Review: College Boys by Daisy Harris

Title:  College Boys (Kindle edition)

Author: Daisy Harris

Grade: C+ (I received this story free in exchange for an honest review)

Synop: When soccer star Chris Fischer moves next door to an openly gay classmate, he doesn’t realize the wall between their rooms will be so thin he’ll hear his neighbor’s every move. But soon he and Peter become friends, and Chris is intrigued—imagining what happens on the other side of the wall. Active on the Queer Student Council, Peter Cohen wishes he wasn’t so damn hot for his straight neighbor. He can’t tell if Chris is flirting or in denial or what, but Chris’s innocent overtures lure Peter into flirtation that throws his world into chaos. Peter doesn’t want to date a closet case, but he desperately, passionately wants Chris. Soon Chris must choose whether to run away from his new feelings or embrace a relationship with the guy he loves. And Peter must decide if he can give his heart to a guy who hasn’t yet figured it all out.

Review: What I loved: I really grew to enjoy Peter and Chris as characters — especially Peter.  I liked that Peter knew who he was and wasn’t afraid to put himself out there.  Chris was a nice guy and it was great to see him expand as a person.  I had the feeling that, as a couple, Peter and Chris would be fine.  The sex between the two was definitely hot with a side of sensuality.  What frustrated me:  Chris was a little bit too much of the stereotypical “in the closet jock.”  Also, the relationship happened so very fast.  For me, I think the story needed to be longer and have more gradual development between Chris and Peter.  It was a little too fast for me to completely buy into their relationship.  But I liked Peter so much that I overlooked that gripe, because he deserved to find a great guy.  :)  I might try another story in the Holsum College series and see how that one suits me.  :)


Shelly

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Review: Dancing With the Devil by Keri Arthur

Title: Dancing With the Devil: Nikki and Michael Book 1 (Kindle edition)
Dancing With the Devil: Nikki and Michael Book 1 (Paperback Edition)

Author: Keri Arthur

Grade: B (I received this story free in exchange for an honest review)

Synop: Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there’s nothing left to surprise her. But all that changes the night she follows a rich man’s daughter into the shadows and finds herself caught in a war between two very different men. One is a madman, intent on destruction. The other has his own heart of darkness.
 
For three hundred years, Michael Kelly has existed in life’s shadows, gradually learning to control his vampire cravings. He is convinced that no one can breach his formidable barriers—until he meets Nikki. With her powerful psychic abilities, Nikki swiftly invades both his mind and his heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be . . . but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in this man who could easily destroy her. For only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both.

Review: I am a huge Keri Arthur fan.  I was always on edge waiting for the next release in her popular Riley Jenson series.  Somehow, I never found the Nikki and Michael stories until now.  What I loved: I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Michael and Nikki and I loved the attraction/tension between them.  KA slowly develops them, which is sometimes a rarity in today’s “love/lust at first sight/word.”  It’s been a while since I have read a paranormal and I found myself falling in love with the vampire genre all over again.  Nikki is not a helpless “save me” heroine, which for me is essential. I can’t stand whimpy women! :)  Jasper, as the bad guy, was suitably creepy and the secondary characters were fleshed out well and added to the over all story.  What frustrated me: The pace of the story could have been a bit faster.  It was a solid plot but it wasn’t so gripping that I couldn’t put the book down and do a few things and then come back to it.  Also, I really wanted to know more about Jasper and Michael’s background.  I’m guessing that we will find out more in book 2, Hearts in Darkness: Nikki and Michael Book 2 which comes out August 27th! So grab, Dancing With the Devil: Nikki and Michael Book 1 now and be ready for August 27th!


Shelly

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Review: Facade by Nyrae Dawn

Title: Facade (The Games Series) (Kindle edition)
              Facade (The Games Series) Paperback Edition (pre-order for 9/24/13 release date)
Author: Nyrae Dawn

Grade: A

Synop: Can love save them? 

After her father commits a crime that shatters her family, eighteen-year-old Delaney Cross is tired of pretending everything is alright. Packing up her car, she sets out to find the people her father hurt. Her search leads her to places she’s never been–and into the arms of Adrian Westfall.

To the outside world, Adrian is a sexy, charming ladies man. But his playboy persona is just an act. Secretly his soul is tortured by a memory too painful to share. Only Delaney seems to see through his façade to the real man underneath. And for the first time in his life, Adrian feels he can begin to open up about his past.

Together, Adrian and Delaney share a passionate, carefree love they never expected to find. Yet both still harbor their own secrets. When the dark truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together, or tear them apart forever?

Review:  Can we say PHENOMENAL??? I loved this book.  It was a “stay up late and MUST finish before sleeping” kind of book and I have NO regrets that I shuffled through work the next morning, my brain a jumbled emotional mess and my eyes puffy from crying.  What I loved: Dare I say EVERYTHING?!?!  Adrian, ahhh Adrian.  Beautifully broken.  Yes, I am one of those women who love characters that are broken.  He was a mess.  Into drugs, women and liquor — and anything else that might take away the pain he is carrying.  Then we have Delaney, who is emotional and hurt and craving the need to make her world “right.”   Watching these two characters come together was like watching a beautiful waltz.  I don’t know how ND did it, but every emotion these two felt became my own and I used A LOT of tissues through the night.  I loved that everything took time for these two.  Yes there was attraction, but they slowly got to know each other, to trust and to give.  Until all the secrets came tumbling out into the harsh light of day.  I don’t want to ruin anyone’s read, but the ending was so real and so staggering.  This story has cinched my need to now find everything I can written by Nyrae Dawn.  If they are HALF as good as Facade, then I will be a happy reader.  Do yourself a favor and grab this story, along with some tissues and maybe a bottle of wine.  Oh and my advice? Read it when you don’t have to be at work first thing the next day… ;)


Shelly

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Review: The Winning Season by Alison Packard

Title: The Winning Season (Kindle edition)

Author: Alison Packard

Grade: B+

Synop: Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team’s newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She’s got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly’s not about to let that happen.

Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he’s loathed his entire life—a team with little to no chance at the post-season.

Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team’s schedule on the road, they can’t avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.

Review:  I really enjoyed reading this story!  It was engaging and a quick read.  What I loved: Kelly and Matt did not fall into instant love/lust.  In fact, they really didn’t care for each other.  Matt was rather rude and crude to her and Kelly was doing her best to come across as the big “B.”  Not to mention that he gave her quite a hard time professionally when he was traded to the Blaze.  Their relationship felt real.  They interacted in ways which were completely believable and real and even as they slowly started to think of each other as more than just the thorn in their side, it was easy to follow Kelly and fall in love with Matt.  Not to mention, I was touched how he handled the charity game and him having to do lunch with the winner.  AP did an excellent job, I thought, of showing the emotional and physical upheaval a person recovering from an eating disorder would go through.  All in all, a fun story with sexy characters both physically and mentally and that’s sometimes hard to achieve and balance, especially when you start off with emotions such as dislike.  Usually, I add a “What frustrated me” section to a review, but honestly, there wasn’t anything to nitpick or point out.  I recommend this story highly, especially if you enjoy pro-sports as the backdrop!


Shelly

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Frigid by J Lynn (aka Jennifer Armentrout) is Available Now!

Frigid by J Lynn

Frigid by J Lynn I have been waiting for this book! *squeeeeessssss with delight* Go immediately and get your copy. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, do NOT start another book unless it is THIS ONE!!! :) Do you need more incentive?  Try the book trailer —-> Frigid Book Trailer  I’ll be posting a review of this book by the weekend so check back! :) And are you interested in possibly winning some swag or a signed book or a $100 Amazon gift card?  Then click and check out Jennifer’s contest!! Happy Reading! 

Description:  For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn’t anything new. They’d been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the ‘man’ in man-whore. He’s never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn’t want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she’s perfect and she’s everything. But the feelings he has for her, he’s always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they’re stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor’easter, there’s nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

Buy it here: Amazon or B&N

Jennifer ArmentroutBio:  # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Shelly

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Review: Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

Title: Elite (Eagle Elite #1) (Kindle edition)

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Grade: C  (I received this story free in exchange for an honest review)

Synop: When I won the annual Eagle Elite College Scholarship lottery, I was thrilled. After all, my grandma had just died and I wanted to take care of my aging grandpa — he couldn’t be a farmer in Wyoming forever. And graduating from Eagle Elite meant opportunity.
But I wasn’t counting on meeting Nixon.

Nor was I counting on the rules of the Elect.

1. Do not touch The Elect.

2. Do not look at The Elect.

3. Do not speak to The Elect.

And worst of all? Don’t discover the secret they hide, because in the end, you may just realize… it’s about you.

Review:  Reading this book was a challenge at times.  I almost didn’t make it past the first part of this book, as public humiliation scenes are hard for me to read/watch/experience.  What I loved: Chase.  I really thought he was the best character in the book and I am proud to say I am completely “Team Chase” after reading this first book in the Eagle Elite series.  He felt real to me, genuine.  He was the perfect mix of bad boy, yet concerned friend.  I liked Trace, when I wasn’t wishing to smack her for being incredibly naive.  She did have a lot of chutzpah about her.  And I enjoyed the mob angle (when it wasn’t a ridiculous plot device).  You don’t see a lot of people doing the mob thing currently.

What frustrated me: RVD wanted us to believe that this group of young adults were the equivalent to the Godfather, yet for being in such positions of authority they were extremely immature. The plot was jerky and at points ridiculous and forced and honestly, I felt there was an excellent (and obvious) solution to the “problem” at the end. Because it wasn’t done, I felt the hook was just too obviously dangling, holding the reader hostage into buying the next story in the series.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike the story. It was a  fast read and I am intrigued enough to snag the next novel. I hope that the author will have smoothed out some of her writing style in the next installment.


Shelly

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Review: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen) (Kindle edition) - Pre-Order for July 22nd Release Date
       Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen) (Paperback edition) – Pre-Order for July 22nd Release Date

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Grade: B- (I received this story free in exchange for an honest review)

Synop:  ***Infinite possibilities…. Infinite passion….. Infinite danger…. His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need. At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loved to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten-even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets her guard down, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run. On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?

Review:  What I loved: I really enjoyed getting to know Liam and Amy.  I enjoy the billionaire (slightly) bad boy with control issues character and Liam is a drool-worthy character.  Amy’s life is in danger and while she logically understands the need to remain emotionless and not allow people to become close to her, there is something about Liam that draws her in.  And then we have Jared.  Jared is a man of mystery. Amy thinks he is somehow linked to the life she used to live before her anonymous “savior” sent her on the run, but she can’t be sure.  His character also intrigues me.  I’m assuming that we will get to know more about Jared in the next volume of the story.  I’m intrigued by Amy’s life.  I really want to know exactly what/who she is running from and why.  We receive small clues along the way about her situation, but it only whets the appetite.  The sexual tension between Amy and Liam is very evident from the moment she sits next to him on the plane. And watching their relationship unfold is fun, hot and infuriating.

What frustrated me: The lack of information on what is happening to Amy.  There are so many mysteries swirling around her: who is Jared? Who is Liam? Who is her employer? Who is her handler/watcher/savior? What has happened to her family? Who wants to find her?  The list goes on and on and on.  Ms. Jones really doesn’t reveal enough about what is going on, in my opinion.  The plot lags slightly in places and sometimes the dialogue is uneven but it’s not hard to overlook as you are bust trying to figure out what is happening to Amy.  My biggest pet peeve with the story is the fact that it end on a cliffhanger.  I don’t mind stories being told in multiple volumes, but I don’t want to feel like I have been taken hostage and that the only way to find out anything is to get the next story.  That feels like a cheap shot to me by all authors.  But while sometimes this puts me off so much that I just vow not to purchase anymore in the series, this one has me wanting to know more and I know I will get the next one.  I need to know more about Amy, Liam and Jared!


Shelly

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