Tag Archives: reading

Even if it Breaks Me

**Please note, I suck at taking pictures so I definitely did NOT take the picture above. None of the pictures I have used, or will use, are mine. This one was from Dominique herself!**

arc review 1blurbevenifitbreaksmeAt fourteen years old, I loved him.
Hard.
So hard it hurt.
I loved him, but love isn’t what it was.
It was a game, a lie. And I would never be the same.
I fell in love with a liar, and when the truth was uncovered, he left my heart shattered and never looked back.
So I didn’t either. I moved on, went to college, and I lived my life without him, pushing thoughts of him away whenever they tried to break through the bubble I had created for myself.
I was twenty-four when he came back into my life, a month before I was set to marry someone else, someone who had pieced together the broken parts he had left behind.
I shouldn’t have agreed to meet with him, but I did. I had to.
My heart broke all over again.
My head and heart were officially at war.
I had a choice to make, and it should have been easy, but it wasn’t. Because whatever choice I made, head or heart, I knew it would break me.author16646808

Dominique Laura started off writing under the pen name Rosie C. but grew brave enough to transition to her real name (well, close enough to it). She loves to read and write whenever possible. She’s an advocate for love and happily ever afters, and she’s snarky and sarcastic. She lives in sunny Southern California with her dog, who she’s slightly obsessed with.

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review
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SHE DID IT AGAIN. Dominique Laura gave me another novel that had me in tears. This was emotional in a different way, because it’s the story of your first love. She gave me another YA/Contemporary Romance that I connected with on a level I didn’t know I could, since my first love, I thought, wasn’t like Jade’s. My first love was different because it didn’t last years, like Jade’s did. Mine was short (three months!), tumultuous, and definitely didn’t carry over to college. Hell, looking back, I don’t even know if it was love. But throughout the rest of high school, he definitely impacted my life. I’d get the call or text every few months, trying to be friends, and have to learn all over again he was a grade-A jerk.

I think our first love always holds a special place in our hearts. It’s the one I think teaches you the most about what you want in life. It’s the one that hurts the most. It’s the one you thought would last forever, even if your head (and everyone around you) told you it wouldn’t last. There’s manipulation, tears, fights, and happiness.

Going into this, especially with the prologue, I thought for sure I’d root for Jade’s first love. I mean, who doesn’t like to read about the guy you fell in love with, fought to be with, coming back into the girl’s life and they end up together? I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, much like Jade had, with her relationship with Dylan. What was going to be the thing that pushed her towards Tian?

But God, this was so much better. Because it was real.

Dominique eloquently and perfectly describes the falling in love so young, thinking it is going to be your everything, allowing someone to hurt and manipulate you into forgiving them, ignoring the signs they aren’t who you think they are, and the hurt that follows when you have to choose yourself over someone else. Someone you thought you loved. Someone you thought loved you. She describes the hardships of falling in love with someone new.

Dominique: Keep writing your amazing stories. They are beautiful, and you have a true gift! I will gladly have tissues and ice cream ready for every tale you weave, as long as you continue to do it.
Everyone else: GET THIS BOOK! And when it releases, look in the back for true lessons readers learned from their first love. (Which I will be getting just to read those stories).
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5star

What color is my aura?

arc review 1blurbwidowersauraLiving in a world full of colors, Sofia Brazier escapes a career gone south as a juvenile probationary officer in New Orleans. After moving to the small town of St. Fleur, Sofia opens a photography business in hopes of ridding her life of all the dark auras surrounding the damaged souls she once tried helping. Her comfortable new life is upended when widower, and ex-security-forces-turned-handyman hunk, Noah Tyler enters the local pub.

Noah attempts to avoid the voluptuous beauty who has captivated his every thought. That is, until his daughter vandalizes Sofia’s building and effectively seals their fate. After cutting his daughter a break, Sofia begins tearing down the walls he built after his wife’s death.

Just when life finally seems worth living for Noah, Sofia finds herself the victim of a string of crimes. Can he protect Sofia when he failed to protect his own wife?

Warning: Due to the nature of the explicit sex scenes this book is intended for a Mature Audience.

Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 4.54 Stars

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author

AJ Renee is the author behind the St. Fleur series, Beauty Unmasked, Winter’s Surprise, Surviving Paris, and Finding Love at the Falls…. She’s a military wife and mother to three young girls. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Masters of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology while working at the library.

She loves to write steamy romance with suspense and a happily ever after. When she isn’t writing or interacting with her readers, you can find her spending time with her family or reading. AJ enjoys traveling, researching family history, and all things New Orleans.

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review

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Widower’s Aura is the first in the St. Fleur series (with the fourth book being released in March of 2018). It is a slow burn, so if you’re looking for quick instant-love, this isn’t the book for you, but I still recommend this book. If you like Mariana Zapata, you’ll like A.J. Renee. There is an instant connection between Sofia and Noah, but they both have some serious baggage.

Sofia worked with delinquent children in hopes she could help them and their situations. After a really scary and traumatizing experience, she leaves and starts her own business in St. Fleur, far enough from her old life to get away from the trauma, but close enough to stay around family. Although you don’t find out what happened until almost the end of the book, trust me, you want to know what happens.

Noah is an ex-cop for the Army, and was deployed when his wife ran out to grab milk, and was murdered. Noah leaves the army and, two years after her death, moves with his daughter, Lexi, to St. Fleur. Although he can never really get out of “cop” mode, he helps his friend with his construction business. Noah tries to ignore Sofia, and his reaction at the sight of her, but Lexi makes that impossible. She defaces, albeit with a beautiful mural, the side of Sofia’s building, which brings these two together.

When they finally get together, it is explosive. Noah is the alpha male that I love. He is possessive of “his” girls. He is wary of getting into a relationship, but Lexi makes it clear: she likes Sofia so go date her. Through the trials and tribulations, Sofia and Noah come together and fall in love in a beautiful way.

I gave this book 4 stars because I really enjoyed reading this (and I also have a thing for single dads…). The story is beautiful, and has some supernatural elements (Sofia can see aura’s; which I probably should have guessed from the title but I was not expecting it! That confused me when I first read it hah!) One of my biggest issues with the book, and it’s not really an issue as more of a pet peeve, I don’t know how old they are! It’s totally possible I missed it somewhere, but I didn’t read about how old Sofia or Noah were! Although it’s not super important, it helps me gain a better picture of who these characters are.

I really loved reading their love story and can’t wait to read more! (I’m also crossing my fingers that Lexi will get a story…)

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4star

The OG Couple is HERE!

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blurb

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Coming April 3rd from Kindle Worlds and the world of NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Aurora Rose Reynolds. See how the Mayson clan began. You’ve read their sons’ stories, now it’s James and Susan’s turn. Experience the boom all over again in this action-packed novella of insta-love and suspense from Author CP Smith.

Add it to your Goodreads!

 

author

CP Smith writes humorous, ooey-gooey romantic suspense with OTT alphas, insta-love, and LOTS of dead bodies! She believes books should be about escape rather than reality. Ms. Smith writes what she likes to read and leaves the rest to those with better imaginations. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and five children. You can follow her on Facebook.

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review

That even after all these years together, I still wanted him like he wanted me.
Mind.
Body.
And Soul.”

Ok, I seriously loved this book. I’ve always wanted Susan and James’ story, since Susan told November about James asking her out everyday for two months, and about James being a playboy. But Susan Mayson is a big fat liar! In the best way possible of course. And I absolutely LOVE how CP stayed true to her writing style, true to her own voice, while effortlessly creating a story on characters she didn’t create. Susan and James are from Aurora Rose Reynolds, but CP kept their essence with her voice. It was AMAZING!!

The way the novel opens, with Susan in the present after shopping with November, with her thinking about her age and the laugh/scowl lines on her face, and showing some insecurity with the way she looks now, was perfect. I was absolutely captivated. And when they flashback, to when Susan and James first met, I was laughing, crying, and biting my lip in anticipation. What James and Susan went through just to be together, was both terrifying and so sweet at the same time. They fought to be together, and lord I’m glad they did.

CP Smith put her one liners throughout the novel that had me giggling, and thanking god I was in my house and not in public where people could see me grinning at my phone like a weirdo. I kept highlighting different quotes in the book, both parts that had me cracking up and parts that had me going awwweeee. And I love that it’s a running joke between the two that they dated for two months, or that James harassed her for two months, before they got together. Because she’s a “good girl”. And we can also blame James for Asher having all girls because “Cause God knows if he gives me grandaughters, I’ll end up killin’ someone…” and we know how that turned out! (Does anyone else picture Asher with gray hair when reading Until July because I sure did).

I give this 5 stars because I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. CP Smith stayed true to her writing style, with dual POVs and depth to the plot that goes beyond just one thing (multiple issues, crazy people, comedy to lighten the tension, with just enough tension to keep you hooked without being anxious) and I feel she truly did right by Susan and James. I think this would be the hardest couple to capture because they are the Matriarch and Patriarch of the Mayson crew, the first boom you read about, they are the ones who protect the new comers when they have no one else to protect them. Their love was the example for Asher, Trevor, Cash and Nico.

This was my second dive into the Happily Ever Alpha Kindle World, and I can’t WAIT for the release of all the books!

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5star

S. Van Horne, I need MORE!

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blurb

untilmoreAt twenty-two, Crystal Kopas didn’t know where her life was heading. Ghost writing romance stories for well-known authors isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when she couldn’t forget the one man who rocked her world. After moving to Hawaii, she thought she was finally getting her life on track. That is—until he showed up.

At twenty-five, Detective Vigo Conti decided it was time to take a vacation with his baby sister. After a grueling case that took everything out of him, he packed up Maddison and hit the beaches of Hawaii, praying to get his mind off the one woman who seemed to steal his heart when she disappeared after only one night together. He was finally starting to relax and enjoy his time with Mads uninterrupted. That is—until he sees her.

Without warning, disaster strikes and Conti vows he will do everything to get his family back. Because sometimes finding that special BOOM makes one cross lines never imagined.

Will Conti be able to save his family before it is too late?

Add it to your Goodreads!

author

S. Van Horne was born and raised in the small town of Belton, Missouri, which is a part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. She is from a very large family and is the oldest of six. Growing up she did not have the easiest life. She learned quickly that family means everything, even if it is the type that you get to pick for yourself. She met the love of her life at the early age of 20 and was married just after nine months of meeting him. Shortly after marriage, her husband rejoined the U.S. Navy and they moved from Kansas City and started their journey together. Currently they have two amazing children, a boy and a girl, and are still enjoying the Navy life.

She spends her days being a Navy wife, homeschool mother, reading books, writing her latest novel, watching her beloved Kansas City Chiefs or Kansas City Royals play, watching movies, hanging out with family and friends and having girls days at least once a month.

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review

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This was my first dive into the Happily Ever Alpha world and it started with a huge boom. Seriously, S. Van Horne fit her characters into the Mayson world almost seamlessly, while staying true to her writing style. Horne was able to keep her voice in the story, while grabbing the essence of the characters from Aurora Rose Reynolds’ imagination. We got to see Conti and Crystal finally get together and we got to see snippets into Kai and Myla’s HEA (plus some bonus scenes with some other characters sneaking in! But I won’t ruin that for ya.) It was truly amazing.

Crystal and Conti are from S. Van Horne’s More series and have been running around each other for a year. A year! They met each other at a bar, had some wild, crazy, intense, monkey sex, and then Crystal snuck out avoiding Conti. Because Crystal didn’t want to clear up the misunderstanding, she made it worse throwing his words back in his face. She didn’t know what those words meant though.

So fast forward a year, to Crystal moving to Hawaii to feel closer to her parents, and Conti going on vacation with his autistic sister (and what’s hotter than a man who takes responsibility without hesitation for his siblings?!) and misunderstandings are cleared up. And I don’t think I’ve heard better advice, “C, pride is like a glass plate.” (I’ll let you read to find out the rest of that statement.)

Not only do Crystal, Conti, and Mads fit in perfectly in Aurora Rose Reynolds’ Mayson world, but they fit perfectly with each other. They were meant for each other. This is the story of insta-love, with the characters not quite believing in insta-love. They know they’ve wasted enough time not being together, but they fight to make sure they are in love.

S. Van Horne had me impatiently reading this book (which means I’ll have to do a re-read because I’m sure I missed something). From the prologue, to the last line, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I smiled, I laughed, I bit my lip, I bit my nails in anticipation. There aren’t many tense scenes, and it’s mostly a story about the love the two share, so it makes sense that the tense scenes weren’t too intense. I just wish it lasted a little bit longer. It seemed rushed.

But talk about epilogues, because these were seriously my favorite. I had tears (of joy) in my eyes at the end. And multiple epilogues! What’s better than multiples?! Nothing I tell you! Nothing!

So amazing job, and four stars for you Ms. Horne! I cannot WAIT to read the others in the series.

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4star

Part 2 of my Favorite Series!

6. Malory/Anderson Series by Johanna Lindsey

Reason why it’s my favorite: I think this was the first series I read that had a big family. A family that teased everyone mercilessly, one that would pick fights with each other, but God forbid you tried to mess with them. The Malory/Anderson family is huge, not always so happy, but super protective. And they raise their girls to be whatever they want to be, though Lord save the man that touches her before marriage.

7. Legion of Angels Series by Ella Summers

Reason why it’s my favorite: Leda is 100% badass. She’s an orphan who was taken in by a badass family and she learned to survive. She will do anything for her family, and that includes basically selling her soul. This is not a series that is all about the romance. This is a slow, slow, burn romance, but their love is worth it. But Leda’s main goal? To save her brother. Gimmie some super awesome women and super hot angels and I am one happy girl.

8. House of Payne Series by Stacey Gail

Reason why it’s my favorite: This series is filled with some hot tattoo artists, tons of angst, and breaking the sacred rule in the tattoo universe: don’t get your significant others name tattooed on you; it’s the kiss of death. These artists don’t care, and it is AWESOME. These alpha men want to take care of the women in their lives, but the women are perfectly capable doing it on their own.

9. Until Series by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Reason why it’s my favorite: This is a series that has you falling in love with a family. And it keeps going! Aurora has a series based on the Mayson children, and even a Kindle World releasing with 16 other authors writing in this universe. Which means I get more alpha Maysons in my life, and really, what more could you ask for?

10. Three Little Lies Series by Sara Ney

Reason why it’s my favorite: Sara Ney has a unique writing style, that really captures the technology generation. She uses texts, tweets, and emails to help you fall in love without the physical aspect of a relationship. And her books are all romantic comedies. No real tough situations in these. Looking for a light read? Pick up this series.

BONUS! The Wallflowers by Lisa Kleypas

Reason why it’s my favorite: Here’s another series filled with strong women in the Victorian Era. Women not afraid to take what they want, sometimes despite what society says. And their antics are ridiculous, but will have the reader cracking up the whole time.

Amazon Links:

Malory/AndersonLegion of AngelsHouse of PayneUntil#ThreeLittleLies
Wallflowers

Review Blitz~ Gillian Jones, Fighting Weight

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34835627We all have that voice inside our heads.

The one that speaks to us incessantly. That voice we trust to make the right decisions, to keep us on a positive path, even when others try to bring us down.

But what happens when that voice changes?
When it’s no longer a voice of reason, a voice of comfort giving us a pep talk when we need one?

What happens when that inner voice turns into a bully?

You’re fat.
Don’t you dare eat that.
You’ll never be as pretty as her.
You’ll never be as good as them.
You’re lazy. You’re stupid.
You are disgusting.
You. Are. Nothing.

What happens when that inner voice makes your body take its side?
Binge.
Purge.
Binge
Purge.

And what happens when the bully starts to win?

If your name is Alina Cassidy, then you fight like hell.

author

7144405.jpgWife, mother, proud Canadian. Shoe addict, red wine connoisseur, lover of laughter and the friendships that cause it. I’m a sucker for those epic romances that steal my breath and leave me always wanting more. Gillian’s Website. Gillian’s Facebook

 

 

 

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“My bully and I were first introduced in October. I had just turned thirteen the week before.”

I’m not sure I have the right words for this novel. It was intense, romantic, supportive, and so accurately depicted the struggles of living with an internal bully. From the very first line I was captivated and drawn in.

Fighting Weight is the story of Alina Cassidy’s struggle with an eating disorder; specifically with bulimia. This is Alina’s struggle with relationships; romantic, friendship, and familial relationships. This is her struggle with her own body image, and the effects her eating disorder had on her life. This is the story of her fighting for her life. And it was the most beautiful work I have read in a long time.

I’m sitting here struggling to write this review because this is a book that you have to read for yourself. I can’t explain the emotions I had reading this, I can’t tell you how elegantly and accurately Gillian Jones depicts living with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia. I cannot explain to you how wonderful this novel is.

The writing in this novel was so amazing, I almost feel bad for the editor to have to have read this and gone through the emotional roller coaster this novel is more than once. The flow of the novel is perfect. And the dual POV to show how Alina thinks as well as how Slater thinks is captivating.

Gillian beautifully explains the use of therapy, both group and individual, as well as having amazing support systems at home and in life. She is able to show the change in attitudes towards therapy without writing a novel that is thousands of pages long.

It took me a long time to be able to write this review, and honestly I’m still struggling with it. It left me in a book hangover, and had my emotions all over the place. Gillian describes the ugliness of eating disorders as well as the way life is while dealing with one for the rest of your life. The juxtaposition between Alina’s before and after are so clear it really helps to take the novel just one more step. In truth the only way to describe Fighting Weight was inspirationalSince I’ve read this novel, I’ve been searching for what to read next. After reading such a dynamic book, I’m not sure anything can come close to this.

This was my first Gillian Jones book and I cannot wait to find more. If I could give this more than 5 stars, I 100% would. How do you give a novel only 5 stars when an author makes you cry both for the characters in the novel, but also yourself? I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I have my own voice in my head, my own bully, telling me what I can and cannot do or accomplish, telling me how I look, belittling and demeaning everything I do. I never struggled with the binge and purge cycle but the way Gillian weaves the story, by the end, I felt like I had gone through Alina’s journey with her. It was magical.

5star

Back to Her by Dani Wyatt Review

blurb

38598834Going to prison and taking the fall was my gift to Mia. How was I to know her father would disappear with her and I would lose her forever? After serving my five years I’m finally out, but bars or no bars, I’m still in hell.

I never believed in miracles until today. Because I’ve found her. All plush softness, sorrowful eyes and lips that call to be kissed. She’s right here in the same place I’d met her all those years ago when she was too young. Before I could touch her.

There is no force on heaven or earth that will take her from me again. No force that will keep my hands off her now. I will take her. I will do as I please with her because she is mine. Now and forever. God help us both.

Author’s Note: Take five years waiting for her to be legal. Then another five locked up in prison and you’ve got one powder keg of alpha naughtiness waiting to explode. This love at the speed of light novella will warm your heart and your nether regions. All you expect…safe, smutty, swoony and happily ever after.

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From the bio of Dani Wyatt on Goodreads: 
Since I was a little girl, I’ve made up stories. I would lay in my bed at night and before I knew what a trope was, I would make up these trope filled stories. Boy sees girl, boys falls for girl, boy saves girl….happily ever after. As I got older, the stories turned steamier and more intricate, but the basics never changed.

Now, my books are still full of romance but the naughty bits are naughtier, my hero’s are obsessed alpha types and my heroines are quirky, real women who come in all shapes and sizes.

So, sit back, banish the real world and get lost in some over the top romance with a heaping helping of hot. xoxoxo

Amazon:
Dani Wyatt used to feel bad about having such dirty thoughts. Luckily, one day she decided to starting writing them down. Her uber alpha heros have a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Her heroines are intelligent, quirky and worry about having too much muffin top. With her books, you can count on a heaping helping of HOT and always a happily ever after.

When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.

Friend her on Facebook here.

review

3-stars

I’ve read quite a few Dani Wyatt books, and I’ve always loved her OTT Alphas, but Walker just didn’t do it for me like some of Dani’s other alphas. The book started out strong, but eventually Walker and Mia just bothered me.

First, I don’t know what the heck Walker did to make money. When he first got out of prison he said he still had a lot of money, but that he needed more. But then later he doesn’t have enough money to help Mia and her Nana? And then there’s Mia, who has been kept inside her whole life by her father and no longer wants to be trapped hoping a man could take care of her. Admirable, but the first thing she does is lie to Walker and meet with a creep. A creep she didn’t like before her father disappeared with her. There was also a lot of unexplained things in the book, and it made parts of it feel rushed. Then there seemed to be unnecessary drama, that was resolved very quickly.

I still gave this book three stars because Dani always delivers on at least two things: the quality of writing, and super steamy love scenes. While the flow of the novel wasn’t my favorite, I can’t complain about her style of writing. While Walker wasn’t my favorite alpha that Dani has created, he is still Over The Top and completely in love with Mia. He knows what he wants, and waiting ten years to get it doesn’t stop him.

This is a short, insta-love story available free on Kindle Unlimited. Goodreads.