Blog Tour: “Deep” (Stage Dive #4) by Kylie Scott – My Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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Deep Cover

Title: “Deep” (Stage Dive #4)

Author: Kylie Scott

Genre: Nev Adult / Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 31st March, 2015

SYNOPSIS

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins’ ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben’s the only man she’s ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn’t looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She’s his best friend’s little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he’s not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he’s always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible…but will it lead to a connection of the Heart?

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My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott has been one of my favourite series from the very beginning, and I have been eagerly anticipating the final book, “Deep”, ever since I learned it would focus on Ben, the sexy bass player, and Lizzy, the younger sister to Anne.

The thing most college students dread happens to Lizzy, and I enjoyed the way Miss Scott managed to convey all the different and conflicting emotions Lizzsy goes through once she learns that she is pregnant. I have to confess that I was a bit sceptical at first, but the more I read this book, the more I came to admire Lizzy for the way she chooses to handle her situation. Furthermore, she is a very witty and strong character who had me chuckling quite a bit, and I really appreciate that fact in the books I read. It was easy to understand why she fell for Ben, and even more so to cheer her on whenever she seemed confused and sad about certain aspects of his character.

Ben is the typical rock star: he revels in his freedom, and in the fact that he can have whatever his heart desires because of his stardom. Having grown up with not much money, it is not difficult to understand why he does things a certain way. He was, however, also a bit of a douche towards Lizzy, but, again, his reasons were valid – at least up to a certain point. Also, the way he reacts when he hears about the “bun in the oven” is not that farfetched: who would not freak out just a little bit when learning about an unplanned pregnancy?

These two characters share a very evident attraction towards one another, but I have to say that the way they become friends first is one of my absolute favourite parts of this story. Ben and Lizzy are perhaps not so different from one another – not deep down, anyway – and I really hoped that things between them would be resolved in a way that it would not ruin the relations they have with the rest of the Stage Dive band members and their girlfriends.

Miss Scott has, as always, a very compelling and engaging way of telling her stories. Her writing always pulls me in from the very beginning, and it was no different with this book. I really love how she is able to incorporate wit and banter even when certain scenes may not exactly call for it, and I also admire her for not taking the easiest route all the time.

The reasons that “Deep” is not given my highest rating is the fact that I sometimes failed to connect completely with Ben; in many ways, I had trouble understanding some of his actions, and I would have loved to have had a few chapters written from his point of view. The other reason is that the ending was a bit rushed to me, but, as usual, please remember that these issues are subjective – thus, mine alone – and I daresay that many of you will disagree with me on these two points. But I have always given you my honest opinions, and it would be wrong of me to ‘change my ways’, if you will, if I did not continue to do so.

I feel a bit sad that this series has come to an end, because it has provided me with many laughs, tears, and swoon-worthy moments; “Deep” is definitely steamy, Lizzy is a truly interesting character, and Ben is incredibly sexy…I firmly believe that you will enjoy this last instalment to this series, and if you have not read any of Miss Scott’s books before, I strongly urge you to read these. I guarantee that they will make your romantic heart go all aflutter.

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Enjoy the excerpt!

His laughter, it didn’t really sound the smallest bit amused. “Christ. You’re done here.”

“Ah, no. I’m actually not. Now see, this is where we have a problem.” I folded my arms. Then unfolded them because like fuck I’d look defensive. He was the one in the wrong, not me. “You’re not prepared to take me, or my feelings, seriously. What you want is to hide away in Mr. Too Cool for Commitment land and just play with my affections when it suits you. Okay, I’ve accepted that. But none of that means it’s okay for you to come in here and act like you’re the boss of me. None of it.”

“That so?” he asked, leaning down so that we were almost nose to nose.

“That’s so, baby.” I play-punched him in the shoulder, which it should be noted, I barely came up to. Okay, so maybe the alcohol on a mostly empty stomach had made me slightly/lots braver/sillier. “So why don’t you take your little caveman jealous tantrum bullshit somewhere else. See, I do this funny thing I like to refer to as whatever the fuck I want. Understand?”

He just stared.

“And as pretty as you are with your beard and your muscles, you are too damn tricky and . . . complicated and shit for me.”

“I am?”

“Yes, you are. Are you finally seeing my point here?”

“You bet.”

“Excellent. So take your hotness elsewhere, kind sir. I want no part of it!” Huh. I had so told him. Drunken bravado was the best.

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Stage Dive Series Reading Order

“Lick” (Book One)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

“Play” (Book Two)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

“Lead” (Book Three)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

“Deep” (Book Four)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

kylie scott

Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Stalk Kylie Scott: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Win a SIGNED SET of the Stage Dive Series

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“To The Max” (Bowen #3) by Elle Aycart – My Review

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Title: “To The Max” (Bowen #3)

Author: Elle Aycart

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 10th February, 2015.

Publisher: Loose ID

SYNOPSIS

Forensic accountant Annie Griffin has always suspected she’s a bit jinxed, so when she finds herself 35, single, temporarily homeless, and pregnant on a technicality by a gigolo, her fears are confirmed.

Adrenaline junkie and professional stuntman Max Bowen needs a house-sitter to watch after his pets while he’s out of town. Annie needs a place to stay. Standard quid pro quo. No biggie. She can handle that, whatever hellhounds he owns. Until Max, the most sought-after bachelor in the county, comes back ahead of schedule and suddenly she’s roommates with a 27-year old sex God who turns out to be so much more than what she expected.

Max might have had the attention span of a humming bird on crack when it comes to women, but that was before Annie. Her quirkiness and sweet contradictions soon captivate him, not that she’s inclined to give him the time of the day. With his reputation preceding him, he knows the odds are badly stacked against him, but he will do his best to prove her that he’s what she needs, stuck-up socialite grandmothers, doomsday preppers, groupies, pregnancy hormones, and repentant biological dads be damned.

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My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Every reader who has read the previous books about the Bowen brothers (“More than Meets the Ink”, “Heavy Issues”, and “Inked Ever After”) by Elle Aycart has probably been as eager as me about getting the story of Max: the incredibly handsome stuntman and womanizer, and the youngest of the brothers. I was very eager to get beneath the skin and find out what makes Max the way it is, and when I read the blurb about Annie, his love interest, I became even more excited about reading this romance novel.

I do not really see a point in giving you a play-by-play about what happens in this book, because I really believe that you should delve into it and become lost in Annie and Max and everything that takes place without any preconceived notions about it. However, as always, I will do my best in writing my thoughts and feelings about these characters and the story as a whole, and I hope that, in turn, will make you pick up a copy of your own. That is why I write reviews, after all. 😉

Imagine finding yourself pregnant after a random one-night-stand at a time in your life when your biological clock is ticking away. What will you do? I have to say that the way Annie chooses to go about her situation – and the subsequent “issues” many women face as the weeks pass – seems very realistic, and I came to care for her a great deal. She is a smart and pretty down-to-earth character, and I very much enjoyed getting to know her. She has an inner strength that I admire, and although she feels rather insecure about herself at times, the issues she carries within were very easy for me to relate to. Annie grows through the course of the book, and I admit that Max helps her a lot in this aspect – but is that not also what we seek in a partner? One who is able to help us see ourselves in a different light…and help us if we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Max stole my heart rather quickly. Yes, he is hot. Yes, he is well aware of it. But is he conceited about it? No, absolutely not. His honesty regarding his casual encounters with women is, in fact, rather refreshing: obviously, he is a man, and he has certain needs that have to be met on a regular basis, but he is never cruel. And you have to appreciate that in a man. His sense of loyalty, his love for his family, and his pretty alpha-ish ways in the bedroom are all contributing factors in making him a new favourite BBF of mine.

These two people seem to be poles apart when you first meet them, so imagine their surprise when they actually seem to gravitate towards one another as times goes by. Yes, they may still be different in many ways, but they value the same things in life. And that, in my opinion, is all that really matters in a relationship: a certain understanding or regard for each other’s needs, but also the willingness to compromise when that is necessary.

I love Miss Aycart’s storytelling skills: there is just something about it that stands out from other authors writing the same type of novels. Her words bring me to tears one minute, and then flat-out, belly-aching laughing the next. The secondary characters are just as well developed as the main ones, and I particularly enjoyed the scenes when she referred to a certain book club. Those were really cute in a sassy way. That is my viewpoint, anyway.

To sum up: yes, I loved this book. Yes, I would recommend it to all romance lovers who enjoy some laughs amidst the tears. Yes, I will most definitely read it again…and again. Because in giving us the final chapter to the Bowen brothers and their lives, Miss Aycart was able to transport me into another world: and that is why I read and love books. I want to lose myself for a couple of hours at a time. She certainly fulfilled this particular need in me which is why this romance is placed on My Favourite Books list. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

(from Amazon.com)

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

Elle loves to hear from readers!

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“Withering Hope” by Layla Hagen – My Review

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Title: “Withering Hope”

Author: Layla Hagen

Genre: Contemporary / New Adult Romance

Release Date: 19th February, 2015.

SYNOPSIS

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.

But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.

As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.

Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.

Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.  

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My Review

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

This is such an incredibly beautiful love story I hardly know where to begin. It is a story of despair, of love, of hope. And it is about a love story that is filled with beauty amidst a cruel setting. I cried, I laughed, and I swooned while reading “Withering Hope” by Layla Hagen, and I dare you to not do the same when you pick it up.

I have only admiration for the heroine, Aimee Myller: she seems to be a strong, determined young woman, and I think that her zest for life is portrayed really well. She has a deep sense of loyalty, too, and the way she feels guilty as she begins to develop deeper feelings towards Tristan Bress feels very realistic and genuine. I would also like to add that the fact that she does everything in her power to be an asset to Tristan, instead of a liability, in the Amazonian jungle is what made me fall in love with her completely.

“I thought the bond between us here in the rainforest was one of friendship. But maybe it’s more. Maybe I feel more for this man who’s not only the strongest person I’ve met, but who also seems more determined to keep me alive than himself.” (Aimee)

Tristan is a very complex, mysterious, and such a closed-off character – in the beginning of the book, at least – and I admit that I was so invested in peeling away his secrets, layer by layer, that I forgot all about the time and that I simply kept reading until the clock struck two in the morning! (This does not happen often, by the way.) Once Tristan’s past and secrets were revealed, my heart broke for him, and I loved seeing how his love for Aimee changes him in many ways. This man has such a beautiful soul, and I love how the author surprised me: what you see is definitely not what you get when it concerns this man. Not in all matters, anyway.

“I wish I could take care of her and make her happy in the way she deserves. I wish I could start fresh with her.” (Tristan)

I have to say that I was a bit sceptical about the setting of this book when I first started reading it, BUT my doubts were very soon put to shame. The fact that most of this book does not involve any secondary characters at all is a bold move by Miss Hagen, but she managed to keep me enthralled throughout the entire book. The imagery in the book is very vivid and lifelike. Miss Hagen possesses a gift of transporting me into her world, and her storytelling skills are simply amazing: she truly made me believe that I was in the rainforest with Aimee and Tristan. Moreover, I have to applaud her for writing such a unique and well-researched love story.

It should not come as a surprise that being the sole survivors of a plane crash makes Aimee and Tristan form such an incredibly strong bond. The fact that their connection ends up being such a profound and meaningful love – one that defies logic, perhaps – is told in a very unique way, and that is why I give the book my highest rating: 5 stars.

“Those terrifying months in the rainforest were, in a way, a gift. Maybe it’s true what they say, that without darkness, you can never truly appreciate the light.” (Aimee)

I loved every page of this romance novel: it is different, the characters complement each other extremely well, and the environment is portrayed in a realistic way. To me, the pace of the story is perfect, and the manner in which Aimee and Tristan’s love for each other develops is remarkable, yet realistic. The ending and the epilogue made me sob – not something that happens often, I might add – but not in a sad way: no, I was a very happy bookaholic because of the beauty of it.

Miss Hagen, thank you for such a wonderful reading experience! “Withering Hope” is most definitely an all-time favourite book of mine. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Layla Hagen Profile

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough

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Book Blitz: The Fading Trilogy by E. K. Blair – Special Box Set Release!

Hello, gorgeous people!
I have loved The Fading Trilogy by E. K. Blair from the very beginning – all three books are on My Favourite Books Shelf – and I am thrilled to see that it is now released in a special box set!
The trilogy box set will release at a special promotional price of only $0.99 for a limited time only, and it includes 3 full-length novels along with 2 bonus short stories!
Below each book, you will find the link to My Review – and if you are new to this series: Read it! Now!
Also, be sure to enter the giveaway!
Enjoy!
Trilogy Blitz
Fading
SYNOPSIS

Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?

Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered. 

The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens. 

At what point do secrets become lies?

MY REVIEW

Fading by E.K. Blair book trailer from Novel Idea Inc. on Vimeo.

Freeing
SYNOPSIS
Knowing who you are and accepting who you are come at different prices. 

Jase Kinrick grew up in your typical, all-American household. But after the death of his sister, his parents shut down, forcing him to deal with everything life throws his way alone. Terrified of the person he’s discovering himself to be, Jase has his way with every willing girl to try and rid himself of what he fears he is—gay. 

Escaping California and moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, Jase frees himself to the reality that he likes men. Never staying with any guy long enough to get to know them, he doesn’t realize that he’s still hiding from who he is until he meets Mark. Scared of having real feelings for another guy stirs up the questions and fears he’s fought hard to bury. 

To strip away the barriers to the heart of what is real, and to be okay with what lies underneath, will be Jase’s moment of truth. But he’ll need Mark to lead him there.
 

MY REVIEW

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SYNOPSIS

Sometimes it takes someone else to show us what we are truly capable of becoming.

Suffering from years of violent abuse, Ryan Campbell has learned how to keep people from getting too close. But when you shut yourself off, people get hurt along the way. Never caring much about others, Ryan creates a world in which he doesn’t have to feel.

When Ryan meets Candace Parker, all of his walls slowly begin to crumble. Not sure of the truth of who she is, he feels his mind is playing tricks on him. Unable to force out the thoughts that consume him, Ryan is haunted by visions that torment him every time he looks at her. He finds himself swallowed by guilt and blame, but he’s unwilling to turn his back on the one person that could possibly save him.

 

You’ve heard Candace’s story in Fading, now hear Ryan’s. 

MY REVIEW

Falling by E.K. Blair book trailer from Novel Idea Inc. on Vimeo.

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iBooks (Still Pending. Check back soon.)

Find The Fading Trilogy on Goodreads

Freeing

Freeing (Fading, #2)

To celebrate the box set release, E. K. Blair is doing a giveaway of an AUTOGRAPHED Trilogy Paperback!

Enter below!

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Release Day Blitz: “Sometimes Moments” by Len Webster – Excerpt, Teasers & Giveaway

 
 
Title: “Sometimes Moments”
Author:  Len Webster
Release Date : January 12th, 2015
SYNOPSIS
One blink,
One breath of air,
One moment in time …
Could change your life forever.
Growing up, Peyton Spencer fell in love with the boy across the road, Callum Reid. As the years went by, it only made sense that they would wind up being completely and utterly infatuated with each other. That was, until the morning Peyton wakes up to find Callum packing up and leaving the small town they lived in.
Left heartbroken and with no explanation, Peyton spends the next four years of her life without him, ensuring they never cross paths again.
At seventeen and months after Callum leaves her, Peyton buries her parents—feeling more alone than ever before. Now at twenty-one, she’s inherited the Family hotel, The Spencer-Dayle. Just when she thinks life couldn’t get more complicated, the one person that shattered her heart, soul and belief returns.
For Peyton, his return opens up all her old wounds and resurfaces the memories she’s tried to forget.
He’s not the same boy she once fell in love with. He’s guarded and keeps secrets close to him. Peyton knows her life will begin to unravel.
Untold truths will finally come to light. Whether or not Peyton wants to hear it, the truth will undoubtedly break her heart all over again. 
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Enjoy the excerpt! 

 
Peyton listened until Jay’s familiar laugh rang high and then she breathed out. His laugh was a form of remedy for her. Though he was so much like Peyton and Graham, he was far different from them. Jay was comfortable with his life. For Peyton, she was just managing.
Shaking her head, Peyton looked down at the papers sprawled on the table. The sound of a chair scratching caught her attention. When she lifted her gaze, she was irritated to see none other than Callum Reid sitting in front of her, his arms crossed over his chest.
Peyton closed her eyes tight and sat properly in her chair. It was a talk Callum wanted, and Peyton had thoroughly avoided it since his return.
“Peyton,” Callum acknowledged in a dull tone.
“Callum,” she said, mimicking the lifeless pitch in his voice.
His lips pursed and he eyed her. Silence was exchanged between them, suffocating her. When it reached an unbearable quota, Peyton started to collect her work.
“Why does everyone in this town love you so much but hate me? I grew up here too.”
His question startled her, causing Peyton to lift her head and glance at him. His eyes swept over the pub, filled with disbelief.
He really doesn’t get it.
“Because you left, Callum,” Peyton stated.
He slowly turned his head until his eyes met hers. Callum’s jaw locked as if he were attempting to control his emotions around her.
“So did everyone else,” he pointed out.
“Everyone had their reasons.”
Callum’s eyes flashed and he abruptly leant forward. “And I didn’t, Peyton?”
“Yes, you did. But you didn’t give me a reason. They all left because they gave a reason. They told the town. They let people know. But you? You just up and left, Callum. You didn’t tell me.”
Callum flinched like her words had hurt him, which Peyton found ridiculous. “I had my reasons, Peyton,” he said through clenched teeth. “But that doesn’t explain why these people I’ve grown up with can’t even look at me.”
This time, it was Peyton who flinched. Her eyes burned. He still didn’t get it.
“Because you didn’t come back!” she shouted, tears running down her cheeks. That façade she had hid behind crumbled. She no longer used a fake smile. For Peyton, this was as raw and as naked as it got for her.
His eyes grew sadder, but she didn’t care. Around them the voices had started to hush until the pub had silenced around them.
“Look around you, Peyton. Nobody else came back!” Callum raised his voice.
Her heart clenched at the truth he spoke.
“But they did,” she sobbed.
Callum shook his head. “No, they didn’t.”
“But they did when I needed them the most!” Peyton cried before she wiped the tears from her cheeks, hating the weakness she was showing.
“What?” he breathed.
“They all came backevery single one of them. The town hates you because you didn’t come back. Everyone came back, Callum. My parents’ funeralthey were all there…except for you!”
Her lips trembled as the heat burned through her chest.
“Peyton,” he said almost apologetically.
“No! That one day. Their funeral. That was the day you could have redeemed yourself, Callum. I don’t care if you couldn’t love me. I needed you then. I lost them and you didn’t show. It was their funeral, Callum. They died. My parents, they loved you. Don’t you get that? They loved you! They wanted meto forgive you, but I couldn’t, and when they died, I knew I could never forgive you. You didn’t have to be there for me. You could have been there to pay your respects or to say goodbye, but you didn’t. The moment I buried them, I buried any hope of you redeeming yourself.”
“I’m—”
Peyton shook her head. “Save it. If you had just come back, I would have forgiven you for breaking my heart. I don’t care if you couldn’t love me back. I just needed your support and for you to acknowledge their deaths. They all came back. The only person who didn’t show was you.” Peyton sniffed and tucked her hair behind her ear.
That was the day she had vowed she would never let him back into her life. The last glint of hope had died with the very last breath her parents had breathed that day all those years ago.
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AUTHOR BIO

The truth is, Len Webster is a romance-loving Melbournian with dreams of finding her version of ‘The One.’ She calls Australia home, but secretly wishes a man with a beautiful accent would whisk her away. She’s been called a hopeless romantic and a firm believer of happily ever afters, which she doesn’t object to.

Having just completed her Bachelor in Business and Commerce, Len can be found daydreaming of her next Europe adventure or swooning over Mr. Darcy. Her best friends are a hot cup of tea, red velvet cupcakes, a warm jumper and her MacBook, ready to write to her heart’s content.
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GIVEAWAY

Signed Paperback of Somtimes Moments

$25 Amazon Giftcard

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GOOD LUCK!

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“All Of You” (The Between Breaths Series #1) by Christina Lee – My Review

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Title: “All Of You” (The Between Breaths Series #1)

Author: Christina Lee

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: 17th September 2013

Publisher: Intermix (Penguin Group (USA) LLC)

SYNOPSIS

Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He’s irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

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My Review

The New Adult genre might be considered “predictable” by some reviewers, but I for one wholeheartedly disagree with such sentiments. True, there are often similar themes recurring in these books, but what matters to me are the STORY, the LANGUAGE, and the FEELINGS they evoke in me. And yes, I do believe that capital letters are in order here.

This is the first full-length novel of Christina Lee that I have read, and I am so happy to end the year 2014 with a bang – yes, you may giggle all you want *wink* – and ”All Of You” was and is a book that fulfilled my hopes of finishing off the year with a great New Adult novel.

I will not go into that many details about the story line – read the synopsis, dear readers, and you will get a very clear picture of what this romance is about – but, as always, my review will be spoiler-free and reflect the thoughts and feelings I had while reading it.

One of the things that stand out in this book is the heroine, Avery: she does not do relationships because of past issues, but she is certain to make that very clear when she meets a guy her libido takes a fancy to. This makes her a very refreshing character in my eyes; she comes off as a rather cynical young woman, but anyone suffering from abuse will tell you that this is a very common character trait, and it deserves respect. She does, however, work in an environment that tugs at her heartstrings, and the more I got to know Avery, the more I saw a gentle and vulnerable side to her, and I could not help but admire this woman.

Meeting Bennett forces Avery to finally take stock of her life and issues, and I confess that I had a big, fat grin on my face when this guy reveals his hopes and wishes for the future: because here is a cute, handsome, genuine guy who does not sleep around – at all – and one who makes Avery trip over her feet because of the hot-as-sin chemistry they share.

I truly loved Bennett – no, scratch that: I adored him. He seems older beyond his years – and once you learn about his past, you fully understand why that is – and the fact that he seems hell-bent on sticking to his code, I found it incredibly sweet how his resolve wavered whenever Avery is around him. This, in my opinion, just goes to show that he is a very believable character, because – and let us be honest here – what hot-blooded male can resist a sexy woman? *wink*

Avery and Bennett are not as different as one would think, and I applaud the author for creating characters that you can relate to completely; their pasts, although different, are a part of who they are, but they strive to make their future become better from what they have known before. Moreover, they are both adamant about the fact that everything should happen on their own terms instead of letting others dictate their choices: that, to me, tells me that they are incredibly strong characters.

Miss Lee’s storytelling skills had me hooked from the very first page; the narration flows really well, and even though this, to me, feels like a very sweet love story, it is also one that left me chuckling and swooning on more than one occasion. I would say, though, that I would have loved a few chapters or an epilogue written from Bennett’s point of view, but that is not to say that the story is lacking in any way – I am just a greedy bookaholic who cannot get enough of this guy.

To sum up: if you love the NA genre, and if you have been searching for a somewhat different story for a while, but still one that will make you swoon and sigh, I would recommend “All Of You”. Avery and Bennett complement each other tremendously, and I actually miss this book couple a lot. Miss Lee, thank you for a wonderful reading experience! You have gained a new fan in this Dane. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.  She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.  Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.  Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Peguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.

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“Darker Water” (Once and Forever #1) by Lauren Stewart – My Review

 

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Title: “Darker Water” (Once and Forever #1)

Author: Lauren Stewart

Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 3rd October, 2014.

Publisher: Off the Hook Publishing

SYNOPSIS

After another painful breakup, Laney Temple finally understands that love is a fairytale and sex rarely comes with a happy ending. She’s too busy for it right now anyway–she has a business to run, art to create, and candy to crush. Eventually she’ll be ready to switch from her plastic-or-silicon lover to a flesh-and-blood one. But before that happens, she needs to be sure she won’t feel any of those annoying emotions that make her heart do things it wasn’t meant to do…

Like break

Carson Bennett is completely upfront about what he wants, and it has nothing to do with Laney’s heart. Her lips? Hell yeah. Other parts of her body? You better f*cking believe it. But her heart? Nope, not even a little. Until it does…a lot. But having feelings for someone isn’t allowed. It’s the kind of thing you’re supposed to push down deep and cover up with one-night stands, sarcasm, and booze…

Like secrets

Two people want the same thing–a commitment to nothing more than great sex in a bunch of different positions. Simple. Enjoyable. A win-win. Problem is, those two people have families and fears and pain that spill into every moment of their lives, control what they do and who they are. And if either Carson or Laney can’t free themselves from the past, they’ll both be pulled under by it.

*** Darker Water is a stand-alone contemporary romance that does not end in a cliffhanger.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Every woman has had their heart broken at one point in her life, and I think it is pretty safe to say that many have been told that you have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your prince. I know that my own mother imparted this to me when I was younger. Well, kissing a lot of frogs can be exhausting! And for each frog that you come across in your life, you tend to lose a bit of hope as well as a small piece of your heart. At least, that is what I remember feeling, and it is the same for the heroine in “Darker Water” by Lauren Stewart.

Laney Temple has had her fair share of frogs in her life, and after a particularly nasty break-up, she comes to the conclusion that there really is no such thing as Prince Charming – or, rather, she believes that she has turned her past boyfriends into frogs! So she decides that she has had enough with the opposite sex and she refuses to allow herself to become involved with a man again.

Carson Bennett has a long line of hook ups in his past, and even though he wants Laney to simply drop her knickers and let him in – yes, he is that forward in his approach – he is very upfront with her from the beginning: he does not do “love”. He does not cheat or lie, either, but he has his own reasons for avoiding jumping on the “love train”. To Laney, Carson may be exactly what she needs: if she spends enough time with him, can she then teach herself to separate sex from love? Well, time will tell…

A rather peculiar friendship forms between these two jaded people, and I have to say that I really enjoyed getting to know Laney and Carson. They are both hell-bent on keeping their hearts closed from forming any kind of romantic feelings, but that is why I loved this book: as they get to know each other as friends, they inadvertently become a constant fixture in each other’s lives that they cannot – and will not – let go.

“He was so far from being the perfect guy, and that was what made him so perfect for me. No expectations, no emotional crap, no frog.” (Laney)

I have to admit that although I loved Laney a great deal, she sometimes seemed to be a bit too cynical for her age; however, when I remember my own past heartaches, I cannot help but understand her closed-off view of love at the same time. I realise that I may be contradicting myself here, but so be it: I have to be honest. And like I said, I fell for Laney: she is smart, sassy, and strong.

I found Carson to be a very funny guy on the surface; he is rather cocky, yes, but very charming about it, and you cannot help but fall in love with him. Once I got to know him better, and once he revealed his past, I had no trouble understanding his reasoning for keeping his heart intact. You will, of course, have to read the book in order to fully get my meaning, but I refuse to write spoilers in my reviews. Let me just say that my heart was shredded when I learned about the things he has gone through.

“’If it could be anyone,’ he whispered, ‘it would be you.’” (Carson)

The banter between Laney and Carson made me laugh so hard, and I found myself going back to read certain scenes again because of the wit Miss Stewart incorporates in her book. What makes this such a great book in my eyes is the fact that it is written in dual POVs. It is easy to distinguish the voices of the characters, and I feel that Miss Stewart excels at showing her readers how different, yet similar, Laney and Carson are.

“Unlike all the times before, this actually was love and it hurt and it wasn’t going to stop. Because I would never give it up. Because it was worth everything.” (Laney)

I would also like to say that fans of steamy scenes will get their wish granted…Even though they are written in a much different way than we may be used to seeing these days. But, moreover, this is just a really well-written friends-to-lovers romance that I know I will read many times in the future, and I strongly urge you to buy this book. Miss Stewart, thank you for a fantastic reading experience! I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

(from Goodreads Author Profile)

Lauren Stewart lives in Northern California with two of the most amazing children that the world has ever seen. She reads almost every genre so, naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you’ll find elements of other genres–fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women’s literature, all with a touch of humor because what doesn’t kill us should make us laugh.

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