Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter! Review and Excerpt!

Happy Tuesday!



I'm participating at the The Closer You Come blog tour by Gena Showalter. The blog tour is organized by Rock Star PR and by the author. My post includes a review, information about the book and the author and an excerpt. Enjoy!

The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1)
March 31, 2015


Blurb:

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past.  And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…
Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.



Buy links:





My review:

I am little ashamed, that this is the first book written by Gena Showalter what I have read. I am well aware of her successful carrier and I know that she has written tons of brilliant books, but... here it is - The Closer You Come is the first one for me.

It was well-written and engrossing book! I read it in one sitting and couldn't put it down before the last page was turned. I was hooked within few pages, I truly liked her writing style. 

The characters grew on me quite quickly. Jase was adorable!!! Out of prison, he is doing his best to stay out of trouble, but boy, didn't he know what was coming - a beauty called Brook Lynn! Their chemistry was great, the tension between them was visible and the author made my heart beat twice quicker than usually. Besides two great main characters, the supportive characters can't be underestimated. Hopefully we'll hear more about them.

I also enjoyed the surroundings where the story takes place and it plays an important role in the book in my opinion. It gives a pleasurable background for the plot.

All in all, definitely one on of my favorites in 2015! Read it and you will not be sorry!

5 stars.


About Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.




Goodreads

EXCERPT:

She scanned the yard—and finally found the source of the banging. Jase, with a hammer. Shirtless Jase. Muscles honed from intense manual labor bulged as sweat glistened and trickled down tanned skin and more tattoos than she’d realized. One of his arms was fully sleeved, the colorful ink wrapping over his shoulder and covering his pectoral. On his other side, his ribcage and torso were etched with intricate designs. A handful of what looked to be letters rose above the waist of his shorts.
Am I drooling? I’m probably drooling. Wow. Just wow. He was major man-candy. Gourmet. The house specialty. He radiated the most sublime sex appeal, the kind that shattered the most ingrained resistance and battered the staunchest inhibitions, and he would definitely satisfy even the most intense sweet tooth. He worked the hammer with masterful expertise, like he could fix anything, anywhere, anytime, and she had to admit it was total girl porn.
How she longed to close the distance and study every inch of him more closely. Study, yes…
Perhaps touch
He paused to wipe his face with a rag, and she almost moaned at the increased deliciousness of him. If almost was the new word for loudly.
He looked up and stilled.
“Brook Lynn.” His sunglasses were light enough that she was able to watch his gaze travel over her slowly, leisurely.
Her body reacted as though physically caressed, tingling and aching in her most intimate places. Heat flash? Maybe. Probably.
“Good morning,” he said, his voice a husky rasp just as sexy as the rest of him.
“Morning.” She gulped and wiped her hands on the side of her wrinkled shorts. Don’t gawk at his chest. Certainly don’t glance lower. “My phone. My keys. Shoes.” Making words should not be this difficult. “Do you know where they are?” Better.
“Phone and keys are in the kitchen. Shoes are in your car.”
She must have been too focused on the noise—and then the food—to notice the phone and keys. “Well, then. Thank you. For everything,” she added, only to hesitate. “But, uh…I’m a little confused about why you didn’t just take Jessie Kay and me to our home.”
“Two reasons.” He set the hammer aside. “I didn’t have permission to enter your residence, and Jessie Kay had had too much to drink. She needed to be monitored, so…” He shrugged.
So he’d acted like the gentleman he’d once claimed he wasn’t. “Well, thank you. Again,” she said, and turned to retreat inside. Only then, with her gaze off him and a little distance between them, was she able to breathe.
How did he affect her so strongly? And how could she make it stop?
“You didn’t eat,” he said, coming in behind her.
Her eyes widened as she rounded on him, her breath hitching when she discovered he was close enough to touch. Close enough to press against, male hardness to female softness, if only she leaned forward the slightest…little…bit. No! Bad Brook Lynn! Bad!
Then his words hit her. “That feast is for me?”
His nod was slow, and his gaze hot on her, as if he’d sensed the direction of her thoughts. “Your sister, too.”
Needing no further encouragement, she sat at the table and dug in, soon caught up in a whirlwind of different tastes and textures, moaning with rapturous delight. Yes, she would have added a few other spices to take the flavor to a whole new level, but all in all the meal rocked her socks.
When she finished, she dabbed at her mouth with a napkin. Oh, now I’m ladylike? She looked up to find Jase had removed his sunglasses, but hadn’t pulled on a shirt…and he was staring at her as intently as she’d stared at him. It was disconcerting. Especially since his features were blank, and she couldn’t read him.
A blush burned her cheeks, and she cleared her throat. “Don’t judge me.” Or my new food baby.
He arched a brow. “Is that what I was doing?”
Surely. “Well.” She cleared her throat again. “Anyway. My compliments to the chef.”
“That would be Beck.”
Never would she have guessed the pretty boy had a skill that didn’t involve a mattress and a panting partner. “Did he train at the Institute of Divine Cuisine and Hellish Addiction?” Jessie Kay had often accused Brook Lynn of sneaking into classes.
“More like the Institute of That Was Fun, But Now It’s Time For You To Go.”
Nice. “You guys and your one-night stands,” she said, and rolled her eyes.
“Is that judgment I hear, angel?”
Angel? The endearment proved a thousand times more personal and tantalizing than “honey,” shocking her to the core. Of course, he’d meant nothing by it. She figured he probably used the words interchangeably with every female he encountered—even with her sister. But…
I’m still reeling.
“No judgment,” she said, and stood. “And now it’s time for me to jet.” Before I do or say something more stupid. “I’m late for work, so…this is goodbye.”
His gaze still locked on her, he stepped closer to her, too close for comfort. She should have backed up, if only out of a sense of propriety, but she remained in place. He crossed his arms over his massive chest, those green eyes heating, burning. A sign of…arousal?
The provocative scent of him filled the air between them; it was masculine, sultry and heady, and it fogged her thoughts. It must have. Why else would she have continued to gaze up at him instead of running away?
“Jase?”
“Brook Lynn.”
Her heart must have heard music her ears couldn’t pick up, because the treacherous organ whipped into a frenzied beat, perhaps even doing cartwheels. Her breaths began to come faster, and shallow. I’m panting. I’m freaking panting. She shifted from one side to the other. He took another step toward her, as if compelled, then another, the last whisper between them vanishing.
He’s the predator, and I’m the prey.

-------------------

And, last, but not least, in case you are interested, there is a Live Chat at RT Book Reviews coming on the April 9!


Happy reading!



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Review of Jacked by Tina Reber!

Time for another review of a good book!

Title: Jacked
Author: Tina Reber
Series: The Trent Brothers, book #1
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services Inc
Publishing date: 11th of December 2014
Pages: 563 pages
Genre: Adult: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Source: Purchased in amazon.com
My rating: 4/5


Summary:

We all have skeletons in our closets.

Doctor Erin Novak was only sixteen when she was accused of a crime she didn’t commit. Since that moment, she has made it her life goal to pursue emergency medicine, pouring her heart and soul into assuring another innocent life isn’t lost to the hands of the wicked.

We all have secrets we’ve never shared.

Detective Adam Trent has lost control of everything, starting with losing his partner to a punk with a gun and then everything else to the crushing guilt. Now a member of the elite Auto Theft Task Force in Philadelphia, it’s his job to be one step ahead of the criminals stealing expensive cars in the city. Too bad the television cameras keep getting in the way of his investigation.

We all have pasts that we can never escape.

A stolen car, a tragic chase, and a traffic stop crosses the fates of these two, tying them together in ways that are unimaginable. As their love and trust grows, so do the enemies that threaten their survival, testing the strength of their commitment. Can true love endure half-truths, past pains, and secrets never meant to be shared?

Some things are just out of our control.

My review:

Jacked by Tina Reber is a long book, more than 500 pages. With long books there is always a risk, that the book might lose readers attention. Luckily that wasn't a case with Jacked. It was well written and had solid characters with interesting stories and also a very good plot. There was a lot of suspense included into the story and it made the whole book gripping.

Plot:

The first chapters hooked me. The story starts intensively with lot of drama. The main character ER doctor Erin Novak is working when her uncle is brought to ER after a car accident in which his wife dies. Besides that, when driving home from the hospital, she is stopped by ATTF, she is cuffed and interrogated on the site and everything seems to be collapsing. During that, there is an accident on the road and she is brought back into broken bones and death. This is how she meets Adam Trent, who is detective in ATTF and a reality show star. Talking about catching the reader's interest, right?!

Adam and Erin meet again in ER when Adam needs stitches in his hand and suddenly Erin is involved in much more she bargained for. Dealing with the loss of her uncle and aunt, her past, her ex-boyfriend - all that makes it difficult for Erin to cope. When you add shootings and stolen cars into the story, then both Erin and Adam have a lot of their tables.

What did I like?

I loved pacing in this book. Since the book is very long, then the pacing was very important for me. The plot had to have some action and suspense and it did. It offered surprises and unforeseen twists.
I enjoyed the characters and the character development. 
I think the dialogues were well-written and they made me giggle and laugh, so there were humor in it!
I loved  that the supportive characters got also some room in the book. They were important for the story and added value to the main plot.

What did I dislike?
There was one things I didn't understand fully. I really liked the healthy sexual relationship and passion between Adam and Erin, but the bondage part of it seemed out of place. I understand how it made them being honest and talking to each other, but either there should have been more of it or it should be somehow better shown why it was necessary. It felt not justified. 

Characters:

Erin was my favorite character in this book. She was strong person and independent woman, who had worked hard to get where she was in her life. I liked even her small insecurities she had. She was giving and she also grew a lot together with Adam. Adam balanced her with his protectiveness and giving her "all in" kind of relationship. I liked how their relationship was developed throughout the story.

Overall:

Jacked is definitely a good book which holds romance, action,suspense and great characters!


Happy reading!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review of The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks!

Happy Saturday!

Time for another review of a great book! The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks is going to be shown on the big screen very soon, so I decided to read the book before going to the movies to see it.

Title: The Longest Ride
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Publishing
Imprint: Sphere Books
Publishing time: 17 September 2013
Genre: Adult: Romance, Literary Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 465 pages
Source: Purchased in amazon
My rating: 5/5

Summary: 

In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways.

Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.


My review:

It's incredibly good story! Nicholas Sparks has an amazing ability to entangle people's stories into a engrossing tale which grabs you from the first page until the words "The End". I truly enjoyed the descriptions of two different eras and couples and was curious to see, how they are connected to each other.

The story starts with an old man - Ira - having a car accident in a snowstorm. He survives it, but can't get out of the car, he is weakened and hurt by it, he doesn't have anything to eat or drink and can't get out of the car. He spends his time to think back, imagining his wife sitting next to him and having a long road on the memory lane with her, where they tell each other stories about their past during the Second World War and after that.

In the same time, a paralleled story folds: Sophia, an university student, is going to bull rodeo with her friends and meets a rodeo star Luke. They are very different, Luke has grown up on a ranch and Sophia is studying art. Besides that, there are secrets involved which makes their relationship complicated and challenges both of them. I loved them together, even though they aren't match made in heaven, they are very good to each other!

Both stories from different times are fascinating and heartbreaking and emotional and the characters are incredibly well written. I couldn't put the book away and read it almost in one sitting. It was compelling and had great twists and turns. I loved how the story ended. It's a lovely story!

Can't wait to see the movie, too! Here's the trailer.





Happy reading!



Review of Soaring by Kristen Ashley!


Happy Saturday!

Time for a book review!

Title: Soaring
Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: The Magdalena Series, book #2
Published by: Amazon Digital Services Inc
Publishing date: 15th of March 2015
Genre: Adult: Romance
Pages: 597
Source: Purchased in amazon.com

Summary: 

American heiress Amelia Hathaway needs to start anew. 

Her husband cheated on her, and when everything she wanted in life slipped through her fingers, she fell apart. When she did, she took another heart wrenching hit as she lost the respect of her children. 

When her ex took her family from California to live in the small town of Magdalene in Maine, Amelia decided it was time to sort herself out. In order to do that and win her children back, she moves to Cliff Blue, an architectural masterpiece on the rocky coast of Magdalene. 

Her boxes aren’t even unpacked when she meets Mickey Donovan, a man who lives across the street, a man so beautiful Amelia takes one look at Mickey and knows she wants everything from him. 

The problem is, she finds out swiftly that he’s friendly, he’s kind, but he doesn’t want everything back. 

Amelia struggles to right past wrongs in her life at the same time find out who she wants to be. She also struggles with her attraction to the handsome firefighter who lives across the street. 

But Amelia will face a surprise when her friendly neighbor becomes not-so-friendly. As Amelia and Mickey go head to head, Amelia must focus on winning back the hearts of her children. 

She soon discovers she also must focus on winning the heart of a handsome firefighter who understands down to his soul the beautiful heiress who lives across the street is used to a life he cannot provide.


My review:

Since the first book, I have read by Kristen Ashley, I have been in love with her books. When I saw, that Soaring is out, I got it for my Kindle right away and started reading. What a journey!

Amelia and Mickey's story was beautifully written. It was gripping, emotional and real. I love how the author is writing about people who are in their forties and shows, that the life can be as beautiful for them as when they were younger. I enjoy how she describes the relationships between people who already have kids. I think the way Kristen Ashley describes mature love, is adorable. It can be painful to find the trust again and amend with the past, but she has a great talent of making her stories and characters believable and real.

Amelia is a woman in her mid-forties who is coming to Magdalena to make up for the mistakes she has done in the past. It's a fresh start for her: new house, new people, new friends, new work. She is a heiress of companies worth of millions, but money is not what she needs. She has been humiliated, she has been cheated and the people whom she loved most have been taken away from her - her children. Even being hurt and broken way too many times, she finds a renewed determination to fix the wrongs.

When she meets her neighbor Mickey, she feels attracted to him, but her own situation makes things complicated. Mickey is a firefighter who is raising his children himself because his ex-wife has abandoned them due to alcoholism. Mickey has his own demons to fight, but they connect. Amelia likes his kids and spends some time with the Donovan family while trying to repair her relationship to her own children. Amelia doesn't think her relationship with Mickey will work out due to her past, but step by step they find their way to each other.

Besides the fact, that I enjoyed the plot a lot, I absolutely loved the characters. Amelia's and Mickey's children were adorable! The part of the story which involved the struggles of the children was simply fabulous! I don't know where the author takes this, but her ability to write teenagers and kids is amazing!

Read it, it's a great book about grown-ups getting second chances and changing their lives!


Happy reading!



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review: Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin

Hi all!

It's been months and I'm ashamed...




Author: Lex Martin
Title: Finding Dandelion
Release date: 9th of July 2014
Series: Dearest #2
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 330 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

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?

Review:

Warning! Slight spoilers!

I haven’t read the first book in the series, but having a secret and intense liking for specific amnesia stories (eg. boy and girl meet, fall in love, then one loses their memory and then one struggles to move on or win back their love, while the one without memories is blissfully and cruelly clueless), I simply had to get my hands on it, be it a second book in the series or not. Angst within amnesia plots is so painfully cheesy, overemotional and usually incredibly unnecessary, because there is always something insignificant, at least to the reader, that prevents the one without holes in their memory from revealing the truth and, in most cases, it’s because of the greater good or due to pointless selflessness. It all comes together like a bad soap opera and while annoying and making me roll my eyes, I cannot deny the glorious wonderful fluffy angst.

The situation isn’t really significantly different from my example scenario within this book, there is the boy and girl who experience an explosive attraction and get it on, only for the boy to hit his head after their sexy tryst and the next time they meet, the girl finds out that the boy is her roommates brother and apparently a huge ladies man, so naturally, it would be embarrassing to admit to her friends that she fell into the same trap as many others, and also, the boy doesn’t seem to remember her at all, thus she naturally assumes that she was so insignificant that he simply didn’t bother to recall her. And that would be the end for this lovestory if it only wouldn’t have been for the appalling driving skills of Jax aka the boy and him hitting Dani aka the girl with his fancy pancy BMW. He should have gotten a punch to the face for that and all the legal mess that comes with that by the way!

Apart from the overly used and cheesy amnesia plot, that I apparently love, I really liked the chemistry between the main couple. And I mean after they meet again and, due to guilt and to not be caught and thrown out of his soccer team, Jax takes her in and becomes her personal nurse. Their first meeting was undoubtedly hot, but I was more charmed by the time they spent living together, talking, having fun and simply becoming friends, friends that had the hots for each other, but sincere friends nonetheless. I enjoyed reading about them watch TV, of Jax taking care of Dani and her injured leg, them flirting, etc. They were cute and innocently romantic together. They built a steady and strong base for their blossoming relationship without it being dependant only on their attraction and only on the sexual aspect (although they had covered that part before, he simply wasn’t aware).

While I mostly liked Dani and Jax, each had gaping faults as well, especially our Romeo. The latter, despite his reasoning, past painful experiences and family issues, maybe I can’t say was a total ass, but he certainly didn’t act very rationally, nicely, honestly and considerate on many important occasions with his sister Clementine and especially with Dani. The biggest fail was him remembering his previously forgotten one night stand with Dani, which happened during the most awkward and inconvenient of moments mind you, and being and acting as he did after the revelation. That was a blow in the face for the girl, especially considering the issues and other heartache she had going on, and despite those being too much, slightly forces and unnecessary for the story, it did make grovel time for Jax more difficult and he had to work his butt, which unfortunately, I think he didn’t work as much as he should have.

Overall:

You cannot go wrong with amnesia and angst, so yes, I liked the story quite a bit despite its flaws.


4 stars!

LIIS

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