Review: Things We Never Said by Samantha Young

thingsweneversaidforweb-2Book: Things We Never Said

Series: Harts Boardwalk #3

Author: Samantha Young

Release date: 7 May 2019

Main characters: Dalia McGuire, talented metalsmith who’s lived in Hartwell for nine years and loves it. Michael Sullivan, an old flame from Dalia’s previous life in Boston, who never expected to see her again.

Plot: Dahlia has a quiet and successful life in Hartwell, Delaware and she is surrounded by a small, but close-knit group of friends. They’re the only family she has these days and she’s found a peace she didn’t believe was possible. When she receives a call out of the blue from her beloved father, she knows she has to return to Boston, even if her reception will be less than welcoming. Seeing her siblings again is tough but necessary to put the past to rights, but nothing prepares her for seeing Michael Sullivan again. After nine long years, if she thought that she was finally over him, then she’s sorely mistaken.

Michael is in the midst of getting divorced, he’s a detective and his life basically revolves around his job and Dahlia’s family. Seeing her again brings back memories of the hurt and destruction caused when she left Boston and he’s determined to get some answers, even if he has to relocate to Hartwell to do so. Can the pair reconcile and trust each other again? Or will past grief and pain obscure their future forever?

Why you should read it:  My, my, my! I feel like I’ve been through the ringer with this book! It was so packed full of intrigue, secrets, martyrdom and repressed feelings – I couldn’t get enough! I loved the theme of familial love (in whichever form it can take) that runs through the book. Dahlia and her friends are a family – the kind that you choose, and her reconciliation with her blood family was beautifully done. I shed several tears, I’m not ashamed to say. The simmering chemistry between Dahlia and Michael was interesting too – and it kept me guessing. Their interactions were often laced with hurting each other and that cycle made it difficult to see how they’d ever get their HEA. It felt real though – love in all its messy glory. Their love for each other and all the ways their love was denied for so long made my heart hurt.

What you may struggle with: Ok honestly, at times, Dahlia was her own worst enemy. Even her friends called out her martyrdom so many times, it was so strong. She comes across as pretty stubborn, and at times you wonder exactly what it is she’s fighting against. The self-denial got a little bit old towards the end, but when you find out the WHY, it does becomes clear and somewhat understandable.

Rating: 4/5 for a truly gripping and nuanced read. I loved the story, love the series and adored the characters. Strap yourself in, because this book is A LOT! There’s so much going on, there isn’t time to take a breath. I thoroughly enjoyed the story – couldn’t put it down and I cannot wait for more in the series – hopefully Emery’s story is in the offing?

Buy Now Links:

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2ULN5m0
iBooks US – https://apple.co/2UNdsbu
Kobo US – http://bit.ly/2BnLADq
Nook – http://bit.ly/2MTxuy4
Smashwords – http://bit.ly/2HZeUFT
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2I9twlt

About the Author

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series, Hero, and Fight or Flight. Samantha’s crossover romance/women’s fiction novel titled Much Ado About You will be published by Berkley (release date tba). Her debut adult paranormal romance novel War of Hearts releases under the pen name S. Young in October 2019.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author. When she’s not writing books, she’s buying shoes she doesn’t really need and searching for nooks and crannies to shelve her ever-expanding book collection.

Connect with Samantha Young

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSamanthaYoung/
Join “Sam’s Clan McBookish” – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1520019958258238/
Instagram – @authorsamanthayoung
Twitter – @authorsamyoung
BookBub – http://bit.ly/2vuzsOc

 

REVIEW: Return of the Prince by Nana Malone

cover nana maloneBook: Return of the Prince

Series: Prince duet #1

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 30 April 2019

Main characters: Ariel Scott, tech-savvy, security expert to the crown; Prince Tristan, previously exiled, desperate to return to The Winston Isles, though nothing can prepare him for seeing Ariel again.

Blurb:

They said I’d never come home again…they were wrong.

There is one person worth returning home for. Her. One little problem. She hates me. She should, I left her behind.

Now I’m back and I with a score to settle, and I will do what ever it takes to to win her back.

Even if it means spilling my secrets.

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! If you’re loving the Winston Isles and its couples and its intrigue, then I’m thinking you’re going to want to dive into Return of the Prince. Ariel has been a steady and intriguing presence in the other Royal books. She’s steadfast, loyal and family is everything to her. Despite her father’s actions, she’s back in the royal fold and providing essential security to the upper echelons of society. Life is good. It may be all work, but it’s something she can rely on. Her heart is used to disappointment – her doomed love affair eons ago with Prince Tristan still plays on her mind, but she’s resolved to moving on.

The plan for ‘moving on’ unravels when she’s asked by the King himself to provide security to his cousin, Tristan. Knowing she can’t refuse without a damn good reason, Ariel is forced to accept the mission. She’s been in difficult positions before – she can handle this one. Or so she thinks. I really felt for Ariel coming face-to-face with the man who broke her heart. Her fight or flight instincts want to kick in, but she has a reputation to uphold and an obligation to the Royal family, so it’s made doubly difficult for her.

Prince Tristan is an interesting character. He’s full of secrets and is also loyal to those he loves. He’s attractive and a sportsman in his own right, and life should be good. It was interesting in this story that the hero is the one with the baggage and the secrets that need to be dragged out of him. I found that quite refreshing.

What you may not like: I enjoyed the intrigue and the delving in to Tristan’s secrets. The back and forth between Ariel and Tristan was not tiresome – it could have gone on and on, but it didn’t and I feel that some of the secrets and mysteries have been answered in this first book, but there will surely be more revelations in book two. I enjoyed this book, was it my favourite of the duets? No – I think that the drama has been building and building as each book has been published, and that for me, it didn’t quite resonate with me as much as some of the previous books did. It’s still a banging read though!

Rating: 3.5/5 for a well-told story with one of my favourite characters – Ariel. I definitely want to see where the pair end up in book 2 for sure!

Review: That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert

TheKingofGuy-f500Book: That Kind of Guy

Series: Ravenswood #3

Author: Talia Hibbert

Release date: 2 May 2019

Main characters: Rae, a talented, if somewhat frustrated writer who moved to Ravenswood to get away from it all; Zachary Davis, local blacksmith, town lothario (but is he though?) and Rae’s best friend in town.

Plot: Rae has the kind of life in Ravenswood she’s always wanted. She has an intimate group of friends, she’s the town enigma – dubbed the ‘gauche divorcée’ – she loves the disapproving looks she receives from the community. Let them look, let them wonder.

In Ravenswood, Rae is able to rebuild her persona and be untouchable. When an invitation to a literary event arrives, her newfound bravado takes a hit. Her ex-husband Kevin will also be in attendance and facing him and his new wife on her own brings her out in hives. The only solution is to enlist Zach’s help. He’s her friend and he already flirts with her on a daily basis – surely pretending to  be her boyfriend for the weekend won’t be too hard?

Zach is finally realising some things about himself – things he tried to ignore in the past. He’s ready to be honest and find an honest relationship, and not pretend to be what others want him to be. The more time he spends with Rae, the more confusing things become. Suddenly, what’s real and what’s imaginary aren’t so clear cut anymore. Will their friendship survive the weekend?

Why you should read it: I thoroughly enjoyed this book – one of my favourites in the series, definitely. It introduced me to demisexuality, which I confess, I knew NOTHING about. I literally had never heard of it before. I really enjoyed going on the journey with Zach and experiencing life through his eyes. I understood his frustrations and his weariness – I loved that he found solace in Rae and that he didn’t have to be anything other than who he was. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Rae is a great character too – she has had difficulties with relationships in the past and manipulation by so-called loved ones has left some lasting damage. She doesn’t let it conquer her though. She longs for connection, yet worries that she will be hurt again. Her burgeoning relationship with Zach evolves steadily and it was as much a turn on to see their growing trust for each other as it was when things got steamy. And believe me, things get STEAMY.

What you may not like: Not a clue – this totally opened my eyes to the arospectrum, entertained me with the dialogue, and make me sigh in satisfaction by the end of the story. I loved just about everything written between the two covers!

Rating: 5/5 for an engaging and thoroughly absorbing tale. Super, super sexy, and a story about grown up relationships.

 

Blog tour: Laws of Physics – Time by Penny Reid

LOP_TIMEBook: Laws of Physics: Time

Series: Hypothesis trilogies series #2, book #3

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: 16 April 2019

Main characters: Abram Harris, successful musician about to embark on his first world tour; Mona da Vinci, brillant scientist, navigating her feelings for Abram.

Plot: Mona and Abram have been apart for 6 days and the reality of being apart for the coming year is beginning to dawn on them. Due to the newness of their relationship, both Mona and Abram are surrounded by naysayers and friends who are sceptical of their feelings for each other.

Despite the separation, Mona and Abram are determined to make time for each other – desperate to coordinate their demanding schedules, the pair are able to steal time here and there, in various cities, but will it be enough to sustain them when they’re alone?

Why you should read it: Because… Penny Reid. That’s why. I won’t bore you with my fangirling for the PR – if you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll know I’m gaga for her stories. I have enjoyed this series – I love Mona and her fierce intelligence, and her foibles. Abram is a dreamer and a complete romantic. The poor guy is struggling in this story – once he goes all in, he goes all in. The way he pined for Mona made me smile and empathise, as I’ve been there, but I did feel for his friends too – he was pretty joyless without Mona! All in all, it was a sweet conclusion to a charming series – it was low on drama and really a study in the slow burn. I was really ready for them to stop moving so slowly and get to the sexy times already!

What you may not like: Not much to dislike, really. It’s very romantic. Abram is so focused on being with Mona that he’s unable to focus or care about much else. Mona is a bit more sensible and manages to hold it together, but she has her own issues she needs to deal with. I suppose if you enjoy high drama with baddies throwing spanners in the works, this may be a bit tame for you, but I enjoyed it for the gentle read it was.

Rating: 3.5/5 – charming series, well written. I enjoyed the philosophical musings and the couple. Would recommend reading the series in one sitting!

Buy links:

Download your copy.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Gk59Aq
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2MYQ73J
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TimePR
Nook: http://bit.ly/2TFwsIH

 

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To Have and to Hold by Serena Bell

THTHguyv2-768x1187Book: To Have and to Hold

Series: Coming Home #3

Author: Serena Bell

Re-release date: 23 April, 2019

Main characters: Trina Levine, Hunter Cross

 

Basic story: Trina Levine has been counting down the days until Hunter, the man she’s been waiting a year for, would return from his deployment. She’s been holding the fort at home, looking after his daughter Clara, and her own daughter Phoebe.

It soon becomes startlingly clear that Hunter is not the same man who made her promises of a life together. He barely recognises her at the airport and even then it’s only as the mother of his daughter’s friend. Hunter’s injuries are clearly not all physical.

Trina is torn – should she tough it out and patiently wait for Hunter’s memories to return, or pack herself and Phoebe up and move to California – where a new job beckons and Phoebe can finally meet her absent father?

Hunter had no idea he was missing chunks from his memories until he saw disappointment in Trina’s face when he failed to recognise her. Unable to deal with her pain and his, he distances himself from her. However, it soon becomes apparent that Trina’s presence is indispensable to his family, and maybe to him too, if he’d just let himself trust his instincts.

Why you should read it: I’m a huge fan of the Coming Home series. Each story has been smart, sensitive to issues such as PTSD and combat trauma, and also sexy as hell. This one is no exception. Trina is a down-to-earth, courageous heroine, rising to the occasion and being strong enough for both her heart and Hunter’s. She has no time for navel gazing and gets on with making sure her family is secure. Hunter is damaged but he is interesting, kind and oh so sexy. I loved their story and think you might too.

What you might not like: It was a gentle read, and a short read. You may like your books with a bit more drama and angst. If so, this is comparatively tame. There’s plenty of passion here, and no baddies. For me, it’s a relief to read a story steeped in reality.

Rating: 4/5 for a well-crafted welcome addition to a great series. To Have and to Hold is out today.

Review: The Rose by Tiffany Reisz

cover - the roseBook: The Rose

Series: The Red #2

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Release date: 16 April 2019

Main characters: Ophelia Godwick, daughter of The Earl and Countess of Godwick, apple of their eye, but concealing a secret that could ruin them all. Augustine Bowman, handsome stranger who approaches Lia about a new artefact in her possession.

Plot: When Lia Godwick receives an outrageously beautiful and expensive gift for her graduation, she is struck by its beauty, but nothing can prepare her for its provenance and its significance.

Augustine Bowman is desperate to get his hands on the gift – a kylix – an ornamental cup thought to date back to Ancient Greece. His wish is to return it to its rightful place before it falls into the wrong hands. He’s willing to pay through the nose for it and sweeten the deal for Lia – if only she has the courage to accept his offer.

When a former acquaintance lands Lia in hot water, she has no choice but to accept Augustine’s offer to buy the kylix. But she’s not handing it over without knowing precisely what she stands to lose first. One taste from the cup transports Lia and August to unspeakable pleasures and fantasies – ones that feel so real the lines between reality and fantasy start to blur. Will Lia be able to part with the cup and August…?

Why you should read it: Oh my! This book’s release is timely actually, as I’m currently devouring Stephen Fry’s Heroes, (also about Greek myths) so I felt super smart reading and keeping up with a book about Greek mythology with lots of erotica added in! The plot was engaging and playful, with a delicate and contradictory heroine – innocent in many ways, yet leading a double life. Her interactions with August were sparky and full of excellent dialogue, which made me laugh and keep on reading. August was all you would want in a hero – confident, sexy and all about his partner’s pleasure. I enjoyed their verbal jousting and how quickly they became allies, then lovers. The book had all the elements I enjoy – references to great books, intrigue, romance and obstacles to be overcome. The chemistry was off the charts – it was seriously hot. It built and built and built.

What you may not like: I think if you liked The Red, there’s no reason you won’t like this – I preferred this book, as it was so vivid and so much seemed to happen in it. The characters felt real to me and I wanted them together so much! If Greek mythology and fantasy isn’t your thing you may struggle with it – but I can’t recommend it enough.

Rating: 5/5 for a well-crafted story and world to escape into. This isn’t a book to binge on, it needs to be enjoyed and savoured. And savour it, I did.

 

 

COVER REVEAL: Concerto by Skye Warren

Concerto

“Swoon-worthy, forbidden, and sexy, Liam North is my new obsession.” – Claire Contreras, New York Times bestselling author

Concerto, the highly anticipated second book in the North Security Series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren, is coming May 14th and we have the beautiful cover for you!

Samantha Brooks stands onstage as the curtain rises. Her dreams are coming true. She doesn’t know that her nightmare is coming, too. 

CONCERTO is the second book in the North Security Trilogy about the violin prodigy. OVERTURE is out now!

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HXZQGY

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2JLcOdR

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ConcertoSW

Nook: http://bit.ly/2V0BIqT

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Wp15ms

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2HWGDWg

 

Start the series with OVERTURE

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2TWpWgG

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2TPpoZz

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Overture

Nook: http://bit.ly/2su8Bj5

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2RraYCa

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ANRUDX

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2GMaxMv

About Skye Warren

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Connect with Skye

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2DEpMn9

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2SQgiir

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2GDYiBq

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2ByI2OF

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2SyDFhh

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2STxF1I

Stay up to date with Skye Warren by signing up for her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/2N8gTXG

http://www.skyewarren.com

Concerto - PO

Blog tour: Crazy For Your Love by Lexi Ryan

Book: Crazy For Your Love

Series: The Boys of Jackson Harbor #5

Author: Lexi Ryan

Release date: 9 April 2019

Main characters: Teagan Chopra, nurse and longtime friend of Carter Jackson, member of the Jackson clan, local firefighter and something of a reluctant celebrity.

Plot: Teagan loves living in Jackson Harbor. The life she has, the job she loves and the friends that surround her make up for the family she left behind in South Carolina. The choice to move to Jackson Harbor was forced upon her and she’s made the best out of a dire situation, but she’s about to find out that when you run away from a situation, you always run into yourself – or in this case, a creepy ex.

When her sister Saanvi decides to get married in Jackson Harbor, Teagan’s joy turns to dismay when she learns that her family has invited Rich Nasser – her ex who won’t take no for an answer – to be part of the wedding party. Her plan? Enlist the help of her good friend Carter to pose as her other half and hopefully dissuade Rich from pursuing her further.

Carter has always had feelings for Teagan – since she first rolled into town. She’s always shut down his advances and his flirting, so he’s always been content with her friendship, although he wishes for more. When she tells him her half-baked plan, he’s ready to be there for her, consequences be damned. When she refuses to open up to him however, he’s resolved to protect her from her ex in any way he can.

Subterfuge and half truths abound, and the pair are left with very complicated feelings for one another. Teagan is harbouring a secret, while Jackson has his own demons. Will they ever get their acts together and finally trust the other with their ugly truths?

Why you should read it: Throughout this series I have found something to love in every book. The characters are well drawn, they have depth and their fair share of problems. Teagan and Carter are no exception! I understood and felt for Teagan as her secret was one that made her feel shame and accept blame for something that was not her fault. It was an interesting journey she was on and for the most part – I was on board. Carter’s backstory was interesting too – the philandering small town playboy, who is acting out due to trauma he too is suppressing. There’s a lot to unpack and I enjoyed the story arc. The chemistry between the pair was palpable and very sexy. There’s also a fair amount of obstacles that lie in their wake. The course of true love and all that.

What you may not like: The story started off fairly lightheartedly, gathering momentum as the plot progressed, then the amount of obstacles in the way grew to almost ridiculous levels – I’m all for drama, but at one point it seemed as though all hell had broken loose. Carter was some kind of female catnip and the women were just flocking to him and causing problems. The rest of the time, it was Teagan who was standing in her own way – which after a while grated on me. Her non-communication made a bad situation even more dramatic. There is plenty of angst in this story!

Rating: 3/5 I liked Teagan and Carter, but the stress levels were off the charts. The characters worked EXTRA hard for their HEA.

 

Blog tour: Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C Cherry

Book: Eleanor & Grey

Author: Brittainy C Cherry

Series: a standalone

Release date: 8 April 2019

Main characters: Eleanor Gable, the odd girl, the misfit in school who caught Greyson East’s eye. Grey East – the boy with it all, seemingly.

Plot: Back in high school, Eleanor did everything she could to slip under the radar. She had her books and they were better friends than any popular crowd could ever be. She had a solid family, a great cousin and that was pretty much all she needed. Enter Greyson East. The all-American boy with popularity and good looks. Ellie doesn’t think someone like that could possibly have any problems in life whatsoever. The deeper she digs (despite herself) the more she learns about Grey. He’s a sensitive and kind soul who gets her and wants to get to know more about her.

Flash forward 15 years, and unique circumstances once again puts Greyson in Eleanor’s orbit – this time as nanny to his children. The carefree, fun-loving boy is gone and in his place stands a shattered, closed off human being who has no interest in revisiting their past. Eleanor must reconcile the present Greyson and accept that past Grey may be gone, this time forever. Unless she can make him care enough to fight his demons and come back to life. A tall order if ever there was one…

Why you should read it: Brittainy C Cherry fans won’t need me to tell them to read this. She’s an insanely talented writer and she taps into universal human experiences like no other. Eleanor & Grey made me smile and laugh and cry and cry and cry some more! It is full of pathos, with a very sad yet uplifting sentiment. I really enjoyed the evolving characterisations of the main characters – their younger selves preceding their more complicated, adult selves. It was a steadily paced story, full of issues to be resolved. Ellie was an outstanding heroine – loyal and patient and so good it was hard to see her constantly rebuffed and shot down. Greyson’s life had it’s ups and downs too – he goes from idealistic and gentle to shut down and distant. It was quite a transformation and the reader understands why, which makes it hard to dislike him. His pain is palpable. This story doesn’t take the simple route to its HEA – there’s a lot to be ironed out before getting to the resolution – I won’t say anymore than that!

What you may not like: There was very little I couldn’t get on board with in this story – it gave me all the feels – the characters were varied and nuanced and really relatable. The children were well characterised and felt authentic. My only comment is that the ending was a little too sweet for my sensibilities – I can’t go into detail, but it’s a growing trend in romance with blended families I’m seeing and it’s not my cup of tea.

Rating: 4/5 for a truly outstanding read – stick with it through the sad times as you will be rewarded!

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

coverBook: The Austen Playbook

Series: London Celebrities #4

Author: Lucy Parker

Release date: 22 April 2019

Main characters: Frederica Carlton, actress from a distinguished literary family, who really just wants to entertain; James ‘Griff’ Ford-Griffin, theatre critic, long-suffering son and brother to a family of dreamers.

Plot: Freddy Carlton is a talented actress who is desperate to do more work in musical theatre. Her father/manager however, has grander plans in mind. They both descend from the great Henrietta Carlton, renowned playwright and all-round legend. Her father Rupert wants Freddy to ascend to her potential and take her place amongst acting royalty. Under this weight of heavy expectation, Freddy has to tread the balance between making dear old dad happy, and pursuing her own dreams, which don’t necessarily include high drama.

When Freddy’s new project, The Austen Playbook takes her to theatre critic James Ford-Griffin’s country pile, that’s when things get really interesting. He’s been the bane of her professional life for some time. His acerbic barbs about her performances always found their mark. She finds herself drawn to his prickly exterior, and enjoys verbally jousting with him. She’s very much in danger of nursing a little crush…

Griff is not impressed when his brother tells him that a TV crew will be descending on them for the live performance of The Austen Playbook. It will entail no end of inconvenience, expense and general stress. Barely holding on to his sanity, he’s forced to go along with it while trying to wrangle his own work in progress. After his daily run ins with Freddy, he feels confounded by his feelings. She’s his complete opposite, but he finds himself looking forward to their interactions more and more. She’s endlessly optimistic while he bleeds cynicism. It can’t possibly go anywhere…

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness, where to start? There’s the fact that you have all of Austen’s greatest characters on one stage, but the biggest action and intrigue is happening in the wings – there’s back-biting, flirting and secrets – oh so many secrets! It’s delicious – all of it! The chemistry and straightforward relationship between Griff and Freddy was also very satisfying – they have misunderstandings but are mature enough to hear the other out – there’s no overblown drama for the sake of it. Their romance is steeped in realism too – the depiction of their sexy times was totally realistic – shower sex is just not possible for most of us! I wanted to cheer the fact that the heroine has some very realistic issues that made me sit up and notice. You just don’t read that in a lot of romances these days, which is fine for fantasy, but this was so refreshing.

What you may not like: I can’t think of a darn thing – the dialogue was en pointe, the characters were varied and entertaining, the story developed consistently. I was drawn into their world completely. It was so vivid. This is a series I recommend again and again.

Rating: 5/5 for a really novel concept and plot – I think the show idea would get picked up in a heartbeat! Loved every page.