Blog Tour: Review – FIRST TOUCH by Laurelin Paige

With the release of the UK paperback of First Touch coming on February 11th, I wanted to post my review again of the book which instantly made my list of Top 15 Reads of 2015! This book was thrilling and sexy and hugely addictive. It’s a must read!!!

image

When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven’t spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what’s more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.

Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she’s drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she’s forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?

image

How do find the words to adequately describe this book… Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Holy. Wow. This book!!!! It should come with a warning – it’s hugely erotic and intensely thrilling! I just gave up all responsibilities for an entire day and I just sat and read and devoured this incredible book by this fantastic author. I mean, I knew that Laurelin Paige was amazing, but after reading First Touch, wow; she just blew me away!!

The opening just grabbed me immediately. There was no build up or scene setting, it was straight into the action and had me needing to know what happened next. And it was tat exact way for the entire book. I don’t remember the last time I read a book that was so packed full of absolutely everything needed to fully hook me and not let me go until the very last page.

Reeve and Emily are our main characters, and talk about intense. I really loved our heroine, and I’m so mixed over my feelings of Reeve. He was dominant and dangerous and quite frankly deadly. I want to believe he’s a good guy at the heart of it, and I *think* that he is, but he’s just so unpredictable and secretive so I have no clue!!

And it’s the same with book as a whole. I spent the entire time reading on the edge of my seat! I had no idea where the characters or story would take me; literally anything can happen!! Interspersed throughout the book were snippets of Emily’s past; I know some people don’t like flashbacks, but Emily has been through so much, and I really mean so much, that I just think it would be too much to learn about it all in one go. I also think it helped space out the craziness which was the present.

I’d love to believe that Laurelin Paige will end this duet in a big fat HEA, but in all honesty, after the major OMFG moment at the end of this book, I have no idea how the rest of this story will play out, but I’ll tell you one thing, I cannot wait to find out.

It’s easy to see why this book is in my top 15 of 2015 – it is brilliant.

image

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*

image

FIRST TOUCH – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

LAST KISS – Out June 16th, 2016!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

Click the image below to pre-order your paperback copy for the bargain price of just £8.99!!

image

Laurelin Paige is the New York Times bestselling author of the Fixed Trilogy. She loves a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably signing or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International, although she doesn’t do anything with the organisation except use it as material for her bio.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Booktropolous | Instagram

Prologue and Chapter Reveal – HE WILL BE MY RUIN by KA Tucker

KA Tucker’s next novel is sure to be an addictive, thrilling ride, and it’s due for release in just a few weeks! Check out the prologue and first chapter below, and make sure you pre-order!

image

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

image

Prologue

Maggie


December 23, 2015

My wrists burn.

Hours of trying to break free of the rope that binds my hands behind my back have left them raw, the rough cord scrubbing away my skin and cutting into my flesh. I’m sure I’ll have unsightly scars.

Not that it will matter when I’m dead.

I resigned myself to that reality around the time that I finally let go of my bladder. Now I simply lie here, in a pool of urine and vomit, my teeth numb from knocking with each bump in the road, my body frozen by the cold.

Trying to ignore the darkness as I fight against the panic that consumes me. I could suffocate from the anxiety alone.

He knows that.

Now he’s exploiting it. That must be what he does—he uncovers your secrets, your fears, your flaws—and he uses them against you. He did it to Celine.

And now he’s doing it to me.

That’s why I’m in a cramped trunk, my lungs working overtime against a limited supply of oxygen while my imagination runs wild with what may be waiting for me at the end of this ride.

My racing heart ready to explode.

The car hits an especially deep pothole, rattling my bones. I’ve been trapped in here for so long. Hours. Days. I have no idea. Long enough to run through every mistake that I made.

How I trusted him, how I fell for his charm, how I believed his lies. How I made it so easy for him to do this to me.

How Celine made it so easy for him, by letting him get close.

Before he killed her.

Just like he’s going to kill me.

Chapter 1

Maggie


November 30, 2015

The afternoon sun beams through the narrow window, casting a warm glow over Celine’s floral comforter.

It would be inviting, only her body was found in this very bed just thirteen days ago.

“Maggie?”

“Yeah,” I respond without actually turning around, my gaze taking in the cramped bedroom before me. I’ve never been a fan of New York City and all its overpriced boroughs. Too big, too busy, too pretentious. Take this Lower East Side apartment, for example, on the third floor of a drafty building built in the 1800s, with a ladder of shaky fire escapes facing the side alley and a kitschy gelato café downstairs. It costs more per month than the average American hands the bank in mortgage payments.

And Celine adored it.

“I’m in 410 if you just . . . want to come and find me.”

I finally turn and acknowledge the building super—a chestnut-haired English guy around thirty by my guess, with a layer of scruff over his jawline and faded blue jeans—edging toward the door. Given the apartment is 475 square feet, it doesn’t take him long to reach it.

I think he gave me his name but I wasn’t listening. I’ve barely said two words since I met him in front of Celine’s apartment, armed with a stack of cardboard flats and trash bags. An orchestra of clocks that softly tick away claim that that was nearly half an hour ago. I’ve simply stood here since then, feeling the brick-exposed walls—lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and filled with the impressive collection of treasures that Celine had amassed over her twenty-eight years—closing in on me.

But now I feel the need to speak. “You were the one who let the police in?” Celine never missed work, never arrived late. That’s why, after not showing up for two days and not answering her phone or her door, her coworker finally called the cops.

The super nods.

“You saw her?”

His eyes flicker to the thin wall that divides the bedroom from the rest of the apartment—its only purpose is to allow the building’s owner to charge rent for a “one-bedroom” instead of a studio. There’s not even enough room for a door. Yes, he saw her body. “She seemed really nice,” he offers, his throat turning scratchy, shifting on his feet. He’d rather be unplugging a shit-filled toilet than be here right now. I don’t blame him. “Uh . . . So you can just slide the key through the mail slot in my door when you’re finished, if you want? I’ll be home later tonight to grab it.”

Under different circumstances, I’d find his accent charming. “I’ll be staying here for a while.”

He frowns. “You can’t—”

“Yeah, I can,” I snap, cutting his objection off. “We’re on the hook with the lease until the end of January, right? So don’t even think of telling me that I can’t.” I’m in no rush to empty this place out so some jackass landlord can rent it next month and pocket my money. Plus . . . My gaze drifts over the living room again. I just need to be in Celine’s presence for a while, even if she’s not here anymore.

“Of course. I’m just . . .” He bites his bottom lip as if to stall a snippy response. When he speaks again, his tone is back to soft. “The mattress, the bedding, it’ll all need to be replaced. I would have already pitched it for you, but I figured that it wasn’t my call to make. I pulled the blanket up to cover the mess and tried to air the place out, but . . .”

I sigh shakily, the tension making my body as taut as a wire. I’m the only jackass around here. “Right. I’m sorry.” I inhale deeply. The linen air freshener can’t completely mask the smell. Her body lay in that bed for two days.

Dead.

Decomposing.

“I’ll be fine with the couch until I can get a new mattress delivered.” It’ll be more than fine, seeing as I’ve been sleeping on a thin bedroll on a dirt floor in Ethiopia for the past three months. At least there’s running water here, and I’m not sharing the room with two other people. Or rats, hopefully.

“I can probably get a bloke in here to help me carry it out if you want,” he offers, sliding hands into his pockets as he slowly shifts backward.

“Thank you.” I couple my contrite voice with a smile and watch the young super exit, pulling the door shut behind him.

My gaze drifts back to the countless shelves. I haven’t been to visit Celine in New York in over two years; we always met in California, the state where we grew up. “My, you’ve been busy,” I whisper. Celine always did have a love for the old and discarded, and she had a real eye for it. She’d probably seen every last episode of Antiques Roadshow three times over. She was supposed to start school this past September to get her MA in art business, with plans to become an appraiser. She delayed enrollment, for some reason.

But she never told me that. I found out through her mother just last week.

Her apartment looks more like a bursting vintage shop than a place someone would live. It’s well organized at least—all her trinkets grouped effectively. Entire shelves are dedicated to elaborate teacups, others to silver tea sets, genuine hand-cut crystal glassware, ornate clocks and watches, hand-painted tiles, and so on. Little side tables hold stained-glass lamps and more clocks and her seemingly endless collection of art history books. On the few walls not lined with shelves, an eclectic mix of artwork fills the space.

Very few things in here aren’t antique or vintage. The bottles of Ketel One, Maker’s Mark, and Jägermeister lined up on a polished brass bar cart. Her computer and a stack of hardcover books, sitting on a worn wooden desk that I’d expect to find in an old elementary schoolhouse. Even the two-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree has well-aged ornaments dangling from its branches.

I wander aimlessly, my hands beginning to touch and test. A slight pull of the desk drawer finds it locked, with no key anywhere, from what I can see. I run a finger along the spine of a leather-bound edition of The Taming of the Shrew on a shelf. Not a speck of dust. Celine couldn’t stand disorder. Every single nutcracker faces out, equidistant from the next, shortest in front, tallest in back, as if she measured them with a ruler and placed them just so.

Being enclosed in this organized chaos makes me antsy. Or maybe that’s my own ultra-minimalist preferences coming out.

I sigh and drop my purse onto the couch. My phone goes next, but not before I send a text to my personal assistant, Taryn, to ask that she arrange for a firm double mattress to be delivered to Celine’s address. Then I power the phone off before she can respond with unnecessary questions. I’ve had it on silent since my plane landed in San Diego five days ago for the funeral. Even with two proficient assistants handling my organization’s affairs while I’m dealing with my best friend’s death, the stupid thing hasn’t stopped vibrating.

They can all wait for me, while I figure out where to begin here.

I know I have a lot of paperwork to get to the lawyer. All estate proceeds will eventually go to Celine’s mother, Rosa, but she doesn’t want a dime. She’s already demanded that I sell off anything I don’t want to keep for myself and use the money for one of my humanitarian efforts in her daughter’s name.

I could tell Rosa was still in shock, because she has always been a collector by nature—that’s where Celine got it from—and it surprised me that she wouldn’t want to keep at least some of her daughter’s treasures for herself. But she was adamant and I was not going to argue. I’ll just quietly pack a few things that I think would mean a lot to her and have them shipped to San Diego.

Seeing Celine’s apartment now, though, I realize that selling is going to take forever. I’m half-tempted to dump everything into boxes for charity, guesstimate the value, and write a check. But that would belittle all the evenings and weekends that Celine devoted to hunting antique shops, garage sales, and ignorant sellers for her next perfect treasure.

My attention lands on the raw wood plank shelf that floats over a mauve suede couch, banked by silky curtains and covered with an eclectic mix of gilded frames filled with pictures from Celine’s childhood. Most of them are of her and her mom. Some are of just her. Four include me.

I smile as I ease one down, of Celine and me at the San Diego Zoo. I was twelve, she was eleven. Even then she was striking, her olive skin tanned from a summer by the pool. Next to her, my pale Welsh skin always looked sickly.

I first met Celine when I was five. My mom had hired her mother, Rosa Gonzalez, as a housekeeper and nanny, offering room and board for both her and her four-year-old daughter. We had had a string of nannies come and go, my mother never satisfied with their work ethic. But Rosa came highly recommended. It’s so hard to find good help, I remember overhearing my mother say to her friends once. They applauded her generosity with Rosa, that she was not only taking in a recent immigrant from Mexico, but her child as well.

The day Celine stepped into my parents’ palatial house in La Jolla, she did so with wide brown eyes, her long hair the color of cola in braided pigtails and adorned in giant blue bows, her frilly blue-and-white dress and matching socks like something out of The Wizard of Oz. Celine would divulge to me later on that it was the only dress she owned, purchased from a thrift shop, just for this special occasion.

Rosa and Celine lived with us for ten years, and my daily routines quickly became Celine’s daily routines. The chauffeur would drop Celine off at the curb in front of the local public school on our way to my private school campus. Though her school was far above average as public schools go, I begged and pleaded for my parents to pay for Celine to attend with me. I didn’t quite understand the concept of money back then, but I knew we had a lot, and we could more than afford it.

They told me that’s just not how the world works. Besides, as much as Rosa wanted the best for her child, she was too proud to ever accept that kind of generosity. Even giving Celine my hand-me-down clothes was a constant battle.

No matter where we spent the day, though, from the time we came home to the time we fell asleep, Celine and I were inseparable. I would return from piano lessons and teach Celine how to read music notes. She’d use the other side of my art easel to paint pictures with me of the ocean view from my bedroom window. She’d rate my dives and time my laps around our pool, and I’d do the same for her. We’d lounge beneath the palm trees on hot summer days, dreaming up plans for our future. In my eyes, it was a given that Celine would always be part of my life.

We were an odd match. From our looks to our social status to our polar-opposite personalities, we couldn’t have been more different. I was captain of the debate squad and Celine played the romantic female lead in her school plays. I spearheaded a holiday charity campaign at the age of thirteen, while Celine sang in choirs for the local senior citizens. I read the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times religiously, while Celine would fall asleep with a Jane Austen novel resting across her chest.

And then one Saturday morning in July when I was fifteen, my parents announced that they had filed for divorce. I still remember the day well. They walked side-by-side toward where I lounged beside the pool, my dad dressed for a round of golf, my mom carrying a plate of Rosa’s breakfast enchiladas. They’d technically separated months earlier, and I had no idea because seeing them together had always been rare to begin with.

The house in La Jolla was going up for sale. Dad was buying a condo close to the airport, to make traveling for work easier, while Mom would be moving to Chicago, where our family’s company, Sparkes Energy, had their corporate headquarters. I’d stay wherever I wanted, when I wasn’t at the prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts that they decided I should attend for my last three years of high school.

The worst of it was that Rosa and Celine would be going their own way.

Rosa, who was more a parent to me than either of my real parents had ever been.

Celine . . . my best friend, my sister.

Both of them, gone from my daily life with two weeks’ notice.

They’re just a phone call away, my mom reasoned. That’s all I had, and so I took advantage. For years, I would call Celine and Rosa daily. I had a long-distance plan, but had I not, I still would have happily driven up my mom’s phone bill, bitter with her for abandoning me for the company. I spent Christmases and Thanksgivings with Rosa and Celine instead of choosing to spend them with Melody or William Sparkes.

To be honest, it never was much of a choice.

Through boyfriends, college, jobs, and fronting a successful nonprofit organization that has had me living all over Africa and Asia for the last six years, Celine and Rosa have remained permanent fixtures in my life.

Until thirteen days ago, when Rosa’s sobs filled my ear in a village near Nekemte, Ethiopia, where I’ve been leading a water well project and building homes. After a long, arduous day in the hot sun, my hands covered with cuts from corrugated iron and my muscles sore from carrying burned bricks, it was jarring to hear Rosa’s voice. California felt worlds away. At first I thought that I hadn’t kept myself hydrated enough and I was hallucinating. But by the third time I heard her say, “Celine killed herself,” it finally registered. It just didn’t make sense.

It still doesn’t.

Hollowness kept me company all the way back—first on buses, then a chartered flight, followed by several commercial airline connections—and into Rosa’s modest home in the suburbs of San Diego. The hollowness held me together through the emotional visitation and funeral, Rosa’s tightly knit Mexican community rocked by the news. It numbed me enough to face Rosa’s eyes, bloodshot and rimmed with dark circles, as she insisted that I come to New York to handle the material remains of her only child.

The case is all but officially closed. The police are simply waiting for the final autopsy report to confirm that a lethal dose of Xanax— the pill bottle sitting open on her nightstand was from a prescription she filled only two days prior—combined with an unhealthy amount of vodka was what killed her. They see it as a quick open-and-shut suicide case, aided by a note in her handwriting that read I’m sorry for everything, found lying next to her.

The picture frame cracks within my tightening grasp as tears burn my cheeks, and I have the overwhelming urge to smash the entire shelf of happy memories.

This just doesn’t seem possible. How could she do this to her mother? I shift my focus to the picture of Rosa—a petite brunette with a fierce heart, who gives hugs to strangers who look like they’re having a bad day and spouts a string of passionate Spanish when anyone tries to leave the dinner table before every last bite is finished.

Before this past week, I hadn’t seen Rosa since last Christmas. She still looks frail eleven months after the doctors told her that the double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation had worked and she was considered in remission. It’ll be a year in January since the day Celine phoned me to give me the good news: that Rosa had fought breast cancer hard. And had won.

So why the hell would Celine make her suffer so horribly now?

I roam aimlessly through the rest of the apartment, in a state of extreme exhaustion after days of travel and jet lag and tears, taking in everything that remains of my childhood friend.

But there are things here that surprise me, too—a closet full of designer-label dresses that Celine couldn’t possibly have afforded on an administrative assistant’s salary, a bathroom counter overflowing with bold red lipsticks and daringly dark eye shadows that I never saw touch her naturally beautiful face, not even in recent photos.

Knowing Celine, she bought those dresses at secondhand stores. And the makeup, well . . . She would have looked beautiful with red lipstick.

I smile, sweeping the bronzer brush across my palm to leave a dusting of sparkle against my skin. I’m supposed to be this girl—the one with the extravagant clothes and makeup, who puts time and stock into looks and money. As the fourth generation of one of the biggest energy companies in the world, I will one day inherit 51 percent of the corporation’s shares. Though my parents don’t need to work, they each run a division—my industrialist father managing the ugly face of coal burning while my mother distracts the world with a pretty mask of wind and solar energy farms, hiding the fact that we’re slowly helping to destroy the world.

I grew up aware of the protests. I’ve read enough articles about the greed and the harm to the planet that comes with this industry. By the time I turned twenty-one, still young and idealistic and embroiled by the latest disgrace involving our company and an oil tanker spill off the coast of China, I wanted nothing to do with the enormous trust fund that my grandmother left me. In fact, I was one signature away from handing it all over to a charity foundation. My biggest mistake—and saving grace—was that I tried to do it through my lawyer, a loyal Sparkes Energy legal consultant. He, of course, informed my parents, who fought me on it. I wouldn’t listen to them.

But I did listen to Celine. She was the one who persuaded me not to do it in the end, sending me link after link of scandal after scandal involving charity organizations. How so little of the money ever actually reaches those in need, how so much of the money lines the pockets of individuals. She used the worst-case scenarios to steer me away from my plan because she knew it would work. Then she suggested that I use the trust fund to lead my own humanitarian ventures. I could do bigger, better things if I controlled it.

That’s when I began Villages United.

And Celine was right.

VU may only be six years old, but it has already become an internationally recognized nonprofit, focused on high-impact lending projects throughout the world geared toward building self-sustainable villages. We teach children to read and give them roofs to sleep under and clean water to drink and clothes to wear and books to read. Between my own money and the money that VU has raised, we have now left a lasting mark on thirty-six communities in countries around the world.

And I’m not just writing checks from my house in California. I’m right there in the trenches, witnessing the changes firsthand. Something my parents simply don’t understand, though they’ve tried turning it into a Sparkes Energy PR venture on more than one occasion.

I’ve refused every single time.

Because, for the first time in a long time, I’m truly proud to be Maggie Sparkes.

I haven’t even warned them about my newest endeavor—providing significant financial backing to companies that are developing viable and economical green energy solutions. VU was preparing to announce it to the media in the coming weeks. As much as I can’t think about any of that right now, I’ll have to soon. Too many people rely on me.

But for now . . . all I can focus on is Celine.

I wander into her bedroom, my back to another wall of collectibles as I stand at the foot of the ornate wrought-iron bed, the delicate bedding stretched out neatly, as if Celine made it this morning. As if she’ll be back later to share a glass of wine and a laugh.

I yank the duvet back, just long enough to see the ugly proof beneath.

To remind me that that’s never going to happen.

Edging along the side of her bed—I actually have to turn and shimmy to fit—I move toward a stack of vintage wooden food crates that serve as a nightstand. A wave of nostalgia washes over me as my finger traces the heavy latches and handmade, chunky gunmetal-gray body of the antique box sitting next to the lamp. The day that I spied it in an antique store while shopping for Celine’s sixteenth birthday, it made me think of a medieval castle. The old man who sold it to me said it was actually an eighteenth-century lockbox.

Whatever it was, I knew Celine would love it.

I carry it over to the living room, where I can sit and open it up. Inside are sentimental scraps of Celine’s life. Concert stubs and random papers, a dried rose, her grandmother’s rosary that Rosa gave to her. Rosa is supremely religious, and Celine, the ever-devoted daughter, kept up appearances for her mother, though she admitted to me that she didn’t find value in it.

I pull each item out, laying them on the trunk coffee table until I’m left with nothing but the smooth velvet floor of the box. I fumble with a small detail on the outside that acts as a lever—remembering my surprise when the man revealed the box’s secret—until a click sounds, allowing me to pry open the false bottom.

Celine’s shy, secretive eyes lit up when I first showed her the sizeable compartment. It was perfect for hiding treasures, like notes from boys, and the silver bracelet that her senior-year boyfriend bought her for Valentine’s Day and she was afraid to wear in front of Rosa. While I love Rosa dearly, she could be suffocating sometimes.

My fingers wrap around the wad of money filling the small space as a deep frown creases my forehead. Mostly hundreds but plenty of fifties, too. I quickly count it. There’s almost ten thousand dollars here.

Why wouldn’t Celine deposit this into her bank account?

I pick up the ornate bronze key and a creased sheet of paper that also sits within. I’m guessing the key is for the desk. I’ll test that out in a minute. I gingerly unfold the paper that’s obviously been handled many times, judging by the crinkles in it.

My eyes widen.

A naked man fills one side. He’s entrancingly handsome, with long lashes and golden-blond tousled hair and a shadow of peach scruff covering his hard jawline. He’s lying on his back, one muscular arm disappearing into the pillow beneath his head, a white sheet tangled around his legs, not quite covering the goods, which from what I can see, are fairly impressive. I can’t tell what color his eyes are because he’s fast asleep.

“Well then . . .” I frown, taken aback.

I’m not surprised that Celine could attract the attention of a guy like this. She was a gorgeous young woman—her Mexican roots earning her lush locks, full lips, and voluptuous curves tied to the kind of tiny waist that all men seem to admire.

Nor am I surprised that he’s blond. It has always been a running joke between us, her penchant for blonds. She’s never dated anything but.

But I am surprised that she’d have the nerve to take—and print out to keep by her bed—a scandalous picture like this in the first place.

I wonder if she ever mentioned him to me. She always told me about her dates, utter failures or otherwise. Though it’s been years since she was seeing anyone seriously, and she was definitely seeing this guy seriously if she was sleeping with him. Celine usually waited months before she gave that up to a guy. She didn’t even lose her virginity until she was twenty-two, to a guy she had been dating for six months and hoped that she would one day marry. Who broke up with her shortly afterward.

So who the hell is this guy and why didn’t I ever hear about him? And where is he now? When were they together last?

Does he know that she’s dead?

Worrying my bottom lip between my teeth—it’s a bad habit of mine—I slowly fold the paper back up. Celine’s cursive scrawl decorates the back side in purple ink. Words I hadn’t noticed before.

Words that make my heart stop now.

This man was once my salvation. Now he will be my ruin.

HE WILL BE MY RUIN – Out February!
Goodreads | UK eBook | UK Paperback | US eBook | US Paperback

image

IMG_3385.JPG

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader, and currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads| Pinterest | Instagram

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

New Review – NEVER NEVER: PART THREE by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

It’s the book all CoHo and Fisher fans have been waiting for, and it’s finally here!! Check out my review for Never Never part three, and if you haven’t started yet, get reading!!.

 

image

New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.

Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

image

Maybe it has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with us.

The third and final installment of the Never Never series is here, and it’s finally time to get an answer to the question we’ve been asking ourselves since the very first chapter; what the heck is going on?????

It’s not often a book/series has me completely unaware of what the twist is. In fact I usually guess it pretty early on, and though I had the odd theory cross my mind throughout, none of them were correct!! I love that they had me guessing from the first book to the last without finding the answer until it was literally spelled out for me.

I also loved that we didn’t find everything out in one rushed scene at the end. It was spread in stages throughout the book which helped quell my thirst but also fed my curiosity. And of course, the writing and characters were fantastic. This was written by colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher after all.

So here we are. The end. Was it a curse? Or a blessing? There’s only one way to find out.

“You, my dear, have already found your meaning. All there is left to do now… is dance.”

image

image

NEVER NEVER – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

NEVER NEVER PART TWO – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

NEVER NEVER PART THREE – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

image

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Maybe Someday, Finding Cinderella, Ugly Love and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of six novels. Her latest novel, Marrow, just released in April 2015 and she is currently working on the third installment of Never Never. She is the co-founder of the fashion blog Clothed Caption. Tarryn resides in the Seattle area with her family. She loves rainy days, Coke, and thinks Instagram is the new Facebook. Tarryn is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

New Review – APPEALED by Emma Chase

I don’t know how she does it but she does it every time. 5 stars.

  

image

When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate – and prized – parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Christian Louboutins.

Brent has never let the loss of his leg in a childhood accident affect his ability to lead a fulfilling life. He sets high goals–and then he reaches them.

And now he has his sights set on Kennedy.

**

When Kennedy looks at Brent Mason, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue-worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell.

She’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore – she’s a DC prosecutor with a long winning streak behind her. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case and she thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.

But things aren’t exactly working out that way.

Because every fiery exchange has her wondering if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. Each argument and objection only makes him want her more. In the end, Brent and Kennedy may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.

APPEALED is a sexy, humorous romance about first crushes, second chances and the final verdict of the heart.

image

I knew it with Tangled, I definitely knew it with Overruled, I absolutely flipping knew it with Sustained, but Appealed has officially confirmed it; Emma Chase is the queen of the male POV. I have been desperate for this book for so long and to say “it did not disappoint,” would be a major understatement.

This entire series has been one 5 star read after another, and I fell head over heels for Brent and Kennedy’s story. Second chance romance where the main characters are on opposing sides in the courtroom? It made for truly addictive reading. Man, talk about sexual tension and chemistry. These two were on fire!!!!

I loved everything about their story (both past and present) and I loved seeing the rest of the gang, and where they are now; the author really made me feel like I was part of the group, and I really will miss them now the series has ended.

Usually I can’t wait to read an epilogue (a big fat HEA is my favourite part of a book), but with Appealed, I just wasn’t ready for it to be over. I wanted this book to go on forever!!! But even so, the epilogue was perfection, and the extended epilogue we are treated to? Even more so.

No one writes quite like Emma Chase. 5 perfect stars.

image

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*

image

OVERRULED #1 – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | UK Paperback | US eBook | US Paperback

SUSTAINED #2 – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | UK Paperback | US eBook | US Paperback

APPEALED #3 – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | UK Paperback | US eBook | US Paperback

image

By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

New Review – NEVER TEAR US APART by Monica Murphy

The first book in Monica Murphy’s new duet has arrived! Check out my review and buy links below!

image

Perfect for readers of Colleen Hoover, Jay Crownover, and K. A. Tucker, the first novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy kicks off an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again—the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now—beautiful, quiet, composed—and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for.

I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe.

Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone.

So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer.

My father.

image

The second Monica Murphy announces a new book, it goes on my TBR, and you can guarantee I’ll be picking it up when it’s available. She’s an author who I’ve followed since her first book, and I’ll continue to follow until her last (which hopefully will not be for many years!).

Never Tear Us Apart is the first book in a brand new two part series about abuse, deceit, survival, and love. The book starts with a turn of events which would forever change the characters lives, and though we are briefly told about what happened in those days, I felt the darkness was glossed over and the characters spent such little time together, I didn’t feel their connection.

To be honest, I didn’t really feel much of anything at all while reading. I know something horrific happened, but it played out like you’d tell a stranger in passing, rather than the reader really experiencing it, and I’m all about the feels when I’m reading! Whether it be unmeasurable pain or laughing until my face hurts, I need to feel!

The book has alternating chapters showing us the “then” and “now” of these characters story, and I have to say, it was the “now” which really had me turning the pages fast. I loved Katie and Ethan so much!! They didn’t get much of a start in their earlier years, but now they had age and independence on their side, and nothing was going to get in their way. Well, until that (not so) little revelation came to light…

I loved the ending. I’m one of the few people who really don’t mind cliffhangers (yes, it’s a duo series so of course there’s a cliffhanger) because they create drama and have me desperate for the next book to arrive! Never Let You Go is coming in May and I can’t wait!!

image

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*

image

NEVER TEAR US APART #1 – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

NEVER LET YOU GO #2 – Out May 3rd!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

image



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

New Review – THE MOTHER ROAD by Meghan Quinn

You guys!!! But it! Read it! Love it! Check out my review of The Mother Road by Meghan Quinn!

image

Never in a million years would I have pictured myself as an axe-wielding, dragon lady, chopping up multi-colored flannel shirts into my very own plaid mulch. But here I am, chopping away my frustrations.

It all started when my brother, Paul, convinced me to go on one last family road trip across the Mother Road with him and my dad.. Just like old times, right? Wrong. What Paul fails to mention is his best man, Porter, will be joining us, who just so happens to be my childhood crush and the man who broke my heart four years ago.

What is supposed to be a fun, family bonding experience across Route 66 turns into a war
of pranks, awkward moments and bathrooms full of dirty flannel shirts and day old beard clippings. Paul’s know-it-all attitude and Porter’s devilish charm brings me to the brink of my sanity on my seven day trek across the United States with three bearded men in a small 1980’s RV.

image

Oh, you guys!!! I took a chance on this book after reading the synopsis and then seeing the fab cover, and it certainly paid off!! The Mother Road was a laugh a minute! Marley’s no-holds-barred attitude to life and love had me laughing from page one and unable to put the book down.

It was so easy to form a bond with Marley because of how real she came across. I didn’t even need to try, it was instantaneous. She was just fantastic! I loved being in her head. 

I also loved Porter’s POV. (Our first introduction to his character was hilarious!!!!) He was definitely swoon-worthy, book boyfriend material, and I loved seeing his relationship with Marley and her family. He was the perfect fit.

The Mother Road really was just such a fantastic read, and I can’t wait to see what Meghan Quinn gives us next. She definitely has a new reader in me.

image

*ARC recieved in exchange for an honest review*

THE MOTHER ROAD – Out January 12th, 2016!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

image

  

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Blog Tour: New Review – F*CK LOVE by Tarryn Fisher

I can finally share my review with you for Tarryn Fisher’s latest release, and in case you missed it last week, I have the first chapter below for you, as well as Kit and Helena’s Playlists, a giveaway plus buy links. Enjoy.

image

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly.
Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked. Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful…if he wasn’t dating her best friend. Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.

image

When Tarryn Fisher releases a book, I, like the rest of her fans, drop everything and dive right in. It’s impossible not to. And especially when it came to her latest offering. F*ck Love is Tarryn Fisher at her absolute best, and you do not want to miss it.

The opening chapter is titled #WTF, and how very fitting that was because I lost count of the amount of times I said WTF throughout that first chapter. I had no idea what would happen or how this story would turn out, and that is exactly what I love about this author. Her books are so unpredictable; I mean, I know how I want them to turn out, but whether or not that’ll happen is anyone’s guess.

F*ck Love had me on tenterhooks until the very last page. I was gripped. I was tense. On the edge of my seat. Just completely unable to put the book down. I devoured it in just one sitting, and ignored all my obligations while I became enrapt in Helena’s world. There was honestly not a single thing I didn’t love about it.

The dry humour threaded throughout, the pranks with Helena’s dad (I laughed so loud at these), I loved the horrible choices the characters made, as well as the great ones (admittedly, there were less good choices than bad, but bad choices sure do make for a great story!), the friendships and the relationships, the love, the anger, the heartbreak, and the flawless writing I’ve come to know from Tarryn Fisher. I loved it all.

The Love Me With Lies series has always been one of my very, very best, and now F*ck Love is right up there with it. Though starkly different (as with all of this author’s books), I fell in love just as hard and fast as I did with Caleb and Olivia’s story. Kit and Helena are characters who have marked themselves on my heart, and I have no doubt that I will be revisiting them many times in the future. 

Thank you, Tarryn, for baring your soul to us once more. Your words mean to us than we could ever tell. 

image

image

Chapter One

#wtf

“You are supposed to be with me.”
What words are these? They startle me, and at first I think I’ve heard him wrong. He’s leaning across the table while our significant others are twenty feet away, waiting in line for our food.
“You and me,” he says. “Not us and them.”
I blink at him before I realize he’s making a joke. I laugh and go back to looking at my magazine. Actually, it’s not really a magazine. It’s a math journal, because I’m super cool like that.
“Helena…” I don’t look up right away. I’m afraid to. If I look up and see that he’s not joking, everything will change.
“Helena.” He reaches out and touches my hand. I jump, pull back. My chair makes a horrid scraping sound, and Neil looks over. I pretend that I dropped something and reach under the table. Under the table are our shoes and legs. There is a blue crayon lying at my feet; I pick it up and resurface.
Neil is at the front of the line ordering our food, and my best friend’s boyfriend is waiting for my response, his eyes heavy with burden.
“Are you drunk?” I hiss. “What the fuck?”
“No,” he says. Though he doesn’t look so sure. For the first time, I notice the scruff on his face. The skin around his eyes is sallow. He’s going through something, maybe? Life is being bullshit.
“If this is a joke, you’re making me really uncomfortable,” I tell him. “Della is right there. What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I only have ten minutes, Helena.” His eyes move to the blue crayon, which is resting between our hands.
“Ten minutes for what? You’re sweating,” I say. “Did you take something, are you on the crack?” What type of drugs make you sweat like that? Crack? Heroine?
I want Neil and Della to come back. I want everything to go back to normal. I spin around to see where they are.
“Helena…”
“Stop saying my name like that.” My voice shakes. I make to stand up, but he grabs the crayon, then my hand.
“I don’t have much time. Let me show you.”
He’s sitting very still, but his eyes remind me of a cornered animal: frightened, panicked, bright. I’ve never seen that look on his face, but since Della’s only been dating him for a few months, it’s a moot point. I don’t really know this guy. He could be a druggie for all I know. He turns my hand over so it’s palm up, and I let him. I don’t know why, but I do.
He places the crayon in my palm and closes my fist around it.
“You have to say it out loud,” he says. “Show me, Kit.”
“Say it, Helena. Please. I’m afraid of what will happen if you don’t.”
Because he looks so afraid, I say it.
“Show me, Kit.” And then, “Should I know what this is?”
“No one should,” he says. And then everything goes black.

You can listen to Helena’s Playlist HERE and Kit’s Playlist HERE, and don’t miss the Blog Tour Giveaway HERE!

F*CK LOVE – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

image

Tarryn Fisher is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of seven novels. Her newest novel, F*ck Love, will release in early 2016 and she is currently working on the third installment of Never Never. She is the co-founder of Clothed Caption, a fashion blog she runs with her friend, Madison Seidler. Tarryn resides in the Seattle area with her family. She loves rainy days, Coke, and thinks Instagram is the new Facebook. Tarryn is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Top 15 Reads of 2015

Another year over, and what a year it was! 2015 saw 23 fantastic 5 star reads for me, and of those 23, I whittled them down to just 15. It was such a hard choice to make as they all deserved a spot as my favourite reads, so I’ve also listed them below as “honoury mentions.” That’s not cheating, right? ;) I’ve also sneaked in a few 4.5 star reads that are definitely worthy of a mention for various reasons, so you have plenty of books to choose from when making your decision for your next read! So let’s bring on the books!!!

In no particular order, my Top 15 Reads of 2015 are…

 



First Touch by Laurelin Paige

UK http://amzn.to/1ksgdgr
US http://amzn.to/1kQfe98

This book!! It was my last read of 2015 but it was one of the very best. The suspense, the intrigue, the anxiety, the sex! I was gripped from the opening scene and right up until the very last page. What. A. Book.

Warning: this is a duo and not to be read as a standalone. The sequel releases in June 2016.



IMG_4546

 

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

UK http://amzn.to/1LhOSp7
US http://amzn.to/1wOIKSh

Colleen Hoover has never, ever failed to make me fall head over heals in love, and Novemeber 9 is in lead with Losing Hope, and Maybe Someday, to be my favourite CoHo novel to date. How could I possibly choose between them? Sit back, relax, and enjoy everything this author has to offer with this beautiful book.



IMG_4547

 

Chasing River by KA Tucker
UK http://amzn.to/1F8Vkt9
US http://amzn.to/1JLbznS

Oh, River. Of all the KA Tucker men, I love the Irish charmer, River, the most. This book was highly addictive, and not just because of my love for the hero. KA knows how to have a reader constantly wanting and coming back for more. Chasing River was everything I needed and more.

 



 

IMG_4548

 

Slow Play by Monica Murphy
UK http://amzn.to/1Gc4iwg
US http://amzn.to/1Gc4trv

My love of Monica Murphy has never been a secret, and Slow Play took my #1 spot out of all this author’s books. I hated Tristan (our hero) throughout both previous books in this series, but he certainly won me over in Slow Play. I would LOVE another book from this retired playboy.

 



 

IMG_4549-0

 

Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

UK http://amzn.to/1LhOPcZ
US http://amzn.to/1cp4Sc6

WOW! This book took me on one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. KA books usually follow the same structure, but Walk Through Fire took a completely different route, with the first 30% being intensely heartbreaking. I can still feel it now! A definite must read for all fans of MC romances and powerful reads!

 



 

IMG_4550

 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
UK http://amzn.to/1SoTbUw
US http://amzn.to/1PzZL7W

If you haven’t heard of this book then where have you been??? I finally dared to pick it up this year and it was heartbreaking perfection. One of my Top 5 books of the year, easily!

Warning: tissues, tissues, tissues!! You will need them!

 



 

IMG_4551

 

Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway
UK http://amzn.to/1SoTnmy
US http://amzn.to/1PzZOkg

This was probably my biggest surprise of the year. I picked it up because of the cover, and I just devoured it. It was sweet and funny, and just when I was thinking, “well where’s this heartbreak the front cover blurb mentions?” BOOM! It hit me. Ugh. I loved it so hard! Perfect 5 star read.

 



 

IMG_2200

 

 

Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren

UK http://amzn.to/1mLRjr8
US http://amzn.to/1dmd50t

#FinnForTheWin!!!! This man had me in a spin for WEEKS after I finished reading this book. Hot. Damn. I fell hook, line and sinker for sexy fisherman Finn. Prepare to swoooooon for this Dirty, Rowdy Thing ;)

 



 

IMG_4552

 

 

Sustained by Emma Chase
UK http://amzn.to/1C6Bm6J
US http://amzn.to/

*dreamy sigh* Jake Becker. Another book boyfriend who had my heart fluttering. It was impossible to resist this guy. Between Jake and Finn, I was in book boyfriend heaven in 2015!!! Two of my favourite ever heroes!!! I could re-read this book over and over.

 



 

IMG_4553

 

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
UK http://amzn.to/1fhTe4s
US http://amzn.to/1TMONha

I had decided that 2015 would be the year I’d read the classics. I only ended up reading 1… But oh my, it was a goodie. This book became an instant favourite, not just of 2015, but out of every book I’d ever read. I don’t even have the words. You just need to read it! #AtticusForLife

 



 

IMG_4554

Puddle Jumping by Amber L Johnson
UK http://amzn.to/1ACrHVa
US http://amzn.to/1GdoQ7x

I finally picked up this book one Sunday morning, and I became completely lost inside the world this author had created. I read it from beginning to end in about an hour and a half (it’s only around 120 pages). It isn’t your typical love story, and Colton definitely isn’t your typical book boyfriend, but oh how I loved it.

 



 

IMG_2837

 

Asa by Jay Crownover
UK http://amzn.to/1uQ7ly1
US http://amzn.to/1uWqyPB

Asa, Asa, Asa… My new favourite of all the Marked Men. I cried before I even reached the first chapter of this series finale. I have loved these books for a very long time, and to say goodbye was hard, but it was the most perfect ending to one of my favourite ever series. A must read!!

 



 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00062]

The Ruin of the World by Nazarea Andrews
UK http://amzn.to/1H9xjW9
US http://amzn.to/1G3Qimk

And while on the subject of favourite ever series coming to an end… I never thought I’d love a series like this, but Nazarea Andrews’ writing grabbed hold of me and refused to let go until the very last instalment. Wow! This book was everything I wanted for the last chapter of Finn and Nurrin’s story, and I really hope more people give it a chance.

 



 

IMG_3393

 

Cartel by Lili St Germain
UK http://amzn.to/1pzvhpL
US http://amzn.to/1PzZRwv

We first met Dornan Ross in the Gypsy Brothers series, and though he’s a vile, horrendous human being, I was always so intrigued by him. Lili St Germain took us way back to the beginning for this new series focused on a much younger Dornan, and it’s easily the authors best work to date. Dark, gritty and tempting. I loved it!!

 



 

IMG_3061

 

Bright Side by Kim Holden
UK http://amzn.to/1fWjSjz
US http://amzn.to/1MJG49b

This book!!! My heart!!! I had a headache for days after all the crying I did during this read, and I’m not a cryer!! Bright Side was heartbreaking and beautiful, all wrapped in to one package. I’ll never be able to see the word “epic” without thinking of Kate, Gus and Keller. *sniff sniff*

 



And now for the 8 other 5 star reads, which didn’t quite make the cut, but still need a mention…

image

Find buy links here: https://goo.gl/oIcGdk

 



And finally, there were 3 (kinda sorta – I’m totally cheating, Rock Chick is the entire series) standout 4.5 star reads which also deserve some attention. These are books that have stayed with me even though they just missed out on the 5 star mark…

image

Find buy links here: https://goo.gl/EEAvE4

 



image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

New Review, Excerpt, Giveaway and Pre-order Exclusive – BUILT by Jay Crownover

It’s less than a week until the release of Built, the first novel in Jay Crownover’s brand new Saints of Denver series! Check out my review, an excerpt from the book, pre-order (for a special treat), and enter the giveaway!

image

The first in the new SAINTS OF DENVER series from NYT bestselling author of the MARKED MEN series, Jay Crownover

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…

image

What a great start to a new series from Jay Crownover!! Built is the perfect book for both readers who are new to this author, and fans (like myself) of the hugely popular Marked Men series. It was just the right mix of old and new, and it was so great to see old faces, while keeping the emphasis on Zeb and Sayer. And yes, technically, they are also “old faces” but we neve really got to know them in previous books. So this was their time to shine.

Man, I loved Zeb Fuller. I honestly don’t think there was a single thing about him which I didn’t like. He was big, built, and bearded. What’s not to love?? But it wasn’t just his looks that had me falling. He was a gentle giant. So incredibly nice and protective of all those he loves, and when he loves, he loves hard. How could you not swoon over him??

I also liked Sayer. She was the complete opposite of Zeb, but they just worked, no matter how hard she tried to fight it. I loved the reasoning behind the author making Sayer the way she was, and I think it’s really important to highlight that. If at any chance you find yourself struggling with Sayer, maybe skip to the end of the book, read the author note, and then go back to the book. You might find yourself with more time for her once you know.

I really loved Zeb and Sayer’s story. I loved the struggles that were put it their way, and how they worked to overcome them. I loved the new characters who came along with them, and the parts they played in their story. I loved seeing the characters grow, not only as individuals, but also together. I loved the steam factor, and how the next book in this series has been set up (bring it on!!!), and most of all, I loved that it wasn’t an easy journey for Zeb and Sayer, but it was definitely worth the ride.

“Everything, Say. I want everything.”

image

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*

image

I met her at a bar.
​She had a beer bottle in her hand even though she looked like she should be sipping champagne out of an expensive flute, and that inexplicably turned me on. She was pretty and looked completely out of place in the no-name bar sitting across from one of my longtime friends who also happened to be her long-lost brother. He was the reason she was here. In that split second that I laid my eyes on her I wanted to be the reason she stayed.
​I knew it was rude and that the two of them needed some time together, some time to figure out what they were to each other now that she had blasted into his life unannounced. If I was a better friend I would have left them alone. As it was, I made my way over to the tiny table and sat down. I was covered in sawdust and had drywall mud caked in the hair on my head and on my face, but she didn’t flinch or bat an eyelash when I purposely broke up their party of two and placed myself as close to her as I could without actually touching her.
​My buddy Rowdy St. James lifted his eyebrows at me as I stared at her while he introduced us. Sayer Cole. Even her name was elegant and sophisticated sounding. She was an enigma, this pretty woman that seemed like she should be in any place but this bar with the two of us. She’d showed up out of the blue a couple of months ago claiming to be Rowdy’s half-sister, claiming that they shared a father, claiming that all she wanted was to be in his life and have some kind of family of her own. She looked too delicate to be that brave. Came across as way too proper to have said “fuck it all” and picked up her life to move it someplace unknown without being sure of her welcome. She looked like silk, but if my guess was right about her, it was silk wrapped around steel.

Pre-order your copy of Built below, and then click on the image above to sign up for Nash and Saint’s exclusive wedding scene!

image

LEVELED – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

BUILT – Out 6th January, 2016!
Goodreads | UK eBook | UK Paperback | US eBook | US Paperback

HOOKED – Out August 2016!
Goodreads |
buy links available upon release

image

image

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Surprise Release and First Chapter – F*CK LOVE by Tarryn Fisher

I have been waiting on tenterhooks for this release, and true to Tarryn Fisher’s style, she dropped a surprise release on us to celebrate the new year!! What a way to enter 2016! I have the first chapter below for you, as well as buy links so you can continue the epic journey that is Tarryn Fisher’s latest novel. Enjoy.

  

image

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly.
Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked. Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful…if he wasn’t dating her best friend. Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.

image

Chapter One

#wtf

“You are supposed to be with me.”
What words are these? They startle me, and at first I think I’ve heard him wrong. He’s leaning across the table while our significant others are twenty feet away, waiting in line for our food.
“You and me,” he says. “Not us and them.”
I blink at him before I realize he’s making a joke. I laugh and go back to looking at my magazine. Actually, it’s not really a magazine. It’s a math journal, because I’m super cool like that.
“Helena…” I don’t look up right away. I’m afraid to. If I look up and see that he’s not joking, everything will change.
“Helena.” He reaches out and touches my hand. I jump, pull back. My chair makes a horrid scraping sound, and Neil looks over. I pretend that I dropped something and reach under the table. Under the table are our shoes and legs. There is a blue crayon lying at my feet; I pick it up and resurface.
Neil is at the front of the line ordering our food, and my best friend’s boyfriend is waiting for my response, his eyes heavy with burden.
“Are you drunk?” I hiss. “What the fuck?”
“No,” he says. Though he doesn’t look so sure. For the first time, I notice the scruff on his face. The skin around his eyes is sallow. He’s going through something, maybe? Life is being bullshit.
“If this is a joke, you’re making me really uncomfortable,” I tell him. “Della is right there. What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I only have ten minutes, Helena.” His eyes move to the blue crayon, which is resting between our hands.
“Ten minutes for what? You’re sweating,” I say. “Did you take something, are you on the crack?” What type of drugs make you sweat like that? Crack? Heroine?
I want Neil and Della to come back. I want everything to go back to normal. I spin around to see where they are.
“Helena…”
“Stop saying my name like that.” My voice shakes. I make to stand up, but he grabs the crayon, then my hand.
“I don’t have much time. Let me show you.”
He’s sitting very still, but his eyes remind me of a cornered animal: frightened, panicked, bright. I’ve never seen that look on his face, but since Della’s only been dating him for a few months, it’s a moot point. I don’t really know this guy. He could be a druggie for all I know. He turns my hand over so it’s palm up, and I let him. I don’t know why, but I do.
He places the crayon in my palm and closes my fist around it.
“You have to say it out loud,” he says. “Show me, Kit.”
“Say it, Helena. Please. I’m afraid of what will happen if you don’t.”
Because he looks so afraid, I say it.
“Show me, Kit.” And then, “Should I know what this is?”
“No one should,” he says. And then everything goes black.

F*CK LOVE – Out Now!
Goodreads | UK eBook | US eBook

image

Tarryn Fisher is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of seven novels. Her newest novel, F*ck Love, will release in early 2016 and she is currently working on the third installment of Never Never. She is the co-founder of Clothed Caption, a fashion blog she runs with her friend, Madison Seidler. Tarryn resides in the Seattle area with her family. She loves rainy days, Coke, and thinks Instagram is the new Facebook. Tarryn is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

image

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram