Category Archives: 5 Stars

FOREVER RIGHT NOW by EMMA SCOTT

5 STAR REVIEW

NA Standalone emotional and beautiful story with a single Dad

SYNOPSIS

Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl…

Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship–a job he desperately needs–awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again.

When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.

For readers 18 and up

FOREVER RIGHT NOW is availble below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I kind of like how no one knows me here. It’s like the proverbial blank slate and I can write whatever I want on it.”

There is never a question of an almost complete emotional annihilation when you pick up a book from Emma Scott. She writes characters that you take firmly into your heart as you develop an innate need to protect them and stand by their side as they search and fight for their place in life- their needs, desires and wants. Her characters always have this huge heart and such strength as they batten down the hatches. Emma Scott writes beautifully, passionately and vividly. We cannot help but be drawn in from the start every time we pick up one of her books, becoming a part of her story ourselves.

“Life has no guide map. Things happen and people react, and no two people will do the same thing.”

Forever Right Now was a slow burn character driven story that ensured we felt every moment of loneliness, desperation, exhaustion, desire, love and heartbreak. A myriad of human emotions and we felt every single one of them. We all just want to be; be who we were meant to, be who we want to, be who we are to the best of our ability. Be good people, caring people, people who when seeing others struggle lend a caring ear and hand. We all strive for contentment and belonging. We desire to feel accepted and loved.

She tilted her head up to look up at me, her blue eyes brimming and her cheeks stained with the trails of dark makeup. “I can’t hold on to anything…”
“Not this time.” I said, gruffly. “Hold on to me.”

We first met Darlene in The Butterfly Project, a beautiful lost girl who’s a recovering addict. This is her story. We meet her as she arrives in San Francisco tired and weary yet full of hope for her new beginning, her own personal journey to find herself and her path in life. Emma Scott has a wonderful talent for writing heroines we fall in love with. They have such strength yet retain vulnerability, facing life head on with bravery and compassion. Sure, they are marked by life’s circumstances and actions with consequences, but they feel authentic and inspire such admiration and empathy.

“You know that emotional rock bottom you keep talking about?”
“Yeah.”
“I’m standing at the edge of it, staring right down into it. Teetering,” I said, my voice hardly a whisper. “It’ll just take one push and…”
“And?”
“I’m going to fall in.”

The best intentions sometimes become second in line of importance when met with new discoveries. Such as a handsome albeit moody neighbour with a young daughter. Sawyer completely throws Darlene’s good intentions to the wayside as her inherent need to help and make others feel better becomes her focus. However, sometimes by helping others is how we find ourselves.

“I keep saying I need to work on me, but I’m doing everything right and I still feel like something’s missing.” Her eyes were impossibly blue as they gazed up at mine. “Is it you?”
“I don’t know,” I said. But maybe it could be.

Sawyer is a young man whose life was changed forever in a single second. Studying to become a lawyer, with a very black and white mind-set, he’s suddenly faced with a life that’s not just his own any longer. The way in which he deals with this was inspiring and tugged at our heartstrings as he faced one obstacle after another. In amidst the heartbreak and struggles a young man truly finds himself and opens himself up to a greater appreciation and understanding which in turn opens his heart to that beautiful love that comes without conditions.

We say it every time and will undoubtedly sound like a broken record, but Emma Scott never fails to grab our hearts with her words, her characters and her demand that we feel and care so passionately. If you haven’t read this Author yet you quite simply must!

“Do you ever wish you could take a moment and keep it forever? Like right now…how you taste on my mouth, and your hands on me, and your eyes…God, Sawyer, the way you’re looking at me…If I could have just one moment, one feeling, and live in it forever, I would choose this one.”

 


CHECK OUT MORE TBB RECOMMENDED READS by EMMA
OR CLICK HERE FOR ALL THINGS EMMA at TBB 


THE FULL TILT – DUET

“We may not have months or years, but we have moments. Thousands upon thousands of them. Let’s take each moment, seize it and wring it dry. Okay?”
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SUGAR & GOLD – TBB 5 STAR STANDALONE

‘I held her the way you hold something you know isn’t yours to keep.’
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THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT – 5 STAR STANDALONE

‘I realized you could get used to anything – even alone for years – right until the moment you touched something better than what you had.’
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DRIVE by KATE STEWART : 5 STAR REVIEW

Now Live – TBB 5 Star Read!
Standalone emotional and angsty story of self discovery with a music theme. 

SYNOPSIS

Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.

One playlist.

And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.

DRIVE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘Love doesn’t die, even when you stop feeding it. There is no expiration date on the ache of missing someone you shared your heart, life and body with.’

We didn’t come up for air, not even once, whilst we read Drive, it was absolutely everything we love in a rock star romance. The music element was superb and so passionately written with the chapter songs being spot on for drawing out every heartfelt emotion from us. This book became the air we breathed for every second, minute and hour we spent with it. It left us with achy exhausted hearts upon finishing, as if we’d run a marathon of emotions with hurdles thrown in to test our strength and emotional stamina. An epic slow burn romance of grand proportion which highlighted the inner most rawness found in humanity suffused in music.  It was extraordinary, vividly astounding and so intensely passionate we feel as if our souls have been forever touched by Kate Stewart. There’s no doubt; this is our all-time favourite Kate Stewart book, her heart is unquestionably entwined in the pages; we felt its beat pounding as we read reaching an almighty crescendo.

‘I sometimes wished I had a foggy memory. That I couldn’t remember the details, the dates, the story. It was both my gift and my curse. And music was my navigation. I had followed the music my whole life. My guidance, my protection, my ammunition….music was loyal and stayed with me, my constant, my comfort and at times my enabler.’

Now, we have read copious rock star romances yet can only count on one hand those that stand out for nailing both the musical aspect as well as the romance, which is what we look for in this much loved genre. It’s usually one or the other that supersedes, rarely both. However, Drive managed to excel at both. The music and its poignancy, the struggling artist to stardom, the fragile romance in a fickle world of uncertainty and personal tragedies. It was all there. But not only was this aspect of Drive perfection, so were the all-encompassing characters.

‘I used to think I was cursed for having fallen in love with two men. But, in hindsight, I realized what a gift it was. They were my lovers, my teachers, my best friends, and I would love them both until I took my last breath.’

It is not often you find such depth and character growth in a standalone novel, however this Author had us believing in every single character, their back story, their hope, their dreams and the truth in their hearts. We felt and truly saw the turning of years in their actions, behaviours and emotions. The maturity and sustained love that grew in strength.

‘Heartache has the most annoying sound. It’s an echo. An echo of heartbeats stuck on a loop.’

Drive is a difficult read emotionally yet it’s also full of humour, heat and intense frustration. It’s a love story, a love story that had us agonising because such an all-encompassing love can come more than once but the truest soul mate kind of love is the most wondrous of them all. We fell in love with Stella, we watched her, followed her as she went through the years growing into a beautiful butterfly through soul searching self-discovery. She always had a joie de vivre with a dash of naivety, even under dire circumstances, yet she had an abundance of hope. She knew what she wanted, she knew the greatness in store for the people she loved. She lived life glass half full. Her passion being music, finding new talent and bringing that talent to the people through her writing.

“I never forgot you, Stella. Not you, not us, not any of it.”

Our hearts embraced Stella as we lived her journey alongside her whilst her heart fell in love with two very different but amazing self-sacrificing men in their own right, two men who stole our hearts too. Only one tortured and troubled man stole a piece of her soul as well as her heart, never to give it back. This is where we proclaim Drive to be an epic music love story; because it truly was. One where tears were shed for everyone involved, shivers were felt and hearts were broken and subsequently mended. It was a truly magnificent experience which pulls no punches and we loved every phenomenal moment of it.

‘Because music is the heart’s greatest librarian. A few notes had the ability to transport me back in time, and to the most painful places. Take any song from the Rolodex of your life and you can pin it to a memory. It translates, resonates, and there it will remain.’

We urge you to pick this book up and as you read, listen to the chapter songs. Your emotions will already be heightened from this Authors magnificent words alone –however- with the music they become overwhelmingly alive and take your heart and soul to a whole new unique and incredible place. Mind your hearts because you’re sure to lose them to Stella, Reid and Nate.

‘Look up, Stella.’


***MORE TBB RECOMMENDED READS by KATE***


THE BRAVE LINE – Standalone steamy friends to lovers, second chance romance
Available to purchase: Amazon US   Amazon UK    Our Review

‘I would let love rule in my heart and take a piece of my soul, but I would never let its loss destroy all of me.’


ANYTHING BUT MINOR – Standalone Sports Romance rom-com
Available to purchaseAmazon US   Amazon UK    Our Review

“I’m not sure what you want me to think of you, Rafe.”
“I’m pretty sure I just want you to think of me, Alice.”


THE EXCESS SERIES – An erotic filthy dysfunctional romance
Available to purchaseAmazon US   Amazon UK    Our Review

“Don’t make me this monster, because for her, I will be.”

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SICK FUX by TILLIE COLE

IT’S LIVE! – 5 dark stars!
Standalone dark, edgy, love story.

SYNOPSIS
When Ellis Earnshaw and Heathan James met as children, they couldn’t have been more different. Ellis was loud and beautiful – all blond hair, bright laughs and smiles. Heathan was dark and brooding, and obsessed with watching things die.
The pair forged an unlikely friendship, unique and strange. Until they were ripped apart by the sick cruelty of others, separated for years, both locked in a perpetual hell.
Eleven years later, Heathan is back for his girl. Back from a place from which he thought there was no return. Back to seek revenge on those who wronged them.
Time has made Heathan’s soul darker, polluted with hatred and the thirst for blood.
Time has made Ellis a shell of her former self, a little girl lost in the vastness of her pain.
As Heathan pulls Ellis out of her mental prison, reviving the essence of who she once was, down the rabbit hole they will go.
With malice in their hearts and vengeance in their veins, they will seek out the ones who hurt and destroyed them.
One at a time.
Each one more deadly than the last.
Tick Tock.

Warning:: Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for ages 18 and over.

SICK FUX is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘Heathan James was the genesis of my soul’s reawakening…a soul not meant for peace, but one handcrafted for death and murder and blood and bones…Soulmates forged in fire, under the watchful gaze of Satan’s mocking eyes. Heathen. Ellis. Just a couple of sick fux.’

We have no words….literally we’re lost for words. Gobsmacked. Speechless. We cannot believe what we just read. Tillie Cole is quite simply a masterclass in her own right. We never quite know what we’re going to get when we pick up a new book from this Author as she can write absolutely anything and everything, but what we do know is that it will be incredible. And it was. It was horrific in its inference, which was an initial gut-wrenching hurdle. It was graphically gruesome in its retribution over which we truthfully rejoiced. It was a harrowing psychological fantasy of wondrous peculiarity.

‘My heart was severed completely, the two parts of its flesh repelling the other, trying to escape the rage and pain and fucking consuming darkness.’

Heathan James and Ellis Earnshaw meet when they’re very young in the gated house of horrors, filled with monsters hiding in the shadows at day, exerting their depravities and turpitude at night. Not a single one without the traits of unrestrained force and viciousness for self-pleasures. It was gut-wrenching and stomach turning but it was phenomenal in its -almost Brothers Grimm like- sinister fantastical qualities whilst playing out in fictional real life.

“The devil lie…And he will trick…And he will kill, and travel miles to get to the one who holds his fucked-up black heart in her palm. He’d kill anyone who hurt her, just to make her his. He would punish anyone who got in his way.” His eyes flared with something so dark it seemed to blot out the dim light of the lamp. “He will awaken, through blood, what lies dormant in her soul. The darkness that had lurked hidden for years, sleepily waiting for the time to strike. To be born.”

The story of Rabbit and Dolly’s vengeance was mind-blowing as it took us down the rabbit hole into a journey through Tillie Cole’s version of Alice in Wonderland. For us, it played out like a Tarrantino movie and we would love nothing more than to see these characters come to life on the big screen. It’s the writings of your darkest most horrific nightmare, but what an absolutely brilliant and compelling read, one which we were unable to put down. Bravo Tillie Cole for writing a story that felt like no other, for always stepping beyond where she went before. The mind is truly a curious, twisted and wonderful thing which has the ability to wield such power and magic, be it darkness in light or the embers of lights flickering in the darkness.

“Only Earl Grey will ever do.”


TBB RECOMMENDED TILLIE COLE READS


STANDALONE RECOMMENDATIONS
A THOUSAND BOY KISSES / VEIL OF VINES / ETERNALLY NORTH

SERIES RECOMMENDATIONS:

SWEET HOME/CARILLO BOYS SERIES

THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES

SCARRED SOULS SERIES

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WITHOUT MERIT by COLLEEN HOOVER

Standalone emotional thought provoking story.

SYNOPSIS
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Usand November 9 comes a moving and haunting novel of family, love, and the power of the truth.

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.

WITHOUT MERIT is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

5 ‘you bury me’ stars

‘He takes a step closer to me and it suddenly feels like I’ve swallowed his heart because I have all these extra beats in my chest.’

Colleen Hoover is an author who beats to her own drum. An author who writes from the heart, never relying on trends or shying away from tackling the difficult and heavy subjects. In fact this is an area where Colleen Hoover shines. Her innate ability to deal with weighty issues in a fictional setting is always delivered with an abundance of heart, sensitivity, sincerity and honesty. Yet, she always manages to guard our hearts somewhat with her natural warmth, sense of humour and truly beautiful characters.  It’s a heady mix we can’t help but devour.

“We’re just two different people in two different sets of experiences.”

A Colleen Hoover book is like Christmas. They only come once a year which makes a Colleen Hoover release so special. It’s like CoHoMas! The wait, the wonderment, and the tease – it all adds to that excited expectation that boils over the moment her next release lands on our Kindles.

We loved seeing this author return to her YA roots in Without Merit as she so perfectly captures the teenage indecisions, emotions and angst we all remember so vividly. Colleen Hoover has once again delivered a powerful and thought provoking story which tackles a prevalent, tough and crippling subject matter. Not only that, this novel also touches on current issues that pose food for thought.

Some readers pick up a book to escape, some to find an awakening. In Without Merit, we get to experience both through genuine loveable characters who each appear to have flaws, yet when we scratch beneath the surface we find these characters are perfectly relateable; they could be us, a friend, a relative. We care for them and can’t stop thinking about them.

‘I once read a quote that that said, “Don’t make your presence known. Make your absence felt.”
No one in this family notices my presence or my absence.’

The test of a good story is how you feel when you close the book. Was it a story you could easily move on from, or was it a story that consumed your thoughts, scarred your heart, left you worrying and wondering about the characters long after closing the last page? There is no doubt Without Merit affected us in all manners mentioned, as we discovered something of ourselves reflected throughout this story.

“I’ve met a lot of people in my life, Merit. But you might be the strangest of them all.”

Without Merit is told through the voice of 17 year old high school student Merit, and what a beautiful narrator she is. You can’t help but feel for this young girl who thinks she’s an outcast in her small town and within her dysfunctional family. Merit is weighed down by family secrets, and can only take so much. After reaching her breaking point, Merit decides to free herself by relaying the family secrets and shattering her family and herself in the process. What transpires is thought provoking and heartfelt. The feelings so genuine we felt every emotion.

“Why can’t we be a normal family?”
“I don’t think such a thing exists, Merit.”

To divulge more of this story could potentially interfere with your reading experience, so we’ll leave the storytelling to the expert. Suffice to say Without Merit carried all the trademarks we adore about this author, again reminding us why we come back time and time again to experience her incredibly potent, intoxicating and unforgettable stories.  They say you can’t really understand someone until you walk in their shoes and that couldn’t be more true than the characters in Without Merit.

“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.”

A touching, honest and incredibly heartfelt story. Each character will touch your soul. Each of their stories will leave an indelible mark on your heart. Oh and …prepare for Sagan and Merit to completely steal your romantic hearts.  Sigh……..Sagan….a hero in every sense of the word!

Reviewed from an ARC copy received from Atria Publishing, with thanks. 


MORE BOOKS BY COLLEEN HOOVER

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THE SLAMMED SERIES

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

SLAMMED BOOK ONE

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POINT OF RETREAT BOOK TWO

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THIS GIRL BOOK #2.5 NOVELLA

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THE HOPELESS SERIES

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

HOPELESS BOOK ONE 

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LOSING HOPE BOOK TWO

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FINDING CINDERELLA – FREE NOVELLA

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THE MAYBE SOMEDAY SERIES

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

MAYBE SOMEDAY

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MAYBE NOT – NOVELLA

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UGLY LOVE – STANDALONE

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

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CONFESS – STANDALONE

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

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NOVEMBER NINE

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

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IT ENDS WITH US

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

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FIRST by KIMBERLY ADAMS :: REVIEW

TBB 5 Star Read!
Standalone soulmate love story

SYNOPSIS
It was 1990, and we were tying yellow ribbons around old oak trees.

And we were waiting.

The time I’d spent with Grant Butler was stolen. Each moment between us only fueled our need for each other. He was older, and forbidden by my parents.

And then he was gone.

Grant wrote to me from Saudi Arabia, and in his very first letter, he asked me to marry him. In his last letter, he promised to hold me in his arms on my graduation day.

His last letter ended in forever.

As I tried to move on with my life, I was consumed each day with the memories of a ghost…

Of my young love. My first love.

On August 26th, 1997, he was finally found…
but I’d already lost him.

This is the story of our life…. and it’s only just begun.

FIRST is available below 

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

“I’ll come back to you, Annie. You’re my first. And my last.”

Oh our hearts!  We certainly shed tears throughout Kimberly Adams’, First. What an incredibly beautiful, tragic, hopeful and heartfelt love story! Grant and Annie’s story was soul mate love, and when Grant spoke those words above to Annie, with such love and fierce determination… we felt every single word! With hearts breaking for Annie as she said goodbye to Grant and emotions crumbling for Grant as he had to leave his Annie behind, his words bore such weight as we had lived their love from its inception. From those heady moments of a young crush right through to the intense and soul deep love that eventually grew and flourished. Grant and Annie’s love was sweetly endearing and it was invincible.

“Nothing in this world feels like this love, Annie.”

Kimberly Adams floored us with this raw, sweet, sincere and epic love story. The writing was nothing short of exquisite with every emotion reaching into our hearts from every page. Effortless and breathtaking storytelling ensured we connected in every possible way to her story. We can’t say enough about this authors stunning writing and the way in which it brought this emotive love story to fruition.

FIRST is told in two parts, the first taking us to 1990 when Annie Lake, on the cusp of her 16th birthday fell head over heels for 18 year old Grant Butler, who was quite literally the boy next door. The attraction between them was electric yet it held such a sweet and beautiful innocence. Our hearts melted as we found an instant connection to these characters and their feelings.

‘I wanted to be his. Only his. I wanted Grant like I’d never wanted anything in my entire life.’

Sweet and beautiful Annie, was in her sophomore year at school, she’s a bit of a dreamer and an artist at heart. Handsome, self-assured Grant, is a senior, about to graduate and join the Marines and it’s a path he couldn’t veer from. His future seemed set in stone and yet he didn’t count on Annie completely stealing his heart, making his departure such a soul crashing experience.

‘He held me in the way that only he could, in that very adult way that let me believe that he was all I’d ever need.’

Grant and Annie were two old souls and when they fell, they fell hard – their love was pure, and despite their young years, it was without doubt true, achingly soul deep love and so it made their journey so believable and so highly emotional.  They were two hearts beating as one.

Part Two of First contained twists we didn’t anticipate. Yes, parts gutted us, but the way the story played out proved what a gifted and passionate storyteller Kimberly Adams is. Wow, what a storyteller indeed!

‘There were families…wives, mothers, fiancées and lovers…waiting, still waiting, for their loved ones to return from a war that had captured and kept them locked, somewhere in time…forever.’

The synopsis gives all you need to know about this story. To reveal anything further would impede on the emotional intensity you’ll feel as you’re swept up in Grant and Annie’s story. A story we inhaled in one sitting, unable to leave these characters that affected us so deeply, for a mere minute.

We loved so much of this story – the era of the setting was perfection. The characters so memorable. We lived through the uncertainty of the Iraq war and embraced the music that shaped that time, finding ourselves swept up in a wave of nostalgia whilst mourning a story of lost time, stolen moments, severed opportunities whilst, in the same breath,  losing ourselves to the beauty of a once in a lifetime love we felt deep in our hearts. We know we’ll never forget our time spent with Grant and Annie, neither will you!

‘…we were all waiting together.
For an ending, for a beginning…..
For a return.’


TBB RECOMMENDS
THE MOVIE TRILOGY Available to purchase below

 BELOW UNFORGIVEN
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK

ღ BEFORE A PERFECT WORLD
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK 

ღ ON HEARTBREAK RIDGE
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK 

ღ BEYOND HEREAFTER
AMAZON US ||  AMAZON UK


SYNOPSIS BOOK ONE – BELOW UNFORGIVEN

Vivian Hale doesn’t cope. She runs.

Spending the summer in small town Pennsylvania, working for minimum wage in the old trailer-turned-video-store, Vivian longs to move on after her world came crashing down around her. She’s given up on her acting dream and is willing to do whatever it takes to make enough money to get a place of her own and start over- anything, of course, but sacrifice her pride.

Oscar winning, LA director Keaton Thorne is back home for the first time in seven years, determined to survive one weekend with his family. As best man in his little brother’s wedding, he has one job- show up with his gorgeous wife and prove to everyone in the small town that he’s better than his father had ever been. 

When Keaton makes her a clichéd offer that she just can’t refuse, Vivian tries to protect her heart. She knows the difference between right and wrong. 

Between moral and immoral…

Between acting… and reality. 

One weekend. One man.

One yes.

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