Monthly Archives: December 2015

LESSONS OF THE PAST by CHLOE MAXX

Standalone : Student/teacher second chance romance

lessons of the past

SYNOPSIS

***Warning: This book contains cheating and sexual situations. Recommended for ages 18+.*** 

They say karma is a bitch. 
And I’d agree—I had lived it. 

I had an affair with a married man…who also happened to be my professor. I couldn’t stop it, couldn’t control it. The only problem was that, I, of course, wanted more, and he couldn’t give it to me. 

Life moved on, I thought I’d moved on, but karma came back and destroyed it all. 

My husband fell in love with his secretary, and I was left trying to figure out if love was even real. 

I wanted to believe it was. I was almost positive I never stopped loving the one man I couldn’t have. But…what if I could have him? What if he wasn’t as off-limits as I had thought?

Lessons of the Past

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

✯✯✯✯ Stars

‘Life wasn’t always perfect. Neither was timing. It was what you made out of life and timing that was important. And I wanted to make the most out of what we had.’

Chloe Maxx is a new Author to us and we really enjoyed her story and writing. As far as student/teacher stories go; Lessons of the Past had just the right amount of story, nookie and likeable characters whilst staying true to the fundamentals of the taboo. We love this theme, call us naughty if you will! Whilst we did struggle a bit in the beginning to feel the connection and depth of character it didn’t take too long before we became completely engrossed in the story and despite a couple of clichéd drama, we ended up loving it. The latter part was just fabulous!

‘I had an affair with a married man…who also happened to be my professor. I couldn’t stop it, couldn’t control it. The only problem was that, I, of course, wanted more, and he couldn’t give it to me.’

With a few twists and turns switching from past to present we learn of how it all began and why it ended as it did – all the while falling in love with luscious Javier on the way and having moments of that freezer time we know and love as a consequence of a filthy mouth and steamy passion. An illicit affair with consequences.

‘Being with him had always felt right. Always comforted me. Always. Until the night he crushed all the security to shit.’

Alex our heroine is at college when her new professor completely turns her head, however she’s not alone in this and soon an affair ensues and lives are changed and a journey strewn with obstacles journey ensues.

‘The tears trailed down my cheeks, wetting the pillow below me-a mixture of sadness, regret, and happiness. Happiness that we were allowed this one last chance with each other.’

Lessons of the Past is primarily about that initial intense lust which grows into a strong and complicated love. About sacrifice, heartbreak and loyalty. It’s about finding your inner strength, listening to your heart and fighting for what you want. Both Alex and Javier had us wanting it all to work out amidst the sadness, the romance and the sweet. We definitely recommend this story to lovers of student/teacher romances.

 ✲

LESSONS OF THE PAST by CHLOE MAXX
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lessons of the past

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Filed under Chloe Maxx, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

FROM THE WRECKAGE by MELISSA COLLINS

Standalone: Contemporary Romance
Purchase Links:
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from the wreckage

SYNOPSIS

First, he saved me.
I lived because he was a hero.
And then he was gone.
Uprooted by the fire that destroyed our home, my family moved away and I never saw David Andrews again.
Then, he found me.
Eighteen years later, he rescued me again – in much simpler terms, of course. By loving me, by giving me the fairy tale I’d always hoped for, he provided me with the perfect life.
Now, he needs to be saved.
It’s my turn to be strong, to be brave, to be valiant.
When flames threaten to turn us to ashes, it’s up to me to pull us From the Wreckage.
 

´♥ ´ ´♥

From the Wreckage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

✯✯✯1/2 Stars

“Tomorrow is not a guarantee…..neither is yesterday.”

Melissa Collins MM stories have never failed to move us. The way she captures the intensity between her characters always leaves us emotionally wrought. And so it was with eager anticipation we dove into our first MF by this author. We jumped for joy, stocked up on tissues, chocolate and wine, got ourselves in reading mode and prepared to be turned into SOBBING wrecks, needing phone support from one another, hoping to have our hearts shredded and repaired.

‘Without a doubt, grace not only owns my heart, my here and now, all of my todays. She resides in all of my tomorrows.’

The subject matter and the poignancy of how this story came about is indeed moving and this story is very personal to the author, of that there is no doubt as you see little bits of ‘real life’ woven into the pages, from David being a firefighter, to Grace being a teacher and many other moments throughout.  This was a very personal journey and the Author’s note at the end is one not to be missed!

‘His words fall directly into my heart. Growing roots in my soul, they take up residence there. They become part of who I am, the air in my lungs, the blood in my veins.’

From the Wreckage worked for us on a some levels however what we had sought  from this book…deep seated, soul crushing emotion, just didn’t travel from the pages to our hearts and you have NO IDEA how much it guts us to say that. That’s not to say we weren’t moved in parts, just not enough to have us grasping our chests and sobbing into our Kindles as we had expected. Sadly, we didn’t feel the power from the story we had hoped for.

The relationship between David and Grace was one of destiny, love and courage and whilst their relationship seemed effortless in so many ways, for us it lacked that deep emotional pull we had expected between two characters who are very much soul mates, whose lives were destined to cross paths and especially given the poignancy of the story.

The prologue was gripping and described in such a vivid way we could smell the acrid smoke, feel the flames licking our heels and sense the desperation of the occupants’ moments as Melissa put us through our paces in the introduction to this story.

David Andrews was a beautiful hero. He was sweet, sexy and confident but also showed a very vulnerable side especially where Grace was concerned. For David, Firefighting wasn’t a job, it was a dedication, a love, a calling and he gave it his all.

“…these people, this city, it’s more than just a job.”

For Grace, it had always been David. These two had been bound together by an inexplicable bond since childhood ensuring their lives would always intertwine.  Grace respected David’s dedication to his job but also knew she had to live with the reality of the dangerous life threatening situations he placed himself in daily.

“Sometimes, our biggest heroes are the ones who, on the surface were no one at all.”

This is a love story and there is a beautiful message delivered, but we wanted to feel an unbreakable connection, a deep passion, a deep gut wrenching emotional experience which didn’t eventuate. This is a story that shows that love really can conquer all and we know readers will devour this one!

“I am your Gracie.”

**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author, with thanks**

´♥ ´ ´♥

FROM THE WRECKAGE by MELISSA COLLINS
 amazon us | amazon uk | iBooks

from the wreckage

 

´♥ ´ ´♥

ALSO by MELISSA

ON SOLID GROUND – M/M
 Our Review 

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on solid ground collage
SYNOPSIS

When Jacob “Dax” Daxton returns home from war, he has to fight a new battle – the one to find his place in the world. The man who normally has a clear path to victory surrounded by brothers in combat is suddenly lost and alone. After meeting Beckett Ridge, a bearded tattoo artist, Dax’s journey begins winding down an unexpected path.

Still reeling from events that shook his foundation, Beck has never been part of anything meaningful. Now faced with responsibilities foreign and daunting, Dax’s broken spirit mends Beck in ways he never even knew he was destroyed.

As both struggle to find balance, they are healed by the comfort they find in one other. On the other side of chaos, they hope to find themselves On Solid Ground. 

´ ´♥ ´

REPAIRED M/M
Our review
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Repaired

SYNOPSIS
Liam Davis is a man without a past. That’s what he wants everyone to believe, anyway. Hell-bent on erasing any memories of his previous life, he knows that starting over is all he can do. Hiding who he is, where he’s from, why he’s running, and especially who he’s left behind, Liam has run away from everything he’s ever known. His plan works perfectly until one day when Parker Ryan threatens to expose his carefully concealed world.

Parker Ryan is a man without a future. Sure, he’s a partner in one of New York’s most prestigious law firms, but he’ll never be more than a failure in the eyes of his boss, his father. Rather than break away from his father’s standards, he finds himself mindlessly pursuing them, in turn sacrificing anything that would actually make him happy.

When Liam’s and Parker’s lives collide, the ugly truth about who they really are, and who they hope to become reveals itself when they least expect it. As both of their lives become wrecked beyond all belief, they’ll learn how to rely on each other in their journey to become Repaired.

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Filed under Melissa Collins, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

FALLING TO PIECES by LEDDY HARPER

Standalone : Student/teacher forbidden romance

Falling to Piecesamazon us | amazon uk

FALLING TO PIECES EBOOK

 

SYNOPSIS

How do you repair a broken life?

Home is a dark place of anguish and pain for seventeen-year-old Bree Jacobs, forced to endure emotional and physical torment daily at the hands of a violently unstable mother. Bree’s only escape is high school, particularly her history class taught by young, handsome, kind and caring Axel Taylor. Mr. Taylor becomes Bree’s dearest friend, a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on, and soon their shared affection grows into something greater. But by reaching out to protect her—to mend her breaks and soothe her wounds—Axel has crossed a dangerous line, resulting in two shattered lives instead of just one.

Six years later, they will meet again: Bree, still battling the demons that continue to possess her, and Axel, reduced to taking work as a substitute teacher wherever he can find it. Once again he will feel compelled to rescue her. But this time it will be different, because now the yearnings of a loving heart won’t be silenced by suspicious minds. And now there’s more than one life that desperately needs saving.

Falling to Pieces

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

✯✯✯1/2 Stars

 ‘We had the power to save each other…yet we also had the ability to bring the other to their knees. When you have love as strong as ours, it can be amazing, powerful, life-changing. It can also be devastating, crippling, and destructive. It’s all in how you take care of it.’

One thing’s a definite; Leddy Harper sure can write a beautiful story. There were many parts of Axel and Bree’s journey that had us so compelled and caught up in the emotional heart tugging moments which were so vividly written. We love our student – teacher romances; the forbidden and secrecy element quite intriguing. After all, this is fiction not real life where perhaps we wouldn’t be as understanding.

‘I’d fallen for a man, only to realize it too late.’

Whilst we love Leddy Harper’s natural talent for writing we did sadly find Falling to Pieces very wordy and at times very slow and repetitive. A large part of this story was told to us rather than shown and we are readers who like to be shown a story to prevent that consequential barrier to rise between the pages and our emotions. At times we struggled to truly feel, connect and understand which impacted our overall enjoyment of Falling to Pieces. This saddens us immensely as we know that Leddy Harper is naturally capable of drawing out the intensity of emotions through her writing from us resulting in beating hearts and tears. Yes, there were moments where she did have us completely immersed but they were not consistent throughout.

‘I was the girl he couldn’t protect. And he was the guy I couldn’t touch.’

Bree hasn’t got it easy; what with a professionally powerful yet sporadically abusive Mum and no close connections to peers or family. She’s a Seventeen year old –almost- recluse who’s never formed any strong bonds. She knows not of love nor friendship.

“I want to be seen. I want to be loved. And it’s hard not to grow attached to the only person in my entire life giving me all that.”

For us, her behaviour and attitude came across as almost a purposeful intent to be a loner as we never ‘heard’ or got the impression of her trying to change this. Well until Axel. We found it very hard to connect to her; yes we sympathised and felt incredibly sorry for her but overall we found her moroseness, her sullenness and lack of oomph quite tedious and failed to fully believe in her or feel much generally for her.

“…if you allow every possible scenario to dictate what you do, then you’ll miss out on so much. Because when you factor in other people, the consequences are endless.”

Sadly, Aubrey was the main reason for why we struggled with fully loving Falling to Pieces. We never felt that she was truly happy or genuinely loving; rather she questioned absolutely everything and we were wondering who she was trying to convince in the end. For a girl going through hell any ray of sunshine would surely breathe a breath of fresh air into her?

“They say time heals. Great things come with time. I’ve never believed it until now.”

Axel is the new twenty-four year old substitute teacher. He’s compassionate and confident – gorgeous and affectionate. He immediately picks up on Bree’s situation and is there for her any way he can be trying to help and protect. The friendship that quickly forms turns into something much more thus crossing that dangerous line from merely student-teacher now involving intense feelings and hearts. We strangely felt incredibly sorry for Axel on the whole and at times wanted him to run for the hills. However, we ended up rooting for this all to work out!

‘I had to learn to live again. I had to learn to love again. And I had to do that alone.’

We loved the timeline of past and present, the fact that we got both POV’s as well as a twist we DID NOT see coming. A twist which we loved and had us tearing up, compulsively reading to see how it was all going to end and even how it came to be. We just wish we’d been allowed to experience more of the characters together in the beginning in order to silence doubts over the intensity of love and connection. Falling to Pieces was a story we did enjoy but just didn’t love –sadly- despite loving the beautiful writing of Leddy Harper.

Falling to Pieces by Leddy Harper
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FALLING TO PIECES EBOOK

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KNIGHT & SLEIGH : LUCIEN KNIGHT NOVELLA by KITTY FRENCH

Erotic, sizzling novella that can be read as a standalone but we recommend reading the series too!

knight and sleigh

SYNOPSIS

‘We have good food, firewood, and you’re naked. I can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas eve.’

Set in a snowbound cabin beneath the glittering nordic aurora skies, Knight & Sleigh is a feel good, romantic and completely filthy Christmas treat for lovers of sexy erotic romance and happy ever afters. 

Viking sex-god Lucien Knight and his PA turned lover Sophie have now been a couple for twelve sinfully sexy months, and he pulls out all of the stops to make sure that their first proper Christmas together is one she will never forget… except he gets more than he bargained for. 

Written to sit between book two and three of the USA Today best-selling Lucien Knight trilogy, Knight & Sleigh is a must-read treat for fans of the series, but it can also be read as a stand alone erotic novella to introduce you to the emotional, sexy world of Lucien and Sophie

Knight & Sleigh

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

 ✯✯✯ Stars

‘She adored every filthy bone in his body.’

Kitty French promised a very smutty Christmas read and on that account she delivered! You won’t need any central heating whilst reading this one! Wowsers!!! You’ll need to sit by a fan!

Sophie and Lucien are a very sexual couple and in this book, which can be read as a standalone but ideally should be read between books two and three, was indeed a treat for us who have missed the luscious Lucien and his love, Sophie.

We love our Christmas and spending time with Sophie and Lucien in Lucien’s cabin in Norway, Kitty really sets the Christmas feel for us and made us want to pack our bags and spend the holidays there! Well…as long as we can spend them in front of the fire with Lucien that is *wink, wink.*

There are plenty of heated times between this extremely passionate and erotic couple, lots of reminiscing and fun between in between. What we wouldn’t give to find that hot Viking god under our Christmas tree in a couple of weeks!


THE LUCIEN KNIGHT EROTIC TRILOGY

Knight Series

♦ Knight & Play:  our review|amazon us | amazon uk
♦ Knight & Stay : our review|amazon us || amazon uk 
♦ Knight & Day : our review | amazon us || amazon uk 
♦ Knight & Sleigh : amazon us | amazon uk 
The Complete Knight Trilogy : amazon us | amazon uk

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I WANT YOU TO WANT ME – Rock Star Romance Book #2 by ERIKA KELLY

Can be read as a standalone: Rock star romance

I want you to want me

SYNOPSIS

From the award-winning author of You Really Got Me comes the next romance in her red-hot Rock Star Romance series, about a rocker who lives for his music—and loves with all his heart.

Derek Valencia finally has the success he’s worked so hard for. His band is touring its debut album and great reviews are rolling in. But when pictures of him tossing naked groupies off a balcony go viral, it’s damage-control time. He’s assigned a “babysitter” whose sole job is to keep him out of trouble.

Violet Davis swore she’d never work in the music industry again, but being a minder for a rock star will earn her enough to pay off the mortgage on her wildflower farm. And for a girl brought up in the foster care system, owning her own home means more to her than anything.

Though at first the two bang heads, the rocker and the farm girl soon grow close and realize that they make sweet music together. But can a girl who craves the stability of life on a farm really make it work with a man whose life is spent on the road with his band?

I want you to want me

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

✯✯✯ Stars

“Love doesn’t just evaporate.”

You Really Got Me was without doubt, one of our favourite rock star books this year. The romance between Slater Vaughan, Derek’s best mate, and Emmie Valencia, Derek’s sister completely and utterly stole our hearts! The relationship between the three was so sweet, we devoured that book and so you can imagine how eager we were to get our grabby hands on this one! We couldn’t wait to me meet the woman who would steal Derek’s heart and give him the type of love he witnessed and admired between Slater and Emmie.

“I love being with you. I could stay awake all night just to be with the Violet I get under the covers.”

Derek is pretty hard on himself as an artist. He’s spent most of his life feeling overshadowed by his father, the great virtuoso Eddie Valencia, a well-respected musician in his day who seems to take great delight in putting down his son at every opportunity he can muster and dismissing his son’s obvious talent vocally through the media.  Derek can’t seem to win a trick with this guy!

In this instalment we meet Derek and the band at a time when they are finally getting the recognition and accolades they deserve. They’re exceptionally talented and have vowed not to become victims of the dreaded sex, drugs and rock and roll cliché that has destroyed so many before them.

When some members of the band begin to party a little too hard, its suspected drugs are involved and Emmie suggests her friend Violet tour with the band as a minder to shadow them, get to the bottom of the problem, cease the bad behaviour and nip the drug taking in the bud.

Violet appeared tough on the outside, but was vulnerable on the inside. After had lived her life in and out of the foster care system, Violet is convinced she lacks the ability to feel and love like most people, due to being deprived of affection as a child.

“You make me feel special. You make me feel. And I didn’t even know I could.”

The chemistry between Violet and Derek is immediate and there is no doubting the passion between them is sizzling. Sadly  though, the emotion of their connection didn’t quite travel from the pages to our hearts with this one and we’re so utterly sad about that because we really wanted to love their story as much as we did Emmie and Slater. Instead we found ourselves becoming frustrated with the constant drama that eschewed between them.

It really does break our hearts to say that and for that reason we didn’t enjoy this book as much as its predecessor. The relationship between Violet and Derek felt forced at times and the back and forth so repetitive it became tedious instead of emotionally gripping. There were some shining moments throughout but there were a few misses too.

“You told me you don’t know how to love, but you’re wrong. You think there’s some chapter in the book of life that you missed out on, but that’s bullshit. Loving is just what we do. Just because you didn’t have it growing up, doesn’t mean you’re destined to a life without.”

The amount of ‘real life’  introduced to the story was a turn off for us both. In You Really Got Me, Erika Kelly crafted and created a beautiful and believable fantasy rock world.  She had our pulses racing and every moment felt as though we were there, in the audience, awe struck watching the band. Sadly here the fantasy world was replaced with reality which took us completely out of the moment. There was band name dropping left, right and centre and the character of Jason Becker so obviously Justin Bieber felt as though we were reading snippets from a magazine rather than a fictional novel. However this is a personal thing and some readers will love this aspect of the story.

All was not lost though because we were once again completely swept away with the banter and camaraderie between the band members, a theme this author really does do well. These guys really are a family and the love and affection they share is mesmerising.

The highlight of this story was the considerable time we got to spend with Slater and Emmie again. They made this book for us. Their passion,  their intense and consuming love for one another, despite this story not being primarily about them, stole our hearts at every turn and Slater’s heart to hearts with Derek made us MELT!

“Violet doesn’t give a rat’s ass about a Ferrari or a fancy law firm. She doesn’t want to summer in some gated mansion in East Hampton. Stability doesn’t mean the guy who can buy her shit……. Stability means the one guy who loves the shit out of her. It means knowing you’ve got the one person in the world who knows your crap, calls you on it, and still wakes up with you the next morning, every fuckin’ morning, until the day you die.”

So whilst this didn’t pack the emotional punch we had anticipated there was still much we enjoyed and we’re definitely  looking forward to seeing where this series takes us next!

 **ARC Copy provided, with thanks, by Berkley/Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.**

 ♥ 

The ROCK STAR ROMANCE SERIES by ERIKA KELLY

Erika Kelly

 YOU REALLY GOT ME – BOOK ONE
Can be read as a standalone
Amazon us || Amazon uk || Our 5 Star Review

 I WANT YOU TO WANT ME – BOOK TWO
Amazon us
 || Amazon uk 

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