Blog Tour | The Cad and the Co-Ed by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway

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The Cad and The Co-Ed, a quirky and sexy romantic comedy from Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway is available now!!

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THE CAD

Bryan Leech is a cad.

Or, he *was* a cad.

No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED

Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN

Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

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Review

My rating: 5 stars

The Cad and the Co-ed follows Eilish Cassidy and Brian Leech. Eilish and Brian met at a wedding and spent a romantic night together, but Brain didn’t remember her or their night the next morning. Eilish soon finds herself pregnant and runs cutting everyone off (except Sean, her favourite cousin). Fast-forward a few years, Eilish has graduated in physiotherapy and lands a job in Sean’s team. Guess who she has to work closely with? Brain Leech, the father of her son and the man who broke her heart. Brian has turned his life around, no more drinking and waking up without any memories.

While this trope is not a favourite of mine, I enjoyed this book a lot. A LOT. When Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway come together unicorn’s poop cupcakes. This is definitely a cupcake. I don’t know what magical writing bond these two have, but I never want to see it end. They need to forever write collaborations together.

I absolutely loved Eilish. She worked hard to provide for herself and her son, and she knew when she was in over her head she could always count on Sean (ahhh Sean). She didn’t take any bullshit from her mother or that so called friend of hers (who I could not stand). And, while she was afraid of telling Brian the truth, she did when she saw he had grown responsible and mature.

Brian, oh Brian. What can I say about you? I fell in love with you from the start. Brian hit rock bottom and instead of staying there he decided he didn’t want to and changed his life. He worked through his alcoholism and straighten his life around. And he was always there for his mother, despite her alcoholism (that could have affected him).

Brian was intrigued by Eilish the moment he met her all those years later. While Eilish tried to stay away she couldn’t. I found their story realistic and beautiful. Reid and Cosway penned down their journey beautifully. If you love a smart, funny, emotional romance this is the book to go for.

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Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06W9J28CJ/

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

http://www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LHCosway/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/vkhYHN

Website: http://www.lhcoswayauthor.com

Blog Tour: Review | Beard Science by Penny Reid

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Beard Science

by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #3
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Humor, Romance

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Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.

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My Review

My rating: 5 stars

Beard Science follows Jennifer Sylvester and Cletus Winston. Jennifer Sylvester has been playing a role her whole life, and she’s getting tired of it. When she accidently stumbles upon something that may help change her life she plunges forwards. She blackmails Cletus into helping her find a husband. Cletus decides to humor her; soon he finds himself genuinely wanting to help her, however, not in finding a husband but rather finding herself.

Jennifer Sylvester is not the Banana Cake Queen, but rather a very remarkable, relatable, and unique protagonist. I understood (to an extent) her wanting to make her parents proud by becoming their version of who she should be. But, I loved that she decided she wants to live for herself – albeit it included a husband. I loved how she slowly removed their clutches to find herself. It was a beautiful journey.

Cletus has been my favourite since the first Winston Brother book (I still love you a lot Billy and Duane). I love the way his mind works, I’ve never read anything like it. He is a true cinnamon roll and I shall cherish him forever. I adored his personal growth as well – I found it very cute how he determined that Shelly is the love of his life upon meeting her and that it was the best time to meet the love of his life. I also loved that when he figured out he is in love with Jennifer he didn’t fight it, he just accepted it. It was so refreshing reading that, it’s old reading about character’s fight their feelings.

It was absolutely magical reading about their relationship and how it progressed. Jennifer was never on Cletus’s raider and after he got to know her, he regretted not knowing her earlier. And, Jennifer has always known Cletus, she sees him for who he really is, who he hides from the world. And their journey together was awe-enchanting to read. I find myself wanting to re-read it already, and it’s only been out a few weeks. Thank you so much Penny Reid for giving us such a masterpiece.

 

About Penny Reid

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SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Review | To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne

In To Love and to Cherish, USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne’s third steamy novel in her delightful, hotter-than-Hades new series, the Wedding Belles’ head honcho Alexis Morgan decides she’s ready to let loose. But when a certain sexy accountant volunteers himself for the job, will she risk everything she’s built in the name of lust…or possibly even love?

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To Have and to Hold
The Wedding Belles #3
Author: Lauren Layne

Published: October 18, 2016

Alexis has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premier wedding planning company. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn to her much neglected personal life. Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Definitely not part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Wedding Belles and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan is all business, all the time. But when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss, Alexis begins to suspect there’s a hot-blooded man beneath the pinstripes and glasses.

Logan has wanted Alexis since the day they met, but the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable. Now Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally obvious that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last-minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect opportunity to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan sets out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

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Review

My rating: 5 stars

To Have and to Hold follows Alexis Morgan and Logan Harris. 8 years ago Alexis and Logan meet at a bar, that one night changed their lives forever. For Alexis it helped build towards her future in creating the Wedding Belles and for Logan he found the love of his life. 8 years have gone by and Alexis still hasn’t noticed Logan the way he wants her to notice him, so he decides to take matter into his hands – no more playing the docile accountant, it’s time to show Alexis his inner alpha.

Logan has been a silent partner and the accountant to the Belle’s from the start – he is the closest thing Alexis has to a best friend, though he doesn’t see it that way. Logan has patiently been waiting for Alexis to make her dream come true and when she’s ready for a relationship he’ll be there. Turns out Alexis has a plan of her own, she has started looking for potential dates and hasn’t mentioned this to Logan. And, she always dismisses Logan as a potential relationship whenever the Belle’s mention him. But, Logan isn’t about to give up so easily, he’s going to show Alexis that it’s them…it will always be them.

I had been waiting for Logan and Alexis’ story since we were first introduced to them in To Have and to Hold. And, let me tell you I was not disappointed. Logan and his Britishness will forever melt my heart. And, Alexis, I just wanted to wrap her in a cinnamon roll and drop her to Logan so he’d protect her fragile heart. No one would keep it safer than Logan.

Logan and Alexis’ relationship was so interesting to read because they both saw each other differently and they didn’t even realise what the other saw. For Alexis, Logan was her best friend, even though Logan never thought that because she was very well guarded. And, for Logan, Alexis was his everything, even though she was too blind to see it. I just loved the way their relationship unwrapped and they came together. It wasn’t easy for Alexis, Logan was there for her…every step of the way.

It was a lot of fun reading Logan seduce Alexis and well her reaction – let me tell you, she was very surprised. And, damn is his seduction good. Alexis didn’t stand a chance, especially because she already had a special place for him in her heart (which she refused to think about).

I’m not going to lie, I’m quite sad the series has come to an end. I’m not ready to say goodbye to all these beautiful characters. And, I will hope, one day, Lauren decides to write a story one Jess. (She deserves her HEA too)

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

Author

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Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

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Blog Tour: Review | Road-Tripped by Nicole Archer

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Road-Tripped

by Nicole Archer
Ad Agency Series #1
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy

RoadTripped

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What’s worse than losing everything? Try driving a phallic-shaped RV across the country with your vile womanizing coworker.

Copywriter Callie Murphy has a bad attitude, a vicious tongue, and a serious aversion to Shimura Advertising’s resident manwhore, Walker Rhodes. Know where he can stick his good looks and Southern charm? She can think of a few creative places. Avoiding him wouldn’t be a problem, except her boss threatens to fire her if she doesn’t go along with him on their RV client’s cross-country tour.

Walker is sick of his job, tired of women, and in a big old creative rut. The upcoming client road trip is just what he needs to shake things up and rediscover his lost passion. But his plans go south when his partner drops out at the last minute, and Callie, the foul-mouthed tiny terror, takes her place. Unless he can find a way to thaw his icy coworker, he’s looking at two month’s of pure hell.

On the road, they experience one hilarious misadventure after another and soon find themselves on a life-changing journey. But when their paths veer off in different directions, will they hit a dead end?

Road-Tripped is a stand-alone novel and the first book in the Ad Agency Series.

*Adult language and situations.

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Review

My rating: 3 stars

Road-Tripped follows Callie Murphy and Walker Rhodes as they embark a journey to rediscover an upcoming client’s lost passion. Two unlikely people come together to help their respective friends and do their jobs

I loved Callie, we were introduced to her as she was plotting to rig  a bomb at her workplace – she didn’t really do it, she just added it to her ‘list’. Unfortunately for Callie she is stuck with a job where her boss (and friend), Skip, believes in partying more than working. She seems to have an extra dislike to her co-worker, Walker, and has declared him as a manwhore. What she doesn’t know is Walker isn’t all he shows to be – he hates his job and the fawning he receieves. He is close to quitting, however, he recieves an offer to go on a paid road-trip – being the perfect opportunity he takes up the offer.

Callie doesn’t seem to have much luck on her side, with the previous writer sick due to her pregnancy, Callie is forced to take her place. Walker and Callie don’t exactly start off on the right foot, however, as their journey develops so does their relationship.

Callie is a hilarious herione and Walker is a charming hero. I quite enjoyed their interactions, however, sometimes I found them a tad too immature and wished they had just cleared up their misunderstandings. I also was not too fond of how Callie seemed to hold on to her perceived notion about Walker being a manwhore for so long. Other than that, I found it to be really realisitic and relatable – I felt like I was on the road trip with them. I also loved that Nicole put a playlist with each chapter, it really brought the mood.

About Nicole Archer

Nicole Archer’s lengthy career as an advertising copywriter not only polished her writing skills—it provided a lifetime of book material. Many months her book purchases are as high as her mortgage. As a full-time, working single mom of a beautiful, time to do much else, but work, write, read, drink wine, and breathe. She believes the best books make you laugh, cry and orgasm. In real life, she lives in Dallas, Texas, but she’d rather live in Switzerland.

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Review | Memories of Ash by Instisar Khanani

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Memories of Ash
by: Intisar Khanani
The Sunbolt Chronicles #2
Publication Date: May 30th, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

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Review

My rating: 5 stars

Memories of Ashes takes place a year after Sunbolt – Hitomi has been learning under Brigit Stormwind. Until one day a rogue mage hunter visits to escort Stormwind to the Council for a trial. Knowing Blackflame is behind the charges Hitomi decides to break Stromwind free.

MoA is one of the best books I’ve read this year; I am still on a high from it. I cannot even begin to describe my love for it. This high fantasy is nothing like I’ve read before – it probably has to do with romance usually playing a major role – but in this there was hardly any. A full length novel about a girl travelling the land with the help of allies.

Hitomi is a really likeable protagonist – she’s strong, witty, loyal, intelligent, and flawed. Hitomi has a habit of getting into situations without much planning, and while that may usually seem annoying it isn’t with Hitomi – she acknowledges that it is a flaw – and to do the right thing is more important to her. Despite regaining some of her memories she was still haunted with the deaths she caused and refuse to take anymore; it was very humane of her.

The political plot was quite interesting as well, usually I steer clear of politics but Khanani’s writing made it really fascinating. The fight for power, the will to save one’s own skin even if it means losing one’s soul, the deception and manipulation, were really well immersed with the story. There was so much to learn – if something is not fully unveiled it is best to trust one’s gut.

While this was not heavy on the romance, this did have some really beautiful bonds – whether they’re familial, friendships, or alliances. This was a breath of fresh air from the usual fantasy books I’ve read. The bond between Hitomi and Stromwind gave me some paternal feels, and it was nice for Hitomi to have someone to guide her after being alone so long. I didn’t realise how much I missed Kenta until he showed up; I loved their relationship in Sunbolt and I love it even more after MoA. Val and Hitomi’s relationship is so unique and special – the trust between the two is beautiful.

I know I said I’m happy that this barely had any romance, but I’m a romantic at heart and I need to share my opinion. In Sunbolt we were introduced to the Ghost, and I feel in love with them after reading their first scene. Hitomi and Ghost give me so many Kaz and Inej feels. Though there was only mentions of the Ghost I’m hoping we’ll meet him again in the next book. I’m definitely rooting for these two, and I hope we get like a secondary/tertiary romance plot with them.

Khanani’s writing is remarkable; she kept me on the edge of my seat, fully immersed in the story, without a care of what was going around me. She has the perfect mixture of plot, world building, and character development. We were introduced to many new characters and they weren’t without reason, everything tied up. I am in awe with her writing.

I received an arc of this from the author in exchange of an honest review.

About the Author

Intisar Khanani

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.

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Blog Tour: Review | The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood

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The Rule Book
by: Jennifer Blackwood
Rule Breakers #1
Publication Date: May 9, 2016
Genre: Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Entangled Embrace

The Rule Book Cover

Starr Media Second-Assistant Survival Guide
1. Don’t call your hot boss the antichrist to his face.
2. Don’t stare at hot boss’s, um, package or his full sleeve of tattoos. (No. Really. Stop!)
3. Don’t get on the malicious first assistant’s bad side.
4. Don’t forget to memorize the 300-page employee manual.
5. If you value your cashmere, steer clear of boss’s dog.
6. Boss’s dimples are lust-inducing. Do. Not. Give. In.
7. “The elevator ate your clothes” is not a valid excuse for showing up to important meetings half dressed.
8. Don’t break seven of the rules within the first week of employment if you, ya know, are in dire need of money to support your sick mom.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the boss. See rule eight about sick mom.
10. Never forget the rules.

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RBGR

Purchase: Amazon | Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

REVIEW

The Rule Book follows Lainey as she starts her new job as a second assistant. She finds herself stuck with some outrageous rules made by her boss, Brogan Starr, and she cannot seem to not embarrass herself around him. Thrust in his world she learns more about the man behind the rules, and forgets her own rule about not falling in love with him.

“He didn’t complete me, because hell, I was complete to begin with, but he was the perfect complement, one that I’d be hard pressed to find in someone else.”

Lainey was a really fun heroine; I loved her awkwardness and ramblings. However, her internal ramblings got really long that the focus on the scene dissipated. Brogan seemed like a nice, smexy boss, however, his character felt uni-dimensional. And, the romance fell flat as well; I liked it was a slow burn, however, I didn’t really feel the chemistry – with Lainey’s rambling and lack of knowing Brogan’s thoughts it just didn’t work for me.

I think I would have enjoyed it more had it also included Brogan’s perspective. Other than that, it was a fun read and Lainey was a great heroine.

ABOUT JENNIFER BLACKWOOD

Jennifer Blackwood

Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and contemporary romance author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When not chasing after her toddler, you can find her binging on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Supernatural, and locking herself in her office to write.

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Tour Schedule

May 30- Joyfully Reviewed, Spotlight
May 30- HEA Fanatics, Excerpt
May 30- Splashes Into BooksReview*
May 31- Sweet & Spicy Reads, Excerpt
May 31- LYLY 5 STAR READINGReview*
June 1- Book-Bosomed Book Blog, Excerpt
June 1- Avid Reader Amy’s ReviewsReview*
June 1- Books, Blurbs, and BeyondReview*
June 2– I’m A Book Shark, Excerpt
June 2– Read Your Writes Book Reviews, Spotlight
June 2– Collector of book boyfriends, Excerpt
June 2– For The Love of Fictional Worlds, Spotlight
June 2– A Book Lover’s Emporium, Excerpt
June 2– Mile High KINK Book Club, Excerpt
June 2– The Booksnake Etc.Review*
June 2– My Favorite ThingsReview*
June 3- Lindsey Gray, Playlist
June 3– Liz’s Reading Life, Excerpt / Spotlight
June 3– Bookworm8619, Spotlight
June 3– Page Turners Book Blog, Excerpt
June 3– Vera is ReadingReview*
June 3– Southern Vixens Book ObsessionsReview*
June 3– A British Bookworm’s BlogReview*
June 3– Happily Ever Chapter, Review*

Release Week Blitz: Review + Excerpt | Charged by Jay Crownover

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From New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover comes CHARGED, the latest in her sexy The Saints of Denver Series, releasing May 24th! Known for her strong heroines and alpha males, you won’t know what hit you as you read Avett and Quaid’s story. Keep reading for more about the Leagle Eagle and Avett and order your copy today.

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation…or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

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 REVIEW

My rating: 4 stars

Charged follows Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson. After the incident at the bar Avett finds herself in legal trouble, thanks to Asa she finds herself with lawyer, Quaid. From his first meeting with Avett, Quaid knows this case isn’t going to be a usual for him – there’s something about her honesty that intrigues him and makes him act differently.

In the Marked Men series I was not really fond of Avett, I mean I really did not like her, but after reading this my opinion about her completely changed – she is a cinnamon roll that needs to be protected at all cost. I just wanted to hold her and tell her everything will be alright and it’s not her fault; I’m glad Quaid was there to do that. She was so broken she didn’t realise the amazing support she had around her – she was drowned in her mistakes that she felt she didn’t deserve the support she received. Her emotional growth was a pleasure to read.

Quaid was absolutely drool-some, ahhh Legal Eagle *_*. He was dealing with his own demons but he overcame them and that was fantastic. There wasn’t much of a character growth, it was more like him breaking down his wall and becoming himself. He was pretty amazing to begin with and when he shed his walls I knew I was a goner.

The chemistry between Avett and Quaid was explosive, and while the romance was steamy and swoon-worthy, the story was much more than that. It was about not letting your past define you, but how you move forward from it. The story had me on the edge of my seat till the very end.

I loved the appearance of old character and some new ones. There were hints for future stories and I, for one, cannot wait. I’m not sure whose story I want more first, I kind of want both right now. I shall patiently wait for the next one.

EXCERPT

Quaid

              She let her arms fall and scooted forward on the chair. She leaned forward and looked at me intently. Her eyes were mesmerizing and I found myself distracted by all the different colors trapped there. I had to ask her to repeat herself when I realized she said something and was waiting for a response from me. I needed to get my head in the game where this girl was concerned…this girl…that was the part I seemed to keep forgetting.

              “What did you say?” My voice dipped lower than it normally was and I shifted in my seat as other parts of me started to notice all the interesting and attractive things about Avett Walker as well.

              “I said, I Googled you.” She swept some of her hair back from where it had fallen over her shoulder, and I literally had to force myself to keep my gaze locked on her face as the motion pushed her chest up higher and tighter against the plain, black T-shirt she had on.

              “Oh, yeah? How did that work out for you?” I knew what she would find: my service record, my wedding announcement, my work history from the firm, various tidbits on my most high profile cases, and various articles chronicling my divorce. Most divorces weren’t newsworthy, but when one of the people involved came from money and the other was as high profile as I was, it made for good filer on a slow news day. I was curious to see what her interpretation of the snapshot of my life that existed on the internet was.

              She got up from the chair and started to pace back and forth in front of my desk as she talked. “It worked out well enough, I guess. I saw that you were enlisted when you were younger, which explains why my dad immediately liked you.” She looked at me over her shoulder and a tiny grin tugged at her mouth. “He doesn’t usually like anyone instantly. It takes him a while to warm up.”

              I listened with half an ear as I watched her brightly colored hair swish around her shoulders. She didn’t come across as the girly or overly feminine type, so I wondered why she had gone with such a delicate and pretty pink when coloring her hair.

              “I learned that you’re a Colorado native, that you grew up in the mountains, that your birthday is right around Christmas, which means you’re almost thirty-two, so you’ve accomplished a lot in your career in a short amount of time. I also learned that you own a lot of suits.”

              I snorted out a surprised laugh at that last part, which made her stop pacing. She took a step closer to my desk and put her hands on the opposite edge, leaning forward. The new position made her T-shirt gape at the collar, and even though I refused to look down, I could see the hint of a leopard-print bra peeking out. That hint of something forbidden made my mouth go dry and had my pulse kicking. It was a powerful reaction to very little provocation, and I made myself beat it back, forcibly.

And don’t miss the first titles in The Saints of Denver Series!

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Jay Crownover - author picAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point,and the Saints of Denverseries. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

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Review | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

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Rebel of the Sands
by: Alwyn Hamilton
Rebel of the Sands #1
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

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Review
My rating: 4.5 stars

Rebel of the Sands follows Amani, an orphan stuck living with her aunt and uncle. Dustwalk, her hometown, is a dead place and she finds herself suffocating in it; she’s dreamt of running away to Izman for a long time. Soon she finds herself in an unexpected journey with an unexpected companion. Without realising her plans change and so does she.

I LOVED AMANI! She is a kickass protagonist; when everything was crumbling she didn’t whine or cry, she took it in her hands to find a solution. Reading about her dressing up as a guy to earn her way out of Dustwalk was some of my favourite parts. Ahh, my blue eye bandit won me over from the start. And, I loved how she wasn’t one of those sacrificial lambs who always thought about how the outcome of their decisions would affect others. She was selfish, tough, and somewhat naïve, to watch her grow was truly amazing. Even though watching her leave some people behind made me churn a bit, I loved how she didn’t continue to do so in the future – I just really love her development.

The world building was alright, I felt it was a mixture of Middle East and Wild Wild West, not entirely Middle Eastern. Also, the world building could have been executed better – something was missing. (Maybe a map like Six of Crows could have helped.) The magical aspect was interesting as well, it doesn’t come into play until the second half of the book, but when it shows up it does not disappoint at all.

I loved the comrade between Amani and Jin, but I felt the romance on and off. The fact their relationship was built on lies didn’t help. However, I did enjoy their friendship. I kind of felt their feelings for one another were kind of rushed, but they haven’t exchanged I love you’s or made unreasonable/rash decisions for one another, so that was a plus point. I’m hoping in the next book their relationship develops more before they get together. I just really want a slow burn.

The secondary characters were fabulous and I’m eager to see more of them in the future. Shazad is also a strong female character I grew quite fond of rather quickly. Hala was a sweetie pie and I wanted to keep her protected (just like Ahmed). Bahi and the twins were cute as well. I enjoyed Ahmed’s character as well, I’m hoping he as a bigger role in the next book. I loved how Hamilton was able to execute an amazing development with them – they tied perfectly with the story.

And, I almost forgot, the writing is glorious. Hamilton sucked me in with her captivating plot and beautiful writing. I need the second book soon, I really don’t know how I’m supposed to wait. (This is why I like reading series that are complete.)