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Release Day: Tied in Knots by ZB Heller

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Tied in Knots


Roses are red, violets are blue. They tied the knot, what kind of crazy will ensue?

Ryan Keller and Brandon Ford have promised to be Tied Together forever. Seven years later, life is moving along according to their plan. Ryan gave up his job as a television producer to be a stay at home dad to their son, while Brandon works long hours as an OBGYN at the hospital.

With baby number two on the way, life’s about to get bumpy when someone from Brandon’s abusive past reappears. Fearing Ryan won’t understand his feelings, Brandon confides in the handsome male nurse who’s always had a thing for the doctor. When Ryan discovers the truth, he’s hurt, betrayed, and uncertain if their family is as strong as he believed.

When a crisis arises with the surrogate carrying their second child, can Brandon and Ryan untangle to knots in their marriage to prove they can overcome anything that stands in their way?


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Ohhhh Brandon and Ryan have some serious connecting they need to do. I think with all parents, this type of thing happens. They have a kid – responsibilities seep in – and they sort of forget why and how they fell in love in the first place.

Here we have our beloved men who have had a child through a surrogate. Ryan is a SAHD while Brandon is working to expand his medical practice. That means long hours and not a whole lot of time for anything else. But what happens when Brandon’s past creeps up on him? When a new friend thinks that there could be…more.

While the writing itself didn’t really jive with me – it felt pretty two-dimensional and I lacked a real connection with either man – the novella is a sweet reminder that you need to hold what’s important to you close – and to keep your partner (and family) as the top priority. 3.5 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]


 Interview with Ryan and Brandon


Question #1 When and how did you guys meet?

Ryan: We were in high school. I was serving as knight and shining armor, when I came to his rescue.

Brandon: It was our senior year. Let’s just say that I was the target of some unwanted attention at school.

Ryan: He was being bullied and I showed up on my gallant steed.

Brandon: You walked up wearing your chucks, jeans and sweater.

Ryan: Aww, you remember what I was wearing? That’s so sweet.


Question #2 Was it love a first sight?

Ryan: I would say lust at first sight. He was very shy and I had to drag information out of him to get him to open up.

Brandon: I had a bit of trust issues then. I didn’t really understand my feelings.

Ryan: You were sporting wood under that table in the café.

Brandon: Okay, maybe I was feeling some attraction.


Question #3 What is your favorite trait about each other?

Brandon: Ryan has a great sense of humor. You could easily put him in the middle of a crowd that he doesn’t know and he’ll leave there being everyone’s best friend. He’s kind and fiercely loyal to those close to him.

Ryan: Brandon is the most selfless person I know. He is willing to put others first, I think that’s what makes him a great doctor. He listens to people and genuinely cares what others need. That and he has a huge…

Brandon: RYAN!


Question #4 What are your favorite physical attributes of each others?

Brandon: Ryan has a beautiful smile. He does this thing that when he talks, the tip of his nose wiggles.

Ryan: It does not!

Brandon: Yeah, it does. And I like that he’s just a little shorter than me. When we hug, we fit together like a puzzle.

Ryan: That is so…lame.

Brandon: * laughs*

Ryan: I love him eyes. They’re passionate and warm. There is a lot behind those eyes. A lot of stories to tell, both good and bad. And he has a huge…

Brandon: Dude, seriously. *shakes head, blushing.


Question #4 What was your toughest obstacle you had to overcome in your relationship?

Brandon: Coming to terms with my sexuality. It wasn’t easy for me at all because I have an abusive past. But I eventually was able to come to terms with it thanks to the help of some support around me.

Ryan: I was an asshole in college. Brandon was really struggling and I didn’t give him the support he needed at the time. We had to spend time apart and I needed to grow up. It was a total fluke on how we met up again.

Question #5 Why should people be interested in your story?

Ryan: Because we’re super awesome studs.

*Brandon gives Ryan a side eye and smirk*

Ryan: Fine, he’s the awesome stud and I’m just the jester in his king’s court.

Brandon: Because at the end of the day, you don’t get to the goal without having some issues getting there. Our relationship and story is about laughter, love and some heartache. That’s what makes human’s who they are. Ryan and I balance each other out in all ways. Not everyone agrees on how we got to where we are, but we got here. And that’s all that matters.

Ryan: I agree with all of that. And because he has a huge…


Buy Tied Together


Tied Together Cover


Ryan Keller had it all when he came out in high school; accepting parents, friends and his own credit line for J. Crew. His cocky attitude and good looks got him what he wanted, including samples off the man meat buffet. Then he found his favorite dessert, Brandon. But Brandon wasn’t sending out a rainbow vibe so Ryan was sent to the land that crushes dread, the friend zone.

Brandon Ford was buried so deep down in the closet that clothes from the seventies had a better chance of coming out. His anxieties of acting on his desires could keep a therapist entertained for hours. Even though he did his best to build his emotions out of bricks, it was no use against Ryan’s charms.
Follow Ryan and Brandon’s relationship from high school, to college and beyond to find out if they will be Tied Together.

Warning: No Anaconda Turtles have been harmed in the making of this book.


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About Z.B. Heller


As a little girl it was always a dream for Z.B. Heller to become She-Ra Princess of Power. Since this dream was unobtainable, she spent what was probably way to long in college trying to “find herself”. Becoming an artist scratched the creative itch until the stories in her head were getting to be to loud for her to get anything else accomplished. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, son and Flemish Giant rabbit Chloe. In her spare time she likes to read, stalk celebrities on Twitter and create the type of art that people scratch their heads about.







Blog Tour & Review: More Than You Know by Jennifer Gracen


More Than You Know
The Harrisons #1

By: Jennifer Gracen  

Releasing December 29, 2015
Zebra Shout



A Zebra Shout Fresh New Romance

Hotel owner Dane Harrison, middle brother of a wealthy Long Island family, needs a lounge singer for his new luxury property. With her stunning voice and amazing curves, Julia Shay is perfect. She also seems to be the only woman in New York City who isn’t falling at Dane’s feet. And despite her feisty attitude and his rule against workplace affairs, he wants her—in his arms, in his bed, anywhere and everywhere.

Julia loves her new job, and she knows better than to think she can keep it and Dane. Even if he wasn’t her boss, Julia’s painful history has given her ample reason to steer clear of rich, powerful charmers. Still, their chemistry is unlike anything she’s known, and when it becomes too much to resist, they agree to one no-strings night together. But instead of quenching the fire, the intense encounter only proves how much they have to lose—or win…

Link to Follow Tour | Goodreads Link | Goodreads Series Link

Buy Links:
Amazon | B & N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo


This is such a sweet and sultry love story – I actually wasn’t entirely sure I was going to love it at first, but damnit Dane was perfect. Julie can’t quite grasp that Dane is too good to be true: he’s rich, he’s offering her the job of a lifetime and he’s hot. The problem is that he’s a lot like a prior man in her life that let her down and ruined her life.

Dane knows that Julie’s been through a lot but he’s willing to stick it out – and stick it in other places too. What starts out as a no string attached attraction quickly builds strings that tie them together when they least expect it.

I really liked all of the supporting characters in this book – especially Tess and Kalvin. While Dane and Julia are being stubborn, their best friends are there to rein them back in and tell them what they’re doing wrong.

More Than You Know puts a great twist on the millionaire hotel owner story. Julia is so much more complex than I was expecting and I totally loved that she was a bit older than your average romance heroine and she was still sexy as hell.

Fun, sweet, sultry and sexy – you’ll want to get to know these characters! 3.5 stars.

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]



The sleek car had already pulled onto the Cross Island Parkway when his cell phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket, glanced at the caller ID, and answered with a smile. “Hey, Tess. Almost at the restaurant, maybe another twenty minutes or so.”

“Damn,” Tess sighed. “I hoped you’d be running late, or I wouldn’t be. I’m still at the office.”

“Oh.” Dane let out a chuckle. Tess worked in midtown Manhattan. “Well, that puts a crimp in our plans, huh?”

“Yeah. I’m so sorry. But listen, I can make it up to you, and you’ll thank me later,” Tess wheedled.

“You’ll still stay over tonight, right? I should be home by the time you get back after the club. I’ll see you in the morning?”

“Yes, you will.”

“Good. Because I really don’t know what time I’ll get out of here. Gotta finish this proposal.”

“Don’t work too hard,” Dane said with affection.

“And hey, don’t forget to eat something.”

“I won’t, Mother Hen,” she joked. “My assistant already ordered me dinner, it’s on its way.”

“Good.” Dane looked out the window at the passing scenery as the driver maneuvered the car from the Cross Island to the LIE. It was early spring, and the trees were finally budding, a sea of yellowgreen and white and pink. The sky was a deep blue above the branches as the sun had just set, but sincethey were heading east, the changing colors of the sky were behind him.

Tess had called him the day before to tell him about the club on Long Island, and its singer. “It’s a martini bar, over in Glen Bay. On Friday nights, they have a regular singer who does everything from standards to Adele. Jeannie and her husband went there with friends two weeks ago and according to Jeannie, this woman’s got a knockout voice, and is something of a knockout herself. So, since you haven’t found your chanteuse yet, want to go check it out? I’ll come with you.”

“Sure,” he’d said. “Your best friend is a good enough reference for me. Why not? I’ve been looking all over Manhattan; maybe I just didn’t look far enough east. Frankly, I never considered looking on Long Island.” He hadn’t. And was getting desperate . . .

Now, Tess sighed. “I wish I could go with you tonight! Damn. Sounds like it’d be a good evening. I always have fun with you.”

“That’s what I’m here for, Tesstastic: a good time. Rain check. We’ll do it again,” Dane assured his younger sister. Only two years apart, they were more than siblings, they were truly friends, and he adored her. “Everything else okay with you?”

“Nothing new and earthshaking since yesterday morning,” she said with dry amusement.

“Get back to work, then, so you get home before midnight. And eat, Missy!”

“I will, I will! Stop nagging me. Go have a good time for both of us.”

“Not a problem,” Dane said assuredly. Tess chuckled. “Of course it isn’t. Who am I talking to? Wherever you go, you have a good time. It’s just a given. I think fun finds you.

“Yes, I do,” Dane agreed with a grin. “And yes, it does.”

By the time Dane strolled into the martini lounge, it was close to ten-thirty. It was a nice enough place; not as worn as some of the bars he’d gone to in the city, but not as upscale as some of the others he’d frequented. And to him, there was a distinctly different vibe in a Manhattan bar or club compared to a Long Island one—or anywhere else, really. New York City had a feel and energy all its own. Nothing and

nowhere matched it.

He’d grown up on Long Island, not far from where he was now. The second son of a multigenerational, multimillionaire family, Dane had been born and raised in one of the most affluent communities on the Gold Coast of the North Shore. He had led a charmed life, despite his family’s dramas, explosions, and scandals. When it was time to go to college, he got out of that mega-mansion of misery and went out of state. But neither his lively years as an undergrad at Duke nor his time at the Wharton School of Business could keep him from returning to New York by his midtwenties. He was a true New Yorker, it was in his blood. He loved living in the city, he loved the business he’d started and grown there, and he loved the vitality. He thrived on it. Long Island, though nice, just felt . . . muted. Smaller. Quieter. And that wasn’t for him. Dane was all about color and sound, living large, taking life for a ride.

He smirked as he remembered Tess joking that a good time always found him. It was true. He loved life, so it loved him back. He never dwelled on negative things. There was no reason to. He was an upbeat, satisfied man, living a charmed life, so he just went with the flow.

The bar was dimly lit as he found a small table for two in the middle of the room. The waitress he’d passed on the way in brought his drink to him as he sat down. He’d heard the last bars of a song as he’d entered the midsize room, but now it was all applause. The audience obviously liked the singer, or the song, a lot—plenty of the gigs he’d gone to recently didn’t get such an enthusiastic response. In fact, some of the patrons were too cool or sophisticated to acknowledge the entertainment, much less applaud like this audience was. This, to Dane, was a good sign. He sipped his dirty martini and glanced around to gauge the crowd before he looked at the singer.

But when he looked up and saw the woman onstage, everything just . . . shimmered. Maybe it was the air around her, maybe it was the woman herself, maybe there was something in his drink? Dane experienced something akin to when he’d done mushrooms back in college. The air seemed to actually twinkle and glow. It was the damnedest thing. Dane sat very still as he stared at her. Dark red hair that fell to her shoulders, big dark eyes, delicate pale skin, and an hourglass figure made for debauchery, encased in a navy blue sheath dress and matching stilettos. Beautiful and sultry, her presence was powerful, tangible. Time seemed to hang for a few seconds, spin out and slow . . . then everything was normal again as the singer spoke.

Author Info

Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two young sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and has fully embraced her lifelong passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction for readers who yearn for better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. When she isn’t taking care of her kids, doing freelance copy editing/proofreading, reading, or talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. She’s shocked her family hasn’t yet staged an intervention for her addiction to social media. But the concerts she gives in her car and the dance parties she has in her kitchen are rumored to be fabulous.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Blog Tour & Review: Dare to Seduce by Carly Phillips

Dare to Seduce (Dare to Love Book #8) by Carly Phillips

Date of Publication: November 17, 2015


This book can be read as a standalone!

Max Savage has had a thing for Lucy Dare for as long as he can remember but he values his long standing friendship with her brothers too much to cross the line. When Lucy shows up at an engagement party on the arm of another man, Max doesn’t like the changes he sees in her.

It’s now or never. Max can think of one way to convince Lucy she’s with the wrong guy. He’ll dare to seduce her…

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Max is a delicious specimen of a book boyfriend, cooked up to feed your need for an alpha man.A simple, quick and easy read, Phillips gives you a fun story you can get lost in.

Max may own a restaurant, but Lucy has owned his heart ever since they were kids. Max has never been able to give himself to anyone else fully and it’s all Lucy’s fault. Well, actually it’s all Max’s fault because he never said a word…until now.

Too bad Lucy’s not looking to give up the reins to her heart – she’s been abandoned too many times to count – however, she has never quite been able to give up on her need for Max. He forces her hand when he offers her the career chance of a lifetime to design one of his restaurants…of course, he also plans to seduce Lucy with ever chance he can get.

There are sweet and cute moments in this book and it absolutely gives you what you want: hot characters, quick connection, friends to lovers, and searing chemistry. Max is a sort-of alpha male with dominant tendencies (he apparently used to go to a BDSM club) but he’s not really dominant. He is a bit overbearing…he says he’s going to move slow, but his actions are anything but. And yet, it seemed to work on him, so go Max.

Is the story super memorable? no, not really. But even still, I enjoyed the heat, fire and build of the relationship and found myself smiling as it all came together in a perfectly packaged HEA. 3.5 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

About Carly Phillips

After a successful fifteen year career with various New York publishing houses, and over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels published, N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips is now an Indie author who writes to her own expectations and that of her readers. She continues the tradition of hot men and strong women and plans to publish many more sizzling stories. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at www.carlyphillips.com.

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Release Day Review: His Muse by Coral F. Black

his muse

Author: Coral F. Black

Book: His Muse (#1)

tl;dr recommendation: With some tightening and polishing, this novella will certainly gain a few points. There’s plenty of promise here to grow and I look forward to finishing out the series to see how this all shakes out. 3 stars!

Book Summary:

No one had ever looked at me like that. Especially not the hottest man I’d ever seen. He had the lean, tan muscles of a world class athlete, thick black hair, huge hands marbled by big veins. Before he picked up his camera to shoot, he looked at me with eyes that could have set me on fire.

Nothing else mattered; he was all I wanted.

But when Daniel Baldessari called me “undateable” in order to get a reaction for the perfect fashion shot, I knew I was really in trouble.

And after that first shoot, things started getting even stranger. Who was the “mystery client” that wanted to hire me for an exclusive contract and was sending me gorgeous flowers and boxes of sexy silk clothing and stilettos so that I’d say yes? Why did Daniel Baldessari’s beautiful cousin keep showing up at his house? And what was the dark secret from his past that threatened to tear us apart before I could find out if this maddening man even wanted me?

I knew I had to find out.

Longer Review:

This plotline definitely has promise and, as Coral’s debut novella, it has the pieces of something that can be great. Twyla seems to be a mostly strong and kindhearted heroine. She’s determined to make it in the modeling industry so she can support both herself and her brother. When she heads to her first shoot she meets the photographer, Daniel Balderssari, whose full name was repeated so many times I wanted to dive into the book with a red marker. But I digress.

He’s elusive and aloof and occasionally an asshole, but I suppose he was meant to be an endearing asshole. I’m not sure if there just wasn’t enough development for me because everything happened so fast, or if his behavior really was just so all over the board I couldn’t keep up. Yet, regardless, instalove happens.

There’s clearly something going on with Daniel because while he’s more than willing to touch Twyla, he’s not quite ready for her to touch him…until he’s practically shoved into it. I sort of had a problem with that scene too (I KNOW. I’M SORRY) as Twyla was a virgin…and yettttt, there wasn’t any mention of that while she was being taken hard and fast. How she found Daniel when she walked in on him was also a high on the insane barometer, but I’ll let that one slide, because fiction and all that.

There are plenty of secrets to be revealed and I am curious as to what happens next. With some tightening and polishing, this novella will certainly gain a few points. There’s plenty of promise here to grow and I look forward to finishing out the series to see how this all shakes out. 3 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

Review: The Billionaire’s Deal: The Complete Story by Crystal Kaswell

Author: Crystal Kaswell

Book: The Billionaire’s Deal: The Complete Story

tl;dr recommendation: Sexy and fun, on the whole this baby gets three stars!

Book Summary:

Kat Wilder is utterly screwed. Her parents are gone. Her meager inheritance is dwindling. Her attempts to get a better job are going nowhere. If she doesn’t do something fast, she’s going to lose the house she shares with her sister.

Billionaire tech C.E.O. Blake Sterling is a lifeline. An arrogant, controlling, impossible to read lifeline. He wants something from Kat and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

He offers her a deal– she plays his girlfriend and he digs her out of debt. It has to be so convincing that everyone believes they’re madly, crazy in love.

It’s Blake’s way, Blake’s terms, Blake utterly in control inside and outside the bedroom.

This is their complete story.

Longer Review:

This story is an enjoyable slide into a paradise where the billionaire’s feeling are locked down tight and the heroine slips into a situation that she can’t turn down.

Kat is in a tough position – her parents passed away in a tragic accident a few years ago and she has been taking care of her younger sister. The sister has just turned 18 and is about to go to college; yet, Kat’s not even sure how she’s going to pay the mortgage on their tiny condo with her paychecks from her waitressing gig. When Kat is presented with an offer from hot as fuck billionaire, Blake, that could change her (and her sister’s) future, Kat can’t turn it down.

She may play the girlfriend on the outside, but she knows that the second she lets Blake inside of her heart, she’s a goner. Blake doesn’t do love. He doesn’t do feelings. He’s a stoic, impassive, sort of robot – kind of like the ones that he made his billions off creating.

There were parts of this story I absolutely adored – especially when Blake’s eyes showed a little vulnerability or any scene with Meryl, Blake’s mother. I loved that woman with a fierce passion. She’s funny, smart, witty and just plain awesome.

However, there were parts that also faltered for me. Lots of repetition had me skipping over some words and skimming some scenes. And I literally grimaced everytime Kat got turned on and Blake touched her as I was anticipating the phrase “Wow. Wow. Wow.” to fall from her thoughts. Because she thought it. Every. Time. It became a bit much. The ending was also a bit rushed to me – I wished that the author didn’t skip over a very important week I would have loved to read about and then things wrapped up so quickly I almost suffered whiplash.

Notwithstanding those issues, this story will definitely satisfy any billionaire craving. The poor girl makes deal with sexy, rich man trope is a winner for a reason – I just can’t stop myself from loving this stuff and I don’t want to. Despite my hangups (which may bother no one else), I smiled and cringed at the ups and downs, and almost shed a tear at some of the sweeter moments (that’s a big deal for me!). Blake’s a billionaire whose wallet isn’t the only thing I’d like to get into 😉 Sexy and fun, on the whole this baby gets three stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

Blog Tour & Review: Laid Out by Sidney Halston

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Sidney Halston
LAID OUT (Worth the Fight #4)
Release Date: August 18, 2015


Growing up an Army brat, Violet Channing could never meet her dad’s high expectations. But in the eyes of her best friend, she could do no wrong. He even insisted that he should be her first kiss. Now Cain Sorensen is all grown up, hardened by years in special ops and always looking for a good fight. Tall, with striking blue eyes and impossibly blond hair, he’s a modern-day Viking warrior. Of course, Violet’s all grown up, too, and she’s ready to surrender to his every command.
Cain knows he’s bad for Violet. His work is dangerous, and his hobbies are downright deadly. As a private mercenary and a mixed martial arts fighter, he could never let such an innocent soul into his world. And yet his most grueling combat training is no match for Violet’s killer curves, hot touch, and suggestive glances. Now all of Cain’s most explosive fantasies are coming true—but once they cross the line between friends and lovers, there’s no turning back.


Buy links:

Kindle | Nook | iTunes/iBooks | Google PlayKobo

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*3.75 stars!*

Leave. Stay. Leave. Stay. OHMYGOD CAIN, YOU KILL ME.

Cain is a hot, sexy, and mentally fucked up former military man who is fighting for all the wrong things. He fights to numb his pain. He fights for a private military contractor to make money. But he won’t fight for Violet because he doesn’t think she could ever be his. Because she was his best friend’s fiance. OH, THE ANGST!

[Note: not sure if his name was intentionally referring back to the Cain & Able from the Bible, but I sort of loved the symbolism if it was].

Violet & Cain been best friends for years – until Violet’s fiance (and Cain’s best friend) is killed in action. Suddenly, Cain pulls away, buries himself in work and keeps himself far away from Violet – because he’s terrified he’ll throw himself at her if he sees her again. His love for Violet runs deeper and longer than anyone knows – but his guilt holds him back from letting himself explore his feelings.

Violet finds out that falling in love with your dead fiance’s best friend can cause serious problems. Especially because she isn’t even aware of the fact that she’s in love with Cain. Violet oscillates between being super insecure and overly confident, which was sort of annoying. But on the whole, she’s a nice girl who is overly forgiving and who can’t seem to move on with her life.

This one is angsty but pretty damn hot. Sidney works you up and then lets you stew. Quite a few times. I actually screamed out “BUT WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO BANG?!” at one point. Thankfully, my husband is used to such outbursts. They most definitely eventually bang. DON’T WORRY.

There are plenty of sweet moments to enjoy here, and most all of them occur when Cain let’s himself enjoy life, not focusing on the past and what can’t be changed. His inner struggle is evident and painful at times to read – and the miscommunication between them is just enough to make you whimper, but it doesn’t turn into a full out scream.

Laid Out has twists and turns that kept me guessing. It doesn’t hurt that I’m also a sucker for a man in uniform. This is a fantastic read for those who long for the angsty relationship with an undercurrent of sexual tension that’s poised to pop. ENJOY!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

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She was kicking a rock out of the way when Cain grabbed her hand and pulled her to a nearby tree, causing her to yelp as she struggled to keep her balance. At nineteen, Cain was thin and lanky—all limbs. She was still short and stumpy. He turned her around brusquely and pressed her back against a tree, the bark digging into her. She looked up at him and saw an intensity in his eyes she’d never seen before. His cheeks were flushed and the vein by his neck pulsed. Suddenly she became nervous. He’d never looked at her this way—the way the cute guys looked at the pretty girls.

Lately she’d felt flustered when Jeremy was nearby, with his mess of curly dark brown hair and dimpled smile. Feelings that hadn’t been there before were now creeping in. In fact, she could’ve sworn Jeremy had been flirting with her lately—complimenting her clothes and hair, brushing against her “accidentally,” inviting her to the movies without Cain around. But these brief flirtatious moments were with Jeremy. Not with Cain. Never with Cain. Cain was just her friend. A little gangly, a little quiet, a lot overprotective.

That was until now.

Suddenly there was an awareness that had never been there before.

When he licked his lips, her pulse sped up. A foreign feeling—desire—began to take root. He reached toward her hair, and she flinched a little before he tucked a stray strand behind her ear. The tender action surprised her. For the first time, she noticed how clear his blue eyes were, how his hair was so blond it almost looked white. All of a sudden, he didn’t seem like just this boy who was always around. Unfamiliar feelings began to erupt throughout her body. She felt her cheeks flame and her heart race.

When he finally spoke, his voice shook a little. “I’m your friend because I want to be your friend. Not because of your parents or your dumb threats. I don’t like it when you call yourself fat. You’re not fat.”

She nodded and murmured, “Okay.” She drew her lower lip into her mouth and nibbled as her wide eyes gazed at his. Cain reached over and pulled her lip out of her mouth. “You’re nervous.” It wasn’t a question. He knew her well enough to be aware of her tells.

“I . . . uh . . . what are you doing, Cain?”

“I don’t want you to kiss just anyone to get it outta the way.”

Words failed her, so she just nodded again. There was a moment where neither spoke. He just looked at her as if trying to decide on his next move.

“I should be the first person you kiss,” he finally said as his tongue flicked out a little and wet his lips.

She gasped and looked up into his eyes nervously. His eyes never left hers, but his reddened ears and neck showed that he was also nervous. She too knew him well.

Like a fool, she bobbed her head up and down mostly because the words were stuck in her throat. It felt like he stared at her lips for an eternity until he finally leaned forward, causing her to press herself further back against the tree, her hands gripping the bark. He tilted his head to the side and she imitated the action.

Should I open my mouth? Leave it closed? What about my tongue? What should it be doing?

Softly, almost feather light, his lips brushed against hers. Her eyes instinctively closed tight, and she stopped breathing. It was less than ten seconds but it was forever. In that moment she fell into the category of girls who’d had their first kiss. She kept her eyes closed for far too long, and when she opened them he was standing upright, his face even more flushed. Her own tongue snuck out of her mouth to taste her lips. She swallowed and looked at him, her eyes as wide as saucers. What just happened?

Then, with the same intensity in his expression, he leaned back down, but this time he pressed harder against her lips causing her lips to part slightly. His body moved closer to hers, and then she felt his hands grip her waist and his tongue touch her lips before it moved into her mouth and brushed hers for a brief second, his fingers digging into her skin at her waist. She instinctively melded into him, her body seeking him out.

Again he moved away and looked at her. His expression never changed, and neither did hers. Her eyes were wide; she touched her lips, as if to determine whether the kiss had really happened. They just looked at each other, neither saying anything, her heart beating so loudly she was sure he could hear it. Finally she spoke and said the only thing that came to mind. “Wow, my cup runneth over,” she whispered. It was a phrase he teased her about constantly, but it was exactly how she felt: she could barely contain her happiness.

He chuckled, and the smile did her in: she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him. Hard. He wrapped his arms around her waist and walked them the half step back against the tree again. Their noses bumped. It was awkward, but as first kisses went . . . it was perfect.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Vi.” It was the last thing he said to her before leaving for war.

About Author

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USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” (Mark Twain). Or even simpler: “Just do it” (Nike). And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.

Website: http://www.sidneyhalston.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sidneyhalston
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SidneyHalston
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6916557.Sidney_Halston

Review: Calm Like Home by Kaisa Clark


Alexa Clausen has never fallen. She’s never soared. She’s lived her entire life floating midway between passion and despondency, never experiencing those extremes. But all it takes is one evening with Adam Westbrook to draw her out of her shell, to leave her feeling bold for the first time ever. He is fiery and magnetic. He is gravitational, that inescapable pull no one can avoid. After a few chance encounters, Alexa finally accepts that she can’t stay away, can’t deny the electricity she feels every time he comes around.

But as the intensity between them deepens, she also can’t avoid the subtle hints that Adam is hiding something. His wide smile and radiant eyes obscure some burning secret, some detail of his past that resurfaces to steal his joy. The farther Alexa falls, the more she realizes just how little she really knows about Adam and how far he is willing to go to cover up the truth.

Calm Like Home is a story about love and longing, growth and stagnation, discovering one’s counterpart but losing oneself, and ultimately finding that one person truly has the power to change everything.

Book Links:

Amazon | Goodreads


This is a sweet story story at its heart. Adam and Alexa’s innocent friendship builds and builds, turning into a life changing love from the first accidental touch.

but then….there’s so much push and pull and push and pull and crying and drinking and crying WHILE drinking and oh good lord I’m tired.

Adam and Alexa have a summer together…well, technically 31 days since they don’t actually get together until closer to the end of the summer, but I digress. Once Adam returns to school 300 miles away, they struggle to figure out whether their summer love can last or if it dissipated as the air turned crisp.

The long distance relationship thingy that they had was undefined and exhausting. For two people who are adults, they never actually talked about anything really important and that drove me nuts. I did a long distance relationship for three years and while it blew, I didn’t turn into a non functioning person when he wasn’t around. The codependency here was a little outrageous and made me want to shake Alexa.

Additionally, not that I really needed more drama, but there was always the hint of it to come and that left me on edge for about 60% of this book. *pulls hair* Of course, this is perfect if you’re looking for a relationship angsty read.

However, when Adam and Alexa came together and opened up to one another it was wonderful, fulfilling, and completely adorable. I was grinning right along with Alexa, happy because she was. I loved their inside jokes, love of ice cream, birthday connection and long drives of nothingness. Their hugs and caresses felt real and there was no denying their love for another.

I suppose I just wished that they communicated more, that the Big Secret that Adam withholds was told sooner and that I had more of an afterglow to bask in. However, I had no complaints about the writing and I’d definitely read from this author again.

Overall, lots of likes and some dislikes, but it was an enjoyable read. Calm Like Home kept me on edge but also made me smile with outstanding love. three stars!

[I recieved an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

About the Author:

Kaisa Clark is the author of the new adult novel Calm Like Home. She is passionate about reading and writing and also has an intense love for music, coffee, and dark chocolate. She lives with her amazing husband, sweet dog, and kooky cat.

Author Links:

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/kaisaclark

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KaisaClark

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkaisaclark

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaisaClark

Website: https://kaisaclark.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KaisaClark/

Spotify (playlists for Calm Like Home): https://play.spotify.com/user/kaisaclark

Blog Tour & Review: My Serenity by M. Clarke

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Meet Seth & Josefina in this second-chance romance


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When tragedy strikes, Seth Stewart is forced to return home after the death of his beloved father. The unexpected detour forces him to oversee the family’s auto shop and restaurant business, and Seth must kiss the prestigious internship goodbye after his first year at Berkeley Business School. When he collides with his first crush after his arrival, Seth wonders what possibly could have happened to Josefina Anders.

Josefina has hidden many secrets she is too ashamed to share with anyone, especially Seth. When they cross paths again, the urge to relive their past lingers in her mind even though she knows he couldn’t accept her sketchy past. Things get even more complicated when her mother returns, as well as her overly possessive ex, who decides to crash into her fragile existence all over again.

Will Seth’s connection for Josefina be strong enough to see past her secrets, or will he realize he can’t rekindle an old flame?

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Ahhh Seth and Josie have quite a history. Once sixth grade sweethearts they now reconnect as adults, both now weighed down with some serious baggage. Seth’s kind heart is evident but Josie keeps secrets that cause lots of drama.

The reconnection between these characters was really fulfilling and the flashbacks to their youth were adorably romantic. Seth was a stellar character. He’s the perfect book boyfriend and wants to be the perfect real boyfriend to Josie. He’s going through the recent loss of his father (which honestly gave me flashbacks to My Clarity, but I digress) and dealing with the aftermath. He’s sensitive, sweet, way too kind, and incredibly loyal. I was swooning and smiling and batting my eyelashes through the book.

I struggled with Josie as a character. Many of her secrets didn’t feel like they should be secrets at all – and Seth gave her no reason whatsoever that she couldn’t trust him in her life. Basically, Josie annoyed me throughout the book and while I appreciated Seth’s love for her, I just didn’t connect with her character. There’s a ton of crazy that goes down at the end of the book that had me on high alert – danger & drama and just flat out CRAZY. All of which could have been avoided if Josie wasn’t such a secret hoarder.

Overall it’s a sweet story of a reclaimed love filled with a little bit of sex but a lot more drama. 3.25 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

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“Are you nervous, Mr. Stewart?” She smirked. Her eyes were beaming playfully.

“No, not at all.” My pitch came off higher than I had expected, and I was upset with myself. I had to fix that. “I mean—” I cleared my throat. Two can play at this game, I thought. I squared my shoulders and sat up tall. “So, Josefina Anders, let me ask you some questions before I decide if I want to hire you.”

Her brows lifted, most likely wondering if I was being serious or joking. Dropping her crossed leg, she pulled the chair closer to the table. Josie pulled a piece of paper out of an envelope that I hadn’t seen a second ago, tucked away behind her back. She placed a resume on my desk. “Ask away.”

“How long have you been a waitress?”

“As long as I can remember. I got hired right after high school.” She pointed to her resume. “You can see that I’ve only worked at a few places, but I’m loyal and a good employee.”

“You’ve been a waitress for a long time, Ms. Anders. Do you think you’ll ever get sick of it?”

“Not if it means I get to see Mr. Stewart.” Her lips curled wickedly.

“Do you wear thongs or granny panties?”

Josie’s lips puckered, stopping herself from busting up. “Mostly thongs, but I’m not wearing anything under my skirt at the moment.”

    Holy shit! I was trying to make her blush, but this was backfiring. Ignoring her last words, though it was extremely difficult to do, since all I could do was envision her with her skirt off, I continued, “Do you like to be on top or bottom?”

“I will be in whatever position pleases Mr. Stewart. I’m very flexible.”

VIEW THE My Serenity Soundtrack (Lyrics by M. Clarke)  HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYe1JeIJ9yU&feature=youtu.be

Available for download at: http://amzn.to/1O2pYKp

My Clarity (Book One)

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Author Information

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Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crossroadsbook

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryTing

Website: http://www.authormaryting

Blog: http://www.marytingbooks.blogspot.com

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7181038.M_Clarke

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mting888/boards/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/authormaryting

TSU: https://www.tsu.co/AuthorMaryTing


$50 Amazon Gift Card

Blog Tour: Professor Cline Redeemed by JM LaRocca


Redemption Awaits!

Professor Cline Redeemed is Now Available.


Grab your copy of this student/teacher romance at the following retailers:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Barnes & Noble:




The past never stays in the past. The pain, guilt, and darkness still flow through my veins and itch to come out. I’m not proud of my secrets, but I have never felt shame either…until her.
Emma makes me feel things I thought I’d become immune to. She makes me want to see light, to rid myself of my demons and it terrifies me.
There is so much from my past she doesn’t know. I told her I wasn’t good for her, that I’d ruin her, and I vowed to stay away. But I can’t get her off my mind.
I need her.
I need her in more ways than I knew were possible for me.
She is my saving grace and I’m ready for redemption.



Reaching under the covers, I ran a hand down the length of my cock and grabbed my balls, groaning at their tightness. I’d been lying in bed for the past half hour thinking about Emma.

The dream I’d woken from was so vivid in my mind. Her on her knees with my dick in her mouth, it was something I’d dreamed about many times, but this time was different. Her beautiful eyes stared up at me as she bobbed up and down, her spit shining off my skin like a beacon. The way she looked at me with want in her eyes as she enjoyed every inch I thrust into her mouth made me pump faster.

A blindfold was always in place with my conquests, never wanting my scars to be on display. Their hands were also held behind their back, so they didn’t grab on to me and feel the risen flesh from my scars.

It was the reason I did everything I did. I had secrets and I wanted them to stay hidden, but with Emma? With her, it was different. She’d seen my scars and all I could think of was her face. Every fantasy was with her in mind. She’d seen through my mask and for the first time, I saw light.

It terrified me. My whole life had been darkness. I didn’t know how to handle this new obsession I was beginning to obtain.

Wrapping my hand around my cock, I slowly stroked from base to tip and back again. Rolling the head of my cock in my hand, I kept picturing it down her throat.

I never thought I’d get to this point again. A point where all I’d think about was a woman. She consumed my thoughts just like Sophia did, but in a different way.

I wanted her to be consumed by thoughts of me, like I was of her. I wanted her to crave every inch of my body, like I did with her. I wanted her to need me, like I felt I needed her.

Squeezing my balls until I felt pain, I pumped faster and harder until my body tensed. I released all over my stomach and hands, groaning at every stroke against my sensitive head.

Letting out a heavy sigh, I closed my eyes and pictured Emma’s face. Staying away from her was what I should do. I’d told myself that many times. She didn’t need to be involved in anything that was going on in my life. After all, Donicko was up to something, and I still had no idea what that was.


Haven’t read this series yet?  Now is your chance,  book one is ON SALE for ONLY $0.99!

Professor Cline Revealed (Book One)

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About the Author:


J.M. La Rocca was born in Chicago, IL. At an early age, her family relocated to lower Alabama where she began her love for writing. She currently resides in Pensacola, FL with her husband and twin sons. As a stay at home mom, La Rocca was able to pursue her love for writing. It was always an unrealized dream to write her own books. With the love and support from her husband Tony, family, and friends, she set forth and fulfilled that dream.Aside from writing she also loves to read, listen to music, drink wine, indulge on chocolate, chase her little ones around, and spend time with her family and friends.

Stalk Jennifer Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


2 SIGNED SETS of the series

$20 Amazon Gift Card

Review: Forward Pass by Desiree Holt

Author: Desiree Holt

Book: Forward Pass

tl;dr recommendation: This is a sweet romance in which I was happily swept away with Joe’s over the top gestures and dirty talking.

Book Summary:

Shay Beckham grew up idolizing her brother’s best friend, star quarterback Joe Reilly. There was no one in their Texas town who had the moves to match Joe on or off the field. Years later, he’s still a player who has what it takes to drive any hot-blooded woman wild. But Shay isn’t a kid with a bad case of hero-worship anymore. She’s grown-up and independent, with her feet on the ground and a serious head on her shoulders. If she could just say the same for Joe.

It’s been fifteen years, but Joe Reilly hasn’t forgotten the skinny little kid who used to follow him around like a shadow. What he can’t get over is that the skinny shadow has grown into one hell of an incredible woman. One any man in his right mind would kill to get his hands on. And one who seems to be completely immune to him. He knows he and Shay could have something special together. If he could only convince her he’s about more than just the game.

Longer Review:

3.75 stars!

I love a good sports romance. This is written in a classic contemporary romance style, meaning you sort of see how things are going, but you love it anyway. I declare this beach-read-awesome.

While Joe isn’t playing anymore, and is a reformed playboy, his wild days continue to plague him. It just goes to show you that it takes longer than five minutes (or five years in Joe’s case) to change your reputation. Shay has been in love with Joe since….uhhhh….forever. He was her brother’s best friend growing up and she spent her days learning about football so that she could impress Joe. However, he never saw her as more than the bratty little sister that followed along.

Until now.

A set of circumstances throw Shay and Joe together and Joe suddenly realizes that Shay is most definitely all grown up. Unfortunately, she’s heard all of the stores of his bed jumping and she’s not looking to be another notch on his bedpost. Joe makes it his mission to convince her otherwise….but of course, it’s not that easy.

This is a sweet romance in which I was happily swept away with Joe’s over the top gestures and dirty talking. There are some wonderfully hot and steamy sex scenes that definitely had me needing a time out to recover.

Shay was super reluctant and very in her head, questioning all the things. That sort of drove me nuts, especially when Joe was practically pouring his heart out to her. I wanted to shake her when she was unwilling to give Joe any sort of a chance, even though he’s more than making an effort. Thankfully, with a lot of ice cream, she comes around. [this book really made me want ice cream].

Joe is sort of an idiot, but an extremely adorable and well meaning idiot. He goes completely all in with Shay, practically immediately, and that scored major points with me. Things move VERY quickly in this story, so be prepared for some quick timelines. That’s sort of par for the course (oops, wrong sport) for this type of novel, so it didn’t really bother me, but it’s worth mentioning.

Pick this one up on the way to the beach & enjoy the day basking in the sun while Joe’s sweet and dirty words roll over you. Overall, I enjoyed the plot, and even though I could see how things were going to play out, I was more than happy to ride along. 3.75 stars.

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

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