Tag Archives: Emotional

Behind the Bars

By Brittany C. Cherry

Synopsis

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.

Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.

Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.

Caged.

Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, I became her darkest storm. 

Review

Behind the Bars is an extremely intense emotional read that revolves around two people being bullied in different ways.  Jasmine by her mother and then Elliott by students at their school.  They have a bond through music and singing.

This is my first book by this author and I have struggled with the pace and to me, there was so much darkness and not enough hope or lightness.  I admit I really struggle with stories around bullying and this was extreme with severe outcomes that broke my heart.  This story brought tears to my eyes and at times I didn’t  know if I was strong enough to finish with these characters.  I admit if I had not been given an ARC I may have put it down as it upset me so much.

One character they gave me hope and helped me was Ray, he was a shining angel in this story for me.

I also loved the Epilogue, it does give you the happy ever after which I desperately needed for Elliott and Jasmine.

Quote:  “You are the lyrics, the harmony, and the melody. You were, are, and always will be my favorite song.”

Behind the Bars

My Rating:  

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Roomies

By Christina Lauren

Synopsis

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Review

Roomies is a standalone romance about two people with different passions. Calvin who only wants to make music and Holland who wants to find her muse again.

Calvin, who is here on an expired visa, is given the opportunity of his lifetime.  He has to turn it down because of his immigration status.  But Holland believes Calvin is the best for her uncle’s show and will do anything to make sure he will join it.

I found that the story started a little slow but I realized quickly that the pace of the story reflected the pace of Holland’s life at the moment.  She was not moving through life very quickly.  She earned her degree in writing but after graduating the words didn’t come to her very easily so she started working for her uncle selling merchandise for his show.

Holland keep herself busy stalking Calvin until she was attacked on the subway where he was busking.  But it wasn’t until this crazy idea of how to get Calvin a legal status to work in this country did this story really start moving for me.  And it is at that point that Holland’s life started to move.  Her creative side started to come to the surface.

I really liked the way the story went.  Strangers that needed something from each other to two people who were passionate about each other.  It was obvious that Calvin was unique and cared very deeply for Holland. And Holland obsession turned into a relationship. Both had to get over hurdles to finally get to a good place in their lives.

This story was very touching and fun to see how these two found their way through this crazy arrangement.

Roomies

My Rating:  

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The Charmer’s Gambit (Mershano Empire #2)

By Lexi C Foss

Synopsis

He set his sights on the wrong girl.
Me.

Law school taught me a lot of things, but nothing prepared me to deal with this determined, hotter-than-Hell millionaire. Don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered. But resisting Will Mershano is harder than passing the bar. He’s everything: sexy, confident, intelligent. And he wants me.

When he hires my firm to represent Mershano Vineyards, I’m left with no choice but to work right alongside him—or forfeit my job. There’s only one problem. He doesn’t know about my past or how it stalks me at every turn. All he wants is a little flirtatious fun, but Will’s playing a dangerous game.

And there’s more at stake than just my heart. . .

**Although this book is part of a series, it is a standalone novel that can be enjoyed without reading the other Mershano Empire books**

Review

I have not read the first book and you do not need to, this is standalone. Will Mershano hooked me from the first chapter. He has this remarkable strength and integrity and when you meet Rachel you know he will be her warrior in the end.

The build-up with Ryan playing his games is intense and I was simply so stressed as each chapter progresses as you know there is going to be some explosive moments in this story.

Chapter 16 is a standout when the dynamic changes between Will and Rachel and his perceptiveness that something is amiss in Rachel’s life.

The author wove a tale of taking a chance on new love despite barriers no woman wants to endure.  The first half of this book I was on tenterhooks waiting for the past to collide with her future.

Will was perfect for her, his ability to read her body language and slowly bring her to the belief she could face her demons with his trust was brilliant.

So many moments of happiness in this book but also despair that made you appreciate the light.  Rachel was so intelligent and her banter with Will in the professional sense was integral to this story and their growth as a couple.

Towards the end when her brother and his friend join the story it definitely made me want to continue the journey with all these characters. Upon finishing I immediately went and added the next two books in this series along with a new story on Kincaid.

Charmer’s Gambit (Mershano Emire #2)

My Rating:  

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Wolf Hunger (SWAT #7)

By Paige Tyler

Synopsis

Wolf shifter and SWAT Officer Max Lowry falls hard for she-wolf Lana Mason, but things spiral out of control when wolf hunters track her down, and Max realizes Lana has no idea who—or what—she really is.

Review

Wolf Hunger is the seventh installment in the SWAT series.  Max, like all the other SWAT members had a tough transition.  He still has a hard time controlling his shift especially if he is confronted with domestic disturbance calls. Lana is just back from college and moved back in with her parents.  Her dad is also Deputy Cheif.

I loved Max.  He had such a rough childhood that led to his transition then he works hard to fight for the kids that are suffering.  The moment he meets Lana he is blown away by her. Unfortunately she has a very protective father who also happens to out rank Max.

This is a very confusing time for Lana.  She doesn’t know how special she is yet.  But she does know that she is crazy for Max and she isn’t going to let anyone make relationship decisions for her.

I think that this is my favorite so far in this series. There is definitely a rollercoaster of emotions that happen both inside of their relationship and with the other parts of this story.  There is still “the one” theme that is happening but I love the fresh take with Lana’s situation.  Plus, we go deeper into what the Hunters are doing and who is involved. I still love all the guys and the advice they give because each of them may know that they have someone out there but winning over that person is another story.

I love this series!!!  Each member of SWAT brings something new and you want to fall in love with each of them.  I can’t wait for the next installment.

Wolf Hunger

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Author:  Paige Tyler

Max (House of Payne #6)

By Stacy Gail

Synopsis

Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is across the street from the Mad Cow diner, but it might as well be on another planet as far as waitress Paradise Simone is concerned. She’s a good girl from Waukegan with a past she’d rather forget, and a future that goes only as far as the next day. What does she know about superstars and paparazzi?

But Pari does know danger when she sees it, and tattooist Max Kulagin has it written all over him. A proper Waukegan girl should know to steer well clear, but she can’t resist Max when he leaves beautiful, intimate art sketched out on cheap diner napkins.

Beautiful, intimate art…of her.

Max knows ugliness. He was born in it. Raised in it. Had it shoved down his throat every goddamn day. So when he stumbles across true beauty, he worships it. There’s a deep sensuality in the waitress who likes to suck on her pen whenever he’s around, and he’s just the man to bring that beauty out in her. She might be a lady in the street, but one look at Pari tells him she’s going to be a freak in the bed.

And in the shower.

And while he’s driving with her head going to town in his lap.

The life Max leads might be in the spotlight, but it’s Pari who gets caught in the glare. When her past catches up to her, it’s her life that holds all the excitement, and not in a good way. But there’s no force on earth that can take Max’s beautiful Paradise away now that he’s finally found it.

Review

Max is book 6 of the House of Payne series and is a stand-alone. I have not read the other books as yet. You do not have to read the others to enjoy this, House of Payne provides merely a backdrop to Pari and Max’s love story.

Pari is a beautiful character and her relationship with her sister is portrayed in an honest and realistic way.  The sister’s complicated history is what has brought Pari’s to her current life in hiding.

Maxi is wonderful, he is protective yet brash in the way he eventually gets Pari to soften her armour.  He persists with his desire for her and allows her to find her heart and hope again.

There is actually plenty of humour in this story which is surprising.  It is placed at moments that are perfect to the flow of the story.

Max and Pari’s sex scenes are aplenty and they are varied and very enjoyable to read, he is definitely dominant in that respect.

This story is concluded as all readers wish, you get to see them into the future and they are simply a wonderful couple to read about.

Quote:  “Happiness. Belonging. Family” “I see forever in you”

Max (House of Payne #6)

My Rating:  

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Misadventures of a Virgin

By Meredith Wild

Synopsis

It’s been years since June Bell shared a stolen moment with her girlhood crush, Kase McCasker. It’s been just as long since Kase’s father nixed the sale of the McCasker farm to expand the grounds of the Bell’s grand hotel. Now that Kase is back home for good, June might be the only person who can persuade him to reconsider the abandoned plan. But how can she face him again after he left her without a word?

Four years ago, unexpected news shook the foundation of Kase McCasker’s world. Escaping Falls Edge for college was the perfect excuse to chase his demons and bury his pain. Now, with a degree in hand and a void he can’t fill, he’s back in the little mountain town he thought he’d never call home again. Searching for purpose, he’s determined to put down roots and take over the struggling farm that’s been in his family for generations.

Time and distance haven’t taken the edge off his preoccupation with June, the spitfire daughter of his father’s rival. He hasn’t forgotten their time together and all the things they did and didn’t do. One look at her has him reconsidering the future and making a dangerous deal to win her over. Is a chance at her heart worth risking everything else?

Review

Misadventures of a Virgin is a mix of new adult meets second chance.  I just love Meredith Wild’s style of writing.  It really makes me never want to put the book down.  Kase and June are so perfect for each other.  They both have difficult family histories that need to come out before they can move forward.

I really loved Kase.  He is so complicated but he has only had eyes for June.  Unfortunately the timing was off when they first tried to get together and that left June confused.  Fast forward four years and Kase is back and he has a plan.

June was a fantastic mix of innocence and driven determination. She believes in her father’s vision for the hotel and wants to see it through so she agrees to Kase’s plan.

There is almost a story within this story that revolves around their fathers. It really got the kids to this point in their lives were the could start thinking about the future. I really love how Meredith put this story together.  She definitely put the right blend of emotion into this story.  The pacing was perfect.  I didn’t want to put this book down.  The last few chapters were the best.  And the sex scenes were hot with the right amount of kink.

Misadventures of a Virgin

My Rating:  

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Blind Magic

By Natalina Reis

Synopsis

Will her promise to heal the man who’s captured her heart put him in danger? In Natalina Reis’s whimsical novel of spells, desire, and unwavering determination, a hot detective with a painful past and an impulsive witch armed with potent tea are linked by an instant connection and the promise of possibility.

Marcy has never been in love. But when Oliver Dawson walks into her store, she falls head over heels. Unable to shake the feeling that she and Oliver were made for each other, for the first time in her life, the quirky witch considers casting a love spell for herself.

Oliver’s life is turned upside down when he’s shot and almost killed. Even though events haven’t been kind to the sexy police detective, he’s determined to make the best of his situation. But still, nothing could have prepared him for feisty Marcy breaking down his defenses, nor the healing tea that leaves him gagging.

Unconventional and hell-bent on getting her man, the little witch soon weaves her magic and captures his heart. He’s more than willing to give it to her, but when faced with his painful and turbulent past, neither are sure they’ll get their happily ever after.

Review

Blind Magic is a sweet romantic comedy.  Oliver is a detective that lost his sight on a protection detail and is having hallucinations.  Marcy is a white witch that helped one of Oliver’s friends and Oliver is hoping that she can cure him of his hallucinations.

From the moment Oliver met Marcy he found her intriguing and different.  He wants to get to know her better.  Marcy doesn’t know why Oliver is interested in her but she is completely smitten by him.

I really liked Marcy.  She was different and awkward at times.  Marcy knew who she was and totally embraced it.  She wasn’t going to change herself for anyone. Oliver is great.  He doesn’t want Marcy to change even though she is nothing like what his family had in mind for him.  He already had what had what his family had in mind for him and it didn’t work out.  In fact that part of his life is still haunting him.

This is the first time I have read Natalina Reis and this story is cute and adorable.  I love all the little insecurities that play out in this story.  These two characters make each other stronger. I really had fun getting to know both Marcy and Oliver.

Blind Magic

My Rating:  

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Savage

By L.A. Fiore

Synopsis

They call him a monster.
Pale blue eyes as cold as ice that see right through you.
He’s hard.
He’s damaged.
He’s dangerous.
He lives in a castle fit for a fairy tale, but he’s no prince.
He’s savage.
He’s brutal.
He’s a killer.
By an act of fate, our worlds collide.
They call him a monster, but he is my salvation.

Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. 

Review

Firstly, I loved Savage, it was a fantastic story of romance, darkness, traumatic events and redemption.  It was imperative to know both characters history as their connection made total sense.

Savage has a strong and solid mystery element to it’s story which I loved along with all the connections that are revealed at the end. Consequently, I could not stop turning the pages of this story, the pacing for me was good.

Lizzie was simply an amazing character.  The storyline around her painting and how it provided her source of strength and beauty in her life was soothing. She had an ability to break down barriers and she did that with Brogan. As a result, she gave him love and he became the wolf at her door.

A favourite supporting character who became a warrior was Lizzie’s father. Further, when her father and Brogan joined forces to stand strong for her, he redeemed himself in my eyes.

Brogan was perfection in my eyes, alpha protective and so smart. While Brogan was dominant, his interactions with supporting characters showed he had empathy and love to give.

Finally, this story has it all, romance, mystery, suspense and passionate scenes. I was not ready to leave these characters and the author’s epilogue allows us to see their happy ever after.

Quote:  “You’re scary, intimidating too, but I know a kindred spirit when I see one. Life hasn’t been very kind to either of us.”

Savage

My Rating:  

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Bound by Shadows (McAllister Justice Series #2)

By Reily Garrett

Synopsis

The architect of fear employs many forms.

Kidnapping and murder never crossed Kaylee’s mind when seeking a fresh start in Portland, a new beginning to shed the remnants of tragedy dogging her steps. After escaping from an underground cage, she fights to stay one step ahead of the killer bent on silencing his only witness. Kaylee.

Two months after dodging a sociopathic murderer’s best efforts, Caden McAllister flounders within a social sink hole, unable to move forward, too stubborn to step back. Guarded and wary, the private investigator’s stagnant lifestyle detonates into chaos when a battered and bloody young waif stumbles into his care.

Framed for a murdering a past lover, Caden must clear his name and overcome his charge’s doubts while keeping her out of the sex-slave trade. When betrayal ends with Kaylee’s re-capture, Caden must conquer his past and risk all or lose the one he has come to love.

Murder, mystery, underground tunnels, and romance are intertwined in this standalone romantic thriller, the second installment of the McAllister Justice Series.

Review

Bound by Shadows is book 2 in the McAllister Justice Series. This story centers around Caden, who is one of the McAllister bothers, and Kaylee.

Kaylee was kidnapped but managed to escape the people who took her.  But she left behind another woman vowing to send help.  She makes it to the police station and who does she find there but one of the boys she grew up with.

I have to say that I was really looking for to this book.  I really liked Caden in Digital Velocity.  This book was just a little flat for me.  The beginning was extremely strong and suspenseful.  But after the beginning the story slowed down and it wasn’t until seventy percent in that it picked back up again.  I also felt that Kaylee should have been seeing a therapist to help her deal with her brother’s death because she was far from having dealt with it.  Her brother Reese was mentioned a lot without adding a lot to the story.  I almost wish that he was wasn’t mentioned as much.

Caden still has a great relationship with his brothers and Lexi.  He is having trouble from the encounter that he had with Lexi in book 1.  But this did help him become closer to Kaylee.  Again, I think that his issues were another character in the book that was mentioned a lot but did not add a lot to the story.

I will read this book again because I really did wanted to know Caden’s story and to see where Reily Garrett was taking the bothers.

Bound by Shadows

My Rating:  

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Bulletproof Butterfly

By Anna Brooks

Synopsis

I wasn’t a rookie, but I made a mistake because I was selfish, impulsive, and headstrong.

I was also in love.

My desire for her overwhelmed me. Consumed me. Distracted me.

To protect her, I stood motionless as my partner pried her from the security of my arms. I watched as she fought his hold. I even listened when she screamed that she hated me.

For years I’ve been patient, I’ve been smart, and I’ve gone by the book. But now… it’s finally over.

It’s time to get my girl back.

Review

Firstly, I love the cover of Bulletproof Butterfly, it is so Jay and I could imagine this guy throughout the whole story.

Livvie’s journey is highly confronting, her depth of despair will have you questioning how you would cope, she was inspiring to me.

Jay I fell in and out of love with as this story progressed, he did lose me in the middle of the story.  I cannot pinpoint why, however i was emotionally invested in Livvie and she was hurting and I blamed Jay when I should not have.

I have to say I struggled with the pace until around chapter 10 and then I was hooked and could not put this down.  Livvie was an amazing character and her emotional strength kept me turning the pages.  To be able to follow her process her immense feelings of loneliness, anger and fear broke my heart many times.  At times I became frustrated with the story continually returning to before Livvie was forced to leave Jay, in hindsight, it was probably because I was eager for them to reunite.

I am very much looking forward to reading Opal and Ryan’s story, that was a lovely addition.

Quote:  I feel betrayed, lonely, scared. Just …. all the things. I have never been this mad before.

Bulletproof Butterfly

My Rating:  

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