Thursday, May 21, 2020


“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… fucked up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs make a right."

Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do.

He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster.

Paperback376 pages
Published December 13th 2013 by Createspace
Source: Purchased

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Our Review---
Wow. We recently read Tears of Tess and there was absolutely no way we could wait even a week before we started Quintessentially Q. We asked out twitter friends if they wanted to buddy read with us, set a date, downloaded the book and waited for Monday to get here. Then, I discovered that I am the ABSOLUTE WORST buddy reader ever. Once I got to chapter 6 (we were only supposed to go to chapter 5) I could NOT stop...until about the 65% range and then I had to stop because I thought I might die. Suddenly in that 65% range I decided that I could stop and let my buddies catch up..maybe grade a few research another novel. I was SO ANXIOUS. So I waited. One day. Maybe two days. Then I said SCREW IT and I threw in the towel and finished the book. I just couldn't put it off anymore. It was killing me slowly. I HAD to know how it was going to turn out. The 70-80-ish %'s were torture for me. Lots of deep sighs. Then I sped through to the end and now I feel I MUST HAVE book 3. NOW.

There are waaaaaay too many ways to spoil this novel and I have zero desire to spoil it so I'll just say a few things and let you decide if it's for you.

1. There are parts that are agonizing. Sometimes it's the emotion, sometimes it's the graphic nature of scenes, sometimes it's the imagining of it all.

2. There are parts that are heartbreaking: heartbreakingly sad and heartbreakingly tender

3. There are sighs: of relief, of frustration, of anger, of sadness, of contentment.

4. It might make you uncomfortable. I once again question myself. Why am I reading this? Why do I like this? DO I LIKE THIS? Turns out I do. I don't know why. Or maybe I do. I like the duality of the characters. I like their struggles. I like that they are like and unlike me. I like to think when I read. I like my buttons to be pushed. I thought. I was pushed. Good stuff.

Looking forward to the final book!

About the Author---
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. 

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. 

Her debut book Tears of Tess will be followed with Quintessentially Q. You didn’t think Q could stop so soon, did you? Her other two titles, Last Shadow and Broken Chance will be coming soon. 

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

REVIEW: A Secret for a Secret by Helena Hunting

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“Helena Hunting delivers a smart, funny, emotional story that grabs you from page one.” — Ilsa Madden-Mills, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

A Secret for a Secret, an all-new must read forbidden standalone romance that is sure to have you swooning from the start by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting, is available now!

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I think A Secret for a Secret is my favorite of this series (do I say that every time?!). Maybe it was because I wasn’t certain if reading about straight laced King would be as entertaining as it was, but it was. The humor, as always with Helena Hunting, was pitch perfect and the romance was sweet and in these crazy times, it was just what I wanted to escape into.

King, if you recall from the other books, is just as good as he appears to be; he’s got to be one of the kindest and most patient and understanding male characters I’ve come across in a long time. And he’s not perfect, but even in his toughest moments, his default was something I wish I could be more like. His appreciation and adoration of Queenie was everything you’d want and expect in the character so it was no surprise that she fell for him. 

As put together as King was, Queenie was not. Sort of. I mean, yeah, she was literally a mess and she had a ton of baggage but she didn’t give herself enough credit for many things and the more the novel progressed, the more it became apparent that she was a lot tougher on herself than she needed to be. 

Together these two characters and their funny and sweet love story were exactly the escape from this quarantine that I needed. And if I’m guessing correctly, it looks like we may have one more book coming and let me tell you, I am here for it!

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes a new romance about trading secrets, breaking the rules, and playing for keeps.
My name is Ryan Kingston, and I’m a rule follower. I’ve never been in a fistfight. I always obey the speed limit. I don’t get drunk, and I definitely don’t pick up random women at bars.
Except the night I found out that my whole existence has been a lie.
I got drunk. And picked up a stranger.
Her name was Queenie, and she was everything I’m not: reckless, impulsive, and chaotic. We did shots and traded secrets. And ended up naked at my place.
She left me a thank-you note in the morning and her panties as a parting gift. But no way to contact her.
Six weeks later I’m sitting in the first official team meeting of the season, and there she is. I neglected to mention that I’m the goalie for Seattle’s NHL team.
And Queenie? Turns out she’s the general manager’s daughter.

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“You think our GM got himself an assistant?” I follow his gaze to the front of the room. Standing at the desk with her back to us, arranging papers, is a woman with wavy chestnut hair that nearly reaches her waist. “Maybe an intern?” She’s wearing a navy dress that conforms to her very feminine form. I trace the dip of her waist and the curve of her hip, skimming down to where the hem of her dress hits the bend in her knee. Her calves are bare, athletic, and toned, and her heels boast a little bow on the back. Classy, yet sexy. “Possibly.” “I hope the eye candy is gonna be permanent,” someone at the table behind us says, loud enough for everyone close by to hear. “I wouldn’t mind if she helped me with my jockstrap,” one of the other guys chimes in, eliciting a loud chuckle from the rest of the table. I glance over my shoulder and pin them with an unimpressed glare. I recognize Foley from Tampa, and Dickerson is an LA trade. They’re notorious womanizers. “Watch your mouth and have some respect. That’s someone’s daughter.” “Take it easy, King. It’s not like we’d actually say that to her face,” Foley says. I don’t have an opportunity to reprimand him further because the GM, Jake Masterson, and our head coach, Alex Waters, enter the room through the side door. The GM crosses over to the woman, whose back is still turned to us, and he gives her a smile that seems . . . overly warm. He leans in and squeezes her shoulder as he says something with his mouth close to her ear. “Maybe she’s not his assistant. Maybe she’s his new girlfriend, ’cause that looks pretty damn friendly to me.” Bishop jams a sausage link into his mouth. “Maybe,” I agree. She turns slightly, giving me a glimpse of her profile. Her cheeks are flushed pink. I blink a couple of times, because she seems incredibly familiar. “I think I know her,” I mumble, more to myself than to Bishop. “Not as well as our GM does, by the look of things.” It hits me like a puck in the chest without pads on. I do know her. Queenie. My one-night stand who bailed the next morning and left a Post-it and panties hanging from my doorknob. Destroyed panties. “Oh God.” Did I sleep with the GM’s girlfriend? Memories come barreling into my brain, and I want to sink into the floor. My behavior that night was highly atypical. Everything about that night was. I chalked it up to the alcohol, the family drama, and the fact that she seemed to be a very eager and willing participant in our adventures. Do not think about the things you did to her. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about Queenie and our night together. I’ve even considered driving by the bar where we met, but I don’t know if she’s likely to show up there. And it’s not as if I can ask the bartender about her without looking like a creep. Besides, if she wanted me to have her number, she would’ve left it. “Are you okay? You look like you’re about to hurl,” Bishop asks. I cover my mouth with my palm, not because I’m going to be ill but to hide the fact that it’s hanging open and I can’t seem to close it. Although my stomach is starting to do those awful somersaults that will soon turn into full-on nausea. The kind I used to get when I’d first hit the ice for a game. This is bad. Really bad. I’ve never had a one-night stand before. I’ve always been in committed relationships, and I prefer to get to know my bed partners before they actually get into bed with me. Teen pregnancy was pretty common where I grew up in Tennessee, because there wasn’t much else to do apart from playing sports or getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol—my brother, Gerald, went the latter route. I obviously fit into the sports category. By the time I became a teenager, my parents had finally learned their lesson. It was drilled into me to never become that kind of statistic, or to turn my girlfriend into a mom before she was ready to take on more than senior-level algebra. Ironic how my actual mother would’ve been one of those girls had my grandparents not made the choices they had. “King?” Bishop nudges me. “You’re staring, man.” Jake whistles with his fingers, causing the woman beside him to cringe but then quickly school her expression into an uncertain smile. “Who’s ready for a new season?” He’s rewarded with a chorus of cheers from the players. Waters stands off to the side, clapping enthusiastically. He generally runs all team meetings, but Jake is a hands-on GM, so he always manages first meeting intros before he hands it over to our coach. Jake waits for everyone to settle down and take their seats before he continues. “Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my personal assistant, Queenie.” He throws his arm over her shoulder and pulls her into his side. A hot spike of anger rushes down my spine—it’s a foreign feeling. I’m usually very level headed. But not right now. It’s obvious by the way Jake and Queenie interact that there’s a relationship there. Is she a cheater? Did she make me one? There’s a definite age gap. He’s young for a GM, but he’s in his forties, and I’m pretty sure she’s in her mid twenties. “She also happens to be my daughter, so don’t get any ideas, boys.” He somehow manages to wink and glare at the same time. And it just went from bad to worse. My one-night stand isn’t my GM’s girlfriend; she’s his daughter.

About Helena Hunting New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

FIRST LOOK: Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan

“Combining sweet nostalgia with the important issues Kennedy never shies away from, Queen Move is nothing less than wonderful. I couldn’t put it down and never wanted it to end!”

-- Alexa Martin, Author of Intercepted

Queen Move, an all-new powerful second chance standalone from Wall Street Journal bestselling and RITA® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan, is coming May 26th and we have your FIRST LOOK!

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Make sure to enter on Kennedy’s site to win a QUEEN BOX, stuffed with a signed paperback and all the things you’ll need to treat yourself like a queen!


Two Years Before Present
Is there anything sadder than a daddy’s girl at her father’s funeral? My mother’s quiet sniffs a few seats down give me the answer. A grieving widow. “He was a good man,” someone in the long line of mourners offering condolences whispers to her. Mama’s head bobs with a tearful nod. In this day and age, she still wears a pillbox hat and veil. It’s black and chic like Mama, channeling tragic Jackie Kennedy or Coretta Scott King. My father was not just a good man. He was a great man, and everyone should know he leaves behind a widow, grieving deeply, but ever-fly. I squeeze the funeral program between my fingers, glaring at the printed words. Joseph Allen leaves behind a wife, Janetta, three children, Kayla, Keith and Kimba, and six grandchildren. He leaves behind. Daddy’s gone, and I don’t know how to live in a world my father does not inhabit. The casket is draped with sweet-smelling flowers in the center of the funeral tent. When we leave the cemetery, it…he will be lowered into the ground with unfathomable finality, separated from us by white satin lining, six feet of dirt and eternity. Kayla, my older sister, sobs softly at the end of our family’s row. Her four children watch her carefully, probably unused to seeing their unshakeable mother shaken and reduced to tears. Even I’d forgotten how she looks when she cries—like she’s mad at the wetness streaking her cheeks, resentful of any sign of weakness. It’s not weak to cry, Daddy used to say. It’s human. “But doesn’t the Bible say even the rocks will cry out?” I’d challenged him when I was young, loving that something from Sunday school took. “So maybe tears aren’t just for humans.” “You’re getting too smart for your britches, little girl,” he’d said, but the deep affection in his eyes when he kissed me told me he was pleased. He liked that I asked questions and taught me to never accept bullshit at face value. I miss you, Daddy. Not even a week since his heart attack, and I already miss him so much. Humanity blurs my vision, wet and hot and stinging my eyes. I want this to be over. The flowers, the well-dressed mourners, the news cameras stationed at a distance they probably deem respectful. I just want to go to the house where my parents raised us, retreat to Daddy’s study and find the stash of cigars that only he and I knew about. Don’t tell your mother, he used to whisper conspiratorially. This will be our little secret. Mama hated the smell of cigars in the house. “Tru.” Who would call me by that name? Now, when the only people who use it, my family, are all preoccupied with their own pain? A tall man stands in front of me, his thick, dark brows bunched with sympathy. I don’t know him. I would remember a man like this, who stands strong like an oak tree. A well-tailored suit molds his powerful shoulders. Dark brown, not quite black, hair is cut ruthlessly short, but hints at waves if given the chance to grow. His prominent nose makes itself known above the full, finely sculpted lips below. His eyes are shockingly vivid—so deep a blue they’re almost the color of African violets against skin like bronze bathed in sunlight. No, a man like him you’d never forget. Something niggles at my memory, tugs at my senses. I’d never forget a man who looked like this, a man with eyes like that…but what about a boy? “Ezra?” I croak, disbelief and uncertainty mingling in the name I haven’t uttered in years. It can’t be. But it is. QUEEN MOVE FIRST LOOK

Keep Going!
Read the REST of the prologue and enter the QUEEN BOX giveaway on Kennedy’s website:→

**QUEEN MOVE will have the special pre-order and release week price of $3.99. After that, the price will increase.**

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The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can't have… Dig a little and you'll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern. Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old. Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other. The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence. Get into our business and you'll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant. Twenty years later, my "awkward duckling" best friend from childhood, the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore. Finer. Fiercer. Smarter. Taken. Tell me it's wrong. Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have. When we find each other again, everything stands in our way--secrets, lies, promises. But we didn't come this far to give up now. And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine. KR W Bckg Verti
About Kennedy Ryan A RITA® Award Winner, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, The Montel Williams Show, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.
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Thursday, May 14, 2020

REVIEW: Thief by Tarryn Fisher

Note to Self

Love is patient; love is kind.
Love doesn't boast or brag.
There's no arrogance in love;
it's never rude, crude, or indecent-it's not self absorbed.
Love isn't easily upset.
Love doesn't tally wrongs.
Love trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.
Love will never become obsolete.
I'll fight for her.


Caleb Drake never got over his first love. Not when he got married. Not when she got married. When life suddenly comes full circle Caleb must decide how how far he is willing to go to get the aloof and alluring Olivia Kaspen back. But for every action in life there is a consequence, and soon Caleb finds out that sometimes love comes at an unbearably high price.

BUY IT: Amazon | B&N

I'm so sad that I'm finished with this series. I lived it and breathed it and slept with it for days. I talked about it with Courtney and Jennifer and Jaime. And, I've resisted writing this review because it feels like once I write this, it's over and that means no more Tarryn Fisher books for a while. *sobs*

Going into Thief I was very curious about what the hell was going to happen with Leah, Caleb, Olivia, and Noah. With the exception of Noah, they'd all manipulated and lied so much that at some point in the series they'd all been on my shit list. I'll admit that going in to Thief I was prepared to not like Caleb and there are some things I didn't really appreciate about him like:

  • He kept shit going with Leah again and again even though he KNEW IT WAS A BAD IDEA. Dude, listen to your instincts, quit feeling like your guilt outweighs the right thing to do, and hold her ass accountable. Or..novel idea...walk the fuck away. Yes, she did some crazy ass shit but by humoring her and staying with her time and time again--she thought you were okay with it. And the thing is? He was intuitive enough to know all of this and yet he still let himself get sucked into her bullshit.

  • Quit lying. They all lied but since he was the "prize" for Leah and the soulmate of Olivia's--his lies seemed worse to me. Had he just been honest and fought for what he wanted and refused to play the games or let them play games, we wouldn't have books 2 or 3. So screw that. Don't listen to me, I liked reading books 2 and 3.

  • Fight for Olivia. She wanted you to and you kept walking away. FUCK. And quit hooking up with women who aren't Olivia. SHIT.
...and now I realize I'm talking as if he was a real person and not a character in a book. *smh--at myself* 

Tarryn did a great job of making me like him and while also being annoyed with him. He was smug and so sure and yet sweet and loving and kind and insecure when it came to Olivia. 

I loved how great he was with Estella. 
I loved his jealousy of Noah and his grudging respect for him.
I loved seeing how he saw his mother and stepfather.
I appreciated his honesty, even when it showed unsavory characteristics about him. Seeing how he viewed his history and Olivia and Leah and why he did what he did definitely confirmed that he was a dick, in some instances, and that sometimes I was wrong and he actually was doing the 'right' thing...even if I hated what that was.

I'm sorry I'm giving a shitty, vague review here. I guess I just am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the end of this series--that it's over--and I'm trying to not be spoilery (failing at that). So here's what I really want you to know:

I am happy that the ending of this series felt finished and yet I'm sad that it's over. Tarryn Fisher wrote the hell out of this series--I felt the thrum of emotion--love and hate and angst and despair--underneath and between the spaces on the page. I loved the humor and anger and love and commitment and the entire rollercoaster that I was on while reading this series. It's been a while since I've felt compelled to marathon a book series like this (and had time to do it) and it confirmed for me that I am a Tarryn Fisher fan for life. Whether she's writing romance or psychological mind fucks, I am with her 100% of the way. 

Thank you for writing, Tarryn Fisher. 


I would like to write a novel that every, single person loves, but not even J.K. Rowling could do that. Instead, I try to write stories that pull on people's emotions. I believe that sadness is the most powerful emotion, and swirled with regret the two become a dominating force. I love villains. Three of my favorites are Mother Gothel, Gaston and the Evil Queen who all suffered from a pretty wicked case of vanity (like me). I like to make these personality types the center of my stories. 
I love rain, Coke, Starbucks and sarcasm. I hate bad adjectives and the word "smolder". If you read my book-I love you. If you hate my book-I still love you, but please don't be mean to me; I'm half badass, half cry baby.

Find her: Website | Twitter | FB

NEW: The Hunter by LJ Shen

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The queen of enemies-to-lovers strikes again. I devoured every page, hooked on the sizzling chemistry between Hunter and Sailor. A ten star read." --Parker S. Huntington, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

The Hunter, an all-new compelling and must-read contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!


Boston’s debauched elite is going up in flames, and it’s the Fitzpatrick family that set it on fire.
I didn’t mean to star in a sex tape, okay?
It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds.
It just happened.
Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston’s nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family’s oil company.
Little does she know, that’s not the only pipe I’ll be laying…
I didn’t want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what’s six months in the grand scheme of things?
It’s not like I’m in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick’s charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom.


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“Why?” I asked, blinking at him in confusion. I had two left legs and the coordination of roadkill. I couldn’t dance if my life depended on it. I’d tried dancing at the only party I’d ever gone to—sophomore year—and was subjected to such thorough humiliation. People took videos of me dancing and forwarded it to half my school. Saggy Sailor, they’d graffiti-ed on my locker. Apparently, my back looked hunched and droopy when I danced. “Because…” He tilted his chin down, his voice low, smoldering. “You’re obviously bored, and my family is watching us, and I’m partial to fondling you.” “It’s the dress,” I muttered. “I’d actually prefer fondling you out of it.” I sliced my gaze sideways, noticing that Aisling and Persy hadn’t picked up on my exchange with him. They were now watching a video, probably of the reality show they were arguing about. Even though Hunter was just after a friendly dance to show his family we were getting along, I couldn’t unglue my butt from my chair. “No fondling.” I crossed my arms over my chest, buying time. “No promises. Get up.” “Did you tell anyone we live together?” I accused, my eyes narrowing into slits. He stared at me, wide-eyed, mouth parted. “Negatory.” “Did you tell anyone we were dating?” “This is the lamest twenty-questions game I’ve ever participated in. No. “Well, people are talking about us.” “That’s what people do. They fill the air with useless words to entertain each other. It’s called gossip, and it sucks all the asses in the world. Doesn’t mean it was me. Our building employs more than a hundred people. All of them work for my father. That means he’s spreading whatever the hell he wants to spread.” LJShen
About LJ Shen L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries. She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

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