Monday, November 30, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Chasing Spring by R.S. Grey

Title: Chasing Spring
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Feb 1, 2016
Find on Goodreads
I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.
I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved.
To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.
I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved.
I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

NEW + Excerpt + Giveaway: Act Like It by Lucy Parker

It’s release day for Act Like It by Lucy Parker! I am so excited to share this new contemporary romance with you! Lucy is sharing an excerpt and a giveaway with us today, so be sure to check it all out! Act Like It RDL Ban

About Act Like It:

ActLikeItWeb (1) 

 This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre's Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard's antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city. Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man? Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance. Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all? 
Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes   

  Exclusive Excerpt:   It would have helped if she’d got further than the couch part of the couch-to-5k training plan she’d printed off the internet. Lainie crossed the finishing line and immediately dropped her head toward the ground, leaning her hands against her thighs and fiercely rejecting the urge to vomit. She was embarrassingly unfit, but if the chain-smoking, foulmouthed comedian two steps ahead of her could finish with a smile on his face and no visible signs of nausea, then so could she. She straightened with an effort, cringing as her back made an audible cracking sound. Performing in a play was a physical job, for God’s sake. It required stamina. She didn’t even have the excuse of sitting behind a computer all day. Camera lights flashed as more participants made it over the line. They included several soap actors, a controversial political commentator, a popular abstract artist, and a DJ from Radio 1. The fund-raising committee had managed to put together a respectable hit list of names for the Shining Lights UK 5k, considering that Fun Runs were among the least popular of charitable events. She couldn’t even say the term without an ironic inflection on the first word. What kind of half-witted masochist actually enjoyed running on a drizzly October morning in London? On a weekday, no less, when there were plenty of people about with laptops and coffee cups, observing the mania with perplexity. Lainie had tried to suggest an alternative—a bake-off, a rock concert—but the director of the foundation was a jogging enthusiast who refused to believe that other people might not share his predilection for spandex. She saw him now, standing by the refreshment table, doing some kind of yoga stretch and looking cool and unfazed. He didn’t even have sweat stains in his armpits. Unnatural. “Well done!” he called to her. “How was that?” About thirty-five minutes of pure, wheezing hell, thank you for asking. “Great,” she said, desperately sucking air into her abused lungs. “Brilliant way to start the day.” If you enjoy unrelenting pain. “I beat my personal best time.” Which was true, in the sense that she had never run a 5k before and hopefully never would again. Oh, well. It was all money for worthy coffers. “Couldn’t agree with you more,” he enthused. “Nothing more invigorating than an early morning run.” The poor man had obviously never had early morning sex. Or a caramel latte. He nodded toward the throng of spectators, shivering under their support banners. “Good to see the SOs out in force, as well.” “The SOs?” she asked blankly, trying to follow the direction of his gaze. Had she failed to swot up on necessary athletic jargon as well? Safety Officers? Sports Officials? Sulky Octopi? She had no idea. “Significant others. Always helps to have a cheerleader on the sidelines, doesn’t it?” He chuckled. “Yours looks a bit worn around the edges. Dragged him out of bed early, did you?” Completely at sea, Lainie didn’t respond. Then she finally saw what—or rather whom—he was looking at. Richard was leaning against a pop-up art installation. The enormous statue of a polar bear wore an identical frown and a similar amount of facial hair. The bear was evidently very worried about the status of global warming; a stroppy and still unshaven Richard appeared more concerned with his own warmth, or lack thereof. His hands were thrust in his pockets and he was doing the standing jig-dance of the cold and crabby, bobbing from one foot to the other. Absently excusing herself from the grinning director, Lainie hurried over to him, blowing on her own ungloved hands. Now that she had stopped running, the chill was creeping in. “What are you doing here?” she asked, amazed and irritable. This had not, as far as she knew, been on their agreed list of activities, and she couldn’t imagine he was pining for her company. She felt justifiably annoyed with him for turning up when she was a red-faced, snot-nosed mess. Not that she had ever exactly bowled him over when she was a painstakingly curled, professionally made-up siren, either. Although he hadn’t seemed repelled during that one rain-saturated moment earlier in the week. Which she was never going to think about again. She’d been telling herself so all week. He hadn’t wanted to kiss her. Had he?   

  About Lucy Parker:
Author Photo - Smaller 
 Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer’s block. When she’s not writing, working or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller. Thankfully, there’s always another story waiting. Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well. A family friend introduced her to Georgette Heyer, and the rest was history. Links: Twitter | Website   
  Enter Lucy’s Giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway    

COVER REVEAL: F U Cancer by Hilaria Alexander

Title: F U Cancer
Author: Hilaria Alexander
Release Date: Dec 29, 2015
Find on Goodreads
Lucy has always been a good girl. The most hardcore thing she's done in her life was falling for a divorced man ten years her senior.
But he was the love of her life and she married him. When her Peter Pan of a husband decided to divorce her, she thought it was her chance to start anew. That was until she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Besides looking like Britney circa 2007, she is taking it well, real well. You might see her walk around the hospital during chemo sessions with bright colored wigs and outrageous t-shirts that seem to shock the most conservative employees. One of them reads F U CANCER.
I found him leaning against my car in the parking lot.
I got a Sixteen Candles flashback. He looked just as cool as Jake Ryan. The only difference was that he was leaning against my car, not his.
Oh, to be sixteen again. And make the same mistakes over and over. I wanted to get in the car with him and make out until I couldn't feel my lips anymore. I instinctively touched my lips and smiled to myself.
I met his eyes and smiled, but he gave me a serious, dark look.
Uh-oh. This wasn't going to be good. The butterflies in my stomach would be dead and gone pretty soon.
I let out a breath, mentally preparing to his apology.
It was a mistake, we shouldn't have...I shouldn't have started it. Ugh.
He looked nervous, and so was I. This was going to be a mess.
Then, suddenly, I knew how to break the tension.
“If you're hitting me up in this parking lot to score more crack, I'm sorry to say you're on the wrong track,” I told him, smiling, as I approached the car.
“What?” He looked confused as if the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind. Huh.
“Come on, you already went through your whole bag of candy or most of it, and you want to know if I can get you some more.”
“Yes, more. You want more Bonkers, right? I should have known better. I'm basically feeding an addict now. Shame on me,” I teased.
“I didn't want to ask for more candy,” he laughed.
“Is this about the other night?” I asked him, unable to hide the frown on my face.
“Yes,” he replied. He just stared at me but added nothing else.
“I know what you're going to say,” I told him. 
“You do?” he asked and gave me a suspicious look.
“Yes. It's okay, really. You don’t have to say anything.”
“What do you think I'm going to say?”
“You’re going to say you think it was a mistake…we shouldn't have done it, yada yada yada,” I said gesturing. He cracked a smile. “You’re going to say it was just a spur of the moment, which it was. It was a great spur of the moment.”
He nodded in agreement.
“It was a great spur of the moment!” He flashed a charming smile.
“It was, wasn’t it?” I leaned against the car next to him, feeling a little more relaxed. He didn’t seem too upset about the kiss, after all. I felt suddenly lighter as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
“Yes, it was a spur of the moment. But it wasn't a mistake,” he said. He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans and gave me a look that made my stomach flip, and my heart took off, happily drumming away.
Now I was just dying to hear the rest, but he just kept staring at me. 
“It wasn't?” I asked and he just shook his head slightly, failing to contain a smug smile.
“The reason why I ran out the other night,” he started, “well part of it has to with the fact that I'm a doctor and you're a patient here. I go back and forth thinking is not very professional of me to engage with you–”
I started laughing. I couldn't help it. 
“It sounds like you're the teacher and I'm the underage school girl,” I laughed.
He laughed with me, and I loved the way his eyes brightened when he did.
“I don't think we are breaking any rules. Technically. Well, I’m not completely sure, but it wouldn’t seem like it.” I gave him a flirty grin.
He placed an arm on top of the car and he turned around, leaning toward me. He was dangerously close, and I had to remind myself to keep my horny hormones in check.
“Well, when I got home I regretted leaving, but another reason why I did it is because I thought we were rushing it. Actually, let me rephrase that: I was the one rushing things–”
“You left because you thought we were going to fast?”
“Well…yes. I mean I might have gone a little too far that night. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy every second of it, but I felt like I was the one pouncing you.”
I burst out laughing because he sounded ridiculous. Did he think I regretted him coming after me in the pool? Quite the contrary. He stopped talking, and I saw his eyes fixated on my mouth. A devilish grin spread across his face. My laughter subsided, and my breath hitched. The way he was looking at me made me feel like I hadn’t felt in a while.
He looked at me as if I was desirable. I hadn’t been desired in a long time. I could have understood if he had been attracted to me under normal circumstances, but I was not the same Lucy anymore. Therefore, I had no idea how could he possibly be attracted to me.
“I like you, Lucy. I want to go out with you. We'd probably better keep it on the down low, but I want to see you. Away from here.” He looked around in the parking lot, but we were alone. He then looked at me as if waiting for an answer, but I was still processing his words.
“What? You’re crazy,” I told him. There was both shock and thrill in the tone of my voice.  I was perplexed and flattered.
“Am I? Why? You’re still single, right?” It sounded like he was mocking me. Ha ha. I frowned and narrowed my eyes at him. I didn’t understand what game he was playing. Was he really asking me out?
This was crazy. Bananas. Completely idiotic.
“Why? For one, I’m sick.”
“I’m around sick people all the time,” he said, the corner of his lips twitching up.
“I’m toxic. Literally.”
“Nahhhh. You’re not that bad. I don’t think your toxicity levels can get in the way of dating.”
I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was just going to apologize for not calling me. I never thought he’d say he wants to see me. Me. Did he have any idea of what he was asking? He needed a good dose of reality.
Time to lay down the ugly truth.
“You want to date me, huh? Some days I can barely hold myself up together. I have no hair left save for my eyebrows and eyelashes and when I look at my reflection, I feel like I’m staring at an alien. I have an ugly looking breast that reminds me every second of my life what’s wrong with me. I’m at the lowest I’ve ever been. And you want to date me?”
My words left him completely unfazed. He still wore a silly smile on his face. I had just given him a half dozen reasons why he should leave me alone and he didn’t seem worried in the slightest.
“Don’t you realize I’m probably the most qualified person? I’m indirectly a pro at all the things you just listed. No one can understand it better than me because I deal with it every day.” The tone of his voice was cheerful, but then a thought clouded his eyes. “Well, I guess the only person who could be more qualified than me would be a cancer patient or a cancer survivor because they would really know what it means to have experienced what you’re going through. But I’m a close second.”
He sounded almost cocky. This was a side of him I had never seen before. I knew I should have been turned off by it, but I instead I was intrigued by this super confident version of Dr. F. I hated to admit it.
“I don’t think–”
“How about Friday?” he asked.
“I can’t.”
“You can’t or you’re making up some kind of excuse in that pretty alien head of yours?”
I broke into a smile. “No, I really have plans. Family dinner.”
Hilaria Alexander was born and raised in the south of Italy, where her family still lives. She attended college in Naples and spent one year in Tokyo, Japan, as part of a student exchange program because she was crazy enough to pick Japanese language as her major. She now lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and kids.
When she isn't at work, she is reading, catching up on her favorite TV shows and coming up with new stories she doesn't have time to write. She loves traveling and is a self-proclaimed concert addict. If you have questions about her, including how an Italian ends up moving to Oklahoma, ask her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She's the author of Prude and This Love. F U Cancer is her third novel.

Friday, November 27, 2015

REVIEW: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time

Hardcover, 369 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking (first published January 1st 2012)Source: Purchased
Purchase a copy: GoodreadsAmazon


Shel: It's not been 12 hours since I've read Me Before You and now that I've had time to digest it I have lots of really disconnected thoughts... I guess I should start with the easy stuff: I really enjoyed Moyes' writing--it was super easy to read and to have feelings for the characters, and the humor was much needed, always appeared at the right moment, and was very much appreciated.  
I thought that Lou's aimlessness, while frustrating, is something that many people feel and don't read in books and it was interesting to see a character live with it. I have students and friends, in real life, who have (or still) struggle with finding the thing(s) that they feel passionate about and I know they would relate to Lou. I realize that for people who know what they want from life that this is a foreign concept but not everyone has it figured out and having a character like Lou was different and refreshing. 
From reading other reviews, I know some people thought that the relationship between the sisters was juvenile but don't we all sometimes fall into our childish ways when with our siblings? Lou and Treena loved each other and had been locked into their sibling ways for a while and the way they treated each other and loved it each other rang true to me. They weren't perfect; they were flawed as most familial relationships are. Speaking of flawed relationships....

Court: I relate to Lou in a million in one ways, but I was in love with her from the moment we "met" and I realized she is 26, she is still figuring out her purpose or passion as you said, and struggle to just "be" so that was what I think drew me to her in the beginning. But...then I really loved each characters individual voice so much because this family did not hold anything back from one another. (For the record, with the siblings thing...even now that my brother is almost 30, I am 26, and my sister is mom complains that we revert back to early teen shenanigans every time we enter her house....) I liked and disliked how Lou is treated by her family in equal measure. Her father is hilarious. But..I'm sure those jabs would get old. But it was true. And if anything rings true about this book is that it is complex, and holds so many gray areas in human nature and how imperfectly perfect we are. 

"...I just...want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more...” 

Shel: The people I feel a little more conflicted about are the parents and Will. I'll start with the parents. Initially, I didn't really care for Lou's parents. I thought they were so insulting to her and the pressure she felt to provide seemed pretty hefty. I came to like them more and more until the end when her mom said some things that were distressing. Will's parents were even harder to like and relate to, for me. His mom, even after reading her pov, was just so cold and withdrawn and I couldn't help but judge her. His dad, while warmer, was also one who seemed so removed from this entire situation and I just didn't get it. How is it that two strangers, Lou and Nathan, seemed more clued in and willing to be attuned to Will than his parents? I wanted them to snap out of their mourning and just freaking love him on the terms that he needed them to. His entire family just was frustrating. 

Court: That is so hard. They "tried" to fix him any way they could, but really...they didn't "really" give up everything to be with him. And maybe that is a snapshot look into how hard it is for families when full time caregiving is involved. Look at Lou's mom...she stayed at home with her father and was his full time caregiver, as well as to her family and things were warm and inviting in their home. Will's parents and family seem to have been in World War III for well before his accident...and I think they thought their version of taking care of him would fix the divide in their love. Lou is so special because she doesn't try to be any one thing to everyone, but was the same person with whomever she met. Wild fashion sense, and a blunt mouth and she is an independent woman to root for...even if she didn't know her wings were ready to go.

“You cut yourself off from all sorts of experiences because you tell yourself you are ‘not that sort of person’”“But, I’m not.”“How do you know? You’ve done nothing, been nowhere. How do you have the faintest idea what kind of person you are?” 

Shel: Will was ....someone I've thought a lot about in the last hours.  Who am I to say that what he felt was right or wrong? Who am I to say that if I found myself in his position that I would do this or that? I can't say. I don't know. I'm at a loss, really. I cannot validate or invalidate arguments about how right or wrong his decision(s) was/were. I can say that not everyone would have the resources to do what he did and that his decision was one that  his wealth and privilege allowed. And I can also say that Lou's emotional turmoil about how to handle all of it felt really true to how many might feel if they were in her shoes, I think? I wanted to hate him for things and yet I can understand (as best as I can) why he tells Lou what he does, at the end. Gah. It's complicated. 

“...I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn't have met, and who didn't like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.” 

Court: I get Will. And I equally don't. But...I would have to say I have had many thoughts in my head regarding my own personal loss recently...and when you see someone you love suffering so profoundly...the black and white areas begin to blur. I would like to say more, but just implore you to read this book and feel something for these characters. Even if you don't feel something particularly exciting...but I cry even as I write this now, because the characters Jojo Moyes created were so powerful and beautiful to me. Louisa in everything she did to take care of this broken man, and Will in his own way for opening up the eyes of everyone he met. 

“You're going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. It always does feel strange to be knocked out of your comfort zone.” 

Shel: I appreciated Moyes creating these characters and giving me many things to think about. It made me wonder if I'm guilty of the behaviors she accused bystanders of having. It made me wonder what other quadriplegics would think about this novel. It made me think about how important compassionate and understanding caregivers are. It made me think about my own decisions and how I'd react if or when I'm asked to consider these choices in my own life. And so bottom line? I liked that we read this and that it provoked such thoughts and questions and while I think it ended and didn't necessarily need a second book, I'm glad that we have it and that we can see what's going on with these characters. Court: I am so very excited for one thing that the second book is already out! Haha. But, I am afraid of what will come. I loved this book, and cannot wait to read more Jojo Moyes because her writing is so beautiful and her plot so rich and her characters have come to life in my head and my heart. I stayed up way too late, before a day when I had to get up way too early and could not put this book down. This story made me laugh out loud with abandon, and then be somewhat melancholic only to bring me back. Life changer list it went, and I have talked about it to so many people today. No matter the content, that is what I am looking for. Every single book. and if all of her work is like that, I will be a happy lady! 

"...Live boldly. Push yourself. Don't settle. Just live well. Just live.” 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

REVIEW: Leveled by Jay Crownover

We all need a hero...let the Saints of Denver begin

Orlando Frederick knows what it is to be leveled by pain. Instead of focusing on his own, he’s made it his mission to help others: sports stars, wounded war vets, survivors of all kinds. But when Dom, a rugged, damaged, sinfully attractive cop, makes his way into Lando’s physical therapy practice, he might be the biggest challenge yet. Lando loved one stubborn man before and barely survived the fallout. He’s not sure he can do it again.

Dominic Voss is a protector. The police badge he wears is not only his job, it’s his identity, so when he’s sidelined because of an injury, the only thing he cares about is getting back on the force. He expects Lando to mend his body, he just doesn’t realize the trainer will also have him working toward a hell of a lot more. As attraction simmers and flares, Dom sees that Lando needs repair of his own...if only the man will let him close enough to mend what's broken.

An Avon Romance

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published November 2nd 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase a copy: Goodreads | Amazon


Court: So, I am a little bit ashamed that it took me a bit to remember who Orlando was, but once he voiced the connection to our Marked Men that we love so much...I gasped! And was so excited that Dominic (a favorite) was getting to know THIS MAN...because they both really, really deserved it. Jay's note was much appreciated at the beginning; I am appreciating this novella for it's own special content, and also for being the connection for the upcoming Built (MY EXCITEMENT FOR THAT CANNOT BE CONTAINED!!!)Shel: YES to all of this but especially that Dom got his book and that Built is coming (insert me saying it in an Oprah voice--BUILT IS COMING!!!).

Court: Dominic is Royal's partner, and after his injury we saw her have a very hard time...but on the outside...Dom is looking out for her and we didn't really get a in depth look at how he really felt about being shot and falling off of a roof. Well, now in written form is that story, and his road to recovery was a long and hard one. Shel: Dom's healing was a lot less traumatic than I thought it might be and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well adjusted he was. Actually, he's just a strong character, period. He may have been leveled by Orlando, but he was so level headed and he exuded this calm strength the entire novel...I loved him. Orlando is completely the opposite in his emotional pain, and I liked that contrast between the two of them, and their journey to try to heal Dom physically, and Orlando's emotions. Their story is epic and hot, and was a great addition to my day! I am SO GLAD we read this! Shel: Dude. Orlando was a little more of mess, emotionally, than I was expecting..and maybe than what he was expecting too. I think it surprised him a little at how much and deeply Dom impacted him and how unprepared he was for it. I very much enjoyed watching him figure it all out. These two were just so much fun to read and *fans self* so hot.

Court: On a harder note, I think this is the FOURTH story in a row that has taught me a little something, something. That sounds great, right? It is truly, but the tears I have shed as I get a little bit of prospective on grief, and words that are healing for characters, and even if they're not meant to be a bit healing for me. That was a complete surprise, too, and makes me even more in love with this story. Every little bit helps, so thanks Jay, for Orlando and the Archers...and your stories that we fall in love with every single time. Shel: Great start to this new series! I can't wait to read all of the new stories and read about the new (and old) characters. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away

Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Gallery Books
Source: Purchased
Purchase a Copy: Goodreads | Amazon


Shel: People.
Shel: Seriously.

Shel: When you find a book like Sweet Filthy Boy you absolutely have to do me a solid and tell me to read it. If I'm skeptical, shush me. Put the book in my face and do not shut about it until I capitulate.

Court: Dude. NO kidding. This book was absolute DEVOURED, and had me staying up late, and loving it in the best way. I was laughing hysterically out loud because these are girls and guys that I would love to know in real life. They hold their friendships dear, and that was evident from the very beginning. Just so much love!
"No! God. Put ten dollars in the Whore Jar," I tell her. "You're such a troll."
Shel: This book. Gahhhhh. This book was just so much of everything I needed in a book this weekend; I want to live in this book. It was fun and funny and hot as hell and the undercurrent of serious 'stuff' made it a perfect read for me. It's interesting, as I'm thinking about this book, how much I'm loving this book, because prior to reading it, I didn't think I'd enjoy this whole Vegas one night stand thing as much as I did--it seemed way too out of my reality for me to relate to <insert maniacal I told you so laughter here>. This book was so much better than I expected. Mia had this really great mix of dubiousness about what the heck she was doing + reminding herself to live in the moment and enjoy it and it totally worked. I loved how true her character felt to me--that desire to ignore the looming life events and to deny some hard truths for just a few more days or weeks because it was just too real, too much. And, I adored Ansel and his boyish sweetness, his tentativeness with her (when it was needed), and his gentle questions about her future. I loved how they 'played' and how many people probably could relate to their method of allowing themselves to be vulnerable without feeling overexposed. And I loved how they adored each other, cared for each other, and reading about how they learned about each other was just so fresh and sweet and tender and sexy.

Court: I loved each character from the get go. There is definitely nothing wrong with being "sweet" and giving in to something you want in the sake of having fun, and these new college grads definitely lived it up in Vegas. I was somewhat surprised by the Vegas line, simply because I didn't read the blurb. Hah, right. Shel said read this effing book, so I effing did. And I loved it so much. I feel so rejuvenated by being able to find a book and read the heck out of it, and not want to stop. And...I liked as we got deeper into the story that they "played" and had to really, really, really work to get to know each other as it sunk in that they were STRANGERS! It was not easy, and as Mia felt loneliness so did we, and as she felt confusion and heartache so did we, and as she felt hot and did freaking we! I liked that they had to also "work" at the whole sex thing, because guess is not a romance novel all of the time, and it is refreshing for a romance novel to remind me that it can be awkward, and the awkwardness is to be embraced and much as the epic! 

Shel: Also? They were totally hot. Court: God, so hot.

Shel: I now want to go to Paris and listen to a hot Parisian just talk and flirt (don't tell my husband). Court: Girl, only if I can go.

Shel: Lastly, I really enjoyed how it ended which might be strange because as much as I liked the ending, I want more of their story. I guess that I should clarify--I liked how it ended in that it seemed the most realistic ending for this fictional dilemma and it was completely satisfying. However, I'd love to know how Mia and Ansel are doing. Court: I am definitely looking forward to continuing the story to find out. I was not surprised by the train wreck that was coming, but I loved each page and how each detail was written with seemingly so much care. I loved the references to Paris, and even La Jolla (I love that place...take me back!) and how I felt each detail was playing on video in my head when she traveled around, and I smile because of that even still. This book was special, and I can't wait to see what is in store for Lola and Harlow.

Shel: If you're like me and you weren't sure if this would be a good book for you, learn from me. It's a freaking fantastic book. It's so easy to read and the characters are ones you quickly become invested in. I am so mad at myself for not reading this series sooner and I'm excited to dive into the next one. Court: Especially since I own ALL of the Beautiful Series books, and lots of reading to do! Thanks for recommending this one to me Shel! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Wedding of Molly O'Flaharty by Sierra Simone

The Wedding of Molly O'Flaherty
(The London Lovers Book 2)
Release Date: November 23rd
One empty bed. One bold plan. One tragedy that changes everything. *** Silas Cecil-Coke is not a man who is easily dissuaded. So when Molly leaves his bed without a word of goodbye, he is even more determined to save her from her enemies and claim her as his bride. But neither of them are prepared for the betrayals and tragedies that await them before they can even approach the altar… ***The Wedding of Molly O’Flaherty is a 40,000 word novella and is the second of the London Lovers duet. It is intended for mature audiences only.***



 Shel: This novel picks up right where the previous one ends (so if you haven't read it..quick go read it!) and we are instantly plunged in to Molly's impossible marriage situation and Silas trying to figure a way out of it. In the midst of all of that, there are some seriously hot moments between Molly and Silas: Court: Seriously hot. Even though forbidden, yes? Which makes it all that more tittilating, because any sentence I was awaiting major doom and bad things to happen; which made the read all that more exciting...while the scenes themselves...ahem...were very exciting! 

Shel: As much as I love their sexy times, I loved the story of Molly and Silas even more. She's so stubborn and strong and he's so adoring and protective and even when I wanted to strangle one of them, I still liked them both so much. The conclusion of Molly and Silas' story felt exactly right for them. If you're looking for an historical romance, that is smutty as hell, has a strong heroine, and can be read very quickly this is definitely a series you're going to want to read. Court: Agreed...there is so much plot in this installment, and it really tied things together. Their sex is a huge part of them, as we have seen over the course of The Markham Hall series, as well as The London Lovers...but we know that this group of people share a very strong bond as friends and I liked seeing that explored. I also enjoyed Julian, Castor and Silas' knowledge, assistance and understanding of Molly's need to be independent in a world where women were not meant to be anything at all. Love those guys. And this series. Well done finish, Sierra, we loved it.
Purchase Link

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$50 Amazon Gift Card & Signed Paperback Omnibus of the London Lovers Series

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Available Now...
The Persuasion of Molly O'Flaherty
(The London Lovers Book 1)
Release Day: October 21st
One playboy billionaire. One heartbroken heiress. One sham marriage. What could go wrong? *** That’s what notorious playboy Silas Cecil-Coke thinks as he returns to England to persuade Molly O’Flaherty to marry him. Certainly, their brief fling last year ended in heartbreak (and a black eye,) but matters are different now. Molly must marry to save her company, and if she must, Silas is determined that he’ll be the man she chooses. But between the bitter memories and the competing suitors, Silas discovers that wooing a bride is no easy task, unless, of course, he decides to stop playing fair… ***The Persuasion of Molly O’Flaherty is a 40,000 word novella and is the first of the London Lovers duet. It is not necessary to read The Seduction of Molly O’Flaherty first. It is intended for mature audiences only.***


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About the Author
Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
Connect with Sierra
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

REVIEW: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .

Kindle Edition, 615 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Forever
Source: Netgalley
Purchase a copy: Goodreads | Amazon

Shel: I have yet to find a KA book that I don't love. Seriously. That being said, this one gave me all sorts of feels (and if I know Courtney, I bet she'll feel them too). Something about the absolute sorrow Millie had about her life after Logan and the anger Logan had toward her, just hit me hard. Millie going through the motions in her life, but happy that Logan had been able to have a wife and kids and a life after their relationship ended, was so incredibly kind of her and yet so incredibly sad. Watching their first meeting after twenty years stung. The meetings following those were also painful but then KA did as KA does and made it all better (and thankfully she didn't make us wait long to get to the bottom of why their relationship ended in the first place).

Court: Shelley is so right. I am such a bag of emotions, and it does not take much for me to just lose it. And I might've lost it several times in the beginning of this one. I honestly liked a lot that High/Logan wasn't quite the top notch guy that we hoped him to be in the beginning. He did some shady shit to and because of Millie, but I say I like it because it gave us something to work wasn't an easy ride to our HEA, but I think I personally appreciated it a lot more because of it. And when I say he did some shady shit, I mean shady shit...but I loved the rally of the Bikers girls at their back (and loved seeing our beloved characters make lots of appearances) and Tack, y'all. Nuff said.

Shel: As with all of her other novels, we have the things we've come to love about the worlds she creates: strong and loving hero and heroine, chemistry that sizzles, an ensemble cast that is familiar and funny, and plot for days...and of course a love story. The thing that made this particular novel stand out was how she weaved the history of Millie and Logan into the present day narrative.

Shel: That stood out, but I also loved the plot line with one of Logan's daughters. Your parents divorcing can be a very, very, very trying time and everything isn't always sunshine and roses. I like that there was no holding back with this kiddo, and while she also does some shady shit...she is a kid, and it was real, and raw and everything that we go through in our family life so I like realism in my story's.

Shel: I loved this series from the beginning and each book seems to get better and better. And good news! after looking at her website, I'm thrilled to see that we'll have several more books in the series! Court: We do. Rush will be last of course, and he is who I've been waiting for since we found out there would be a Chaos series after Motorcycle Man. It'll definitely be worth the wait, as these Denver boys and the other commandos will have a big storm coming, but I can't wait! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Midnight Mass by Sierra Simone


Release Day: December 8, 2015
  We are told that God will punish the wicked. That sinful men will reap what they sow. We are told to scourge our souls with prayer and pain to become clean once again. Well, here I am. Wicked and sinful. Desperate to become clean…even though it feels so good to be dirty. But even I never expected what came next. Even I never expected my punishment to come so soon. ***Midnight Mass is a novella and a sequel to Priest. It’s intended for mature audiences only.***


Pre-Order Link
1 of 5 ARCS for Midnight Mass


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About the Author
Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
Connect with Sierra
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COVER REVEAL + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: Chasing Crazy by Kelly Siskind

We're so thrilled to reveal the cover of debut author Kelly Siskind's CHASING CRAZY, which releases January 12th from Forever Yours! We absolutely can't wait for everyone to get their hands on this new adult contemporary romance. Check out the beautiful cover below, read a sneak peek, and enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card!


About CHASING CRAZY "With an endearingly awkward female protagonist, a swoon-worthy male love interest, and Siskind's superb storytelling, this is one of the best New Adult contemporary romances I've read to date." -- USA Today bestselling author K.A. Tucker Dear Mom & Dad, I dropped out of school. I'm going backpacking. Sorry. Love you both. At nineteen, Nina has endured two lifetime's worth of humiliation. Tired of waiting for it to get better, she decides to get going-across the globe to New Zealand. There she soon faces what she most fears: a super sexy guy ready to be Nina's next mistake. Once Sam's life was all about having fun. That was before the accident. Now his friends have bailed and his world is broken. But when a gorgeous girl on his flight looks at him with passion instead of pity, Sam feels his old self coming back to life. Now traveling together, Nina and Sam know this isn't just a fling. They're falling fast, hard, and deep. More than anything, Sam wants Nina to forget her fears. But to help her do that he must reveal his own painful secret-and risk Nina never seeing him the same way again.
CHASING CRAZY releases January 12, 2016 - add it to your Goodreads list here!
Preorder CHASING CRAZY now: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo


Frickin’ Hot Guy and his stupid hike. He thought his limp would slow us down, but I’m the one huffing and puffing, trying to figure out how I ended up on Mount Everest while in New Zealand. I chance a glance up, using the moment to inhale a mouthful of air. Sam leans over the edge, hands on his knees, grinning down at me. If there was ever a reason to summit a mountain, that face is it. Sam, who I’m falling for. Sam, with that jaw. Sam, who I’ll be sleeping with. In a tent. Alone. Another five agonizing steps later, he’s got me by the shoulders, helping me up. In the blink of an eye, he has my straps undone and is easing the bazillion-pound weight from my back. The air still feels sharp in my lungs, like it could slice through me. “Keep moving around,” he says. “Come on, let’s walk it off.” He grabs my hand and leads me over the rocky ground, the two of us walking in wide circles. After a few laps, the air is less daggerlike and my breathing slows. I blink at my surroundings. So focused on my aches and pains, I didn’t stop to soak in the landscape, if that’s what you’d call it. This is probably what the moon looks like. A few hikers passed us on the climb, but we’re alone in this crater, surrounded by jagged outcrops of brownish-black rocks and yellow tufts of grass, low mountains on all sides. It’s majestic and eerie and otherworldly, and I’m here because of Sam. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” he asks. He’s still holding my hand as the silence engulfs us, my heart pounding in my ears. The air is cold and damp. It alleviates the heat from that insane climb but doesn’t do much to quell the warmth between Sam’s hand and mine. Still, I don’t let go. And he doesn’t let go. I could stand here forever. “Yeah, beautiful,” I finally say, no longer referring to the scenery. Giveaway Want to win a $20 Amazon giftcard from Kelly Siskind? You can enter to win on the Rafflecopter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning. She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group. 2015 Golden Heart® Finalist Connect with Kelly Siskind Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

COVER REVEAL: The Baller by Vi Keeland

(A standalone novel)
A Contemporary Romance novel
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Vi Keeland


Add THE BALLER to your TBR list on Goodreads!
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The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.
And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No.  The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question.  On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type.  Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.
Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Simple right?
Let’s face it.  It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…
And this one is ours.


About the Author
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Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

Additional Books by Vi Keeland

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)


Barnes & Noble:

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter Series, Book One)
Barnes & Noble:
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Worth The Chance (MMA Fighter Series, Book Two)

Worth Forgiving (MMA Fighter Series, Book Three)

The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You (Cole Series, Book One)
Made for You (Cole Series, Book Two)

Standalone novels

Cocky Bastard (co-written with Penelope Ward)

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

First Thing I See
Barnes & Noble:

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