Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Very Special Announcement from Cora Carmack!

HERE’S THE SCOOP!

Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:

ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016
 

ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!

 

Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven't yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I'm not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

  Hello beloved readers! The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?" At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again). But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports. I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before. So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light. So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book… ALL CLOSED OFF: Stella Santos is fine. Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same. But none of that matters because she’s just fine. For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t. When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again. Vulnerable. ***** ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don't have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I'll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I'll be able to ensure that I'm able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you'll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links. Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella's story. When it's finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do. All my best, Cora Carmack   *Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)







#WhenitHappened bannerAnd an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…
Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance. If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard…. If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through…. If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours… I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself. So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening. #WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW



Headshot  ABOUT Cora Carmack: 
 Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.      

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Newsletter **Author Goodreads





z-InkSlinger Blogger
 

The Breaking Free Series by E.M. Abel... Now on Sale....


The Breaking Free Series Box Set: (Freeing Asia, Breaking Shaun & Saving Jay) by E.M. Abel


Freeing Asia (Breaking Free #1)

How does a tomboy raised in a house full of men find the sensual woman inside of her? Growing up with a widowed, retired Marine as a father and two older brothers taught Asia to be tough. But how does she stop being one of the guys and learn to find the right one? 


Finding herself won't be easy, finding love will be even harder. 



Meeting Jay opens Asia's eyes to the possibility of love and unbelievable sex but can his country club world accept the woman more comfortable in torn jeans and flip flops? Or will she find the love she yearns for in the tattooed arms of her first love, a pro skater who has come back into her life? 



With the possibility of new love or closure from a painful first love, finding her path is riddled with uncertainty and discoveries but before she can follow her heart she must first set it free.



**Not recommended for younger readers due to sexual content, recreational use of marijuana and language.**


Breaking Shaun (Breaking Free #2)

Some men fall in love and hand their balls over to the first woman who keeps them interested—but not me. Surfing and my freedom are the only two things I’ve ever needed. Meaningless one-night stands are fun, but the drama and jealousy that follows them aren’t worth it. 
Until I met Natalie, I never realized there were women who thought like me. She enjoys sex with no strings, and with a body like that, there isn’t a man around who doesn’t want a piece of her—including me. 

But our friends and relatives all run in the same circles. And we all know friendship and sex leave a mess. Hearts always end up broken. 
I know it. 
But I still want her. 

Sometimes, the things we want don’t always come easily. Every choice, every action has consequences that can change you. 
They can change everything. 
And no matter how fiercely guarded, even the strongest hearts can break.

**WARNING** Not recommended for younger readers due to sexual content, language and recreational use of marijuana. 


Saving Jay (Breaking Free #3)

Jay
My life was a dark and desolate place. Consumed by work and full of regret, loneliness had become my closest friend. Ink and a tattoo machine were my therapy, a way to claim my own skin with the art that I loved. 

The day I walked into her shop, I knew I’d found what I needed.
The light I’d been looking for.

Jade
When I first looked into those blue eyes I saw a depth behind them that I wanted to explore. Jason “Jay” Clarke was more than a perfectly pressed suit and dimpled smile. He was a man with a heart of gold drowning in the weight of his world.
He wanted me to mark him.
I never expected him to soothe my aching heart.

When our worlds collide and Jay begins to fall apart, will my love be enough to save him?

**WARNING: Not recommended for younger readers due to sexual content and language. 



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 STAR REVIEW... Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin

What’s the worst thing about wanting a sexy NFL football player? Everyone else wants him, too. 

 After catching my boyfriend getting deep-throated by a skanky cage girl, I've learned my lesson – never date a professional athlete. Never. Besides, I have more important things to worry about, like not blowing my shot to make it as a broadcast reporter. I won’t let anything get in my way, not even the new “it boy” of the NFL and my hot-as-hell neighbor.
 
What's the worst thing about getting death glares from his new neighbor? It doesn't make him want her any less. 
 
I've worked my ass off to make it to the pros. The last thing I need is the complication of a relationship, especially since my last one was a total train wreck. But I can’t stop thinking about the feisty girl next door with the smart mouth. And I’d love nothing more than to show her what to do with that mouth.
 
Friends with benefits might be the best idea he’s ever had. Or the worst. 

Kissing Madeline is a companion novel to DEAREST CLEMENTINE and FINDING DANDELION. Each book is a stand-alone.



*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

This Book Nerd Says: 
As you could have gathered from the title of this post I pretty much completely loved this story. So instead of dwelling on the did I/did I not like this one, I want to get straight down to the business of why I did. This was my first read by Lex Martin but it certainly won't be my last. Now normally when I read a book that's part of a series I try to start from the beginning but in this case due to time I jumped straight into Kissing Madeline trusting the stand-alone label. Sure there were a few indications of events that had taken place in the two prior novels, and there were times when those characters show up in this book, but as a whole I was definitely satisfied in this book standing on its own- if anything it just made me want to read the other two books even more (they are already sitting on my kindle waiting for me)! 

Now because I didn't read Dearest Clementine prior to reading Kissing Madeline, I began reading with a clean character slate. That being said, I knew that I was going to have a major thing for Daren by the time I finished the prologue. I was completely hooked. Not only is he a football player (*swoon*), he has a great character. Sure he had a past marked by a very regrettable mistake but it's evident that it was the exception to his story, not his rule. I couldn't stop reading because I genuinely enjoyed getting to know him and his side of the story. He is beautifully layered, real, and when he lays eyes on Madeline... 

"Kissing Madeline is heavenly." 

Madeline is made of the stuff that makes up the best of the best of NA heroines. I love a smart, take-charge, funny, and down to earth woman. Madeline just feels so real and relatable that it's easy to fall in love with her. Burned badly by her ex-boyfriend, she decides to steer clear of any type of romantic relationship with an athlete. Life however had other plans when she realizes her new neighbor is none other than Daren Sloane. If that wasn't enough when her job thrusts him back into her life, it seems avoiding him is definitely no longer an option. 

"Just enjoy each other's company like we said. With the option to reassess." 

Both characters handle the progression of their relationship with a great sense of real life maturity, so the angsty situations are well done and never drawn out to the point of frustration. In fact it was some of those situations that had my mind so in tuned with a sense of what's going to happen next that I couldn't have stopped reading if I tried. I made a note at the 40% mark that I knew this was going to be a favorite read before I even got to the end. 

"Babe, I can't help what happened before we got together, but I can tell you this. You're the only woman I've ever wanted to see first thing in the morning. The only one who made me want something other than football. Who made me think I could have more out of life." 

And then I got to the end... 
Just so good. Definitely a new favorite book, new favorite author, and I'm sure when I read the other two books (soon) that this will be one of my favorite series as well.

Hope you check it out! Happy Reading!!


Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

DEAREST CLEMENTINE is a stand-alone novel with two companion novels. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.


At the time of writing this review, Dearest Clementine (Dearest #1) is still FREE on Amazon so you might want to grab that goodie. 



When soccer all-star Jax Avery collides with Dani Hart on his twenty-first birthday, their connection is instantaneous and explosive. For the first time in years, Jax isn’t interested in his usual hit-it and quit-it approach.

But Dani knows better. Allowing herself a night to be carefree and feel the intensity of their attraction won’t change anything when it comes to dealing with a player. So when Jax doesn’t recognize Dani the next time he sees her, it shouldn’t be a total shock. The fact that he’s her new roommate's brother? That’s a shock.

Dani doesn’t regret that night with Jax, just the need to lie about it. Since her roommate has made it clear what she thinks about her brother’s “type” of girl, the last thing Dani wants is to admit what happened. 

Jax knows he’s walking a fine line on the soccer team. One more misstep and he’s off the roster, his plans to go pro be damned. Except he can’t seem to care. About anything… except for the one girl who keeps invading his dreams.

Despite Jax’s fuzzy memory of his hot hookup with his sister’s friend, he can’t stay away from her, even if it means breaking his own rules. But there are bigger forces at work–realities that can end Dani’s college career and lies that can tear them apart. 

Jax realizes what he’s losing if Dani walks away, but will he sacrifice his future to be with her? And will she let him if he does?

FINDING DANDELION, the second book in the Dearest series, is a stand-alone novel. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content


Monday, April 27, 2015

BLOG TOUR REVIEW... Endless Nights by Karen Erickson



The sex is crazy good. Is it crazier to want something more?
Vegas Nights, Book 2

Andrea and her two best friends have shed their nurses scrubs for a long-awaited weekend in Las Vegas, and nothing—flight delays, lost luggage, or the slightly weird guy with the sketchy invite to an exclusive bash—is going to stop their fun.

Within minutes of arriving at the opulent party, she’s deep in conversation with gorgeous, funny Luke Nelson, wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. For some crazy reason, he can’t seem to keep his eyes—or hands—off her.

Luke isn’t looking for a hookup, he just wants to relax…until he gets one look at the classy brunette in the barely-there dress. One minute they’re talking, the next they’re all over each other in a dark corner. It’s like he’s an addict and she’s the fix he’s been searching for all his life.

One night of hot sex isn’t nearly enough. But after a weekend spent never more than a few inches apart, the time is quickly approaching when they’ll have to make a long-distance relationship work—or break it off.


ENDLESS NIGHTS (Vegas Nights Series #2) by Karen Erickson
Erotic Romance
Amazon | BN | Kobo | iTunes

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This Book Nerd Says: 
If you are looking for a quick and steamy read, look no further. In this new addition to the Vegas Nights Series, the story picks up with Andrea finding herself in the sights of Luke. Luke, a famous football player, wants Andrea from the moment he lays eyes on her. He doesn't want a girlfriend, especially after the last one, but something about Andrea makes him pursue her... just for the night.

She'd always been a good girl. Good girls didn't mess around with strange men, no matter how famous, how gorgeous, how good they smelled, right? 

For the night, Andrea decides to put away the thoughts of being the good girl. But when the night turns into the weekend, and the weekend turns into much more... 
What happens in Vegas doesn't necessarily stay in Vegas. 
I definitely enjoyed this fun read especially after reading the first two in this series ( you can check out my double review of Wild Weekend and Reckless Nights by clicking HERE ). We got a little bit of a peek at Andrea in Wild Weekend but Endless Nights focuses solely on her and her weekend escape with Luke. Now because these are a bit lighter and faster reads, the story moves along fairly fast and there's a bit of insta-love, but I liked that the insta-love was offset by the characters acknowledging the speed of the connection. I even liked Andrea's approach and hesitation at times because it seemed to make it a bit more realistic. Heck, I even appreciated Luke's determination to have "that conversation" with Andrea once he realizes the depth of his own feelings. 

So yes, there's insta love.
But as I mentioned in my review of Reagan and Declan's story... sometimes you just may want a good ol' fashioned fun read that has steam and love and all that good stuff wrapped up. This fits the bill quite nicely. 
I am giving Endless Nights 3 bright and shiny Vegas Stars

Hope you check it out!!


Here's the info for the other two books in the Vegas Nights Series...


WICKED WEEKEND (Vegas Nights Series #.5) by Karen Erickson
Erotic Romance
Amazon | BN | Kobo | iTunes

Blurb:
What happens in Vegas…could be a fantasy come true.
Vegas Nights, Book 0.5

Between nursing school and starting their careers, Reagan, Andrea, and Natalie have had no time for dating. After saving up for a special vacation, they’re on their way to Vegas for a long-awaited weekend of fun, sun, gambling and partying.

When their luggage goes missing, an impromptu shopping trip leads them to James, who makes them an unusual offer—to be part of the female scenery at his boss’s upcoming party. Not just any scenery, but women who are pretty in a real way, not the nipped, tucked and dyed Hollywood version.

Accept a “private party” invitation from a complete stranger? These ladies weren’t born yesterday. Yet before “no thanks” crosses their lips, Reagan discovers who James’s boss really is: Declan Carter, an actor she’s crushed on for, well, forever. Now she’s determined to be the eye candy who catches Declan’s eye. No matter what it takes…


RECKLESS NIGHTS (Vegas Nights Series #1) by Karen Erickson
Erotic Romance
Amazon | BN | Kobo | iTunes

Blurb:
Sometimes dream crushes do come true.
Vegas Nights, Book 1

Reagan can’t believe her luck—and not in a good way. One minute she’s hanging out with her friends at an exclusive party in Las Vegas. The next, she’s attracted the attention of a famous actor. Not just any actor. Declan Carter, the man on which she used to—okay, might still—have a fangirl crush. Whose blue eyes leave her embarrassingly tongue tied.

All Declan wants is to meet a nice, normal woman who won’t use him as a stepping stone to fame. Something about Reagan tells him she could be that rare woman, and he follows his instinct to invite her back to his suite—where they proceed to have wild monkey sex. All. Night. Long.

What was supposed to be one night of no-regrets sex stretches out into a blissful weekend of two people who can’t get enough of each other. But when the glamour of Sin City wears off, they’re standing on the edge of a once-in-a-lifetime chance to turn a weekend fling into something lasting. Will they take the jump?

GIVEAWAY:

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson writes what she loves to read - sexy contemporary romance. Published since 2006, she's a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review Roundup...

Hey there my fellow Book Nerdians!
I wanted to do a quick recap of what I have been reading... some of the things I've loved and some things that didn't quite do it for me. 

First up...


AN UPTIGHT BRITISH EXECUTIVE. AN ADVENTUROUS AMERICAN NEWBIE. A SEXY INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL IN THE MAKING.

New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secret for an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?


This Book Nerd Says: 
I don't think it's any type of secret to say that I'm a huge fan of everything that is Christina Lauren. That being said, I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed when I finished reading this new release. Don't get me wrong I liked it, I just didn't love it. While Ruby came across as humorously and awkwardly endearing most of the time, I found it hard to get a grasp on how I felt about Niall. I know it's kind of wrong to compare one book to another but after the Beautiful Series gave us Bennett, Max, and (*swoon*) Will, it's kind of hard not to expect Niall to live up to the terrific individual standards set by the book boyfriends that came before him.
I must also add that while the majority of the book only seems to cover a few weeks but the pacing seemed to go a little too slow for my expectations. 
But it still was a treat to revisit our old friends from the rest of the series... especially Will (you know I had to). In fact it's those little reunions throughout the books that were some of my favorite moments. I also fan girl appreciated the tie in between the Beautiful Series and the Wild Seasons. In my booknerdian world all these characters coexist together anyway and I loved that the authors brought that to the pages. 

I gave Beautiful Secret 3.5 Stars. It's available now so you can check it out for yourselves!

Moving along, next we have....


To take back life, one must first face death...

One man stripped of his freedom, his morals...his life.

Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unremorseful, unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. Death and brutality are the masters of his fate.

After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge...bloody, slow and violent revenge.

Revenge on the man who lied.

Revenge on the man who wronged him.

Revenge on the man who condemned him and turned him into this: a rage-fueled killing machine. A monster void of humanity; a monster filled with hate.

And no one will stand in the way of getting what he wants.

One woman stripped of her freedom, her morals...her life.

Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill ‘The Silencer’ Volkov, head of the infamous ‘Triad’ bosses of New York's Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it’s a virtual prison. Her father’s savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring—The Dungeon—ensures too many enemies lurk at their door. 

She dreams to be set free.

Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. As manager of her father’s death match enterprise, only grief and pain fill her days. Her mafia boss father, in her world, rules absolute. And her fiancĂ©, Alik Durov, is no better; the Dungeon’s five-time champion, a stone-cold killer, the treasured son of her father’s best friend, and her very own—and much resented—personal guard. Unrivaled in both strength and social standing, Alik controls every facet of Kisa’s life, dominates her every move; keeps her subdued and dead inside...then one night changes everything. 

While working for her church—the only reprieve in her constant surveillance—Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn’t talk. Doesn’t communicate with anyone. He’s a man beyond saving, and a man she must quickly forget...for both their sakes. 

But when weeks later, out of the blue and to her complete surprise, he’s announced as the replacement fighter in The Dungeon, Kisa knows she’s in a whole lot of trouble. He’s built, ripped and lethally unforgiving to his opponents, leaving fear in his wake and the look of death in his eyes. 

Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man...this man they call Raze.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, excessive violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up.


This Book Nerd Says: 
This book has set on my kindle shelf for a while and so when I finally got a chance to dive in it, I was almost instantly reminded of why I had one-clicked it to begin with. Man this book was so intensely good that I couldn't read anything for a little bit after. Now let me just put it out there, that warning at the end of the book synopsis, it's there for a reason. However, the intensity and the explicit sexual situations/violence, all serve their purpose in this story. To clarify I didn't feel like anything was "overdone", rather it all worked together to make both Raze's and Kisa's character come into better focus. 
Now this was my first read by Tillie Cole so I'm not certain of her writing style in general but this was so well written. I felt like I was watching a thriller mixed with a poignant love story unfold before me. I keep wanting to go back to her characters... 
Raze is the probably one of the most deadly lethal alpha characters I've read and yet from the beginning to the end all you want to do is comfort him. You will cheer him on through every gruesome fight scene because he's Raze and he stole your heart on the first page. 
At the same time as I fell for Raze, I found myself loving Kisa. She has such a pure and genuine quality about her character. And because I loved Kisa... I hated Alik. God, did I hate Alik. But that's another testament to how good these characters were written. 
As the story unfolds, we get to go into another underworld of activity, where there are bad guys who are good at heart and bad guys who transcend the bad and introduce us to unfiltered evil. In this same story we get to witness a love story years in the making...

I gave this one 4 Stars. It's also available now for you to check out! 


... And Lastly


What happens when the man you’re married to isn’t the man you married anymore? Clove Calloway knows within an hour of picking up her husband Turner from the airport that something is different. Yet she can't pin point what. Together since College, they know everything about each other. So why has she spent the last few days watching everything he does, hoping for a clue? What could have happened within that week he was gone?
One way or another she's going to find out.
When Clove invests in the help of her brother Zack, a police detective, she’s afraid her suspicions of infidelity will be confirmed. Terrified that such news will crush her heart, she sets about preparing for the worst.
Only to find it's much more than she could have imagined—there is no other woman.
Clove’s life is about to descend into a web of deceit, lies and betrayal.
Appearances can be deceiving… and only the Master Manipulator will be left standing.
“The eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Henri Bergson
 



This Book Nerd Says: 
I love the premise of the story. The execution... not so much. 
I figured out the twist almost immediately... that's not uncommon for me however so it wasn't the main reason that I didn't like this one. 
I never empathized with the MC, probably because I couldnt help but to feel annoyed and frustrated with her for the entire story line. Her thoughts/words never sync up with her actions.
The story is graphic and while that's not always an instant deal breaker for me, in this case it was a major turnoff because I feel like the plot was only found in spontaneous crumbs disrupting seemingly never ending sex scenes.
By the last 25% of the book I was exhausted of the cycle. The dialogue didn't do it for me, it never felt natural and several times I asked myself aloud "Who talks to people like this?".
There were twists and turns but like I said I figured out the main one pretty much from the start. I wasn't however prepared for the ending which is pretty much a cliff hanger (be warned). 
The ending gave me a small glimmer of hope but then like that *poof*. It just wasn't meant to be. So while I'm sure there'll be another book coming, I wouldn't read it. I had to push myself through this one and it didn't compel me enough to need to know what happens next. 
I don't always post my *not so loved * book reviews on the blog (though they can always be found on my goodreads) but for this one I decided to share because 1. I always promise you guys honest book reviews and 2. I had a few people ask me to let them know how I liked this book... 
So there it is. While the reviews on Goodreads seem to be very mixed, I gave this one 1 Star.  It is available now, so if you want to check it out please do so! My opinion is solely just mine. 
Also if you do check it out, please be aware that there are very intense and graphic sexual scenes that may be a trigger to some, so go into it with that knowledge and only if you're a MATURE reader. 



I hope you are enjoying whatever you are reading right now and if not feel free to check out the books in this REVIEW ROUNDUP and also check out any of the previous book reviews I've written for anything that may catch your eye! 
Also, if you've read anything awesome you think I should check out feel free to let me know in the comments! 

Thanks for stopping by today and stay tuned for some brand new reviews coming in the next few days!!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

5 Star REVIEW... The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

The girl who’s had everyone meets the boy who has no one.

For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.

Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

Bella doesn’t want Rafe's help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can't be extinguished.
 





*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

This Book Nerd Says: 

Well folks, Sarina Bowen has done it again. I've made it no secret that I love this Ivy Series. Every time I walk into a book thinking that I know what to expect, I am wrong... and I love it! 
We first met Bella in The Understatement Of The Year (Ivy Years #3 my review for that one is here ). While it's not necessary to read that one before you read this one, I would highly recommend you do. I'll explain why, but first the basics: 
Bella is the student manager of Harkness' hockey team. She loves her job and she loves the sport, but more than that she loves the team she takes care of. Done with falling for the wrong guys, she enjoys her nights with whomever she chooses, however she chooses, no strings attached. Of course this means she draws the ire of some, and a reputation among many. 
Rafe on the other hand has no reputation, unless you count being a very considerate, hot Dominican soccer player who has a affinity for all things vintage, as a reputation. Oh, and he's a virgin.  After two very different evenings, both Bella and Rafe find themselves sharing a bottle of champagne and Bella's bed. When Bella wakes up alone, it bothers her. Her feelings hurt by what she thinks is his opinion of her, Bella avoids Rafe as much as she can, right up until he becomes her rock. 

"People could say what they wanted about all the recreational sex I'd had. But I knew what love looked like." 
Bella. 
I am so happy that Bella got this book. From what we saw of her in Understatement, one might have guessed there was a definite back story there. But we got so much more than that. We get a deeper look into her feelings about the events of the previous book and along with that we get to see some of that back story I talked about, and when it continues into the present- I'm just going to come out and tell you, I teared up a few times on account of Bella. I'm going to leave it at that emotional reader confession. 

"Whip it out, then. I'll mend it."
These seven words... holy *expletive expletive* hotness. Who knew that word combination was such a turn on?! Even with all the other fantastical dialogue, when I sat down to write these words kept jumping to the forefront of my mind.  Rafe was like the dark horse of book boyfriends (Andy from Blonde Date got some serious competition in Rafe, shhhh!). I truly didn't see it coming and than wham! I was in love with him in under 15% of the book.  
One thing I cannot forget to mention is my applause at the inclusion of the Dominican culture in this book. Not only was it well done, it felt very natural in the flow of the book. In my opinion it gave Rafe a distinct flavor in this series and added some great layers to his character. 
Rafe happens to love vintage things as I mentioned. 
As I thought about it more, I realized that vintage is not to be confused as being synonymous with used. No, vintage is something classic, fine, highly valued and usually has a story. Bella confidence comes to battle with her insecurity as she mistakes Rafe's guilt for him looking at her as if she is used goods... but in reality Rafe sees her classic beauty long before he knows her story. Then when he gets her story, he values her even more. The relationship they develop becomes as precious to him as the rarity he seeks out for himself. 
To him Bella is vintage

As always I love visiting the familiar characters just as much as I fell for the new faces (I even kinda feel better about old faces I wasn't too happy with before). Sarina does such a great job at crafting all these great personalities that I walk away feeling like I just gained a bunch of new book besties. 
I adored this story from start to finish and was left dying for the next book (as per my usual). I gave this one 5 STARS and a round of applause for this addition to this fantastical series. 

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Happy Reading

Monday, April 13, 2015

COVER REVEAL.... Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin

KM Final Ebook
Title: Kissing Madeline (Dearest, #3)
Author: Lex Martin
Release Date: April 27, 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover Design by: Krista Ritchie
goodreads
 
Blurb
What’s the worst thing about wanting a sexy NFL football player? Everyone else wants him, too. After catching my boyfriend getting deep-throated by a skanky cage girl, I’ve learned my lesson – never date a professional athlete. Never. Besides, I have more important things to worry about, like not blowing my shot to make it as a broadcast reporter. I won’t let anything get in my way, not even the new “it boy” of the NFL and my hot-as-hell neighbor. What's the worst thing about getting death glares from his new neighbor? It doesn't make him want her any less. I’ve worked my ass off to make it to the pros. The last thing I need is the complication of a relationship, especially since my last one was a total train wreck. But I can’t stop thinking about the feisty girl next door with the smart mouth. And I’d love nothing more than to show her what to do with that mouth. Friends with benefits might be the best idea he’s ever had. Or the worst. Kissing Madeline is a companion novel to DEAREST CLEMENTINE and FINDING DANDELION. Each book is a stand-alone.   Couple holding hands having sex inside a car  


Lex is giving away an ARC-A-DAY in her fan group until Kissing Madeline releases on April 27. 
You can join here http://on.fb.me/1oJN3mZ



Dearest Clementine  DEAREST CLEMENTINE 
(Dearest, #1 - Clementine & Gavin) 
  Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Paperback   
Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good. Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course. As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.    



Finding Dandelion Official Cover  FINDING DANDELION 
(#2 - Jax and Dani) 
Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Paperback
When soccer all-star Jax Avery collides with Dani Hart on his twenty-first birthday, their connection is instantaneous and explosive. For the first time in years, Jax isn’t interested in his usual hit-it and quit-it approach. But Dani knows better. Allowing herself a night to be carefree and feel the intensity of their attraction won’t change anything when it comes to dealing with a player. So when Jax doesn’t recognize Dani the next time he sees her, it shouldn’t be a total shock. The fact that he’s her new roommate’s brother? That’s a shock. Dani doesn’t regret that night with Jax, just the need to lie about it. Since her roommate has made it clear what she thinks about her brother’s “type” of girl, the last thing Dani wants is to admit what happened. Jax knows he’s walking a fine line on the soccer team. One more misstep and he’s off the roster, his plans to go pro be damned. Except he can’t seem to care. About anything… except for the one girl who keeps invading his dreams. Despite Jax’s fuzzy memory of his hot hookup with his sister’s friend, he can’t stay away from her, even if that means breaking his own rules. But there are bigger forces at work–realities that can end Dani’s college career and lies that can tear them apart. Jax realizes what he’s losing if Dani walks away, but will he sacrifice his future to be with her? And will she let him if he does?    



About the Author
Lex Martin writes new adult novels, the sexy kind with lotsa angst, a whole lotta kissing, and the hot happily ever afters. When she's not writing, she lives a parallel life as an English teacher. She loves printing black and white photos, listening to music on vinyl, and getting lost in a great book. Bitten by wanderlust, she's lived all over the country but currently resides in the City of Angels with her husband and twin daughters.
Connect with Lex
 
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