Tag Archives: ARC

The Queen

By Skye Warren

Synopsis

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE MASTERPIECE DUET!

I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood’s dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I’ve always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city’s throne.

Review

I really enjoyed reading the conclusion to their story.  The Queen has emotion and plenty of twists that kept me guessing until the end.

Damon has always intrigued me from the beginning in The Pawn. A puzzle I wanted to complete and understand his mechanics. Their love story is not all hearts and roses, there is sadness, loneliness.

I loved following the way Damon protects Penny at the Den, in that room, especially when she puts the pieces of the puzzle together.  Her mathematical mind is such a wonderful part of her personality that I have loved from the first moment we met her.

Penny’s relationship with her professor was intriguing and I thought he would play more of a part and I kind of wanted to see Damon meet him.  We also get to learn more history from Damon’s upbringing.

I know this was Damon & Penny’s story but some of the Avery storyline was not fully disclosed in my opinion and I have questions.

This story ended in a lovely moment that showed not only Damon & Penny but also Gabriel & Avery and what their future holds.

The Queen

My Rating:  

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Lucas (Cold Fury Hockey # 8)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Lucas Fournier is only serious about one thing: hockey. The league’s fun-loving charmer, Luc is always up for a good prank or a great lay, and he has no intention of settling down. But being traded to the Carolina Cold Fury—and to play alongside his big brother, Max—is no joke. With another title in sight, the last thing Luc wants is to let his new teammates down. To succeed, Luc will need to keep his head in the game and the most . . . er, demanding member of his anatomy in check. But when temptation hits, Luc hits back harder.

Museum curator Stephanie Frazier has always put business before pleasure, which just about explains her nonexistent sex life. But when Stephanie meets Luc at a champagne-fueled gala, she finds herself flirting like crazy—and going home with the uninhibited athlete. For one night, she learns what passion is all about. She just never counted on the little surprise Luc leaves behind. And that’s when things really start to get . . . interesting.

Review

I’m going to start my review by saying that I love Sawyer Bennett, so it sucks to give her a low rating, but I just can’t rate LUCAS any higher than 3❤️.  Apart from the scorching hot sex, I just didn’t feel the connection between Lucas and Stephanie, and I couldn’t get my head around the type of sexual non-relationship they were trying to have.

I really liked Lucas and he’s the reason I rated this as high as I did.  There were a couple of times where he was a dick, but for the most part he was a level-headed guy with an amazing personality.  He’s nice, friendly and caring, and he’s a monster in bed.  Who can’t get down with that combination?

Stephanie, on the other hand, frustrated me to tears.  No doubt she’s a survivor, but that’s the only thing about her I liked and respected.  I was clearly not in the mood to listen to her constantly complain about how her shitty childhood affects her ability to connect with people to this day.  But what really annoyed me was that Lucas, being the great guy he is, spent the entire book trying to boost her up and showing her that he cared about her…and she never believed him.  But when a fairly new acquaintance tells her just once that she’s good enough, she suddenly believes it and is grateful that she finally has someone who believes in her.  That was a serious WTF moment for me and really cemented my dislike of her.

LUCAS is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The epilogue is told in Van’s POV and it sets us up for his book, which will be next.  Like Lucas, he’s new to the team and while we didn’t see a lot of him in this story, what we did see was a guy who was very rude, keeps to himself and who doesn’t seem very likeable.  That being said, he has me intrigued so I will be definitely be reading his book.

Lucas (Cold Fury Hockey # 8)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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Cold Fury Hockey Series

Vigor

By J C Valentine

Synopsis

USA Today and International bestselling author J.C. Valentine is back with the latest in her electrifying, dangerous, and provocative world of the Spartan Riders MC…

After escaping an abusive marriage, Spartan Riders bartender Ginger “Red” Mercury is determined to live life on her own terms. When the club’s VP declares her untouchable and stakes his own claim on her, she finds herself ready to wage war.

A year after inoculating the threat from notorious cartel leader Ricky Cruiz, Garrick “Repo” Stone, the last-standing original member of the Spartan Riders MC, has his focus on something else: monogamy. Having decided to settle down and take an ol’ lady, he has his sights set on Red…and he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to win her.

When a new threat makes itself known, threatening everything the brothers stand for and care about, they’re left scrambling to find out who’s behind it before it’s too late. With the high-stakes game of war looming over them, will Red be able to open her heart to love before outside forces pull her and Repo apart?

Review

Vigor is my first book by this author.  I could easily follow the characters and basic storyline.  I happily read this in a day as it was easy to follow.  However, in saying that I did feel the overall story could have had a bit more emotional depth for the main two characters as at times they left me frustrated.  Their relationship took a back seat during the story as we followed the drama around the MC.  I did sit back at one point and ask where are Repo and Ginger?  When they returned it took awhile for me to believe they would have a future.

Their stubbornness matched as a couple with Repo and Ginger.  At the beginning, their connection was hard to emotionally connect to. They were both holding so much back and it felt very hot and cold.

One section in the hospital if expanded would have been brilliant and solidified their underlying emotional attachment and opening up to each other.  It would have helped to have had a few scenes between these two main characters in those first few days in the hospital.  I really wanted Ginger to open up to Repo and to acknowledge her past trauma that is still affecting her.  I  then wanted Repo to be that older man that she ultimately needed and provide her stability and security.  The age difference for me worked well between these two and provided some great moments.

I do admit I was unhappy with the ending as it was so abrupt after such an emotional and dangerous time for both Gabby and Ginger.   I wanted to see the recognition between Ginger and Repo in a more emotional and in-depth manner than just getting on the back of the bike so to speak.

Vigor

My Rating:  

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Temporary

By Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Synopsis

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the same one who can ruin everything.

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…

Review

TEMPORARY was an enjoyable read that held my attention from beginning to end.  I’ve read several books by Sarina Bowen, but Sarah Mayberry is a new author for me, and given how much I enjoyed this book, I may have to check out more of her work.

I liked Grace, who has not had an easy life.  She sacrificed her dreams to take care of her teenaged sister, and she works very hard trying to create a better life for them.  Sometimes her sister would act like a spoiled brat and she certainly pushed Grace to her limits, but it was nice to see she could act like a grown up when push came to shove.

I loved Callan, who comes across as a careless playboy at first, but he’s quite the opposite when you really get to know him.  You will like him so much you’ll want to punch in the face all the people he’s loved and trusted for how they’ve betrayed him.  After the death of his uncle—the only family member he liked and respected—he took a good hard look at his life and didn’t like what he saw, so he changed who he was and I enjoyed watching him grow.

And what, exactly, was I a part of?
The silence pressed in on me as I considered the question.  I’d left Australia because I didn’t want to waste my life being Vicky’s lackey.  Instead, I’d wasted it in a dozen other insubstantial ways.
What a rebel.

TEMPORARY is told in dual POVs and while it’s currently listed as a stand-alone, it ended in a bombshell discover that left us open for a second book.  Don’t worry, we get a happy ending for Callan and Grace.  With the information uncovered at the end, if there is a second book it sounds like it would be about Callan’s sister, Claire.  If there is a second book, I will be happy to read it.

Temporary

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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Blood Guard (Mission # 1)

By Megan Erickson

Synopsis

Enter a world of immortal danger and desire—and discover an incredible fate borne of blood.

Tendra: One minute, I’m a bartender in gritty Mission City; the next, I’m whisked away by a vampire named Athan who tells me that I’m the lifeblood of his clan. It sounds unbelievable, but he’s got evidence I can’t deny. Turns out, Athan belongs to an underground society of vampires who feed only on humans with their consent. Their enemies have no such qualms, and they want me dead. The only thing standing in their way is strong, sexy Athan. And the closer we get, the more tempted I am to let Athan feed. . . .

Athan: How could I have known when I snatched this snarky, beautiful human off the streets that she would change my destiny? As a loyal soldier, I must deliver Tendra to our future king—my brother. Empowered with the blood of ten generations of the Gregorie breed, she is fated to rule as our queen. But there’s something between us that’s so intoxicating, so carnal, I can’t help wanting Tendra for myself . . . even if it’s treason.

Review

BLOOD GUARD is the first book from Megan Erickson I’ve read, and I can honestly say that it will not be the last.  I don’t read too many paranormal books any more, so it’s always good when I pick one up and enjoy it.  This one includes one fierce and protective vampire, some scorching hot cave sex, a dash of conspiracy and a dose of betrayal.  What’s not to like?

In BLOOD GUARD we are introduced to three warring vampire clans, and it really is a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.  You have the Gregorie clan (good), the Valarian clan (bad) and the Quellen clan (ugly), and all three have their different beliefs on how vampires and humans should interact.  Hence why they’re at war.  As it’s the first book in a new series, I felt the story was more focused on giving us the lay of the land instead of the romance between Athan and Tendra.  Don’t get me wrong, there is chemistry and romance, but for me it wasn’t what stood out in this story.  That’s not a bad thing, just something I thought worth mentioning.

BLOOD GUARD is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Athan and Tendra.  It’s the first book in the Mission series and the ending did set us up for book 2, BLOOD VEIL, which will be about Athan’s brother, Idris.  BLOOD VEIL is currently scheduled to come out in April 2018.

Blood Guard (Mission # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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Mission Series

Blemished

By Juliet Braddock

Synopsis

A tragic accident in the middle of an immobilizing blizzard joins Gavin Fletcher and Chloe Cabot, uniting two tarnished souls on a life-changing journey that defies the odds of their haunting pasts.

Beautiful and imaginative, Chloe struggles to survive the daily grind of life in Chicago. An artist who never dared to explore her dreams, she takes pride in her independence and fends for herself at all costs.

A young advertising executive who’s rising fast within the industry, Gavin has built an ordered and precise life, but he’s much more lonesome than he’ll ever admit.

Both exist in worlds veiled in secrecy.

On the surface, Gavin’s life exudes perfection. He’s building his own thriving business, but beneath that slick exterior, he’s hiding the truth about his enigmatic lifestyle.

Chloe, on the other hand, has been dealt a rough hand in life. As details of her heart-wrenching past emerge, she fears she might lose Gavin for good.

Together, though, they discover solace in each other’s arms. While Chloe blossoms as Gavin’s submissive under his tough but tender tutelage, she wonders if he might just be the one to break the façade of fear that surrounded her heart.

Just as emotion transforms Gavin and Chloe from reluctant strangers into unlikely but enduring lovers, heartbreak strikes their relationship again, forcing an unforeseen reversal of roles.

Review

Firstly, I love the cover of Blemished and it fits with this story.

I loved the beginning when Chloe and Gavin first meet and he provides her a safe haven.  Gavin cares for Chloe but also opens her heart to passionate possibilities.  This part of the story I loved and then following their building sexual chemistry was fantastic.  I loved seeing Gavin help Chloe recover and start to build her future with her artistic aspirations.

Blemished’s flow slowed for me during the middle and I found myself pushing through. Gavin to me lost some of his edginess and it felt bogged down.  Surprised is an understatement with the turn of events for Gavin after the Island holiday.  To be truthful I actually did not like this part of the story and also I have to mention the turtles annoyed me somewhat.

Chloe, I loved from the first chapter to the last, she had such strength and her personal story was tragic but inspiring.  I really did think her past would provide a more suspenseful outcome than what it did, it kind of fizzled out for me.  I found the whole scene in Gavin’s office lacking somewhat.  Chloe to me owned this story, she made me want to turn those pages when I felt let down by Gavin.

In conclusion, loved the ending, it brought me back into the love story of Chloe and Gavin,  I felt hopefulness for this couple.

Quote:  “We’re all blemished in some way” “Gives us character. Makes us human”

Blemished

My Rating:  

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Sweet Deception

By Ellie Jean

Synopsis

I can’t let any man get too close to me…ever. But he’s the only man who has made me want to risk everything.

On my knees, looking up at Alex Raven changed my life irrevocably. Self-assured and powerful, his presence commanded attention…especially that of women. Intoxicated by what I wasn’t allowed, I entangled Alex in my web of lies and deceit…better known as my past and present. Shouldering his own secrets, he freely gave me his trust and protection. But would pulling him into my world be the future I so craved? Or mean the end for us both?

Review

Firstly, cannot believe this is a debut novel, Sweet Deception had me twisted in knots from the beginning.  Isla’s story is full of heartache but yet hope and I immediately connected to her.

Around the middle, I was beside myself with fear of the unknown and I had so many questions and ideas.

When Isla takes a trip in this story I literally had to put the book down and take some deep breaths and calm my nerves.   I had to stop for 15 minutes and put on my big girl panties and travel this road with her.

There is a cliffhanger of sorts but it actually completes this section of Alex & Isla’s romantic journey.  For me it ended perfectly and then were are given a sneak peak of Sweet Redemption any how the characters are moving forward.

Alex was a stunning alpha mob character and then throw in his hot three friends  – tingles in all the right places.  It was great to see new friendships form and alliances take place.

This story flowed perfectly, it has the right amount of highs but also some incredible lows that you experience.  At times I too like Isla was trying to control my breathing and not panic.   Her anxiety attacks and the way she has the ability to compartmentalize her life is incredIble and shows her inner strength.

The secrets and revelations are amazing and I cannot believe right until the end we are still learning about Isla and her family history.  This is riveting reading and I so wish it was a standalone as I could not put this down.

Sweet Deception has all the ingredients of a Mob romance, it is dark, deceitful but also sensual and hopeful – I want so much more of Isla and Alex.

Sweet Deception

My Rating:  

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The Road Back (Limelight Series #2)

By Piper & Jack Davenport

Synopsis

18+ for language and sexual situations…

Hadley Simon risked everything to earn her spot as the manager for America’s fastest rising band. They have been invited to open for rock royalty in a once in a lifetime summer tour, and it means she finally gets to do what she loves. She is the consummate professional and knows how to keep her emotions in check…until a sexy as hell drummer enters her life and turns her world upside down.

Jack Henry is living with his demons in relative seclusion…until he’s convinced to go back out on the road with his old band. The death of his wife ruined him, and he has fought his way out from under a pile of easy women, booze, and blow, but doesn’t know if he can resist the old temptations that nearly killed him. When he meets the beautiful and sassy manager of his opening act, he feels things he hasn’t in a very long time, bringing to the surface ghosts he thought were exorcised long ago.

But she is his new drug of choice, and he doesn’t know what scares him more…pursuing a life with her or the thought of one without her.

Review

What a fantastic read The Road Back was for me.  I loved the beginning, middle and ending, I feel so satisfied.

A favourite character for me was Hadley from the first book of this series.  There was something about this woman that just clicked.  The age difference between her and Jack was perfect for me and provided great moments of him stepping up for Hadley.  The way he cares for her during the road trip and ultimately stands up and claims her was pure hearts & roses.

The Road Back has humour, suspense and flows perfectly.  I could not put this down. It is just such a great rocker romance about being on the road and amongst family.  Rex & Roxie return as do Bam & Lucy and they definitely influence some of the storyline and provide some wonderful moments along the way.

Hadley & Jack’s connection both physical and emotional soothed my soul and sung to my heart, this was pure romance with an edge.

Finally, I was so happy with the way this story ended for Hadley & Jack.  I loved this rocking romantic tale and I could have read so much more on these two soulmates.

Quote:  You’re the dream I thought was lost

The Road Back (Limelight Series #2)

My Rating:  

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Long For Me (Luminous #3)

By Stacey Lynn

Synopsis

I’ve seen what happens when you give everything to a man. That’s not what I want. I won’t have my heart crushed in anyone’s fist.

Then he changed everything.

Him. Bennett Ashby. My boss.

Seeing him at Luminous, dressed in leather pants and wielding a whip…

Do I crave this?

My mind says no, but my body is starting to have very different ideas.

Bennett

I knew Rebecca Morales would be the perfect assistant. That’s why I hired her.

I didn’t know that working with her every day would lead to temptation—to own her, to possess her.

When she walked into Luminous, I knew I was screwed. Dipping your pen in the company ink is never smart, but we both agreed what happens at the club stays there.

One night and then it’s back to business tomorrow.

Except I don’t want just one night with Rebecca. I want them all.

Review

Long For Me had all the magical components of an intense and erotic romance.  Bennett and Rebecca had perfect chemistry and their story kept me engaged.

Whilst I have not read the other two Luminous stories you can read Long For Me as a standalone. Meeting both previous couples from the Luminous series it will make you want to read those two stories.  Rebecca’s neighbors were wonderful and this friendship circle continued to strengthen by supporting and guiding her, the dinner party was interesting!

The physical scenes between Bennett and Rebecca covered the whole range from erotic to sensual.  Bennett cared for Rebecca and it was interesting to see him break down her deeply seated walls from her upbringing.  Bennett had an amazing ability to read Rebecca and bring out her inhibitions.

A favorite part for me was their business relationship and how Rebeccas shone in that area and that Bennett did acknowledge her skills.  Long For Me was more than just a BDSM story, personally, for me, I savored Rebecca and her growth as a woman making her own decisions.

Long For Me (Luminous #3)

My Rating:  

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In This Breeze (Lake Shore University #1)

By Kathleen Maree

Synopsis

A nerd. A quiet art student. A nobody.

Or perhaps, just some girl.

These are the non-spoken titles I’ve been known as since I started at Lake Shore Uni almost two years ago now. When given the chance to leave my horrific childhood behind – I didn’t hesitate. In fact, I was ecstatic to have the door hit me on the ass on my way out of town; because the only two things I actually loved in my traumatic life…

Were coming with me.

And whilst the three of us shared the same beat-up truck when we moved here – that’s where the similarities unfortunately end.

Ethan ‘The Mule’ Jones, is kind of a super star on campus. Everywhere he goes he seems to draw attention. I guess that’s what happens when you’re headlining papers as the star basketballer for the LS Eagles. But to me, he’s just Eth. A boy who still spends his Friday nights snuggled up watching movies with me, and who walks me to classes just to make sure I get there okay. He is my best friend in every way, and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.

And then there’s Jase.

The truth is I knew from the moment I met Jase at the local skate park, when he was smoking a cigarette and teasing Eth for his poor skating ability, of how fiercely protective he was about those he cared for. From the time he blew his warm breath over my injured knee, to when he thankfully intervened on the most horrific day of my life. A day, that still haunts me when I am alone in the dark.

He saved me.

But Jase has his own demons too. Even if he doesn’t go looking for it, trouble always seems to find him. Which is why he has been absent from our lives for the past two years.

Sometimes I wonder what he’s doing.

Quite often I worry if he’s okay.

And I always, always, think about him.

Even though I shouldn’t

Review

In this Breeze is a college romance that involves three friends and lots of drama.  This is a new author for me and I enjoyed the story although some of the drama within the friendship triangle did wear me down.

At times I found myself quite angry with Bree and her inability to make decisions however she is only young and hindsight is a great thing.  Ethan immediately had my heart, he was such a good friend to Bree and he is genuinely in love with this girl.  The way Ethan cares for her and is so protective and does not succumb to peer group pressure is surprising.

Jase is troubled however he and Bree do share a traumatic event so have a deep connection.  Jase is definitely a bad boy however his moments with Bree are special and sensitive.

The second half of this story I enjoyed far more than the first and the ending definitely although not a cliffhanger it does leave you wanting more.

I cannot wait to read about Jase in the next novel.  I am truly torn with this friendship it is driving me crazy!

In This Breeze (Lake Shore University #1)

My Rating:  

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