Review: Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Spider
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: November 13, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s a British rock star.
And my stepbrother.
What can go wrong?

He called himself Spider. I just knew him as the sinfully gorgeous guy with eyes of fire that fate sat next to me on the airplane. I didn’t know who he really was…rock star…my stepbrother.

He kissed me because he thought we’d never see each other again. We would.

Everyone warned me about him.
They said he was ruthless and cold and screwed up.
They said he’d leave me with a hole in my heart.

Maybe I should have listened.
Maybe I should have built up a fortress to keep him out.
But I crumbled instead.

Some have said there’s an unbreakable thread that connects those who are destined to meet. If that’s true, then the moment he sat next to me, we were bound together forever.

He just had to figure it out before it’s too late…


I almost didn’t read Spider. I saw “step-brother” in the blurb, and was like no thank you. Then, I reconsidered. I love Ilsa Madden-Mills’ writing. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to miss out on one of her books. When I realized Spider was part of the KU program, I went ahead and downloaded it.

I have some mixed feelings about Spider. I liked it for the most part. The whole step-brother thing wasn’t an issue for me. Rose and Spider are newly acquainted step-siblings. They didn’t grow up together. Their attraction preceded their knowledge of their new familial status. I liked their connection and most of the scenarios they ended up in.

My biggest problem was Rose’s age at the beginning. She was only seventeen, not quite an adult. Spider didn’t know this at first, but once he did I felt a little uncomfortable with his attraction to Rose. He wasn’t that much older, but it still kind of bugged me. Luckily, not all of the story was in this age gap.

Another thing I had issues with was Trenton. I’m not going to say what went down, but I was a little disappointed in Rose. It was all resolved well, but still. She was too good of a person for it.

Despite this all sounding negative, I did enjoy reading Spider. The story kept my attention, and I loved the ending. I just wish those couple of things didn’t bug me so much.

Mini Reviews: The Law of Moses and The Song of David by Amy Harmon

The Law of Moses
Series: The Law of Moses, #1
Author: Amy Harmon
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Paranormal

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.


The only way to describe Amy Harmon’s writing is the word beautiful. Everything about it is beautiful. The way she puts words together is so dang gorgeous. The stories she crafts with those words are just as beautiful. I’m always amazed at how brilliant and touching her words and stories are.

That’s exactly how I felt when reading The Law of Moses. I was constantly amazed. The book wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I could see some of the plot coming, but there were also moments when I was shocked.

Moses was definitely “a law unto himself”. I wasn’t always happy with him, but he amazed me. Same with Georgia. She was a fire that couldn’t be put out. She had spunk and grit. Their love for each other was raw and unconditional. Their story wasn’t easy, but it was magical.

I loved every moment of reading this book. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it.



The Song of David
Series: The Law of Moses, #2
Author: Amy Harmon
Publication Date: June 13, 2015
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Rating:★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She said I was like a song. Her favorite song. A song isn’t something you can see. It’s something you feel, something you move to, something that disappears after the last note is played.

I won my first fight when I was eleven years old, and I’ve been throwing punches ever since. Fighting is the purest, truest, most elemental thing there is. Some people describe heaven as a sea of unending white. Where choirs sing and loved ones await. But for me, heaven was something else. It sounded like the bell at the beginning of a round, it tasted like adrenaline, it burned like sweat in my eyes and fire in my belly. It looked like the blur of screaming crowds and an opponent who wanted my blood.

For me, heaven was the octagon.

Until I met Millie, and heaven became something different. I became something different. I knew I loved her when I watched her stand perfectly still in the middle of a crowded room, people swarming, buzzing, slipping around her, her straight dancer’s posture unyielding, her chin high, her hands loose at her sides. No one seemed to see her at all, except for the few who squeezed past her, tossing exasperated looks at her unsmiling face. When they realized she wasn’t normal, they hurried away. Why was it that no one saw her, yet she was the first thing I saw?

If heaven was the octagon, then she was my angel at the center of it all, the girl with the power to take me down and lift me up again. The girl I wanted to fight for, the girl I wanted to claim. The girl who taught me that sometimes the biggest heroes go unsung and the most important battles are the ones we don’t think we can win.


Once again, Amy Harmon has surprised me. The Song of David wasn’t what I was expecting at all. It’s narrated partly by Moses with David telling some of his own story from afar. At first, I wasn’t so sure about this set up. Once I got into the story, I found I really loved it. In fact, I loved the entire story. The way David tells about falling in love with Millie and everything they went through was so special.

I loved the way Moses added to the story. He brought a completely different aspect to it. His was a connection to David by friendship. Their relationship was tight and special. His emotions made the story even more special.

Everything about this book was just so good…until the end. At the end, I felt like I had missed something big. I needed one more piece of information that I didn’t get. That’s okay, though. I still loved The Song of David. Anyone who has read The Law of Moses will love getting to know David better.

Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Hooking Up
Series: Shacking Up, #2
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Swerve
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.


Hooking Up was everything I had hoped it would be. It was a story of heartbreak, but also one of healing. Helena Hunting’s writing was fabulous! Despite Amie going through such an emotional ordeal, the book was super funny. And the setting! The Bora Bora backdrop couldn’t have been anymore beautiful.

Amie was such a great character. She literally kicked ass. I loved that she was strong mentally and physically. Her reaction to Armstrong’s cheating was perfect. The ups and downs she went through couldn’t have been more perfect — especially with Lex to help her heal.

Lex was pretty amazing himself. He may have been a little mischievous in the past, but he was a stand up guy in the present. The way he supported Amie during the downfall of her short marriage was so nice.

As for Armstrong — I loved to hate that guy. He was the perfect jerk. I hated him from the moment I met him up until the very end. I’m happy he got what he deserved.

I absolutely loved this book! Romance lovers definitely should read it! Hooking Up is a standalone novel, but I really recommend reading Shacking Up first. Shacking Up is Bane and Ruby’s story, and you’ll see a lot of them in Hooking Up because Bane is Lex’s brother and Ruby is Amie’s best friend. Plus, Amie, Lex, and Armstrong are all introduced in Shacking Up. Reading both of these books in order will make the experience all that more fun. Both Shacking Up and Hooking Up are amazingly entertaining and hilarious romantic reads. I can’t recommend them enough!

Review: Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Lovers Like Us
Series: Like Us, #2
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene lives by his All Postsactions, and his actions say he’s the best at whatever he does. As a 24/7 bodyguard and the new boyfriend to Maximoff Hale, protecting the headstrong, alpha billionaire has never been more complicated. And one rule can’t be bent:

Keep your relationship secret from the public.

Farrow is confident he’s the best man for the job. But a twist in Maximoff’s fast-paced life sticks them with the rest of Security Force Omega and their clients.

On the road.
In a sleeper tour bus.
For four rocky months.

Sexual frustrations, check. Road trip drama, check. Awkward bonding, check.

But Farrow couldn’t have accounted for a high-risk threat (identity: unknown) that targets Maximoff before the ignition even turns. And it hits Farrow — someone has it out for the guy he loves.

Every day, Maximoff & Farrow’s feelings grow stronger, and together, they’ll either sink or swim.

The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them. You must read Damaged Like Us, Book 1, before reading Lovers Like Us.


After the big bombshell in Damaged Like Us, I was wondering where Lovers Like Us would go. I knew we would get lots of Moffy and Farrow time, but I wasn’t sure how their relationship was going to change things between the Hale – Colbalt – Meadows clan. I also wasn’t sure how they were going to be able to keep their relationship a secret from the media. Lovers Like Us answered all of the questions I had. It also made me an even bigger fan of Moffy and Farrow’s relationship.

Moffy has always seemed mature for his age, but he truly grew up in this book. I felt like he gained a deeper understanding of his siblings’ and cousins’ feelings. He also grew to understand Farrow better. I liked how he handled all the situations thrown his way.

Farrow was strong and steady. He was good at being himself. I liked that he didn’t back down from a fight or give into anything that would compromise his beliefs.

My favorite thing about Lovers Like Us was that it showed a real progression in Moffy and Farrow’s relationship. I got to see some ups and some downs, and how their relationship only grew stronger because of them. I was sad when the book ended because I loved where things were for them, and didn’t want to wait to find out what comes next.

I can’t end this review without talking about some of the other family members. I want books for all of them, but I desperately need books for both Jane and Charlie. Jane because I love her and she deserves more than she’s got so far. Charlie because I kind of hate him right now, and I need to understand him better. I also need him to meet his match.

Lovers Like Us took the Like Us series exactly where I wanted it to go. I enjoyed reading this book so much. If you’re a fan of Hale, Meadows, and Cobalts, you’ll love it!

 

Review: The Other Brother by Meghan Quinn

THE OTHER BROTHER by Meghan Quinn is finally here! Check out the excerpt and teasers!

THE OTHER BROTHER
NA Romantic Comedy
Model: David Harris
PREORDER HERE:
SYNOPSIS:
I got the call. The dreaded call every child fears. My dad wasn’t well, and the man who had always been my everything needed me.
There was only one thing to do; pack up and head back to my hometown. I had finally made my dream life in the city with the great job and loving boyfriend. But was there really a choice not to go?
I found a wonderful job, a quaint house to rent, my boyfriend was working on joining me in Binghamton, and my favorite pizza place was only miles away. Life was good.
Until I met my neighbor.
It’s been three years since I’d seen Aaron Walters, and my God is he all kinds of sexy gorgeous. Figures. He was supposed to be my forever, the man I grew old with, but he had different plans. How can a man who ripped my heart apart still trip me up? How can he make me still want him now more than ever?
I’m tempted, I’m drawn toward him, I’m completely and utterly unaware that I’m dating his biological brother.
Now two men own my heart. The question is, which brother will I choose?
REVIEW:
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an unbiased review.

When I first read the title and synopsis of The Other Brother I was a little leery. I am not a big fan of love triangles, and one that included brothers seemed like a big no-no. Then, I reminded myself that Meghan Quinn was the author. If she could make falling in love with a best friend’s ex okay, I was positive she could put the right spin on a brother love triangle.

I loved The Other Brother. There might have been a couple of moments where the Aaron-Amelia-Trey connection made me cringe, but for the most part it wasn’t an issue. The Other Brother was definitely Aaron and Amelia’s second chance at love. They had an undeniable connection and chemistry. I loved how they began and even ended up loving how they found their way back to each other. There story was so sweet.

There was so much to learn about Aaron (Smalls to My Best Friend’s Ex and Twisted Twosome fans). I knew he was a Little Debbie lover, great friend, and all around guy. I had no idea the depths of his past. He had been through so much in his lifetime. The way his family life shaped his relationship with Amelia was heartbreaking. I felt for Aaron and rooted for him to win her back the entire time.

I loved Amelia! I wasn’t sure I would with the whole dating the other brother thing, but she was a stand up person. She was there when her family needed her, and made some really good decisions throughout the book. Amelia was true to her heart and her relationships.

Of course, one of my favorite things about this book was getting to see the gang again. Racer and Tucker brought some amazing humor to the story. I can’t get enough of their friendship. I hope I get to see them again in future books.

As you can tell, there were so many amazing things about The Other Brother. Don’t let the love triangle scare you off. This book is so worth reading!

EXCERPT:

Why? Why does he have to magically appear in my life? Moving back to Binghamton, I thought about the possibility of maybe running into him, but I thought it unlikely, something that would never really happen.

Boy, was I wrong.

What a sick joke life is playing on me.

Aaron Walters, the boy who broke me into pieces is my neighbor.

I can’t fathom the impact I feel already.

Seeing him in hip-hugging jeans and a tight, plain shirt did a number on me. It kept me up all night as memories of what we used to have flooded my mind.

His voice.

His stature.

The way he used to kiss my neck.

The way I felt so protected in his arms.

Too bad his arms couldn’t protect me from his devastating, heart-breaking self.

And hell, he looked good. Too good.

He’s always been tall with handsome features and a chiseled jaw, but now he’s bulked up to the point that I could see his abs flexing under his shirt, the same shirt that stretched over his biceps.

But it wasn’t his muscles or handsome features that once again made my heart ache, it was those eyes. So bright, so blue, so kind, but still so sad. It reminded me of the first day I met him, of the day he stole my heart from every other man on the market.

Broken, unsure, yet yearning for love. It was all there, and like experiencing a moment of déjà vu, I was transported back into a time when I felt invisible, like I could conquer anything with him at my side.

Once again, I was wrong.

About the Author:
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!
 Find me on Goodreads:
 Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Review: Scandalous by L.J. Shen

Scandalous
Series: Sinners of Saint, #3
Author: L.J. Shen
Publication Date: September 21, 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

They call him The Mute for a reason.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.
I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.
He’s emotionally unavailable.
And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.


Trent Rexroth was pretty damn scandalous. That’s for sure.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from Trent when I began reading Scandalous, but it wasn’t quite what I got. I must not have remembered him quite correctly from binge reading the Sinners of Saint series earlier this year. Or maybe that whole The Mute thing is what got me. Trent was way more crass than I was prepared for. He wasn’t a nice guy, and he didn’t care. The only one who got the nice side was his daughter, Luna. Trent did what he needed to do to get what he wanted.

Edie was one of those things Trent wanted. He tried to avoid this want because she was only eighteen to his thirty-three, but Edie didn’t make things easy for him. She was more mature than most young adults her age, and a darker view of the world and love. Trent and Edie had a love-hate relationship. Most of it felt like hate, but the love slowly built.

I really liked this story, but I didn’t fall completely in love with it. L.J. Shen’s writing was amazing, but I didn’t always feel Edie and Trent’s connection. It felt more like a sex than love thing, but that’s the way I think it was supposed to feel. Neither of these two were in it for love at first. Love was just something that ended up happening to them. I would have preferred for the love to dominate the story, but this is a Sinners of Saint book. Overall, Scandalous was a great dark love story.

Review: Played by Jen Frederick

Played
Series: Gridiron, #4
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: October 6, 2017
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

She’s been playing it close…

Ara Martin and college football star Ty Masters have been best friends since the first day of school when Ty literally ran her over. She fell for him immediately, but having lived under the shadow of her famous father, she knows a relationship with irresistible Ty would only end in heartbreak. For four years, she’s kept her feelings hidden. But one drunken encounter weeks before graduation is about to expose Ara’s biggest secret and destroy her most treasured relationship.

He’s been playing for keeps…

Ty is about to be drafted into the NFL, but his personal life is a mess. He’s got an agent he doesn’t like, a brother who can’t stop offering his opinion, and a beautiful woman he craves but can’t have. He can fire his agent and ignore his brother, but he’s not sure what to do about Ara. Ty’s been able to run down every quarterback he’s faced, but his sexy, stubborn best friend keeps slipping through his fingers.

Luckily, he’s not one for giving up, and once he gets his hands on her, he’s never letting go.


Finally! Ty’s book! I know you’re just as excited as I am. I have been waiting for Ty’s story ever since I met him in Sacked. Everything I learned about Knox Master’s twin from that book and the ones that followed had me wondering what lucky gal was going to be able to pass the twin test.

Jen Frederick didn’t disappoint! She had the perfect gal for Ty: his best friend, Ara. Ara and Ty were those best friends who are secretly into each other but refuse to tell each other because they don’t want to lose their best friend. They had amazing chemistry, but most of all, they had an amazing friendship. Ara and Ty got each other in a really special way. I loved every minute of their story. It was so much fun!

The only tiny complaint I have about Played was that it wrapped up a lot more quickly than I wanted it to. I wanted more time with Ara and Ty as a couple. That might just be me being needy, but I can’t help it. Those two were just so great together. I needed more!

If you’re a fan of this series, you do not want to miss Played. You will love it! If you haven’t read any of the Gridiron books, I highly suggest you do. Start at the beginning with Sacked and work your way to Played. You won’t regret it.

I’m really, really hoping Jen Frederick continues this series and that Played is not the end. (Hint hint, Ms. Frederick!)