26 December 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


My greeting's a little late, but Merry Christmas to everyone! If you don't celebrate, then Happy Holidays (though it wasn't exactly merry for me since I was sick the whole day).

I'm currently recovering from being sick and let's not forget, the mini-food induced coma as well. I hope you guys had a great celebration, and enjoyed your presents, even if they're not much. It's always the thought that counts.

2015 hasn't really been a very productive year for me, but what the heck, I still met new people, made more friends, gained more followers, and read more amazing books, so that still says something right? There had been some ups and downs as well, and some unfortunate situations that happened in the blog community which involved some of the people I know and it was a very heartbreaking situation for me, but with the year ending, I think it's best we forget and move on, and welcome 2016 with a bang!

Here's to hoping for another amazing year with you lovely people!

Love,
22 December 2015

Burying Water by K.A. Tucker — "The heart wants what it wants."

Burying Water (Burying Water #1)
by K.A. Tucker (Goodreads, Twitter, Website)
Published by Atria Books on October 7th, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
Edition: eBook (369 pages)
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

ADD TO GOODREADS
The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.


I'm completely shocked by the fact that I did not pick this book up sooner, and although I don't regret reading Chasing River first (because it made me fall in love with K.A. Tucker's tremendous writing), I wish I had read this first before I picked up the third book. And let me tell you, Burying Water left me speechless (or screaming “yooooooo!” probably 99.9% of the time. Let’s leave the 0.1% alone for the sake of my sanity).

Now, I always tend to stay away from amnesia stories because they break my heart most of the time. Imagine being with someone, then next thing you know, something tragic happens and then they don’t have any memory of you anymore? Good lord, do you hear that? That’s the sound of my heart shattering to billions of pieces. But because I’ve been so intrigued by this series, I needed to step out of my comfort zone and pick it up, because hello, I’m definitely not going to miss a K.A. Tucker book.

Step aside, Nicholas Sparks. There’s a new player in town. 


Nicholas Sparks’ books may have been amazing as they’re similar to dramatic Lifetime movies, particularly the classics he’s written that have been turned into exceptional movies that definitely tore everyone’s hearts out; a.k.a. The Notebook and A Walk to Remember. However, in my honest opinion, his newest works don’t capture my heart as it used to before.

K.A. Tucker’s style falls in the same category: the dramatic lifetime movie style filled with intense, raw and unapologetically unrefined stories, with a great amount of suspense on the side. There’s no dilly-dallying in Tucker’s writing style—exceptional, straightforward and eye-opening, and although [she] doesn’t go extreme lengths to the point of explicitness; sugarcoating is definitely not in her vocabulary.

"The mind, it can be a deceitful thing. But it is no match for the heart."

Her characters are painfully realistic, from the main to the secondary characters. Each and every significant character mentioned will surely give you an emotional reaction. Burying Water is told in alternating POVs between Jesse and our ‘Jane Doe’ (Water), with mixes of flashback and present day chapters (just like in Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven), which gives us the opportunity to explore not only the two main characters, but also various sides of the plot.

Water’s character (pre-amnesia as ‘Alex’ and during) ignited so much feelings. She’s a smart woman who had hailed from an unfortunate childhood with dreams of a brighter future, but a wrong decision has led her to a disastrous marriage. After the tragic accident that resulted to her memory loss, Water didn’t wallow in a self-pity and continued to stay strong for her own sake. On the other hand, Jesse, our hero, is a character you’d definitely feel for. He’s a misunderstood young man who’s made wrong choices in life as the black sheep son of the town sheriff, but seeing him go through the tremendous heartbreak just broke me. He was a total sweetheart whom will make you swoon.

K.A. Tucker’s take on their relationship was fantastic and beautifully written; both past and present, and bloomed wonderfully, despite how it seemed abrupt in the beginning. Jesse and Water had so much chemistry together, even in her “new” life. It’s passionate and intense, with hints of suspense, in either timeline which will keep you on the edge of your seat as your read on.

“The truth is like that water: it doesn’t matter how hard you try to bury it; it’ll always find some way back to the surface.”

Burying Water has captured my heart in many ways and every turn of a page packed an emotional punch and will render you speechless, and none of those cliché bullcrap that will make you hurt your eyes from all the rolling.

If you haven’t tried anything from K.A. Tucker, I suggest you give this series a go. But let me warn you, again, this is no cliché novel and if that’s what you’re looking for, then I suggest you move on because you won’t find that here. However, if you’re willing to step out of your cliché romance comfort zone, let this series be the first on your list.
12 December 2015

Say You're Mine by Diane Alberts + Giveaway!

Say You're Mine (Shillings Agency #5)
by Diane Alberts
Published by Entangled: Brazen on December 7th, 2015
Genres: Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Edition: eARC (181 pages)

ADD TO GOODREADS
She’s a challenge he can’t afford to lose…

Navy SEAL Steven Thomas has only ever been able to count on three things: waking up in the morning, going to sleep sometime during the night, and Lauren Brixton. She’s been his best friend since grade school, and what they have is the only relationship he’s managed not to ruin.

Until one drunken night puts that all in jeopardy.

Lauren’s watched Steven flit from one-night stand to one-night stand, seemingly not interested in something more. So when the long-ignored attraction between the two of them blows up in their faces, she does the only thing she can—she pretends she doesn’t want him. But all’s fair in love and war, and Steven’s not about to lose the only person in his life who matters…

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Diane Alberts brings you another sexy installment of her Shillings Agency series and although it's not as amazing as the third book (which I adored the most and listed as one of my favorite reads of 2014), it doesn't stray from [her] sexy, sultry writing style I always look forward to, and the awesome thing is the fact that it's a best friends to lovers romance which is one of my favorite tropes ever!

Another ex-military hero with a broken past and a member of the Shillings Agency, Steven Thomas (whom we've met in the previous novel as the heroine's older brother) suddenly finds himself attracted to his long time best friend, Lauren. And obviously, she's not going to deny that she's also been attracted to him, and the funny thing is, their circle of friends definitely believe they're meant to be. An unexpected turn of events suddenly bring them closer than ever, and then sparks definitely fly. Must be a sign, eh?

Steven's personality doesn't fall too far from the tree. He's as broody as the rest of the Shilling Agency men, equipped with his fair share of a terrible experience that he's not proud of at all. But to cover it all up, he's an unapologetic manwhore and an alcoholic. However, despite his promiscuity, Lauren is the only person he trusts all too well, and he would do anything for her in a heartbeat. His loyalty towards Lauren is what made me adore his character the most.  She's his "cupcake" and his best friend and definitely a breath of fresh air in Steven's life.

Say You're Mine was absolutely entertaining. The best friends to lovers romance might be a common trope, but Diane Alberts brings her own style (although a little predictable) within the drama and the romance that makes it a worthwhile read. It's fast-paced and intense and will surely keep you reading all night! Pick this up, and you absolutely won't regret it.


BUY THE BOOK





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


DIANE ALBERTS

Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. She’s hit the Top 100 lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble numerous times with numerous titles. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. 

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author.  Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY


09 December 2015

MISCHIEVOUS MUSINGS: The Despairs of Being a Moody Reader


Book blogging is a tedious job. Granted, we don't exactly get paid, but I still consider it as a job. There's a whole list of stuff to do: Read ARCs, back listed review copies, write reviews, post book tours: a whole LOT of schedules and deadlines. I can't even catch up with myself. I'm either ahead or way behind schedule. There is no in-between. 

But what sucks more is when I can’t bring myself to read a book, just because I'm just not in the zone. Which ends up with cramming or missing the release/tour date (which is totally an unprofessional thing to do). In short, I'm a moody reader. I can't make myself read a Fantasy book when I'm still hungover a Contemporary Romance. It's like trying to work out on the day of your period, it just doesn't work (weird analogy, I know). 

And as much as we I want to be like Matilda, speeding through books like it's her everyday job, I just can't. So, for those who are not or claim to not be moody readers, here's a look in our everyday life so you can definitely sympathize with us. Your hugs are totally welcome.

1. When themed TBR lists do NOT go your way.  

Image from Tumblr.com

Spring TBR? Fall TBR? Winter TBR? Halloween TBR? Sure, I’ve got a list to read. And I totally finish before the next themed month. *looks at the floor and shuffles feet awkwardly* yip. 

Instances where I failed so terribly would be the time I wanted to read Fantasy books for a month, but ended up reading just one book (because it took me nearly two months to finish) is pretty common. Exhibit A: Red Queen (2 months). Exhibit B: Cinder (2 and a half). And exhibit C: A Court of Thorns and Roses (3 months). Totally don’t wanna admit that Fantasy turns me into such a super slow reader. Don’t judge me. 

Obviously, I would massively fail TBR challenges if I ever decided to join, which brings me to my point number 2. 


2. TBR Schedules and ARCs a.k.a. “I’ll read it tomorrow.” (Also correlated to number 1)


For someone who’s trying to be an organized person (but is massively failing), creating a timeline is easy, but following it, is not. Have you met me? I'm queen of procrastination. I put the 'pro' in procrastinator (or at least I think I do), but of course, my logical, sensible self would often say, "Read it now, or else you'll regret it later," to which I'll say, "Okay!" and the moment I pick it up, and probably reach 10% or when the gods permit, at least 45% of the book, I'd be like "Meh, I’ll continue tomorrow”, then pick up something else that’s more under my radar (ya nasties know what I’m talking about *winks*).

At the end of the day, I’d end up crouched at the corner of the room with a pint of ice cream, sulking because I just effed up my life. 

3. The Never Ending TBR pile because, let’s be honest, we all need to be in a Book Buying Ban.


I should be banned from bookstores, because 80% of my purchases this year have remained unread and collecting dust on my bookshelf. But that’s definitely not gonna stop me from buying more… right? Riiiiiight. 


4. The dreaded “I’ll Get Back to You Later” pile. 


Image from Tumblr.com

Contrary to popular belief, this is much worse than the Never-ending TBR pile. Why? Because sooner or later, you’re gonna lose interest, and never find out how Percy Jackson kills Voldemort (Wait, wrong book. Oops). 

I’ve got 10 books on my pile right now! And why I never finish, I have no idea. It’s just there, sitting in the corner of my room, silently judging me because I simply left them with a promise of returning… just like 70% of failed relationships. Oops, too soon? 


5. When you have no idea what to read next and end up in a massive reading slump. 

Image from Tumblr.com

Logically, how is this even possible? There’s so many places to choose from. There’s the TBR pile, and the 'I’ll Get Back to You Later' pile, but noooooooooo, there’s nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that’s calling out your name. Even old favorites that are worthy of rereads don’t even appeal anymore! Even ARCs that you’ve been dying to read ever since they landed on your doorstep are now giving you the “meh” vibe. 

It’s like a terrible flu but there’s no cure… or maybe there is, and we’re just not aware. Reading slumps just hit us, all of a sudden and they either stay for a day or a couple that would turn into weeks, and god forbid, months (oh jeebus, better call the SWAT team now), but they're definitely bound to disappear sooner or later. The question is, how? How do you even recover? I have no idea. 

My only guess is to try to offer coffee and chocolate to the bookish gods. That's at least going to count as a possible cure.



Now, if these all apply to you, then obviously you're a part of our team. Congratulations. You've earned the Moody Reader Ribbon *throws bacon confetti*. If not, we'd totally want your understanding and hugs. But hugs are a priority. Definitely mandatory.

Now, homework: 
Are you a moody reader? Share your troubles below and help out a fellow moody reader!
24 November 2015

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Butterfly Dreams by A. Meredith Walters + Excerpt!

I'm on a New Adult binge right now, and I'm so excited to share with you another NA new release, and I'm totally not gonna deny, that cover is gorgeous! Happy Book Birthday to Butterfly Dreams by A. Meredith Walters!

Butterfly Dreams
by A. Meredith Walters
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
ADD TO GOODREADS
In a powerful romance hailed as “heartbreaking, real, and breathtakingly beautiful” by Stacey Lynn, New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters tells the story of a troubled young woman and the unforgettable guy who teaches her to live—and love—to the fullest.

She’s waiting to die. . . . Corin Thompson is paralyzed by her obsession with mortality. Having lost both of her parents, she is terrified by the idea that she too will die young, and she loses control at any sign of illness. But when Corin connects with someone who has survived a very real brush with death, she begins to see the world in a whole new way.

He’s learning to live. . . . As Corin struggles under the weight of her neuroses, Beckett Kingsley is attempting to rebuild a life that feels all too temporary. With the ever-present threat of heart failure never far from his mind, he just wants to make the most of whatever time he has left. And that means pursuing the girl he never expected to find.

Together, Corin and Beckett finally learn to let go of their fears and take solace in everyday pleasures. Who knows what the future holds? After all, nothing lasts forever—the only promise they have is right now.

ADVANCED PRAISE FOR BUTTERFLY DREAMS


“All the feels: poignant, funny, sad, beautiful, and inspiring! Your own belly butterflies will take flight.”—New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans

“A. Meredith Walters is the author I turn to when I want to get sucked into a beautiful story that packs an emotional punch.”—New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett

“Butterfly Dreams is one of the most poignant books I’ve read all year. It’s heartbreaking, real, and breathtakingly beautiful. A. Meredith Walters weaves a story that draws you in from the very first page and refuses to let you go even once it’s finished.”—Stacey Lynn, author of the Nordic Lords series

“The ending nearly killed me, but I survived. I read this book in one sitting, and what a roller coaster of a story. The author did an amazing job. . . . I found myself unable to put the book down.”—The Book Hookup

EXCERPT


My doorbell rang.

What?

I looked at the clock and realized it was already 7:30.

So that meant it was Beckett on the other side of the door.

Shit.

I looked down at my half-naked body.

Shit!

And then I started freaking out.

“I’ll be right there!” I yelled.

Should I let him in?

But I was practically naked!

I couldn’t let him see me like this!

Maybe I should own it. Shake my hips and let him get a look at the goods.

Like that would ever happen.

Crap, what was I going to wear?

I grabbed a pair of jeans from my floor and wiggled them on, not really paying attention to which ones they were.

I reached into my closet and pulled the closest shirt off the rack. I tied my hair into a ponytail and slipped on a comfortable pair of ballet flats.

I hoped Beckett hadn’t planned on five-star dining because I was dressed more for a McDonalds milkshake before hanging with the bowling league.

“Sorry,” I said, out of breath, opening the door and letting Beckett inside.

“I was starting to think I needed to break in and make sure you hadn’t gotten stuck in the toilet or something.” Beckett looked damn near perfect in a dark pair of jeans and button-up blue shirt the same color as his eyes.

He had even gotten a haircut. Way to make me feel like a total underachiever in the getting ready department, buddy.

“Looks like you cut yourself,” I said, indicating the piece of toilet paper stuck to his chin.

“Fuck. I forgot about that,” he muttered, pulling it off, looking embarrassed.

“You should have left it there. It’s cute,” I teased, putting on my black wool coat.

“You ready?” he asked.

“As I’ll ever be.” I gave him a wide smile and he laughed.

“I’m not taking you to your death by firing squad. You could act a bit more excited.”

I jumped up and down, clapping my hands together. “OMG, Beck! I can’t wait!” I gasped.

“Is that better?” I asked, closing my apartment door behind me and locking it.

“Much.” Beckett leaned down and I swear he was checking out my ass.

“Excuse me, but what in the hell are you doing?” I demanded.

“Are you aware that the Cheshire cat is on your right butt cheek?”

I craned my body to get a look at what he was talking about. And sure enough, there was a bright purple patch with the damn Cheshire cat on my derriere.

“I must have picked up the wrong jeans,” I groaned. These were my hanging-out-doing-laundry jeans. Not meant to be seen by anyone but myself and the cat.

“I was in a rush. I couldn’t figure out what to wear. It was stressful,” I tried to explain, pulling my coat down over my feline-covered bum.

“The last thing I want is to stress you out, Cor-Cor.”

I smacked his arm. “I thought I warned you about using that damn nickname,” I threatened.

“I show up with toilet paper stuck to my face and you have a cat on your butt. I think we make a pretty awesome pair,” Beckett snickered, unlocking his car.




BUY THE BOOK




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


A. MEREDITH WALTERS

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.


TOUR ORGANIZED BY: Inkslinger PR
22 November 2015

Enamor by Veronica Larsen — "Enemies. Lovers. Roommates."

Enamor (Hearts of Stone #3)
by Veronica Larsen (Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook)
Self published on November 19th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Edition: eARC (279 pages)
Amazon US | Amazon UK

ADD TO GOODREADS
He’s infuriating on purpose. She’s too irresistible when she hates him.

The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there’s one to begin with. Here’s mine. My new roommate is a conceited, womanizing jerk. He pushes my buttons and drives me so crazy I want to strangle him daily.

There’s a million reasons why I should stay far away from him, the most obvious of which being that I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns. Except that I don’t hate him.

I sometimes wonder if this back-and-forth between us is all just pretend. All part of a diversion, a line of defense against the heat we generate whenever we are near each other.

It's a reckless game we're playing, treading the edge of an attraction so intense it might as well be a grenade.


What I adore about this author's writing style is the absence of repetition and redundancy in her romance novels. Veronica Larsen's writing style has grown tremendously from her debut novel, Entangle, which is followed by the heroine's younger sister's story in Entice, and in spite of her soon-to-be released novel being a somewhat prequel; Enamor can stand on its own and definitely outdid its predecessors.

[In this novel] Larsen takes us through her own take of a fun yet blazing "How I Met Your Mother" story with Julia and Giles (introduced as Alex's couple friends in Entangle), from frenemies truces to best friends falling in love. A common story plot it may be but Veronica Larsen's takes you deeper through an emotional roller coaster from Julia and Giles's stories as individuals to the progression of their relationship.

"It's the worst kind of torture, realizing you're hopelessly in love with your best friend."

Juliajust like the rest of the ladies of the Hearts of Stone seriesis a strong heroine. She's a feisty one but her fierceness is perfectly balance with a massive vulnerability which gives her so much depth, a perfect fit for Gilesboth lost souls, in need of patching up. They're both headstrong characters that appear to clash head on at first, however, in spite of their rocky beginning, the chemistry between [Julia and Giles] is definitely undeniable, even though these two hated each other's guts from the moment they first met.

Who'd have thought that the person who infuriated you so much was the person fall in love with in the end?

"You do realize I hate you..."
"I know."
"I'd strangle you if I had the energy."
"I don't doubt it."

Don't get me wrong, this book is not full on emotional drama. Sure, there's a whole lot of steamy, sexy, and a deep level of angst, but what I enjoyed the most is the friendship that bloomed between the two, which, as funny as it sounds, stemmed from their distaste of one another. The dynamic between Julia and Giles is incredible, especially during their 'frenemies' phase as they try to drive each other crazy with their hilarious antics, and ridiculous tricks and schemes that will leave you giggle snorting.

"Love does make you stupid, [...] but it's the good kind of stupid. [...] It's naive and a little crazy. But it feels so damn good."

Veronica Larsen definitely outdid herself (and a lot other New Adult books) with Enamor. It's a lighter feel from her previous works, but it doesn't stray too far from her usual style. [Enamor], by far, is the best book this author has ever written. It's a beautiful, heartwarming, emotional, and hilarious best friends to lovers romance that will make your heart clench and soar. Let's not forget the giggle snorting and will also probably give you diabetes from the sweetness overload.

Just make sure you've got some medication ready. Hah!

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
**Quotes are taken from the uncorrected copy of the novel and are subjected to change. 

Check out my review of the other books of the Hearts of Stone series: ENTANGLE and ENTICE

08 November 2015

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett — "With art, there is love." + Giveaway!

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
by Jenn Bennett
Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 3rd, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Format: eARC (304 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

ADD TO GOODREADS
Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?


Jenn Bennett blew me away with The Anatomical Shape of a Heart (alternate title: Night Owls). A story of love and art, [this book] instantly grabs you from the very beginning and leaves you awestruck with its incredible writing and captivating storylinetwo misunderstood artists who fall into an adventurous romance filled with sweet and heartwarming moments that will leave you addicted and intrigued with every turn of a page.

"Feeling alive is always a risk."

Imagine meeting someone who suddenly turns your life upside down: Beatrix "Bex"; peculiar, odd, and incredibly talented with a strange fascination for the human anatomy, meets charming and dashing Jack on a late night bus, who also happens to be the notorious anonymous graffiti artist who's been vandalizing the city with intriguing single words (that carry such an emotional impact) in golden paint. It's like that Journey song about strangers and late nights and boulevards, just throw in some spray paints, cadaver art, prismacolors, HB pencils, anatomical shapes of bodily organsmatched with some midnight rendezvouses and hyped adrenalineand you've got yourself a unique yet classic romance between two artistically headstrong yet wise for their age teens.

"That sounds dangerous." [...]
"The best things in life are."

Bennett's characters are undeniably amusing, and realistic, with immense depth which immediately strikes you from the beginning. [This author] isn't one to toss in superficial characters and cliche plot lines, but ratherother than realistic teens that lie deep beneath willful personasa number of witty and delightful dialogues coupled with a little bit of flirty-flirt and smooth moves (by dashing Jack), mysterious family secrets, and heartclenching plot-twists that will surely keep you on your toes.

Bex is another addition to my favorite heroines. She's a determined, quick-witted oddball, with her eyes set on the prize inspite of certain shortcomings, which is a greatly admirable trait. Plus, she's the smart and sensible kid of the family. Jack, mysterious yet incredibly charming, will capture your heart the moment he's mentioned [in the book], but deep down, he's got secrets he's terrified to share underneath his rockabilly swagger, which will make you feel for him more.

[This book] will turn you into an emotional sap and make your heart flutter at the same time. A total page-turner and an addicting novel, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is a read you should never miss out on (and this is a recommendation coming from a reader who rarely likes YA novels). Rest assured, you won't regret it. If you've read I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios and loved it, then all the more reason to pick this one up!

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
**Quotes are taken from the uncorrected copy of the novel and are subjected to change. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


JENN BENNETT

Jenn Bennett is the author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series with Pocket and the Roaring 20's historical paranormal romance series with Berkley. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two pugs.

GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY



TOUR ORGANIZED BY:
05 November 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas — "There is always a beast in anything beautiful."

A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J. Maas (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on May 5th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Retelling
Format: Paperback (432 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

ADD TO GOODREADS
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


I just can't wait for the day I would speed through a fantasy novel and not spend a month and a half trying to crawl my way out. Truth be told, I'm not a fantasy reader. I may or may not have been in the ohmygod vampires werewolves angels holy shit paranormal reader phase a few years back, but contemporary has taken up so much room in my heart and soul, that I can barely fit fantasy in, but boy, did I manage to, and I'm so glad I did.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is not like any Beauty and the Beast retelling I've ever read (though I haven't really read many). The only consistency to the original story line were the basics; the maiden, the scarred prince and the curse, and Maas has brought to life a beautiful yet grotesque romantic fantasy. Do not mistake this for the classic. In fact, do not even compare these because they are of different worlds, and unless you're looking for singing and dancing silverware and a Gaston wannabe, you most definitely won't find that here.

"Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all.”

Sarah J. Maas introduced her heroine, Feyre, as a crude, pitiful character—fueled by hatred and anger towards the world, and at the same time, love and selflessness for her family. A strong, willful character; she woud do whatever it takes for the sake of a loved one: a strength and a weakness. Frankly speaking, Feyre is not fearless; she's vulnerable and terrified for her life and her loved ones, but what amazes me is how strong her determination and perseverance is.

Her beast, Tamlin, isn't exactly described as a gigantic furry animal, per se, however, his magic does allow him to shapeshift into a beast-like creature. Maas created her own beast, in the form of a High Lord Faerie and in which the cause of the curse is not by his wickedness but by an evil form.

The romance, although a la Beauty and the Beast is more intense rather than romantic, which I truly enjoyed reading about and definitely takes a different turn from the typical PG romance. It's steamy, sexy and raw. It's not all magic and dancing and starry nights. Feyre and Tamlin's happy ever after isn't something they can walk away with, whistling a happy tune. There's bloodshed, pain and torture (and I'm totally not talking about BDSM, just to clarify, so get your head out of the gutter).

Sarah J. Maas is an author I'm not very acquainted with, but her large fanbase has encouraged me to pick up a book of hers, and A Court of Thorns and Roses was it, and this author has earned a quasi-fan in me. Granted, this book may not have been able to grasp my full attention but past the slow burn, it grabs at you, unsuspectedly, especially with certain characters that will surely grab your full attention *cough*diabolical Rhysand and sassy Lucien*cough*.

I'm a little late to the party, but nonetheless, this novel is not something to be taken lightly—there are cliches, unfortunately, but A Court of Thorns and Roses will keep you intrigued—but is definitely a highly recommended novel. If you haven't read this, you need to pick this up before the next book comes out, fantasy addict or not.

27 October 2015

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Happy Release Day to Surviving Ice, the fourth novel to K.A. Tucker's New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Burying Water. This novel features the badass tattoo artist, Ivy Lee, who has already been introduced in the previous novel, Chasing River (Loved this book! Check out my review of this novel--A 2015 favorite!). Check out the post below for an excerpt and enter the giveaway for a chance to win signed copies of the Burying Water series!

Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4)
by K.A. Tucker
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense


The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths series and Burying Water—which Kirkus Reviews called “a sexy, romantic, gangster-tinged page-turner”—returns with a new novel packed with romance, plot twists, and psychological suspense.

Ivy Lee, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have finally found it working in her uncle’s tattoo shop in San Francisco. But all that changes when a robbery turns deadly, compelling her to pack up her things yet again.

When they need the best, they call him. That’s why Sebastian Riker is back in California, cleaning up the mess made after a tattoo shop owner with a penchant for blackmail got himself shot. But it’s impossible to get the answers he needs from a dead body, leaving him to look elsewhere. Namely, to the twenty-something-year-old niece who believes this was a random attack. Who needs to keep believing that until Sebastian finds what he’s searching for.

Ivy has one foot out of San Francisco when a chance encounter with a stranger stalls her departure. She’s always been drawn to intense men, so it’s no wonder that she now finds a reason to stay after all, quickly intoxicated by his dark smile, his intimidating strength, and his quiet control.

That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter was no accident—and that their attraction could be her undoing.

EXCERPT


It’s just a regular ringtone. For me, though, it’s the wail of a war siren, and I’m immediately alert. There is only one person who has this number, and I didn’t expect him to use it again so soon.

The tile is cool against my bare feet as I roll out of bed. I collect the phone from the nightstand with one fluid movement, unhindered by sheets or the morning sluggishness that an average person might face. Stepping through the propped-open patio doors and onto the balcony, I answer with a low, curt “Yeah.” The sky is just beginning to lighten over the quiet bay. Dozens of boats sit moored below, their passengers lulled into deep sleep by the ocean air and rhythmic waves. I’m high enough up that I’m not likely to offend anyone with my lack of clothing, especially at this hour. Not that I’m truly concerned by it.

“Ice.”

The code name is a sharp contrast to the warm breeze skating across my bare skin. My adrenaline begins to spike, all the same. Hearing it means that I will be forced to leave this haven soon. Sooner than I had hoped.

“How is recovery going?”

I instinctively peer down at the angry red scar on the outside of my thigh, where a bullet drilled into my flesh and muscle just three weeks ago, outside of Kabul. I nearly bled out before I made it to the doc. He patched me up on a makeshift operating table, buried deep in a maze of rooms, and charged me a hefty price.

“Like new,” I lie.

“Good.” Bentley’s voice is rich and smooth, a welcome sound in a sea of strangers. “Where are you now?”

I peer out over the beautiful vista of crystal blue water and whitewashed stone buildings, the volcanic rock cliffs in the distance, reluctant to divulge my location. I sank a good chunk of my last payout on renting this one-bedroom villa for the month. It’s my private sanctuary, where I can revel in anonymity and peace for a while, before finding somewhere else to drift to.

Bentley has never asked before.

But he also has the technical capabilities to trace this call. If he really wants to find out, then he will. In fact, the second I picked up, he probably already had his answer. “Where do I need to be?” I say instead.

“San Francisco.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



K.A. TUCKER

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.


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10 October 2015

SERIES MINIS: Make it Count, Make it Right & Make it Last by Megan Erickson

Make it Count (Bowler University #1)
by Megan Erickson (GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter)
Published by William Morrow Impulse on June 3rd, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, College
Format: eBook (336 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

ADD TO GOODREADS
Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

New Adult is my new guilty pleasure, especially college set romances. It definitely makes up for my lack thereof  insufficient lovelife and wild moments when I was still in college,  and makes me want to relive a couple of moments--not! Okay, maybe some.

Our heroine was a character I had a hard time warming up to. Kat is failing Statistics--terribly--but she doesn't know it's because of her dyslexia, as she's unaware of her disorder and labels it as her being easily distracted. Sure enough, she had the bark and bite I constantly look for in a heroine, but her constant pity party was a headache. She whined and cried, although understandable because of her constant feeling of being dumb, it was a little too much for my taste at first. But reading further, it's safe to say her character was definitely a realistic portrayal of vulnerable girls who hid behind smiles and pretty faces.

Meanwhile, Alec's character was absolutely loveable even though he's considered as the third party of Kat's relationship with her boyfriend, he is still such sweetheart and another addition to my book boyfriends list. Add the fact that his hairdo is literally the twin to Grease's Danny Zucko's.

Kat and Alec weren't exactly friends. She was his best friend’s pretty girlfriend, and he was her boyfriend’s annoying nerdy best friend. Hence, these two always devoted their alone time in banters and sassing each other out. But spending time together has made them develop feelings for one another. However, let me clear this up: there is no cheating, and Kat's boyfriend, Max, wasn't exactly the guy you'd root for anyway. The romance build up was what I enjoyed the most, other than the secondary characters. It was slow and sweet, yet steamy, just like how I like my romances.

Make it Count was a fun read, and definitely nerdy which will have you giggling non-stop.


Make it Right (Bowler University #2)
by Megan Erickson (GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter)
Published by William Morrow Impulse on September 9th, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, College
Format: eBook (336 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Max Payton lives by two rules: Size and strength win any fight, and never show weakness.

When a rash of assaults sends Bowler University for a tail spin, Max volunteers to help teach a self-defense class. One of the other instructors is the beautiful pixie-faced girl he keeps butting heads with…and who challenges everything he thought he knew.

Lea Travers avoids guys like Max - cocky jocks who assume she's fragile because of a disability caused by a childhood accident. She likes to be in control, and something about being with Max makes her feel anything but. But during the moments he lets his guard down, Lea sees a soul as broken inside as she is outside. Trusting him is a whole other problem...

When the assaults ramp up and hit close to home, Lea and Max must learn, before it’s too late, that true strength can come from vulnerability…and giving in to trust is sometimes the only way to make things right.

Make It Right has got to be my favorite of the series, which, to be frank, was absolutely unexpected, since our boy Max wasn't exactly a likeable character in the previous book. In Make it Count, he obviously has his own issues--family issues to be exact, particularly with his dad, but that wasn't enough to make me feel bad for him. But in his book, Max is the smore you crave--a hard cracker on the outside, but all soft, delicious gooey marshmallow on the inside.

Readers meet Lea before the first book ends, and get a glimpse of her sweet, yet sassy nature but Megan Erickson definitely gives more depth to her character in this novel. At five feet, she's the definition of small but terrible, and the fact that she's a black belter just made her cooler in my book. She's fierce yet vulnerable at the same time, and absolutely selfless.

The romance between Max and Lea was one of my favorites. These two hard headed knuckleheads clashed head on and made every turn of a page sizzle with lots of tension! But don't get me wrong, they, of course, don't fight all the time, because Max definitely turns into a softie when it comes to Lea and the thought of it just makes me feel all giddy!

The plot is mostly centered on Max and his family problems; the way he tries to be the person he isn't just to please his father. It was a touching read, and it sure made me fall in love with Max's character, unlike my first impression of him in the previous novel, and kudos to Megan Erickson for that!

Make It Right was sweet and fluffy, and quite emotional, but it was definitely a wonderful read!


Make It Last (Bowler University #3)
by Megan Erickson (GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter)
Published by William Morrow Impulse on January 6th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary. Romance
Format: eBook (352 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

ADD TO GOODREADS
After graduating from Bowler University, the last place Cam Ruiz ever expected to find himself is his hometown. A bad job as a bouncer and worry over his mom’s health make living in Paradise anything but. There’s only one thing that can make his return any harder—running into the only girl he’s ever loved.

Tate Ellison made a mistake when she was eighteen, one that cost her the best thing she’s ever had. She’s always hoped the regret of losing Cam would fade over time. Too bad it’s only grown. She took comfort in the fact she’d never have to face him again, so his presence in Paradise throws her for a loop.

The pull between them is instant and when the truth of what happened years ago tumbles out, they share a mind-blowing kiss...which leads to more. But the past has a way of repeating itself. When all the cards are on the table, Cam and Tate must decide what they are willing to do to make it last.

The Bowler University gang has graduated and Make it Last is the first book in the series that isn't set in campus, so it's got a much more emotional impact compared to the previous novels. Make It Last is all about family, old flames and reconciliation.

There's a sense of maturity in the characters in Make it Last. Cam's has made his intro in the first book, but readers would barely get an idea of who he really is, as he's only mentioned to be a guy with a serious side who likes to play video games, but it's definitely obvious that there's more to his personality which is explored [in this book], especially his backstory. His character didn't appeal to me as much as Max's, but he was surely a sweet character to read about and among the boys--Alec and Max--he was the most mature of all.

Reading about Tate's character was an emotional rollercoaster. She was the most realistic among all of Megan Erickson's Bowler University heroines. Her character was so raw and had so much depth--so flawed, so weakwilled, but still so strong at the same time, as she steps up as the provider for the family, and chucks away her aspirations for the sake of the people she loves.

Second chance romances are my favorites because of that sense of nostalgia hanging around between the couple. There's the memory of the before, and the crave for a reset. There's the lust, of course, but there's also the longing, which I always love to read about. However, as much as I prefer the slow burn type of romance, Cam and Tate still have feelings for each other, so the reconciliation was a little rushed for my taste.

While Make It Right was the fun book, Make It Last was a tearjerker. There's lots of heartfelt and saddening moments, but don't fret, Megan Erickson's humor is still found inbetween the drama.


If you're a fan of Cora Carmack's Rusk University series, and Elle Kennedy's Off-Campus series, this series should be your next read! 

07 October 2015

BOOK TOUR: Just One Kiss by Jami Wagner + Giveaway

Just One Kiss (Black Alcove #1)
by Jami Wagner
Release Date: October 12th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance


A first kiss is hard to forget—and Kelsey Brian’s just walked into the bar where she works and isn’t planning to leave anytime soon. It figures. With her last semester of college finally here, Kelsey can’t wait to finish the year smoothly and start a new chapter. She doesn’t need to drive over yet another bump in the road.

Ethan Connelly has spent most of his adult life trying to be accepted by his father, and now he has the chance to make him proud. He’s also just stepped into another chance with the girl who got away. Deciding who matters most to him isn’t an easy choice. If he picks his father, he’ll lose her again—if he picks her, everything he’s worked for will be for nothing.

Can Kelsey learn to trust him, or will Ethan’s secret of why he’s really back in town tear them apart?

EXCERPT


My mindset walking into this was “get in, get out in less than two weeks.” Sara needs someone for almost a year, but the sooner my dad is happy, the sooner I don’t have to listen to him anymore. But now, I might take a little longer. I wasn’t expecting to walk in and find a certain slender and still beautiful brunette standing behind the counter.

Kelsey Brian.

One look from her and I forgot everything.

All she did was stand behind the counter, staring at me, and I already know there’s no way I’m going to stop thinking about her. Hell, I don’t think I ever have. Those big, golden eyes practically undressing me the minute I walked in the door. Her full, pink lips falling slightly apart as I walked closer. She smelled like Red Hots, the cinnamon candy, and my body had responded immediately.

I never could forget that girl.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



JAMI WAGNER

JAMI WAGNER was born in Wyoming. Still living in the Cowboy State, Jami and her boyfriend are currently writing their own love story with their yellow lab.

Jami enjoys writing New Adult and published her debut novella Date in the Dark in 2015.

Visit and connect with Jami at www.jami-wagner.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorJamiWagner, on Twitter at @Jami_Wagner, or on Instagram at @JAMIWAGNER_.


01 October 2015

BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1)
by Lauren Layne
Release Date: October 6th, 2015 by Loveswept
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Humor
Format: eARC (260 pages)
Source: Publisher

ADD TO GOODREADS
Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.


My heart jumps every time Lauren Layne comes out with a new novel, like a kid up on Christmas morning, because every single one of her books has struck an arrow to my heart, and made me fall in love. This is how much I love Lauren Layne's writing and how much I look forward to every new release.

Irresistibly Yours, the first book of  Layne's new upcoming spin-off series, Oxford, definitely lives up to it's name. [Lauren Layne] gives you a friends-to-lovers romance that will make you swoon and feel giddy--about 80% of the time--and expect a few giggle fits and lots of steamy moments--every thing I look for in a romance!

Cole Sharpe is no new character, he's been introduced in the previous books as a contractor at Oxford, and an absolutely stunning man, too. Tall, blond, and handsome, and let's not forget, he's one of the best Sports Editors out there. So, when he finally gets the opportunity to land his dream job at Oxford, he finds out it's not all that easy because for the first time in his life, he's got competition; an unexpected one: Penelope Pope. A tiny, doe-eyed brunette.

Once again, Lauren Layne never fails to catch your attention with captivating characters. Cole will definitely sweep you off your feet with his irresistible charm, and so will Penelope. I've never been so fond of a heroine the way I adored Penelope. She's incredibly witty and smart, knows her sports stats like the back of her hand. I loved how she was so different from the ladies of Stiletto, due to her tomboyish nature, but she was such an adorable character, with an absolute vulnerable side.

"You're out of my league, Sharpe."

In regards to the romance, Cole and Penelope were a hoot as it all began from a office-partnership friendship to friends with benefits. There was hilarious banter, and lots of bickering and teasing, and most definitely, there was a lot of steamy moments that made every turn of a page sizzle, just what I expected from a Lauren Layne book.

"Penelope. Are you physically shaking it off right now?
"Don't judge, it helps."
"You're right. It does."
"What are you shaking off?"
Cole shrugged. "Nothing. I'm flawless."

Of course, you are.

If you're a newcomer to the Lauren Layne circle, don't fret! Her books can be read as a standalone, but of course, it would be best to read the Stiletto series for the full experience. Irresistibly Yours is a fun read, with moments of giggles and the right amount of drama, you'll want more!

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
**Quotes are taken from the uncorrected copy of the novel and are subjected to change. 

EXCERPT


But before Cole could make the call on whether or not to die curious about that damn notebook or risk rejection by Tiny Brunette, his best friend and co-worker was holding a fresh beer in front of his face.

“You look like you need it,” Lincoln Mathis said, sipping the foam off his own beer.

“How would you know?” Cole said. “You’ve been chatting up Jonas Leroy’s wife for the better part of four innings.”

“Had to,” Lincoln said with a little shrug. “She was bored. Her husband’s completely preoccupied with whatever’s going on with that ball down there.”

“As he should be at a baseball game,” Cole said pointedly.

Cole didn’t know why he bothered. His friend was already back on his cellphone, not the least bit interested in the game.

Lincoln Mathis looked like the type of man who should enjoy sports: tall, athletic, well muscled from their early-morning gym sessions. Carelessly styled black hair and friendly blue eyes that screamed guy’s guy just as loudly as they did ladies’ man.

But, much to Cole’s dismay, he’d never been able to get his friend to invest more than a passing interest in sports—any sport. Lincoln was always happy to tag along to a game when booze and women were involved, but ask him who he thought this year’s MVP would be, and he’d say Babe Ruth without the smallest hint of irony.

Still, tonight, Cole couldn’t exactly lecture Lincoln for not paying attention when he himself was having a hell of a time keeping track of the score.

Once more, his eyes found Tiny Brunette, who was . . . yep. Writing in her notebook.

“Hey, Sharpe. Do you know where they keep a fire extinguisher in here?” Lincoln asked, looking around the luxury suite of Yankee Stadium.

Cole tore his gaze away from the woman and her damn notebook. “What for?”

“If you stare at that girl any harder, she’s going to burst into flames,” Lincoln said, jerking his chin at Tiny Brunette.

“I wasn’t staring.”

“Don’t insult our bromance,” Lincoln said cheerfully.

“Keep running your mouth and we won’t have a bromance.” Cole forced himself not to look at the woman again.

“Hey, if you’ve got a crush on the wee lass, you can tell me,” Lincoln said, taking another sip of beer.

“I don’t have a crush. And wee lass? Really? You’re Scottish now?”

“Sometimes. Chicks dig the brogue. You should try it on your girl over there.”

“She’s not my girl. She’s just . . .” Interesting, Cole finished silently.

“Good,” Lincoln said, clapping him on the shoulder. “So you won’t mind that she left.”

Cole’s eyes flew to the seat where the woman was sitting, annoyed to see that his friend was right. She was gone.

“It’s just as well,” Lincoln said. “We have bigger things to focus on. Say, like how we’re going to annihilate the bastard who’s out for your job.”

“It’s not my job,” Cole said, carefully keeping the tinge of bitterness out of his tone.

“Not yet,” Lincoln said. “But it will be. Taking your competition out of the picture is the only reason I’m at this barbarian event.”

“Remind me never to take you to a hockey game,” Cole muttered.

Still, he appreciated his friend’s loyalty. And Lincoln was right. Tonight wasn’t about petite female baseball fans and their damn notebooks.

Tonight was about Cole’s professional future.

The key to that future? Oxford magazine.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


LAUREN LAYNE

Lauren Layne is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.  Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.


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