ARC Review: S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: November 10, 2015

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Note: **This novel is for MATURE ADULT READERS only. It contains explicit sexual content and alcohol use.**

Synopsis:

If there’s one person Vista Marquis never wants to see again, it’s Levi Black. It’s been years since she’s seen Levi, but she still isn’t over the way he broke her heart. Vista thought they had a special connection, but all Levi wanted was to add her name to the list of notches on his bedpost.

It might have been easier to move on if Levi wasn’t a famous soccer player — and her stepbrother. Not only does Vista have to hear all about him from her mother, she gets to see and hear about him and his woman of the moment in every celebrity gossip report.

Now, in order to establish her own physical therapy business, Vista is being forced to return home to Chicago and face the one man who has broken her heart. It’s going to be her job to make sure Levi recovers from his most current soccer injury. She plans on keeping things strictly professional. All she has to do is avoid Levi’s womanizing charms.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I’m going to have to admit that I wasn’t so sure what I was going to think of S.O.B prior to reading it. I love J.C. Valentine’s writing and the creative situations she comes up with, but I was curious to see how she was going to set this one up. I had never read a step-brother/step-sister romance before. I was worried it might be too taboo, too pseudo-incestuous for my tastes.

S.O.B was neither of those two things. Levi and Vista were not blood related. They were not even raised together. They lived in the same house for a short period of time before their parents married. That was shortly before Vista left for college. Basically, they were “brother and sister” through their parents marriage alone. They didn’t even share the same last name.

S.O.B felt more like a second chance erotic romance than a taboo love story. Levi was a cocky, famous athlete who walked away from the one girl he really wanted. Vista was a strong, independent female determined to make her own way. She wasn’t going to fall for the one man who shattered her heart at eighteen.

Levi and Vista’s reconnection was sexy and steamy. The chemistry between these two was off the charts! Levi was just the right amount of cocky and exactly what I would expect a sports star to be. He also had a sweet softer side when it came to Vista that I adored. I loved how strong Vista was. It was really cool that J.C. Valentine didn’t let her back down from standing up to Levi. Her backbone was one of my favorite thing about her.

The book wasn’t just filled with steamy moments, though. S.O.B had a great storyline. It was a lot of fun and cute at times.There were even a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed watching the entire story unfold.

If you’re looking for an erotic romance with a fun storyline, I would recommend S.O.B. It’s a fun, steamy read.

**I received an electronic copy of S.O.B from the author in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: Luxe

Luxe by Ashley Antoinette

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Bleu Montclair’s life has been anything but easy growing up in Flint, Michigan. At eighteen, she’s seen and done things that no kid should have. Lucky for her, Bleu has a chance to get out of Michigan and go to college at her dream school, UCLA.

But living her dream is way harder than Bleu expected. Her partial scholarship doesn’t cover enough of her costs. She’s struggling and the only way out is to take an opportunity her roommate gives her to make a lot of money fast. The opportunity will either be her saving grace or her downfall.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to rate and review Luxe. It’s a hard one for me because while I didn’t enjoy the story, the writing was excellent. The book was fast-paced and had my attention from the first paragraph of the prologue. It felt real, raw and gritty.

I want to say it was too dark for me, but that can’t be the case. I’ve read books that are way darker and enjoyed them. I think it was more the hopelessness of the book. It started off with druggie parents, two deaths and a mention of a previous rape. That was all in the first 40 pages. It didn’t slow down from there. Horrendous situation after situation kept pushing Bleu down. Even things that should have been happy like college or a new amazing boyfriend were riddled with devastation. I didn’t see how things could get better. And just when I was starting to get my hopes up — BAM! Cliffhanger.

While there was nothing wrong with Luxe, I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. I needed a little sunlight in the darkness. So, I guess I just have to be honest and say it wasn’t the book for me.

Don’t let that deter you from reading it. Like I said, the writing was very realistic. If you’re a fan of complex characters dealing with drug addiction, violent crimes, etc. this might be the book for you.

**Thank you to Goodreads and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of Luxe.

ARC Review: Fall for Him

Fall for Him (Forbidden Trilogy #3) by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: August 25, 2015 (Today!!!)

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Synopsis:

Life is all about choices. Jo thought she made the right ones, but it turns out she was wrong. She’s lost everyone she ever cared about.

Now, Jo’s going to have to fight for what she wants. She’s going to have to take back control of her life and it’s not going to be easy.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Forbidden Triology hooked me from the beginning with Dance for Me. I couldn’t help but get wrapped up in college student/stripper Jo’s story. Her “relationship” with HIM was hot, hot, hot! Plus, there were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. The cliffhanger at the end shocked me and I couldn’t wait for Lie to You to be released.

Lie to You (read my review here) continued the fast-paced, intense, scorchingly hot storyline and has some surprises of its own. Of course, there was another great cliffhanger that left me wanting more.

So, I was super excited to be able to read an ARC of Fall for Him. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for Jo. So much had changed for her since Dance for Me. I couldn’t help but wonder what surprises J.C. Valentine had in store for readers this time.

I loved Fall for Him. I thought it was the perfect ending to Jo’s story. And that’s all I’m saying because I don’t want to ruin the series for anyone that hasn’t read it yet. It’s an amazing series filled with many surprises. Readers that like enjoy erotic romances, like Fifty Shades of Grey or Bared to You, will enjoy this series.

Other books in this series:

  

Grey

 Grey (Fifty Shades, #4)Grey by E.L. James

Publication Date: June 18, 2015

Publisher: Vintage 

Synopsis:

Christian Grey is a man with many secrets. He’s been through things no one should ever have to go through and it’s shaped his adult life. He’s a successful, rich, dominate male — emphasis on the dominate. Christian’s used to getting his way in both business and sex. He doesn’t do love or romance.

When Christian agrees to an interview for a college newspaper, the last thing he expects is to be attracted to the interviewer. Anastasia Steele should annoy him. Instead, she captivates him. He wants her bad. So bad he’s willing to bend his rules and give her a little “more.”

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Obviously, Grey is a retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey in Christian’s POV. It’s over 500 pages and walks you through what Christian was thinking when he and Anna met. It covers book one.

I have to admit that when I first started reading Grey I wasn’t that impressed. I found Christian’s self dialogue to be kind of annoying and I didn’t really like him. I started to worry that the magic of the original book was going to be lost after reading this one. What I figured out as I read was that Christian without Ana was a major jerk. Ana brought out the good in him. Once he met Ana, the story was so much better to read because he was so much happier.

I gave Grey 3.5 stars because while I did end up enjoying the book, I didn’t love it. I basically felt like I was rereading Fifty Shades of Grey. There were a few new insights but not enough to really make it different enough to really stand out. It would have been nice to have a few new Christian/Ana scenes that we didn’t see in the trilogy.

That being said, I do think readers that loved the original trilogy will enjoy reading Grey and getting a glimpse into Christian’s inner thoughts.

Other books in this series:

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)  Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2)  Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3)

Lie to You

Lie to You (Forbidden Trilogy, #2) Lie to You (Forbidden Trilogy #2) by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Synopsis:

Josephine is floored by what she learned that night in the apartment. What she’s discovered about her mystery man has left her debating her sanity and what she wants. Josephine knows she has a decision to make, but which is the right one? While she’s trying to figure out what direction her life should take, old lies threaten to destroy the life she has now.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lie to You is the second book in the Forbidden Trilogy. In order to have any idea what is going on, you have to read the first book, Dance for MeIt completely sets the stage for Lie to You and has a shocking cliffhanger that ties the two books together. (If you’re interested, you can find my review for Dance for Me here on Goodreads.) Also, both books are for mature audiences only as they’re definitely in the erotic fiction category.

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to read Lie to Me.  Ever since I finished Dance for Me and its cliffhanger threw me for a loop, I just had to know what Josephine was going to do. Lie to Me did not disappoint. It picked up right where Dance for Me ended. It was fast-paced, intense, scorchingly hot and has some great surprises. Since it’s a trilogy, of course it had another great cliffhanger. I really enjoyed reading it. Now, I’m impatiently waiting for the next book!

You’re probably noticing my review looks a little sparse. Well, that because if I said anything more I would ruin it for anyone that hasn’t read the first book. I wouldn’t want to do that! I think readers that like enjoy erotic romance will really like this series. It’s definitely filled with fun surprises.

Thank you to J.C. Valentine for allowing me to read and honestly review an ARC of Lie to Me.

Other books in this series:

Dance for Me (Forbidden Trilogy, #1)

Amber to Ashes

Amber to Ashes (Torn Hearts, #1)Amber to Ashes (Torn Hearts #1) by Gail McHugh

Publication Date: June 9, 2015

Publisher: Atria Books

Synopsis: 

Amber Moretti made it through a tough childhood, one horrible moment defining her entire existence. Now, thanks to her amazing foster parents, Amber’s starting college and getting a chance to start her life over. No one there will know about her past. Nor will they know how she used to escape from the memories that still haunt her.

But just as one moment defined her childhood, another moment will define her life now. When Amber walked into the college dining hall, she never expected to meet and connect deeply with one man, let alone two. She’s always kept herself emotionally unavailable to men, but she can’t help but need both of them now.

Brock Cunningham and Ryder Ashcroft may be completely different in looks and attitude, but they both want Amber in the same intense way. Brock is the hunky football player that every girl wants. Amber can’t help but be attracted to his slick words and the way he wants to be everything she needs. Ryder is Brock’s opposite. He’s tough, tattooed and pierced. His every word disgusts Amber….until he kisses her. Then, she feels powerless to his touch.

Quickly, Amber finds herself falling for these two men. She knows she can’t possibly be in love with each of them, but she finds it harder and harder to fight her feelings for them. Amber knows she’ll be forced to choose to between Brock and Ryder, but she has no idea what would lead up to her decision.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Um….Wow. I’m not quite sure what my reaction should be after reading Amber to Ashes. This book was so gritty, dirty and all sorts of messed up…but I think I liked it. It’s hard to say because, while I was really disturbed by most of the story, I couldn’t put the book down. It was crazy. Every time I thought the story couldn’t get any more disturbing, it did.

I wanted to know how everything was going to play out for Amber and her need for both Brock and Ryder. Each character was so messed up with their own issues that all together they were just one gigantic disaster waiting to happen. I couldn’t see how this could end positively for any of them.

I really liked how most of the book was in Amber’s POV, but that I also got a sprinkling of Brock and Ryder’s as well. That really helped shape their relationships with each other — especially Brock and Ryder’s relationship. Which was a good thing, considering how Amber felt about both of them.

My least favorite parts of the book were the violent ones because I’m just not into violence. BUT I will admit the violent parts were a good addition to the storyline. They made this more than just a love triangle story.

The ending, though. The ending killed me! What a cliffhanger! I’ll definitely be reading the next book because I have to know what happens.

If you’re interested in reading this book, I’d just warn you ahead of time to be prepared for a lot of sexually explicit encounters (one F/M/M), violence, and drug use. The story will suck you in and then twist and turn in ways you aren’t expecting. It’s an entertaining read, but in it gets messier and messier the deeper into the book you go. It’s definitely not for someone expecting a HEA filled with sunshine, rainbows or unicorns.

Thank you to Atria Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review Amber to Ashes.