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Thursday, July 24, 2014

ARC Review: Fated for Love by Melissa Foster

Fated for Love is the most recent addition to the Love in Bloom series by Melissa Foster, and is the eighth Bradens book as well as book number sixteen in the series. I have really enjoyed all the books I have read in the series so far, and Fated for Love was no exception. I relly liked both Wes and Callie, and Callie's friends were so much fun. This book was enjoyable and sweet, but it also had its sexy moments as well. I highly recommend this series and the great thing about these books are that you can really start with any of them since they are standalones. I do think that they are great when read in order though and it adds so much to the experience by seeing how the characters and their lives progress with each book.

Callie Barnes moved away from Denver and her best friends in order to start her dream job of being a librarian in the small town of Trusty, Colorado. She looks forward to Thursdays when the sexy Wes Braden comes in to pick up her latest recommendations for him. Wes is the kind of guy that all the girls in town are after, and Callie finds it hard for her to even speak when he is around. She never thought that someone like him would be interested in her. When her friends take her away for the weekend she is expecting the spa retreat that they promised her, but when they arrive they have actually brought her to a dude ranch. When Callie finds out that it is actually owned by Wes and that he will be their wrangler for the weekend, she immediately regrets allowing her friends to talk her into staying. Callie struggles with her fears while Wes helps to guide her through many physically demanding activities all while supporting her and encouraging her. Soon Callie realizes that Wes wasn't so oblivious to her after all, and actually has been feeling the same thing for her as she was for him. As Callie and Wes confront their fears together, they learn to lean on each other and their new relationship while looking forward to their future together.

I really loved Wes. He was seriously one of the sweetest if not the sweetest book boyfriends I have ever read about. He was thoughtful and romantic, and I could not believe how great he was. He embraced his feelings with Callie, and didn't struggle with the changes that brought to his life at all. He was pretty much perfect in every way, and I really loved how great he was helping her through the week at the ranch. He was supportive and understanding, and you couldn't help but fall in love with him right along with Callie. Callie was brave and sweet, and I really liked seeing her outside her comfort zone. I loved her from the start, and felt like she was really easy to relate to. But it was so nice to see her trying new things and never giving up. She was great with Wes, and I thought that they were the perfect match together. They had a lot of chemistry, but they also had such a strong connection and you could see how emotionally tied to each other they were. They might have fallen for each other quickly, but it was so real and believable and I never questioned it for a second.

Overall, I thought that this book was really good. It was so much fun to read, and I adored Callie and her friends along with Wes. I also loved Wes's puppy Sweets. They were so cute together, and I loved how dedicated he was to taking care of her and loving her. I will say that this book was beyond sweet and romantic. While it was good, at times it felt like it was a little too good to be true. While there was passion and sexy times, it was for the most part overly sweet and adorable. I found it enjoyable, but I think that for some it might be too much. Callie and Wes were definitely the lovey type of couple that in real life you would love to see happy but also make you a little sick with how happy they are. I still would recommend this story and the rest of the series, especially to contemporary fans and fans of Melissa Foster and the Love in Bloom series. I think that these books never disappoint, and always leave you feeling happy and satisfied. I look forward to reading more about the Bradens and can't wait for the next book.

**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ARC Review: One Night With Her Ex by Lucy King

I was really excited to read this book after reading the blurb. I couldn't wait to start this second chance love story and see Lily and Kit get their HEA. I was a little bit apprehensive because I had never read anything by Lucy King before, but figured it was worth a shot. While I did enjoy the first bit of this book, after about half way through this one really went down hill for me. I have to say that this wasn't at all what I had been expecting and I had some pretty big problems with this book. Beware that there will be spoilers in this review, because I can't possibly give you my opinion without stating a few things that happened.

After a bad ending to a date on New Year's Eve, Lily is shocked when her ex-husband shows up at her door wanting to talk. After their marriage fell apart and Kit cheated on her five years ago, they haven't spoken at all. Things start off bad between them, but after they start talking they both realize that they are different people than they were when they were married. After a bit of talking, they also realize that the attraction is still between them and things heat up between them. Kit starts to think that maybe it is time that they gave things another chance and see if they could make a go of it together. But Lily has her doubts, and doesn't know if she can let herself trust him again. Can Kit convince her that they are meant to be together and that things will be different the second time?

I really wanted to like Kit and Lily, but every time that I would start to like them they would do something that drove me nuts. Kit and Lily were both at fault for the failure of their marriage. They didn't communicate well, Lily ran rather than face what was going on, but I don't think that any of that excuses Kit's cheating. He made a horrible decision, and I felt like it was pretty much unforgivable. Every time it was brought up it almost seemed to be attributed to Lily rather than Kit, and I really wanted him to take responsibility for his mistake. I felt like Lily was constantly apologizing when she wasn't the one who had screwed up the most. Yes she had things to apologize for and that she had done wrong, but for some reason it seemed to be her that was blamed every time. Lily had absolutely no back bone and I just felt like she was so weak. It was hard to relate to her, and honestly I didn't really have any sympathy for her when she couldn't even face her problems or stand up for herself. Because when she wasn't running and avoiding, she was saying she was sorry. I did think that Kit and Lily had chemistry, but honestly I just couldn't get past everything that had happened between them.

I also had a huge problem with the fact that Lily let a huge thing go later on in the book as well. After finding out that Kit still works with the woman he cheated on her with, Lily gives him an ultimatum and demands that he either fire her PR firm, have the woman fired, or have her transferred to another team. Kit flat out refuses and Lily waits all of a few hours before she is calling him to try and apologize for being unfair and demanding too much. Are you kidding me? If I was her, the cheating would be bad enough but for him to still be working with her would be game over. Especially when he didn't even clue her in until she found out herself. For someone trying to prove that they love you and never stopped and that they are worth a second shot, he sure was bad at regaining her trust and being completely upfront. If all that wasn't bad enough, Lily's sister then starts telling Lily what a huge mistake she is making and that she needs to apologize more and that she has no reason not to trust him again because he hasn't done anything wrong recently. I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes and face-palming, and honestly it just went from bad to worse. Not really sure why I finished, except at that point I felt like I had to see it through. I have to say that this is not a book that I would recommend, and I think that a lot of people will have the exact same problems with this story that I did. It just didn't work for me and I couldn't get behind anything in this story.

**ARC Provided by Harlequin**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository |

ARC Review: Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti

BLIND FAITH is the third book in Ms. Zanetti's Sins Brothers series, and perhaps the best one yet. It's definitely a series that needs to be read in order, so be sure to check out the first two novels before picking this one up since there are several major underlying plot threads that span all the books. BLIND FAITH brings us back to the world of genetically-enhanced super-soldiers and super-secret experimental military facilities that characterize the Sins series and set it apart from the myriad other military-style RS books out there. I'm a trained experimental scientist: I love reading about anything that throws a little science into the mix-- especially in a pseudo-realistic way!

Like its predecessors in the series, BLIND FAITH brings a tautly-paced and action-packed plot to the table, but in a more subtle way that involves the slick and secretive world of high-stakes politics more than guns-and-bombs military action. And, perhaps most intriguing for someone like myself with my scientific background, we get a deeper look into the motivations and operations of the military lab/camp where the Dean brothers were created and shared-- especially into the enigmatic series antagonist, the Commander, and the fascinating-but-batshit-crazy facility shrink, Dr. Madison. Dr. Madison has been a looming spectre throughout the series, not getting much overt page time but playing an instrumental role in the entire operation as the Commander's right hand with her psychological experiments, but in BLIND FAITH we finally get a deeper look at her twisted psyche. The main reason behind that fascinating glimpse? The book's heroine and love interest is none other than Dr. Madison's now-adult daughter Audrey, one-time true love of a teenaged (and now fully grown) hero Nate Dean--- and (initially) nothing but one of Dr. Madison's twisted experiments to see if the supersoldiers could fall in love. Despite the fact that Dr. Madison is one crazy bitch and has never given Audrey one whit of affection, Audrey feels a fascinating sense of daughterly duty and affection for her mother and seeks nothing more than her approval and recognition. Questions had been raised in previous books about the extent of Audrey's involvement with the Commander's operation, and these questions are nicely dealt with and answered in BLIND FAITH.

Hero Nate Dean has that mile-wide protective streak that is such an integral characteristic of literary alphas-- but in this case it's primarily directed at taking care of his brothers. His goal in life has always been to ensure that his brothers get out of anything alive, irrespective of the cost to him. As kids in the Commander's clutches, he was the bridge between eldest-and-reluctant-trainer/hardass Matt and the younger siblings Shane & Jory; as adults, he lives for finding out the truth about Jory's disappearance and ensuring Matt and Shane survive their impending killswitch-induced death and lead happy, free lives with the women of their dreams. Nate doesn't much care if he has to sacrifice himself to ensure that outcome and in fact almost strives for it, which can make his I-don't-deserve-to-be-happy-but-will-do-anything-for-my-brothers attitude either completely knicker-melting or frustrating, depending on your alpha male preference. Personally, I like my heroes with a touch of beta, so Nate's attitude grated on me a bit at times. Audrey is the only woman he's ever loved and hasn't stopped loving despite her supposed betrayal and his attempts to have no heart, so the chemistry is explosive and palpable the second the two lay eyes on each other again. There are a lot of secrets, perceived betrayals, and hurt feelings between them, which makes for an interesting give and take in their relationship and some scorching sexytimes. As always, Ms. Zanetti does a great job writing love scenes that will set your Kindle on fire and are also incredibly emotional-- especially with Nate and Audrey's past history and secrets sitting between them.

BLIND FAITH is a great addition to an already-superb series, with an action-packed plot, a deep look into two psychologically fascinating protagonists, hot sexytimes requiring a fan, and crisp writing coming together to make for a page-turning read. If that's not enough, the tantalizing advances in the mystery of Jory's disappearance add an extra layer intrigue and will have readers impatiently awaiting the next book and the resolution of that mystery.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Feature and Giveaway: Veiled Target by Robin Bielman

Never take Fate along on a date. The kiss goodnight could be deadly.

Tracking down Veilers—non humans—is only a sideline for Tess Damon. Vengeance for her fiancé’s murder is her reason for living. But with two botched jobs on her record, if she fails to eliminate her next mark, she’s dead. She’s not afraid to die, but not before she gets even. Too bad fate has a really bad sense of humor.

Hugh Langston, a wolfen half shifter, lives to keep both humans and his pack safe. But when rogue humans kidnap his apprentice, his rescue mission is compromised by a hot-as-hell, kick-ass woman who makes him think only one thing: mine.

Tess tries to ignore her feelings, but temptation trips her up. Especially when Hugh figures out he’s her next target and forces her into an inconvenient alliance that tests all the laws against their attraction. Now, with the line between good and evil getting blurrier by the minute, it becomes clear Tess’s only hope of living to see another day—and finding a murderer—lies with the one man she’s supposed to kill.

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

Feature and Giveaway: Fiancee For Hire by Tawna Fenske

Falling in love was never part of the plan…

Former Marine MacArthur Patton has made a small fortune on top-secret government contracts and black-ops missions, but his new assignment involves something more dangerous—marriage.

Well, fake marriage anyway.

To keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists, Mac has to secure a fiancée. A sweet, demure, compliant fiancée to serve as his arm candy for a few weeks while he completes the covert arms deal in Mexico. His sister claims to know just the woman, and sends her best friend to play the role.

“Sweet” and “demure” aren’t in Kelli Landers’s repertoire. A badass veterinarian who neuters big dogs and bigger men on a regular basis, she can’t wait to bring Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Detached to his knees. Her longtime crush on the commitment-phobe makes her plan to seduce him even sweeter.

Love wasn’t part of the plan, but the deeper Mac and Kelli fall into their ruse, the more danger they attract, until more than just their hearts are on the line…

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |