Monthly Archives: April, 2013

Cutest Couple – Kate Davies – 3 stars

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The Blurb:

Book two of Girls Most Likely to…

Ten years ago, Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple—until a graduation-night argument destroyed their relationship. Unable to contact him, Bree had no choice but to forget Marc—and raise the son she never got to tell him about.

Marc got Bree’s message loud and clear when he never heard from her again. Now stationed near his hometown, he sees their high school reunion as a chance to make peace with the past. But after one glimpse of Bree, he knows he never really got over her. And after one glimpse of her son, Marc knows he’s the boy’s father…

Despite the secrets and lies that kept them apart, Marc and Bree can’t resist picking up where they left off. But when the weekend is over, it may be too late to build the future they once dreamed of.

For Kelsey and Nathan’s story, check out Most Likely to Succeed.

My Thoughts:

So far this series has had a cute reunited crush story and now we have former sweethearts with one holding on to a huge secret.  Both were good quick reads but in this one I did find myself a little mad at the heroine for keeping the secret the way she did.  I understood her reasonings but just because you understand it doesn’t mean you like the reasons.

Bree is dreading the high school reunion but she figures her old flame won’t show up especially since he hasn’t set foot in their town since the last argument they had.  She’s not 100% thrilled that he shows up nor is she happy when her feelings for him don’t seem to have gone away since the last time they saw each other.  She knows she has one hell of a secret to spill but it comes out in a very public, very poor way that they both have to scramble to come to terms with.  As she spends more time with him she has to decide is what drove them apart in the first place really worth losing the only man who has ever been able to make her feel anything?

Marc is shocked when he sees Bree and realizes that she still calls to him in a way that no other woman has been able to.  He’s also understandably shocked when he finds out he has a son.  He’s pissed off for being kept in the dark and does behave a bit badly in the initial moments but I understood his reaction and just felt bad for him.  I loved that he just wanted to know his son but as he spent more time with Bree he realized that he wanted it all with her.  He pushed but also didn’t back down when she wouldn’t accept his career choices and kept his life going but with them in it.  He’s a good guy that deserved better treatment by the woman he loves even though I really did get her reactions and issues.

I really did enjoy the pair and cannot wait for the next one…  😉  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always you can run out and grab this plus other fun titles by clicking the link to Carina on my sidebar.

Famously Engaged – Robyn Thomas – 3.5 stars

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The Blurb:

A chef and a rock star. They couldn’t be from more different worlds…

Rock star royalty’s favorite son, Jake Olsen, couldn’t help but interfere after listening to his future brother-in-law talk non-stop about his ex-wife, Beth Carlisle. Jake decides that the only way to get the groom’s mind off his ex-wife is to give her a fake fiancé.

Before Jake can convince Beth of his plan, he’s forced to move in with her to avoid the paparazzi. Their instant attraction makes for a sizzling “first date”, but soon Jake’s fame gets in the way and Beth wants out. Too bad Jake’s figured out just why her ex is so obsessed with her, and he’s afraid he’s not going to be able to give her up either.

Now it’s up to Jake to convince this chef together they make the perfect recipe.(

 

My Thoughts:

This was a cute book with a bit of a rush to the whole love thing but Jake and Beth as a couple do make sense even with the quick ILY.

Jake is worried about his half-sister who is marrying a man that appears to be hung up on his ex-wife so he decides to take matters in to his own hands.  Of course being a rock-star what better way to get this handled but to create a fake fiancee.  I mean sure he could just show up and try talking to her plus get to know her but hey why not?  Let’s create this fake story so he can move in with her and put himself in the way of the soon-to-be groom.  What he gets when he meets her is a woman at a very low point in her life that makes him feel much more than he ever expected.  She’s genuine and in his life he doesn’t do that sort of thing…  no permanence and to be honest it is an incredibly lonely life that he has created but doesn’t know how to live outside the public eye.  He opens up and shows her more of himself in their few days together but knows in his heart that all he will do is crush what he loves so much about her if he stays.  I liked him even when he was being the rock god as you did get a good feel for how hollow it all is to him.

Beth was something else.  She lets a man in to her home that she doesn’t know but as she gets to know him shows him more of herself than she has ever shown another soul.  She’s reeling from a loss in her life and uses her kitchen as an outlet for this grief.  She’s very grounded so having Jake come in and tear apart her haven makes her feel vulnerable but when she sees the real him it is it for her.  She’s not in love with her ex nor is he with her but they are incredibly close due to basically being raised together.  I liked seeing that she really was over her ex and that he really was over her but felt that he needed to make sure she found her own soul mate even though someone outside their little circle wouldn’t get it at all.  She pushes all the right buttons with the entourage that surrounds Jake’s life but wants something real from him and isn’t sure it would ever work between her plain Jane self and his Rock God image.

As I said originally this was a nice read even with the hurried ILY and I will gladly go check out more by this author.  Special thanks to the publicity team at Entangled Publishing for giving me a chance to read this early in exchange for my honest review.

Let the Panic Attacks Begin!

As I type this I am thinking about all the things I have left to do this week before the insanity that will be my week next week begins.

What insanity you say?

RT Booklovers Convention insanity!

So to put this in perspective…  this will be my first book convention ever which means I have no clue what I really need to pack or expect.  People that know me understand that I like to have things in order before I go anywhere and not having a clue of what to expect other than being busy causes me to stress a little bit. << Yes I can see quite a few of them rolling their eyes right now and saying “A little??  HAH!” >>  I’m not OCD about a lot of stuff but I really hate not already having everything either packed or at least organized the weekend before I leave on a week long trip but in this case I still have stuff to pick up later today and hair/nails to be done in the next two days.

Now I am looking forward to this trip but at the same time it has made me get a bit behind on reading/reviewing as acquiring clothing, accessories and miscellaneous toiletries have taken a major chunk of my reading time away.  Add in weather that can’t decide if it is Spring or Winter and allergies that are trying to decide if I need to be able to breathe or not and we have a very messed up Stephanie.  Get ready to see some reviews posting over the next few days as I work in time to write/post them plus some items going up while I am in Kansas City next week as time permits.

For those that are reading this and will be at the convention…  Please say HI but forgive me if later in the week I don’t recognize you as I am sure my brain will hit its maximum memory limit fairly early in the week and to be honest my fan-girl self will be dancing in delight as I get to finally meet some of the authors/editors that have both given me titles that you have seen on here as reviews and entertained me through the years with their words.

Be prepared to see some giveaways after I get back as I’m sure there will be items that I will want to share with those of you who weren’t able to get to Kansas City.  I’ll also post pictures and other items here plus tweet while I am there so have fun in my absence.

 

Now this list isn’t complete but I’m really looking forward to meeting (not any particular order & I know I missed people) :

Shiloh Walker

Jax Garren

Lauren Dane

Jaci Burton

Vivian Arend

Angela James

Sarah from SmartBitches

Jane from Dear Author

Lillie from RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk

Tiffany Reisz

Ilona Andrews

Maya Banks

Lorelie Brown

Ruthie Knox

Shannon Stacey

E from Bookpushers

Mandi from Smexybooks

 

Oh hell there are so many more but you get the idea of how crazy this will be and yet how much fun it should be.  Wish me luck and pray my body/brain survives this!

 

Time to Melt the Ice – Toni Aleo Blog Hop!!! Awesome Contest!

AleoBlogHop

 

Come join a group of us crazy bloggers as we help Loveswept with the re-release of Toni Aleo’s The Assassin Series.  There are quite a few prizes that you can win by entering via the RaffleCopter link below.  Also check out the list of other sites to get more chances to win plus information about the series.

Prizes include:

  • 5 sets of the series to etailer of choice;
  • 10 net galley preview copy giveaway sets;
  • $20 EGC Starbucks, the drink of hockey fans everywhere!

Enter here!!

More places to check out and get entries…

1. Romantic Reads and Such 2. BookHounds
3. The Jeep Diva 4. I Read Indie
5. Blackraven’s Erotic Cafe 6. AJ’s Reading Nook
7. Blackraven’s Reviews 8. HEARomances With A Little Kick
9. The Readers Roundtable 10. Books Books and More Books
11. Devoured Words 12. Globug and Hootie
13. Book Monster Reviews 14. StuckInBooks
15. Book Lovin’ Mamas 16. Book-A-Holic Anon
17. Read Your Writes Book Reviews 18. Tome Tender
19. Eye on Romance 20. Seduced By A Book
21. The Autumn Review 22. Cocktails and Books
23. What’s On The Bookshelf 24. All Aboard!
25. Bitten By Love Reviews 26. Mimmi’s Musings
27. Readers Confession 28. Readers Confession
29. From the TBR Pile 30. Over the Edge Reviews
31. Spare Time Book Blog 32. As the Page Turns
33. Bookshelf Confessions 34. Always YA at Heart
35. What I’m Reading 36. Lushbookreviewss.blogspot.com
37. Reading Between the Wines 38. Insane Hussein
39. PonyTails Book Reviews 40. Literati Literature Lovers
41. Socrates’ Book Review Blog 42. My Book Muse
43. Burning Impossibly Bright 44. Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
45. Book Nerds Across America 46. Literary, etc
47. Julie Reviews Books 48. Julie Reviews Books
49. Parnormal and Urban Fantasy Reviews 50. The Girls That Read
51. SJMaylee 52. Phantasmic Reads
53. My Secret Romance 54. Insightful Minds Reviews
55. A Novel Affair [book blog] 56. RomCon
57. Cheeky Reads 58. The Revolving Bookcase
59. Aislynn @ Stitch Read Cook 60. MsRomanticReads
61. Blogging by Liza 62. In Love with Romance
63. A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet 64. cupcake’s book cupboard

 

About the books:
Taking Shots:
In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.

No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the girls, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside throw her insecurities out the window before she misses out on a shot at love.

Trying to Score:
In a captivating novel of hockey and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.

Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually to start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

Empty Net:
The chiseled men of the Nashville Assassins can make anything happen when they go all-out for the women they want—even turn a one-night stand into a happily ever after.

Audrey Parker is up against the boards. She’s stuck in a job she hates and pining for a total jerk. Meanwhile, her sister Fallon is moving out and getting married to hockey star Lucas Brooks. Where is Audrey’s Prince Charming? Nothing she does has ever seemed to be good enough for any of the men in her life. Audrey’s about to hit rock bottom . . . until she wakes up next to Tate Odder.

The thrill of moving up from the minors to the Nashville Assassins was a welcome distraction. But not even becoming the first rookie goalie to tally three shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals alleviates the pain. With the loss of his parents and sister weighing as heavily on his soul as ever, Tate Odder can’t keep pretending he’s okay. That’s when he meets smart, sexy Audrey. Her gentle warmth and quirky sense of humor make him feel whole for the first time in too long. But to stay that way forever, Tate must find a way to accept his past and learn to live for love.

And, look for FALLING FOR THE BACKUP Novella & BLUE LINES in August!
BLUE LINES:
Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lie behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.

Buy her books here

Diana’s Hound – Moira Rogers – 4.5 stars

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The Blurb:

The female of the species is more deadly…

Bloodhounds, Book 4

Nate Powell lived one full life as a world-class inventor before a disaster born of magic and science returned him to his prime—and turned him into a half-vampire, half-bloodhound abomination.

He’s finally stopped yearning for death, but he’s a long way from being excited about life—even if his newly virile body is very excited by the latest arrival to Iron Creek.

Diana is another creature that shouldn’t exist—a female bloodhound. While the males of Iron Creek accept her as a fellow warrior, Nate seems torn between a desire to study her and a need to protect her. Diana’s urges are a lot more carnal.

When they learn that a rogue hound is selling women across the border, Diana and Nate are chosen to infiltrate the vampires’ capital city. Before long, their inner bloodhounds feel the mating pull—and a hound never outlives their mate for long. In a fight to keep each other alive, they could both end up worse than dead.

Warning: Contains a badass vampire-hunting heroine who isn’t afraid to fight dirty and a broody half-vampire hero about to discover a reason to live again. Also beware of: bloodhound-on-bloodhound violence, airship heists and some furniture-endangering sex with lots of biting, all in an alternate Wild West

My Thoughts:

Well what can I say other than “GIMME MORE MORE MORE MORE!!!”  I know the authors know I adore their stuff under this pen name as well as under their Kit Rocha persona (coughACEcough) but this series has proven to be one of the most intriguing from the standpoint of the characters and time period they’ve introduced.  I find myself wanting to know more about how the Guild came in to being let alone what exactly is so special about Hunter and Diana.

Diana has been handling her status as the only known female bloodhound very well and knows that even though this isn’t what she originally thought her life would be she is still happy to be living it.  She’s strongly attracted to Nate but also knows that she shouldn’t be as how could he want her.  She’s done her time having assignations with men who meant nothing more than a way to survive the moon’s call on her as a bloodhound but Nate calls to her in a way that she didn’t expect.  She’s trying to learn her place in the world of Bloodhounds by learning how to fight and not only serve her purpose of killing vampires but helping uncover the secrets her mentor kept from her.  She agrees to go on a mission to find out more about the rogue hound that created her even though it could result in her death at the hands of demons and vampires.  The one wrinkle in this plan is Nate has decided he will be the one leading her in to this hell which in itself creates a new hell.

Nate is still coming to terms with this new hybrid life he has been saddled with.  I mean being half-vampire/bloodhound is hard enough without his new attraction to Diana.  She calls to his primal soul more than any other woman but he is convinced that she deserves so much better than he can ever give her plus I mean he’s so much older than the vibrant younger bloodhound.  He admires her and struggles with his instincts to keep her from harm even as he knows she needs to fight as it is her nature as a hound.  When he finally gives in to his yearning we get some incredibly hot scenes with such a great balance of heart/love behind it.  He’s aware for the first time in his long life that things are best when you can find someone to truly share yourself with and for that alone the book shone bright.

 

Special thanks to the authors for once again letting me get my hands on their work early.  I cannot thank the ladies enough (although coughmoreACEcough would make me an extremely happy person) for being willing to let me have it early in hopes that I would review it and sing their praises… 🙂

 

If you haven’t read this series yet go out and grab it because this is an interesting world and from things revealed in this story it is only going to get much much better.

To buy and learn more visit their site:

Moira Rogers Website

The Practice Proposal – Tracy March – 3.5 stars

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The Blurb:

Liza Sutherland isn’t looking for love. Not from a charity-auction date she didn’t even bid on and especially not with Nationals first baseman Cole Collins, the guy she obsessed over as an awkward teenager. She won’t get involved with a notorious player, no matter how attractive Cole is.

Cole Collins is up for contract renegotiation, but after too many late-night parties, he’ll need some positive publicity before he can make the roster. His agent, Frank, pitches Liza as the perfect prop…only Cole didn’t account for Liza no longer being just a teenager with a crush. She’s gorgeous and smart and he’s instantly hooked.

When Frank makes Liza a deal she can’t refuse—a bet she will fall in love with Cole or a cool half mil goes to charity—the game is on. But neither bet on the real feelings that surface. Could a fake fling turn into an official forever?

My Thoughts:

This was a sweet read where the drama made sense and didn’t overpower the rest of the story.  The main pair are wonderful together and I loved seeing them both wake up to live life versus going through the motions.

Liza is stunned that her mother decided to bid on and win the blind date with Cole Collins in the silent auction the charity she works for runs every year.  She’s still not ready to move on from losing the love of her life two years ago but thankfully others finally feel it is time for her to live again.  Do they understand why she still mourns?  Yes they do but just because he was brought down in the line of duty (Secret Service) they feel she shouldn’t stay in mourning for the rest of her life.  She agrees to go on this single date but ends up liking him more than she thought she would and being around him brings back memories of her crush on him when they were both teens.  She doesn’t quite want to move on yet so turns him down for a second date but when his manager makes an offer to donate money to the charity if she sees him for 2 months and doesn’t fall in love with him she just can’t say no.  As they start to see one another she really does start to want it to be real but isn’t sure how to tell Cole about the deal she’s made without it sounding worse than it is.

Cole was something else (in a good way I promise).  He’s made a bad mistake by having a starlet in his car that had illegal drugs but they honestly weren’t his.  Unfortunately for him this comes at a time when the Nationals baseball team that he plays for is looking to keep a family friendly image and his contract is up for negotiation.  His agent seizes in on the chance to have him clean up his image by “dating” a nice girl that will serve to provide this wholesome image the team is looking for.  He decides to go along with it because in his life the only thing that matters to him is baseball.  As he spends more time with Liza he realizes that this is a woman who knew him before he made it and has a way about keeping him real and  not buying in to the whole fame/money thing.  This relationship becomes real for both of them but watching what happens as secrets get uncovered was what made me cheer for him even as he was keeping the initial reason he kept pursuing her from Liza.  He’s such a good vulnerable man that you can’t help but love him.

Very sweet read that I would recommend if you just want something fairly light with a bit of depth hidden beneath the surface fluff.  Both characters have to face their pasts and make the decision to move forward rather than keep looking back.  Thanks to NetGalley.com and Entangled Publishing for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Behind the Courtesan – Bronwyn Stuart – 3.5 stars

Behind the Courtesan

 

The Blurb:

When courtesan Sophia Martin returns to the village she fled as a young woman, she knows it won’t be a happy reunion–but she can’t refuse her brother’s request to attend his expectant wife. Trapped until the baby arrives, she must navigate the social rift she caused when she left to pursue a disreputable life–and keep the true reason for her departure from the man she once loved, the bastard son of the Duke who ruined her.

Blake Vale has never forgotten Sophia, but he can’t accept the decisions she made, the courtesan’s life she leads, or the fact she’s cast aside her true self. Plain old Sophia has to be inside this hardened woman somewhere, and he’s determined to make her see she doesn’t need rich men to be happy, and that their future has nothing to do with the past.

When the dukedom suddenly falls within his reach, Blake must come to terms with his own past and his birthright, and what that means for his future…and Sophia.

My Thoughts:

I was torn on this book when it came to rating it, while there is a heroine that I liked there is a hero that I wanted to strangle so many times and just scream.  It turns out that having a heroine I liked and admired weighed more favorably that I had expected.  The writing was very enjoyable but the hero just pissed me off to no end.

Sophia (Sophie) is sucking up her misgivings and heading back to her childhood haunts.  She left there under horrible circumstances and never revealed the truth to any of the men that adored her due to fear and concern for their own futures.  She’s made some decisions that others may not agree with but she is surviving in a time when women were nothing more than property to many families.  She’s tired of playing the game but is also afraid of what her future might hold when she comes home to be there for her brother when his wife gives birth.  People judge her based purely on her being a courtesan but she is so much more than just that label which she proves through the course of the book.  I loved how strong she was able to appear no matter what was thrown at her and that she stood up for herself when it was needed even if all she wanted to do was curl up and hide.  She’s vulnerable but as you see more of the hell she went through due to her father you learn that this is a woman who really does need to be able to let someone else carry her and be her helpmate for the rest of her life.  

Blake..  now this is where I had major problems and wanted to reach in to my Kindle to hurt someone.  He’s so hurt by what he sees as the betrayal of the love of his life that he can’t see the truth staring him in the face.  I mean there are huge signs that something major happened to her in her past but he is so blinded to what he sees as her gold digging ways that he doesn’t listen when she does actually try to talk to him.  He just says so many things to cut her to the quick and while he does seem to regret them as soon as they are uttered he just keeps doing it over and over again.  It takes him getting the truth from his half-brother and her brother to finally realize how wrong he has been but he still seems to not completely accept her past even though he claims to love her.  

I have to say my hope is the note from the author did prove to be the way their lives went in the future as I believe that Sophia really deserves her HEA after all the hell that she was put through.  I really do hope that Blake became worthy of her and treated her with the respect and love she deserves but felt a bit sad by Blake being so damn stubborn.  This was a good read if you can overlook some of his behavior.  I really enjoyed it and will keep an eye out for more by the author as her writing was interesting even with my feelings towards Blake.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this early in exchange for my honest review.  As always with Carina Press titles, if you find this one interesting please head out to their site via the link on my sidebar for it and other fun titles.

Night of the Dark Horse – Janni Nell – 3 stars

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The Blurb:

Just another typical week in the life of a paranormal investigator.

I had barely arrived in Ireland to investigate a pooka terrorizing the villagers of Dingaleen when I got called to ride the fairy horse myself. When a pooka calls, you answer–and hold on for dear life.

Unfortunately, the beast tossed me into a bog. Fortunately, my gorgeous guardian angel fished me out. Just barely.

You see, Casper is still weak from tangling with an evil spirit on our last case. So he’s not even much help to me in the land o’ the green. The powers-that-be are even hinting at retirement…

But I won’t lose Casper. Not now. Not ever. As luck would have it, I have a chance, albeit a slim one, to save him and get the answers I need to solve the pooka case–if I just take a wee trip through Fairyland. Except angels aren’t welcome there, humans can’t eat, drink or sleep there, and time is running out.

An Allegra Fairweather Mystery

56,000 words

 

My Thoughts:

Another cute entry in the series with an ending I was very happy with.

Allegra is at it again but this time in Ireland where she has been called in to help a village get rid of the pooka that has been tormenting them.  She’s at a bit of a disadvantage as her normal guardian is a bit under the weather and trying to heal from their last adventure.  As we watch her struggle to solve the mystery of who the pooka is and why it is so pissed off at the villagers we get to see why she is so capable of doing this whole paranormal investigator thing even without Casper’s help getting out of all the predicaments she manages to get it.  She gets to heal some old wounds from her past and we get to see what exactly is most important to her.  I like her even when she behaves like a moron because I think all of us have those moments when our brain takes a momentary time out and we do/say things we didn’t mean to.

Casper makes the whole book worth it for me.  I love seeing how much he really cares for her and his struggles with needing to heal which means leaving her behind.  He always wants to be there to support her but things may not cooperate to make that possible.  The Powers That Be are aware of his unusual closeness with his charge but as they haven’t completely crossed the line maybe that isn’t the issue.  He’s weak in this one from a physical standpoint but watching him still try to do what’s right was sweet.

I liked the story of the pooka and learning more about the Fae and other magical creatures.  I still need to go back and get a better look at the beginning stories in this series but this one was enjoyable.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always with this and other Carina Press titles please click the link on my sidebar to grab copies of them.  I’ve had great luck with titles put out by them so go give them a chance.

Hurricane Lily – Rebecca Rogers Maher – 3.5 stars

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The Blurb:

Lily Sawyer flees her controlling, wealthy family in New York City for a solitary existence on Cape Cod. Three months later, a mounting anxiety binds her to the house she can no longer leave.

With hurricane season approaching, Lily hires Cliff Buckley—an angry carpenter with an immediate disgust for his elitist employer—to storm-proof her house.

Cliff soon discovers they have more in common than he thinks, as well as a raging spark between them could either destroy—or save—everything they care about. The question is, can either of them survive Hurricane Lily?

My Thoughts:

This is my second read from Rebecca and like the first one, Fault Lines, it made me think but in this case it didn’t hit me as hard as the first story.  We have a good story of two people who are very quick to judge based on surface appearances but I enjoyed the war that plays out between them as I felt both of them had things to learn about life in general.  It is another story that makes you think about things that are often uncomfortable but is brought out in such a way you are interested even if you disagree with the positions the characters take.

Lily has always been uncomfortable in her own skin and paranoid in such extremes that she is now a prisoner in a home that is falling down around her.  She is extremely worried about a major storm coming in and blowing everything away so she decides to make the home a fortress that can withstand this doomsday scenario.  She hires a contractor to do the work but wants the house to be redone not torn down.  As she is forced to accept strangers in her sanctuary we get to see her slowly come out of her shell and allow this angry yet compelling man in.  She pushes back at him even when all she wants to do is curl up and hide from the outside world.  She’s also a bit of a puzzle as we get to see this picture of a lonely child who only ever wanted to be loved by her rich, overbearing father.  She’s not crazy but others see her as such since she seems to disappear off the face of the earth and in to her own head.

Cliff was a bit of a puzzle.  He’s so angry about class and wealth that it colors his views of the outside world.  He is like Lily in his tendency to think the worst of everything.  As he gets to know more about Lily he’s intrigued by her seeming aloofness but senses vulnerability about her he really doesn’t want to see.  He ends up responding to her from a purely sexual standpoint but then starts to wonder what if she isn’t the horrible person he assumed just because she’s wealthy.  Sure he was around elitists when he was in school and working his tail off to afford school and living expenses while his fellow students were spending money like water… But something about her doesn’t feel the same and as he spends more time around her he finds his protective instincts coming out more and more as he studies the puzzle that is her behavior.

 

I found myself struggling at times with both characters as I don’t completely understand the doomsday mentality but I enjoyed watching them both overcome extreme anger and anxiety to find a middle ground that works for both of them.  We get to see two people heal deep-seated wounds and heal each other even though at times they truly hurt one another to the quick with their comments.

 

Thanks to Rebecca for giving me the chance to read this in hopes of a review.  I enjoyed this very much even though it made me scratch my head at times.  I’ve enjoyed both reads I’ve had of yours.  I will definitely keep my eye out for more.

Amazon

 

Wrecked – Shiloh Walker – 5 stars

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The Blurb:

Previously titled WRECK THIS LIFE

In the nineties, Abigale Applegate and Zach Barnes were the most beloved sitcom child stars in the world. Then they grew up and left Hollywood behind…

Whatever happened to Abigale Applegate?

She’s been wondering the same thing.

With her Hollywood dreams long gone, Abigale now has a nice, neat, uncomplicated life—until the day her perfect fiancé needs to talk. Dumped, a little more than shattered, and totally confused, Abigale turns to Zach, her best friend since forever, to help her pick up the pieces. He does it with a gift—a copy of Wreck This Journal. She can vent her frustrations, and sketch out a new plan. Zach just hopes he’s part of it. Because he’s been in love with Abigale his entire life.

When the journal falls into Zach’s hands, he discovers Abigale wants a new man. And fast. Nothing more than a hot distraction. Zach has a strategy, too. He’s going to be that man. It’s his last chance. Abigale might be out to shake up her life, but Zach’s out to reinvent it. Now, all he has to do is convince Abigale that life can go as planned.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been anticipating this book since I saw a tidbit on Shiloh’s website back in June or July of 2012.  I pre-ordered it back in August and tried to be good and not beg her for a copy.  I was quite proud of myself for not entering every contest I saw for an ARC of this as I was trying to not be greedy and get all the books… Yes, I was trying to be good for once in my life and dear lord the wait for this one about killed me especially as she kept putting snippets out as the release date got closer.  On release day I even gave away a few copies while I was being good and finishing up some review titles.  Well I am happy to say that the book was worth every torturous second I waited and man oh man is it hot.

Once Abigale left the world of Hollywood and ventured out on her own she only wanted to be normal.  To her being normal meant having a plan and controlling everything around her until in reality she finds she’s been living a lie.  She gets dumped by her fiancé and thinks that all she needs to do is plan a new future.  She’s used to having her friend Zach there to help her and when he shows up to help her pick up the pieces of her life she starts to notice him for the amazingly sexy man he is.  She’s shocked and torn because I mean this is her best friend right. You shouldn’t want to jump your best friend’s bones, right?  She ends up agreeing to having an affair with him to scratch an itch and do something she’s never done before but as expected things don’t go down the path she thought.  She has a lot of facing her own fears to do in this but I liked that under all the fear is a really strong core that loves life even though she really wasn’t living it.

Zach has always loved Abigale.  He’s contented himself with being her best friend even though watching her date, fall in love with and getting engaged to a man he knows isn’t right for her about kills him.  While he hurts for her being dumped at the same time he wonders if this is the only chance he will have to get her to see what they could have together.  When he sees that she wants to have a torrid affair he offers to be the man who gives that to her but isn’t as willing to let her know he isn’t playing for a quickie but is looking for the real thing and all of her.  His fear of losing her actually gives us the tension that runs through the book as he holds back key parts of himself from her which she senses but can’t put her finger on.  He’s such an amazing man that I kept wanting to yell every time he has a chance to really lay it on the line with her but doesn’t.  Some of the things he says to her that truly tell her how he feels without saying the words she really needs to hear were just sigh worthy and I can see why anyone would be lucky to have him.

I’m going to leave this review a bit short on all the specifics because you need to read this and fall in love with them like I did….  by reading their story and all the ups/downs that comes with it.

Thanks again Shiloh for giving me another great story to wrap myself up in for a short time.  This one will definitely end up on my re-read list if I ever need a really sweet, true love story.  I really hope you get to tell the stories of his siblings as Zane and Sebastian would be amazing to read.

Amazon

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