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Thursday, February 26, 2015

ARC Review: Promise Me by Hilary Wynne

Promise Me is the third book in the Alexa Reed series by Hilary Wynne. Each book continues the story of Alexa and Julian, and these books need to be read in order. If you have not read the previous two books, you will need to start there and I would suggest not reading this review so that nothing is spoiled about the story so far. I have really enjoyed this series so far, and I love Alexa and Julian's characters so much. I will say that they have both frustrated me at times, but I have never stopped rooting for them. 

Promise Me picks up after the events of Hold On, with the reconciliation of Julian and Alexa. For the first time in this series, the tables are turned with Alexa all in and Julian struggling with their relationship. Though he loves her and wants her, Julian has trouble trusting her this time around after she left him when he needed her most. Alexa is determined to show him that she is done running though, and she knows that she has to rebuild the trust between them. But Alexa is also keeping a secret that she knows will destroy any solid ground that they have found again. When the truth comes out, will it destroy any chance of a future for them? 

I love Julian, and that has been true from the very start. But I will say that he drove me nuts in this book at times. Not that I blame him for having issues after everything that they have been through, but he was definitely different this time around. There were times that I felt like he was punishing Alexa for her mistakes, and he was so quick to judge her. He wasn't the same caring and loving guy that he had been before, and it really broke my heart to see him treat her as he did. I knew he was hurting, but I wish that he would have been able to move forward and see all the positive changes that Alexa had been making. Alexa was stronger than ever in this book, and I loved seeing her finally have faith in their relationship. She was willing to stand up and fight for them, and she also dealt with her insecurities and fears much better. She was far from perfect, but the progress she had made was amazing. I loved seeing her work so hard to stand by Julian, even when he didn't make it easy. I felt like she really showed just how committed she was and the depth of her feelings was clear for anyone to see. These two have always had such an emotional connection, and chemistry has never been a problem for them. But this book was the hardest one yet for me to get through because of how disconnected they were at times. 

Overall, I was glad to see how things turned out in this book and I am glad that I stuck with this one. It was hard to read at times, and it definitely brought out so many emotions for me. I love Julian and Alexa, and I have always believed that these two were meant to be together. They never seem to catch a break though, and the push and pull from each book did get old. I wanted them to start facing problems together rather than apart, and I felt like they still haven't been able to do that. As much as I enjoy some angst and drama, I was ready for it to be outside of the relationship between the two of them. Hilary Wynne has said that a possible fourth book might be in the works and as much as I would love more of these two, I really feel like it has to be different if she goes ahead with it. As fantastic and Julian and Alexa are, these two can't keep doing the back and forth and I think if that is the story next time around it will really kill this series for me. We leave them in a good place at the end of this book, and I would love to get more of them assuming that they can at least deal with things as a team from here on out. I am all for more when it comes to a series as long as the story is right and doesn't feel forced. These are starting to get a forced feeling to me because as great as these two are, the problems always seem to be the same but just with a slightly different cause each time. I think that Hilary Wynne is a great writer, but there is only so many ways to do the same story and after awhile it needs to end. If you have not read this series, I would absolutely recommend it. Julian and Alexa are great together, and I like that they are so real. They are flawed and imperfect, but what makes them so special is how perfect they are for each other.

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 

Guest Post with Author Lynda Aicher and Giveaway

Meet Lynda Aicher, author of Game Play.

Lynda Aicher has always loved to read. After years of weekly travel implementing computer software into global companies, she ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties as a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, volunteer, cleaner and mediator. 

Feature and Giveaway: Once and Always by Elizabeth Hoyt


Small town cop Sam West certainly doesn't mind a routine traffic stop: speeding ticket, stern warning, and sayonara. With a whopper of a blizzard closing in, that's all he has time for. But the lawbreaker he pulls over is anything but typical. From her mile-long legs to her razor-sharp wit, Maisa Bradley is like nothing Coot Lake, Minnesota, has ever seen . . . and she's about to take Sam on the ride of his life.


Whoever said blood is thicker than water probably wasn't related to a former Russian mobster. But an innocent mix-up and rumors of stolen diamonds soon have the Russian mob taking an unusual interest in the sleepy little town—and Maisa facing heated scrutiny from a certain tall, dark, and handsome deputy. Sam's dazzling blue eyes beg her to reveal all her secrets, but how much should she tell? Getting snowed in with the sexiest lawman in the frozen north may not be the worst way to decide.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ARC Review: Hate F*@k: Part One by Ainsley Booth

Explaining my thoughts about this book is much easier than choosing a numerical rating. This book has the pieces that appeal to a reader like me but some of them needed better definition and the assembly is slightly off. I found this book to be an entertaining and quick read with above average writing and it’s on my recommend list if you can deal with the following:

I think this is Ainsley Booth’s first published work and whether it is fair or not, I’m grading on a curve because I think this writer has a lot of potential and I hope she finds enough success to keep at it. Hate Fuck is about a D.C. fixer, Cole, and the daughter of a wealthy family, Hailey, embroiled in a scandal. Cole is seemingly assigned to handle (Olivia Pope style) the negative publicity surrounding Hailey’s family and specifically to work with Hailey. The chemistry between Cole and Hailey is crackling and I found all of their interactions to be electric and entertaining. There is a good current of humor and comedy that runs throughout this book in just enough proportions to add flavor to the plot but not so much that it overshadows the story line. The steam level is a good 4.5 stars even though it’s more foreplay than actual hiding of the snake action.

The first piece of assembly that goes slightly askew is that Cole and Hailey have an antagonistic relationship from the outset of the story but the reason for the hostility, at least from Hailey’s perspective, isn’t entirely clear. It seems that Cole’s antagonism is based on his repressed attraction to Hailey and I’m guessing that Hailey’s feelings are based on Cole’s consequent behavior. The problem is that I’m guessing because the character’s motivations for their feelings isn’t developed enough.

This is a book that attempts to veer into the romantic/suspense category or maybe that is actually the category in which it is supposed to exist, I’m not sure. What I do know is that there were hints of mystery but they kind of seemed to come out of nowhere. The hints didn’t subtly blend into the story line, they were too blunt for that. For example, Hailey starts to suspect that something more is going on with Cole than what he says but it just kind of happens. What minute she thinks Cole is one thing, the next moment she makes five leaps of inference and she’s all “what’s really going on here?” Also, Hailey keeps talking about “the murder cover up” but I have no idea to what this refers, it just pops into the story and back out again every few pages.

The last thing that isn’t well assembled is the references to Cole being “bad” for Hailey and her being “sweet and innocent.” We are never told what is so bad about Cole, maybe we’ll find out in the subsequent books in this series but for the time being we don’t know. As for Hailey, there doesn’t seem to be anything innocent about her. At one point Hailey says “hold my hair, make me choke, paint my face.” Now, I am HERE for all of that. I love a heroine a who is confident and not afraid to say what she wants, HOWEVER, I don’t know any women I would describe as innocent who are out here asking to have their faces painted.

One thing that just needs more development is Hailey’s physical appearance. I have no idea what Hailey’s body looks like. Hailey seems to think she is fat but I don’t know if that is in the same way that like every woman feels that way or if she is actually chubby. Hailey makes repeated references to her weight but there is never a good physical description of her given and that just irritates me.

The ending of this book is a interesting cliffhanger if not a little sudden. I’m intrigued and I definitely plan on finding out what comes next.

The petty note list: I hate it when breasts are referred to as boobs. If Cole was a “Dupont Circle” guy, he would be gay. I don’t know any D.C. girls who wear jean skirts.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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Review: Consensual by Livia Jamerlan

I have to admit that when I started Consensual, I was hoping for the best but didn't really know what to expect. This is my first book by Livia Jamerlan and I had really nothing to go on besides the cover and blurb. I have to say though that this book was so much better than I had hoped for! I was invested right away and couldn't put it down! I can't believe that I had no idea who Livia Jamerlan was before, but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for books from her in the future. I will warn you that Consensual is a part of a series and each book ends with a cliffhanger, so you do need to read these in order. Luckily book two is already out, and book three releases soon as well. 

Having overcome a horrible childhood with the help of her older sister, Braelynn Wolf focuses on her school and her future. When she wins a prestigious internship, she goes out with friends to celebrate and ends up meeting the sexy Peyton Haas. Though there is an instant attraction between them, things quickly get complicated when Braelynn finds out that Peyton is a defense attorney on a current case she is working on. But Peyton and Braelynn find themselves unable to stay away from one another, and soon they are lying to those around them to hide their relationship. Will Peyton and Braelynn be able to keep their relationship secret until their case is over, or will it ruin her future career in the process?

I really liked both Peyton and Braelynn. Peyton was sexy and alpha, and he didn't take no for an answer. He was cocky at times, and there were things that he would do or say that were infuriating. But he was also really great and had these moments that were so sweet and caring. I could just how unusual it was for him to want more from a woman than a single night, so it was kind of nice to see him struggle a bit with his new feelings. Livia Jamerlan did a great job showing how hard he was falling for Braelynn, and I loved it all. Braelynn was strong and independent, and I loved that she was a fighter. She didn't give up on what she believed in and I was so glad that she was able to take a painful past and want to do more for others. I liked seeing her let Peyton in though, and I was glad that she didn't make things easy on him. She made him work for it, and it was nice to see a heroine that could submit when she wanted but wasn't a complete doormat. These two were beyond hot, and the chemistry between them was off the charts! But I really liked seeing them build an emotional connection as well.

Overall, I really loved this book. It took me completely by surprise, and left me wanting more. I loved Peyton and Braelynn, but I loved the other characters as well. I really enjoyed Braelynn's friends, and I cannot wait to see more of all these characters throughout the rest of the series. I know that there are so many books out there and that a lot of people tend to stay away from cliffhangers if they can. But I am so glad that I read this book, and even though I hate waiting I really don't mind this time. Livia Jamerlan has written an excellent story here, and I honestly cannot wait to find out what happens next. If you like sexy romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines, I would definitely recommend giving this book a shot. I will absolutely be reading Coherent as soon as I can, and I am look forward to seeing what Livia Jamerlan comes up with in the future.

**Review Copy Provided by Book Empire Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle