Sunday, 21 May 2017

All That I Am (Men of Monroe #1) by Rachel Brookes


A kickass home décor boutique – tick
A sassy mouth and absolutely no filter – tick
A wall so strong no man could ever tear it down - tick, tick, tick!

Or so I thought.

Until I meet Detective Ben Hunt, the owner of exquisite blue eyes, a god-like physique and a seductive smirk that makes me weak at the knees. He charges into my life like a force of nature. No matter how hard I try to keep the walls up around my heart, he’s made it his mission to shatter them. I have no chance of resisting him, but I would make sure I won this tug of war.

Which was what I wanted.

Right? When did the idea of losing myself to him start to sound so good?

I wish Ben was the only battle I faced. There’s a reason this small town needs a good detective. One way or another I’m going to have to brace for impact, because no wall I build can stop the new threat thundering toward Monroe.

After all, secrets only stay a secret for so long around here.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2017.

When Rachel Brookes first spoke of All That I Am over a year ago, the thought of midtown American filled with these alpha broody men had me intrigued, I mean was it based on a real place, could I visit there?? The Author often teased that ATIA would be different to her previous books, and for a fan of her earlier work, statements like that could be met with equal parts eager anticipation and trepidation. Change after all is good, but there's often a healthy sense of fear that you may not love what comes next. In Brookes' newest release she shows a growth that even I as a seasoned reader wasn't anticipating, there's certainly a deeper realisation of her characters, one that is sure to resonate deeply with old and new readers alike.

"The scariest part wasn't what he said. The scariest part was how it made me feel."

For a self confessed lover of Alpha Hero's Brookes certainly created the strong, brooding type to a tea, Ben Hunt comes across as gruff and demanding, hard edged and tightly controlled, he commands a certain air of authority that his career belies. Hunt is clearly not a man to be trifled with, as a decorated Detective he is clearly a shrewd operator, determined to undercover the worst of society and put them behind bars where they can't hurt anyone else.

"My heart screamed as his words penetrated. How could I love what he said but in the next breath want to erase every memory I had of him."

On the outset Sasha Hamilton is all sass and bravado, she's strong, determined and independent, she's had enough knock downs and set backs in her life to have learnt how to look after herself, she's been meticulous in surrounding herself with a small group of people she trusts, to those outside her circle Sasha is the girl about town, who's carefree and loving life, but on the inside she's still weathering the effects of one too many past hurts to fully trust anyone or let them in.

"Give me the keys to your heart, Sweetheart. You won't regret it. Let me get in there and start clearing out the hurt. I don't want to keep losing you."

When the hot headed Hunt and smart mouthed Sasha collide both of their lives shift, it's a battle of wills, where they need to be prepared to bend and break to have a chance at something permanent and real. Brookes' flexes ability to create the kind of angsty, suspense that romance readers love, with a sense of foreboding that overshadows so much of this story, I felt myself simultaneously wanting to read more and savour what I was sure to be short lived moments of peace. With a heady mix of impending fear, and heart swelling joy, All That I Am struck all the right notes for a book that felt almost impossible to put down. For fans of Kristen Ashley, lovers of dirty talking, raw and masculine absolute alpha males, of strong and fiery heroines who seem to come back swinging no matter how many times the world seems to knock them down, for fans of steamy romance with a side of edge of your seat suspense, and most importantly, for readers who want to be immersed so deeply in their books that they don't ever want to leave All That I Am is for you.

"Let me be the man who gives you the life a woman as incredible as you deserves."

About Rachel Brookes:

Rachel Brookes is from the east coast of Australia and writes angst ridden love stories with a pinch of craziness, a dash of drama, a cup of romance, and a bucketload of sexiness. With five novels currently published, she is constantly writing and getting ready to release her next hero and heroine into the world. An avid reader, Rachel can often be found with her kindle in her hand, and getting lost in a happily ever after. She has an unhealthy obsession with The Walking Dead, and social media, and loves hearing from readers.

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Mister Romance (Masters of Romance #1) by Leisa Rayven


Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough. Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret.

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.

Don’t miss this sizzling new standalone from the internationally best selling author of Bad Romeo, Broken Juliet, and Wicked Heart.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2017.

So here's the thing, I'm a sucker for certain tropes, childhood best friends, brothers best friend, enemies to lovers, and male escorts... it's with an almost giddy sense of anticipation that I find myself diving into these stories, add to that, the author has easily become an automatic 1click for me and you may be able to guess reaction to the idea alone of Mister Romance, I mean Leisa Rayven is the woman who created Ethan Holt and Cassie Taylor... and for those who have been following GPI for a while now, you'll no doubt remember my reaction the Starcrossed series, in truth, I still have that same reaction, it's part awed by the story and part far too emotionally invested in fictional characters to be classified as sane.

Now that you know my trope loves, let me add that the idea of opposite's attracting is another one of the things that makes me giddy, so combining Eden Tate, perhaps the worlds most cynical and anti love young woman, with Max, Mr Romance himself, who's goal is to create the most romantic of situations for his clients and you're almost guaranteed to make me just about beg for more.

Eden, is young, smart and sassy, she's knows all about failed relationships, and partners that split when things get hard. She's seen first hand the devastation a broken relationship can have on a person, let alone on a family. Despite those around her seemingly charmed by the notions of forever loves and happily ever afters, Eden is determined not to end up distraught after believing in something that isn't real, instead she's focusing on fixing her stalling career and finally busting out of the click bait nonsense articles her boss is forcing her to write. Eden is determined to become the savvy investigative journalist she's always dreamt of, when she stumbles on Mister Romance - a $5000 a date escort who is servicing the social elite and making romantic dreams come true, she might just have found the key to her professional success.

"Is that why I'm hesitating? Because on some level, I think this man, who's sitting there pretending to be another man, sees through the person I'm pretending to be."

Max AKA Mr Romance has created a lucrative career out of wining and dining rich women and fulfilling their romantic fantasies. He's not trading sexual acts, and all parties involved are consenting adults, so he's hardly doing anything wrong...right?? When Eden infiltrates his inner sanctum and threatens to expose not only his business but his wealthy clients, his only option is to issue a challenge he knows Eden won't be able to refuse.

"I'm trying to ignore how goddamn attracted I am to you."

I've been finding myself more and more drawn to the not quite slow burn books of late, where I once craved lots of sex and fast gratification in my books, I now find myself gravitating to that deliciously sexy chemistry that you only find in stories where the build is just as important if not more than the climax. I want that edge of my seat feeling, you know the one...where you're desperate to read more, to live and breathe the story, where you're so enamoured by the characters that you want to be them, know them, everything about the story draws you in and demands you pay attention, you're hungry for that first touch, first kiss, first everything...'s that heady feeling of need and desire and love and lust that tickles your senses that I crave, and within the first chapter I was feeling those initial stirrings pulsing through my blood, in a matter of pages I was so utterly invested that I was buzzing and on edge ready for everything Rayven was bound to throw at me. The more I read, the more intense my reaction, before I knew it I was desperate, the authors ability to convey emotion and elicit a response from the reader overwhelming.

"Their partners give them sex, but what they truly crave is for someone to see them. Value them. Love them. That's what Maxwell does."

The beauty of this story lies in not only Rayven's exquisite prose, but her snappy dialogue and sharp characterisation. Eden and Max leapt from the page, I craved their interactions as much they did, feeling rather than simply reading their conversations. Everything about Mister Romance flowed effortlessly from the page, creating a story that felt more film than book, making it utterly addictive leaving me entirely unable to put it down.

About Leisa Rayven:

Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn't long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that's because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she's honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and she is now the proud mother of numerous book babies, including BAD ROMEO, BROKEN JULIET, and WICKED HEART. (Macmillan New York)

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three judgmental cats, and a kangaroo named Howard. (*NB: Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.*)

Contact with Leisa on Facebook

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Game Ender (Game #4) by BJ Harvey


From USA Today bestselling author BJ Harvey comes the fourth and final book in the Game series and this time it's the reformed playboy and the single mom.


"You have chlamydia."

Three words no man wants to hear.

I've always been liberal with my appreciation of the female form, a firm believer in the 'try before you buy' principle, but living life to the fullest obviously didn't end well for me considering the unexpected—and very unwelcome—consequence of my free and easy past.

After living through the horrendous experience that was informing my recent sexual partners of my acquired 'condition,’ I made a vow to myself – and a bet with my best friend—that the next woman I sleep with will be the ‘one.’

What I will learn is that even when something happens and the games come to an end, there's always the chance of something—or someone—crashing in and changing everything.

So this is my story. It may start with a venereal disease, but I promise you, I’m determined to get my happy ending.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: April 2017.

There are several sayings when it comes to things coming to a should always go out with a bang, or save the best for last, after rereading the last book in the Game series I'm even more sure that Harvey heeded these old adages. As I sit here and reflect on the feelings Game Ender evoked, the sense of quiet contemplation, of heady excitement, that rush of love blossoming organically, slowly, the giddy feeling of seeing someone you already know for the very first time, of seeing the parts of them you previously missed and discovering them with wonder and excitement.

Thomas has always had a pretty liberal view when it comes to sex, as long as both parties are consenting adults who are enjoying themselves why not indulge, he'd thought his interactions were not only consensual, but safe, until obviously he wasn't, when Thomas discovers he had contracted an STI, he realises he needs to stop indulging in the one nights and start looking for the forever.

“I want the first time to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses. One that brands her, burns into her soul and ruins her for all future kisses from anyone but me.”  

Amy has always been self sufficient, when life throws obstacles in her path she finds a way to jump over it, or get around it, she refuses to cry poor me syndrome or wallow in self pity. When Amy finds herself with some unexpected news, like always, she charges onward.

As Thomas and Amy development an unlikely friendship, forged through shared experience, they begin to truly see each other for the first time, more than just passing physical attraction, these two start to truly understand what it means to experience that once in a lifetime bonds they see their friends living and begin to realise it could be possible for them to.

“Us girls have our moments of crazy, the measure of a man is how well he copes with them.”  

With the quintessential wit and sass that I've come to expect from Harvey, with sexy hijinks and hilariously funny moments, everything about Game Ender was a joy to read. What I truly enjoyed most about the final instalment in this series was how real this story felt, how despite it being a work of fiction there were moments that were raw and genuine and so darn real. This story felt more adult, having that sense of angst I crave from contemporary romance, without feeling too young or too much, their issues were age appropriate, their dilemma's expected and ultimately what resulted was a story that just felt good to immerse myself in and forget about my own troubles for a little while.

About BJ Harvey:

BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She also regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer and a funny romance thinker upper.

An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly but loving every minute of it. She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

THE PLAYER by K. Bromberg


Baseball has never been sexier in an all-new novel by New York Times Bestselling Author, K. Bromberg.

Easton Wylder is baseball royalty. The game is his life. His passion. His everything.

So, when an injury threatens to end Easton’s season early, the team calls in the renowned physical therapist, Doc Dalton, to oversee his recovery. Except it’s not Doc who greets Easton for his first session, but rather his daughter, Scout. She may be feisty, athletic, defiant, and gorgeous, but Easton is left questioning whether she has what it takes to help him.

Scout Dalton’s out to prove a female can handle the pressure of running the physical therapy regimen of an MLB club. And that proof comes in the form of getting phenom Easton Wylder back on the field. But getting him healthy means being hands-on.

And with a man as irresistible as Easton, being hands-on can only lead to one thing, trouble. Because the more she touches him, the more she wants him, and she can’t want him. Not when it’s her job to side in the club’s best interest if he’s ready to play.

But when sparks fly and fine lines are crossed, can they withstand the heat or is one of them bound to get burned?

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: April 2017.

Holy Moly... I do not know what I expected from Bromberg's latest release, but whatever it was the final product well and truly exceeded my expectations. From the outset The Player was intriguing, everything about Easton and Scout invited you to want more, from their resilience and strength individually, the their explosive chemistry together.

"There's something about Easton that makes me want when I shouldn't, need when I needn't, and desire when I know it'll be disastrous."

On the road to recovery after a shoulder injury the last person Easton wants to deal with is a pretty young thing pretending to have the skill required to help him heal and get him back to the game he loves. Easton is the epitome of a major league star, he's cocksure, sexy as hell, talented and has a considerable pedigree. After a shock accident on the field Easton has seen more time on the bench than ever before in his illustrious career. When he meets Scout Dalton he's ready to dismiss her like some many others before her, until she shows him that she's not to be messed with. Stuck between the pressure to succeed and live up to his famous father's reputation and trying to rediscover his passion for the game he once loved, Easton is desperate to get back on the field.

"I've had enough people in my life leave me, Easton. I'm not walking willingly into a situation that sets me up for that hurt."

Scout knows all about pressure, about wanting to measure up to her famous father. As the daughter of arguably one of the best sports physiotherapists in the league, Scout has big shoes to fill. When she is given the opportunity to work with Easton she knows it's her shot for a permanent role with the Aces, a coveted role that would fulfil her fathers' only unchecked professional bucket list. Filled with secrets she's desperate to keep hidden, Scout has one mission, to rehab Easton and prove her skill to the powers that be.

"Sympathy will break me, when I can't break."

The Player is arguably one of my favourite titles by Bromberg, filled to the brim with intense chemistry, stormy angst and a story that has you utterly invested from only moments in, there was everything I look for in my next favourite book. While I'm a sucker for anything written by this author, The Player had that something special that's hard to replicate, it has that unquantifiable thing that makes reading so enjoyable, that enviable connection between story and reader that makes it impossible to put down. I wanted more, no... I needed more and because of that I finished in one sitting, bleary eyed, heart racing, utterly spent. Some books leave you feeling sated, some leave you grateful for the journey, Bromberg's ability to weave a tale so eloquently left me desperately wanting more.

"The worst part about telling yourself lies is you know the real truth."

About K. Bromberg:

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released June 29th), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales:

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dear Life by Meghan Quinn


Four lives. Four stories. Four sets of letters. Four brave souls in need of guidance while facing life's greatest challenges.

The anonymously published Dear Life program is designed to help them step outside of their comfort zones, face their obstacles, and relinquish their demons...and prove their existence.

With their lives teetering between wanting more and losing it all, all four souls dive into the program as a New Year’s resolution, sending them on a crazy, life-altering journey.

Dear Life,

Please be kind.

Yours truly, Hollyn, Jace, Daisy, and Carter.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: March 2017.

“It’s easy to observe when you sit back and listen, if you truly listen to someone rather than preparing to respond to what they’re saying."

Hollyn, Jace, Carter and Daisy each have endured traumatic events, leading them to take part in the Dear Life Program hoping to find ways to move on from what haunts them, each are faced with challenges and set backs as they embark on their journey forward, originally I intended to tell you all about Dear Life, about the story Ms Quinn crafted, about the ways it moved me to tears, the ways it challenged me, and yet in the months that followed reading it I'm still no closer to getting those words down, I'm still a mass of emotions. What I can instead tell you is what I took from this book, the message that is engrained in my mind, scored on my heart, the mantra I chant over and over... PROVE YOUR EXISTENCE... instead of using my review as a protective shield, my armour against the world, I want to be open, raw and without filter, I want to challenge myself to live my truth and share what I still feel months later. Thank you Ms Quinn for challenging me, for urging me to do better, to be better, to prove my existence.

“Prove your existence. That’s your new motto to live by. What did you do today to prove your existence, what are you doing tomorrow to prove your existence in this world?”  

Dear Life,

We've had a rocky journey at times haven't we? You've tested me, pushed me, challenged me, you've made me question myself more times than I'd like to admit, to be honest you have made me feel worthless, your trials and tribulations have seen me deflated and crying on the floor unable to see past my grief and heartache as my body failed me time and time again.

Your constant attacks saw me battle eating disorders, anxiety attacks, depression and attempts on my life, you've also shown me soul awakening joy, sheer beauty and splendour. You've put people in my path that have left footprints on my heart and changed my very being. You've thrown me curve balls that pushed me to do better, to be better, to test my fortitude and my strength. You've made me ask myself time after time AM I ENOUGH? Your attacks on my health and body have made me question my worth as a woman, as a person, as someone who always believed themselves to be a good person.

Life, you're a tricky b*tch, you're sneaky, you know for every down there must also be an up, you have shown me sadness so that I can know joy. You have shown me anger so that I can know calm. You have shown me loss so that I can know appreciation. But mostly, you have continued to give me life, despite my taking you for granted.


About Meghan Quinn:

When I was in high school I occasionally read books but was consumed by other teenage things so I didn't take the time to appreciate a good book on a cloudy day, wrapped up in a blanket on the couch. It wasn't until I received a Kindle for Christmas one year that my world completely flipped upside down. When looking for books I came across the Contemporary Romance genre and was sold and I haven't turned back since.

You can either find my head buried in my Kindle, listening to inspiring heart ripping music or typing away on the computer twisting and turning the lives of my characters while driving my readers crazy with anticipation.

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