Review: Play Your Heart Out - Book #4 Sinful Serenade Series - Crystal Kaswell - May 2016
As readers know , the other stories I like are the "fake romances" that eventually have a HEA - yes, I am a true sucker for the Happily Ever Afters , I think it's the romantic at heart part of me. In Play Your Heart Out we meet Jess James who is working as a waitress to help pay her tuition for Law School . She has been burned before and is just trying to find a way to move on with her life , as she is estranged from her family. Her dad is an alcoholic and the one person she thought she could rely on and would always have her back ended up sleeping with her boyfriend behind her back and they are now together. One night , Jess meets rock star Pete Steele - the bass guitarist of Sinful Serenade. He has a background and history of being a "real" rockstar with lots of girls, drinking and a bad reputation to boot. The thing is he needs someone who can keep his reputation clean and act as a front as a good girlfriend and he knows just the person for the job - Jess James. In return for acting like his girlfriend, he will pay Jess's tuition to Law School - that's all she asks for as her loans and other hopeful sources of income have been declined and if she wants to go to law school then Pete is her only hope. As the book goes on, we read as Jess is actually really good for Pete and his whole attitude starts to change and we catch glimpses of a Pete that actually could sustain a proper relationship - then of course as it's only glimpses he pushes and pulls Jess back and forward. Soon she realises that she is actually falling for him and that if she doesn't get out now then he will break her even more than she was prior as this time she won't be able to stop falling under. Can Pete realise in time what he is about to give up and that he is actually capable of love and the feelings and emotions that come with it ?
Find out in Book #4 Play Your Heart Out. Though this is part of a series , each book can be read as a stand-alone story and each features a different band member.
I have a few of this author's books on my e-reader to read and when I saw that she had released a new one called Evil, I quickly added it to my TBR pile. One genre which I can't read too much of as I went overkill a few years back is paranormal/supernatural . However, every now and again there will be one that is amazing and I can't put it down. That's how I felt about the majority of Evil by Tijan. This book started with a family of teens called the Braedens and we discovered that they were in fact half-demons. One of the sisters Shay , however hated the fact she had "evil" within her and tried to be as normal as possible. Turns out though, she was quite powerful and in fact her lineage is far more advanced and different than any usual half-demon out there. In Evil, we read as Shay's whole life that she has built for herself and what she knows starts to unravel and quickly as she discovers that her life and who she really is has been built on a foundation of lies. Though Shay feels like she has no-one she can turn to , she always has Kellen who A) she assumed was her brother and B) she thought he was just like her. These two have always been close and thick as thieves and as we go deeper into Evil, we discover just how close they really are and why . Without giving too much of the story away, as Evil is one that you have to read and as you turn the pages the story unfolds and new discoveries are made. Now comes the reason it is only getting four stars from me instead of five as the first half of the book was fast-paced , drew me in and had a few OMG moments and then the second half of the book for me seemed to drag and there were a few unanswered questions - one part in particular , I had hoped for a different outcome and read as I was thinking this is the moment and it never came. Then in other parts as I got near the end of the story, I thought ok - it must be nearing the end and the book kept going. Overall , Evil was a good supernatural/paranormal story and if you love the genre then it is definitely one to check out and as demons do - devour the book in one sitting.
Review: A Girl's Guide to Moving On - Book #2 New Beginnings - Debbie Macomber - February 2016
For those who are fans of Debbie Macomber's books will remember at the end of Last One Home , Nichole - the younger sister discovered that the husband she thought loved her actually was having affairs and one of the girls ended up pregnant . A Girl's Guide to Moving on takes place two years after Last One Home and Nichole and Jake are busy going through a long divorce process and Leanne which is Jake's mother has finally got up the guts and divorced her husband Sean as like father, like son - Sean had plenty of affairs throughout their 30+ years of marriage and until Leanne saw Nichole stand-up to Jake , she had always turned a blind eye to what was happening. Nichole and Leanne moved out and are now living in apartments across from one another and working through their list which is a guide they put together to help them move forward. The first on the list was 1) to volunteer and make sure it is a passion . For Nichole she has been working one day a week at Dress for Success which is a non-profit that helps dress women going for job interviews and Leanne has been teaching English to non-speakers at Night school. It is around their jobs that they met two people who will help them discover that they are to be treated as princesses and number ones and will help them not waver and go crawling back to either Jake or Sean. For Nichole she meets Rocco - a tow truck driver and his daughter and Leanne - Nikolai -one of her students on her English course. Can Nichole and Leanne find a way to move on or will their pasts keep coming back to haunt them and find a way to insert themselves into their present lives ? With A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber, this is a book that all ages will appreciate and anyone who has ever had to move on from a difficult relationship and one that they often feel obliged to go back to for one reason or another will love as be honest - we have all been in that situation at one time or another and we all have that one person in our lives that we if they asked - would go crawling back to and we as women have to muster up the strength to say enough is enough and move on with our lives in order not to lose ourselves.
Title: Sweet Sunshine Series: Pembrooke Series (Book 1) Author: Jessica Prince Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
She’s a romantic at heart.
Chloe Delaney had three very specific wishes, growing up. She wished to stay settled in the small mountain town of Pembrooke, where she grew up, to one day be her own boss, and to fall in love with a man who would be willing to go to the ends of the earth for her. With her roots firmly planted in Pembrooke’s soil and her bakery, Sinful Sweets, thriving, two of her wishes have already come true. When a handsome single father moves to town, she’s certain she’s found the man to fill the role of wish number three. The only problem is, you can’t force a frog to turn into a prince.
He isn’t the Prince Charming type.
When Derrick Anderson moved from Jackson Hole to the small town of Pembrooke, he did it determined to wipe the slate clean. After eight years spent trapped in a miserable marriage, he’s made a vow to never take the plunge again. He wants to be untethered, not tangled up in the strings that come with a committed relationship. He has his daughter, his career, and an ex-wife hell bent on making his life unbearable. His plate is already full. The only problem is, he didn’t have a plan in place to protect his heart from her.
Neither of them were prepared for the course their lives would take. But once a rollercoaster begins to move, you can’t just climb off, now can you?
The only thing they can do is strap in, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride.
***This is Book 1 in the Pembrooke series, a spin-off of Wildflower***
FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
I was dreaming. I had to be. There was no other logical explanation for what was happening to me.
And it was the Best. Dream. Ever.
Something pulled me from the deepest recesses of sleep, and as I blinked my eyes open to the sight of the darkened room, my sleep-addled brain was still too drowsy to figure out what had woken me. As I stared out of the French doors, nothing but black blanketing the forest ahead, my whole body tensed at the realization that the tingles I’d been feeling thanks to the erotic dream I had of Derrick weren’t abating.
Then I realized why.
“Derrick?” I asked on a gasp as his large hand spanned against my belly, pushing me further back into him.
“Shh,” he whispered in my ear, just before pulling the lobe between his teeth and biting down.
“What are you d-doing?” My voice broke as a shudder worked its way up my throat.
“What I’ve been dying to do for what feels like forever,” was his bewildering answer. I didn’t understand what was happening. We were supposed to be friends. Just friends. Yet, for the past few days he’d been acting like he wanted more from me. I couldn’t wrap my head around what was going on.
When the hell had he started wanting me? Until a few days ago I had no idea he’d even noticed I was a woman.
“I don’t…” I breathed as his tongue left a trail across my tingling flesh. “I don’t think—”
“Don’t think,” he rumbled. “Just feel, baby. Christ, you undo me.” He bit down on the tendon that ran from my neck down to my shoulder.
I moaned as the sting of pain sparked into something that made my blood run hot and my stomach clench. As he rained open-mouth kisses from ear to shoulder and back again, my hips involuntarily rocked back, pressing against the hardness of his erection. He groaned against my skin and I shivered as he continued his toe-curling assault. I’d never had a man pay such attention to that particular spot on my body, and it was driving me mad. It was as though every single nerve ending in my body was located right there. What he was doing to me made it impossible to control the needy sounds that fell from my lips. I was so turned on that rationality had flown out the window. There wasn’t tomorrow or the repercussions it could hold, there was only here… only now.
His voice was gravelly as he said, “So fucking sweet,” against my shoulder before biting down again.
“Mmm, Derrick.” I rolled my hips, pressing harder against his cock, desperate for something, some friction to help ease the pressure building between my thighs.
With a low, rumbling growl, one hand twisted into my hair, pulling my head back so hard my scalp stung, while the other snaked from my stomach to my breast and squeezed. I loved it. All of it. I went mindless with pleasure, nothing mattered but what Derrick was doing and how it made me feel. I couldn’t think, I could barely breathe the craving was so intoxicating.
“Oh God.” I rocked and rocked and rocked my hips back as he let go of my breast just long enough to reach under my t-shirt and palm it without any barrier.
“Love how you light up for me,” he moaned, thrusting his hips forward. “Are you wet, sunshine?”
“Derrick,” I whimpered as his hold on my hair enabled him to twist my head any which way he wanted so he could continue to feast on my skin. “I need…”
“What, baby?” Another bite from him, another groan from me. God, it was like he was ravenous for me. “What do you need?”
“More,” was all I was able to get out.
In a blink, I was on my back, my top whipped over my head as Derrick loomed above me, his hips forcing my thighs apart as he settled himself between them. His mouth claimed mine in a brutal, dominating kiss.
“Mmm, Chloe.” His moan vibrated through his chest and into mine as he trailed kisses along my jaw. “What are you doing to me?”
“I-I don’t know,” I panted, fisting his hair as my back arched beneath him, pressing my breasts into his firm, solid chest.
He slid against me, his rigid length pushing against where I needed it the most. At the pressure of his cock grinding against my core, my head fell back against the pillow, a low, guttural sound coming from deep within my throat.
“You drive me fucking crazy,” he murmured as his lips moved lower and lower. “I can’t get you out of my head, no matter how hard I try.”
His tongue flicked my straining nipple, shooting pulsing waves of pleasure to my center, making me even wetter, more desperate. With each lash of his tongue, my body writhed against his, searching for something to send me over the edge, into the abyss.
“Oh, God. Don’t stop doing that.” I let out a cry when his mouth pulled away.
He moved back up my body, his lips close to my ear when he whispered, “Tell me you want me inside you.” My mouth opened to follow his command only to get stuck in my throat. He let out a pained moan as his hips undulated against me. “Say it.”
Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.
Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.
In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.
Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.
SORDID by Nikki SloaneRelease Date: May 29, 2016Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
It took me years to find the courage to speak to Luka. He seemed exactly like me. Intelligent. Focused. Serious.
But he’s not the man I imagined.
His reality is cruel and dark. He traps me in his web, his power twisting tighter the more I struggle, until it’s hopeless. I can’t break free.
As he drags me unwillingly into his filthy world, I can’t ignore the terrifying idea circling my mind. What if I belong here with him?
*WARNING. This book is meant for mature audiences and is a very dark erotic romance.
“So, Addison, we’re both stuck here for other people.” Luka took a step toward me, and even though there was still quite a bit of space left between us, his one small step felt enormous. Like he was now twice the size he’d been a second ago.
My chest was beginning to feel warm, no doubt from the tequila. “How is it you remember my name?”
“Probably for the same reason you remember mine.”
That was incredibly doubtful, but I kept my face plain. “Calculus was that memorable for you?”
“Yeah, it was. You were there every class, staring at me.”
I inhaled sharply, mortified, and tore my gaze away. “I did not.”
“Look at me.” His firm tone made it so there was no other option but to obey. When I did, his black eyes were focused and intense. “You stared when you didn’t think I could tell, but you weren’t very good at hiding it.” I opened my mouth to deny further, but he cut me off. “I was better than you. I made sure you never noticed I was looking.”
My brain disconnected and thought ceased. “Why?”
Luka’s hands rested casually on his hips. “Because a girl like you . . .” He scrubbed a hand over his mouth. He seemed to search for the right word, but not find it, and every drawn-out second that passed made it worse. Because a girl like you . . . Isn’t good enough. Rich enough. Smart enough. A girl like you isn’t experienced enough.
“You shouldn’t be interested in a guy like me.”
“What?” I was intelligent and well spoken, and yet I couldn’t choke out more than one word at a time.
“I’m not a nice guy.”
I swallowed hard. “Well . . .” How was I supposed to respond to that? “I’m sure that’s not true.”
Luka remained like a statue. He didn’t argue or defend himself, and tension wound around us like ruthless vines.
My question was breathy. “Why did you stare at me if you weren’t interested?”
“Did I say I wasn’t interested?” He took another step, growing larger still, reaching a point where I couldn’t see anything else. Just him. “Nobody looked at me the way you did, and I liked it. It’s exactly how you’re looking at me now.”
All the air vanished from the room.
“And how’s that?” It was dizzying when he took the final step and brought us chest to chest, his mouth inches from mine. Was any of this effect from the tequila, or was it all him? His gaze traced over each inch of my face, and I could feel it etching into my skin.
“Like you want me to do bad things to you.”
Oh my God.
As he’d done, I stood motionless, neither confirming nor denying. I held my breath, waiting for him to make his move. I expected him to kiss me. Or maybe laugh in my face, although Luka didn’t seem like the type to laugh easily. He was deadly serious.
“Do you?” His question was soft and indifferent, even as it carried the weight of an enormous challenge.
Did I want him to do bad things to me? “I don’t know,” I blurted out. “Maybe.”
Luka looked just as I felt—surprised by my admission. What had I just sort of agreed to? A tremble began in the backs of my knees and moved upward when his head tipped down. His mouth lowered until his warm lips sealed over mine.
Everything was madness. My actions, the situation, and most importantly, his kiss. I spun out of control under his mouth, surrendering to it completely, even as the kiss was tame. Luka pressed his lips to mine tentatively, but when I parted my lips to gasp, he took advantage.
His tongue dipped into my mouth and was an electric jolt straight between my legs. Did I taste like tequila as he did to me, or could he also taste my lust? I had two years’ worth, and this kiss broke the dam holding it back. It poured from me, and as I spun, I latched my hands onto his shoulders to keep myself steady.
What the hell was I doing?
About the Author:
Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there. Now she lives in Kentucky and manages a team of graphic artists. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, is married with two sons, writes dirty books, and couldn't be any happier.
Life is pain.
That is the reality Goodie has had to accept since she was nine years old. Even before the night her childhood shattered she was never normal: her mind can process people and situations at lightning speed, she has the ability to recall anything she sees or hears with perfect clarity, she can separate from herself if she needs to – making her difficult to torture, difficult to intimidate. In summary, she is the perfect mercenary. A life in the shadows where she can stay in darkness is fine by her. That is until he tries to pull her into the light.
Powerful, arrogant, filthy-rich men are, quite frankly, a pain in Goodie’s arse. She’d much rather take an extraction job in the depths of a Colombian jungle than have to deal with their bullshit. But sometimes the money is just too good to turn down, and this time someone important, who is actually doing something Goodie believes in, needs to be kept safe. Luckily, Goodie is an expert at maintaining an invisible presence, enabling her to keep any interaction with the egomaniacs she protects to a minimum … until she meets Nick Chambers.
Nick doesn’t seem to understand invisible presence, appropriate employer–employee protocol, security precautions, following instructions, or in fact just leaving her the fuck alone. Everything about him, from his ability to laugh at their situation to the perpetual smile on his gorgeous face complete with goddamn dimple, drives Goodie insane, and for some reason makes her feel threatened. Fear is weakness, and if Goodie’s life has taught her anything it’s that you never, ever show weakness.
But Nick is determined, and he’s used to getting what he wants. He’s been effortlessly charming the women in his life since he was five years old, so he knows it won’t be long before he has Goodie right where he wants her. Only some things are so dark, so horrific, they can’t be dragged into the light. Some people are beyond redemption, and Goodnight may be one of them.
This book is a full-length contemporary romance of approximately 85,000 words with no cliffhanger and its own HEA.
This story involves both swearing and violence from the outset.
Nick watched as Goodie’s eyes opened again, and searched for the panic he could have sworn was there before she closed them, but her ice-blue gaze was now blank, all emotion wiped from her expression. She moved quickly, her mouth crashing down on his and her hands going up into his T-shirt.
‘I want you,’ she told him, her voice husky and unbearably sexy as her hands traced over his abs and the muscles of his chest. He sucked in a sharp breath – he could tell something was off, there was an unnatural desperation about her; but with the woman he had been obsessing over finally touching him, he became incapable of rational thought.
‘Christ,’ he rasped as one of her hands moved down to his crotch and all his ability to think was obliterated. He drove both his hands into her soft hair and took control of the kiss, pushing her back to lie on the duvet he had dumped on the floor. He pulled her hands from him and unzipped her hoody, revealing the black bra beneath. Her body was more amazing than he had imagined (and he had a good imagination and had invested a fair amount of time on this endeavour when it came to her, so that was saying something): she was all defined, toned muscle, combined with softer curves. She was magnificent. She rocked against him and her hands went to his belt, frantically pulling at the buckle. Something about her movements jolted Nick out of his lust-induced haze. He dragged his eyes from her breasts and stomach to her face and he almost flinched. Her expression was blank and her jaw was clenched.
‘Goodie?’ he whispered, and her gaze flew from his belt to his face briefly before focusing just over his shoulder. ‘Hey … hey,’ he muttered, grabbing her hands to still them in her frantic attempts to undo his belt.
‘What is problem?’ she asked sharply, her Russian accent thicker than normal and a frown marring her beautiful face.
‘Where did you go?’ Nick asked, his eyes roving her face. He gathered both her small hands in one of his and reached up to cup her cheek, stroking across her cheekbone and up to her crescent scar with his thumb.
‘I am here,’ she said, jerking her head to the side, away from his touch.
‘No,’ Nick told her, ‘no you’re not here. Where have you gone? Why are you so scared?’
‘Scared?’ Goodie spat, wrenching away from him, and then scuttling back against the units next to Salem, who raised his head in surprise.
Goodie was breathing hard, her exposed chest rising and falling. She desperately wanted to zip her top, but knew that would show yet more weakness. She had perfected the type of meditation that took her out of her own body many years ago. The fact was that there were times in her life that she needed to be able to separate from herself; torture situations being one example, any form of intimacy being another. But nobody, nobody had ever called her on it. Nick made a move forward and she flinched – fucking flinched. What was wrong with her? Salem could feel her tension and flattened his ears against his head, letting out a low growl. She stroked his head and muttered to him that everything was okay in Russian – Salem could smell fear and the only other times Goodie had been as tense as this was when they had been in mortal danger, so she didn’t exactly blame him for his reaction. Nick continued to move towards her, his palms up like he was approaching a terrified wild animal. When he was inches away he reached down to her zipper and surprised her by hooking it together and pulling it up, covering her to just under her chin.
‘Are … are you okay?’ he asked softly, and for the first time since Goodie was eight years old she felt her eyes sting with tears. She blinked rapidly and gritted her teeth. What the fuck was going on? Nick turned and sat next to her on the floor up against the units leaving just a little more space than before, which she was grateful for. They sat in silence for a few minutes.
‘Um, Goodie?’ he asked.
‘Look, I don’t want to pry or anything –’ Goodie sucked in a breath preparing to have to explain her reaction to him ‘– but … well, you don’t seem to have the full complement of toes.’
Goodie blinked, letting out a short bark of laughter in her relief (but unusually for her not noticing Nick’s body jolt at that rarity) and staring sightlessly down at her bare feet. Yes, she was two toes down – both her little toes were missing and part of her third toe on her left foot; ugly scars marked where they had once been.
‘I have never noticed this before,’ she deadpanned, curling the few toes she did have into Salem’s fur so that he would settle back down to go to sleep.
Nick sighed. ‘You won’t give anything away, will you. You are the most closed person I’ve ever met. It makes me crazy – do you know that?’ Goodie shrugged. ‘Can’t you just tell me this one small thing? Give me that at least – you know everything about me.’ Goodie rubbed her temple and closed her eyes slowly. After a few silent moments Nick puffed out a frustrated breath and she felt him start to push up to stand.
‘Frostbite,’ she blurted out. She had no idea why, as his questions annoyed her to death, but the idea that he would give up asking them made her stomach clench with actual pain. He eased back down and turned his body towards her. She could feel him watching her face closely.
‘How did you get frostbite badly enough to lose actual bloody toes?’ He sounded incredulous, and weirdly furious, about something Goodie considered relatively trivial. She had been lucky to come out of what happened that winter alive, leave alone largely intact.
‘I lay in the snow for a long time,’ she told him.
‘Why did you do that for God’s sake?’
‘I had to be still, and I had to wait.’
‘Well, that’s just goddamn ridiculous. Whoever ordered you to –’
‘Nobody orders me to do anything,’ she told him. ‘I had a job and I was going to complete it. I knew the risks.’ And she’d finished the job too. The cold had driven her nearly insane and she’d thought she would go blind if she had to stare down the sight of her rifle any longer. Even now she could still feel the surge of excitement as her target finally came into view after so many hours waiting, and the internal battle she had to fight to remain in control of her heartbeat and breathing. She’d resisted the urge to just fire immediately, taken three deep breaths, and on the respiratory pause at the end of the last breath she’d taken her shot. Adrenaline was pumping through her system but she still had to make sure that even after the shot had broken she maintained a slow steady squeeze on the trigger; follow through is everything. So despite the cold and the pain, when she did get her shot she took it; she finished it.
Just like she always did.
Just like she was trained to do.
Susie Tate is a general practitioner and when she's not working she's looking after her four yummy boys under six (okay one is actually over thirty-six but it's the mental age that counts!).
This is the first of her books to be set totally outside the medical world and is a little darker than the others, but hopefully still funny at times.