Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lead Me Not (Twisted Love #1) by A. Meredith Walters ~ Review

Lead Me Not (Twisted Love, #1)Source: Finished copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Lead Me Not (Twisted Love #1) by A. Meredith Walters

In this dangerously sexy novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Find You in the Dark, a straight-laced college student meets a handsome but enigmatic stranger who lures her into an underground club scene, where she finds it difficult to resist temptation

Aubrey Duncan understands loss. She knows what rock bottom looks like, and she is determined to crawl back up to the top after the sudden death of her younger sister. She blames herself for her part in the tragedy, convinced that she could have done something, anything, to help her.

In her effort to gain redemption, Aubrey starts fresh at Longwood University and facilitates an addiction support group, hoping she can support someone else in the way she failed her sister. But what she doesn’t count on is an all-consuming fascination with group member Maxx Demelo, a gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed enigma who hides dark secrets behind a carefully constructed mask. He only reveals what he wants others to see. But Aubrey glimpses another Maxx hidden below the surface—a Maxx who is drowning in his own personal hell.

As Aubrey and Maxx develop an attraction too intense to ignore, he pulls her into the dark underbelly of the city club scene, where she is torn by her desire to save him and an inexplicable urge to join him in his downward spiral. Worst of all, she is beginning to love everything she should run away from—a man who threatens to ignite in her a fire that could burn her alive…


Before reading Lead Me Not, I'd only read one book by A. Meredith Walters---Reclaiming the Sand. It broke my heart but I loved it. The topics within were in no way happy, but I had (and still HAVE) such fond feelings for that story. It was my experience reading, and loving, that book that gave me the courage to pick this one up.

We all have topics we just cannot deal with reading. For me, cheating sets me off (most of the time), and so does addiction and drugs. If I know beforehand that a book is dealing with those topics, I'll usually steer clear. But then there was this book. This pretty-looking book, with that interesting synopsis. And it's by A. Meredith Walters. The author that took such great care with difficult topics in Reclaiming the Sand. The author that made me love that book. 

So I picked up this book. This book, which deals heavily with drugs and addiction. (Just wanted to point out that this one doesn't actually deal with cheating. The only reason I mentioned it above was because I was discussing no-no topics.)

Lead Me Not is not a happy novel. It's dark and gritty. It weighs on you with each page you turn. But in reading this book and turning those pages, it pulls you in and takes you along for this story... this story that drags you through rock bottom and spits you out with at least a little hope.

And I enjoyed this story.

Throughout the entire book, Maxx is going through his rock bottom. He's low, and he hits that deepest low lots of stories graze. It was a painful experience watching him sink and grapple with what was right---but falling to his addiction again and again. He was a hard character to like. But in watching him go through his struggles, it grows easier to root for him. But while it grows easier, it also hurts more and more. But, as I said, in the end, there is some hope.

Throughout the entire book, Aubrey is trying to help. She's trying to make up for the past in the only way she knows how---aiding Maxx in rising above his addiction. Obviously, she didn't truly have anything to prove to anybody, but her efforts were respectable. I also praise her for standing up for herself when it's time. For stepping back. For pushing Maxx to the point where that little bit of hope I keep talking about is possible.

The writing of this book is phenomenal. So much emotion. It is literally a punch to the heart. The biggest strength in this story is how it makes you care. You start reading about Aubrey and Maxx and you want them to be okay. You want them to work out and be happy. And then you go through the entire roller coaster of this book with them... And then you leave with that dash of hope.

As for romance, which I haven't mentioned much of---out of the ordinary for me, I know. The romance is there. It's part of what made me care so much for the characters. I wanted them to be able to be happy. For Maxx to overcome his addiction and Aubrey to not have to relive her past again by watching Maxx. I'm definitely rooting for this couple. I was with them for this book, and I'll stand by them for the next one. 

In the end, I enjoyed this novel. It was a difficult, painful experience to read, but in my opinion the ending is worth it. I can't wait to pick up the second book and see where everything goes next. Hopefully things are looking up.

4 stars - A dark, gritty novel that breaks your heart and leaves you with a glimmer of hope for what's to come next.

Stacking OUR Shelves ~ 5/31/15

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Make sure to checkout her post with links to all the other participates.

Click covers for Goodreads links

For Review...

Thanks goes to...

Cindi Madsen through Wordsmith

Such a crazy week at BEA.  Can't even deal with posting those books yet.  I'll post about that next week.

For Review...

Court of Fives (Court of Fives, #1)Hello, I Love You


I've mentioned my Molly McAdams addiction, right? Because my print copy collection just, A LOT. 

Thanks go to...

The Novl
St. Martin's Press
Molly McAdams 


The One (The Selection, #3)The Heir (The Selection, #4)The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

(YES, I finally own a finished copy of one of my all-time favorite books, The Darkest Minds---TOOK ME LONG ENOUGH, I know)

And that's what we added to our shelves this week! What do you think? What did you add to your stacks? Leave us a comment!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rescuing the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon ~ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Source:  Received eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Not All Scars Heal
For Donovan Pate, the lake town of Evergreen Cove is a minefield of tough memories-including the day he had to let go of Sofie Martin. Years later he still can't forget the taste of her lips and the feel of her killer curves. He knows he's too damaged, that he should stay away for her own good. But what the head says and the heart wants are two very different things . . . Seven years ago, Donovan broke Sofie's heart. Now her career depends on playing nice in order to pull off the charity fund-raiser of the decade. She vows to keep things professional . . . yet working by his side every day doesn't make it easy to fight temptation, and it isn't long before she finds herself falling for this bad boy all over again. But loving Donovan means helping him face his past-so they can fight for a future together.


Her soft touch landed on Donovan’s arm, and the anger shuddering inside him shifted into an ache. She stepped closer, the warmth between them radiating enough heat to set him on fire. But like the fireplaces he built, he could handle it. He could handle the heat from her, not because he was impervious, but because he was strong enough to soak her in and not burn to ash.
She turned his arm where paint was drying. She swiped at it with her sleeve. “I made a mess.”
He’d forgotten about the paint. “Don’t… I can… There is a shower in the…” He lost his train of thought when she turned those emerald green eyes up to him. He watched her delicate throat work as she swallowed. His eyes traveled up her neck and landed on her mouth. Needing her mouth, he lowered his face, watched her eyes grow dark and wide, watched her lift her chin to meet him.
Heat. He wanted more. If only to test his own strength.
He moved his lips gently against hers, but resisted holding her to him. She held onto him though, grasping his forearms with both hands, her fingers wrapped around his elbows. Pressing her body against his, pressing her tits against his ribs.
Hell, sounded like an invitation to him.  Deepening their connection, he thrust his tongue into her mouth, reached around, and grabbed her ass with both palms. When he squeezed, she sucked in a breath.
“Told you,” he rumbled.
“Told me?”
“Not a complaint, Scampi.” He squeezed again. “Perfect.”
A choked laugh left her throat. “Big.”
Still moving his hands over her backside, he said, “First thing I noticed about you at the Wharf.” He’d been plating up a chicken scaloppini when the manager walked in to show around a few new servers. Two he couldn’t remember, and Sofie. Bent over the plate, he’d peeked between the metal shelves framing that perfect ass . He’d stood to get a better look, and she’d pegged him with those moss-greens.
“Second thing I noticed was your eyes.”
Her lips parted slightly. “And the third thing?”
He kissed her. She tasted incredible. “The first time you talked to me.”
She rolled her eyes. “And what did I say?”
She didn’t think he remembered. She was wrong. “‘Can I get a side of cock?’”
Laughing, she shook her head.
He smiled back at her, unable to help himself. “Then you cleared your throat and said, ‘cocktail sauce’.”
Shaking her head, she said, “Worst abbreviation ever.”
“Kitchen guys are immature.”
She blinked up at him, studying him, like she was trying to piece him together. He didn't want her to. Once she pieced him together and had the whole picture, she wouldn’t like what she saw.
He kissed her again, keeping his hands on her body.
“Are you testing my boundaries?” she asked, her tone teasing. He recognized that comment from the night he rescued her from Torsett.
“Mine,” he corrected.
Sofie bit her lip. “I don’t date much.”
“Me either.” At all, actually.
She shook her head, more in thought than in argument. “I don’t think I have any boundaries with you.”
            He was beginning to think he had none with her, either.


I loved the first book in this series and was excited to read this one.  I loved Evan and Charlie and it was great to see them again in this one.  But I never felt that Evan was a bad boy.  Donovan, however, is a bad boy.

Donovan grew up abused.  All I can say is that it's a good thing that his abusive father was already dead or I would have crawled into the book and strangled his irritating self.  I have no patience for men that throw children down the stairs for being a child.  Yes, that happened to Donovan.  As a result, he grew up an angry boy.  And he was a jerk.  And he had scars that he covered with tats.  And he took something from Sofie that he feels the need to punish himself for.  But he's back after seven years of being away and he can't keep his eye off of the girl that got through to his heart years ago.

These two together are so amazing.  I adore that Sofie has a nickname of Scampi.  I love that she's a sweet girl that risked her heart on a boy that she didn't understand but crushed on anyway.  As she begins to understand him, her heart gets even more involved.  Her patience with him is perfect.

This book is longer than most but it has a lot to all the complicated details of Donovan's life, keeping up with the last couple and building the interest in the next couples.

And sexy hot, this one has some yummy swooning times.  On the washer, on a table in the great room, in the library, in the shower, oh, and in a king-sized bed.  Love how much this boy wants to please his girl.  He's making things up to her but he insists that she's satisfied. 

This one can stand alone but if you read the first book, you'll really want this one too.

It's a great mix of hot and sexy and deep and meaningful.  Read it.

About Jessica Lemmon

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she's not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.


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Last Breath (Hitman #2) by Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick ~ Review

Last Breath (Hitman, #2)Source: Finished paperback provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Last Breath (Hitman #2) by Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick

From the bestselling authors of Last Hit comes the next in the steamy series that explores the exquisite power of our darkest passions . . .

Regan: I never really knew what misery was until the day I was kidnapped and sold for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two months later, I’m at a brothel in Rio when I meet Daniel Hays. He says he’s here to save me, but can I trust him? All I know of him are his sarcastic retorts and his tendency to solve every dispute with his gun. He’s also the only safe thing in my world, and I know it’s wrong to fall in love with him, but I can’t seem to help myself. He says he’ll protect me until his last breath, but I don’t know if I should believe him or even if I can.

Daniel: For the last eighteen months, one goal has dictated every action I’ve taken. I’ve left the Army, turned paid hit man, and befriended criminals all across the globe to find my kidnapped sister. In every brothel I raid and every human trafficking truck I stop, I hope the next face I find is my sister’s. In a hidden brothel in Rio, I find Regan Porter, bruised but not broken, and still sane despite her weeks in captivity. I should leave her behind or send her home, because the last thing either of us needs right now is to get involved. But with every passing minute, I find I’m less able to let her go.


After reading and loving the first book in the Hitman series, Last Hit, I was more than ready to pounce on this companion/sequel. Knowing this story would follow Regan and Daniel pretty much had me dying. I had such a great feeling about this one. The first book rocked, this one seemed like it would too, EXCITEMENT. As it turns out, my excitement was completely warranted. In fact, I ended up enjoying this one even more than the first. 

There is always something to be said for characters we connect with. Characters we think we could be friends with if we met them in real life. Regan is among these characters for me. While her entire situation is way out of my grasp, there were aspects of her personality that I liked and related to. Her love for horror films, for example. I LOVE horror. And Regan's preference for those movies is displayed right from the beginning, automatically giving me something in common with her. Above those little things, though, Regan went through hell. I can't even imagine. But I respect her so much for making it through and being strong regardless. I just really liked Regan.

And then pair that lovely Regan with the swoon-worthy Daniel and I was a goner. Daniel is on a mission to find his sister, but that doesn't stop him from doing everything he can to not only protect Regan, but also help her be okay. He is so kind and caring. It was so easy to enjoy him as a character, and it was even easier to fall for him as a love interest.

The romance in this one is fantastic. Daniel and Regan are in close proximity to each other for so much of the book, so we get a great amount of couple time. I loved how Daniel was so patient with Regan. He didn't push her, ever. And it was so fun to watch their relationship grow as they spent more time together. Their dynamics are way different than Nikolai and Daisy---Daniel has more of a sense of human and is less uptight, Regan has more attitude and is more outgoing---but Daniel and Regan compliment each other and work together just as beautifully as Nick and Daisy. 

Last Breath is in dual POV just like Last Hit was, alternating between Daniel and Regan. While there isn't the obvious difference of having some English trouble like in the first book, both voices still stood apart so I could always tell whose perspective I was in. The plot of this one is woven in a way that was fun to follow. There isn't a dull moment. 

Overall, I adore Last Breath even more than I had Last Hit---something I didn't think would be possible. A fast pace, swoon-worthy romance, and addicting writing all took part in making this novel so enjoyable. If you're looking for something fun, romantic, and enthralling, I highly recommend picking this one up!

5 stars - An addicting, swoon-worthy story!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Celebration Giveaway #3

Keeping up this random Celebration Giveaway thing!

This time we have this!

From HarperCollins
Sequel to Asylum

In this haunting, fast-paced sequel to the New York Times bestselling photo-illustrated novel Asylum, three teens must unlock some long-buried secrets from the past before the past comes back to get them first. Featuring found photographs, many from real vintage carnivals, Sanctum is a mind-bending reading experience that blurs the lines between past and present, genius and insanity, perfect for fans of the smash hit Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they'd love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it's here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.

Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely ~ Release Week Blitz

21 Stolen Kisses RWB banner

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Lauren Blakely's 21 STOLEN KISSES!! 21 STOLEN KISSES by Lauren Blakely is a standalone New Adult Forbidden Romance from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author being published by Bloomsbury Spark! Lauren Blakely is well known for writing sexy, heartfelt and humorous contemporary romance as well as deeply emotional new adult stories. 21 STOLEN KISSES is a beautifully written forbidden romance that will have you holding your breath and turning the pages as fast as you can!


  21 Stolen Kisses - cover

Amazon **Amazon UK**iBooks ** Kobo ** Barnes and Noble ** GooglePlay


When I first met him I resisted.
Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass.
That was a lie. It never faded.

And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard.

There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us.
Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword.
Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love -- the big, intense, never-been-like-this-before love -- landed me in therapy.
Now I'm heading to college, and it's time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he's still in my life?
Because the one man I've always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can't have…
And he wants me just as fiercely.

Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?



He inhales sharply. The look in his eyes says we’re crossing into the danger zone again. It’s the only place I want to be with him. Because when we’re there, nothing between us feels dangerous. Everything feels right.

“I turn eighteen in a few more weeks,” I say, like my birthday is an open invitation for us to slam back into each other.

He nods. “I know.”

A breeze blow by and rustles his hair. A lock falls out of place. Instinct takes over. I raise my hand to reach for his hair.

But he’s faster. He grasps my wrist, and the second he does, the moment expands. It stretches and unfolds into the thing I will replay tonight and tomorrow and the next day. I stare at his hand clasped around my wrist, flashing back to all the times he held my hand, touched my wrist, and ran his fingers along my arm. I shiver as the memories collide, the past slamming into the present.

I look up from our hands to his eyes. Blazing, full of heat. Full of all that restraint from him that I know so well.

Author PhotoAbout Lauren Blakely:

 Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had seven books on the New York Times Bestseller list and eleven on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. This summer she'll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | 21 STOLEN KISSES Goodreads | Lauren Blakely Goodreads

21 SK - Teaser1

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Swoon Thursday ~ 5/28/15

The fabulous girls over at YA Bound created this super HOT meme.  Here's how it works.

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog! I want to know & so do the chicks at YABound!


For Donovan Pate, the lake town of Evergreen Cove is a minefield of tough memories—including the day he had to let go of Sofie Martin. Years later, he still can’t forget the taste of her lips and the feel of her killer curves. He knows he’s too damaged, that he should stay away for her own good. But what the head says and the heart wants are two very different things…

Seven years ago, Donovan broke Sofie’s heart. Now her career depends on playing nice in order to pull off the charity fundraiser of the decade. She vows to keep things professional…yet working by his side every day doesn’t make it easy to fight temptation, and it isn’t long before she finds herself falling for this bad boy all over again. But loving Donovan means helping him face his past–so they can fight for a future together.


The surprised, satisfied sound from her was an elixir, bathing him, healing him.  He didn't have to ask, he knew from that reverent sound she liked how he felt.  From the sound, her pink cheeks, her open mouth, and the way her short nails bit into the muscles in his shoulder. (Kindle location 2173)

Poor damaged Donovan, thinks he's not good enough for Sophie.  Love him so much.  Review coming Saturday.  This sexy boy is just what she needs.

That's our swoon for this week! What do you think? Do you have a swoon to share? Leave us a comment!