arc · new release · review · romance

Savior by Fiona Cole

Savior
by Fiona Cole

Rating: ★★★
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He bought me, but not to touch or taste. He bought me to save me, and to atone for past sins.

Handsome and mysterious, he swoops in to offer me a new life, but this is no knight in shining armor. He’s cold, hardened by his past. But there’s an inferno underneath the ice, I can feel the heat each time he looks at me—each time he gives in to the desire between us.

No matter how much I push to unleash the fire in his eyes, he shoves back harder each time. He’s merciless with his cruel words, telling me how naive I am, how little I know of the world.

But I’m stronger than he thinks.

When we face down our demons from the past, I’ll prove which one of us was in need of saving, and which one of us is the savior.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I love that this author intertwines her standalones into this single, larger world, reacquainting us with familiar personalities and introducing new-found characters. Savior contained a variation of romance’s best features—a white knight hero, a heroine with backbone, irresistible angst and mouth-watering tension tied together beautifully to deliver a decadent age gap romance between Alex and Erik.

She was a light that still managed to shine through whatever darkness she faced.

Alexandra Hughes is familiar with desperation, but she reaches new heights when selling her virginity becomes an unwavering decision and the only option to escape extreme hunger and financial instability. However, what awaits within the shadows isn’t as terrifying and gruesome as assumed; instead unexpected opportunities through an infuriating, mysterious hero presents itself. Despite Alex’s naive nature, it is difficult not finding this young woman—her perseverance and inner strength—awe-inspiring in some ways as she goes head to head with Erik.

A miracle wasn’t happening. It was just me. I had to be my own savior.

Consumed by haunting memories and unavoidable guilt, Erik Brandt is atoning for his past sins. Underneath his disinterested and seeming uncaring facade is someone hurting, being chased by grief as he protects himself from feeling the same loss he experienced before. Erik is both endearing and infuriating in equal measure—a combination of caring and callous. One moment he is charming beyond recognition, the next a grating asshole because he can’t cope with his emotions.

I adored this initially and though that feeling hasn’t changed much, I pondered my review further and became increasingly annoyed with certain tiny details. Such as Erik—his inability to accept romantic affection bloomed between him and Alexandra became an irritant as, instead of acting mature, he ensured Alexandra witnessed him sexually entangled with other women. Outright asshole, to be honest. Alex and Erik’s physical connection is brimming with some sexual chemistry, heated encounters and intense hatred, but the emotional side is lackluster, making it difficult to appreciate their relationship.

new release · romance

Release | Desolate by Autumn Grey

Title: Desolate

Series: Grace Trilogy #1

Author: Autumn Grey

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 24, 2018

Blurb
There are angels and demons at war inside my
head.
I had it all figured out: finish high school, attend seminary and finally
answer my calling of becoming a priest. What I hadn’t counted in the equation
was her.Grace Miller.

The girl who was always out of my reach. The girl who still makes me lose my
breath with just a look.

Little did I know she would become my temptation and vice, and quite possibly,
my ruin.

Now I’m standing at a crossroads, and my head is a battlefield. How do I choose
sides when it means losing a part of who I am?

 

Purchase Links
99c for release week only!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

Playlist

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/11138990262/playlist/4kSZVzW9ZuVHxPU5jr55bh

Excerpt

“Can I ask
you something? It’s totally fine to say no.” She adds the last part quickly.
She smiles and looks at the spot over my shoulder, her fingers tapping a quick
beat on the table. She looks vulnerable, her eyes wide, allowing me to see how
nervous she is. I mean, how can I say no to her?
“Sure.” I
settle back on the seat and stretch my arms along the back of it.
“Can I . .
. can I kiss you?” Her eyes snap back to mine, and she hurriedly adds, “I know
you’re heading to Boston in a few weeks and—” She sucks in a deep breath. “I really want to kiss you. I promise I
won’t try to do anything else. Just kiss you.”
Holy. Shit.
I take a
deep breath, letting her words sink in, and realize I’m breathing faster than
normal. My gaze falls on her mouth, and I literally stop breathing because that
mouth, God help me. It’s like a
gateway to a whole new galaxy where secrets and wishes are waiting to be
unveiled.
I need to
kiss her. I want to discover the universe beyond those full lips. I’ve been
fighting the need to kiss her since I walked inside the diner and saw her
wiping down the counter. But my brain is telling me it’s a bad idea and kissing
her will irrevocably change me. Change my life. I know I won’t be able to come
back from that. But the other part of me, the part that has a hopeless,
desperate crush on this girl, just wants to drag her onto my lap and let her do
whatever she wants.
“It’s
getting late. We should probably lock up and leave,” she says in a small voice
when I take too long to reply. She pushes her hair back before standing up and
starting to stack our plates together. Her gaze meets mine briefly. “Look, I’m
sorry I made this awkward. It’s not fair to you—”
I reach
out, curling a finger through the belt loops on her jean shorts, and tug. But
she doesn’t move toward me. Instead, her grip around the plates grows tighter,
and she turns to leave.
“Gracie.” I
tighten my hold, forcing her to set everything back on the table and look at
me. “Come here.”
I pull her
close while placing my other hand on her hip. Then, I slide both hands in the
back pockets of her shorts, pulling her closer until all I can see is her face
and her lips—so close to mine.
Her chest
rises and falls quicker than before, and I realize mine’s doing the same. We
stare at each other. I wonder if she regrets asking to kiss me. That thought
makes my chest ache. Right now, in this moment, with my face inches away from
her boobs, I’d do anything for a chance to know what she tastes like. My
fingers skim along her arm and bury themselves in her hair. She trembles
against me, so I know she wants this as much as I do.
Earlier
today after leaving work, I drove home. My mind was preoccupied, and I was restless,
so after taking a shower, I got into my car. And somehow, I found myself
parking the truck outside the diner. Maybe this is why I came here; I don’t
know. But I really want to find out.
“Do it.” My
voice is a whisper. I’m almost breathless with want. I want to yank her down
and kiss her myself, but she looks like she’s about to flee. So I let her come
to me. “Kiss me.”
She sinks
her teeth in her bottom lip as she comes closer. I’m glad I’m sitting down
because my knees are shaking with anticipation. Then her lips touch mine, her
eyes on me the whole time. Need has my fingers tightening in her hair as she
presses her lips more firmly to mine. Her tongue peeks out, running along the
seam of my lips. I groan and shift on the seat to ease the discomfort in my
pants. My mouth opens, and the second her tongue touches mine, my body rattles
with a shiver. This moment feels sacred. Like a blessing. It feels blasphemous
and holy all at once. It scares me.
Tugging her
into my lap, I fist her hair in my hands as I incline her hear further, fusing
our lips together more firmly. But our noses are in the way, and we have to
find the right angle to stop bumping into each other. It’s frustrating at first
because I want her lips on mine and her breath mingling with my breath. Our
heads finally slant in the right positions, and our lips fit perfectly. We both
exhale in relief and groan at the contact.
Something
in me breaks loose. Suddenly I’m pulling at her hair frantically, and my kisses
become hungry and aggressive. I’m trembling and desperate and all I can think
is I’ve never felt anything like this before, and I don’t ever want to stop or
let her go. I don’t need to wonder if she’s enjoying this kiss too. Her hands
fisted in my hair, yanking me closer and closer are all the answers I need.
She’s pressing her chest into mine, and I swear I can feel her heart hammering.
Neither one of us wants it to end.
We break
apart and gulp for air, and my hands leave her hair, greedy to explore other
parts of her, but they end up on her hips, pulling her further into me.
“More,” I
beg, because right now, that’s all I can do.
Beg like my
life depends on it. At this point, I feel like I’m about to go up in flames.

 

Author Bio

 

Autumn Grey writes sexy, angsty contemporary romance that always ends with a happy ever after. She loves reading stories with flawed and quirky characters, broody alphas and sassy heroines.

Author Links
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reveal · romance

Cover Reveal | Desolate by Autumn Grey

Title: Desolate

Series: Grace Trilogy #1

Author: Autumn Grey

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Okay Creations

Release Date: September 24, 2018

Blurb
There are angels and demons at war inside my
head.
I had it all figured out: finish high school, attend seminary and finally
answer my calling of becoming a priest. What I hadn’t counted in the equation
was her.
Grace Miller.

The girl who was always out of my reach. The girl who still makes me lose my
breath with just a look.

Little did I know she would become my temptation and vice, and quite possibly,
my ruin.

Now I’m standing at a crossroads, and my head is a battlefield. How do I choose
sides when it means losing a part of who I am?

 

 

Playlist

 

Author Bio
Autumn Grey writes sexy, angsty contemporary romance that always ends with a happy ever after.  She loves reading stories with flawed and quirky characters, broody alphas and sassy heroines.
Author Links

 

review · romance

Review | Bad Habit by Charleigh Rose

Bad Habit (Bad Love #1)

by Charleigh Rose

Add on Goodreads


SYNOPSIS

BRIAR
I was infatuated with Asher Kelley the moment he came tumbling through my brother’s window five years ago.
Even bruised and bloodied, he was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen.
We couldn’t ever be together.
I was too young, and he was too untouchable.
He was too troubled, and I was too naive.
But the heart is rebellious, and mine decided it didn’t care about any of those things.
As I got older, harmless flirting turned to stolen moments in dark corners.
Until one day, he was gone without a trace.
Now, three years later, he’s back.
Callous and cruel.
He’s my brother’s best friend. My parents’ worst nightmare.
I should hate him.
But like a Bad Habit, I can’t quit him.

ASHER
I was drawn to Briar Vale from the first time she looked up at me with stars in her big, blue eyes.
She was just a kid, nothing but elbows and knees, but she was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen.
We could never be together.
I was too old and she was too off limits.
She was too good and I was too fucked up.
Eventually, the temptation became too much to resist.
I risked everything for a kiss and she betrayed me.
Three years have passed and I’m forced to see her again, but now she’s all grown up.
She’s my best friend’s baby sister. My downfall.
I hate her for what she did.
But she’s always been my drug of choice.


REVIEW

You can also read this review on Goodreads!

I’m awfully late reading (and reviewing) Bad Habit.

It often takes me forever to discover new authors, or to start reading authors I’ve had sitting on my list for ages. Why oh why? I’ve been missing something good here. Whilst the writing is reminiscent of other stories I’ve read before, I’m going to push that thought aside for now.

Enemies to lovers is my absolute favourite, yet Bad Habit is so much more than that. From best friend’s little sister, forbidden romance and friends since childhood mixed with some angst, this story contains a plethora of tropes that most readers know and love.

People say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, but those people have never been in love with Asher Kelley.

Asher Kelley disappeared three years ago, leaving Briar Vale disappointed, heartbroken and questioning everything that transpired between them when she was fourteen. When he finally returns to Arizona, the troubled boy Briar fell in love with is broodier, moodier and all man.

With Asher’s return to Arizona, a hometown filled with many terrible memories and the woman who still holds his heart in the palm of her hand, old feelings resurface, making everything more complicated than they expected.

Now that his shoulders are broader, his chest and arms bigger, and his jaw more chiseled…he’s a man. And he’s perfection.

I have a weakness for asshole heroes.

Tall, dark and handsome (I’m so freaking cliche).

And the broodier the better in my opinion.

Battered and bruised throughout his childhood, Asher is jaded and angry towards the world, especially towards Briar, who betrayed him in inconceivable and unimaginable ways. Tall, dark and handsome, as well as aloof and broody, Asher is flawed and damaged.

But underneath his seeming detached exterior, he does possess a protective nature, he is capable of loving when provided the opportunity and he’s passionate about Briar, even when he wants to desperately despise her with every facet of his being.

Bad habits are easy to make and impossible to break, and Asher was the worst addiction of them all. I let him crawl inside my body, and he burned me from the inside out, leaving nothing but ashes in his absence.

Briar is someone with unwavering commitment and loves unconditionally. She’s sweet. Caring. Understanding. She’s confident, self-assured and mature beyond her years. While Briar does display moments of immaturity (really, who doesn’t?), she’s at least aware and has the ability to recognise such actions and thoughts.

Bad Habit will draw readers in. Beginning with flashback scenes, setting up Asher and Briar’s tumultuous, forbidden relationship, the present will throw us into a love/hate relationship. Uncertainties fester and doubts will bubble, but the sexual chemistry between these two overrides everything.

arc · review · romance

ARC Review | Kandiland by T.L. Smith

Kandiland

by T.L. Smith

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SYNOPSIS

He was forbidden, my boss and incapable of loving me.

People talked about him, whispered about him in passing.

He was the king of his town.

And I was a visitor.

I was by no means a smart girl. Never loved with my head, always with my heart.

That fact alone almost killed me once.

I should have listened the second time around.

But the king of this small town, had me starving. Had me craving his taste.

My name is Kandi, and he called me his Kandiland.

The king declared I was his medicine, and with each dose, he became better and better.

He was the perfect liar.

And I was his perfect Kandi.

Together, we were explosive, and toxic in every way.


REVIEW

You can also read this review on Goodreads!

“Don’t fall for me, Kandiland. I’ll only break you.”

I wasn’t expecting more than a forbidden romance between an employee and her overbearing, handsome boss. Kandiland is so much more than that. It is about loss and desire, deceit and self-confidence. Mystery, suspense and intrigue is weaved through the romance, making this a well-rounded, intense story.

Huxley is self-made. Dangerous and haunting, yet alluring, Huxley’s decisiveness makes him formidable, a force of nature who owns virtually the entirety of Candy. With a brooding persona, he epitomises the quintessential “bad boy”.

Brimming with self-confidence and usually self-assured, Kandi is attempting to nurse a wounded heart. Something about the elusive and seeming emotionless Huxley alights her senses and causes her bruised heart to flutter once again.

But these wanting feelings are leaving Kandi confused and suffering a sense of betrayal towards her deceased husband, Jarod. When your heart already belongs to another, it couldn’t possibly become someone else’s, right?

His eyes are like a storm as it comes over you, one that’s so intense you’re afraid of what it’s about to bring.

Together, Huxley and Kandi are explosive.

They share an intense connection and exciting chemistry. On the outside, they are vastly different from each other, but beyond their external appearances, their pasts share something in common.

Both Huxley and Kandi are vulnerable in unique ways.

Huxley’s desire to maintain ownership over every aspect of his personal life and affluent career is driven by his impoverished childhood. Kandi is drawn towards the quiet rural town of Candy as it allows her the chance to maintain a connection with Jarod, but this need to remain faithful towards her deceased husband makes her incredibly wary of loving another.

“Not everything different is bad, and sometimes you should embrace it.”

Kandiland focuses on two broken people finding love in each other and learning that it is okay to allow yourself to be vulnerable again. Kandi is bright, an independent free spirit who loves with her heart. While it is often her downfall, it is difficult to not be in awe of her ability to do so. To love others so open and freely after everything she has been through signifies her strength.

T.L. Smith’s characters and perfectly imperfect. Kandiland is my first read by this lovely author and it won’t be my last!

review · romance

Review | Bro Code by Kendall Ryan

Bro Code

by Kendall Ryan


SYNOPSIS

There’s pretty much only one rule when you’re a guy.

Don’t be a douche.

Turns out, the fastest way to break that rule is to fall for your best friend’s sister.

Ava’s brilliant, sharp-tongued, gorgeous, and five years younger than me.

She’s the sexual equivalent of running with scissors. In a word, she’s dangerous. And completely off-limits.

Falling for her could ruin everything.

Yet I can’t seem to stop, even when her company is threatened by a lawsuit, and my promotion hinges on representing the opposing client—and winning.

I can’t see a way out of this mess that doesn’t end in a broken friendship, a broken heart, or a ruined career.

I may have broken the bro code when I fell for Ava. But do I have the balls to handle what comes next?


REVIEW

★★★★

I’ve been devouring Kendall Ryan novels over the last few days and every one seems to be better than the last. Her writing is direct and her stories filled with perfect amounts of angst.

Bro Code is quite simply a sweet “falling in love with your older brother’s best friend” story, which happens to be one of my favourite tropes. I found it to be entertaining with a good amount of delicious angst and conventional drama. There are genuine emotions sitting atop some scorching scenes, rife with undeniable chemistry between Ava and Barrett.

And that’s why it is so easy to love Kendall Ryan’s writing.

Wanting her is the equivalent of running with scissors. In a word, she’s dangerous. Wanting her this desperately could put an end to the closest friendship I’ve got, and worse than that, I sense she could leave me brokenhearted.

Barrett Wilson is an upcoming attorney in Chicago with one easy goal in mind: to become partner in his firm. Putting immense hours into this firm and having a thriving career means Barrett has sacrificed socialising and having relationships. He can’t afford to have distractions, especially when he is mere steps away from becoming partner.

When it is time to return to his hometown in Indiana, there’s one person he’s anxious yet dreading to see. Ava Saunders, his best friend’s little sister, his tempting forbidden, shiny apple. For years, Barrett’s harboured secret feelings towards Ava, but the unspoken “bro code” prevents a relationship from flourishing.

She’s my best friend’s sister. She’s brilliant, gorgeous, and completely forbidden.

But Barrett isn’t the only one who has old feelings resurfacing. Ava Saunders has always found her older brother’s best friend attractive and sweet. She’ll see now, after all these years, her high school crush has transformed into an even more handsome yet forbidden man.

Though Ava and Barrett share a mutual attraction, they’re about to enter a dangerous game of stolen kisses and quiet exchanges. They have to consider their actions, and the consequences of succumbing to their desires and feelings they have been carrying for the last few years.

If you love the older brother’s best friend trope, then you’ll enjoy Bro Code. With the forbidden aspect caused by the unspoken “bro code”, the thrill of potentially being caught, and the intense desire between Ava and Barrett, Bro Code is an enticing and alluring read.


Enjoyed this review? You can also read it on Goodreads!

contemporary · review · romance

Review | Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

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Birthday Girl
by Penelope Douglas

Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

JORDAN
He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE
I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house


You can also read this review on Goodreads

Birthday Girl is my first story by Penelope Douglas. I know, I’m a terrible person who takes way too long to jump into good things. We’re here now and it won’t be my last story. I couldn’t resist the cover; it is gorgeous. And the blurb? So enticing! Those two are what really propelled me into finally reading something by Ms Douglas.

I normally can’t stomach significantly older men/fathers. Often the trope is weird, creepy and cringe-worthy. However, Ms Douglas managed to succeed in delivering that trope without it turning into an awful mess. And the taboo aspect made it so much more worth it.

And that’s what I am. Her boyfriend’s father. Nothing more. But deep in my heart, the small ember growing bigger and bigger every day knows that’s a lie.

Jordan Hadley is an interesting heroine. Despite being young, she’s mature, wise beyond nineteen years. That’s what happens when your mother leaves and your father is nothing more than deadbeat, trailer trash; she was forced to grow up quick and start fending for herself.

Moving into her boyfriend’s father’s house rent free will allow Jordan plenty of opportunity to save money. But this seeming amazing chance brings more complications than she ever anticipated.

We’re victims of circumstance. At least I can feel confident that I would’ve liked him no matter what. If he were any other guy who came into my bar, sat down, and talked to me, I would’ve wanted him…

When nineteen himself, Pike Lawson became a father. Without hesitation, he started working numerous jobs, sacrificing his social life and giving up his dreams to support his son.

The romance between Jordan and Pike is explored so wonderfully. It isn’t salacious or obscene; it is dealt with tact and sensitivity. Their mutual concerns and fears of others judgements is realistic and understandable. Birthday Girl is about a taboo romance, but it is also more than that: it is about forgiveness, family appreciation, raw sensuality and working hard towards your dreams.

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