Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review: Full Measures (Flight & Glory #1) by Rebecca Yarros

Three knocks can change everything…

"She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead."

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart.

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

My Review

I recently read a book that had me full on crying like a baby in the first few pages.  Of course that got me thinking and I was trying to remember the last time that happened.  And then I remembered this book. I had been wanting to do a reread so the next day, while on my commute to work, I started to read "Full Measures" again.  BIG MISTAKE!  Have you ever tried to not cry on a crowded subway?  It's very hard to do. 

Anyway....I forgot how much I loved this book.  From the very beginning the author was able to grab my attention and I just couldn't put the book down. The same thing happened the second time I read it.  And then I went in to pull quotes for this review and ended up rereading like half the book.  I couldn't help it!

December "Ember" Howard, has just suffered a tragic loss and is trying to hold her family together. While at the supermarket she has a bit of a breakdown and gets some help in the form of Josh Walker.  
“Tears streamed down my face unnoticed as I stood at the register, waiting for the young girl to ring up my cake and ice cream. “Thirty-two nineteen,” she told me. I reached for my back pocket, where I normally kept my tiny wallet, but found only the smooth spandex of my running shorts.
“Shit,” I whispered, closing my eyes in defeat. No coat. No wallet. Great planning.
“I got this.” The brown-eyed guy slid a fifty dollar bill across the conveyor belt to the clerk. I hadn’t even noticed he’d been behind me. I turned to look back”

And then we quickly learn that December went to high school with Josh. 
“Josh Walker. Holy shit. High school. Memories crashed through me, but that Josh Walker couldn’t possibly be the one standing in front of me. No, that one had been a tattooed, motorcycle-driving, cheerleader magnet, not this clean-cut all-American nice guy."
Through another unfortunate event, Josh and Ember are thrown together and they discover they are VERY attracted to each other.  Ember is reluctant to start up a relationship with Josh but he makes it pretty clear that he is not giving up on her. 
“We’re taking it slow until you say so, because I can’t bear to hear a ‘no’ from you. But here’s your only warning: I’m going to chase the fuck out of you.” The promise dripping from his voice was enough to set my thighs on fire.
He pulled away, leaving me a heart-thumping mess against the glass. He waved to the girls and walked right past them without another word, but then turned back around. “Oh, and Ember?” I blinked in response. “I’m still your whatever, for whatever you need.”

I mean....Josh Walker is a keeper.  He's hot. Like panty melting hot. And ridiculously sweet.  Such a good combo.  All he wants to do is to be there for Ember.  He wants to take care of her since she is so preoccupied with taking care of her grieving family and not herself.  I definitely did not yell at my e-reader multiple times when I thought that Ember was being silly by not committing to him. 

This book is an emotional ride. I cried multiple times while reading it.  Josh has a big secret and to most people it may not seem like a big deal, but to Ember it is a deal breaker. My heart broke for both of them when the secret came to light. I cried along with Ember when she learns what Josh has been hiding from her and also when she does what she thinks she needs to do.  

One of the things I liked most about this book was the glimpse into military life.  I know next to nothing about that lifestyle so it was very interesting to me.  It's always nice to get a glimpse into a world I know nothing about.  

Rebecca Yarros' next book, "Eyes Turned Skyward" is about Josh's roommate Jagger.  We get a little bit of Jagger in this book and I can't wait to get my hands on his book as well as any other books Rebecca may write in the future.  
Hi, I’m Ember, your neighbor? 
A very sexy smile lit up his face. “Hello, Ember, my neighbor.” 
“Yeah.” I peeked around him. “Does Josh happen to be here?” 
His face fell. “Ah, shit. Did he already call dibs? You don’t really look like the Josh type.” 
I arched my eyebrow at him, and he stuttered, “You’re hot as hell, he just usually goes for the . . .” 
“Barbies?” I was well aware of what “type” Josh went for. 
“Exactly.” He opened the door, making room for me to slide past him into a hallway that mirrored our own layout. “Walker! You got company!” He turned back to me. “Just in case he isn’t what you’re looking for . . .” He flashed a killer smile. “My name’s Jagger.” 
I tried to ignore that he was hitting on me. He was really good at it. “It’s nice to meet you, Jagger.”
“Oh, it’s my pleasure.” He held his tongue between his teeth, flashing a tongue ring.”

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review: Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren (Wild Season #2)


Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other...which would explain why their marriage lasted only twelve hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman—or just what he needs. 

My Review

Okay.  We all know that Christina Lauren give good book.  I’ve read The Beautiful Bastard series and the first book in this series, Sweet Filthy Boy.  All the men in those books are hot, ridiculously sexy men, but in this book we meet the sexist, hottest one of all, Finn Roberts.  HOLY CRAP.   (Sorry Will…I still love you though.)  I’m not even sure where to start with this book, but I’m going to try.

We first met Finn in the Sweet Filthy Boy, but we didn’t get to know much about him.  Well in this book we learn A LOT about Finn.  At the beginning of this book we again meet Harlow Vega.  If you remember from the first book, Finn and Harlow were paired up when the group got all drunk and married.  Unlike Mia and Ansel, they got annulments and parted ways (except for that time Harlow flew up to Vancouver to surprise Finn wearing nothing but a trench coat…interesting).  But now Harlow is in line at Starbucks and Finn in is line directly behind her.  And why is he in town?  We find out why, but not before we learn that both Finn and Harlow are dealing with family issues that take an emotional toll on both of them.  And how do they cope?  Well let’s just say that it isn’t long before they are falling into bed…again.  And despite the fact that they are telling themselves (and others) that what is going on between them is not a big deal, they slowly come to realize that it is. 

I really liked Harlow.  She was a sassy (I love when the female characters are sassy), independent, strong willed woman who could not only take what Finn gave her, but also dish it out.  
“How about selling sperm?”
Coughing, I splutter, “Pardon me?”
“Sperm. Jizz. Semen. Protein shakes. Love juice. Pecker spit. Face crea—”
“What? You said everything.”
“Why . . .” I start, and shake my head. “Wait, were you starting to say face cream?”

I definitely laughed out loud at that. 

 This book definitely brought the sexy times.  I often found myself on the subway reading this book and I’m pretty sure that people around me were probably thinking “Why is that girl blushing so much?”  Well here’s an example why:  
“Harlow’s little gasps are still too loud, and so I reach near her hip for her panties, ball them up in my fist, and, after I kiss her on the lips, I stuff them into her mouth. Her eyes close like she’s grateful, and she moans around it—and it’s enough that I nearly come. 
“I said quiet, Ginger Snap.” I spread her legs even more. I tilt her hips in a way that my pelvis doesn’t rub against her clit while I fuck her.
And again, she moans, a deep, desperate sound that makes me fuck into her harder, wanting to make her do it again.”

I MEAN COME ON!!   I needed multiple cold showers while reading this book.  


Review: Heart of Light by T.K. Leigh

Twelve years ago, Jolene’s adoptive mother died. Twelve years ago, a man showed up at Jolene’s door and promised to take care of her. Twelve years ago, Jolene was happy. Then it all changed… 

Jolene Bergio has spent the last twelve years of her life asking one question… Why? Why was she left in the custody of a man who would sell her each and every night to the highest bidder? After a few years, she shut off, giving up hope that anyone would ever find her. Until her luck changed one night and she escaped. 

Twelve years later, she finally feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time… Free. 


Scared that her past will find her unexpectedly, she hides away in a rented beach house, trying to distance herself from everyone… Until Dr. Cameron Bowen enters her world and slowly tears down the walls that she has built up over the past twelve years of her captivity. Jolene begins to learn to love again. 

And trust again. 

But when a man from Jolene’s past emerges, will she be able to keep her identity hidden? When lies are told and hearts are broken, will the truth surface in time to bring Jolene back from the shadows that threaten to expose who she really is? 

My review
I am a big fan of the Beautiful Mess series, so I couldn't wait to read yeah another TK Leigh book! We first met Dr. Cameron Bowen in the Beautiful Mess series. It's two years later and he is still in a funk about Olivia. When Cam first meets Jolene he sees a resemblance to Olivia and wants nothing to do with her. But the more Cam gets to know Jolene, the more he learns that she is definitely her own person. Unfortunately, we discover that Jolene's story is a sad and heartbreaking one and at times a hard one to read. For the past ten years she has been held captive and sold to the highest bidder on a nightly basis. There were moments when I actually found myself putting the book down to regroup before moving on. The human trafficking storyline was one that I had not encountered before and I liked that TK chose to write about it. 

Cam and Jolene's relationship was very complicated and along the way obstacles made things even harder for them. TK outdid herself this time with the baddies. They were the absolute WORST and they made my skin crawl every time they appeared so I couldn't help but cheer at the end of the book. haha. 

And we even got a little bit of Mr. Burnham in this book, which made this reader VERY happy. 

Review: Worth the Fall (McKinney Brothers #1) by Claudia Connor

They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.

They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.

But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.

My Review

WOW. I stumbled upon this book in a FB group and the blurb caught my attention. The story line was different from the other books I have been reading so I decided to give it a chance. And I am glad that I did! Matt was just the swooniest. There is nothing sexier than a nice, good looking guy who loves kids. From the first moment he meets Abby and her FOUR kids, Matt falls for them.

I’ve read some reviews where people were put off by how much time Matt spent with the kids or how there were too many pages committed to the kids, but for me that is what made me love this book. Matt’s interactions with them and how quickly he grew to love them and they him, just made my heart melt.

Having said that….I was not a fan of some the choices Matt made regarding his career and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of Abby’s insecurities, but part of me couldn’t really blame her. I was also not fan of the way Matt’s mother treated Abby initially, but I am glad that she came around.

And speaking of Matt’s family, I can’t wait to learn more about his brother Stephen. His name is brought up a few times and it is mentioned that he is going through “his own hello” and there was nothing any of them could do. INTEREST PIQUED!

Review: City of Champions by Chloe T. Barlow (Gateway to Love #2)

How do you find the will to try, when you've spent all your life playing on a field strewn with shattered lives and broken rules?

Tragedy and betrayal taught Jenna Sutherland early on that her safest bet was to fiercely avoid any risk, whether it is in work, life, or love. Now a respected orthopedic surgical resident on the cusp of finally breaking through in her career, she’s more guarded than ever.

When injured NFL quarterback Wyatt McCoy bulldozes into her life there’s no denying he’s cocky, selfish, and downright dangerous — everything Jenna’s sworn she doesn’t want. 

Suddenly the levelheaded doctor finds herself facing down her greatest fear, and she’s tempted to gamble all she’s fought so hard to build. The two embark on an intense holiday love affair that quickly teeters on obsession, and tempts them both to think they could go all-in on a real future together. Yet Wyatt's desperation to stay on the field — and out of the operating room — lures him to take dangerous risks with Jenna's trust. 

Will they win at love or lose everything — including their fragile chance at happiness?

My Review
I won a contest and received an ARC of this book. I loved the first book in the series, so I was excited to read this one. The book starts on a sad note. I mean, I can’t remember if I have ever read a book that had me ugly crying in the Prologue. Yes, the prologue. So I knew that this was going to be a good read and it did not disappoint. 

We first met Jenna in the series’ first book, Three Rivers. Her path in life has been shaped by the events in the prologue and she has become a successful orthopedic surgical resident. She has avoided taking any kind of risk in all aspects of her life, especially when it comes to love. 

Then she meets Wyatt McCoy. He’s a cocky, sexy football player who thinks that he will be able to make Jenna see things his way. She gives him a diagnosis that he does not want to hear and sets out to change her mind. Despite his ulterior motive, he quickly falls for Jenna. And despite her life of not taking risks, Jenna throw caution to the wind and quickly realizes that she is falling for Wyatt. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned and Wyatt and Jenna’s relationship is put to the test. 

I loved Wyatt. Even when I was extremely disappointed in him I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. The author wrote his character in way that made you want to cheer for him and hope that everything would work out in the end. I could list all the sexy, sigh worthy parts that I highlighted but then this review would be VERY long. I will just say that it will take a lot for any of the other men in this series to dethrone Wyatt as the swooniest one of all. 

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the changing dynamic between Althea, Aubrey and Jenna. Their lives taking very different paths and the author was able to portray those feelings in a very realistic way. I related to Aubrey and the feelings she was having because I have gone through/am going through the same type of situations. It’s not very common for a book to tackle this subject and I’m happy that this book did. 

Another thing that I liked best about this book was that we got know a little but more about Trey. He becomes a great friend to Jenna and is there for her when she shuts out everyone else. This book just made me even more curious about him and thank god his book is next! We get a sneak peek let’s just say that Trey will have his hands full. 

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Review: Three Rivers by Chloe T. Barlow (Gateway to Love #1)

How do you start over when you gave everything to one life, one plan, and lost it all?

Althea refuses to allow herself to love again. Imprisoned in grief at twenty-four after her husband’s sudden death, she’s convinced her heart died along with him. She spends her days honoring his memory by clinging to the legal career he helped her to build and to the remaining pieces linking her to their life together.

Griffen’s been running from his past. Despite success as an author and investigative journalist, he’s been traveling through life on autopilot. For a decade, he’s chosen perilous adventures and meaningless sex over the danger of any attachments. When he finally returns home to Pittsburgh, he’s slammed by the awakened memories and regret he’s spent years trying to escape.

A chance encounter brings them together. Their instant desire for each other –and the bond they discover between them – shocks them both. Despite her best efforts, Althea can’t resist Griffen’s charm or his intriguing proposition– if she agrees to a no-strings affair with him for the two weeks he’s in town, he swears he’ll walk away when their time is up. Assured she can test the waters of a new life while keeping her vow never to betray her husband’s memory by opening her heart to another, Althea throws herself into the escape Griffen provides her.

Their perfect plans go awry when the intensity of their connection overwhelms them. Will they risk it all on the chance of something great together…or will the power of their secrets and guilt tear them apart?

My Review
Three Rivers is the first book in a new series by Chloe T. Barlow. I picked it up after reading about it on a blog and I am so glad that I did. 

Five years after losing her husband, Althea is trying to move on with her life. Althea’s friends Jenna and Aubrey convince her that she needs a night out on the town. The three of them go out and Althea meets Griffen. Althea’s first impression is “Holy hell, this guy is what sexier than is even fair.” And she couldn’t be more right. They spend one amazing, sex filled night together, but before morning comes, Althea sneaks out. Griffen tries his best to find her and has no luck. Just when he thinks that they will never see other again, fate intervenes and the two realize that they are connected in ways they couldn’t ever imagine. 

There are so many reasons why I loved this book. The first being the actually story. It wasn’t your run of the mill girl meets boy, they fall in love and live happily ever after. The author throws in some plot twists that makes the story much more interesting. Althea and Griffen faced many obstacles throughout the book and had to work really hard to get their happy ending. The second thing I loved about the book was the friendship between Althea, Jenna and Aubrey. After her husband’s death, Althea needed help and Jenna and Aubrey were there to support here in any way they could. Anyone who has close girlfriends can relate to the three of them and how they support each other through the good times and the bad. 

The book is a series so I look forward to learning more about Jenna’s friends as well as the mysterious Trey, Griffen’s go to information guy. He’s smart, has piercings and tattoos. I’m in! 

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