Tag Archives: emotional

AUTOBOYOGRAPHY by CHRISTINA LAUREN :: REVIEW

Standalone emotional YA/MM coming of age romance

SYNOPSIS

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

AUTOBOYOGRAPHY is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 beautiful stars

‘I’m just a bisexual half-Jewish kid who’s falling in love with an LDS guy. The path for me isn’t as clear.’

This is our first book by Christina Lauren and we loved their flawless and stunning writing style. We were captivated by the storyline which was written with such intelligence and passion whilst having incredible depth. The struggles our characters face are quite apt in a society that has progressed immensely yet still has pockets of societal beliefs -be they religion based or not as the case may be- where acceptance comes with conditions and is dependent of a will bent to shape or fit a mould.  For us it was difficult to come to terms with the fundamental ideologies that shaped the idiosyncrasies of a religion with which we just couldn’t relate.

‘In summary: love and respect, but only if you’re willing to live by their rules…then exclusion is the only answer.’

Tanner is blessed with a family who are nothing but supportive and protective of their son; the protectiveness increasing when the family moves to a Mormon town where they know he will not be looked at with kind eyes. Tanner is a laid-back boy who loves life yet cannot wait to leave the confines of Mormon scrutiny and be free to love without repercussions, be open with those he cares for and not have to hide who he is, outside his front door.

“Are you willing to be a secret? Maybe you are for now. But this is your life, and it will stretch out before you, and you are the only person who can make it whatever you want it to be.”

Everything changes when he meets Sebastian; the son of a prominent Mormon family who is assisting in a prestigious writing class which saw Sebastian’s book being picked up by a publisher. Tanner immediately knows that Sebastian is someone special who he has to know and get close to. What begins as a crush soon turns into so much more as tension ensues with Tanner unable to stop writing their story day by day – moment by moment, wishing for his love to be returned.

“I don’t know what to do about how I feel or how to stop feeling this way about you…..Also why my book is basically about how it feels to fall for you.”

Sebastian’s life is planned and is meticulously following the Mormon way of life, ritual and tradition. He did not plan for Tanner nor did his family and his community. He is the quieter and more resigned of the two, leading a life that belies his heart. How long can he live a life that’s not what‘s meant to be? Two boys leading two very different lives under completely different circumstances. At what point and at what personal cost do you decide if your love and heart can withstand the weight of society’s pressure and family religion which may ultimately tear you apart?

‘He wants to read my book, the book about falling in love with him. But how can I send my heart to him when he’s just said, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t speak its language?’

Poignant, heart-breaking, inspirational, beautiful, funny and extremely relevant; Tanner and Sebastian’s story will move you to tears as well as smile whilst wanting to throw your kindle at other times at the nonsensical struggle people still face –to just be and live their lives free from ramifications and ill judgements. Some find acceptance, support and loyalty; some are not so lucky. Where one struggles another does not. However, the world we live in is not an easy one –still- no matter the progress we seem to make. Love is love and love is fundamentally what we all want the world to run on.

‘This moment, and the quieter moments afterward, can’t be edited. They can’t be rewritten. They can’t be erased.’

 

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TAINTED BY LOVE by GILLIAN JONES :: REVIEW

Standalone emotional ugly cry love story

SYNOPSIS

My name is Hendrix Hills.
When I was twenty-nine, I fell in love with a girl.
We loved fast. We loved hard.
But our love was tainted.

My name is Trinity Adams.
When I was twenty-seven, I fell in love with a boy.
We loved fast. We loved hard.
It’s too bad my blood was tainted.

Warning: Not your traditional HEA. May contain emotional triggers for some. There will be things that you won’t like and some you will, but I hope you have fun finding out!

TAINTED by LOVE is available below 

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

“She’s my home, you know…my happy….”

We have so many mixed emotions about this book. Even now, a day after finishing Tainted by Love, talking about, and getting our thoughts and feelings in check, we have no idea how we felt about this book. Was it compelling? Absolutely. Was it emotional? Yes, some parts brutally so. We sobbed hiccupy, headache sobs at one point. Did we enjoy it? We’re not sure enjoy is the right word, but one one thing we DO know, is that we couldn’t put this book down and we can’t remember discussing a book so deeply whilst we read.

The opening pages of Tainted by Love led us to believe it was going to something quite different to how the story played out, and that’s perfectly okay, because as readers, we love to be tested, have our boundaries pushed and revel in having the element of surprise bestowed upon us. And Gillian Jones most certainly managed all three.

The story starts with Trinity, then 20, in love with her college boyfriend and losing her virginity. The gut punching relevance of these steamy opening moments soon came into play as we turned to the next chapter;  thrown for a loop. Nothing could have prepared us for how the cruel and heartbreaking consequences that relationship would deliver. It hit us like a sledgehammer.

‘It turns out it’s easier to judge me than it is to love me.’

We’ll hold our hands up and admit we found it confronting, and unbeknownst to each other, we both had put the book aside at one point. A few text message later saw us discussing our feelings at length…and Trinity’s story had only just begun at that point. One thing’s for sure though, even as we questioned how we felt, there is no doubt we were compelled we were to continue this story. Without question we would forever wonder ‘what if’  about Trinity and Hendrix’s story if we didn’t finish it. And so we braced ourselves for what we thought was to come.

27 year old Trinity Adam’s received crushing news that would forever change her life. In every sense of the word. It would only be through the understanding and love from Hendrix Hills that her life would take on some semblance of balance and true happiness, however they would forever live with a dark cloud hanging over them and so we read this book with a mixture of determination and dread.

‘Hendrix sees me. He sees all of me: the person I am today, the girl I’ve always been, and the woman I might become. I just hope he also sees the Trinity that is looking right back at him, the one who already loves him so much.’

When reading a story we always put ourselves in the heroines shoes, however in Tainted by Love, we found ourselves in both Trinity and Hendrix’s shoes, asking ourselves; ‘what would we do, how would we react?‘ if we were in both their situations. Would fear and ignorance rule our hearts, or would we open pummel through the boundaries and open our hearts to the possibility of love and happiness? We found Gillian Jones schooled us in so many ways, as she made us confront our feelings, question our reasoning’s and ensured we talked into the wee hours about this book…..between gut wrenching sobs that is! We just couldn’t stop thinking about it!

‘Knowing my biggest truth, Hendrix Hills still wants me.’

We absolutely applaud this author for taking on such a difficult subject, it couldn’t have been easy to write because it certainly wasn’t easy to read. Whilst the subject matter was extremely honest, this author dealt with Trinity and Hendrix’s story in an inspirational, loving and sensitive manner.

We found our issues with Tainted by Love came by way of the book having an overabundance of sex scenes which, for us, had a adverse impact on the emotion of the story at times. When reading a story so brutal and emotionally poignant, our thoughts were that the sex scenes would have benefited by being more fade to black as to not almost undervalue this important storyline. We found the constant descriptive sex distracted us from the emotional element of the story and for that, we were a little gutted. However, in saying that, the latter part of this story hit us and hit us hard. There is no way we had expected, nor were prepared for the way in which Gillian Jones would move Hendrix and Trinity’s story. We ugly cried, closing the book and attempting to decipher our thoughts and feelings long after finishing this thought provoking story about acceptance, self preservation, survival and soul deep love. A love that refused to be restrained by boundaries.

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Filed under 4 Stars, Gillian Jones, Pick an Author

MERCY by DEBRA ANASTASIA :: REVIEW & FIRST CHAPTER SNEAK PEEK

Standalone gritty romance
“27 days until I change how you perceive love.”

           SYNOPSIS 

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

MERCY is now available to purchase below

                   


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 Stars

‘If she wanted it, she could have it. My hand. My heart. My life. She took my hand, and that was enough.’

Wow! We loved this contradiction of a story! Mercy is difficult to categorise and in some ways had a bit of an identity crisis. If you were to go off the synopsis, you’d be thinking this was a particularly sinister, dark read – for us, it wasn’t. Yes, there were dark elements, especially in the last 20% of the book, however the story was essentially one of never ending love, acceptance, destiny, redemption and courage; interspersed with guffaw type humour, loads of emotion and some really sweet romance, all delivered with this authors fabulous ability for gripping and entertaining storytelling.

Mercy is the story of Fenix Churchkey and Rebecca Dixie Stiles. Two children who had a very brief interaction, yet it’s one that would stay with them and have a particularly lasting effect on the young Fenix (Nix). Becca and Nix were a destiny, a love story in the making – written in the stars if you like.

“Sweet girl, I’m covered in ink. I’m broken. Things happened to make me this way. I have trouble being with myself, so I can’t imagine that anyone else would want to spend time here.”

Fenix Churchkey is a man weighed down with misplaced guilt over the death of his mother. Vengeance be thy name, because Nix has a score to settle with his Dad, the man who brutalised him as a child and who was responsible for the death of Nix’s mother. We couldn’t call Nix an antihero per say, although there was darkness in what he did for a living, the man himself however was a protector, a loyal friend and all round sweetheart, driven to his actions by a punishing past.

“In my head she saves me.”
“You don’t need no saving. You’re real. Be yourself. It’s enough.”

The tenacious little Becca stood up to Nix’s cruel father and when she showed Nix kindness and uttered the words “Are you okay?”  Those words would stay with him forever. The story then shifts to fifteen years later when we meet the very mixed up Nix who is working as a hit man and Becca who is adrift in her life working at a bar. Nix always made a pact to never let Becca see him, to always protect her, thinking up ingenious ways to be a part of her life, to watch over her without actually being a part of it. Well, that was all about to change when Nix, at the coercion of his best friend Animal, seizes an opportunity for Becca to get to know the man beneath the menacing appearance, to know the man inside.

‘I could never meet her. I would never touch her. But I was hopelessly in love with her.’

Debra Anastasia didn’t rush the romance between Nix and Becca, instead treating us to a slow build, allowing us to get to know the characters before the feverishness of their feelings took hold, summoning our emotions through Nix’s past and his healing process. We loved this man! Nix begs the question, what is normal and he shows us how we need to dig beneath the surface to find the jewel. Their love story was intense, exhilarating, sweet, honest and beautiful, if not a little chaotic and crazy.

“Wait for me?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”

The secondary characters were fabulous – in particular the relationship between Nix and his best mate Animal. This huge big brute of a man who spoke so sweetly and sometimes had the hilarious demeanour of a little old lady won us over. Animal soon became a crucial part of the story and bloody hell, we cannot wait for his story and to learn who his love interest is, though we have some idea!

The only issue we had is one that readers will either love; or not -which is our case- it’s a personal thing, however for us it’s one that took us out of this story for a moment or two. We have a bit of a pet peeve when Authors bring their ‘online real life’ into their books with people and/or their conversations. The dialogue between certain characters in Mercy made us feel as though we were reading a Facebook thread, not living this particular moment of a fictional story, but thankfully Debra soon pulled us back in and overall it didn’t take anything away from our enjoyment of this gripping, sweet, intense and tumultuous love story that had our hearts bursting with romance one minute whilst fiercely beating with anticipation the next as Nix’s past crashes into his present!


CHAPTER ONE SNEAK PEAK

Chapter 1 of MERCY by Debra Anastasia

Superhero

Fenix

“Hold these eggs.”

My father handed me the white carton in the grocery store. The aisle was cold. I was cold. My hands were shaking.

“Don’t you drop those eggs, son.” His voice was menacing. But everything about him was menacing.

He’d finally done it. He’d killed my mother. Last night. This morning.

We were in the grocery store because we needed food. My sister was at my aunt’s house, which was good.

Because Mom was dead.

My hands shook more. I stared at them and willed them to stop shaking. I begged them to stop shaking.

Mom was shaking before she died. Seeing her like that was all there was. In this grocery store. In my head. My hands were clean now, but Dad had scrubbed them before he’d put me in the truck.

To come here. To get groceries.

I felt sick to my stomach.

Mom had been trying to make dinner. In the end all the food from the fridge had been tossed around the kitchen.

The squeaky Styrofoam container the eggs were in was giving me away. He was watching. He was getting even angrier.

Mom wasn’t here anymore. To step in. To stop him when he got this way.

“Stop shaking, Fenix Churchkey.”

It was a whisper from the scariest man on the planet. I tensed my muscles. There was no difference. Maybe it was making it worse.

“You’re the best boy, Nix. I love you so much. Just remember that.”

Mom. She was gone.

I watched in horror as the carton tumbled from my hands and hit the floor. The eggs made a sickening noise inside.

Mom was shaking before she died.

Before he murdered her.

I looked at his face, knowing he would kill me too. Not here. Most likely not here.

He liked private. He liked closed doors.

I knew not to make a sound when his hand grasped my arm so hard. He would squeeze right through the bones maybe someday.

I started to count my matchbox cars in my head. It was how I kept quiet. In a box under my bed there was three cars. The red car. The blue van. And the Hummer, my favorite. It was purple and…

“What did I tell you?”

His mouth was next to my ear. His breath smelled bad. His sweat smelled bad.

Mom was gone now.

At least my sister was at my aunt’s house. She was just a baby.

Dad grabbed my other arm, a little lower than the edge of my T-shirt sleeve. I watched as my skin came up between his fingers.

I felt the tears.

Crying always made it worse.

He was going to break my arms. Both my arms.

“Hey! Mister! Leave that boy alone.”

I felt chills up my spine. We were private. We liked closed doors. No one was allowed to know.

“I said let go! You’re bigger than he is. And let him go. He’s good.”

She was a kid. Like me. She put her hands on his forearm and pushed. I was stunned quiet. I was stunned stupid.

She wasn’t wearing matching socks and her hair was a giant halo of curls. She had a shiny purse with a stuffed dog sticking out of it and a fistful of coupons. There was a spiral pad with a cat doodled on it popping out of a pocket.

Dad took one hand off of me and lifted it. He was going to backhand this little girl. I put my hand up to block him.

I saw my death in his eyes then. You don’t stand up to him.

Ever.

Mom was gone.

The little girl didn’t flinch.

It would occur to me years later that she’d never been hit a day in her life. But not now. Now she was a superhero.

“You don’t hurt kids. That’s wrong.” She looked from his face to his hand that was still squeezing me.

“Go on, girl. ’Fore I change your mind.” Dad wiped his mouth with the back of his threatening hand.

Restraint.

He had it for her. For this little girl.

She frowned at my father and then put her lips to the side like she was fed up with him.

I felt my mouth drop open.

Then she was looking at me. Her clear blue eyes saw me. Saw through me. “Are you okay?”

To see this wild disrespect of what my father could do, what he demanded from Mom, from me was like getting hit with a wave in the center of my chest.

I felt my father’s warning hiss to me. This girl was the sun on the darkest horizon. She made dark turn to light.

I nodded. I was fine. We were always fine.

Mom was gone.

“Mister, you need to let go of his arm.”

The girl pointed at me. I knew what she saw. His fingers biting into me like teeth on a tiger. I had so many bruises all over my body that were in the outline of my father’s hand. This new one on my arm would only be unique because it didn’t feel entirely in the safe zone of how my shirts lay. I would wear a long sleeve if I could find it tomorrow. If I made it to tomorrow.

“I said for you to get. And mind your own damn business.”

The girl’s eyes went wide at his use of the word “damn”. If she only knew.

I wanted her to know.

She narrowed her eyes at my father. “You’re a bad man.”

The veins in my father’s neck were starting to pop out.

She was in danger now. And I knew I should protect her from him, but to not be alone for a moment. It was making me breathe, and I needed that so much.

“You’re about to learn how bad I can be.”

It was a low growl. It was his home voice. It was his closed-door voice. It was the voice I was never going to get away from. It was the last voice my mom heard.

Mom was gone.

“You’re trying to scare me, and I don’t scare easy. I sleep in my own bed with the lights off and no nightlight anymore.”

She lifted her chin at my father like a boxer just before the first punch.

“Dad, let’s go.” I spoke for her. Normally I never spoke. Not when my father’s voice had cracked its way into my soul. But I didn’t want to see the light in the girl’s eyes fade.

I didn’t know what a soul was until I watched my mother’s leave last night—or this morning. It was that eye light.

“Rebecca Dixie Stiles!”

The girl snapped her head around. Rebecca had to be her name.

“Over here, Dad! I need your help!” She crossed her arms in front of her.

I watched as my father shifted his weight and a muscle twitched in his jaw.

My father didn’t say anything else. He abandoned our groceries on the floor by the egg carton and pulled me with him.

I looked over my shoulder at her. She was waving down her father, who I didn’t get to see. “Dad! This guy! Wait!”

She reached past her stuffed animal into the sparkly bag and jogged after us. She held a lollipop out to me. I looked at it. The words “Hug Me” were printed on it. I stuck it inside my pocket.

Rebecca locked eyes with me then. “Be okay. Okay? Be okay.”

I nodded.

It just didn’t happen that day.

Or the next.

Or the next.


TBB RECOMMENDATIONS from DEBRA 


POUGHKEEPSIE is a standalone beautiful romance that will steal your heart.

 What a difference a smile and giving a damn about someone down on their luck can make. Livia and Blake will steal your heart.  Theirs is a love story that you will cheer from the beginning.  You want these two to succeed.  You want the best for them. You will love them. You will cherish them.

“You make the rest of the beautiful things in the world cry for even trying at all. You make it hard for me to breathe.” 

 


FOR ALL THE EVERS is a standalone emotional and beautiful otherworldly romance.

Written from the heart, this is a journey where past meets present, depicting bravery, addiction, sacrifice, determination, perseverance and redemption. Ultimately it captured the very essence of love and what we’d do in the name of love.  We cried tears of joy and devastation.

“If true love hurts more than this does, I don’t want any part of it.

All the Evers


 

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BEARD IN MIND (The Winston Brothers #4) by PENNY REID :: REVIEW

5 STARS!! For this emotional, funny, sensitive and beautiful love story.
Standalone in a series (though we recommend the whole series)


SYNOPSIS

 All’s fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean missing out on what matters most.

BEARD IN MIND is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 5 beautiful Stars!

Penny Reid -for us- is always like a breath of fresh air when we pick up one of her books. She doesn’t excessively flower her words nor does she soften them. She brings an air of real life –undiluted- into her fiction which will touch many readers’ hearts for their honesty and singularity. Characters who swim against the current, a storyline that mirrors only itself. This is why we love Penny Reid. The beauty is always there and her characters have their own unique mould.

“Unless they’re polished, their colors will fade.”

“Like a person.”

“Pardon?” I returned my gaze to her profile.’

“People need to be polished to be stroked, touched,” her tone was abstract, “and when they’re not polished, their colors fade. They fade, they change, warp become something different.”

We have read every single Winston Brothers book in this series and whilst they’re as different as night and day in many respects, they’re really quite similar in their message. Every character has a specific burden or personal disposition to work through yet whilst a beautiful romance runs through them, the underlying theme always has such depth and realism.

“All people are broken, Shelly. No one is perfect. Some seek help. Some don’t. But no one is ever fixed by another person. We can only work on ourselves.”

We were excited for Beau’s story, who is so much more than just a wonderful and handsome, family loving man. We loved Beau’s character for how he was written and how he always stayed true to himself and his principles. A man whose heart is pure and loving despite the aches and breaks thrown at it. This man is a sunset and a sunrise; constant with such beauty.

‘But Beau is amazing. Being with him is so…effortless. Nothing has ever felt effortless before. And he wants to be with me.’

Without question this was Shelly’s story to tell and it was told in such a vivid yet clinical way that the effect of her words felt like razors in their intensity and honesty. It was a window into a tormented soul who struggles with control and their place in life; adopting coping mechanisms which may confound others yet makes life somewhat liveable for her. These coping mechanisms are stressful and controlling in their own right and makes for devastating reading. However, that is Penny Reid, and for those who stand in judgement of romance readers clearly haven’t picked up a book by this Author.

‘But I have always known –always felt- how embarrassing it is, to be this way. To admit that I can’t touch people without wanting to cut myself, to keep them safe from me, just in case. Because though you say I am not crazy, I know how I sound.’

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and cannot be measured nor compared. We all see beauty differently despite the yardstick so often planted in front of us. For us, real beauty is found through emotions, healing, bravery in suffering and without question can be found where you least expect it or look for it. The beauty of words can never be underestimated, especially when those words are found by that one person whose heart feels their true value.

“You are absolutely vital to me. I want to be just as vital to you. I want to take care of you, let me take care of you. You are my first thought in the morning, and my last thought before I go to sleep.”


TBB RECOMMENDS THE WINSTON BROTHERS SERIES


Truth or Beard

TRUTH OR BEARD – BOOK ONE

SYNOPSIS

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

Available to purchase below:

                  purchase


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grin and beardGRIN AND BEARD IT –  BOOK TWO
SYNOPSIS
Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?
Available to purchase below:
               

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11th

BEARD SCIENCE – BOOK THREE

SYNOPSIS

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

Beard Science is now available to purchase below:

                    


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THE DARKEST SUNRISE DUET by ALY MARTINEZ :: REVIEW

A poignant an emotional Duet.

The Darkest Sunrise Duet is available to purchase on Kindle below
The Darkest Sunrise – Book One

          

The Brightest Sunset – Book Two Releasing 27th July

          


THE DARKEST SUNRISE

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.
“You’re pregnant.”
“It’s a boy.” 
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.
Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.
“He’s gone.” 
For ten years, the darkness consumed me.
In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise. 
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”


THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET 

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Bullshit.
Words destroyed me. 
“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”
“Daddy, he can’t breathe!” 
“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.
Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.
“He’s gone.” 
In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise. 
“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
**Spoiler free review**

 

“You smile for people because it makes them comfortable, but it makes you feel like a fraud. You go through the motions of living but only so people will stop asking if you’re doing okay. You laugh to remind yourself that you can still physically make the sound, even though you’re so fucking numb you don’t feel it. And you keep to yourself not because you like to be alone, but rather because you’re the only person who truly understands.”

Bring on the water works- this duet hits you right in that emotional core and pulls at your heart strings. Incredibly passionate, thrilling and heart breaking, we felt utterly morose as we read, sighing deep breaths of relief when the mood was somewhat lightened through injected humour making us laugh out loud. The romance element had that old school swoony feel and the heat was scorching. Aly Martinez wrote every scene with depth and intensity, demanding us to feel every moment.

‘Hope had become my greatest enemy. Hope that I could change. Hope that I could move on. Hope that other people like me existed. Hope that, even if it was only for a few hours, I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. No questions. No judgement. No faking it.

Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.’

Charlotte was a complicated heroine when we first met her. Our hearts were blown into smithereens when we learnt of what this –very lost- woman was going through after one moment of altruistic action sparked a tragedy that is every Mother’s nightmare. The thought of it had us sobbing uncontrollably. Whilst becoming an incredibly talented and sought after pulmonologist she’s still not living, merely existing. Fate throws a life changing meeting at her, causing complete upheaval and forcing Charlotte to question everything that has come before, now and what will come after. Our hearts bled as we inhaled every moment trying to savour but unable to stop reading as we experienced the darkness and felt the turmoil and gravity of grief.

“I can’t decide if we’re too real or not real enough…”

When we met Porter we immediately knew this man was something very special and he proved that every step of the way, on every page, and firmly cemented himself in our hearts. His story touched us deeply and as we went through the moments that shaped the man we completely lost it and had to put our kindles away to dry our crying eyes. At every twist and turn this man had our support and understanding and whilst there was an incredible vulnerability there was also a quiet strength alongside a huge beating heart. His sense of humour and quick wit is what brought the darkness into the light for us. The sparring between Charlotte and him was spot on and the connection palpable.

‘He kissed me. Apologetic and reassuring. Deep and meaningful. Heartbreaking even as it eased me. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Porter kissed me with hope.’

At the heart of this story beyond the drama and heart wrenching emotion is the strong sense of family and the love of parents and children. The fierce loyalty and protection ingrained in thoughts, feelings and behaviour. We felt quite worn out from crying and laughing by the time we reached the end of this duet, but the journey was worth it. We fell in book love!

‘It felt like a nightmare in the middle of the sweetest dream.’


TBB ALSO RECOMMENDS – THE RETRIEVAL DUET by ALY MARTINEZ
One story. Two couples. Romantic Suspense Duet

retrieval-transfer

“You look at me like I’m the only woman you’ve ever seen. And hold me like you never want to let go. You laugh with me. And challenge me to be a better person, but at the same time, you remind me that there is nothing wrong with the person I already am.” 

13th

RETRIEVAL – RETRIEVAL DUET BOOK ONE

SYNOPSIS

I proposed on our first date.
She laughed and told me I was insane. Less than a day later, she said yes.
It was a whirlwind, but we were happy…
Until we got greedy and wanted a family.

It was a life I couldn’t give her, not for lack of trying. Fertility just wasn’t on our side. We sought out doctors and treatments. Spent money we didn’t have. Lied to our families. Smiled for our friends. Put on a brave face for a world that didn’t understand.
Finally, we were successful…
Until we were forced to bury our son.

We were left broken, battered, and destroyed.
They say love is in the details, but it was the details that ruined us.

This is the story of how I took back what had always been mine.
The retrieval of my wife and our family.

Available to purchase now:

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✲✲✲✲

27th

TRANSFER – RETRIEVAL DUET BOOK TWO 

SYNOPSIS

I fell in love with a man who didn’t exist.

What started out as romance ended in hell.
His words turned to razor blades.
His kisses converted to fists.
His embrace became my cage.
His body transformed into a weapon, stealing parts of me until ultimately….
I broke.

I hated him.
My sole job in life became to protect our daughter.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever escape the prison he’d skillfully crafted from my fears.
Until the day our savior arrived.

This is the story of how I escaped the man who thought he owned me.
The transfer of my life and my family.

Purchase Transfer – the conclusion now!
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