Review: Defy by L.J. Shen

Defy
Series: Sinners of Saint, #0.5
Author: L.J. Shen
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: L.J. Shen
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Defy is a smutty, insta-love, insta-lust short novella. Defy is a prequel to Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1). It is recommended, but unnecessary, to read Defy before reading Vicious.

First included in Hot for Teacher Anthology: 19 Stories Filled with Lust and Love.

My name is Melody Greene, and I have a confession to make.
I slept with my student, a senior in high school.
Multiple times.
I had multiple orgasms.
In multiple positions.
I slept with my student and I enjoyed it.
I slept with my student and I’d do it all over again if I could turn back time.
My name is Melody Greene, and I got kicked out of my position as a teacher and did my walk of shame a la Cersei Lannister from the principal’s office, minutes after said principal threatened to call the cops on me.
My name is Melody Greene, and I did something bad because it made me feel good.
Here is why it was totally worth it.


If you read the blurb for Defy, it mentions that it should be read before Vicious. Well, I didn’t do that. In fact, I read the entire Sinners of Saint series backward starting with Ruckus. I’m glad I did that. Why? Well, to be honest, student-teacher romances are not my thing. I’m not sure I would have picked up this awesome series if I had read Defy first. The only reason I read it was curiosity. Vicious and Ruckus mention Melody and Jaime’s relationship a lot, and I had to know more about Jaime since he’s one of the HotHoles.

Defy was a good read. I still wasn’t 100% on board with the student-teacher aspect, but it was fun to see how Melody and Jaime ended up together. I liked how it played out. I could almost —almost— understand why Melody broke her code of conduct. It helped that Jaime was eighteen, more manly, and more mature than most high school seniors.

The one thing that could have maybe made me fall in love with Defy would have been Jaime’s point of view. Unlike the other books in this series, we don’t get it. 🙁 I liked reading Defy from Melody’s point of view, but Jaime’s would have added so much more to it!

Overall, Defy was a good, short novella that added to my enjoyment of the Sinners of Saint series.

Review: Compromising Positions by Jenna Bayley-Burke

compromising-positions-tour-banner

Compromising Positions

by Jenna Bayley-Burke
Publication Date: November 28, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Contemporary Romance

compromising-positions-cover

BUY:

Synopsis:

Falling in love is the last thing on his busy agenda but compromising positions can lead just about anywhere.When fitness empire CEO David Strong agrees to help teach a yoga class for couples based on poses in The Kama Sutra, he’s put in one compromising position after another. Especially since the instructor is his best friend’s little sister-in-law, doesn’t have a lot of experience with men, and is totally off-limits. She’s everything David’s never wanted. So he can’t understand why he suddenly needs her so much.

Sophie DelFino has fantasized about David for over a decade, but he has a type, and she’s far from it. He’s also got all sorts of rules and reasons why they shouldn’t be together. Good thing Sophie is all about bending the rules.

goodreads-badge-add-38px

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from IndieSage PR via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Compromising Positions is the first book I’ve read by Jenna Bayley-Shay, but it won’t be the last. I really enjoyed reading Compromising Positions. It was an adorable romance filled with so many fun moments.

I liked both of the main characters, but Sophie stood out to me. Carrying her family’s problems on her shoulders gave her a maturity beyond her years. The way she used putting her family first in the past as a way to encourage herself to go for what she wanted in the present was really cool. In her most immature relationship moments I had to remind myself that she was about ten years younger than David because she seemed so much older.

Sophie wasn’t the only one with a tough history. David’s family life was far from perfect. While Sophie took her past and used it as a positive influence, David’s past had a negative influence on him. It affected how he saw his future. I loved how he changed and what he learned about himself through his relationship with Sophie.

David and Sophie’s relationship was very sweet. It was a little forbidden and a lot hot. Their relationship started in a really fun way with partnering up to teach a Sensational Sex workout. I loved how their attraction to each other progressed from there and changed throughout the book.

I only had a couple of minor dislikes while reading Compromising Positions. First, it was told in third person dual points of view. The third person narration was good, but I would have preferred to read Sophie and David’s thoughts in first person. It would have made me feel even more connected to them. Second, there was a twist that came out of nowhere that I couldn’t decide if I liked. It just didn’t feel real or necessary to me. Neither of these things were big enough to truly impact how I felt about this book, though. It was just so much fun to read.

Compromising Positions was a cute contemporary romance. It was filled with super sexy situations that made me blush. I would recommend it to readers looking for a light and sexy read to escape with.

compromising-positions-teaser-3

ABOUT JENNA BAYLEY-BURKE

jenna-bayley-burke

By day, Jenna is faster than a speeding toddler, stronger than a stubborn husband, able to leap tall Lego structures in a single bound…but by night, while the family sleeps she writes romance novels where no one ever has to scoop up after the dog, change diapers, clip coupons, drive carpool, do laundry, mop floors, get silly putty out of hair, vacuum, empty the vacuum bag (gross!), exercise, count calories, apply bandaids, clean up puke…wait where was this going? Oh, Jenna writes romance because it is glamorous. Just ask the dog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

compromising-positions-giveaway-graphic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IndieSageBlogger

 

Review: Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens

26245882Furious Rush
Author: S.C. Stephens
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Note: I received this book from Forever via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Too fast, too furious-and way too hot to handle . . .

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she’s racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense–and strictly forbidden–attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind…


To completely honest, this isn’t the first book I’ve tried to read by S.C. Stephens. I tried to read Thoughtful, but I couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t the writing. The writing was great. It was the subject matter. I had a hard time with the love triangle in that one. That being said, I was very excited to get to read Furious Rush because I did like her writing and wanted a chance to experience it without a love triangle getting in my way.

Furious Rush was different from other sports romances I’ve read. It revolved around the world of motorcycle racing and was written from Kenzie’s point of view. I wasn’t sure how that would go at first. My husband watches motorcycle racing and I find it a little boring. Furious Rush wasn’t boring, though. It was exhilarating! The racing aspect of the story made everything feel fast-paced and risky. It also helped create a really cool forbidden love storyline that I loved.

Hayden and Kenzie’s relationship started out as a love-hate kind of thing. They had amazing chemistry off and on the track. I could feel the intensity of it every time they were around each other. Both of them had a lot to lose, and it amplified their connection. It was fun to experience Kenzie trying to hold back her feelings and do what was expected of her. She was a tough girl and wanted to be seen as an equal to the guys, but she also had a softer side. I really respected the way she dealt with her father. Hayden was a surprise. The way he came across in the first chapter wasn’t necessarily who he was. I liked getting to know his character and what drove him as the book went on. Hayden was actually a very decent and good guy.

The supporting characters in Furious Rush were great. They were all part of the racing world and added so much to the story. I especially loved Kenzie’s friends Miles and Nikki. (I would love to read a book about either of them!)  The only character I didn’t get was Felicia, but I feel like she’s going to be explained in the next book in the series, or at least I hope so.

My only complaint about Furious Rush was the last 1/4 of the book. It took a turn I didn’t expect and I still can’t decide if I like. The ending was also a little abrupt. It felt like it could have been a cliffhanger or just “The End”. If it’s a cliffhanger, I’m really interested in seeing what comes next. If it’s “The End” of Kenzie’s story, I feel like I’m missing something. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the blurb of book 2 is. 😉

Overall, I truly enjoyed reading Furious Rush. I loved the uniqueness of the story and the characters. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next in S.C. Stephens’ world of motorcycle racing.

Review: Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark

29494152Waking Olivia
Author: Elizabeth O’Roark
Publication Date: March 12, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“That girl isn’t just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She’s trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety. She’s the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more.
And the last thing I need right now is more trouble.”

A failing farm.
His father’s debt.
And a struggling college track team.
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.

A smart mouth.
A strong right hook.
And a secret that could destroy her.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please.
Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her.
And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.


I was told by other bloggers that I would love this book. I knew it had to be a great new adult novel, but I had no idea what I was in store for. Waking Olivia was amazing! It left me  wondering why I haven’t heard of author Elizabeth O’Roark before?!?!

Elizabeth O’Roark’s writing was exceptional. The emotions in this book were so palpable and intense. I felt fear, loathing, anger, nervousness, sadness, happiness, love, hope. It was amazing and overwhelming at the same time. I felt like I was in the story! And the plot. It was so complex! Waking Olivia wasn’t just another romance. It had a darker, thriller side to it. It was so cool. I also have to throw in the fact that the running theme in this book actually worked. It’s very rare to find a book where running as part of the plot feels natural. It did here.

I loved the main characters in Waking Olivia. Neither of them was perfect, which made them feel all the more real. They were both so complex and compelling, especially Olivia. She was haunted by her past and could barely function in the present. She came across as a hard person, so getting to know what was deep inside her was rewarding. I had such hope for her. Will may not have initially been happy with his new trouble-making track star, but I loved the fire Olivia brought to his life. Being around her showed who he really was. He may have been the sexy track coach, but he was also a compassionate human being.

I’m not a big fan of student-teacher/coach relationship, so I was originally worried I wouldn’t enjoy the forbidden romance between Olivia and Will. I shouldn’t have worried, though. I loved Will and Olivia’s connection. The relationship between them and their situation didn’t have a truly forbidden feel. They were so close in age (even if Will seemed so much more mature) and it felt more like a workplace romance than a student-teacher one. I do have to admit that the secrecy of their relationship did set me on edge several times, but I loved Will and Olivia together. They completed each other in a very special way.

One of the things I loved most about Waking Olivia was the last few chapters. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the entire story. I was so addicted to it that if I could have forced myself to stay awake any longer, I would have read it in one sitting. But there was something so special about the ending. Where some authors would have ended the story, Elizabeth O’Roark continued it. She made it a true story of healing. I felt like I got a well thought out and possible conclusion for Olivia. I really loved that.

If you’re a new adult fan or just a romance fan in general, you really need to read Waking Olivia. It’s an awesome experience that you don’t want to miss. (You can find it as one of NetGalley’s Read Now books.)

Review: Sucker Punched by Kelley R. Martin

Sucker Punched
Series: Knockout Love, #2
Author: Kelley R. Martin
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Macy Dunham” is synonymous with “off-limits.” Not only is she practically a virgin, but she’s a walking, talking angel who’s way too good for a devil like me. She’s straight-up beautiful, and so far out of my league I want to cry. Did I mention she’s also the godmother to my future niece or nephew?

Now I have to play nice with “Aunt Macy” for the next 18 years. There’s just one tiny problem—the first night I met her, I played with her a little too nice.

Macy was only supposed to be a hook-up. I was supposed to show her a night she’d never forget—give her a little taste of what it’s like to be bad—and then send her on her way. She wasn’t supposed to stick around, and she damn sure wasn’t supposed to become my best friend.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to pretend like I don’t know how soft her skin feels, how good her lips taste, or how perfect it feels inside her? It’s torture. I’d give my left nut for another chance to sink inside Macy, but I can’t afford to mess this up and that’s exactly what would happen.

It’s too bad “Blake Whitmore” is synonymous with “screw-up.” Macy’s a sweet girl who deserves an epic love story. She deserves romance, and a knight in shining armor who slays dragons. I’m not the knight in this story.

I’m the fucking dragon.


I’ve been waiting for Sucker Punched for what feels like a very long time. I fell in love with Kelley R. Martin’s writing and characters in Down and Outand I couldn’t wait to read more of her work. Sucker Punched takes us back to the world of Down and Out. This time Declan’s brother and Savannah’s best friend get the chance to fall in love. Some of the story overlaps the same time period as the first book and, although Sucker Punched is a standalone novel, I would recommend reading Down and Out first for the back story.

Sucker Punched was an intense forbidden love story. Blake and Macy’s relationship was just as complicated as Declan and Savannah’s. It started out based on their intense sexual chemistry, but quickly became more than just sex. There was a deep emotional connection between them that I loved. They were constantly fighting their feelings for each other and trying to keep their desires hidden. There were so many obstacles for them to overcome in this story. The dual points of view made it easy to empathize with each of them  — even when it made me uncomfortable.

Normally, I try to post spoiler free reviews. I tried to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but I do feel the need to warn sensitive readers of something. If you don’t want to know, don’t read the rest of this paragraph!!! *TRIGGER WARNING SPOILER** Sucker Punched does include intimate scenes where the hero is involved with other women. If you can’t handle that, you will want to skip this book.Some of Blake’s actions were really hard to read. There are people who aren’t going to be able to stomach the other women in this story. *END SPOILER*

Sucker Punched was a highly emotional read. Blake and Macy’s road to happy-ever-after wasn’t always fun, but their story fit them perfectly. I enjoyed getting to know them better and seeing their characters grow. I would recommend this book to readers who have loved the Knockout Love series from the beginning.

Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

23174274Title: Glass Sword

Series: Red Queen, #2

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.


3 / 5 Stars


A while back I answered a book tag question that asked whether I thought books were character or plot driven. I answered character driven because, for me, the main character is one of the pieces of the puzzle that either makes or breaks a book. If I’m reading something through a character’s eyes who is boring or annoying, it can ruin or make a book less satisfying for me. That’s kind of what happened with Glass Sword.

Mare Barrow was so annoying in Glass Sword that at times I wanted to put the book down. Her self-centered outlook and trust issues drove me crazy. There’s only so many times you can read “Anyone can betray anyone.” and not want to hurl the book against the wall. Even the author must have felt this because it was pointed out to Mare more than once during the story.

As for the storyline, at times it was amazing and action packed. Other times, it was slow going and boring. It couldn’t seem to find a happy medium. The new characters were exciting and added a lot of interesting things to the story. The old characters continued to entertain me and keep Mare on her feet.

In my opinion, what made Glass Sword worth reading was the ending. I didn’t see it coming at all. Victoria Aveyard gets an A++ in cliffhangers because, after struggling through most of Glass Sword, I still desperately want to read the next book.

 

Release Day Blitz & Review: Redemptive by Jay McLean

redemptive-fb-cover-available-now

RELEASE DAY BLITZ

Title: Redemptive (Combative Trilogy #2)

Author: Jay McLean

Release Day: March 8, 2016

Redemptive E-book

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon USAmazon UK iBooksB&NKobo

COMBATIVE (BOOK 1) ON SALE FOR 99c

Amazon US Amazon UKiBooksB&NKobo

Redemptive Wrap

BLURB

It’s said that your life flashes before your eyes when you die.
It must only happen to those whose lives were worthy.
Clearly, mine was not.
The only thing that happened to me was a repeat of what I thought was my death.
The blast of the gun as it went off.
The loss of my breath as two hundred pounds of dead weight dropped on top of me.
And then darkness.
This replayed over and over.
When the guy squatted down next to me and asked if I was hurt, the only thing I could see, feel,
hear, were those few seconds.
Even now, as I sat in the back of a blacked out van—it was the only thing that ran through my mind.
Gunshot, breath, darkness.
 redemptive-square-LIVE

GOODREADS LINKS

Combative

Redemptive

Redemptive-Teaser-3

  Review


5 / 5 Stars


Holy crap. 

That’s how I’d sum up Redemptive in two words.

A couple weeks ago I reviewed Jay McLean’s Combative. (You can find my review here.) It ended with one of those cliffhangers that had me pounding my fists demanding the next book. I needed more. There were so many unanswered questions.

While I still feel like I’m in the dark on most things, what I did learn BLEW MY MIND. It completely changed everything I thought I knew from Combative. I wanted to know more about Nate DeLuca. Jay McLean answered.

Nate wasn’t who I thought he was. Well he was, but he wasn’t. I can’t even begin to explain it to you. I was wary of the Nate I met in Combative. I just knew he was going to cause problems. The Nate I met in Redemptive was someone I adored. It confused the heck out of me! I didn’t know what to do with the two versions of him in my head.

And Bailey. I don’t even know what to say about Bailey. I felt for the poor girl.

Jay McLean has done an amazing job of messing with my head with this series. And I’m not complaining at all. I LOVED it. I can’t wait for the third book. I can’t even imagine what’s in store for everyone next.

**I received an ARC of Redemptive in exchange for an honest review.

 

Redemptive-teaser-LIVE

AUTHOR BIO

 Bio_pic
Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix. She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.
Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook | Fan Group | Web | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter |

 

redemptive-fb-cover-REVIEW