Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: The Next Flame by Penelope Douglas

The Next Flame (Fall Away #4 and #4.5)
By Penelope Douglas 
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Publisher
Next to Never 
Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn Caruthers has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood still holds her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man, and knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.

But years ago, Lucas left town and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore. 

Until a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn her world upside down. She’s never asked about the path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start. 

As she starts to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.

Aflame 
Tatum Brandt finally has everything she wants. Acceptance to medical school, a circle of friends she would never replace, and contentment that every day is now hers.

All through high school, Jared Trent called the shots. He decided if she would be happy or sad, fearful or free. He owned her heart, and he played with it like one of his cars. 

Never again.

Two years ago, Jared left town, and Tate’s life is exactly where she wants it to be. Or that’s what she tells herself…

Because two years ago, her heart also stopped beating, and no matter the success in school or the support of her friends, there’s only one time every week she can feel that same rush in her blood. Friday nights on the track. 

That’s hers, not his, and to hell with anyone that gets in her way again.

Especially him.

*Please note: The Next Flame is not a new story. It is Aflame and Next to Never together in one book. For those readers who desired paperbacks of Aflame to complete their collections, this is it. 

**Also Note: Next to Never is not Quinn's story. That will be a full length novel eventually. This is simply a novella to catch up with all the characters and give a lead-in to the coming spin-off series.


MY BABIES. Tate and Jared are definitely my favorite couple of the Fall Away series and they hold a special place in my heart. The fact that Jared LEAVES and comes back after TWO YEARS to win Tate back had me freaking out. Why couldn't my babies have just been happy? 

This book holds two novellas in the Fall Away series, but since I have read Next to Never separately and already reviewed that story, I am only going to be talking about Aflame, the first story in this book. Aflame is over 260 pages, so we basically get another novel about Jared and Tate. While the two have been happy and madly in love, Jared feels like he still doesn't know who he is or who he can be in this world. He decides to leave Tate to go figure that out, but that leaves Tate heartbroken. Four years after the end of Bully, Tate has to decide if she'll let her bully win her heart-- the very heart he's broken time and again. 

SO MANY EMOTIONS. I was so shocked when I picked this up and realized that Tate and Jared broke up. WHYYYYYYY. But, OMG, this is like Bully all over again and I gobbled up every second of it. Tate is such a strong character, so of course she doesn't just open her arms to Jared when he returns two years after breaking her heart. I loved how Tate held her own and tried to not show how much Jared was affecting her; Jared had to work to earn her back. 

As always, I loved the banter and play between Jared and Tate. There is undeniable, hot chemistry between the two and I loved how it got harder and harder for Tate to resist Jared. Nothing can compare to the heat between them. We also got to see the other couples from the series and how their relationships had progressed in two years. This book only reinforced my love of the Fall Away series and has me dying for even more from them. Does it have to be over??!!? 

If you love the Fall Away series, then this is a must read for you. If you haven't read this series, YOU HAVE TO. This series is one of my favorite series of all time and Penelope Douglas is definitely one of my favorite authors. These books are full of angst and force you to love these broken characters and hold them close to your heart through the thick and thin.




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (181)

 

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

The Foxe and the Hound
By RS Grey
Release Date: June 1, 2017
When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more. 

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.


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

I am the biggest RS Grey fan, so I always freak out when she has a new release. AND THIS IS ABOUT A VET. I have two dogs, so I love books that have to do with people who have pets or work with pets. And Dr. Adam Foxe sounds so yummy! This book seems like a fun play on the whole pretend BF/GF trope and I am so excited. RS Grey writes such good romantic comedies and this one sounds like it won't disappoint! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Real Sexy by Meghan March

   
Real Sexy AMAZON

In Nashville, country stars are a dime a dozen.

I swore I’d never get caught up with one, but Boone Thrasher made a liar out of me.


I said I’d never put my heart on the line, but he didn’t ask before he stole it.


Now we’re facing my worst fears, and we'll see if this country boy is tough enough to see it through.


Girls like me don’t get happily ever afters… but maybe he’ll prove that wrong too.


   



    Real Dirty AMAZON

I have everything a guy could want—a new single burning up the charts, more money than a simple country boy could spend, and a woman I’m planning to marry. Until she doesn’t show up for my proposal. The life I thought was so perfect, isn’t. The guy who thought he had everything, doesn’t. I’ve got my heart on lockdown, but life sends me straight into the path of a mouthy bartender who puts me in my place. Now the only place I want to put her is under me. I thought I was done with love, but maybe I’m just getting started. 

  Amazon | iBooks | BN | Kobo | Google Play


About the Author

meghanmarchpic
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She's also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she's ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review: More Than This by Jay McLean

More Than This (More Than #1)
By Jay McLean
Release Date: July 10, 2013
Source: Amazon
When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone.

Jake, a handsome boy she just met, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on this near stranger and his family, and he in turn is determined to take care of her. But Mikayla—thrust into adulthood with no one to guide her—is desperate to contain her grief and hide what she considers to be her weakness. Mikayla and Jake both want more, but despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, she tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone and safe or letting love in.
 



I have heard so many amazing things about this book, so I was definitely excited to read it. While the story started off super strong and emotional, it quickly went down hill and I quickly lost interest in the characters and their story. 

Mikayla's prom night was supposed to be perfect. She should have had the perfect night with her loving boyfriend, but a betrayal and tragedy fall upon Mikayla and she finds herself broken and alone. Jake is the only one Mikayla can turn to, even though they just met and know nothing about one another. Jake and his family take Mikayla in without question in a time where Mikayla finds herself growing up much to quickly. Mikayla and Jake have an undeniable question, but Mikayla needs to figure out who she is first before giving her heart to someone again. 

Like I said, this book started off with some intense emotions and I was feeling it with each tragedy that was thrown at Mikayla. Once the book progressed, though, I quickly found myself becoming annoyed with Mikayla and Jake and their relationship. This was a case of extreme possessiveness and I was not a fan. Every person who even looked at either Jake or Mikayla caused the other to become extremely jealous and angry. I'm not a fan of excessive possessiveness and jealousy, so I got tired of that right away. 

Another part of MIkayla and Jake's relationship that I couldn't stand was their physical relationship. Mikayla couldn't feel like she could give herself fully to Jake, so they never kissed. Sure, they did other stuff, but kissing was a big no. I felt like Mikayla's need to "find herself" came out of the blue, especially since it seemed like she got over the huge tragedy at the beginning very quickly. They go off to college together and Jake conveniently has a house and it's no question that they would live together. There were no real rules in either of their lives, so Mikayla and Jake got away with so much, even when they were both living together before college in Jake's house. With his parents. So that was definitely not realistic to me. 

Overall, this was a huge miss for me. If it weren't for the strong beginning, this would have been a two star read for me. I could not connect with the relationship or either one of the main characters. The relationship was annoying and unhealthy, and Mikayla was not at all relatable to me. While other people like possessiveness and constant back-and-forth in books, I just wasn't a fan.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review: Before I Ever Met You by Karina Halle

Before I Ever Met You
By Karina Halle
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Source: Publisher
I first met William McAlister when I was just a teenager.

He was handsome, had a beautiful wife and was on the verge of success, having just joined my father as his business partner. Mr. McAlister was full of smooth charm, but back then he was barely a blip on my radar. Just a family friend.

Fast forward ten years: I’m 25 years old and a single mom trying to make things right for her seven-year old son. I’ve made some mistakes, grappled with my demons and now I’m back in the city of Vancouver, getting a second chance at a better life.

I’ve started by working for my father’s production company as an executive assistant. My first day on the job and I already know I could have a promising career there.
That is until I see Will McAlister for the first time in a decade.

Now recently divorced and as sophisticated as always, Will has gone from being my father’s friend and business partner to something so much more.

We’re both older, for one thing, and he just oozes this worldly confidence and stark sexuality. Combined with his tall, muscular build and sharp suits, strong jaw and bedroom eyes, Will has turned into one hell of a distraction.

A distraction I’m having a hard time staying away from, considering his office is right across from my desk and I work with him in such close proximity.

But it’s just a harmless crush, right?

It’s just an innocent fantasy of screwing him on his desk, right?

It can’t ever be more because he’s my father’s best friend, business partner, and my boss.

Right?

Wrong.


Karina Halle has been cranking out the books lately and I feel like I have a new one on my kindle every month. I fell in love with this cover as soon as I saw it and I couldn't wait to get into it!

Jackie is a 25-year-old single mom and wants to prove that she can handle herself. She will give anything to give her son a good life, though, which means moving back home and taking a job as an assistant at her father's production company. Jackie first met Will when she was very young, but now that she's a grown woman, she is seeing Will in a whole new light. At 41, Will did not expect to be divorced and living alone with his two rescued dogs. The moment he sees Jackie, who has just been hired as his new assistant, he can't ignore the desire he feels. Will and Jackie know that something between them could never happen, but their attraction builds the more they spend together until it becomes too powerful to ignore. 

While I'm not normally a huge fan of books with a big age difference, I wasn't too bothered by how much older Will was than Jackie in this book. I loved how awkward they both felt about their feelings for each other and that the age difference wasn't ignore. What did bother me, though, was how insta-lovey their relationship felt. They had an immediate attraction to one another, but I felt like that attraction turned into real, serious feelings a little too quickly. 

I did think that Jackie's son was super cute and I loved how well he got along with Will, but I kind of wanted more of him. As much as Jackie talked about loving her son, she left him home a lot with her mom so she could spend more time with Will later on in the book. Ty was involved quite a bit, but I wanted more of her son and a more realistic single mom character. 

Overall, this wasn't a bad read but the relationship did progress a little too quickly. I really actually enjoyed the age difference and how it was addressed instead of just ignored like a lot of other books do. This is definitely a lighter read, but still with some more serious themes, that you will fly through, so if you're a fan of Karina Halle and want a lighter romance, you should give it a try!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (244)

 

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what books they got throughout the week!

From Publisher

I got four books from different publishers this week and they all look so good! I freaked out when I opened up the ARC of When I Need You by Lorelei James. I had no idea I was getting an early copy and I love that series, so I can't wait to dive in to the upcoming release! I got a finished copy of Words in Deep Blue and it's absolutely gorgeous. The other two look like great reads with gorgeous covers and I can't wait to read them! 


That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this week? 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review: God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

God-Shaped Hole
By Tiffanie DeBartolo
Original Release Date: May 1, 2002
Rerelease Date: May 16, 2017
Source: Publisher
If your intentions are pure
I am seeking a friend
For the end of the world
 


When Beatrice Jordan meets the unpredictable Jacob Grace, the two wild souls become instant allies. Together they discover an escape in each other's creativity and insecurities, while running from secrets they cannot seem to shake - or a fate that could throw them to the ground...

This 15th Anniversary reissue of Tiffanie DeBartolo's classic love story introduces a new audience of dreamers to a quintessentially real and raw vision of spirit, and inspires everyone to live -- and love -- as vividly as possible.


I've got to say, I had never even heard of this book before Sourcebooks approached me about reviewing a copy. With such rave and glowing reviews, I was definitely intrigued and couldn't resist accepting a copy to review! 

From the moment Beatrice Jordan meets Jacob Grace, their lives explode into a passionate, lyrical love story. They go on a whirlwind journey where they discover how to live and love and accept some truths they had been denying their whole lives. 

To say I had high expectations going into this book would be an understatement. I was ready to be blown away. When I actually got to reading the story, it was just…okay. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it or anything, but it felt like an average story to me. Even though it was average, there was something about it that wouldn't let me go and I had to keep reading. Jacob and Beatrice are two characters that are so unique and while they fell in love very quickly, it didn't feel insta-lovey to me. I really liked seeing them grow as characters and how, even though they fully loved each other, their relationship still had its rocky parts. 

While I was reading this book, the story flew by. While it was just an average read throughout the story, that ending was so emotional and definitely bumped this up to a four star read for me. I kind of saw the ending coming, but it was still hard to watch it happen and to see what would happen to our characters. And even though this book was written in 2002, it definitely felt like it was happening today in 2017. I loved that aspect about this book and how raw the characters' emotions were. The relationship depicted in this book is one that will be relevant and relatable for years to come. 

This definitely wasn't the most amazing, life changing book I have ever read, but it still was an emotional book that I couldn't stop reading. While I wasn't amazed by the story, there was just something about it that kept me reading until I finally saw how Beatrice and Jacob would end up.




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