Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Release & Excerpt: Undeniably Chosen by Shelly Crane

Ava has watched her parents, Caleb and Maggie, live the perfect fairy tale, the perfect love story, played out in front of her eyes her entire life. Her family is love, life, and happiness. The Jacobsons are everything a family should be and Ava is loved and well taken care of. But the one thing that’s missing from her life is the one thing she’s waited for every day, the one thing her kind knows will make them complete, the one thing they thought was gone and lost forever.

Her significant.

Seth has lived with the Watsons his entire life. They’re the only family he knows, but he knows that there are things they keep from him. He knows that they lie and they do unspeakable evil, things from when he was a child that he can barely remember that cling to the edges of his memory. He barely remembers his real mother and all he knows is what he’s told. He doesn’t know what to trust. He wants to believe that the Watsons love and care for him, have his best interest at heart, but isn’t so sure of that anymore when he finally—after a lifetime of waiting for her—meets his soulmate, and the Watson’s first act is to try to take her away from him.

The Virtuoso worlds collide, hearts are exposed, humans are endangered, and the lives of Seth and Ava are changed forever. They’ll have to love without judgment or reservation, they’ll have to be wise and accepting beyond their years, they’ll have to forgive for things before they’ve even happened, they’ll have to trust without seeing, have faith without knowing, and they’ll have to light their own way in the dark when everyone else is blind to show them the way. And more than anything else…

they’ll fight like hell to keep each other.

When I entered the kitchen where the breakfast nook was, everyone stopped eating and talking, which made me feel so uncomfortable until Seth stood up so fast that his chair almost tipped over behind him.
He let his out in a slow, low noise before… “Wow.”
Mom chuckled and leaned back with a smile, clapping twice. “And that, ladies and gentleman, is how it’s done.”
My neck was so pink I could feel it, and Seth—realizing he’d just practically fallen at my feet in front of everyone—smiled that smile that tore through me like tissue paper and then turned it on my mother. She sat up straighter and looked at me with wide eyes.
‘I know’, I mouthed as I moved toward him.
“Eat, Ave,” Dad said, knowing what I was doing.
“I’m going to be late. And it’s the last day of school before winter break.”
“Gee, I wonder why you’re late—” Rodney began. I punched his arm.
“I’ll just take this.” I grabbed a biscuit, stuck a piece of sausage in it, and wrapped it in a napkin. “I’ll eat it,” I promised.
“I’ll make sure she eats,” Seth told them. Mom came and hugged him, telling him something in his ear and he nodded. “Thanks, Mrs. Jacobson. I will. I promise.”
Dad patted his shoulder and told him to make sure to stop by anytime, no invitation needed. Dad went to the counter and started making me a coffee in a to-go cup. I knew he was doing it, because I saw him pull the Hazelnut creamer from the fridge. But I saw him pull out a second to-go cup…and he made it black. How did he already know that Seth took his coffee black?!
“What is going on here?” I muttered under my breath.
Seth took both of the cups from my dad and guided me with an arm around my back. “Thanks for the coffee and breakfast. Bye, guys.”
“Bye, Seth!” Mom called cheerily.
I looked at the snow and the porch as we came outside to make sure that everything was the same, that I hadn’t entered an episode of a TV show of some alternate reality or something.
I looked at Seth. “If you tell me your name is The Doctor, I’m outta here.”
He laughed loudly. “And now you’re a “Doctor Who” fan? Freaking adorable,” he mumbled under his breath. “Your parents are awesome, Ava.” He was so sincere.
“I was worried I was going to have to save you.”
“No need.” He used his elbow to swipe the snow off of a spot and then set the coffees on his hood. The truck was already cranked so he must have the kind where you do it from the key fob because there were no footprints in the snow. He opened the door, helped me in, and then got the coffees, handing mine to me. “They were awesome about not making me feel weird. Even Rodney wasn’t too bad.”
He laughed before shutting my door.
My dress wasn’t too short, but I did notice how it rose up mid-thigh when I sat down. But the leggings kept the ensemble decent. And warm.
The truck was so warm, but I still slid over as soon as he shut my door. When he got in and saw how close I was, his grin was adorable. He got in and turned the heat on even more, looking at my legs and shutting his eyes for a few seconds too long. “You’re not too cold with those on?”
“Leggings?” I laughed.
“Is that what they’re called?” he half-growled as he backed out and got on the road. “They should be called evil.”
“They’re just like pants, just thinner. Jeans, just not made of quite the same thing. Jeggings.”
He laughed and shook his head. “As long as you’re warm, sweetheart, call ‘em whatever you want.” He looked at my legs again and then away with a little groan. “I’ll just call them evil because I can see every inch of your legs in those things.”
My heart practically did the Tennessee Waltz behind my ribs. “And that’s evil?” I squeaked.
“Evil,” he reiterated and smiled.

Shelly is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay-at-home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. She hoards paperbacks, devours sweet tea, searches year-round for candy corn, and loves to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants, site-see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music, and, of course, loves to read, but doesn't have much time to these days with all the characters filling her head begging to come out. She is author to over twenty books and counting!

Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Calmly, Carefully, Completely by Tammy Falkner

Calmly, Carefully, Completely 
by Tammy Falkner
(The Reed Brothers #3)
November 18, 2013
264 pages
Genre: New Adult Romance
Contains: strong language, sex, sexual assault triggers
Source: eARC for Honest review

She’s been locked upeven longer than he has.

Peter Reed is fresh out of jail, fresh out of excuses, and ready for a brand new start.
Reagan Caster needs to thank Pete for an act of kindness, but he wants more than just her thanks.

Reagan knows how to protect her body, but not her heart. And her traitorous body responds to Pete in a way it hasn't with anyone else.When Pete's innocent flirtation becomes more, Reagan's ready to accept what he has to offer.

Pete assumes Reagan needs to be loved carefully and calmly. 
But Reagan knows she needs to be loved completely. 

Can he give her what she needs?

I absolutely loved Pete and Reagan's story! This is the 3rd book in the Reed Brothers series. Now I loved reading the first two books, which are Logan's story. But this can easily be read as a standalone. But I warn you that you will likely fall in love with the Reed brothers and want to read all of their stories.

Pete and Reagan's story begins with a terrible assault, intertwining these two strangers' lives due to the cruelty of another. Fast forward, Pete and Reagan are once again in each other's lives, Pete fresh out of jail for something unrelated, and Reagan the fresh face Pete has thought about all this time, as they meet up once again, this time at a camp for boys. Time apart, however, has not broken their small but significant connection, and we get to see what happens when two people fall in love, one step at a time.

I absolutely loved Pete and Reagan. Pete has learned from his mistakes, but even with the jail experience, he is still the loving brother who would do anything for his family, which has now turned into the kind, considerate, compassionate man who is able to slowly but surely break down the walls that Reagan has built up around her. Pete is funny as well as serious, able to balance his emotions and think of those around him. I loved how he treated Reagan with respect and tenderness, but not as something broken or damaged. I also loved his interactions with the boys at camp. You could see the natural mentor coming out of him, and I loved this aspect of the story. And, of course, witnessing any and all of the Reed brothers interacting is always wonderful.

I also loved how strong Reagan was. She's been protecting herself for a long time, and with that self-preservation, she has pulled back from others. Yet she is still kind and genuine, and that shines through despite her walls. But I also loved that with Pete she was finally able to take steps away from those walls, and trust him and his intentions. She is young in some aspects, but a wary soul in others. Her respect and admiration for Pete are apparent, but also her blossoming feelings. I loved them so much together. I also loved Reagan's parents. They had such a fun dynamic to witness - overprotective dad and calm mom - and I could imagine them as real parents. 

This story is definitely a love story, and I fell for Pete and Reagan big time. But there are many other aspects as well. For such a sensitive topic as sexual assault, the author sure was able to make a beautiful, sweet story. Reagan's situation was handled really well, yet it wasn't dwelled on in the way I am used to. Perhaps that's due to the timeline of the book. But I loved that we get the heartbreak of what happened to her, feel the deep root of how she has been affected, but we also get a beautiful love story about two people who work so well together. Additionally, we get this youth camp with a mix of ex-cons, juvenile offenders, and disabled or disadvantaged children. All of their interactions were important and moving and I loved the integration of it all.

Bottom-line, I loved this story, loved the characters, and loved how the author brought it all together. I'm excited to continue reading the rest of this series. 

The Reed Brothers Series:
Book 1: Tall, Tatted, and Tempting

Book 2: Smart, Sexy, and Secretive

Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (40)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

What I Read Last Week:
 Undeniably Chosen (Significance, #6)
Cruel Summer by KR Conway
Undeniably Chosen by Shelly Crane
My Reviews Last Week:
 Finding Mr. Brightside 
 After Dark
CODA by CD Reiss (my 5 star review)
Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark (my 5 star review)
Cruel Summer by KR Conway (my 4.5 star review)
After Dark by M. Pierce (my 3.5 star review)
What I'm Currently Reading:
Calmly, Carefully, Completely by Tammy Falkner

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (102)

STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
 For My Kindle:
Ten Below Zero
Ten Below Zero by Whitney Barbetti

eARC Goodness:
Undeniably Chosen (Significance, #6) Aimee and the Heartthrob Calmly, Carefully, Completely (The Reed Brothers, #3)
Under the Spotlight (The Jamieson Collection #3) The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key, #1)
Undeniably Chosen by Shelly Crane
Aimee and the Heartthrob by Penny Reid
Calmly, Carefully, Completely by Tammy Falkner
Under the Spotlight by Angie Stanton
The Shadow Revolution by Clay & Susan Griffith

Friday, March 27, 2015

(Adult) Review: After Dark by M Pierce

After Dark
After Dark by M. Pierce
(Night Owl #3)
March 24, 2015
Genre: Adult Erotica, Contemporary Romance 18+
Contains: Very explicit sex and mature language
Source: eARC for Honest review

In the final novel of the Night Owl Trilogy from bestselling author M. Pierce, can a passion that has withstood many ordeals become a love strong enough to last a lifetime?

At twenty-nine, Matt Sky is trying to return to normal, having faked his death and come back to life. He and Hannah move to a simple house in the suburbs, and strive to grow their relationship into something durable and honest. They become more and more entangled, in the best ways possible.

At twenty-eight, Hannah finally has the life she's always wanted: she's pursuing her career as a literary agent at Granite Wing Agency, she is writing her first solo novel, and she is living with her hot, passionate lover. For the first time, Matt and Hannah are able to explore intimacy without inhibitions—without lies, secrets, or jealousy—and the results are explosive.

Still life together is not as easy as it seems. Matt is estranged from his brothers in the wake of his cruel stunt; Seth Sky, embittered by his failed pursuit of Hannah, makes a play for Hannah's sister; and the topic of Hannah's novel—her relationship with Matt and the Sky family—is driving a wedge between her and Matt. The lovers are devoted to one another, having come through many ordeals, but is their bond strong enough to last a lifetime?

'After Dark' picks up right where 'Last Light' left off. Well, it doesn't take long for Matt and Hannah to start giving me whiplash. This couple, I tell ya, they are so sweet one moment, so sexy another, and so secretive and screwed up the next. Perhaps that is their appeal. Because entering this third book, even when the scenes start to take an unpleasant turn (in my opinion), I can't seem to look away.

I'd hoped the whiplash and the secrets would chill out eventually, but... well. Now the things I've liked about Matt and Hannah started to get a bit tiresome here. Don't get me wrong. Matt and Hannah still have an appeal about them that is mesmerizing. They continue to have the intense sexuality about them that we have come to expect, taking even more risks here. A healthy combination of wake-up, make-up, and shake-it-up sex. But with the forward momentum of their relationship there also seems to be a regression in their maturity. The secrets, the enabling, the ignoring. These two had a lot of work ahead of them.

This story is also about more than just Matt and Hannah. Other family members have things going on, that may or may not affect Matt and Hannah. I thought the author took interesting risks and created a storyline that had twists and turns that kept me wondering how it all would end. One character, however, I was really upset about how they were treated. There was such an imbalance of how this person was treated compared to others and I felt like this person was just never given a fair shot or a chance. Matt's childish actions overshadowed this person and I was left dissatisfied and disappointed with this segment of the storyline. Though I will say the epilogue tried to balance things out and find redemption for the characters and I liked that hope was gained in the end.

Overall, I found 'After Dark' an engaging read and I was engrossed in the conclusion of Matt and Hannah's story. While Matt and Hannah drove me crazy frequently, I liked them as a couple, and felt invested in their somewhat neurotic romance. Though I did not like all the choices made here, I was still gripped by the story, and happy with where they were at in the end. And I still like Pierce as a writer and feel he really brings a unique voice to his characters and to this trilogy. I look forward to more from him in the future.

Have you started the Night Owl trilogy yet?
Night Owl (Night Owl #1)
Night Owl #1

Last Light  (The Night Owl Trilogy, #2)
Last Light #2

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pre-Release Blitz & Excerpt: Deep by Kylie Scott

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Deep by Kylie Scott
(Stage Dive #4)
March 31, 2015

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible...but will it lead to a connection of the heart?
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His laughter, it didn’t really sound the smallest bit amused. “Chr---. You’re done here.”

“Ah, no. I’m actually not. Now see, this is where we have a problem.” I folded my arms. Then unfolded them because like f--- I’d look defensive. He was the one in the wrong, not me. “You’re not prepared to take me, or my feelings, seriously. What you want is to hide away in Mr. Too Cool for Commitment land and just play with my affections when it suits you. Okay, I’ve accepted that. But none of that means it’s okay for you to come in here and act like you’re the boss of me. None of it.”

“That so?” he asked, leaning down so that we were almost nose to nose.

“That’s so, baby.” I play-punched him in the shoulder, which it should be noted, I barely came up to. Okay, so maybe the alcohol on a mostly empty stomach had made me slightly/lots braver/sillier. “So why don’t you take your little caveman jealous tantrum bullsh-- somewhere else. See, I do this funny thing I like to refer to as whatever the f--- I want. Understand?”

He just stared.

“And as pretty as you are with your beard and your muscles, you are too damn tricky and . . . complicated and sh-- for me.”

“I am?”

“Yes, you are. Are you finally seeing my point here?”

“You bet.”

“Excellent. So take your hotness elsewhere, kind sir. I want no part of it!” Huh. I had so told him. Drunken bravado was the best.
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Meet Ben and Lizzy on March 31st!

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK 

Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ iBooks 

Stage Dive Series Reading Order

Lick (Stage Dive, #1)
Lick (Book 1)
Play (Stage Dive, #2)
Play (Book 2)
My ReviewAmazon US ~ Amazon UK
Lead (Stage Dive, #3)
Lead (Book 3)
My ReviewAmazon US ~ Amazon UK
Deep (Stage Dive, #4)
Deep (Book 4)
Amazon US ~ Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ iBooks

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Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Stalk Kylie Scott: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads