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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Fortunate Ones by R.S. Grey



Blurb:

At Twin Oaks Country Club, there are the fortunate ones, and then there are the rest of us: the waiters, the caddies, the valets, and in my case, the cabana girls. Most days, I’m poolside in a pleated skirt, dishing out margaritas to tycoons and titans. It’s not exactly my dream job, but it does come with one perk…

James Ashwood.

He’s my silver lining in a custom black suit.

Besides being a legacy member at the club, he’s a tech mogul and Austin’s most eligible bachelor. Oh, and those dimples? Yeah, they make my stomach dip too.

On good days, I catch his sleek Porsche winding down the tree-lined drive. On better days, I steal a glimpse of his handsome profile as we pass in the hall. And on the absolute best day, I find him alone at the bar, looking for company.

“Come have a seat.”

Those four little words set me down a path I never could have imagined. Private planes, penthouse suites, and temptations around every corner make it impossible to keep my distance. His world feels decadent and wild—but overindulgence comes with a cost. Every kiss comes with strings. Every erotic encounter is a promise I’m not ready to keep.

When I pump the brakes, he hits the gas. James doesn’t want to go slow—he wants a commitment.

And the thing about the fortunate ones?

They’re used to getting what they want.

Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2z1g2kp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2xF88f6
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2hpzrUB
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2zTF44d

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: October 2017.

Oh gosh... I've just endured a .... well let's just say an unpleasant day at work, it was long and tedious and headache inducing and yet I still have a smile on my face, I'm physically drained but my heart is still soaring, and I have R.S. Grey to thank for that. 

In true Grey style The Fortunate Ones was sassy and sexy and laugh out loud funny, but even more than that there was a synchronicity to her words that made this story absolutely impossible to put down, in fact I don't remember the last time I stayed up all night reading, that feeling of complete and utter FOMO if I dare putting my kindle down for long enough to rest my eyes, and yet last night as the clock struck one (don't judge me I get up early and can't read all night like I used to) I was still lying on my side devouring Grey's exquisite prose as they wrapped themselves around my heart like a warm embrace, as I turned the last page, my soul filled with joy and smile on my face I slept a soft dreamless sleep, still thinking of James and Brooke.

"Some people carve their initials so deeply into your heart, they’ll always be a part of you."

Brooke Davenport had big plans at school and college, and for a few years those dreams came to a bright, beautiful fruition, living and travelling abroad while working as an Au pair life seemed almost perfect, but when her perfect job came to an abrupt end Brooke found herself back in Austin, and virgin daiquiris to precocious preteens. This is certainly isn't the job or life she had planned for herself, but it pays the bills and contributes to her savings account that will one day take her around the world again when she lands her next Au pairing role.

James Ashwood is the talk of Austin, he's a tech genius, devastatingly handsome and a legacy member of Twin Oaks, from afar he could be the cool and aloof billionaire some say he is, or just maybe he's a man in his thirties who's looking for something real and genuine away from the world of hangers on and followers.

Before you think this is a tale of poor little cabana girl who gets saved by the big bad James Ashcroft, you're way off.... like wayyyyy off. Forget all the regular tropes because The Fortunate Ones was so much more than a coming on age for a twenty something young woman, or a billionaire hero or anything else you've ever read, this was fresh and fun and full of chemistry that leapt off the page.

"That's great. I want those things for you too, but I want to be honest about what I want. I'm sick of serial dating, sick of living out of an empty house I don't want to come home to at the end of the day."

Gahhhh I'm trying to relay every moment I loved without giving away too much,  I could wax lyrical about every moment that had me laughing out loud, swooing or clutching my heart. I could shout praise at Grey for absolutely captivating me from the first page until the very last line, I have been a long time fan of her work, several of her titles have earned their places of my favourites lists, The Fortunate Ones is certainly no different, in fact it's easily earned its place alongside my very favourite books of 2017 and my Top Reads of all time.




About R.S. Grey:


Rachel is a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, metaphors and similes, black labs, and cold weather.

Connect with Rachel on Facebook





Thursday, 26 October 2017

CUFFED (Everyday Heroes #1) by K. Bromberg






Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes a new series about three brothers, the job that calls them, and the women who challenge them.

“I hate you. I never want to see you again.”

Grant Malone is not the reason I moved back to Sunnyville—at least that’s what I tell myself. Yet, those parting words I said to him back in third grade, ring in my ears every time a townsperson brings up one of the Malone boys. I thought time had healed my wounds. I was wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I finally saw him again.

Twenty years does a lot to turn a boy into a man. One who hits all my buttons—sexy, funny, attractive, and a police officer. But Grant is off limits because he knows too much about my past.

But I’m drawn to him. That damn uniform of his doesn’t hurt either. It’ll be my downfall. I know it.

What’s one night of sex going to hurt . . . right?

***

I’ve always loved Emmy Reeves.

That’s why I’m shocked to see her all these years later. The shy girl I once knew is all grown up.

Adventurous and full of life, she owns my heart now, just as much as she did back then. Convincing her of that is a whole different story.

I’ll give her the one night she asks for—like that’s a hardship—but when it comes to letting her walk away after, she has another thing coming. There’s no way in hell I’m letting her go this time without a fight.

Find on Goodreads



Purchase Links:



Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: October 2017


I am adrift in a sea of emotion, I feel as though I'm struggling to find words to do this story justice despite how many rereads of passages and quiet moments of contemplation I've had since picking up Cuffed for the first time. In true Bromberg style, this story tested me, there were moments where I teetered over the edge of a snicker right into a loud boisterous guffaw, and in the next moment I sat stunned with tears streaming down my cheeks, heart breaking. I went into Cuffed absolutely blind, with that hot cover I expected light and sexy, but the thing about Bromberg's books is that while they may be laugh out loud funny at times, and absolutely bursting at the seems with sizzingly sexy escapades there is *always* so much damn heart and soul that her words change you, they implode and set your world on fire, in a dazzling technicolour display that simultaneously shatters your heart and gently pieces it back together. 


"She’s sunshine with a little bit of hurricane thrown in, and I’m willingly walking straight into her storm with nothing more than the clothes on my back."

Grant Malone was once upon a time a little boy who would take on the world to protect his best friend, the years have passed and little Grant is now a man but who he is hasn't changed, Grant now spends his days trying to keep his community safe, as a police officer with a predetermined hero complex and father who once protected and served there was never going to be another choice for Grant.

Emerson Reeves was once the little girl with the big eyes who loved her best friend Grant, but Emmy had secrets, secrets that break and shatter and when her world exploded she turned her back on everything she had known. Emerson is back for the first time in twenty years and she's fiery and independent and she's definitely not a little girl in need of saving anymore.


"You’re used to calling the shots and being in control. News flash, I don’t budge when I’m pushed and no one controls what I do."

As Grant and Emmy collide and memories of a past one wants to remember and the other wants to forget rise to the surface, only the strongest will survive the fall out that remains. With rich characterisation and a story that had the ability to absolutely decimate me one moment and leave me joyous the next I found myself putting Cuffed down several times to revel in the sheer unrelenting beauty of Bromberg's words and shroud myself in her raw and jagged imagery. Bromberg has never shied away from tackling heavy or sensitive topics, in fact it was her ability to do so with sensitivity and grace that cemented me a long time fan of her work, but even with that I was unprepared for the effect this story would have on me, how much this book would make me feel.

"We forget the memories and just chase the moments."
Years ago I would of read Cuffed and handled the heavy subject matter in the abstract, because while I knew of it happening, my world was untouched. Now, well now however I know differently, and my heart shattered over and over again reading this story, because it hit too close to home, and like Grant I know with certainty that I can't save everyone, I can't take away someone's hurts, nor can I erase their memories. Therein lie the beauty of Cuffed, in the subtle message of Bromberg's words, words that shake even the strongest resolves and leave you knowing with absolute certainty that the greatest gift we can give someone is support, that they are already the hero of their story and don't need saving, that sometimes love is found in the darkest of places. It only thrives once it hits the light.

"This hurt doesn't take away my pain, only being strong will. I am in control of me. I will survive despite it. I am loved regardless of it." 





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, Kristy has sold over one million copies of her books across sixteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by Passionflix with the first movie slated to release in the summer of 2018.

She recently released a two book, sports romance series, The Player and The Catch. Cuffed is the first book in her new Everyday Heroes trilogy. This three-book series will be about three brothers who are emergency responders, the jobs that call to them, and the women who challenge them. The remaining standalones in the series are Combust (January 29th) and Cockpit (Spring 2018).

Connect with Kristy on Facebook




Saturday, 7 October 2017

Bountiful (True North #4) by Sarina Bowen



Mark your calendars - October 20th...It's apple picking season. It's also time for a brand new True North story. Bountiful is Zara's story. Remember Zara? She is Griff's ex, and the bartender at The Mountain Goat. She has a cute little baby daughter, and hasn't told a soul who the father is. More about Bountiful...

Blurb:

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Hockey star Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

Pre-order at Amazon US | iBooks | Kobo | Nook  


Excerpt:

“Last call,” she said to me as she wiped down the bar. “Can I get you anything else?”
“Not unless you’ll let me buy you a drink. Seems like you might need to unwind after that last bit of bullshit.”
She gave me a wry smile. “You’re sweet to ask. But I can’t accept. Company policy.”
“Uh-huh.” I took out my wallet and put a fifty on the bar. “First of all, I’m not sweet.”
Her eyes widened a little when I said that. Now I had her attention.
“And secondly, company policy my ass. It’s you who calls the shots in this place. Nobody else but you. I can see why you need a handy excuse, though. If you couldn’t pull the ‘company policy’ out of your pocket sometimes, the men would be buying the sexy bartender drinks left and right all night long, I bet. You’d never get a moment’s peace.”
A smile stole across her features. “Yeah, sure. I have to keep a stick back here behind the bar just to beat back all the men.”
“You don’t need that stick, gorgeous, because you give ’em the evil eye and they run off, knowing they’re not man enough for you. But every guy who drinks in this bar has the secret, fervent wish that fortune would smile down on him just long enough for him to earn an hour of your undivided attention.”
Zara rolled her dark eyes, but a telltale blush splashed her cheekbones. “You know how to lay it on thick.”
“No need.” I shook my head. “Just telling you how it is. Now I think you should do a shot with me, and we’ll toast your unapproachability.”
She laughed, and her eyes lit up for the first time tonight. “You are smooth, mister. I’m almost tempted.”
“Almost? Damn.”
She smiled. “There aren’t any taxis out here in the woods, and I’ve been pouring your beers all night. If you do a shot with me, it won’t be safe to drive away from here. And it’s quitting time.”
“Well. Now that you mention it…” I reached across the bar and laid a hand very gently over her smooth one. Our gazes collided as I stroked my thumb across the back of her hand. “Driving after doing shots with you wouldn’t be such a great plan. I’d have to stick around for a couple hours until it wears off.”
Zara waited a beat before retrieving her hand from beneath mine. “I see.”
“Do you?” I put both elbows on the bar and leaned forward. She was trying to play it cool, but my not-so-subtle message was getting through. I saw the blush beginning to creep across those fine cheekbones. She and I had chemistry, damn it. We’d been eye-fucking each other all night. “Look. I think you had a stressful evening. And I’m really good at stress relief. Like, pro level.”
She braced both hands on the bar and smiled at me. “Are you always this forward?”
“Nope.” I shook my head. “Some women can’t handle the truth. But I’ve watched you run this place. You’re in charge of everything that happens inside these walls, and I’ll bet that gets old. I’m thinking you might like to hand over the reins once in a while. Let someone else take charge. Tonight that someone is gonna be me...”



Friday, 6 October 2017

PUCK LOVE by Carmen Jenner


Blurb:

Stella Hart is the hottest thing in country music. For ten years, she’s been Nashville’s darling. She’s pure, sweet, and a positive role model in an industry rife with scandals, sex, and sequins. Men want to own her, women want to be her—everyone wants a piece of her, and Stella? Well, she wants out.

As the center for the Calgary Crushers, Van Ross isn’t afraid of the spotlight, but he doesn’t much like it either. Despite his reputation as a player, the NHL’s bad boy lives for only two things: the game, and his younger brother. That’s why when he comes across a country music superstar seeking refuge at his home in the Canadian Rockies, he’s not too happy with the media sh*tstorm this surprise houseguest brings.

With a nationwide manhunt, paparazzi dogging their every move, producers of a reality TV show baying for blood, and a record label desperate to see their “good girl” returned safely home, Van and Stella’s lives are snowballing out of control.
While Van would like nothing more than to show the purest of them all how well he handles his er ... stick, Stella is no puck bunny. Nor is she as innocent as she’d have the world believe.

With chemistry like theirs, tension runs high on and off the ice, but the end game is the same for both players: line up the puck, take the shot, and score. If only their hearts understood the play.

Puck fame and fortune.
Puck right and wrong.
Puck love.

Find it on Goodreads


Purchase Links:



Kristine's Review:
Review: October 2017.

When news of Puck Love hit the interwebs I was instantly intrigued, I mean talk of a book from Carmen Jenner without death and destruction... without rape or torture... a book that's fun and light and won't make me shriek or cry.... GET OUT OF TOWN....I knew I *needed* this book like I needed my next breath. It's not secret I've been on a happy book binge of late, give me happy and laugh out loud funny and I'll be all over it like ...well myself at a Tieks sale.

Stella Hart is the undisputed GOOD GIRL of the Country music scene, she's loved by little girls, teenage boys and parents alike, the World is her stage and she *seems* like she's got everything figured out. Unfortunately for Stella, she's just barely holding on. Suffering from crippling anxiety, each SOLD OUT show on her Tour seems harder to get ready for, each night the voices and fears getting louder and louder and harder to hide away. 

When Stella finally has had enough and makes a break for it, hilarity ensues, and for maybe the first time in a long time she can breathe without feeling like drowning. I remember listening people talking about anxiety years ago and not really getting it. I mean sure panic attacks seemed legitimate enough, but it was still in the abstract, I mean surely anxiety couldn't possibly be *that* bad. Funny isn't it, that earlier this year I found myself huddled in the corner of my bedroom mid panic attack trying to remind myself how to breathe with tears running down my face, so anxious over an upcoming signing that the thought of not packing the right clothes left me a bleary eyed mess. As I read the opening chapters of Puck Love I FINALLY *got* it, I understood Stella in my bones, I understood inherently why running was the ONLY option she could live with, I felt a soul deep connection to Jenner's words, it was the most holy of UH HAAAA moments, in the most unlikely of places.

"You wanna try on your own?"
"No, don't let go."
"You looking for an excuse to hold my hand, country?"
"No, I'm afraid of falling."
"But that's the best part." He grins, squeezes my hand tighter, and I have a feeling he's right. 

While I may have had a earth shattering connection to Puck Love in the opening chapters what followed was a fun filled adventure as Van the BADBOY of Ice Hockey crosses paths with Stella the enteral GOODGIRL of country music, and boy did Stella give him a run for his money. Van The Man, strong and stoic, the man who wants nothing more than to flatten anyone who gets in his way on the ice, and keep his life off the ice private. From the outside Van looks like the typical sports star, but beneath the bravado and icy glare - he's a man who's ready for something real away from the ice. And Stella, well Stella has wanted real for as long as she can remember and for the first time in a long time, she might have found someone who will give that to her.

Jenner keeps us enthralled with her trademark blend of snarky banter and tantalising sexual chemistry, but where she truly flexes her muscles is delivering a story that doesn't rely on emotion and angst to deliver something thrilling, from a quirky beginning that had me genuinely invested to a story about two people who as poster children for the lifestyle's of the rich and famous shouldn't be entirely relatable but inherently made Puck Love a book that was not only easy to devour but to love, leaving this reader smiling long after she turned the last page. 








About Carmen Jenner:


Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA Today and international bestselling author.

Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU, 2015.

A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore makeup addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.

A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?








Sunday, 1 October 2017

Logan (Preston Punks #2) by Jay McLean



Blurb:

As a kid, Logan Preston was a brat.
Through his teens, he became the bad boy.
Now, at nineteen, no one knows what the hell to expect.

High school dropout, Logan Preston is a
good-for-nothing stoner.
A black sheep.
A disappointment.
The worst Preston Punk of the lot.
At least that’s how everyone in his small town
makes him feel.
But Logan Preston has secrets.
Secrets so dark and so deep below the surface that the only way he can fight them is to stay high, high, high.
He wears cockiness as a mask.
Arrogance as his armor.
Until one girl, one night, asks one life-changing question:
What's beneath the bravado, Logan Preston?



Purchase Links:




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: September 2017.

Over a week has passed and I’m no closer to adequately describing the raw and unrelenting beauty this book possesses. From an auspicious beginning to an absolutely breathtaking ending, Logan captured every emotion leaving me desperate for more while delivering the story I craved. Everything about this story had me utterly invested, from the first moments Logan was an enigma, a boy that went off the rails somewhere along the lines and seemed content to remain there. His weekends of  debauchery seem to be early adulthood rebellion at it's finest, until it isn't anymore. The more McLean hinted to demons darkening his door the more his methods of letting go had a sinister twist. 

Keeping secrets isn't exclusive to Logan, Audrey has a past of her own, and much like Logan uses quick wit and sarcasm with a healthy dose of bravado to cover the things she best keep hidden. Two people trying to just be without divulging their past hurts to the world, two people using everything at their disposal to guard their hearts from further devastation. Two people who absolutely and utterly stole my heart.

I wanted this review to scream from the rooftops my absolute adoration for this author, I wanted to tell you how this story shattered me in all the ways a great book can, I wanted to shout my love for these beautifully broken characters and the way they made me feel and the journey they took me on. I wanted to revel in the emotion they wretched from me and tell you at great length how bereft I felt as I turned the last page. More than any of this, I need you to read this story, I need you to allow yourself to be swept away by two young people who asked each other the only important question there is... what if we try?





About Jay McLean:





Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

Connect with Jay on Facebook