Review: Cheater (Curious Liaisons, #1), by Rachel Van Dyken

Cheater (Curious Liaisons, #1)Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the title implies, ‘Cheater’ features a hero that is quite the man-whore. Lucas Thorn is the type of guy that you immediately love to hate. He’s handsome, arrogant and used to bedding a different woman every night of the week. In fact, he has a schedule that allows him to do just that!

When Avery Black walks back into his life, his carefully planned out promiscuous life is thrown into a tailspin. The younger sister of his high school sweetheart, Avery is everything he has always wanted…but could never have. She is the epitome of forbidden fruit.

Forced to work for the man was once her best friend, and secret crush, Avery knows that she’s playing a dangerous game. Down on her luck, she needs this job desperately. She has no other options, unless she wants to move back into her parent’s home. That is an option that she’s not even willing to consider. So, she takes the job as Lucas’ assistant and bides her time.

Avery can’t deny the attraction that is still strong between them, but giving in to temptation would be unforgivable in the eyes of her family. After all, Lucas was engaged to her sister when he was caught sneaking out of her other sister’s bedroom right before the wedding. Worse yet, she had allowed herself to think that she was the only sister that Lucas was really in love with.

As Avery comes face to face with Lucas’ many “girlfriends”, she is disgusted. She has to face the fact that the boy she loved has grown into a philandering man that she can’t begin to recognize. At least now he seems to be upfront about his two-timing ways, with each of his women fully aware that they share him with a different woman every night of the week.

The more time these two spend together, the more their old feelings begin to resurface. However, a lack of trust is clearly a big issue. Both try to play off their feelings, denying what is so evident. Gradually, their flirtations lead to something more. Now, they just have to break the news to their families.

This was a quick, entertaining and humorous audiobook selection. It was cute and light-hearted. If you are unable to get past the manwhore ways of the hero, then this is a great choice. Despite all of his antics, I found Lucas growing on me.

Overall, this was a very entertaining story. It isn’t particularly original or unpredictable, but it was a sweet, fun read. If you’re looking for a “good girl reforms the bad boy” type of story, this is a great one. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a deep, emotional read, then keep moving. This was just pure, smutty goodness.

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Pre-Review: Tailspin, by Jaimie Roberts (Expected Release Date: 06/20/17)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has wrecked me! I can’t even begin to make sense of all my emotions right now. I’m angry, devastated, completely gutted and heartbroken. I’m so damn conflicted! This story…argh! It really hit me in the “feels”.

Full review to come once I’m able to get a grip. Seriously! I devoured this book and I’m a total mess right now.

**I received an ARC from the author.**

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Review: Lost and Found (Lost and Found, #1), by Nicole Williams

Lost and Found (Lost and Found, #1)Lost and Found by Nicole Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

‘Lost and Found’ was a sweet, heartwarming story that ended up being a pretty good way to pass some time. This book tells the story of Rowen Sterling, a troubled teenage girl that has spent years acting out. She has used drugs, alcohol and sex to try and get her deadbeat mother’s attention to no avail.

When Rowen’s mother has finally had enough of Rowen’s antics, she sends her to the home of an old friend in Montana. Rowen has never met the Walker family before, but she will be spending the summer on their ranch. It is about as far from Rowen’s normal life in the city as possible, but she begrudgingly agrees to go or else her mother will not pay for her to attend art school in the fall.

Right from the start, I noticed that there was a contradiction between who Rowen was supposed to be and who she actually was. From the moment that she arrived on the ranch, she was considerate and respectful. She immediately fell into the routines of the Walker family and pulled her own weight. She was a far cry from the rebellious hell-raiser that she was supposed to be.

In very little time, Rowen and the Walker’s son, Jesse, have caught each others’ attention. While Rowen was supposedly the “bad girl”, Jesse was a total sweetheart. He was hardworking, good looking and the type of guy that parents want their daughter to date. It was hard not to love Jesse.

As Rowen and Jesse’s summer romance takes off, Jesse’s past comes back to haunt them. His ex-best friend and his ex-girlfriend add a little drama to this story. Both Jesse and Rowen have to fight their insecurities at every turn.

When Rowen’s mother shows up on the scene, all hell breaks loose. To say that her mother is nurturing is putting it mildly. Rowen’s mother has spent years selfishly placing the needs of her revolving door of boyfriends above the needs of her own daughter. She is selfish and shallow. Suddenly, it becomes very apparent why Rowen had been acting out at home.

Overall, this was a nice, sweet story. If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming, YA type of romance, this is a pretty good choice. This can easily be read as a standalone, although it is part of a series. You won’t be left hanging. It will leave you with warm fuzzies.

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Review: The Room Mate (Roommates, #1), by Kendall Ryan

The Room MateThe Room Mate by Kendall Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***I was provided an ARC of this book in exchange for honest feedback.***

If you’re in the mood for something heartwarming and fun, ‘The Room Mate’ is a fantastic choice. It was just the kind of light-hearted, sweet story that I needed to balance out all of the darker stories that I usually gravitate toward. It was a sentimental, feel-good romance that was highly enjoyable.

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical after reading the blurb. The idea of Cannon being some sex-god that women became obsessed with after getting a taste of what he could do between the sheets was a little far-fetched for me. My response was something along the lines of “Oh, please!”

That being said, I’m glad that I didn’t let that initial impression scare me away. This ended up being a great book. I found myself laughing at the sexually-charged banter between Cannon and Paige. It was just such a fun read.

The story begins with Cannon being evicted from his apartment after an incident with his crazy ex-girlfriend. A busy medical student, he doesn’t have the time to find another apartment. Since he’ll likely be moving in two short months to begin a residency, he can’t commit to a new lease either.

Paige is the best friend of Cannon’s sister. When she is contacted by her best friend, who asks her to let Cannon stay with her for awhile, Paige reluctantly agrees. She has known Cannon since they were children and is willing to sacrifice a couple of months of comfort to help out her bestie.

Only, Cannon is no longer the nerdy boy that Paige remembers from her childhood. He has grown into a sexy, successful man that she can’t keep her eyes off of. The sexual chemistry between the two is off the charts right from the start. A few chance encounters only serve to heighten the sexual tension between the two.

It doesn’t take long for their curiosity and lust to win out. It was bound to happen and it did. If they thought that their attraction was something that would wane once they got a taste, they were wrong.

Despite their intense chemistry and the “rightness” of them together, there is plenty of reasons whey these two should not be together. Paige’s friendship with Cannon’s sister is a huge deterrent. Cannon’s career is another. The two decide to keep their relationship casual and hidden.

When a series of tragic events unfold, their relationship is put to the test. Emotions run high and the poor decisions pile up. In no time at all, whatever they had been building seems to have disintegrated.

This book is a standalone that is part of the ‘Roommates’ series. All in all, I thought that this was a fantastic read. It was fun and light-hearted. This is one to save for a day when you need a unicorns and rainbows kind of story. Ms. Ryan delivers the emotional connection and angst that you need, as well as a HEA that will leave you feeling satisfied.

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Review: Forbid Me (The Good Ol’ Boys, #2), by M. Robinson

Forbid Me (The Good Ol' Boys, #2)Forbid Me by M. Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading ‘Complicate Me’, I couldn’t wait to start the next book in the series. M. Robinson’s stories have a way of sucking me in. Like it’s predecessor, ‘Forbid Me’ proved to be an emotional, angsty story of forbidden love. I couldn’t get enough.

‘Forbid Me’ is the story of Lucas’s little sister, Lily and his best friend, Jacob. Much like half-pint, Lily has always been around the “Good Ol’ Boys” for all of her life. Also like half-pint, she was very much “off-limits” to any of the guys. As much as they sheltered Alex, who was only a couple of years younger than the boys, it was far worse for Lily, who was seven years younger than Jacob.

The age-difference between Lily and Jacob might be tough for some to swallow. After all, she was around 15 when they first started exploring their attraction. He was in his early twenties at the time. If Alex was “half-pint”, then Lily was “jail bait”.

Most of the conflict in their story centers upon the forbidden nature of their relationship. In many ways, it was very similar to ‘Complicate Me’. Jacob spends a lot of time trying to deny his attraction to Lily because she is so much younger and the sister of his best friend. Eventually, Lily has had enough of Jacob’s rejection and tries to move on, only to have him then figure out how much he wants her. Once he’s no longer fighting his attraction, they waste time trying to hide it from their friends/family.

Where this story differed from ‘Complicate Me’ was in the personalities of the characters. Lily was no shrinking violet. This was one bold, outspoken heroine. M. Robinson did a great job of crafting her character. She managed to keep her from coming across as young or “victimy”, which was essential, given the age difference between her and Jacob. If anything, you felt like she was the one taking advantage of Jacob.

Jacob also stood out from Lucas’s character. Yes, he was attracted to a younger, off-limits girl, but that was where the similarities ended for me. He didn’t engage in the same self-destructive behaviors that Lucas did. He also seemed to give more regard to Lily and her feelings. Sure, he made plenty of mistakes along the way, but there wouldn’t have been much of a story otherwise.

Overall, this was a great story. It was sweet, taboo and very angsty. I listened to the Audible version and it was well-narrated. If you’re looking for a sweet, forbidden love story, this is a good choice.

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Second Chance Romance

Ignite (Explosive, #1)Ignite by Tessa Teevan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the blurb for this book, I expected this book to be more emotional – and frankly, depressing – than it ended up being. There were definitely some sad, sentimental moments, but the overall climate of the book was sweet and uplifting. I found this to be a great, heartwarming, second-chance romance.

The story centers on Alexa Sullivan Tate, who tragically loses her husband at a young age. When she is reunited with her first love at her older sister’s class reunion, she is again reminded of the love that they shared…and how he walked away from her all those years ago.

Jace McAllister has spent years yearning for Alexa. He regrets the way things ended all of those years ago and has never been able to find anyone that came close to measuring up to his first, and only, love. When he heard that she had married another man he was crushed, but he was glad to know that she had found happiness, even if it was with another man.

When these two are reunited ten years later, their lives have been changed irrevocably. Despite all the time and distance between them, their feelings remain strong. They begin to rebuild a relationship, but with Jace’s dangerous job, Alexa fears losing another man that she loves.

Overall, this was a fantastic story. I loved the way that Jace was so open-minded and accepting of Alexa’s past. This was a beautiful, touching story. Despite being predictable, I enjoyed every minute. I listened to the Audible version, and the narration was great also.

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***Not Your Usual Captive Story, But So Much Better***

CollaredCollared by Nicole Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I picked up ‘Collared’, I had absolutely no idea of how much I would love this story. I expected a dark romance with a captivity theme, but had anticipated a storyline centered on sexual slavery, BDSM, and trafficking. Although the heroine was abducted and held captive for ten years, it was -lucky for her – not for those reasons. Nonetheless, she suffers greatly, as does everyone that loves her.

The story begins with a seventeen year-old Jade, head over heels in love with the boy next door, Torrin Costigan. I immediately fell right into her happy, carefree teenage life. With loving, protective parents, Jade’s biggest concern was trying to avoid getting in trouble for breaking curfew when she stole a few extra minutes to make out with Torrin.

That all ends one night when Jade is kidnapped, only feet from her front door. Nothing will ever be the same. She is thrust into a bleak new existence, eventually adopting her assigned identity and pushing memories of her own life to the back of her mind in order to survive.

Ten years later, Jade is rescued. Only, she feels less like Jade than the girl she was forced to become. Thrust into a world that is now strange and overwhelming to her, she struggles to find her place among the people she once felt closest to. She wakes up in a world that has moved on without her.

As Jade tries to find her way, she once again finds herself gravitating toward Torrin. He is there for her every step of the way. Only, despite their undying love, their circumstances have greatly changed in Jade’s absence.

After so many years without her, Torrin had to move on with his life. He never gave up hope, but he couldn’t keep sitting around waiting for Jade to be found. His life needed direction and purpose.

Torrin and Jade’s love story was heartbreakingly beautiful and deeply emotional. I could not put this one down. Even scenes that I thought would be “filler” ended up bringing me to tears. I literally cried like a baby after one scene where Torrin takes Jade on an outing to the zoo.

Although I loved every minute of this story, I do wish it ended differently. It isn’t a bad or unhappy ending exactly, but I wanted things to play out differently. At the same time, it was a very fitting ending in so many ways. Regardless, I loved this book!

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Wonderfully Painful

It Ends with UsIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book will make you fall in love, rip your heart out and force you to reconsider your preconceived ideas about abuse. This is the most moving book that I’ve read in a LONG time. It was absolutely addicting, but so difficult at times. I don’t cry very often, but this one had me crying big, fat tears.

It’s been a couple of days since I finished ‘It Ends With Us’ and I’m still thinking about Lily’s story. It’s one that’ll hang with you. In so many ways, her story gutted me. Yet, it was also inspiring.

Lily grows up in an abusive household. After watching her mother suffer for years at the hand of her father, she tells herself that she’ll never allow any man to treat her that way. She grows into a strong and independent woman, leaving behind the horrors of her childhood…Or so she thinks.

Despite everything she’s promised herself, Lily finds herself in an abusive relationship. The behavior and cycle is so insidious that you almost can’t believe what is happening. Ms. Hoover manages to weave the violence into a relationship that is otherwise seemingly perfect. It is so skillfully written that you won’t want to believe what you’ve read.

I found myself making excuses for the abuser. I didn’t want to believe that he wouldn’t change. For the first time, I could understand why women make excuses for abusers. I can only imagine how strong that pull must be in reality if I felt so strongly about a fictional character.

I am in awe of Lily. Her strength and conviction blew me away. I don’t think I would’ve been strong enough to do what she did. She was an amazing character.

This was a beautiful and heartbreaking book. I recommend it to everyone. It is a must read.

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An Emotional Read

The Story of Us (Carnage, #1)The Story of Us by Lesley Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading the first few chapters, I didn’t think that I was going to get into this book. I told myself I’d read a few more chapters before giving up on it. Man, am I ever glad that I did! This book knocked my socks off!

This is an epic love story that begins when Georgia first meets Sean at age 11. She recognizes him immediately as her soulmate. Over the years, their relationship matures and changes. Carelessness and pride divide the two, but they never quit loving one another.

When Georgia meets Cam, she doesn’t foresee the feelings that ensue. With two men that love her wholeheartedly both vying for her affection, she must decide what she really wants. A twist of fate changes everything and Georgia is once again dealt a tragic hand.

This book is heartbreaking and soul-crushing…but I couldn’t get enough! I fell in love with both Sean and Cam and cannot wait to see what book 2 has in store for Georgia. I was blown away by this story!

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