*Review* Just Remember to Breathe (Thompson Sisters) – Charles Sheehan-Miles

15827731

Synopsis:

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

My Review 5 Stars out of 5 *****

Oakies, I think I’m almost through with all the romantic downloads I did last summer! There is a cliched line there somewhere, but I won’t use it!

I think I inadvertedly left the best until last. Just Remember to Breathe was a gem, an eye opener and one hell of a story. I didn’t realize at the time, but this book is written by a man. Forgive my obvious sexist retort, but the title alone is beautiful, and I’m not saying a man can write romance, it just isn’t something I think about when I think about romance books.

That said, I think it gave it an edge, and edge you son’t usually get from the genre. There was a gritty realism to the story and that only enhanced the whole story. I loved Alex, the broken, yet “I will still get up in the morning” heroine.

A few years previous she had been an exchange student to Tel Aviv and had fallen madly, passionately and whole heartedly in love with Dylan. Dylan wasn’t only broken, he was flawed and fragile. He came from a completely different background than Alex and never quite felt he was somehow good enough for her.

Because of that he kept his feelings inside and that had caused a split between them, one full of misunderstandings and regret. Something that would change their lives forever, as well as the people around them.

So, Dylan is out of the army and Afghanistan. Recovering from a bomb attack on his humvee he is nursing wounds that go deeper than the scars on his leg. He is now in New York, back at the same school as Alex, hoping and praying he doesn’t meet her. But their paths are to cross…

What I loved about this book the most was the gritty reality of war, what it does to everyone who has fought, who stays at home to wait and the friends & family you go through this with.

I also loved the slow, deliberate way the story unfolded. It would be in the present, then flash back to the past explaining why Alex and Dylan were the way they were. Dylan’s story brought a lump to my throat on more than several occasions. I was so involved with them I was rooting for them all the way.

The one night, a party was to change everything. A frat boy from Alex’s past was to set Dylan on a course of down would spiral to soul redemption. I had a lump in my throat. The subject matter I think maybe a little too adult for the book to be considered YA, but it was refreshing to have a romance set around the realities of war and sexual assault (I know that sounds weird). That’s what gave it it’s edge.

When Dylan finally came to his senses and realized his only hope of a future was to confront and accept the past I was cheering, his “I thought I’d stop by” line to Alex when he showed up on her doorstep in San Francisco from New York had tears in my eyes.

This story was truly wonderful. Any romance lover should read this book. I loved it…..

Advertisements

*Review* Tamed by You (A Laurel Heights Novel) – Kate Perry

17367900

Synopsis:

First rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client.
Second rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client!

Valentine Jones has never been good at following rules, especially the one that matters most: following the family tradition of being a matchmaker. She’s tried, but she happens to suck at it. So when her mother swoops in to help, Valentine is determined to prove she doesn’t need a babysitter.

Enter Ethan “The Predator” Hunter, ex-fighter and all-around hunk. Career on hold because of injury, his sole focus is to get back in the ring. He has no interest in the people until Valentine sets her matchmaking sights on him. Suddenly Ethan’s world is filled with nonstop commotion and lessons on attracting women. Only Ethan doesn’t want a random woman. He wants his matchmaker rules be damned

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

So, as I liked the previous Kate Perry Looking for You I saw this one was also offered for free on Amazon, got to dive right and and get that super sweet deal. I was really looking forward to this story because I do enjoy Kate’s style of writing.

After I was finished I wasn’t sure where to place the story with the previous one, or if it were fair to even compare them to each other. Why? I liked the story, it was cute and warm and Ethan has to be the funniest, surliest hero that I’ve read in a long time. He wanted Valentine and he was damn well going to have her…..family business/tradition be damned.

I like Valentine, in the main. She wasn’t your usual heroine and was definitely quirky. What I didn’t like was the repetitive reminders that the first born girl in the family became a match maker, why? I also wasn’t that fond of her mother Venus, who was clearly manipulating her daughter. Strange for a woman who was also a matchmaker.

I would’ve liked to see Valentine stand up to her mother more, heck if I’d a man like Ethan drooling over me, loving me the way he did I’d have stood up like a Spartan in 300 yelling “I am Sparta”

What worked was the interaction between Valentine and Ethan, you could taste the chemistry, the desire and the love long before they knew it themselves.

I also loved Sophie, she was a hoot, and Tony and their little side story. In fact there were times I liked their story a whole lot more. I also loved, loved the friendship Sophie struck up with Julia the florist. Very entertaining. All in all this was a cute romance, it was easy to read and a good way to spend an afternoon sitting in the garden by the pool.

If you like your romance easy, cute and a little sugary this series is one to take a chance on.

*Review* The Color of Water in July – Nora Carroll

Since going back to work and trying to adjust to a routine in the grown up world of earning a pay check, I’ve slowed my reading down just a little. Last summer I down loaded a whole heap of free books from Amazon (not in one day, over the course of some weeks) and because of commitments to tours some of the books got a little forgotten. I am now trying to get to all of them. This is one of them…..

10762679

Synopsis:

Jess has not been back to the lake house since she was seventeen– the summer she fell in love with Daniel– the summer when a tragedy caused her to flee.Now, she is back, and the beautiful Victorian overlooking the lake belongs to her. Will the old house give up its secrets?

As Jess sifts through trunks filled with old letters and photographs, she tries to unlock the mysteries of the past, and maybe, just maybe, the secret to her own heart.

My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

Wow, that is all I can say! Wow! This is not at all my normal genre (though I do have a guilty pleasure in Chick Lit from time to time) This is not Chick Lit either, this story was a complete surprise to me. I liked the synopsis, it was free and I thought it would make a great summer read.

This story is hauntingly beautiful, rich in descriptions and vivid in its poignancy. It starts with Jess Carpenter, 33, living in a small apartment in a dull job with her boyfriend Russ. Jess has just inherited her family home situated on a lake in Michigan. She hasn’t been back to the house since she was 17 years old. She is going back now, she is going to sell the house and finally put her past behind her.

The story is told from three POV, Jess as she is now, her 17 year old self and Maime, her grand mother. Jess would summer with her throughout her childhood because her mother Margaret was away being an international journalist. The story centers mainly on her last summer there. One of love, tragedy and sorrow. It also tells the story of Maime’s tragic sister Lila, who drowned in the lake.

The story is slow, but being detailed in its telling that’s just beautiful. It weaves in and out of Jess and Maime’s lives connecting the dots to a secret too big to tell, too shameful to whisper and it will be the one secret that will rip out Jess’s heart and send her on the path to no where.

Not until she goes back with Russ does she begin a journey of self discovery, one of Maime’s and Lila’s past, one where she can finally put the pieces together and finally find the happiness she thought she had lost forever. Daniel, the boy she loved and couldn’t be with was so dreamy, it was heart breaking to read just what stood in their way to true happiness.

I loved the gentle pace this story took, I could picture in my mind the scenes from the 1920’s -1930’s and I could feel Jess’s heart shatter when the one, tiny detail would rip her world apart.

If I had any complaints about this book it would be with the end. From the final chapter, which I have to say the last line….OMG, one of the best last lines ever “There is something I need to tell you” she said. To where it picked up in the epilogue, it left me a little confused, how did she get to the point she was at, was she with Daniel and Maggie? I would’ve liked it to have been a little better told.

However, overall this story was beautiful, entrancing and poetic. Again not my normal genre, but if you like stories of self discovery, love and what secrets a family can keep and how they can tear us down yet build us up then this is the book for you. Lovely story

*Blog Tour Blitz* Counting Shadows (Duplicity #1) – Olivia Rivers

CountingShadowsBlitzBanner1

_________

Book & Author Details:

Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers
(Duplicity #1)
Publication date: June 30th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

beautiful young girl dreams of lying on a magic meadow in spring

Synopsis:

Two hearts, one kiss…
…Nothing left.

Faye’s soul-mate is everything she should hate—an Angel, an outcast, an enemy. Ashe is just one more imperfection in her life that somehow makes everything… perfect.

Until he’s murdered.

With the only person she loves ripped away, Faye sets out to avenge Ashe’s death. The task seems impossible, until she finds Lor—an Angel who looks nearly identical to Ashe’s killer. Arrogant and hot-headed, Lor is everything Ashe wasn’t. But Lor is connected to her soul-mate’s past, and Faye needs him to find the killer—even if Lor is potentially deadly.

But when Faye discovers that Ashe’s past isn’t as black and white as she thought, she faces an impossible choice: Give up the hunt, and risk the lives of others. Or continue pursuing Ashe’s murderer, and forfeit the lives of everyone in her family—including herself.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18132530-counting-shadows?ac=1

Excerpt:

His black eyes settle on mine, the pain in them a silent accusation. Ashe knows he’s about to die. And he knows I’ve lied about his Fate.
I can’t feel guilt. I can’t feel anything. There’s only my ragged breaths and the tears pressing against my eyes. Ashe steps toward me, even though I’m in the opposite direction of the door. No, I silently beg him. Run. I don’t realize I’m shaking my head until he falters.
“Stop,” one of the guards hisses, even though he already has. “Don’t go near the Lady Faye.”
My heart pounds wildly. “Just count the beats when you get scared,” Ashe told me months ago, as he pressed his palm over my heart. “Remember that I’ll protect you until the day they stop. And don’t be scared anymore.”
I gasp in air. One, two, three, four…
He walks toward me, his face hard with determination.
Five, six, seven…
One of the guards shouts and stabs his spear forward. At Ashe. My Ashe.
My heart stops.
I scream at the guard, telling him to stop, to leave, to disappear and never show his face again. But my words are a jumbled mess, and it’s too late. The spear pierces Ashe’s right wing, drawing blood. Nausea fills me as the red blood mingles with his crimson feathers. I’ve always loved his wings. They mark him as an Angel, the one bit of perfection in my life.
Now those wings are ruined.
Ashe’s eyes never leave me, even as the guard tears his spear out of the wound. I swallow hard. I’ve never stared into his eyes for too long, knowing I’d probably lose myself in all the pain and loneliness in their depths. Now I never want to look away.
“Get moving,” the guard with the bloodied spear growls. He stabs at Ashe again, but Ashe grabs the shaft of the spear before it strikes him. He yanks the spear from the guard and snaps it in two. Ashe allows one of the halves to clatter to the stone floor, but keeps hold of the sharpened end. His gaze slowly sweeps over the four guards with weapons, a low growl rumbling in his throat.
“You can’t do this,” I say, finally finding my voice. “My father would never allow it.”
“Your father ordered this,” snaps the guard without a spear. He braces for an attack, as do the others.
Then their leader takes a step forward and pushes out a staying hand. “Wait.”
I recognize this leader as Jolik. He was my bodyguard for awhile before Ashe became my Guardian. I’m not sure how many bodyguards I went through—five, six?—but they never lasted long before I excused them.
Jolik nods to Ashe. “Let him say goodbye.”
The weaponless guard speaks up. “He could kill her.”
“He won’t,” Jolik says, shaking his head.
Ashe doesn’t wait for Jolik to change his mind. He drops the broken spear and rushes to me. Cupping my face with one hand, he uses the other to press me against him. Familiar heat radiates off him this close. He tilts my chin up and kisses me so gently, I barely feel his lips against mine. But I can feel the desperation, and as he presses me a little closer, I know this is a goodbye.
The kiss only lasts a moment. Then the guards drag him away, and those threatening tears finally spill. I’m not sure if the tears are angry or anguished. Or maybe just broken.
“You’re right, little sparrowhawk,” Ashe says over his shoulder. “Everything is going to be okay. I promise.”
I don’t get to respond. The last guard exits my chambers and slams the heavy door closed, leaving me truly alone for the first time in years. I take a shuddering breath, willing the doors to burst open, for Ashe to come rushing back to me.
They don’t. Silence settles over the room, screaming the truth:
Nothing will ever be okay.

Purchase:
—Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Counting-Shadows-Duplicity-Olivia-Rivers-ebook/dp/B00DQIBZLQ

_______

AUTHOR BIO:

Olivia

Olivia Rivers is the author of five novels, ranging in genres from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Along with being a writer, she’s a freelance digital artist, a literary agent assistant, and a high school student. She’s a nerd at heart, and is a hopeless fan-girl for Doctor Who and Pokémon. Olivia lives in California with a dog who thinks he’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a kitten who is just generally confused.

Author Links:

Website: http://oliviarivers.blogspot.ca/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6548741.Olivia_Rivers
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiversOlivia

XpressoBannerTours (3)

________

*Release Day Launch* The Thrill of It – Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely’s THE THRILL OF IT is being released TODAY and what a Thrill it is! We are so excited to join in the release day launch for it. THE THRILL OF IT is a Contemporary Romance unlike anything you have ever seen from Lauren Blakely before. Check out what we have for you today and then enter to win in the release day launch giveaway! 

 

*Amazon*     *iTunes*     *Barnes and Noble*


ABOUT THE THRILL OF IT:

 

A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction.

Blackmail. And Power…

Some say love can

be an addiction. Others say it’s the thing that makes life worth living. Let me

tell you everything I know about love…Love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind.

Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and

woman must fight for themselves. At least that’s how it was for me. A

high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to

love and to sex. Even though I’ve never had either. I controlled love, played

it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those

highs, and I’m being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets

from everyone, except the only guy I don’t regret.

Trey…

With all the other

women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were

bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore

down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She’s the only girl I ever

missed when she walked away. But now she’s back in my life, every day, and

there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don’t know how to tell her

my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she’s the closest I’ve

ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love

with no regrets when regret is all you know?

 

About Lauren Blakely:

 

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He’s Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, and Far Too Tempting. On November 21, she’ll release the edgy new adult novel THE

THRILL OF IT. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.

 

 

 

Links:

*Joint Cover Reveal* Presented by Glass House Press

Today is a joint cover reveal of three authors from Glass House Press, PT. McHugh, Linda Foster and Mary Fan.

Reis Slayton is a man without a home, family, or direction until the US military comes along. But the moment he joins, his ‘talents’ come to the attention of those higher than him – he has a sharp eye, and a willingness to shoot first and ask questions later. His deadly skills are finely tuned … and used.

But this isn’t what Reis wanted to be. Years later, after too many undercover operations, and countless lives taken, he finds himself questioning his direction. Does he believe in the government? Does he agree with his assignments? Or is he wasting his life – and conscience – on someone else’s goal?

With that thought in mind, Reis takes a leap and interviews for a new company, where he’s given the role of body guard. Against his better judgment, he takes a job that no one else wants – guarding the daughter of a wealthy family – and grudgingly moves into a new life. Soon after taking a job, he realizes that he might have found the one thing he’s never had: a family, and someone to fight for. He grows to love his new charge, and begins to feel fulfilled for the first time in his life.

But no matter how hard people try, they cannot escape the sins of their past. Will Reis be able to leave the life of an assassin behind him, and protect his new charge? Or will his history come back to haunt him, in the worst ways imaginable?

About PT McHugh

PT McHugh didn’t start out as a storyteller. He was, however, born into a family of that encouraged imagination. He became a fan of history in school and then went to college to become a construction engineer, to build a world of straight lines, angles, and equations.

He was just as surprised as everyone else when he realized that he believed in magic, and might just know the secret of how to jump through time. Since then, he’s been researching the possibility and learning everything he can about history. Just in case the opportunity arises.
PT was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Bob, daring to dream of alternate worlds and cheering for his beloved New England Patriots.

Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hop over to the other blogs to see the cover reveals from Linda Foster and Mary Fan

 


*Blog Tour* A Matter of Truth – Heather Lyons

I have a fabulous Excerpt for you from Heather Lyon’s new release A Matter of Truth

Heather Lyons_AMOT BT Banner

A MATTER OF TRUTH Synopsis:

Not long ago, Chloe Lilywhite seemingly had it all: a prized spot on the Magicals’ Council as lead Creator, a loving fiancé and Connection, and a wealth of good friends. But the poised young woman she projected was nothing more than a façade. Her parents all but disowned her. Power plays and accusations of murder within the Council rocked her confidence. And most difficult of all, her secret, a secondary Connection to Jonah’s twin brother, Kellan, became painfully impossible to resist. Desperate to gain control over her rapidly unraveling existence, Chloe did the unthinkable: she ran away.

Now living and working in Alaska under an alias, Chloe is slowly discovering who she is and, more importantly, who she wants to be. But the more she tries to leave the Magical world behind, the harder it becomes to stay hidden. The Elders are back with a vengeance, and the stakes have never been higher. Chloe finally has to make a choice: embrace her pre-ordained Fate or pave her own way in the worlds. One thing’s for sure, though—she’s finally up for the challenge.

*This is a New Adult title, suitable for readers 18+*

AMOT_cover

Excerpt:

When I was younger, and resentful, and scared of what I am, I used to fantasize about running away. I imagined hundreds of places to go to, and of who I’d become once arriving. But I always believed it was done in vain, because I’d never be allowed to escape being a Creator.
And yet, here I am. Gone from everything I know.
It’s so cold out here that parts of me are numb. Rather than being bothered by this sensation, I revel in it. Numb is good. When I’m numb, I’m not in agony. And the pain that follows numbness—the kind of prickling hotness from being too cold—is preferable to the kind I live with on a daily basis.
Kellan was right after all. All those times he tried to literally break his bones, go into shock so he could escape our Connection—I thought he was crazy. But he was right. Anything is better than the pain that an unfulfilled Connection can wreak upon a Magical’s soul. Even still, I can’t believe I was desperate enough to try to break the bonds I have with him or Jonah.
I’ve borrowed Will’s truck and driven as far as I can get outside of Anchorage until all I see is dark skies and stars and cold. This is part of the beauty of Alaska; so much of it is still wild, still free and untouched by human and Magical hands. I like this area, like how it makes me feel. I’ve been constantly chasing the Northern Lights; sometimes I thought if I could see them just once, it’d be a sign.
I’m finally rewarded, nearly half a year after moving to Alaska. The Aurora Borealis is streaked across the sky tonight, yellow and green ribbons that dance across my vision. They’re so unbelievably dazzling that when I lay back in the snow, arms and legs out in angel formation, my breath is wicked away. Ice crystals cling to the fringe of hair sticking out from underneath my beanie cap and to the nape of my scarfless neck.
I am small.
I am irrelevant.
I am not even a speck of sand in a vast beach of worlds, no matter what anyone says.

amot_teaser_northern_lights

About Heather Lyons:

HeatherBW2 (1)

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Links:

Website: http://www.heatherlyons.net
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/heatherlyons
A MATTER OF TRUTH Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18167992-a-matter-of-truth?ac=1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hymheather
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherlyonsbooks?fref=ts

cf8d9-bloggerbutton