Category Archives: 3.5 Stars

FOUND UNDERNEATH (Finding Me #2) by K L KREIG :: REVIEW & EXCERPT

Erotic, steamy and suspenseful duet

SYNOPSIS

It began as a ruse.

Take a girlfriend. Divert the press from the fucked up mess that’s my family until my father is re-elected. Stage a public breakup. Move on.

Only that brilliant plan went straight south the moment I set eyes on Willow Blackwell.

I found her.

My center. My future. A soulmate with the will of a mule and the mouth of a harpy.

I now want things I never wanted before. Permanent kinds of things.

Only Fate—and her ex—have other plans for us.

In some sort of cosmic impossibility, our lives unknowingly intersected years before when tragedy befell both our families. Once the devastating truth is finally revealed, the future I’d found in her will come crashing down around us and for the first time in my life I’m completely helpless.

I may very well lose the only woman I’ve ever loved to a past neither of us saw coming.

*warning: 18+ only. Contains foul language, explicit sex and a hot alpha (or two, or three). NOTE: This is NOT a standalone. It’s the conclusion to LOST IN BETWEEN, which MUST be read first.

The FINDING ME DUET is available to purchase below

LOST IN BETWEEN BOOK ONE :: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Our Review                          
FOUND UNDERNEATH BOOK TWO  :: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Our Review


LOST IN BETWEEN – FINDING ME BOOK ONE

SYNOPSIS

We all have one.

A price.

That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything.

Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it.

What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick.

What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit.

I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.

*If dirty-talking, dominant alphas are not your thing, move along. Mature, 18+ only. Book 1 in a 2-part duet.


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“…bad memories take up too much space and you need that space for good memories.”

We were so excited to be back with Willow and Shaw, wanting to find out how their love affair would end up after a fake and quite rocky beginning. Two very strong characters, each with several skeletons in their closets and individual crosses to bear. Nothing is always as it seems and sometimes what will be, will simply just be, no matter how much you don’t want it to or can’t picture it. What you may assume may be so far from the reality, and what tests your very being may bring upon a reaction you least expect. From others as well as yourself.

“I love you, but I’m not sure that’s enough.”

It did take us a while to get back into the swing of things with these characters; we felt it moved quite slow and felt quite repetitive nookie wise. However, that’s not saying we didn’t enjoy this book, as we sure did. We loved Willow and our hearts still broke for her, yet we celebrated her feistiness, her strength and her compassion. We understood her reluctance to open up and her actions of self-preservation. When such personal tragedy and an almost forced loneliness is your day to day, how does one live with that or even come to terms with life without bearing the scars and having it affect relationships with others?

‘He fits me. He sees me. He makes my blood boil, my heart sing, and my soul crave something I haven’t in a long, long time, if ever.’

Shaw is a formidable man with an enigmatic presence. He knows who he is and what he wants and whilst life can be mapped out with joys and needs met, it’s the unexpected that throws everything off the rails and into the back seat. Yet Shaw is still there for anyone who needs him. His fake relationship is anything but, as he knows that Willow is the one he wants, despite the secrets tainting this pure almost aggressive love affair.

‘I want her body. Her soul. Her divinity. Her love and devotion. I want to dominate her mind, rule her soul, eat her cries every morning for breakfast.’

There is no doubt that we felt the tangible need and attraction Willow and Shaw had for one another. Their passion and desperation was vividly written with beauty, heat and humour. By the end there was no question and the secrets threatening their love were believably met with maturity and empathy.

‘For those few stolen moments, I let him in all the way. I let him see that I don’t want anything between us but real and reckless, no matter if it hurts one, or both of us, in the end. That it’s too late and I’m already madly in love with him.’

We have a love/hate relationship with this new popular wave of duets. We love them as they’ve taken away the dreaded ‘middle book filler syndrome’ from trilogies but also because more time is given to fleshing out characters. Where we may falter is when a certain time has passed we need to reconnect with characters or we feel lost for a certain percentage of the book. Sadly this happened for us here. Having read the initial short story and book one in in quick succession and absolutely loving it, we felt the wait and the slow repetitiveness disconnected us somewhat and the story moved off in a bit of a different destination. This is an honest and personal opinion and most likely won’t affect any other readers, saying this- we have enjoyed this series for sure.

‘The truth is we control very little in this life. And accepting that, finding peace within after we’ve mourned and closed ourselves off for a while so we can heal is the only control we do have.’


EXCERPT FROM ROUND UNDERNEATH


“Are we expecting someone else?” I ask my father, nodding to the empty spot as the doorbell rings.

“We are,” he responds, not making a move to answer it. Two seconds later I know why.

“Apologies for being late, Adelle.” The recognizable male voice drives nails into my skull and fire ants through my veins.

What the ever-loving fuck is he doing here? And he simply walked into my father’s house as if he owns the place? My blood is boiling fast and hot.

I look over to my mother to see that slimy motherfucker, Reid Mergen, kiss her cheek before shaking Evan’s hand as if they’re old high school buddies or something.

“How are you doing, little man?” Mergen says with unnerving familiarity as he playfully ruffles Eli’s hair on his way by. Apparently he’s spending more time with my family than I realized. While that wouldn’t bother me under any other circumstances, because it’s him, because he’s threatening everything I love in this room, it enrages me to the point I think I’m going to blow.

“What’s he doing here?” Willow whispers at the same time Mergen greases me with a smug grin.

“I have no fucking idea,” I grit. But I’m not saying it to her. I’m addressing my father. “Why is he here? This is a family dinner.”

“We’re sewn at the hip these days. Hell, I’m practically blood,” fuckface interjects, rubbing the dig in with his searing gaze.

Every muscle in my body readies to bloody his face. “I wasn’t talking to you, asshole.”

“Shaw Andrew,” my mother scolds, doing that clacking thing she does with her tongue when one of us disappoints her.

Well, fuck that. If she thinks I’m going to sit by and cower while this poseur tries to undermine my family, mother or not, she has another thing coming.

My fingers coil into my palms, my dull nails piercing fiercely into the skin. I ignore everyone else, biting out, “Leave, before I throw you out.”

Willow lays a palm gently on my forearm, trying to calm me. I let out a smug grin of my own when Mergen’s eyes drop to it and flare.

“Shaw.” This time my father chimes in. “I invited him.”

My father nods to Mergen, whose eyes now dart between Willow and me, and while I can’t see the look on Willow’s face, whatever it is must be enough to give that bastard pause. He has the chair pulled halfway out, a slight hint of indecision now sitting on his previously haughty features.

“Sit,” my father commands. He does but won’t meet my hateful gaze. “As for you,” he addresses me. Dresses me down, is more like it. “Reid is a guest in my house, at my table, and while I have some idea what’s going on between you two”—his attention slides to Willow, then back to me—“you will act civil to my guest while you’re in my home.”

I don’t respond, not verbally anyway. A diatribe sits round and heavy on the end of my tongue, clawing to get out. I fear if I open my mouth, though, I may do irreparable damage with my parents and no matter how many insults I want to hurl, that fucker right across from me is not worth it.

Willow surprises the hell out of me by caressing her lips against my cheek before whispering, “I can do this if you can.”

Running on some primal instinct I have no control over, I grip the back of her neck and hold her still while I kiss her breathless right at the dining room table with everyone watching.

When I lean back, Willow blinks a few times. Her eyes are dreamy. Her face is flushed the delicious hue of longing. I thought maybe she’d be pissed, but when one corner of her mouth tips up, mine does the same.

“Well, this should be entertaining,” Annabelle spouts, clueless that the man within a finger’s length is the man who could very well be this family’s demise. Her demise.

“Can we say grace now or is there more boundary marking yet to do?” my father asks, to which nearly everyone snickers. Except for Mergen, that is. His eyes flame with the same firestorms of hate I imagine fill mine when I think of him with Willow.

There’s a part of me that knows I should feel bad for him, but if it’s there, I can’t find it. I don’t know what happened between him and Willow, and I’m not sure I want to know. All that matters is she’s mine now.

“Oh, there’s more marking to do.” I slide my hand high around Willow’s upper thigh and squeeze, all the while never taking my eyes from my new enemy. “But that will be done in private.”

“Oh my goodness,” my mother gasps.

“Jesus Christ.” My father’s head drops forward as he shakes it.

“Mommy, Gwandpapa said a naughty wood,” Eli chirps.

“Oh, this is getting good,” Annabelle chimes in, a broad grin splitting her face.

Mergen and I lock wills. You want to challenge me, campaign boy? Fucking bring it. I eat weaklings like you for breakfast.


TBB ALSO RECOMMENDS this Standalone from K L KREIG
17th

THE BLACK SWAN AFFAIR

SYNOPSIS

I’ve loved him as long as I can remember.

The gangly boy with big brown eyes and unruly hair who grew up into an intoxicating man. He wears scruff like he invented it and ambles with a swagger that makes panties drop.
Killian Shepard.
Shep.
We grew up together. We played Ghost in the Graveyard. Had our own rock band. It didn’t matter that he was five years older than me. It didn’t matter that he looked at me as a kid sister even as I grew into a woman. It didn’t even matter when he left me behind to go to college and start his adult life.
He’d be back.
He was always meant to be mine.
He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me—us—the day he married my sister instead of me.
So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do.
I got my revenge.
I married his brother, Kael.
Now we’re one big happy fucking family.

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WORTH THE WAIT (McKinney/Walker #1) by CLAUDIA CONNOR :: REVIEW

Emotional second chance romance featuring children

worth-the-wait-10th-jan

SYNOPSIS
He broke her heart. When he finds out just how badly, it will break his too.

Nick Walker found the love of his life when he was just nineteen.

Found her.
Loved her.
Lost her.

It’s been ten years since Nick watched the only woman he ever loved walk out of his life. Now this FBI Special Agent will do anything to win her back.

But it won’t be easy…

Mia’s heart was shattered by Nick. They’ll have to face their painful past if they want a future, including Mia’s own secret about that day it all fell apart.

Do you believe in second chances.

WORTH THE WAIT is available to purchase below

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Worth The Wait

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘They just were. Nick and Mia. Always.’

We picked Worth the Wait up not having read the series from which this is a spin off, on the basis it’s being tagged a standalone. For us, we felt like we’d missed out somewhat on Hannah and Nick’s sibling bond, but yes, in most respects this stands alone. There’s absolutely no question that Claudia Connor’s writing is beautiful. She demands attention with a powerful and passionate prose. We felt incredibly sad with very heavy hearts as we read one of the more emotionally upsetting romances we’ve read in a while. It’s very difficult to read a story where the heroine and hero spend more agonising time apart than they do together. You begin to doubt it’ll ever happen for whichever tragic reasons presented.

“It’s been a long time. Maybe you don’t know me anymore.”

“I know you.”

We fell in love with all the characters in this story; especially Nick and his much younger sister, Hannah. Their relationship melted our hearts whilst making us all teary at the same time. Nick found himself in the distressing position of having to hold his parent-less family together when he became the head of the family through heart-breaking circumstances. A heavy load for a young man barely out of his teens. His caring, protective, determined and nurturing side knew no bounds and we fell in love with this young man.

“How can I forget when you always remind me?”

Worth the Wait is a book of continuous past and present. Through the flashbacks we learn of how it all began for Mia and Nick; with two year old Hannah in tow. From the present we learn of them being apart, and the struggles facing them individually, due to a horrific event which separated them a decade ago. It broke us. In the flashback’s we felt some of their love and connection. In the present we felt their agony and subsequent emotional pain.

‘He was barely there, so lost in his dark cage of anger and guilt he’d built for himself, he’d locked himself in and locked her out.’

Whilst we loved many, many parts of this story we felt the balance was excessively weighted towards the incredibly heavy angst, guilt, responsibility, despair and suffering. We barely experienced any joy nor happiness.

“You’ve got the past clenched so tightly in your fist, I’ll never be enough to make you let it go. I can’t go back to that place we were. It nearly killed me.”

Now, we love our highly emotional reads, however we do need some happy or at least an epilogue that completely mends our broken hearts and leaves us more than satisfied that everything is okay and everyone is where they need to be. Particularly after a journey that was as emotionally taxing as this one. This is a personal preference so we may be in the minority. Saying that, there is no question that this talented Author made our hearts bleed and kept us riveted, needing to find out if Mia and Nick would ever find their way back to where they began after so many years separating them.

“It still shakes me that something so enormous as our love could be erased so simply.”

3.5 Stars

 Worth the Wait Teaser


The McKinney Series by Claudia Connor

Worth The Fall Book One

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Worth The Risk Book Two

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Worth It All Book Three

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UNRIVALED – A BEAUTIFUL IDOLS NOVEL by ALYSON NOELL :: REVIEW

First book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.

unrivaled cover

SYNOPSIS

Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Available to purchase below:

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Unrivaled

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“Just how far will you go, to get what you want?”

We absolutely love this Author and have a soft spot for her from our memory of inhaling her Evermore series years ago during our paranormal binge. So when we saw Alyson Noël had a new series out, we grabbed Unrivaled. This is book one in the Beautiful Idols series and it could not have been any more different to what we were expecting, whilst this deflated us a wee bit it did not mean we didn’t enjoy it for what it was. It was very in your face and almost like car crash TV. Unrivaled is one of those books you hate to love, in our opinion. It’s full of arrogant and unlikable characters and reads like a reality show full of arrogant and backstabbing people- some spoilt and rich, some bored and indulged, others chasing their dream. It was a bit of a hot mess but we could not look away. Think Gossip Girls and the childish, selfish dramatics of High School with a menacing twist and you’re there.

‘…the whole freaking world read it – it’s all anyone’s talking about.’

So, our main players are: Layla, Aster, and Tommy. Each have their own POV and backstory. Layla is a Blogger of celebrity gossip, but really she has aspirations of moving to NY and becoming a respected journalist. Her boyfriend Mateo was a star for putting up with her. He sounded lush and we would’ve gladly taken him off her hands. Aster is a self-indulgent cow. Sorry, but we disliked everything about her. There were no redeeming qualities and the woe is me act did not work with us. As for Tommy, he didn’t harbour those petty and ugly characteristics and he could have easily made revelations to change the game, however at times he was quite the weak character…

Where the contest was concerned, they were all puppets in his twisted theatre, with Ira yanking the strings.’

Now, for the game, basically these three characters find themselves invited, amongst other players, into the glamorous world of the Los Angeles’s nightlife. Each given the task of night club promoter for several of the enigmatic Ira Redman’s clubs. The aim is to make the assigned club the most successful and luring the famous Madison Brooks to frequent it.  A huge cash incentive is used as bait. However, is all as it seems??

“In the world of nightclubs, the younger, the hotter, and the more famous your gets, the more points they’re worth…Each week, the promoter with the least points will be eliminated, while the promoter with the most points will earn cash to spend on marketing and party planning for their clubs. The promoter with the most points at the end of the summer wins.”

The biggest mystery of them all; Madison Brooks, the latest IT Girl with her own secrets. Even though we got her POV we were only given snippets of secrets, power plays and hints of something sinister. It was all very clandestine and cloak and dagger so we are dying to find out what happens next….

“Impress me. Dazzle me. Wow me. But whatever you do, do not disappoint me.”

We can’t deny that this story intrigued us, especially as we came to realise how dark and creepy it was really turning out to be. The beginning thrilled us and the end had us riveted, so it was a shame that the middle let it down a bit by being quite slow and uneventfully repetitive. However, saying that – we will definitely continue with this trilogy as it had a delicious what the @%$£ ending!

3.5 Stars

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ROOKIE MOVE (The Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by SARINA BOWEN :: REVIEW

Standalone in a series – Hockey romance, second chance love.

6th

SYNOPSIS

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

Available to purchase below:

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rookie-move

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘Breaking up with him was something I did because I had to. Not because I didn’t love him.’

After falling in love with Sarina Bowen’s previous work and being big fans of sports romances and second chance romances, it was a no brainer we were going to pounce on the first book in her Brooklyn Bruiser series. Hot hockey players and the women who win their hearts….hmmmm you had us at hello!

Leo Trevi and Georgia Worthington were high school sweethearts but theirs was no puppy love, rather it was the once in a lifetime soul mates love, they were one another’s first everything. First date, first kiss, first love, first heartbreak.

“We don’t have one night stands, Georgia. We have forever night stands.”

Six years ago after a traumatic experience Georgia asks Leo to let her go and considering what she went through, Leo didn’t want to make life more difficult for her and so he granted her wish much to his utter loss and heartbreak. Leo was 19 when they broke up, the pain of losing Georgia, devastated him. He’s never forgotten the love of his life and six years later, seeing her again only recaptures those feelings.

‘Letting Georgia go was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do. And he’d only been able to manage it because he was sure it would help her be happy again.

Rookie Move was a sweet and sexy first book in this Hockey romance series with some deeply heartfelt moments and difficult subject matter which was handled sensitively and with love via Sarina Bowens words with Leo especially stealing our hearts. Boy did we experience his confusion, his hurt and the pure soul deep love he felt for Georgia. He is quite a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.

‘Georgia was his Kryptonite. Nobody else made him feel so alive. He never wanted it to end.’

As the story progresses we are privy to the events that led to Georgia making the most difficult decision of her life in letting Leo go and how those actions affected not only her and Leo, but those around them.

“We used to be equals. But now I’m always going to be the one who’s worried. It’s still the same problem. I used to be fearless ….’

Whilst we did enjoy this first first book in the series, we didn’t experience the wow factor that makes us fall in book love. For us personally, we felt as though we were being told the story rather than being participants, looking from the outside in and for that reason we didn’t feel as emotionally invested in the characters as we had hoped. At the end of the day though, this was a sweet romantic escape with the team brotherhood and camaraderie we love in our sports themed romances! However…..you can bet we’re looking forward to more of this series, and we’re especially keen to hear a lot more about the young billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Bruisers..…now that will be a story to tell!

3.5 Stars

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3rd

HARD HITTER BOOK TWO
Pre order now for 3rd January release

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THE RULE BOOK by JENNIFER BLACKWOOD : REVIEW

Standalone – wealthy boss/employee funny romance

‘Some rules are meant to be broken’

available to purchase below:
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK 


the rule bookSYNOPSIS

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.
 


The Rule book collage

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

Rule #738: Employees must not, under any circumstances, store fish or any food items with garlic in the company refrigerator. Employees will refrain from consuming garlic items during work hours.

We were in the mood for a laugh and a swoon and we certainly got that in The Rule Book. It was a light easy read that was low on angst. Sometimes that’s just what you need and this one delivered on that.

Lainey Taylor Rule of Life #32. If you don’t want to board a train to Crazy Town, stop trying to read into things. Seriously, stop.

Sweet, fun and quirky – three words to describe both this story as well as our heroine, Lainey. We meet her in her first week working as the second assistant to the CEO of Starr Media. She desperately needs to not only earn enough money to pay her Mum’s medical bills but also she’s trying to get ahead in her career in the social media industry. Presented by a Rule Book on her first day and scared into submission by the number one assistant to The Boss aka Mr. Antichrist himself – well, things don’t get off to a great start.

“I never knew what I was missing until the day we met.”

Brogan was quite the enigma. A man and Boss who lived by his rules expecting everyone else to follow suit. We really liked him and understood his ambitions and eccentric ways.  Whilst we enjoyed it, we did find it a tad uneventful in the sense that we didn’t feel like we fully got to know the characters and the story didn’t go into much depth. We feel like we only skimmed the surface, which was a shame. We wish we’d had Brogan’s POV too as we may have gotten to know him better that way. Saying all this though, we certainly did enjoy it and definitely recommend it for readers in the mood for a sweet and funny romance.

‘The rule-maker broke all his rules for me. And that meant everything.’

 3.5 ✯

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