Review: Still by Kennedy Ryan

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“Grip is my ultimate…If I was forced, gun-to-the head, to make one book boyfriend real to be mine, it would be him. No questions asked.”

— Adriana Locke, USA Today Bestselling Author

STILL, the sexy,emotional final installment of the GRIP series,

is available NOW!

Still-book-cover-front

Enter the $50 Gift Card Release Giveaway!

http://bit.ly/StillLIVEGive

I’ll be there.

Through thick and thin.

Ride or die.

You can count on me.

The promises people make. The vows we take.

Assumptions of the heart.

Emotion tells us how we feel, but life…life has a way of plunging us in boiling water, burning away our illusions, testing our faith, trying our convictions.

Love floating is a butterfly, but love tested is an anchor.

For Grip and Bristol,

Love started at the top of the world

On a Ferris wheel under the stars

But when that love is tested, will they fly or fall?

REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

It’s been over a week and I’m still thinking about this book. It was just so much. Does that even make sense? It brought out so many emotions and feelings I wasn’t expecting. I knew Grip and Bristol’s final book would be epic. What I could never have guessed was the journey this book would take me on.

I read Still in one sitting. I couldn’t and wouldn’t put it down. Bristol and Grip’s love story took over my mind, my heart and my soul. Some moments were sweet, some were bitter. I cried on more than one occasion — and I can count the number of books I’ve cried during on one hand. Still touched me in so many ways.

Still wasn’t just a romance, though. Like its predecessors, it was a social commentary directly related to today’s society. Still built on the story that began in Flow and Grip and went deeper into the issues of race, interracial relationships, and the police. There were also new issues that I won’t give away that were brought to attention and dealt with. Still was so eye-opening.

Kennedy Ryan is such a phenomenal writer. I honestly could go on and on about how amazing this book is. I would if I could do it without giving away anything. Instead, I’m going to end by saying that if there’s one series you don’t want to miss in 2017 it’s Grip. It’s one of the best series I’ve read this year and in my entire life. It’s simply stunning.

Excerpt:

“Mmmmm, that looks good.”

The comment grabs my attention, and I find myself smiling for the first time since I left Bristol. As she walks toward me, the approaching sunset paints the roof in shadows, but I see her clearly. Dark hair, burnished in places, falls around her shoulders. She has already discarded the dress she wore at lunch today in favor of a T-shirt and nothing else; it’s the one I just tossed into the hamper.

She tugs at my HABITUAL LINE STEPPER T-shirt, the hem landing at the top of her thighs. Where the T-shirt stops, my eyes keep going, past the lean muscles of her legs and the cut of her calves, the delicate bones of her ankles and to her bare feet. I love this girl, head to toe. Beyond this gorgeous packaging, it’s everything beneath that makes me beyond grateful she’s mine. The loyalty, the bottomless pit that is her heart, her sense of humor. The toughest girl I know is also the most tender, and I’m so honored I get to see both sides, all her sides.

“You out of clean clothes?” I nod to my T-shirt. “You gotta wear my dirty stuff now?”

An impish smile tugs at her bare lips. She’s washed away her makeup, and with it, all the sophistication she wraps around herself for her job. Up on this roof in my T-shirt, she’s just my girl. I love her in every iteration, but this is the one only I get to see, so it’s probably my favorite.

“I have clean clothes.” She steps close enough for me to smell her scent and mine mingling in the fabric. “I like the way this shirt smells.”

I drop a look over her, my eyes resting on the curves of her breasts in the soft cotton, where her nipples have gone taut under my stare.

“How does the shirt smell?” I ask, my voice as smoky as the steaks I should be paying attention to.

“Like you.” She leans forward until her breasts press into my chest. “It smells like you.”

My hands are twitching to touch her, and I finally surrender, slipping under the shirt to grasp her waist, pulling her up the few inches until our lips meet. I’ve been thinking about these steaks all day, and before Bristol arrived, I thought I was starving—but this, what I feel having her in my arms after hours apart, this is starving. It starts in my balls and tunnels up through my chest, infiltrates my heart, and presses its way to my mouth, which is open and devouring in a lips-searching, tongues-dueling kiss. I grip her by the ass, grinding our bodies together until the texture of her skin and mine, the scents of her skin and mine meld into this one panting, voracious thing that never seems to get enough.

“You better not burn my steak,” Bristol pants in between kisses.

I angle my head to send my tongue deeper into her mouth, holding her still, teasing her until she’s straining up, open and begging when I pull back.

“Grip.” My name is a whimpering complaint. She cups my neck and tugs my head back down.

“Oh, no.” I resist, laugh, and turn to the grill. “You were so concerned about me burning these steaks, Ms. Medium Rare.”

“I am.” She slides her arms around me from behind and I feel a sweet sting, her teeth gently biting my shoulder through my T-shirt. I love it when she bites me, but I’m not giving her that satisfaction yet. “But that doesn’t mean you get to stop kissing me. You have to multitask.”

One slim hand slides over my abs and past my belt to cup me through my jeans.

Damn. Not sure how long I can keep up this charade that I don’t want to screw her into the wall on the roof where anyone with half a telescope could see.

“Wow,” I say, keeping my tone unaffected, though she’s gotta feel me getting longer and harder in her hand. “Somebody’s horny as hell.”

She makes a sound that’s half outraged laughter, half indignant grunt before stepping around to stand in front of me by the grill.

“I will not be slut-shamed by my own boyfriend.” Amusement lights her eyes, turning them to quicksilver.

“Shamed?” I put down the grilling fork I’m using for the steaks and reach for her again. “No shame in being horny for me, baby. I wanna give you a gold star.”

Her eyes slide down to the erection poking her in the stomach. “Is that what we’re calling it now? Should we name it?”

“Guys who have to name their dicks probably aren’t using ’em right.”

“So I ask again . . . should we name it?”

I cock a brow and press our hips together.

“Are you implying that I don’t know how to use mine? Because that’s not the impression I got this morning when you came so hard you were singing like a bird.”

She tilts her head, her eyes wide and considering. “Did you say like a bird?” A small smile plays around her lips. “What made you say that?”

“I don’t know.” I give a careless shrug. “Why?”

“It’s silly,” she says, rolling her eyes in self-derision. “I was thinking today when I laughed it sounded like . . .”

Bristol blushes about once every Halley’s Comet, so the color washing across her cheeks makes me wonder.

“What?” I probe. “Your laugh sounded like what?”

“Like a happy bird,” she mumbles, peering up at me like I’m going to laugh in her face.

Which I do.

“Stop laughing at me.” She narrows her eyes in mock warning.

“Right.” I dip my head to catch her eyes and tease her. “Because when you tell me you laugh like a happy bird I’m just supposed let you get away with that.”

“I’m not telling you things anymore.” She narrows her eyes and folds her arms over her chest.

“Yeah, right. I’m your best friend.” I pull her back into me. “You’ll tell me everything like you always do.”

“You are, you know.” Her voice softens. “My best friend, I mean.”

When she looks at me like this, her eyes stripped of every defense, no guard in sight, completely honest and open and vulnerable, I feel slightly invincible. It’s a trick of the heart, I know, but I can’t help but think that as long as she looks at me like this, there isn’t anything I couldn’t survive, that our love is the stuff of legends, rolled in Teflon, disaster-proof. I’m as fanciful as Bristol, my laughing bird.

“You’re mine, too,” I echo her sentiment. “My best friend.”

“I won’t tell Rhyson,” she promises with a grin.

“I’m pretty sure he spits the same line to Kai.” I keep a straight face. “We have to say that shit to get laid.”

“I hate you.”

“Orrrrrrrrr do you love me and want to blow me after dinner?” I shrug and lift my hands, my palms up. “Just saying. Listen to your heart, Bristol. Listen to your heart.”

“I’m listening to my belly right now, smartass, and it’s growling. Feed me.”

“Like my mama used to say, ain’t no freeloaders in this house. What’ll you give me for feeding you?”

“Um . . .”

“I do have a suggestion, if you’re searching.”

“Let me guess—you have a ‘Will fuck for food’ sign up here somewhere?”

“I used bubble letters.” I laugh and give her ass a light smack. “You can barter that booty.”

It’s so damn easy with Bristol—our banter, the chemistry, the perfect rhythm of our conversation. It was one of the first things I noticed when we met all those years ago. We didn’t read each other’s minds or finish each other’s sentences. It wasn’t cosmic, but it was a connection that seized me by the brain and grabbed me by the balls. She was as smart as she was sexy, as curious as she was forthcoming. There were years in between when we made things complicated, when things were strained, but now with our hearts settled on each other for good, it’s simple.

This.

Her.

Us.

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About Kennedy:

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.

Kennedy Ryan

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http://kennedyryanwrites.com

 

Review: On a Tuesday by Whitney G.

On a Tuesday

by Whitney G.
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Second Chance Romance, Standalone
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Model Credit: Andrea Denver

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

We met on a Tuesday.
Became best friends, then lovers, on a Tuesday.
And everything fell apart on a Tuesday…

Charlotte Taylor has three automatic strikes in my book: 1) She hates me. She also claims that I’m a “domineering jerk with a huge, overbearing ego.” (I do have something huge. It’s not my ego, though.) 2) She takes our mandatory tutoring sessions way too seriously. 3) She’s sexy as hell…And a virgin.

At least, those were her strikes before our study sessions started lasting longer than they were supposed to. Until one innocent kiss became a hundred dirty ones, and until she became the first woman I ever fell hard for.

Our future together after graduation was supposed to be set:
Professional football for me. Law school for her.

But she left me at the end of the semester with no explanation, and then she completely disappeared from my life.

Until tonight.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Tuesday.
And now it’s seven years later, on a Tuesday…

This is a full length second chance romance, inspired by Adele’s “When We Were Young”

My Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

On a Tuesday was a fusion of romance subgenres. It was part new adult college romance, part second chance contemporary romance. The story began in present day, but then jumped back and forth in time from college to present day to reveal how Charlotte and Grayson met, fell in love, broke up, and then reconnected. On a Tuesday definitely had more of a new adult feel to it since the majority of the story was set in the characters’ college years.

To be honest, I had a little bit of a hard time connecting to the characters and their love story. There were a couple of reasons why. First, both characters were a little unlikable. Charlotte was prickly, especially toward Grayson. That prickliness was felt right through the pages. I have to praise Whitney G. for creating a character that made me feel something because I felt Charlotte’s dislike for Grayson as if she disliked me. I didn’t feel sorry for Grayson because of Charlotte’s dislike, though. Grayson was so full of himself that I couldn’t really fall in love with his character. His ego was too much for me. The other issue I had with the characters was due to the novella length of this book. It really limited the story. I liked how Charlotte and Grayson’s love story was laid out for the reader, but the majority of the story was given to the past. The present felt rushed.

Despite not feeling a deep connection to the characters, there were a lot of good things about On a Tuesday. Whitney’s writing was as amazing as ever. I liked how the story was centered around Tuesdays. It was a fun way to read a story. And I did like how the story jumped around in time. I also loved knowing it was based on a song. That was really cool. Overall, it was a really fun book to read — on a Tuesday.

About Whitney G.

Whitney G. is a twenty-eight-year-old optimist who is obsessed with travel, tea, and great coffee. She’s also a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several contemporary novels, and the cofounder of The Indie Tea–an inspirational blog for indie romance authors.

When she’s not chatting with readers on her Facebook Page, you can find her on her website at http://www.whitneygbooks.com or on instagram: @whitneyg.author. (If she’s not in either of those places, she’s probably locked away working on another crazy story.)

Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1p9fEYF

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Review: Mine for the Week by Erika Kelly

From the award-winning author of MINE FOR NOW comes the next sizzling standalone story in her Wild Love Series available October 3rd, about a chance meeting that changes the course of two people’s lives! Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and order your copy of MINE FOR THE WEEK today!

About MINE FOR THE WEEK (Wild Love Series #2):

As the top collegiate shortstop in the country, Ryan O’Donnell’s life is about discipline and training. But a growing restlessness causes him to bail on his baseball team over spring break to join his buddies at an exclusive singles resort. He just needs a few days to escape his life, and then he’ll get right back on track. But not twenty minutes after he arrives he meets HER, and the world as he knows it changes irrevocably. It should only be a hookup—that’s what spring break’s all about—but one taste of this sexy, vibrant woman isn’t enough. He has to have her. Even if it’s only for a week.

Sophie Valentine—yes, that Valentine—just found out her siblings want to sell off Crazy Hearts—the Peeps of the Valentine’s Day world. Being the youngest by eight years, she’s used to feeling left out, but selling off her family’s legacy without talking to her first? Not gonna happen. Upset, she takes off with her friends on their spring break vacation. She only wanted an escape—she never imagined meeting HIM. He’s smoking hot and intensely protective of her—and she loves it. But he’s about to start a major league baseball career, and she’s launching a battle to keep the family company. They have no future. It’s just…she’s never felt this way for anyone before.

Are they really going to walk away from this kind of connection…this passion? Or can a week turn into a lifetime?

My Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from Inkslinger PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Mine for the Week is my first Wild Love novel, but I’ve been a fan of Erika Kelly’s writing for a while now. I loved her Rock Star Romance series. I wanted to love Mine for the Week, but I didn’t. It ended up being a book that wasn’t well suited to me. That’s not to say it’s a bad book. There were just some things that didn’t jive with me.

I’m going to start with the things I did like. As always, I enjoyed Erika Kelly’s writing style. I loved the characters’ backgrounds. Each had a great back story. Jake was consumed by the pressure he felt as a top-notch college athlete. He felt the need to follow a path set for him as a child. He loved baseball, but needed a break. Jake also had some worries about letting down his family. Emma was an heiress who wanted to play a bigger part in her family business. She wanted to honor tradition, but had to figure out a way to do that without dividing her family. The way they shared their histories and the problems those histories created boned Jake and Emma together well. I liked how they seemed to naturally understand each other. I also liked how they knew how to help with each other’s problems.

Another thing I loved was the setting. The tropical island Emma and Jake were on helped create a special environment for them to bond. Emma’s sense of adventure helped as well. She was in a new, tropical place and wanted to spend her time exploring that. I loved what that created for her and Jake.

What I loved most about this book was the ending. The ending was everything I desire from a contemporary romance ending. It was so cute! It was everything I wished the rest of the book was.

The things I didn’t like overshadowed some of those good things. The setting is one of those. I loved the tropical setting, but I didn’t love singles resort theme. It seemed unnecessary for two people who weren’t really into it. A normal resort would have worked just as well.

My biggest problem with Mine for the Week was the way Jake blatantly pursued Emma. She made it obvious she wasn’t into hooking up, but he wouldn’t let up. He was almost stalkerish. It felt like he was forcing things even when she was into it. It made me uncomfortable.

Obviously, I had mixed feelings about Mine for the Week. The good and the bad seemed to even each other out. When it comes down to it, this book was a good book, but it just wasn’t the book for me. I know other romance readers would enjoy it. I would still like to go back and read the first book in the series, and I would read the next book.

Order your copy of MINE FOR THE WEEK today!

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Erika Kelly’s MINE FOR THE WEEK – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

September 25th

A Novel Glimpse – Review

I love My Bookgasms blog – Review & Excerpt

Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt

Southern Yankee Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

September 26th

Book Lovers 4Ever – Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Quesarasera Book Blog – Review

September 27th

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Kick Back & Review – Review & Excerpt

Musings of the Modern Belle – Excerpt

SBB Reviews – Review

September 28th

6 Feet Under Books – Excerpt

Books and Things Blog – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

September 29th

A crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

Melena`s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Pervy Ladies Books – Excerpt

September 30th

Bookishly Yours – Review & Excerpt

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

What I’m Reading – Review & Excerpt

October 1st

E-Reading After Midnight – Review & Excerpt

Romancing the Laser Pistol – Review & Excerpt

Write Forward – Review

October 2nd

A geordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Reading in Pajamas – Review & Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review

October 3rd

All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

Mes Livres – Review

Sweet Red Reads – Review & Excerpt

October 4th

Amo’s Book Corner – Review

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

October 5th

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

Joandisalovebooks – Review & Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

The Butterfly Reads – Review & Excerpt

October 6th

Brittany’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Red’s Romance Review’s – Review & Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review

About Erika Kelly:

Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

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Blog Tour Review: Forever With You by Beverley Kendall

Forever With You

An Unforgettable You Novel
by Beverley Kendall
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

I’d never fallen harder for anyone than I did for Graham Prescott. The British hottie was like no other guy I’d ever met. And the attraction between us was mutual and red-hot.

I would have done and said almost anything to be with him. So I’d told him one harmless, little lie…

But it hadn’t been.

Harmless or little.

That lie nearly destroyed his life.

Seeing him again after four years stirs up feelings I have no right to feel. So I tell myself the only thing I want from him is his forgiveness. But first I have to earn his trust—something easier said than done. Especially when he makes it clear there’s only one thing he wants from me.

To stay the hell out of his life.

My Review

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

When I first started reading new adult novels, I was constantly looking for new authors to try. I would happily purchase books Amazon recommended to me that sounded good. One of the novels that was recommended to me was Trapped by Beverley Kendall. After finishing it and loving it, I found her Unforgettable You series. I loved the college setting and the emotional relationships found in each book. I also loved how all of the books spotlighted friends from the previous books.

Forever With You is Emily’s story. She’s been around in past books as April’s old modeling BFF. I didn’t remember much about her, but I didn’t need to. Her story was nicely laid out in this book. There was so much behind this young woman’s beautiful appearance. She was smart and caring. Emily had no problem admitting her faults and trying to be a better person.

Emily’s relationship with Graham was a second chance love story filled with forgiveness. Both were hurt by their past and decisions Emily made. I completely understood both of their feelings, and loved the way they resolved their past.

My only complaint about Forever With You is how long I had to wait for it to be released. Two years since the release of Always Been You felt so long! I had completely forgotten about the series. I understand that it takes a while to write and release a good book, so I’m not really complaining. I just hate waiting. 😉

If you’re a new adult fan, you need to give Beverley Kendall’s books a try. They’re so much fun to read. You can start at the beginning of the series, or jump right in at Forever With You.

Other books in the Series

Get Book One for FREE!

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About Beverley Kendall

Beverley left her IT career in 2012 to write sexy historical, new adult and contemporary romances full-time.

As the mother of one too-bright and mischievous young boy, she pulls full-time duty on all fronts. When she’s not writing, running Smitten by Books Reviews website or mothering, she’s either reading or dreaming of a time when she’ll have time for my favorite hobbies: knitting, crocheting and sewing.

Beverley discovered her love of books while growing up in a small city in Ontario Canada. She’s lived on two continents, in three countries, two provinces, and four states. She’s stopped her nomadic existence and settled in the southeast. All things artistic feed her creative passion, but none more than writing.

She’s currently being represented by Kevan Lyon at Marsal & Lyon Literary Agency.

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Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?


Earlier this summer, I read Alex, Approximately. It was my first book by Jenn Bennett and I knew it wouldn’t be my last. I absolutely adored that book. It’s what lead me to read The Anatomical Shape of a Heart.

I didn’t immediately fall in love with The Anatomical Shape of a Heart the way I did with Alex, Approximately. It took me longer to get into. I didn’t connect with Beatrix or Jack the way I wanted to at first. I’m not exactly sure why. My best guess is that I personally dislike getting in trouble, and Jack had trouble written all over him. Beatrix’s connection to him and his secrets made me nervous for her. It wasn’t until about half way through the book when I started to get a better understanding for the characters and the importance of the story.

From that point on, I was in love with The Anatomical Shape of a Heart. I loved that it wasn’t simply about Bex and Jack connecting through art and falling in love. It was about what made them who they were. It was about family relationships, and how their lives were shaped by them. There were so many great learning moments between all of the characters. I loved that!

While The Anatomical Shape of a Heart may have started off slow for me, it ended up pleasantly surprising me. It was a heartwarming young adult novel that was well worth reading.

GRIP REMIX Tour Reviews: Flow and Grip by Kennedy Ryan

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“…one of the most engaging and well-written romance books I have read…It’s like nothing you’ve read before. It touches the issues no one talks about in our community. And it’s a MUST-READ.”

LJ Shen, Amazon Bestselling Author

GRIP, Kennedy Ryan’s sexy, emotional Amazon Bestseller,

is available now for only 99¢!

Scroll all the way down for an excerpt and to enter the

$25 Gift Card Giveaway!

GRIP COVER SALE

Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out. I know. I’ve been doing it for years.

I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary. And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.

Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key. All that’s left is friendship and work.

He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true. I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.

It’s wild, reckless, disobedient. And it remembers all the things I want to forget.

Read GRIP today for only 99¢ or FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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MY REVIEWS

Before I start my review, I must thank Ari @ The New Romantics for encouraging me to read the Grip series. It was her encouragement and love of the series that lead me to sign up for this blog tour. Ari knew I would love Grip, and she was totally right. Okay, now for my reviews…

Please Note: I received Flow and Grip from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

FLOW (Grip, #0.5)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Kennedy Ryan is a phenomenal writer. I’ve never read a novella packed with such depth and emotion as FlowFlow didn’t just feel like an introduction to the characters love story. It felt like a window into Grip and Bristol’s souls. It was really beautiful, and I loved every minute of it.

I do have to warn readers that there is a MAJOR cliffhanger at the end of Flow. It changes everything and would be a killer to be left with if Grip wasn’t yet written. Luckily for us, it has been written and released. Thank goodness because I had to start Grip the moment I finished Flow.

GRIP (Grip, #1)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

If I thought Flow was full of depth and emotion, I had NO IDEA what I was getting into with Grip. Grip was a masterpiece. It was Grip and Bristol’s amazing love story, but it was so much more than that. It was a commentary on today’s social and political atmosphere. It beautifully encompassed so many important issues like racial profiling, interracial relationships, family and forgiveness. It taught me so much while making me feel so much. I can’t begin to explain how much Grip touched me personally.

Grip is not just one of the best romance novels I’ve read in 2017, but one of the best books I’ve ever read. I cannot give it enough praise. I absolutely loved it, and think everyone should read it. I now understand why so many readers are impatiently waiting for its sequel, Still.

STILL, the sexy and emotional final installment of The Grip Series,

releases September 24th!

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Excerpt

“Neither of us has been in a serious relationship in years.”

“That doesn’t mean anything.” I stand and slide my feet into the Jimmy Choos. “You haven’t exactly been waiting around, have you?”

“Damn right I haven’t been waiting around.” He doesn’t get up, but his firm hold on my wrist stops me from walking away. “I’m not Rhyson.”

I look down at him, frowning my confusion.

“What do you mean?”

“Remember when Kai put Rhyson in the friend zone?”
Of course I do. For a long time, my sister-in-law Kai denied the attraction between her and Rhyson.

“Yeah, so?”

“When Kai wasn’t checking for Rhys, I assumed he had to be sleeping with other girls.” Grip shrugs. “I mean, he and Kai were just friends. But, nope. He said he only wanted Kai and didn’t sleep with anyone else.”

“Then you’re right.” I tug at my wrist, but he holds on tight. “You’re definitely not Rhyson.”

“It was months, Bristol. She shut him out for months. Not years.”

“I’m not shutting you out.” I release a tired breath. “I’m living my life, and you’re living yours.”

“Right.” He nods and turns his mouth down at the corners. “So, if you won’t be with me, then I’ll fuck whoever the hell I want. If you have a problem with that, you know what to do about it.”

For a moment, our eyes tangle in the dimness. His words sink into my flesh like briars. Every word out of his mouth only proves that I’m right to get out of here. That I’m right not to give in. If I ever gave him a chance and he fucked around on me . . . I’ve seen what that looks like. It looks like a woman as strong as my mother reduced to pathetic, teary drunkenness.

“It’s none of my business.” I shift my eyes away from him and to the glittering city skyline just beyond the rooftop.

“It’s none of your business until you say it is.”

I force myself to look back.

“Don’t hold your breath, Grip.” I say my next words with deliberation. “I mean, it’s not like I’m sitting around saving it, either.”

He pulls me forward, and I press my hand to the hardness of his chest so I don’t fall into him. My knee supports me, pressed against his on the couch.

“Are you poking me?” One strong hand wraps around the back of my thigh, anger marking his expression. “Do you want to know if it bothers me when you fuck other guys?”

I just stare at him unblinkingly. He presses my leg, urging me forward until I’m fully on the couch, fully on him, one knee on either side of his legs, facing him. Straddling him.

“It makes me want to set the world on fire.” His words come softly, but the truth roars in his eyes. “To think of you with them.”

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Kennedy Ryan

About the Author:

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.

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Review: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done
Author: Sarah Schmidt
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, True Crime

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of BURIAL RITES and MAKING A MURDERER.

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden – thirty-two years old and still living at home – immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie’s unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable début makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.


Lizzie Borden was a name I had heard before, but her story wasn’t one I was familiar with. When my friend picked See What I Have Done as our next book club pick, I wasn’t sure what to think. Was this book going to be gory? Was it going to be thriller suspenseful? I didn’t know how to prepare myself for it. Luckily, for my sake, See What I Have Done wasn’t a gory or stressful read.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lizzie Borden like I was, I’ll give you a little history. Lizzie was an adult woman who lived at home with her father, step-mother, older sister and maid, Bridget. While her sister, Emma, was spending time out-of-town at a friend’s, their parents were murdered. The weapon was an ax. Lizzie and the maid were both home at the time of the murders. Lizzie was tried and acquitted of the crime, but many still suspect that she was the murderer. (I had to look all of this up after reading the book to find out what was fact and what was fiction.)

See What I Have Done tells the story of the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden through the eyes of four narrators: Lizzie, Emma, Bridget and Benjamin. The story mostly takes place over the day before the murder and the day of. The events of those days are set up by each character. Together, their point of views craft a look at what might have happened and who might have been the killer.

If this was a true account of the crime, I could understand why Lizzie was charged with murder. Lizzie was a little off and I wasn’t quite sure what to think of her. Listening to her thoughts made her seem like the most likely murderer. I completely understood why Emma felt the way she did about Lizzie. Lizzie was pretty horrid to her. That made me question some of Emma’s later devotion to Lizzie, though. I understood their relationship, but it was really weird.

Another thing that was really weird were the parents. Andrew Borden was made out to be a horrible man. Abby wasn’t made out to be much better. The dynamic in the household between the parents and the daughters was odd. The fact that Lizzie and Emma were grown women made it even weirder. I kept wondering if this is really how people saw the Bordens in real life?

The character I felt most sorry for was Bridget. I’m surprised she wasn’t the killer. (Maybe she was???) The Bordens were horrible to her. She waited on them hand and foot, and they took complete advantage of her. I liked her thoughts on the murder and the suspects. I have to admit that I was happy the murder let her escape the horrible household.

As for Benjamin, I wasn’t sure what to think of the addition of his character. He’s not in any of the official accounts of the murder. I guess he was a “What if?” situation to show what might have happened if someone other than Lizzie was possibly involved.

As you can probably guess, this book had me a little confused! In real life, the case was never solved. In See What I Have Done, there is only speculation. I wish I could find out the truth! Too bad the people who could answer the tough questions are long gone.

Overall, See What I Have Done was a fun read. It took an unsolved crime and gave it new life. I liked the author’s writing and the way she brought the characters to life. I was impressed that this is her début novel. It’s a book a would recommend to those who like true crime or historical fiction. It had me looking up the history behind the story the moment I finished reading it.