Blog Tour: “Through Infinity” & “thanks for the memories” by Libby Austin – My Review & Giveaway

 

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Synopsis

Candice and Jason Woodruff had everything going for them: a strong marriage, the family they’d dreamed of, and successful businesses. When they made their wedding vows, they promised to love each other through infinity and beyond…but Candice doesn’t remember making that vow. Candice doesn’t remember the last eighteen years.
After a medical emergency, Candice awakens to find herself a married mother of four. She’s surrounded by a loving family of strangers, but Candice struggles to claim an identity while learning to be a wife and mother.
Candice is no longer the same woman Jason fell in love with all those years ago. Can they learn to love each other in this new reality?
Through Infinity is one woman’s journey as she rediscovers the love of her husband and children. But will that new found love be strong enough to carry them through infinity and beyond…

Christmas Arrangement 

Synopsis

Jason knew Candice’s biggest Christmas wish was to remember the past eighteen years. As Thanksgiving approached, Candice retreated further within herself. Jason enlisted the help of their family and friends to grant Candice’s wish. Each shared their cherished memories and placed them in a tin. Surprised to find the collection of tins, she couldn’t help but wonder what was inside.

With each memory, Candice felt a little more connected to the life and people she’d forgotten in the wake of her accident. Each one brought a sense of fulfillment and longing. When Christmas day arrived, would Candice be able to say thanks for the memories?

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My Review

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

What would you do if you woke up one morning unable to remember the last twenty years of your life? How would you feel? And would you want to get your life back exactly the way it was, or would you make some changes? First of all, it is probably safe to say that most people, including me, would be incredibly scared, angry and, perhaps, feel rather lost and unable to wrap their heads around it.

“Through Infinity” & “thanks for the memories” by Libby Austin tell a very moving and heart-warming story about Candice who wakes up with amnesia. Believing herself to be only twenty-three years old, imagine the heartbreak of learning that she is, in fact, forty, and that she has been married for fifteen years. Oh, and let us not forget the fact that her and her husband, Jason – who she does not remember, either – have four children. To say that Candace is scared and confused would be an understatement.

This is a story about how one woman finds herself in a situation few of us cannot even imagine, and about what she has to do in order to get her life back. In this process, she has to re-learn even some very simple things – things we take for granted – and, in doing so, find out if the life she has led up to this point is the one she truly wants. And how can you know that if you cannot remember a vast number of years? How do you cope? Moreover, how does your family and children cope with a loved one having amnesia?

I have to say that the struggles Candice go through were close to tearing me to pieces. I also feel that despite her initial panic about her situation, she handles her recovery in a very admirable way, and I really came to like her. The fact that her husband, Jason, stands by her every step of the way gives a whole new meaning to the following line of the wedding vows: “for better or for worse”, and reading about their life as he helps Candice fill in the blanks was very enjoyable to me.

Miss Austin has, in my opinion, written a story in such a way that you cannot help but take pleasure from her words, and this is not a sad story, mind you. There are plenty of moments when I found myself chuckling because of the humour and dry wit in which the author has chosen to write her book – especially in the scenes involving Candice and Jason’s children – and I also believe that the journey Candice goes through is pretty easy to relate to.

All in all, I would definitely recommend “Through Infinity” & “thanks for the memories” to lovers of second-chance love stories – well, that is what I would call it anyway, because of the lack of memory the heroine has to suffer through. There are some tears, some laughter, some feel-good moments, and these all play a massive part of whether or not I enjoy a romance novel.

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PURCHASE LINKS

“Through Infinity”

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

“thanks for the memories”

US Amazon | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Amazon CA  | Barnes and Nobles | Kobo | Inktera | Google Play

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

One day some words came to mind, so I wrote them down. Soon the words became sentences, which formed paragraphs, which, in turn, formed chapters. Before long, those words had become a book.

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m a wife, mother, and business owner. I’ve lived on the Gulf, East, and West Coasts, but as a born and raised Southern girl, my favorite will always be the Gulf Coast. There’s just no place like home…

 

SOCIAL LINKS

Libby’s Webpage

Facebook Author Page  

Facebook Friend Page 

Twitter

Libby Austin Google+

Goodreads

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“Sting” (Spark Series #4) by Jennifer Ryder – My Review

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Title: “Sting” (Spark, #4)

Author: Jennifer Ryder

Genre: Steamy Erotic Romance

Release Date: 27th February, 2015.

 

SYNOPSIS

Going undercover has its challenges. When Detective Ryan Clark is sent to the sleepy coastal town of Fremantle to dismantle the country’s most lethal drug syndicate, it’s worth the risk. Even if he becomes a fatality in the war against drugs.

Ryan finds himself coming back to the same coffee shop. Blondie, the local barista, has him hot under the collar and reaching for his piece. He knows the attraction isn’t just one-sided.

She’s trying to keep her distance.

It only makes him want her more.

Willow Asher left it all behind, but not by choice.

After two long years, she’s finally getting somewhere. Willow has a busy café with her buxom business partner, Gabby, who is the closest thing she has to family.

Although Willow’s past still plagues her thoughts, she’s determined to have her happily-ever-after. As soon as her demons stop haunting her.

What she doesn’t need is the complication of Mr Sexy-Brown-Eyes, who seems to be drinking more and more coffee.

She doesn’t want the questions.

She’s still trying to get her story straight.

*** For over 18 years. Contains Adult themes. CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE***

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 My Review

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

I have been a fan of Jennifer Ryder’s work ever since her first book, “Spark”, came out last year. Her ability to create stories with believable and relatable characters always draw me in, and ever since she introduced us to Detective Ryan Clark in “Spike”, I have been very curious to find out if this very sexy man would end up surprising me. I am happy to say that he has – and in the best possible way.

Being an undercover cop has its ups and downs, but Ryan loves his job, despite the sacrifices he has to make whenever he is working on one. This time, he is moving to the small town of Fremantle in order to bust a major drug cartel, but it does not take long before this charismatic man gets more than he bargained for.

Willow Asher, the local barista is a very guarded, but attractive woman, and Ryan quickly becomes rather intrigued by her. Granted, her beauty is what catches his attention first – he is a man, after all – but the way she conducts herself whenever he is around soon makes him realise that here is a woman who has the ability to make Ryan think about more than his career: could she be the woman he, unknowingly, has been waiting for? Equally important, how is it fair to start a relationship with someone when he cannot be completely honest about whom he is? Finally, what secrets is Willow keeping, and will she find herself able to confide in Ryan eventually?

Read the book and these questions will be answered. 😉

Like I said in the beginning of this review, Ryan took me by surprise. I was already aware of the fact that he loves his job, and that he is very good at it, too, but what made me fall head over heels in love with him was experiencing the love he has for his family, his sense of loyalty to the people closest to him, and, finally, the way he does not seem to be reluctant to let his feelings for Willow develop. This man truly has the biggest heart rarely seen: he is a protector, a friend, and, yes, a very sexual man – but what woman in their right mind does not long for these three character traits in a partner? I cannot think of a single one. Moreover, he has a wicked sense of humour that made me snort-giggle, or downright laugh, sometimes; lastly, the fact that he becomes a bit of a romantic sap – his own words, not mine – when he realises the depth of his feelings for Willow made me swoon completely. Ryan felt so real to me, and you all know how much I appreciate that in the books I read.

Willow is quirky, sweet, and rather funny as well when she lets her guard down. Being forced to uproot her life and ending up a successful business owner, making some good out of a horrible situation, made me admire her a great deal. Her circumstances in life also made me very sad, and I found myself glued to my Kindle, near desperate to learn what had happened to her: she is quite a mystery. However, the way she, in the end, allows herself to let go, both emotionally and sexually, was a joy to experience. My romantic heart was almost filled to burst when Willow finally realises that there is not only darkness and fear in the world – no, there is also light and hope, even for her. So, yes, I developed quite a girl crush on her.

As always, Miss Ryder’s storytelling skills are incredible. Her passion for her story and her characters shine through, and her ever-present wit and dry humour made me lose myself, forgetting about the real world for a few hours. If I did not need to sleep sometimes, I believe I would have read “Sting” in one sitting, actually – that is how immersed I was in this romance novel.

This review would not be complete if I failed to mention Gabs – Willow’s friend and business partner – because this character is simply hilarious! Despite her own past heartaches, she has managed to pull herself up and lead a life that is pretty close to perfect for her and her daughter, Sienna. Trust me when I say that the antics of this woman will have you laughing so hard that you will come pretty close to pee your pants. 😉

If you, like me, already are a fan of Miss Ryder, I am sure you have bought a copy of “Sting” by now. However, if you are new to the Spark Series, I will have to urge you to pick them up asap. In my honest opinion, you do not have to read the first three books in the series in order to enjoy “Sting” – it can definitely be read as a standalone novel – but I would still recommend them to all lovers of romance novels: these books will make you laugh, cry, swoon, and even slightly turned on.

Miss Ryder, thank you for giving us the story of Ryan and Willow. It has been a real pleasure getting to know them. ❤

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PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

 

 

 Interested in the Spark Series?

Then check them out below!

Jennifer Ryder Spark series

“Spark” (Spark #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B&N

“Spike” (Spark #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B&N

“Strike” (Spark #3): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | B&N

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer

 

New Adult and erotic romance writer, and author of the Spark series.

A sexy imagination, a life-long love of books and a sucker for romance, Jennifer Ryder couldn’t stifle her creativity any longer.

Writing steamy adult romance has become her new focus. Living on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, she enjoys the best of city and country.

Her loving husband is ever willing to provide inspiration, and her two young cherubs, and sheep that don’t see fences as barriers, keep life more than interesting.

Jennifer placed third in the International Stringybark Erotic Short Fiction Award 2013.

SOCIAL LINKS

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

 

 

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Release Day Blitz: “A Stone in the Sea” (A Bleeding Stars Novel #1) by A. L. Jackson – My Review, Teasers, Excerpt & Giveaway

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Title: “A Stone in the Sea” (A Bleeding Stars Novel #1)

Author: A. L. Jackson

Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 23rd Febuary, 2015.

SYNOPSIS

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

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My Review

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

There is something about A. L. Jackson’s penmanship that always manages to draw me in immediately when I read her stories. I may not have picked up every book she has written – yet – but only because of a severe lack of time (always an issue for a bookaholic, eh?). However, I am a massive fan of hers, and I have actually no idea how I will write this review without revealing spoilers…I will try, though, to do my best.

With “A Stone in the Sea”, Miss Jackson introduces us to a slightly sexier side to her writing – that is how I feel, at least – yet you have no problem identifying her trademark evocative storytelling skills at the same time.

Sebastion Stone is, to the outside, the typical rock star, but this is, in fact, a man who feels everything, which is why he completely stole my heart; he is difficult, perhaps, but all artists are to a certain extent, and once you become more and more acquainted with him, his family, and his secrets, you will understand why that is. He is so loyal and protective to those he loves, and these are only admirable traits, of course.

Shea Bentley is guarding her own secrets, past hurts and heartaches, but she cannot deny the attraction she feels towards Sebastian. She has a beautiful soul, and she almost always chooses to see the good in people. But do not let that deceive you because she is far from naïve: this is a woman who is so much stronger than she appears to be, and I loved how she is not afraid to go to battle for Sebastian.

I always enjoy when authors include the POVs of both of the main characters, but more so now than ever: the complexities of these two people run deep, and I loved delving into their hearts and minds, allowing me to see the real persons underneath the masks they show to the outside world.

Now, even though this is a story filled with anguish and heartache, it is also incredibly funny and uplifting. I am not afraid to admit that I even snort-giggled from time. I will also have to confess, though, that the story did break my heart a bit…I will not divulge why that is, of course, but just be prepared to cry while reading this beautiful, deeply emotional love story.

I realise that this review is quite shorter from the ones I usually write, but I fear that I will reveal too much if I write anymore. Suffice it to say, I ADORED this romance because of all the feelings I went through while reading it, and I simply cannot wait until Miss Jackson releases the next book in the series. ❤

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PURCHASE LINKS
EXCERPT

With a smile, I turned around, then froze when my sight registered the obscured figure leaning against the wall. A strangled gasp caught in my throat, and my heart took off at a sprint, blood pounding hard in my ears.

Pushing from the wall, he stepped from the shadows, his hands again stuffed deep in his pockets.

My heart rate only increased, the energy radiating from him almost as strong as the disappointment he’d left me with when he’d gone.

I pressed my hand to my chest to try to still the panic thundering against my ribs. “You scared me.”

“I’m sorry.” The words were soft. “That’s the last thing I want to do.”

But he did. I was scared of what he was capable of doing to me, the way I knew he held the power to trounce all over this hammering heart, to hold it in his hand and crush it into a million unrecognizable pieces.

“What are you doing here?” I asked on a shaky breath.

He looked to the sky and exhaled heavily, before he leveled his gaze back on me. “The same thing I’m doing every night, Shea. Thinking about you and wondering why the hell I can’t stop.”

My stomach flipped, and I gulped for air.

“What do you want from me?”

He laughed, lifted his elbows out to his sides in a helpless gesture without pulling his hands free. “Dinner?”

Nonsensical laughter shot from me. “At three in the morning?”

“Breakfast?” he amended, a coy smile pulling at his full, crooked lips.

Tingles spread across my skin, and I ran my hands up my bare arms. “I already told you I don’t have time for distractions.”

“Come on, Shea. It’s just food. Go out with me. Just tonight.”

Somehow I knew it was a lie, even though he wanted to believe it was true.

Nervously, I glanced to the back door all the while being inexplicably drawn to this man I didn’t even know. I knew I should make a break for it, run for the safety of my little world and give him no opportunity to rip it apart.

“I am hungry,” I found myself saying. After a long night of work, it was true. But it had nothing to do with the reason I was giving in.

Because I just wanted to…

I shook my head.

That was it. I just wanted. I wanted to be in his space. I wanted to understand why he had this pull on me. I wanted him.

Even though I’d never allow myself to have him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including If Forever Comes, Pulled and When We Collide, as well as the New Adult Romance Come To Me Quietly due out January 7, 2014.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

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Blog Tour: “Taming Me” (Cover To Covers #5) by Alexandrea Weis – My Review, Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway

Title: “Taming Me”

Series: Cover to Covers #5

Author: Alexandrea Weis

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 2, 2015

Lexie Palmer is a writer in search of the perfect story.

When a case of mistaken identity introduces her to the charismatic dominant, Garrett Hughes, she discovers her salvation. In hopes of penning an accurate portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle, Garrett agrees to educate Lexie.

She eagerly places herself in Garret’s capable hands, but what starts out as just business with the sexy Mr. Hughes takes a turn toward the unexpected.

Soon, Lexie becomes immersed in his world, and finds Garret taking control of her life. Her experiences with Garrett may be providing wonderful material for her book, but how far is she willing to go to for her story?

Lexie Palmer is about to get a lesson in submission that she will never forget.

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

It has now been a year since I was introduced to Alexandrea Weis and her books for the first time, and her ability to create stories that are engaging, lifelike, and filled with romance have made her become one of my favourite authors. There is just something about her books that always draw me in from the very beginning, and I can honestly say that “Taming Me” did the same as the other novels I have, so far, had the pleasure of reading: I lost  myself in the love story, yes, but, moreover, the characters, Lexie and Garrett, made me realise that, although people – in my opinion, at least – deep down do not ever change, they do have the ability to evolve and become better at making compromises in order to find happiness.

As ever, I will endeavour to write a completely spoiler free review, so I will not necessarily provide you with a rundown of the plot – because that is not the way I write my reviews – however, I cannot avoid it entirely, of course.

Lexie Palmer, a somewhat successful romance novelist, has hit a rut: her books are not selling as well as they used to, and so she needs to come up with a completely new approach to find inspiration for her next novel. Luckily, a chance meeting in a park seems to do the trick, and her fascination with the life of Garrett Hughes commences. Because as soon as Garrett reveals that he is a Dom, a new story begins to form in her mind, and Lexie manages to convince Garrett to depart with his insider knowledge into the BDSM lifestyle; but as time passes, Lexie finds herself becoming more and more interested in this intriguing man, instead of the Dom, and the question is if she will be able to let go of her preconceived notions about how a relationship should be like and take a chance? And is Garrett actually who he says he is? Hmm. Well, you will have to read the book in order to find out. 😉

Lexie is a wonderful character: independent, strong, and determined to succeed as a writer. She is rather jaded when it concerns men, but that is due to her failed marriage. And you cannot really question that or blame her for feeling that way. I loved seeing her evolve from this rather “playing-it-safe” woman and into one willing and, mostly, unafraid to take chances.

Garrett was first introduced to us in the “That Night With You” – the previous book of the Cover To Covers Series – and I have to confess that I have been looking forward to getting his story ever since. To be perfectly honest, he is quite the enigma: a successful architect, elusive, and not someone to reveal his innermost thoughts until the very end. This, to me, does not mean that he is a frustrating character, though that could very well have been the case; no, the subtlety of this man, the way he speaks and educate Lexie, intrigued me so, and I could not help but think that this man has a very specific agenda when it concerns her…but what is it? In the end, Garrett bares his soul completely, and that made me fall in love with him entirely.

The title of this book is, in my opinion, spot on: because who will be tamed, Lexie or Garrett? I see both of them as being pretty stubborn characters – on the surface, at least – and they refuse to let go of their stubbornness throughout most of the story; however, that is not to say this is wrong. No, these characters have trust issues, and I enjoyed seeing them tear down their walls, bit by bit, until, in the end, they find the courage to trust in one another completely. You cannot truly love another person if you do not have trust – not in my opinion, anyway – and Lexie and Garrett are pretty good examples of this fact.

I cannot profess to know a great deal about what the BDSM lifestyle is like in the real world, but Miss Weiss manages to paint a very vivid, believable picture of it, and it definitely appears to be a topic very well researched. The setting of the book, New Orleans, is interesting and captivating, and you get the sense that this may be just the perfect city when is concerns the pleasures that are of a sexual nature: it is more open, more free, if you will, and definitely not frowned upon to have “different” tastes.

The storytelling skills of Miss Weis are, as always, unique and engaging; Lexie and Garrett may be fictional, but they could actually be real people: that is how believable and genuine they are. Furthermore, the pace of the story flows really well, and the dry wit and banter between all the characters made me chuckle or even roll my eyes in amusement a time or two.

I have nothing but praise for this book, and I can honestly say that, out of all the books of Miss Weis’ that I have read and marked as favourites? This one tops them all. Thank you for a lovely reading experience, Miss Weis! And thank you for always satisfying my romantic – and, at times, cynical – heart with your love stories. ❤

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“When I punish a sub, I want to make the punishment memorable, but in another way I want to make it reinforce their submission to me.” He removed his tie, curling it about his long fingers.” Punishment is about withholding pleasure; tempting, promising, but never giving.”

I was mesmerized by the way the cool gray silk was laced in and around his fingers. I hurriedly gazed down at the drink in my hand.  “So what do you do, spank them, tie them up, what?”

He took my drink and put it on the table. “Would you like a demonstration?”

“No.” I shrank away, picturing being held over his lap and spanked like a child.

He leaned toward me, holding up his tie. “If you want to truly learn about my world, Lexie, you must experience it.” His face inched ever so close to mine. “I promise I will not hurt you,” he softly added.

His thin lips hovered in front of me as I considered his offer. He had a point; perhaps I needed to experience what he did to his subs in order to be able to write about it. As his dark brown eyes seared into me, my resistance slipped away.

“All right, fine.” I sat back against the sofa. “But I’m only agreeing to do this for the sake of the book.”

“Of course. It’s all about the book.” He stood from the sofa and went to the middle of the room. “Come here.”

Taking in a deep breath, I stood up and approached him. Without my heels I came right under his chin, and I could see the slight dimple there. I had never noticed that before.

“Turn around,” he commanded.

Sighing at the insistence in his voice, I did as he asked, wishing he could just ask nicely for once. When his hands went to the zipper on the back of my dress I almost pulled away, and then remembered his words from previous encounters. I had to relax, and I had to trust him.

“You didn’t pull away,” he whispered as the zipper slowly eased downward. “You’re learning.”

“I’m getting—”

“No talking. You never talk when I’m punishing you.”

I snorted. Silly me.

After he had pushed my black cocktail dress off my shoulders, I stood calmly as the fabric slid down my body and gathered about my ankles. Standing before him in my underwear and strapless bra did not seem like such a feat anymore. Maybe I was getting the hang of this; and then another thought hit me. Or maybe I wanted to be naked in front of him.

His fingers lightly stroked along my shoulders and then his deep voice said, “Put your hands behind your back.”

Still not sure what to expect, I complied, and soon I felt the silk tie being wrapped about my wrists and secured tightly. At this point, I should have been getting concerned. Every instinct I had was screaming at me not to go along with his plans, but at a certain point in a relationship there comes a time when belief in another person outweighs reason. We want to believe someone will be kind to us, love us, or take care of us no matter how many times our past has taught us otherwise. This was that moment for me. I believed Garrett would not hurt me, and I knew then that I trusted him.

When his hands left my wrists, they began working their way down my back until his fingers hooked the top of my black silk panties. He eased the panties down my hips and all the way to my ankles. Lifting my right foot and then my left, he removed the underwear and dress from about my feet.

The cool air in my apartment was making my flesh dance with goose pimples, and when his hand cupped my behind, the chill turned into a rush of heat.

“On your knees,” he said behind me.

With a little awkward effort I got down on my knees. I prepared myself for a few slaps on my butt, thinking that was what he had in mind for my punishment. But when he kneeled behind me and pushed my head over to the hardwood floor, my stomach clenched. Feeling so exposed only compounded the rush of adrenaline racing through me. My heart was pounding and my breath was coming in nervous gasps. I stayed like that for a few minutes, waiting for him to touch me, spank me … do something.

Keep reading – I hope you enjoy the interview with Miss Weis!

 

Hello Alexandrea,

Thank you so much for letting The Danish Bookaholic Blog run an interview with you. I have been looking forward to it for some time now.

Here goes:

 1. What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts and ends with my animals. I get up, feed furry people and spend the day juggling their needs and my writing. I do spend several hours a day on the computer, usually with dogs at my feet or a squirrel in my lap. When I am not writing, or tending to the zoo, I am an avid runner.

2. Where do you find the inspiration for your books?

Anything can bring a story to mind. Things just pop into my head, usually when I am driving … don’t ask me why. I’m not sure how the process works, and that is probably one mystery I don’t wish to know about. I just get an idea and it builds, until it needs to be written down.

3. What, in your opinion, is the most challenging aspect of being a self-published author today?

PR! Without a doubt getting your name out there is tough. There are so many books, so many writers that you have to really struggle to stand out. It’s a real challenge.

4. Out of all the books you have written, which one is your favourite? (If you have one, that is?)

My favorite is always my first, To My Senses, with The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine running a close second. I love those stories, the heartache and the poignancy of the characters still gets to me. I guess your first book is like a first love … unforgettable. 

5. How did you research the BDSM life style in your latest book, “Taming Me”? 😉

LOL! I should probably say lots of hands on experience, but my husband would die! Thank God for Google. Although, I did interview a few Doms about their methods for handling subs. This is New Orleans and there are lots of bars in the French Quarter where such individuals hang out, and are surprisingly open to talking about their lifestyle. However, I already have 4-legged Doms in my life, telling me what to do all day long, so I kind of had an idea of where to start.    

Again, thank you so much for stopping by!

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

To read more about Alexandrea Weis or her books, you can go to the following sites:

 

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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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“Held Against You” by Season Vining – My Review

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Title: “Held Against You”

Author: Season Vining

Genre: New Adult / Contemporary / Romantic Suspense

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (US Macmillan Publishers)

Release Date: 13th January, 2015.

SYNOPSIS

Accused of a horrible crime and on the run, Kat has been rejected by everyone she loves. She’s a fugitive from her past, flitting from town to town with nothing but the clothes on her back. Until she meets a man who literally stops her in her tracks.

This notorious bounty hunter, with his stunning good looks and powerful instincts, never fails to capture his prey. But there’s something about his newest mark that gets under his skin–and it’s not just the naked innocence he sees in her eyes. Behind his ice cold demeanor, he has his own secrets… and now his lively, vulnerable captive is about to crack him wide open.

As they drive across the country together, neither of them can deny the spark of attraction between them. Will their journey force these two passionate opposites together…or will their dangerous secrets be too much to bear?

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

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

It has been a while since I read a romantic suspense novel – you know what it is like when you are a bookaholic: you have a tendency to jump between genres, reading a certain one for a while before feeling you need a change of scenery. I believe that “Held Against You” by Season Vining will appeal to other readers of this genre, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.

I see no need to hatch down the book and write a synopsis of it – the blurb tells you a lot about it already – but I will endeavour to write a spoiler free review of it.

One of the things that appealed to me about Kat, the heroine of the book, is the fact that she owns up to her crime; she knows that she should pay for what she has done, but, at the same time, she is terrified of going to prison. Her emotional state of mind is very believable to me, and I do believe that most of us would try to make a run for it if we were to find ourselves in the same position.

Another thing I want to touch upon is Kat’s personality: she is quite the character! Her love of the eighties, her zest for life, and her geeky nature made me laugh a lot; but her defence mechanism is to use humour, it is her armour, and I really loved it whenever her mask slipped and I got to see her vulnerable side as well.

The bounty hunter – and he shall remain nameless – is a very closed-off, mysterious, and actually also a very sad kind of person. The life he leads is a lonely one – by his choice, of course – but he carries so many demons within that you, like Kat, want to see unravel…You really want to get to know him on an intimate level. So his character had me very curious all throughout the book.

You cannot help but wonder how Kat’s fate can ever have a happy outcome, but I found myself hoping and praying that, somehow, she would be able to escape prison; otherwise, her personality, I believe, would be crushed in such an environment.

Miss Vining has an appealing way of telling the story of Kat and the bounty hunter; she manages to paint a very vivid picture of the situation and the surroundings, the way her characters think and feel, and I must say that I am glad she has chosen to write the book in dual POVs; it allows us, the readers, the chance to fully connect with the characters, and you all know how important that is.

Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who, like me, enjoy a bit of fun in their romantic suspense novels; both Kat and the bounty hunter are very complex characters, and I like the many layers of the plot. The writing is engaging, the pace flows really well, and there are also a couple of interesting secondary characters which are an asset to the story as a whole.

I will most definitely be reading more of this author’s work in the future.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

(from Goodreads Author Profile)

SEASON VINING is an author, a designer, a philanthropist, a bookworm, a cook, inked, and a night owl. She loves John Hughes films, tattooed boys, and celebrating anniversaries of her 29th birthday. She lives in Louisiana, where she likes to spend time with her corgi, Chap.

Season is a graphic designer by trade and adores all form of art. She’s a fan of live music, vintage cars, and people who know the difference between their, there, and they’re.

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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

FALLINGCoverFINAL
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.

PURCHASE LINKS

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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GOOD LUCK!

“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.

ADD TO GOODREADS

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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PURCHASE LINKS

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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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“The Hook Up” (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan – My Review

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Title: “The Hook Up” (Game On #1)

Author: Kristen Callihan

Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 8th September, 2014.

SYNOPSIS

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she’s shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It’s a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

***New Adult/Contemporary Romance with a HEA – Recommended for readers 17 and older.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

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

Well, this NA romance was a really pleasant surprise to me. “The Hook Up” by Kristen Callihan has everything that I could wish for in a romance novel: swoon, sass, and – to be perfectly honest – steam. However, what makes Anna and Drew’s story feel so very special to me is due to development they both go through as their relationship progresses.

The attachment Anna forms with Drew seems perfectly simple at first: one hook up, and that is it. Obviously, nothing seems to go as Anna has planned, because this one hook up leads to the next; and, finally, she finds herself in a friends-with-benefits relationship that she definitely did not see coming. But will she find the strength within to open up her heart and allow Drew to see every part of her soul?

I was thrilled when I found out that this book is written in dual POVs, because I truly believe this particular aspect allows a reader, such as me, the opportunity to fully connect with the main characters of a book. And reading Drew’s point of view, experiencing his determination first-hand – his game plan, if you will – in winning Anna over made me chuckle as well as making my heart go all aflutter because of the romance of it all.

“Love, when it came for me, did not creep. No, it walked up to me, bold as you please, you know, just in case I wasn’t paying attention. It did, however, slap me upside my head.” (Drew)

Anna is a complex character, but that is why I fell in love with her: although appearing as this rather “tough-as-nails” young woman, she, like so many others, have some very deep scars, and the fact that she is completely unsure about her career plans makes her a very realistic character to me. Too often, I find that so many characters know exactly what they want – even though they are only in their early twenties – and that is definitely not believable to me. True, many young men and women know what they want in life, but that was not me ten years ago: I had no idea of where I was headed, work-wise I mean, and I am thrilled to see a heroine who is so much like me. And that is why I connected with her on a very deep level.

“He’s slowly carving his name into my heart. And it hurts.” (Anna)

Drew seems like this very self-assured, revered jock, and he is. But, like Anna, he was forced to grow up very quickly, and his past has defined the path he is choosing to take. In many ways, he is this really confident guy who seemed a bit unreal to me in the beginning, but, as I got to know him, I found a young man who possesses so many admirable qualities, and one who does not let that many people see below the surface of the college star that he is. His is a very sensitive soul, actually, and when I reached the final page in the book, Drew had completely won me over.

What makes Anna and Drew so perfect for one another is the fact that they learn how to lean on each other when times are hard; but, more importantly, they realise that trusting and relying on your loved one when you feel as if you cannot stand on your own two feet is more than acceptable. Yes, they definitely also have a lot of fun, but the way these two characters are so in sync was beautiful to experience. Theirs is not a sappy or over the top love story, not at all. It just is.  Anna and Drew are, plain and simple, soul mates.

‘“Why won’t you let me kiss you, Anna?”

I can’t breathe.

“Why, Anna?”

“It’s too much,” I rasp.

“Not when I want everything.” He says it so deep and strong, a staking of a claim. “And I want everything with you, Anna.”’ (Drew & Anna)

This is the first book I have read by Miss Callihan, and I admit that she had med hooked from the very beginning; her storytelling skills are very engaging, funny and honest. Moreover, she simply has her own, unique voice, one that draws you in immediately, and her secondary characters – although not the focus of the book, of course – are well-rounded and interesting as well. I have to say that I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in the Game On Series which will feature Drew’s best friend, Gray, and Ivy.

“Life has more color, more flavor, and heat in the few hours I’m with Anna, than I’ve experienced in all the years I’ve partied… With Anna, I feel like I’ve landed right where I want to be.” (Drew)

To sum up my review: if you love the NA genre, I am absolutely certain that you will love this book. It really is a very well written, moving, feel-good romance, but there is also plenty of tears and laughter. I only wish that this book was available in print, because I would snatch up the paperback in a heartbeat! Well, one can always hope it will happen sometime in the future, because “The Hook Up” is now placed on the top of My Favourite Books shelf, and I already know that this is a book I will read again soon. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather do. She is a three-time RITA nominee, and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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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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