**spoiler alert** I loved this book but I can't for the life of me understand why a woman choosing to sleep with a guy that is a total player for the...more**spoiler alert** I loved this book but I can't for the life of me understand why a woman choosing to sleep with a guy that is a total player for the purpose of making a baby a) thinks she can go through with the affair without engaging her heart, and b) when her heart is involved, thinks the guy - an established commitment-phobe - will not cheat. Unfortunately, the book ended on a cliffhanger, so I won't get any answers for another week or so.
Attention New Adult Authors: If you are having a difficult time writing awesome, believable, jaw-dropping, panty-wetting, kick-ass sex scenes, then ma...moreAttention New Adult Authors: If you are having a difficult time writing awesome, believable, jaw-dropping, panty-wetting, kick-ass sex scenes, then make the best $3.99 investment of your career and BUY THIS BOOK!!! S.H. Kolee will show you how to do it right!!
For the past two years, I've been totally absorbed in the melodramatic, angst-ridden world of digital romance created (mostly) by indie authors. Their...moreFor 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.
A new take on the bad-boy rockstar theme. The girl's father is the leader of a bad-ass motorcycle gang so there are all sorts of crazy things going on...moreA new take on the bad-boy rockstar theme. The girl's father is the leader of a bad-ass motorcycle gang so there are all sorts of crazy things going on in this story. The book ends with a cliffhanger but I've got book #2 Heart Song ready to roll. This is great...I can visualize the cast of characters...Katey Sagal as Violet's mother, Ron Perlman as her father, Charlie Hunnam as Travis Phoenix, etc...it's totally Sons of Anarchy!(less)
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-hearte...moreI'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!!
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 when...moreBeing 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*
This is Beautiful Disaster from Travis' POV and I loved it even more than its predecessor. Really...the book boyfriend mold was broken when Travis Mad...moreThis is Beautiful Disaster from Travis' POV and I loved it even more than its predecessor. Really...the book boyfriend mold was broken when Travis Maddox was created! They just don't get any better than him. *sigh*(less)
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 is...moreWhile 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!
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...more*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!
Hardy Bradford is a high school senior who, by outward appearance, has it all going on. Tall, with dark hair, light eyes and rockin' a 6-pk, he's the...moreHardy Bradford is a high school senior who, by outward appearance, has it all going on. Tall, with dark hair, light eyes and rockin' a 6-pk, he's the picture you see when you look up "swoonworthy". He's the quarterback "on fire"...the one being scouted most actively by the top colleges in the country; and his girlfriend of several years, Cheyenne, is the best-looking female on the planet. Although Hardy knows his future as a football pro is more for his father than for himself, and Cheyenne - handpicked by his father as well - is NOT the girl of his dreams, he is content for now...until he meets Miracle St. James.
The first time Hardy lays eyes on Miracle she is sitting on a park bench. He is mesmerized by her emerald green eyes, her sweet smile, her seductive voice. Does her skin feel as soft as it looks, he wonders. Hardy is oblivious to anything but this beautiful girl in front of him until Cheyenne walks up and asks him if he is "into bald chicks now." The spell is broken and he walks away...but he doesn't forget. Five months later, Hardy is ecstatic when he discovers Miracle is now attending his school. Like a moth to a flame, he is drawn to her beauty...her sweet disposition...her joy in experiencing the little things in life that most people take for granted. Unfortunately, everything good that is Miracle is overshadowed by everything bad that is Cheyenne...and Hardy feels no remorse when he kicks Cheyenne to the curb. Yeah!!!
What follows is a touching story about two young people who are fortunate enough to find their lifelong soul mate in each other. The question is...how long is lifelong? Miracle had been diagnosed with cancer the year before, but treatment had been successful and she was clean; however, as the result of high med dosage, chemo, etc, she lost a kidney. Now tests on her surviving kidney are indicating problems...
Hardy is probably the best YA hero I have come across to date. He realizes early on that Miracle is the love of his life; and, while a few of his decisions are probably not too smart (like knocking her ex unconscious with little forethought) he is completely exonerated of any wrongdoing in my book. Miracle holds his heart; therefore, her happiness and well-being are foremost in his mind and affect every decision he makes. At one point Miracle calls Hardy her hero, and he realizes that is exactly what he wants to be...her protector, her lover and her savior...forever. But while Hardy envisions forever to mean he and Miracle sporting white hair & playing with their grandchildren, the heartbreaking truth is that Miracle might not live to see her 19th birthday. My heart went out to Hardy...he had so much conflict at home to contend with, his scholastic future was unclear, Cheyenne kept trying to break him down...yet despite all that, he stayed focused on Miracle and his quest to fill her life with happiness.
Please don't think you can read this story without shedding a tear. If you can, then you are probably made of stone.
Staring deeply into her eyes, Hardy prayed that all he felt for her would show, that she could see what he couldn’t find the words to say. When her lips curved into a tremulous smile, he cupped her face in his hands and pressed his forehead to hers, closing his eyes. Hardy whispered, just loud enough for Miracle to hear, “Someday I’ll marry you, Miracle. And maybe someday after that, I’ll deserve you.”
Although Fragile is told in 3rd person with an insight to only what Hardy is thinking, I felt like I knew Miracle just as well. The author, M. Leighton, must have poured her heart and soul into creating Hardy & Miracle because they were living, breathing people from the first page to the last. The dialog flowed smoothly and all characters used to build the story were thoroughly fleshed out. Best of all, I was told nothing and experienced everything. That is the make-it-or-break-it issue for me when I read a book and Ms. Leighton's presentation kicked ass! Indie authors rock!
Goodreads needs a new rating system. Again I've been blown away by a book that is so frigging good a paltry 5 stars does not do it any justice.
On the...moreGoodreads needs a new rating system. Again I've been blown away by a book that is so frigging good a paltry 5 stars does not do it any justice.
On the Island is not your everyday romance novel and you will need to step out of the box for this one. The setting is an island...and I'm not talking the Bahamas. It is a small, deserted island with no food, no water and no shelter. What it does have is relentless heat and extreme humidity, rabid bats intent on sucking blood, and the human remains of a survivor who obviously did not live up to the moniker. And that's the lighter fare! The true "survivors" on the island are the protagonists of this story...a 16-year-old boy, TJ, and a 30-year-old woman, Annie. And, yes, it is a romance. But keep an open mind! It may breach your moral code but I can guarantee it will do so with your blessing.
TJ is a high school sophomore who has recently undergone treatment for cancer. He and Annie, the tutor his parents have hired for him to catch up on the schoolwork he has missed, are flying from Chicago to the Maldive Islands to join TJ's family on vacation. Bumped from their scheduled flight on the last leg of their trek, they charter a seaplane to take them the final few miles. Tragically, the pilot has a massive heart attack while en route and the plane crashes into the ocean. TJ and Annie both survive and wash ashore of the island.
What follows is a fantastic account of two people beating the odds and staying alive...day after day...month after month...and yes...year after year. TJ & Annie's "life story" is shocking and raw and brutal...and as a reader you become very connected with their ordeal as the story is told from their alternating points of view and supplemented with a great deal of dialog. TJ & Annie's "love story" is everything you could ask for in a true romance. They do not get together until TJ is nineteen and Annie is thirty-three, but when they do it feels natural and realistic and very, very right. You actually watch two people fall in love...and it really kicks ass over being "told" a couple is in love - which of course is standard fare for most romance novels. The author lets you into the very heart and soul of these characters; and when TJ & Annie return to real-life, you fervently pray they will find a way to beat the odds and make their extraordinary relationship work.
OK, I might sound like a drama queen but I can't help it...this is a dramatic story! I read a few reviews that described On the Island as a "light, easy read" and I was like WTF?? Maybe easy to read because it is written so well, but being in a plane crash and stranded on a deserted island for over three years with hardly anything more than coconuts to eat, a shark that is chomping at the bit for a good meal, no clothes, tainted water, feelings of panic, hopelessness and despair,as well as the grief that comes from knowing your family thinks you are dead and are mourning your passing...is NOT, in my opinion, "light" reading! And this story does not go away after you have read the last page and closed the book. How can it? This was your journey too!
Best of all, Tracey Garvis-Graves is undoubtedly one of us "die-hard romantics" because the epilogue she has given this story is absolutely fantastic - it is sweet and touching and pretty damn near perfect. It deserves 10 stars by itself!
Seriously, think of all the reasons you should treat yourself to this book - you will read something very different while still staying in the genre you love (and who knows, you might even learn how to start a fire with just your shoelace), you will successfully escape from real life (and if you're anything like me, you can never get enough of that), you will believe that anything is possible (even those of you with a strict moral compass), and best of all, it will make you happy. Without a doubt, you deserve that! [image error](less)