Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: Dark Instincts by Suzanne Wright

Publication Date: April 7th by Montlake Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

About the book:

It happens whenever wolf shifter Roni Axton is near Marcus Fuller: a crackle of sexual awareness that’s intoxicating…and deeply annoying. Marcus is a pack enforcer who oozes power, but Roni is lethal in her own right—nothing like the flirty females who flock around him. Even still, his possessive gaze makes one thing clear. Marcus has singled her out for seduction, and he wants to make her sit up and beg.

No matter how aloof and unfazed Roni acts, Marcus can tell she wants him. When a brutal attack by a jackal pack forces them to work together, it’s the perfect opportunity for Marcus to chip away at her defenses—until he falls into his own trap, completely unprepared for the intensity of their connection. Roni is the only one who’s ever seen past his shifter charm and discovered the man hiding beneath it. And for Marcus, claiming Roni once will mean needing her forever.

My Thoughts:
Roni Axton is highly intelligent, on the genius scale, but socially awkward and somewhat of a tomboy. All this is very different from the women Marcus Fuller usually goes for. Yet, Roni draws him like magnet and he finds her social awkwardness, with her tendency to blurt out random facts when she gets nervous, adorable. With her skittishness, Marcus realized if he was to have any success, he needed to take it slow and cautious with Roni:

He focused on her intensely, but he didn’t overwhelm her with full force of his personality—he gave her enough physical and emotional space for her to be relaxed around him…as if he knew exactly what she needed. He lured, cajoled, and charmed her, wanting her to make her own way to him as opposed to forcing himself on her. She liked that.

Oh, swoon! Marcus!

Marcus recognizes the strength in Roni and what others don’t get: she’s a force to be reckoned with, one that he’d very much like to take on.  I just love it when a man appreciates the strengths of his woman and supports them!

Roni’s an enforcer for her brother, Nick’s pack and their close alliance with the Phoenix Pack brings her into Marcus Fuller’s proximity far too many times for comfort.  She knows he’s a player and a huge flirt, but that doesn’t stop her from having very dirty, late night fantasies about him.  Yet, lately it seems like Marcus is more and more focused on her, but she doesn’t want to become just another notch in his belt.

Marcus felt completely different toward Roni than any other woman prior, so I was completely on board for this matchup! And I was happy when Roni started to realize this.  She deserved to be someone’s one and only.  I appreciated that Marcus accepted and desired Roni for exactly who she was and didn’t try and change her. Why would he when he felt she was perfect just as she was? Don’t we all want that?

Her mother and aunt’s treatment infuriated me. Although, I have to say her mother’s treatment was coming from a somewhat good place.

I have to say, I do adore shape-shifter romances. They can be so intense because of the animalistic urges and the concept of a true-mate makes even insta-love/attraction acceptable. It’s thrilling when done right. Not that I felt that Roni and Marcus had a case of insta-love, I felt their romance was well founded and their connection was a natural progression even with strong shifter bonds at the root.

Suzanne Wright excels at writing supremely HOT scenes and combustible physical attraction and so, of course, Marcus and Roni’s romance was hot, off the charts hot!!

It was awesome to catch up with the previous couples and shape shifters. I laughed at every cheesy pick up line Domique hurled at Roni:

Dominic was grimacing and rubbing his knee. “Do you have a Band-Aid?” he asked Roni.
Her brow puckered. “No, why?”
“I just scraped my knee falling for you.”


Don’t let all the humor and romance fool you. There was a scary plot at the heart of things and I was horrified by the details.  Action, danger were also a big part of this captivating story.  I was in awe of Roni’s kick-ass skills and rooting for her at every step!

Dark Instincts was yet another delicious installment in the Phoenix Pack series.  I can’t get enough of Suzanne Wright’s addictive writing! Next, please!

4.5 Suns

Connect with Suzanne Wright:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

Publication Date: June 30th 2015 by Forever
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . .
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .

 My Thoughts:
I loved Ride Steady! In fact I finished all 640 pages of it in a 24 hour period! Kristen Ashley has a way of grabbing hold of you with a story and not letting go.

Carson Steele, now known as “Joker” in the Chaos Motorcycle Club was smitten with Carissa Teodoro in high school. She was beautiful, popular; the golden girl cheerleader and a girl who would barely notice someone like Carson, in his opinion. But years later Carissa’s life has taken a turn and Carson is there for her at the right place and time.

Carissa was sweet as pie. Unfortunately, that sweetness made her overlook signs and rumors that should have sent the red flags up and warned her against marrying Aaron in the first place, her gigantic dick of an ex-husband. Carissa is struggling as a single mom, barely able to make ends meet after Aaron kicked to the curb.  This all changes when Carson “Joker” Steele pulls over and changes her flat tire.

While Joker didn’t want to claim her initially, (hang ups from a bad childhood overruled his common sense at first). The Club witnesses an upsetting scene with Carissa, and recognizing she is a good woman in need of help they pull out all the stops to have her back. 

One of the many things I loved about this installment is the fact that Joker and Carissa were a solid, united front once they made a go of things.  I adore a romance based on unrequited love!  Intense longing and yearning from afar finally being recognized and returned sends my spirits soaring! 

The kids in Ride Steady were so beyond cute! First there’s Carissa’s nine month old baby, Travis, or “Googly” as she calls him. Whether he’s making his baby talk or climbing all over Joker and Carissa he’s just too cute! I fell in love and so did Joker!  I was completely cracking up over Tyra and Tack’s kids, Rider and Cutter or the “Hooligans” as they were called, and boy were they ever, but they still had a heart. Rider was upset by the fact that Carissa’s ex did something “mean” to her:

“I hate him too!” Rider cried loyally. I forced a grin at him but said, “That’s sweet, cutie, but you really shouldn’t hate people.”
“You should if they’re mean,” Rider returned.


Ride Steady is another win for me, but I’ve loved every Chaos installment, so that’s not a great surprise.  I adored the secondary characters, the loyalty between the Chaos Motorcycle Club members and anyone they claim as their own, but most of all Joker and Carissa’s romance!  

5 Suns

Connect with Kristen Ashley:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Conviction (The Consolation Duet #2) by Corinne Michaels

Conviction (The Consolation Duet #2) by Corinne Michaels
Published May 27th 2015 by BAAE Publishing
I fell in love with Liam only to be left shattered into a million pieces. Again. The idea of being without him cripples me but the reality is, he’s gone.

He doesn’t understand and I can’t make him.

If only he’d see the conviction behind my words—then Liam would still be here.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed this second installment just as much as the first. The Consolation was perfect as a duet. The story didn't drag out, but at the same time, we really got to know Natalie and Liam as they worked toward their happy ending.

If you haven't read the first book, this second installment will be a bit of a spoiler so proceed with caution. Conviction picks up right where the last book left off where Natalie must face yet another blow to her life. Just when she and Liam caught their stride and were finally building a life together, Natalie finds that what she thought was a closed chapter from her previous life has only blown up to cause a complete twist of fate for her and Liam.

What I really enjoyed about this novel is the fact that Natalie never led anyone on with her true feelings. She was honest and stayed true to how she felt and what she wanted. At times where it could almost feel selfish of her to fight for her own happy ending, I had to keep reminding myself what she went through in the previous novel, and she never wavered on her feelings.

The drama in Conviction was continuous but never over the top. Liam and Natalie sure went through a lot, and I feel they earned their ending. It was clear from beginning to end how much these two characters cared for each other. The story had an ample amount of sweet moments to balance out the heavy events.

Overall, Conviction definitely rounded out Liam and Natalie's story quite nicely. Well done!
4 Suns

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Consolation (The Consolation Duet #1) by Corinne Michaels

Consolation (The Consolation Duet #1) by Corinne Michaels 
Published March 18th 2015
Book One in the Consolation Duet

Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.

But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.

One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.
My Thoughts
After seeing so many great reviews and ratings for this novel, I just had to pick it up to experience firsthand what all of the fuss was about. I definitely enjoyed Consolation despite the fact that I predicted some major twists pretty early on in the story. However, that didn’t stop me from devouring this story and immediately jumping into the second installment of this duet.

Consolation starts off with a pretty dramatic opening scene. Natalie and Aaron are expecting their first child, and with Aaron away on a Navy Seal assignment, she eagerly prepares for the birth of their daughter. However, Lee’s life falls apart when she gets that dreaded knock on the door to let her know that her husband won’t be returning home. For months, Lee struggles with the death of her husband. However, she has a small child to care for on her own, so giving up is not an option. When Aaron’s best friend Liam shows up at her door to help her tie up some loose ends, they begin to find a balance between each other, which eventually turns into love.

Well, good love stories never come wrapped with neat little bows and perfectly crafted moments. Lee and Liam work hard at coming to terms with their feelings for one another, but they can’t deny the chemistry that exists. However, just when they hit their stride, another blow knocks Lee down and from then, the hits just keep on coming.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. As I mentioned before, there were a few moments of predictability, but they were still played out very well. The cliff hanger at the end of the first novel had me immediately jumping into the next book. So far so good. Corinne Michaels is definitely an author whose stories I can enjoy, so I have no hesitation diving into her other books. I actually already have them at the ready. :)
4 Suns

Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott

Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott
Published November 25th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.
My Thoughts
Clearly I’m enjoying this series seeing as I’m blowing through the books like water. This latest installment of the Stage Dive series is probably my favorite so far. Just when I thought broody, damaged, tatted bad boys were overrated, Kylie Scott recreates a whole new way to tell the story.

In Lead, we get to meet the lead singer of Stage Dive. Jimmy is just recovering from a long battle with substance abuse, and on the advent of a tour and new album, his recording label is adamant about him staying clean and sober. The band convinces hot-headed Lena to take on the assignment of Jimmy’s sobriety coach to ensure he doesn’t fall off of the wagon or create any bad publicity for the group.

From the beginning, Lena and Jimmy clash in all the right ways. She is open and honest with Jimmy, and most importantly she doesn’t put up with his bullshit. However, the more time she spends around Jimmy, the more her heart begins to soften for the rock star. Jimmy is a hard nut to crack, but even he is not immune to developing feeling for Lena the more they spend time together.

I definitely enjoyed this book much more than the first two installments. Lena and Jimmy’s moments never felt contrived or over the top. I loved Jimmy’s rough and angry moments. For an odd reason, I found them endearing. Most importantly, I enjoyed seeing Lena never being phased by his attitude or reactions. Together, they just worked really well.

I’m looking forward to the next installment, Kylie Scott seems to have hit a stride with me and I’m eager to see how this series continues to develop. I enjoyed it much!
4 Suns

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review: Midnight Captive by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: June 2nd 2015 by Signet
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

About the book:

“For those who enjoy their romantic suspense on the dark and steamy side,”* here’s the blisteringly sexy new novel in the Killer Instincts series by the author of Midnight Action and Midnight Pursuits...

Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, rule-breaking Irishman, and she’s vowed to steer clear of the tempting bad boy who lured her into his bed under false pretenses.

When Sean is implicated in the robbery of a Dublin bank, Bailey knows something isn’t right. So what if she can’t trust him? There’s no way Sean would end up on the wrong side of the law. In fact, he’s stuck in the middle of a dark and dirty conspiracy that could put his twin brother’s life at risk with one wrong move. And Bailey’s life too when she agrees to help.

As the stakes are raised and Bailey finds herself torn between two brothers, the fine line between danger and desire is crossed…and it’ll take more than a killer instinct to survive.

*New York Times bestselling author Christina Reece
My Thoughts:
Bailey Jones is ticked at Sean Reilly ever since they slept together months ago. Yes, she’s attracted to the irresistible, and incredibly sexy Irish operative, but Bailey doesn’t go for the cocky, dominant sort of male Sean is. Plus, he went to bed with Bailey under the impression she thought he was Oliver, his twin. Bailey actually knew he was Sean, but still. So, yes, she’s still pissed, but that doesn’t stop her from dropping everything to come to Sean’ aid when he’s seemingly involved in a bank robbery.  

Sean could care less about IRA politics, but his father’s old gang blackmails him into joining up again by kidnapping and holding his twin brother, Oliver captive.  Oliver is his only family and Sean would do anything for him, so he’s stuck in between a rock and a hard place which is made even more complicated when Bailey barges in insisting on helping.  The last thing he wants is for Bailey to be in danger, too. He cares for Bailey and has been hung up on her for years, but he feels like he ruined everything with their oh-so-hot, but disastrous night together.  He can’t get her off his mind, but doesn’t want her anywhere near the thugs Sean’s got to deal with now.  But Bailey isn’t a defenseless woman, and she needs Sean to realize she can take care of herself and be an asset. 

I loved Midnight Captive! As usual the story was nothing but excitement, danger and twists. Of course the smoking hot romance was a big part of why this story will send you pulse racing! Hot, hot, hot!!  Sean and Bailey’s romance was full of pent up longing and hurt on both sides, but there was no mistaking these two were meant for each other.  No one else could push each other’s buttons like they did, and when Sean and Bailey were in a room together there was no mistaking the uptake in heat and sexual tension.  I can’t stand love triangles, so I was a little worried that there would be one with Oliver, Sean, and Bailey.  I was relieved to that wasn’t so. No love triangle.

I appreciate that Elle Kennedy makes her women just as badass as the men whether it’s fighting or covert operations, they’re all a force to reckoned with!   Both Noelle and Jim’s crew (which are all comingled now that the two are married, yay!) are loyal to the core. When one’s in trouble the others rally and rush to aid. And so not only does Bailey come to Sean and Ollie’s aid, a good portion of the crew come as well. 

I’m sad to have finished Midnight Captive because now my series binge read has come to an end, and I have to wait until February for the next Killer Instincts novel! While Sean and Bailey have a nice, very satisfying ending there are other romances in the works.  It looks like we finally get Derek’s story next in Midnight Revenge, but Liam and Sullivan’s has been brewing through Midnight Action and Midnight Captive.  I’m wondering if their romance will be resolved in the next book or if they’ll get their own story?  There were also seeds planted for Cate (Morgan’s daughter) and Ash, the new rookie of the team.  I’ll say a prayer for Ash because anyone brave enough to go after Jim Morgan’s daughter will need it, lol!

Don't miss out on a chance to win a book in the Killer Instincts series (click HERE) offered up by the lovely people of Signet! 
  4.5 Suns

Connect with Elle Kennedy:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Published April 21st 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me. 

My Thoughts
I’m surprised about my reaction to 99 Days. This is a book I normally wouldn't like because of the love triangle between a girl and two brothers, but for some reason it kept me interested, and I never really had the urge to punch Molly in the face. I must have been in a really good mood because under different circumstances, I would have dropped this story like a bad habit.

99 Days takes place after Molly returns home after finishing her senior year at a boarding school states away from her hometown. When she last left, she was the center of attention after her romance between Gabe and Patrick went public and caused a backlash among her friends. The details of the publicity had my blood boiling because her mother, who happens to be an author, wrote a story based on Molly’s romance between her and the two brother.

First off, there weren't too many people I liked in this novel. I couldn't stand the mother. I don't care if her profession is writing fiction, but to use your daughter for fodder was just unacceptable. And most importantly, I couldn't understand how her mom refused to apologize for ruining her daughter's life. She seemed so disconnected and uncaring. Just wow…

Also, Molly never really tried to make things easy on herself. She kept jumping from brother to brother and when people would attack her for her stupid choices, she was a jellyfish! It takes two people to cause a scandal, and I wish she would have stood up for herself sooner.

Lastly, I never really got the sense that Patrick was a nice guy, so the fact that Molly cheated (which she really didn’t – they were on a break… cue Friends) on him, I wasn’t that moved by the whole debacle. Not saying he deserved it, but rather, I just didn’t care.

Overall the story took me by surprise. Not a book I would normal enjoy but the writing was entertaining and the story kept flowing, so I stuck with it. Not great, but not terrible either.
3 Suns

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher
Published on April 1, 2000 by ROC
About the book
HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment. Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get interesting. 
My Thoughts:
Let me first say that I am loving books from the guys POV written by male authors. I never thought I would say that, but man I think I have been seriously missing out on some great reads!  Storm Front wasn't as strong as I think it could have been, but I can't deny how much I really enjoyed it.

I am a Urban Fantasy lover and this book has been screaming my name for forever!  I was so excited when I started our Waves Reading Challenge because it pushed me to pick this up!  Storm Front has everything. Vampires, fae, demons, and Harry the resident wizard.  I love Harry.  He was such a fun character to get to know.  I think what I loved best about him was how sincere he was. Sometimes in these types of books the main hero can be a bit sure of himself and have an ego, but Harry just didn't have that.  He knew his limits and tried to play by the rules that were set.  It wasn't easy and there were times he almost caved, but he was a pretty stand up character and I can't wait to learn more about him! 

The story itself was pretty good.  I liked the introduction of key players that I am sure will be present in future books, and I really liked the world.  This first installment did feel sort of like a guide book and a here's what you need to know, but I still liked it.  It makes me really want to jump into the sequel since hopefully the author will focus more on story and character and I want that story!  I also really liked the romance part of the story.  Lately I have been over the whole NA angst stroylines and this was a refreshing twist.  There isn't a huge romance, but I can see one developing and I hope it continues.  I think the author did an amazing job at showing how Harry thinks and it was fun to watch him interact with the ladies.  He wasn't a ladies man that's for sure so it was laugh out loud funny at times.  Just the kind of romance I am looking for!

The only downside for me was that there did seem to be a few plot holes, and some things weren't tied up.  Knowing this is a series though I have a feeling the author just needed to get the ball rolling and (hopefully) each book will be better and better.  This series has great potential and I have really high hopes for the other installments.

4 suns

Friday, June 12, 2015

Review: Meet Me at the Cupcake Café (At the Cupcake Café #1) by Jenny Colgan

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café (At the Cupcake Café #1) by Jenny Colgan
Published April 14th 2011 by Little, Brown Book Group
Come and meet Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe. Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that - Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. When she's made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment. Armed with recipes from Grampa, and with her best friends and local bank manager fighting her corner, The Cupcake Cafe opens its doors. But Issy has absolutely no idea what she's let herself in for. It will take all her courage - and confectionery - to avert disaster … 
My Thoughts

What a wonderful story filled with recipes that will tempt your sweet tooth. I was in the mood for a corner cafe story and this fit the bill perfectly. My first experience with Jenny Colgan’s novels, and I immediately grabbed her other books because she hit the mark with my literary craving.

When Issy Randall is made redundant in her city job, she takes her severance pay and decides to open a Cupcake Café that will display all the wonderful recipes she’s inherited from her grandfather. It’s not an easy task for this carefree girl who must immediately learn how to budget, plan, task and manage a business all on her own. Lucky for her, she brings on Pearl who helps her get the café off the ground. Together, these two ladies create a cozy corner in an eclectic town that offers wonderful treats and savory coffee selections.

Issy, Austin, Pearl, Helena and even Caroline were a perfect blend of characters. I loved how these very different characters came together and brought the story to life. I was so invested in their lives that I couldn’t put the book down! There were happy moments, sad events and serious events that kept the story flowing at a steady pace.

The funniest scene in the book was when Caroline fed Louis a healthy cupcake and his jaw dropped along with all of the ingredients. I liked this story for so many reasons and I can’t wait to pick up another Colgan novel. YUM! 
4 Suns

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: April 1st 2014 by Signet 
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book: 

Her job is to stay hidden.
Too bad he can’t take his eyes off her.

Soldier-for-hire Ethan Hayes is the youngest member of an elite mercenary team. While he may be affectionately nicknamed the rookie, the skills Ethan honed as a Marine make him seriously dangerous. But when a sudden distress call puts him in close quarters with a rival, he finds more than his field skills being put to the test.

Juliet Mason stands out as the master thief in a covert group of assassins and spies. Her latest mission is personal—and it’s gone horribly wrong. Juliet may prefer to work alone, but when the rookie comes to her aid in snowy Eastern Europe, she can’t deny they make a good team. But even up against a powerful enemy, their most challenging task yet may be fighting the passion between them...

My Thoughts:
As you’ve probably realized by now I’ve been enjoying the Killer Instincts series by Elle Kennedy.  We get Ethan and Juliet’s romance in Midnight Pursuits.

Ethan is the “rookie” of the team, the youngest at only twenty-five, and the picture of a gentleman. While staying at Isabel and Trevor’s house in Vermont, as they’re off on their honeymoon, he gets a call meant for Isabel from Juliet and she’s in trouble. Juliet is almost incoherent and injured so Ethan drops everything and flies out to her aid. 

When Isabel gets a call from a hospital in Minsk that her brother, Henry is in critical condition, she hops immediately on a plane.  Henry is her only family, and she’d do anything for him.  When she finds out his fiancée was murdered in a professional way, Juliet takes it upon herself to track down the killer and exact vengeance. 

To be honest I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy Ethan and Juliet’s romance as much as the others. They were snipping and snapping at each other in the last book, Midnight Games, so there was palpable tension between them, but Juliet seemed so bristly and aggressive; I didn’t know if Ethan would be a strong enough personality for her.  No worries, Elle Kennedy showed another side to sweet, gentlemanly, Ethan, one that matched up to Juliet’s perfectly. We got a take-charge and alpha sort of Ethan, mixed in with the good-guy he is, and I loved seeing this side to him:

"I mean it, sweetheart. You're not walking away from me. Not until we finish what we've started. And even then, I still won't let you go."
"How very caveman of you."
"Don't care. You're not going anywhere, Jules."

One thing I love about romantic suspense is the lack of much angsty relationship drama. Ethan and Juliet are too busy dodging bullets or trying to escape the enemy to be vacillating over their feelings.  Important things become very clear, quickly, when you’re faced with life or death.

Midnight Pursuits was another win for me and any fan of romantic suspense loaded with action and danger will definitely enjoy Elle Kennedy’s addictive and fun series!

4 Suns

Connect with Elle Kennedy:

Website Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

Midnight Rescue (Killer Instincts, #1) Midnight Alias (Killer Instincts, #2) Midnight Games (Killer Instincts, #3)
 Midnight Pursuits (Killer Instincts, #4) Midnight Action (Killer Instincts, #5)

The lovely people of Signet have generously provided a giveaway for one Waves of Fiction follower: Winner's choice of one book from the Killer Instincts series (books 1-5).  The giveaway is open to US residents only.  Simply fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Review: When Love Happens by Darcy Burke

When Love Happens
When Love Happens by Darcy Burke
Published on May 26th, 2015 by Avon Impulse
About the book
Tori Archer is married…well, on paper anyway. She hasn’t actually seen her husband since the disastrous morning after their impulsive Vegas wedding. The memories of their intense passion may still make her weak in the knees, but Tori knows their marriage was a mistake.

After six months filming abroad, television producer Sean Hennessy wants nothing more than to track down his sexy, captivating wife and get her into bed… fast. So when his boss sends him to Oregon to persuade the famous Archer sextuplets—the former stars of a reality TV show—to do a reunion special, Sean sees the perfect chance to win Tori back.

Only, Tori wants nothing to do with him and is determined to push him away. But their attraction is as hot as ever and Sean will do anything to prove their relationship was more than just a fling…because he knows that when real love happens, it changes everything.
My Thoughts:
I have been out of the romance game for awhile now and honestly I was a little scared to jump back in.  My tastes have drastically changed in the last few months and romance just hasn't interested me, but When Love Happens is a perfect example of what an author can do for a reader.  Darcy Burke has renewed my faith in romance and shown me what I have been missing!

Tori and Sean engaged in a whirlwind 5 week romance that ended in a quickie wedding in Vegas.  That same night though tragedy struck and Tori runs home leaving Sean and their newly marriage behind.  After six months Sean, having no other options, goes to Tori to try and save his job and also to see what might be left of their relationship.  He isn't ready to throw in the towel and knows things won't be easy because sometimes a heart can't relearn love no matter how hard you try.

I fell into this story with ease. The writing kept me engaged and I truly enjoyed each and every character.  What I thought was fascinating was the Archers.  Yes they were rich and yes they were all driven, but they weren't perfect.  They each had their own flaws some being bigger than others and honestly it was nice to not read the "they have it all and some" storyline.  I liked the edge the author gave this family.  I did get a bit confused at times because there were just so many of them, but I still really loved them all.  For me they took center stage.  Tori and Sean had a very nice storyline, but I was totally captivated by this family and I know I will definitely pick up the previous books because I have not had enough of them.

As I said Tori and Sean had a really good storyline.  I liked the whole reality show storyline because yes I admit it I am a reality show junkie, but what I really enjoyed was just them.  It was exciting to see how Tori reacted to Sean and I rooted for them from the beginning.  Sometimes I could take or leave the main couple in romances, but not these two.  I wanted Tori to forgive herself and let Sean in and I wanted Sean to give everything and more to Tori to remind her of what they once were.

This was a fast and fun read that left me wanting more from the whole crew.  I am thoroughly captivated by this author and her writing and I can't to find out how the rest of the Archers find their HEA's!

4 suns

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Review: Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover

Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover 
Published December 30th 2012 by Jay Crownover Books
Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

My Thoughts
Rule is yet another book that’s been on my radar for quite some time, and it seems most of my fellow book friends have read this except for me. So after quite some time, I’ve finally decided to pick it up to see what all the excitement is about. Definitely a novel that’s worth your time if you’re currently into New Adult. It has the drama, college life, drama, good chemistry, drama, steamy sex scenes… oh and did I mention drama?

In this novel, we get to meet Shaw and Rule who have known each other for many years. Shaw has been a part of Rule's family for many years since Rule’s twin brother took her under his wing and protected her from a young age. The Archer family always believed that Remy and Shaw were in love, but that wasn’t quite the case. Oh and I’d like to mention I called the twist on that one pretty early on…. However, in reality, Shaw has held a torch for Rule, which has gone unrequited.

After Remy’s death, Rule takes a downward spiral and Shaw always seems to be there to pick up the pieces and force him to have a relationship with his family. After years of pain, the Archer family continues to fall apart, causing Shaw to choose sides between his parents and him. 

There were quite a few other things going on in this story that involved characters I suppose will get their own story, including Rome, Jet and Rule’s roommate Nash. I liked all of them. They are a tight group and their stories are interesting. 

I fell for the romance between Shaw and Rule and enjoyed their time together, but there was a lot going on around them that tipped the story to the overly dramatic scale. 

I’m interested in continuing with the Marked Men series, but I hope Crownover scales down the drama and focuses more on character development. She definitely has a knack for writing about sexy, hot guys, so since I’m currently in the mood for that I’ll see where this takes me. Interesting novel that’s filled with steamy moments and tattooed hotness. Not bad!
3 Suns

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: Midnight Games by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: August 6th 2013 by Signet
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

She wears a thousand deadly identities. He sees through them all.

A master of disguise, Isabel Roma spends her life pretending to be other women. Normally, her emotions are reined in tight—but sexy mercenary Trevor Callaghan has a knack for getting under her skin. The elite operative’s quiet strength and raw magnetism affect her in ways she’s never felt before, a distraction that can quickly turn deadly in their dangerous line of work.

After putting his tragic past behind him, Trevor is ready to focus on his future—and he damn well intends for Isabel to be in it. When their entire operation is thrown into chaos, Trevor enlists Isabel’s talent for deception. And as they attempt to save their team in a world where the stakes are high and the danger is grave, Trevor must convince Isabel that the woman beneath all the disguises is the one worth having...
My Thoughts:
In Midnight Games we finally get Trevor and Isabel’s romance which has been brewing since the first book in the Killer Instincts series.  They first met when Jim’s crew of mercenaries and Noelle’s assassins banded together for a mission. 

At the time Trevor is still a shell of the man he used to be, still grieving over the death of his fiancée, Gina.  Isabel and Trevor had to pose as a newlywed couple, totally in love and over-the-top affectionate, and Trevor is surprised to feel an attraction to Isabel, thinking he’d never feel those feelings again. It’s an unhappy discovery, one that unsettles him and fills him with guilt. Isabel feels terrible for Trevor, a man whose zest for life seems to have been extinguished, but she does feel glimpses of heat and passion beyond their disguise.  When they part ways, it’s not a happy situation because Trevor is not in a good mind space and behaves like an ass. 

They’re paired together again in the next book, and Trevor’s feelings have changed significantly.  Even though he’ll never forget his departed fiancée, he’s found the desire to live and be happy again, and he’d like to do that with Isabel at his side. Unfortunately, Isabel leaves him high and dry at her apartment and disappears without a word. 

Trevor and Isabel have had stops and starts to their romance, but in Midnight Games, Trevor is determined to track Isabel down and get serious.  She’s the one and only woman he can’t stop thinking about. But these two will have to sort out their relationship in between dodging attempts on their life when Morgan’s compound is attacked and Morgan himself goes missing. 

Isabel and Trevor’s romance light up the pages and make for a super hot read! There’s a history between this couple and I loved witnessing all the tender moments exchanged.  They’ve let each other in and got close in a way no other has in the past, so I was seriously excited for them to finally come together!  I have to say, it was worth the wait. Trevor and Isabel’s romance ties with Jim and Noelle’s (Midnight Action book 5), as my favorites so far.

Midnight Games will keep you on the edge of your seat with all the twists, action, and danger at every turn.   Fans of romantic suspense will gobble up Elle Kennedy’s addictive and thrilling Killer Instincts series!  On that note, I’m off to read the next book, Killer Pursuits, Ethan and Juliet’s romance. 

4.5 Suns

Connect with Elle Kennedy:

Website Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review: The Proposition (The Proposition #1) by Katie Ashley

The Proposition (The Proposition #1) by Katie Ashley 
Published December 9th 2012 by CreateSpace 
With her thirtieth birthday looming, Emma Harrison finds her biological clock clanging and the elusive knight in shining armor yet to appear. She’s running out of options, especially after her gay best friend backs out from being her sperm donor. Of course, there’s always a sperm bank, but Emma fears a donor mix-up might impregnate her with the spawn of Satan.

Resident company womanizer, Aidan Fitzgerald, is used to always getting what he wants, especially in the bedroom. When Emma spurns his advances at the company Christmas party, he's determined to have her no matter what it takes. After Aidan learns of Emma's predicament, he is quick to offer a proposition that will benefit them both. He will father Emma's child, but she must conceive it with him naturally. Not one for hook-ups or casual sex, Emma is reluctant to take him up on his offer, but his charm, coupled with her intense desire for motherhood, wins out.

Soon their baby-making sessions become more than just physical. Aidan can't seem to walk away from her while Emma begins to wonder if Aidan could be the one. But can Aidan leave his past behind to become the man Emma needs him to be?

My Thoughts
The Proposition caught my eye a long time ago, but I kept putting it on the back-burner. After the long wait to dive into this story, it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be.

Emma realizes her biological clock is ticking. After a few years of heart-ache where she lost both her fiancé and mother, she wants to have a child regardless of not being in a relationship. When her back-up plan is no longer an option, she takes an offer from Aidan who she previously refused to have a one-night stand with at a work party. When Aidan and Emma iron out the details of this baby making arrangement, they are both satisfied with the proposition of Emma mothering the child and Aidan not having to play a father role. However, as predictable as some romances are, after she gets pregnant they both start to have feelings for each other and begin to re-evaluate how this baby situation will really pan out.

I feel I had a hard time connecting with the characters because it was told in the third person. Maybe if I got to know Emma more and heard directly from her when her feelings began to change, I would have probably had more tolerance for her decisions and feelings. It ultimately boiled down to simply not connecting with this character.

Aidan was neither here nor there for me. I didn’t find him swoon-worthy, but I did appreciate the role he played in this story. He was clearly attracted to Emma and it seemed like he was willing to roll with Emma’s feelings as they shifted and formed.

Overall, I found the storyline slightly predictable with somewhat awkward dialog. Not quite what I hoped for, but not a complete bust. Just okay…
3 Suns

Monday, June 1, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young

Publication Date: June 2nd 2015 by NAL
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About the book:

Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…

Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…

Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right—or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.

Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build…

My Thoughts:
Grace’s new neighbor, Logan, is basically a manwhore.  His sexual antics and loud parties have deprived her of sleep, and generally ticked her off.  Logan’s reactions to her complaints push her buttons even more so, accusing Grace of being an uppity snob.  Needless to say they are not on the best of terms when they first meet.  But Grace gets to know Logan a little and her opinion of him begins to soften, just a tad. 

When faced with something that changes his life forever, Logan is shocked and thrown for a loop, but he quickly abandons his party lifestyle to accommodate. Grace steps in to help, because she can’t help but admire the way Logan immediately accepts the change in his life with ferocity, and because the situation strikes at her heart for personal reasons. 

Samantha Young captures feelings so spot on that every time I crack open the pages of one of her stories I automatically put myself in the character’s shoes.  So of course I rooted for Grace and I felt her every hurt, all her longing and attraction, as well.  She was such a sweet, giving person, and her help to Logan cemented their closeness. In that closeness, Grace starts to fall for Logan even though she fears he’ll just break her heart in the end.  Grace doubts that she’s even Logan’s type when he paraded blond, curvy, scantily clad women in and out of his apartment for months, and Grace is pretty much the opposite.  Also, low self-esteem stemming from an absolutely horrid family further fuels her concerns.

Logan spent time in jail, almost two years, for severely beating the man who nearly raped and killed his sister.  So he didn’t feel worthy to take on the change in his life, but Grace helped him work through those feelings and be the man she knew he was.  Of course, I wanted to smack Logan a couple of times, but he proved time and time again what a good guy he was and I couldn’t help but fall for him.

Grace and Logan dance around their attraction, building up combustible sexual tension, so when they finally give in it’s so very HOT:

“The things I’m going to do to you, babe. I’m going to make you mine, every single piece of you.” Our eyes locked, his filled with sexual promise. “No holds barred, Grace. Not with me. I’m going to fuck you like there’s no tomorrow, and you’re going to let me.” 

I appreciated there was no last minute romantic drama to taint their relationship when they finally committed. It was Grace and Logan against the world, aka crappy family. 

I’m sad to say good-bye to this series, I’ve loved each and every book in the series, but Samantha Young gives us a good send off with short, but heartwarming epilogues for each couple.  You know these friends who’ve become like family, through their emotional bonds and unwavering support will live happily ever after, and that’s what every romance junkie, like me, craves! 

4.5 Suns

Connect with Samantha Young:

The lovely people at NAL have generously provided a print copy of Moonlight on Nightingale Way to one lucky Waves of Fiction follower. The giveaway is open to US residents only. Simply fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Good luck!