Tuesday, August 4, 2020

REVIEW: Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley


OUR REVIEW:

First off, KA novellas are never really novellas, they're novels (thank god). 

Second, I'm gonna be in deep recovery after Shirleen's novel because omg, KA held nothing back--she went in deep and she did it fast. Seeing Shirleen fall in love with Moses was hilarious and touching and seeing how deeply she loved her boys and her boys loved her ...well, bring on the waterworks. I teared up a few times in this reading, along with some serious laughting fits. 

I loved their story. And, when you read the epilogue, I can't help but wonder if we'll ever get a spinoff for a few characters (Sniff! Roam! And always, Darius!). 

Friendship, family, laughter and love are the cornerstones of this series and a reason I'll always turn to it for comfort and undying hope that she'll find a way to continue their stories.

BUY IT: https://amzn.to/2ZNT5yq

SYNOPSIS:

As a Rock Chick, Shirleen Jackson lived through all the kidnappings and explosions. Along the way, she also watched the dramatic love stories that came with those rides unfold.

But long ago, Shirleen made her choice. It affected who she was and would always be. She decided to settle for what she had and not want more. She had good friends. She was raising two fine young men who weren’t hers, but she loved them anyway.

She was good.

And then Moses Richardson crashed into her life, literally…and deliberately.

Moses has different ideas about Shirleen. He’s more interested in the Shirleen of now, mostly because she’s interesting. And funny. And loyal. Smart. Beautiful.

But Moses has a big challenge on his hands.

He has to convince Shirleen of all that.

And then convince her she deserves to have more.

Monday, August 3, 2020

REVIEW: Exodus by Kate Stewart




EXODUS, book two, is the explosive conclusion in The Ravenhood Duet from best-selling author, Kate Stewart, is LIVE! Get ready for a sinfully ๐‡๐Ž๐“, ๐€๐๐†๐’๐“๐˜, ๐”๐๐‚๐Ž๐๐•๐„๐๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐๐€๐‹, and ๐“๐—ช๐ˆ๐’๐“๐„๐ƒ love story filled with suspense, a little action, and ๐€๐‹๐‹. ๐Ž๐…. ๐“๐‡๐„. ๐…๐„๐„๐‹๐’! ⁣⁣


EXODUS (The Ravenhood Duet, book 2) by Kate Stewart
Cover designed by: OkayCreations

PURCHASE HERE!


REVIEW:

Shel: 
Sinfully hot?
Angsty?
Twisted?
ALL.THE.FEELS.?

Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
YESSSSSS.

There are no lies detected in the advertising of this book. This duet, and in particular, Exodus, has got us alllll in our feelings. I know I can speak for both of us when I say we were glued to this duet as it hit our Kindles and stayed up until all hours of the day and night to see what would happen next and how the story of Cecelia, Sean, Dom, and Tobias would end. 

Court: YASS, I literally stayed up until 7 a.m. and finished this book, yelling at my husband and animals that they would not ruin the first time I read this book. It physically pulled me apart from the inside out and I would be dead if I didn't love Shelley and Kate Stewart so much right now, for real. 

Shel: Accurate depiction of us both:


Shel: Without giving any major plot points away, let me just express how many of the texts between us went down:

COURT: Where are you in the book?
Me: tells her.
COURT: ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ
Me: ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

There were also several of these exchanged: 

๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ณ

There was definitely an exchange that was simply:


And there were times...TIMES (note the plural) where we both felt like this:


Shel: The novel is definitely twisty and turny and unpredictable--all things that kept us on our toes, in our feelings, and completely hooked on Cecelia, Tobias, Sean, and Dom. I loved how in depth Kate Stewart went into plot and characters in this novel. We got the past and the present. We got the backstory and how it connected to the events that set this all off. We got actual answers--the hows and the whys. We got our hearts broken and our hearts healed. This duet was so good that we're both hoping that Kate decides to circle back to some of the side characters (and new characters introduced in Exodus) because neither of us are quite ready to leave the world she created in Triple Falls. This duet is so good that with months remaining in 2020, we already know this will be a top read of 2020. This novel is so good that we say it's a MUST READ. 

Court: It is absolutely everything she said and more. I am still dying, and I know it won't be one that leaves me. She found a way to use words to delve way down deep into these characters, and gosh, must have been deep down in herself to give so much life to this duet. I for 100% sure know that I can't tell you the last time a book effected me this way. Book hangover was felt right down to my bones, and I hope you read it. The blurb doesn't give you much, and that is exactly as it should be. There is a lot of thick plot here, folks, and I hope that it makes you stay up all night too! 

Shel: Kate Stewart, we know that many authors these days don't read reviews and we totally get it. But should you read anything in this review, we hope you know how much we enjoyed these characters and how much we'd love to see more of what you built here. And if that's not possible, we just need you to get started on your next novel because you've put us in a desperate place as we wait for what you do next.  Court: Same. We've read a few others, and I loved them, and honestly wasn't sure they could be topped. I have got to stop saying that, because holy crap I was wrong. Keep doing what you do, and we'll keep right on loving every single word of it! 

Blurb:

Can you live a lie?


It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.

It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.

I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.

Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.

I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.

There was never going to be an escape.

All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.

I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.

It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.

And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.

But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.

At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.

Because I can no longer live a lie.
Add to your GOODREADS TBR:
๐…๐ฅ๐จ๐œ๐ค- (The Ravenhood #1)-https://bit.ly/3dwgXN8⁣⁣
๐„๐ฑ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐ฌ- (The Ravenhood Book #2)-https://bit.ly/2XUONVC⁣⁣

---


The Ravenhood Duet Spotify Playlist: https://spoti.fi/38Y1FiU

Kate's Newsletter-Get a FREE book!: https://www.katestewartwrites.com/contact-me.html



About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author and Texas native, Kate Stewart, lives in North Carolina with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. She pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance, as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense. Kate's title, Drive, was named one of the best romances of 2017 by The New York Daily News and Huffington Post. Drive was also a finalist in the Goodreads Choice awards for best contemporary romance of 2017. Her works have been featured in USA TODAY, BuzzFeed, and translated in five languages.

Kate is a lover of all things '80s and '90s, especially John Hughes films and rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.

REVIEW: Inked in Lies by Giana Darling

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“Inked in Lies has just nudged its way onto my top readers of 2020 list. This emotional rollercoaster is beautiful, steamy, and utterly breathtaking! Darling has brought her A-game, and delivered a story that packs a whole punch and so much more!”-- Dani Renรฉ, USA Today Bestselling Author

Inked in Lies, an all consuming friends to lovers romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Giana Darling, is available now!


Our Review: 
Shel: This is the first thing I've ever read by Giana Darling and I had no idea I was diving into an established series but truth be told, it was not a problem. Darling made it easy to track characters and relationships and while I probably missed out on some connections and nuances between characters that a true fan would know, I didn't feel lost at all. Court: Yes, she is so good. I snuck in the first of this series, and The Fallen MC was one it did not take any time at all to fall in love with. This was just another amazing story, and I really enjoyed the writing. I already have another of the series queued up so I cannot wait to get more! 

Shel: The main characters, Lila and Nova, and their love story are the epitome of saga--we get to meet them when Lila is a young girl and Nova is nearing teendom and we follow their friendship/burgeoning love story as they grow into their adulthood. Lila's early story is filled with grief and tragedy--grief and tragedy that Nova takes on as his own to help her shoulder the burdens and to try to shield her from as much as he can. Court: The writing of the past really melted my heart. I didn't know where our story would take us...but this was absolutely necessary for us to really understand these characters and absolutely made this story all the more rich. Their whole family (and can I just say that I want more stories of the Booth boys, right?) 

Shel: To be honest, I was initially a little impatient to get to the part of their story that was the "now" part but I'm so glad that Darling wrote it the way that she did. Having that history really made their adult part of the story more meaningful and understandable. You needed those younger years to understand how and why their relationship would be complicated and yet would naturally progress to the one they had. I know not everyone would like or understand the age gap/love dynamic but the way it was written, it really did work. Court: I agree...I was reading that each of these has quite an age gap (which I remember now from the first book) and I think knowing that is helpful...however, also knowing that no weird shenanigans happen is also helpful! 

Shel: As a newcomer to Giana Darling, I wasn't sure what to expect. I discovered, though, that I enjoyed this new to me world. It's an MC world with alpha males, biker babes, and criminal activity (and not by whom you'd expect it from). The sex is hot, the friendships are fun, and by the time you get to the end, it feels very satisfying. In some ways it reminded me a lot of Kristen Ashley, so if you're a fan of her MC books, I think you'd be a fan of this novel. Court: Yes, I definitely have put this lovely author on our list, and cannot wait to go track down more of her work. This world is sexy and hot but also has a lot of heart with this family of biker's and their babes.

Shel: A few quibbles--I wasn't a huge fan of Nova's dialogue (he drops the letter 'g' and adds the letter 'a' to things)  and there were a few things in the subplot that I felt had holes but that may be due to me not knowing things from the previous novel. But overall, I was invested and entertained all the way through the end and will definitely read more of Giana Darling's backlist and future novels. Court: (Sorry babe, but I think you're right. Having read book 1, I think I had a little better understanding of Lysander and King, and a few more of the bunch.) But...we'll get you all caught up!

IIL cover

He moved in next door. Handsome as sin, older in a way that meant forbidden. He had tattoos on his hands and wickedness tucked in his grin. I was a goner as a girl to a man they called Casanova for a reason. He would never love me, at least not the way I needed him to. I tried to move on. But I couldn’t turn my back on him or The Fallen MC. So when they needed me most, I offered the only thing of value I could use to help them. My body. And when helping them meant putting my life on the line, Nova had to decide just how much he was willing to do to get me out alive.

iil an

Download your copy today! Amazon: https://amzn.to/3hX8O5Y 
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/InkedinLies
Add INKED IN LIES to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2MGWpG1

iil teaser

Excerpt
It was a heady fuckin’ thing, bein’ someone’s sunshine, their rain, their entire ecosystem. But it was dangerous too. ’Cause I would raze that all to the ground with one wrong move, one of my stupid mistakes. And it would be gone, laid to waste forever. This was better, rippin’ out the weeds of romanticism I’d been so stupid to sow in her heart. The other stuff, with time, would survive. We’d always be family, and eventually, we’d get back to our friendship. Two years hadn’t ruined us, what was a few more in an effort to heal her heart and give her the chance to win someone better? I sat on the edge of the bed, dressed, boots tied, hands in my hair ’cause I couldn’t shake this feelin’ I was bein’ a fuckin’ dumbass for endin’ it even though I knew it was right. “Sneaking out?” she whispered. I looked over my shoulder at her, the sheet clingin’ to the curve of her hip, the flowers I’d inked on her back vivid against her dark skin and the white covers. My fingers twitched to trace them. “Nothin’ about this is easy, Li,” I admitted. “I feel like I’m hurtin’ you if I do, hurtin’ you if I don’t. I’m just tryin’ to find the best option here. You might not believe it, but I’m tryin’ to do what’s best for you.” She blinked up at me, those wide, long lashed eyes that had stared up at me for years, so trustin’ and lovin’ were now shuttered, guarded against me. My heart rattled against the cage of my ribs, strugglin’ to get out. To get to her. “I know you think you aren’t good enough. I know you’ve always had that kernel of doubt about yourself because you were different, and growing up, people told you that made you bad. I know Meredith solidified that for you. But I want you to think it about it like this,” she took a deep breath, and I braced for her words. “You saying your not worthy enough? It’s like me saying the same just because Ignacio is my father, and I have his blood. I choose every day to be better than what he gave me, Nova, even though he’ll always be a part of me. You could make the choice to be better than what you think you are, for me, if you wanted.” She had a way of sayin’ someone’s name like that. The same way she said the names of flower varieties, as if each word itself was a novel, and she was tryin’ to convey a summary of the entire thing in one word. I’d memorized the way she said Nova, as if it was the great novel ever written. As if it was a sacred text she’d studied, runnin’ her hands over the pages until they went cotton smooth with use and lovin’. I wanted to be that for her, to try for her, to love her better every day, but how selfish would it be to keep her in this life of mine? Lou and Z had been separated for months by prison, Cressida had lost her King. Wouldn’t I just be condemning Li to a similar fate somewhere down the line? “You know, Nova, I’ve loved you all my life. Since the day I first saw you across the street stepping out of that minivan, I thought you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.” She laughed softly, and I thought I’d never heard a laugh so full of grief and mourning. “But for a pretty boy, you have an ugly heart.” “Lila,” I started, but my voice was wrong, strangulated by the cobra of emotion twined around my throat, squeezin’ the life outta me. “Don’t say that. Not you. I’d fuckin’ rip out my own heart to see you safe, to see one fuckin’ smile on your face.” She was so fuckin’ lovely in her despair, tragic in a romantic way like Juliet before her Romeo. Of course, even my Flower Child made heartbreak look pretty. “That’s just it. You could make me smile every day for the rest of my life so easily. All I’ve ever wanted was your love.” “I love you,” I said instantly, but the words fell flat and heavy when they should have soared, hollow and cheap as a children’s toy dropped to the floor. “Not enough,” she declared with a sad kind of triumph as if I’d put her outta her misery in some horrific way. As if she’d just been waitin’ for me to disappoint her all along. “Not enough,” she repeated softly. “Not enough to even try.” I watched her with my heart in my goddamn throat as she got up, naked and glorious as a nymph crossin’ my path, and went to the bathroom. Before she closed the door, she turned to me and said, “I hope you’re gone when I come back. And you should know, this time? I’m not waiting for you.”

Giana Darling pic

About Giana 
Giana Darling is a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Top 40 Amazon bestselling Canadian romance author who specializes in the taboo and angsty side of love and romance. She currently lives in beautiful British Columbia where she spends time riding on the back of her man’s bike, baking pies, and reading snuggled up with her cat Persephone.

Connect with Giana 
Website: gianadarling.com 
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2tKhTKO 
Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2CFNVsK
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2J5Evtq 
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2E5LPRW 
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2lI2UNn 
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2eNG8Bp 
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2uXVF84 
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/b0qnPr


Saturday, August 1, 2020

REVIEW: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren


OUR REVIEW:

We've read several Christina Lauren novels but I.WAS.NOT.PREPARED. for how I'd just completely sink into the story of Macy + Elliot. I deliberately drew out my reading experience because I was a) really enjoying their friends to lovers story and also because b) I was a complete wuss when it came to getting to THE PART where all the bad stuff is revealed. It's not like I didn't know it the shit was going to hit the fan...that's just a part of romance...but daaaaang, I didn't want it to happen. I wanted to skip right to the HEA. But, to be honest, the heartache part was what made all of the other things that much better. Truly. The build up to the OMSHIT moment was so deliciously slow and interesting--the past and the present woven together really worked for the story of Macy and Elliot--so by the time I got to THE PART I was ready for it and yet still so sad. And then so happy.

If this were an issue driven book, I might want to see more explored about what happened with Elliot at THE PART of the book that was gah!gah!Gahhhhh! because I feel like there were some things there that went unexplored. This was more Macy's story than his, though, and I understand why going in that direction would've taken this novel in a completely different place. So, while I wish we could've gotten to the bottom of that a little more (that shizz just did not feel right!), I was ultimately satisfied with how everything was resolved. Scratch that. I was elated to see how their story ended and normally this is were I bemoan the fact that the story has ended, but I like to believe these two have the best HEA ever and I'm happy to leave it at that. 

I love this writing team hella much and am eager to read whatever the write next.

BUY IT: https://amzn.to/39CwYQ6

SYNOPSIS:

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother...only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.
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