Review: The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller

Author: L.B. Simmons

Publication Date: April 23, 2014

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

Death.

For some, it’s simply one of life’s certainties, nothing more. For others, it’s merely a fleeting thought, one often overshadowed by the reckless delusion that they have been blessed with the gift of immortality.

For Aubrey Miller, death is the definition of her very existence. Overcome with the guilt resulting from the loss of her beloved family, she alters her appearance from the once beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl to that of one shrouded in complete darkness, enveloping herself in her own unbreakable fortress of solitude as a form of protection for others.

As she enters her first year of college, her goal is simple: Earn a degree with the least amount of social interaction as possible. What she never anticipates is the formation of very unlikely relationships with two people who will change her life in ways she never believed possible: Quinn Matthews, the boisterous former pageant queen, and Kaeleb McMadden, a childhood friend from her past who never really let her go.

Over the years, as their connections intertwine and grow, a seemingly indestructible bond is formed between the three…

But when death painfully reemerges, Aubrey is lost once again, burying herself deeper than ever before inside the familiar fortification of her fears.

Will the refuge of friendship, the solidarity of life-long bonds, and the power of unconditional love be enough to do the impossible?

Will they be enough to finally bring about…

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller?

****Standalone NA Contemporary Romance/HEA****

****WARNING – Due to the graphic nature of some scenes, this book is intended for mature audiences only. Contains adult language and themes.****


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Earlier this week I reviewed Out of Focus by L.B. Simmons. In Out of Focus, I briefly got to meet Aubrey Miller. I was instantly curious about her. She was a little mysterious. My curiosity became even greater when I read the free preview of The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller at the end of the book. I was so drawn in by the beginning that I immediately downloaded it.

Aubrey was an interesting character. She purposely chose a new persona (Raven) for herself in order to survive her past. She hid behind the look she chose hoping no one would break down her walls. It was really sad to see her take the blame for all the wrongs in her life. She was so broken.

Luckily, her roommate Quinn and her long-lost friend Kaeleb could see beyond her mask. Quinn and Kaeleb did everything they could do help Aubrey rediscover herself. Their friendship gave Aubrey the strength she needed to believe in life again.

I loved how opposite of Raven Quinn was. Her bubbly personality and own struggles added a lot to the story. And Kaeleb. *Swoon* I was surprised at how amazing he was and how far he was willing to go for Aubrey. He knew that behind Raven’s self-made wall there was an amazing person who deserved to be loved.

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller was a dark New Adult romance. It was angst-filled and sometimes depressing, but it was also filled with hope. I really enjoyed reading it and unlocking the mystery of Aubrey Miller.

Review: Uninvited by Elizabeth Reyes

26842551Uninvited

Series: Fate, #7

Author: Elizabeth Reyes

Publication Date: April 30, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Fiction

Note: I received an electronic ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Aiyanna Casilieris becomes stranded in a snowed in mountain cabin, the last thing she imagined was that she’d be welcoming a wickedly sexy intruder to keep her company. But within days, she’s invited him to do so much more.

First instincts are usually right.

Falling for someone on the rebound is never a good idea. But Nathan Romero has never been one to pass up a harmless and meaningless good time. Even when it turns out the sexy stranger he’s stranded with is a lot more innocent than he imagined.

Even before they’re rescued, he finds himself asking for more time with her once they’re out of there. As their relationship back in the real world intensifies, nothing surprises Nathan anymore. Not how fast things move between them nor even their talk of moving in together.

Anything too good to be true . . . always is.

Surrounded by friends and family who are all for the relationship despite it moving at lightning speed, Nathan couldn’t be surer that what he’s feeling for Aiyanna is the real deal. Things between them couldn’t be more perfect. Until the unspeakable happens.

Could their love survive the most brutal of betrayals, especially when there’s no denying it? Or was their rapid but perfect relationship really too good to be true?

Note to readers who are not caught up yet and wondering who Nathan is? The Fate series is a Moreno Brothers spin off series Isaiah, Nathan and AJ “Rage” Romero are cousins of Romero from the MB series. They were introduced in the 3rd Fate book Suspicious Minds (Fate #3).


 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Elizabeth Reyes brought the Fate series to an end in a really fun way. Uninvited was exactly what I expected. It was extremely fun and sexy. Aiyanna and Nathan’s crazy introduction was cute and made me laugh. Their relationship was sweet and, of course, Nathan brought out the Moreno jealousy. (Oh, Nathan…I love how macho, overprotective and jealous you are — just like all of my favorite Moreno brothers men.)  What I didn’t expect was the surprise twist Elizabeth Reyes had in surprise for the readers. It was crazy! It certainly surprised me! I thought I knew what was going to happen, but I didn’t… Readers are going to love it!

If you’re a fan of the Fate series, you’re truly going to enjoy Nathan’s story. It’s one of my favorites of the series. I had so much fun reading it!

If you’re interested in Uninvited, but haven’t read any of the rest of the series yet, I suggest reading at least Rage and His to Guard first. Nathan makes appearances in both of those and his story is set up in them.

 

Review: Leveled by Jay Crownover

Leveled

Series: Saints of Denver, #0.5

Author: Jay Crownover

Publication Date: November 2, 2015

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, GLBT, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

We all need a hero…let the Saints of Denver begin

Orlando Frederick knows what it is to be leveled by pain. Instead of focusing on his own, he’s made it his mission to help others: sports stars, wounded war vets, survivors of all kinds. But when Dom, a rugged, damaged, sinfully attractive cop, makes his way into Lando’s physical therapy practice, he might be the biggest challenge yet. Lando loved one stubborn man before and barely survived the fallout. He’s not sure he can do it again.

Dominic Voss is a protector. The police badge he wears is not only his job, it’s his identity, so when he’s sidelined because of an injury, the only thing he cares about is getting back on the force. He expects Lando to mend his body, he just doesn’t realize the trainer will also have him working toward a hell of a lot more. As attraction simmers and flares, Dom sees that Lando needs repair of his own…if only the man will let him close enough to mend what’s broken.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I have to admit that Leveled is my first Jay Crownover book. I chose it because it’s the first book (novella actually) in the Saints of Denver series and I thought it would be a great way to get to know the author’s writing. Well, I miscalculated a little bit because Leveled ties together the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series. There is an overlap of characters between the two series. It wasn’t a big deal, though. Orlando and Dominic’s love story was easily read as a standalone.

Dominic was a rugged cop who was proud of being gay. He may not have flaunted his lifestyle, but he was happy with who he was. I found this very refreshing after reading several M/M romance novels where characters struggle with their sexuality. I liked how he fought hard for both his job and the relationship he wanted with Orlando.

Orlando, a character from previous Marked Men books, was also comfortable with his sexuality. He wasn’t looking for love, but was excited to have found someone who was willing to claim him as his own. But giving his heart away wasn’t as easy for Lando. He has spent years trying to get over the loss of his first love and he’s not sure he’s willing to love again. Lando was a sweet and gentle man compared to Dominic’s cocky persona. The story of his past was so heartbreaking and moving.

Dominic and Orlando’s relationship was super sexy, but also very sweet. I loved how their relationship wasn’t all about what happened in the bedroom. They had a love and respect for each other that helped them deal with the issues they were facing in and outside of their relationship.

Leveled was so much fun to read. I loved it! I’m really excited to finish reading this series and also to go back and read the Marked Men series. If you’re a fan of M/M contemporary romances, you should pick this one up.

Review: My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind

25798815Title: My Perfect Mistake

Series: Over the Top, #1

Author: Kelly Siskind

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Note: I received an electronic copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

What happens in Aspen
is definitely not staying in Aspen. . .

A girls’ trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She’s got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared.

Kolton doesn’t know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool—although she does have an unholy gift for that—but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they’re both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don’t kill each other first.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I think I found another new favorite NA author.

My Perfect Mistake was an enemy to lovers story that was so much fun to read. All of the bickering banter between Shay and Kolton was hilarious. It made their unwanted sexual chemistry so hot! I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted them to get past the hating each other stage because I didn’t want to lose the laughs. I shouldn’t have worried, though. Even when they decided they liked each other more than they wanted to admit, the humor continued.

The story wasn’t just funny, though. It was also had moments where it tugged at my emotions. Shay and Kolton had some real-life obstacles to face. Being together wasn’t going to be effortless for them. Neither of them wanted to be the one to back down from the decisions they made based on their pasts. It was frustrating and sad. I wanted to give both of them a good shake and tell them their love was worth it!

I absolutely loved My Perfect Mistake. It was a fun, sassy and sexy contemporary New Adult romance. I didn’t want it to end and I’m even sadder I’m done reading it because the next book in the series isn’t out yet! Now, I’m impatiently waiting for the next book to find out more about Shay and Kolton’s friends.

Review: Almost Broken Up by A.O. Peart

Almost Broken Up

Series: Almost Bad Boys, #2

Author: A.O. Peart

Publication Date: January 19, 2014

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humor

Goodreads Synopsis:

NEW ADULT/ADULT CROSSOVER ROMANTIC COMEDY NOVELLA

How far would you go to protect the one you love?

The terrors of Colin’s past are revealed and accepted by Natalie. Her doubts about letting him into her life are finally disbanded and replaced by a sense of security and commitment. But Natalie doesn’t know that Colin’s past hides more dark secrets unknown even to him.

When a delusional psychopath threatens Colin’s life, things quickly become complicated. Natalie’s stubborn character and desire to kick ass won’t let her step aside and allow the authorities to handle the danger. She gets herself tangled up with street hoodlums, befriends a Russian mobster’s high-maintenance girlfriend, and becomes expert at picking locks and hiding evidence.
********************************************************
This contemporary romantic comedy/mystery blends humor and sensuality with enough thriller elements to make you clutch the pages with terror. The offbeat characters and witty dialogue from Almost Matched are here to stay.

**Warning: contains sexual situations, profanity, and a high dose of sarcasm. Oh, and the appletini is still the drink of choice.
May not be appropriate for readers under 18 years old. Not intended for prigs and sourpusses who get easily affronted**

***Almost Broken Up is the second installment in the Almost Bad Boys series, and it comes after book one, Almost Matched. The books in this series should be read in order. They are not stand-alone books***


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


This past weekend I reviewed the first book in the Almost Bad Boys series, Almost Matched. For several reason, I only gave it 2 stars. I thought it had a lot of potential, but there were some major issues I had with it. (You can find my review here.) I was happy to just leave Natalie and Colin’s relationship where the first book ended. Then, author A.O. Peart contacted me on Twitter. She was very understanding of my review and asked if I would consider reading books 2 and 3. She thought I would like them better. I agreed and immediately downloaded Almost Broken Up.

I’m really happy I did. Almost Broken Up was hilarious! In a way, it reminded me of a female version of The Hangover movie — minus the bachelor party and Vegas. Natalie found herself in several crazy situations with her friends. She was doing things she never imagined doing, with people who may have been a lot dangerous. It was so out there and made for a really fun story.

It wasn’t all a crazy ride, though. It was also super steamy and sexy. Colin and Natalie spent a lot of time enjoying each other. I spent a lot of time fanning myself.

There was one little issue that continued from book 1 to book 2 for me, though. It was the switching of the tone of the story mid-book. Almost Broken Up started out with a look at Colin’s past, which was very angsty. I absolutely loved his point of view, but it didn’t fit well with the comedic tone of the rest of the story. It did set up a part of the story, though; so it was needed. The only way I could see to maybe remedy the issue would have been to give Colin his own novella in between books 1 and 2.

Almost Broken Up was an entertaining book to read. I’m so happy the author encouraged me to continue with the series. It was so worth it for all of the laughs.

WWW Wednesday: April 27, 2016

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So here we go…


Currently reading:

I’m finally reading Modern Lovers.


Recently finished:

28459891298469052927987418346098

Wow. It looks like I read a lot of books this week. Luckily, a few of these books were novella length. 😉 I read:

Out of Focus

Friday Night Players

Fractured Faith

Leveled: A Saints of Denver Novella

The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller

Click on the book titles to read the reviews that I have already posted.


Reading Next:

19447949

I’m going to give the Almost Bad Boys series another try and continue reading the series.


What are you reading next?

Review: Out of Focus by L.B. Simmons

28459891Out of Focus

Series: Chosen Paths, #2

Author: L.B. Simmons

Publication Date: February 19, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Mental Health

Goodreads Synopsis:

*** Upper New Adult Spinoff Standalone to the USA Today Bestselling Novel, Under the Influence***

“Shhhh, Cassandra, it’s our little secret.”
Secrets are stubborn things when they refuse to remain hidden. They tear through your soul, clawing and lashing until the pain becomes so unbearable, you’re left no choice but to silently scream your agony. No one hears you, of course. You smile on the outside and drift through life as though your mind is at peace, but all the while, you remain your own tortured prisoner. Sealed inside the darkened, soundproof room of your conscience, deafening cries echo as you plead for someone to unlock the door and release you from your nightmares. And eventually, when no one comes, you find ways to cope. To dull the suffering the only way you know how.
But what happens when you’ve become so numb, when everything around you has become so blurred, that you begin to lose focus on the saving grace standing directly in front of you? When you’ve anesthetized yourself to the point of losing consciousness, forced to watch as his once solid image fades away, lost to your reach in the haze as it smothers you?
What do you do then?
You fight. You heal. Then you bring him back.
Well, my name is Cassie Cooper, and it’s time.
No more secrets.
This is my story.

***WARNING – The subject matter of this novel centers around the psychological effects due to sexual abuse experienced during childhood. For this reason, as well as sexual situations, language, and adult themes, suggested reading age is 17+.***


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I have to admit that I hesitated a minute before purchasing Out of Focus. It’s the second book in the Chosen Paths series and, while I liked the first book Under the Influence, I didn’t love it. There was something about the pace and structure of the book I didn’t like. But when I saw Out of Focus was going to be Cassie’s story I was intrigued. I always wondered while reading Under the Influence what Cassie’s story was. I’m so happy I decided to read it.

Cassie Cooper is no angel. She prides herself on being the wild child. Cassie’s perfectly happy avoiding her thoughts by drowning them in alcohol and men. Her reasons are buried deep down within herself. So deep, no one knows them — not even her best friend Spencer.

Cassie’s doing what she can to make it through each day when she meets Grady, a martial arts instructor. The connection she feels to Grady scares her. She feels like he gets her without even really knowing her, a feeling she’s only had once before.

As Cassie gets to know Grady, her walls begin to drop. Life is suddenly much brighter than it was before. Then, her past comes back to haunt her, threatening everything she’s built with Grady.

I loved, loved, loved Out of Focus. I couldn’t put it down. L.B. Simmons did an amazing job portraying a victim of child sexual abuse. Cassie’s story was heartbreaking, but also uplifting. Her actions felt real and honest. Her cocky, bad attitude was funny, but sad at the same time.

Grady is now one of my favorite book boyfriends. The way he stood by Cassie through her journey was awesome. He understood what she needed and was there for her when it mattered most. The thoughtfulness and care he used with Cassie was super sexy.

Out of Focus is one of those rare sequels that is actually better than first book in the series. It was witty, devastating and hopeful. It’s a book I would highly recommend. But first, read Under the InfluenceOut of Focus overlaps the last section of time in Under the Influence and sets up Cassie and Grady’s story. Without reading it, you’ll be missing some very big pieces.