BOOK & AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: If I Were You (Inside Out #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

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SYNOPSIS

How it all started…

One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.

Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.

Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.

The dark, passion it becomes…

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, allof which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.

All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.

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REVIEW

ANGY’S BOOK REVIEW: 4 STARS

Last year, I had the opportunity to listen to the fourth audiobook of this series, No In Between, and I loved it. I have to be honest, when I requested the audiobook I didn’t know it was part of a series, so I was a little confused about what was happening and all, but I finished it, and I LOVED IT, I wrote a five stars review and I bought all the books of the series without giving it a second thought. I knew I’d love all the books. And guess what? I was right! I totally loved If I Were You, and Chris Merit has secured one high spot in my personal collection of book boyfriends *smirk*

The first book of the series, If I Were You, is about Sara, a high school teacher, who finds herself obsessed about one missing woman, Rebecca, and her journals – which are pretty hot -. Sara starts living Rebecca’s life, she takes Rebecca’s job and becomes friends with Rebecca’s friends. While she’s trying to find information about Rebecca, she meets Chris, one gifted artist who Sara admired since she she was in college, and what they think is just a sexual affair,  becomes something more meaningful. And there are so many secrets to be revealed, about Chris, about Rebecca, about Mark, who was Rebecca and and now is Sara’s boss.

I really enjoyed this book. It has everything I like in a book. The plot is very interesting, it is intriguing. The characters are well developed, and of course, it has super hot steamy sex. There is one thing I didn’t like, or not that I didn’t like, but it didn’t convince me much, and it was that their relationship got so intense so suddenly. I understand Chris is very dominant and he wants to control Sara and all, but I think that was too much, too soon in the storyline. For me, there needed to be more of a relationship development first before they jumped into that intensity. Even so, I did like how Sara was always able to stand up for herself, even though deep down, she wanted to submit to him.

Awesome book. I’m starting the second book right now.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: 5 STARS

Grace Grant is definitely my favorite narrator ever. She always transmits the characters emotions with her voice. I could totally see everything more clearly in my head because she made the experience of reading the book more real. The voices she makes for the male characters are flawless. I could even hear the differences between Chris’ and Mark’s voices. Amazing audiobook. I can’t wait for the next of the series.

Dream Cast

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Jensen Ackles as Chris Merit

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Ian Somerhalder as Mark Compton

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AUTHOR

N73977ew York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.

Watch the video on casting for the INSIDE TV Show:

http://youtu.be/pj4NZLpeWQs

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

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BOOK REVIEW: Life Before Damaged, Volume 3: The Ferro Family (Life Before Damaged #3) by H.M. Ward

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SYNOPSIS

Money. Power. Sex.

If I can just hold on a little longer, if I can just survive my secret, maybe I can salvage my future, too. I don’t deserve a second chance, but if I’ve got one, there’s no way I’m wasting it on a player like Pete Ferro.

Genre: New Adult Romance
This story unfolds over multiple volumes

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REVIEW

VIVIAN’S BOOK REVIEW: 4 Mystery Ferro Stars

Thanks to Holly Ward for the chance to read the ARC for Life before Damaged volume 3!

This was a sensual tango of an installment!

We get to see more and more of Gina’s life as a whole and we continue to learn how much she loaves being the “princess” in her parents lives. She just wants to live her own life and make her own choices, no matter the consequences. “Despite my mistakes, I’m finally discovering who I am and who I long to be, and that woman is within reach. She’s strong and smart–ready to live her life.” She finds herself enjoying things she always knew deep down inside she would but never allowed herself to. She has been learning to swingdance at Ricky’s club and loves every minute of it! And of course there’s the underlying sexual tension between her and Peter. As much as she wants to deny her growing feelings for Peter, she can’t. “I can’t deny it, there’s a magnetic pull toward him and I can’t understand why. Pete’s not my type. At all.”

There is still that “Ferro mystery” in the background…why is Peter so intrigued with Gina? What is his reasoning for persuing her…is it actual attraction or is there more to it?

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AUTHOR

4330590H.M. Ward is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling New Adult author, having sold over 5 million books since her debut in 2011. 

This NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY, and Amazon #1 bestselling writer’s series include: THE FERRO FAMILY: DAMAGED, THE ARRANGEMENT, and STRIPPED; as well as SCANDALOUS, TRYSTAN SCOTT, and SECRETS. Ward was recently featured in FORBES, the WALL STREET JOURNAL, and the WASHINGTON POST.

You can interact with this bestselling author at: www.facebook.com/AuthorHMWard. Don’t want to miss a release date: Text AWESOMEBOOKS to 22828 and get an email reminder on release dates.

Psst! I don’t check messages over here so if you want to contact me, please do so via the website. Thanks!

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BOOK & AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: After We Fell (After #3) by Anna Todd

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SYNOPSIS

Book Three of the After series—now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

Tessa and Hardin’s love was complicated before. Now it’s more confusing than ever. AFTER WE FELL…Life will never be the same. #HESSA

Just as Tessa makes the biggest decision of her life, everything changes. Revelations about first her family, and then Hardin’s, throw everything they knew before in doubt and makes their hard-won future together more difficult to claim.

Tessa’s life begins to come unglued. Nothing is what she thought it was. Not her friends. Not her family. The one person she should be able to rely on, Hardin, is furious when he discovers the massive secret she’s been keeping. And rather than being understanding, he turns to sabotage.

Tessa knows Hardin loves her and will do anything to protect her, but there’s a difference between loving someone and being able to have them in your life. This cycle of jealousy, unpredictable anger, and forgiveness is exhausting. She’s never felt so intensely for anyone, so exhilarated by someone’s kiss—but is the irrepressible heat between her and Hardin worth all the drama? Love used to be enough to hold them together. But if Tessa follows her heart now, will it be…the end?

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REVIEW

ANGY’S BOOK REVIEW: 5 STARS

So much happened in this book. The good, the bad, and the worst. Tessa and Hardin’s relationship is finally getting stronger and they are growing up a little – Thank God -. I could tell this book has two big parts. The first half was heartbreaking, upsetting and almost made me drop the book – Yes, I have to be honest, but don’t stop, I assure you wont regret it – And the second half was refreshing, heart-warming and reveals two secrets, one of those is really shocking! –I didn’t expect it at all

As the story -the whole series- is going on, it gets better and better. It was great to read how much hard Harding is trying to be a good man for Tessa. I love it when a man changes over love, and I think Hardin wanting to change gives him a lot of credit because he’s been a real asshole to Tessa from the beginning. Hardin is that kind of character you don’t want to love but you just can’t help yourself and at the end of the book, you end up loving him crazily.

“I am so sick of Hardin doing this kind of shit to me – it’s painful and embarrassing, and it’s breaking me down. He’s breaking me down, and he knows it. That’s exactly why he’s doing it. He’s said as much before: he does these things because he knows they’ll get to me”

Tessa on the other hand is as infuriating as ever. I mean, I love her, don’t get me wrong, but, come on, Tessa, GROW UP! – I know, I know, she’s only 18, but she needs to make up her mind.- I think that if it wasn’t for the second half of the book, I would have ended up hating her. I really want them both to have a HEA, no drama, no roller coaster, they really deserve it. I’m sure Hardin and Tessa are good for each other and, just as they are beginning to doing it at this point of the story, they can have a healthy relationship.

Like I said, the ending was shocking and surprising. I don’t know how Hardin is going to take the news, but I’m sure Tessa will be a great support for him. Bring me the last book of the series fast enough please.

“I love her and she loves me, end of fucking story”

Oh, remember how much I hated Zed in the second book? Well, I still hate him, but I added Steph to the list of the most hated characters in the history of books I’ve ever read. God, that girl is just heatful. Ugh!

And Landon is my favorite character of this book. He’s the best friend ever, to Tessa and to Hardin. I have a secret crush on him, and I really hope he has his own HEA.

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Dream cast: Harry Styles as Hardin *sigh*

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Dream cast: Liam Payne as Landon *sigh*

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: 5 STARS

The narrations of Shane East, Elizabeth Louise are awesome. Despite the fact that Shane doesn’t have a voice that goes with Hardin’s age, his british accent and how he performs Hardin’s character, make him a great narrator to listen to. Elizabeth’s voice is sweet and smooth and transmits every emotion Tessa has, and I love love love the inflection she does for Hardin’s voice.

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AUTHOR

3927354ANNA TODD is a first-time writer spending her days in the Austin area with her husband, with whom she beat half the statistics by getting married one month after graduating high school. Between her husband’s three deployments to Iraq, she worked odd jobs from a makeup counter to the IRS processing counter. Anna was always an avid reader and boy band and romance lover, so now that she’s found a way to combine the three she’s enjoying living a real-life dream come true.

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BLOG TOUR & BOOK REVIEW: The Vigilante’s Lover (The Vigilantes #1) by Annie Winters, Tony West

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SYNOPSIS

Spies, vengeance, and one seriously well-dressed man

“If Bourne dressed like Bond and acted like Grey, you’d have Jax De Luca.” An addictive new romantic suspense series from the desk of USA Today bestselling author Deanna Roy/JJ Knight Mia trembles as she reads the letter that arrives from Ridley Prison. Seduction. Bondage ropes. Descriptions of things Mia has never experienced or known. The man’s words are desperately passionate. He longs for a woman who must have given him a fake address. Mia’s address. She plans to send the letter back. He’s a convicted felon. But his words gnaw at her. She’s never done anything dangerous. And no man has ever talked to her like this. So Mia writes him, pretending to be the woman he desires. It’s her one dark thrill in her dull, solitary small-town life. The man is in prison for another fifteen years. It’s harmless. She is safe enough. Until he escapes.

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REVIEW

VIVIAN’S BOOK REVIEW: 5 STARS!

First, and foremost, thank you to Annie Winters and Tony West for providing Collector of Book Boyfriends book blog with this arc!!

This is Sci-Fi meets BDSM 😉 Adrenaline pumping! The Vigilante’s Lover starts out with a BANG! It jumps right into the plot and doesn’t allow you to put it down!

Mia Morrow is this 20 year old, shy, naïve country girl that has lost everyone she loves. She recently lost her aunt to a stroke and is living in the home that her aunt left to her. “I felt adrift, unmoored, like a boat some sailor accidently freed by tying a shoddy timber hitch.”Mia doesn’t know what direction her life should go in and the only thing that keeps her entertained, as of late, is these mysterious letters she started receiving in the mail from an inmate named Jax De Luca.

For the average onlooker that could read these letters, they would assume they are letters to a lover from a man that is stuck in prison. The letters go into great details of accounts of bondage and sexual innuendos. “Knots are useful. Everything about this language appeals to my sensibilities. Beauty. Power. Bondage. I enjoy all three.” Mia finds herself intoxicated and obsessed with the words in the letters. Her need to respond is too great to resist, so she starts sending letters back. Little to her knowledge, these letters are Jax’s way of communicating with his friend Klaus in the outside world, arranging for his prison break. As Jax starts receiving her letters, he can only assume his friends identity and his escape plan, has been compromised. Mia, in her innocents, never thought responding to these highly titillating letters would bring the man on the other end to her doorstep…well she was VERY WRONG!

Jax is determined to find out what happened to his friend, which whom he was sending the coded letters to and first on his agenda once her gets out of prison, is to give the person whom is sending him letters now, a visit. But finding a beautiful tempting girl like Mia at the safe house where his friend is supposed to be at is very unexpected. He can only assume that she is part of “The Vigilante”, so he takes her hostage in hopes to break her down until she gives up the whereabouts of his friend. “I don’t think I’ve captured a Phase One Trainee quite as beautiful as you before.” Is Mia really this naive country girl that is in the wrong place at the wrong time or is she something “special” that was hidden away in a safe house by “The Vigilante” to protect her? “There is a lot more to this girl than meets the eye. TheVigilante’s are protecting her identity from one of their own.” For some reason, the Identipad indicates that she has no record…this throws up red flags for Jax. Who is Mia?

I was completely absorbed in this book! Like shut out the world, have to get to the bottom of what is going on. The Vigilante’s Lover has everything from suspense to action to that underlying sexual tension that we readers love! Be warned, this volume leaves you on a major CLIFFHANGER! BUT…THANKFULLY volume 2 comes out Jan.27, 2015! So we don’t have to wait forever! I am going to be patiently…not so patiently…waiting for volume 2! LOL

**There’s futuristic aspects in this book, such as: mood detector sensors (a computer system that can monitor your mood changes), high-tech gadgets like bracelets and watches that can unlock doors by just swiping your finger over it, and there’s also use of holograms in vehicles (kind of like in the movie, Ironman) and vehicles can drive by themselves (kind of like in the movie i, robot). There’s also phrases thrown around like: off the grid, the syndicate, “Identipad” (a system that identifies any and all persons and shows their history from conception to death). There is no specific date or year noted in The Vigilante’s Lover, so I don’t know exactly when this takes place.**

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AUTHOR

Annie-Winters-Vigilantes-LoverAnnie Winters is the new romantic suspense pen name for Deanna Roy/JJ Knight, the USA Today bestselling author of romances and serials. She teamed up with thriller writer Tony West for a new series that combines the best of romance and a heart-stopping action.

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BOOK REVIEW: Determined to Obey (The Dark Duet #3.5) by C.J. Roberts

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SYNOPSIS

The character “Kid” appears in both Captive in the Dark andSeduced in the Dark.

This novella takes place in Mexico and follows Kid after he and his girlfriend, Nancy, are taken hostage by a group of men led by Caleb. Unbeknownst to Kid or Nancy, they are taken to the mansion of Felipe Villanueva, an eccentric crime boss with a taste for the taboo.

We join Kid in the dungeon, where he is about to meet Felipe and his companion Celia for the first time…

Warning: 18+ only. Very frank language, graphic sexuality and coercion. Do not read if M/M/F bothers you!

Determined to Obey is being published independently at the request of thousands of fans who already own Captive in the Dark, Seduced in the Dark, and Epilogue: The Dark Duet–known together as theDark Duet series.

Determined to Obey was written as part of the bonus material forDark Duet: Platinum Edition and not meant to be read as a stand alone. However, it is possible to enjoy it as such if one prefers.

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Vivian’s Book Review: 5 Determined Stars

This was the BEST way to go about doing a spinoff story for the character Kid whom we first met in The Dark Duet series: Captive in the Dark (book 1)!!! A part of me was enamored by the secondary character, Kid. He was described with similar attributes as Caleb (from the Dark Duet series) and God knows I loved Caleb 😉 But Kid had this difference about him; he seemed like he was always out of place. He was introduced in Captive in the Dark as being part of his uncle Tiny’s biker gang that dealt in drug trading; this really didn’t seem to fit his character. Then when Tiny took Livvie for ransom and Kid ended up helping Livvie…this is where my intrigue kicked in! Who is Kid and what is his story!?!

I was always VERY intrigued and overly curious about Felipe and Celia’s relationship. We get bits and pieces of their story in the Dark Duet series, but not enough to appease my curiosity! Their love for each other is SO obvious to the readers, but not so much for the characters themselves. Their relationship started out TERRIBLE, (as we found out in The Dark Duet series and we learn more in Determined to Obey) but with the multiple POV’s in Determined to Obey, us readers are allowed to get “inside” Felipe’s and Celia’s minds and see their true love for each other. It’s nice to see even though Celia is this feisty and powerful character, she is still a “girl” on the inside and she still worries that her Master doesn’t love her and might leave her for another. “She has often questioned her relationship with Felipe, the love she has for him…the lingering spite.” I loved being able to see how their relationship worked! To me, this was about an unlikely and unconventional relationship blooming and an old relationship strengthening. Felipe and Celia see something in Kid that their relationship has been missing…someone to take care for, in a sense this is a deep seeded parental need (NOT AT ALL IN A CREEPY WAY).“That’s why you’re here—your youth, your innocence, your capacity for forgiveness—you’re everything we’ve lost and all we hope to regain.” Kid sees something in Felipe and Celia that he’s always wanted…love and affection. “He is completely unsurprised by the way Kid leans into the possessive touches. It’s obvious what the younger man has been missing and Felipe intends to give it to him.” “You’re my beautiful boy.” He puts his arm around the younger and curls his body toward him until Kid crawls between Felipe’s legs and wraps his arms around the older man’s waist. Dark, strong fingers plow through corn silk hair. “You belong to me, to Celia—only you and no one else.” Kid whimpers. “She adores her good boy…as do I.” Be warned…this is a story about M/M/F, so if you are uncomfortable with that type of story, do NOT read this. BUT!!! If you are intrigued, PLEASE give it a try! I LOVED this book and I’ve only ever read one other M/M/F book. It was always a little too taboo for my liking, but I say again, I LOVED THIS BOOK! 😉 Author’s note: Determined to Obey is being published independently at the request of thousands of fans who already own Captive in the Dark, Seduced in the Dark, and Epilogue: The Dark Duet—known together as the Dark Duet series. Determined to Obey was written as part of the bonus material for Dark Duet: Platinum edition and not meant to be read as a standalone. However, it is possible to enjoy it as such if one prefers.

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Reviews: Captive in the darkSeduced by the darkEpilogue 

AUTHOR

5082404CJ Roberts is an independent writer. She favors dark and erotic stories with taboo twists. Her work has been called sexy and disturbing in the same sentence. Her debut novel, CAPTIVE IN THE DARK, has sold over 150,000 copies and is the first of three books in her bestselling and award winning series DARK DUET. She was born and raised in Southern California. Following high school, she joined the U.S. Air Force in 1998, served ten years and traveled the world. She writes short stories under the name Jennifer Roberts
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BLOG TOUR & BOOK REVIEW: With a Twist (Last Call #4) by Sawyer Bennett

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SYNOPSIS

Wyatt Banks is ready to give one woman the world. Unfortunately, his job as a cop tends to interfere with other goals. When Wyatt is sent deep undercover to investigate a sex slave ring, he doesn’t have time to do anything but focus on staying alive in a dark and dangerous underworld.

Wyatt isn’t alone though in his quest to save the women that are being sold into sexual slavery.

His partner, FBI Agent Andrea Somerville, is immersed just as deeply as he is, and she’s the bait to lure the sex slavers out into the open, as she poses as an erotic dancer in an attempt to snare the enemy. But danger runs as high as the sparks between them, and now Wyatt is caught between the job he loves and the woman he wants.

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REVIEW

ANGY’S BOOK REVIEW: 4 STARS

This book definitely has a twist.  What are the chances of an undercover cop and an undercover FBI agent falling in love while on an undercover mission?  Highly likely if the cards are aligned, right?  This is exactly what happens in this book.  It pose as a problem for the mission because protecting Andrea could cloud Wyatt’s perspective and it could mess everything up.  Want to know what happens?  You’ll have to read the book to find out. I totally loved it.

This is the first book I read of Sawyer Bennett.  I liked her style of writing.  The descriptions and conversations in this book were very good.  The action scenes were very well written that I totally saw everything in my head.  They were awesome.  The development of the characters were believable and their personalities fit perfectly for their jobs.  Andrea and Wyatt both were strong, fierceful, very determined and committed to their jobs.

“Strength,” I say as I bend down to kiss her softly on the lips.

“Determination,” I say as I kiss her jaw.

“Fearlessness,” I murmur, grazing my lips along her neck.

“You are fucking amazing,” I tell her as I pull back.

Wyatt was very domineering – which I totally love – and romantic despite the fact that he was hesitant about what to do about his relationship with Andrea at the beginning.  But once he felt sure about it, he was all in.  He was totally drawn to “Nikki O”, I mean, Andrea from the beginning. He was such a great undercover cop.  He could hide all his feelings and desires and so many other emotions he had toward Andrea while she was working with him.

She’s beautifully… stunningly… amazingly… bare, and I have a wild, insane urge to pull her off the stage. Not to cover her body with clothing but with my own.

One thing I love about this book is the little amount of drama it has.  So if you’re in the market for an almost drama free read, I highly recommend this book.  With a Twist is a fantastic book with a great plot, awesome characters and one amazing ending.  

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AUTHOR

6950682New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series, the Last Call Series and the Carolina Cold Fury Hockey Series.

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BLOG TOUR & BOOK REVIEW: New Year in Manhattan (The Empire State Trilogy #3) by Louise Bay

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SYNOPSIS

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REVIEW

BOOK REVIEW: 4.5 STARS

I was left with a book hangover after finishing this book! I am sad because the series is over! I need more of Ethan and Anna! I miss them already! This was a beautiful ending for their story and it was the perfect beginning of their HEA!

The book started right where Autumn in London finished. They decided to keep a long-distance relationship – with some sexy phone-calls *fans self* – and they do everything they can to make everything works. But if keeping the “No Bullshit” rule being in the same city was hard, being one ocean apart is way so much difficult. How would they sort this situation in their relationship? You’ll get to read the final book of the series to find out.

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AUTHOR

I write sexy, romantic, contemporary novels – the kind I like to read!

Ruined by romantic mini-series of the seventies and eighties, I love all things romantic. There’s not enough of it in real life so I’ll settle for books and films.

I love the rain, the West Wing, London, days when you don’t have to wear make-up, being alone, being with friends, elephants and champagne.

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RELEASE DAY & BOOK REVIEW: The Phoenix Candidate (Grace Colton #1) by Heidi Joy Tretheway

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SYNOPSIS

Fans of Scandal, House of Cards, and The Good Wife will love Grace Colton…

U.S. Congresswoman Grace Colton is the most famous woman in politics—and the loneliest—until a drawling, sexy stranger offers her one night: no strings and no regrets. And it rocks her world.

Grace wakes to an empty hotel room and a phone call. The dark horse for the 2016 presidential election, Senator Shep Conover, is considering her as his vice presidential running mate.

Before she can be selected, Grace must be vetted and coached by Shep’s political consultant, Jared Rankin, who already knows too many intimate details about her. He’s Mr. One-Night Stand.

Grace is torn: play nice with Jared to join the senator’s ticket, or play hardball and back the slick frontrunner? As the Democratic National Convention approaches, Grace must decide where her loyalties lie and if she can trust Jared with her future—and her heart.

The Phoenix Candidate is an adult erotic romance recommended for mature readers

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REVIEW

VIVIAN’S BOOK REVIEW: 4 STARS

This is going to be weird to read, but The Phoenix Candidate has the right amount of politics and sexiness to make it HAWT and INTERESTING!

I’ll be honest, the book started out WAY TOO FAST for my liking and lacked the character development in the beginning, but by 30% I was so thoroughly wrapped up in the storyline and wondering what was going to happen next, that I didn’t even realized that author Heidi Joy Tretheway had redeemed herself with her ability to suck me into a story without needing those finer details in her characters. For example, the reader barely knows anything about the main male character, Jared, because he’s in and out of the picture. Grace is the main attraction and the book is in her POV, so we get to learn more about her throughout the book, but not Jared.

Who is Grace Colton? Grace Colton “Phoenix” is a 39 year old Congresswomen from Oregon.  She ran for Congress less than a year after a personal tragedy struck her family. She’s considered a “small fish is a big pond”, but her personal story propels her to the forefront of intrigue. Now she’s got both Presidential Candidates vetting her. And more importantly, she has the interest of one of the Presidential candidates political consultants.

Who is Jared Rankin? Jared Rankin is the man behind the scenes. He is Presidential candidate Shep Conover’s personal political consultant. He is in charge of vetting Shep’s potential Vice President running mates. Vetting Grace was his only job, but after reading her file and learning more about her through the paperwork they gathered, intrigue lead to something else. “After I knew your file, I had to know more. I had to know you. That’s why I came to find you.

Can Grace be in the political campaign of her lifetime to become the next VP, all while lusting after her potential political consultant? Or will that overshadow everything she’s been working to achieve to get to the next level in her political career? Is it something more than just wild sexual attraction, spitfire fighting, and hot make up sex?

Jared and Grace’s sexual tension sizzles off the page right from the first chapter! It was supposed to be a “No names. No stories.” type of relationship between them, but what kind of a story would it be if it ended just after one steamy encounter?

This book caught me by surprise and I loved every minute of it! I’m so glad to see that there will be a BOOK 2 – “The Phoenix Campaign”!!!!

EXCERPT

Setup: Senator Shep Conover has just asked Congresswoman Grace Colton to consider being his vice presidential running mate in the 2016 presidential election. But before he’ll choose her, she must be vetted and coached by his political consultant, Jared Rankin—the stranger she thought was a one-night stand.

I hold the wingback chair for support and paste a smile on my face as I watch the senator leave the suite. That leaves me and Jared and a hell of a lot of silence.

He picks up several thick manila files from a side table, perhaps the same ones I saw in his hotel room last night, and sits in the chair opposite me. His expression is unreadable.

I remain standing. Fight or flight. That’s what I’m deciding as I lament there’s nothing in view that I could bludgeon Jared with.

“Ms. Colton. Please, have a seat.” He gestures to the chair I’m supposed to occupy.

“No.” I sound like a petulant child.

“Grace—”

“No! What the hell was that, Jared? What the fucking hell?” I bend to get in his face to really shout him into submission, but he grabs my wrist.

I struggle but can’t break from his grasp. His deep brown eyes are smoldering with intensity, and I shoot as much hatred as I can from my eyes.

I’m embarrassed. Mortified. This man who has seen me naked, who made me scream his name less than twelve hours ago, is now Ms. Colton-ing me like I’m his kid’s schoolteacher.

That sends a shockwave to my gut. I know nothing about this man: not whether he’s married, or has a kid, or exactly what his business is here.

Sensing that the fight’s left me, Jared drops my wrist and slowly stands.

I hold my ground, standing toe to toe with him. His hair is combed neatly, but I remember the way my grasping fingers teased it into wild waves last night. His stubbled jaw remains.

I fold my arms across my chest because my gray pantsuit and silk top aren’t doing the trick. My heels don’t boost me to an even height with Jared.

His thumb brushes my lower lip and I gasp and take a step back.

“Pouting doesn’t suit you. Tuck that lip back in.”

“Don’t touch. I bite,” I snarl, angry that he’s mixed the familiarity from last night with the utter seriousness of this political opportunity.

“So do I,” Jared says, taking another step toward me and forcing me to step back. “But you like it.”

I bump into a wall covered in fancy wallpaper. Jared’s body cages me in.

“You’re a bastard.” I’m even angrier he’s getting to me. I grab his shirt, ready to push him back, but he captures my wrists and slams them against the wall above my head.

“I hear that a lot.” Jared’s body molds against me. I feel his erection hardening as he presses his hips into mine, and my traitorous body responds in turn, too eager to tip my hips at just the right angle.

I can’t get the word bastard through my lips again when every cell in my body is screaming Encore! Encore!

“How could you?” I hiss.

“It’s what you wanted. No stories. No strings.”

“But I’ve got a hell of a lot of regret.” I move to turn away from him, but Jared lowers his mouth toward mine. His lips land on my jaw and skim down my neck, his tongue explores the hollow of my throat then glides back up my neck to taste the soft skin behind my earlobe. I whimper and twist, but he just anchors me harder, both body and wrists.

“You knew,” I hiss, trying to get my brain to focus on why I’m here, not the hardening length in his pants that has me rubbing against him like a freaking cat in heat. “You knew who I was and you let me … you let me humiliate myself.”

I stifle a cry as his teeth come out, sinking into the flesh at the base of my neck. It stings, and the twinge heightens my need to retaliate, to touch him in all the ways he’s touching me. To drive us to release.

His knee presses between mine and my legs part, my body in full meltdown.

“You didn’t humiliate yourself. You just let go. Got out of your head for One. Fucking. Minute.” With each word his hips rock against mine until my core is aching to be filled again.

My God, is he really going to make me come? With every stitch of clothing on? I struggle against his hold on me. “You knew who I am. You knew we could be working together!”

“I didn’t go to the club expecting to pick you up, if that’s what you’re wondering.” His lips are inches from mine and his eyes narrow. The force in his expression nearly my undoing.

“Bullshit. You were all about picking me up.”

“And do you regret it?” Jared’s voice drops to a low, dangerous whisper.

No! “Yes.”

He drops my hands. Spins and strides to the opposite side of the room.

I go cold. And fucking frustrated. He wound up my body so tight that I’m vibrating with tension, needing just a little more to take me over the edge.

He gathers the folders and slides them inside a leather attaché case as if we’ve been sipping coffee for the last five minutes rather than slammed up against a wall. “Let’s go.”

“Where?”

“Your place.”

I almost snap, imagining the relief he could offer to my wound-up state. But his face says all business. He looks at his watch. “We’ve got a long list on our agenda today. Your place is good enough to start.”

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GIVEAWAY

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Signed paperback copy of The Phoenix Candidate

Name a character in the sequel

Open internationally

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AUTHOR

heidi-profile-picHeidi Joy is a sucker for campfires, craft cocktails, and steamy romance in books and real life. She sings along with musicals (badly), craves French carbs, and buys plane tickets the way some women buy shoes.

Her first career as a journalist took Heidi behind the scenes with politicians, rock stars, chefs, and detectives, all of whom inspire her stories. Heidi Joy is currently working on her eighth book from her home in Portland, Oregon. She adores hearing from readers at author.heidi@gmail.com.

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BOOK & AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Last Call (Cocktail #2.5) by Alice Clayton

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SYNOPSIS

From NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton, known for her “deliciously addictive” (The Book Vixen) novels, this Cocktail series novella reunites readers with Caroline and Simon from the wildly successful Wallbanger.

Simon and Caroline are back for another round of baking, banging, and big life changes. Settling in, but never settling down, Caroline has finally struck a balance between the professional and the personal. As one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, she travels all over Northern California between nook time with Simon.

Perpetual globetrotter Simon has cut his frequent flyer miles in half over the last year, preferring to balance his professional and personal life, as well.

The next step in their lives seems preordained—toasts, veils, and the aisle of rose petals. But when an accident on a photo shoot in Southeast Asia brings Caroline the most terrifying phone call she could ever imagine, she has to ask whether “till death do us part” is a more realistic prospect than faces most couples.

It’s been a grand adventure, and Caroline and Simon wouldn’t go out without the best surprise ending ever. One part sexy, one part laughter, a dash of exotic locales, and one pink nightie, mixed with passion, and you’ve got Last Call. Served with a side of Clive.

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 REVIEW

ANGY’S BOOK REVIEW: 5++ STARS

Love me some Wallbanger!!

The funniest things happened to me with this series. Back in 2013, when I read Wallbanger by recommendation of my dear friend Gretchen from the blog About That Story, I just went for it, didn’t check the background of the book or the author, I just read it and I loved it! Till that moment, everything was normal. Of course I was super happy when I knew about the other books of the Cocktail Series, I loved Rustynailedcheck my review – because of Simon, I mean Simon my Wallbanger is the best *sigh*, and I loved, loved, loved the two spin offs, Screwdriveredcheck my review – and Mai Tai’d Upcheck my review -. And… here is the funny thing #1, right after finishing Mai Tai’d Up, I found out that the names of the books were actual cocktail names *palm face* HaHaHa, yeah I know, crazy silly me, but I have an excuse, I know nothing about cocktails and less about their names in English *giggles*. And the funny thing #2 is that when I started reading Last Call, I FOUND OUT THAT THE WHOLE STORY STARTED AS A FANFIC OF TWILIGHT! What?? Really?? I can’t believe it!! I’m so happy about it HaHaHa

“The story of Simon and Caroline began somewhere back in 2009. I was part of this wonderful community of writers and readers and reviewers and all around crazy-town sillies called Twilight Fan Fiction…. And it all started with a teenage girl in a hoodie and a 107-year-old virgin vampire”

There are 4 books/series that I’ve read that started that way and I love them all. I think I should reconsider my #1 book boyfriend and make it Edward Cullen… Well because… Edward Cullen.

“This book is dedicated to Edward Cullen. Because… Edward Cullen.”

Now, let’s talk about Last Call. It takes place one year after Rustynailed. Caroline and Simon are in a very good place in their relationship, in their careers and with their kitty family – 4 cats aren’t so much, right? -. They are happy *grins*. But when things are good, they can be better, right? All their closer friends are settling down, and maybe they are feeling the pressure of it or maybe they really wanna give the next step?

I would never get tired of looking at Simon Parker in a tuxedo. Especially at the end of an aisle. Not going to lie, it gave me thoughts. Especially when during the ceremony he caught my eye more than once. Sometimes we simply grinned, enjoying the moment with our friends. Sometimes he looked thoughtful, as weddings tend to make everyone think about their future and the past. And once, those sapphire eyes burned into mine, hinting at what he’d rather be doing than standing at an altar. And what he’d rather be doing was me.”

I loved how things went on in this book. Caroline and Simon’s relationship is amazing. I love the way they treat each other. Simon is the most romantic man ever! I love how he reads every expression in Caroline, from her body language to her eyes. And I utterly love their commitment with each other. How much she loves to give him exactly what he wants and how much he loves to accept everything she has to give to him. I love how playful they are and Oh. Lord. They are so amazing in bed! I love the sex scenes written by Alice! They are not explicit, but the way she describes them makes them really hot.

I said yes, and then he kissed me. I said yes, and then he touched me. I said yes, and then he slipped inside me. I said yes, yes, yes and then he loved me”

This book has all the characters of all the books of Alice Clayton. Viv and Clark from Screwdrivered – I love love love to read more about their HEA, thank you Alice!! –, Chloe and Lucas from Mai Tai’d Up – I loved Chloe’s chats with Lucas’ cousin, Sophia ‘You mean my cousin Lucas… No, I mean my boyfriend Lucas… He’s my cousin… He’s my boyfriend…’  BwaHaHaHa -, Simon and Caroline’s best friends as couples, Sophia and Neil were so funny – The van incident was hilarious – and Mimi and Ryan had a beautiful wedding – With only one wedding dress HaHaHa -. And they were talking about Grace Sheridan and Jack Hamilton from the Redhead Series -, I was so excited!!

“Viv and Clark were there, with Will in attendance as well, cute as a button in a tuxedo onesie. And Chloe and Lucas were there too, in town visiting Sophia and Neil. And get this, Chloe and Clark were cousins. How’s that six degree of Wallbanger?”

Just like in Wallbanger and Rustynailed, the epilogue is from Clive’s POV!! It was awesome and it has one huge surprise!! *grinning like an idiot* I really enjoyed this book. It was awesome and I was laughing out loud most of the time. There was a moment, around 80% of the book, when I was crying my eyes out, but everything was perfect at the end. I totally loved the end of Simon and Caroline’s story.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: 5 STARS

Heather Smith is a great narrator. She transmits flawlessly the humor and sexyness of Alice Clayton’s books. She has a tone of voice that goes perfectly with Caroline’s personality. Her inflections in the other character’s voices are very subtle, but I could notice the differences between characters in their conversations. The audiobook is short, almost 4 hours, and I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

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AUTHOR

3379564Alice Clayton is a novelist with an unholy love for her KitchenAid mixer. Making her home in St Louis, she enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up afterwards, and is trying desperately to get her long time boyfriend to make her an honest woman. Hi sweetie!!

After working for years in the cosmetics industry as a makeup artist, esthetician, and national educator for a major cosmetics company, Alice picked up a pen (read laptop) for the first time at 33 to begin a new career, writer. Combining her love of storytelling with a sense of silly, she was shocked and awed to be nominated for a Goodreads Author award in 2010 for her debut novels, The Redhead Series.

Alice has penned three novels, The Unidentified Redhead,The Redhead Revealed, and coming soon in November 2012, Wallbanger. She thinks you should purchase them immediately. She’s not kidding, not even a little bit. Everyone needs some comedic erotica in their lives. She is hard at work on the third book in The Redhead Series, set to release in Spring of 2013, continuing the saucy and sexual escapades of everyone’s favorite couple, Jack and Grace.

Additionally, Alice loves spending time with her besties on Not Your Mother’s Podcast, make sure you check them out at notyourmotherspodcast.com or over on iTunes. 3 women rushing towards their forties still acting like teenagers. A saucy little mix of sex, love, relationships, pop cultural, celebrity gossip and All Things Jake Ryan.

Alice enjoys pickles, Bloody Mary’s, 8 hours of sleep, and a good pounding.

Finally Alice would also like all her readers and listeners to help her convince Mt. Alice that the only other thing that would make her truly happy is finally bringing home a Bernese Mountain Dog. She is totally serious. And done talking about herself in the third person…

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BOOK REVIEW: Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1) by Leisa Rayven

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SYNOPSIS

When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan’s romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time.

Cast as romantic leads once again, they’re forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they’ll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks

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REVIEW

BLIA’S BOOK REVIEW: 5 Stars to the moon and back

2014 was filled with so many great reads and I’m happy to report that I’m ending my year with a fantastic read, Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven.  My good friend Gretchen from About That Story gifted me the e-book and I can’t thank her enough for this gift because I absolutely love this book to pieces!

I’m a sucker when it comes to romance and as quickly as I turned the pages, I found myself falling in love with Cassie and Ethan’s romance.  There’s no denying that their romance can’t be felt through the pages.  Their love knows no bound.  Distance, separation, heartbreak and life played a factor into their love affair but what I love is their love is undying.  That’s the kind of romance that gets to me.  It hits me right in my soul.

I love that this book gives a reader a glance at Ethan and Cassie’s past.  I thought it was a neat piece of writing on Leisa’s part to draw parallels of their past and present.  It helped me as a reader to have a better understanding of their relationship past and present.

I thought both Cassie and Ethan were well developed characters and very much likeable at that.  They had their flaws but they were the perfect match for each other.  She’s innocent and naive but doesn’t give off the annoying vibe.  I love that she’s bold and direct.  She isn’t one to shy away and go hide.  I like that she challenges Ethan and goes after what she wants.  Ethan on the other hand was every bit a mystery to me.  He was intense and had a short fuse.  When he was opened with Cassie about his feelings, I couldn’t help but feel the flutters in my chest.  He’s charming without even trying.  I love the past Ethan but the present Ethan I fell head over heels in love with.  To see him so open and vulnerable was exactly what I was hoping for.  Ethan and Cassie’s romance gave me all the feels.  I caught myself craving for more as this book draws to a close.

I’m really looking forward to Broken Juliet as Bad Romeo ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and I feel like there’s so much more I still needed to know.  I’ll definitely be reading Bad Romeo again as the days draws closer to the release date of Broken Juliet.  I highly recommend this read to all you heartfelt romance readers out there.  I promise you will love it as much as I do if not more than I do.

Happy Reading!

~Blia

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AUTHOR

8034143Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured
throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.

(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.)

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