Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review ~ End of the Innocence ~ Alessandra Torre #ShelfLove

End of the Innocence (Innocence, #3)End of the Innocence by Alessandra Torre
Innocence #3
Release Date: March 23, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms

He thought I owned him. He thought he loved me, that I was enough. But this animal, this sex god who could drive me crazy and steal my heart in the same breath, he would never full be mine. It was impossible. No one ever owned a God...

One year. I have one year to find out more about this man I am marrying. More about his family. More about our sex, and all of the dirty, delicious places it will take me.

I thought I'd spend this year making a decision. I never thought the decision would be taken from me, snatched right from my naive little hands.

This final installment was more fluid and had far fewer editing issues. The tone changed once again, with comic relief via Julia's dialog. There is much going on, the suspense amp'd was an exciting ending!

End of the Innocence saw Julia and Brad counting down - towards Julia's graduation, towards the future, and towards possible repercussions at the path they've chosen for their future. There is further exploration of Julia's sexuality, the doors open for she and Brad. And Brad shows incredible emotional growth and maturity when he closes a door on his past.

The suspense element had me tied in knots. It was well done. However, the outcome felt downplayed and the dropped. Again, I felt more could have been done here, creating a more profound impact. There were other plot threads that I felt were left dangling. It didn't impact the story to leave them hanging, I'd just have liked to have them tied up. Perhaps that's my OCD.

In the end, I found this trilogy entertaining and it renewed my interest in Torre's writing. It says something that I could binge on this trilogy, not tiring of being in this world with these characters. I'm eager to read more from Torre - and luckily, I already own several! ;)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Audio Review ~ Settling the Score: The Summer Games ~ R.S. Grey #AudioChallenge #COYER #ShelfLove

Settling the Score (The Summer Games, #1)Settling the Score by R.S. Grey
The Summer Games #1
Narrated byShaun Grindell and Amanda Dolan
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #BloggerShame, #COYER, #ShelfLove

As an Olympic rookie, Andie Foster has spent far more time in her cleats than between the sheets. For twenty-one years, her Friday night have consisted of blocking shots rather than taking them. But now that she's landed in Rio, she's ready to see for herself if the rumors about the Olympic Village are true: The athletes are all sex-crazed maniacs...The committee passes out condoms like candy...The games continue long after the medals have been handed out. As Andie walks the line between rumor and reality, she's forced into the path of Frederick Archibald, a decorated Olympic swimmer and owner of a sexy British accent - too bad he's unavailable in a way that "it's complicated" doesn't even begin to explain. It doesn't matter that he has abs that could bring peace to the Middle East; Andie fully intends on keeping her focus on the soccer field. But everywhere Andie goes, Freddie happens to be there - shirtless, wet from the pool, and determined to show her a whole new meaning of the phrase "international affairs." Contains mature themes.

I picked up Settling the Score thinking it sounded like a lot of fun. I wasn't wrong. But it also had a serious side and it served as an outstanding introduction to Grey's writing!

Andie Foster is goal keeper for the U.S. Olympic team and she's just arrived in Rio. She's planning on kicking ass at the games but she's also interested in taking part in the, um, fun she's heard is ever present in the Olympic village. At her first party, though, she meets a guy who could give her all that fun...or break her heart.

Freddie Archibald is a swimmer for the UK's Olympic team. This isn't his first rodeo but it is the first one where he's found someone who actually captures his attention. Unfortunately, his mother has just made an untimely announcement.


  • Andie and Freddie - they're well drawn characters. I felt as though they were relatable despite my not being an athlete or a celebrity. ;) They dealt well with their celebrity and were good friends, loyal, and fun.
  • The sports - I appreciated  that although this was a romance, Grey didn't use the Olympics simply as a setting. We trained with, competed alongside, and even hurt with Andie and Freddie.
  • Secondary cast - I really liked Andie's friends as well as Freddy's friend, Tom, and his sister, Georgie. They gave depth to the characters and the story.
  • The tension-inducing character and the resolution
    Even though I thought the tension was well done and felt genuine, the character used was a bit overly dramatic and the resolution was too easy as well as kinda silly.
  • Narrator
    The narrators are listed as Shaun Grindell and Amanda Dolan. Grindell was excellent and is becoming a favorite for British characters for me. I was excited to try a new female narrator but apparently Amanda Dolan is another name used by Lidia Dornet. While I like Dornet/Dolan's voice just fine, her range was a little lacking for the number of characters and I was just a little disappointed since I'd thought I was getting a new-to-me narrator.
Oh, and on a technical note, there were a few places where it was clear Dolan's lines had been edited - it wasn't smooth and the volume changed.

Hmm, it kinda looks like Settling the Score was an average listen but honestly I adored it! I'm looking forward to listening to more from R.S. Grey!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

My TBR List Review ~ August ~ Faking It ~ Cora Carmack #COYER #ShelfLove


My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading


Faking It (Losing It, #2)Faking It by Cora Carmack
Losing It #2
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC copy at RT2013
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #COYER, #ShelfLove

Mackenzie "Max" Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they're expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he's kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee ship with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they're forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

It's been awhile since I read Losing It but I know I enjoyed it. Faking It, though... I FLOVED it!!

So I can't way exactly why - if it's that I felt the story was meatier or I I appreciated the angst...or it it's just been so long since I read Losing It that I don't remember being as moved by it. Whatever it is, I freaking adored Max and Cade!! They were perfect together, even if it took them awhile to figure it out. Their banter was hilarious and their stories, separately, were engaging. Together they simply were magic!

Cade, well, I knew why he was the way he was. I may have gotten more background on him but I felt like I understood him. I hurt for him over this falling out with Bliss (Losing It) but I held out hope that he'd find the girl that'd really trip his trigger. I mean, he's funny, smart, talented, and HOT! Some girl has to fall for that, right??

When he first sees Max I knew it as all over for him. He was captivated. I was captivated. Max is gorgeous and attention-grabbing with her retro look and tattoos. When she speaks to Cade? Her feisty-ness and attitude won over both Cade and me. And she appealed to Cade even more since she needed help. But it was more than that. Watching them both work at holding their walls steady despite the cracks and crumbling that their meeting caused was entertaining to say the least. They both have baggage to work through though and it was difficult to witness it even if I was anxious to know all the details. It was worth the tension and tears.

They only complaint I have is that I thought part of the resolution with Max's family was too easy. Otherwise, Faking It was outstanding.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review ~ Masked Innocence ~ Alessandra Torre #ShelfLove

Masked Innocence (Innocence, #2)Masked Innocence by Alessandra Torre
Innocence #2
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms

The man was sinful. It wasn't just the looks that made him dangerous, it was the cocky confidence that dominated every move, every touch. And the frustrating yet ecstatic fact about the whole package was that he could back it all up...
Julia Campbell never knows what to expect with win-at-all-costs Brad De Luca. And she's starting to like it that way. She gave up safe, conventional relationships when she let the elite divorce attorney seduce her into his world. Now that he's determined to strip her naked of every inhibition, she's in danger of falling too deep and too fast.
But their attraction begins to feel even more dangerous when a murder leaves a trail of suspicion that points straight to the mob...and Brad. Trusting a man with a bad reputation and a past full of secrets seems like a mistake. But when she's forced to make a choice, the consequences will take her further than she could ever have imagined.

With Masked Innocence, I could tell Torre was beginning to hit her stride writing-wise. Her prose began to flow more smoothly. However, there were still editing issues such as the use of wrong words.

The story revolving around Julia and Brad continued with Julia's sexual awakening, Brad's willingness to change because of Julia, and their relationship growing stronger. The tone of this installment changed though with the added element of suspense.

Julia and Brad face a few obstacles in their relationship - dealing with an event within the firm, talk behind and to their faces regarding their relationship, and the reveal of a major secret. Seeing them deal with these obstacles, the emotional growth they experience - was fascinating.

Besides the editing issues, I also felt a few incidents were treated a little lightly when they could have made more of an impact. Of course, that might have really changed the tone. ;) Oh well. I'm continuing to enjoy Brad and Julia and am jumping into the final book NOW.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Fool of Main Beach ~ Tara Lain (@taralain @VivianaIzzo @dreamspinners) #2017NewRelease

Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna, #5)
Fool of Main Beach by Tara Lain
Love in Laguna #5
Release Date: August 21, 2017
Genre: Adult, M/M Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy as part of the blog tour. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided.
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2017NewRelease, #COYER
Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N 

The unlikeliest of lovers. The sweetest of loves.

Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it's tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants - and maybe a bit more. Everything's looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.

Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom - but they'll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives far apart, who's really the fool of Main Beach?

Tara Lain's Love in Laguna series is a favorite of mine. Lain always delivers a meaty story along with a touching romance. And all the characters thus far are friends (or become friends) so I always get to check-in with them. Fool of Main Beach delivers on all counts and then some. Here are some highlights from all the goody-goodness:
  • Merle
    He's an actor and a really good guy. He's handsome and charming but also down-to-earth, which means he isn't so fond of all the Hollywood hoopla. His family, while completely accepting of his sexuality, isn't so accepting of his career choice seeing as they're more of the intellectual type. This affects Merle's self-esteem as he wants to be taken seriously and he wants their respect. When he's given the chance at those things, he has to decide whether he wants others' respect or to be able to respect himself.
  • Tom
    Oh my gosh did I adore this man! He's described once as guileless and that's a fair description. He's really smart but has some learning disabilities. He also is open and honest, not understanding social cues or following social etiquette when offering his opinions. Tom's hardworking and loyal to a fault, taking care of his family despite them kicking him out at 15 because of his sexuality. 
  • Character Development
    Both Merle and Tom grow over the course of the story. Tom learns to stand up to his parents and speak up for himself. But Merle does the most growing, learning that he deserves happiness in life whether others approve or respect his choices or not.
  • Social Commentary
    This is an element I love in Lain's stories - religion and sexuality, bigotry, homophobia...I admire that she weaves it into her stories (without brow-beating) because it's a reality.
  • Tom (yes, again)
    I was a bit worried over how Tom would be handled. As I said, he's guileless, but considered "simple" by some of the characters and he's anything but simple. His character had to be handled "just right" in my opinion to make the story work and Lain handled him with aplomb.
  • Dogs
    I would be remiss if I didn't mention the dogs. Tom volunteers at an animal shelter and is particularly fond of dogs. As a dog lover myself, I felt a strong affinity for Tom because of his love and care for these animals and Lain did a nice job giving the dogs their own personalities.
In the end, this might have moved into the top spot as my favorite in this series so far!

**Love in Laguna Series**

Knight of Ocean Avenue

Knave of Broken Hearts

Prince of the Playhouse

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best­-selling novels have Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog near the sea in California she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Review ~ I'll Meet You There ~ Heather Demetrios #2017HW #COYER #ShelfLove

I'll Meet You ThereI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Source: Purchased Hardback 
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2017HW, #COYER, #ShelfLove

If Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer...until Skylar's mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.

Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.

What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise - a quirky motel off California's Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.

Compelling and ultimately hopeful, this is a powerful examination of love, loss, and resilience.

I procured this gem after reading Tanya's review (Girl Plus Books) and I can't thank her enough for the recommendation! I'll Meet You There is a moving read, powerful, and I'm thrilled I put it on my HW list.

Skylar has just graduated from high school and is preparing for college in San Francisco where she has a full ride scholarship in art. Embarking on this new journey is daunting especially because even though leaving Creek View, a dead-end town, is her dream, she's leaving the familiar and her friends, not to mention her mom lost her job and is losing it. And then there's this boy...

Josh escaped Creek View when he graduated by enlisting in the Marines. He's back home now after suffering a traumatic injury. He's dealing with figuring out what he is if not a Marine as well as parents who are lackluster (an extreme understatement)...And he can't stop thinking about this girl...

This story of a girl, who's dealt with so much loss and pain, figuring out how she's going to move onto the next phase when it's going to mean leaving behind what she's only just realizing is a big part of her, meshed with the story of a boy who's dealing with his own brand of loss and pain coupled with guilt after all he saw and experienced in Afghanistan...well, it made for an incredibly emotional and gripping read. The detail -- the emotion of it -- was very genuine and realistic. The alternating POV, even though primarily related from Skylar's, provided that much more understanding for what they were experiencing. The format of Josh's POV was unique and really gave a fascinating glimpse into his psyche. The inclusion of Skylar's art -- collages -- was also distinct and well done. The secondary cast is well drawn, allowing me to see the impact they each make on Skylar's and Josh's lives. Honestly, there isn't anything I didn't like about the story. This was my first Demetrios read but it certainly won't be my last. She delivered a meaty, engaging, and realistic young adult story!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review ~ Blindfolded Innocence ~ Alessandra Torre #ShelfLove

Blindfolded Innocence (Innocence, #1)Blindfolded Innocence by Alessandra Torre
Innocence #1
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Source: Kindle Freebie
Rating: 4 Bookworms

"I'm not sure what you have been told about me, but I'm not nearly as bad as they make me out to be." His deliciously deep voice carried a little bit of ego.

I'm sure you are exactly as bad as they make you out to be...

Brad De Luca is used to getting whatever and whomever he wants. The premier divorce attorney in town, he's a playboy who's bedded half the city--including his own clients. And when the newest intern at his firm poses a challenge, his seductive prowess goes into overdrive.

Pre-law student Julia Campbell is fresh off a failed engagement and happy with her new independence. Even if she weren't warned away from Brad at every turn, she'd know he was bad news. The last thing she needs is a man who could destroy her job prospects, not to mention her innocence. But before she knows it, the incorrigible charmer has her under his spell. His deviant tastes plunge her deep into a forbidden world of sexual exploration...but her heart may not survive the fall.

Okay, I admit to knowing almost nothing going into this book except that I'd heard good things about it. I'd only read a novella by Torre prior to this one - which I loved - but she's an author I seem to collect. :) Anyway, I enjoyed Blindfolded Innocence. Here's what worked for me and what could have worked better:

What Worked:

  • Premise - Blindfolded Innocence has a very interesting premise. Young pre-law student/intern, despite warnings and her better judgement, gets involved with an attorney in the firm.
  • Character development - Julie and Brad are well-defined and we witness their emotional growth - how they change, or begin to - once they become involved.
  • Sexual exploration - we're along for the ride as Julia explores her sexuality with Brad - her safety net. The journey is interesting, provocative, and we get to see it changing Brad as well.
What Could Have Worked Better:
  • First novel hiccups - Torre's writing wasn't quite as fluid as it becomes later. (I can say this with certainty having read the entire Innocence trilogy as well as another novella from Torre) There were editing issues - mostly the use of wrong words - that stuck out for me.
Overall, meeting Brad De Luca was as exciting as promised and I like the changes I'm seeing in him affected by his interest in Julia.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My TBR List ~ August ~ And the Winner is...


My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading. You're more than welcome to join in the fun! Click on the graphic above to hop over to Michelle's site where you can find all the details. 


Thanks so much for voting, y'all!!

And the Winner is:

Faking It (Losing It, #2)Faking It
Losing It #2

Mackenzie "Max" Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they're expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he's kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee ship with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they're forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

Check back on August 26 for my review!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Review ~ Where the Four Winds Collide ~ Hildie McQueen #ShelfLove

Where the Four Winds CollideWhere the Four Winds Collide by Hildie McQueen
Six Pack Ranch #1
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance, Western
Source: Contest Win 
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms

Adeline Buckley escapes her abusive father only to find herself in a brothel, on a stagecoach to the untamed west and married to a stranger, all in that order. Plotting another escape becomes harder, the more she gets to know her new husband.

Jackson Pruitt didn't expect a secretive mail order bride to show up the same week cattle wrestlers absconded with a large part of his herd. The bigger surprise was the loveliness of the woman. Why would a beauty like her need to travel so far to marry?

Jackson and Adeline learn that secrets and marriage do not go hand-in-hand when both of their pasts comes knocking and both have to come to grips with the reality, that sometimes trust comes only after you lose it all.

I was drawn to this book for its historical element and that it's set in West Texas - for the most part - where I'm originally from. This served as my introduction to McQueen and I'm not a fan. I'll certainly seek out more from her.

What Worked:

  • Character development. I quite enjoyed the characters. Adeline was well drawn as this young woman who's been mistreated by the men in her life - one who's been seen as property and insignificant. I liked watching her blossom under Jackson's treatment. Jackson is a good man. He's fair, hard-working, loyal, and he shows all these attributes once Adeline comes into his life. Secondary characters were well-drawn too, overall. There were a few that seemed more one-dimensional but they weren't all that important to the plot.
  • Mail-order bride trope. I liked McQueen using this element. There was definitely a lack of women in the territories as the U.S. expanded west and this theme was well used in the story.
  • The drama. The elements of the story used to create drama and tension felt genuine and realistic.
  • The detail of daily life. I liked seeing Jackson work the cattle and Adeline go about daily chores.
What Could Have Worked Better:
  • The detail of daily life. While I liked seeing Jackson work the cattle and Adeline go about daily chores, a bit more detail would have been welcomed.
  • Speech. This story is set in West Texas where there is a definite pattern of speech and an accent. This is nit-picky of me but being from the area, I'd have liked to have had the accent conveyed.
  • The resolutions. There were 3-4 plot points where the resolutions were a bit too easily come by.
Despite my "issues" with Where the Four Winds Collide, this story was inherently readable. I looked forward to picking it up and finished it rather quickly. My introduction to McQueen was pleasurable and I'll be reading more from her.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Release Review ~ Until You Loved Me ~ Brenda Novak (@BrendaNovak) #2017NewRelease

Until You Loved Me (Silver Springs, #3)Until You Loved Me by Brenda Novak
Silver Springs #3
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author. This did not affect my rating and my review is provided voluntarily.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2017NewRelease

Sometimes starting over means finding everything you've been missing...

After catching her fiance cheating - with another man - usually straight-laced, workaholic scientist Ellie Fisher liberates her wild side  just long enough to indulge in a passionate one-night-stand with a tall, dark stranger she meets at a trendy Miami bar. Embarrassed by her recklessness, she ducks out the following morning without learning the guy's full name, something that shouldn't have been a problem...until a pregnancy test turns positive.

Being a professional football player, Hudson King has always been cautious around women. But this one had been different - so disinterested in his celebrity, so convincingly into him. When Ellie tracks him down, claiming she's carrying his baby, he's stunned. And more than a little betrayed.

But after growing up as an orphan, he'll do anything to stay involved in his child's life, so he urges Ellie to move to Silver Springs where they can co-parent. Hudson has a lot of love to give - certainly enough for his child, and when their initial spark reignites, perhaps for Ellie too...

This third installment in the Silver Springs series had a little different feel in that it didn't all take place in Silver Springs, and we didn't spend much time in town or with the locals. But I certainly didn't love it any less!

Hudson King is a graduate of New Horizons, the school for troubled boys located in Silver Springs. Being a starting quarterback for a professional football team, he's a success story for the school and he spends a lot of time and money mentoring the boys there. But Hudson's life prior to New Horizons wasn't smooth. He was abandoned and passed in and out of foster homes so much he has a difficult time trusting anyone...especially women.

Ellie Fisher is doing post-doctoral work in immunology - specifically diabetes. She's always been more likely to spend time with a book or in the lab than out with people. Recently, she's been dealing with a broken engagement having found her fiance with another man...both of whom she works with.

Hudson and Ellie meeting seems serendipitous. He appreciates the fact she doesn't seem to know who he is and he can, therefore, relax and be himself. She appreciates that he doesn't seem to mind discussing philosophy, science, politics, and religion over making small talk. When they both throw caution to the wind and spend the night together, things seem perfect. But Ellie runs the next morning, mortified over her reckless behavior. Unfortunately, 7 weeks later she's dealing with the consequences of that night...alone.

The circumstances of Ellie and Hudson reuniting were entertaining, and then kinda scary. Watching as they move past feelings of betrayal and recriminations was endearing. Seeing them learn to trust one another and make an attempt at building a life together, for the sake of their child, was as well. Novak once again delivered a riveting story with such well developed characters. Hudson's issues and actions and reactions were all so true to who he was and the man, and father, he wanted to be. Ellie was the most genuine person you could ever meet. I couldn't imagine not liking her. Being witness to them building on their chemistry, turning it into so much more while dealing with difficult life changes...well, it's something I've come to expect from Novak, something she does well. And she didn't let me down.

Once again, I'm clamoring for my next visit to Silver Springs.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

My TBR List ~ August ~ Polling is Open!


My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading. I think it's a fabulous idea because it gets y'all in the game and it helps me knock off some of the many, many books on my TBR list. You're more than welcome to join in the fun! I've included the basic rules below but you can click on the graphic above to hop over to Michelle's site where you can find all the details. 

Here's how it works:
On the first Saturday of each month, I will make a post with three books from my TBR List (these books can be already on your ereader or bookshelf OR books you might want to purchase) and add your link on the linky that will be provided on Michelle's post. Y'ALL will help me choose which book I will read next. The following Saturday, I will announce which book won. Then the last Saturday of the month, I'll post my review.

Fun, right?!?


I'm continuing my quest, and working at one of my Bookish Resolutions to catch up on series (since I'm behind in 148 series) I'm once again having y'all decide which series I'm going to work at catching up on this month! :D

FYI, this will be my theme all year. And since I'm letting choose from the list of series I'm behind in, you might see books show up more than once. ;)

Your Choices Are:

Avoiding Alpha (Alpha Girl #2)
Avoiding Alpha
Alpha Girl #2

Seventeen-year-old Tessa McCaide has come a long way since her abrupt entrance into the world of werewolves, but she still has just as far to go before she's comfortable with turning full wolf. In the meantime, she's avoiding the topic of shifting to four legs any way she can. Thankfully her mate, Dastien Laurent, is quite the distraction.

When she finds her best friend, Meredith, getting sick in the bathroom, Tessa knows something's majorly wrong. Meredith was cursed years ago, and the dark magic kept her wolf dormant--only now the wolf is awake, and that same spell is killing her.

Tessa has no intention of sitting around while Meredith wastes away. Even if it means playing with magic she doesn't understand, she'll do anything to save Meredith's life. Including bargaining with the local coven of witches and is crazed leader, whose only goal is getting Tessa to join the witchy ranks.

Can Tessa save her friend without losing herself?

Edge of Oblivion (Night Prowler, #2)Edge of Oblivion
Night Prowler #2


There exists a world beyond our own. It is a world of ancient magic and well-guarded secrets, a world of strict laws and harsh punishments for those who betray them, a world inhabited by the Ikati, a race of gifted people who are so much more than they first appear. Brought together by fate in this world of danger and beauty, two people with dark pasts will meet.

Morgan is beautiful, smart, sexy...and about to die. Convicted of treason against her shape-shifting kin, she is given one last chance at redemption; discover the hidden lair of the enemy intent on destroying every one of her kind, or forfeit her life.

Xander is ruthless, heartless, cold-blooded...and assigned to kill her if she fails in her task. Expecting to feel nothing but contempt for the traitor under his watch, the assassin accompanies Morgan on her search, but as the two race through the heart of Italy while the clock winds down to zero hour, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous web of desire as powerful as it is forbidden. Their passion will test everything they believe in, and endanger the future of the tribe itself.

Sensual, edgy, and action-packed, Edge of Oblivion is a must-read for lovers of dark paranormal romance.

Faking It (Losing It, #2)Faking It
Losing It #2

Mackenzie "Max" Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they're expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he's kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee ship with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they're forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Triple Review ~ Remember When Trilogy ~ T. Torrest (@TTorrest) #ShelfLove

Remember When (Remember Trilogy, #1)Remember When by T. Torrest
Remember Trilogy #1
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Kindle Freebie
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

Years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.

This was back in 1990, and I cite the year only to avoid dumbfounding you when references to big hair or stretch pants are mentioned. Although, come to think of it, I am from New Jersey, which may serve as explanation enough. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone could even dream he'd turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today.

In case you live under a rock and don't know who Trip Wiley is, just know that these days, he's the actor found at the top of every casting director's wish list. He's incredibly talented and insanely gorgeous, the combination of which has made him very rich, very famous and very desirable.

And not just to casting directors, either.

I can't confirm any of the gossip from his early years out in Tinseltown, but based on what I knew of his life before he was famous, I can tell you that the idea of Girls-Throwing-Themselves-At-Trip is not a concept.

I should know. I was one of the.

And my life hasn't been the same since.

**Remember When is the first book in an NA romantic comedy trilogy, but there is NO CLIFFHANGER. It is intended for mature teen readers and immature adult ones due to some high school sex scenes, underage drinking, questionable language and 1980s flashbacks.**

I've had Remember When hanging around on my Kindle for quite awhile. (sound familiar?!? ;) But meeting T. Torrest at RT was the kick in the butt I needed to actually crack it open. And then I was kicking myself for not having read it sooner. So, lest I get behind in yet another series, I binged! That's right. I read the entire trilogy back-to-back and I loved every minute!

Before I talk about the actual book I want to say a few things about the series as a whole:

  • I love Torrest's voice. It's very readable and relatable. It's like sitting down with a good friend while she relates a story to you - full of pop culture references from the 80s and 90s.
  • Remember When was fun. Thanks to all those pop culture references. I enjoyed the nostalgia created via Layla and Trip's story - a walk down memory lane seeing as it starts with their senior year in high school.
  • I adored the format - that being that we got to "grow up" right alongside Layla and Trip. We meet them as high schoolers, meet up with them again in their late twenties, and reunite once again in their early 30s.
  • I'm a sucker for second chance romances - truly may be my favorite romance trope - so despite it being difficult at times, I enjoyed being along for the ride as Layla and Trip tried to get their timing just right.
Remember When...ahh...high school. It was so fun watching Layla and Trip navigate their senior year - assignments, parties, friendships, cliques, and dating. I liked what Torrest had to say about cliques and popularity. And I floved how spot on was with conveying the angst and emotions that teens deal with at this age - trying to figure out what happens next.

FYI - Remember When is permafree!

Remember When 2: The Sequel (Remember Trilogy, #2)Remember When Two: The Sequel by T. Torrest
Remember Trilogy #2
Release Date: June 20, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

You know how sometimes, your high school crush grows up to be an insanely famous movie star? Okay, probably not. But I do. ~Layla Warren

Back in high school, Trip Wiley's fanbase only encompassed the denizens of the nothing little suburb of Norman, New Jersey.

Ten years later, all that is about to change.

In the summer of 2000, Layla Warren is enjoying her career as a journalist in New York City (well, sort of), while Trip spends most of his time grabbing Hollywood by the balls. In the days before what will turn out to be his skyrocketing fame, they'll find themselves confronted with some life-altering choices.

Remember When 2 is the second story in an NA romance trilogy. It will bring you back to that exuberant and riotous time of life in your twenties when you struggled to figure out your place in the world and the person you were meant to be...

...and the person you were meant to be with.

Remember When Two sees Layla and Trip having lost contact over the years. Layla is working as a copyeditor while Trip has broken into acting. They reunite for an interview and feel that same crackling chemistry they've always had. However, neither is single.

Again, this was a lot of fun with pop culture references to music and movies. It was also realistic - genuine feeling - watching these two navigate around the relationship they want and the one they can have. There's angst in there too - not gonna lie. And at times I just wanted to smack them both. But I never stopped pulling for these two!

Warning: ending is a cliffie.

Remember When 3: The Finale (Remember Trilogy, #3)Remember When Three: The Finale by T. Torrest
Remember Trilogy #3
Release Date: November 21, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

"I'd spent too long in limbo.
It was time to put The California Plan back into effect."
~Layla Warren

I've been in love with Trip Wiley since I was sixteen years old.
Yep. That Trip Wiley.
Academy award-winning actor, known philanthropist, People's Sexiest Man Alive two years running...
It's not like I'm some delusional stalker-fan. It just so happens that he was my high school sweetheart back in 1991.
In the years since, he's simply been The One That Got Away.
We just can't seem to get on the same page at the same time.
Our timing may have sucked, but the feelings had already been confirmed. Years ago.
At least his were.
He doesn't know that I had chosen to love him back.
I need to fix that.
And I need to do it now.

Remember When 3 is the third and final book in the Remember Trilogy. It's a story about taking chances and following your heart...and knowing that sometimes, you just have to learn when to let go.

A major life event brings Layla and Trip together again. And it seems maybe this time their timing is right. But there's still much to navigate around.

I have to admit that at first I was the slightest bit worried that things were too easy for them. Ha! I know! They've been through so much. But of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing and again, Torrest kept it all genuine feeling. I honestly can't imagine trying to date a celebrity of any kind - there's a boatload of conflict, baggage, and trouble. But Layla and Trip, man...they weren't going down - letting go of the chance they'd been given at a life together - without a fight.

Layla and Trip are going in the books as one of my favorite couples ever. I've also found a new favorite author and I'm excited to read the other two books of Torrest's that I snagged at RT!