Review: Intrusion (Under the Skin #1) by Charlotte Stein


I believed I would never be able to trust any man again. That kindness was only for fools and would lead me down that same terrible path into darkness. I thought so with every fiber of my being-and then I met Noah Gideon Grant.

Everyone says he’s dangerous. He never comes out of his house-a place that looks like it could be featured in Serial Killers Monthly. But the thing is … I think something happened to him too. I know the chemistry between us isn’t just in my head. I know he feels it, but he’s holding back. The pleasure he gives me is unreal-if only I could give something in return. If only he would let me in. I think I can make him feel something good. And for the first time in forever, I want to.

He’s made a labyrinth of himself. Now all I need to do is dare to find my way through.

This one is a strange one for me to review. I honestly didn’t really get the plot. Was there a plot?
Noah is a recluse. He’s a brilliant profiler that got a little too close on a case in which he was left severely emotionally damaged. He’s withdrawn. Keeps to himself and others.
Beth is a survivor of her own terrifying ordeal. She has kept to herself as well and lives a monotonous life because of it. She and Noah have similarities that can connect them in that sense. They can understand each other.
This story is told in first person, which is completely fine when told well. However, there was way too much inner monologue for me. Too much telling and not enough showing. A lot of inner ramblings. After the second or third-ish encounter they just fall into a relationship. One moment she’s sitting at his table eating pie, and in the next, time has passed and she’s practically moved in. We are told this.
Then, the last chapter came out of nowhere to me. Certain players from their past weren’t quite done with them. Huh? Not once did I get a sense that either one of them were still in danger from their encounters. Yet, in the final chapter their lives were on the line. I was a bit lost and flipped back a few pages thinking I missed something. Nope. Nothing was set up to alert us to imposing danger.
Overall, this story missed the connection for me. Show me the relationship evolve. Show me the fear or worry that their lives weren’t safe. Show not just tell a story.
Unfortunately, this is a 2 star read for me.

Review: Make Me (Broke and Beautiful #3) by Tessa Bailey


“Day one hundred and forty-two of being friend-zoned. Send rations.”
Make Me had my attention from the first two lines. I was sold! Please go on, tell me more.
Russell is a sweetheart. My heart hurt for the guy. He’s in love with Abby. Completely and hopelessly in love. But he has never made a move. She has no clue how he feels about her. He has exiled himself into the self-proposed friend-zone. All because he doesn’t think he deserves her. He has this idea in his head that she’s too good for him. She comes from money. Works in the high-paced corporate world. She deserves more than a construction worker. What could he offer her? Oh dear sweet Russell, you’re not giving Abby enough credit.
Yeah she’s rich. Works in her family’s firm. But Abby is so down to earth and just wants to be accepted. Growing up, she was a bit of an outsider, alone. Even now, as an adult, she’s still ostracized at work. Being the boss’s daughter has that effect. Lately, she’s worked herself into exhaustion, not confiding in anyone the pressures that have been recently placed on her. She finally has a group of people that adore her, including Russell. But she’s very naïve when it comes to men and is blind to what’s been right in front of her.
After a close call to her safety, the two friends have a sort of awakening. Russell sets out to make himself worthy of her. And Abby finally sees him in a different light.
This was such a great read and a complete flip on roles. For once we have the rich girl and the not-so-rich guy. But when it comes to matters of the heart, money does not matter. The only one who had an issue with their financial differences was Russell. He has his reasons though. There was a pivotal point in his life that made him the way he is. He wants desperately to be the guy Abby deserves, not realizing until it’s almost too late that he always was that guy.
Make Me was sweet, sexy, and fun. It’s about two friends who are more than just that and learn to trust in themselves and each other to cross that line.

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Review: Facing Fire (Bad Boys Undercover #3) by Helenkay Dimon


Be still my Strike Back ever loving heart! Seriously, fans of the former Cinemax show, Strike Back, will love love love this series. It’s full of gun-toting action, suspense, intrigue, hot-steamy sex scenes…the whole shebang, people!
Josiah King is an operative with the Alliance–a covert, black ops team dealing with bad guys in unconventional ways. The Alliance has an old enemy hunting them down, and he’s making it personal. We open with a brutal scene involving Josiah’s uncle. And Josiah and the team are forced to watch it unfold, helpless to stop it. Fueled by vengeance and determined to protect their own, the Alliance is relentless in their pursuit of this enemy.
Sutton Dahl is on a mission of her own. A private investigator from the U.S. is hunting the streets of Paris for the man who’s behind her mother’s death. However, thinking him a mere con-artist, she has no idea the danger she has truly put herself in. Sutton and the Alliance are after the same man.
Sutton’s digging around puts her on the Alliance’s radar, and in Josiah’s direct path. He thinks she’s working with the enemy, and she has no idea how much she can trust him with. Her snooping around however, has not gone unnoticed by their mutual enemy. And her life is in danger.
From start to finish, I was on edge with this book. The action is amazing and pretty much non-stop. Bullets fly. Bombs explode. Hostages are taken. Ms. Dimon does not hold back. And thus being true to the story she unfolds for us, not everyone walks away. The characters, every single one of them, fight for survival. The enemy is a ruthless, vile monster set on destroying them. And I ate up every word.
Oh and those steamy sex scenes I talked about. Yeah, the kind where you’re so damned attracted to someone and you don’t want to be, but your heart says “screw you” and takes the reigns, it’s like that. Hot, explosive, consuming and terrifying for Sutton and Josiah. Both of them are out of their element in this situation. And neither know if it’s the adrenaline driving them or if they have an actual shot at something more once the dust settles. But before they can decide that, they have to survive.  
I highly recommend this read. 5 explosive stars from me.

 

I couldn’t resist giving you a visual of my Josiah (AKA Philip Winchester)

 




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Review: Always by Lynsay Sands

Always was a fun, romantic read that left my heart full.

Rosamunde was raised in a convent and prepared to take the veil to become a nun. But her father, King Henry, had a different path in mind for his illegitimate daughter. She was his favorite after all, and he would see that she was well cared for and loved.
Aric, just ending his engagement to a cheating harlot and left with major trust issues, had absolutely no desire to ever marry. King Henry, however, gave him no say in the matter. Aric was always the king’s first choice when thinking of a husband for his daughter. And thanks to Aric’s recent single status, the king gets what he wants.
Of course it isn’t exactly marital bliss for the newly wedded couple. There are plenty of bumps to smooth out. Which is to be expected from two strangers unexpectedly thrown together.
Rosamunde may be the king’s daughter, but she is in no way spoiled. Raised to be fully self-efficient and reliable, she is used to caring and tending to her own matters. Her main responsibility and passion at the convent was working in the stables with the animals. Aric, however, still feeling the effects of his ex-betrothed, lets his jealousy and fears consume him in regards to Rosamunde. He stifles and tries to control her actions, thinking that by limiting her he can prevent her from being unfaithful. Sadly, he misses the point that Rosamunde is nothing like his vile ex or other women from his past. But, he will learn.
There were quite a few times throughout the story that had me shaking with laughter. Obviously, Rosamunde is naïve when it comes to matters of the bedroom, and one really shouldn’t get sex advice from a nun and a bishop. Just…no. I felt for Aric during those times. He actually feared bedding his wife at one point. Then there was her affinity for caring for animals. There’s a scene where she’s nursing a horse back to health that you really need to read for yourself. It was hilarious.
Best of all about this book though was seeing these two people slowly come to trust in each other and love one another–to the point where they’d risk their own lives for the other. Watching Aric come to learn what is was to be truly loved and cared for and feel those things in return is pretty heartwarming. And seeing Rosamunde bloom from a young woman out of her element into a strong, fierce protector and lover is pretty amazing.
This was a 4 star read for me.
 

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Review: Marked (Hostage Rescue Team #1) by Kaylea Cross


Where do I begin with this book? The writing itself is well done. The chemistry between Rachel and Jake is very good. The intimate scenes are scorching. However, there are just too many illogical things for me to ignore.
Rachel is being targeted by an FBI wanted terrorist and her family is in grave danger. However, instead of the FBI putting her in some sort of safe house, her would be love interest, who works for the FBI, checks her into a hotel. And from there coordinates with hotel security, apprising them of the situation. Really?!
I pushed on because well, I had such high hopes for this one. Hopes that were again dashed…fifty percent in.
The story up to this point had been told from the two point of views of the main characters, Rachel and Jake. Then it switched, out of the blue, and we got a scene from a secondary character’s POV. I get it. I do. The author needed to make a transition in the story, move it along. And by move it along, I mean, we had to see the connection of the love interest for the secondary character, thus setting up a future story. So, from here to the end of the book, we now get scenes every now and then told to us from two of the secondary characters. Okay, great. What’s not so great, is the unrealistic way in which the author wrote some of the scenes. For instance, Celida, an FBI agent and previous Marine, is completely taken down by a FLESH WOUND TO THE ARM. The arm! A well trained government agent, taken out by a bullet graze on her arm. She can’t stop the terrorists from coming for Rachel. Which by the way, she wasn’t even assigned to protect, because no one was assigned to protect Rachel. Agents were stationed in the lobby, and don’t forget hotel security was made aware of the danger. So, Celida collapses to the floor and apparently lacks training because the bad guys very easily overtook her and she quickly blacked out. “She’s concussed.” <–yes, that is a direct quote. I would insert an eyeroll if I could.
By this point, my view is tainted. That whole Celida scene and the nonchalance handling of Rachel’s safety stayed in the back of my mind and cast a shadow over the rest of the story. But hey, if plot doesn’t bother you much and you want to read some really steamy, well-written, intimate scenes, then this is the book for you.
I just need to add one more thing, the issues I had with this book should have been caught and pointed out by the author’s editor. Whether the editor failed to catch them, or the author failed to listen to her editor, I’m sure we’ll never know. When writing anything along the lines of contemporary, yes this is a romantic suspense and therefore falls under the contemporary umbrella, a story needs to be somewhat believable. And for me, there were just too many unbelievable things for me to swallow.

Song Release: Listen to Me (Fusion #1) by Kristen Proby

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Kristen Proby is known for writing heartfelt characters with deep connections and sizzling passion. This April, she will seduce readers’ senses with a brand new series, Fusion, from William Morrow Paperbacks, in which five best friends open a hot new restaurant together. Today, we are thrilled to bring you a song written exclusively for LISTEN TO ME, the first book in the Fusion Series releasing April 12, 2016. LISTEN TO ME finds a hot former rock star looking for a steady gig at the restaurant, but he’ll have to convince the prickly front-of-house manager to take a chance on him—with her business and her heart. Don’t miss what Kristen has to say about the beautiful ballad, If I Had Never Met You, and then grab your copy of the song and pre-order the novel today!

Listen to Me - song banner  

A Message from Kristen about If I Had Never Met You: From the minute song writer Jake Keller lays eyes on Addison Wade, a tune sets up residence in his head. As he gets to know her, the tune becomes a song. Their song. Addie’s song. The stakes are the highest they’ve ever been for him when he finally sings it to her, but will it be enough to keep her? I can’t thank Brad Yunek and Dan Keseloff enough for writing this beautiful song to accompany Jake and Addie’s story. I hope you love it as much as I do! Kristen Proby - signature      

Listen to a sample of If I Had Never Met You here!

 

If I Had Never Met You is now available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon for just $.99!

Listen to Me - cover  

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  About LISTEN TO ME: In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart. Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy…exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need. Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him. Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?   Author Pic - Kristen ProbyAbout Kristen Proby: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Kristen Proby is the author of the popular With Me in Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type—fiercely protective and a bit bossy—and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate, and sunshine. And naps. Visit her at KristenProby.com.      

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Review: A Wife for the Future by Emerald Lavere


Humanity is in danger of extinction. The population has severely diminished. Too many scientists playing God in the past, guaranteeing an increase in the male birthrate, has catastrophic consequences in the future. Females are now rare, and thus greatly treasured. Wars have been fought, borders realigned, and the world as we know it is unrecognizable…all to the lack of women.
A Wife for the Future is an Adult Dystopian romance filled with plenty of steam, tenderness, and an underlining thought provoking plot. We have plenty of countries now that prefer males over females. What if doctors and scientists start tinkering with the genetic code, slowly eliminating the ratio of females born? Let’s face it, as much as certain cultures prefer males over females, they need women. Women and men go hand in hand. You cannot create life without the other.
I found this story to be absolutely original and fresh. Ashling comes from our current time. If you’ve read book 1, The Wikomsette, you learned that her mom is from the present, while her dad is from the future. [Quick recap: Her dad was part of an elite team of scientists chosen to go back in time to try to correct the wrong and save mankind.] Ashling is aware of her father’s true identity, and what is expected of her. On her twentieth birthday, she and her father must return to his time. She’s needed in the future. Humanity needs her in the future.
With the shortage of women, it’s perfectly acceptable and expected for women to take on more than one husband. A tribe of men. And keep the human race going. Men between certain ages are presented to her for her choosing. Sharing herself with multiple men wasn’t as much of a shock as she expected, but the fact that these men were okay with it, no jealousy whatsoever, at times astounded and confused her. There is a sort of role reversal in the future. Men are happy and eager to work, tend to the home, and raise the kids, while assuring the woman is content in life. Um…I’d like to visit this majestic place.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the connections Ashling formed between her and her men. Each man is different and unique. They each bring a different dynamic to the home and the bedroom. My favorite though was a man who wasn’t a husband…yet. Oh, but I desperately wanted him to be.
Everything’s not exactly orgasmic bliss though. There are evils lurking in the background, threatening to rock the foundation. And her father is caught up in the nightmare. Set up and falsely imprisoned for crimes he did not commit.
The action that ensues and where the story takes us in the end is well told and kept me on edge. The overall wrap up left me teary eyed and completely satisfied. I really did not want to see this story end. I wanted the characters to continue on and entertain me. I was THAT drawn to them.
Emerald Lavere did a phenomenal job connecting both books and bringing this duet to an end.

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