Category Archives: J B Salsbury

SPLIT by JB SALSBURY :: REVIEW

Standalone romantic thriller


split nov 15
SYNOPSIS
JB Salsbury is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has captivated readers around the world. Her unforgettable new novel is a story of romance and suspense, with a twist no one will see coming . . .
What do you do when you wake up with no memory of what you did last night?
Lucas spent the first half of his life protecting himself from others, but now his own mind is his biggest enemy. He doesn’t know what happens when the blackouts overtake him, but he can recall the feelings–the rage, the confusion, the fear. Thankfully the quiet life he’s found in Payson, Arizona has kept the darkness at bay. Until his boss’s estranged daughter shows up in town, asking questions she shouldn’t and sparking a desire Lucas can’t control. Getting close to Shyann is the best thing that’s ever happened to him, but when his blackouts return, unleashing the truth he’s battled so long to hide, he may just lose her forever . . .

Split is available to purchase below:

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split-1

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte – Spoiler Free Review

‘I was meant for this. To love the unlovable.’

Well, this was a surprise, and quite frankly, we feel- for the reader to achieve the full emotional impact and the surprise/shock factor of Split, it is best to go into this book spoiler free to ensure you are as surprised as we were! The author has been vague in the synopsis and purposely omitted information so as to surprise the reader and to be honest, had we known the ‘twist’ or the guts of this story in advance, it would have lessened the impact of this story and thus our enjoyment. So steer clear of spoilers!

“I’m in love with this man. All of him.”

We’ve loved some of JB Salsbury’s MMA romances and whilst this story is quite the departure from her previous works, there is no doubt this suspense romance still maintains the style which has made this author a hit.

We dare you to read the prologue of Split and not become immediately gripped! We will admit for about the first 30% after the prologue, we found the characters spent a lot of time inside their heads which had the tendency to slow the story down a little but we fully appreciate it was necessary in order to build the characters and formulate the story. And again, our riveting desire to flip the pages at this point all went down to the surprise element of this story which for us was paramount. Had we known the reveal at this point, we don’t believe we would have felt the same compelling pull we experienced anticipating and guessing what was to come. We couldn’t stop turning the pages to see how this story unfolded, to search for the answers we so desperately sought.

“You’re right. I’m safer without you…but the thought of living without you is worse than my fears.”

The story centres on Lucas who turned up in the small town of Payson and went to work for Nash Jennings and his son Cody. Showing a natural artistry for wood carving and a willingness to work, the quiet, reserved Lucas is immediately welcomed into the fold, with Nash allowing him to live in their cabin. Life was finally looking up for Lucas and for the first time he felt safe and at some form of peace.

Shyann Jennings (Nash’s daughter) turned her back on small town life as soon as she could, escaping the claustrophobic town and it’s people to pursue a career in Journalism. She’s about to get her big break when it all goes to crap and results in Shyann returning to Payton with her tail between her legs.

‘I didn’t love anything as much as I hated Payson.’

Shyann is smitten by the quiet and lonely Lucas, finding a childlike innocent quality to him that draws her to him. Knowing nothing about his past, her inquisitive nature sees her trying to get to the bottom of Lucas and his past.

“You have the ability to break me.”

The horrors Lucas experienced broke our hearts. We prepared ourselves for something gut wrenching but were shocked at what had transpired, angry and horrified at those who caused this poor young man such pain and trauma. Lucas’s past was tragic and his coping mechanisms become threatened by his feelings for Shyann. Lucas has never had friends, never let anyone in but Shyann breaks his walls with dire consequences.

“There are hearts big enough to love those who are different than them, who are hard to understand.”

There is a thrilling, sinister and dark undercurrent to this story, with the sadness underpinning the cruelty within.  This story is emotional, clever and it’s loaded with a suspenseful tension that had us on the edge of our seats, though we did have a few questions at the end of the story.

Apprehension, nervousness, sadness and heartbreak was cloaked in love, friendship, sacrifice and acceptance. We were desperate to reach the finale of this story and found the epilogue so beautifully fitting; capping off and engrossing read.

4 Stars

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FIGHTING TO FORGIVE (Fighting #2) by J.B. SALSBURY

Purchase Fighting Series below

FIGHTING FOR FLIGHT BOOK ONE
Amazon US | Amazon UK

FIGHTING TO FORGIVE BOOK TWO 
Amazon US | Amazon UK


fighting to forgive

SYNOPSIS

What do you do when everything you avoid, turns out to be exactly what you need?

Easy and predictable, just the way he likes it, Blake Daniels flies through life the way he burns through women: on his terms, no regrets.

With his fighting career in full swing, he’s on the threshold of title contention. But when his training is compromised by injury, the stakes grow impossibly higher. The rage that fuels his punches also chips away at his focus, and he risks losing everything he cares about.

He won’t let that happen. Not again.

Layla’s through with men. After a marriage that never should’ve happened, she hopes to reclaim the pieces of the woman she lost years ago.

Emotional abuse has left her insecure and terrified. A master at faking what she’s not feeling, she masks her self-doubt in false confidence.

She’ll never let another man hurt her. Not again.

Chased by shadows of the past, Blake and Layla know what they don’t want, but their hearts have a different plan. As a web of lies and betrayal threatens to destroy them, they’re forced to make a choice.

Is love enough to heal even the deepest wounds?

Or will they be left Fighting to Forgive?

FTF

Reviewed By Jenny & Gitte

G&J 4 Stars

Gitte: Wow, how hard did we fall for Blake Jenny? This guy is LUSH, we kind of knew his story would be fab though didn’t we, as we both fell for him in the previous book. I wasn’t expecting such an emotional read though, and I have to say I thought Blake’s story was really well written and so very heart-wrenching; his past, his childhood, his struggles, well it broke my heart. This guy is not only a gorgeous alpha UFC fighter, he’s funny, protective and has a huge heart.

I loved the first half of the story, I don’t think I put it down once, then it got a tad over the top and predictable, but it soon picked up again. I have to say, one scene BROKE me and that was all Layla our heroine, poor girl. Wow, I did not see that coming!

‘There’s no denying this chick does something to me. Her strength and attitude call to me on a physical level. And there are moments when she forgets to reinforce her tough-girl exterior and leaves herself exposed. Fuck if those glimpses don’t make me want to possess her and become the man she needs.’ – Blake

So yeah, loved this second instalment, I think this Author has really polished up her writing, she reminds me a lot of Kristen Ashley from her earlier work. You thought the same didn’t you Jenny?

Jenny:  I did Gitte and ummm yeah we certainly fell pretty damn hard for Blake. In fact I think our entire conversation when we started it consisted of “oh my god, how much do you love Blake?” I loved Blake’s story.

‘He’s a fighter, born and bred to defend, to settle wrongs with punches. To submit the enemy until they give up. This is him, strong and caring, poetic in a way that cramps my chest.’ – Layla

The prologue broke my heart and from that moment on I was hooked. So much I wanted to know and couldn’t wait to delve deep into this story.  There were so many layers to this Blake and Layla and peeling them back and getting to the nitty gritty of it all was certainly heart breaking at times. Both for Layla and Blake. These two damaged people really deserved some happiness and love in their lives that’s for sure!

Gitte: Blake was such a male slut, he was a bit of a cock actually but a lovable one. The women fall at his feet as he blinds them with his cheekiness, his fab sense of humour and the ummm obvious!! I fell in complete love with this kick arse guy and he’d be hard to beat for me in this series.

‘I’ve always loved fighting, the power that surges through my body with every punch. It’s addicting.’ – Blake

Though I have to say, he pissed me off greatly in one scene where he should’ve known better, I actually thought his character was given a disservice as I don’t believe he would have ‘reacted the way he did’ in said situation!! It didn’t seem in keeping with the story and the nature of their relationship nor his character!!

“I want them. They’re mine.” – Blake

As for Layla, wow, this woman’s sure been through the mill. Her past is shocking, her present is scary and emotional. Our girl truly deserves her second chance at life and love. Layla has strength and conviction and fights to give her daughter a better life, all commendable qualities. I have to say that I’m in two minds about Layla in parts of this story. I’m not entirely convinced that her jealousy, assumptions and behaviour weren’t too over the top making me think her to be more irrational and annoying than sensible and lovable. So many of her actions towards the latter part of the story were quite over the top in my opinion. I did really feel for her, what she’s been through and yeah one scene had me in shock and tears.

“I know it sounds silly. But, everyone needs someone fighting in their corner, Blake. I’ve never had that and neither have you. You own my heart, and everything that comes with it.” – Layla

So, Layla and Blake were both multifaceted well written characters and they brought out the best in each other, they were soul mates. They’ve had such tragedy and hurt in their lives that they are perfect for each other in more ways than one. They have passion, vulnerability and their story was really quite beautiful in places. I really enjoyed their story and it’s my favourite in this series so far! I loved Blake…like really really loved Blake and I love the writing style of this Author. Bring on book #3; Fighting to Forget!!!!

Jenny: Blake was definitely the love ’em and leave ’em type guy but considering his background and upbringing I can understand why he was hesitant to give his heart away or believe in love happily ever after.  I knew I’d love Blake after meeting him in Fighting for Flight, and never had any doubt he’d win me over, but he really was a revelation in Fighting To Forgive. There was so much to this cocky, gorgeous man and he had me laughing at his straightforwardness, admiring his strength, loving his wit and losing my heart to all that was Blake.

“Last night, what you said? You were right, I’m broken.” …..”You’d only hurt me.”

Layla was so selfless, always putting everyone else’s happiness before her own and wow had this woman been dealt a cruel blow in life. She had definitely suffered at the hands of a cold, unloving man and for her Blake provided the love, protection and support she had always craved and needed.  Layla had so many emotional walls built up around her that only a man with the determination and tenacity of Blake was ever going to break through.

‘I feel desired. Worshipped. Cared for.’ – Layla

The revelations as they unfolded about Blake and Layla’s pasts were at times shocking, especially for Layla. I did NOT see that coming and it broke my heart thinking of her having to experience the pain she was forced to confront.

“Just me and you, Mouse. No one from the past. When we’re like this, it’s us. Only us.” – Blake

I really did enjoy this instalment Gitte. Fighting to Forgive was heading towards a 4.5 Star rating for me until around 75%. Up until that point I was swept away with the passion, the banter, the emotion and the romance of the story, but then THAT scene came along and we were on the phone straight away discussing it because we felt that after everything we had been through, after believing so much that these two were going to push through and make this work….for him to react that way? Well, I was annoyed to be honest because it really was out of character and it felt as if everything we had invested in them was thrown away.  But…..it did recover quickly and so I forgave readily and loved Blake and Layla’s story.

“It means you fight. Anything worth having in this life, you fight to get. And you don’t stop fighting until you get it.”

I loved Blake’s voice in this story and think JB Salsbury knocked it out the park with both POV’s.  This author sure does write one hot alpha MMA and I can’t wait for more of this series down the track!

‘The only thing that means anything is lying beneath me, eyes closed, and a soft smile, on her lips. And she’s all fucking mine.’ – Blake

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

 

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Fighting For Flight (Fighting #1) by J.B. Salsbury

Purchase Fighting Series below

FIGHTING FOR FLIGHT BOOK ONE
Amazon US | Amazon UK

FIGHTING TO FORGIVE BOOK TWO 
Amazon US | Amazon UK


fighting for flight

SYNOPSIS

What happens when in order to win, you’re forced to lose?

The only daughter of an infamous Las Vegas pimp, Raven Morretti grew up an outsider. Liberated from the neglectful home of her prostitute mother, she finds solace as a mechanic. With few friends, she’s content with the simple life. Flying under the radar is all she knows, and more than she expects.

Until she catches the eye of local celebrity, UFL playboy Jonah Slade.

Weeks away from his title fight, Jonah is determined to stay focused on everything he’s trained so hard to achieve. Undefeated in the octagon, he’s at the height of his career. But resisting Raven’s effortless allure and uncomplicated nature is a fight he can’t win.

Jonah trades in his bad-boy reputation and puts his heart on the line. But when her father contacts her, setting in motion the ugly truth of her destiny, Jonah must choose. In a high-stakes gamble where love and freedom hang in the balance, a war is waged where the price of losing is a fate worse than death.

Will the hotheaded Jonah be able to restrain his inner fighter to save the woman he loves?

Or will Raven be forced into a life she’s been desperate to avoid?

**************

Reviewed by Gitte and Jenny 3.5 Stars

Gitte:  First of all Jenny, I have to say I am so proud of Jamie. Do you remember chatting to her a year ago discussing how there were not enough MMA fighter stories out there? And then she goes and writes this fantastic story, an amazing debut novel with more to come. I am so proud of her right now! Fighting for Flight was really well written and I am so excited to read more from this Author and I have no doubt it will only get better and frankly I cannot wait.

Jenny:  Me too Gitte. I can’t begin to say how proud I am of Jamie for taking this step and yes, I absolutely remember discussing the lack of MMA heroes in books with her.  It was after we had read a couple we loved and needed more and ummmm yeah…Jamie only went off and wrote one!  I think this was a great effort for a first time author and like you, can’t wait to read more from her in the future.  First off I have to say, the author really did start this book off with a bang the prologue was heart stopping that’s for sure and it sucked me straight straight away! What did you think of the story Gitte?

Gitte:  So, what did I think about Jonah and Raven’s story? Well, I loved it for so many reasons. What’s not to love? We have the gorgeously hot MMA fighter Jonah, who is pretty perfect, a protective tattooed alpha male who loves with passion. Then we have Raven, a sweet, vulnerable and beautiful girl with a heart of gold. Raven is a mechanic and the definition of cool, oh and she had a pretty cool tattoo as well!

Jenny:  Yep, what’s not to love about Jonah indeed! A hot, tattooed, possessive hero and an MMA fighter to boot! Well, yes it was love for me!  He’s a pick ’em up and kick ’em out guy and has decided he’s definitely not the relationship type.  Women are for sex, end of story.

Then we have Raven.  I thought Raven was just adorable.  She was so vulnerable, innocent yet sensual who possessed a pure and beautiful soul with an honesty that was so warm and genuine.  I really did like her.  She was so sweet.

This girl has had a rough life.  Growing up without the love of parents, she’s a survivor who has been exposed to the grittier side of life, yet somehow was able to come out the other end stronger yet still retained her innocence despite her dodgy parentage.  How was Jonah every going to resist her?

I absolutely loved the dual POVs and I felt the author did well with both voices. It was very easy to differentiate between Jonah and Raven and both voices lent to the story.

Gitte:  Jonah and Raven’s journey pretty much started immediately. I’ve mentioned this in reviews before, I am not a big fan of “insta love” Jenny nor the 20 something year old virgin which seems to be quite a popular heroine “theme” in a lot of books  at the moment so I did feel it took something of my enjoyment away from this story.

Being able to hear the voice of both Jonah and Raven had such an impact that I connected to the characters immediately and yeah I fell for Jonah completely, seriously just wow

“I swear the man could bed any woman with one look” – Raven

….and Raven; well I just wanted to pick her out my kindle and put her in my pocket.

“The woman I see right now, she’s something special…” – Jonah

Poor Raven’s life has unbeknownst to her been mapped since her birth by her Pimp of a Dad and her prostitute Mum. She lives her life with a sweet innocence despite her back ground trying to distance herself as much as she can, free of any association. Raven works in the garage owned by her substitute Dad – Guy. He takes care of her with the protective fatherly streak she has been missing and is the only constant in her life. Raven is happiest under the hood of a car which is how she meets the gorgeous MMA fighter Jonah ‘The Assassin’ Slade.

Now Jonah…where do I start Jenny. His track record with sleeping around isn’t great. But what girl in her right mind wouldn’t want to go a few rounds with The Assassin right?! He’s seen tragedy and fought his way out and up turning out to be one of the best undefeated MMA fighters out there. His protectiveness of Raven is faultless and he understands who she is and his heart wants her. For the first time ever he wants more. And Raven who has been starved of touch and affection…shrouded in loneliness, having to be so strong through her 20 years thrives in the knowledge that Jonah wants her despite everything.

“You’re unlike anyone I have ever known…” – Jonah

“He wants me. This amazing powerful, beautiful man wants me …” – Raven

Jenny:  I really did enjoy this book Gitte, but, like you,  I have to also highlight the “insta love” scenario you mentioned.  I did have an issue with it because basically, I just didn’t buy it nor did I feel it at that point.  For me, the characters just hadn’t developed enough by then for me to believe it.  To be honest, I actually had a bit of an eye roll when Jonah, a guy who just a week before had slept with a stripper and made it clear sex was all that mattered as far as women were concerned, who was completely shutdown emotionally was able to identify his feelings and verbalise his love for Raven a mere week after she walked into his life.

Whilst I Raven was completely loveable, and you could understand how Jonah could have strong feelings for her, I needed to experience the connection.  I felt I really wanted them to develop as individuals and as a couple before their relationship took on that depth.

Don’t get me wrong.  I absolutely felt the chemistry between these two and I felt the sweetness between them but I really would have loved more character development between the two and more of a build up before it reached such an intense point.

However, once the story started flowing and I ventured further into the book I will admit my issue with the insta love did fade into the background.  Although I will say, the suddenness of it all did cause me timeline issues because I kept having to remind  myself this was all happening within the space of weeks whereas the intensity of their relationship made it feel like more time had elapsed.

Whilst there wasn’t angst as such, there certainly was enough drama to keep me entertained and a couple of heart in the mouth moments to ramp it up.   I found the love between Jonah and Raven absolutely heart melting.  When Jonah has to go against all his instincts to save the girl he loves, you do feel for him. He loves her without exception and will do anything to save her, even if it means going against everything he believes in.

“This whole time I thought I was living.  But the day I met you, the lights came on”  Jonah

Gitte: Jonah and Raven’s journey is pretty emotional and heart breaking. It is also one scary ride with lots of action at times and the passion, the love and the yummy factor made this a pretty addictive read that I found hard to put down.

“Fighting gave me my breath, but you brought me back to life….This whole time I thought I was living. But the day I met you, the lights came on. You fill me with things I thought I’d never feel again…You’re my angel, baby” – Jonah

“When God hands you a gift, you don’t push it away and tell him ‘later’” – Jonah

Seriously….just swoon!!!!

Now, I cannot wait for the second book in this series which features Blake. Oh and I defy anyone not to also swoon over Blake’s cocky character. I loved him! Bring it on Jamie!

Jenny:  This story, whilst slightly predictable, was an enjoyable read.  I found the supporting characters added much to the story and yes…I just loved Blake.  His compassion and care for Raven and his loyalty to Jonah really did make him such a wonderful character and I can’t wait for his story.  How much fun will that be!

Seeing Raven blossom and feel loved really was heart-warming.  Theirs was a passionate, yet sweet love story of two people fighting against the odds told against the backdrop of the MMA and Vegas underworld.  Our tattooed, possessive, fighter falling for the sweet, vulnerable, giggly gorgeous Raven was such that it made this an enjoyable read, even if it did have a bit of a shaky start.  I enjoyed it…..  The steam factor was high and the chemistry between Raven and Jonah was definitely felt.

Gitte: 3.5 stars
Jenny: 3.5 Stars

 

Arc provided by the author for an honest review

 

 

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, J B Salsbury, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny