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July 30, 2014

REVIEW: Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

Seeking Her by Cora Carmack (Losing It #3.5)
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
A few months after being honorably discharged from the military, Jackson Hunt is still struggling to adjust back to the real world. He needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he’s going to keep his own demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Bodyguard (and baby-sitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he’d been looking for, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away from the home that has felt stifling ever since his return. It would be a pretty sweet gig if it weren’t for the fact that Kelsey’s father doesn’t want Kelsey to know she’s being followed. Hunt feels guilty (and a little bit creepy) as he watches her from afar. She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When he sees her falling into the same patterns that he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know her is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.

My Review
Seeking Her was a good prequel to Finding It. I didn’t really get to know Hunt in that book, but this one I got a sense of who he was. The good thing about Seeking Her was how it was not a retelling of Finding It. We follow Hunt just before Kelsey’s backpacking to Europe and just to the point where they finally meet in person. 

I was happy to see how tortured and imperfect Hunt was. I knew he was going through some stuff, but I didn’t really sympathize or understand until I read all about the depth of his emotions and all the demons he continued to battle. It was great to see how he saw Kelsey. There was something soft and deep about the way Hunt was. He saw things in a bad and good light and I liked that he was trying his hardest to be a good, better person for himself. 


While Seeking Her complements Finding It really well, I thought it was unnecessary to read and can be skipped without harm. I wish the book was longer, but then it would have been more of a retelling through Hunt’s eyes more than anything. While I did not completely love Seeking Her, I still appreciated being in Hunt’s head and getting a different perspective. 

All in all, Seeking Her was a good addition to the series. It only enhances it rather than hurts it, but it was not a need to read type of novel. 

July 29, 2014

Blog Tour: TEACHING ROMAN by Gennifer Albin



TEACHING ROMAN by Gennifer Albin (Good Girls Don't #2)
Publication Date: June 26, 2014
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Jessica Stone has her life in perfect order until her perfectly boring boyfriend Brett puts things in perspective. So when she receives a call to action from her heartbroken best friend Cassie, she ditches her plans for Winter Break in gloomy Olympic Falls and sets off to Mexico for some fun in the sun.

Determined to use her oceanview to prep for her MCATS, she doesn't plan to run into anyone from Olympic State, least of all the cute communications prof she's been crushing on for a year. When he unexpectedly saves the day, the two are thrown together in a distinctly extracurricular activity.

Roman Markson doesn’t expect to run into anyone he knows from Olympic Falls while visiting his family in Puerto Vallarta, especially not a former student. Although Jess Stone has a way of catching men’s attention, a relationship with her is strictly off-limits. However, the rules feel less strict in Mexico, so they agree to a plan: one week in paradise and nothing more.

But avoiding each other back on campus is harder than they anticipated, especially when they can’t stay away from one another. Neither is sure what they have to learn—and lose—before life teaches them a lesson they’ll never forget.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
It’s no secret that I absolutely unconditionally love and adore and cherish Gennifer Albin’s Catching Liam so freaking much. I love that book so much that I have been waiting anxiously for the next book in the Good Girls Don’t series for what seems like ever and I have to say that the wait was well worth it and more. 


Teaching Roman was everything I was hoping it would be and gossssssh, I was so so happy by how everything went down with Jess and Roman. These two characters were amazing and holy crap on a cracker, I was so taken by Roman like cray. He was nothing and all the things. He was gentle and intelligent and sexy and caring. Roman was so effing irresistible. 

Jess was a sweet girl who loved organization and lists and was very driven to be a doctor. She took a chance and a risk to be with Roman. It was so out of her character, something she thought she would never do, but I thought it really put her love life in perspective. I loved that she gave in to what she was feeling even though she was scared of the unknown. She made mistakes and did her fair share of running, but she made me proud in the end. Jess was a tough girl who knew what she wanted and she made sure of it when the time was right.

Roman and Jess were so adorbs, like no joke. I always love when flings turns into the real deal and with these two, it definitely was the real deal. They were so sweet and warm towards each other. They were the type of couple where it hurt to look at them yet you couldn't look away because they were perfection. I have to be honest that their romance development was pretty fast, but Roman and Jess just felt like they knew each other for so long. They clicked in some cosmic way both intelligently and romantically. And I have to say that Roman in bed...wow, can I be teacher’s pet? I was slightly jealous of Jess. What I loved about their relationship was the equality of it. Both of their dreams and ambitions were important to one another and there was a level of maturity that both had that a lot of relationships lacked. They were both willing to sacrifice something so that the other could fulfill their goals and I was touched by that a lot. Their relationship was very genuine, something I could tell that would last and not be fleeting.

Teaching Roman had its ups and downs and angst and drama and the best of tenderest moments with some really intense ones as well. The Roman and Jess love story was not easy, but it wasn’t as difficult as they thought it would be either and I was so throughly enamored by these two I was up for their back and forth anyhow. While no one can ever hold a candle and birthday cake towards by beloved Liam McAvoy, Roman does come real close.

All in all, I loved Teaching Roman with just the amount of enthusiasm as I did with Catching Liam. Gennifer Albin did not disappoint and I’m hoping to get Cassie’s book real real soon! 

Favorite Quotes

"Have you discovered some type of magic potion that reduces your need for sleep?"
"Hours and hours of amazing sex"

"Your shows? Are you a sixty year-old woman? Gonna do some Sudoku and start adopting cats?"
"Don't be a bitch."
"Don't be a sixty year-old woman!"

"...and I want a size report. What's Professor Markson packing under those khakis? Inquiring minds want to know."

"What on earth do we need batteries for?"
"I thought I would loan you my vibrator. It seems like you need it more than I do."

"I cook better than I screw." 


About the Author
Gennifer Albin holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri. A recovering academic, she turned to writing her own books.  In her free time she sits on the National Novel Writing Month Advisory Board, laughs (and cries) with her mom writers group, and watches too much Doctor Who (if that's possible). Gennifer lives in Poulsbo Washington with her family.






This blog tour was brought to you by InksSlinger PR

July 28, 2014

REVIEW: FINDING IT by Cora Carmack


FINDING IT by Cora Carmack (Losing It #3)
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Rating: 3/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong...

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.

It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

My Review
I was hoping that I would love FINDING IT just as much as I loved LOSING IT and FAKING IT. Unfortunately, Kelsey’s book was lacking the spark that the previous books had for me. Even so, I did find some parts worth mentioning that made be like the book anyway. 


Kelsey was an ok character. I didn’t have much of an impression or expectation of who she was in LOSING IT, so I wasn’t that invested in her. I liked her best when she was being funny, sarcastic and cracking jokes during her inner monologues. I even saw depth and sadness in her that made her a little bit more real and relatable. It was when she was running away from problems and playing games with Hunt that got on my nerves. It made her kind of unlikable. When I finally got to the root of why Kelsey was the way she was, I was nearly fed up with her attitude to feel anything for her.

I liked Hunt, at least from what I got from him. To be honest, I didn’t really get to know him. Personality wise, he was great. Sweet and caring and persistent. He just lacked character development. I liked that he had fun with Kelsey and he respected her. He made sure that she got a real adventure and stayed away from destructive behavior. 

My last gripe about this book had to be the twist and romance. I suspected the twist the second Hunt showed up where Kelsey was for the second time. I already drew my conclusions and was right and wasn’t surprised at all. It was pretty obvious and how Kelsey couldn’t connect the dots baffled me a bit. The romance was alright. It was nothing really too swoon-worthy. They were cute together, but it was too quick for my taste.

My favorite part of the book was definitely the traveling aspect and all the different places and cities Kelsey and Hunt go to. It wasn’t described too much, but I got the feel of some of the places from Budapest to Prague to Munich to Italy and Spain. It was great. Imagine my glee at seeing ‘Danke’ in this book and knowing what it meant because of my trip to Germany. It was pretty awesome. I wish I was brave enough (and rich enough) to go backpacking in Europe and not really have a set destination. I was definitely jealous of the adventure factor in this book.

All in all, FINDING IT was satisfactory. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. If anything, the need to know how it ends will drive you to finish the book.

July 15, 2014

Book Blitz: Almost Bad Boys Omnibus by A.O. Peart


Almost Bad Boys Omnibus  by A.O. Peart (Almost Bad Boys #1-3) 
Publication Date: May 24, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
This Omnibus Edition collects the three Almost Bad Boys books into a single package: Almost Matched, Almost Broken Up, and Almost Too Far.
**
How to describe this hilarious and sexy series in just one sentence?
A martini glass of sizzling romance, a jigger of suspense and crime, perfectly shaken with a twist of wacky humor.
**
By popular demand from my readers, I wrote an additional scene for Almost Matched: COLIN AND NATALIE’S FIRST NIGHT TOGETHER. The bedroom doors are cracked open for you to sneak in and, I don’t know… hide behind the curtain maybe?
This exclusive scene has never been published before and is only included in this Omnibus.
**
~ ALMOST MATCHED: Would you take another shot at love? Or just settle on a friend with benefits?
~ ALMOST BROKEN UP: How far would you go to protect the one you love?
~ ALMOST TOO FAR: Where would you draw the line between love and trust?

Excerpt
Colin enters my bathroom and leans against the door jam with his shoulder, ankles crossed, hands in his pants pockets. I meet his eyes in the mirror. There is an unmistakable pure appreciation in his eyes for what he sees. One corner of his mouth lifts up just a notch, and he tilts his head to the side. His gaze travels up and down my body, and my heart skips a beat. Or more like five.
“What?” I laugh.
Slowly, he brings his hand to his mouth and absentmindedly traces his lower lip with his thumb. Such a small gesture, and I start to melt inside. My boyfriend is a sexy beast without even trying to be. Colin pushes himself off the doorframe and, biting his lip, unhurriedly moves closer. He stands behind me and wraps his arms around me, bending down to press light kisses to the back of my neck.
I take a sharp breath and feel that familiar slow, lazy heat starting to spread from my chest all the way down to my sex. “You’re going to mess up my hair,” I whisper feebly.
“I’m afraid so,” he whispers back. His lips burn a trail over my shoulder. He cups my breasts and pinches my nipples through the thin fabric of my dress and bra.
I moan and close my eyes. Screw the hair. I press my back against his growing erection and I know where we are heading.
It feels so natural, so right. Colin and I belong together, no matter what demons from the past we are battling. I turn around and look at him, my palms over his chiseled chest. He is so beautiful, with his dreamy eyes, sparkling with anticipation. He leans in, and our lips crush.

A hurricane of our sexual energy is unleashed. We are all lips, and hands, and tongues, and impatient, short breaths. My dress flies off me, and the hairpins slide out of my hair. Colin’s fingers loosen down what’s left of my bun, and I feel my hair tumble down to my back and shoulders. He lifts me up and sits me on the bathroom counter. His lips are on my nipple, and I feel his teeth grazing it through the thin fabric of my lace bra. The sensation is exquisite. It forces any thoughts out of my brain, except for one: I want this man so badly; right now; right here

Purchase: 


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About the Author
A.O. Peart is the author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction novels, including NA contemporary romantic comedy series Almost Bad Boys. She writes in multiple adult, NA, and YA genres: contemporary, paranormal, urban fantasy, and short stories. Angela was born and raised in Poland. She now lives in the Seattle area with her family and a chronically curious cat. She describes herself as European born, American by choice. 


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July 14, 2014

Cover Reveal: Indiscretion: Vol 1 by Elisabeth Grace

Indiscretion: Volume One by Elisabeth Grace
Release Date: August 4, 2014

Book Description:
F*ck and chuck. Pump and dump. Hit it and quit it. One night stand. Didn’t matter how I branded it—that’s all she had wanted it to be. That much was clear when she left me with my pants down and my dick still out. 

What she hadn’t counted on was fate intervening and our worlds colliding—again.

The day I showed back up in the life of Chloe Griffins, I knew I had to have her again. My body was hungry for another taste. Like an addict, I’d been craving another hit for months, and there she was—flesh and bone, tits and ass. 

The fact that she worked for the competition should’ve been reason enough for me to leave her alone. I had a job to do that summer and f*cking Chloe wasn’t part of it. But I was like a man possessed. 

I’d do whatever it took to have her again.


Connect with Elisabeth Grace:



This Cover Reveal was brought to you by InkSlinger PR


July 12, 2014

My Brazen Addiction: the one with birthday sexy times

Take Me if You Dare by Nina Crespo
Publication Date: June 30, 2014

A sexy category romance novella from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

One decadent dare, one steamy night…

It’s been a year since Jasmine Stewart dumped her cheating ex, so when her best friend dares her to have a one-night stand during a business trip to Miami, Jasmine is all in. But just as she hits her cheesy-come-ons limit, a wickedly hot former soldier comes to her rescue.
Security specialist Ethan Worth’s instincts tell him the gorgeous woman at the bar is trouble. After a sexy dance and even sexier kiss, he knows she is. But when their scintillating night leads to more, the possibility of another long distance relationship sends Jasmine running for the door.

Until the unthinkable happens. Jasmine’s company assigns her to Bode-Wynn, the military security firm where Ethan works. Forced back together, the undeniable heat between them flares to life. But sex is all it can ever be, because taking it further goes against everything Jasmine wants…and everything Ethan fears.

Get Take Me if You Dare: Amazon | B&N 

Meet Jasmine & Ethan




Three words to describe Jasmine: sexy, sophisticated, and smart! She kept on living even when her douchebag ex-fiance cheated on her and knocked up the girl! (what a jerk) Her life wasn’t on the right track, but she continued to strive and push forward. Oh Jasmine, I wanted to bop you several times over the course of this short book. If she wrote Ethan another lame run away note I was ready to strangle her, resuscitate her, then strangle her again. She was scared and I got that, but she needed a better way to handle it.



“All I’ve thought about since you walked in the door
is touching you, tasting you, and being inside of you.”



Ethan Ethan Ethan. This man, damn. He rescued Jasmine from a loser with lame ass pick up lines, wanted dinner before getting down and dirty and made her a cup of coffee the next morning. Someone please drag this man to my bed! He was just honorable and noble and yummy and he wanted to do right by Jasmine. He was so ready to put his heart on the line. Did I mention he was yummy?
 Ethan also had commitment and relationship issues. He thought that he needed to save those he loved from potential heartache. He had good intentions, but like Jasmine, both needed a wake up call! 


On my bedroom scale from 
 (1) COLD: I’m just not feeling it to (5) HOT: I need a fan...



Take Me if you Dare by Nina Crespo was a solid three: is it getting steamy in here? when it came to the sexy times. Crespo could have definitely heated it up a bit more, but for these two characters they were still sensual enough to give you just a little something something in that department. 


“If I had my way, I’d bend you over this counter, sink my cock into you,
and make it so good, you’d beg me to stop [...] ”


The brazenly addicted verdict...

This is a novella so it’s on the shorter side compared to a full length Brazen, so it wasn’t hard to rip right through it. Jasmine and Ethan’s characters are developed enough and their romance (in and out of the bedroom) heats up bit by bit. They both had the same issues in the love department, but both handled in differently and surprisingly. I did wish to see more of their romance development during the first week they spent time together, but what I did see I ended up enjoying.



“Do you know you’re nothing short of amazing?”

“You better believe it, baby.”

Overall rating: 4/5 
stars

July 11, 2014

REVIEW: My love letter to FAKING IT by Cora Carmack

FAKING IT by Cora Carmack (LOSING IT #2)
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

Dear FAKING IT, 

Your companion and my sorry-not-sorry absolute favorite LOSING IT will always be near and dear to my heart and will be difficult to surpass by my biased unwavering love and loyalty, but FAKING IT, you must know that there was something about you that melted and captured my heart. The reason might be a certain someone with a four letter name.

First, let’s talk about this faking it ‘til it’s real trope (which I looooove) going on here. It was so unexpected for both Cade (*sighs*) and Max because it’s not everyday a girl comes up and asks a guy to be their pretend boyfriend. And let me tell you, I was riveted from that point on. The attraction and the connection and chemistry and sexual tension just kept on building and building until it exploded into this gooey, swoony, heart racing thing that I was all down for. Cade and Max’s little charade started to become something more as they got to know one another, as they hung out more, as they got around the other’s walls and especially when the kisses (can’t blame ‘em) were just too good to stop.

I was a fan of Cade already from LOSING IT. I was pretty sad that he couldn’t be with Bliss and wasn’t sure how I’d feel about him being with someone else. But holy hot Golden Boy did Cade step it up because damn I can’t even. Cade was sweet, genuine, and so selfless, but he was also so freaking seductive and sensual too. I did not think he had it him, but woah baby he sure did. I adored how he readily agreed to Max’s charade and ultimately ended up helping her push through her demons in the long run. He always made sure that Max knew that she was the most beautiful, worthy and spectacular woman there was. Cade just knew how to make a girl feel good about herself and he meant it in every way.

As for Max, the girl had some serious family drama, but I loved how she fought for her love of music, how passionate she was about singing, how she lived at the beat of her own drum. She was this firecracker of a girl who was fearless and mesmerizing and her only kryptonite was her conservative parents. I really liked her dyed hair, her beautiful tattoos, her sassy mouth, and just how far she has come emotionally and mentally. I just really dug Max’s style.

So FAKING IT, my only complaint about you was the abrupt ending that really did end too quickly! It wasn’t that I wanted more (let’s be real, I do) I just wished it was drawn out a little bit more than it could have been. Nonetheless, FAKING IT, you have given me an outstanding read! I ate you up, giggled, squealed, fanned myself during those intense make out seshes, and probably hugged you so tight when I finished, you probably couldn’t breathe (if books did breath). In other words, my sweetest FAKING IT, you rocked my bookish world and then some. 



Love love love,

Jessirae xx



P.S. Milo and Spencer made such an impression on me, please tell your maker, the amazingness Cora Carmack, that they each need a book of their own!

July 10, 2014

Cover Reveal: Undeniably You by Jewel E. Ann.

Undeniably You by Jewel E. Ann
Release Date: August 18th, 2014
goodreads-badge-add-plus-d700d4d3e3c0b346066731ac07b7fe47


Book Summary:
One crazy dog––one awkward vet––one naked pool guy––and one life-changing month in California to make friends, fall in love, and twist fate.

Who gets paid to walk a dog and recline by the pool all day? Sydney Montgomery, aspiring museum curator and professional house-sitter, that’s who.

When her aunt and uncle need a house and dog sitter for thirty days in Palo Alto, Sydney can’t turn down the chance to be closer to her sister in L.A. Within twenty-four hours of her arrival, Sydney’s cleaning up runny dog poo, taking an uncooperative pooch to a handsome yet awkward vet, and being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a naked “pool guy.”

Lautner, “pool guy,” has a hot body and a cool persona. With eyes of iridescent blue oceans, he is mesmerizing, sexy, and addictive. What he is not––the pool guy.

Dr. Lautner Sullivan is a college wide receiver turned pediatric resident. He knows how to woo a woman with flowers, pastries, and sweet tea. Lautner is every girl’s dream, but Sydney is not every girl. She’s immune to rainbows, fairytales, pixy dust, and the “L” word.

The attraction is immediate, the friendship is earned, and the love is undeniable. Thirty days is their forever, but forever is not long enough.


Excerpt
I pour a glass of iced tea and start to walk toward the deck. Then I turn around and pour another glass. “Hospitality is a good thing,” I tell myself, needing only to convince the rational part of my brain.
“Tea?” I offer, walking over to the pool.
Aaron sets the skimmer net along the side of the pool.
“Thank you.” The smirk on his face is suspicious and makes me feel like I’m missing some inside joke. He takes the glass from me and I move past him to get a closer look at the pool because I can’t look at him without his shirt and not break into a sweat.
“What are you skimming?”
“Nothing really. I’m stirring the water,” he says matter-of-factly.
This guy is not for real. What does he mean by “stirring the water?” He’s up to something. It’s obvious why Aunt Elizabeth hired him. She must properly clean the pool after he leaves so Trevor doesn’t get suspicious and fire his ass … a very fine ass I will confess.
“And why is it you need to stir the water?” I turn toward him and my eyes dart straight to his broad muscular chest and well-defined abs all kissed by the sun. Jeez, he’s too perfect and I’m … something. Distracted? Mentally lethargic? Crazy? Horny? BINGO!
“So there’s an even consistency of chemicals when I test the water.”
My mouth is agape and I cannot stop looking at him. He bends down to physically capture my attention. Shit! I show no shame staring at his bare chest.
“Hello?” he says, forcing my eyes back to his.
Shaking the inappropriate thoughts from my head, I take a quick sip of my drink to mask my embarrassment.
“Do I need to put my shirt back on?”
I choke on my tea. “No––” I can’t stop coughing. “I mean––” Clearing my throat, I notice his cocky smile. “Put your shirt on or leave it off. Why would I care?”
God, Sydney, could you be a bigger disaster today? The flap of the dog door distracts me. Swarley leaps down the deck stairs. Aaron hunches down like a lineman in anticipation of his overzealous greeting. The problem is, as Swarley races closer I realize he’s not aiming for Aaron. He’s aiming for––
“Oh shit!” I’m catapulted backwards into the pool.
My body makes its descent to the bottom while I open my eyes to see the blurry magnification of Mr. Sex on Legs pool guy standing at the edge looking down at me. I’m considering seeing how long I can hold my breath. Maybe he’ll decide to leave and I can surface from the depths of my own personal Hell without an audience.
Yes! That’s it. I can do this.
I still hold many records from my high school swimming career. Holding my breath until he leaves should be easy. Unless he decides to be heroic and jumps in to save me. Not a bad scenario either. Then at least we’ll both be drenched in our clothes.
Like a leaky raft, I release my breath one bubble at a time and take a seat at the bottom of the pool. Ha! He’s emptying his pockets. Looks like I won’t be the only drowned rat. Wait. What the hell? No he’s not. Oh dear God, yes he is. Sex on legs dives into the pool, sans shorts and underwear! The two haunting notes from Jaws sound in my head while I scramble to the surface in the opposite direction, desperate to get away from him.
The sweet relief of air filling my lungs is squashed by the anxiety of being chased by a naked stranger.
“Oh my God! What are you doing?” A frantic yell breaks out with the remaining breath in my lungs while I swim toward the ladder, barely escaping him. I leap out of the pool with superhuman speed. Wrapping my arms around myself, I scramble to the pool house, my heart racing and my whole body shaking as I fumble for a towel.
“The water feels great today.” His voice sounds behind me.
I whip around and gasp, wide eyed. A wet, naked, sinful-as-a-hot-fudge-sundae body greets me a few feet away. Hands fisted, his arms are casually crossed at his wrists covering part of his junk in the front. The perfect cover to Sports Illustrated stands before me, and all I want to do is smack him across the face to wipe the stupid smirk off it. Then, of course, I want to jump him and rub every sensitive part of my body against his, because right now I’m so pissed and so turned on, I need to dive into the pool again before I self-combust.
“Finish up and get out,” I mumble as I toss him a towel and stomp toward the house. On my way, I pass Swarley beached out in a lounge chair by the pool.
“Evil demon dog!” I scowl at him.
 
___________________________________________________________

About the Author
Jewel E AnnJewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor. With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.

When she's not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.



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July 9, 2014

REVIEW: Love Lost and Found by Michele de Winton

Love Lost and Found by Michele de Winton (Love on Deck #2)
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Publication Date: September 9, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Felicity Williams can't remember the last five years thanks to an accident that wiped out her memory. She fled her old life in hopes of starting fresh and found refuge working on a cruise ship. But her past is coming for her…

Rick McCarthy awakens after a climbing accident to discover that his business partner and fiancĂ©e has quit her job and disappeared. He’s trying to accept that she’s run out on him, but now he needs her signature to close a deal that could literally be life or death. He’ll go to any extreme to get what he needs…even if that means becoming someone else to win her back.

But a little lie becomes a large mess when they’re stranded on a deserted island together, and old misunderstandings might ruin their chance at new love… 

My Review

Reasons why I enjoyed Love Lost and Found by Michele de Winton-



Reason number 1: Amnesia plot line 

I was very interested in this book because of this angle; the fact that one character had amnesia. It’s a tough subject and sometimes not done very well, but I thought de Winton did a great job of explaining this part and integrating it into the love story. It was very realistic and not far fetched in the least. I loved that it wasn’t the main focus of the story but a piece of it that really tied things together. 



Reason number 2: Felicity Williams

The woman was spunky, witty and had fire in her eyes that never seemed to burn out. She worried that she wouldn’t be able to remember the last 5 years ever because of her amnesia, but she somehow managed to keep the brightness in her day. She was hilarious and warm despite that her old self was described as cold and unreachable. I definitely adored this Felicity. I never really knew what to expect of her and that was why she was such a great character.



Reason number 3: Rick McCarthy

I understood his need to find Felicity and I loved that he ended up being surprised as well. I liked Rick because he was strong, determined and charming. Sure, his intentions weren’t really the best in the beginning, but he came to realize some things and he sure stepped up his game. I thought he was sexy and kind of endearing too. 



Reason number 4: Second chance romance

I dig the whole giving love a second chance, but I really really loved this one between Felicity and Rick. They really got a chance to know one another and fall in love for real this time. They were able to see the other as they should have before the accident hit and in a way it was a blessing disguised as a tragedy. What I love was how deep they got, how they shared their secrets and how they were willing to make sacrifices for one another. It was truly like starting over for them and it was a wonderful thing. 


Overall, Love Lost and Found had humor, sexy scenes and sweet moments all wrapped up into a cute, fun and quick read. 


July 7, 2014

REVIEW: Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro

Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro (Dark Paradise #1)
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5-4/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
DARK LEGACY

Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of "witch women," she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She's haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.

DEADLY SECRETS

Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he wonders if all the rumors about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister's killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their lives.

My Review
What I Liked



Dual POVs between Mala and Landry

Although there was more of Mala, Landry doesn’t falter behind her. Mala was really cool and so easy to like. I enjoyed the fact that she was obviously a fighter, but also kindhearted as well. She was witty and smart and really into solving crimes. She just had this spunky attitude that really drew me to her. Landry was kind of dark and brooding, but also sweet too. He really cared about his family, but sometimes judgements from them and others got the best of him. When he was clearly thinking, he was very protective and loving. I cannot deny that I fell for him along the way. 



Witches, hoodoo, ghosts and spirits!

The paranormal elements of this book was definitely a favorite. It was the star of the book and got better and better along the way. The witchy powers in Mala’s family was explained thoroughly and while Mala wasn’t quite a believer, she was given the chance to respect and embrace it. The ghost haunting and visions were the mot creepiest and really gave me the heebie jeebies at how descriptive these parts were. There was blood, dead bodies, enraged spirits, dark magic, and possession. All of this kept me going and had me riveted. 



Suspense and secrets and crime

There was a ton of suspense and moments where you might flinch or anticipate what was to come. I enjoyed Mala and Landry trying to uncover the truth about Lainey’s death even though most of the time they were getting themselves into a whole lot of trouble. When the secrets and cover up started coming out, it was unbelievable to me (and I mean this in a good way). I suspected a lot of characters but always had doubts and was shocked to find out the absolute truth. It was disgusting and appalling and god, I just wanted to break something or someone. It was awesome.



What I didn’t like



The romance

There is no love triangle I am telling you this now so you could all let out a breath or two. It was quite obvious that there will be a little something something between our two MCs and I was not feeling it. I liked their banter, their playful flirtations and sure, because I like kissing, their make out scenes were spicy. It should have stayed like this for now. I was not feeling their budding romance because Landry was just all over the place and the trust between the two was sketchy. So for me to really feel and believe they were in love despite the hatred and mistakes made..I don’t know.



The pacing and length

This is probably my main reason for my rating. The beginning really dragged on for me and when that happens, it becomes an effort to read. It did get better, but by the time I hit the half way point I had felt like I should have been done with the book already. This honestly is just a “feeling” that I could not push away. I was compelled to read the book because of all the things I mentioned above, but this part pulled me down.



Overall, I did like Dark Paradise. It was suspenseful, morbid, and amusing. I will definitely be reading the second book because I’m curious to see what happens with Mala next!



*Thanks to Forever Yours for sending a copy for review purposes in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my view of this book.

July 4, 2014

REVIEW: On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

My Review
It is always lovely to go into a book that just absorbs you from the beginning, gives you the laughs, makes you swoon, and just ends up being that comfortable laid back read you’ve been needing but never realizing that you did. On the Fence by Kasie West was that book for me and I ended up devouring this baby in less than a day!

The main gist of this book centered around Charlie. She’s more of a competitive, sports playing, rough housing type of gal who was most comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans and didn’t mind getting mud all over her when playing football. She was the type of girl who was independent enough, never really asked for help and didn’t dare back down from a challenge even if it involved her brother's ridiculous little games. Like any person, she wasn’t perfect and made some tremendous mistakes that involved lying and keeping secrets and being slightly insensitive, but she was only human. She just had a very fun filled nature about her even when she was haunted by her mother’s death. Really,  I liked this girl so much I think I’m sporting a serious girl crush.

For the romance part of this book, god, I don’t even know where to begin. Charlie and Braden had this very comfortable, easy going, really really playful friendship already. They pushed each other, jumped on each others backs, flung food at one another. It was just so easy. The built up to their romance was spectacular and not rushed at all and even though they weren’t making out or holding hands or getting it on, I was squealing and swooning all over the place because they were just so darn freaking cute! We see them get even closer by their first coincidental fence chats that become nearly a regular habit. They start to open up to one another more and more, Charlie starts to date, Braden gets jealous, they fight, but the thing that I really loved was the strong connection they had even as friends. It was absolutely genuine and natural for them to have feelings for another and to take that next step in that direction.

The summary of On the Fence makes it seem like the book is centered on the romance between Charlie and the boy next door, but while it was a significant part, it wasn’t the whole book. I really got a sense of who Charlie was from her hilarious playfulness, to her stubborn demeanor and even when it came to voicing out her fears. While she was comfortable being a tomboy, she was definitely insecure about being a girl guys would like. She had this irrational fear that guys would not like a girl so throughly absorbed into playing sports. This kind of leads to her doing things she never would have done, which had some good and bad consequences. She also had underlying, unsolved issues about her mother’s death which affected the way she saw herself as a girl and her friendships with other girls as well.

But while those seem to plague Charlie, it was quite obvious how her relationship with her brothers shaped her to be who she was today. They have a really strong bond and their closeness is something jealous worthy for any who wish to have that sort of amazing sibling relationship. It was one of my favorite parts of the book to see how close they all were. They didn’t have a perfect family and although they got along well, I liked seeing that the things her brother’s said did have an affect on Charlie and her way of thinking. 



All in all, On the Fence was just a perfect anytime, pick-me-up comfort read. It was just that type of book that didn’t fail to put a smile on your face.

*Thanks to HarperTeen for sending a copy for review purposes in exchange for an honest review.
This in no way affects my view on the book

July 2, 2014

REVIEW: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.


You live and you remember.


Me, I live and I forget.


But now—now I am remembering. 


For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves.

My Review
I have so much words and feelings and thoughts for The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno. It would be a severe understatement to say that this book was just beautiful and breathtaking and one that swept me off my feet. From the beginning I realized that this book was going to be different in so many ways. We really dive deep into a young girl suffering from the clutches of a mental illness and watching her come to terms with it hoping she finds the happiness within herself.


I didn’t so much as learn who Molly was, but I learned, felt, and experienced what she was feeling and thinking and struggling with every single day. She was a very sad girl who struggled to wake up day by day. The mere act of brushing her teeth and combing her hair and getting dressed was tiring and awful. She was quiet, reserved, and though she had two loving parents and siblings and two good friends, Molly still felt alone and lonely and sad. She was a depressed, she was living and forgetting and losing half of herself with no one to tell that she was. Molly may sound like character you rather not read about or get to know, but her desperation and need to find out why she felt she had no control of herself was profound. It was very obvious how erratic Molly’s thoughts were. They quickly flowed together at a rapid pace. She moved from one thought to another on and on. I have to admit that this was disorienting, but it totally worked because I got to feel how out of control Molly felt. The sense of being utterly lost and on the edge of sanity was always present. The panic and confusion reached out toward me like an extension cord and just sucked me right in. I liked the way I was firmly placed into Molly’s mind. Leno really captured Molly’s thought process and her voice and brought that to life on the pages of this novel. I felt the chaos, messy and confusion rippling from Molly every time she lost time, every time she tried to reorient herself, and every time she was starting to remember something new.

After witnessing an accident and death, the ball starts rolling for Molly. Things become stranger and more unusual even for her. We’re taken on this journey of Molly figuring out for herself what is wrong with her as patches of memories start to trickle back to her. As she sorts it all out, I collected clues, came up with my own theories, maybe even guessed what I knew to be true deep down inside of me, but waited for it all to be confirmed. Leno had little subtle hints dropped that were clever in their placement and worked well at keeping me on the edge of suspense. Along this morbid trip down memory lane, Molly realizes secrets and lies that are being kept and told to her. But on the other hand, she discovers a friendship and a love that changes everything for her. She figures out the lost part of herself has been there this whole time and she tries to reconcile the guilt and pain from what she has discovered and learns to stand on her own. For me, there was so much emotion and depth to both Molly’s character and what she went through and I commend Leno for creating a book that contains many memorable, very quotable lines.

Overall, I found The Half Life of Molly Pierce to be extraordinarily poignant and enigmatic. It was brilliantly written, utterly thought-provoking and so ensnaring that just one more chapter simply became two, four, six, the end.

*Thanks to HarperTeen for sending a copy for review purposes in exchange for an honest review