arc · new adult · new release · review · romance

Ache by S.M. Soto

Ache
by S.M. Soto

Rating: ★★★
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What happens when you fall for the boy next door?

Bea Norwood had the market on normal. Drama free life? Check. A single-mother who doubled as her confidant and partner in crime? Check. A neighbor and best friend she trusted more than anyone? Check. But that was until the day her mother remarried. The day that changed everything.

When her best friend’s cousin, Liam Falcon, is sent to live with his aunt and uncle to clean up his act, Bea finds herself falling for the boy next door. With their hearts so infinitely entwined, Bea turns to Liam as her only escape from her new step-brother’s daily torment at home. Bea thought their love could conquer anything. But she was wrong. Love was for fools, and she was the biggest fool of them all. When Liam left Lakeport, he took her heart with him, shattering the organ to pieces.

Six years later, Liam takes a trip back to Lakeport to visit his family, and to see HER. His first love. The girl who holds his heart. The same girl who shattered it six years ago without looking back.

Liam is hell-bent on seeing Bea again after six years, but what he finds tears his heart in half. Bea Norwood is a shell of the girl he fell in love with. Underneath the baggy clothes, and pale skin, he knows she’s still in there somewhere, he just needs to find her. Liam will stop at nothing to win his girl back, but sometimes, ignorance is bliss, and Liam isn’t prepared for Bea’s truth.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Before heading into my review, I want to warn readers: approach this with utmost caution. Written in blunt and honest words, the depictions of harrowing real life circumstances will grip your heart without remorse and brutally tear your emotions into unrecognisable shreds, rendering you speechless and emotionally drained, as the heavy and heart-wrenching scenes aren’t eased in carefully or alluded to in vague detail.

Liam Falcon is the boy who captured my heart, and the man who saved my life.

I experienced a variation of emotions reading Ache, but the one that made a real stand is anger. Pure, intense vexation unrivalled by anything else. Bea’s mother is an irredeemable and irresponsible character wrapped up inside an impenetrable bubble of picture perfect husband and stepson, too blind to notice what occurred inside what is supposed to be a family home.

For six years. Fucking six no one noticed or interfered. And when Bea’s mother’s dream world shattered, life is hard and she abandons her daughter for the nearest hotel because her incompetent degenerate ass can’t cope. And Bea’s mother’s attitude made me realise something: Bea’s fear to admit her truth goes beyond being threatened. When your mother, someone meant to love and care for you, is too self absorbed and self centered to realise something is changing their child in irrevocable ways, then who will listen, or believe your truths?

Bea’s my sun, my moon, and all my stars – the entire universe combined.

Separated into past and present, both sections are interspersed with flashbacks that follow Bea and Liam’s romantic relationship as it undergoes an innocent beginning and traverses a heartbreaking separation, until it finally reaches the present day. I find flashbacks difficult to manage and introduce in romance as they disrupt the momentum and create a jarring effect. Bea and Liam’s connection could have easily been outlined in flashbacks without needing to separate it into two parts. I lost a connection to this couple’s relationship and discovered innumerous character and romance gaps by this timeframe division that make it difficult to consider this narrative second chance romance.

Our love was written in my scars, just as it was scattered across the stars.

S.M. Soto writes beautifully and brilliantly, but despite her writing ability, I wouldn’t recommend this. Readers might consider this difficult to read. I found the abuse pushed aside the second chance romance, dominating the scenes and actions of almost every character. Considering the abuse’s commanding presence, it disappointed me to never witness the heroine become a survivor—she remains a forever victim.

contemporary · new adult · new release

Release: Jock Rule by Sara Ney

Jock Rule (Jock Hard #2)
by Sara Ney

Rating: ★★★
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Kip Carmichael is no pretty boy.

He’s a rough. Dirty. Giant. Hair so unruly, and a beard so thick, his friends on the team call him Sasquatch.

The first time Sasquatch lays eyes on Theodora “Teddy” Johnson across the keg at a party one night on Jock Row, she’d been relegated to the sidelines by her jock hungry “friends.”

Week-after-week, he watches beautiful but bashful Teddy getting overshadowed, and overlooked. Sasquatch finally broad shoulders his way through the crowd, offering to to be her hairy godmother. But the minute their eyes meet? He’s a goner.

Teaching her the RULES for winning a jock will be the easy part. Not falling in love with her is going to be a losing game.


Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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arc · new release · review

Legacy of Lies

Legacy of Lies (Legacy of Lies #1)
by Tara Leigh

Rating: ★★★★★
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I was heir to a throne built on lies, my crown forged from corruption.

Money. Status. Wealth. Power. My legacy.

Jolie Chapman. My love.

All of it—an elaborate illusion. I was stripped of everything I’d been raised to consider my birthright. Including my princess—who wasn’t mine, after all.

I’ve spent the past decade rebuilding my life, on my own terms. Now I’ve returned to Manhattan for redemption, too.

Jolie wasn’t supposed to be here. . . . And I wasn’t supposed to care.

Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice— Who am I kidding? I don’t believe in second chances anymore.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Tara Leigh, a new to-me author, has astounded me with this series.

Legacy of Lies continues the epic love story between Jolie Chapman and Remington “Tripp” Montgomery III. It started as passionate, an envious fairytale, only to meet a tragic ending when they were both young. I loved the prequel, but beyond adored this sequel.

“You have to figure out a way to forgive the mistakes of the past so you can build a future together.”

Ten years have passed since Jolie and Tripp’s bitter and heart-wrenching separation. And both are returning to where it began – New York.

Being a fashion model was rewarding, but Jolie’s ready to settle down with a newfound jewellery business closer to her step-mother, Nina. Meanwhile, Tripp’s been earning his own wealth and status as a quiet partner to RiskTaker, a company dedicated to catching frauds and thieves. Now, he’s returning for redemption.

“Tell me, Jolie,” I growled, wishing my damn conscience would shut the fuck up. “Tell me you’ve missed this. Tell me you want this as much as I do. Tell me you want me. Tell me you want us.”

Tripp’s become a moodier and broodier asshole, making him irresistible and appealing. However, upon reuniting with Jolie that facade begins to crumble. Beneath the jaded man still remains someone flirtatious and caring.

And despite being filled with a burning combination of anger and heartache, the fiery passion beneath Jolie and Tripp hasn’t diminished once even as years disappeared. Neither moved on or settled with others and neither found themselves searching for something different.

While their hearts always belonged to each other, bittersweet reunions aren’t always easy, especially when mountains of hurt and deceit, layered with betrayal and anguish stand ahead. Legacy of Lies is an emotionally raw narrative filled with pain and sadness.

They possess an all-consuming love that teeters along the fine line of love and hate. It is difficult to resist, too easy to be drawn towards by its appeal. Jolie and Tripp are characters that’ll consume your thoughts, pull your heart towards their story.


Tara Leigh writes steamy contemporary romance featuring tortured heroes worth lusting after and the women they didn’t know they needed. She attended Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Business School in New York, and worked on Wall Street and Main Street before “retiring” to become a wife and mother. When the people in her head became just as real as the people in her life, she decided to put their stories on paper. Tara currently lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband, children and fur-baby, Pixie.

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