Review: Bad Neighbor by M. O’Keefe

Review: Bad Neighbor by M. O’KeefeBad Neighbor by M. O'keefe
Series: Bad Boy Romance #1
November 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

He's sexy... He's dangerous... He's right next door.

I gave up everything to save my sister from a monster, and now I’m lying low in this rundown apartment so I can stay out of danger. Hiding from everyone.
Except for the guy in apartment 1A.
He’s rude. Silent. Muscled, mysterious, and hot as hell. I don’t know if he likes me or hates me, but the more time I spend with him, the less it matters.
I want him.
And for the first time in my life I'm going to go after what I want.

She doesn’t belong in my world.

From the second 1B moves in, I know she’s keeping secrets. She doesn’t belong here, much less with a street fighter like me.
But that doesn’t stop me from craving her. Her softness and sweetness. She’s a drug, and suddenly I’m addicted.
I know someone is going to try and hurt her and I can’t let that happen. But unless I push her away and get her out of my world, that someone could be me…

If you are not already reading O’Keefe, you should start. She’s got a way with unique characters that never fails to make me fall in love. I’ve read her Everything I Left Unsaid series and have a special little love affair with it’s darkly romantic perfectness. Bad Neighbor, while still giving you a full spoonful of edginess, is a much lighter read.

Most of that lightness comes from Charlotte, with her sunshine dresses, slight nerdiness and bumblebee window treatments. She’s nothing short of adorably awkward. She’s found herself in a shabby apartment complex, in a run down part of town, with little money – after selling off all her belongings to help her sister flee from a bad relationship. Charlotte never expects to find herself tangled in a strange relationship with her hot and cold and mysterious neighbor, Jesse. But that is exactly where she lands and when her sister’s past catches up to her, every future fantasy Charlotte had started to build, is threatened by a stark and possibly dangerous reality.

I really enjoyed Charlotte and Jesse’s ‘push and pull’ relationship. It’s obvious they both want the same thing but neither really understands how to go about getting it. Charlotte has some female insecurities and Jesse has a lifestyle that he would never wish on sweet and innocent Charlotte. So, it’s a fumbling sort of thing mixed with a few really sexy scenes. Which makes for quite a page turner. 

Bad Neighbor is a quick read, without too much drama and strife but enough going on to keep you fully invested and wanting more! Good thing book two in the Bad Boy Romance series comes early May – with a surprise baby, no less!!

 

About M. O’keefe

Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.


read more

Review: Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones & Giveaway!

Review:  Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones & Giveaway!Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones
Published by St. Martin's Griffin February 21, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
Format: ARC, Audio
Source: Copy for Honest Review, Purchased
Narrator: Grace Grant, Jeremy York
Also by this author: Hard Rules
Amazon US
Goodreads

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in Damage Control, the smoldering, scorching next novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series.

The only thing more dangerous than a dark secret is a damaged heart…

Shane Brandon has been pushed to the brink, torn between his corrupt family and his explosive, all-consuming desire for Emily Stevens, who he now knows is not who, and what, she seems. Has he trusted the wrong person? Will she, not his brother Derek, be the ultimate destruction of his family Empire?

Emily tries to run from Shane, but he will stop her, confront her, force her to reveal all — one hot touch and kiss at a time, under every intimate detail of who this woman is, and what she wants, is exposed. But as he tears away the dangers of the unknowns with the woman in his bed, and in his heart, The Martina Cartel has set their sights on his company, his family, and the one piece of leverage they believe he won’t gamble with: Emily.

The blurb is what got me to read book one, Hard Rules, in this series by Lisa Renee Jones:

“When Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy…”

There really isn’t a better way to describe these books.  Picture the chaotic, crazy mess and ever-constant web spinning of the Sons of Anarchy cast… but instead of dirty (but sexy) bikers, picture filthy rich (and equally as sexy) bajillionaires.

I absolutely loved book 1 (you can read my review here) and was so excited to get my hands on book 2, Damage Control.  But with my entire family dropping like flies with the flu, my life got a bit hectic and I was late starting my ARC and ended up buying the audiobook and switching back and forth from e-book to audio (I highly recommend the audiobook, I think the narrators are fabulous, by the way!)

Damage Control starts exactly where book one leaves off, with a giant freaking mess, more secrets than you can remember, and pretty much zero answers as well.  I seriously haven’t read a book with so many intricate details, and lies, and side plots going on at once… it’s incredible the web that Lisa Renee Jones spins in these books.  You never really know who is good, who is bad, what side someone is on, who is going down next, who is plotting what…  seriously!   I am good at figuring things out but good lord I leave each book wondering how the flaming fig newton someone can get out of these disasters unscathed.

Emily and Shane both have secrets and terrible families that are desperately trying to drag them down.  There’s international hacking groups, murder, a cartel, a billion dollar family business changing control, cancer… you name it.  It is all in there tearing everybody apart at every angle.

I felt like this story was a lot of figuring out Shane and Emily’s pasts and how they would conquer their future… if they even have one together.  A lot of the plots are intense and action-packed, but Shane and Emily handle it separate from each other.  Unlike book one where they are busy trying to handle their feelings, and the hiding of their relationship from co-workers and family members, in book 2 they’re together in the open.  The plot is more focused on the suspense, the mystery, the scandal.  The parts where Shane and Emily are actually together are when they’re home from work or bustin’ cartel booty… and naked.

I loved that their relationship was there in the very steamy background, and the story instead took on a very strong voice more based on plot than relationship, if that makes sense.  It’s such an amazing, mind-boggling storyline that I loved immersing myself in the wtf is happening, how can they fix this, omg what now?!    

Yes, they are still figuring out what “us” even means, and let me tell you…  *fans face*   Their “us” is sexy AF.  *fans face harder.*   Shane is the epitome of alpha male.  And Emily is just as strong, no matter how lost she is in life, that chick is one bad ass mamba-jamba!

I can’t recommend this series enough, and if you enjoy romantic suspense that’ll get your heart pounding (for multiple reasons) this series is a must click!


***Giveaway!***
Enter to win (2) $25 Amazon gift cards, (3) signed books of Hard Rules and (3) Dirty Money totes!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e837c2b0294/

 

 

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.


read more

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. 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


read more

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!~

 


read more

Review: The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders

Review: The Unwanted Wife by Natasha AndersThe Unwanted Wife Series: The Unwanted Series #1
Published by Montlake Romance March 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 249
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

No one had ever looked at her and seen perfection—until now.

Delicate, titian-haired Theresa Noble has met her father’s associates in the past, but the gorgeous, Italian-born Sandro De Lucci leaves her speechless. Eighteen months into their marriage, however, Sandro has turned to ice. Desperate to escape a relationship that has proven to be as stubbornly passionate as it is cold and hateful, Theresa summons up the courage to ask for a divorce. But before he’ll grant her request, Sandro demands something from Theresa: a son.

The stalemate sickens her. Never mind that Sandro has yet to introduce Theresa to the large family that means so much to him. Or that Theresa overhears her husband on the phone with a mystery woman. Most damning is that Theresa senses, in Sandro’s treatment of her, the behind-the-scenes machinations of Jackson Noble, her cruel father. From the depths of her anxiety, Theresa must seek an empowering truth about the husband who calls her, with such cold affection, his cara, his beloved.

Revised edition: This edition of The Unwanted Wife includes editorial revisions.

For days and days, Debbie was telling the rest of us that we needed to read this book. She specifically told me that it gave her similar feels to Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn, a book I really enjoyed and cried at while reading. Something I just don’t do often. Well, I picked it up and she was absolutely right. It broke my heart in much the same manner.

Theresa married Sandro for love. What she didn’t realize was that he did not have the same motives for marrying her. While his cold demeanor towards her surfaced rather quickly, it took her a year and a half to finally realize that she is more than the nuisance Sandro treats her as. In their shared bed, he’s an attentive and giving lover. Outside the bedroom, he wants little to nothing to do with her. When she gets the courage to ask for a divorce, he gives her one condition. She can have her divorce, after she gives him a son. Now she must navigate a life with no purpose aside from being a brood mare and an unwanted wife to the man she once loved. 

Theresa is somewhat of a doormat, but when you get her history, you understand why. Normally, I am not so much a fan of this type of character but it works perfectly for this story and you do see her will to fight for herself.

Sandro, on the other hand, starts the story off as such a dickhead. You do eventually get an understanding of why he acts as he does, though there were still times that I was not very sympathetic to his plight. He does come through at pivotal times. I think I would have enjoyed an occasional trample through his brain, however.

I was on the verge of tears from start to finish, while reading this book. You cannot avoid feeling for Theresa. It’s such a depressing existence and Anders writes it in a way that each time you think there might be a little relief for your heart, you’re wrong. A new barb gets thrown and you are right back to feeling the sadness. I never, actually, cried but my eyes were welling with tears for much of the story. Which, I could not put down. Reading this over the holiday was a bad idea, I was ready to kick all my family out of my house so I could get back to reading.

I think Anders has cemented herself as one of my go to authors when I’m in need of some super-angsty-all-the-feels type reads. Well done.


read more

Review: Honor by Jay Crownover

Review: Honor by Jay CrownoverHonor by Jay Crownover
October 18, 2016
Genres: Romance
Pages: 368
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Length: 10 hours 15 minutes
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US
Goodreads

Don't be fooled.

Don't make excuses for me.

I am not a good man.

I've seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I've fought and I've survived. I've had to.

The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.

I'm here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She's disappeared. But don't worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.

Like I said, don't be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise… I'm the one front and center.

Let’s start with a bit of a disclaimer. If you are a fan of the Marked Men series by Crownover, you may not like this book. Reversely, if you are NOT much of a fan of the Marked Men series, you may really enjoy this one. I know some of her long term fan base struggles with Crownover’s more suspenseful bad guys. I, however, do not. I enjoy the baddies. I enjoy the danger, the rough and tough world of The Point and characters it breeds.

Nassir is nothing like any character I have ever read. The prologue tells his past, in all its chilling and tragic glory. Nassir is an ex-terrorist, born and sold into some horrific situations, raised in hate.  He isn’t that anymore, but he’s still not good, he’s just a different sort of bad now and only one thing even remotely tames him.  Keelyn.  The only woman he’s ever loved and never had.

If you’ve read the Welcome to the Point series, you are already aware of these characters. While those titles will give you a bit of a back story on Nassir and Keelyn, you don’t have to read them first to pick up on Honor’s story. Keelyn has left The Point, Nassir stayed behind – building his empire – and is now determined to entice Keelyn back. Back to his city, back to his side and finally into his heart.

It’s clear from the beginning that both want the same thing, ultimately, they want to be together. Yet they are both such strong personalities, they continually butt heads on how to get there. Nassir is controlling by nature, Keelyn is determined to stand on her own.

The romantic struggle between these two isn’t the guts of the story, though. The real story lies in all the outside forces determined to drag Nassir, and everything he cares about, back to Hell. And also, what he and Keelyn learn about life and themselves, in the course of fighting those forces.

Crownover balances the scales of good and evil beautifully with Honor. Finding something worth holding onto in a world of bad things, some light in the dark, some hope in the midst of so much despair.

It’s no great hidden secret that I consider Jay a friend of mine, so you can take this with a grain of salt, if you so wish. But I do truly mean it when I say that her writing has grown so much over the past few years and this book proves it.

About Jay Crownover

I’m supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I’m an natural redhead even though I haven’t seen my real hair color in years, I’m a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I’m interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


read more

Review: Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig

Review: Black Swan Affair by K.L. KreigBlack Swan Affair October 17, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

I’ve loved him as long as I can remember.

The gangly boy with big brown eyes and unruly hair who grew up into an intoxicating man. He wears scruff like he invented it and ambles with a swagger that makes panties drop.

Killian Shepard.

Shep.

We grew up together. We played Ghost in the Graveyard. Had our own rock band. It didn’t matter that he was five years older than me. It didn’t matter that he looked at me as a kid sister even as I grew into woman. It didn’t even matter when he left me behind to go to college and start his adult life.

He’d be back.
He was always meant to be mine.

He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me—us—the day he married my sister instead of me.

So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do.

I got my revenge.
I married his brother, Kael.
Now we’re one big happy f*cking family.

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a more convoluted story. I’m absolutely sure I’ve never read one with more nicknames.

Maverick (Mavs, Mavericky, Small Fry, Swan) has always been in love with Killian (Shep). He’s in love with her too, they have plans together, until he leaves town to become his ‘own man’ and when he returns it’s with the announcement that he will be marrying Mav’s sister, Jillian (Jilly, half of the “Illians” – yes…she shipped her characters). Killian won’t say why he’s marrying Jillian and in her own childish, snitty, revengeful ways, Maverick decides to to accept a marriage proposal from Killian’s brother Kael, (one of the few characters in the book who is sans a nickname) who has been in love with her for forever. 

Got that? Settle in, we’re just getting started.

I think this was supposed to be a story about Maverick finding out what love really is. It was not that for me. What this was for me, was a story about a bunch of selfish and ridiculous people. So, let me break it down for you a little.

Maverick grew up with Kael and his older brother Killian. As said, she has been in love with Killian since she was a girl. However, Kael is her best friend. Always been there for her, no matter what.  Here lies my first problem with the story. You don’t marry your best friend, knowing you are in love with someone else. Especially, his own brother. In my opinion, that makes you a horrible person. Kreig writes the story in a way to try to make you see that Kael wooed her, which he did attempt to do. But Maverick is constantly reminding the reader that she still loves Killian. Horrible person. I can’t get past that.

Adding to this horrible person theory, the first time she interacts with her best girl friend, she’s not kind to her either. Thinks about MaryLou’s (ML) voice as being grating and saying she needs a makeover. I had immediate unkind feelings toward Maverick as a character, which makes it very difficult to sympathize with her.

Furthermore, Kael is amazing. Kael seems to be the kind of man everyone should wish for. He was kind and caring and sexy and would do anything for Maverick. This makes Maverick even less appealing.

As the story progresses, so do her feelings for Kael. Yet, she still continues to remind us that she loves Killian. Something I could never understand. There were no scenes in this book that gave me that ‘Aha!’ moment of understanding WHY she loved him.  Not one. Again, how am I supposed to sympathize with her?

Then, after a really long time and whole lot of nonsense nicknames, you get to the big reveal. The ultimate betrayal. The reason why Killian left her for her horrid human of a sister. If you asked me to pick one word to describe the big reveal, that would be easy. It’s a word in the first sentence of this review, it’s a word I will always associate with this book.  It’s convoluted. Incredibly convoluted.

The kicker for me though, is that after the big reveal, Maverick still doesn’t seem to get things. She was still concerned about picking a man and in my head, there was no choice there. One man did everything to protect her, one didn’t.

Aside from all the things I just listed that bothered me, there was something else I couldn’t get over. It’s the way I felt manipulated as a reader by some silly scenes. Scenes that didn’t need to be there, they had really nothing at all to do with the story. One is very early on in the book, one is very late in the book. I say manipulated because the one early on is only there to keep you wondering but later you realize it was not at all what you thought it was and was actually completely pointless.

Now, let’s get to the nickname thing. I have no problems with a nickname. A. One. This book is full of them. I’ve given you some already. We learn about a childhood friend, they call him “The Hole”. Sam is also Hamhock. The karaoke DJ in this small town of 5k people where everyone knows everyone is Johnny Littleton, let’s call him J Ton when he’s actually hosting karaoke though. The restaurant they eat at is The Red Rooster, aka The Bloody Cock – sounds appetizing, eh? There is a dude called One Nut. Patsy, a waitress, but we call her Pat. Sally, called Sal. Get the point? I sure don’t.

While I see the appeal of this story in the synopsis, it did not deliver for me what so ever. I’d like to give it a couple of stars just because I made it to the end, but I think I can contribute that to the manipulation. Kudos to the author for carefully plotting the chapters the way she did. I can concede that one thing.  I guess it can have a star for that and a star for ultimately picking the right guy, even if it was for the wrong reasons. 


read more


%d bloggers like this: