Showing posts with label Friends to Lovers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friends to Lovers. Show all posts

Review // Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

May 21, 2024

Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

"Even when you were gone, the echoes of you still lived inside me, and I would play them over and over in my mind just so I wouldn't lose the sound. I've loved you in every incarnation, and that will never end." - Nash

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon


Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles


Rating -
Standalone - Lost & Found #2
Release - May 2, 2023
Genre - Contemporary Romance / friends to lovers
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - descriptive
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 330 pages

Nash Hartley has always been my everything: Protector. Partner in crime. Best friend. The person who was there for me in my darkest hour.

But my heart wanted so much more. So, when I knew for certain Nash didn’t feel the same about me, I tried to move on. What a mistake that turned out to be.

Now, I’m back in our small town, desperate to escape my living nightmare, and the only person I want to see is him.

As secrets are revealed, and Nash finds out what happened to me, he’ll do anything to keep me safe.

But there are those who will do anything to stop him, and this time neither of us may make out alive…


Echoes of You is a seemingly light friends-to-lovers romance with a bit of suspense.

I thought Nash and Maddie were a bit slow on the uptake, but their eventual relationship was better for it. They were best friends for most of their lives, but Nash never felt quite good enough for her. So when she knew her heart couldn't take anymore disappointment, she tried to move on. Where she moved to caused her a lot of pain and the only place she deemed to be safe was back at home... with Nash.

When Nash finally got out of his own way, I couldn't have been happier. I wish he had followed his heart sooner, but I guess if he had there wouldn't be so much of this story to tell. Maddie had to live through pain and shame in order find something truly hopeful and beautiful with her bestie.

I loved how when I thought I had one part of the story figured out, the author threw another twist to shake things up. It kept things interesting, that's for sure.

I am in love with Hartleys and will definitely be reading the other books in the series.

Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles



Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she's not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.

Visit https://www.catherinecowles.com for more information.

Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti

January 26, 2024

Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon



Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti

Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti


Rating - 1/2
Standalone - Deep Ops #6
Release - January 2, 2024
Genre/Trope - Romantic Suspense / pseudo-friends-to-lovers
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - descriptive scenes
Source - eARC provided by publisher
Length - 328 pages

Enigmatic. With a wildly gifted mind, and an untamed head of hair to match, petite powerhouse Millicent Frost is brilliant when it comes to gadgets and electronics—less so with people. After an attempt to bust a bank scam goes awry, Millie is in hot water with Homeland Security and targeted by lethal enemies. In the midst of the trouble, she heads home to help out with the family hunting and fishing business. But when their rival competitor and Millie’s ex is murdered, she’s the number one suspect . . .

Irresistible. Former Marine turned lawyer Scott Terentson devotes himself to getting his clients out of tricky binds. A loner, the last thing he wants is to belong to any team, yet the Deep Ops group considers him one of their own—and he pays the price by getting shot at by their enemies. Now Millie is seeking his help—just as he’s dealing with a brutal fail regarding a recent trial. Both are a headache, yet he’s drawn to Millie in spite of himself. They’re opposites, but maybe the old adage is true . . .

Electric. Working together, Millie and Scott soon have more on their hands than they bargained for as the danger escalates—along with the sizzling heat between them. And when a disappearance is thrown into the mix, all bets are off . . .

A lock of his hair fell over his forehead, giving him more of a rebel look than a boyish one. There didn't seem to be anything boyish about the badass ex-marine turned lawyer.


Previous books in the series:
Hidden * Taken * Fallen * Pivot * Broken * Driven * Unforgiven



This better not be the last book of the series!!

Scott was so much more than I expected him to be and I loved him for it. He gave me the edgy, dark, and dangerous vibes I needed and looked forward to in this series. Millie was no slouch. A gadget genius, she definitely gave me Q vibes like Scott suggested.

There was almost a pseudo-enemies quality to the beginning of their relationship, more because of Millie's aversion to lawyers, but I was so glad to see all of her assumptions and misconceptions about this man be smashed to dust. And what grew once she gave him a real chance... I enjoyed every moment of it.

I've found something truly special about this Deep Ops team, and no matter what case, what city, or what horrifying trouble finds them, together they make magic happen. I'm a huge fan of found family and these characters have got that in spades.


Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over forty romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Upcoming series are: The Blood Brothers, The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

Visit https://rebeccazanetti.com for more information!

Review // Perfection by R.L. Mathewson

November 07, 2023


He already decided she was marrying him no matter what.
Informing her that they were getting married was just a courtesy.


Perfection by R.L. Mathewson


Rating - ★★★★★
Standalone - Neighbor From Hell #2
Release - August 26, 2011
Genre and Trope - Romantic Comedy / friends to lovers
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - several explicit scenes
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 314 pages

Trevor Bradford knew exactly what he wanted and it wasn’t his plump little tenant who was driving him out of his mind, but with every touch, kiss, and caress, it was becoming more difficult to walk away.

He never should have said those words, but once they were out…

Trevor would have done anything to take them back, but the damage was already done. Hoping to make it up to Zoe, Trevor offers to help her, hoping that it would be enough. The last thing that he expected was to find himself thinking about her. Hoping to put an end to this hold that she had over him, he offers her something more, only...

It wasn’t enough.

Just once, Zoe wished that something in her life would go right, but that’s not usually how things went. At least, not for her. So, when her life suddenly takes an unexpected turn and the man who’d never looked at her twice offers to help her, she realizes that she has nothing left to lose.

Except for her heart.

My Two Cents

Seriously, these Bradfords are HILARIOUS!! It seems until they take their heads out of their asses, they're extremely obtuse. Trevor was terrible. He treated Zoe poorly, viewed life in general poorly, and honestly, it was more a reflection of how he viewed himself more than anything when he acted horribly.

Zoe was a doormat, but not really. She knew how to stand up for herself and I cheered her every time she did. They say opposites attract and I think that's very true for this couple.
Where Trevor was a slob, Zoe was neat.
He could eat a horse (or five) and Zoe was trying to diet.
He was one of the hottest people in the world and Zoe thought being called plain and chubby was fair.
They were absolutely perfect for each other and I enjoyed my time witnessing how they helplessly fell in love.

I laughed SO HARD so many times and this isn't my first time reading this book. I'm so grateful it was so amazing the second time around!


I also read two of the books from the Honeymoon From Hell part of the series:


With Jason and Haley's novella (which I gave 5 stars), I laughed so much I actually snorted my Coke through my nose. Anyone who has ever done something like this with soda, you know my pain. Jason kidnapped Haley (again) to get her to the altar at the courthouse and wanted to give her the honeymoon of her dreams. Good intentions and all, things only went from bad to worse. But the love these two had for each other made every mishap, obstacle, and bit of pain absolutely worth it. I freaking love these characters and their ridiculousness so much!!

With Trevor and Zoe's novella (which I gave 4 stars), I giggled like a loon. He also kidnapped her to the altar and thought to give her the honeymoon she never knew to ask for. Knowing she'd never taken a vacation before, he wanted to make things perfect. Right off the bat, things took a turn to the absurd and I enjoyed every minute of it. I'm in love with the way these characters love each other.

Previous Book in the Series:


The Author

New York Times Bestselling author, R.L. Mathewson was born in Massachusetts. She’s known for her humor, quick wit and ability to write relatable characters. She currently has several paranormal and contemporary romance series published including the Neighbor from Hell series.

Growing up, R.L. Mathewson was a painfully shy bookworm. After high school she attended college, worked as a bellhop, fast food cook, and a museum worker until she decided to take an EMT course. Working as an EMT helped her get over her shyness as well as left her with some fond memories and some rather disturbing ones that from time to time show up in one of her books.

Today, R.L. Mathewson is the single mother of two children that keep her on her toes. She has a bit of a romance novel addiction as well as a major hot chocolate addiction and on a perfect day, she combines the two.

Visit https://rlmathewson.com for more information

Review // Gula by Colette Rhodes

November 05, 2023

Gula by Colette Rhodes

"Bed," Selene ordered the moment I stepped into the room.
"What"
"You smell needy."
My historical trend of failing upward appeared to be continuing. "I am. Super needy. Let's go."


Gula by Colette Rhodes

Gula by Colette Rhodes


Rating - ★★★★1/2
Standalone - Shades of Sin #3
Release - September 30, 2023
Genre and Trope - paranormal romance / forced proximity / protection
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - slow burn and descriptive scenes
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 284 pages

Selene cares about three things in life:
 1. Her prestigious position as Lieutenant of the Guard that very few of the elite at Court feel she deserves.
 2. Her beloved sister and niece, humiliating reminders of her humble origins.
 3. Her penchant for rare and expensive dining—a status symbol and marker of the success she’s attained.

Austin only cares about one thing in life:
 1. Music.

Except Austin’s rockstar dreams never came true, and the bottom of the bottle isn’t giving him the answers he’s searching for.

But maybe, just maybe, a prickly Shade with a secret wild side will.

Other books in the series:
Luxuria * Superbia


Gula by Colette Rhodes

My Two Cents

The love story of Austin and Selene was very different from the books that preceded it. For one, the ex-hunter who never hunted was male. Secondly, there was no instalust or instant connection of any kind. Their meet-cute WAS NOT very cute at all and Austin had a bad impression to make up for. And third, the heat didn't exist for MOST of this story.

These differences allowed the characters to develop a unique relationship. Selene was very set in her ways, living a regimented, sheltered life, with no real companionship or feeling of belonging. And Austin was very mellow, easy to like, and could fit in anywhere. They were very different from each other, but at their core, the author illustrated that they had more in common than either of them realized.

I loved how they drew out the best of each other. Austin got Selene to open up more, to share her true self with him and she inspired him to take life and himself more seriously. It was wonderful to watch how things between them grew out of trust and friendship and became exactly what both of them needed.

I'm enjoying the heck out of learning more about Shades and the hunters that love them. I'm really excited to continue this series!!

The Author

Colette Rhodes is a huge fan of paranormal romance and reverse harem books. They're what she loves to read and what she loves to write. #WhyChoose, right?

Colette studied both History and Ancient History at university and loves including both historical facts and ancient mythology in her work.

When she's not writing, you'll find her spending time with her husband and daughter in beautiful New Zealand.

Visit https://coletterhodes.com for more information

Review // Happy Crazy Love Series by Melanie Harlow

June 13, 2023


In Some Sort of Happy, you’ll fall hard for tortured hero Sebastian right alongside feisty, down-on-her-luck Skylar Nixon, who’s returned to her small hometown to make a fresh start. Can she convince him to open his bruised and guarded heart?

In Some Sort of Crazy, you’ll laugh and swoon as Natalie Nixon finds herself falling head over heels for her adorably funny and sexy (but seriously commitment-phobic) childhood friend Miles. Will he get over his fear of forever in time to win her over?

In Some Sort of Love, you’ll meet hot bearded single dad Levi, whose devotion to his autistic son (not to mention his deliciously dirty mouth) steals Jillian Nixon’s heart. When he worries he can never give her enough time or attention, can she convince him he’s everything she’ll ever need?

────── ♔ ──────


Some Sort of Happy


Happy Crazy Love #1
Release - September 22, 2015
Genre/Trope - Contemporary Romance / friends to lovers
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 345 pages

My Rating: ★★★★★


Skylar Nixon. She’s even more beautiful than I remember. Ten years ago she was an impossible dream, and now she’s right here in front of me, offering everything I ever wanted.

But happiness never lasts, not for someone like me.

I have to protect us both.

****

Sebastian Pryce. He’s the most complicated, frustrating, beautiful man I’ve ever met, and my body craves his with a hunger I’ve never known.

My heart is his completely.

Why won’t he let me in?

This ended up being a re-read for me and I think I enjoyed it even more the second time around!

This book was truly a work of beauty. It was open and honest, heartwarming and endearing, and heartbreakingly real. I couldn't help but fall in love with these characters and their story and become invested in their happily ever after.

As much as I came to enjoy Skylar and her charming inner monologues, Sebastian was the one who mattered the most to me. How could he not when I found pieces of me in him? Although OCD manifests itself in different ways for different people, I really enjoyed this glimpse into a realistic character trying to cope with it.

This story was about two people at the cusp of starting over. The buildup of their increasing connection was altogether adorable, engaging, and hot damn can this author write erotic scenes! Sebastian and Skylar were so hot together and their chemistry was further proof of how they were destined to be. Each interaction was another testament to how beautiful and believable they were.

I loved how Melanie Harlow wrote this story. It was uncomfortably accurate and incredibly sensitive. I loved Skylar's easy acceptance of each of Sebastian's "quirks". How she supported him , helped to guide him, and simply loved him unconditionally. In all honesty, I cheered each time Sebastian overcame each of his self-imposed obstacles and I know that it was all due to the way the author phrased each scene and painted each picture. I was satisfied with where this couple ended up, even if I can't help but want more.



Some Sort of Crazy


Happy Crazy Love #2
Release - November 17, 2015
Genre/Trope - Contemporary Romance / friends to lovers
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 286 pages

My Rating: ★★★★


When a psychic tells Natalie Nixon her life is about to be upended by a mysterious stranger, she laughs it off. After all, she has everything she’s ever wanted—a successful bakery, a the perfect boyfriend, and the keys to her dream house.

Who could possibly make her want to throw all that away?

Then Miles Haas comes back to town.

But he’s no stranger—they’ve known each other since high school. Plus, he’s only around for the summer, he’s still a shameless playboy, and he makes a living writing articles for a men’s magazine with titles like 'Should You Bang the Boss’s Daughter? A Flowchart' and 'Butt Stuff for Beginners: A Field Guide.'

He’s not the man of her dreams, and she’s not about to abandon everything she’s worked so hard for just for a little fun. Except he makes her laugh like no one else, smells like heaven, and looks sexy as hell in those panty-melting glasses.

Natalie was a perfectionist while Miles took life as it came. They couldn’t be more different, but there was a reason why they were friends for so long. They simply got each other. If only Natalie would stop standing in her own way LOL. Seriously though, for all she knew, Miles was always going to be the playboy that she’d always known. It was hard for me to get behind him having real feelings for her at first, because of his denial. He was so used to living his life a certain way, but I’m so happy with the way the author wrote this story. Miles had to grow up some time and Natalie was the perfect woman for him. Actually, they were perfect for each other. She brought the serious while he brought the playful. And it was such a fun story to read!



Some Sort of Happy


Happy Crazy Love #3
Release - February 9, 2016
Genre/Trope - Contemporary Romance / second chance
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 281 pages

My Rating: ★★★1/2


From the outside looking in, I had it all—a career I loved, a supportive family, the Nixon metabolism but not the Nixon ears, and a salary that supported my lavish taste in designer shoes, fine wine, and lacy lingerie … but I had no one to share it with.

Until the day I ran into him—my one night stand from college with the crooked smile, let’s-get-out-of-here eyes, and dirty, dirty mouth.

Cute and cocky then, today Levi Brooks is six feet four inches of hot bearded fantasy. A sexy single dad with broad shoulders, strong hands, and a fantastically big … heart. (I mean, it’s massive. And generous. And it pumps so hard … um. Sorry. Lost my place.)

Being a good father means everything to him, but he's keeping me at a distance because he thinks I deserve someone better — a man who can give me more time, more attention, more of himself. He doesn’t believe he could ever be enough.

But he's wrong.

He’s everything.

While this wasn’t my favorite from this series, it was still an enjoyable read. I loved the whole Pine Sol inside joke. I loved how devoted Levi was to his son. I loved how much he and Jillian came to love each other. I didn’t like how fast everyone expected their lives to change or become meshed. And it was pretty quick. But I do love how the author gives these characters hurdles to overcome in order to find true happiness. These characters have to evolve, truly know themselves, in order to become part of something greater than they had ever known. And while this story didn’t turn out as sexy or intimate or sweet as the first two, it still had its moments and I’m a bit sad to let these people go.

At least I got all of the happy endings I was hoping for!

Review // Fuse Series by E.L. Todd

February 10, 2023


The Fuse series by E.L. Todd is an action-packed fantasy adventure with a taste of adventure, romance, magic, and dragons!

Fuse by EL Todd

Fuse by E.L. Todd


Fuse #1
Release - December 18, 2020
Genre - Fantasy
POV - 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 315 pages

Growing up in a small village, Cora was destined for an ordinary life.

But fate had other plans.

The shamans, dark servants of the empire, invade her village, searching for something…or someone. Before they can feed on the soul of an innocent boy, she stabs them with her blade. It’s a dire mistake—because they’re invincible.

She flees into the wildlands until a voice commands her attention.

Come to me.

Her curiosity too great, she follows the voice inside her head…and comes across a fiery red dragon. Every free dragon has been enslaved by King Lux, forced into a nonconsensual fuse between man and dragon.

Except this one.

As the last free dragon in Anastille, he’s also on the run.

They realize they need to work together to overthrow the empire…or neither will be free.



Ashe by EL Todd

Ashe by E.L. Todd


Fuse #2
Release - July 6, 2021
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - None
Format - ebook
Length - 548 pages

Cora's visit with the elves proves to be more than she bargained for.
She learns her parentage, but it's the last thing she ever expected to hear.
She came to the elves for help to defeat King Lux, to free the dragons still trapped in captivity, but she discovers a timeless place, where outside matters mean nothing.
There's little chance to convince them of anything, especially when her human heritage has permanently marked her as an outsider.
Rush returns to Bridge to begin their plans, but there's also a fear in the back of his mind.
Is she safe?
Flare shares the same concern. Will they hurt Pretty?
Elven magic separates their borders, but perhaps the connection between Rush and Cora is enough to keep the channel open between them, to exchange thoughts and feelings, until she departs the forest and reunites with him once more.
Forces are moving in the world, and they have to move quickly before King Lux finds them both--and destroys them.



Fury by EL Todd

Fury by E.L. Todd


Fuse #3
Release - October 26, 2021
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 568 pages

Cora and her allies must defeat the most vile king in Anastille's history.
Will they find victory?
Or lose everything they have left?






Slay by EL Todd

Slay by E.L. Todd


Fuse #4
Release - April 25, 2022
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 740 pages

The events of Anastille have unfolded in the most unexpected ways, and with the odds stacked against them, victory is merely a hope. But our heroes will do what they can to free the imprisoned dragons, to overthrow King Lux from his throne, and heal the divided factions of a war-torn country.






My review of the series ~ 3 stars


Book One
The world these characters inhabited was very easy to visualize. The forests were lush, the deserts were arid, and the wonders beyond Cora’s village were just that… wondrous.

The mystery surrounding Flare’s character... I had a feeling I knew exactly who he was and I was curious to see how it would affect the story to come. I wasn’t wrong.

I have a strange fascination with Flare and the process of dragons fusing with humans. This is such a unique take on the supernatural. The bond they share, becoming one, seems like something so special.

While Cora was nosy (or inquisitive if you want to romanticize it), I found her a bit annoying. People don’t have to share everything about themselves just because you have. It doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of trust. It could just be an individual’s preference.

Orcs, giant frogs, evil men in power, elves, dwarves, dragons, shamans (shadow-like figures who can suck the soul right out of you, can fly, and are impossible to kill… or are they?). I'm on edge and can't wait to dive into the next book!

Book Two
Is it wrong that when Rush and Cora finally ‘got together’ I wanted it to be somewhat descriptive? I thought this was an adult fantasy novel, especially with all of the cussing. I’m grown. Screw the fade to black theatrics!

I’m in awe of Ashe and everything he’s been through, what he’s accomplished, and what he has yet to do.

Finding out Cora’s parentage, at least who her father was, was a tough blow. I knew it was going to wreck whatever she and Ashe could have. And why does Cora try so hard to stand in her own way of happiness?

I’m still very much in love with Flare and Rush. Their connection is hilarious, sweet, and so touching.

Book Three
I’m all for Rush’s road to redemption. I only wish that this journey changes his mind about sacrificing himself at the end.

I’m still pretty blown away by the imagery this author has created. Once they were stuck in the mountain, I could feel the walls closing in around me. I could sense the dampness in the air.

The action scenes were fantastic. Whether it was Rush chopping off heads and not bothering to take names, or Cora using her magic to surprise attack the previously undefeatable, it was exciting and so entertaining.

Book Four
Favorite character: Callon. Dude, this man was everything. I did get frustrated a bit because his hate game was so strong, but I understood his reasons.

Understanding Cora’s parentage explained a lot about her powers and her innate nature. I was tired of her always being right, even when she was wrong. I was tired of people defending her when it was obvious she needed to be corrected. She got away with way too much and I needed her to come down a peg. She wasn’t better than anybody.

The final battle: better than expected. It was so well written, so intense, so terror-inducing. I didn't know who would even be alive in the end.

Rush was still a phenomenal character, with his horrific past, his attempts to right all of his wrongs, his redemption. He just needs people to see the great strides he’s made and the hero he has turned out to be.

Review // Torn by Cynthia Eden

December 20, 2022

Torn by Cynthia Eden

She was home ... with Wade.
Exactly where she was supposed to be.

────── ♔ ──────


Torn by Cynthia Eden

Torn by Cynthia Eden


Standalone - LOST #4
Release - May 31, 2016
Genre - Romantic Thriller
POV - Multiple 3rd person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format/Source - owned paperback
Length - 387 pages
Publisher - Avon

Other books in the series: Broken * Twisted * Shattered


PARTNERS . . . FRIENDS . . .

Forensic anthropologist Victoria Palmer has always been better with the dead than the living. Shutting down her emotions, she lets few people in. But then Victoria’s latest investigation takes her and agent Wade Monroe to Savannah, Georgia. Handsome, dangerous, and more than ready to play dirty on any case, Wade weakens Victoria’s aloofness with just one glance.

. . . LOVERS

Wade knows their recent cases have pushed Victoria beyond her limits. But her skills are crucial to finding a college student who went missing five years ago. Victoria is able to determine she was murdered, and that the killer is still on the loose.

And when the vicious murderer targets Victoria, Wade must do everything in his power to protect her . . . because he refuses to let a woman he loves be torn from him . . . again.

My Two Cents

3 "He's coming for her next" stars

A young woman goes missing and no one believes she's been abducted. Five years later, LOST has been hired to find her and give closure. Then her body turns up and a simple missing person case has now turned into a hunt for a killer. Victoria is the woman who finds answers from the dead. Wade is the man who looks for answers from the living. Working together, can they finally close the case?

Here's the thing...

I enjoyed the plot of the story. I really had no idea what was really going on and I loved that. I had some hunches of who was involved, but the how remained out of reach until the end, so the author did an amazing job with that.

However...

I didn't like the characters. Victoria was hard to take. She's a grown woman and yet her mind was so simple. She knew she had issues, but did nothing to help herself. But she did find it within herself to question and judge those around her. And Wade had way too much testosterone rushing through his veins. The alpha role was completely overdone. It blinded him to just about everything and Victoria playing the damsel who could take care of herself (she really couldn't) wasn't helping.

But that's just me.

If you like a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, you'll enjoy this book.

The Author


Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes sexy tales of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over one hundred novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

Visit http://www.cynthiaeden.com for more information!

Review // Good Trouble by Lani Lynn Vale

November 29, 2022

Good Trouble by Lani Lynn Vale

All I could think about was Bain.

────── ♔ ──────


Good Trouble by Lani Lynn Vale

Good Trouble by Lani Lynn Vale


Standalone - Gator Bait MC #2
Release - December 6, 2022
Genre/Trope - Contemporary Romance / brother's ex / friends to loveres
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format/Source - eARC from Uplifting Author Services
Length - 245 pages
Publisher - Indie

Other book(s) from the series: Nobody Cares Unless You're Pretty


Bain met Diana, a.k.a. Luce, the night before he was set to deploy to Afghanistan.

It’s not every day that you take your brother’s girlfriend to prom because he refuses to put out the effort.

That night was one of the best nights of his life and the next day, he leaves and doesn’t see her again.

But there are letters. Not many, but enough for them to form a connection.

Over the two-year deployment, they became great friends.

The best of friends—at least, as good of friends as you can be when it’s your brother’s wife.

Fast-forward six years and she still counts him as one of her greatest friends. Even going as far as to stick by him when he’s sent to prison because his own brother turned on him.

***

Luce had a crush on her then-boyfriend’s brother since way before she and Bain’s brother were married. From the moment he volunteered to take her to prom, she’d fallen.

Over the years, she’d tried to hide it. Tried to go on with her life and act like she loved her husband and only her husband. But as time went on and Braxton started to treat her more and more like crap, she realized the truth. Her husband wasn’t Bain. Her husband would never be him.

Hell, that’d been proven time and time again.

The smoking gun, though? The thing that made her realize it was time to leave?

When her husband stood by while she was assaulted, while the man she tried to act like was just a friend protected her. Then was sentenced to eight years in jail for it.

It was time to admit the truth.

Bain McDempsey was it for her. She just had to help him see it. Oh, and get him out of prison first.

My Two Cents

4 "He's so much better than his brother" stars

I thought I was ready for this story.
I really wasn't.
Lani Lynn Vale did taboo so right!

Diana (Luce) was Bain's brother's girlfriend. She came into his orbit when his brother refused to take her to prom. After the best night of his life (it was all platonic), he went into the Navy and decided to always have her back.

And despite being madly in love with Bain... Luce married his brother instead.

While the author tried to make the reasons behind that something we could all stomach, it made me queasy. It just didn't make sense for me, but it did fit the story so I went with it.

Six feet of dirt would look good on you. - Bain to Braxton

The brother was the same jerk he always was. One day, when she was being attacked, he ran like a coward and Bain came to her defence. It was Bain who served time for her. It was Bain who owned her. Shoot... he owned me too.

I loved the way Bain interacted with all of the people in his life, even his villainous brother. The men of the unclaimed MC are such great heroes, always there for each other, newfound family with all of the perks. I'm so excited to read all of their books!

After a ton of hilarious drama, Bain and Luce were well on their way to happily ever after and I couldn't be more thrilled for them.

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My notes: I didn't like how hard to get she played with Bain. Here was a guy who had already proven that he would do anything for her. A man who has shown her that he knows her, inside and out. So why hurt him? Why deny them both the opportunity to be something special?

Thankfully, she didn't play this game for long and they were both able to have what they both wanted and needed.

About the Author

Lani Lynn Vale is married to the love of her life that she met in high school. She fell in love with him because he was wearing baseball pants. Ten years later they have three perfectly crazy children and a cat named Demon who likes to wake her up at ungodly times in the night. They live in the greatest state in the world, Texas. She writes contemporary and romantic suspense, and has a love for all things romance. You can find Lani in front of her computer writing away in her fictional characters world...that is until her husband and kids demand sustenance in the form of food and drink.

Visit https://lanilynnvale.com for more information!

Review // Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross

October 21, 2022

Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross

I wasn't going anywhere, and I wasn't going to give up until I got what I wanted.
Her.

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Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross

Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross


Standalone - Stay a Spell #3
Release - July 20, 2021
Genre - Paranormal Romance / friends to lovers
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5 / a few scenes
Format/Source - ebook borrowed from the library
Length - 392 pages
Publisher - Indie

Also in this series: Wolf Gone Wild * Don't Hex and Drive

Violet Savoie has a plan. A dream, rather. To open her own tattoo shop, which caters to supernaturals in need of permanent charms. As a powerful Seer, she has the potent magic to cast every kind of spell. Except the kind to give werewolves control over their beastly side. And her business partner Nico needs help in the worst kind of way.

Nico Cruz has a secret. A motive, rather. To subtly stalk and seduce Violet until she finally recognizes they are fated to be together. Ever since their heated encounter in Austin on New Year’s Eve two years earlier, he’s been dying to get his hands—and his tongue—back on her body. He knows a woman like Violet can’t be courted in the usual way. Luckily, Nico has no scruples about misbehaving to get what he wants.

But when his former pack roams into town, and an old friend is far too interested in Violet, his focus shifts to the threat venturing into his territory. Nico may come across as the quiet, broody one, but the intruders are about to regret stepping foot in New Orleans. And when Violet goes missing, no charm or spell can keep Nico’s wolf at bay.

Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross

My Two Cents

3.5 "Get Your Head Out of Your Ass, Girl" stars

Well-written with a romance that had plenty of swoon-worthy moments (thank you, Nico), Witches Get Stitches was a pleasure to read. Nico was just as Alpha I wanted him to be, kind of had a cinnamon roll vibe, sexy and kind, talented and shy, a bit broken... mmmhmmm... Nico was yummy!

I have to admit, I loved pretty much everything about this story... except for Violet Savoie.

Hear me out! Violet was an enjoyable character. Funny, kind, super sweet when she chose to be...
She was also extremely compassionate... just not to the man whose heart she held in her hands.
She did Nico dirty for two years. TWO YEARS!! And while he wore his heart on his sleeve, giving her any and everything, she kept him firmly in the friend zone.
Why?
She did a reading about their future, misread it, and doomed him to heartbreak.
Know what's funny?
She knew that she wasn't supposed to do reads for herself. She was warned!
She did it anyway and caused a lot of unnecessary drama.

So yeah... for the most part, I wasn't a fan of hers. However, Nico was a dream!

The Author


Juliette lives in moss-laden Cajun country in Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona. She is a multi-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance with confident, persevering heroines and dark, sexy heroes. While she enjoys reading and writing the dark, broody types, she also appreciates the fun, levity of humor in a good love story, so she tries to give her characters both on their way to their HEA.

Visit http://juliettecross.com for more information

Review // Making Faces by Amy Harmon

September 13, 2022

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Fern Taylor loved Ambrose Young, had loved him since she was ten years old and had heard his young voice lifted in a very different kind of song, but in that moment he reached a whole new level of beauty, and Fern was left reeling and dazed that one boy could be gifted with so much.

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Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Making Faces by Amy Harmon


Standalone
Release - October 20, 2013
Genre - New Adult Contemporary Romance / love unrequited / friends-to-lovers
Multiple POV - 3rd person
Heat - 1.5 out of 5 / kisses and thoughts of more
Format/Source - ebook purchase from Amazon
Length - 405 pages
Publisher - Indie

Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My Two Cents

5 "Wish I could give more" stars

I'm sitting here, at the end of this story, trying to think of what I could possibly say to convince you to read this book if you already haven't. There have been tons of incredible reviews posted already, such as this one from Aestas Book Blog and this one from Candace. Seriously, if you love love and romance and all of the feels... READ. THIS. BOOK!!

My only thought right now... Bailey. Dude did not deserve the hand he was dealt. None of it.

“There are times when you just need to acknowledge the shit … You just need to acknowledge it. Face the shit … Accept the truth in it. Own it, wallow in it, become one with the shit.”

Okay, so here is everything there was to love about this book:
➳ the unrequited love from the ugly duckling for the gorgeous jock
➳ the fact that said gorgeous jock was also a pretty good guy from the beginning
➳ the whole Cyrano disaster
➳ the game of This or That
➳ everything to do with Bailey and his amazing personality and incredible way of looking at life
➳ Fern's beauty, even when no one could really see it
➳ Ambrose's vulnerability when he was at his lowest
➳ the hope and love that seeped from these pages.

Making Faces is one of those books you never want to end. A book that will never 'get old'. It is pure magic, people!

“I've been in love with you since you helped me bury that spider in my garden, and you sang with me like we were singing “Amazing Grace” instead of “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.” I've loved you since you quoted Hamlet like you understood him, since you said you loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn't be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation. I read and re-read your letters to Rita because I felt like you'd opened up a little window into your soul, and the light was pouring out with every word. They weren't even for me, but it didn't matter. I loved every word, every thought, and I loved you . . . so much.”

I still can't decide who was my favorite character in this book. It definitely wasn't Becker (read the book to find out why). Let's just say I really needed to see some justice done and it was my only complaint for this book. However, I do believe Bailey edged out everyone else. As much as I loved Fern and Ambrose, and I loved them a lot, there was something truly special about Bailey.


Quick Peek

He didn’t know how to make her understand that she was so much more than just pretty. So he leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers. Very carefully. Not like the other night when he’d been scared and impulsive, and smacked her head against the wall in his attempt to kiss her. He kissed her now to tell her how he felt. He pulled away almost immediately, not giving himself a chance to linger and lose his head. He wanted to show her he valued her, not that he wanted to rip her clothes off. And he wasn’t sure when it came right down to it that she wanted to be kissed by an ugly SOB. She was the kind of girl that would kiss him because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The thought filled him with despair.

She let out a frustrated sigh and sat up, running her hands through her hair. It flowed through her fingers and down her back, and he wished he could bury his own hands in it, bury his face in the heavy locks and breathe her in. But he’d obviously upset her.
“I’m sorry, Fern. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“Why?” she snapped, startling him enough that he winced. “Why are you sorry?”
“Because you’re upset.”
“I’m upset because you pulled away! You’re so careful. And it’s frustrating!”
Ambrose was taken back by her honesty, and he smiled, instantly flattered. But the smile faded as he tried to explain himself.
“You’re so small, Fern. Delicate. And all of this is new to you. I’m afraid I’m going to come on too strong. And if I break you or hurt you, I won’t survive that, Fern. I won’t survive it.” That thought was worse than walking away from her and he shuddered inwardly. He wouldn’t survive it. He had already hurt too many. Lost too many.

Fern knelt in front of him, and her chin wobbled and her eyes were wide with emotion. Her voice was adamant as she held his face between her hands, and when he tried to pull away so she wouldn’t feel his scars, she hung on, forcing his gaze.
“Ambrose Young! I have waited my whole life for you to want me. If you don’t hold me tight I won’t believe you mean it, and that’s worse than never being held at all. You better make me believe you mean it, Ambrose, or you will most definitely break me.”
“I don’t want to hurt you, Fern,” he whispered hoarsely.
“Then don’t,” she whispered back, trusting him. But there were lots of ways to cause pain. And Ambrose knew he was capable of hurting her in a thousand ways.

Ambrose stopped trying to pull his face away, surrendering to the way it felt to be touched. He hadn’t allowed anyone to touch him for a long time. Her hands were small, like the rest of her, but the emotions they stirred in him were enormous, gigantic, all-consuming. She made him shake, made him quake inside, vibrate like the tracks under an on-coming train.
Her hands left his face and traveled down the sides of his neck. One side smooth, the other riddled with divots and scars and rippled where the skin had been damaged. She didn’t pull away, but felt each mark, memorized each wound. And then she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his neck, just below his jaw. And then again on the other side, on the side that bore no scars, letting him know that the kiss wasn’t about sympathy but desire. It was a caress. And his control broke.

About the Author

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in seventeen different languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written eightteen novels - the Washington Post bestseller What the Wind Knows, the USA Today bestsellers The Bird and The Sword, The Smallest Part, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as the #1 Amazon bestselling historical From Sand and Ash, Where the Lost Wander, The Songbook of Benny Lament, The First Girl Child, The Second Blilnd Son, The Queen and The Cure, The Law of Moses, The Song of David, Infinity + One, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, and the New York Times bestseller, A Different Blue. Her latest novel, The Unknown Beloved, a historical romance, was released April 19, 2022 by Lake Union Publishing and is now available for purchase.

Visit http://www.authoramyharmon.com for more information