Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: Burn for You

Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?

Burn for You is well written and full of personality. The story sucked me in from the start with the main characters' first interaction together. 
Bianca Hardwick is a very independent and feisty woman. She is a firecracker who doesn't take crap from anyone. She loves her mama and her restaurant. She is willing to do what is needed to protect those she cares about. Her menu made with the Boudreaux Bourbon, which sounds delicious, is what brings in the moody Jackson Boudreaux.

Jackson comes off as a very arrogant, rich, rude, and entitled when he comes into Bianca's restaurant. He rubs Bianca the wrong way. Jackson isn't used to being spoke to the way Bianca reacts to him. It seems to irritate and intrigue him. Desperate times come for desperate measures when a member of his staff quits before a big fundraiser. He demands Bianca to work for him. It comes at the perfect time for Bianca to help take care of her mama.

Insecurities, miscommunication, and not recognizing their own feelings create issues throughout the story for Jackson and Bianca.

I couldn't put the book down with how they interact together. I love Bianca's sass.

The story brings closure and understanding to Jackson's moods and an emotional ride for Bianca with her mama's health. Towards the end of the story, I was brought to tears over what happened with Jackson and Bianca.
Check out Burn for You on Amazon.

I received this ebook as an Advance Reader Copy. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Famous by Default Book Review

Famous by Default by M.K. Harkins


By my family's fame.
Dying to escape the limelight,
And finally, I do.

Being raised as a Jayne, I'm under constant scrutiny. The rock band my brothers formed makes it impossible to stay under the radar. Paparazzi, tabloids, rabid fans--you name it and I've got it. It all makes me sick. But getting shipped off to crazy Aunt Betty's house in my senior year of high school isn't any better. After all, there isn't a stray kid or pet in the world that my aunt wouldn't take in.
Then I meet her. She's cautious, suspicious, and not interested in me at all. But that's fine by me. Sivan Holt may be beautiful and intelligent, but she's nothing I'm looking for.


In my past.
Struggling to feel settled.
And finally, I do.

Growing up in the foster care system, I longed for a sense of belonging. All I wanted was a place to call home. At the age of seventeen, I'm finally starting to feel it here. Home.

When he comes along, it unsettles me. I don't want him to ruin everything we've built--everything that matters. Jax Jayne is arrogant, privileged, and I want nothing to do with him. But those green eyes of his keep drawing me in. If I let down my walls, will it be my final undoing?

Famous by Deafult is a great young adult romance read. The settings are well described, but what really stands out for me in this story are the characters. 
The main characters are both running from either their past or their current lifestyle. They both have growing to do by addressing the very things they run from. 
There are many times in this story that I wanted to give Sivan a hug. Sivan seems so fragile at first with the way the story starts off. Not a lot of detail or reflection goes into what happened in Sivan's past. The story focuses on Sivan's present life. Betty, the woman who takes Sivan in, helps Sivan learn to trust again. Sivan happens to be caring, witty, and intelligent. As the story goes on, Sivan learns more about herself and finally starts to address the past with the help of Betty and Jax. 
Jax is running from the fame and fans he has gained from being a Jayne. He refused to join his brothers' band because of the fame and chaos it could create, yet it found him. He refused to play music since music created his misery. Jax doesn't make the best first impression when he meets Sivan and his aunt Betty. He believes Sivan hates him. Overtime, Jax and Sivan become friends. With Sivan's help, Jax learns more about what he truly is trying to escape from and what his future could hold. 
Towards the end of the story, there are a few emotional parts that left me in tears. The story is full of hope and fear. 
The only issue I have with this story is that there isn't a lot of interaction involving Jax's brothers. I truly hope there will be a Jayne series with with each brother getting their own story. The brief interaction with the Jayne brothers were entertaining and made me want to know them more.
Check out Famous by Default on Amazon.

I received this story as an Advance Reader Copy. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hated Book Review

Hated by Christine Manzari

Frankie DiGorgio has returned home for the summer to fix up and sell the home she grew up in. But when Frankie discovers Austin Stone is also back home and right next door, her summer suddenly seems more exciting than the motocross tracks she races on.

Four years ago, Austin was her best friend. Her first love. The only boy who saw more than just her rough edges.

But Austin left Frankie behind to perform in Las Vegas with his brother Dallas after winning Rising Stars. And Frankie didn’t wait around for him. Instead, she disappeared with no explanation and she hasn’t spoken to Austin since then.

Austin hates Frankie now.

Unfortunately, they’re next door neighbors again and Frankie and Austin can’t avoid each other anymore. With little more than bitterness, heartbreak, and secrets between them, they soon find themselves reverting to their childhood habits—prank wars. As Frankie and Austin’s past is put back together and old feelings resurface, they discover it’s a fine line between love and hate.

And the secrets Frankie has kept could cross the line right into hate.

Hated is an interesting and amusing read of two old friends reunite after years of separation. Throughout a good portion of the book, I kept wondering what kind of betrayal took place that made these two best friends no longer speak to each other. 
The way the two characters interact after not seeing each other for four years amused and frustrated me. The lack of communication between Austin and Frankie is frustrating. Too many years wasted over secrets. The secret was very drawn out and revealed far into the story. I wish it would have come up sooner. It is amusing that no matter how angry they were with each other, the prank wars they had to relieve their anger, get a reaction, and to actually feel always put a smile on my face. 
The first chapter of the story was difficult for me to get into. It was a lot to set up the setting and story line about who Frankie and Austin were as children. By chapter two, I was curious to what happened between the two characters. As the story went on, the more and more I felt invested in their lives and wanting to know how everything works out between Frankie and Austin. 
Frankie is outspoken, independent, and determined. I love her personality. No matter how hard things got, Frankie kept doing what she thinks is best for the other person. Her witty comebacks were my favorite. 
Austin seems angry at first, but the anger doesn't seem to last long. It doesn't feel like it comes off as the level of hatred. Even though a lot has changed for Austin, deep down, there are still signs of the Austin described from their childhood. 
There are moments in the story that are emotional. There were at least two times that I cried while reading this story due to what happened to some of the characters. It made me hope for the best for the characters even more. 
Overall, Hated is a good read that's both amusing and emotional.

Find out more on Christine Manazri's website.

I received Hated as an Advance Reader Copy. All opinions on the story is my own.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Outsider Promo & Giveaway


On the western highlands of Scotland, a springtime storm pummels the coast while Kristie's brother is out fishing. When he fails to return home, Kristie turns away from her list of chores to search the loch in an effort to ease her pregnant sister-in-law's fears. Instead of finding Domnall, she discovers a naked and battered man washed up on shore and worries he could be a thieving reiver or worse--an Englishman.

When the handsome outsider wakes, he is unable to remember who he is or how he came to be there. Although the feisty and melancholy Kristie isn't keen on him remaining, her young neighbor, Jock, takes to the playful stranger and names Creag after the rocky crags where the loch meets the sea. Not long after the lad speaks of selkies, magical seals who shed their skins to live as humans, Creag dreams he is swimming deep beneath the waves.

Kristie is desperate to keep the farm running for her missing brother while Creag's sleep is filled with strange visions--glimpses that may reveal secrets to his past, but he may soon wish they were only a dream.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Shapeshifter Sagas {Western European Myths from the Middle Ages}

Widow {13thc. | Black Shuck | England}
Scars {10thc. | Fenrir | Iceland}
Tides {10thc. | Kraken | Great Britain/Ireland}
Outsider {14thc. | Selkie | Scotland}

Available to buy from....   Paperback

Also Available
Widow (Time of Myths: Shapeshifter Sagas Book 1)
Lady Rayne has few options as a young widow. Either her father will marry her off to a wealthy nobleman--no matter how old and disagreeable he may be, or she will become a nun like her aunt at Grimsford Abbey. The choice is easy: her interest in writing is not supported in the dark halls of her father's home. Rayne eagerly anticipates becoming a scribe and learning the art of illumination and book making. But first she must travel along the treacherous roads of East Anglia.

Far from the confines of Norwich, Rayne hears fables of an enormous ghostly hound called the Black Shuck. She tries to ignore them until she finds herself staring into its expressive brown eyes. With every heartbeat, her chances of reaching Grimsford Abbey disappear. If only she could live to tell the tale.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Scars (Time of Myths: Shapeshifter Sagas Book 2)
Along the breathtaking and unforgiving coast of Snæland, Ásta’s ancestral farm is plagued with bad luck. The kinless maiden’s turf walls continue to be found damaged, and there aren’t enough farmhands to maintain the property. Claw marks in the dirt revive old memories of the wolf attack that left her scarred, and she begins to fear the whispers are true—that Fenrir, son of Loki and king of the wolves, has come to claim her and her land.

Torin often leaves his uncle’s farm in the southern hills to track and ensnare valuable gyrfalcons. His secret ability to turn into the birds he trains means his falconry skills are unparalleled, earning him precious silver and gold. If the ghosts of his past didn’t haunt him daily, pushing him to numb his senses with drink, Torin might have married by now—as his uncle often reminds him. He knows the time has finally come to find a wife and settle down.

During the Althing, the gathering of the year, Ásta’s ability to maintain her property comes into question while Torin wonders if a woman in jeopardy of losing her farm is really worth the trouble.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from....   Paperback

Tides (Time of Myths: Shapeshifter Sagas Book 3)
It’s Leif’s eighth summer going viking with his father on their ship the Kraken—and he’s had enough. For as long as Leif can remember, his father has claimed to be a descendant of Ægir, god of the sea, and has exploited their shape changing ability—all this to amass enough gold to gain entrance into the ocean god’s halls. Leif hopes that time’s drawing near so he can free himself from Ragna’s domineering shadow.

On the green hills of Éire, Eilish is content learning traditional folk cures from her father until a Finn-Gall raid disturbs the peace. Desperate to protect Eilish from harm, her father cuts her hair and disguises her in his old clothing before she’s ripped from the only home she’s ever known. Sold as a thrall in Duiblinn, she must hide out as a young man on a ship full of barbarians.

Now Eilish, who fears she’ll become Ægir’s next sacrifice, and Leif, who isn’t prepared to stand up against his father’s powerful wrath, must face the tides of change—no matter how ominous they may seem.

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

Available to buy from....    Paperback

About the author
Natasha was born in Nevada City, California. Being an only child, she resorted to using her imagination while exploring the forest surrounding her home (a nasty habit she hasn’t been able to break). Her natural interest in fantasy ignited when her parents read The Hobbit to her as a youth, and from then on anything seemed possible. Once awarded with a Hershey’s bar ‘the size of a Buick’ in her high school English class for creative writing, her passion and interest in literature has never dimmed.

She now lives in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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The Real Thing Review & Giveaway

Fall in love on the shores of Sugar Lake in the small town of Sweetwater with Willow Dalton and Zane Walker.

This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring? 

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

The Real Thing is a fantastic beginning to the Sugar Lake series. The settings are well written and sets the scene with the small-town feel. 
The characters were likable and easy to enjoy. They were also frustrating. There were times I wish they had communicated more when they were younger or spoke up about their true feelings. Although, that miscommunication is what drove them to where they are now and made them grow as people.  
Willow Dalton became a drive, hard-working, and family-oriented woman. She sticks to her goals and beliefs no matter what comes up. 
Zane Walker became an A-list actor. He's had his fair share of women in his past. Needing to turn his reputation around, he seeks help from his childhood friend who has always been there for him. They've both been hurt by their past actions. Zane is willing and wanting to look towards the future. 
The secondary characters are very memorable and fun. I can't wait to read more of the Sugar Lakes series. 

Available to buy from ...
This book is being published by Montlake (an Amazon imprint) and won’t be available on other ebook retailers, but you can download a FREE ereader app to read it HERE (or order the paperback)
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Releasing 5th December
Only For You (Sugar Lake Book 2)
Love only works when your heart is in the right place. Hers could be right next door…

Single mom Bridgette Dalton doesn’t have time to stop and smell the roses—not even in her own flower shop. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t noticed Bodhi Booker. Her ruggedly handsome next-door neighbor would be the perfect candidate for a no-strings fling. Having loved and lost, Bridgette’s not ready to hand over her heart…but she could use a distraction.

Bodhi has one rule: never leave anyone behind. As a special operative, he knows that each new mission is more dangerous than the last. He’s never made a promise of forever to a woman, not even to the beautiful widow who has him tied in knots. And if there were anyone who could tempt him into putting down roots, it would be Bridgette and her adorable son.

But as his next deployment nears, they make a startling discovery. Their passion, meant only for the here and now, might already be blossoming into something more…

Available to pre-order from...

About the author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.

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I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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