In the first book, we met three good friends. Austin and December are married and their marriage faces the devastation of his slide into alcoholism.
In the first book, we met three good friends. Austin and December are married and their marriage faces the devastation of his slide into alcoholism. The one to pick up the pieces of December is Austin lifelong best friend Cord. And this book deals with all the effects after that. This is definitely a more angsty book than the first one because for a big part of it Austin is dealing with recovering and staying sober. Struggling to admit that he’s hit rock bottom, that he needs help and this is not something he can fix on his own.
I loved the real feel of that struggle shown in this book, and also the fact that he needed someone to be his rock and that someone was there for him. While this also added a lot of angst to this book, it wasn’t superficial. I liked seeing that struggle so that I could come to terms with an HEA in the end after all that. I think this series has shown alcoholism as the disease it is and the strength Austin has shown digging himself out of it is nothing short of impressive.
As much as I love both Austin and December, I have a soft spot in my heart for Cord through this whole series and in the end I think I just want to see him get everything he’s always wanted. He’s had to hide his feelings of being in love with his best friend his whole life. Then after they married, he had to also hide the love and affection he felt for his best friend’s wife. He was always the one giving of himself to others. Making sure everyone else was taken care of and happy, no matter what the cost was to him to make sure that happened. So as long as Cord is happy, I’ll be happy with this story.
There is a lot of heartache in this book, but in the end there is that hope. The hope that these three lives that are intrinsically entwined will be finally free to be together. There is no way two could ever be totally happy without the third. The bonds of friendship and love go deeper than the physical and have for many years and it’s finally come to the point that the physical is explored. I definitely wasn’t expecting the ending to go quite the way it did but I loved it and I am dying to get the next installment and to see them all have a final resolution....more
Marcus and Quinn’s story started in the previous book, CLOSE TO HOME. They were definitely my favorite thing about that book because their relationsh
Marcus and Quinn’s story started in the previous book, CLOSE TO HOME. They were definitely my favorite thing about that book because their relationship had a ton of spark and combustion. At the end of that book they weren’t together and I couldn’t wait to see which direction this book would take them. I was so pleasantly surprised with what the author did in this book. HOME AT LAST is possibly my favorite book in this series, and that may just be because it has a bit more romance than women’s fiction than we’ve seen in the previous books in the series. That being said, I think you could read this one without having read the previous books.
Quinn was the girl next door, many years younger than Marcus. Her childhood crush turned into very adult attraction when Marcus comes back to town. A bit broken by what his life has made him go through. He comes with a very surly and grumpy attitude, which I weirdly found endearing. Quinn’s young spunk is just what he needs to feel re-invigorated about life. She pushes him to be happy and doesn’t take no for an answer. I loved that about her character. At the same time she’s dealing with figuring out the direction of her life and career and her parents possibly divorcing.
I was expecting something a little darker in Marcus’s past to justify some of his thoughts and actions, but it was all a bit simple in my opinion. That was one place I thought this story could go a little deeper, but it goes well with the easier feel of the book and series.
You also get a side story, not really calling it a secondary romance, but dealing with Quinn’s parents trying to save their marriage or going for divorce. This was also woven nicely in with the main romance and felt relevant to the story so it was a nice addition.
HOME AT LAST has small town charm and was a fast read. I believe this is the last book in the series, but I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for more books by Lily Everett. There’s a comfortable warmth to the stories she tells under this pen name and if you like your romance a bit sweeter than this will definitely be a good series to read....more
Once again, I was lured in by a pretty cover. I didn’t even read the blurb! Plus I’ve had such luck lately trying new historical romance aut3.5 stars
Once again, I was lured in by a pretty cover. I didn’t even read the blurb! Plus I’ve had such luck lately trying new historical romance authors that I thought I’d give this a go. The great thing about this story is that I had no trouble jumping right in even though this is book 3 in the series. This was a fun take on the classic trope of the heroine disguising as a man and meeting the hero under those conditions.
Rosamund is disguising as Ross Carrow and helping her brother in their family law practice. Her brother stutters under especially stressful situations and never had to appear in court because their father was always in charge of that. After his death, Rosamund steps up for a short time to finish off their current case load and be the one in the courtroom representing their clients. Good thing she always had an interest in the law and a very sharp mind. In her first case, she defeats the unbeatable Lord Byron and catches his interest. He quickly figures out Ross is actually a woman and a lot sexy shenanigans ensue.
I really liked Rosamund’s character. I love smart heroines and she has a quick mind and a witty tongue. She is killer in the courtroom but also never backs down from the otherwise intimidating Lawrence. Even if she’s enamored with him and his good looks. But at the same time, she is also strong enough to make a decision to get involved with him knowing there could be no future for them. They come from such different classes and a fairy tale ending isn’t in her cards. But she still chooses to take what she can get with the man she wants.
Lawrence on the other hand was not as spectacular for me. He’s more of a beta hero, which I’m ok with, and he is pretty hot. But there wasn’t anything that was jumping off the page and captivating my attention about his character. I thought he was even a bit inconsiderate and selfish at times, just taking whatever he wanted only to be redeemed in the end by a grand gesture.
Another thing I liked was the fact that it shows the lack of choices for women in those times. While Rosamund loves practicing law and is really good at it, she’ll never be able to fulfill that part of her life and this taste she got is more than she could hope for. It was hard for me to understand how there was a resignation that it was just something she could never have, and she would be happy with other things in her life. That speaks of the great strength of those women who wanted more for themselves but often society put a stop to their dreams.
While this was a fun read, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to get the next one (or back one) based on this read. But I can be persuaded again by a pretty cover ;)...more
I have read Lydia Michaels in the past and have enjoyed the depth of emotion that I’ve found in her stories. While I haven’t read Allyson Young befor
I have read Lydia Michaels in the past and have enjoyed the depth of emotion that I’ve found in her stories. While I haven’t read Allyson Young before, when my friend Trish recommended I check this out I didn’t hesitate. The Degrees of Separation series is following a married couple, December and Austin, who love each other dearly but are stumbling across a hard rock in their marriage. Austin has been out of work for quite some time and this has caused some major financial problems. He’s chosen to deal with this by drowning all his sorrows in alcohol and it’s tearing his life and marriage apart.
Emotionally charged, FORFEIT lays the hearts of the characters open and invites you to go through their pains and struggles with them. Limits are tested, friendships are deepened. And hopefully true love perseveres in the end. But is true love as simple as we expect? Through the hardships in this book, their very good friend Cord is a strong support for both of his friends. While we don’t know much about his own feelings I can’t wait to explore more of it in the next book. I learned to love (and some hate) things about each of the characters and I’m fully invested in the outcome for them all.
I am always hard on books that show a real life struggle such as alcoholism because things are often romanticized or they miraculously overcome a problem that is so debilitating for most people. I am so glad this is not the direction the authors are taking with this series. I hated Austin at the same time my heart was breaking for his condition and ultimately the decision he makes at the end of this book. At the same time, the one bearing the aftermath of all this is December, his wife. She’s left a bit broken, powerless to help the man she loves and unwanted by him as well. Their best friend is on the sidelines trying with everything he can to see his friends put together again while holding back his own feelings and emotions. ALL.THE.FEELS! Lots of raw, jagged emotions paint the pages of this story and I wish I had the next one already to find out what happens next. I’m sure things will get a lot messier before they get better. I have my expectations in my head and I hope that’s where the authors are taking this story. ;) On a side note, I’m also very happy these are full length and not a “serial” so you do get quite a bit of story with each installment....more
I have wanted to read this series since the first time I saw the cover for book 1. The cover art is truly beautiful! But I forgot to go back2.5 Stars
I have wanted to read this series since the first time I saw the cover for book 1. The cover art is truly beautiful! But I forgot to go back to read the first so I picked up this second one instead (another cover that I loved!) I tend to love stories centered around tattoo artists and I was expecting a bit of that, mixed in with a “good” girl needing to loosen up a bit. Sadly, as much as I wanted to really like this story, I just couldn’t connect with it.
The first thing I was a bit thrown off by is the mesh of tropes thrown in here! The hero is a law school dropout turned tattoo artist (apparently a really good one) plus he’s the drummer of a up and coming (on the verge of massive success) band. I wish there would’ve been less there to deal with. Otherwise, I really liked Jackson’s character. Well, that is until we figure out why their relationship failed in the past. This is after all a second chance story and I couldn’t help but get a bit pissy about the reasons why he couldn’t stick around and make their relationship work. Honestly, I just lost some respect for him.
Jami, our heroine, is now practicing law and letting her family dictate how she lives her life. Always has. Her true passion is something she barely even considers for herself. I wanted more from her character. There were a lot of things that could’ve made the story more emotional and deeper in her backstory and issues. They’re only touched on superficially and I think that may have been a missed opportunity on getting more meat from the story. She seemed a bit naive and one dimensional.
In the end, I found this story was lacking something to get me interested in the characters and I was never invested in the outcome. It’s not a bad story, it was just okay and not much about it stood out to me. I wanted the emotions to run deeper and in the end I didn’t get that out of this book....more
I was really excited about this book because I do enjoy the darker feel to Santino Hassell’s paranormal stories so I wanted to read more. This is the
I was really excited about this book because I do enjoy the darker feel to Santino Hassell’s paranormal stories so I wanted to read more. This is the start of a new series and I found the world darkly seductive. We have a family of psychics living in Texas. Our main character, Nate, has been shunned by most of the towns people by either being gay, being weird or a freak (due to his psychic abilities he’s trying to hide) or his strange family that is plagued with mental illness and alcoholics. When he finds out his estranged twin brother supposedly killed himself in New York, he knows there’s more to it than that because of visions he’s having and decides to go on a search to uncover the truth about his brother’s death that takes him to New York and straight to The Community.
There is a cool similarity between The Community and some things about Scientology. It’s even compared in the book and I think that comparison is quite spot on. It was fun to see this entwined with the paranormal, psychic elements of the story. I was invested in the story because of the story. The characters? Well, I liked them individually but I’m not so sure on the romance aspect as much. Yes, there’s chemistry and attraction but I don’t know if it went past infatuation or insta-love for me. I wanted a bit more on that.
The mystery of Nate’s brother’s death is unfolded nicely and kept me turning the pages to find out what happened. Anxious and interested. So that is one thing that will keep me coming back for more of this world. And we have some open ended issues going on with The Community that I can’t wait to find out more about as well. All in all, this is a good first book in the series which captured my attention about this new story but didn’t quite deliver as much as I wanted on the romance end....more
I have done it! Finally I read my first Jennifer L. Armentrout book and it’s so different from what I thought I would be reading. Most of her books (
I have done it! Finally I read my first Jennifer L. Armentrout book and it’s so different from what I thought I would be reading. Most of her books (at least what’s been recommended to me) have a paranormal element in them. But something about the premise of this story just made me want to jump in. I’ve been reading thrillers more and more and I was curious as to the balance between a thriller and romantic suspense that this would have.
The premise of this story is about a serial killer that called himself The Groom. Years ago, he would kidnap women looking for his special and perfect Bride, and then kill them leaving them in the same spot following a pattern. Sasha was the only one that got away from him and brought about his death. Since then, she hasn’t been able to face her hometown and most of the people that were in her life. Family, friends and the man she was in love with. But all that changes when she’s ready to face the demons and come back to realize her dream of helping her mother run their bed and breakfast. As soon as she returns though, things start happening again and now they have no clue what could be behind it.
Let me get this out of the way first. I knew who was behind it. Damn it! That is my number one requirement in these type of reads, I want to be left guessing at every turn and suspecting everyone. I knew. I knew. I knew with a certainty from the very first time this person is introduced. And when it’s revealed, the only thing I was surprised by was the story behind it. I had thought it be for a different reason. This may be the one big thing keeping me from giving this book a higher rating. I felt as if I read it without having the huge mystery thrilling me along the way.
In terms of everything else, I think this book is a great romantic suspense read. I would’ve thought there would be less romance, but it is such an integral part of this story. The hero is looking for a second chance with the only woman he’s ever been in love with. The woman he regretted and blamed himself for years that he couldn’t keep safe and won’t do the same now. Cole is all alpha male and deliciously protective. I loved that desperation you could feel to get the future he always envisioned for himself back, at the same time the need to rectify the mistakes he thought he did before.
I still think there were some things that could’ve been fleshed out a bit more or better towards the end, but overall I really enjoyed this story. The author managed to get me creeped out a few times because of the eeek factor of the situation. TILL DEATH is an engaging blend of romance and suspense and I hope to see more of this type of book from Ms. Armentrout in the future....more