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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Off the Ice by Julie Cross (Juniper Falls #1)

3.75 Stars

3.75 Stars? I know it’s a strange rating, but I couldn’t decide between a 3.5 and a 4.

Off the Ice is a mature YA romance. It deals with some extremely hard subjects and those subjects play a very large part. The romance was a little lacking, but the kissing was good.  I found the characters actions and reactions to be believable. The author could have gone the dramatic route with the ex-girlfriend, but she didn’t and I appreciated the realness of it. The secondary characters were surprisingly developed. I already see some characters that I hope get their own books in the Juniper Falls series (I’m looking at you Leo!)

I debated on reading this because I don’t generally read hockey romances. I live in Texas, and it’s hot here, there is no ice and football is king. Hockey is foreign to me. BUT I read my 1st Julie Cross book last year and absolutely fell for her writing. I’m glad I tried this one. I think it’s a solid start to a series and I hope to see more books in it soon.

Buy OFF THE ICE Here – (Kindle)

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

The Hard Count by Ginger Scott

4.5 Stars

The Hard Count by Ginger Scott is a true YA Sports Romance. I love a sports romance, and this one was a really good blend of sports and love. The romance felt real, and there was enough football in it to actually feel like a sports romance. It wasn’t just a romance with an athlete, it was actually about the game and the politics, and all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on.

This book had so much unexpected feeling in it. It ran the gamut of emotions and I felt them ALL. Nico is exactly the type of character I love. He’s extremely intelligent, emotionally and morally strong, with great athletic ability. Reagan is perfect for him and the chemistry is off the charts.

I push my lips together tight, but can feel them twitch. I’m nervous, and I want to go back to fighting with him over ancient philosophies and the foundation of religious beliefs. That… that… is actually easier than standing here and feeling like this.

Feeling… vulnerable.

I haven’t read Ginger Scott before, but if this is any indication of her writing ability then I will be returning for more.

Buy THE HARD COUNT Here – (Kindle)

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

Going Under by Lexi Ryan (The Blackhawk Boys #3)

4.5 Stars

This is one of the stories I’ve been waiting for. From the moment Sebastian Crowe entered the picture in Spinning Out I had hope that he would one day get his own book. And he finally has. Of all the guys in the series, he is the one I’ve been most attached to from the beginning. In Going Under, we finally get his whole story… and while his background was a little disappointing to me, the love he has for Alex more than makes up for it. I’m a sucker for a guy that can make a woman feel beautiful.

Alex is such an intriguing character from the start. She loves classic cars and works as a mechanic.  While in high school, Alex ran into a burning house to try to rescue her twin sister, Martina. She was unsuccessful and ended up not only losing her sister, but having to be hospitalized for severe burns that left her with extensive scarring. She left town after graduating from high school because she needed to get away from all the feelings surrounding her at home. Now she’s back and surprised to discover that not only will she be working with Sebastian, but they have a class together as well.

My heart races as if I’ve run the length of the field, and I’m just standing here, watching her, itching to touch, to take, to claim what I can’t have. I want to follow the scar down her neck and over her breast and examine the juncture of smooth, unmarred ivory skin and textured scar. I want to brush my fingers over that space where demons I know too well reached beyond their boundaries and caught an innocent.

Secrets are a big deal in these books, and everyone’s got them. Alex doesn’t know Sebastian’s secrets, and he believes that they are the reason he needs to stay away from her.The secrets of her dead sister are a heartbreaking thing, and survivors guilt is real.

I enjoyed the small mystery within the book and completely fell for the red herring. The next book in the series will be called Falling Hard, but doesn’t come out until the summer of 2017. I was surprised to hear that it will follow Keegan’s story and even though every book has made me detest Olivia… I’m sure that I will love her by the end. The story I have been anticipating the most, hasn’t been announced (that I know of). There HAS to be a 5th book, because I NEED Bailey and Mason’s story. 

**UPDATE** Book 5 will be In Too Deep and tell the story of Mason. YAY!

Buy GOING UNDER Here – (Kindle)

Buy GOING UNDER Here – (Paperback)

It’s not necessary to read any of the other books in the series in order to “get” this one. They are all standalones and can be read in any order.

Buy SPINNING OUT (Book 1) Here – (Kindle)         Original review here.

Buy RUSHING IN (Book 2) Here – (Kindle)              Original review here.

I received an advance review copy of these books that I have chosen to review.

 

Title: Going Under
Series: The Blackhawk Boys #3 
Author: Lexi Ryan
Genre: New Adult
  Release Date: December 6, 2016
Blurb
If I met Alexandra DeLuca for the first time today, I would only need one word to describe her: 

MINE. She’s everything she was when we said goodbye. Beautiful, stubborn, sweet…and off-limits. 

After two years leading separate lives, our worlds have collided. Now that she’s back home working and taking classes beside me, she’s bound to make me lose my mind.

She’s all I’ve ever wanted, all I’ve ever dreamed of, and the one thing I can never have. 

Not because she’s my best friend’s sister.
Not because all four DeLuca brothers would come at me with fists swinging if I hurt her.
Not even because she’s way better than I will ever deserve.
 

I keep my distance because we didn’t meet for the first time today. We met five years ago when I was a different person. When my demons ruled me. Even though I’ve changed–even though I’ve gotten my life together and become a better man–I can’t change the past. And the secrets that haunt me would destroy her. 

But I’m not the only one with secrets, and when the truth comes out, I don’t know where to turn. What do you do when your world washes away beneath your feet and you feel like you’re drowning? What do you do when the woman you promised yourself you’d never touch is the only thing that can keep you from going under?

GOING UNDER is a standalone novel and the third set in the world of The Blackhawk Boys series.
 

Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?

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 Excerpt

 

Copyright © 2016 by Lexi Ryan“I don’t want you to think you need to do this now that I’m back.”

He steps forward, close enough that I can feel his heat. “Do what?”

“Spend time with me. Come to my rescue. Make sure I make it home safely.” I wave a hand. “All of it. You don’t owe me anything.”

“You think I’m here out of a sense of obligation?” He laughs. “Fuck, that’s insane.”

“Is it? Can we just talk about the elephant in the room?” I ask him.

He’s staring at me, and it takes a few beats for him to process that I’ve spoken. I’d laugh if seeing him drunk didn’t also unsettle something deep inside me, some old part of me that still wants Sebastian to be my rock. But I’m not the girl recovering in the hospital anymore. I’m not the girl crying at her sister’s grave. Those experiences are part of who I am now, but I’m more, too. I’m stronger. I don’t need Sebastian’s strength to hold me steady. Or I shouldn’t.

I tuck my hands into my pockets. “Two years ago, the night before I left for Colorado…” He goes still, and I can’t make myself finish the sentence.

“I crossed a line,” he says.

I snort. God, the problem isn’t that he crossed a line—it’s that he didn’t. “Are you serious right now?”

He cuts his eyes to me again, the muscle ticking in his jaw. “It was a mistake, and you’re obviously still angry with me about it.”

I step away from him and wrap my hands around the porch rail. If I let myself look at him, I’ll overanalyze every expression that crosses his face. I realize I’m holding my breath and exhale. “It was a shitty thing for you to do.”

He’s silent for several heavy beats of my heart. When I can’t stand the silence anymore, I release the railing and turn to face him. “Let me make sure I understand,” he says. “Since I almost kissed you two years ago, I can’t walk you home anymore?”

“I don’t want…” I take a breath as I search for the words to explain how this makes me feel. “I don’t want a pity friendship.”

“What the fuck is a pity friendship?”

“It’s when you spend time with someone because you don’t want them to be alone.”

“You’re an expert on what I want now?”

“I think you made it perfectly clear what you do and don’t want from me two years ago.”

He takes half a step forward, and his gaze drops to my mouth. Can you feel someone looking at your lips? Because his gaze is so intense on my mouth right now that I’m sure I could close my eyes and still feel it as distinctly as a touch. “Dammit, Alex, if I’d have known you’d hold such a grudge for thirty seconds of weakness, I would have kissed you that night. Fuck my better judgment. At least then I’d know how you taste.”

I swallow hard and tell my pounding heart not to make more of this than it is. “You’re drunk, Sebastian.”

Stepping back, he drags a hand over his face. “Yeah.” He takes another step back. “Good night, Alex.”

I unlock the door and go inside, shutting it behind me without looking at him again. Slowly, I take the stairs up to my old room, close the door behind me, and lean against it. Only then do I allow myself to squeeze my eyes shut and take a long, deep breath to calm my racing heart.

His words replay in my head, making the muscles in my stomach grow tight. Just once I’d like Sebastian Crowe to make good on one of the fantasies he inspires. Just once I’d like him to follow me into this room and lock the door before pushing me against it and lowering his mouth to mine. I’d like to feel those rough hands slide under my shirt to unbutton my jeans…

I pull out my phone and text Bailey, letting her know I made it home okay. Then, without washing my face or changing my clothes, I fall into bed, close my eyes, and break a promise to myself by fantasizing about Sebastian Crowe.

“At least then I’d know how you taste.”
Also Available

 

Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion.
These boys don’t play fair.
Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?


To celebrate the release of GOING UNDER, the first book in The Blackhawk Boys series is on sale for $0.99 (regularly $4.99 USD). All the books in the series can be read as standalones!

 

 

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#4 Falling Hard – Keegan’s story

#5 In Too Deep – Mason’s story

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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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