Breathless after reading “Breathe into Me” by Sara Fawkes

 

Lacey is a young girl with a lot of problems.  She lives in a town that has not really felt like home.  She is worried about her baby brother.  Her mom has checked out and doesn’t seem to care about Lacey or 4 year old Davy. Her Grandma is in no way a kind woman.  And, insult to injury, her past won’t stay in the past.  She has cruel friends and an ex-boyfriend from hell.  Lacey is struggling to overcome what she calls her life and start new.  Can she do it?
Everett has his own demons in his past to overcome.  After laying eyes on Lacey in a local bar, Everett is hopeful for a new start himself.

This couple is so adorable!  I loved the interactions between both of them.  Everett has a strong protective instinct when it comes to Lacey and he is her knight in a dull rusty hatchback.  Throughout the story, you see the love building between these two and it’s very refreshing and hopeful.  

I really liked this book!  The storyline was current and refreshing bringing to light the current bullying tactics that young kids and young adults fall victim to.  My heart broke for this couple and the despair was evident on this pages of this book.

A solid 4 star romance in my opinion!

The Brilliance of Erin McCarthy – A Review of “Sweet”

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In book two of the “True Believers” series, we learn more about Jessica and Riley.  Let me tell you…they are worth getting to know!

Jess comes off as a spoiled rich kids while Riley is the older – HOT (if I could make this word flash in neon colors I would) -brother of Tyler.  Riley has moved back home after their mother passed away and Jess is struggling to find a place to stay for one week until her sublet apartment is available.  If you recall from book one, Jess and Riley are a lot like oil and water rather than moth and flame.
At first impression of Jessica in “True,” I really thought of her as the spoiled rich kid that was on this high horse and not a single person could measure up.  I also thought she was a bit slutty and mean.  In “Sweet,” we learn more about why Jessica is this way and that I may have misjudged her entirely.

Riley is super hot (tattoos, muscles on top of muscles, no shirt, low hanging jeans….YUM) and seemed like a loaner in the first book.  In this book we get to know Riley as a person and I have to say…be still my beating heart.  He’s HOT, soulful, intense, loyal, HOT, emotional, caring and did I say HOT.  Like really hot.

Erin McCarthy has a way with spinning a story that hooks you from the start.  You have no choice but to read and read until you finish.  I am in awe of her writing ability and the way in which she writes about average everyday people doing average every day things but with such interesting twists that one has no choice but to become immersed in the world that Erin has created.  Her characters have real life problems (no money, no place to live, drug addict mom, controlling parents, young people trying to find their own way in life) and Erin makes it interesting and heart wrenching.  I just love it.

I really liked this book. I liked it because of the twists that she puts on family dynamics.  Jess comes from this super well off family that wants to control every aspect of her life.  Her brother is a vindictive ass-hat and her mother is so self involved she can’t think of a single other person above herself.  Riley is poorer than dirt but the loyalty and love that he exudes is massive.  He would do anything – absolutely anything – for his brothers.  He gave up his dreams so that he could take care of his little brothers.

I also liked how she drives home the adage that opposites attract.  Rich, high styling, spoiled Jessica and penniless, rough, roofer, Riley.  It’s a stretch of the imagination that these two could hook up but Erin makes it believable and good!

I must admit that I am a big Erin McCarthy fan and would read just about anything she writes.  Trying to remove my bias and provided an honest to gosh rating, I would give this book a solid 4 stars.  Most definitely worth the read.

Wrecked for “Wrecked” by Priscilla West

 

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This a story about Lorrie who has had much tragedy in her life and that tragedy has been publicly analyzed and talked about since it happened giving Lorrie very little privacy or normalcy.  Lorrie is looking to get back to college and getting to as normal of a college life as she can manage.  She’s not looking for love or a guy or even a date; just the college experience and classes. 

But as luck would have it and the fact that Lorrie crossed paths with a rather vocal and shrilling cat; Hunter “The Hammer” literally jumps into her life and want’s to be friends.

Their friendship blooms into more but Lorrie is fighting it with every step convinced that she is just not ready.  That is until Hunter has had enough and Lorrie is feeling the threat of completely losing Hunter.

This is a story about new love and the discovery of this love and the trust that must develop between them. 

This book was HOT and fun and emotional, and infuriating in that way where you just want to scream at the stupidity of people just falling in love and the conclusions they jump to.  The story telling was good and the flow was nicely paced.  The love scenes were hot but tasteful and the intensity was YUM.  This was a couple that I could really fall in love with.  They were affectionate and intense for each other and who wouldn’t want that for a new love life. 

I would give it a solid 4 star rating and would certainly read another book by Priscilla West.  As a matter of fact, sign me up for book 2 right now because the end of Wrecked has me jonesing for book 2 already. 

 

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Review of “Claimed” by Stacey Kennedy

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Presley just ended her engagement when she found our her fiance cheated on her.  She is not a bitter person.  In fact, she is a timid woman that has conformed to the life that is expected of her…till now.  She has found vanilla sex lack-luster and wants to be more adventurous. 

Listening to her friend, Cora, she decides to go to Club Sin, a BDSM club that she hopes will be more fulfilling. 

Master Dimitri is not only an expert in BDSM and owner of Club Sin; he is just what Presley needs.  And, as it turns out, Presley is just what Dimitri needs.  Master Dimitri decides to train Presley himself and so the love story begins.

What I liked about this story is the manner in which this relationship begins.  I love stories where you have a timid partner that needs to be taught about sex and how to reach that euphoria that everyone strives to reach in a relationship.  This is the perfect story for that and the author did it justice.

I really liked the characters Cora, Dimitri and Presley.  I thought they were very nicely described and had unique traits that you could fall in love with.  I also liked that the other Masters of Club Sin were described enough to produce a series – I would love to read a book about Cora and Aidan.  I didn’t really like the Steven character and thought that the story could have been more intense if written differently.  I didn’t think he was scary enough but that was clearly the direction that the author was going.

Overall, I liked the book and was glad that I read it.  I would give it a solid 3 stars.

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Review of “Breaking” by Claire Kent

This is a continuation of her “Escorted” book which I did not read yet but I don’t think that detracted from this book.

In this book Ander comes home from a long work trip troubled and sad.  He doesn’t want to worry Lori with what is bother him but she knows something is wrong.  He is falling into old habits that he had when he was an escort which is not like he has been with her since they became a couple.  

Lori is so happy to have him home and allows him to wallow for a while but then changes tactics and demands that he open up to her and tell her what is wrong. 

This was a quick read and the author did a good job providing the back story so that folks like me that did not read book one before reading this one could get the jest of what happened in book one. 

Ander – awesome name by the way – is sexy to the nth degree.  Bald head and beautiful beyond description. 

 

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Lori is soft and loving and a romance novelist.  She is head over heals for Ander and you can feel the insecurity she feels that Ander is moving on or doesn’t want her anymore. 

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One of the things I love most about .5 books is that you see what happens after the main event.  It’s clear to me after reading this book that Lori and Ander had a hard time finding each other and convincing themselves that they belonged together.  Even with the spoiler of learning what happened in book one, I still want to read it now. 

I believe in rating novellas differently than I would rate a full story book and here is my criteria for this book.

Does it give you a good back story?  Check

Does it add some element that needs to be overcome?  Check Check

Does it keep you interested in the couple even after the original story?  Check Check Check

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My recommendation…Read “Escorted” then “Breaking.”  I think you will get more out of it if you do.  I plan to go back and read “Escorted” now.

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Review of “Nothing but Trouble” by Trish Jensen

This is a refreshing story about a bar owner, Laura who comes from a simple yet poor life in North Carolina where she was raised by a father who wasn’t very good at showing the love.  Laura is tough, pig-headed and has a shield around her that seems three miles thick.  Laura has some pretty cool friends too.  
Ali – who reads juice pulp so that she can tell you your future love interest.  Ali is quirky and light and just plain adorable.  
Hannah – she is everything I want to be.  She’s tough as nails but deep down she just wants to be loved.  She’s protective of those she loves and is the type of friend that will hand a man his man-parts on a plate if he hurts her friend.
Laura is controlling the rif-raf in her bar when Brandon enters the picture. Brandon is just plain yummy.  Funny, tenacious and inventive.  He instantly falls for Laura and doesn’t give up until she goes out with him. And the rest…you have to read the book for.

I read this book in about 3 hours.  It was a fast read and one that was worth the time.  It was fun and light, funny and sad (once), and just plain refreshing.  It’s a great story about falling in love and overcoming the obstacles that one’s family can set in your path when the presume things about the person you fall in love with. I loved the “getting to know each other” parts of the book and the family dinner had me in stitches.  

I would say though that this book would have been a 5 star for me if a little bit more time was spent on the love scenes.  Rather than skipping over them, the author could have added a bit of heat without getting graphic if that is what she was after.  I was disappointed a bit in this respect.

I give it a solid 4 stars.  I really liked the book and would read another book by this author.

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Review of “Slammed” by Colleen Hoover

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This book made me get angry, cry…a lot by like page 4, laugh, get sad, get anxious, get desperate, and ultimately fall absolutely in love with these characters and this write.

This is a book about loss and growing up. He easily demonstrates the profound sadness that one has when they’ve lost someone they love most in the world. It also shows how comfort can be found in many different forms of life and that grief takes many years to finally overcome enough to live again.

Will…WOWZA!!!
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He’s mature, sexy, emotional, and adorable in the way he falls for Lake. His adoration for her shows with their first encounter and just grows exponentially throughout the book. I loved that this book connected Will to Lake through the commonality of loss. He is there for her because he knows exactly what she has and will go through. No one else will get what Lake is going through except Will and what a great connection it makes.

Lake – How adorable is she
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She’s stronger than she thinks but not yet strong enough to deal with what she has to deal with in the coming years. Will is going to see her through her toughest years so far.

This book is the story of Lake and Will finding each other and overcoming the adversities of life that are dealt to them. It reiterates that life goes on and family should be the most important thing in the world to all of us.
Without giving away any spoilers, the roller coaster begins on page one and isn’t even over at the end…it continues in book two which I can’t wait to read!

What a great author, I loved her writing, her story telling and the emotions that she laid out on every page.

A shout out to Jessica for telling me to read this book next…you have great taste ❤

To all those people out there that love books, take Jessica’s – and now my – advice and read this book. But I warn you, get the tissue and keep it close, you’ll need it but you’ll love the story so much, you won’t mind.