Review: The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott

The Butterfly Project
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Where you are is home…”

At age fourteen, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last ten years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes—like child abduction—before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several big-time comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he’d do anything to change…

Beckett Copeland spent two years in prison for armed robbery, and is now struggling to keep his head above water. A bike messenger by day, he speeds around New York City, riding fast and hard but going nowhere, his criminal record holding him back almost as much as the guilt of his crime.

Zelda and Beckett form a grudging alliance of survival, and in between their stubborn clash of wills, they slowly begin to provide each other with the warmth of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even love. But when Zelda and Beckett come face to face with their pasts, they must choose to hold on to the guilt and regret that bind them, or let go and open their hearts for a shot at happiness.

The Butterfly Project is a novel that reveals the power of forgiveness, and how even the smallest decisions of the heart can—like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings—create currents that strengthen into gale winds, altering the course of a life forever.


The Butterfly Project has been sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read since February. I kept putting off reading it because I knew I was going to be in for an emotional ride. Emma Scott is an amazing author, but she packs a powerful emotional punch in all of her books. I wasn’t sure I was ready for the experience The Butterfly Project was going to give me yet.

I’m so happy I went ahead and started reading it. I loved The Butterfly Project! It was definitely an emotional read, but it immediately drew me and had me invested. I wasn’t willing to put the book down. I stayed up way too late reading it because I needed to know what was going to happen to Zelda and Bennett.

If you haven’t read Emma Scott’s Full Tilt duet, you may not know that Zelda was an employee of Theo’s Las Vegas tattoo shop. She’s decided to branch off on her own, and take her comic book to shop publishers in New York. The reception of her comic book is not what she had hoped, and she has to figure out how to spend more time in New York to make the revisions she needs to it. Zelda refuses to give up on the one thing that may help her entire family heal. A chance encounter with Beckett gives her the possibility to stay in New York.

Beckett isn’t super thrilled to have Zelda around. He’s got his own tragedies and regret to deal with. What begins as a partnership, slowly turns into companionship for Beckett. He realizes maybe he’s not as alone as he thought. His friendship with Zelda is the only thing heating up his cold and dreary days.

The more entwined their lives get, the more Zelda and Beckett want more from each other. Before they can truly fall, let will have to decide if they can let go of the past and live in the future.

Zelda and Beckett were really amazing characters. Both were living their lives by the day, trying to make it through. They were emotionally stunted by things they wished they could change in their pasts. The sadness and guilt connected them, but their different outlooks on each other’s situation brought a strength to their friendship. Zelda knew what Beckett needed and Beckett knew what Zelda needed. Their friendship turning into a romantic relationship was inevitable. They got each other and their chemistry was off the charts. I loved every minute of their romance.

All of the secondary characters were magic. Each brought a little bit of something special to the story. I especially loved Zelda and Beckett’s Italian neighbor lady. She cracked me up! I also loved getting a tiny bit of Theo in this story. I had forgotten how much I missed him.

One thing I thought was super cool in this story was the use of the comic book. I liked the glimpses of it I got to see and how the story created helped Zelda and Beckett heal. It was a cool way to connect two characters.

I don’t know what else to say about The Butterfly Project except that I loved it. I would highly recommend it to new adult romance readers. The healing and love in this story is amazing. I’m so happy I finally read it!!!

Review: Sweet Hope by Tillie Cole

Sweet Hope
Series: Sweet Home, #3
Author: Tillie Cole
Publication Date: March 28, 2015
Publisher: Tillie Cole Ltd
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

My name is Ally Prince and I’ve always been unlucky in love. I don’t know why, I just always… have.

When all of my best friends were falling for their soul mates in College, I was left behind. I was Ally, the pretty cousin of superstar quarterback, Romeo Prince. I was Ally, the best friend to the most amazing group of girls I’ve ever known—a title I loved, but one I became tired of ‘just’ being. And I was Ally, the one on which they could all rely.

But to me, I was Ally, the girl with the heart no one had claimed… And I was, Ally, the girl, who underneath it all, was heart-breakingly lonely.

I LOVE love; the thought of it, the nervous excitement of falling for Mr. Right, the desire of someone becoming my entire world… of me becoming theirs. I’ve always wanted passion, heart-stopping, epic, life-changing romance… I’ve always wanted the fairytale… I’ve always wanted it all.

It just never seemed like I would get it.

For the past few years I’ve thrown myself into my career as a museum curator. I’m the best of the best, the person every museum wants to hire, so when an opportunity came up to move to Seattle, I jumped at the chance. My cousin and my best friend lived in Seattle and I needed a change.

I needed a new beginning.

I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone in the Emerald City. I wasn’t expecting to work closely with the reclusive new sculptor my all-important gallery design was centered around. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to fall for him… heart-stopping, epic, life-changing love…
My real life fairytale come true.

But, like in every fairytale, there’s a villain, a dark and tortured soul… I just didn’t know that the villain and the hero in my story would end up being one and the same.

New Adult Romance Novel—contains adult content, sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up.


With each book I read in the Sweet Home series, the more impressed with Tillie Cole’s writing I become. Each ones gets a little deeper and darker in theme, and pulls me in more and more. Each new book also becomes my favorite in the series.

Sweet Hope was a little different from the first two books in the series. It gave the reader a change of time and scenery. The story no longer took place in college, but in the characters’ late 20’s. Instead of Alabama, Sweet Hope was set in Seattle. Personally, I loved that change. This Washingtonian could picture the setting in her head.

Another thing I loved about this book was the main characters. I really enjoyed getting to know Ally better in Sweet Hope. She was always the happy, bubbly sorority girl in the previous books. I never would have guessed the depth of her character. It was fun to see another side of her.

I know this book has been out for a while, but I still don’t want to give away Ally’s love interest. I hadn’t read any of the reviews and I was pleasantly shocked. All I’m going to say is that he’s a tortured soul who doesn’t believe he deserves redemption. His darkness was the perfect contrast to Ally’s light. The intensity of their relationship could have set off fireworks. I absolutely loved them together.

I can’t leave out that I loved catching up with all of the characters from the previous book, too. It was fun to see where all of them had ended up, and how they were doing. I was surprised to find myself falling deeper in love with Austin (Sweet Fall) in this one.

I don’t want to give anything else about this story away. I’ll just say it’s quickly become my favorite of the series. It’s definitely one you should experience yourself — just make sure you read the first two books in the series first. You don’t want to miss out anything this series has to offer. It’s pretty dang amazing!

Review: Starting Over by Barbie Bohrman

Starting Over
Author: Barbie Bohrman
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Montlake Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Single mom Vanessa Holt has a daughter she loves, a supportive family, and her art. Having given up on finding true love—if that even exists, which she doubts—she’s content to put romance on the back burner. But not everyone agrees. Those nearest and dearest are ready to see Vanessa let down her long blonde hair and have some fun.

To put their grumbling to rest, Vanessa agrees to go on a date with the next man who asks. Luckily for her, that man is Cameron Thomas, her daughter’s extremely handsome science teacher. She’d felt a spark of chemistry the first time she’d laid eyes on him. Now she’s ready to lay a whole lot more on the sexy bachelor.

But just as things get hot, they also get heavy. When the man who broke Vanessa’s heart reappears, her old doubts and fears about love rush to the surface. Will her fresh start with Cameron be over before it’s barely begun?


Starting Over was a cute story about a single mom finding herself and love again after years of raising her daughter on her own. I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Vanessa was such a strong woman. She had been dealt a rough road and had made the best out of it. Vanessa did everything she could to make sure her daughter had the best childhood. I respected the choices she made, and loved the support she received from her family.

Vanessa’s family was amazing. I first met her brother and sister-in-law in Playing It Safe and it was fun to see them again. I loved how they, along with her parents, pushed Vanessa to want more for herself. I also loved the stability they helped give her daughter, Josie.

Josie was such a cutie! I loved her reaction to her mother’s love life. She was a little adult, but definitely a child. The one thing that kind of threw me off in the story was her age. She was supposed to be twelve, but was in eighth grade. Most of the eighth graders I know are thirteen or fourteen. She seemed much more mature than a twelve-year-old.

I can’t leave out Vanessa’s new love interested Cameron. His science teacher geekiness was adorable! It made him so sexy. As did the way he talked to Vanessa. The guy had game — even if he didn’t realize it!

Starting Over was a fun contemporary romance. It’s short, sweet, and perfect for one of those days you want an uplifting romance.

Review: Hooked on Trouble by Kelly Siskind

 

hooked-on-trouble-launch-day-blitz

HOOKED ON TROUBLE
Over the Top Book 3
Author: Kelly Siskind
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Forever Yours
eBook: $3.99 

SYNOPSIS:

Reality bites.  Hard.

The last time Raven did “real” was sixteen months ago, when she spent one unforgettable night with the tattooed, impossible sexy Nico, and then he disappeared the next day.  Since then, she’s kept her guard up and her feelings to herself.  She doesn’t have time for relationship drama when she’s busy searching for her long lost sister.

Nico hasn’t stopped thinking about Raven—her sultry curves, inked skin, or the fact that he ditched her after their night together.  Now that they’re living in the same city, he knows this is his chance to make things right.  What better way to prove to Raven he’s for real than helping her find her sister?  But when the lines between right and wrong start to blur, putting his job on the line, Nico has to decide if the risk is worth the ultimate reward.

REVIEW:

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

I’ve been waiting a long time to find out what went down between Nico and Raven in The Perfect Mistake. I knew it had to be something big based on Raven’s reaction to him in A Fine Mess. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it created a multi-layered story for Hooked on Trouble.

Each book in Kelly Siskind’s Over the Top series has been different. They’ve all included her witty dialog and amazing characters, but with each new book the series has gone a little deeper and dealt with darker issues. Kelly Siskind has a way of surprising me with her characters’ stories.

Raven’s history was so much more than I expected it to be. She seemed so confident and kick ass in the previous books, but there was a vulnerability I wasn’t expecting from her. The mystery behind her missing sister brought so much depth to Raven’s story and gave such great insight to her actions and reactions.

Nico was exactly who he seemed to be in the previous two books. He was a by the book guy who tried to make the right decisions all of the time. His job as a police officer gave him an even more serious edge. He was definitely not the fun-loving one in his group of friends. Nico had more at stake and needed to be the rock for his friends and family.

Raven and Nico had amazing chemistry. They were so freaking sexy!!! I wasn’t surprised by that after seeing bits and pieces of their connection in the rest of the series. I was surprised at the depth of their emotional connection, though. They completed each other in an unexpected way. Their relationship truly brought out the best in each of them. The moments they spent together were the bright light of Hooked on Trouble.

I found it really hard to compare Hooked on Trouble against the first two Over the Top books. I gave both of those 5 stars. They had tough issues, but they also had a humorous side to them that I really loved. This one felt like it was missing its fun side. There were a few funny moments, but it otherwise felt heavier than the other books. I debated giving it 4 stars, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized what an amazing book this was. I truly enjoyed the way this story unfolded. I loved the issues it touched on. The things that connected Nico and Raven were very raw and real. It may not have had all of the laughs of the other two books, but it was definitely special and 5 star deserving read. I would highly recommend reading it.

EXCERPT:

His large hand presses against my knee under the table. “Can we talk?”

Jesus, his touch. It’s the first time I’ve felt the weight of his palm on me since Aspen. It’s heavy. Huge. Callused. Instinctually I shift forward, my body no longer mine to command. He doesn’t move his hand. Just his thumb. It presses harder, dragging downward. I grip my armrests to keep from sliding to the floor. He stares at me, waiting for my answer.

Yes. No. Maybe. I choose silence.

The way our lives are entrenched with our friends, I’ll have to spend time with him, and I can’t keep pretending I can block him out. Moving here was about starting fresh, which means letting go of this grudge. But talking about Aspen could stir up more feelings, the same way the experience spurred my need to find Rose. If we talk about our time in the hot tub, it could unhinge me further.

Our waiter arrives to take our order, and Nico’s thumb moves again, a tiny brush, his skin against mine, sending a pulse between my thighs. My sanity plummets. I shout, “Chicken,” like a lunatic as I push away from the table.

Nico’s hand slides from my knee, but his eyes don’t waver. I feel his gaze on my back as I hurry to the bathroom. The second I get inside, I close the door and lean against it, thankful it’s not a public room with several stalls. I take a few deep breaths.

How can that bit of contact turn me inside out? The smallest touch?

Memories of his other touches flip through my mind, snippets of skin and ink, flashes of ecstasy.

My back arching.

His fingers exploring.

The curve of his inked shoulder.

His huge hands.

The sheer size of him.

We might not have had sex, and the details may be fuzzy, but there’s no doubt it was the hottest night I’ve ever had. What isn’t fuzzy is the time I spent with him in the hot tub prior, and how he took advantage of my vulnerability.

Goddamn Nico. And Goddamn Aspen.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kelly Siskind CREDIT Eirik Dunlop

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly Siskind moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario, Canada.  When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all.  She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

www.kellysiskind.com
www.facebook.com/authorkellysiskind

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Review: All In by Emma Scott

29483226All In
Series: Full Tilt, #2
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Trillian
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received this book from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Reeling from her loss, Kacey Dawson is grieving and heartbroken, her addictive demons hauling her back into the alcohol-soaked abyss she worked so hard to crawl out of. Kacey teeters on the edge of oblivion, and must fight her way through the pain, to build a new life for herself with her music, and somehow fulfill the promise she made to Jonah…one she feels is impossible to keep.

Theo Fletcher has a secret burning in his heart, one that he holds close, while he struggles to keep strong for his family that is falling apart. His mother’s health is fragile and his father’s disapproval is breaking him down. Theo is afraid if he follows his heart, he’ll fail, and not just himself, but his brother who believed in him when no one else did.

Drawn together by their pain, Theo and Kacey slowly build a friendship, re-forge old ties, help each other to heal, and give one another the courage to reach for their dreams. Together, from the depths of grief and guilt, they learn to laugh again, to trust again, and quite possibly find something beautiful and lasting amid the shattered pieces of their broken hearts.

Part II of the two-part Full Tilt duet
PLEASE NOTE, this novel is NOT a standalone. It is highly recommended one read Full Tilt first to get the entire arc of the story and to avoid spoilers.


In Full Tilt, Emma Scott began an emotional story that was so deep and moving, but completely devastating. It broke me. When I got to the end of it, I couldn’t imagine not reading its sequel, All In. I needed to know how all of the characters moved on from the trauma of Full Tilt.

All In had a different feel to me than Full Tilt. Even though it dealt with Kacey, Theo, their friends and family’s grief, there was a feeling of lightness to it. There was still some devastation and sadness, but there was also hope and healing. The way Emma Scott navigated her characters through one of the toughest times of their lives was exceptional and inspirational.

 

One of the things I loved the most about All In was how Kacey found love and strength with Theo. At first, I wasn’t so sure what I thought about Kacey falling for Jonah’s brother. I thought it might be uncomfortable or seem unnatural. Kacey and Theo’s relationship didn’t make me feel either of those things. It progressed slowly and in a way I could understand and relate to. It was sweet and actually really perfect. I loved them together — maybe even more than I loved Kasey and Jonah.

I absolutely loved this duet and would recommend it to romance readers. It was a beautifully written journey of love, loss and healing.

Review: Full Tilt by Emma Scott

30372977Full Tilt
Series: Full Tilt, #1
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Trillian
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“I would love you forever, if I only had the chance…”

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge–impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch…

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he’s vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

Full Tilt is a story about what it means to love with your whole heart, to sacrifice, to experience terrible grief and soaring joy. To live life with all its beauty, and all its pain, and in the end to be able to smile through tears and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing.

***FIRST BOOK IN A TWO PART DUET***
All In (Full Tilt #2) forthcoming…
#nocliffhanger #nocancer #tearjerker


The thing that first caught my eye with Full Tilt was its gorgeous cover. The colors and design were so beautiful that I had to check out the synopsis. Once I read the blurb, especially that last paragraph, I had to read this book. I knew Full Tilt would touch my soul, and it did. The the story was just as beautiful as the cover.

The synopsis for Full Tilt sums this story up perfectly. It’s about two people facing two very different obstacles in life that bring them together. Jonah and Kasey’s connection brings them a joy neither of them has ever known before. It also brings them expected heartbreak.

Jonah and Kasey’s story was an emotional one to read. I loved both of them so much! Even though I felt like I knew where their story was headed the entire time, I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions I felt. There were happy parts that made me smile and laugh. There were sad parts that made me bawl. I just felt so much reading this book!

I loved every minute of reading Full Tilt. It was a touching and inspiration story that was so well written. I highly recommend it to readers who love books that give them “the feels”. I can’t wait to begin the second book, All In and see what’s next in the Full Tilt world.

 

Review: Up In the Treehouse by K.K. Allen

Up In the Treehouse
Author: K.K. Allen
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Note: I received an ARC from IndieSage PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.

Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.

Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy–sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and turns her down.

Now it’s too late . . .

Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin find themselves crashing back into each other’s lives. Haunted by the past, they’re forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can’t seem to get near each other without combatting an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.

Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn’t the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?


I can’t tell you how happy I am to have read Up in the Treehouse. When I started it, I had no clue it was by a local author! Yes, I know K.K. Allen now lives in Florida now, but I’m claiming her as a local Seattle author since she grew up here. And I’m guessing she might have been more South Sound than Seattle by the setting of her book. But I’ll get back to the setting in a bit.
I truly enjoyed K.K. Allen’s writing. Up in the Treehouse  was a dramatic story told in dual points of view. It alternated between past and present so the reader could understand the special history of the main characters, Chloe and Gavin.
Chloe and Gavin were childhood friends who hadn’t seen each other since a tragic event after their high school graduation. Both were deeply hurt by what happened their last night together, and their experiences tore them apart. They’re finally seeing each other after four years apart, and neither of them know how to navigate their lost friendship. The awkwardness and attraction between them was so much fun to read.
What I loved most about these characters was that neither of them was perfect. Their reactions and feelings felt real and honest. Both had been through the same event, but had recovered from it in different ways. I liked Chloe and her new determination to face her fears, but I also got annoyed with her for constantly avoiding things she didn’t want to deal with. Gavin was sweet and his frustrations were easy to understand. I liked how he wasn’t quick to let Chloe back in. I enjoyed watching them learn how to be friends — and maybe more — again.
20150807_164814[1]
Now back to the setting. Up In the Treehouse was perfectly set. The accuracy with which Bonney Lake, Washington was described was incredible. I can say that because I live 15 minutes from Bonney Lake. I’ve spent many hours on Lake Tapps (I’m pretty sure that’s the lake Chloe and Gavin live on.). You can check out the picture above to see what some of the area actually looks like, including Chloe’s view of Mt. Rainier probably looked like from her house. I’ve been to Allan Yorke Park more times than I can count. I’ve spent time at the pool tables in Babalouie’s. I smiled at every reference to one of my favorite lakes and the surrounding area attractions. The only thing missing was time spent complaining about the commute from Bonney Lake to Bellevue. Chloe must have hated that! It’s bad enough to deserve a mention. 😉
I loved everything about Up in the Treehouse. It was a slightly angsty romance with amazing characters and a couple of great twists. I know other New Adult readers will as much as I did. I really hope K.K. Allen will write more in this setting. I would love a story about Monica or one of Chloe and Gavin’s other friends.

About K.K. Allen

K.K. Allen is the Contemporary Romance & Fantasy Author of the Summer Solsticeseries (Enchanted, The Equinox and The Descendants), Soaring (short story in theEchoes of Winter Anthology), and Up in the Tree House, which will be available late Spring / early Summer.Ms. Allen was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, raised in Seattle, Washington, and currently resides near Orlando, Florida. She has always had a passion for reading and writing and has done so every day since the young age of 12. K.K. enjoys writing stories inspired by nature, magic and love. She loves manatees, learned to swim for the mere purpose of pretending she was a mermaid, and adores the beach so much she promises to one day live on one (in a tent if she has to) in Hawaii and serve snow cones on the side of the road.What’s Next: K.K. is gearing up to release her New Adult Contemporary Romance, Up in the Tree House, which deals with friendship, love, and everything in between.