Blog Tour: “City Beautiful” by C. M. Foss – My Review, Book Trailer & Teasers

Title: City Beautiful
Author: CM Foss
Release Date: June 29, 2015
Find on Goodreads

Patrick Thompson is all city, all the time. A young doctor, once full of passion, now disillusioned by the practice, he sets off across the country, intent on a small breather before a fresh start.

Ivy Lang loves the country way. So much so that she’s created a place where others can experience her ideas of the fundamentals for both mind and body. The life is perfect for her, carefully cultivated by her own hands.

He’s waiting for something to inspire him.

She finds inspiration all around her.

But when a chance meeting turns their worlds upside down, can they come together to create something beautiful?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review

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

It is no secret that I adore C. M. Foss. Both of her previous novels were – and still are – 5 star reads for me, and “City Beautiful” surpassed my expectations tremendously, leaving me with the meanest book hangover I have not experienced for a long time. But it is the kind of hangover that I crave, and I am so thrilled about it, actually.

Now, as usual, there is no reason to recap the story for you, and this review may also be slightly shorter than others because there are so many twists and turns that I do not wish to unearth for you. You all know how much I loathe spoilers – but here are my thoughts.

The way Ivy has moved forward after having experienced one traumatic event after the other is admirable; she is a fighter, plain and simple, and how she has chosen to lead her life is actually quite fascinating. Has she completely overcome her past heartaches? No, of course not, and I was a bit sad with the way she held herself back from truly living her life to the fullest in the beginning…But it is understandable.

And then Patrick comes along…What. A. Guy. At a crossroads in his life, I absolutely loved seeing how he became infatuated with Ivy, and how spending only 24 hours with her made him take stock of his life; he may not have changed the course of his path right away, but I loved reading how he developed throughout his and Ivy’s journey in life. That is the beauty of this story, in my opinion: the way one meeting with another person has the ability to change you in some way or another.

Miss Foss possesses a knack of writing romance novels that are so realistic: her characters could be your neighbours – the cool ones 😉 – that you would like to spend an evening or two with, and her ability to paint a vivid scene in colours with her words is just beautiful. She has a no-nonsense, no-filter type of writing that I hope you will see as well once you read her books. Finally, I love how she manages to make me both cry and laugh within the span of one scene, because that shows so much talent.  

All the characters in “City Beautiful” have an important role to play, and I am glad to see Lissa and Ethan in particular – the main characters of “Shiver” – and Ivy’s friend, Ginnie, was such a joy to get to know as well.

If you are looking for a romance novel with quirky, loveable characters…one that provides humour mingled with the heartache…If you want some swoony scenes mixed with the sexy…and if you long to lose yourself in a book that will both surprise and astonish you: this is the book for you. I highly recommend it to all romance lovers, and I know that I will read this book over and over again in the years to come.

Miss Foss: thank you, again, for causing a major book hangover. I am one happy bookaholic. ❤

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CM Foss is a hopeless romantic with a love for the written word. When she was little, her mom would ration her books so she wouldn’t go through them too quickly. It didn’t matter, she would just re-read. She’s always been an avid equestrian, competing in the top levels of Three Day Eventing by age seventeen. CM now resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and kids where they own and operate their own equestrian business, as well as raising grass-fed, sustainable meats. She doesn’t have this thing people call “free time”, but she does spent a weird amount of time writing, reading, playing with her kids, milking goats, and drinking wine, while avoiding bananas at all costs. Other books by CM Foss include Shiver and Swoon.

“Collide” (Collide #1) by Gail McHugh – My Review

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Title: “Collide”

Author: Gail McHugh

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 22nd May, 2014.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

 

SYNOPSIS

A missed first encounter…..

Colliding with a second chance…..

On the heels of graduating college and trying to cope with her mother’s death, Emily Cooper moves to New York City for a fresh start.

While harboring secrets of his own, Dillon Parker takes care of Emily through her grief. Knowing he can’t live without her by his side, he’s sweet, thoughtful, and everything Emily has ever wanted in a man.

Until she meets Gavin Blake-a rich and notorious playboy who is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Emily tries to deny the instant connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome is not inclined to let go so easily. Recovering from his own painful past, Gavin will stop at nothing to win Emily over.

This unexpected encounter compels Emily to question her decisions, forcing her to make a choice that will destroy friendships, shatter hearts, and forever change her life.

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

My Review

There are times when a bookaholic has to give herself a slap on the wrist and scold herself repeatedly, saying “Why did you wait?!” and yes, I am referring to myself. Because when “Collide” was first published back in 2013, I was not a book blogger or even a reviewer yet, and I remember that even though I read plenty of reviews of it, I had a tendency to focus on only the negative ones. Stupid of me, right? At the time, I was unaware of the workings of the indie publishing industry, so I did not fully understand, or even know, the importance of reviews. Since then, though, I have become so much wiser – age and knowledge will do that to a girl – so I started looking through my list of unread books. And “Collide” immediately caught my attention.

To me, this is a story about the struggle between the head and the heart: do you follow through with what you think you should do, or do you have the courage to do what you want to do? For some people, such as Emily Cooper, our heroine, this is a real struggle and not an easy one to overcome, and I immediately connected with her because of this.

Emily moves to New York to be with her boyfriend, Dillon, and she is suffering from grief and heartache after having lost her mother to cancer. Needless to say, she is in a vulnerable state of mind, and she is not exactly in the best of positions to make any life altering decisions. Which is why she does not trust her feelings when she meets Gavin Blake at the restaurant where she works. Even though she feels a strong, physical attraction to this very enigmatic man, she reminds herself of her boyfriend who has been nothing but sweet and kind to her during the last year when she watched her mother succumb to that malicious disease, and she demands herself to stop thinking about Gavin.

But how is Emily supposed to do that when she realises that Dillon and Gavin are friends and that she is bound to spend significant time with Gavin on a regular basis?

I really love Emily: the way she handles her recent loss, her feelings of confusion about her connection with Gavin, and her strong sense of loyalty towards Dillon – even when he starts behaving in a less than a loving manner – make her a very believable character. In my opinion, you have to commend her for trying everything possible to make things work with Dillon, and that speaks very highly of her character. In the end, though, she has to realise that the heart wants what the heart wants, and that even when certain decisions are frightening to make, she learns that she has to stop listening to what her head is telling her to do. And that is not exactly an easy feat to accomplish.

Now onto Gavin: well, he holds a very high place on my favourite BBFs ever! He has a strong sense of right and wrong, he is incredibly sensitive and only looking for what we all are: that special someone who, although not perfect, makes your world become a better place to be in. The fact that he does not know how to deal with his feelings toward Emily when he knows that they are wrong – because she is not free to belong to him – is why I love him so much. He is just such a genuine, real man! Because of his position in society, he does not trust easily, but once he lets a person into his heart…? He does not hold back. And there is something so incredibly sweet about that…At least, that is how I feel.

I want to make something very clear here: I do not condone faithlessness in any way, but I do believe that not everything can be set up to be only black and white. There are grey areas that all are a contributing factor as to how and why you end up behaving in a certain way. And that is why I feel that “Collide” is such a realistic story: humans are flawed. We are not perfect, we make mistakes, and life is messy and hurtful at times.

I want to finish my review by applauding Miss McHugh on her writing style: it is amazing! It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the third-person-narration, but once I got used to it, I came to love the author’s storytelling. Furthermore, the fact that we not only get to experience this love story through Emily’s eyes but from Gavin’s as well is what makes it a personal favourite of mine. Last, the pace of the story is perfect, and all the secondary characters are well-rounded and interesting individuals that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know.

There is a massive cliffhanger in the end, but that does not really matter to me: because the second book, “Pulse”, is also out, and I cannot wait to experience the further journey of Emily and Gavin.

Miss McHugh: thank you for creating such a fantastic love story! This bookaholic’s romantic heart has been more than satisfied, so far, and I am really looking forward to reading your future work.

 

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

PURCHASE LINKS

Paperback

Amazon UK

Waterstones

WHSmith

Ebook
Kindle

Nook

Kobo

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A self-proclaimed chocoholic, married mother of three, and a lover of writing for as far back as she can remember, Gail McHugh is the author of two New York Times bestselling novels. The COLLIDE series, which includes COLLIDE and PULSE, was acquired by Atria Books on September 17th, 2013.

“The first of two sexy contemporary romances about a woman torn between her seemingly perfect boyfriend and a dark, mysterious stranger who will stop at nothing to have her.” – Publishers Weekly on COLLIDE, a Top 10 Romance pick!

Gail’s next novel, also publishing through Atria Books, AMBER TO ASHES, is slated to release November 4th, 2014.

 

SOCIAL LINKS

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Twitter: @Gail_McHugh

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Blog Tour: “It’s Not Over” (The Do Over #2) by A. L. Zaun – My Review, Excerpt, Book Trailer & Giveaway

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Hello, my lovelies!

Happy Monday! I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend.

Today, it is the beginning of the “It’s Not Over” blog tour. Besides my review, you will be able to read an excerpt from the book, watch the book trailer and enter the tour wide giveaway.

Enjoy!

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Title: “It’s Not Over” (The Do-Over #2)

Author: A. L. Zaun

Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance

Release Date: 12th January 2014.

Synopsis

“If I let go, will you catch me?”

He had wanted her to help him win his ex-girlfriend back. She had wanted to teach him a few lessons on how to treat a woman. Neither one had planned for the unexpected.

I couldn’t stand by and watch. It hit too close to home. I had to run fast and far to get away and forget him. He weaseled his way into my life, making me question rules I lived by and turned my orderly life upside down. I’m falling apart and coming undone. I don’t do that. I’m Madison Stuart. I live life by my rules. I won’t be derailed by a man. I won’t…I can’t.

She’s gone. I’m desperate and going insane. I’ll do whatever it takes to find her. I don’t know when it happened, but I won’t let her go, not like this. What has she done to me? I’m Rick Marin for crying out loud. I don’t chase women, but she’s not just a woman. She’s Maddy–my Maddy–and I need her.
Follow Rick and Madison’s story, The Do Over’s most notorious couple, as they learn that It’s Not Over.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for and honest review.

Although this is #2 in The Do Over Series, I believe you can read it as a standalone novel. However, I would not advice it as I believe you miss out on the real Rick Experience if you do not read book one.

This review will focus mainly on Rick and Madison instead of the actual storyline as there is so much going on in the book that I fear I will reveal too much once I get started. But first a bit of a warming, though: this books ends in a major cliffhanger…Yes, you read it right. And I know I have said it before: I do not mind cliffhangers at all, but THIS one? Well, this one makes me a bit annoyed because it is huge and I do not know when the next installment in the series comes out.

I confess that I did not much like either Rick or Madison much after having read the first book. But you know me by now: I like to keep an open mind about the books I read, and I really think that this second book in the series is better than the first.

Rick really is a strange man: in some ways, he is a complete player and one should not believe a word that comes out of his mouth. But on the other hand, you cannot help feeling sympathy towards him as he struggles to get Madison to understand the depth of his feelings. I really enjoyed getting to know him better and to see the real man underneath the salesman mask he usually wears. Of course, he is still a bit of a douche – he would not be Rick otherwise – but he is most definitely a likeable one.

“I can’t live with her, and I can’t live without her. I’m officially straight jacket material.” (Rick)

And even though, in theory, Rich should be all kinds of wrong for Madison, he is actually perfect for her: strong-willed, alpha, yet sweet when he has to be. He sees behind Madison’s mask – much to her dismay – and he keeps hanging on, even when he finds it extremely difficult to do so. And is that not what we all want in life? Having a partner that does not let go no matter what life throws at you?

As for Madison…Honestly, in the beginning of the story, she almost gave me whiplash with her mood swings and I cannot blame Rick for being worried about his hair falling out whenever he runs his hands through it *wink*. But once I got to see beneath the tough businesswoman exterior she wears all the time, I had absolutely no problems connecting with her. I even found myself tearing up when I learned about her past, and I felt really sorry for her. I loved her feisty, strong, sassy personality and how she does not let Rick get away with anything. True, she does frustrate me at times with her stubbornness, but she is a woman who, despite everything, really is ruled by her past. She cannot just let go of her past grievances, and I really think that Miss Zaun excels at showing us Madison’s inner turmoil.

“Enough is enough. I didn’t know what tomorrow would hold or what yesterday had meant. I was in the moment, and right then and there, I wanted him, maybe even needed him. “Kiss me like you mean it.” (Madison)

In some ways, Rick and Madison’s relationship should be classified as a bit dysfunctional: they fight all the time, they always think they are right when they are not, and both are really bad at compromising…Having said that, it works for them, and as their story progresses, they learn to trust each other. They are still very stubborn people, of course, and neither one of them change that much throughout the book, but that is what makes their love story believable to me: if Rick had, all of a sudden, stopped being manipulative, and Madison had just let him take over completely, I would not find it real. In my opinion, real people do not change that much and I find it refreshing that this book couple learn that their strengths and weaknesses are part of why they are perfect for each other. I really cannot write this review without mentioning how the banter between this couple made me laugh so hard many times. Oh, and let us not forget the sex scenes…Phew! They are, indeed, very hot and steamy.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book: the characters are flawed, but real; the storyline had my adrenaline pumping at high speed on more than one occasion, and the sweet moments made my romantic heart sigh happily. The writing is really well and had me riveted to the pages from page one, and I honestly cannot wait to read the conclusion to Rich and Madison’s story, which, I hope, we will not have to wait too long for.

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Enjoy the excerpt, ladies!

In a tender voice, he said, “Maddy, you’ve got to be one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Tonight though, you’re also breathtaking.”

“Thank you.” I accepted his compliment while draping the linen napkin across my lap, and I smiled to myself.

“I think we’re making progress.” He winked. “Normally, you’d insult me when I said something nice to you.”

“True.” I shrugged and said offhandedly, “You’ve annoyed the shit out of me today. I think I deserve having you kiss my ass.”

“You know, I’m the best ass-kisser there is.” He ran his fingers along my back. “Why stop with the ass when you’ve got an amazing body that requires the same level of care and attention?”

“Is this your best?” I gave him a side-glance. “I’m counting on the wow factor. I want it to be so good that I actually believe you.”

He shifted in his seat and cocked his head. “I don’t know why you ever doubt me.”

“For starters, you’re a liar and a manipulator.”

“Minor technicality,” he said in a serious tone.

I laughed. “Let’s add comedian as well.”

His eyes widened, and I held back a giggle.

“You really believe that, don’t you?” I asked.

“I’ve never hidden that from you. In fact, you’re the only person I’ve ever been completely honest with. You accept me for who I am, kick me in the ass on a constant basis, and call me out on my bullshit.” He reached for his wine and took a sip. “Let me put it to you this way. You disappeared on me, and I pulled every single trick I had to find you. Think about that. When have I ever had to work this hard to get a woman to talk to me? Never.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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A.L. Zaun graduated from FloridaInternationalUniversity with a degree in English Literature when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and cellphones were the size of a brick. Her impressive degree did absolutely nothing for her professional endeavors in health care management but did stir her imagination and opened up the world of books in a new way.

Armed with a large bottle of Diet Pepsi and a multi-pack of Extra Sugar-Free gum, A.L. Zaun spends her evenings bringing to life the characters that dominate her thoughts and interrupt her sleep.

SOCIAL LINKS

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PURCHASE LINKS FOR “IT’S NOT OVER”

Amazon US

Kobo: TBA

Barnes & Noble: TBA

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Check out the Book Trailer.

If you have yet to read the first book the series, “The Do Over”, here is all the information you need about the book.

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Synopsis

Life doesn’t look like it’s supposed to for Dani Ruiz, a hopeless romantic. After a painful and sudden break-up with Rick Marin, Dani hides away from reality, retreating to a world of fiction where she prefers book boyfriends over the hassles of a relationship.

Almost two years later, Dani’s friends are tired of watching her in a holding pattern, so they stage an intervention, forcing her back into the real world of dating.

Unexpectedly, Dani meets Liam Lucas, a down-to-earth firefighter. He might be the person to show her she’s still worth something. Dani’s hesitant to trust her heart with another man, but their instant and electric chemistry is something she can’t deny.

As Dani starts to believe that she’s found her real-life book boyfriend, Rick decides that he’ll go to any lengths to get her back. Seeing Rick as a changed man makes Dani question everything. 

Can Dani trust her patched-up heart with Liam? 
Or has Rick transformed into the man she’s always wanted? 

Written from various points of views, The Do Over is a story of second chances and new beginnings.

 ADD TO GOODREADS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US

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Do not forget to enter the giveaway, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

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Cover Reveal: “Every Second With You” (No Regrets #2) by Lauren Blakely – Synopsis & Giveaway

Hello, everyone!

Another great cover from Lauren Blakely sees the light of day this Wednesday – as with the cover of “The Thrill Of It”, the first book in her new series, this is equally beautiful. Besides the synopsis, you have the chance at winning 1 paperback copy of “The Thrill Of It” – open internationally – so be sure to enter it.

Enjoy!

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Blurb

Every Second With You = Sex. Love. Addiction. Heartache. Pain. And Hope.

In the sequel to the bestselling new adult romance THE THRILL OF IT,
Harley and Trey face new challenges that will make battling blackmail,
sex addiction, and a virgin call girl past look easy…

I used to think love was a lie. Now I know it’s real, powerful, and I
don’t want to lose it…But my future scares me, and there’s no way this
can be happening, especially since I’ve finally broken free from all
the people who wanted pieces of me. I don’t even know how to start
over, but I have to find a way. So when I discover what my mother’s
been keeping from me, it doesn’t make me hate her. It gives me hope
for a new life, outside of New York. But the ties that bind me to this
city are so strong, sometimes they are chains. If only I could leave
with…

Trey…

I will do anything for her. She owns me, heart, mind and body. But
when Harley tells me this, I am rocked to the core, and terrified of
what happens next. Especially when now it’s not her past that chases
me, it’s someone from my own. And that someone is messing with my head
when I’m trying to be strong for Harley. But all I really want is to
escape with the girl I love…For the rest of our lives.

How can you move forward when the past keeps chasing you?

Expected Release Date

17th February 2014

ADD TO GOODREADS

Cover Design: Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations

3 Fun Facts about EVERY SECOND WITH YOU.

1. The story starts exactly 30 minutes after THE THRILL OF IT ends.

2. There will be grilled cheese sandwiches and cherry blossoms in the story.

3. You will see many of the supporting characters from THE THRILL OF
IT and also meet new ones.

Don’t forget that her prequel THE START OF US is free on Amazon!

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Amazon US

Amazon UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LaurenBlakely

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. Her novels include Caught Up In UsPretending He’s MinePlaying With Her Heart, and Trophy Husband. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.

SOCIAL LINKS

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Here is the giveaway, ladies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

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“Freeing” by E. K. Blair

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Blurb

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.

**This is a companion novel to the USA Today Bestseller, FADING.**

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

This is so much more than a M/M romance. It is a story about acceptance from the people around you, about not hiding yourself and about how you can meet this special someone who will own your heart completely at a time you least expect it.
I suppose you CAN read this book as a standalone novel, but I really do not recommend it – I want you to read “Fading” first, because I feel you will be missing out on a lot otherwise. Jase’s story begins before Candace’s attack and ends less than a year later.

Meet Jase, Candace’s best friend: he is, by his own definition, a bit of a man-whore. He hooks up with lots of guys, never getting close to anyone, and even though he, in a way, has owned up to the fact that he is gay, he is so conflicted about it. And who would not feel that way, what with his upbringing being the way it was: he has very religious parents and was taught early on that being gay is a sin. We learn that he had a sister and that his parents completely shut down when her and her boyfriend were killed in a car accident when they were only 18 years old. I cannot imagine the horror of losing a child, but to forget your other child, removing yourself from him/her will be something I will NEVER be able to comprehend.

Jase was so scared of his feelings towards other guys when he was in high school that he slept with every girl who was willing. But he changed his pattern when he went to college. Now, you would think that this means that he has accepted his sexuality, but that is not true. The fact of the matter is that he will never be completely free before he comes out to his parents.

When Jase meets Mark, his world is tipped on its axis. Here is a man who is not afraid of being who he is, and who is very upfront about it. From the beginning, Mark tells Jase that he knows of his reputation and that he does not do casual sex. He would like to see where a real relationship with Jase will go, and Jase cannot help himself: he desperately wants to find the courage to free himself, to be able to be who he really is, and he is drawn to Mark in a way he has never been drawn to another man before. However, Jase really messes up his chance for something real in the beginning of their relationship because he cannot let go of his fears.

From page one, you will feel all Jase’s emotions: self-loathing, confusion and, finally, happiness. I absolutely adore Jase and the way this author portrays him; I really found the whole story believable – the way Jase struggles with his sexuality, the lack of parental support and the loss of his sister are all factors as to why he has chosen to not get close to others, except for Candace, that is.

“I can feel the thudding of his heart through his chest, and I know I am with exactly who I should be. No doubts. No questions. He’s freed me in a way I didn’t think possible. He’s it.” (Jase)

Mark is just…well, he has a beautiful soul, and he tries so hard do whatever he can to make Jase feel comfortable in their relationship. He is patient, kind and – equally important – an amazing support to Jase when Candace is attacked. Yes, he is more open about being gay than Jase is, but he admits to be struggling himself from time to time.

“I’ve been fighting. Fighting to be free. But now I realize, it isn’t about the fighting. It’s letting go of the fight to see that what I’ve been searching for is within him. Mark is my freeing.” (Jase)

Jase and Mark compliment each other and their journey together was beautiful to read. If you have yet to read a M/M romance, I will definitely recommend that you start with this one. In the past, I have been rather apprehensive about this genre, but not anymore. I think I have said something similar before, but I will say it again: reading is about broadening one’s horizon and although I am quite certain there are other genres I will never read, M/M romance is not one of them.

I know that this review is rather short but I am so afraid I will reveal too much if I write more. I will read anything Miss Blair writes in the future – as with “Fading”, her writing style in “Freeing” is so beautiful, so passionate and flawless. She has a way with words that hooks you in and you feel sad once you have reached the last page of the book. So, Miss Blair, thank you for telling us Jase’s story. You have a lifelong fan in this bookaholic!

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Blog Tour: “The Thrill Of It” by Lauren Blakely – Synopsis, My Review & Giveaway

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Hello, my lovelies!

It has now become my turn on the blog tour of this truly amazing story.

At the end of this post, there is a tour wide giveaway.

Enjoy!

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Blurb

A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power…Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it’s the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love…Love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that’s how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I’ve never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I’m being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don’t regret.

Trey…

With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She’s the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she’s back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don’t know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she’s the closest I’ve ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?

My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I am fast becoming a huge fan of Lauren Blakely’s even though this is only the second book of hers that I have read. She has a way of making you invested in her stories from page one and this book is no different. But, as I have said before, be warned: this is not like her other books so do not expect it to be.

How can you be a virgin call girl addicted to sex and love? To tell you the truth, I was a bit sceptical about this and I am sure I am not the only one. But then, the more I got to know Harley, the heroine, my scepticism dwindled until it became nonexistent.

Harley is definitely a product of her upbringing: her father left when she was very little and after her mother, Barbara, got back on her feet, she molded Harley into becoming her friend, not her daughter. It was really heartbreaking reading the passages about Harley’s mother and some violent feelings arose in me every time she did or said something that no daughter needs to know about her mother. I found it particularly difficult getting to know how she had no qualms about Harley hearing about her sexcapades. And it really makes you wonder how such a smart woman – an award-winning journalist, nonetheless – cannot see how toxic an environment this is for one’s child.  It brought me close to being sick to my stomach, actually, and it definitely made me understand Harley’s actions so much better.

“I am cracked and brittle too, hardened by all the things I saw, and mostly all the things I heard over the years.” (Harley)

Harley met her former pimp, Cam, through her mother, actually. Now, here is a character that is peculiar, to say the least. The first word that comes to mind is “sleazy”. Then, as you read the book, the second word is “interesting”. And finally, you end up thinking “likeable”, which is very strange, I know. But that is how I felt while reading Harley’s story. When she describes how she was allowed to make up her own set of rules, and that Cam had no problems with that, it is no wonder why Harley stayed in that life for years.

The only reason Harley is no longer a call girl is the fact that she is being blackmailed – how I hated that woman, Miranda! She is forcing Harley to write a book about her “exploits” – called “Memoirs Of Teenage Sex Addict” – and makes her go to SLAA (“Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous”) in order to change her ways. This is actually a blessing in disguise because that is where she connects with a young man, Trey, which she has met once before and cannot stop thinking about. He makes her feel things she has never felt before, but because of her past, she is afraid to trust them.

Trey is, like Harley, a product of his upbringing, but instead of too much openness, his home was cloaked in silence. I dare you to NOT feel anything while getting to know what Trey hides in his soul – his story made me cry, it was so heartbreaking. He is also going to the meetings in the SLAA, but for an entirely different reason: his problems stem from mindless sex with older women. He has never had a girlfriend, never even had sex with a girl his own age.

What more can I tell you about Harley and Trey without giving the story away? I will not go into further details about what takes place, because you really need to read the book and make up your own mind about it. But what I CAN tell you is that this book is about how two damaged souls can find each other in a time of pure darkness, and how they finally let go of their pasts and search for a better future together. And the way Trey sees Harley will definitely make you swoon:

“You belong to a stained glass window in an abandoned building. You belong to the flower in the junkyard. You belong to the beach that you want to see. Most of all, you belong to the ugly beautiful. You belong to this nessy, crazy, brave and honest love.” (Trey)

To sum up: like I wrote in the beginning of my review, this is not like Miss Blakely’s other books. For me, there are no laugh-out-loud moments, but it WILL make you sigh and smile. I have already told you that it made me cry, and I also felt lots of anger while reading. Further, it is an intense romance that definitely deals with some difficult subject matters. Finally, it is such a beautiful love story that does not end with this book – and yes, there is kind of a cliffhanger in the end, but nothing you will not be able to handle.

Thank you, Miss Blakely, for finally giving us Harley and Trey’s love story. I know that you started writing it a long time ago and I am so pleased that you did not keep it under lock and key. I, for one, am thrilled that this book is not the end of this couple’s journey. And I wholeheartedly believe in this:

“Now I know. I get it. I understand. This is love. It’s not a game. It’s not a razor’s edge. It’s not a transaction. The poets are right. The dreamers are right. The lovers are right. This isn’t nothing. This is everything.” (Harley)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LaurenBlakely
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat,
heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, and Far Too Tempting. On November 21, she’ll release the edgy new adult novel THE THRILL OF IT. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
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Here is the giveaway, ladies.

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“Tease” by Missy Johnson

Tease Cover

Blurb

Male escort.

That got your attention.

Some of the most powerful and well known women in the country pay to have sex
with me, some of them married. Some are into more than just straight sex, which
is why they call me. Bondage, power play, submission…nothing is off the table.
I will do anything for the right price.

The stories I could tell you about a certain high profile congresswoman, or
that innocent blonde actress. Trust me, she’s not so innocent.

Guys would kill for my job. I’m living the fucking dream. Meaningless sex, no
relationship hang-ups and I’m rolling in the dough. Life is perfect, just the
way it is.

Until I meet her.

She changes everything.

She makes me want more than I’ve ever wanted for myself and she believes in me.
But she also thinks I sell insurance. I can’t stop what I do, but I can’t give
her up.

Eventually, my two worlds are going to collide and when they do, shit will hit
the fan.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

If you are looking for a HOT, yet sweet romance, I definitely recommend that you pick up this book. It is a quick read, has some funny moments, and it is great reading a book solely from the male’s POV.

Meet Liam Cooper (Coop): he is a male escort with some very high-profile clients and it would be wrong to say that he does not enjoy his job even though he came about it almost by accident. And, let us face it, which 26-year-old man would not enjoy this line of work? His services are ALMOST unlimited and he has tried just about anything. Coop does, however, admit to the fact that he sometimes misses being in a relationship:

“The truth was, I did miss the intimacy that having a girlfriend brought with it. Sex was one thing, but the emotions you feel when you give yourself to someone you truly love is on a whole other scale.”

 And it is not as if Coop has never had this: he has actually been married and is divorced. True, he loved the girl, but the fact of the matter is that they only married each other because she got pregnant. They were only 18 at the time, oblivious to the fact that it takes a lot of hard work making a marriage work. When they lost the baby, they drifted apart and Coop caught Kara, his ex wife, in bed with his best friend, Max. Needless to say, it hurt like hell, and Coop dealt with the pain like most 20-year-old: he partied, drank and had sex with random strangers. One day, one of his professors seduced him, then actually paid for his services and thus began his escorting career.

The only reason Coop is still an escort many years later is that his mother has Alzheimers and he wants to make sure that she has the best care money can buy. Granted, it is a strange way to go about it, but it makes sense in a way: who would not do whatever they could if a loved one was extremely ill? I must admire the way Coop has his double life organized: he has two phones, two bank accounts, and does everything in his power to keep people from finding out how he makes a living. But I cannot help but think that it must be very exhausting for him to maintain his image, wearing a mask all the time.

“The real me? Well, that’s someone not many people got to meet. The real Coop was generous, funny – and modest too – and will do anything for his friends and family. I hated feeling vulnerable, which is why it was easier to create an alter ego who was all the things I wasn’t.”

Coop keeps his weekends sex-free and that is when he spends a lot of time with this sister, her husband and her children. They also meet every year at the family cabin, which is when he sees Mia, his crush from when he was 15 years old. When he sees her again, all his old feelings for her resurface, and he is drawn to her once again. Mia has moved back to New York, is divorced and has yet to find a place to live – when Nicole, his sister, learns this, she offers Mia to live with Coop until she finds her own place! He does not know how to refuse and if he has to be completely honest, he does not really want to.

Right, you can almost guess how much more important it becomes for Coop to keep his job as an escort a secret. The more time he spends with Mia, the more he falls for her all over again, and he feels so conflicted about the whole situation.

Okay, I am a bit conflicted about this book…On one hand, I did enjoy it, I loved the voice of Coop, and the sex scenes are off the charts HOT! Seriously, very well written and you will definitely get the tingles while reading it. In fact, in generel I like the author’s writing style, it is practically flawless. Coop is a really great character: very sweet, confident and the self-appointed protector of the family. I like everything about him, and I like how the author portrays his feelings throughout the book.

But on the other hand, I felt that the story was a bit predictable at times – there were no real surprises, and I feel that the ending was too rushed.  I liked the story but I did not love it and I do not think I will read it again. Having said that, I still recommend that you pick up this book if you are after a quick, steamy read, and it is not the last time I will read a book written by Miss Johnson.

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Release Day Launch: “The Thrill Of It” by Lauren Blakely – Synopsis & Giveaway

TTOI RDL

Hello, everyone!

Happy Release Day, Lauren Blakely! Ladies, I have already read this book and my review will be posted when it gets to be my turn on the blog tour on the 25th November. I strongly urge you to read this book – but  be warned: it is NOT like the author’s previous books: it is darker, deals with a completely new subject matter, but it is a wonderful romance as well.

At the end of this post, there is a tour wide giveaway.

Enjoy!

The Thrill of It Cover
Blurb

A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power…Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it’s the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love…Love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that’s how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I’ve never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I’m being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don’t regret.

Trey…

With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She’s the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she’s back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don’t know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she’s the closest I’ve ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LaurenBlakely
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat,
heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, and Far Too Tempting. On November 21, she’ll release the edgy new adult novel THE THRILL OF IT. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
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Here is the giveaway, ladies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

Blog Tour: “Working It” by Kendall Ryan – Synopsis, Giveaway & My Review

blogtour_Working It Banner

Hello, ladies.

I hope you had a great weekend. Today marks the release of “Working It” by Kendall Ryan – congratulations! It is a great book, ladies, and I recommend that you read it asap. In this post, you will find a giveaway that is running for the whole tour + my review.

Enjoy!

Working It ebook

Blurb

A story of heart-stopping, toe-curling passion by the beloved bestselling author of Hard to Love, Resisting Her, and The Impact of You.

Straight-laced and well-mannered southerner Emmy Clarke is out of her depth in New York City’s fashion world, but when she lands a job as an assistant at a modeling agency it seems like the perfect mix of business and pleasure. Working under the notoriously tyrannical Fiona Stone is a nightmare, but there’s one distinct perk: ogling the ridiculously hot male models who parade through the office—particularly rising star Ben Shaw.

Ben is everything Emmy’s not: exquisitely gorgeous, highly paid, and well-traveled. He’s also got more issues than Vogue. Emmy looks after Ben on photo shoots, but she refuses to become another one of his lusting groupies. Ben finds Emmy’s refreshingly real attitude to be surprisingly attractive.

Against a backdrop of the most fashionable cities in the world, casual flirting turns into an illicit affair, but when Ben’s twisted past is revealed, and the bitter Fiona catches wind of their relationship, their careers and hearts are threatened.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 View More: http://marisehlersphotographycom.pass.us/kendall

Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the contemporary romance novels HARD TO LOVE, UNRAVEL ME, MAKE ME YOURS, RESISTING HER and THE IMPACT OF YOU.  She’s a sassy, yet polite Midwestern gal with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest books news.

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WORKING IT_Teaser 1

My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

My second indie read was ”Unravel Me” by Kendall Ryan – I read it as soon as she released it one year ago, and I fell in love with her writing style immediately. Her stories are intense, romantic and fun, though filled with drama as well.

“Working It” is about your typical small-town-gal , Emmerson (Emmy) trying to make it in the biggest metropolis in the world: New York City. She is from Tennessee in the South and is feeling completely out of her element. After all, this is THE city to work in when it comes to the fashion world, and although Emmy admits that she is struggling in terms of getting along with her boss, Fiona, she is determined to succeed.

Needless to say, it is hardly boosting one’s self-esteem working with models, and Emmy is constantly feeling self-conscious about herself: she is not 6 feet tall, she is short, with curves in all the right places. She is struggling, always doubting herself, especially when she is in the presence of the ever-perfect male model, Benjamin Shaw: he really is perfection when it comes to his physical traits:

“Seeing his photos on the computer was one thing. Seeing this delicious piece of man meat in person was quite another. My damn mouth was watering. He was tall and poised, with dark hair, broad shoulders, an angular jaw, and a pouty mouth built for kissing.”

The main part of the book is set in Paris, the city of love. For some reason Emmy cannot fathom, Ben singles her out, strikes up conversations with her and, to be honest, rather quickly tries to get into her pants. They very quickly start with sexting (*smirk*) and soon after that they embark on a passionate affair that, eventually, turns to love from both sides. Emmy falls so much sooner for the charismatic Ben, but even though he will not admit it at first, he falls just as hard for her.

Now, it is completely on purpose that I am being so vague here  – this is, after all, to be a review, not just another summary of the book.

I very much like Emmy: she is a sweet, Southern girl, has had a very healthy upbringing and although very insecure in the beginning, she finds her strength as the story unfolds. Not being a size 2 myself, I completely understand her self-esteem issues, though they became a bit too much at times even to my liking. I liked how she battles with herself when it concerns giving in to Ben’s seductive ways – it seems natural to me.

“Asking me not to fall in love with Ben was like asking a meth dealer not to let you get addicted. Not possible.”

Ben…oh, Ben….swoon! Well, like I stated above, he is the epitome of male perfection. But underneath all his physical attributes he hides himself from the world, not letting anyone see the real person. He makes no excuses for wanting Emmy, but he is, in fact, rather reluctant to seduce her when they first meet:

“If she knew the depravity lurking inside me, she’d flee for Tennessee without a backwards glance. I’d devour a girl like her. Own her. The thought was intoxicating.”

I find Ben to be a very complex person – which is, I believe, Miss Ryan’s intent. As a reader, it was not difficult to fall for this damaged hero, especially when reading about his VERY unconventional upbringing. Like Emmy, I loved how he could be so sweet and caring, but at the same time much the dirty talker in bed. Phew! Ben is the dark to Emmy’s light and even though they, theoretically, should be all wrong for each other, this fact is actually what makes them perfect together. That is my opinion, anyway.

I like how the whole fashion scene seems to be well researched and how the author shares all the “secrets” about how the industry really works. There was no point in the story I did not find it to be believable, and that is very important to me when reading a book.

All in all, I loved getting to know Emmy and Ben, and I am so glad that Miss Ryan gave us Ben’s POV throughout the book. I really enjoyed reading how Ben slowly falls in love with Emmy and especially when he realizes this has happened. It put a HUGE smile on my face!

“I’d never wanted a relationship before, but this hit me like a smack to the head. I wanted all that and more with Emmy. My sweet Southern Belle. The idea of calling myself her boyfriend put a stupid little grin on my face.”

Like Kendall Ryan’s previous books, there is plenty of sexy moments – and yes, extremely STEAMY scenes, ladies – lots of drama and angst in “Working It”, and I truly believe you will not be disappointed if you are a fan of her other books.

I honestly cannot wait for the next book in the series! Do not worry, girls, the book does not end on a cliffhanger. There are, however, still many unanswered questions, and I am very curious as to where the author will take Emmy and Ben next.

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And now for the giveaway! You can win:

Ebook copy of Working It

 Signed copy of Hard to Love

 $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

WORKING IT_Teaser 2

Release Day Launch: “Far Too Tempting” by Lauren Blakely – My Review & Giveaway

FTT RDL

Hello, ladies!

A very heartfelt congratulations to Lauren Blakely on this very special day! I have been dying to show you my review of this incredibly romantic book! I hope you enjoy reading it. 😉

FarTooTemptingCover

Blurb:

Jane Black has written the break-up album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn’t done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits. 

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break-up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LaurenBlakely

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat,
heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, and Far Too Tempting. On November 21, she’ll release the edgy new adult novel THE THRILL OF IT. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.

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My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I must confess that this is my first Lauren Blakely book, but it is most definitely not my last!

This is pure, smiling-like-an-idiot, feel-good romance. It is the type of book that you will pick up on a cold evening, curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine with, and be lost to the world in for hours.

I feel that the blurb really says a lot about what the story is about so I will not go into more details as such as I am afraid of revealing too many spoilers.

I very much enjoyed getting to know Jane, our heroine, and I feel that she was very realistic. Right from the beginning, I felt a connection with her, I liked her “voice” – and I was completely thrown when I learned the reason to her failed marriage. No wonder she has a hard time trusting men and believing in her own sensuality.

“That is the secret of my success, the bittersweet reminder that you can write a breakup album and it can be great and you can win an award and be thrilled beyond your wildest dreams, but you’re only here because you are the biggest idiot in the world. Because you loved a man wildly, crazily, passionately. But oops! He was never really into you at all.”

I like that the book is about a female rock star for once, and the fact that Jane is also a mother and is determined – and succeed – to bring up her son, Ethan, in a “normal” environment is a character trait of hers that I really like. You are sucked into Jane’s world of music instantly, and you almost start biting your fingernails when you find out about her deadline. Now, I have no connections with the American music industry (or any other music industry, for that matter), but I do know that musicians/singers get lost in the crowd if they take too long with writing an album. So that part of the story felt very believable to me. I could feel her anxiety, her lack of self-esteem, her frustration…yes, the author is extremely good at conveying Jane’s emotions throughout the story.

Now, about Matthew – our VERY sexy, British (or English, as he refers to himself), playful hero…Well, another book boyfriend has seen the light of day! 😉 As a music critic, he can be somewhat harsh and, in theory, Jane’s enemy. Luckily, he loved her last album, Crushed, so much that he wants to see her succeed but the fact that he also admits to finding her very attractive complicates matters a bit. They try, however, to refrain from becoming romantically involved – but when you read this part of the book, you kind of already know that this couple will not be able to resist each other. 😉

“You really don’t know how much I want you? Because there aren’t enough adverbs to describe how much. Insanely, immensely, ridiculously. I could go on.” (Matthew)

Some people say that in order to heal a broken heart, you need to fall in love again. Which is exactly what happens when Jane lets herself trust Matthew more and more. I find their romance to be so sweet, yet scorching hot, and you cannot stop smiling while reading! One of the things I absolutely love is their email exchanges – they are witty, flirty and believable. When I think about it, much of the entire book is written that way, and I really like that in a romance novel.Let us not forget the sex scenes…wow! Very hot, but tastefully written – definitely not over the top. And some of these scenes were even very funny:

“Breasts are literally one of the best inventions ever. Seriously. I can’t even imagine a world without them. I would die,” he says in mock sadness, and I laugh more, as he lays his head between my breasts. “Soft, like pillows. They’re such divine creations. God bless breats.”

Now, imagine a scorching hot guy saying that with the British accent…Well, need I say more? And that is exactly what I love the most about Matthew: his humour and the way he can make Jane laugh but feel sexy and comfortable at the same time. You can really feel this couple’s chemistry, and that, in my opinion, shows how talented this author is.

As I started out by saying in my review: this book makes you smile A LOT, it makes you sigh happily, and it is a perfect book to read on a cold night. I had a VERY hard time putting the book down. The story is engaging, the writing is flawless, and all romance lovers will, in my opinion, be fools if they do not read it. Miss Blakely, looking forward to reading your other books! 🙂

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To celebrate the release of “Far Too Tempting”, the author is offering up a GIVEAWAY!
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GOOD LUCK!

FAR TOO TEMPTING Release Day Launch

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