Loving Jade by Roya Carmen

RUBYprintCOVERfinal2

Book: Loving Jade

Series: Riverstone Estate #3

Author: Roya Carmen

Release date: 25 May 2017

Main characters: Jade Williams, ‘trophy’ wife who’s running from her abusive husband. Flynn Riverstone, equine therapist and then man who’s determined to be there for Jade.

Plot: Jade Williams is married to the man of her dreams. He treats her like a princess, he’s always been there for her. But…after his casual violence becomes too much for her to explain away, Jade flees and seeks refuge at the Riverstone estate.

Flynn Riverstone is dedicated to his job and helping re-build his patients’ confidence. The moment he sees Jade he knows he can help her. Under the fancy façade, it’s clear Jade is wounded and he is determined to learn her secrets.

Flynn’s feelings for Jade could compromise his professional life, but he’s never felt what he feels for Jade before. If she feels the same, he’ll find a way for them to be together…let the chips fall as they may.

Why you should read it: This is a strong series – my favourite story so far is Loving Ruby. This is a continuation and a great opportunity to find out more about Flynn, the enigmatic older Riverstone sibling.

What you may not like: Ok. Not going to lie. I didn’t love this book. Why? Well, the relationship between Flynn and Jade was too insta-love for my liking. Considering the situation she’s trying to extricate herself from, it seemed a bit weird that she was so ready to launch into another (albeit healthier) relationship with Flynn. Flynn, one minute is judging Jade on appearances, then the next, he’s apparently smitten. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them at all. I read the words, and they were good words, but I didn’t feel it.

Rating: 3/5 for an ok read. I have loved every book by Roya Carmen so far, so maybe my expectations were a little too high for this one. It didn’t captivate me I’m afraid.

Excerpt

She’s all settled in and it’s that time – time to say goodbye. Damn, I’m going to miss her. I know I’ll be back, but I don’t want to be away from her, even for a single day. Her beautiful green eyes are wet when she looks up me, silently begging me not to go. “Can you stay for another fifteen minutes?” she asks sweetly.
“Yes,” I say, curious. What in the heavens can we do with fifteen minutes – the possibilities are endless.
“I want you,” she says quietly and I get hard instantly at the sound of those three little words. I’ve been waiting for her to ask. I didn’t want to push her after all she’s been through recently, but it’s been days since we’ve made love – it’s all I’ve been thinking about.
I pull her face to mine, and my mouth crashes into hers, hungry. My hands are greedy too, starved for her skin. She drives me wild when the sexiest moan escapes her throat as she presses her small body against mine. I grab the underside of her thigh and hike her up over my hips. She wraps her legs around me and I prop her down on the desk, the desk with the notepad, pen and Bible on it. I swipe all of it off and it falls to the floor in a mess.
She pulls at my shirt, desperate to take it off. I peel it over my shoulders and I’m bare for her. “Fuck, Flynn,” she whispers and trails her hands along the edges of the bruises covering my torso. Then, she kisses them softly. I pull her face to mine again – I miss those sweet lips. “You want it slow and soft on the bed, or right here on the desk?”
She licks her lip playfully. “On the desk.”

Somebody Else’s Sky by Jessica Hawkins

Book: Somebody Else’s Sky

Series: Something in the Way #2

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 22 May 2017

Main characters: Lake Kaplan, Tiffany Kaplan and Manning Sutter.

Blurb:

If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.

 

Why you should read it: This is the follow up book to Something in the Way, and it’s more angsty, more emotional and more dramatic. Everyone wants to be happy, but it’s clear that someone’s about to get very hurt. As ever, Jessica Hawkins’ writing draws you in and engages you – even if you don’t like what the characters are doing! In this book, we get to know Manning in more depth, how he feels and how his back story has affected him.  We get to know Lake more too – and how she’s developed over the last two years.

What you may not like: Ok. A couple of things – and I may be in the minority here. I didn’t like Manning – at all. He’s been through hell but really his relationships with both Lake and Tiffany are CLEARLY going to cause huge divisions. He made his decision – and I agreed with his reasoning but then he kept acting as though he was Lake’s dad time and time again – he needed to back off! Then there’s Lake – I know we all think we’re grown up at 17 and all, but she is so young. So childish and selfish, as only adolescents can be. She annoyed the hell out of me. Her lack of family loyalty was also very surprising. The only character I really ‘liked’ (or disliked the least) was Tiffany. Why? Because she’s the only one who was honest about her intentions. She’s self-serving in some ways but honestly, she was refreshing!

Rating: 3/5 for a turbulent and make-you-scream-at-your-kindle kind of a read. I am looking forward to seeing how this shitstorm can possibly sort itself out in Move The Stars, which is out in October 2017.

All The Lies We Tell by Megan Hart

coverBook: All The Lies we Tell

Series: Quarry Road #1

Author: Megan Hart

Release date: 1 May 2017

Main characters: Alica Harrison, literally the girl next door. Ilya Stern, her ex-husband, Nikolai Stern, Ilya’s brother and Alicia’s frenemy since childhood.

Plot: Even though Alicia’s marriage to Ilya was doomed to failure, the pair have managed to stay on fairly good terms since their divorce. Which is just as well considering they live on the same street, in their same childhood houses and share a business together.

When Ilya’s grandmother becomes seriously ill, the family reunites under the same roof. Both Ilya’s mother and brother return. This dysfunctional family dynamic becomes even more complicated when it we learn that Alicia and Nikolai have unfinished business – she wants to know why he took such joy in hurting her in the past and she may be surprised by his reasons. Nothing in the Stern household is simple – their past, their present and their futures are inextricably linked, but will they be able to handle the fallout?

Why you should read it: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Megan Hart book – the last one was Beg For it. I’m always excited about a new Megan Hart release and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. All of the characters are complex. They know each other so well, and yet not at all. They carry their baggage like armour and remember past conversations unreliably – and for me, that was very real. The good thing is that the characters actually talk to each other and go some way to straightening out some old issues. I thoroughly enjoyed the complicated relationship between the mother and her sons – it’s atypical and went some way to explaining how Ilya and Nikolai became who they are.

What you may not like: The story is a simple one, set in a small town with plenty of secrets. It’s focused on the same street and two families and it feels very claustrophobic at times. I think it’s deliberate and you can see why one character feels trapped there and another had to flee. I enjoyed the overarching love story that ran alongside the family secrets. The dialogue was good and sucked me in.

Rating: 4/5 for an intriguing family story. I will definitely be reading book 2, All The Secrets we Keep. I have my suspicions about what those secrets could be, but I’m looking forward to seeing whether I’m right or wrong! All The Secrets we Keep will be out on 13 June 2017.

On Point by Annabeth Albert

Two muscular men embraceBook: On Point

Series: Out of Uniform #3

Author: Annabeth Albert

Release date: 5 June 2017

Main characters: Maddox Horvat, the best sniper of his unit, with a soft side. Ben Tovey, his roommate, best friend and inconveniently, the object of Maddox’s affection.

Blurb: Never fall for your best friend… Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too. Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on. Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

Why read it? This is a great series – there’s zero stupid, manufactured drama for drama’s sake, yet it’s a little angsty, the characters are a little unsure of themselves and the story was very exciting. I enjoyed getting to know Maddox and Ben – they balanced each other and brought out the best and at times the worst in each other. Their character development was just right in my opinion and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Their chemistry is one of the sexiest things I’ve read in a long time – and it wasn’t in a hurry to get to the finish either.

What might you not enjoy? If you like insta-love and a race to HEA then this book may frustrate you a little. I don’t like my HEAs sewn up too quickly, but some folks do. Other than that, it was an engaging, entertaining and really romantic read.

Rating: 4/5 for a thoroughly enjoyable tale and trusting someone and having the courage to take that leap of faith.

Open Hearts by Eve Dangerfield

img_0105Book: Open Hearts

Series: sequel to Locked Box

Author: Eve Dangerfield

Release date: 25 April 2017

Main characters: Ashley Bennett, nurse who has had enough of dating losers, Dean Sherwood, lovable, dopey and absolutely smitten with Ashley.

Plot: Ashley has had it with losers. She’s 29 and desperate to become a mum. If the right guy is nowhere on the horizon, then sobeit – she’ll go for a donor. Not exactly how she imagined starting a family, but needs must.

She’s been completely disillusioned with men in the past, but when she meets Dean Sherwood, a mutual friend, she feels a strong attraction to him. This is strange as she hasn’t felt anything for the male of the species (except disdain) for quite some time. He’s beautiful, from the tip of his auburn roots, down to his toes. He’s also quite dim. Something Ashley is willing to overlook for a little fling. He’s not father material, but a little bit of fun won’t hurt, will it?

Why you should read it: I really like it when books take me by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I began it, as I haven’t read anything by the author before. The writing is good – the dialogue is sharp-witted, funny and brash. I loved the Aussie humour and could totally hear the accents and expressions, which made the characters leap off the page. I loved Dean – he got quite a raw deal in the book. I really don’t understand people’s aversion to redheads and think it’s out of hand personally. He’s sexy as hell, kindhearted and completely ditzy. He even had a bit of a submissive vibe, which really grabbed my attention. He was single-minded when it came to Ashley and I’m glad their story ended how it did.

What you may not like: The story is racy. Very racy. It’s delightfully crude in places and unapologetically so. The characters talk to each other realistically and it may either make you laugh or wrinkle your nose in disgust. At times, Ashley and her sister Jules did annoy me. Their ‘us-against-them’ mentality was exasperating at times, but made sense given their upbringing. I felt like they held each other back in some ways – but all’s well that ends well. I really dislike the use of the word ‘spaz’ too – surely we should be beyond that kind of language in this day and age? (Since writing, the author reached out to me and removed the word – which I didn’t expect but thought was awesome actually.)

Rating: 4/5 for an entertaining, sexy and very sweet story. I liked the characters and they had depth. Will definitely be reading more from Eve Dangerfield in the future. There were some great lines such as:

How could a man who seriously thought sugar came from the ocean, have given her the best sex of her life? Because that’s what it had been?

Bombshell by CD Reiss

Cover of a man and woman with Hollywood in the distanceBook: Bombshell

Series: Hollywood A-list #1

Author: CD Reiss

Release date: 1st May 2017

Main characters: Cara DuMont, well-respected nanny, seemingly immune to Brad Sinclair’s charms. Brad Sinclair, Hollywood rake and new father.

Plot: Cara DuMont is a well-respected nanny in LA, and throughout her career she has somehow managed to avoid the unwanted advances of her male employers. She’s cool, calm and in control. No scandals have ever affected her and she aims to keep it that way.

Brad Sinclair has seen her in action and wants her to become his newfound daughter’s nanny. He won’t take no for an answer.

Despite her affinity with Brad’s little girl Nicole, Cara is reluctant to become a nanny for a celebrity household. She prefers to fly under the radar and Brad is just too tempting, too sure of himself – too everything.

The more time she spends with both Nicole and Brad however, the more her resolve begins to waiver. The child needs her as much as she needs Nicole. Her connection to Brad cannot be denied either. Life is complicated, but it wouldn’t be impossible, to have both a career and a relationship with an a-lister. Right? This is Hollywood remember, and nothing comes without a pricetag attached…

Why you should read it: If you love the whole celebrity and ordinary girl-next-door-type, then you might enjoy this story. Cara is a strong and sensible type – always doing the right thing and staying one step ahead of scandal. She’s seen what it’s done to others and as such, lives life by a strict set of rules. The arrival of Brad Sinclair is interesting as she’s forced to throw out the rule book. He doesn’t care about much, other than making himself happy and his new situation as a father is quite an adjustment. The author’s depiction of Nicole, an adorable five-year old was pitch perfect. I loved her and her facial expressions!

What you may not like: The story felt a bit disjointed in places and despite my initial excitement about the plot, it failed to deliver the passion and the building tension I was hoping for. The characters didn’t really develop very much – they were professional one minute, in love the next. Their developing relationship was sexy but swift and while the chemistry was there, it felt a little forced. Don’t get me wrong, there were parts to the story that I really enjoyed – namely Nicole, but for me something was definitely missing.

Rating: 3/5 for a promising plot but for such a popular trope, it failed to ignite and keep my interest.

Promo: Sex in the Sticks by Sawyer Bennett

Sex in the SticksBook: Sex in the Sticks

Series: A Love Hurts Novel

Author: SAWYER BENNETT

Release date:  MAY 2, 2017

Wake up and feel the wood! In the first of a series of irresistible standalone romances from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett, a city girl rediscovers love and lust in the Alaskan wilderness.

Valentine French may be the sassiest dating columnist in New York City, but the abundance of metrosexuals in her adopted metropolis is seriously cramping her style. Where are the beefy all-American boys? Hoping to find some inspiration, Val heads to Alaska, where the men outnumber the women fifteen to one and wrestle grizzly bears for sport. Or so she can only imagine. Suddenly the most eligible bachelorette in a town full of horny lumberjacks, Val is writing her best columns ever. But if she doesn’t get her nose out of her laptop, she just might miss out on Mr. Right.

Logan Burke is the sheriff of the little podunk town that Val finds so charmingly backward. He’s not that different from the guys she’s using for her little experiment; it’s just that one date would never be enough for Logan. As he listens to Val complain about love over beers in the local tavern, he realizes that she can’t see the forest for the trees. Because if she would ever give up her Prada bags and fourteen-dollar martinis, Logan would give her the only luxury that matters: his heart.

AuthorPhotoSince the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | BOOKBUB | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | INSTAGRAM

Author spotlight: Liz Jacobs

Today, I’m spotlighting an upcoming New Adult novel from debut author, Liz Jacobs!

Book: Abroad #1

Publisher: Brain Mill Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 27th wide release; early access June 17th

About the book:

Nick, a Russian-Jewish immigrant living in America, doesn’t know where he belongs. Socially anxious, intensely private, and closeted, he feels like a collection of disparate parts. When he goes to study abroad in the UK, he is forced to be honest with himself for the first time. If only he can speak to other people without wanting to throw up.

Dex knows exactly who he is: a black queer guy who doesn’t give a toss what anybody thinks of him. He’s got his friends, his family, a glittering future. All right, he also has a bit of a broken heart that he’s been nursing for a while, but he is absolutely, one hundred percent, totally fine. Apart, maybe, from his family’s abrupt move to an affluent, largely white town. Or his younger brother feeling increasingly isolated as a result. Or that persistent broken heart.

When Nick and Dex meet, both find themselves intrigued – and afraid. The last thing Nick wants is to face his deepest secret. The last thing Dex needs is another heartache. But through endless late night talks, both find it harder and harder to resist the terrifying pull of attraction.

But Dex has had to fight too hard for his right to be where he is; Nick isn’t even sure where he’s from. So how can either of them tell where this is going?

Pre-order now:

Brain Mill Press            Amazon

 

About the author:

Liz Jacobs came over with her family from Russia at the age of 11, as a Jewish refugee.  All in all, her life has gotten steadily better since that moment. They settled in an ultra-liberal haven in the middle of New York State, which sort of helped her with the whole “grappling with her sexuality” business.

She has spent a lot of her time flitting from passion project to passion project, but writing remains her constant. She has flown planes, drawn, made jewelry, had an improbable internet encounter before it was cool, and successfully wooed the love of her life in a military-style campaign. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her essay on her family’s experience with immigration.

She currently lives with her wife in Massachusetts, splitting her time between her day job, writing, and watching a veritable boatload of British murder mysteries.

 

Connect with Liz:

Twitter: @somemetaphor

Instagram: somemetaphor

Facebook: liz.jacobs.9843

 

Cover reveal: Somebody Else’s Sky by Jessica Hawkins

I’m so happy to be sharing my super-talented book pal’s newest release Somebody Else’s Sky. It’s out on 22 May 2017. If you read and enjoyed book one,  Something in the Way, then you’ll know it ended on one heck of a cliffhanger and I am anxious to find out what happened next…

So here it is!

Photo: Perrywinkle Photography  and Cover Design by  R.B.A. Designs ©

Blurb:

If I closed my eyes, I could still see them – all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine – even if it would be for somebody else.

 

PREORDER LINKS:

Amazon ➜ http://smarturl.it/sesamazon

iBooks ➜ http://bit.ly/sesapple

Nook ➜ http://bit.ly/sesnook

Google Play ➜ http://bit.ly/sesgp

Kobo ➜ http://bit.ly/seskobo

Goodreads ➜ http://bit.ly/somebodyesgr

Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan

Back view of a woman in a hat, walking with a dog on a pierBook: Holiday in the Hamptons

Series: From Manhattan with love #5

Author: Sarah Morgan

Release date: 15 June 2017

Main characters: Felicity Knight, fiercely loyal to her family and incredibly good at keeping her feelings under lock and key. Seth Carlyle, her ex-husband who never quite got her out of his system.

Blurb:

The perfect summer escape…?

Fliss Knight hasn’t seen her ex-husband Seth for ten years, so when she discovers he is now working as a vet at the New York clinic she uses regularly for her dog walking business, she panics. When Fliss and her identical twin Harriet receive word that their elderly grandmother has had an accident and is in need of help, Fliss grabs the chance to escape Manhattan for the Hamptons.

The first person she meets on her arrival is Seth. Reluctant to confront the issues in their past, Fliss pretends to be her sister. But how long can Fliss keep up the ruse when Seth wants to talk to “Harriet” about why he and Fliss fell apart…and how he can win her back?

As Fliss struggles to keep up with the tangled web she’s weaved, sparks are starting to fly and she discovers that before you can have a future, you have to let go of the past.

Why you should read it: I love the variety of characters in this series. They’ve all been different, yet there has always been that reassuring feeling of familiarity and the feeling that all will be well in the end. In this book, I loved the story’s premise. An old love affair, with the possibility of a reconciliation. The narrative kept me interested as did the entertaining situations and mishaps that Fliss ran headlong into. Seth was a determined character. He wanted to get his girl back and he wasn’t going to give up as easily as he had years before. I liked him a lot. He was practically perfect, with an almost omniscience when it came to his ex-wife’s mind. The chemistry between them was believable and hot and I enjoyed their interactions.

What you may not like: One word: Fliss. She may drive you insane. She drove me insane. I totally sympathised with her up to a certain point, but after her endless laments about being a bad person, not being good enough, blah blah blah, I did lose my rag with her a bit. She has good reasons to be closed off – but they really did grate after a while. Her endless internal dialogue was repetitive and her feelings about herself were exhausting. Her inability to say what was on her mind, and her cluelessness towards Seth made me want to shake her.

Rating: 3/5 for a sweet romance, with a lot of heat and some entertaining situations. A challenging heroine and a saint-like hero.