Review: How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo

How to Kill a Rock Star
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Written in her wonderfully honest, edgy, passionate and often hilarious voice, Tiffanie DeBartolo tells the story of Eliza Caelum, a young music journalist, and Paul Hudson, a talented songwriter and lead singer of the band Bananafish. Eliza’s reverence for rock is equaled only by Paul’s, and the two fall wildly in love.

When Bananafish is signed by a big corporate label, and Paul is on his way to becoming a major rock star, Eliza must make a heartbreaking decision that leads to Paul’s sudden disappearance and a surprise knock-your-socks-off ending.


I’m late to the Tiffanie DeBartolo party. I read God-Shaped Hole only weeks ago, and just now finished How to Kill a Rock Star. These books were published over fifteen years ago. I’m sitting here wondering what took me so long to find out about and read them.

I am seriously impressed with Tiffanie DeBartolo’s writing. It’s addictive. I find her characters odd, gritty, and somewhat unlikable. Yet, I loved them. I adored Eliza with her fear of flying and love of music. I rooted for Paul with his pancreas pain and fear of selling out. Their oddness was so perfectly suited for each other. Their love story was almost uncomfortable to read, but overwhelmingly entertaining and endearing.

How to Kill a Rock Star was beautiful in an extremely weird way, and I couldn’t get enough of it.

Release Day Review: Tethered Souls by Beth Flynn

Tethered Souls
Series: Nine Minutes Trilogy Spin-Off
Author: Beth Flynn
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

My family has secrets. I’m always the good girl, doing what’s necessary to keep my loved ones safe. I’ve kept the darkest secrets from everyone I know. As painful as it is to hold them all inside where they live and gnaw away at me, that’s where they must stay.

I haven’t seen my closest childhood friend, Christian Bear, since I was a teenager—he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still temperamental and plays by his own rules with the law following two steps behind him.

Christian remembers me. But he doesn’t know the first thing about me anymore. I should’ve shared my feelings with him the day before I moved away with my family, promising him I’d stay in touch. It broke my heart when he didn’t keep his end of the bargain. As a consequence, we haven’t spoken in years. Even though Christian and I have always had undeniable chemistry, I won’t let him shatter my heart a second time.

Christian has shown up in my life again with secrets of his own, and demanding answers. That doesn’t mean I’m willing to give them. He’ll know my secrets when I’m ready.

Our secrets, the risks we’re taking, and the danger he imposes make it impossible to know what our future holds.

Either our tethered souls will bind back together, or our secrets will separate us forever.


Tethered Souls is a very hard book to write a review for. It’s one of those books that has so many twists and revelations that I fear I might say too much. I don’t want to give anything away because it’s always best to discover them on your own. That being said, I’m going to do my best to give Tethered Souls a proper review.

Tethered Souls is a spin-off novel in the Nine Minutes series. To properly appreciate it, you will want to have read the entire Nine Minutes Trilogy and Iron Tiara. While the majority of the story is brand new to the reader, there are nods to the past set up in the previous books. The connections between the past and the present are what makes this book and its surprises special.

Mimi and Christian’s story was pretty much what I was expecting from the start. There were a lot of parallels between their love story and the ones of their parents. Things felt a little redundant in the beginning, but that was part of the magic of the story. History had an interesting (and dare I say fun) way of repeating itself. As their relationship grew, Mimi and Christian’s love story felt more like their own. They had their own situations to overcome, and crazy scenarios to deal with. The more I got to know Mimi and Christian, the more I loved them and their story.

One of the things that I appreciated about this book was that characters from Beth Flynn’s previous books were still heavily involved in Tethered Souls. Some of the best chapters were from characters tied to Mimi and Christian’s lives. I was kind of expecting for some of them to show up, but definitely not in the way they did.

As much as I loved Mimi and Christian’s story, my very favorite thing about this book was the last bonus chapter. WHAT WAS THAT BONUS CHAPTER?!?! It was voiced by an unexpected character and left me scrambling to remember. Ugh! I feel like I need a whole book to explain that one chapter. I feel like I had a memory associated with it, but I couldn’t be sure. I tried searching all of the previous books for the information I desperately wanted and still need. I couldn’t find anything!!! I’m utterly frustrated days after finishing Tethered Souls because I still don’t have any answers. I’m hoping one of my friends will be able to tell me what I’m missing after they read it.

Tethered Souls was great addition to the Nine Minutes family. I love the way it continued to build on the past books in new and exciting ways. The amazing revelations and surprises continue to shock and awe me. I’ll never get enough of these characters and their stories. I can’t wait to see what Beth Flynn has in store for them next!

Release Day Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Hot Asset
21 Wall Street
By: Lauren Layne

Releasing May 22nd, 2018
Montlake

Blurb

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Timesbestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32841114-hot-asset

Praise for Hot Asset

“[A] playful romance…Layne populates her world of high-stakes finance with charismatic characters, and the fast-paced story works well with the simmering sexual tension between the leads…It’s easy to root for this couple.” Publishers Weekly

“Layne can always be counted on to create an engaging, steamy, and thoroughly rewarding reading experience.” —RT Book Reviews

Review

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Lauren Layne’s back with a new series and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Hot Asset is the first book in the 21 Wall Street series, and it was so much fun! I was and wasn’t surprised by that. I wasn’t surprised because Lauren Layne can do no wrong in my book. She consistently makes me smile with her writing. I always know what I’m going to get when I pick up one of her books: a fabulous time. Hot Asset was definitely a fabulous time!

As for being surprised, I was only surprised by how much I enjoyed the Wall Street setting. Wall Street is something that sounds a little boring to me, but L.L. made it exciting! Who knew Ian being investigated by Lara could be so entertaining? This storyline was something I haven’t read before, and that was so cool.

I could not get enough of the characters and their relationships in this book. I adored the love-hate relationship that began between Ian and Lara when she started investigating him. There was some great banter between them. It made their road to love so much fun! I also really appreciated how supportive they ended up being with each other when it wasn’t an easy thing to be.

I also really loved the other relationships in this book. The relationship between Ian and his best friends / co-workers, Matt and Kennedy was hilarious. The three of them were quite the group of cocky, wealthy men. They, along with their other friends Sabrina and Kate, were the perfect little group of friends. I loved the dynamics between all of them!

Obviously, I thought Hot Asset was amazing. It was the perfect light, fluffy, upbeat romance read. It was exactly the book I needed to put me in a great mood and get over a book hangover I had going on. After reading Hot Asset, I can’t wait to read the rest of the 21 Wall Street books! I’m so excited for Matt and Sabrina and Kennedy and Kate’s romances! They need to hurry up and get here.

Purchase Now

KINDLE: https://amzn.to/2rVZEyl
PAPERBACK: https://amzn.to/2kb5DMe
AUDIO BOOK: https://amzn.to/2IyoUSy
MP3 CD: https://amzn.to/2rSMfIc

About the Author

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in eight languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers WeeklyGlamourThe Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

Author Links 

Website:  http://www.laurenlayne.com/
GoodReads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6969772.Lauren_Layne
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_laurenlayne/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lauren-layne
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/LLayneAuthor/
Lauren Layne Library: http://laurenlaynelibrary.com/

Excerpt Link: http://laurenlaynelibrary.com/hot-asset

Mini Reviews: Salt to the Sea & More Than Word

Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Narrators: Jorgeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war’s most devastating yet unknown tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning , Erik Larson’s critically acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein’s Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff–the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray,, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Review:

Salt to the Sea is my first Ruta Sepetys novel. I was so very impressed by it. It was such a heartbreaking, beautiful story. I loved the way it switched back and forth between the characters. The way their sad stories intertwined was special. I truly loved listening to the way the narrators brought life to the story. Whether you read or listen to this book, you’re in for an amazing book.


More Than Words
Author: Mia Sheridan
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other’s refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed herJessica’s first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.

Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen’s music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It’s only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.

But they don’t belong in each other’s worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.

Review:

Years ago, I read Archer’s Voice. That book broke me. I have several other of Mia Sheridan’s books, but have yet to read them. I guess I’ve been scared of the emotional impact. I decided to brave her writing again with More Than Words. There were several things I loved about this book. That initial connection between Jessie and Callie was so sweet. I loved that fate brought them back together, and that they got more than one chance to be together. I also loved how Jessie’s job and her interpretations paralleled with her relationship with Callen. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was Callen’s womanizing and drinking. I guess I’m just over that in romances right now. It made it harder for me to emotionally connect to Jessie and Callen’s relationship. Other than, I enjoyed reading More Than Words.

Release Day Review: Fox by Max Monroe

Fox
Series: Stone Cold Fox
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: April 22, 2018
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

Some things are meant to be; some aren’t.

I never thought this would be my life.
I never believed I could feel this way.

I don’t know where to go from here.
I never want to be anywhere else.

My whole world has changed.
She is my whole world.

I’m not sure how to be me again.
I’ve never felt more like myself.

I’ve never needed anyone, but I need him.
I love her. I’ll always love her.

But is our love enough? Can Levi and I really survive this?
Together, Ivy and I can survive anything.

Disclaimer: Max Monroe’s editor recommends readers purchase tissues in bulk prior to reading the deeply emotional and epic finale of the STONE COLD FOX Trilogy. Early readers have complained of the following symptoms: sobbing, happy tears, overwhelming elation, book hangovers, and the urge to re-read the entire STONE COLD FOX Trilogy after finishing FOX.


Every book in the Stone Cold Fox series has surprised me in some big way. Fox might have surprised me the most. That was partly because it was a very different type of book than the first two. Stone and Cold were mysteries, while Fox was a very emotionally heavy romance. Levi and Ivy, especially, were dealing with the fall out from the second book. They both knew nothing would ever be the same for them, and they were trying to come to terms with their new lives after tragedy. The first half of the book was heartbreaking to read, but it made the second half feel like one big, happy epilogue. While I missed the mystery aspect of the first two books, I adored the way Levi and Ivy’s came full circle. Fox was a good way to end a great series.

PURCHASE FOX NOW:

Amazon US:  http://bit.ly/Fox_aa
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Fox_uk
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Fox_au
Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Fox_ca
iBooks: http://bit.ly/Fox_iBooks
Kobo: http://bit.ly/Fox_Kobo
Nook:  http://bit.ly/Fox_Nook
GP: http://bit.ly/Fox_GP

**FOX will be available on all platforms for at least a full day before being removed from everything but Amazon and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. We hope to give readers of all platforms a chance to grab it before making the move, but they definitely need to grab it early.

The first two books in the series, STONE & COLD, are now Free in KU!

STONE (Book #1) Amazon KU links

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/Stone_aa
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Stone_auk
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Stone_aau
Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Stone_aca

COLD (Book #2) Amazon KU links

Amazon US:  http://bit.ly/Cold_aa
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Cold_uk
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Cold_au
Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Cold_ca

STONE COLD FOX TRILOGY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST:  https://goo.gl/tcha9q

Review: One Baby Daddy by Meghan Quinn

“What are you doing now that your team is out of the running for the Stanley Cup?”

Forget.

I need to forget. I need an escape.

Only one person isn’t falling for my reputation as the NHL’s Golden Boy; she captured my attention the minute she called me out for snooping through my best friend’s house. She didn’t want to hear my reason–she only wanted to playfully give me a hard time.

Adalyn is bold, sassy–and the perfect escape.

She’s everywhere. In town and in my dreams, and suddenly I need to spend every waking moment with her.

And I do, making this summer the best off-season I’ve ever had.

But in the midst of getting lost in Adalyn, what I don’t expect is to get her pregnant.

And what I definitely don’t expect is having to fight for her affection.

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Hayden is a special character. He’s the one that pops up as a supporting character in a book but manages to high jack the reader’s attention. When I met him in Three Bling Dates, I wanted him to be the winner. I just loved him so much. He was a confident professional hockey player, but he was also a really good guy. His character stood out. I wanted his book, and I was sad that I had to wait to for it. I needed to know everything about the woman who stole his heart.

I had a feeling Hayden’s lady was going to be someone from a previous book. When I realized it was Adalyn from My Best Friend’s Ex, I was so excited! I loved her from that book. She’s so smart and sassy — and Racer’s best buddy. I had forgotten that Hayden was also Racer’s friend, so this all made them falling for each other that much sweeter. (I’ll take as many Racer cameos as I can get!) Her back story was fun. It’s what I pictured going into this book knowing her character from before.

Hayden and Adalyn’s love story was super swoon worthy. Adalyn made Hayden work for her affection, and I loved every minute of it. Their relationship wasn’t perfect or easy thanks to a trade and an unplanned pregnancy (not spoilers if you’ve read the first book and this blurb), but the hard parts of this story made the easy parts even sweeter. Oh, and I can’t leave out how funny parts of this book were. It’s Meghan Quinn, you guys. There’s always laughs with her writing.

I mentioned Racer above, but that’s not the only character making an appearance in this book. Emma, Tucker, and Smalls make appearances. So does Emma and Adalyn’s nursing school friend Lance. Oh, and Calder and Rachel from Back in the Game. It’s a smorgasbord of old friends.

I couldn’t get enough of One Baby Daddy. It was almost everything I wanted Hayden and Adalyn’s story to be. (My only want was it to be longer so I could have more time with my new favorite couple and their baby.) I love it when series collide, and this book did that in the best way possible! Now, if I could just get books for Hayden’s twin brothers…That’s not too much to ask, is it?

“Would you mind zipping up the back of my dress?” She walks toward me, her flowery scent floating in my direction, spiking my yearning into overdrive.

“Uh, yeah . . . sure.”

She turns around, and looks over her shoulder. The back of her dress is completely open, the zipper undone to just above the curve of her beautifully round ass.

Shit, all that smooth, tan skin, covered by nothing but the velvety fabric of the dress. Is she wearing underwear? She’s not wearing a bra and I see no panty line.

Clearing my throat, I ask, “Are you wearing underwear, Adalyn?”

From over her shoulder, she smiles shyly. “Yes, it’s small though.”

Of course it is. Why wouldn’t it be?

Not being able to stop myself, I take a second to float my fingertips up her spine. From the initial touch, her back arches and a small gasp releases from her lips, but before I can think about stopping, she melts into my touch. Stepping closer, I place my hand on the back of her hip, my thumb pressing into her ass while the other hand explores the bare expanse of her back. Her head falls to my shoulder. Her lips part, and when I snake to the front of her dress, her breath hitches.

Eyes closed, I take in ragged breaths, my fingers inching closer and closer to her front, my cock painfully hard.

It’s been so goddamn long—and being with Adalyn has only spurred on my need—but I want to make sure we’re in a good place before we commit to anything. I want to make sure she’s ready emotionally because the minute I bury myself deep inside her, I know there will be no turning back. She will be mine forever.

But maybe for now, I can just have a little touch . . .

My cock pressed against her butt, she expertly grinds her backside into me, her hands moving to my neck, pulling my head down to hers. I kiss the side of her neck, using the hand that’s gripping her hips to guide her with her grinding in just the right place.

Fuck, that feels good.

I grunt, the sound vibrating over her sleek neck. My hand on her stomach, she arches wanting more of my touch, silently asking me to move north.

And I fucking comply. Inch by slow inch, I guide my hand to just below her breasts. When I halt my pursuit, a displeased groan escapes her.

“Hayden, please.”

I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to find the willpower. Her fingernails dig into my scalp, spurring me on as she turns her head and finds my lips.

She kisses me.

Hot.

Wet.

Needy.

Her lips gliding across mine, her tongue diving into my mouth, her moans are vocal and sexy. Her delicious ass, pressing, grinding, undulating against my rock-hard cock makes me want to do so much more, makes me want to taste so much more.

Moving my hand higher, my fingertips graze the bottom of her breast. Soft. Round. Smooth. I caress her right below her nipple, never touching, just teasing . . . tempting.

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Review: Absinthe of the Heart by Monica James

Absinthe of the Heart
Series: Sins of Yesterday, #1
Author: Monica James
Publication Date: May 14, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Two households, unlike in dignity, in the City of Angels is where we lay our scene…

London Sinclair was the boy my mother warned me about for as long as I can remember. His name alone has brought my family nothing but shame and suffering, so it’s no surprise we’ve been sworn enemies since the first moment we met.

With his bedroom eyes and cocky smile, he has all the girls under his spell. I have one more year of school left, and then I’m home free because I’m guarding a secret, one I’m ashamed to keep.

The boy who is completely off-limits is the one who drives me, Holland Brooks, wild. I want London, and I think…he wants me, too.

Some may compare it to a Shakespearian tragedy, as our surnames have fated our future, but when a single night changes my life forever, I can’t leave the City of Angels fast enough.

Ten years later, I have atoned for my sins and return to Los Angeles a changed woman. I’ve come home to get married. But the moment London walks back into my life, one thing is clear. Ten years can’t undo that night—that single, sinful night when I gave into temptation—because I want to do it again.


Absinthe of the Heart was pure drama. There’s no other way to describe this book. It definitely has the whole Romeo and Juliet vibe. Holland and London’s parents began the saga with friendship turned to hatred. Holland and London weren’t exactly born of this hatred, but they continued the messed up cycle. Only thing — Holland and London didn’t truly hate each other. Their relationship straddled the thin line between love and hate. As they grew up and got to high school, the hatred they felt toward each other bloomed into attraction. Like Romeo and Juliet, Holland and London were destined to be together — and apart.

To get a little more descriptive about the story, Absinthe of the Heart was divided by years. It started back in 1977 with Holland and London’s parents’ story. Their story was a little nutty and unbelievable, but it did set forth an interesting tale. I liked that the past was put out there right at the beginning, and wasn’t some secret to unfold. After the prologue, the story switches to when Holland and London are in high school. It’s all about how they hate each other, but that attraction creeps up on them and then boils over. Then, we’re thrust into the present. Everyone is pretty much the same, with the exception of Holland. She’s returning home to get married, but coming home means facing the past she left behind.

My thoughts are all over the place with this book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it. There were some fun twists and a great level of angst. The love-hate thing going on between Holland and London was palpable and exciting. It was just sort of frustrating for me. I think that’s because Holland was a frustrating character, and it was all told from her point of view.

Holland was super naïve. I could guess (correctly) what was going on. She could have, but she was too afraid to ask the right questions. She was in this bubble, and every decision she made drove me crazy. I ended up not liking her much. I wish some of the story had been told in London’s point of view because, despite being a jerk at times, I liked him more. He had this edge of mystery that was really cool. I would have liked to have gotten to know him better in this book.

My biggest complaint about this book, though, is that it ends with a cliffhanger. That frustrates me because it was pretty apparent what that cliffhanger was going to be (to me) about half way through the book. I would rather there be one book for this story. It could have been longer with a conclusion added on. It could have had less build up, be more about the cliffhanger, and then what comes next. I would have been fine with either of those. I just wanted a conclusion. I didn’t want another book about this same couple. It just feels like it will be drawing out the story. Maybe I’m wrong about that, though. I haven’t read the second book. It could be fabulous. Actually, it probably will be because it will be the part of the story I really wanted to read.

I know this sounds like a bit of rant because of my frustration, but I did like the gist of the story. The plot was a good one. I just needed more London, less Holland, and a the rest of their love story.

Blog Tour: Bane by L.J. Shen

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Bane-Cover-Facebook

Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE

Bane

Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.

Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.

Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.

Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.

Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter

Hot as hell, cold as ice.

I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.

She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.

She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.

More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.

Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.

REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

When I read Scandalous (Sinners of Saint, #3), I was so focused on Trent and Edie that Bane wasn’t really on my radar. I knew he wasn’t necessarily a good guy, but he also wasn’t a bad one. I did not expect him to be who he was in Bane for some reason. Yes, he was that bad guy with a good side. He was more, though. His back story was not what I expected. It was deeper and darker. I didn’t always love Bane, but the way he took care of Jesse made me root for him. The surprising sweetness in his actions combined with his shameless cruelty made him a surprising savior.

Jesse was a new and deeply troubled character. She was in a constant state of pain. Jesse had every reason to be the way she was. I ached for her. There’s no other way to describe how I felt about her. L.J. Shen did an amazing job of making me feel her pain.

I loved every part of Bane and Jesse’s unconventional romance. Nothing was easy. Bane wanted to help Jesse for both the wrong and right reasons. She didn’t want anything to do with him, yet he was the only one who soothed her ache. It was messy and raw and thoroughly spellbinding to read. I loved every minute of it. If you’re a fan of darker, angst filled romances you won’t want to miss this book.

EXCERPT

Bane

Then.

A liar.

A con.

A godless thief.

My reputation was a big wave that I rode, one that swallowed everyone around me, drowning every attempt to fuck with what’s mine.

I’d been known as a stoner, but power was my real drug of choice. Money meant nothing. It was tangible, and therefore easy to lose. See, to me, people were a game. One I’d always known how to win.

Move the rooks around.

Change the queen when necessary.

Guard the king at all fucking times.

I was never distracted, never deterred, and never jealous.

So, imagine my surprise when I found myself being all three at once.

It was a siren with coal black hair who robbed me of riding the biggest wave I’d seen that summer. Of my precious attention. Of my goddamn breath.

She glided from the ocean to the beach like nightfall.

I crouched down, straddling my surfboard, gawking.

Edie and Beck stopped beside me, floating on their boards in my periphery.

“This one’s taken by Emery Wallace,” Edie had warned. Thief.

“This one’s the hottest masterpiece in town.” Beck had chuckled. Con.

“More importantly, she only dates rich bastards.” Liar.

I had all the ingredients to pull her in.

Her body was a patch of fresh snow. White, fair, like the sun shone through her, never quite soaking in. Her skin defied nature, her ass defied my sanity, but it was the words on her back that made my logic rebel.

It wasn’t her curves or the way she swayed her hips like a dangling, poisonous apple that warranted my reaction to her.

It was that tattoo I had noticed when she swam close to me earlier, the words trickling down the nape of her neck and back in a straight arrow.

My Whole Life Has Been Pledged to This Meeting with You

Pushkin.

I only knew one person who went gaga over the Russian poet, and, like the famous Alexander, he was currently six feet under.

My friends began to paddle back to shore. I couldn’t move. It felt like my balls were ten tons heavy. I didn’t believe in love at first sight. Lust, maybe, but even that wasn’t the word I was looking for. No. This girl fucking intrigued me.

“What’s her name?” I snatched Beck’s ankle, yanking him back to me. Edie stopped pedaling and looked back, her gaze ping-ponging between us.

“Doesn’t matter, bro.”

“What’s. Her. Name?” I repeated through a locked jaw.

“Dude, she’s, like, way young.”

“I will not repeat myself a third time.”

Beck’s throat bobbed with a swallow. He knew damn well that I didn’t mess around. If she was legal—it was on.

“Jesse Carter.”

Jesse Carter was going to be mine before she even knew me.

Before I even knew her.

Before her life turned upside down and her fate rewrote itself with her blood.

So here was the truth that even my lying ass wouldn’t admit later on in our story—I wanted her before.

Before she became business.

Before the truth caged her in.

Before the secrets gushed out.

I never did get to surf that day.

My surfboard broke.

Should have known it was an omen.

My heart was going to be next in line.

And for a small chick, she did one hell of a fucking job obliterating it.

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About LJ Shen

LJShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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Review: Bane by L.J. Shen

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Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE

Bane

Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.

Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.

Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.

Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.

Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter

Hot as hell, cold as ice.

I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.

She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.

She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.

More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.

Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.

BANE_AVAILABLE NOW

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Add to GoodReads

REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

When I read Scandalous (Sinners of Saint, #3), I was so focused on Trent and Edie that Bane wasn’t really on my radar. I knew he wasn’t necessarily a good guy, but he also wasn’t a bad one. I did not expect him to be who he was in Bane for some reason. Yes, he was that bad guy with a good side. He was more, though. His back story was not what I expected. It was deeper and darker. I didn’t always love Bane, but the way he took care of Jesse made me root for him. The surprising sweetness in his actions combined with his shameless cruelty made him a surprising savior.

Jesse was a new and deeply troubled character. She was in a constant state of pain. Jesse had every reason to be the way she was. I ached for her. There’s no other way to describe how I felt about her. L.J. Shen did an amazing job of making me feel her pain.

I loved every part of Bane and Jesse’s unconventional romance. Nothing was easy. Bane wanted to help Jesse for both the wrong and right reasons. She didn’t want anything to do with him, yet he was the only one who soothed her ache. It was messy and raw and thoroughly spellbinding to read. I loved every minute of it. If you’re a fan of darker, angst filled romances you won’t want to miss this book.

Bane Teaser

Start the Series of Standalones Today!

Vicious

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Add to GoodReads

About LJ Shen

LJShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen

Facebook I Twitter I Pinterest I Instagram I Website

Stay up to date with LJ Shen by signing up for her mailing list

 

Review: What I Never Knew I Needed by C.L. Collier

What I Never Knew I Needed
Series: What I Never Knew, #3
Author: C.L. Collier
Publication Date: May 10, 2018
Publisher: C.L. Collier
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Divorced….

I never thought I would be checking this box as a life accomplishment. Apparently, my cheating husband had other plans and no longer wanted to uphold our vows. Life as I knew it will never be the same. Not only do I have to worry about how I will pick up the pieces for myself, but I have to help my son recover from the lies and deceit as well.

When my best friend Amanda asks me to go on a road trip to California, I jump at the chance to help her recover from the loss of her mom, as well as escape my own life in turmoil.

I finally decide to let loose and have a care-free night. Little do I know just how much that one magical night will change my world.


What I Never Knew I Needed is the third book in the What I Never Knew series. The first two books were about Amanda and Dex. This book is about their best friends, Laura and Chris. Laura and Chris’ relationship began when Amanda and Dex’s did. They meet at a bar, and their one night stand turns into more. Parts of their relationship are featured in the first two books, but only from Amanda and Dex’s perspectives. What I Never Knew I Needed starts back at the beginning for Chris and Laura and continues on. Some of the events are the same, but it’s like reading about them through new eyes. In my opinion, for that reason, What I Never Knew I Needed can either be read as part of the series or as a standalone.

I have to be honest. Before (and even during parts of) reading this book, I wondered how Chris and Laura’s relationship could ever work out. They live in two different states and both share children with their exes. Those are two HUGE hurdles no matter how much you want to be with someone. I was incredibly impressed with how C.L. Collier dealt with this issue. Her characters acted the way I would expect real people to act in this situation. Another thing I was impressed with was her solution to the problems Chris and Laura were facing. I never saw what she had planned coming!

The only thing I wasn’t sure if I liked was the other romantic interests that come into Chris and Laura’s lives when they’re not together. I understood why they were included. It made sense for them to look for love in their zip codes. Sometimes it was just more than I wanted to know about those relationships. If you don’t like reading about your main characters with other people, parts of this book might bother you.

What I Never Knew I Needed was my favorite book in the What I Never Knew series. I loved this second chance at love for Chris and Laura. It was such a sweet story. It was the perfect way to end the series. I have loved seeing C.L. Collier’s writing get better and better with each of these releases. It makes me excited to see what she has in store for us next.