More Than Once
Contemporary Romance , New Adult / December 4, 2015

Well, you guys. The amazingly fantastical Elizabeth Briggs has done it again! Book 4 in her Chasing the Dream series, More Than Once, has just been released, and let me tell you: she accomplished what I thought would be impossible. Curious? Read on for my review! More Than Once is the story of Becca–the alcoholic former Villain Complex bassist who seems to have a knack for screwing things up–and Andy. Now, I’ll be completely honest and say that I absolutely loathed Becca in the other books in this series. I found her to be quite spiteful and not a little skanky, and I truly wouldn’t have even considered her as a redeemable character who could be set forth as the heroine of her own novel. Of course, that’s what I get for underestimating Elizabeth Briggs. Clearly. “God, this girl was dangerous. I’d spent the last few months completely dead inside, yet somehow she’d jolted me back to life in a matter of minutes.” Wait. What? Is Andy describing Becca here? Alcoholic, nasty Becca? How did she manage to bring part of Andy back to life?  “And my god, Andy was incredible. I’d never been with someone who was both so tender and caring, yet so…

Love on a Summer Night
Contemporary Romance , New Adult / November 24, 2015

If you’ve read my reviews before, you may know that I am a HUGE fan of Zoe York’s Pine Harbour series. Which makes today, release day for #4 in the series, Love on a Summer Night, a fabulous day!  If you haven’t read the first three books, check out my reviews here: Love in a Small Town & Love in a Snow Storm Love on a Spring Morning Then, read on for my review of Love on a Summer Night, and prepare yourself to want to stay home absorbing the awesomeness of Zander and Faith! Faith Davidson is a successful author and a widowed single mother. Even after 4 years, she has yet to venture back into the world of dating, and she knows she certainly won’t do so with anyone who lives dangerously–she’s been there, done that, and got the widow card to prove it. Then, she meets Zander Minelli, who is all the things she tells herself she couldn’t and shouldn’t want. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and dangerously appealing.  The first aspect of this book that jumped right out and impressed the hell out of me was the realism.  As a mother and writer, I found myself continually laughing out…

Perfectly Aligned
Contemporary Romance / October 27, 2015

Hailee and Corwin last saw one another 10 years ago, at their high school graduation. In those 10 years, Corwin has been a regular feature in Hailee’s dreams, so when she runs into him again, she has to pinch herself to be sure she’s awake.  Are Hailee and Corwin being handed another chance to be together, and will they be able to overcome secrets that will be revealed? Read on for my review!  Perfectly Aligned is a sweet friends-to-lovers type romance. I say sweet because, for much of the book, Hailee and Corwin have the type of relationship you might expect more from innocent high schoolers than from experienced adults–one rife with timidity and miscommunication “I found a secret, foolish pleasure in the thought that his dog liked me.” Oh, and also that silly tendency we all had when we were younger (I mean…I certainly don’t do things like this now. Uh uh. Nope. Not this lady…) to try to find meaning and secret signs in every little action and interaction.  “I recognized that he no longer felt alone in life, and by knowing his secret, neither did I.” At times, I found this juvenile dynamic incredibly frustrating and unrealistic, especially in…

The Lost Series
Contemporary Romance / October 19, 2015

The Lost Series, by Layla Hagen, is comprised of Lost in Us, Found in Us, and Caught in Us. Read on for my review of the entire series! Lost in Us is the story of Serena and James.  Serena is an intelligent woman with a plan and a tight hold on the reins of her life.  James is a brilliant and wealthy entrepreneur playboy who sets his eyes on Serena. Serena has known for some time what she would do with her life, While Serena struggles to hold tightly to the path she has set for herself, but when her boyfriend of 6 years leaves her (and her plans) in the dust, James tempts her with both his body and his wild ways. “It’s not the behavior itself that scares me. The fact that I chose to act this way scares me. I wanted to be reckless. And as I look into his eyes, and feel his hot breath on my lips, every inch of my body tells me that I don’t want to stop being reckless.” And THIS. Right here. This is what I loved about Lost in Us.  James helps Serena discover how to let go and feel, and Serena pushes James to allow himself…

Perfection Is Just An Illusion – Cover Reveal!
Contemporary Romance / September 21, 2015

James Thompson is an Olympic swimmer with gold medals, world records, and million-dollar sponsorship deals… But his fiancée Anna White is just an ordinary girl—or so she believes. When James takes her home for a visit and encounters her childhood friends and sleazy, jealous ex-boyfriend, Grant, he sees for the first time just how far apart their worlds really are. Anna’s so-called friends undermine and backstab, but James is up for the challenge… James is determined to make Anna see that while she might have once been an ugly duckling, she is now a stunning swan, and the only woman for him. As the London World Championships approach, media scrutiny of their relationship intensifies, and an intimate secret is uncovered…making their promise to each other nearly impossible to keep. Caught up in a whirlwind of press coverage, and championship competition… James and Anna find the stress almost overwhelming, and they struggle to maintain focus on their goals. But when victory finally appears certain, an old menace resurfaces and threatens to violate all James and Anna hold dear. Is it possible to have a perfect life? A perfect love? Or is perfection just an illusion… Rebecca, one of four kids to…

Impossible Choice
Contemporary Romance , Military Romance / September 8, 2015

Impossible Choice is the continuation of the Unchecked series, begun in book 1,Impossible Promise.  In this installment, Layna and Blaze find their fledgling relationship put to the test when, shortly after his deployment to Afghanistan, Blaze is wounded and returns home to recover.   Read on for my review! Impossible Choice picks up shortly after Blaze deploys to Afghanistan, leaving Layna heartbreakingly lonely and lost without him. Part of what I love so much about this book is that the author doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the difficult feelings. Loneliness, anger, fear, jealousy, lust…they exist, and we all feel them. The characters in this book feel them. Things aren’t always picture perfect and beautiful, with the hero and heroine skipping off into the sunset, everyone fulfilled and no feelings hurt. And, as much as it shreds the heart to read those kinds of truths, it makes the characters so much more real and relateable.  “I craved him–his touch, his smile, the intense way he looked at me. I missed him more than I missed my parents and that scared the hell out of me.” That quote. Right there. That’s what connected me to Layna’s emotional state at the novel’s opening….

A Summer Like No Other
Contemporary Romance , New Adult / August 12, 2015

Ok…once you’re done drooling at the gorgeousness of that cover, join me in the next paragraph. 😉  I’m not normally a huge novella fan, but this?  This was the novel version of a perfect snack—sweet and salty, and so delicious it leaves you checking to make sure nobody is looking before licking the plate and scavenging for dropped crumbs. Read on for my full review! “I concentrate on the music, on the feeling of freedom that comes from letting my body move, on the possibilities ahead. Pushing away the thoughts that the music will end, that I will need to face reality, that this feeling of happiness will disappear.” I cannot (without spoilers) count the ways in which these thoughts, which run through Emilia’s head at the beginning of the story, encapsulate A Summer Like No Other.  With her characters and soul-touching words, Elodie Nowodazkij creates a beautiful blend of YA and NA—innocence on the verge of revelation. Emilia is lonely, searching for love and yearning for discovery on so many fronts, and just naïve enough to think that she possesses the power to fix all that is wrong in her world. “If only I could reach the top. If only I could…

Hanover House Review

Hanover House by Brenda Novak is the thrilling prequel novella to the author’s new Hanover House chronicles, Book 1 of which releases in September 2016.  It gives us the history of Hanover House’s founding psychiatrist, Dr. Evelyn Talbot, and sets the stage for the opening of the new facility (which will house the United States’ worst psychopaths and serial killers) in a remote town in Alaska.Read on for my review! After 3 days of torture, Jasper Moore had slit her throat and left her for dead–and it wasn’t as if he’d been a mere stranger. He was her high school boyfriend, someone she’d trusted enough to give her virginity. While I’m not normally a huge fan of novellas and prequels, I found Hanover House to be an enjoyable read. It was quick (I read it in one sitting), and actually managed to both effectively set up the world of the Hanover House chronicles and delve fairly deeply into both the history of Dr. Evelyn Talbot and the mindset of a psychopath. But, oddly enough, even when he was angry he didn’t look overtly dangerous, didn’t look much different than the middle school teacher he’d once been–before his wife stumbled upon the body he’d…

More Than Fashion
Contemporary Romance , New Adult / July 30, 2015

Julie Hong is a pre-med student at UCLA with a dream and a plan–albeit, a dream and a plan that don’t necessarily mesh with what her family envisions for her future. After a hot almost fling with the sexy Gavin Bennett (who she soon finds is one of her competitor’s on the fashion reality show Behind the Seams),  her limits are tested. And she learns about a lot more than fashion. He laughed and it set my panties on fire. His voice was like butter, and I wanted it spread all over me. That didn’t even make sense, but it was true. From the minute Julie sees Gavin across the bar, the heat practically singes the pages. I’ll admit, the tats and British accent were a huge appeal to me. Throw in the fact that he’s a gentleman, has an architect’s mind AND is creative? Well, ladies…he’s the whole damn package. I’m honestly a bit jealous of Julie. In Gavin, Elizabeth Briggs manages to create a man who fits beautifully into the fashion world, while being neither gay nor particularly metrosexual. BUT, any romance gets a bit boring without some tension, and boy do Julie and Gavin have tension in spades….

Truth & Temptation (Summer Love Book 3)

Truth & Temptation is the long awaited story of Teagan, the bitchy friend from the previous Summer Love books Rock & Release and Surf & Surrender. You know, the one who makes us wonder, “What the hell is HER problem?!”. Well, today, July 23rd, we finally get into Teagan’s mind–and what a fascinatingly broken and beautiful place it is! We’ve all wondered about the seemingly irrational bursts of anger that make Teagan explode at the drop of a hat. At least, I know I’ve certainly been intrigued. In my experience, very few people are that blindly and startlingly furious without some sort of back story. Turns out? Teagan is actually quite cognizant of her anger management issues. “My jokes about my sex life might kill Cassidy, but this? This cycle of meaningless anger I can’t find my way out of is what’s killing me.” Curiouser and curiouser. The question remains (even, it would seem, in Teagan’s own mind): WHY is Teagan so disturbed? We know Teagan’s grandparents, with whom she has lived her entire life, are raging assholes. And, obviously, that could cause some emotional issues (I know it’d make me a bit bitchy and unstable to be treated like she is on…