Thursday, June 20, 2019

REVIEW: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.

Source: Netgalley
Purchase a copy! Goodreads | Amazon

OUR REVIEW: 


Shel: In need of a good laugh and romance? This novel is 100 percent for you. Unhoneymooners is laugh out loud funny—Olive’s observations, history, and experiences are so funny that I’d just burst out laughing and I think what I especially loved was that for as many times as I anticipated the funny there were even more where it snuck up on me and I’d just find a laugh just bubbling right out of me (and isn’t that the best?!). Court: Absolutely...add in a pretty hilarious family that I would love to be a part of and this story is pretty dang great.
Shel: In addition to the funny, there’s a really great enemies to lovers romance. Olive and Ethan being thrown together in small, romantic experiences and having to get past their reflexive hatred and work together to pull off their ruse was fun to watch and made their falling in love that much more interesting.

Court: Exactly...I love that there is so much more to this story than even the premise promises, and little by little and chapter by chapter we get a little bit more of who Olive is. I loved her character, and she may not always get it right she definitely has a huge heart that is underappreciated by just about everyone she knows!
Shel: Amidst all of this was an interesting take on perception and influence and how some people’s manipulation and influence can really impact how people see each other and themselves. I enjoyed this more serious aspect of Olive’s character arc and loved how Christina Lauren worked it out.

Court: I 1000% agree. I enjoyed that from both mc's perspective, and loved the backdrop of Hawaii for them to learn more about themselves in...and then, I also loved that we got to go with them back home and let real life trickle in too...I am glad that it isn't just a fade to normal happily ever after...we had to work for it!

Shel: The Unhoneymooners is fun, clean romance —a delightful summer, beach, or poolside read. Court: Get it! Christina Lauren's writing is ah-mazing, and you will not regret picking up this book!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

New Release + Review! Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins




Title: Violent Ends
Series: White Monarch #2
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 18, 2019



Blurb

I had a life, love, and future to give.
Until my enemy took a wife.


The devil has a name, and it’s Cristiano de la Rosa. On my wedding day, he was the last man I expected to see standing at the altar. He wants to make me his queen. His brother wants to rescue his princess.

Getting Cristiano to lose control becomes the name of the game, and the stakes are life and death. But as truth and lies blur, loyalty is tested, and our chemistry threatens to reach the melting point, the prize grows less clear. Either freedom no longer means what I think it does, or Cristiano is as devious as everyone says, and he’s mastered the art of playing my mind.

All I know for certain is that nothing is certain. And all you need to know? This is a love story.
But even love stories have to end.


ADD TO GOODREADS

Our Review!
Court: OK! So, to say that we've been waiting patiently for this book might be a slight exaggeration on the patience part...but once we got it I am telling you right now we absolutely DEVOURED this book. The first one really sucked us in and this one almost killed me with how good it was! Shel: Yes. I'm deceased. Like I'm typing this from heaven because Violent Ends just killed me dead. GAHHHHH.

Court: Natalia is slowly becoming someone who isn't like an ostrich with her head in the sand...and begrudgingly she owes some of that to a certain someone. She was sheltered from so much, and really thought she knew everything about what motivated certain people in our lovely story...so now I really enjoy her figuring out that she just might not know everything she thinks she does! HOWEVER, and I repeat...however, she also is becoming someone who is exuding strength and perspective in a world where there isn't any and it helped make this book a wildly exciting ride. Shel: Natalia took a ride on the struggle bus in this one. She really wanted to hold on to what she'd been told was true about Cristiano and she desperately needed to belief that what she knew was true because otherwise years and years of hatred would have to change and she was not ready to give up the fight against him. It's like her hatred of him fueled her and if he took away that fuel, then what?! So as she discovered more, two things happened--she had to consider some things she'd never thought she'd have to consider and she had to grower stronger than she thought possible. I loved that Cristiano is pushing her and opening her eyes to things and that he appears to be more than meets the eye.

Court: These covers...Jessica Hawkins writing...these characters...the tease...oh, the tease! Have we ever been teased by the slow burn quite as much as this book? I am not sure, but I think you should read it as soon as you possibly can (start with book 1...that is a must!) because it is not to be missed. There is something about the insane world of cartels and drugs and secrets that entices us (in book form only, am I right? Shel: yep. Totally right.) and we cannot get enough. I can't wait for the next book in this series to come out! We will try to be waiting patiently...try, being the operative word!  Shel: Look Jessica Hawkins is really great at what she does and I love how she's making monsters into angels and angels into monsters and killing me with her slow burn and creating all sorts of suspicions and intrigue and I cannot believe we have to wait until forfreakingever to get the next book but I will somehow deal with it. Get lost in this series, y'all; it's a fun escape.





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU







Also Available


AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






Author Bio


Jessica Hawkins is a USA Today bestselling author known for her "emotionally gripping" and "off-the-charts hot" romance. Dubbed "queen of angst" by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she's garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart...and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in New York and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.


Author Links

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

REVIEW: Pretty Scars by C.D. Reiss



PS - BT banner.jpg

“A gripping, sensual and darkly romantic masterpiece."-- Frolic

Pretty Scars, Carrie Drazen’s long awaited love story from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss, is available now!

Pretty Scars FOR WEB

OUR REVIEW:

Shel: Reading Pretty Scars has stoked a desire to go back to the very beginning and reread all the Drazen books. Reading about Carrie, after all of these years of wondering why we didn't know much about her, made me want to scour every previous book and see what I've missed: the hints dropped, the plot hidden from view, and how her siblings perceived her. Now that I know what she's made of and why she disappeared, I'm starving for more from this family. It's like a really good tv drama that you never want to end. I want updates, I want more interactions, I want to see Declan get his comeuppance again and again and again. 

Court: Amen, sister! OMG. It's like we know them and love them at this point, and it does not get old. C.D. Reiss is a goddess writer, and we cannot stop shouting from the rooftops how much we love this series...and nor should we! This book is a brilliantly interwoven tale that gave us the perfect blend of the past and present, and whoa...their story is not what I expected! 


Shel: I could go on and on about how much more I'd like to read from this fucked up twisted family, but I think you get the picture. So let me give Carrie and Gabriel the attention they deserve. Carrie, beautiful, smart, naive Carrie. I loved her for being so self-aware and perceptive when it came to the attention she received and I wanted to warn her off her of her naivety when it came to her family (especially her parents).I wanted to protect her and kill for her--she struck a nerve, what can I say? And Gabriel? Gabriel was also very interesting. Smart, talented, and passionate about Carrie? Yes. What I wasn't sure of was how much of his passion was due to her beauty and her initial resistance to his charms/chasing after her and how much of it was because of respect, curiosity, or genuine feelings. I was prepared not to like him because he seemed to be interested in her outward appearance but the more time I spent with his character, the more I liked him--and at the end I loved him for her.

Court: Ah...yes, all of that. But also, the music. I love a great story that gives us the feels about music and the craft in a way that literally gives me goose bumps. I love when attention to art is spot on, and music does it for me in a way that is only second to great writing. It was especially great for me! 


Shel: Pretty Scars shouldn't have surprised me--all the Drazen books suck me in immediately and hold me in their thrall until I'm done--but it did. I guess I forgot how addictive this family is...how addictive CD Reiss writing about this family is. It's her plotting, world building, and skill that takes the most insane family dynamics and makes me care, want to read more, and has me dreaming up all sorts of additional novels I'd like to see her write when it comes to the Drazen world.

Court: I agree! I suppose it'll end at some point, but you all get the picture that you need to read everything C.D. Reiss has written right now! I haven't regretted it since Shelley told me I had to (hahaha!) and now that is my message to you! Read it! Now! 

In Carrie Drazen’s diamond-studded world, beauty is everything: a blessing, a commodity, and a curse. Her beauty got her past the velvet ropes and into New York’s high society, but it ripped her away from the man she loved and chained her to an unbearable life.
Then, in a single night, a song played by a mysterious and secretive musician carries her back to a past ripe with possibilities, when love could open any door.
Who is this anonymous performer?
How can a man she’s never met tell the story of a boy she loved with such precision?
She needs to know. But sometimes masks exist for a reason, and this unveiling could scar them both.

PS - AN KU

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PrettyScars
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2MrdPsD
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2L3eIar

Excerpt:

After four years at USC, I knew how to survive. I went to the University Village mall, where Earl the security guard liked to hear me play. I needed to practice anyway. “Play that Stravinsky thing, would you?” I’d educated Earl in the ways of classical composers and he turned out to have a great ear. He always had a request. “You got it.” “Gonna miss your playing after you graduate,” he said as I set up my case. “I’ll miss the acoustics in here.” “Where you going?” he asked. “New York.” I drew the bow across the strings and made an adjustment. “Big Apple. You got a job there?” “Not yet. But that’s where the opportunities are.” He shook his head not as a negation, but with a rueful look back at youth. When I started playing the piece Earl liked, I wasn’t looking to fall in love. I wasn’t looking to get tied down. I hadn’t fallen in love since Babette, and that was fine. Making a name for myself as a musician would take up all my time. The acoustics in the front hall of University Village were outstanding. My eyes were closed as I played, listening for off tones and missed notes. I was in perfect flow. My fingers acted before my mind could correct, so my ears made adjustments. The conversations, the clattering food trays, the dim Muzak in the speakers were miles away. There was no reason for me to open my eyes, but I did, and that changed everything. She changed everything. Standing with her friend, red hair covering her face as she rooted around her bag, she looked up just as I saw her, as if my gaze had called out. USC is full of the children of actors, models, and athletes. My friend Danny said you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting something fuckable. But she wasn’t fuckable. Not exactly. She was more. Calling her beautiful illustrated the inadequacy of language. She was a melody. A perfect symphony. The final crescendo in a masterpiece written by a genius. Taking my eyes off her would be impossible. All the air in the room bent in her direction and emanated from her as if she owned it. And still, my fingers did their job, filling the room with music that had been written for her before she was born. She was impossible. Eternal. Divine. Nothing like her should exist anywhere but Olympus. With a little smile, she dropped a bill in my case and walked out with her friend, getting momentarily lost in the afternoon sun. I stopped playing to watch her go. “You got a day’s worth out of her,” Earl said from behind his podium. “Yeah,” I said, assuming he was talking about her looks. “You gonna get greedy and keep playing?” “Huh?” He pointed at my case with its dotting of loose change and a single, rolled up bill. I picked up the cash. Benjamin Franklin stared at me with a sly smile. That couldn’t be right. Even if it was, I couldn’t take it. Not from another student. Not from anyone who wasn’t Bill Gates. Looking out the glass doors, I saw her and her friend make their way to the crosswalk and wait for the light. “You okay?” Earl asked with a knowing smile. “Or did that pretty thing shake you?” “I’m shaken,” I said, grabbing the pen off his clipboard. I scrawled my number on the bill and handed back the pen. “Save my spot.” “Will do.” I dropped my violin in the case and snapped it shut, losing a spray of pennies and dimes, grabbed my bag and case, and ran after her.

About CD Reiss
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn't pick up she's at the well hauling buckets. Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master's degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels. She's frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn't ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood. If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine. _21A6258_pp-fb

Connect with CD Reiss
Sign here for new release and sale alerts: https://cdreiss.com/NewReleaseSaleAlerts
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For Text Alerts: TEXT “CDREISS” to 77948
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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

REVIEW: Slay by Laurelin Paige

 
SLAY: RIVALRY (Slay Quartet #1) by Laurelin Paige Release Date: June 4th

 

OUR REVIEW:

Shel: When I saw my chance to get in on a new Laurelin Paige series I jumped and Slay is just as interesting as I’d hoped it would be. These characters—Celia and Edward—are seemingly awful people. They both seem like master manipulators who view the world as a game board and people as their game pieces. Celia’s convinced herself that her main purpose is to use and hurt people for the gain of her entertainment. Edward appears to only want what she has (or her family has) to gain more power and influence. It’s only through little glimpses of her inner thoughts that we realized that Celia’s game is a defense and protection mechanism and Edward’s? ...to be determined. The ending of book 1 suggests he’s not all that he seems...but that this series is 4 books long suggests there are lots of things at play here and I’m very interested in how it’ll all go down.

Court: Oh my goodness! I loved this book...and I've been in this world a little bit before so I recognize Celia a little bit...but getting in her head this way was pretty awesome. She is definitely not the most likable heroine at first glance - and that is what makes it so intriguing. She still has something about her...something under the surface that bubbles through every once in a while that makes her the best heroine. She isn't just one thing, or black or white...and that is my favorite kind. 

Shel: Having not read the Fixed series (gasp!), I’m not sure if there are things I could already know about these characters (to be rectified), but now that I’ve read Slay, I can affirm that you can be completely ignorant of that series and enjoy this one....and most likely be dying for the next book. Court: Absolutely...because the writing is so good! We've read a few of Laurelin Paige's titles, and have not been disappointed. However, I hadn't had the opportunity to look what might be coming next...and yes, by the sound of it we are going to be DYING by the time the end comes around, but we are soooo excited! 

Shel: How. HOW will the HEA come to these two?!?!!!!! What’s up with their past lives? What’s he playing at? Inquiring minds want to know! Court: I do not know, but I do know that it is going to probably HURT! 


 
JOIN the SLAY ONE: RIVALRY RECOVERY GROUP when you’re done reading!! Enter at your own risk however!! There WILL BE spoilers!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/slayonerivalryrecoveryroom/

   


   

Blurb Edward Fasbender is a devil.
He's my father's business rival, a powerful, vicious man who takes what he wants and bows to no one. I only took the meeting because I was curious. I thought he was going to offer me a job.
But that's not what he's after at all. His proposal is much more intriguing, and I see an opportunity. An opportunity to turn the tables and bring down the devil.
I've gotten in trouble playing these games before. I know when the risk is too great, when the stakes are too high. I know how to be cold and strong-willed and destructive. I know how to withstand dominant men with arrogant charm and rugged features.
Yet I can't resist taking on Edward.
And I can't resist the pull he has on me.
Soon I'm not so sure which side of the battle I'm standing on--if I'm the warrior meant to slay,
Or the one who will be slain.

   

Excerpt Sitting like this, on the arm of the chair, his back straight, we were practically the same height. It occurred to me that this was the closest we’d ever been to having equal footing, and somehow that made me both heady and encouraged.
I reached out to rub the collar of his shirt between my thumb and forefinger, my breath stuttering under the thick weight of apprehension, my mouth watering from how close I was to touching his skin. This close, I could smell the liquor on his breath and the musky scent of his cologne and the fainter scent underneath of pure man.
“Tell me your requests.” Was it my imagination or did his voice suddenly seem darker? Less steady?
“There’s only one.” I leaned in until my lips were near his ear. “I want to add sex to the deal.”
He made a sound low in his throat, half like a laugh, half like a moan. “What, now?”
He turned his face toward mine, and now our mouths were only inches away from touching. I could feel the warmth of his exhale on my skin, sending a trail of goosebumps down my arms.
“Now, sure.” Fuck, I was wet already. “But I meant in the marriage, too.”
His lips danced around mine. “You don’t know what you’re asking for. You want to be humiliated, degraded, and hurt?”
Yes.
Because that was the goal of The Game.
But, also, YES!
Because, in that moment, there was nothing more I could imagine wanting than to be all those things, to be humiliated and degraded and hurt, by him. I wanted it so much I ached. Ached in places I hadn’t known could feel.
I reached my neck forward, pushing my mouth toward his.
Just when I thought the kiss was inevitable, he leaned back. “You couldn’t handle it.”

   

About the Author With millions of books sold worldwide, Laurelin Paige is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author. She is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however.
When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or Letterkenny, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She's also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn't do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.
She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.

 

Connect w/Laurelin Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurelinPaige/ 
Never miss an update! Subscribe to Laurelin’s mailing list: Newsletter: http://bit.ly/LaurelinNews

 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

HAPPY RELEASE DAY C.D. REISS! Pretty Scars is out now!

PS - RB banner.jpg

Pretty Scars FOR WEB.jpg


“A gripping, sensual and darkly romantic masterpiece."-- Frolic

Pretty Scars, Carrie Drazen’s long awaited love story from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss, is available now!

In Carrie Drazen’s diamond-studded world, beauty is everything: a blessing, a commodity, and a curse. Her beauty got her past the velvet ropes and into New York’s high society, but it ripped her away from the man she loved and chained her to an unbearable life.
Then, in a single night, a song played by a mysterious and secretive musician carries her back to a past ripe with possibilities, when love could open any door.
Who is this anonymous performer?
How can a man she’s never met tell the story of a boy she loved with such precision?
She needs to know. But sometimes masks exist for a reason, and this unveiling could scar them both.

PS - AN KU.jpg

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PrettyScars
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2MrdPsD
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2L3eIar

PS - AN KU IG teaser.jpg

About CD Reiss

_21A6258_pp-fbCD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn't pick up she's at the well hauling buckets. Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master's degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels. She's frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn't ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood. If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.









Connect with CD Reiss
Sign here for new release and sale alerts: https://cdreiss.com/NewReleaseSaleAlerts
Sign up here to hear exclusively about audio releases and sales: https://cdreiss.com/AudioAlerts
For Text Alerts: TEXT “CDREISS” to 77948
*standard text messaging rates apply*
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