Book Review! HEART OF THE STORM by: Gemma Snow

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Cade and Sawyer might be Hollie’s biggest risk yet…

Ten years ago, Hollie Callihan left her best friends Cade Easton and Sawyer Matthews in the middle of the night for fear of breaking their hearts—and broke her own instead. She’s spent her whole life chasing adventures on distant shores, but spring floods in the Black Reef Mountains force Hollie, Region VIII FEMA Response Director, to return to Wolf Creek, the town where she left her heart in two.

Cade and Sawyer are now Wolf Creek’s chief of police and fire captain, Hollie’s first line of defense in emergency response…making them unavoidable. Her former friends are all grown up now and totally at odds since she left.

Hollie knows she should stay as far away from temptation as possible. After all, Wolf Creek is a temporary stop and there’s no place for the daydreams or nightly fantasies she has about Cade and Sawyer—the same ones she’s been having for the last ten long years.

But facing genuine destruction and danger alongside Cade and Sawyer helps Hollie learn that vulnerability and trust aren’t dirty words. If she’s brave enough to let Cade and Sawyer in on what had her running all those years ago, Hollie might just find that taking the biggest risk of her life leads to its biggest adventure—three hearts beating as one.

 

Yes, you are getting QUITE the influx of reviews from me this week. Don’t blame me, it isn’t my fault that I have a circle of brilliant writers around me releasing epic levels of awesome at the same time. Lucky you, you not only get tipped off to the decadent richness, but also get all my rambly and possibly nonsensical thoughts on them.

Today we have Heart of the Storm by a fellow Totally Bound author, Gemma Snow. Now let me preface this review by saying that Heart of the Storm is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Snow and it is the 4th in her Triple Diamond series so I am quite the perfect little guinea pig for whether or not this story would work as a standalone. And yes, folks, this very much works.

Heart of the Storm is a MFM menage/polyamory story which is kiiiiiiinda my catnip. I am all about all the love. Although this story starts out very much NOT in love.

Straight off the bat I fell madly in love with Sawyer. Not gonna lie, love me a tortured hero. Sawyer is a literal hero when he saves not only a little girl from a house fire at the opening of the story, but also her two kittens. Yeah… that was just… yeah.

Not to be outdone, his counterpart/rival/frienemy Cade is the sheriff of the town and a hero in his own right. Both men are as dedicated to the town they live in as the woman they both still love… a decade after she left them.

Now this, folks, is where it really tickles my fancy because not only am I a huge fan of polyamory stories, I am damn near giddy for second chance romances. Alllllllll my boxes got ticked here.

Cade and Sawyer spar in a way that has some friendly tones, but a lot of bite. Until Hollie shows back up in their small town and the bite turns into a brawl. We discover that the animosity between the men came from a whole boatload of misunderstanding that all stemmed from Hollie’s sudden departure when she turned eighteen. Each man outwardly blamed the other… but inwardly, I suspect, blamed themselves.

The only problem is that they are both very right and very wrong.

But once Hollie returns, the same chemistry between her and each man comes back as well, this time when they are all grown up. And they figure out an all grown up way to, at least temporarily, satiated their needs. All the dreams Hollie had played over and over in her head throughout the years she was gone finally came to life as both the men she loved worshipped her and her body.

Even though every second feels so right, she struggles with the fears that expressing her true desires will not only drive both men away for good, but turn her into a social pariah. Top all that off with the threat of a storm that could completely destroy the town and you have a tangled web that Ms. Snow does a lovely job of untangling to give a super swoon-worthy HEA.

Where to find Heart of the Storm

Goodreads

Amazon

 

Book Review! SOMETIMES I LIE by: Alice Feeney

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My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

 

Continuing with my September birthday gift reads is the psychological thriller, Sometimes I Lie. Yeah, most DEFINITELY out of my normal wheelhouse.

Normally when I write the review I do it within a day or so of finishing the book because I want it to be fresh in my mind so I don’t miss any details. For the particular book, I needed exactly the opposite. I needed time to think and process and pull my brain back together because more than once it exploded in a total “WTF just happened” kind of way.

So when we meet Amber she is in a coma because of a car accident that we quickly learn is NOT an accident. The question being who was driving because it was never in doubt that it was NOT Amber. The first suspect is her husband Paul. Suspect to the level that my man is taken into custody by the police.

Sometimes I Lie is written in a way that I looooooove and somewhat employ in some of my own works. It’s written in multiple timelines. First we see Amber as she is currently in the coma, unable to move or speak, but completely cognizant of everything going on around her. We also get to see the weeks leading up to her accident as well as childhood diaries.

I am being much more brief in this review than I’d like to be because I adored this book, but you all deserve to read it spoiler free. There was a bit of a slow start, but it was engaging and captivating… and the second half completely flipped the script on the first half. Everything you thought you knew was proven to be so, so wrong. A new threat you never knew existed is brought to light and the “good guys” might not be so good and the “bad guys”… well you’ve gotta read this book. Seriously if I say much more I will most definitely spill some really important beans.

However, if any of y’all do grab this book pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease email me, message me, send a damned carrier pigeon if you must but PLEASE FANGIRL WITH ME OVER THIS BOOK WHEN YOU’RE DONE!

Slightly spoilery, in a necessary way though, is a very serious content warning. Sometimes I Lie contains rape that occurs while the person is drugged more than once, pregnancy loss, infertility, and adultery. So please read with caution.

If you’re able to handle all of that, though, I STRONGLY encourage you to grab this book ASAP.

Where to find Sometimes I Lie

Goodreads

Amazon

 

Book Review! NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK by: Skye McDonald

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The competition is stiff. The stakes are high. And what happens on Halloween night is definitely not suitable for work.

Celeste Greene and Ben Addison didn’t realize the internship-to-hire opportunity was actually a contest, but neither of these talented web designers can afford to walk away.

After betrayal destroyed her fabulous life in New York City, Celeste moved home to Nashville, Tennessee broke and broken. Restarting her career is her only goal. An ice queen who drove her partner to cheat can’t even think about friends or fun. Celeste’s talent and desperation should make the competition an easy win—if only she could stop gawking at her rival long enough to concentrate.

Ben Addison doesn’t want to be a corporate climber or live in a high-rise downtown. He just needs a steady paycheck after foolishly investing everything in a pretty face and a shot at a music career. He has no business fantasizing about his competitor, even if she is the most stunning—and guarded—woman he’s ever met.

This contest can’t rival the chemistry between these two, but is the risk worth the reward? With a haunting past and her future on the line, Celeste must decide what she wants, what she needs, and what her heart is really worth.

 

Tomorrow will be another book review for my most beloved cousin, but guys… Not Suitable For Work released today and I HAD to share this gem with you!

While this is Skye McDonald’s debut release, it manages to have all the stellar craft abilities of a much more seasoned author and is an absolute delight to read. Granted I am mildly biased as I find Ms. McDonald to not simply be a brilliant writer, but also an amazing human. I am four-leaf-clover-at-the-end-of-a-rainbow level lucky to have my readerly world enhanced by knowing such fabulous authors.

You’ll thank me for introducing you to Ms. McDonald and her work. Guaranteed. I’ll take a dozen soft chocolate chip cookies when you feel the need to repay me for this recommendation.

Not Suitable for Work features a tough as nails leading lady Celeste Greene, but here’s the thing. Celeste isn’t bordering on bitchy for no good reason. No, see, our girl here has just gone through a break-up. A bad one. Not one of the ones that is fixed with a girl’s night out of heavy drinking or even a week long cruise laced with liberal amounts of debauchery. Unfortunately the break-up Celeste had to deal with was life changing. The kind that takes your heart, shatters it, and scattered the pieces in the wind as well as pulling the financial rug out from under her feet. Life threw curveballs at Celeste from 10 different directions at a speed that left her unable to duck.

Instead she left the New York City life she loved and moved back to her home in Nashville. And the first job she wound up landing an interview for? Yeah, that was curveball #11 when she was informed she wouldn’t just be hired because there was one other candidate that was just as qualified as her and their boss simply couldn’t decide. No, folks, she had to win the job that was her chance at rebuilding her life. Basically no big deal.

Enter our DARLING Benjamin. Oh. My. Gosh. THIS MAN IS EVERYTHING. Sorry, I’ll calm down as much as I can, but when it comes to discussions of Benjamin Addison, I get a little excited. Not only is the man sexy as hell, he has a charming personality that manages to hide the skeletons he has in his own closet. See, Benjamin… got taken by a pretty face before and now needs this job just as much as Celeste. And even though he is exceptionally attracted to his counterpart, he can’t let that take his focus off the prize.

Or can he?

Yeah, see, here’s the thing folks, Ms. McDonald builds the sexual tension between our love interests to epic proportions and when they finally get their shot… heaven help me. Their smexy times are out of this world!

If that isn’t enough you need to know that this is only book one in a multi-book series that will give you all the book boyfriends you didn’t know you needed. Go one click today to get your start with the Anti-Belle Series.

Where to find Not Suitable for Work

Amazon

Goodreads

Book Review! THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST by: Emily M. Danforth

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When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship–one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self–even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

 

Continuing my September reading dedication month to my lovely cousin (and today is her birthday so this post had to come today) with The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

This is a deep novel that tackles some hard hitting issues, but the tone of the book is light and completely relatable. No matter whether you are within the LGBTQ+ community or straight, I think pretty much everyone can identify with the floundering lack of identity you experience from about age twelve through… well, let’s be real, sometimes it never really ends. But that’s exactly where Cameron Post finds herself when her best frienemy Irene kisses her during the summer when she’s twelve. Something they are doing when her parents tragically die in a car accident which makes the discomfort Cameron feels at kissing Irene melt into something like relief that her parents will never know because she worries about their reaction.

And then the relief transforms to guilt because she should NOT be having those thoughts about her parent’s deaths.

We follow along as Cam basically treads water in her life (which is a very ironic euphemism when you know that Cam is a champion swimmer and eventually becomes a life guard) trying to figure out how to navigate as an orphan cared for by her crime-show obsessed grandmother and devoutly religious aunt. A girl who sometimes makes out with other girls… but also kisses guys. Although the guys are much less enjoyable than than the girls.

Her life is pretty much in a static place until she meets Coley Taylor and falls in love. Their friendship leads to experimenting for both of them and taking things much farther than friendship. Unfortunately one night this culminates in going almost all the way (I say almost because frankly if BOTH parties aren’t mutually satisfied…) after Coley moves into her new apartment in town to be closer to school. It’s unfortunate because Coley’s older brother and some of his buddies choose that moment to bust in and nearly catch Coley and Cam in the act. They smooth it all over and Cam leaves not really thinking much about it.

That is until Coley’s older brother Ty needles Coley into admitting everything and then confessing it all to her mother who then takes it to their pastor and Cam’s Aunt Ruth. This part made me SHAKE with rage because Coley, who was not only a consenting party, but an active and enthusiastic participant, blamed Cam for everything. Calling her the “aggressor” in the situation.

Because of that label, Cam (not Coley, another point of rage for me) is sent away to a conversion camp/school to learn to control her sinful impulses. Listen, if your heart wasn’t already breaking for Cameron before this happened, it certainly would be at this point. Not only was she betrayed by the girl she loved, she was forced into exile with a group that made her question her existence and her sanity.

Something happens to another one of the teenagers at Promise that I think should definitely come with a trigger warning, but it feels so real and authentic and genuine I was grateful to see it there.

For me, much of this story was open to interpretation. Cam never specifies her sexual identity and that’s okay because maybe even she doesn’t have full ownership of it. She’s only 17 at the end of the book, after all. It’s okay to not know everything.

By far my favorite character in this book is Adam. He is… amazing. On many levels.

And a micro character named Dane might have completely won my heart BUT you guys also know I have a thing for broken boys.

The story is unique, gripping, and at times heartbreaking… unfortunately some of the emotion is lost in the excess of words. If I were beta reading this, I’d have requested probably at least 1/3 be cut. An example: The festival is important to the story, but the history of it? Yeah, very much not important. Little details like that were over explained and pulled me out of the depth of the story which makes me a wee bit of a grumpy reader.

I’d highly recommend The Miseducation of Cameron Post with the caveat that you need to be prepared to take your time reading and have a very upfront content warning about certain parts.

**This is also a movie, but I can’t comment on the accuracy of the movie to the book or compare the two as I didn’t watch the movie.**

Cover Reveal! NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK by: Skye McDonald

Not Suitable for Work
Skye McDonald
(Anti-Belle, #1)
Publication date: September 24th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The competition is stiff. The stakes are high. And what happens on Halloween night is definitely not suitable for work.

Celeste Greene and Ben Addison didn’t realize the internship-to-hire opportunity was actually a contest, but neither of these talented web designers can afford to walk away.

After betrayal destroyed her fabulous life in New York City, Celeste moved home to Nashville, Tennessee broke and broken. Restarting her career is her only goal. An ice queen who drove her partner to cheat can’t even think about friends or fun. Celeste’s talent and desperation should make the competition an easy win—if only she could stop gawking at her rival long enough to concentrate.

Ben Addison doesn’t want to be a corporate climber or live in a high-rise downtown. He just needs a steady paycheck after foolishly investing everything in a pretty face and a shot at a music career. He has no business fantasizing about his competitor, even if she is the most stunning—and guarded—woman he’s ever met.

This contest can’t rival the chemistry between these two, but is the risk worth the reward? With a haunting past and her future on the line, Celeste must decide what she wants, what she needs, and what her heart is really worth.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

 

Author Bio:

Skye spent a lot of her adolescence dreaming about living in a hip, urban town full of adventures that occurred outside of the local mall. (Hers was Rivergate, in case you know Nashville well!) Now that she’s been living away from Nashville for years, the once sleepy Southern city has become just that place, and she returns to visit whenever she can. Her seven-novel-and-growing Anti-Belle series is centered in her hometown, partly as a homage and partly because these days Nashville is too hip to ignore.

In the real world, Skye is an English teacher in Brooklyn, New York, and has lived there long enough to consider herself a true New Yorker—even though she proudly cheers for the Tennessee Vols (her alma mater) and loves being a GRITS (Girl Raised in the South).

Skye’s philosophy is to live with your heart and mind open. She believes in the beauty of this world and seeks adventure and joy as a daily practice. If “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” as John Lennon said, then she’d rather leave the schedule open and let life happen.

Website / Twitter

 

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Book Review! FOR ONE MORE DAY by: Mitch Albom

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For One More Day is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one?

As a child, Charley “Chick” Benetto was told by his father, “You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both.” So he chooses his father, only to see the man disappear when Charley is on the verge of adolescence.
Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding. And he decides to take his own life.
He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing even to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother, who died eight years earlier, is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing ever happened..

What follows is the one “ordinary” day so many of us yearn for, a chance to make good with a lost parent, to explain the family secrets, and to seek forgiveness. Somewhere between this life and the next, Charley learns the astonishing things he never knew about his mother and her sacrifices. And he tries, with her tender guidance, to put the crumbled pieces of his life back together.

 

Happy September, lovelies! So this is a super special month here in my readerly universe. September marks the month my brilliant and amazing cousin (who inspired my USF alum Georgia in Meant to be Different) entered this world a couple of dozen years (and some change) ago. So to celebrate the fact she exists, she was given permission to take over my reading list for the entire month WHICH INCLUDES NON FICTION. Listen, y’all, this is what true love looks like.

She started me off with an absolute gem that I can’t wait to share with you guys.

For One More Day is a gripping story despite the slow, meandering pace. This story is told in multiple timelines which is something I love. Our narrator is a vague human who is a former sports writer that hears through the grapevine that the older man sitting at the baseball game is a former MLB catcher (for only a six week stint though) who apparently tried to kill himself.

Yes, you did hear the audible screeching of brakes. Charles “Chick” Benetto has had his issues. Within the first pages of the book as Chick is relaying a few random pieces of his life, you realize what a hot mess of a train wreck this man is. He was an alcoholic who lost jobs and money, was divorced, and was so estranged from his only child that he only knew about his daughter’s wedding weeks after the event when a card showed up in the mail with pictures inside notifying him that it happened.

With no return address.

Yeah, it was cold, but Chick also earned it. The relationship that was the most damaged however, was the one with his mother. Through his childhood he’d “picked” to please his dad and earn favor in the other man’s eyes while neglecting his patient, steady, self-sacrificing mother who positively adored him. Even after his father abandoned their family, Chick still strived to do everything in his power to earn his approval. Thinking, perhaps as kids do, that if he performed well enough, dad would come home.

I say that the fracture between Chick and his mother was the deepest because when we meet Chick, his mother had passed eight years earlier. She died after he spoke to her in anger. After he lied to her. And in Chick’s alcohol fueled depression, his desire to end his own life is amplified by the guilt of not having more time with her, time where he could prove how much he loved and appreciated her.

But rather than his suicide attempt being successful, it transports Chick to a sort of alternate reality. A place where he is given one more day with his mother. A day that opens his eyes, fills in so many blanks, and convicts him for all his vitriol toward her over the years.

The veils are lifted for Chick at the same time they are for the reader and you walk this path with him. All except who the narrator is. It may sound like a simple thing, but friends when, in the final pages, we discover who is behind For One More Day, who is retelling Chick’s story of a supernatural encounter with his dead mother… it truly changes the entire scope of what you’ve just read.

I can not recommend For One More Day highly enough. And stay tuned as I broaden my readerly horizons throughout this month.

Book Review! TIDES OF TIME by: Luna Joya

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A “good girl” witch hiding secrets from her family…

Cami wants a normal life. Or at least as normal as a life in a family of witches can be. She can’t tell her sisters about her violent ex. Or that she broke the first rule of magic to “harm none.” When her youngest sister asks for help unraveling the death of a 1930’s star abused by those she loved, Cami can’t say no. 

A reformed bad boy who doesn’t know his own family’s secrets…

Sam lives for his restaurant and coveted screenplay expertise of Hollywood history. He avoids the entanglements of relationships since even his own parents didn’t want him. But when the enchanting Cami needs his help to crack an unsolved mystery, he can’t resist. The closer they come to finding a killer, the more they crave each other. But someone is determined to stop them.

Can they solve the mystery before history repeats itself?

I made a HUGE mistake when I swiped my finger across the screen to start reading Tides of Time. Mostly because I didn’t have the time to finish it all in one sitting. And it literally made me SO GRUMPY until I could get back to it and lose myself in the magic and wonder of Cami and Sam. Ya know that irritation that you feel when you’re hangry that you can completely identify as irrational, but you can’t help yourself? Yeah, that was me. There were several moments where I was extremely grateful to have a very forgiving boss when I bit his head off. Annnnnnyway…

Let’s talk about Cami, shall we? Okay this is seriously one tough chick. First and foremost, she has survived vet school and is a hair away from having all the certifications she needs. Just GETTING IN to vet school is impressive with, roughly, a 2:1 placement which is basically on par with medical school. Don’t ask me how I know these numbers off the top of my head, it is a long and pathetically boring story. So yeah, clearly our girl is brilliant. But then we add in conversing with animals, having elemental water power/connection, and, oh, did I forget to mention BEING A WITCH and you’ve got a seriously impressive heroine. As though that wasn’t enough, Cami is a survivor of domestic abuse and carries all the strength and scarring that comes with that heroic title.

Cami is also extremely devoted to her family. Which unfortunately can create issues for her. Such as when she has to rescue her baby sister from the edge of a cliff where she has gone chasing after the no-longer-with-the-living-but-not-really-gone Sunny Sol. The positive of this adventure? Cami and her sisters Mina and Delia stop at a restaurant for breakfast because, ya know, experiencing the final days of a former Hollywood starlet and conversing with the water can really take it out of a couple of girls. This particular eatery not only houses replenishing food, but a sexy owner who takes a shine to our brilliant Cami.

We all know (mostly because I say it on repeat) that I love me some broken boys. Now, I definitely had my caretaker spidey senses go up when I very first met Sam because he just carried that weight that I knew meant he went through some stuff. You can absolutely feel when a character is broken. But… all seemed pretty well at first. Right up until Sam and Cami start doing research into Sunny Sol’s life and mysterious death and secrets about Sam’s own family come to light.

Ms. Joya does an exceptional job of world building in a way that sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. I felt as though I had stepped onto the pages of the book and was in SoCal with Cami and Sam. The descriptions were lush and vibrant and the compelling plot hooked me hard and wouldn’t let me go. Reading through Leslie Sol’s journals brought a tear or two to my eye (just go read so we can commiserate) with the depth of emotion.

And can I just say that a first kiss that is punctuated by a break-in and fire alarm may be my most favorite moment in the world **insert mega heart-eye emoji here**.

If you enjoy paranormal romance or urban fantasy (although be warned if you aren’t a lover of romance, Ms. Joya is a master of the sexy times *fans self*) you absolutely need to grab a copy of Tides of Time A.S.A.P.

Where to find Tides of Time:

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/Legacy1Amz

Amazon Paperback: https://smarturl.it/Legacy1AmzPrt

B&N: https://smarturl.it/Legacy1BN

Kobo: https://smarturl.it/Legacy1Kobo

iBooks: https://smarturl.it/Legacy1iBooks

GoodReads: https://smarturl.it/Legacy1GR

City Owl: https://smarturl.it/Legacy1CO

 

Book Review! DALLIANCES & DEVOTION by: Felicia Grossman

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After two disastrous marriages, beauty columnist Amalia Truitt’s life is finally her own—well, it will be if she can get herself back to Delaware and demand access to her share of the Truitt family fortune. After all, the charity she’s organized for women who can’t afford their own divorces won’t fund itself.

However, not everyone wants her to reach her destination. When her family learns she’s been receiving anonymous death threats, a solo journey is out of the question.

Enter David Zisskind, the ragtag-peddler-turned-soldier whose heart Amalia broke years ago. He’s a Pinkerton now, and the promotion he craves depends on protecting his long-lost love on the unexpectedly treacherous journey across Pennsylvania.

That their physical connection has endured the test of time (and then some) is problematic, to say the least.

In very close quarters, with danger lurking around every curve, with each kiss and illicit touch, the wrongs of the past are righted. But David can’t weather another rejection, especially with his career in jeopardy. And Amalia can’t possibly take a lover, never mind another husband…not with so much depending on her repaired reputation. Not when she’s hurt David—her David—so badly before.

 

Ahhhh I love when I fall madly for a family and get the opportunity to see them over and over again. I have just this kind of chance with Dalliances & Devortion because Oh. My. Gosh. did I ever get a case of the happy, heart sighing swoony with the Truitt family. And now we get a glimpse of the after part of their happily ever after.

Dalliances & Devotion can be read as a standalone, but is a much more fulfilling read if you start with book one in The Truitt series, Appetites & Vices. You can check out my review of it here.

Dalliances & Devotion is yet another brilliant and engaging historical romance from Ms. Grossman.

I am a huge romance lover, but historical romance isn’t my go-to… unless the author is one as gifted as Ms. Grossman. She won me over with book one in her Truitt series Appetites & Vices so I was SUPER anxious to get my hands on this puppy and it did not disappoint.

Dalliances & Devotion stars the daughter of Urs and Jay from Appetites & Vices fame. I absolutely fell in love with Urs (kinda want to be her when I grow up) and her charming counterpart Jay. Amalia manages to embody (quite literally) some of Ursula’s traits such as her resilience and inner strength. She has been thrice divorced which is incredibly scandalous in this time period. She picks herself up after such painful moments and creates a career for herself as a beauty columnist teaching all women how to best care for their hair, skin, and nails. But in her personal life, she draws on her eternal optimism and perseveres in believing that one day her prince will come. Even if deep down she knows she’s already met him…

Enter darling David. We need LOTS of heart eye emojis just for saying the name because I literally happy sigh thinking of him. He is a caring and empathetic male lead which we, sadly, do not see enough of in romance be it contemporary or historical. I adore him and his begrudging ceaseless devotion to the girl he fell in love with so many years earlier.

Amalia finds herself in the crosshairs of a sadistic stalker (think Fatal Attraction boiled bunny kind of stalker, but replace the rabbit with a beheaded mouse) and David is charged with finding who it is with his Pinkerton counterparts. A series of incredibly unfortunate events befall our beloved characters and they find themselves knee deep in survival mode.

I refuse to spoiler ANY of this fabulous roller coaster that is Dalliances & Devotion, not simply because I hate spoilers as a reader, but because you need to experience it for yourself!

Five stars is not nearly enough to encompass Ms. Grossman sophomore release. I can’t wait to read more by this talented author and SINCERELY hope this isn’t the end of the colorful and intriguing Truitt tribe.

Even if you don’t typically enjoy a historical romance, I encourage you to dip your feet into bygone era love stories with one of Ms. Grossman’s works.

Where to find Dalliances & Devotion

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2XDZUjJ
Google books: https://bit.ly/2PnvUts

Book Review! WAY OF THE WOLF: RETRIBUTION by: Rebecca Anne Stewart

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My father is dead, and my need for vengeance fuels my every decision and every move. I may not have evidence to prove it, but I know who’s responsible and it’s only a matter of time before I bring them down. 

Roarke is now more determined than ever to prove his worth—not only as the alpha of our pack, but also as my mate. He made it clear our bond will be sealed on the next full moon, and my growing feelings for him make me realize there’s no fighting fate. 

But our pack is in danger, secrets start to surface, and loyalties are questioned. Nobody can be trusted, and it seems our enemies are closer than we thought. 

Now that I know my place in this world, there’s nothing I won’t do to keep my position in the pack and protect those who are under my care. Roarke and I might have gotten off to a rocky start, but soon everyone will know that together the alpha and I… 

We’re a force to be reckoned with.

 

Hello my lovelies! Today I have another book review for you. It’s kinda like Christmas came early, two kickass books in one week!

Way of the Wolf: Retribution is the second in The Wulversons series. If you want to check out my review of book one, Way of the Wolf: Ascension, hop on over here.

I am a huge fan of following a couple through their journey together. I adore epilogues (every book I ever write from here until my fingers fall off will ALWAYS have an epilogue. They are just required) and having the opportunity to pick back up with Cathwulf and Roarke made me giddy.

Unfortunately this isn’t a fluffy, fun HEA extension. There is drama, danger, and intrigue. Oh and a weeeeeeee bit of jealousy flares between Cathwulf and Roarke as a… slightly unstable member of the pack wedges between them.

This book is like an onion people, Ms. Stewart has created a million twists and turns with secrets that are peeled back layer by layer… and possibly evoking a few tears along the way. The suspense in Way of the Wolf: Retribution as Cathwulf seeks to bring justice to the one responsible for her father’s death with grip you by the throat and refuse to let go.

Just as with Way of the Wolf: Ascension, the chemistry between Cathwulf and Roarke is delicious and damn near palpable.

I was definitely left with a few questions in the end and highly suspect that this isn’t the last book for Cathwulf and Roarke.

If you are a fan of paranormal romance, check out Way of the Wolf: Retribution today, but keep in mind this is book two and you need to follow Cathwulf and Roarke from the beginning so start with Way of the Wolf: Ascension.

Where to find Way of the Wolf: Retribution

Amazon

Goodreads

 

Book Review! BEAUREGARD AND THE BEAST by: Evie Drae

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His greatest prize can’t be won in the octagon.

Champion MMA fighter Adam Littrell needs no distractions as he prepares for the fight that will determine whether he retires. But when he opens the door of his swanky Las Vegas home to his new personal assistant, Bo Wilkins, staying focused becomes a struggle.

Aware of Adam’s surly reputation, Bo doesn’t expect to like his new employer, let alone fall for him. But Bo is pleasantly surprised when a shared love of books leads them to study for their GEDs together and plan for a life after their current careers. Adam won’t be able to fight forever, and Bo wants a relationship on equal footing.

But just as their relationship is getting off the ground, the sister Bo raised needs his help, and he drops everything. With Adam’s final match looming and Bo in a different city, reuniting will be the real challenge.

In the interest of completely transparency, I’ll tell y’all straight upfront that the author of Beauregard and the Beast is the Yang to my Grey, the peanut to my butter, the flip to my flop… basically Evie Drae is the best friend a girl could ask for. So, yes, I am naturally her number one fan, but I am also her critique partner and that’s a role that requires an objective point of view to make sure her name is attached to only the best work. Even though this will be an undoubtedly glowing review, it is said with sincerity because Evie Drae is one of the hardest working authors out there who has put in countless hours honing her naturally exquisite craft into the masterpiece you see today.

That said, let’s get to the actual review.

This is definitely a “where do I begin?” type of review because Beauregard and the Beast has SO MUCH to offer I know I’ll miss something and also probably want to kick myself for not leading with a different shining moment, but here goes anyway!

First off, Beauregard and the Beast is a gender bending Beauty and the Beast retelling which basically has me all in just based solely on the concept. Ms. Drae did NOT disappoint in pulling details from the original story, most importantly the library. I did an audible screech when Bo discovered Adam’s library and I might have done a mental Belle twirl. Maybe. Possibly. I refuse to confirm or deny this.

But let’s start from the actual beginning of the story. Beauregard and the Beast follows a well loved opposites attract trope and OHEMGEE are they opposites! Adam “Beast” Littrell is an aging MMA fighter prepping for what may very well be his last, and greatest, championship battle. He finds himself in need of a new assistant and his best friend delivers the perfect candidate, young and nerdy Beauregard “Bo” Wilkins.

Now let me pause for a moment. Because Bo kinda makes me swoony. Yeah, I am completely lusting over Adam’s ripped muscles and mischievous personality, but Bo is a-freaking-dorable. For one thing, if you have known me for longer than five seconds you know I love me a broken boy and Bo has the kind of back story that makes me want to wrap him up in a thick, warm blanket and shove brownies down his throat until he smiles. Shut up, I’m into nerds.

And so is Adam! Our finely chiseled brother is panting all over innocent, geeky Bo from the second they meet. In a welcome diversion from the original tale, Bo isn’t forced to stay in Adam’s employ because of blackmailing or kidnapping (no Stockholm here, baby!) and Adam makes the most of their time together. He not only takes Bo out to experience some of the fun in Vegas that Bo never took part in before, he also asks allllllllllllllll the right questions until he finds out that Bo desperately wants to take his GED. See, our little Bo couldn’t finish high school because he had to care for his little sister Lulu.

I was NOT kidding when I said Bo needs all the cuddles and brownies and warm blankets, people.

Adam himself never got a high school diploma so in a SERIOUSLY precious moment, they set out to study and take the test for their GED together. And precious really doesn’t even come close. They are the CUTEST study partners ever and I might have gotten all heart-eyed and swoony reading that particular part in the plot.

Now, after all that you’d think I would blindly adore Bo and completely explain away any and all things, right? Yeah, no, sorry, wrong. Bo makes a boo-boo folks. A large one. A mega one that made me want to shake him to drop some sense into his larger-than-he-realizes brain. And yet…

I also completely understood why Bo did what he did. Even if my beastly Adam was hurt by it all.

I would like to pause right here and tell you, there is an HEA. There might be a moment where you don’t believe it, but I PROMISE there is an overly satisfying HEA with all the hearts, stars, and rainbows. But I won’t tell you how they got there, you’ll need to read it for yourself and let yourself be lost in the gorgeous world Evie Drae creates with her vivid and envy inducing imagery, her poetic prose, and her downright make you sweat sex scenes.

Basically Beauregard and the Beast is a book you need in your life on every level and you should RUN over to any of the links below to grab a copy today.

Where to find Beauregard and the Beast