Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through life in someone else's shoes?

Strong-willed tomboy Harley LeBeau puts you in the boots her mother gave her, as she takes you along her journey of escape from an abusive childhood and the desire to find herself as she comes of age. Made to feel a burden to her father simply by her gender, Harley is determined to prove her worth and independence, leaving the small town she grew up in and the one boy who gave her a soft place to fall, Jeremiah Johnson. Torn between saving herself and abandoning her mother and younger sister, Harley chooses her own life in hopes they will choose theirs, too.

A mature, candid read for everyone. A must for women. The Boots My Mother Gave Me explores the dynamics of abuse and dysfunction, the courage to overcome, the strength in sisterhood, and the ongoing conflict and unconditional love between mothers and daughters.

Climb into Charlene the Chevelle for a fast-paced story about a girl who is tough enough to survive and tender enough to learn to trust in love.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

The Boots My Mother Gave Me is about how one girl sets out to find herself only to lose herself along the way. It's about her imperfect journey to overcome her childhood in an abusive home and to find her way back to where she's always belonged.

Some stories make imprints on your heart. They leave you with the feeling that you've just learned a really important life lesson and you need to store it away safely so you can think back on it when life gets tough. The Boots My Mother Gave me is that story. First of all, I just want to say that I thought the writing was incredible. Brooklyn James really dug deep and stole my heart, no doubt! I feel like I know the main character, Harley, inside and out.

Strange how completely adeqaute a person looks on paper, yet how inadequate they feel inside.

I connected with Harley in so many ways. From her need to get away and be her own person to her desire to be something more and find that thing that makes her tick, I got her. This is a story for the patient readers out there. Readers that are looking for a story with a little more to it than romance. It's mostly a self discovery read with a romance in the background. That said, Jeremiah Johnson is very much present in Harley's thoughts and throughout her life, but you'll have to be patient because Harley is on the run. It takes her awhile to figure out what she wants, and you'll have to be willing to ride that journey out with her when you pick up this book.

When do you just give up on someone? That's the big question with Harley and her dad. She grew up in an abusive home and had to play the role of adult for most of her childhood. I felt like she spent so much time being the adult growing up that when she finally broke away, she had to have some time to be young and actually grow up herself. She's spent so much time detaching herself emotionally from anything and everything around her that she has to learn to flip that switch again and actually feel.

Contemplation is the roadmap to doubt. Mom calls me impulsive. I like to think I'm intuitive. If you think about something...anything...long enough, you can talk yourself right out of it.

Harley sets out on her journey and refuses to let anyone tell her how to live her life. She leaves her mom, sister, and childhood friend, Jeremiah behind. I got a little sick to my stomach when she left Jeremiah, but it was necessary. As much as we all love a fairy-tale-instant-happily-ever-after, that just wasn't in the cards for Harley and Jeremiah. She had some living to do. Plus, we all find our way back to where we're supposed to be eventually, right?

I couldn't wait to find myself, to life, to experience, and see the world through new eyes, the idea exhilarating.

Harley travels from town to town building new relationships and new dreams. She carries her guitar while wearing her mother's boots the whole way. One of my favorite things about the book was the songwriting. Oh. My. Goodness. I really think the songs touched my soul.

Can't get it right,
I'm always wrong.
Think I know what I like,
Then I want it gone.
Don't wanna be rich,
Don't wanna be poor.
Don't wanna be a bitch,
Or a nice girl anymore.
Complicated, aggravated,
Being me gets me so frustrated.
Wanna give you everything you're missing in your life,
I just can't get it right.

I held tight to every single moment Harley spent with Jeremiah. I admired how devoted he was to his Harley-girl. He was so patient and willing to wait on her to find whatever it was she was looking for. Even when they weren't actually "together", you could tell that have an unbelievable connection. Harley never let anyone in like she did just takes her awhile to live and let love. She's spent her whole life letting someone control her happiness and it's a scary thought for her to let someone else have that control again. She's constantly fighting off feeling vulnerable in any way.

I've tried to push you away. Talk myself out of you. Get you out of me. But it never works. You're just there. It's always been you.

This is really a beautiful story, and I just can't express my love for it enough with words. Some of it was tough to read because I became so attached to Harley. I felt her pain and totally understood where she was coming from. Grant it, there were a couple of times I wanted to scream "What are you waiting for?!" but when it came down to it...I got it. We all have pieces of where we came from in us, some good and some bad. We all have to figure out this crazy thing called life and it was a joy to see Harley do just that.

I'm a late bloomer, slow to grow, slow to know.

Harley had a forever friend in Miah and Brooklyn James has a forever fan in me!
Reviewed by: 
Brooklyn James

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Tempt Me Tonight by Toni Blake


He was her first: the first man she longed for, the first man she truly desired. Then he betrayed her and broke her heart. Now her revenge will be oh-so-sweet . . . and hot!

Trish Henderson has returned home to Eden to take care of some family business . . . and some personal business, as well. Though she's achieved remarkable success as a high-powered Chicago attorney, Trish has never forgotten her small-town high school sweetheart, Joe Ramsey, or the devastation of heartbreak.

Now she's come face-to-face with the gorgeous sex god Joe has grown into, and she's determined to get him out of her system once and for all—and maybe take a little revenge, too. And this time, she has all the power. After all, where is it written that only men can explore and enjoy a physical relationship without commitment? Her plan: seduce him for just one night, then walk away . . .

But there's just one problem. Trish is about to find out that one night with Joe may never be enough...

 Note: This book cost a pretty penny for an eBook.
Totally worth it, but I've heard from a few of my Goodreads pals
that they were able to get it at their local libraries.
So, check your library first!
Hot, HOT, hot, HOT, Hot, Hottt!

Oh my word! I'm still feeling a little flushed after reading Tempt Me Tonight! It's my favorite Toni Blake read yet and by far the steamiest!

          "That boy's trouble. Pure trouble."

We all know, I LOVE TROUBLE! Here's a quick spoiler free rundown:

The book opens with teenage Joe and Trish. Joe messes up right off the bat. Really bad. I thought I'd have a hard time loving him after he did what he did, but this is a classic case of time heals all wounds. Plus, it was easy to chalk up his mistakes to just being young and stupid.

Anyways, Trish leaves town for college and then we flash forward 14 years to when Trish returns to town to help her parents sell their diner. She plans to get the job done and then get right back out of town. Small towns, small crowds.... Needless to say, she couldn't avoid running into Joe. She also couldn't avoid noticing how much and how well Joe has grown up. She convinces herself that she can't go down that road again, but she also realizes she can't resist him. If she gives in to him, she'll be letting him win. She can't have that, so she decides that she's going to beat him at his own game. Enter Trish the seducer....;) HILARIOUS & hot. Really hot. This book is really hot. Got it? Really hot!

Reality smacks Trish in the face when she realizes her plan may not have been all that well thought out. It turns out that Joe's not the jerk that she's built him up to be in her head. She also realizes she's been holding a grudge and that maybe she never really got over what Joe did to her that one summer...

Without giving anything away, the book is centered around this push and pull battle that Joe and Trish having going on. I loved them both SO much. And Joe....Well, I'll go for a ride with Joe and his Cobra anytime.... Jeez, I know what you were thinking! He drove a Cobra! Get. Your. Mind. Out. Of. The. Gutter! ;)

"Yeesh. She loved the guy? Really? Yep, really. But she still coudn't tell the guy, or stay with the guy."

          "I'm here to make you mine again -- for keeps this time."

This is a great book and definately a favorite of mine.  I loved the small town, country vibe and adored the country songs that were mentioned throughout the book. It's a steamy read that also has some depth and a great storyline.   It's a pricey eBook, but I've heard that it's available at most local libraries! Check there first!

My Joe and Trish:

My Rating: 5 Stars!
Toni Blake

Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog Tour & Review: Stubborn Love by Wendy Owens

Even a broken heart has trouble resisting a Stubborn Love.

Emmie Hayes loved the beautiful Ashton Stirling deeply; nobody could deny that. She had given him her youth, and all he gave in return was misery and pain. She was ready for a new beginning, but Ashton wasn’t about to let her go so easily, even if it meant destroying both their lives in the process.

Three years later Emmie convinces herself she is ready to leave all of that heartbreak in the past and find a little piece of normal for herself. She heads to New York City to pick up where she left off, determined to finish art school. Emmie is determined to focus on school and not let anything distract her, but life has a way of throwing curveballs.

Paige, Emmie’s new roommate, brings Colin Bennett into her life. His smoldering eyes and lean muscular body are difficult for any girl to ignore. Only thing is, Emmie isn’t any girl. Her past makes her resistant to his charms. Colin isn’t one to give up easily, and just when he thinks he may have found a way to her stubborn heart, her tragic history may have found a way to tear them apart.
Get it for $.99 during the tour!
This is a beautiful story about the journey to healing, love, and forgiveness.
Talk about a chilling opening! I had serious goosebumps. The story opens with a tragic event that leaves Clementine aka Emmie with a shattered heart. She was already broken and then her high school sweetheart went and broke her even the worst way. I was emotionally invested in the story and to Emmie from the very beginning.
"I suppose a person can only be beaten down for so long before they begin to yearn for their spirit to be set free."
I am ALWAYS, always, ALWAYS up for a self discovery read.  This book took a different spin on self discovery that I really liked. With a tragic ending to a first love, Emmie's left feeling unworthy, guilty, and pretty much hopeless about love. She decides it's time to take back control of her life and she moves to New York for art school. As she adjusts to life in New York, she tries to move forward, but it becomes apparent that she's going to have to learn to forgive herself before she can do that. There are some things that were/are out of her control...
"I think the curse of us is probably too much for any man."
Emmie's not interested in dating. She doesn't really think anyone will be interested in dating her either. Until she meets Colin...and that Stryker guy. I don't want to talk about Stryker. Lets just forget he even exists. Deal? Ok, moving on...
So, there's Colin...;)
"Besides, you didn't come here for love! Focus! Don't look at his eyes, don't look, no, don't do it. Damn it! I looked. How did he do that? It was almost like he smiled with those gray pools of intensity. Oh God, when did I get so cheesy?"
The storyline revolves around Emmie and Colin's evolving relationship. I'll be upfront, it doesn't start out all hearts and flowers for these two.  This is a slow building romance, so if your looking for lots of steam, it's not for you. There's a couple of good scenes, but it's mostly about Emmie learning to open back up her stubborn heart.
This is the kind of story you read when you're in the mood for a little depth. It tugged at all my little heartstrings and I LOVED every single tug.  There's some witty banter between the characters and Colin is dreeeeammmyy!  I always love to see a playboy come to the love side of the field. Don't we all? This is my first book by Wendy Owens and I'll definately be on the lookout for the next book in the series later this year.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I can’t pinpoint the moment it started to change. I suppose a person can only be beaten down for so long before they begin to yearn for their spirit to be set free. I tried telling Ashton that I needed more. I didn’t want to work in a bank. I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to follow my dreams, and I wanted more than anything for him to treat me like he loved me.
Don’t get me wrong; sometimes he could be a real sweetheart, saying all the perfect things. He was always quick to spend the money I earned on flowers for me. Especially when he wanted something, he could really lay on the charm. The mean streak didn’t come out until he didn’t get his way.
Taking several steps out into the yard, I kicked off my flip-flops, allowing my toes to sink into the lush green grass, curling them tightly and then flexing them outward. A deep breath filled my lungs before I exhaled. This was it: this was what freedom felt like. I’ll admit, I was scared as hell, and I didn’t know what being alone looked like, but I was ready for the experience.
I turned back and looked at the door to the home where I thought my life would always be. I had half expected Ashton to chase me outside, making a scene in front of all the neighbors, begging me not to go. I was surprised he didn’t. I think he knew as much as I did, this time, I wasn’t changing my mind. This time, no amount of screaming or crying would make me stay.


Wendy Owens was raisedom the small town of Oxford, Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went on to a career in the visual arts.
After several years of creating and selling her own artwork, she gave her first love, writing, a try. Since 2011, she has published a young adult paranormal series, The Guardians, which will contain five books total, as well as a novella. Wendy now happily spends her days writing -- her loving dachshund, Piper, curled up at her feet. When she's not writing, she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she loves to call home: Cincinnati, OH.
Stubborn Love is her debut New Adult novel. Only In Dreams, the second book in this series, is set to be released in December 2013. For info on Wendy's novels including her YA series, The Guardians, visit:
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Midnight Secrets (Wildefire #1) by Ella Grace


On a hot southern night, with a storm on the horizon, a family is shattered. Three beautiful daughters—Savannah, Samantha, and Sabrina Wilde—go on with their lives, each significantly changed, as they bear the memory of the murder-suicide that killed their parents. For years, they have stayed away from Midnight, Alabama. Until Midnight calls them home.

Savannah is the first one back, when a grueling case in Nashville leads the young prosecutor to seek shelter in the quiet of the once grand Wilde mansion. But when she finds letters casting doubt on her family’s dark, shameful past, she realizes that peace in Midnight is a shallow fa├žade and sinister secrets lurk beneath the surface. Zach Tanner, once the town’s bad boy, is now the new police chief and still has a wild hold over her. Zach can feel it, too, but he hurt Savannah once. As teenagers, they broke every rule together. Now it’s his job to keep her safe, even though he isn’t sure who her enemies are—or which ones might be his own.
I did not pick this book because of the cover. I DID NOT pick this book because of the cover! Ok, I have to admit...that is such a Gutter Girl lie. I totally picked this book because of the cover. To be fair, I also saw good reviews and I had heard nothing but good things about Christy Reece AKA Ella Grace.

That said, I thought this was a pretty good book if you like romantic suspense. It started out really strong for me. Intense prologue and a really sweet romance at the beginning. I loved the beginning, but I started to lose a little bit of interest about halfway through and here’s why…

I’m always up for a good mystery. I love when an author gets my investigative wheels turning, but this story gave me no hints!

I wanted to play detective and I couldn’t! It was like an insane game of Clue with a ton of suspects and no clues!  I mean give me something, right? While I was intrigued and wanted to know what happened, I was also frustrated that I had nothing to go on. So much so that the story started to feel a little long and all the sudden I was skimming.  There were a few really strong chapters at the end that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, but nothing that got me real excited. So, all in all, it was a good read…just not great one for me as far as suspense goes.

I’ve heard good things about Christy Reece's Last Chance Rescue series and I think I’ll give that a shot to see if it’s more my style!

My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Ella Grace

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: Simply Irresistible (A Lucky Harbor Novel #1) by Jill Shalvis

Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover.
In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother--a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.
Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career--if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.
The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes--and mouth--are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.


4-4.5 Stars!

I'm always on the lookout for a good contemporary romance series & I struck gold with this one. I knew I had to check it out when Kristen Ashley mentioned it on facebook yesterday. What Kristen Ashley says do! ...AND I am so glad I did!

I had a permanent smile plastered on my face the whole time I read this sweet little story. I definitely laughed MANY times...boy, did I laugh! The story follows Maddie as she renovates the inn that her hippie mother left to her and her three sisters.

"A glass of wine is always the solution. Even if you aren't sure of the problem." <--MY MOTTO

None of the sisters were very close to their mom. Maddie least of all. Their mom was very free spirited and never had a grip on what it took to be a good mother to the girls. She was absent for most of Maddie's life. It comes as a surprise to all of the girls when they realize that their mom, Phoebe, wanted them to come together to run the inn. She leaves for them words of advice in a recipe box...

"Don't take life too seriously. After all, none of us are getting out alive anyway."
"Never sweat the small stuff. And remember, it's all small stuff."
Maddie wants to stay and run the inn, but the other two sisters seemed completely focused on getting the hell out of town. Maddie has to pull off getting the inn refinanced and renovated by Christmas or the sisters are going to sell. She's determined to abandon her mouse like personality and pull out all the stops to make it happen!
The LAST thing Maddie planned on finding when coming to Lucky Harbor was love... Jax and her have intense chemistry, but Maddie has sworn off men. SWORN...and for good reason. Can Jax break down her walls? to find out!  I'm moving on to book two which is Tara's story..
Reviewed by:

Review: Fading by E.K. Blair

                                               Fading on Goodreads   Fading on Amazon

Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?

Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered. 

The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens. 

At what point do secrets become lies?

(17+) This book contains mature subject matter that is not suitable for those under the age of 17.

My Take
Fading is the story of Candace Parker, a college dance major who's entering her last year of college. She dreams of winning a coveted solo performance in the spring show, so that she can then pursue her dream of dancing professionally. Her relationship with her parents is strained, at best, as they continue to refuse to support her career choice. Fortunately, Candace has two incredible best friends in her roommate Kimber and her number one confidant, Jase, and she can't wait to spend her last year at the University of Washington with them. 

Candace's world comes crashing down late one night when she's attacked, assaulted, and violently raped after a fraternity party. She's taken to the hospital, and will only allow the nurse to call Jase, no one else. She holes up at his place for a while, effectively shutting everyone else out of her life as she can't bear them to find out what happened to her. She spends all of her time with Jase and his boyfriend, Mark. She is withdrawn, and refuses to let anyone else in. 

It's not long before she's introduced to Ryan Campbell, a friend of Jase's and Mark's. Ryan is immediately drawn to Candace, and she hesitantly returns the interest. It's been so long since she's really allowed herself to feel, and she's terrified to let Ryan all the way in. 

Will Ryan be able to break through her defenses and show her that she's worthy of love, or will the attack continue to haunt her, not allowing her to trust or to love?
Fading was a very difficult, emotional read that I know will be on my mind for days. Reading the graphic details of Candace's attack devastated me and ripped my heart out. I was a sobbing mess, and E.K. Blair wrote it in such a way that I felt like I was there, like some sick voyeur on the sidelines desperate to break through and save her, but I couldn't get past the invisible wall that was holding me back. 

Watching Candace deal with her PTSD as she shut everyone out was equally as hard. In any other case, her actions could be seen as frustrating, but it's written in a way that you can empathize with Candace even if you wish she'd make different choices. No one knows how they'd deal with a situation like this, so we really can't judge. All I know is that this girl had me in tears over and over again. 

Ryan was incredible. His patience, love, and understanding with Candace were breathtaking. He was her savior, just as much as she was his. I loved their relationship, but I would've liked to have seen a little more relationship development rather than having Candace recall things that they did. I would have liked to have seen those scenes. Regardless, I connected with these two completely and I can't wait to see where they go in the future. 

Jase and Mark were amazing side characters. I could read a whole book just about them. They're played in integral role in Candace's healing, and they also added some much needed light-hearted humor in what was a very emotional, highly charged book.  

For a debut novel, I am very impressed with E.K. Blair's writing and storytelling. I will definitely continue to read more of her work. I cannot wait for the second book to come out. Ryan's POV may just break my heart even more. 


Side Cast

Author Social Media Links
            Twitter: @EK_Blair_Author

Reviewed By

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review: A Beautiful Lie by T.E. Sivec

A Beautiful Lie (Playing With Fire, #1)A Beautiful Lie by T.E. Sivec
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, this book...


Garrett McCarthy, Annabelle Parker, and Milo Roberts were as close as friends could get. They shared in each other's joy during graduations, promotions, and engagements. They consoled one another through heartache and loss.

Something goes terribly wrong and Milo ends up dead while on mission as a Navy Seal. It becomes apparent that Milo's death was not an accident, and circumstances lead to Garrett and Anna heading to the Dominican Republic with a Seal Team to uncover what really happened to Milo.

Tara Sivec blew my mind with this story. Every time I thought I knew what was happening, I was proven wrong. Up was down, down was up. If I thought we were turning left, we'd make an abrupt right turn. I was constantly on edge wondering what was going to happen next. The twists and turns in this story gave me whiplash, but I loved every minute of it.


Garrett and Anna were ON FIRE. Their encounters left my toes curling. They should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for 'Most Incredible Foreplay.' I was dying for them to succumb to their attraction and finally do the deed, but the wait was well worth it! I felt like one of those weirdos standing outside the King's chambers in the Middle Ages waiting for the royal couple to consummate their marriage. I was that into it! (Yes, I can be slightly creepy)

Will you be able to touch me like you've done a thousand times before, pretend that you know the spot on my neck that makes me sigh and where to graze your fingertips to make me moan?


I loved this book. There was suspense, romance, mind blowing sexual scenes, and even a bit of humor.

I can't wait for Brady's story. I loved him as a supporting character in this book and can only imagine how awesome he'll be as the leading man. Especially since he knocked sense into Garrett when he needed it! You have got to be the dumbest fuck in the entire world.

Reviewed By:

View all my reviews

Synopsis Reveal: In Control by Crystal Serowka

We have the official synopsis reveal for In Control by Crystal Serowka, the second book in The City series!

Seriously, is this not the most clever synopsis reveal EVER?! 
I absolutely love it!

Purchase In the Air, book one in The City series on Amazon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Shattered by Elizabeth Lee

Alyssa Boyd had big plans. Big plans that included getting the hell out of the little town she’d grown up in with her two best friends. When she decided it was time to let one of them know her true feelings for him; a change of plans resulted in a tragic turn of events. Now, Alyssa is left alone to find her way out of the darkness that an untimely death has left in its wake.

Jesse Vaughn was never good at letting people in. He’d learned a long time ago that it’s easier that way because people leave, or, unfortunately, die. The one person he wanted to let in doesn’t want him anymore. The only problem is he can’t stop thinking about her. Jesse returns to the childhood home he left behind with one goal in mind… to convince her that they should be together.

When Jesse finds Alyssa she’s not the same girl he left behind. She’s wild, reckless and hell-bent on not giving Jesse a second chance. Lucky for Jesse, his stubborn streak has always been a mile-wide and he’s not about to give up on her.

When your life has been shattered can you really pick up all the pieces and move on?

5 stars!
If I have a book type, this is it. I was pretty sure I was already crushing on Elizabeth Lee, but...
Now, I am in all kinds of crazy book love with her! I am just so impressed with the writing in this book. As much as I loved Give Me Something, to me Shattered is on a completely different level. Her meticulous attention to detail in this book blew me away.
Her WORDS. I loved her words!
Seriously, the girl has mad writing skills! As sad as this book was at times, I couldn't help but laugh at some of the clever sayings and references that were thrown in throughout the whole book. The writing was gracefully addicting and heartbreaking all at the same time! I couldn't get enough of Jesse and Alyssa and I desperately wanted them both to be happy. Let me give you a little insight to their story...
"I didn't care. I didn't care about what I was wearing. I didn't care that my hair wasn't clean. I didn't even care that I was walking out the door wearing traces of yesterday's makeup. This was a problem with me, Alyssa Boyd. I just didn't care"
*Spoiler free*
Alyssa is all kinds of heartbroken . She's lost the two most important people in her life. Both were her best friends, but she was only in love with one of them. The catch left her by choice and the other didn't. Alyssa is grieving over one boy and harboring anger towards the other. She can't deal, so she's fallen into some very self destructive behavior.
"As much as I wanted to get back to the living, I couldn't escape the dead."
Jesse has only ever had eyes for Alyssa. He left town heartbroken and has just now worked up the courage to return to town to fight for the only girl he's ever loved. The only problem is that the girl he left isn't the same anymore and she's not letting him back in...
"Until I saw those brown eyes, I could have cared less about wanting a girl to notice me."
Alyssa and Jesse are two very stubborn characters. If you're looking for angst, come on down! As frustrating as all the misunderstandings and misconceptions were, I thought they were all very real. They are both very young and have already experienced way more pain and heartbreak than they should have ever had to experience so early in life. The tragedy they suffered left them both broken and confused.
There was only one instance that I got pretty irritated in the book...and it was with Alyssa. I just wanted to shake her and say...Seriously, girl...SLOW. YOUR. ROLL. Cut the drama and enjoy all the yumminess that is Jesse Vaughn.
She was all "I can't do this anymore." AND I was all "Jesse, will you marry me?!" I really don't get what she was all torn up about. He was ready throw down for her and I thought it was hot. *fans self*
Overall, I thought this was an incredible read. I adored the flashbacks and alternating POV's! They added so much to the story and gave it so much more meaning and depth. You should know, there were some very sad moments in this book. My stomach dropped and I had chills in one very crucial scene.  For some reason, it's the books that make me hurt the most that seem to be my favorites. How messed up is that?! :) Also, I loved the small town vibe.
My disclaimer: Before you read this and go all "Erica, where's the heat on me??" let me go ahead and forewarn you that you're not going to find loads of heat in this book. This book is all about depth, pain, love, and character development. I'm not all about heat and often prefer the slow burn reads the most. Sometimes heat is way overrated if you ask me! Don't worry, things heat up once you get to around the 70% mark. If you appreciate good writing, this book is perfect for you.
Funny Quotes:
"Unfortunately, the only country songs I heard these days were the sad, my wife just left me and took the dog, kind of songs."
"She's cute. You wanna talk to her?" Garrett leaned in next to me, breaking my concentration. "Or do you wanna take her picture? It'll last longer."
"There wasn't much to do in a small town on a Saturday night, but one thing that you could always count on was having a drink."
"Buzzkill. I knew my friend was looking out for me, but I need another mother like I needed a hole in my head."
"When Luke Bryan told you to "shake it," by God, you shook it." AMEN SISTA
"I could hear my conscience trying to speak up, telling me this is not a good idea. I needed more alcohol to gag the nagging voice."

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Review: Watch Over Me by Tara Sivec

Addison Snow is your typical teenager. She has a family that loves her, friends that make her laugh, and she’s wrapped up in the excitement of graduating high school and going off to college to pursue her dream of becoming an author. When her mother, who also happens to be Addison’s best friend, dies unexpectedly, her world comes to a crashing halt.

Death changes everyone…

To make the pain go away, Addison and her father travel down separate, dark paths. She chooses to end her grief forever, while he drowns his sorrows in the bottom of a bottle. How do you learn to live again when the most important person in your life is gone?

Addison struggles to pick up the pieces of her life. Instead of getting back to being the carefree teenager she once was, she’s stuck handling all of the responsibilities that should have been her father’s. She has no time to grieve, no time for emotions, and no time for happiness…until Zander Reinhardt walks in. All it takes is one little handwritten note on a napkin to kick-start her back to life and help her realize that maybe there’s more to that life than pain.

But can it really be that simple? Can she really trust this man who makes her feel alive again for the first time in a year?

Addison and Zander both have secrets they aren’t ready to share. When the truth finally comes out, is it enough to tear them apart or has something bigger than themselves always been watching over them, pushing them together, making sure they both get their happily ever after?

This book wasn’t what I expected. It isn’t a typical young adult novel.
It’s…deeper than that. It’s dark and depressing and Jesus, is it frustrating at times; but while you’re swimming through the darkness and living in Addison’s world full of pain, loss, heartache, and loneliness – there’s an overlying sense of warmth, a quite calm. It’s that superimposing aspect of comfort that blankets you while you turn page after page and makes you want to follow Addison into the darkness…and eventually, into the light again.

I can’t lie, this book started out average for me. It wasn’t until I hit around the 40% mark that I just absolutely couldn’t put it down. The first half wasn’t bad by any means, but it was just a little slow. Now, after having finished it (with tears streaming down my face, of course) I can appreciate the pace. It was necessary. I needed to know the back story involving certain conversations with her mom, I needed to see just how close they were, I needed to understand just how broken she was in order to appreciate her journey to happiness. The flashbacks and therapy sessions that I kind of “trudged” through in the first third of this book became crucial to me.

As far as characters go, I liked both Addison and Zander. Some of the things Addison did frustrated the hell out of me, but every time I found myself cursing her I took a step back and thought to myself, what would you do if you were in her position? Now, I can’t answer that with certainty because I don’t know what I would do. I’ve never been in her shoes. But what I can say is that taking that second to step back allowed me to put her actions into perspective. I still didn’t agree or even like some of the things she did, but I could understand why she was behaving that way, even if I didn’t care for it. Now, onto Zander… *sigh*. I liked him, but I just wish we would have gotten more from him. Maybe more background, more…well, I don’t know what I wanted more of but I just felt a little shorted. That aside, the napkin notes – I DIE. I don’t know if it gets any more adorable than that, I really don’t. He was so wonderfully funny and charming and compassionate that it was impossible not to fall in love with him.

I did have a couple issues that prevented me from giving this a 5 star rating, the main one being Addison’s attitude towards her dad was upsetting to me. Like I said, I’ve never had to deal with that type of situation so I don’t know how I would handle it…but it’s incredibly hard for me to imagine giving up on my dad, regardless of the circumstance.

Watch Over Me is clearly a very personal story for Tara and it’s one that will tug at your heartstrings. This isn’t a novel that centers on the romance – that is just an added bonus. It’s about a girl struggling with the loss of her mother and her journey to find happiness again when it never seemed possible. It’s very different from Tara’s previous novels, but her incredible writing style remains the same. This story will make you cry, make you laugh, and take you on an incredibly emotional journey; a journey that left me reaching for my phone to call my mom almost immediately after I read the words, The End. 



Review: Inevitable (Harmony Series #1) by Angela Graham

After experiencing a humiliating breakup, twenty-two-year-old Cassandra Clarke is fresh out of college and living a simple solitary life without any intentions of pursuing love anytime soon.

When the estate next door sells, the last thing Cassandra expects is the unnerving attraction she feels for her sinfully handsome neighbor, Logan West, the young and charming single father with a playboy reputation.

It’s through Oliver, Logan’s four-year-old son, who keeps popping up in her childhood tree house, that she slowly begins to catch glimpses of the compassionate and wounded man Logan has hidden beneath his strong exterior.

Cassandra knows it's wrong and that she's heading for another heartbreak.
Logan will never be able to give her what she wants…love.

Erica's REVIEW:

5 supersized stars! AMAZING. The end had my heart racing & I can hardly wait to get my hands on book 2!

I can't think of a single thing about this book that didn't work for me. This is an incredibly beautiful character building romance that has much more depth than steam. It's a carefully crafted story that builds a relationship based on the things that matter. It was written so that the smallest things were subtly weaved into the story to give Cassie and Logan's relationship so much more substance. Nothing was overdone and instead I was hanging on to every word until the very last page!

Throughout this story, you follow Cassie and her new neighbors growing friendship. Logan has been burned in the past and he's decided that he'll never allow someone to get close enough to do that to him again. He's a playboy and he doesn't hide it.

"The more time I spent with him, the more I couldn't understand why he created this ice castle around himself."

Cassie was betrayed by her long time boyfriend a year ago and she knows better than to get caught up with another guy that will more than likely leave her heart in shambles. She's looking for something more that Logan's willing to offer her. She tried to ignore her attraction to him, but it doesn't work very well...Logan's a charmer and a looker. I swear I could see every single one of his smirks! Needless to say, she's feeling the temptation...

"Thou shall not be punished when butterflies are controlling thy body."

Cassie and Logan end up bonding through Logan's son, Oliver, and they decide to be 'just friends'. However, it's really clear that Logan thinks very highly of Cassie and wants to be with her. He's just to afraid to admit it. You would think I would have gotten frustrated with these two at some point, but I really enjoyed reading about their flirty dance around their feelings for each other. It was so clear to me that the feelings were there, that it was easy to love them regardless of their reluctance to take the next step in their relationship.

Their interaction with Oliver was heartwarming. It was really nice to see their relationship being built around the most important thing in Logan's life. That's what made this such a beautiful story. Oliver always came first for both Logan and Cassie. Plus, Logan just had that bad boy irresistable vibe that bounced off the pages. He was hard not to love despite his occasional sleezy behavior ;) Also, Cassie wasn't afraid to throw a little sass back at Logan and that made me love her.

I don't know what else to say other than I was completely addicted the entire time. I couldn't stop reading and became so attached to the characters! I haven't been this wrapped up in a story in a long time! I didn't want it to end. I panicked when I got into the 90% area because I wanted it to be longer!

            "I would never give up. I was hers and someday she would be mine.

Forewarning: There is a cliffhanger, but it's not that terrible! Cliffhangers are meant to keep the readers hooked and it worked! I. AM. HOOKED. and I'm just waiting to be reeled in ;) The story was told in Cassandra's POV, but the last few chapters are told in Logan's POV. I breathed a sigh of relief when the POV's changed. It made the cliffhanger much more bearable. Knowing where Logan's head was at was enough for me. Honestly, the cliffhanger in this one wouldn't scare me off at all. I think it was brilliant. At the end, I was left feeling very hopeful. I just know it's all going to be alright! I can't get my hands on book 2 soon enough!

Review by:

Angela Graham


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Consequences by Aleatha Romig

Book Synopsis 
Besieged by memories of a brutal abduction, Claire Nichols wakes in an unfamiliar bedroom, within a luxurious mansion. Her recollections have one common denominator, the man she just met, Anthony Rawlings. 

Unbeknownst to Claire, for a very long time, she has been within Anthony’s sights. Many of the pivotal events in her life occurred, due to his sinister manipulation. Every action has a consequence, and his actions result in their chance meeting.

More than a psychological thriller, Consequences is a vivid story of one woman’s struggle to survive incomprehensible circumstances. Every aspect of her being suddenly depends upon the tall, wealthy, dark haired, dark eyed businessman. Anthony Rawlings is known to the world as prosperous, benevolent, and kind. Claire quickly learns that he can also be a menacing controlling captor.

With few options but concession, Claire attempts to earn her freedom, while enduring a hellish existence that truly appears perfect. Persevering tests and trials, she struggles to retain her pure Midwest values and beliefs. Encouraged by memories of a loving upbringing, she gains strength in the simplest of joys: solitude in nature and good in the face of evil.

His goal in sight, Anthony’s calculated agenda encounters an unforeseen detour. He becomes captivated by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination. The interaction of these two compelling characters instigates strong emotions: fear, anger, love, and lust. Claire and Anthony’s tumultuous journey flows into uncharted waters of intrigue and passion.

Utilizing vivid detail, this 167,000-word novel unfolds like a movie, before the eyes of its readers. From the opening criminal abduction, through twists and turns, to the unlikely romantic thrills, the suspense climaxes as Anthony’s motivation becomes evident.

Anthony and Claire must decide if they will stay true to one another, or allow preceding actions to result in justifiable Consequences.

My Take
Note to Self: Never sign a cocktail napkin. Ever. 

This story begins in your face with a beaten Claire Nichols waking up in a strange room in the home of a strange man. How did she get there?

Claire, an out of work meteorologist, pays her bills by bartending at a local restaurant. One night she meets a handsome, mysterious man who coaxes her into having a drink with him. 
As Claire is forced to stay with Anthony until her debt is paid, their relationship continues to evolve and change constantly, in such ways that pull the reader in such conflicting directions that you can't possibly know which way to go.
This book took me on one crazy rollercoaster of a ride. I found myself feeling a myriad of emotions ranging from horror, absolute anger, frustration, shock, and disgust, to hesitant pleasure and utter confliction about the happiness I was feeling.

It's seriously hard to form the words to actually say that I liked this book, but in all reality, I absolutely loved it. Ms. Romig does an incredible job weaving a twisted tale that keeps the readers of their toes while questioning everything. I went from a broken heart, to my heart being fully healed only for it to be broken, torn out, and stomped on again. I was an emotional mess reading this!

Claire- My heart utterly broke for her as she endured the emotional and physical abuses that Anthony inflicted upon her. Her strength and determination not to be broken made her an admirable character. At the same time, her ranging emotions for Tony became frustrating, but I can't blame her because I was feeling the same things!

I cannot put into words how I feel about Anthony Rawlings at the end of Consequences. One one hand I feel intense loathing for him, but on the other hand, I truly believe he cares for Claire and has a dark, hidden past that has made him this way. He's as cold, calculating, and cruel as he is caring, charming, and loving. This makes the mindgame so much harder because Claire, and the reader, never knows which Tony she's going to get.

This book was dark, twisted, and it blew me away. It was psychologically gripping, thrilling, and I cannot wait to see how this series plays out!



Author Bio
 Aleatha Romig voted #1 "New Author to Read" on Goodreads, July 2012 through now! She is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writer's of America.
She has lived most of her life in Indiana, growing-up in Mishawaka, graduating from Indiana University, and currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her husband of twenty six years, they've raised three children. She works days as a dental hygienist and enjoys spending her nights writing. She also likes to spend time with her family, friends and patients. Her pastimes include exercising, reading and writing. 

Aleatha enjoys traveling, especially when there is a beach involved. In 2011 she had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia to visit her daughter studying at the University of Wollongong. Her dream is to travel to places in her novels and around the world. CONSEQUENCES, her first novel was released in August 2011 and has sold over 20,000 copies. TRUTH, the sequel was released October 2012 and has surpassed 10,000 copies in less than 3 months!

Aleatha originally published through self publisher Xlibris a subsidiarity of Author's Solution/ Penguin Publishing. In October of 2012 she re-published on her own, a true Indie Author. Later that month she published Truth through Romig Works. Aleatha is happy to be represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

Author Links 

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