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

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

Review // Dream Keeper by Kristen Ashley

October 25, 2021

Dream Keeper by Kristen Ashley

Auggie was the impossible dream.

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Dream Keeper by Kristen Ashley

Dream Keeper by Kristen Ashley


Standalone - Dream Team #4
Release - November 30, 2021
Genre - Contemporary Romance / military / unrequited
Multiple POV - 1st and 3rd person
Heat Level - 3 / a few scenes
Format/Source - eARC provided by the publisher
Page Count - 544
Publisher - Forever

Pepper Hannigan is determined to keep any romance off the table—and out of her bedroom—while her daughter Juno is still young. Sure, a certain handsome commando is thoughtful, funny, and undeniably hot, but Pepper’s had her heart broken before, and she won’t let it happen again. Not to her or her little girl, even if this hero could melt any woman’s resolve.

Augustus “Auggie” Hero can’t deny his attraction to beautiful, warm-hearted Pepper or how much he wants to make a home with her and her little girl, but Pepper’s mixed signals have kept him away. That is, until Juno decides to play matchmaker. Her efforts finally bring Pepper into his arms, but they expose the danger Pepper is in. To protect Pepper and Juno, Auggie will have to live up to his last name and prove happy endings aren’t just for fairy tales.

Purchase Links


My Two Cents

Oh wow... it was all about Auggie for me!!

KA has such a talent with creating Alpha heroes with hearts of gold. This man... THIS MAN!! He had far more patience than was warranted. Honestly... I kinda wanted him to give up and move on. C'mon, if I had a friend who was basically pining for someone who repeatedly shut him down, then let him in, only to tell him HE was a mistake... yeah, I'd tell him to let her go.

But Auggie persevered and I couldn't knock the man for trying because it eventually pays off. And I can't lie, I enjoyed the makings of what Auggie and Pepper built.

Don't even get me started on how much sunshine little Juno brought to this story. The idea of The Parent Trap was so sweet and I loved how Mr. Brett Cisco got happily roped in. When am I getting a story for this man?! He needs a happy ending STAT!!

Dream Keeper gave me so much of what I needed!
❥ a hero to make my heart sing
❥ a heroine who drove me nuts and yet made me cheer her on
❥ a sweetheart of a child who seemed to be wise beyond her years
❥ side characters who were once main characters who continue to be fun characters
❥ Brett in all of his glory. Seriously, this dude needs to find the love of his life. PLEASE!
❥ I even had a little somethin' somethin' for Pepper's ex. Is it wrong of me to want this man to find some forever happiness too?

Great writing as always. Great story. And a wealth of emotion. That's what I got with this book. If I wasn't aggravated, I was smiling. If I wasn't frustrated, I was weepy. If I wasn't annoyed, I was swooning. Sweet and charming and full of KA pizzazz (yeah, that's me using the word), Dream Keeper is a must-read for lovers of romance.

About the Author

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and now she resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She currently writes full-time.

Visit https://www.kristenashley.net/ for more information

ARC Review: TALKIN' TRASH by Lani Lynn Vale

October 02, 2018

Talkin Trash by Lani Lynn Vale
Linc has two very important things on his mind—professional football and his motorcycle club.

What he does not have on his mind is the woman that drives him crazy and makes him want to do stupid things, like throw caution to the wind.

Nope, not Linc.

At least, that’s the lie he tells everyone.

In reality, every time Conleigh’s name is mentioned, he squirms.

She’s everything that he wants, wrapped up in a cute little package that is stamped ‘hands freakin’ off.’

She’s four years younger than him, in school to be a doctor, and thinks football is stupid.

Even more, Linc and Conleigh get along like oil and water.

There’s not a single second that they’re in each other’s presence that they’re not at each other’s throats.

But all it takes is hearing that she’s in trouble for Linc to drop every single thing—football and MC duties alike—and head to her side.

A side that he’ll remain at until they either kill each other, or finally give into the heat between them.

Either way you look at it, he’s well and truly screwed.

Goodreads | Amazon


ARC Review: MESS ME UP by Lani Lynn Vale

September 06, 2018

Mess Me Up by Lani Lynn Vale
When Rome Pierce moved to Bear Bottom, Texas, it was his intention to lay low. To not be seen. To find a way to heal his body and soul—as well as his son’s.

Nobody would know by looking at him that he used to play professional football. Not with the Bear Bottom MC cut covering his back, and definitely not with his friendly smile completely obliterated.

No longer is there charm in each smooth word that comes out of his mouth. What’s left is an angry, bitter, scared man that’s terrified one day he’s going to wake up and his entire world is going to be gone.

Nobody knows what drove him to leave the game he loved—nobody but her.

She’s the one person that has helped him make it through the dark days and even darker nights. She’s the bright and shining star in his pitch-black sky.

And he doesn’t even know her name.

He should be afraid that she knows things that not anyone—not even his best friend—knows.

Yet, with each encounter, he gives what little bit of his soul remains, and before he knows it only two people on this earth—one dying, and one too afraid to live—make his life worth living.

Until one day he has to choose—the love of his life, or the life he brought into this world.

Two impossible situations. One decision that would change him forever.

Goodreads | Amazon

ARC Review: Temptation by J.D. Hawkins

August 30, 2018

Temptation by JD Hawkins
What happens when the boy you've wanted your whole life finally wants you back?

I'm used to taking what I want, being the best at what I do. During the day, I make big bucks as New York's premiere consultant. At night, I can get any girl I lay my eyes on. I thought this life was what I wanted: working hard and playing harder--with penthouse apartments, luxury cars and bottle service every weekend. After six years in the city, I know I've been living like a monster for too long. I need to get my act together. I need to find something real. I need to come home.

LA means family and a fresh start. My parents and my friends who are close enough to be siblings.

And Melina.

Melina is nerdy smart, with a challenging sense of humor and legs for miles. It's so hard to describe her...enigmatically beautiful. I’m sure there’s a word for it in French. But I know there's a naughty girl hiding behind that shy smile that I'm dying to drag out.

There was always something between us. I never forgot her laugh, never could get her off my mind. Nobody ever seemed to notice how my body would react when I was near Melina, how much more focused I became—maybe not even Melina herself. But this time it’s different.

The more time we spend together, the more I wonder if there was something there all along. After so long in the fast lane, I don't know if I can handle settling down. But seeing Melina's passion, I'm tempted beyond belief.

I have to admit it: temptation is hard to resist.

ARC Review: OUTCAST by Jamie Schlosser

March 15, 2018

Outcast by Jamie Schlosser
KAYLA
My infatuation with Ezra Johnson started how all obsessions begin—with a simple crush. Over the years I silently soaked up every shy smile and random act of kindness, wrestling them away to a secret place in my heart meant for unrequited love.
Because if it wasn’t for the fact that I tutor him once a week, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t even know I exist.
Then I find his sketchbook.
And it changes everything.

EZRA
There are two certainties in my life: I’ve been in love with Kayla Reynolds since I was fourteen, and I can’t have her.
I’ve spent years settling for a two-dimensional fantasy world, capturing her beauty with a pencil and paper. She’s kind, smart, gorgeous…
And she belongs to someone else.
Or so I thought.
An interesting turn of events makes me realize things aren’t always how they appear on the outside, and now I’ve got my chance to be the man she deserves.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been called a loser. The cripple. An outcast.
But maybe—just maybe—this time the good guy won’t finish last.

Although OUTCAST is the fourth book in the Good Guys series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Due to language and sexual content, this book is intended for readers 18 and older.
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Review: DANCER by Jamie Schlosser

March 13, 2018

Dancer by Jamie Schlosser
BRIELLE
Technically, I’m not a stripper. As a cage dancer, I don’t take all my clothes off and no one gets to touch me. I’m just the eye candy.
And I can feel their eyes on me. I know they’re watching, but I don’t do this for them.
This is my time.
My life may not have turned out the way I thought it would, but I’m not complaining. From 9pm to 1am several days a week I get paid to feel sexy, to feel desired, to do what I love.
I always knew I wanted to be a dancer—I just didn’t realize I’d be doing it in a cage.

COLTON
Erectile dysfunction—two words that can cause a collective cringe from men everywhere. The doctors can call it ‘performance anxiety’ all they want, but that’s just a fancy way of saying my dick doesn’t work.
Just when I start to think there’s no hope for me, I see her. She’s gorgeous, sexy, and goofy as f*ck. She also looks really familiar but I can’t put my finger on it.
When I find out who she really is, my world is turned upside down and everything seems to fall into place.
She’s not gonna make it easy for me, but I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. She’s convinced I won’t stick around.
I’ll prove her wrong.
I’ll show her I’m one of the good guys.

Get it today! http://amzn.to/2GqNep8


REVIEW


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you read Trucker, you know that Colton is having some problems downstairs - erectile dysfunction. How does that happen to a guy as young as he is? He’s got performance anxiety and it’s messing with his head and his emotions. He feels there’s no hope. He might as well start taking that little blue pill, right? But then he sees her. The most beautiful girl he’s ever seen is dancing in a cage. And something other than his attention starts to perk up. Desperate to know this girl, to explore this unexplainable connection, he starts haunting her workplace. And then realizes that something about her is strangely familiar. Brielle doesn’t suffer the same confusion. She knows exactly who Colton is. The boy she used to know. The boy she used to love. Now these two are getting another chance at love, but can Colton break down her walls and convince her that he’s her forever?

Dancer was just as sweet, if not sweeter, than I expected. Colton was a real upstanding man that any girl would be lucky to have in her corner. He wanted to stand by Brielle through every moment of her life, to support her and to love her. This best friends to lovers romance was cute, sexy and heart warming. I love it when the good guy doesn’t finish last ;)

Release: 12.06.2016 | Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance | POV: Dual - 1st person | Heat: 3.5 | Standalone - The Good Guys #2 with character crossover

ARC Review: WHEN SINNERS KNEEL by R. Scarlett

March 10, 2018

When Sinners Kneel by R. Scarlett
Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.

Lex Harvey came to The Pit to find her missing friend. Someone who fights there must have the answers she’s seeking. Instead, she found him. The damage inside her matches the darkness inside him. She’s only eighteen, but the feelings she has for him are as old as time.

Beau Knight should have ruled New York. Falling in love was the beginning of his end. He watched her die and he lost his heart. Now, The Pit is his heaven and his hell. The only place he can be himself.

They’re both beyond fixing. Addicts, with desires humans couldn’t understand.

A soulless man and a souleating girl.

How do you find redemption from your demons when you are one?

One-click this PNR today for ONLY 99c!! http://amzn.to/2FETVFZ


ARC Review: THE COACHING HOURS by Sara Ney

February 07, 2018

The Coaching Hours by Sara Ney
THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY.

Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about.
This story is about me—the coach’s daughter.
When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university's take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he'd make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone.
Wrong on both counts.

ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH.

A bet is placed, and I'm on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first.
Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more.
And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.

ARC Review: BAD FOR YOU by J. Daniels

January 26, 2018

Bad For You by J. Daniels
Shayla Perkins isn’t the kind of girl who makes the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to Sean “Stitch” Molina. So when he gives her the world’s biggest rejection, that’s it—she’s done. Until the sexy, silent, unavailable Sean makes Shay a very personal offer. Of course, it still doesn’t mean he’s interested in her. Or does it?

Sean has done things in life. Bad things. And he’s paid the price. All he wants now is to make up for his past by doing good in the present. And no one deserves more good than Shay. Beautiful on the inside and out, Shay is the kind of woman who should be cared for and protected—especially from a man like Sean. He’s tried to keep his feelings for her in check, but a single, reckless impulse pulls them closer than ever before.

Soon the two are sharing their biggest dreams and satisfying their deepest desires. But what will happen if the only way to truly give one another want they want most . . . is to let each other go?

Buy it today! http://amzn.to/2DDkzL8

ARC Review: COMMANDER IN BRIEFS by Kristy Marie

December 05, 2017

Commander in Briefs by Kristy Marie
Theo:
One, two, three…Six dicks!
Six dicks are living under the same roof with my girl. My girl!
How did we get to this point? How did one act of kindness, one act of lunacy, turn into this? I’ll tell you. Her bleeding heart. “I have to help him,” she said. “He needs someone.”
Months later, she has five freaking more!
Suddenly, she can’t come to my games or spend time with me.
Everything is about them.
Well, guess what? I don’t care what level of asshole I have to resort to, I’m going to show these vets just who Anniston McCallister belongs to. My name has been written on those seductive little panties of hers for seven years and no amount of muscle is going to ruin what we have going.
You may not like me.
You may think I’m an ass.
But understand that no matter what good deeds Anniston McCallister has done, she’s no angel. The girl craves rough and dirty debauchery.
And I’m just the man to give it to her.

Anniston:
I found Cade near death, in a ditch.
One look at those enchanting green eyes and I knew I had found my calling. Is it my fault that my newfound roommates threaten Theo to the point of insanity, causing him to parade around all angry and pissed off, marking his territory in every corner?
Theo started this “just friends” game when he banged some skank right after he took my virginity.
That kind of dirty play deserves payback, and I plan on making that phenomenal ass pay on his knees until he admits we were always more than, “just friends.”
But in the meantime, I have a foundation to start and men to command. Someone has to manage these hotties, and I’m just what the doctor ordered.
I am their Commander.

ARC Review: THE BED MATE by Kendall Ryan

November 16, 2017

The Bed Mate by Kendall Ryan
I might be a typical guy, but these last few years, my love life’s been anything but. From crazy ex-girlfriends to one night stands who are stage-five clingers, my relationships go bad faster than the milk in your fridge. The only constant has been my best friend Maggie.

Fresh off a bad breakup of her own, I invite Maggie to my guy’s skiing weekend knowing she needs an escape from reality. But then something funny starts to happen. I start noticing things about her that I never noticed before.

She’s beautiful and doesn’t know it, she’s funny without even trying, and now she’s suddenly single for the first time in forever.

Sharing a hotel room with her proves to be the tipping point in our very platonic friendship. Suddenly I want to put my hands, my mouth, and my ... other parts ... all over her gorgeous body. I want to claim her, make sure no man touches her ever again. But then her groveling ex shows up, and Maggie’s torn.

Am I ready to screw up the best relationship I’ve ever had for a shot at something more?