For the past two years, I've been totally absorbed in the melodramatic, angst-ridden world of digital romance created (mostly) by indie authors. TheirFor the past two years, I've been totally absorbed in the melodramatic, angst-ridden world of digital romance created (mostly) by indie authors. Their stories are usually written in 1st person POV and sometimes - as is the case here - in dual 1st person POV. IMO this is by far the best POV to tell a story from because the reader is privy to what is going on in the minds of both hero and heroine. It effectively does away with the "WTF moments" and thus brings a new vulnerability to the hero that, until now, was a rarity in romance novels. Male emotion - raw, honest and straight from his heart - can be the difference between a good book boyfriend and an Oh.My.God.I.LOVE.HIM! great book boyfriend...
...which brings us to this story and Evan Maxwell.
I only have one negative thing to say about this book so I'll say it now and get it over with. The packaging sucks. As a big fan of new adult romance, I am familiar with how the genre is presented. These are digital books so readers are not walking into Barnes & Noble and picking up this book or that, mulling over the back blurbs, etc., we are checking out places like Amazon where there are already hundreds of books listed under this relatively new genre. With the majority of authors being unknown at this point, the "look" of the book - the appeal of title and bookcover - has the big job of reeling the buyer in. And once we're in, well...we are all pretty much "1-click crazy". Think "new adult" romance and covers/titles like these appeal:
Champagne Toast is every bit as good as these 3 books and fits the genre perfectly, yet the cover and title scream Nora Roberts' Bridal Quartet. Not even what a new adult reader is looking for.
Fortunately for me, I came across author Molly McAdams' review of CT and saw this:
WARNING YOU NOW LADIES: You will swoon. And not just swoon...but SAAAWOON! I actually sighed out loud at one part because I love Evan so much and my husband looked like he was going to go find the guy that gave me that dopey look on my face.
Molly's idea of a swoon-worthy hero is definitely my own (hello Team Brandon) and my number one "must have" in a book, so I bought it. Soooo damn glad I did!
Kate Armour is a free-spirited, part-time college student working at a local bar to support herself. She is beautiful, flirtatious, passionate about photography and a serial cheater in relationships...if that's what you would call the superfluous hookups she repeatedly engaged in. Sex and arm candy were the staples and love wasn't even a consideration. Yet coming from a home seriously deficient in affection, it is what Kate thought she wanted from a man.
Until the day Evan Maxwell walked into the bar.
Evan was in his 3rd year at the local University, working towards a degree in marketing. He had solid goals planned for his future and no doubt that he wouldn't meet them. He epitomized "tall, dark & handsome" as though the term was created just for him; and women were always a big part of his life...though he had never been in love.
Until the day he met Kate Armour.
The attraction between Kate & Evan was instant and mutual. However, Kate had a boyfriend, so the first few weeks of working together they were basically "flirting friends". Soon, however, lines started to blur as they became consumed by desire for each other.
He places the pads of his fingers on my cheek, brushing lightly before pushing my hair behind my ear and placing my long thick hair behind my shoulder. “What are you doing?” I whisper, my pulse racing so fast I feel like I might faint. “Swooning,” Evan smiles softly as he looks me in the eyes. My heart stops. “Oh,” I reply, swallowing hard, attempting to hide my emotions and failing miserably. He knows I want him as much as he wants me. “I want to kiss you, Kate. But, I don’t think I should . . . ” his voice trails as he explores my features with his eyes. “Why?” I ask, completely under his spell. Evan caresses my face gently with his fingers and then cups my chin with his hand. “Do you still have a boyfriend?” I nod with an apologetic glance. “It’s okay, I want you to,” I say, my words betraying me. “Not my style,” he says, shaking his head with a deep frown. He leans in and kisses me gently on the cheek. “Goodnight, Kate,” he says softly before walking into the back room. I hear him saying good-bye to Bree and Vince. Slowly, I slide down the bar until I’m seated on the floor, in a complete daze. Every bit of me is on fire, my skin, my hair, my bones. I didn’t know I was capable of swooning. But, Evan Maxwell has gotten under my skin in a way I never knew was possible. So, if Kate Armour swoons, this is how she does it.
Kate & Evan succumb to their desires that night and sleep together. The next day, Kate breaks up with her boyfriend and she and Evan are immediately a couple. For the most part their relationship is great...fun and comfortable and filled with love. As in any relationship, they have problems that they normally meet head-on and deal with; however, Kate's history of cheating coupled with Evan's quick temper and apparent lack of trust culminate in an explosive "it's-not-what-it-looks-like" scene that proves too difficult to overcome. So, after two wonderful years together, Kate & Evan part ways.
OMG their breakup nearly broke my heart! The author does an excellent job of showing rather than telling, and I truly felt like I knew this couple well...like I was actually living their relationship with them. Kate & Evan have a true, deep-seated "soul-mates" type of love that is so badly shaken I was afraid the damage that had been done was beyond repair. The dual POV works so well here as we get inside Evan's head as well as Kate's and understand that he is every bit as broken as she is, although he does try to move on.
Another Saturday night. Another evening surrounded by friends who are pushing me to move on. Patrick and I are meeting some other friends at a bar. Supposedly, there’s a girl he wants me to meet. Whatever. All I really want to do is show up at Molly’s, take a seat at the bar and watch Kate work. I want to watch her run her fingers through her hair and give the customers attitude. I want to watch her pour drinks and make smart-ass comments. I want to walk in that bar like nothing ever happened. But, I can’t. Walking to my dresser, I pull open the drawer and move the stacked clothes to the side. A small box sits in the drawer. It makes my heart race just looking at it. Opening the box, I see the promise ring that Kate threw back at me last spring. My brow furrows as I put the ring in my hand, like I do every few weeks when I can’t get her out of my head. Holding the ring between my fingers, I stare at the band knowing what this ring once represented. A life with Kate. A future that I let go of way too easily.
Champagne Toast is the emotional rollercoaster that we new adult fans crave. The perfect blend of love & happiness, promises & heartbreak, discovery & hope, and awesome, toe-curling sex. Best of all, it has a believable HEA. That's a must for me and I know for most of you as well. And Evan...mmmmmmmm! What can I say? The guy is book boyfriend perfection!!! Sure we all love the rockstars, the actors, the fighters...all the bad boys that just need to find that special someone to love them. But Evan isn't a bad boy at all (well...maybe in bed...mmmmmm). Yet he is so smokin' hot I dare you to read this book and not rank him right up there with the Kellans & Travis' of book boyfriend landia!
I can't say enough good about this book and really, the only reason I complained about the cover and title is because it diminishes the powerful story inside. Champagne Toast really needs more exposure so that others can enjoy this diamond in the rough. One thing is certain...Melissa Brown knows how to tell a powerful, emotional love story. I'm looking forward to reading more from her.
I'm all jacked up on angst-driven romance right now so when I saw this cover and title I thought "meh". Not that I don't read sexy, sweet light-hearteI'm all jacked up on angst-driven romance right now so when I saw this cover and title I thought "meh". Not that I don't read sexy, sweet light-hearted adult romances, it just isn't what I'm feeling at the moment. But being the first book to pop up on my Kindle day after day wore me down so I decided to give it a shot.
What can I say? I erroneously judged a book by its cover; but come on...if it looks like a duck, right? In this wonderful era of the indie author, so many books are continuously being presented that for me the book covers act as tags. Visually I can tell if I'm in the right place without reading a thing. Kick in the title "Accidentally on Purpose" and you've got light, sexy contemp...Bella Andre, Shannon Stacey, Jill Shalvis. Not the case here. Although the author has a great sense of humor and is able to project that through the heroine's high-spirited personality, the subject matter isn't funny at all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RECIPE FOR DISASTER
Ingredients: 1 - Beautiful, single, independent, open-minded female 1 - Hot-headed, hot-bodied hunky boss, attached but not unavailable 1 - Sexy studmuffin hottie with a jumbo-sized who-ha, single but convinced ingredient #1 is who he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
Mix 3 ingredients very carefully. Timing is of utmost importance as you don't want 2nd & 3rd ingredients to blend.
When inserting into the oven, WEAR A GLOVE! Failure to do so means someone will surely get burned.
Finished product will result in a complex love triangle
Note: Do not attempt to enhance recipe with crystal meth as it might create a monster.
This is Emmy's story - a beautiful, brainy, feisty, potty-mouthed 30yr old "Jersey Girl" who loves to drink and plot her mother's demise (usually done simultaneously), who falls in love with two hot men and the repercussions of not having the willpower to let one of them go. She will crack you up, she will piss you off and she might make you cry...whatever it is, she will definitely evoke some kind of emotion in you. And so will Kyle and Luke who both love Emmy with everything they've got... but of course are approaching from very different angles as Kyle is engaged to someone else and Luke wants to "domesticate" her. As you might imagine, this story packs a whole lotta punch (literally & figuratively) so proceed with caution. But definitely proceed!!
LOVED this story!!! Jude Ryder is all kinds of sex-on-a-stick and he loves Lucy with such a Travis Maddox-like intensity, it makes him all the more apLOVED this story!!! Jude Ryder is all kinds of sex-on-a-stick and he loves Lucy with such a Travis Maddox-like intensity, it makes him all the more appealing. If you are into teenage love stories with a hefty dose of angst, then this 2-book series is perfect for you!
The first book, Crash, takes place during Jude & Lucy's senior year in high school. This is when they meet, fall in love, and, unfortunately, are faced with numerous external situations that end up dictating their relationship. The 2nd book, Clash finds Jude & Lucy at separate colleges hoping to maintain their long-distance relationship by relying on their relatively new-found trust. But when a cunning bitch sets her sights on Jude, will that tenuous thread snap and let trust be damned? Apart from what transpires and how it affects Jude & Lucy's relationship, this exciting segment of drama culminates in a brutal chick fight. Lucy may seem fragile because she is a ballet dancer and is small in stature, but you know what they say... "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". That scene still has me smiling!
Of course the road to an HEA for Jude & Luce is long, rough and scarred. But I've come to trust (almost) completely an indie author will bring her protagonists to the finish line in the most endearingly gratifying & sweetest way possible. Nicole Williams doesn't disappoint. This is mature YA at its best!
Review of Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber (and recap of Love Unscripted as well)
Love Unrehearsed is the long-awaited sequel to Tina Reber's awesome debReview of Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber (and recap of Love Unscripted as well)
Love Unrehearsed is the long-awaited sequel to Tina Reber's awesome debut novel, Love Unscripted. It is the continuation of Taryn Mitchell and Ryan Christensen's love story...a story of doubts and acceptance, of misgivings and trust, of hopes shattered then pieced back together, of total devastation and extreme elation, of closures and new beginnings; and, ultimately, a story of finding blissful peace and life-long contentment from loving someone completely and unequivocally, and having that love reciprocated in spades.
In Love Unscripted, we were treated to all the angst we could possibly hope for in a "new adult" contemporary romance. Taryn Mitchell - a 27-yr-old Rhode Island resident, owner of Mitchell's Pub, smart, understated beauty, recently "un"engaged from Thomas, her significant other of 2 years who she found in bed with someone else - meets Ryan Christensen - a 26-yr-old guy who lives out of a suitcase, world-renown movie star, becoming wise to the selfish, ruthless people in the entertainment industry, gloriously beautiful but without conceit, recently unattached from a woman who sold their personal story to the tabloids - when the two collide on the street as Ryan is literally running for his life from a hoard of crazed female fans. Taryn sneaks him into her bar and for the next four hours they drink beer, do shots, play pool and have a great time getting to know each other. Ryan and his entourage come into the bar several more times as they are filming only a few blocks away, but it is clear they are there because Ryan is developing a "thing" for Taryn and vice versa. Taryn, who has major self-esteem issues, is convinced they can never be more than friends because they come from two extremely different worlds. Ryan, on the other hand, sees the glass half full and pushes for more. After a very enjoyable - and believeable - 100 pages of getting to know each other, the day of reckoning finally dawns.
“So… am I to understand that you’re mine?” I asked teasingly. “I can be yours if you want me to be, Taryn,” he whispered. My breath hitched from his words. My pulse quickened and my fingers started to tremble. “Is that your intention?” I asked, still skeptical. Ryan cleared his throat. “My intention is to let you know where my heart is. The rest… the rest is up to you,” he said softly. I took another deep breath. My own heart was thumping in my chest now. “So… now what? Where do we go from here?” “We give it a chance,” Ryan declared quite convincingly.
Finally, Taryn and Ryan become lovers...that swoon-worthy, "bedroom door wide open" scene reason alone to read the first book...and their relationship becomes exclusive. Now the angst begins. Taryn and Ryan deal with one intrusive situation after another - jealously from Ryan's leading lady in Seaside, the papparazzi relentless in their pursuit of pictures and a story of not only Ryan but a very uncooperative Taryn - who guards her privacy zealously - as well, a car accident, a pregnancy scare and a deranged stalker intent on doing away with Taryn so she can have Ryan - are just a handful of problems they encounter. Still, Tar and Ryan continue to grow as a couple and are very much in love. But Taryn's self-esteem issues eventually get the better of her and the angst gets ratcheted up to its peak and finally explodes when she joins Ryan on-set in Florida and becomes convinced he is sleeping with his co-star (who happens to be his ex lover). It is heart-wrenching to watch Taryn suffer, especially because the story is told in 1st person by her. The ending of Love Unscripted is terribly sweet and perfect for the moment but really only leaves Taryn and Ryan with a HFN ending. On to book two.
All eyes were on him as he stood atop the table. It was so quiet in the crowded bar, you could have heard a pin drop. I could hear my heart hammering in my chest as I stared up at him. “We’ve made a beautiful mess of things lately, haven’t we?” He flashed that sexy crooked smile at me, which made my heart flutter. I nodded, agreeing with him. “But it’s our crazy story,” he stated. “It’s been ours, only ours. There’s been a lot of romance, sometimes way too much drama…” He raised his eyebrows and smirked. “Very memorable comedy, a few pulse-racing action scenes…” He shrugged and sighed. “We’ve also had our fair share of suspense and raw terror, and unfortunately gut-wrenching heartache too. “I think we’ve covered it all, everything except for being captured by aliens!” I couldn’t help but chuckle. “But through it all you’ve loved me, unconditionally, and I know how fortunate I am to have your love. “I don’t want to live without you, not for one more minute, not for one more second. I want to spend the rest of my days living my story with you… only you.” He walked to the edge and jumped off the table, landing in front of me. “It is here that I fell in love with you,” Ryan whispered, taking my hands in his. He dropped down on one knee. “And as fate would have it, it is here that I humbly kneel before you and ask you to be my wife. “Taryn Lynn Mitchell, will you marry me?”
Love Unrehearsed begins with Taryn and Ryan engaged and very much in love. But the demands of Ryan's job force their way into the couple's private world right from the start, as he must deal with Marla, the publicist from hell, and David, his manager from the same place, who insist Ryan cannot go public with his engagement. At first Ryan goes along with their plan; soon, however, he understands how much it is hurting Taryn so he basically says "fuck it" and lets the world know he is in love. And he fires Marla...a wonderful turn of events that unfortunately will have repercussions later.
The angst in the second part of this love story is nothing compared to what we experienced in the first part, and because of this I enjoyed Love Unrehearsed even more. LU is basically a story about what it would actually be like for a girl to be in a relationship with someone as famous as Ryan. Less angst, however, does not mean there wasn't any at all because there was indeed plenty. It just played out differently; and, IMO was much easier to handle. The biggest reason for this is that Ryan, and even Taryn, are pretty much secure with their love and in their relationship. Angst presents itself as ramifications of being a movie star when both Ryan and Taryn so desperately want to live a life as close to normal as possible...so much so that protecting their privacy lands each of them in jail on separate occasions! Surprisingly, Taryn adapts to her new life much better than I expected she would. She suffers through two major (and totally unforeseen) personal crisis' that both end well for her, although one is a little bittersweet. Of course, being a woman very much in love with an actor who works primarily in the romance genre would really suck at times...
I don’t care how other women would handle watching their man fake sex with another woman; I twitched when Jonathan yelled “Action!” yet again. Ryan’s mouth on her jaw, her lips, grinding her into the bed like he was actually fucking her looked so real that the heartache seared its way up my throat. It’s pretend. It’s fake. The sheet covering them slipped and a good sliver of Ryan’s ass was now in full view. No matter how many times I repeated my mantra it still didn’t keep the bile from rising up.
But Taryn hangs on to her sanity and eventually coaxes Ryan back into the "fake sex" and everything else acting entails when he reaches a point in his life where he feels that the sacrifices are too great for doing the job that he truly does love. Tina Reber did an outstanding job of portraying the everyday life of a famous man and the woman who loves that man unconditionally. I've read both books twice and can't wait to find a quiet weekend to sit down and read them again. *sigh* Ryan is that perfect hero who is so much fun to read about and Taryn is the ideal woman for him. Their journey to reach happily-ever-after was not an easy one; yet despite all of the situations that could have broken them apart and all of the temptations to stray that were presented to Taryn as well as Ryan, not once did either of them falter. From the day they agreed they were in an exclusive, committed relationship they remained that way; and because of this Ryan had my total heart. Love Unscripted & Love Unrehearsed together present one of the most heartwarming and truly enjoyable love stories I have ever read!
Being a big fan of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless/Effortless, I'm always looking for a book that will give me the same adrenaline rush I felt whenBeing a big fan of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless/Effortless, I'm always looking for a book that will give me the same adrenaline rush I felt when I read those. Taking Chances was that book for me. It has the incredibly sexy, tatted, buzzed-head hero who makes a living as an underground fighter like BD and the heart-wrenching love triangle between a sweet girl and two equally awesome frat brothers who are both in love with her like T/E. Can Romancelandia get any better for me? Not likely.
Harper Jackson has just started her freshman year at San Diego State University. Being raised by a strict, emotionless father on a military base in North Carolina, she is completely overwhelmed by her over-zealous roommate Bree and the craziness of living in the dorms on campus. Bree's brother, Chase, is the first guy she meets; and, although they fall into a routine of trading snarky remarks with each other, Chase's chiseled, tatted body and surfer good looks have Harper secretly swooning despite her vow to steer clear of the obvious "man-ho". But then she meets Brandon, the sexy "Travis Maddox look-alike" and it is love at first sight for both of them. Unfortunately, Brandon lives in Chase's frat house and it becomes a messy love triangle that escalates to disastrous proportions.
I can't say anything more in detail without giving away the story, but it is an amazing, heart-wrenching, soul-searching journey that Harper embarks upon in her first year of college. It is a long book - just short of 500 pages - but I was so caught up in Harper's dilemma with her two awesome men that I read the book in one sitting. Yes, it is that good!
This is Molly McAdams debut "new adult" novel and I'm excited for her to write more because she has that special "gift" of bringing her characters alive and making her readers feel as though we know these people personally. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all lovers of a good romance but especially to those who are still in a state of limbo after experiencing Travis Maddox and Kellan Kyle. But heed this warning: Have a box of tissue handy...there are a few situations that will have you tearing up and one incident that will tear your heart to pieces! *sniff*
While this is definitely one of my top ten favorite ebooks, the audiobook version of On Dublin Street is nothing short of fucking spectacular, and isWhile this is definitely one of my top ten favorite ebooks, the audiobook version of On Dublin Street is nothing short of fucking spectacular, and is easily my favorite of the 400+ audiobooks I have listened to thus far. It is the only book listed for the narrator, Paula Costello, so hopefully it is her debut narration and we'll be enjoying many more books read by her in the future.
10 stars - 5 for Samantha Young's amazing imagination & creativity and 5 for Paula Costello's talent for bringing to life the gang down On Dublin Street!
Whew! I'm emotionally drained, I went thru a box of tissue, and I've got dark circles under my eyes from staying up all night reading...sure signs thaWhew! I'm emotionally drained, I went thru a box of tissue, and I've got dark circles under my eyes from staying up all night reading...sure signs that I loved the hell out of this book!
Tru & Jake were the best of friends for the first 14 years of their lives. But then Jake and his family moved from England to the US and the two lost touch. It is now 12 years later. Tru received a college degree and now works as a music journalist for an indie magazine. Jake started up a rock band, The Mighty Storm, that has become world famous. Now on the European leg of a world-wide tour, the band is in England; and Tru has landed the job of interviewing the man who not only can make panties drop with just a flash of his devastating smile but the best friend that Tru has kept close to her heart for over 20 years. When they meet for the first time, it is like all the years melt away and they still have that special bond between them. Only this isn't an adolescent crush anymore but the he-gets-hard, she-gets-wet, tongues-get-tied, this-is-my-long-lost-soulmate type of crush. There is just one problem...Tru is in a committed relationship with Will, and they are very much in love. Did I say that was problem? Nah, at least not for Jake; because, as he tells her more than once, he always gets what he wants. Poor, arrogant Jake...if that was the case, we wouldn't have a story!
If you happen to be a fan of Thoughtless by SC Stephens, The Mighty Storm is the fix you've been looking for...and Jake Wethers is the man to steal your heart away from Kellan Kyle. While both books basically share the same premise (rock star + girl + boyfriend), the gist of the stories are very different; and in this respect I enjoyed TMS more because, although the results of the triangles were both disastrous and heartbreaking, Tru didn't vacillate between her choices and string us along for several unnecessary chapters like Kiera did. Sure, Tru wagered an ongoing battle with herself (no, not with her inner goddess) throughout the book but I expected & appreciated that because the story was told from her POV. I enjoyed Tru...in fact, all of the characters were likeable. Tru & Jake were the only 2 characters who were thoroughly fleshed out but that was perfect for me. TMS was their personal love story and I like nothing better than when an author focuses solely on the two main protagonists and leaves the sub-plots and secondary characters in the background or out of the story completely.
But truly, what elevates this story from good to great is Jake...hot, hung[image error], arrogant, cocky, talented, tattooed, sexy smart-ass that he was, lived the typical rocker life. He drank too much, got high too often and fucked anything that moved... until the day that Tru walked back into his life. She was his true best friend - his one and only love - and he tried hard to be the best man he could be for her. But even rock gods are human, and the best-laid plans complete with happy-ever-afters aren't as easy to come by as Jake once thought. The last 25% of the book was both heart-wrenching and painful to experience as Jake put it out there like no other hero ever has. Raw anguish, sincere grovelling and pure love...it was all Jake. Believe me, you won't be forgetting him anytime soon!!
“You’re my life, Tru. My everything. And you always will be." “I’ll never be good enough for you, I know that. But I’m no good without you, and if that makes me a selfish bastard for wanting you as badly as I do then so be it because I can’t live a life that doesn’t have you in it.”
Thank you Samantha Towle for giving us this kickass, awesome hero and the touching, beautiful love story that came with him!!!
This book begins with a letter written to the heroine of this story by her now-deceased fiance. If you can read through it without tearing up, then yoThis book begins with a letter written to the heroine of this story by her now-deceased fiance. If you can read through it without tearing up, then you and the Tin Man are probably tight.
This is an excerpt from the prologue...NOT a spoiler:
“My Eva Blue. The fact I’m writing this letter pains me more than you could ever know. This isn’t something I ever want you to read but I know that you deserve a goodbye. You deserve so much more than that and God willing you will get the perfect life that we’ve spent hours together daydreaming about.
I’ve loved you since the moment I looked into those pretty blue eyes of yours. Even at five years old, I knew there’d never be a girl that could take your place in my heart. No one would ever compare to you. It would always be you for me, Eva Brooks. Always. Please remember that, you were all that ever mattered to me. No one else ever touched my heart the way you did. My life was marked with every year I grew more and more in love with the wild, crazy, beautiful girl next- door. I lived in awe that this perfect angel wanted me, that this amazing woman would be my wife. The life we planned. The life we dreamed about was what kept me going as long as I did.
I pray to God you never have to read this letter. I want this to be a letter I pull out of my box one day for you to read when we are old and gray. We can smile and realize how much we have to be thankful for that this letter was never needed. But Eva, if you do receive this letter from my mom one day, then know: I loved you until my last breath. You were the only thing on my mind when I closed my eyes the last time. Our time together was more perfect than anyone’s life should be. The life I lived was heaven on Earth because I spent it with you.
One day you will heal. Life will go on for you. Another guy will be lucky enough to find a place in your heart. When that happens, love him. Move on. Live that life of happiness that you deserve. Know that I loved you. Know that you made my life complete. But move on Eva. Love again. Live your life.” Love, Josh
WOW! Now I think I understand the meaning of the term "anti-hero".
William Honor is the bad boy college professor who commits the cardinal sin o*gulp*
WOW! Now I think I understand the meaning of the term "anti-hero".
William Honor is the bad boy college professor who commits the cardinal sin of hitting on one of his students. But he doesn't just flirt with Emma...he throws it into high gear from day one and "goes after" her. What I mean by that is he really wants this girl...wants to possess her, wants to dominate her, wants to fuck her six ways to Sunday. Is he losing his mind? He can't think straight anymore. She makes him crazy, she makes him horny, she makes him lose control... and William never loses control. OMG this is a wild ride from beginning to end!
I thought I should hate William but I'm drooling over the guy instead. He's the poster boy for the term "hot mess", yet something about him is so damn attractive. If you're familiar with Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster then you have a good idea what William is all about...but about 4 times more intense. Once he seduces Emma it's all over for any man who even looks her way. Like Travis, he is totally dysfunctional in a one-on-one relationship; however, while Travis used his fists to "communicate" his displeasure of any man that looked Abby's way, William's method of dealing with Emma's admirers is ratcheted way the hell up from simply delivering a black eye.
So why do I find this troubled man so appealing? To begin with, the story is told in first person by William. We get to find out first-hand what has happened in his troubled past to make him the man he is today. In the first book, Honor Student, we get the story from Emma's POV...and that gives us zero insight as to where this crazy guy Emma has latched onto is coming from. We only know that he is a gorgeous young teacher who is into kinky fuckery and totally messes with Emma's head. You wonder WTF is she doing with this guy? He's having an affair with a married staff member, his ex-wife is blackmailing him, he freaks out when Emma dances with another man and punishes her for it by whipping her with his belt. Jeez Emma...t-h-e-r-a-p-y...think you might need some?
But when the story flips and we are inside of William's head, we find out where he's been, who he has become, his self-deprecating thoughts; and, best of all, how much he cares for Emma and what lengths he will go to protect her. He's a user, an abuser and way too out of control. If Christian Grey is fifty shades of fucked up then William Honor is sixty. Apart from Emma, he places little value on human life - including his own. He is a train wreck coming and going...and I'm crushing on him terribly!
Honor Thy Teacher is an adrenaline rush from the first page to the last, and is erotic to the core. Kudos to Teresa Mummert for gifting us with the most dysfunctional couple in romancelandia and having the writing skills it takes to not only make Emma and William believable but have us rooting for them as well. I love the fact that their story is to be continued with Honor and Obey (Emma's POV) and Honor and Betray (William's POV), thereby insuring that William Honor will remain my Kindle fantasy boyfriend for a long time to come!
Reading this book reminded me why I LOVE indie authors...you just can't get a sweet, touching romance like My Heart for Yours from a book turned out bReading this book reminded me why I LOVE indie authors...you just can't get a sweet, touching romance like My Heart for Yours from a book turned out by a publishing house!...more
I picked this book up because I love tattoos on men and was intrigued by the cover. Also, the only other book I have read by Bonnie Dee was Finding HoI picked this book up because I love tattoos on men and was intrigued by the cover. Also, the only other book I have read by Bonnie Dee was Finding Home, which I loved, so I decided to give this one a go. What a wonderful love story! In the same vein as Finding Home where an average, everyday woman befriends a societal misfit, Ms. Dee once again takes us outside the box of what most of us perceive to be normal in romance.
The year is 1945 and Sarah, a young war widow, has been coerced by a group of friends to go to the circus. In the "freak show" tent, Sarah is mesmerized by the beautiful man who is covered from head to toe in brilliant, exotic tattoos. In the morning, she discovers said male hiding in her barn.
So begins this incredible journey of two people defying the overwhelming odds against them for the sake of love. Tom's story is horrific. His mother was the fortune teller with a gaudy traveling circus. When she died, Tom, age 8, was taken under the wing of the sadistic circus owner who used Tom as his personal, human canvas. For the simple creature comforts of food to eat and a place to sleep, Tom endured years of pain under the needle as well as the humiliation of being "rented out" to the gawkers that were willing to pay a little extra to get nasty with a circus "freak". When Tom saw Sarah for the first time, he recognized her as the woman who had been haunting his dreams for years. So, having known no other life but the circus yet unable to resist the urge he felt to be with her, Tom made his escape. Sarah, plagued by dreams of the tattooed man after seeing him, was shocked but not afraid of Tom when she found him.
One woman working a nice-sized farm alone was at times overwhelming. With this rationalization in mind, Sarah put Tom to work in the fields in return for 3 square meals and use of the guest room. Tom was quiet and polite - although his manners were atrocious - and he was illiterate as well. He had no idea how old he was or the date of his birthday, and Sarah's heart (and mine) went out to him. She taught him to read and write, manners and customs; and, as the days went by, she couldn't ignore the sexual awakening overtaking a mind and body she had thought long dead and buried with her young husband. Before long, Sarah seduces Tom (in a sweet way) and they become lovers.
The idyllic life cocooned away from reality is shortlived, however, when a local girl goes missing and the small-town folks are fearful that the "retarded escapee from the circus" is the one responsible. Tom is responsible in the sense that he can "feel" the girl's pain and can envision her surroundings (a gift handed down by his mother?). Sarah, being the decent & morally- conscious person that she is, takes Tom to see the sheriff & relay the story. For once we have a sheriff that is a good guy. Hurray! He accepts Tom's story as truth and they are off to find the girl. Afterwards, Tom is socially accepted by the majority, but the few that insist he is a freak as well as the deranged circus owner, cause enough problems to run Tom off. Sarah, plagued with the terrible thought of losing another man she loves, ignores everyone's advice to leave well enough alone and sets out to bring her man home.
One of the things I love about Bonnie Dee is the fact she is not in the least bit shy about being sexually descriptive. For some odd reason, I wouldn't connote the word "pussy" with the freshly- scrubbed Norman Rockwell faces I envision when thinking of 1945, but it's in this story, it works and what do I know about connotations? haha In other words (if that wasn't plain enough), she keeps the bedroom door wide open for the wannabe voyeurs like me...elevating a 4.5 star story to a solid 5 stars. Ms. Dee also makes good use of metaphors...giving her readers clear and defined mental images to enhance the story.
Bone Deep is a fast-paced read that packs a walloping moral punch that, once again, exposes the debase side of human nature that refuses to comprehend the law of God in that all things are created equal. Fortunately, Sarah wasn't part of the majority...
"Her gaze lingered on the meticulous artwork of each design that covered his skin like a painstakingly stitched quilt. Once again she admitted that despite his evil, Arthur Reed was a talented artist. Tom’s canvas of skin was intricately filled with dynamic color and motion. When she first saw Tom, Sarah thought there was no pattern or reason behind the designs but the more she looked at them, the more she felt there was something significant right beyond the edge of her grasp. Whatever the meaning, her lover’s painted skin was beautiful. He was beautiful--both inside and out."
Highly recommended to romance readers looking for something different!
I just finished reading this book for the second time this week and loved it all over again. The story has everything I crave most in a romance...a toI just finished reading this book for the second time this week and loved it all over again. The story has everything I crave most in a romance...a tortured hero that is smokin' hot and jealous as hell, a heroine that sometimes allows herself to be taken care of and isn't always acting ridiculous trying to prove her independence, a vindictive ex that (finally!) gets what she deserves, a little mystery, a lot of great sex (spiced up with some "kinky fuckery") and a HEA with another book to follow! It just doesn't get any better than this!
Fifty Shades Darker is E.L. James' 2nd book in her Fifty Shades trilogy. While the first book Fifty Shades of Grey is a great read and introduces us to His Awesomeness, otherwise known as Christian Grey, it is also a much darker story. Seduced at age 15 by a friend of the family, Christian's sexual expertise at age 27 is strictly limited to the only type of relationship he has ever known...that of Dominant & Submissive. When Anastasia Steele interviews Christian for a college newspaper, he is instantly taken with her. Ana is quiet, docile and beautiful..everything Christian wants in a Submissive. So he proposes a contractual deal with her; but for once in his adult life, Christian isn't getting what he wants. Book #1 lays the early groundwork for the tumultuous relationship these two find themselves in through both books. As Christian freely admits to, he is "fifty shades of fucked up" and Ana doesn't disagree. Even so, their sexual chemistry is palpable and their encounters rock right off the pages! (Gawd, what I wouldn't give...) Add to this, their bantering (done best through their emails to each other) is just so damn cute you will be left with no choice other than to love the heck out of them both!
Note: Reading Fifty Shades of Grey first is an absolute must to truly understand and appreciate Christian & Ana's entire story, so don't embark on this amazing journey haphazardly and start with Book #2. (That would give Christian twitchy palms!)
So while Book #1 gives you the beginning of Christiana (haha), Book #2 Fifty Shades Darker focuses on the strengthening of their relationship, as Ms. James takes you to the heart and soul of their union. Although Christian and Ana are polar opposites, you won't have to suspend disbelief to accept their relationship as the author thoroughly fleshes these two characters out. You will witness first-hand how love triumphs over sexual preferences, extremely different lifestyles, outside interferences and all of the other idiosyncracies that would normally provide just cause to terminate a relationship. You will cheer right along with Ana's "inner goddess" who throws caution to the wind when it comes to claiming her man outright. Coming together is a hard-fought battle for Christian and Ana but staying together will be forever. If you really love romance, then this is one special, adorable couple you can't possibly live without knowing!
PS: Once again, have the tissues handy for there are some truly poignant scenes!
Why didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a revWhy didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a review here on GR nor have I noticed it being discussed in a thread. O M G why not??!?
Julie Seagle has just moved from Ohio to Boston to begin her freshman year at Whitney College, only to find the "apartment" she had procured online (and paid 1st and last months rent) was a burrito stand! Fortunately, Julie's homeless situation was short-lived, as her mother was able to reach an old college friend living in the area who seemed genuinely happy to have Julie come stay with her family. And so began a year-long journey that was about to change Julie's life forever.
It didn't take long for Julie to realize that the Watkins family was the real-life version of Modern Family - completely dysfunctional but totally ignorant of the fact. Both parents were professionals who showed little compassion for their 3 children, and seemed to be content with being away from home most of the time. Their son, Matt, was a 21-year old college student and extreme techie geek who Julie forged a somewhat tentative friendship with. Their son, Finn, 23, was the free spirit of the group who was off to explore parts unknown and whose bedroom Julie was now "borrowing". Finally, there was the 14 yr-old daughter Celeste, who could only be described as "interesting". Oh yeah...there was one other painfully obvious member of the Watkins family (he sat at the table, he rode in the car)...Flat Finn.
FF (Julie's unappreciated nickname for Flat Finn) was a life-size cardboard cutout of the real Finn that Celeste carried with her wherever she went. While Matt had always had his nose in a book and the parents were busy with their careers, Finn was the fun-loving, carefree brother that always had time for Celeste when she was growing up. Now that Finn was out of school and away from home doing volunteer work in remote, foreign places, Celeste was lonely and missed him terribly... thereby prompting her to order his cardboard twin online.
Julie didn’t particularly care about Flat Finn’s presence. If everyone wanted to act as though it was perfectly ordinary to hang out with a flat, replicated family member, it was fine by her. After all, he was polite, not at all bad to look at, and didn’t hog more than his fair share of the Thai dumplings. Granted, his conversational skills were lacking, but he was probably just shy around new people…
Julie was cool with FF because she knew it was Celeste's way to keep Finn close and the loneliness at bay. however, she was not cool with the fact that nobody seemed to realize and/or care that Celeste was NOT a normal teenager. She did not interact with other kids, she dressed like a 6-year old; and, what infuriated Julie the most was that Celeste never used contractions when she spoke. Frustrated with the lip-zipped family members, Julie sought Finn out on Facebook. Delighted when she found both him and Matt, she sent each brother a friend request.
Matthew Watkins My visit to the O.K. Corral was… well…
Finn is God I “Facebook like” you, but I’m not IN “Facebook like” with you.
Julie Seagle Going to write a book called, “Binge, Screw, Loathe.” It will be about a hateful woman who travels across the U.S. visiting all-you-can-eat brothels.
It didn't take Julie long to completely understand why Celeste missed her oldest brother so much. Finn was witty and charming, understanding, compassionate and genuinely concerned about his baby sister. And, judging by the pictures he posted to Julie, as well as her interacting daily with his cardboard twin, Finn was - by all serious female standards - a total HOTTIE! As time progressed, the casual email correspondence Finn and Julie shared evolved into a personal Facebook chat where they conversed daily for hours. Finn would be home in the summer and Julie couldn't wait to finally meet and touch and kiss the guy she had fallen head over heels in love with.
For all the humor involving Flat Finn and the sweetness of Julie helping Celeste become a normal teenage girl, there is an essential element to this story that is very sad. I caught a glimpse of it coming but I stayed in denial until that was no longer an option. Then I started to cry.
As in buckets.
I...who never used to cry (before discovering indie authors)...was sobbing miserably. I do understand, however, that it was key to the plot and I love this author for pulling it off so beautifully. It also paved the way for a very happy ending!
Thank you, Jessica Park, for writing such a sweet yet poignant,touching story. I loved it and I'm in love with it! I loved how thoughtful and expressive Finn was and how he totally "got" the uniqueness that was Julie. I loved how the chapters began with the trio's Facebook status. I loved Julie's determination to make Celeste happy, even going so far as to put hinges on Flat Finn so he could sit comfortably! And I loved the Watkins brothers and their individual relationships with Julie. When it was over and I was reflecting back on the story, I came to the conclusion that, although extremely understated, Julia ended up with one of the best contemporary romance novel guys ever!
If you love college-age romances with happy endings, and can handle a scene guaranteed to make you cry (not just sniffle), then I recommend this book to you. Seriously, Flat-Out Love is a gem!
Thoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I donThoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don't know if it was because Andy Whitfield passed away, or because it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11...maybe a bad case of the "Sunday blues" or simply because the angst was ratcheted up so high in the story. Whatever the reason, when all hell broke loose in Chapter 23, the damn burst. Reading with blurred vision is such a bloody nuisance but I had to finish the last three chapters to see if somehow, despite the cheating, deceit and lies, all 3 protagonists were able to find a measure of peace & happiness in the end.
Kiera and Denny, both in their early 20's, have been an exclusive couple for 2 years. When Denny is offered an intern position with a prestigious ad firm in Seattle, Kiera applies for and receives a scholarship to the University of Washington. Leaving small-town life behind they travel across the country...moving in with a close friend of Denny's from when he served as an exchange student in high school. Enter Kellan Kyle...an extremely good-looking, sexier-than-hell lead singer in a local band...and new roommate to the transplanted Ohioans.
What follows is an extremely intense story of a young woman who is torn between her love for two equally-deserving men and their unwavering love for her. There is no menage here, where in a fantasy world Kiera would keep both Denny and Kellan. This isn't erotica, yet the sexual tension is so prevalent and so fine-tuned you'll be buzzing with expectation. Told through Kiera's POV, it is a simple day-to-day story made complex by the unexpected attraction between Kiera and Kellan and the powerful, emotionally high-charged atmosphere that settles among these two as well as the unsuspecting Denny. Fortunately, even with the limited POV,the author won't ever leave you scratching your head and wondering 'what just happened here?' She leaves nothing to speculation and plays the entire drama out in explicit (although somewhat lengthy) detail.
As you can probably guess, there is cheating in this story. And while the idea of cheating in a romance novel might totally turn you off, at least the circumstances that prompt the cheating are not due to the overplayed drunkenness or selfishness or the big misunderstanding...they are simply due to inexperience, vulnerability and the inevitable loss in the struggle to follow one's head and not one's heart. As such, there are no bad guys in the story. Unfortunately, this greatly restricts the reader's ability to justify the cheating; and because of the devastating outcome, it was hard for me to forgive Kiera and be truly happy for her.
This book is angst at its best. I was riding the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and had to physically unwind & stretch cramped muscles whenever I took a break. But I loved the fact that a story could totally consume me like Thoughtless did...blubbering tears and all. The author, S.C. Stephens really has the ability to express feelings and emotions and internal struggle. She gets to the heart & core of the characters and thoroughly fleshes them out...so much so you will feel like a personal friend to Kiera, Kellan & Denny. Their story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and you will live every moment with them.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!