Cristina Moracho

Waiting on Wednesday: Althea and Oliver by Christina Moracho


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Althea & Oliver
Author: Cristina Moracho
Genre: YA realistic fiction 

Release Date: 9 Oct 2014

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Pre-order: Amazon


What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

Why am I waiting for this? - I generally read adult books but I'm always willing to spice things up with a different genre. This YA realistic story sounds very interesting and I have great memories of the 1990s, so I expect it to be a good and entertaining read.


Release Day Blitz, Review and Gveaway for He Is So Fine by Jill Shalvis


Title: He Is So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Date of publication: 30 Sept 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Small town
Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

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Purchase links: B&N /iBooks / Kobo / Amazon


For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor?

*** *** ***

Jill's Bio and Contact Info:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Website / Tweeter / Facebook /

*** *** ***

4 stars

This is book 10 in our favourite Lucky Harbor series and it's the second book in the final set of three (here we have three best friends finding and winning over their women). Cole's story was more on the cute, fluffy and funny side than some of the other stories in this series and I enjoyed it a lot. 

Cole can be summarized in one word - a sweetheart. Make no mistake, he is as much an Alpha male as all Shalvis heroes are, yet he was often clueless, oblivious to the obvious and this made him cute and adorable. His penchant for honesty and Olivia keeping a big secret didn't go well, but ultimately it served them both to break some emotional walls and trust love again.

While, I'm not a particular fan of stories of child stars, I liked Olivia a lot. She was trying to make herself anew and it appeared she was pretty successful. This only worked for her while she was keeping everyone at a distance but once she allowed Cole deeper into her life, she had to face reality and her past. 

As it usually happens, when you keep a big secrets, it gets revealed at the worst possible moment. Cole and Olivia had to work hard to make things right between relying on honesty and taking the risk to love someone.

It is mostly a cute, funny, light-hearted romance with some underlining serious issues. Olivia is running away from her past and Cole is trying to come to terms with a deep betrayal of trust. They come together in a series of comic incidents which made the whole story both romantic and funny.

With some comic moments, some great chemistry and a few loyal and meddling friends the couple reached its HEA.

This is cute romance with easily lovable characters which fans of the Lucky Harbor series will love. The final book in the series, One in a Million, telling Tanner's story, is coming out on

*** *** ***

The publisher is hosting a giveaway for a print copy of HE'S SO FINE
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Blog Tour

Blog Tour and Excerpt for Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid


Tour Banner2 

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid Knitting in the City #4
Publication Date: August 28, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance

Blitz and Tour: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

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There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee. 

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

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Penny Reid- All Covers

(click on photo to learn more about the series)

from Chapter 9

“Yes?” He had a freckle just below his right eye, and it was very attractive…and distracting.
“Sugar, are you okay?”
“Yes.” I sighed. Usually I wouldn’t put up with being called Sugar; yet when Drew said it, especially like that—all soft, concerned, rumbly, and shirtless—it made me want to taste him.
Whoa…where is this coming from? What is wrong with me?
“What’s wrong with her?” This came from one of the other men. “She high or something?”
“No, asshole,” Drew snapped, but his eyes remained on mine. “She’s in shock, and she’s got a lot of adrenaline in her system.”
I was aware of the room plunging into stunned silence. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that Drew was infamous for his lack of verbosity. I imagined his outburst was quite a shock.
Drew’s striking and bold eyebrows came together and he frowned, studying my face, one hand in my hair, the other holding mine. “When is the last time you ate?”
I shrugged.
“We need to get some food in you. It’s a wonder you’re still upright.”
“Thanks for catching me,” I said dumbly, gazing into his eyes like a lovesick teenager. I didn’t care. He was so epically handsome, and he was being so nice, and his hands felt so good, and he was so strong and sturdy, and did I mention epically handsome? And shirtless?
I was vaguely aware of another person walking into the cabin and the men shifting, shuffling their feet, and making room for the newcomer.
“Sugar, I’d be honored to catch you anytime you’d like to fall.”

About Penny Reid


SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.


Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen


Title: The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Date of publication: 1 June 2014
Genre: New Adult, College, Sports

Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter Goodreads

My rating: 4 Stars


She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.

Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror. 

It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.


This is the second book in the Ivy Years series. Since I loved The Year We Fell Down (my review) continued right away with book 2 which tells the story of Bridger (Hartley's best friend from book 1) and Scarlet. 

This was a great NA romance - heartbreaking but a bit more typical and predictable than Adam Hartley and Corey Callahan's story. Still, I quite like the writing of Ms Bowen, she manages to create some complex stories with lovable characters which draw you in and keep you invested in the their fate till the very end. And when I say predictable this doesn't exclude having some unexpected twists in this story. They were there, especially towards the end. I didn't see them coming at all but I added tension to the suspense element of the plot.

Bridger and Scarlet meet in Harkness college where they both keep some big secrets. She is running away from her previous self (she has even legally changed her name) and he is struggling with a very complicated domestic situation. 

They start off as friends while there is an undeniable attraction between them, they both have too much worries on their plates and no time for love. Eventually they get together and their secrets are slowly unraveled. 

Scarlet's story was very unusual and intriguing. Ms Bowen kept the suspense till the very end and I didn't know how things will work out for Scarlet until the final pages. Her problems were really painful and difficult to deal with especially since she had no one to share her secrets with. She couldn't even be honest with Bridger because this would put him in danger as well. 

Bridger's secret came to light earlier and it was easy for Scarlet (and his friends) to deal with it. His problems were very real, practical and easy to understand. I liked how determined he was to make things work for him and Lucy. 

The story stands out among other NA college romances with its very realistic presentation of young people struggling with some very difficult situations in their lives. The dual POV makes the narrative convincing and it becomes easy for the reader to relate to both of Bridger and Scarlet.

Just as in the first book in the series, here again we have the college atmosphere well presented and once again hockey, though important for both character, is present mostly indirectly. 

My main complaint has to do with the major plot twist in the end the very rushed the resolution of the conflict in Scarlet's life. 

*Spoiler* (Select the paragraph in order to see the spoiler)
I feel that the author tried too hard to separate Scarlet from her father and his crimes in order to keep her character being all nice and proper. She is her own person and she was not aware of the crimes he committed, so nobody should judge her for them.

Overall, it this book was a worthy sequel to The Year We Fell Down and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good college romance with interesting characters dealing with some serious real-life issues. Now I'm looking forward to book 3, The Understatement of the Year, which will feature a gay couple of college hockey players. It releases on 25 Oct 2014 and I can't wait to read it.
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks 

Jessica Topper

Waiting on Wednesday: Dictatorship of the Dress by Jessica Topper


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Dictatorship of the Dress (Much "I Do" About Nothing #1)

Author: Jessica Topper
Genre: Romance

Release Date: 
6 January 2015

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Pre-order: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo


As the dress-bearer for her mother’s wedding, Laney Hudson has a lot more baggage than the bulky garment bag she’s lugging from New York to Hawaii. Laney is determined to prove she’s capable of doing something right, but running chores for her mom’s fairytale nuptials is proving to be a painfully constant reminder of her own lost love.

So when she’s mistaken for the bride and bumped up to first class, Laney figures some stress-free luxury is worth a harmless white lie. Until the flight crew thinks that the man sitting next to her is Laney’s groom, and her little fib turns into a hot mess.

The last thing Noah Ridgewood needs is some dress-obsessed diva landing in his first-class row. En route to his Vegas bachelor party, the straight-laced software designer knows his cold feet have nothing to do with the winter weather.

When a severe storm leaves them grounded in Chicago and they find themselves booked into the last available honeymoon suite, Laney and her in-flight neighbor have little choice but to get better acquainted. Now, as her bridal mission hangs in the balance, perhaps the thing Laney gets right is a second chance at love.

Why am I waiting on this? - I read Ms Topper's debut book, Louder Than Love, last year and I enjoyed it a lot. This sounds like a fun romantic read and I already like the writing style this author, so I'm looking forward to reading this.


Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen


Title: The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Date of publication: 24 March 2014
Genre: Romance, New Adult, College, Sports

Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 4.5 Stars


The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.

What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.


This is not your usual NA college story but much more. I've read quite a few NA romances, I'm weary of them since they feel the same - it's all about partying, drinking, sex, some big secrets, some misunderstandings and the expected HEA.

We have some of this here but what sets this story apart are the main characters. They meet in college where they are both housed in the special dormitory for students with disabilities. Adam Hartley has a broken leg, while Corey Callahan is bound to a wheelchair after he suffered an accident earlier the same year.

Initially they bound over their shared difficulties in everyday life and gradually form even deeper connection because of their love for hockey until she fall for him (and he has the perfect girlfriend (who is in Europe for a semester)

The story is told from dual POV, with pre-dominance of Corey's voice. She is an amazing character - Her story is tragic but there is no melodrama, or pity in her portrayal. We see her insecurities and everyday struggles with the dramatic changes in her life and they make her seem so real - fragile, shy, experiencing her first crush, yet determined, strong-willed. 

Hartley was an interesting character as well. He had his own issues to deal with. They didn't make much sense early in the story and at one point I was really angry and disappointed with him for keeping his relationship with Stacia. When he shared his troubles with Corey things made much more sense.

I liked the writing style of Ms Bowen, simple and engaging. She managed to create a convincing and entertaining sense of the college life. The sports topic was also consistently present in the story, though neither Hartley, nor Corey get to play real hockey but the importance of the game in both their lives is easy to see. The story flowed well and it was easy for me to get involved in the characters fate and root whole-heartedly for their happy end. 

I had just one small issue with the story and this is related to the way the situation with Hartley's dad was dealt with. I felt is was much too complicated and important to be so easily resolved. It was all to neatly done in the end and seemed rushed and forced.

Overall, this was a sweet and some what angsty friends-to-lovers romance which worked well for me. I can recommend this book not only to fans of NA stories but to all lovers of well-developed emotionally intense stories with complex and easily lovable characters. 

Purchase links: Amazon / B&NiTunes / Kobo

M/M romance

Review: Double Up by Vanessa North


Title: Double Up
Author: Vanessa North
Date of publication: 25 Aug 2014
Genre: M/M Romance

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars


Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.

Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.

Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.

Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.


I read mostly traditional M/F romance but I like to try different stories once in a while, so sometimes I pick up M/M romances as well. I'm no expert on the genre but this novella was a sweet, feel-good read which I enjoyed a lot.

Vanessa North is a new to me author and I found her writing simple, yet engaging and real, The story flows naturally and despite its short length, it gets the reader invested in the fate of the characters. This is a sweet love story between two guys, low on the angst and drama, and high on real issues and feelings. 

Neither Ben, nor Dave were  big alpha badass heroes, they were just ordinary guys dealing with life and trying to have a relationship.

The story is told from Ben's POV, who is a pretty jaded and disillusioned, ex-sports legend. On the surface is life is OK but in reality he is completely lost. It's Dave who literally saves him and brings him back to a fulfilling life full of love and hope and ultimately happiness. 

Dave is just irresistible with his blushes and take-charge attitude, blushing and commanding at he same time. There was certain vulnerability about him, yet a sense of strength, He knew who he was and what he wanted from life. 

The relationship between Ben and Dave was  based on compromise, exchange of control and initiative which made it so real and the issues they had to overcome were easy to understand and relate to. 

Ms North creates a set of great supporting characters, Ben's friends Eddie and Tina, Dave's kid brother, Ridley. They all add more substance to Ben and Dave's romance and provided some funny and some sweet times. 

Overall, it's a fell-good summer romance, a tender love story which feels both real and cute. A recommended read!

Purchase links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo

Alexi Lawless

Waiting on Wednesday: Complicated Creatures Part II by Alexi Lawless


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Complicated Creatures Part II
Author: Alexi Lawless
Genre: Romantic suspense
Release Date: 24 Oct 2014

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Pre-order: Amazon


Jack Roman was perfectly happy living the life of a high-powered and charismatic philistine. He had time, money, women and a penchant for the fast life. Until he met his match in Samantha Wyatt and his obsession with her would take him to hell and back… 

Wes Elliott’s been dreaming of the muse he let go of as a young man—the woman he never forgot throughout his travels and the successes he’d left her to find. He always thought he’d see Sammy again—he just never expected her to be fighting for her life when he did…

Samantha Wyatt is being challenged by her past, tested by her decisions, and hunted by her nemesis. As her dangerous present and enigmatic past collides, Samantha conducts the riskiest operation of her life, and the men who love her will be forced to decide: Do they trust her enough to let her protect them? And do they love her enough to let her go?

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - I read the first book after the author send it to me with a request for review and I rarely, if ever accept such request these days since my reading schedule is very busy. After giving it a chance I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this romantic suspense. It was well written, compelling story of love and ambition. It ended in a cliffhanger, so I just can't wait to read the sequel.


Top Ten Tuesday 29


Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme hosted The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new topic for each week and the participating bloggers are invited to post their Top Ten lists on it.

Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

Anne Calhoun - I've read Jaded, a small-town romance, which I really enjoyed and having read great reviews of some of her other works, I'm excited to read her next book, Afternoon Delight.

Cindy Gerard - I read her romantic suspense The Way Home last Christmas and I loved it. The next books in this series, Running Blind, releases in February 2015 and I already have it on my TBR list. I may go back and read book 1 in the series in the meantime.

Courtney Milan - I recently read The Suffragette Scandal from her Brothers Sinister series and now I'm thinking of going back and reading the whole series, that's how much I enjoyed it.

Joe Abercrombie - I read Half a King, book 1 in a new fantasy series by Mr. Abercrombie and I want to continue with it

Brian Staveley - same as the above. I read his debut book, The Emperor's Blades, and I loved it. The good news is that the next installment, The Providence of Fire, releases in Jan 2015.

Jane Harvey-Berrick - I've only read Lifers, a hot NA romance but I have most of her other works of my TBR list. Her latest one, Summer of Seventeen, releases next week and the blurb makes me excited about it.

Melissa Keil - I read her first book, Life in Outer Space, last year and I had great fun with this nerdy YA coming-of-age story. Ms Keil second book, The Incredible Adventure of Cinnamon Girl, just released and I can't wait to read it.

Jessica Topper - I read her debut rockstar romance, Louder Than Love, last year and I loved it. She will be expanding this into a series about the rest of the guys from Rotten Graves. In the meantime, I'm excited to read her next book, Dictatorship of the Dress, coming out in Jan 2015.

Mary Ann Rivers - I've only read her novella, The Story Guy, but it got me curious about her full-length novels, so I've added Live and Laugh to my never-ending TBR list.

Alexi Lawless - Complicated Creatures Part I is a debut romantic suspense for Ms Lawless and it was a pleasant surprise for me. It ends on a sort of cliffhanger, so Part II is a must read for me. It releases in Oct 2014.

Blog Tour

Blog Tour, Excerpt and Review: Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh


Title: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss # 1)
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 9 Sept 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance, Rockstars

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Purchase links: Amazon / iTunes / Kobo

My rating: 3 Stars


A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction. 

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

*** *** ***

Fox hadn’t become the lead singer of one of the best-selling rock bands in history by being a shrinking violet. No, he went after what he wanted, no holds barred. And the raw promise he could feel between him and Molly? He had to know where it would lead, the need so strong he hadn’t felt anything like it since the day he’d figured out that music was his escape, the air in his lungs.

Which was why he was leaning against the wall beside Molly’s apartment at five that afternoon, a guitar by his side.

The elevator doors opened at a quarter after the hour, Molly going motionless two steps outside of it, the doors closing silently at her back. Yeah, she hadn’t expected him, but Fox was ready to work with that. Waiting patiently as she took a deep breath and completed the trek down the corridor, he drew in the scent of her, his gaze lingering on the fluttering pulse in her neck.

“How did you get past security?”

Fox smiled slowly at the blurted-out question, wondering if Molly knew how bad she was at hiding her emotions. He liked it, liked that he saw the real Molly, not an illusion she’d created to tempt him—not that she had to do anything but smile to tempt him. “I told you the security sucks.”

Unable to resist, he reached out to run his finger down one creamy cheek flushed with a mix of surprise, passion, and, he was certain, sweet, hot feminine anger. His guess was borne out when Molly unlocked her door with jittery hands and put down her handbag on one corner of the bench, her fingers trembling before she curled them into her palms. “You’re breaking the rules.”

“What rules?” Closing the door, he leaned back on it and willed her to face him. Much as he loved the shape of her from the back, he liked watching those expressive eyes whisper her mood to him.

Shoulders tight, she turned. “This was supposed to be a one-night stand.”

“Ah.” Folding his arms over the plain black of his T-shirt, he said, “How about a one-month stand instead?” He knew he had to play this exactly right. Molly was wary of him, and yeah, he could understand why. To have her in his life beyond a fleeting instant, he’d have to win her trust.

She jerked up her head. “What?”

“Why not? I like you. You like me.” He smiled—because the reason Molly had needed to jerk up her head was that she’d been staring at his chest. “Admit it.”

Sitting down on the bench, she began to unzip her boots, very obviously not looking at him. “You’re okay for a rock star.”

He wanted to bite her, then pet her until she was limp and languid in his arms. “We burn up together.” Deliberately modulating his voice—his instrument—for maximum effect, low and bedroom rough, he saw her fingers stutter on the zipper. “I’m here for a month. It’s an easy equation.”

When the words “Let me think about it” fell from her mouth, he thought she might’ve been as startled as he was, her lips parting on a slight gasp—as if to call back the declaration.

**first seen at The Rock Stars of Romance**

Additional excerpts can be found here: 

*** *** ***
Meet the Author
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.

Stalk her: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

3 Stars

I love Ms Singh Psy-Changeling series. I love the romance, the suspense, the whole world building, the lyrical writing style, everything. I was excited and curious when I first heard she is writing a contemporary romance, a rockstar one at that. While I like the overall story and even loved some elements in it, I kept comparing it to her PNR series and it came short.

The story of Fox and Molly starts with instalust and very, very instalove on his part which works for me in a paranormal setting but I find it annoying in contemporary romance. The sudden cravings, possessive and protective instincts are so unrealistic and they take a lot off the authenticity of the story from the start.

The book itself is divided into two parts. The first focuses on the struggles the characters face in order to be together felt real and I was curious how they will manage to overcome all the obstacles in their way. Molly shied away from publicity and hid the effects of a painful personal drama which happened when she was a teenager. Fox, the lead singer of a super successful rock band, wanted to try a relationship, despite the media intrusion in his life and he also had painful secrets from his past making him reluctant to trust.

I like his perseverance, never giving up on them, always trying to find a way to make things between them work out. Molly, on the other hand, often acted immature, never really believed in them and it took some time and a lot of effort on his part and some gentle encouragement by her best friend for her to take risk of being with Fox.

The second part of the story shows us their struggles as a couple. There was a lot of drama and scandal and not much growth in both of them.In my opinion there was too much sex in both parts. There was just a few detailed scenes but it was constantly mentioned in passing and I felt took the place of a deeper, more honest relationship.

There were some cheesy moments and quite a few cliches which made the whole story seem rather New Adult and lacking depth and seriousness. I don't generally mind predictability in romance but not when I can guess every next step in the story.

On the positive side, I liked the secondary characters and especially enjoyed a lot the interactions between the Fox's bandmates and their acceptance of Molly in his life. The parallel romance plots were very interesting - David and Thea (whose novella is coming next) and Charlie and T-Rex. The titbits we were given into these relationship hold a promise for some exciting additions to the series.

Overall, it is a nice rockstar romance with somewhat NA feel and with some cliches for the genre, yet it opens the door for some more exciting stories to come in this series.

*** *** ***
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Courtney Milan

Review: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan


Title: The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister #4)
Author: Courtney Milan
Date of publication: 15 July 2014
Genre: Historical Romance

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars


An idealistic suffragette...

Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

...a jaded scoundrel...

Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.

...and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past...and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.


I've been meaning to try historical romance as a genre for a while now and decided to finally try with an ARC from NetGalley of The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan. My first historical. I'm glad a took the plunge and now I have to admit it was a very entertaining read. 

This is book 4 in the Brother Sinister series and while I really enjoyed it, I think it would have been even better if I had read the previous books. I'd recommend to start from the beginning since there is a multitude of characters with their own background stories appearing across this series.

Ms Milan has created a whole set of great characters, both the main and the supporting ones. They all stand out and are very memorable.

It was the heroine, Free, whom I came to like the most in this story. She is everything I love in a romance novel heroine - witty, strong, independent, smart. She had strong political opinion on the place and role of women in 19th century England and she was not afraid to voice it loud and clear. But she was more than a suffragette, she was a  woman, a loyal friend and sister, a passionate and gentle lover. 

The hero, Edward, was a more typical character - a rogue, a scoundrel, but good and honest at heart. He was the typical hero bearing scars from his past, who saw himself unworthy of love and happiness, and he craved them. His self pity was too much at times but his journey to become a better man was very real and engaging. 

Ms Milan explores a number of social and political issues acute in 19th sentury Britain but still at the heart of the story is the romance between Free and Edward. And it was remarkable in its compelxity even for a contemporary setting. They were equal in their relationship and each of them accepted the other for who she/he was. She loved the scoundrel with all his baggage and danger and he loved the suffragette and everything that goes with being one. The had to overcome major issues in order to be together but eventually both let the other be the best person they can be.

I liked how Ms Milan blended social issues and family dynamics in a seamless mix. Neither the romance, nor politics overcame the story, they just blended perfectly together. 

I very much enjoyed the writing style of Ms Milan. The witty banter, the subtle sense of humour and hidden sexual innuendos. She manages the create the historical setting without being overly descriptive. 

It's was a very enjoyable read for me and I can see many more historical romances joining my TBR list. First come the rest of the Brothers Sinister series, of course. A highly recommended read!

Purchase links: Amazon | Amazon uk | B&N | iBooks Kobo | Smashwords

Brian Staveley

Waiting on Wednesday: Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: The Providence of Fire (Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #2)
Author: Brian Staveley
Genre: Fantasy 
Release Date: 13 Jan 2015

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Pre-order: Amazon


This is book two in a fast-moving epic trilogy of betrayal, conspiracy and empire.

The conspiracy to destroy the Annurian Empire's ruling family is far from over. Having learned the identity of her father's assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by her people's goddess, factions rally to help her retake the capital city from the incumbent regent. As their armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes forces them to unite to meet a common enemy. 

Unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire's most elite force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable. 

And fighting his own battles is their brother Kaden, the rightful heir, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. While imperial forces clash on a far distant front, their actions could either save Annur or destroy it...

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - I loved the first book in this fantasy series which I read after a friend of mine left a raving review of it on Goodreads. Now, the same friend has already read the ARC of book 2 and she is ecstatic, calling it the best book of the year. It's a pretty safe bet that I love it too, January can't come soon enough :)


Review: Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe


Indecent proposal, romance
Title: Indecent Proposal (The The Boys of Bishop #3)
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Date of publication: 30 Sept 2014
Genre: Romance

Author's links:

Website / Twitter / FacebookGoodreads

My rating: 4.5 stars


With his chiseled jaw and his thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing and there is only one solution: marriage.

Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who’d given her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love.


This book 4 in the Boys of Bishop series and I dare say one of the best. I discovered Ms O'Keefe's books by chance earlier this year and I absolutely loved this series. The stories appear to be variations of the small-town romance (a favourite of mine) but they stand out with their edginess, emotional intensity and depth of conflict and character development. 

This book can be read as a standalone, but I'd recommend to read Never Been Kissed where we meet Harrison for the first time. Some of the events in the two books are parallel to some extend and what happens with Ashley (she is his sister) affects Harrison and his decisions about his life a lot.

Harrison and Ryan's (the heroine, despite the man's name) romance represents an interesting twist on the marriage of convenience trope. The couple go through so much together- starting off with a lot of passion and openness, going through total fakeness of their relationship and to finally reaching a well-deserved true HEA.

Harrison was a likable guy, the perfect politician on the outside, but troubled, empty and disappointed on the inside. He underwent a complete change throughout this story which altered profoundly his life. I loved the new person he became - loving, caring, open and honest.

Despite my appreciation for Harrison's transformation and growth, it was Ryan who stole the show in this story for me. It's a rare thing for me to like the heroine in romance more than the hero, but Ryan was fantastic. There so much depth and complexity in her character, it was a true pleasure to read about her. I liked how she was in her 30s - she had had a rough life, she had been through a lot, personally and professionally. I can compare her to Ty form Between the Sheets - she was trying to do the right thing, to put her past with its mistakes behind her. 

The focus of the story is undoubtedly the relationship between Harrison and Ryan (it's more than just a romance, it's a sort of coming-of-age at an older age for both of them). Ms O'Keefe also explores a whole set of other relationships in all their complexity and dys/functionality - within the family, between parents and children, between siblings. 

It's a intense story about love but also about guilt and forgiveness, about honesty and betrayal, about truth and pretend. 

I'd recommend this book and the whole series to anyone who likes hot romances with depth of story and complex characters who are so very real. 

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / iBooks


Review: Sweeter Than Sin by Shiloh Walker


Title: Sweeter Than Sin (Secrets and Shadows #2)
Author: Shiloh Walker
Date of publication: 30 Sept 2014
Genre: Romantic suspense

Author's links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars



It took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.


Nothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.

My Review

It's book 2 in the Secret and Shadows romantic suspense series Secrets and Shadows and it can be read as a standalone though since there quite a few characters involved, it would be better to start from the beginning with book 1, Deeper Than Need.

This books was not what I expected initially - it was an intense, complicated, painful, heart-breaking story with focus is more on the suspense/crime aspect than on the romance. It's a very character driven story which explores the aftermath of some terrible crimes and their effect on everybody in the small town when abominable things have been happening for far too many years now. (A note of warning: the story involved the worst possible child abuse and though there are no graphic scenes, the violence and pain are tangibly present in the story and they do make one heavy reading at times).

I liked how Ms Walker didn't shy away from discussing the consequences of all this violence on everybody involved directly or indirectly. The main characters, Adam and Lana, are both rich and well-developed characters, and their romance is very passionate and turbulent. They come together after she had been missing for 20 years and there are a lot of issues to be cleared between them. They have to deal with the pain from their past and it involves a lot of guilt and regret. At the same time the story is action packed, all of the characters are trying to move forward with their lives

There is depth to the story which I especially liked. Nothing is simple, the reality is not sugarcoated and that makes it all the more thrilling to read. There a numbers of twists and turns in the story that kept me feverishly turning the pages. Even though Lana and Adam are at the center of the plot, we also see a lot of Noah (the hero in book 1), the hero in the next book (I'll keep his identity a secret to avoid a major spoiler) is also prominent here, as well as a number of secondary characters. They move the suspense forward but I felt that their plot lines were sometimes distracting me from the main couple. 

The ending is the Happy For Now type and the main mystery plot remains unresolved. The healing the characters need to get has started but there is a long way to go before a true HEA is achieved.

I liked the writing and the story is very engaging, yet I had one major issue with this book and it's that the plot is too messy. There are too many POV introduced and it's difficult to keep track of who is speaking.

Despite its rather dark subject, this story is also about justice, hope and redemption and I can recommend it to all fans of great romantic suspense intriguing mystery and flawed, yet strong and complex characters.

Now, I'll be going back to read book 1 as soon as possible while waiting for David's story in book 3, Darker Than Desire, which is to be released in March 2015.

Purchase links: 


Waiting on Wednesday #16: Love and Other Unknown Variables


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Love and Other Unknown Variables
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Release Date: 7 Oct 2014

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Pre-order: Amazon


Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck. 

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. 

By the time he learns she's ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

Why am I waiting for this? I generally adult romances but I also love YA/NA stories of coming-of-age and first love. The blurb for this one got me intrigued and I requested an ARC on NetGalley which I'm happy to say I received and will be reading it soon. 

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