Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Jet by Jay Crownover

Jet (Marked Men, #2)

Jet by Jay Crownover
Published May 28th 2013

About the book:
With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.

Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?

My Thoughts:
There is something about this author's writing that is so perfect to me. Her books flow seamlessly and I found it impossible to put this down - I loved every word. If I thought Rule was fantastic - Jet completely blew me away. And when I wanted to be angry at both Jet or Ayden at times, the author made me see their points of view so amazingly that I felt like I could relate to them and their circumstances. I fell in love with both of them and absolutely loved their story.

Jet is the lead singer in a local metal band, runs his own studio, and is dealing with family issues. He’s always been content with hooking up with random groupies and just living his life how he wants, as long as he always has his music. He wasn’t expecting one girl could change his entire view on love and relationships.

Ayden Cross was a puzzle, that every time I thought I was close to solving, proved to have five extra pieces and no corners.

Ayden is attending Denver University, determined to live a completely different life from the one she ran from in Kentucky. She knows she wants a stable career and relationship and has worked really hard to convince everyone she’s someone different then the girl she was in Kentucky, hiding all of her secrets from her closest friends. Her plan doesn’t include falling for the sexy, talented and panty-melting Jet, who doesn’t appear to have any goals or future planned.

Jet Keller was all kinds of temptation wrapped up in too-tight pants and with too many personal demons hidden in those dark, golden-rimmed eyes.

Both Jet and Ayden run around with the same group of friends (her best friend is dating one of his best friends) and they can’t deny the attraction they feel for each other. One night Ayden throws caution out the window and gives into her attraction for Jet, hitting on him – and he shoots her down, unwilling to corrupt the girl he thinks is too good for him.

Fast forward a year and Jet has become Ayden’s roommate, moving into the house she shares with her friend, Cora. Both Jet & Ayden try everything in their power to fight their feelings for each other and to remain friends, with no avail. Their constant resistance didn’t bother me because I loved the intense buildup of their relationship. I was able to understand and sympathize with the reasons they both had for fighting their growing attraction for each other.

This is definitely the type of book where the two main characters do a lot of denying and fighting their love when it’s obvious they are meant to be together. But it was that back and forth that made the book so good. You also had their friends helping them out along the way, giving them advice and guidance. Can’t help but adore every single person in this group of friends - I love them all!

What I loved most was the undeniable connection and chemistry that scorched between Jet & Ayden. It was clear to me from the beginning that these two were perfect for each other, they complimented each other and most importantly would understand each other so much, if they finally let their walls down and shared their secrets.

The suspense of whether they were ever going to be honest with each other about their pasts was intense and had me unable to put the book down. They both were holding so much back, afraid of getting really close to someone and letting them know the REAL them. But when they finally give in to each other – it was incredible!

This man, who was all metal and tattoos that bled out anger and frustration, really had the softest and kindest heart I had ever encountered in my life.

When you find someone, someone who gets you, who understands you, it’s worth fighting for.

'I could see forever with you, and could promise you every day that it’ll just be me and you.'

I’m absolutely in love with this author’s writing style and can’t wait for her next book about Rome! This one was easily added to my favorite list. A total roller coaster of emotions – but totally worth the ride!

5 Suns

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

Cut & Run (Cut & Run #1)
Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Published on  September 1, 2008 by Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Amazon
About the book
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.

Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he's paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it's hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic clich: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.

Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer's knife.

My Thoughts:
My first attachment to M/M was Qhuinn and Blay from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There was just something about these two men that totally grabbed me and I was addicted to them.  Unfortunately after reading their story in the latest BDB release I was very disappointed and thought I would never find what I had hoped for when I picked up their book. Boy was I wrong!  Ty and Zane are everything that I wanted Qhuay to be and more!  I am so glad that I picked this book up!  I will always love Qhuay, but Ty and Zane are my new addiction!

Ty and his badarse self gets paired with Zane to investigate a serial killer.  This killer is like no other and they find that he might be someone on the inside.  This case was intense and I found myself on the edge of my seat the entire time.  Sometimes side stories in books bother me, but not this one.  I guessed the killer really early on, but it still didn't stop me from loving the mystery. 

The main story is Ty and Zane's relationship and it was beyond explosive.  These two I just have no words for.  I felt their struggles and I was so surprised at how their roles with each other changed mid story.  It felt right for the story though and honestly for the first time in a long time I can say that this story was more realistic than fiction.  People don't go through what these two went through and come through fine and dandy.  The authors let both characters have scars and they showed.  I really appreciated this because it made them all the more real and it showed the damage that was done.  I will say these two have a long road ahead of them, but I plan to be front and center to watch it all unfold.

Ty is by far one of my favorite characters EVER!  From page one he had my attention and even though I love Zane too, Ty holds my heart.  His humor and well just everything about him is fanfreakingtastic!  He is a Recon Marine need I say more??!! I think I tagged at least 40 different parts of the story just because of him.

“Zane’s good hand flashed out and smacked Ty upside the back of the head. “Ow! What the hell?” Ty cried as he rubbed his head and huffed. “You’re lucky I repress the Instakill for you,” he muttered.” 

LOVE him!  Plus after reading this I knew I was never going to be able to put these books down.

“It was now or never. Zane took a slow, deep breath and ducked his chin, tilted his head sideways, and slid his lips firmly against Ty’s.” 

That part right there did me in.   These two danced around each other so much and when the moment finally happened it was everything I could have hoped for and so much more.   I can't describe that moment but *sigh* it was just brilliant.  I also have to mention the honestly between Ty and Zane.  With so much alpha going on I honestly thought they wouldn't ever talk or give in, but from the get go you get to see each of them let their guards down and I loved it.  Their confessions may have been in hushed whispers but they heard each other loud and clear.  And I cannot wait to hear more!

5 Suns

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): Live For You (Boys of the South #1) by Marquita Valentine

Today, we are joining ATOMR for the blog tour of Marquita Valentine's book Live For You.
Live For You (Boys ofthe South ~Book 1) by Marquita Valentine
Published May 29th, 2013
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
About the book
On the surface, twenty-two year old Cole Morgan is exactly what any girl would be proud to take home to meet her parents: He’s charming, intensely handsome and goal-oriented...Only he has some secrets of his own, which include provoking bar fights and a former drug-addict of a mother slowly wasting away in a medical facility.

At barely twenty, Violet Lynn is Country Music's hottest star, until one night of partying gets out of control. Violet ends up in jail and on TMZ. Suddenly, she’s the girl least likely to be invited anywhere. Sick of the drama and keeping secrets, she runs away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi to her grandmother’s home in Forrestville, North Carolina.

A chance meeting knocks Cole off his feet, but he doesn’t recognize Violet for who she is. In fact no one does and Violet plans to keep it that way.

Circumstances, however annoying, keep throwing Violet and Cole together. Unable to stop themselves they give into the inevitable.

But when Nashville is ready to forgive and forget, Violet is forced to choose between Cole and claiming her spot as the new and improved Princess of Country Music.

Will Violet and Cole have the courage to live for their dreams...Or their hearts?

My Thoughts

Live For You by Marquita Valentine tells the story of an unlikely pair that is brought together by chance. Cole Morgan is busy sustaining the family bar business as a means of providing for his little sister while his mother recovers from a substance addiction. He constantly finds himself in trouble with the law, but with the help of his brother and friends, he’s able to barely keep his head above water. Violet Lynn has recently returned to Forestville to live with her grandmother after a horrible accident and dramatic fall from grace as a Nashville singer.

When Cole and Violet collide, their relationship is marred with constant struggles, deep seeded secrets and a choice of whether being together is worth the sacrifices they will each have to pay in order to make it work.

Overall, I have to say these two characters intrigued me. They were both extremely volatile and I never knew what to expect from one scene to the next. I liked how they came together and fought to make it work. Cole’s acceptance of Violet’s mistakes was heartfelt and believable. I never doubted that he fell hard for her and she for him.

However, there were several characters that were introduced into the storyline that didn’t feel fully developed. I would have liked to learn more about Lacey and Wyatt, but I suspect they might get their own story soon. Cole’s mom and brother seemed to constantly hang by the sidelines and I was left curious about what happened to them and where they might be headed.

As far as Violet’s fall from grace, I feel I was only given surface information. There seemed to be more to that night than what was shared, and I’m curious exactly how the entire night, as well as the accident transpired. Violet’s relationship with her parents was a mystery to me as well. Being fed only tidbits of information here and there left me wondering what I might be missing.

Overall though, I liked the characters and I enjoyed the story, so a generous three stars from me.
3 Suns
**Reviewers received a complimentary Advanced Reader Copy of Live for You by the author in exchange for their honest thoughts/review of the book. The provided review copy was not a finished copy on sale. Reviews should be based on content and not editing as some things were changed in the finished copy.

About the Author
Nationally Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man -- and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

Author Social Media Links:
Website  |   Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  | Pintrest

Be sure to enter this tour-wide giveaway for:
(1)  Print copy of Live For You – International
(1)  $75 Amazon Gift Card – open to countries able to accept Amazon Gift Cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts, and excerpt click here or the tour button below.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Until I Break by M. Leighton

Until I Break
Until I Break by M. Leighton
Publication Date: May 12th 2013
About the book: "I’m intrigued. Tempted beyond what I’ve ever been before. To know her, to open her up. To break her."

In love, sometimes what you fear most is exactly what you need.

Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control.

And she doesn’t exist.

Samantha Jansen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn’t know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She is scarred—deeply scarred—by a past she can’t let go of and a present she can’t make peace with.

Samantha’s dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare.

When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be.

Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her.

The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both.

**This book may be read as a stand-alone, as the story of Alec and Samantha comes to a conclusion in this book**


My Thoughts:
  “Although he’s nothing more than a product of my imagination, he’s both my wildest fantasy and my most terrifying nightmare.” Until I Break is a dark and mesmerizing tale of two broken people intensely drawn to each other. The question is, will they help mend or will they break each other beyond repair? I was utterly consumed by this story! I’ve read a M. Leighton before, but I think this is her best work yet!

Alec Brand is no product of Samantha’s imagination, yet he seems to embody her fictional hero on so many levels, scaring and thrilling her at the same time when he openly pursues her. What if the character you write about basically steps off the page and into your life?

The physical similarities between this man and my fictional leading man leave me breathless. The similarities that seem to float just beneath the surface leave me terrified.

Samantha is a popular paranormal romance writer hiding behind the pen name of Laura Drake. Her disguise is complete with wig, glasses, and a complete wardrobe change; a complete shield. As Laura Drake, she is cool, controlled and calculating, but in real life Samantha is anything but! She didn’t start with the best upbringing and you will discover as you read how her past would scar and damage anyone! Alec thinks Samantha is naïve and vulnerable when he meets her. Vulnerable? Yes. Naïve? No.

Alec Brand is dark, handsome, and exudes an air of danger! He makes no promise of hearts and flowers, only passion, desire and pleasure. There is more than meets the eye with this man, too. He has his own twisted past. With two people and a heap of secrets between them, will anyone come out unharmed? Can these two find love in the midst of all of this? We shall see.

I wish I could elaborate on the plot more but this is best discovered on your own. Do yourself a favor and DON’T read spoilery reviews.

Like I said in the beginning, I was utterly consumed and thrilled by this story! This may have been the HOTTEST sexual tension I have ever read! Sizzling, fiery, BLAZING buildup on INTENSE levels!! On: DANGER ABOUT TO EXPLODE levels!!

“If you’re going to look at me that way, I might need to warn you about me,” he says, taking a step toward me. Instinctively, I retreat. One side of his mouth quirks into a wry grin. “Or maybe you already know.”

“It’s not my intention to make you feel love. I don’t have that kind of emotion in me. But there are other things I can give you, other things I can make you feel. Really feel.” His eyes are hooded as he looks down at me. He takes one more step forward. This time, I don’t back up. “Excitement,” he says, reaching up to wind one long, red curl around his finger. When his eyes meet mine, I feel like he’s doing the same thing to me—winding me around his finger. “Anticipation. Desire. Warmth. I can make you feel very, very warm.”

He certainly made me feel warm! Holy heck!!

I loved this dark, twisted, and romantic story! The ending was perfect! All hearts and flowers, well,...mostly ;) I’m sorry that the author decided to pull this story from publication. Very sad. I hope M. Leighton changes her mind, because IMO, this is her best story yet! Darker for sure, but oh so good!

5 Suns


When I found out that M. Leighton was going to pull publication of this story I quickly bought copies in paperback.  Because I think this story is so awesome, I wanted to share a copy with one lucky reader.  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!  Just fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Thanks for visiting Waves of Fiction and good luck!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Into the Deep by Samantha Young

Today I'm super excited to participate in the Cover Reveal for Samantha Young's New Adult release: Into the Deep!! I loved her adult novels: On Dublin Street, Down London Road and Until Fountain Bridge so I can't wait to read this!!  So without further ado:
Into the Deep by Samantha Young
Expected Publication Date: August 20th 2013 e-Book and Paperback
About the book:
Live young. Live hard. Love deep.

Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.

Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.

As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.

And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…  


About the Author:   Samantha Young is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel ON DUBLIN STREET.  Connect with Samantha on her:

Samantha's adult titles:
On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)  Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2)  Until Fountain Bridge (On Dublin Street, #1.6)

Review & Giveaway: Inked Ever After by Elle Aycart

Inked Ever After (Bowen, #2.5)
Inked Ever After (Bowen #2.5) by Elle Aycart
Publication Date: March 26th 2013 by Loose Id LLC
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Loose Id
About the book: Tattooed bad boy James Bowen is about to marry the love of his life. Everything would be perfect if it wasn't for the tiny detail that his bride-to-be is freaking out big time. And trying to hide it from him.

Tate Cooper is losing it. She loves James with all her heart and wants to be married to him; it's the getting married that's killing her. Still grieving the loss of her father and brother,and totally overwhelmed by the wedding arrangements, she's in full emotional meltdown. But James deserves a happy bride, not a high-maintenance, sorrow-filled, guilt-stricken one, and, by God, she's going to give him that, even if she has to paste on a smile and fake it till she makes it.

James doesn't know whether to be amused or pissed. He understands she's running scared, but there is no way in hell he's going to allow this to continue; he's going to push her to confront her fears until she happily embraces their ever after.

My Thoughts:


Inked Ever After was the perfect ending to James and Tate’s story. *sigh* I just love and adore this series to pieces!! If you haven’t picked up More Than Meets the Ink or Heavy Issues (you can read my reviews HERE), what are you waiting for?!  I promise, the Bowen Brothers with rock your world!! 

James and Tate are planning their wedding, their HEA, but Tate is freaking out.  Not about marrying James, no, she feels like she’s won the lottery when it comes to James. But celebrating such a monumental life event without her father and brother rubs salt in an already tender wound.  She is still grieving their loss with it happening only two years ago, and when no one, not her sister Elle or her mother, has really dealt with the loss properly.  The wedding and planning are taking their toll on Tate, sending her into panic attacks.  How does she have the right to be so blissful when her father and brother aren’t there to share in the happiness? And she feels guilty for feeling so sad when this should be the happiest time of her life.  How is this fair to James?

James knows that Tate is feeling this way and he’s hurt that Tate is trying to hide it from him.  But that’s okay, because you know Bowen men get their way, and James won’t have Tate shutting him out any longer!  He’ll push, shove, boss, and insist Tate lean on him.  She’s his and he takes care of his own!! Yes, please!! I just love the Bowen Brothers with their alpha male ways!

I have to say that in More Than Meets the Ink, Tate tried my patience at times when she kept pushing James away.  I was afraid I was going to get more of this when I read the synopsis, but I had nothing to fear!!  Tate has grown since we first met her and she trusts James, so they work through their issues like mature and rational adults.

It had taken almost half a year, but by now Tate knew him well enough not to fight him, so she just wrapped her legs around his hips and gave up. “Okay.  Oh, James, my barbarian. Where are we going?”

James has a better understanding of how Tate’s mind operates so he knew just how to deal with her.  James is bossy, possessive and a little caveman-ish so his idea “working things out” might’ve been a little overwhelming, but they were exactly what Tate needed.  I’m not one who minds Alpha-male behavior (in fiction, lol!), so I was totally on board with anything James did!

She tried scrambling to her feet. Fat chance. He tightened his grip on her, leaned on his side, and brought her down on her back. In a flash his face was an inch from hers, his hands at either side of her head, his massive body crowding her. “Shut it, Tate. We tried you way; now we’ll try mine…..”

I forgot what a pro Elle Aycart is at writing toe-curling, panty melting, fiery hot scenes!! Oh my!! She does not disappoint in Inked Ever After!!  James is wicked sexy and his dirty mouth is enough to make any girl blush violently!!  As if that wasn’t enough to win me over, his big heart and sweet ways just made me sigh and swoon!!

Like I said, Tate was more mature and open with James and I really warmed up to her character.  Her actions really showed how much James meant to her even if her actions were a little misguided at first. 

I loved getting a glimpse of all the characters we’ve come to know and love in this series: Christy and Cole, Max, Jack, and even Elle.  There’s something a-brewin’ with Jack and Elle and it was an exciting little side story.  I just checked and it looks like we do eventually get Jack’s story but not before Max and Mike’s.  I guess I’ll have to be patient.

Inked Ever After was the PERFECT ending to James’ and Tate’s story, but Elle was kind enough to give us an epilogue ten years in the future on her blog (click HERE to read it).  Do not miss it, because it was so utterly sweet and satisfying!!  Just make sure your read Inked Ever After first.   

A copy of this story was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
5 Suns

My PhotoAbout the Author: After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer.  Find Elle on:

If you haven’t given this series a try, I highly recommend it!! To encourage you to do so, I’m giving one eBook (US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble) of your choice in the Bowen Brothers series: More Than Meets the Ink (Bowen #1) OR Heavy Issues (Bowen #2) OR Inked Ever After (Bowen #2.5) to one lucky reader.  Just fill in the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.  Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Waves of Sunday #31 & Giveaway

Welcome to our weekly edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR.  Don't forget if you let us know which book has caught your attention this week you have a chance to win our new feature giveaway!  Just leave us a comment or quote in the comment section!

Today we are spotlighting:
No Reverse
No Reverse by Marion Croslydon
Expected publication on August 12, 2013 by Carlux Publishing
About the book
A girl who needs to undo the past.
A boy who wants to forget it.
In love, there’s no way back.

At high school in Steep Hill, Kansas, Cassie O’Malley and Josh MacBride were the poster couple for quarterback/cheerleader romance until they starred in their own tale of teen pregnancy. No need to say: their shotgun wedding was low-key. But when there was no baby anymore, they went their separate ways.

Five years later, Josh has breezed through Georgetown and is about to finish his post-grad degree at Oxford University. He is set to join a lobbying group on Capitol Hill, owned by his new fiancée’s father. For Josh, the sky is now the limit… only he must first take care of a tiny legal matter: technically, he’s still married to the girl who broke his heart.

Meanwhile, Cassie has been waiting tables in Steep Hill to pay for her sick grandmother’s care. On the day of the old lady’s funeral, Cassie is served with two sets of papers. Josh is asking for a divorce. Her heart squeezes, but, well, he moved on a long time ago. But the second envelope shakes Cassie to the core. So, for the first time, she leaves Kansas and heads to good ol’ England.

There, Cassie finds that Josh has not just “moved on,” he’s freakin’ engaged to some blue-blooded heiress. The feelings Cassie had buried deep rush back to her. But no matter if he keeps thrusting the divorce papers under her nose, she needs him to save the only person she loves more than Josh, more than life itself…

Rachel's Thoughts:
Oh, this story has angst written all over it. My heart had a twisted pull just reading this blurb! Having to witness your love with someone else is torture!!  I'm wondering if the baby is still alive.

Crystal's Thoughts:
I am bouncing to see the scene where Josh and Cassie meet after 5 years!  Scenes like that are always so intense and explosive and always make for the BEST scenes!  I also have a soft spot for high school sweethearts so this book has me written all over it.  I can't wait to dive in!

Don't forget if we feature your pick, you win an e-Book of your choice from either US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble!! We will choose a winner once a month so you have an opportunity every Sunday to leave a suggestion. So be sure to share your Waves pick for a chance to have us feature your selection and an opportunity to win an eBook!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: REAL by Katy Evans

Real (Real, Raw & Ripped, #1)

Real by Katy Evans
Published April 8th 2013
About the book:
A fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
A competition…

He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…

Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.

He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .

But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.

I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.

If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?

My Thoughts:

*Disclosure - there are some swearing and spoilers in this review*

And I'd give up forever to touch you...
Cause I know that you feel me somehow...
You're the closest to heaven that I've ever been and I don't want to go home right now...

That is one of the most romantic and memorable songs of all time, and I love that it was a big part of this book.

Remington Riptide Tate is such a beautiful, powerful, possessive man - with a heart of GOLD that makes you melt into a puddle on the ground. An underground fighter with a legion of fans, he's damaged and dealing with his own inner demons. Never has he fallen for someone so strongly or wanted someone so badly as he does Brooke Dumas.

Brooke had spent many years with the dreams of being an Olympic runner, when a horrible double-injury shattered her chances. Now a physical therapist, she focuses her time helping and healing other athletes. One night her best friend drags her to an underground fight, where she sees first hand the delicious and incredible Remy. And after an intense first encounter together - Remy will seek her out to hire her as one of his staff - traveling around the country with him.

They have an instant attraction that they try to fight - her because she's trying to be professional, and him because he doesn't think he's good enough for her and afraid once she knows about his past and his issues, she will run. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is to deny what they feel. It's a slow (and often FRUSTRATING) build up to their relationship. You can feel the sexual tension while these two dance around each other. But the reasons for Remy's hesitance is so understandable - my heart BROKE for this man. He was so beautiful on the inside.

"He compels me like nothing in my life ever has."

And once they finally give in to their feelings - serious s*** will hit the fan, testing their trust and love.

"I'm every woman's adventure, damn you, and I don't want to be yours. I want to be your fucking REAL. You're all I think about, dream about. I get high and low and it's all about you now, it's not even about me anymore."

"He wanted my touch as if it grounded him, and my mouth was the only warmth in his cold, the only light in his dark."

They have this incredible, beautiful love where every moment together felt cherished and amazing - understanding each other better than anyone else ever could. And the 'family' of people Remy had on his team were a wonderful bonus to the story - you couldn't help but love them all and their part in his life.

This book was gut-wrenching and emotional. I felt highs and lows through the entire time I read it and when a book can do that - it deserves a lot of praise. It was so much more than a book about romance and sex - there are more serious issues that are addressed that make this book so REAL and wonderful. And how I loved the epilogue. That was perfection.  What a beautiful wonderful ending!
I look forward to reading more about Remy and Brooke in the next book of the series! 

4.5 Suns

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Sins & Needles and On Every Street by Karina Halle

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle
Published January 25th 2013 by Metal Blonde Books
About the book
Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.
Rachel's Thoughts
To be honest I was really hesitant about picking up this book, because I don’t usually like con stories. I hate people trying to cheat others out of their hard earned money, and take things the easy way. There are of course exceptions to this for me:

*The reason for the con is to defraud a defrauder, someone who “deserves” it in some way.

*The con is to serve up some much deserved revenge.

I guess I’m not a turn-the-other-cheek sort of girl, well in fiction anyways. If someone’s got it coming I relish the payback! ! Much of Ellie’s conning (in the past) fell under one of those categories, so I could excuse it. But that’s not to say I liked Ellie much at first.For a good 45% of the book I couldn’t stand Ellie, which brings me to another book-hang up of mine:

*If I don’t like the main character, I rarely enjoy the book. 

This story was an exception to both hang-ups. I was thoroughly hooked from the beginning and even though I wanted to choke some sense into Ellie, she slowly began to grow on me. After making some truly crappy decisions, she started to change a little and it was enough for me to start to like her. Plus, there were flashes back into time that gave clarity to Ellie and Camden’s actions, which helped with the whole liking part. Not going to say that I liked what Ellie did in the beginning. After saying she’s quitting the con lifestyle, BAM, she’s back to planning one and on someone she’s already hurt so much! *bangs head*

Now let’s get to Camden. What to make of him? He was a mass of contradictions, but boy did I love him! He’s such a tortured soul with a darkness in him. Not going to lie, he scares me a little bit. You know those kids who are bullied so much in school they eventually break and do the unthinkable? Well my friends, that’s Camden. And even though he’s now a gorgeous and desired HOT tattoo artist, those scars are far from healed. What makes you cringe even more is that Ellie is number one or two in the line of people who’s inflicted those scars. She broke his heart and betrayed him when he needed her the most.

Now these two meet again after so many years apart and their attraction and chemistry is OFF THE CHARTS! Unrequited love and such a bittersweet history makes this romance one that keeps you on the edge of your seat! Here’s a delicious quote to tempt you:

Then I felt his presence behind me and his arms slowly, softly, slid down on top of mine. He pressed himself to my back, not too tight, and put his lips just behind my ear. My eyes widened and I nearly let go of the club. “I know what I know of you,” he whispered in my ear, his breath hot. “And I want to know more.”

The trouble that surrounds these two has you biting your nails wondering what’s going to happen next. I was a bundle of nerves reading this! I will say Karina Halle has created some captivating characters. Javier, a baddie from the past is very charismatic and extremely obsessive! *shivers*

Even with my initial reservations I ended up loving this story! Just the right mix of intense emotions: Love, hate, anger and sadness. Karina Halle has a new fan. I’m on pins and needles waiting for the next book because this ends on a cliffhanger (another book hang-up!!)!! (view spoiler) I’m buckling my seatbelt for the bumpy ride I’m inevitably in for.
4.5 Suns
Arlene's Thoughts
“I’m afraid,” Camden whispered.
“Why?” I whispered back, wiping away the tears...
“I can’t ever lose what I just felt.” He kissed my cheek. “I’m afraid if I did, I’d come looking for you too…”

Wow! Just have to say, I’m going to have to hold Camden to that. What an ending!! Need book two NOW!!

I must have missed all of the buzz when this book first started making waves, so I have to thank my reading buddy Rachel for recommending Sins & Needles to me. I should have been leery though because we tend to recommend all sorts of crazy, bizarre and epic cliffy type reads to each other. Her more than me, but she’ll probably say different… I’m sure. ;) Well I’m glad I gave this novel a try because it entertained and captivated me from the very beginning and when it was over, I sat there craving the next book immensley. Enjoyed it much!

Sins & Needles introduces us to Ellie Watts who is a modern day grifter. She’s been honing her skills since she was thirteen when her parents taught her the fine art of conning and petty theft. When she heads home to Palm Valley after six years of being gone, one of the first people she runs into is her once high school friend Camden McQueen. They didn’t quite part ways on the best of terms, but Camden shows no signs of holding a grudge. That is until… Ellie tries to scam him. When Ellie attempts her heist, she realizes she crossed paths with an old grudge and a messy situation ensues.

First off, let me state for the record that I was very skeptical of Camden from the start. After hearing his and Ellie’s backstory and how she betrayed him, there was no way that I would believe he completely let got of the past. Couple that with the momentary cagey looks that would quickly pass his features at times, I was definitely on high alert where Camden was concerned. I didn’t fall for this tatted hot mess for most of the book, but like most readers… yes I fell for him towards the end and I can’t wait to see his wrath explode in book two.

Where Ellie is concerned, I can see why some people would find it tough to love this crazy chick. I think Camden describes her perfectly when he says she’s a complex blend of rough, sweet and sad… I’d have to add a touch of edgey and a bucket of wounded to the mix and that’s exactly why she won me over. Her noisy brain and seedy past that molded her into what she became made me develop a ton of sentiment for Ellie. I was right there on the sidelines rooting her on and hoping she’d get away with every crime she committed... yes I surely did. I wanted her to get away with conning Camden. Her reckless balanced with her premeditated moves made it fun hanging out with this loose cannon.

You’re not bad Ellie. The world is bad and you’re just trying to survive in it. ~Camden
There were several other elements to the story that I enjoyed as well, espeically around the tattoos that Ellie and Camden sported. The symbolism of their marks and the work of art Camden made of Ellie’s scars both impressed and captivated me.

Karina Halle did a great job of blending Ellie and Camden’s backstory into the novel by swithicng perspectives at precise moment in the storyline. It was interesting to see how their past shaped their present. Where there were moments of skepticism when it came to their growing romance, there was never a lack of chemistry between these two. By the end of the story, I was left convinced that they belonged together. It took some effort falling for Camden, but by the end he definitley won me over.

I can’t wait to see how their story transpires in Shooting Scars. I hope we see no limit to Camden’s fury and more importatnly, I trust Ellie hasn’t shown the last of her cunning ways. She’ll need them now more than ever in my opinion. I’m also looking forward to learning more about Javier because I hear there’s an entire team out there rooting for him and I can’t wait to find out why. Fun, exciting and gripping novel that I will surely continue.
4.5 Suns
On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy 0.5) by Karina Halle
Published March 9th 2013 by Metal Blonde Books
About the book
When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she's set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.
Rachel's Thoughts
I really wish I would have read On Every Street before Sins & Needles. I would’ve felt much more sympathetic to Ellie, and wouldn't have disliked her for half of the book. We get insight into Ellie’s past and now I understand some of her motivations in Sins & Needles.

Ellie originally sets out for revenge against the man that ruined the life she should’ve led, Travis. A big baddie in Biloxi that her parents tangled with and lost and Ellie paid the price. She plans on getting close to one of his men and then exacting her revenge. Trouble is she didn’t count on falling in love with Javier, the man she targeted. He is dark, dangerous, and has chemistry in spades! She can’t take her eyes off him when she first sees him, wrapped up in his magnetism. Ellie falls HARD and Javier treats her like a queen, but bits of his life come through once and a while that makes her heart race with anxiety. But he’s the kind of male that wants to own Ellie heart and soul and she’s ready to give up on all her past goals to be with him:

”You are all mine, even if you run. I will find you because a soul needs its other half to truly live.
Revenge doesn’t matter when you have another passion to consume you.

This is the perfect lead into Sins & Needles and I found myself skimming through that book after I finished with this, especially the parts with Javier. I still have so many questions about his motivations and I have a few theories I’m anxious to discuss. Now I’m even more eager to pick up Shooting Scars. May 13th can’t come soon enough!
5 Suns
Arlene's Thoughts
Any love that starts under a lie is bound to kill you.
This book definitely cemented by fandom for The Artists Trilogy. What an explosion of epic proportions!! On Every Street is the novel/prequel to Sins & Needles, and where some might feel that it’s best to read this novel first, I say HELL NOOOO because then Camden won’t ever stand a chance in this trilogy! :D Javier commanded the stage and I’ve officially picked a team… starts with a J in case you’re wondering. ☺

In this installment, we meet Ellie at the beginning of her journey toward vengeance. She leaves Palm Desert and spends some time perfecting her craft as a con, where her ultimate goal is to seduce one of Travis Raines’s associates in the hopes of coming within striking distance of this man that scarred her for life.

When she meets Javier Bernal, a dangerous game of seduction ensues landing these two lovers in a web of lies, deceit and passion so strong that the only outcome is bound to be destruction.

“You know,” he began, voice low and full, “if you were to ever leave me, I’d come looking for you, on every street.”
Javier blasted the scene with such a force that I was held captive by this dark and alluring character. I loved his dangerous and seductive side as much as I did his tender moments that were filled with passion and hints of insecurity. He made no mistake in claiming Ellie as his. She somewhat became his addiction, but that didn’t stop him from destroying what they had with his irreparable act of betrayal. I’m still trying to figure out why he did what he did, but I can’t deny the fact that I still find him alluring.

It was clear that Ellie was in over her head when she came face to face with Javier. The relationship they developed somewhat put her demons to rest for a while. There were moments where I felt she had somewhat resolved her internal struggle, but I never deluded myself in believing it was buried forever.

The pain she experienced from Javier’s betrayal was both emotional and harsh. I was moved by this broken character that tried to sift through the wreckage and salvage some small pieces of herself.

Now more that before, I can’t wait to dive into the next installment. There are three powerhouses, called Storm Ellie, Hurricane Javier and Defcon Camden that are sure to explode the scene with equal desires for vengeance and redemption. Bring it on!!
5 Suns

Be sure to check out our casting board on Pintrest for Ellie, Camden and Javier!
We (Rachel and Arlene) are spreading our love for The Artists Trilogy by giving away an eCopy of On Every Street AND Sins & Needles to TWO lucky Waves followers. Simply fill out the rafflecopter and share a thoughtful comment on the giveaway or series. Good luck!

This giveaway is open to entrants that can receive an eCopy from either US Amazon or US Barnes & Noble.
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