought to the cell next to his. A woman fighting her own demons and fears. A woman who Cain understands needs him, as he needs her.

As the connection between them grows, so does Cain’s resolve. He will right the wrongs he has done. He will atone for the evil acts carried out in his name. He will save the one he loves…
… Even if the battle takes him to the gates of hell itself.


What the fuck did I just read?! Like did all of that really happen?! Did my eyes just digest all the words Tillie spilt on these pages, pages that I adore might I add. (No surprise there I am sure!) Now at that the risk of sounding like a broken record I am going to say Deep Redemption was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, let’s be real here, all of TC’s books rank high on my list but this one even more so as book three in the Hades Hangmen Series ,Unfractured Souls, left a big gaping hole in my heart! *cue the dramatics*


We all know the ending of that and I will refrain from elaborating for anyone who hasn’t yet read this MC series or maybe just hasn’t yet read book 3.  I’m not sure I would call it a cliffhanger but it definitely left a lot of doors open for speculation.

So how did I really feel… Confused, infuriated, happy, REALLY HAPPY, REALLY SAD, and then complete, basically I felt all of it.  Which is expected of course but still my emotions could not control themselves with this book, they raged and literally made me lose my mind.  So many revelations for so many characters, so much growth and set backs in said characters.  All the complexities are what make this series one of my all time faves!


Now remember all those emotions from above, well I’m going to try and base my review off of those to keep this as SPOILER FREE as possible. Here we go in order:

  1. Confused- I know I’m supposed to hate Rider/ Cain but I didn’t I mean I finally understood him and it helped me to see him in a different perspective. Granted its not like I hated him to begin with but I was mad at him. Bottom line I love him, not in the way I love Styx but he repented in a way I couldn’t imagine him doing if he wasn’t truly sorry or remorseful.
  2. Infuriated- I will forever HATE Judah, I mean all caps shouting and shit hate him! Fuck him! Sadistic-pedophile prick and that little whore Sarai, no just no, I mean since Souls Unfractured I’ve wanted to gut that little cult freak my damn self.  This covers nothing of the infuriation I feel but know there’s more reason but remember I’m trying to stay spoiler free and shit.
  3. Happy- Finally things were changing paths and I loved it, there was a little weight lifted from my heart for these characters. Enter Harmony, God I love her with something fierce.  I truly believe she is Rider/Cain’s redemption.  But more than that she brought a fresh view she was strong and held her ground (not that I didn’t love the others, cause Mae is my best friend) she fought so hard that she demanded her respect but not just for herself she stood for Rider when no one else would.
  4. REALLY SAD- Sad fucking piercing ugly girl crying sad. Just unleashed no fucking way hurt all the way down to my soul and then back up again sad. I wish I could say exactly what made me sad and basically vomit in my own mouth.  Only two other books have soiled me from the inside like that creating rage then seeping into sadness for the unfairness of the situation.
  5. Complete- Now a lot happened from my above sad but this is thing, all the things, I never finish a book from Tillie and think I wish there were more or this feels unresolved. I feel whole like all the small details are there and every conflict has reached a resolution, well all the ones that needed to be resolved at least until the next book. Like all the trials I have been put through by the hands of TC have all been part of a bigger picture a puzzle piece locking into place.


After reading through this I’ve realized this is over 600 words of me just just ranting and I sort of apologize for that but I mean really this puts us four books in now so if you are already a Hangmen fan you get the gist.  If you are completely new to this series hopefully my emotions will want to help provoke some of your own, and I would highly recommend it seeing as the first four books are .99 each! 

It Ain’t Me, Babe – Amazon US:

Heart Recaptured- Amazon US:

Souls Unfractured – Amazon US:

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The DNF Journals: Dark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin

The DNF Journals: Dark Mafia Prince by Annika MartinDark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin
June 28, 2016
Genres: Dark Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review



Don’t look at me like that. So trusting.

Like you think I’m not a monster.

Like I won’t wrap your hair in my fist and bend you to my will.

Like I won’t sacrifice you, piece by piece, to save my brother.
I’m the most dangerous enemy you’ll ever have because every time you look at me, you see somebody good. That friend who died.
And when you look at me like that, I die again.

I spent years making myself invisible.
A good girl, apart from the noise.
Then you came back, beautiful and deadly in your Armani suit.

Don’t look at me like you still know me, you say.

But I remember your smile and those sunny days.
Before they lowered your small casket into the ground.

Before they told us the prince was dead.

Let me start off by saying I really wanted to love this story, I really tried.  I thought to myself this would be such a pretty paperback to have on my shelf, the sypnosis sounded promising enough, and I love mafia romance so I found myself excited to read this.

I made it to 20% in and I was initially ready to DNF at 10% but I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt before I called it quits.

Each chapter alternates between Mira & Aleksio’s POV and I felt as if it weren’t for the chapter heading advising which character was narrating I would of mistaken it for a single POV book. Their voices sort of meshed together and I felt like there could of been a bit more distinction to their tone.

***M I L D  S P O I L E R S***

Seriously stop now if you aren’t okay with spoilers, they aren’t major but I’m giving you fair warning now.

As hinted in the sypnosis Aleksio has felt he has been wronged by Mira’s family and he is back to set things straight and take back his kingdom. Early on a plan is set in motion and well fast forward he is acting upon that plan and Mira and her dad happen to be his main targets.  This is where is quickly went down hill for me…

The first confrontation was hard for me over and over Mira kept mentioning how familiar Alek was to her and I get that as an initial thought but girl you have more important things to worry about now you are being held against your will! Fast forward just a little and Alkesio does not get the information he hopes for which sends him on a bit of a detour and he takes the mafia barbie with him making sure to keep her close as leverage.  His inner thoughts and voiced dialogue was a bit off putting for me as well at one point he said how laughing baby cartoon characters eventually morph into something evil and Mira responded with something such as thanks for ruining that and whats next Santa Claus.

Finally one of the henchmen was described wearing a winter hat and having bleached tips, I just couldn’t imagine someone in the Bratva having bleached hair.

As much as I wanted to keep reading I couldn’t, I did however scroll to the very last chapter to see how things ended and even then I was a little let down with Alek.  I think I just wanted him to be meaner and really just more of an asshole.

Sadly this one just wasn’t for me.

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Review: Hook by Elisabeth Grace

Review: Hook by Elisabeth GraceHOOK April 23, 2016
Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense
Format: ARC

Women loathed me without even knowing my name. Men coveted the very idea of me.

Escort. Call girl. Prostitute. Hooker. Whore.

I'd heard it all. Done it all.

Over the years I'd felt a lot of things about my occupation...but not regret--never regret. I had my reasons for doing what I did and nothing and no one had ever made me question them.


He'd changed me and I'd naively fed into the fairy tale.

But Marco wasn't my Prince Charming. He had secrets of his own. Secrets that would eventually rip away everything I held dear.

You know who was overdue for an Italian leading male… This girl!

I started Hook by Elisabeth Grace and before I knew it, it was over! Although it sure did pack a punch I mean a hooker and insanely alpha Italian who wouldn’t finish this book in a matter of minutes.

Think Pretty Woman meets Italian, meets fucked up situations, meets a need for revenge an oh there will be revenge!

Then there was “Brandi” and she surprised me in a few ways as she is not your typical hooker but a high end escort who probably makes my rent for three months in a single night, but besides from  selling her body she lives a seemingly total normal life in suburbia.  Her reasons that led her to begin hooking completely broke my heart and I will leave that reason out as not to spoil it for anyone. In comes Marco and he is mysterious and speaks Italian and OMG I fell in love… BUT and I use all caps because he can’t possibly be as perfect as he seems or is he?


When Marco meets Brandi for the first time they don’t even have sex or not even the second time but when it did happen… oh my! His filthy mouth really did a number on me.  Enough of that but how can I not mention his dirty mouth. Lol. Moving on, so his and Brandi’s relationship progresses and he requests or more like demands while he is in town and paying for her services she is to see no other men, fair enough when he’s dropping thousands like its nothing.

Their time spent together gives Brandi glimpses into Marco’s life giving away to traits that make up this man but at the sametime she is still completely clueless to who he really is and what his involvement in a grander scheme may be that she has suddenly become a pawn in. While out on one of her paid outings with Marco they visit a private art showing and a notorious Vito arrives setting her on alert, although once they leave her cautions she had dissipated and she easily forgets all about him, but remember his name.


Why yes Brandi your life is about to turn to HELL a very literal hell. Something arises and Marco is destined to keep his new love interest safe so he takes the measures he sees fit and bam he just inherited a new live in hooker.  This was one of my more desired parts of the book as the intensity picked up and the build up to the “OMG moment” really was an OMFG moment, well played Elisabeth Grace!

While I was reading I realized about 78% that it was a duet and then I was like oh fuck me! No! No! But the second part to the duet is already scheduled to be out in July and the preorder is up now on Amazon so I can live with that.

I must say the only thing that made me side eye a little was the inconsistency of Brandi and her relationship with her Madam and I wish I had a bit more in-between and dialogue between Brandi and Marco. It had turned to weeks later and I would of enjoyed a little more danger in those weeks.

All in all I adored this book and Marco in a speedo!

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