Review: Always by London Saint James

 

Always
(Two Hearts, One Soul Duet: Book One)
by London Saint James

Winter Perri never truly understood love until she met Austin Carlyle—the man who would rock her world to its foundations and give her something to believe in. But the night before they were to be married, the fairytale shattered.

Thirteen years later Winter is pulled out of her seclusion only to have a painful past confront her, and when it does, she’s left questioning reality, because the impossible is looking back at her with the face of a destroying angel, and piercing eyes in too familiar shades of blue.

This has been quite a roller coaster! A love story about heartbreaks and second chances. Winter Perri and Austin Carlyle had it good when they started seeing each other, I thought there’s was quite romantic and sensational.. Until everything shattered to pieces on the eve of their wedding day, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to recover myself.

I really thought there’s nothing more that would make me cry the moment Winter Perri’s body had gone limp upon hearing the news about her beloved. My heart bled out to oblivion. When I continued with the story, I was expecting a lighter mood surrounding Winter. But lo and behold, Chandler and Cayden Cain’s involvement in this frozen fairytale got me shocked and gutted. I told myself, this better not be another new lovestory destined to end in doom. But as the pages went, my eyes continued to go misty until I got to the last page and my eyes were already dripping and my nose swollen and my mouth quivering. Gosh, I couldn’t stop my ugly crying!

This story had been long and winding, I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish it. But I did. And I’m glad I did even though I cried 90% of the time. I’m glad I read this because it reminded me about life, about the people we love, about how precious every second of time is. This has been really a powerful book, something that I would cherish forever and always.

This is my first London Saint James book, and even though she had me wailing like a harpy, I am looking forward to reading more of her books soon!

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Review: Mayhem’s Desire by Lindsay Cross

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Mayhem’s Desire

(Operation Mayhem #2)
by Lindsay Cross

coffeesynopsisdHis traumatic past has left him dark… and longing for love.

Hicks thinks good and evil comes in black and white. No blurred lines, no grey areas. After being subjected to a horrific experiment that’s left him damaged as a super soldier, Hicks seeks comfort from his torment in reliability. He’s got clear rules on morality and isn’t willing to break them.

Until her.

Whitney is a seductress. Secretly working for a Senator as a mistress, she puts on leather outfits and a mask of sensuality to bend men to her will— though the money she makes doing so isn’t to save her, but others. Whitney believes she’s past saving, and that love is a silly dream.

Then he enters her life.

Hicks is sickened by what he thinks Whitney is— and undeniably attracted to her. After Whitney’s life is threatened in a violent murder attempt, Hicks calls in his team. Whitney is the target of a government operation, and unless Hicks can discover who’s behind it, Whitney’s life is forfeit.

But the mission isn’t the only thing on Hicks’ mind.

Whitney and Hicks can’t keep their hands off each other… but they can’t stand each other, either. Whitney isn’t the innocent woman Hicks thought, and Hicks isn’t the strong hero Whitney’s looking for. But together, the heat of their romance and the passion of their love cannot be stopped.

Can Hicks rescue Whitney from a tragic end? Or will the lovers lose everything against incredible odds?

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Hicks’ tormented and abusive childhood made him the man that he was today. Ruthless, pensive, careful, determined, defiant and invincible. He’s a super soldier, enhanced and trained to fight for what is right and persecute those who have betrayed him and his brothers. But he wasn’t all that hard up. He also wanted to feel loved and fall in love. And just when he thought he could fall for their doctor’s sister, Whitney after rescuing her from an assassin, his heart got ripped out again when he learned what Whitney did for a living.

 

Whitney Averton had a heart of gold. She had always been caring and tending to other people’s needs. But she wasn’t the smart daughter that her parents aspired her to be. She may be working for a charitable cause, but they didn’t know the means she did to get the money. A job that involved a high profile senator and his eccentric needs.

Christopher Higginbotham (now that’s a mouthful of a name, isn’t it) aka Hicks is a man on a mission. But a little distraction along the way is welcome. But what if that distraction might just be the one to ruin him?

 

Incredible! I could not think of any other adjective right now, except INCREDIBLE! Mayhem’s Desire is another addition to Lindsay Cross’ Men of Mayhem series.and is incredibly good and I love it. The entire series just keeps getting better and better, badder and badder, deeper and deeper.

What made this book really good is the character development and the suspenseful storyline. There is growth and promise in every situation. The characters are ridiculously flawed but somehow, you can’t help but root for them. Lindsay Cross managed to keep the super soldier’s storyline going and in high momentum while each of them tackled their own story. Hicks and Whitney are the star of the story, but Reaper, Caroline and Doctor Averton are quite essential to the whole plot, thus making this series a highly anticipated read. Can’t wait to see what happens next to my favorite team of super enhanced men.

 

 

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4cocu (2)

Review: Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

Drunk Dial
by Penelope Ward

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

 

I’m ugly crying right now while writing this review.  Yes, I do sound crazy because of that, but hear me out.  I can’t simply stop the tears from falling after reading and learning everything about Landon and Rana Banana’s pretty darn exotic and magnificent love story.
 

From drunk dialing to spewing a long time childhood secret; from belly dancing to food truck serving; from nightly phone calls to love notes, to interstate gift exchanges;  from Michigan to California, from the food truck to the hometown garage, from the ocean music box to the wine stopper, from spy cameras to Rubik’s cube, from Shyla to Beverly,  from Beth to Lilith, from Lana to God,  everything everything everything was perfectly magnificent!
 

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever meet a man like Landon,  he’s just too good to be true!  Lucky Ranoona Banana Saloomi, she’s got him on her palm and never letting go. I think I need to learn belly dancing from her from now on!

Have I already mentioned that their erotic scenes were hot, sexy, smoldering and provocative and titillating that could put Anastasia Steele to shame? You better believe it!
 

This story is beautiful,  from the moment Rana drunk dialed her crush,  to reading his love notes,  I was sold.  Everything that followed after that made me smile,  laugh, gag,  roll my eyes, bite my lips,  hold my breath and cry a thousand rivers. I didn’t realize Penelope Ward will have that effect on me. Great job,  Sassypants!

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You’ve Been Gone
by Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

Emily always thought Sloane would forever be by her side. They’re best friends, they did things together, they share secrets, they had each other’s back. And so she was more than mystified and alarmed the day she learned that Sloane was gone – vanished, not answering her calls, not replying to her emails and text messages, no car in the porch, no one loitering in their house. Nothing, nada, zilch.

And then the list came. A list that told Emily of things she was supposed to do while Sloane was away, while she was gone. But Emily had always been the odd one out, the naive, the timid one. She could never be as bold as Sloane, she didn’t even have self-confidence to start with. How will Emily ever move on with her life now that Sloane is nowhere to be found?

When I first heard about this book, I was actually more concerned with Sloane’s well-being. I thought, hey! Why is the list more important than finding Sloane first? Weren’t they concerned about her whereabouts? I really thought she disappeared because she was kidnapped or something. I thought this was going to be a mystery thriller.

But when I finally delved into the whole book, all my initial thoughts were dashed off and now I’m left in awe. This had been really exciting and funny and warm with all the feels. Frank Porter was the perfect person to help Emily with her bucket list. I love that their interaction started from awkward to friendship to something else. But I also love that this story didn’t focus on their love story, but more on Emily’s self-discovery. And her relationship with Sloane was definitely #friendshipgoals. I love that even while Sloane was gone, Emily slowly unraveled and resolved her differences.

I sure had a lot of thinking done about my own bucket list after reading this book. Right after I graduated in college, I already wrote some items that I wanted to accomplish as a non-academic. Like travelling around the world particularly Japan, meeting Oprah, joining a reality show, writing a book, hobnobbing with Hollywood stars, and the like.. Yes, everything I listed were nowhere near possible. But a girl can dream, can’t I?

Overall, I had so much fun reading Since You’ve Been Gone. Sure, it took me a while to finish it, but it’s all worth it. Morgan Matson’s writing is amazing, enticing, engaging and alluring. She has a way with words that keep the readers captivated. Never had a dull moment reading about Emily’s bucket list adventures – I am actually revising my own list so I could do some of the things she’d done. Skinny dipping? Definitely including that on my list and looking forward to doing it soon!

Review: Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole

Hearts at Seaside
(Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 3)
by Addison Cole

Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident–except when she’s around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother’s new cougar lifestyle, Jenna’s giving up on Peter–and is ready to explore other men.

As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He’s looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who’s so sexy and painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.

When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete’s true feelings, and he’s unable to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete’s not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux–the most alpha male she’s ever seen–or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?

Wow, this is really good.

Cheers to another heart warming story about the girls of Seaside, with Jenna Ward marveling at Pete’s awesomeness but can’t seem to talk whenever he’s around. I love their cat-and-mouse relationship, where one can’t stop thinking about the other while also trying to stay away from that other person.

And as usual, Jenna’s loyal friends are there to cheer her up and support her decisions, even when she always makes a fool of herself by getting involved with the construction guy instead of pursuing the one who makes her knees weak and gives her the zing in between kisses. The slow progression of Jenna and Pete’s smoldering relationship is just the right amount of romance I’m looking for. Plus the issues about their broken mom and dad was just too heartfelt. I wanted to console Neil, Pete’s father during his alcohol-laden episodes, I can’t help but cry with him over his loss. That ending though.. It was perfect, like everything I’ve ever imagined for Jenna and Pete.

Love love love this Hearts at Seaside!

I’m excited to read the next book! Addison Cole rocks!

Review: A Wedding Story by Dee Tenorio

A Wedding Story
by Dee Tenorio

Ruth Anne Barbellis—unhappily nicknamed “Rhubarb” by her lifelong enemy, Bobby Wichowski—is in Wedding Hell. Why?

Her sister is marrying Bobby’s brother.

She’s trussed up in a bridesmaid dress that must have been designed originally as a Victorian Torture Chamber.

To teach them a lesson, she and Bobby have been assigned to the Kiddie Table.

And that’s only the beginning…

Short but cute story between two mortal frenemies.. Or so they thought.

Ruth Ann aka Rhubarb was stuck in a tight-fitting, torture-laden bridesmaid dress and the only way to get out of it was to ask for help, from whoelse but Bobby.

Will Bobby help Rhubarb in her predicament, or would he rather stay with the ever-inquisitive kids at the Kiddie table? Will there still be a wedding when the bridesmaid had gone missing?

This is one of the short stories that made me smile. You may think that being a short one, it should be lengthened or expanded. But not for me. I already enjoyed the quirky scenes and relentless banter between the two main characters. There were butterflies in my stomach while I was imagining their big “fight” in an uncomfortable bathroom waiting for someone to assist them.

Truth is, while I was reading A Wedding Story, I was imagining Rhubarb as Phoebe from the TV sitcom FRIENDS and Bobby is Joey Tribbiani. Oh yes, they were actually my favorites from the tv series, so I thought of these two stars as Rhubarb & Bobby, and it definitely clicked! Made the story funny and a joy to read.

Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry

The Air He Breathes (Elements #1)
by Brittainy C. Cherry

I was warned about Tristan Cole. “Stay away from him,” people said. “He’s cruel.” “He’s cold.” “He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster. But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him, because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty. We were both looking for something else. Something more. We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays. Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

Tristan Cole lost everything in a blink of an eye. And he wasn’t even there when it happened. After saying goodbye, he struggled to live, but he never did survive the memories and pain that plagued his heart. Death stole his loved ones. Death stole his life. Death stole his breath.

“the dark days only stayed dark until the sun came up.” 

Elizabeth Bailey and her daughter were barely breathing. A year after her husband died, Elizabeth went back to Meadow’s Creek to start over, but she didn’t really want to move on. Everywhere she looked, she wished Steven was there, to hold her hand, to sleep beside her, to take her into his arms again.

“Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.” 

An angry Tristan met the lonely Elizabeth in the most awkward moments. A trip to the vet, a lawnmower screaming like banshee, grass clippings, magical library, lumberjack beard and feathers – it was all too much to these two scarred souls. He was the town asshole and she was the topic of gossipers all over the town. People talk behind their backs, but they didn’t have a single clue about the miseries they’d been going through.

He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm. 

Together they screamed and conquered their demons. Together they worked to live and relive their dead ones’ memories. Together they strive to move on but couldn’t move forward. Together they fell in love, but divided they fell out.

Brittainy Cherry made me cry again. I’ve read some of her previous books and I can’t count the number of times I sobbed and wailed like a child. Now, I cried an ocean for Tristan and Elizabeth and I cried another ocean for darling little Emma. My heart is full of emotions and I don’t know how to sort them out.

You know the feeling when you can’t let go of a book because it captivated you right from the start. The kind of book you can’t seem to put down because you’re afraid to let go of the characters and the emotions running through your heart. The kind of book that makes you forget about your household chores because you can’t pass up the opportunity to smile and wallow with the characters and anticipate what happens next. The kind of book that makes your heart beat faster, eyes sting and water, chest constrict with anguish, despair and hope.

The hardest part about losing someone you love is the fact that you also lose yourself.

This is that kind of book. The Air He Breathes is absolutely beautiful. It has everything I want, all the good, the bad and the ugly. I could spend the next two hours crying all over again but I won’t regret it. Because this was simply, absolutely beautiful. Crazy, heartwarmingly beautiful, scars and all.

“As long as air moves in and out of my lungs … as long as I breathe, I will fight for you. I will fight for us.” 

“You’re beautiful. You’re a beautiful, broken kind of monster.”