Category Archives: 4 Stars

LIFE PLUS ONE – A SECOND CHANCE NAVY SEAL ROMANCE by RACHEL ROBINSON

Standalone soulmate second chance angsty romance

SYNOPSIS
Ben Brahms shed his glasses, gangly body, and a life long pact to attend an Ivy League college with his best friend the day the world took on a sinister hue. With his outward appearance matching his new career as a Navy SEAL, Ben is saving the world…literally, at the expense of everything he gave up. A whole life.

Her.

Harper Rosehall honors the pact. She takes on, and then dominates college on the opposite coast. Always the geek, and always behind socially—especially with men, she blossoms. With her moral compass guiding her, she finds herself drawn back to San Diego and all she left behind.

Him.

With memories from their pasts haunting every interaction and decision in their present—and future, their timing never seems to be quite right.

A marriage.
A baby.
Nothing.

Some friendships last the test of time, can Ben and Harper’s stand the tests of life?
Life doesn’t care what you love, it takes it away anyways. 

LIFE PLUS ONE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 ‘Standing on the edge of forever, I can only save one person from spiralling into the abyss. It will be him. Always him.’

This story is a story of childhood and friendship. Of love and life all wrapped up in a vivid bow of angst and missed opportunities. We never rested once, reading Life Plus One, there simply wasn’t a chance of catching one’s breath.

Best friends since the early years of innocence, Ben and Harper have never left each other’s side and every first in life they’ve discovered together, thick as thieves. When life alters their paths a physical tie is cut, but can two hearts ever be separated no matter what obstacle is placed in their way?

“You’re my blind spot, Harper. I can’t see around you.”

Awareness and understanding is a wonderful thing but many times we are blind to what’s right in front of our face. Sometimes we don’t realise the truth until the time has passed or life has made it too late. What can you do other than lament over what could have been or the heaviness or loss suffered as a consequence? Love is never easy nor is it black or white. It is multi-coloured, can shine so bright, be a comforting blanket yet at the same time love can be dulled, lose its spark or be halted in its tracks. How we define it, react to it or the actions we take in its name can change our lives.

‘Love sews souls together. Life picks at the stitches.’

We loved Ben and Harper’s story, granted it wasn’t an easy read for its heartbreak and angst nor the decisions taken, yet it was a story of a love of grand proportions that weathered many storms. Be prepared to want to throw your kindle out of frustration, this is definitely one for readers who relish when true love is tested.

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Filed under 4 Stars, Rachel Robinson

WISH YOU WERE HERE by RENEE CARLINO :: REVIEW

Standalone story of soulmate love and second chances.

SYNOPSIS

Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, floating from interest to interest, job to job, and guy to guy, searching for a spark but never quite finding it. All she knows is that she won’t discover it working as a waitress at a pies-and-fries joint in Los Angeles or living with her fun but aimless best friend in a tiny apartment in the Arts District.

Then Charlotte collides with Adam, a gorgeous and soulful painter who seems just as lost as she feels. Their instant connection turns into a midnight drink… and a whirlwind night of champagne, Chinese food, and the kind of conversation that only happens in romantic comedies. But the next morning, Adam gives Charlotte the cold shoulder, leaving her confused and hurt—and wondering if the few odd moments between them the night before were red flags in disguise.

Months later, Charlotte hasn’t been able to shake Adam, so she decides to find out what happened the morning after their magical night together. This fateful decision rewrites their wild love story, but what Charlotte doesn’t know yet is that the ending has already been written.

WISH YOU WERE HERE is available to purchase below

                    


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“Love is a wordless secret; It’s an inside joke. Only the two of you have to understand it.”

Beautiful and heartfelt, and once again, Renee Carlino has delivered the touching prose she does so well! Wish You Were Here is a thought provoking, poignant, and remarkable story about self-discovery and love. At its essence, this is a story about love. Whilst this isn’t a gut wrenching sob your heart out story, there were certainly times we read through tears, courtesy of some very moving moments in Renee Carlino’s latest romance.

“Do you believe in soul mates, Charlotte?”
“I think so.”

This author cemented our belief that people come into our lives for a reason, that each person we meet, be it good or bad,  becomes part of our fabric. Each person we give our hearts to leaves a footprint on our lives, responsible for how we live and love, and for Charlotte Martin, this couldn’t be more accurate when she meets Adam. Charlotte could never imagine the impact this man would have on her.

‘You broke his damn heart.’

There are those who will arrive in a blaze of glory, unsettling our foundations, forcing us to see inside ourselves, and for Charlotte, that person was Adam, and it was because of Adam that Wish You Were Here had us hooked  from the outset.  Adam was such an intriguing character and the way Renee Carlino set up this story, dangling those little emotional carrots, preparing our hearts, repairing our hearts,  left us breathless.

“Different people connect to different parts of our souls.”

Adam and Charlotte had a true connection and we felt it. It was as though they’d crossed paths in a previous life and found each other again. That sort of soulmate love, but the planets weren’t aligned and Adam and Charlotte part ways, though Charlotte never forgot the man who impacted her so deeply.

Time goes by and Charlotte meets a soulful and beautiful man named Seth Taylor, and oh boy did this man steal our hearts. Seth is the sort of man a girl dreams of and we loved him deeply.

And here is where Wish You Were Here lost us in some ways. Charlotte’s treatment of Seth was awful. Seth was such a sweet  character, that Charlotte’s actions towards him incensed us. There were times we felt as though Seth was merely a distraction for Charlotte. A means to while away the time while she secretly hoped her path would once again cross with Adams, and Seth didn’t deserve that. We felt Charlotte was insincere to Seth and it was as though Charlotte was continually on the defensive. Always quick with a hurtful jibe or bratty pout,  not only towards Seth, but towards her friend Helen also. When reading, we always put ourselves in the heroines shoes, to try and relate to her, to understand he feelings and action; sadly in this case, we couldn’t. 

Now, that being said, we did love this book. We did become swept up in this story, which in itself was heartfelt. The two men in Charlotte’s life were divine, and there’s no doubt Renee Carlino kept us on our toes wondering how this story would play out. The writing was stunning, with Renee Carlino delivering a love story with warmth and honesty and two men our hearts ached for . And each made moved us for very different reasons.

“Your art, our memories, the memories people have of us. It makes us immortal. When you love someone, whether it be your family, friends, partners, whatever, it’s like planting a little seedling of yourself inside of their hearts.”

Renee Carlino certainly tugged at our heartstrings, but she also provided light relief courtesy of some fabulously witty secondary characters. The insulting banter and witty sibling rivalry between Charlotte and her brother Charles was priceless! Chuck needs his own book!  So whilst we did have issues with the heroine, there’s no doubt the story itself and the characters reminded us why we continue to pick up this authors books time and time again, and why we always will.

4 stars


TBB RENEE CARLINO RECOMMENDED READS
“CLICK ON BOOK COVERS FOR REVIEWS AND PURCHASE LINKS”


SWEAR ON THIS LIFE – 5 STAR STANDALONE 
Searing second chance love story.

When we say that every single emotion came into play, we mean Every. Single. Emotion. It was utterly captivating and stunningly beautiful. This is without question one of the most intense and complicated second chance romances we’ve ever read.

‘She sat there holding her smooth legs to her chest, staring out the window, popping her gum, bored, and saying inconsequential things. But still…she was the center of the universe. She could make the whole world go around without even breaking a sweat.’


BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS – 5 STAR STANDALONE  
Second chance love

What an utterly beautiful story!  A breathtakingly moving story of an intense first love, of searing second chance love, and one of missed connections, miscommunication and wasted opportunities that spanned fifteen years with a love between two people we felt deep in our hearts.

‘You can’t recreate the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice. You chase it like the first high for the rest of your life.’


SWEET THING (Book #1) and SWEET LITTLE THING (#1.5 Novella) – 4.5 STAR STANDALONE
A beautiful, angsty romance with a music theme

A story of love, friendship and self discovery.  We shared every heart-breaking moment and you will live every warm, tender,  angry and funny exchange.  The author brings the world of music into this story in such a way it almost sings to you and offers you the ability that makes you feel you can almost reach out and touch it.

“I wanted him to own me. I would nourish his body with mine. I would feel his heart; his mind…his soul”


LUCIEN DIVINE – 4 STAR STANDALONE PARANORMAL

Lucian, our guardian Angel is not only super swoony, he’s funny, caring and a ‘man’ with a big heart. He loves and loves hard to the point of no return. He looks controversy and rules straight in the eye and shows it his middle finger, because he wants and craves Evey. The connection was strong and believable and we swooned alongside our beautiful and sweet heroine who’s had a run of bad luck in boyfriends….until her Angel.

“Did I not make it clear? I’m in love with her. The crazy kind of love that you and I have seen over and over…in them, not us. It’s the rip-your-bleeding-heart-out-and-step-in-front-of-a-speeding-train kind of love.”


 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Pick an Author, Renee Carlino

THE FORBIDDEN by JODI ELLEN MALPAS :: REVIEW

Now Live!
Standalone forbidden romance

SYNOPSIS
Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he’s forbidden.

THE FORBIDDEN is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

“You possess me. You own me. You rule me. You are everything to me, Annie Ryan.”

Jodi Ellen Malpas is back with a standalone page turner; a story of intense, knee trembling passion, heartfelt emotion, a forbidden love story that saw us completely involved in Jack and Annie and their plight. This was a forbidden romance in every sense of the word, and it’s one we believed in.

“Stop fucking lying to me! Stop saying what your head is demanding and start listening to your fucking heart.”

Annie Ryan hasn’t never been swept off her feet. In fact, she’s never experienced love with a man. Intense passion? Emotional involvement? Not that either. Instead, Annie turned her attention to pouring her passion into her successful Architectural business she has built from the ground up.

However, whilst on a night out with her mates she’s blindsided when she experiences the intense pull and chemistry with Jack Joseph. His mere presence sends her heart racing, sends her knickers in a twist and sees them spending a night of unbridled passion, only for Annie to get cold feet and bolt without so much as a goodbye, the next morning.

“If I ever lay eyes on you again, Annie, I can’t promise I’ll do what’s best and walk away next time.”

As fate would have it, Jack and Annie’s paths cross again under complicated circumstances. It turns out Jack owns a construction business….that’s right, they’ll be working together! Now, Jack and Annie are compatible on every level. Physically, mentally and emotionally – they’re perfect for each other. So, when they meet at Annie’s party a short time after a night of wicked sex, they can pick up where they left off, right? Wrong! Jack turns up to Annie’s party, totally clueless to the fact he will once again come face to face with the woman who had recently shook his world.

Well, it’s her alright and things become awkward because Jack is there with his wife! Yep, Jack is married. He’s forbidden fruit! Albeit Jack’s marriage is anything but happy, but he’s married and therefore off limits. However, try telling Jack and Annie’s treacherous hearts that!

“I’ll hold your hand through this if you hold mine.”
“I’ll never let go, Annie. Not for anything.”

We lived and breathed the potency of this story, believing in the confliction Jack and Annie were both experiencing. The clandestine catch ups had us holding our breaths, the confrontations with friends and loved ones had us clutching our hearts. We understood everyone’s perspective and we desperately wanted Jack and Annie to find their happiness and boy, did we have to work for it!

‘I know that him plus me equals amazing. I can’t resist him; I’ve tried so bloody hard. I want him. Need him. ‘

We especially love Jodi’s male characters and in Jack, this author given us a man of contradictions, who brought with him so much depth. Sure, Jack displayed the alpha tendency this author is synonymous with, however Jack also showed a searing and beautiful vulnerability. Jack is a victim in his marriage yet this did not emasculate him in any way. Not in the least, it made him stronger in our eyes. A man so desperately unhappy in his marriage, and so blissfully happy when he’s with Annie, yet wanting to do the best for both. We felt everything he was going through.

“Don’t make me give you up, Annie.”

Fans of stories with angst, heartfelt emotion, scorching passion, and edge of your seat drama, you’ll l enjoy this one.


TBB Also RECOMMENDS by JODI


THE PROTECTOR
Standalone – seductive, suspense romance – Click on Cover for links and review

“You’re the missing piece I wasn’t looking for, angel. And now I’m scared of being incomplete again. I’m so scared of being without you.”


THIS MAN TRILOGY
A sexy, searing trilogy…and you need to meet Mr Jesse Ward, the Lord of the Manor!

“You’re mine, and mine alone, baby. Just for my eyes, just for my touch and just for my pleasure. Just Mine. Do you understand me?” 

this man trilogy

Available to purchase
This Man Book One : Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Beneath This Man Book Amazon US | Amazon UK 
This Man Confessed : Amazon US | Amazon UK  


THE ONE NIGHT TRILOGY
A life without secrets and a passion without end . . .follow Livy and M’s passionate love affair.

“I’ll love you until there’s no breath left in my lungs, Olivia Taylor. For eternity.”

one night series books

Available to purchase below
One Night Promised Book One  : 
Amazon US | Amazon UK
 One Night Denied Book Two  : Amazon US | Amazon UK
One Night Unveiled Book Three : Amazon US |Amazon UK 

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DANGEROUS HEARTS & DESTINED HEARTS (A Stolen Melody Duet) by K K ALLEN :: REVIEW

RockStar Romance Duet – Angst and Drama

A STOLEN MELODY DUET


DANGEROUS HEARTS BOOK ONE

SYNOPSIS

His heart beats for the music. She’s his favorite song.

Lyric Cassidy knows a thing or two about bad boy rock stars with raspy vocals. In fact, her heart was just played by one. So when she takes an assignment as road manager for the world famous rock star, Wolf, she’s prepared to take him on, full suit of heart-armor intact.

Wolf is the sexy lead singer for the hottest rock band around with a line-up of guaranteed one night stands. Lyric Cassidy isn’t one of them. That’s fine with him. Women like Lyric come with fairytale expectations, so it should be easy to stay away. Too bad she’s hot as sin with a fiery temper and a mouth that drives him wild.

She’s also got something to hide. Something he discovers. Something he wants …

Sharing a tour bus, neither of them are prepared for the miles of road ahead and the fierce attraction they feel toward one another–a dangerous combination.

DANGEROUS HEARTS is available to purchase below

          


DESTINED HEARTS BOOK TWO

SYNOPSIS

He stole her lyrics, and then he stole her heart.

Lyric Cassidy is off the tour, lost as to what her next career move will be, and certain that she’ll never love again after Wolf. All because of a social media scandal that left her with no choice but to pack up and face the consequences. When she learns that the fate of her career is in her hands, she has a difficult decision to make. Step back on the tour bus with Wolf and deal with the mess she left behind, or end her contract early and lose her job at Perform Live?

Wolf’s shattered heart finds no resolve in giving Lyric a chance to come back on tour. He can never be with her again. Not after she walked away. Conflicted with wants and needs, he struggles to remember who Wolf was before Lyric. That’s what he needs to become again. Maybe then his heart will be safe. Or maybe there’s no hope for the damaged.

But with stolen dreams, betrayals, and terrifying threats—no one’s heart is safe. Not even the ones that may be destined to be together. 

DESTINED HEARTS is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

“You’re the only one I see. When I’m singing to a sea of faces, yours is the one I look for.”

Well, the Stolen Melody Duet was one entertaining, angsty, drama filled read, that’s for sure. If you’re in the mood for one of those Kindle throwing reads where you find yourself shouting at the characters to….communicate, then this sexy, swoony, dramatic and emotional romance is for you!

‘Music has always been my purpose, but Lyric waltzed in and gave substance to it all.’

If there’s one thing we loved about K K Allen’s Up in the Treehouse, it was the relationship build, the intense feeling of love, which was also apparent in the Stolen Melody Duet. Whilst the relationship between Lyric and Wolf was anything but a slow build, we no less believed the magnitude of the attraction and chemistry between these two passionate characters.

“You don’t see it, do you? What you do with words?”

In this rock star romance, K K Allen certainly brought the fabulous -behind the scenes music feel- we crave in these stories, putting us right in the moment with the band; with Lyric and Wolf as they navigated their way through the turbulence and obstacles of life on the road as a rock star.  The force and sensation, the excitement as the band took to the stage made us feel as though we were there.

Both Lyric and Wolf are products of the music industry, destined to be part of the scene thanks to their parents. Lyrics father is a well-respected rocker, her mother….well, she’s another story, and Wolf’s father was also part of the scene, so it was in the stars these two would follow that same path. Lyric behind the scenes, and Wolf Chapman, as the driving force and front man of Wolf, the band.

Both Lyric and Wolf carry self regrets from their pasts, harbouring a lot of pain which is reflected in how each live their lives, finding it hard to trust and let down those walls. Opening up doesn’t come easy for these two, especially so Lyric, who really has been bitten by disloyalty from loved ones.

‘It’s funny how fighting for someone you love gives you more strength than fighting for yourself.’

We have to admit there were times Lyric drove us to distraction. Poor Wolf didn’t know if he was coming or going. Lyric was hiding secrets from her past, Wolf was left in the dark as to what they were, yet was expected to understand Lyric’s hesitancy, a hard ask when he has no idea what her secrets entailed. We kept thinking….just tell him…communicate.

‘Here words are her weapons, and I’ve lost count of how many times she’s stabbed me. All I know is that it fucking hurts.’

We loved the relationship build, the music feel, the secondary characters were all fabulous as were the developing relationships of the Wolf band members, the comradery of the band and the banter between them. The romance was swoony and it was certainly hot, though at times we felt the sex overshadowed the emotional relationship between Lyric and Wolf, but then again, the physical release became a much needed escape and connection for them both.

“I want this,” he says each word in between each thrust. “I want us.”

This was one roller-coaster we didn’t want to get off! We probably would have preferred a little less dramatics, but overall the sexy, swoony and emotional elements we enjoyed far outweighed the odd annoyances.  Fans of angsty rock star romances, who want to feel as though they’re part of the story, and who love having their stomachs (and hearts) tied up in knots; you’ll revel in this duet!

‘He steals my breath, my heart, and my soul, all in one telling kiss.’


We also recommend UP IN THE TREEHOUSE
An emotional Standalone childhood friends to lovers story

SYNOPSIS
I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.
Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.
Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy–sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and denies her.
Now it’s too late . . .
Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin find themselves crashing back into each other’s lives. Haunted by the past, they’re forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can’t seem to get near each other without combatting an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.
Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn’t the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?

UP IN THE TREEHOUSE is available to purchase below

                    

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MATED IN TREASON (Kan Asma Vampires Book #1) by CHRISTA PAIGE :: REVIEW

Standalone Vampire Paranormal romance

 

SYNOPSIS
When the kraliyet bodyguard ended up in her hospital bed after an explosion left him in critical condition, Nadia tried to warn herself not to fall in love with him. After all, she’s no vampire Cinderella, and happily-ever-afters didn’t happen to low-born females of the Kan Asma. But her heart wouldn’t listen, and soon she wanted to claim Gunnar as her forever mate, even if it meant taking him the only way possible, as a husband in a disgraceful human ceremony.

Gunnar fell in love with his nurse the moment he saw her smile. He yearned to claim her as his, but the Council would never allow him to mingle his powerful blood with a female from a poor family. The penalty for an unsanctioned mating is a death sentence. He doesn’t care about the threats and possible consequences of making her his. Though, due to the high probability of genetic incompatibility, he can’t complete their blood-bond without knowing if it might take her life. Losing her would be worse than torture.

Their only hope lies with the treasonous Faction hell-bent on destroying the very people Gunnar calls family. Determined to find a way to be mated, Gunnar seeks out the leader of this hidden uprising. Together, Nadia and Gunnar must break every law and rite of their vampire culture to become bonded for life. Gunnar will play a deadly game of subversion or pay a blood price that would sever him from their people and put a bounty on his head. They must survive a dangerous infiltration of the Faction, because they’ll do anything to be together, even if it means being mated in treason. 

MATED IN TREASON is available to purchase below

           


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 ‘Slavery came in many different walks of life. Love played no part in the way his people became bound. It was simply biological.’

We were in the mood for a paranormal, a vampire romance with bite and passionate heat, and that’s exactly what we got. Christa Paige is a new to us Author and she definitely wowed us with her world building and the Kan Asma Vampires, with their archaic and class divided traditions, this despite them living in modern day America.  Mated in Treason is a romance tale as old as time with a modern and sexy paranormal twist. This Authors attention to detail was brilliant, ensuring that the reader fully understood this ‘new world’ of vampires and their very strict customs and rules. Whilst there’s no question that this book can be read as a standalone, we do wish we’d known to read the Blood Vine series first, off which this can be considered a spin off. We are definitely rectifying that!

“Imagine loving someone you can’t ever have and living an eternity watching the one you love irrevocably tied to someone else.”

Nadia is of low social standing in the Kan Asma and her family is pushing her to be mated to a male. The ritual to find a mate is horrific and in no way does it follow what the heart wants. Sadly, what Nadia’s heart is calling out for is a certain unattainable warrior whom she helped to heal as a nurse.

“I promise to be here for you, as long as you need me.” He couldn’t hear her passionate whisper, which somehow made things easier. In his vulnerability, he’d managed to capture a piece of her heart. And, that part of her she’d never get back.’

Nadia was such a lovely heroine. Whilst timid and vulnerable due to tradition, she was also strong and willing to risk everything for love. The way this Author wrote her characters was fabulous. We genuinely felt Nadia’s torment and extreme attraction to the alpha Viking vampire, Gunnar.

‘She didn’t have to imagine it. She felt it in her boned, her marrow, in every single molecule of her being. It ached. Stung. And left her feeling a deep, yawning emptiness.’

Gunnar was a fierce Vampire warrior, loyal yet questioning, intense as well as incredibly passionate. We meet him severely injured in hospital with the beautiful Nurse Nadia tending to him. There’s no question that there’s a scorching attraction brewing between them and whilst it’s very insta it feels totally believable under the circumstances. There’s a quietening of the outside world and the ritualistic outrages of the Kan Asma, when they are together. The monumental journey they embark upon takes great cunning and strength as they face obstacles beyond their control. We fell in love with this intriguing world that Christa Paige created and cannot wait to read more in this series from this hugely talented Author who vividly painted us a wonderful vampire romance with action aplenty and that sexy twist.

Nadia will be mine, he promised himself. He just had to find the way.’


THE BLOOD VINE SERIES

Bound by Deception :  Amazon us / Amazon uk
Bound by Rebellion :   Amazon us / Amazon uk
Bound by Obsession :  Amazon us / Amazon uk

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Filed under 4 Stars, Christa Paige, Pick an Author