Trust by Kylie Scott

4 Stars

I read my first Kylie Scott at the end of April, and here I am in mid-July reading my 2nd. It wasn’t what I expected, but it also made me respect her writing that much more. Twist was more of a romantic comedy and I’m being honest when I say I didn’t read the blurb for Trust. I saw Kylie Scott’s name, got the warm-n-fuzzies and decided I needed to read this too. Judging by the first book I read, I thought I knew her type… light, funny and sexy.

Trust is definitely not in the light category but it is a hard-hitting teen romance that will captivate you. I had a hard time putting this one down, and that isn’t a problem I usually have with YA Romances. This book does have mature content though. “Course” language, underage drinking, teen sex, and PTSD are just a few of the subjects dealt with. I thought it depicted real teen life well, and the characters felt authentic and well developed. It explored the awful spiral of drug addiction, and what often happens when someone tries to turn over a new leaf, but the people around them aren’t ready to forget the past. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am excited to see what else Kylie Scott has to offer.

Buy TRUST Here – (Kindle)

Buy TRUST Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Balance by Lucia Franco (Off Balance #1)

 5 Stars!

Balance by Lucia Franco is the first book in the Off Balance trilogy. I picked it up on Kindle Unlimited after seeing someone rave about it on Instagram. She was completely right about it. This book is intense, sexy, and TABOO. The next book, Execution, doesn’t even have a release date yet but I am in line for it.

There are some definite warnings that need to go with this book. You have to be able to deal with:

  • Forbidden Romance – Adrianna is a 15 year old gymnast, and Kova is her 32 year old coach.
  • An Affair – Kova is cheating on his girlfriend of 5 years with Adrianna.
  • Kova is a dick — ok, so that one isn’t really a TABOO thing, but he IS a dick.

Balance is currently on sale for $.99 or FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Buy BALANCE Here – (Kindle)

Buy BALANCE Here – (Paperback)

 

 

Falling Hard by Lexi Ryan (The Blackhawk Boys #4)


4.5 Stars

Once I’m invested in a series, I no longer read the blurbs. I prefer to go in blind and just trust the author. What a shock for me when I started this one, and EMMA IS NOT OLIVIA! Part of me was relieved because Olivia grinds my nerves like no other, but I was also disappointed because I knew Keegan wanted his family together.

There was no need to be disappointed, Emma is a doll and I loved her with Keegan. Keegan has matured so much since becoming a father and it shows. They had a brief but intense relationship when they were younger. They both have heartbreaking secrets from “before” that affected their relationship both then and now.

All the previous couples make a quick appearance in this one, but it is completely standalone. Lexi Ryan wrote this well, and you won’t feel like you are missing anything if you haven’t read the other books yet. That teaser for the next book though?!?!?!?!? I NEED IT NOW.

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

Title: Falling Hard
Series: The Blackhawk Boys #4
Author: Lexi Ryan
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017

 

Blurb

 

An NFL player with a secret past, and the one woman with the power to turn his world inside out…
Former actress Emma Rothschild is partying in Vegas in disguise. But I’m not fooled. Five years ago, I knew that body better than my own, and I haven’t forgotten a single detail—not the curve of her hip beneath my hand or the hitch in her breath when I kiss her neck.
When Emma’s unexpectedly left alone in Sin City, I agree to spend the weekend with her. As friends. Why not? If I can knock down the toughest guys in the NFL, I’m strong enough to keep my hands to myself, even if she is the sexiest woman I’ve ever met.
Emma is part of my past—years so shrouded in secrets that not even my best friends know the truth about who I am. I’m a single dad now and not interested in revisiting my old ways or trying to win back the only woman I ever let close enough to break my heart.
But this is Vegas, where all bets are off, and with Emma, nothing ever goes as planned…

 

***

 

“A sexy, sweet, oh-so-emotional second chance romance that will make you believe in the power of fate and forgiveness.” – USA Today Bestseller Lili Valente

 

***

 

FALLING HARD is a sexy and emotional novel intended for mature readers. It’s the fourth book in the world of the Blackhawk Boys, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.
Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?
Book 1 – SPINNING OUT (Arrow’s story)
Book 2 – RUSHING IN (Christopher’s story)
Book 3 – GOING UNDER (Sebastian’s story)
Book 4 – FALLING HARD (Keegan’s story)
Book 5 – IN TOO DEEP (Mason’s story, coming fall 2017)

 

 

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Excerpt

 

“You’re too beautiful,” I tell her. I run my thumb along her jaw. “Too fucking beautiful.”“I’ve missed you. You’re the best man I’ve ever met.”

My stomach clenches and I shake my head. “Don’t think that. It’s a lie. It’s what I wanted you to believe. Don’t bring that lie into tonight.”

“How was it a lie?” She grins up at me, and I know a full confession would erase all the happiness from her face.

“When we were together before, I wasn’t the man you thought I was. I wasn’t good.” It’s the closest to the truth I’ve ever given anyone about my past.

“So you don’t want me believing you’re good?”

I pull her hips tightly against me as I exhale in frustration. She still thinks this is some kind of joke. “I’m different now, but then…”

She lifts onto her toes and flicks her tongue against my ear. “Don’t be so different. I like you a little bad.”

I groan and stop dancing. I don’t know how much longer I can do this without diving over the line. “Is that permission to stop being your friend?” I’m obsessed with knowing if she tastes as sweet as I remember. And if I swipe my tongue over the sensitive spot beneath her ear, will she gasp like she always did?

She shrugs and grins, and the dance floor tilts off balance. It’s crowded, and we’re surrounded by writhing bodies, cocooned in the crowd. I turn her in my arms so her back is to my front and settle my hand against the soft skin of her midriff. She arches her back and rubs against me.

I sweep her hair to the side, and when I press my lips to the long, smooth column of her neck, she trembles against me.

“Are you okay?” I ask against her ear. “Is this okay?”

“I—I’m not sure…”

“Tell me what you want. Not five years ago. Not tomorrow. What do you want right now?”

She reaches back and threads her fingers through my hair to guide my mouth back to her neck.

I don’t hesitate. I kiss and suck on that tender skin while we move to the beat.

The rest of the room fades and one song blurs into the next. A waitress comes by selling shots, and I buy two, one for each of us, and we lock eyes as we throw them back. At some point, I’m vaguely aware of Bailey checking on me, but my focus is one hundred percent on Emma, on this night that takes me back to when I was eighteen and so fucking in love it hurt. Tonight, Emma isn’t the woman who once broke my heart. She isn’t the girl who wrote me off with a simple goodbye note and apologies I didn’t want. Tonight, she’s a dream, my fantasy in the flesh, my reward for surviving the hardest year of my whole life.

When her face begins to blur, I realize I’m way more drunk than I ever intended. I need to sober up or I’m not going to remember a minute of this night. “Want to get out of here?”

She nods, takes my hand, and leads me out of the bar and down the hall to the elevators. My watch reads a quarter past two.

“Let’s get some food,” I suggest, but at the same moment, an elevator dings and the doors slide open.

Emma grabs my hand and drags me inside. “I don’t want food,” she says, punching a button.

I spin her around and press her against the wall. “What do you want, Em?” I drop my hand to her side to skim my knuckles over her skirt, and she widens her stance to part her thighs. “Fuck,” I whisper. I shouldn’t do this. Not here, not when any moment someone could join us on the elevator, not when we’re both so damn drunk it’s a wonder we can stand upright. But shouldn’t is so much weaker than want, and I want to touch her more than I want anything right now.

I’m faintly aware of the soft beeping of the passing floors as I slide my hand up her skirt and cup her between her legs. She gasps, and I rub my fingers over the damp lace of her panties, teasing her swollen flesh.

When the elevator stops and the doors slide open, she grabs my wrist and holds me still. “Please,” she whispers in my ear. “Please. Don’t stop.” Then she tilts her hips and rocks against my hand. I couldn’t refuse her if every person in the hotel was watching us.

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Author Bio
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles, Lexi enjoys reading, sunshine, a good glass of wine, and rare trips to the beach. Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and neurotic dog. You can find her at her website: http://www.lexiryan.com/

 

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Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

 4.5 Stars

Girl out of Water is an unexpectedly good debut by Laura Silverman. The blurb sounded really interesting to me, but I don’t read YA Contemporary very often so once I received it I had “reviewers remorse” and didn’t pick it up for several months. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. This book is really good.

Laura Silverman did an amazing job of capturing what it feels like to surf and skateboard. Or at least what I, as an extremely uncoordinated non-athlete, imagine that it feels like to participate in those sports. Her descriptions made me want to try my hand at both activities. The characters were perfect. They were diverse and seemed well fleshed out. Lincoln is her “disabled” black love interest (he seems anything but disabled)…. and he’s smart & hot! She has a Samoan best friend and counts a lesbian couple that has been together forever as part of her core group of friends.

I will mention for those that care, Anise has a “sailor’s mouth” and extensive curse word vocabulary. There is underage drinking and talk of sex though I believe kissing is the furthest anyone goes. It is a true depiction of teenage life and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!

The love triangle-ish situation made me uncomfortable because both guys are really great. They both have reasons why they are perfect for her and it’s sad when you realize that someone will inevitably get hurt. The ending is HFN, which I’m not usually a fan of, but fits this couple and their life plans.

Buy GIRL OUT OF WATER Here – (Kindle)

Buy GIRL OUT OF WATER Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

Living With Doubt by Riann C. Miller (The Regret Series #2)

4 Stars!

I have been waiting for this book for over a year. Living With Regret was the first book I requested off of NetGalley that I absolutely loved. It was my first experience with Riann’s writing, and the first time that I desperately wanted a side couple to get their own book. Living With Doubt is that book.

I REALLY liked the parts of Lacey we saw in Living With Regret. I found her less likable here, but only because it took her so long to get on board with Jake. These two are hot together, and Jake is pretty perfect. I got frustrated with how long it too for them to really be together but in the end it was worth it. The epilogue was everything I wanted, and gave me hope that there will be another book in the series.

If you haven’t read Living With Regret, no worries, this book is perfectly readable (and enjoyable) without having read the 1st book. This isn’t a series where you feel like you are missing something if you skip a book. But I did love that book, so I would still recommend it.

Buy LIVING WITH DOUBT Here – (Kindle)

Buy LIVING WITH DOUBT Here – (Paperback)

If you want to start at the beginning with Living With Regret, you can find my original review here.

Buy LIVING WITH REGRET Here – (Kindle)  <– $.99 until 4/25 — also on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

Title: Living With Doubt
Series: Regret Series #2
Authors: Riann C. Miller
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: April 24, 2017
Blurb
She’s hiding from everyone… I don’t need a happily ever after filled with fake promises, animosity and eventually a divorce to be content. I’m living the dream…my dream, regardless of what anyone thinks of me. My meager life was perfect until a cocky football player wormed his way into my existence.

Once upon a time, I played an unconscious role in my own life, a mistake I have no plans of repeating. I pride myself with my outspoken and frequently excessive nature. It’s the consistent reminder of the person I refuse to become ever again. 

He’s the ultimate playboy… 

Life is perfect. I’ve lived and breathed football since I was a kid, and now I’m making millions playing in the NFL. I keep women around for one reason, but never the same one. The only attachments I need are family and friends but life has a bizarre way of proving a person wrong. When a concussion leaves my best-friend’s life spinning out of control, the last thing I expected was to meet an outrageous woman who leaves me begging for more.

She lives in New York.

I live in Arizona.She promised me one night, but I discovered that’s not enough. Now, I need to figure out if I’m a pro off the field because I’m about to play the biggest game of my life. 

Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. Each book in The Regret Series can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt
“You want to tell me why you’re here?” She tilts her head
back, gracing me with the view of those beautiful blue eyes.
My lips quirk up into a smile. “I told you already. My dick
misses you. I tried to tell him you aren’t interested in a repeat, but he
wasn’t convinced.”
“You’re seriously talking about your dick as though it’s a
person? I thought only horny teenagers did shit like that?” She raises an
eyebrow before pushing herself off my lap.
“What can I say, around you that’s exactly how I feel.” I
might be smirking, but I’m not joking. All I have to do is think about her and
I’m rock hard. “I’ve already agreed to be your dirty little secret, so what’s
the big deal? I’m going to be in town for…a few more days. A week or so tops,
so I don’t really see what the problem is.”
Her eyes dart around the room before finally stopping on me.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“Why not?” I counter. “We’ve already been together, and it’s
not like I’m asking you to skip work or even fucking date me.” I attempt to
keep the frustration out of my voice, but this woman is starting to drive me
crazy.
“Look, it’s not you, it’s me—” She stops talking when I fall
back onto her bed in laughter. I end up laughing so hard I have to wipe my
eyes.
“Do you have any idea how many times I’ve had to say that?
Shit, the irony here is classic.”
“I’m serious, Girard.”
“So am I, Davis.” I hate it when she calls me Girard. I want
to be more than just a football player in her eyes.
“You’re just not my type,” she adds in a lame attempt to
prove some point about us not being together.

“I’m not asking to marry you, Davis. I just want to fuck
your brains out for a few days before I fly back to my side of the country.”

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Author Bio
Riann C. Miller lives in southeast Kansas and writes steamy contemporary romance stories. When she’s not reading or writing, she spends time with her friends and family or you might catch her watching a baseball game with a beer in her hand.Riann who pronounces her name (Ry-an) also preoccupies a lot of her time on social media connecting with readers.

 

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Fighting Attraction by Sarah Castille (Redemption #4)

4 Stars

I haven’t read the Redemption series, but I loved Nico (that review is here.) and am eagarly anticipating the next book in the Ruin & Revenge series, Luca. Fighting Attraction  is the 4th book in the Redemption series, but it’s a series of standalones so I was able to jump right in.

This book kept me engaged and was hard to put down. I don’t often read BDSM, but I found it interesting and the sadism element was new to me. There are many character cameos in this book, so I know for longtime readers of the series they were like candy. For me, it made me want to go grab the other books so I could find out everybody’s story. My TBR list is approximately 2 miles long and just keeps growing. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for more books by Sarah Castille.

Buy FIGHTING ATTRACTION Here – (Kindle)

Buy FIGHTING ATTRACTION Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

 

We Said Forever by Marie James

4 Stars

We Said Forever is only the 2nd book I’ve read from Marie James, but she is earning her spot as an author I can trust to give me a beautiful but difficult love story.

More Than a Memory was one of the top books I read last year so when I saw this new book coming from Marie James… I grabbed it without so much as a glance at the blurb. It turns out that this author seems to enjoy tackling tough subjects. I’m too empathetic, so I generally avoid books with lots of violence, cruelty and heartbreak/sadness. Drug addiction falls into this category of books. It’s very hard for me to deal with the downward spiral that comes with addiction, and she writes it well. The despair was real.

When you read this, be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions (and you may need a few tissues) but you should find it well worth the read at the end.

Buy WE SAID FOREVER Here – (Kindle)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

Title: We Said Forever
Author: Marie James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 15, 2017
Blurb

Rock bottom.

They say the only way to go from there is up, but what is “up” when you’re born into someone else’s rock bottom?

At ten, football became my first love. It’s what got me out of the house away from my self-destructive family. My love for football landed me at Las Vegas University with a full ride scholarship, and the orange on my jersey was my favorite color…until my eyes landed on the red dress Fallyn wore the night we met.

At twenty-one, I jumped off the cliff into the unknown the second Fallyn McIntyre danced in my arms at a party. I had the greatest girl in the world and the opportunity to play college ball every Saturday. My rock bottom was looking up, thanks to my two first loves.

Parties, sex, and football—life was perfect. But one drink too many, and my world came crashing down. When I chose pills over my second love, my head told me it was the best decision I ever made. The pills keep me warm and protect me from the distance Fallyn created. Percs don’t judge me. They make me feel alive. 

Threes.


They say the best things come in threes, but one leads to a stable future, one is my salvation, and the other drags me to hell—a hell I’d willingly burn in for eternity…if it weren’t for my second love.

 

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Excerpt
Turning to face the guy who is either too stupid or too drunk to take a hint, my eyes land on the handsome face of a tall blond with the lightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.The smirk on his face clearly indicates he believes I should be impressed. And I am. There’s no doubt about it. I’m completely fascinated by the ego this douchebag emits with one simple look. Without a word, I let my eyes trail from the top of his purposely mussed hair that probably took longer to fix than mine to the orange chucks adorning his big feet.

He allows the perusal, awaiting my approval. Cocking an eyebrow at his blatant, pompous attitude, I push his hands off my hips.

“Not a chance, buddy,” I say before turning back toward the kitchen.

My legs tremble, wobbling on my already unsteady heels. I release a long, slow breath, hoping he disappeared into the crowd. The last thing I need is for him to notice the way my eyes lingered on his stubbled jaw and the muscles of his chest even his clothes can’t hide. I’m almost certain he could sense my quick, unmasked arousal. One look was all it took for this man to creep his way under my skin and throb in my core. He’s got self-entitled, bad boy, asshole written all over him—character traits I would have dropped anything for a few years ago. Not today, though. Those are flaws I left in Utah when I graduated high school.

The same firm grip reaches for me again, wrapping all the way around my body and pulling my back against an incredibly strong chest.

I close my eyes for a moment, allowing only a second of contact before turning around and readying my hand to slap him across the face for taking such liberties without my permission—just another alpha asshole attribute that used to make me swoon.

“You need to get your—”

His finger covers my lips, preventing me from getting my words out. My attempt at what I’m sure was going to be a very eloquent threat against his manhood falters as he pulls me closer to his body. His leg somehow finds its way between mine as he squats a couple inches to decrease the differences in our height.

The strong hand that has reached for me twice tonight is around my back, fingers splayed against the thin red fabric. The finger that halted my words trails down the column of my damp neck before gripping around at my nape. Gooseflesh follows the trail, racing over my fevered skin. He holds me against him, guiding me to the rhythm I hated until this very second. Like the traitorous slut she is, my body molds against him, every soft inch against his hardness.

“I don’t,” I begin again, only to have his hand leave my neck to push another finger against my parted lips.

I watch, enthralled and utterly stupid, as his bottom lip rolls between his teeth at the same time his thumb sweeps over mine.

I cave, wholeheartedly capitulating to the moment. Ignoring the warning bells going off in my head, screaming at me to bolt through the front door and not look back, I grip the silky athletic fabric of his jersey and pull him closer. A knowing grin lights his face and sparkles in the crystal blue of his eyes.

One song blends into another as our bodies close every millimeter of distance. No words are spoken as the countdown begins. No promises are made when the clock strikes midnight. No way I’ll survive this man when his breath becomes mine. No chance I’ll see him again when swaying all night turns into dancing tongues. No possibility of keeping my promise of no bad boys when one hand grips my nape and the other squeezes my ass.

Alcohol has never really been my thing. The memory of the first time I drank heavy liquor in high school is enough to make my stomach sour, but the bourbon on this guy’s lips is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. It’s, hands down, the most satisfying thing I’ve tasted since the ice cream I had after getting my tonsils removed when I was seven. I savor every fraction of a second, every slow glide of his tongue against mine, each time his lips pull back a fraction and turn up to smile against mine.

Without so much as one spoken word, this man has managed to master my body, persuading it to beg for more, coaxing whimpers from my mouth when he pulls away, only to ensure it pants a seductive moan when those skilled lips find my neck.

 

Author Bio
Marie James is a full-time working mother of two amazing little boys and wife of almost 13 years. She enjoys reading in her spare time, and diet coke is always near. Central Texas is where Marie calls home and has lived most of her life. With 13 published books under her belt, she has no desire to stop writing anytime soon and has dozens of book ideas to keep her busy.
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