Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Review Books

Ryan’s Bed by Tijan


Title: Ryan’s Bed by Tijan
Narrated By: Thérèse Plummer
Release Date: January 14, 2018
Format: Audiobook (9hrs and 1 min)
Genre: New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Blurb: I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed–her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t. I didn’t jump out. I didn’t get embarrassed.

I relaxed. And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.

He became my sanctuary.

Because–four hours earlier–my twin sister killed herself.
I didn’t like this title. It didn’t reflect what this story was about. This book was sad yet hopeful look at a family’s struggle to cope with the unimaginable. I hate that publishers are trying so hard to sell books that they use sexy titles/covers that misrepresent the actual content of their work. But the narrator Therese Plummer had just the right voice. It was a mixture of pain, detachment, anger, hope, etc. I heard all of that in her voice and I couldn’t stop listening.

MacKenzie found her twin sister Willow in their bathroom in a pool of her own blood the day before their eighteenth birthday. It was a shocking beginning and the book follows MacKenzie and her family as they deal (or don’t deal) with the grief of suicide.

This book was done well because the process felt real, it felt slow, it felt like they would never be okay sometimes and then other times I thought they had turned a corner. It was painful to read so my heart goes out families who have to deal with a suicide.

I am no therapist but I was uncomfortable with the way MacKenzie latched on Ryan like a life-support jacket. In addition, her parents were so consumed with their own guilt that they knowingly turned a blind eye to her sneaking out to spend the night in a bed of a boy they barely knew. I know that grief can pull families apart or bond them closer together but in this case, the MacKenzie’s parents abandoned her emotionally and physically. They pawned her off to the care of a business acquaintance and that was deeply disturbing to me. Instead of structure and perhaps more family interaction, each person retreated into their own corners like a boxer after the bell.

3.5 star.
I liked Ryan and how gently he treated MacKenzie. He listened, he held her and he comforted her every time she needed him.

He was rock solid, he was intuitive and compassionate. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I got to know him outside MacKenzie’s pain. Maybe this story was meant to be snap shot in time because the characters were not developed that well. Not the main characters nor the supporting characters. There was underlying bullying at school. It felt like the adults were on vacation. The epilogue really exposed the fact that there was so much more going on under the surface and author didn’t really dig below. It was a good glimpse of a family’s grief but I wanted much more.

The two lessons I took from this story was to consistently listen to and talk with our loved ones. Don’t put labels on them like “the smart one” “the strong one” etc but to really see them and have meaningful interactions. It’s true that people will only share what they want, but if we establish trust, they may just let us into the vulnerable parts of their hearts.

Contemporary Romance, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Confess (Sin City Salvation, Book 1) by A. Zavarelli


Title: Confess
Series: Sin City Salvation #1
Author: A. Zavarelli
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date:
Lucian
A life free from sin.
For seventeen years, I have lived and breathed those words. But there is no balm to the war inside my soul.
Until her.
The mysterious beauty too lethal to taste. She’s a thief, a con, the essence of everything I loathe. Still, she lures me in with her lying eyes.
In the dark of night, she came to confess her sins, and in the light of morning, I plotted to steal her away.
She will be my ruination. My damnation. My biggest regret.
So help me, God.
**
Gypsy
A word of advice? Don’t show me your vulnerabilities because I will find a way to exploit them. I learned the hard way to take what I want from life with no regrets.
Until him.
He’s one of the most hated men in America. A soulless criminal attorney. A recluse. And as of five minutes ago, my new husband.
He wants to keep my secrets and collect my tears, but he should know that a wild animal can’t be domesticated.
I don’t know how to love men. I only know how to leave them.
With everything I want. 

What a ride! I couldn’t put this book down. I didn’t know where the author was going with this couple but I enjoyed the journey.

It seemed like a simple and predictable story but the plot and characters were quite complex.

Gypsy Blue was a con-artist who was trying her best to carve out a life with her sister Birdie, while they were on the run.

Her heists and scams put her in the cross-hairs of famed defense attorney Lucian West and now it was time for the blackmailer to become the blackmailed.

Gypsy didn’t like having a taste of her own medicine and it was a constant battle of wills. Unfortunately for her, she was dealing with a man of iron will and he held all the cards, including evidence that could land her prison.

Gypsy now had to learn how to deal with her life as someone else’s puppet. Meanwhile, Lucian got to know Gypsy and saw there was more than meets the eye.

This book was about the healing and redemption of two broken souls that had to learn to trust people again. They had different traumatic events to overcome, but as they became vulnerable to each other, tender moments led to their bonding. These two were endearing and it rugged at my heart strings.

I wish I had just a little bit more on the “why” of the betrayal that occurred. It was glossed over and didn’t quite make sense. That’s why I couldn’t give it a five-star. It was a pretty big plot twist with an un believable motive. The ending was just heartwarming and i felt at peace in the ending.

This one is another winner from A. Zavarelli 💕

I walked into my office and found the tall, leggy brunette waiting for me. She wasn’t the only one either. Beside her, Ace played around on his phone while Birdie flipped through a magazine.

I wasn’t surprised to see her this soon. In all honesty, I’d expected her to show up at my door last night, demanding to have Ace removed from her presence. But it appeared as though they survived the night, just barely.

“May I have a word with you?” Gypsy asked.

“You may,” I told her as I checked my watch. “In thirty minutes. When my lunch is finished.”

Her eyes narrowed, and she planted her hands on her hips as she stood. “You must be joking.”

“I don’t joke,” I responded flatly.

She stalked forward, stopping only when she’d breached the narrow distance that few people ever dared to try with me. She was reverting to her baser skills of seduction, but I doubted she even realized it. The instinct came naturally to her, often rewarding her with whatever she wanted, and admittedly, it might have worked on me too once.

She smelled of coconut oil and sunshine, and it encouraged a vivid image of her lying out on the beach. I could almost bet that if I were to touch her skin, it would be warm too. So warm that it would be easy to get lost in. She probably counted on it, but I was prepared to let Gypsy know from the start how this game would be played. There were only one set of rules, and they were mine.

“Do you want me to throw a fit?” she threatened as her eyes darted around my office. “Because I will.”

Now that was funny. My lips tilted despite my resolve to remain dry as toast.

“Do you think it would be the first time someone threw a fit in here?” I asked her. “I’m sorry to tell you sweetheart, but it wouldn’t.”
“It would probably be the first time someone accused you of holding them hostage in front of your employees.”

I turned and gestured for her to go ahead.

“Be my guest.”

Her lips tightened, and she clamped down on her jaw. After watching her for so long, these unintelligent threats from her were a disappointment. Of course, she wouldn’t make a scene because she had more to lose than I did.

“Thirty minutes,” I repeated. “I’ll have my secretary call for you when I’m finished.”

I walked into my office and shut the door behind me.
A. Zavarelli is a book junkie, cat lover, and traveler when plagued by intense cases of wanderlust. She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. 
Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.
She is slightly obsessed with Theo James and funny animal memes. If you don’t mind these things, you should add her on facebook.
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Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Review Books

I Have Never (First Comes Love #2) by Camilla Isley


Title:I Have Never by Camilla Isley
Series: First Comes Love #2
Narrated By: Audra Cook
Release Date: July 13th, 2017
Format: Audiobook (5 hrs and 38 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Blurb: Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more like a girl with a list – a list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right. But when Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

Never lie
Never pick a fight
Never make a scene
Never make the first move
Never make impulsive decisions
Never mix business and pleasure

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought.

This audiobook was easy to follow and was a fun listen until I got the end. It was a happy ending but it reinforced that office romances can never remain secret and can make the workplace tense when there is a disharmony.


Blair Walker was a girl who followed all of society rules of how a refined lady should behave. Living by that good girl code led her to losing her dreams to another who was willing to use all in her arsenal to get what she wanted. So Blair decided that she will throw out her list and just live without those constraints.
Life as a rebel led her to entrepreneur Richard Stratton, who was looking for someone to help him grow his online business. Their professional relationship thrived and was smooth until they developed an attraction. That’s when things got awkward. Should they risk it or play it safe?

I liked them together, but I am not a fan of office romances. They have a tendency to get messy when people have fights and/or break up. These sort of relationships are bad for business and it gets co-workers caught in the middle. There is workplace gossip as well as a resentment if there is a perception of favoritism.

I really liked the new Blair until she threw a couple of unprofessional fits at end of the book because of her feelings for her boss Richard. I was embarrassed for her and for Richard. The new Blair was empowered, likable and interesting. Her journey showed development and maturity even though she was likable even with the list too. Both Blair and Richard were fundamentally good people with a great work ethic.

Their relationship worked out in the end but I didn’t like her doing the opposite of what her list would have told her to do. The list wasn’t bad, I think she just needed to learn not to be so rigid. That is what life is about, having some flexibility in some things and being steadfast in others. Both Blair and Richard came to learn that in order to find true happiness, they had to be honest and true to themselves.

If you want an enjoyable and easy read, then I recommend this office romance to satisfy that need.

Contemporary Romance, Review Books

The Space in Between by Brittainy C. Cherry


The Space in Between (The Space in Between, #1)

The Space in Between by Brittainy C. Cherry

Blurb:

She’s scarred by her past.

Andrea Evans is traumatized and guilt-ridden by the death of her fiancée. Tired of the gossiping small town, she travels to New York City to pursue her dream of dance.

He’s uncertain of his future.

Cooper Davidson is a famous photographer and reality television star trying to flee from his own life filled with paparazzi, mental health clinics, and a cheating wife who is pregnant.

When Andrea and Cooper’s paths cross, they realize how damaged and in need of escapism they both are. The two create an arrangement to explore the space in between chaos and order with one another. The rules are simple—no emotional connections, no talking about the past, no speaking of the future, and when one finds order, the other walks away.

All is well until Cooper accidentally falls in love with Andrea.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this audiobook, but I had some issues with the plot and character development. Andrea and Cooper both had life altering events occur, making what seemed like a certain future up in the air. Sadness and anger are acceptable part of the grieving process but I didn’t feel like there was enough self reflection by both characters. While Cooper mentioned it, it didn’t feel like he really examined his own actions that contributed to the problems in his relationship. He was tender, patient and understanding with Andrea and her pain for her loss in a way that he wasn’t depicted as being with his own wife Iris. That surprised me the most. I would have liked to have gotten Iris’s perspective because Cooper’s thoughts of her wasn’t favorable. Also, I would have liked to know a little more about Derek from his own perspective because it wasn’t necessary to villainize him or Iris to arrive at the second shot at love for Cooper and Andrea.

This story does remind us that something beautiful can happen after experiencing a heart-wrenching loss. This young characters got a second chance at love and it
I liked Andrea and Cooper together I enjoyed LaDasha and I hope the author gives her own book to explore her story more because she was a compelling character for me.

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Contemporary Romance, Review Books

Audiobook Review: On a Tuesday by Whitney G.


On a Tuesday

by Whitney G.
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Audible | iTunes

We met on a Tuesday.
Became best friends, then lovers, on a Tuesday.
And everything fell apart on a Tuesday…

Charlotte Taylor has three automatic strikes in my book: 1) She hates me. She also claims that I’m a “domineering jerk with a huge, overbearing ego.” (I do have something huge. It’s not my ego, though.) 2) She takes our mandatory tutoring sessions way too seriously. 3) She’s sexy as hell…And a virgin.

At least, those were her strikes before our study sessions started lasting longer than they were supposed to. Until one innocent kiss became a hundred dirty ones, and until she became the first woman I ever fell hard for.

Our future together after graduation was supposed to be set:
Professional football for me. Law school for her.

But she left me at the end of the semester with no explanation, and then she completely disappeared from my life.

Until tonight.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Tuesday.
And now it’s seven years later, on a Tuesday…

*This is a full length second chance romance, inspired by Adele’s “When We Were Young”

☀️☀️MY REVIEW☀️☀️

Title: On a Tuesday by Whitney G.
Series: One Week, Book 1
Narrated By: Erin Mallon, Joseph Discher
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook (4hrs and 59 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating:  ♥♥♥♥
This story was developed so carefully and realistically that it captivated me. It was just a heartwarming and sweet college romance that continued on. I adored was Charlotte’s feistiness. She was smart, focused and independent heroine and so chasing after the college football star Grayson wasn’t on her radar. The push and pull banter made them a fun couple. Grayson’s persistence also won me over. He wasn’t a jerk, but he also wasn’t used to taking no for an answer either. He got pretty creative in his bid to get Charlotte’s attention.

Narrators Erin Mallon and Joseph Discher did an awesome job bringing this well written story to life. Their voices worked well in tandem and I felt the characters chemistry. Charlotte and Grayson’s continual banter had me chuckling for most of the audiobook.

I love second chance romances and I love dual POV stories because it allows the reader to be aware of the thought process of both main characters. With that said, I really dislike second chance romances that could have been resolved with some effort considering the two people love each other. It seems like if the characters are passionate about each other, they would communicate a little better to avoid going seven years pinning for their loved one. While the minor snag turned into a major thing, there was never a doubt that the main characters cared deeply for each other.

This book was funny, yet emotional and I felt very satisfied with the conclusion of the love story. Abiding love prevailed yet again. Another entertaining story by Whitney G.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Whitney G.

Whitney G. is a twenty-eight-year-old optimist who is obsessed with travel, tea, and great coffee. She’s also a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several contemporary novels, and the cofounder of The Indie Tea–an inspirational blog for indie romance authors.

When she’s not chatting with readers on her Facebook Page, you can find her on her website at http://www.whitneygbooks.com or on instagram: @whitneyg.author. (If she’s not in either of those places, she’s probably locked away working on another crazy story.)

Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1p9fEYF

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Contemporary Romance

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1) by Kristen Ashley


The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1) Title: The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain, Book 1
Release Date: April 18th, 2011
Format: Audiobook (25 hours, 16 mins); Kindle Edition: 679 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Synopsis: Love is the greatest gamble of all…

Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiancé who can’t even remember how she takes her coffee, Nina wants some distance to rethink her engagement. Flying halfway around the world from England to a mountain town in Colorado should do the trick. But when she finds a gorgeous man at her rental cabin, Nina’s cold, lonely adventure suddenly heats up.

The owner of the house, Holden “Max” Maxwell is surprised by the beautiful woman who turns up at his door. But when Nina becomes ill, Max spends days nursing her back to health. A private man with a broken heart, Max finds himself drawn to the strong-willed woman. Soon it becomes impossible for Nina and Max to deny their growing attraction to one another. Yet even as these two wounded lovebirds think about taking a chance on a relationship, a dangerous secret from Max’s past emerges-and threatens to end their love for good.

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Enjoyment: ♥♥♥
Narration by Emma Scott: ♥♥♥½
Plot: ♥♥♥½
Writing: ♥♥♥
MY REVIEW:
I would have rated this book a little higher if it wasn’t so long…unnecessarily long. I felt every minute of twenty five hours and sixteen minutes. It ended so many times before it actually ended. It was like 3 books in one. I liked it but I was just exhausted by it all.

Unlike most of KA’s heroines, I actually liked Nina and she was a character that grew as a person, woman, friend and lover as the story developed. She was a pushover in the beginning, the norm for KA heroines that I’ve read, but her journey to reassess her engagement expanded her horizons. Nina went to a Colorado Inn for a vacation as she pondered her romantic relationship which wasn’t so romantic. She met the Inn Owner, Holden “Max” Maxwell, who came off as an ornery guy, but clearly he was a nice guy since he took great care of a sick Nina without knowing who she was.
I’ll admit that they were good for each other because they challenged and frustrated each other but clearly were crazy about each other. It was angsty but not the kind of angst I typically enjoy. It was more like watching my grandma and elementary school bus driver when they were crushing on each other. Plus, Nina capitulated too easily and Holden was a bit bossy.

The story was interesting but I find her writing to be slow and formulaic if you have read one of her stories. My two favorite things in this book was the attention to family relation and community as the Kristen Ashley wove this tale around a small town in Colorado. Then the slow development of trust and love that took place in ONE WEEK.

That’s right, majority of this long drawn out romance, family drama, murder and mayhem took place in a couple of weeks. It was just a bit much for so-so enjoyment. I won’t rule out reading another Kristen Ashley book in the future, but it’s highly unlikely as I just don’t enjoy them enough for the length of her novels.

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