Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Review Books, young adult

Landon & Shay (Part One) by Brittainy C. Cherry


Title: Landon & Shay by Brittainy C. Cherry
Series:
L & S Duet #1
Release Date:
October 30th 2019
Format:
Kindle Edition (363 Pages)
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Blurb:
Shay Gable hated my guts, and I hated hers, too.

We went out of our way to avoid one another at all times. When she came my direction, I went the other. When we locked eyes, she’d turn and walk away. 

All of that changed the day I was presented with a challenge. It started out as a stupid bet: make Shay fall in love with me before I fell in love with her first.

That was an easy bet for me to win. 

I didn’t love, I hardly liked. 

Yet slowly the game started to shift. Shay made me crave things I never knew I wanted like love, happiness, and her.

The closer we grew, the more she challenged my darkness, and the parts I kept locked away.

The hurts.

The pains.

The truth.

The game between us became too real, our feelings intermixed, and the risks of hurting one another grew higher. 

But you know what they say… 

All’s fair in the game of love and war—especially the heartbreaks.

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This is why Brittainy Cherry is one of my favorite authors. Her books tug at my heart’s strings and I always experience an array of emotions but most importantly, I am always left with a feeling of hope and faith in the healing that love can help facilitate.

I was surprised that I loved Shay and Landon so much because they were different from what I expected after reading Eleanor and Roosevelt. I was indifferent to both characters since they appeared shallow and full of fluff so I didn’t anticipate to connect with them. In this story, the author removed their masks and revealed complex individuals navigating complicated home situations. Thank you to the author for tactful and sensitive way she addressed depression and the ways people deal with their pain. I was rooting for them so hard.

This beautiful story touched on parental expectations as well as children’s expectations of parents, importance of communication, emotional connections and the masks we all wear to hide the cracks in our hearts. There was a fair amount of emotional suffering, but in the midst of sadness, there was resilient love. I love the fact that there was a generational examples of strength so the characters had different examples of what strength or a lack thereof looked like. I also like that the reader saw the subtle ways people inflict abuse and how the spirit can be weighed down without being aware that those actions are so toxic. That was the gem in this story, when someone is perceptive enough to see beyond the mask that other people wear and seeing their REAL face. It takes patience and like Shay’s grandma said, one has to “be brave, be kind and be strong etc”

This story was well layered and characters so well developed that I don’t even know if I need Book 2, though I must have it! I look forward to seeing continued growth and healing in the conclusion of this duet. This is a must read!

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Landon and Shay: Part Two will be releasing December 4th!

Pre-order the emotional conclusion, Landon and Shay: Part Two : Amazon ~ Amazon Worldwide  

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About Brittainy C. Cherry

Author Brittainy C. Cherry is an Amazon #1 bestselling author.

She has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelor Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing.

Her novels have been published in 18+ countries around the world. Brittainy lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her fur babies.

Connect with Brittainy: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Amazon ~ GoodReads ~ Join Brittainy’s Golden Girls (And Boys) Reader Group ~ Stay up to date with Brittainy by joining her mailing list ~ https://bcherrybooks.com

Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Charlie (Cultivated #1) by Elin Peer


Charlie (Cultivated #1)Charlie by Elin Peer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLURB: Charles, the reserved, mysterious, and unattainable guy I had a major crush on in college, got tangled up with the wrong crowd. Being the heir to one of the largest business dynasties in the US made Charles a target for the narcissistic and cunning cult leader O’Brien. Now, I’m flying to Dublin to get him out. “

With degrees in both anthropology and psychology, twenty-seven-year-old Liv is convinced that she can resist being sucked into Conor O’Brien’s cult. But it’s been years since she and Charles last met; will he even remember her and will he trust her?

Charles and Liv are about to learn just how dangerous it is to go up against a possessive psychopath like Conor O’Brien.

Charlie is the first installment in Elin Peer’s contemporary romance series Cultivated, which offers suspense and drama. Like all her books, this one has a fast pace, lots of great dialogue, and it leaves you wanting more.


A fascinating story and masterful storytelling. This story had it all: action, suspense, intrigue, romance and redemption. What I love about Elin Peer’s stories is that I always feel I was treated to a story unlike the routine and cliche tropes that are so abundant in the romance genre. In this particular novel, we are treated to an insider look into the intense fear of family members when their loved ones are caught in the snare of a cult.

Charlotte Christensen aka Liv or Charlie met Charles Robertson at a coffee shop by accident. At the time they were both going by the nickname “Charlie”. There was a spark there, but nothing serious materialized from their college flirting. Five years later, Liv was contacted by Charles’ grandfather who wants a friend to help rescue Charles from a cult that was siphoning off his inheritance. This opportunity gave Liv another chance to reconnect with Charles, but he wasn’t the man she remembered. To save Charles, Liv had outmaneuver a sociopath a cult leader with Charles’ love and life as the prize.

I don’t know much about cult except what we see on the news but my nerves were jarred. I enjoyed the glimpse into a cult’s intricate layering in order to brainwashing people of various intelligence. It was a lesson on how masterminds sense esteem issues and use it to their advantage while gaining their absolute dedication and loyalty. It was a gently reminder that even the smartest person has vulnerabilities that can be exploited by devious people.

My favorite part of the story was Liv and Charles reconnecting. It felt like young love all over again and it added some pleasure and levity to this heavy situation. Liv and Charles were really nice individuals and they made a sweet couple. I was completely absorbed into this struggle for Charles. The author skillfully weaved an engrossing tale. What an excellent beginning to a new series.

*Thank you to the author for the advanced reading copy. My opinions of the book are solely my own.

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Fiction, romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense & Thriller

Lethal Force (Brute Force, Book 3) by Lora Leigh


Lethal Nights (Brute Force, #3)Lethal Nights by Lora Leigh

BLURB:

1 bestselling author Lora Leigh turns up the heat in her latest novel of high-stakes passion and persuasion featuring the men of Brute Force. 

Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man—and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…

Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost—one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story. Ilya Dragonovich and Emma Jane Preston had skirted around their attraction for different reasons. Ilya was a dangerous man and the heir to the Dragonovich family that wielded mafia power in Romania and Emma Jane was just getting out of a marriage.

When someone threatened EJ’s life, Ilya knew it was time to claim her as his own and under his protection. But the person after her was a mystery, and that was not going to fly with the Dragon heir.

I really liked Emma Jane’s independence, loyalty and inner strength. She clearly loved Ilya but she also had a clear sense of what’s right, and she also stood up for herself against her protective family. The mystery stalker wasn’t really much of a mystery although the motive was a surprise. I enjoyed their reliance on each other for comfort and love. I also see that Emma Jane was strong enough for a boss like Ilya.
The almost mythical characteristics of the dragon tattoo gave the story a supernatural feel that gave the stories Romanian family some mystique.

I had hoped for more information on EJ’s culpability with her accident as well as his mother’s motive. Maybe in the next books, we can get a resolution on those issues. But i should are looking for a book that has a mafia like presence without being overwhelming in the violence, then this romance book is for you!

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Audiobook, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Review Books

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren


Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books – Gallery Books
Genres: General Fiction (Adult); Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: December 4, 2018

BLURB: Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

I thought this story was a cute and fluffy story. Millie and her four friends decided to sign up on a dating website to get dates for their work social event. When Millie uses an alias Catherine, she connects with a date and they hit it off online.
Some specific phrases that her online guy used led Millie to deduce that her online mystery man was in fact her best friend Reid. Millie had found Reid physically attractive but they had never connected in this way before. Millie is torn on whether to continue the charade or tell Reid that she is Catherine. Meanwhile, the online couple gets closer and closer, prompting Reid to want to meet face to face.

The group of friends was my favorite part of the group. They were funny, they teased each other but they were supportive as well. The writing was entertaining and flow was pretty consistent. I loved Reid and Millie together and wondered why they didn’t put all their cards on the table sooner. There was a part of them that saw the other, they just didn’t communicate honestly and allow themselves to be vulnerable. It was angst enough to give the story an emotional kick. I love how Millie redeemed herself and the role the friends played in it all. Overall, an enjoyable and fun read for those who enjoy romantic comedy or contemporary romances.

Audiobook, Historical Romance, Review Books

The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl (The Last Travelers Society #3) by Victoria Alexander


The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl (The Lady Travelers Society, #3)

Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Egypt—a woman they call The Queen of the Desert, of all things. Worse, her stories—serialized in newspapers and reprinted in books—are complete rubbish.

Miss Sidney Honeywell didn’t set out to deceive anyone. It’s not her fault readers assumed her Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt were real! Admitting her inadvertent deception now would destroy her reputation and her livelihood. But when the Earl of Brenton challenges her to travel to Egypt to prove her expertise, accompanied by his dashing, arrogant nephew, what choice does she have but to pack her bags?

With the matchmaking founders of the Lady Travelers Society in tow, Harry is determined to expose Sidney’s secret. But the truth might not be as great a revelation as discovering that love can strike even the most stubborn of hearts


The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl (The Lady Travelers Society, #3)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This audiobook was a grand adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was like following a female Indiana Jones except the lady was an author not an archeologist. The plot was similar to the prior books in this series. It was more of a historical romantic suspense story because the romance was secondary to the main characters drive to find some historical artifacts.

Miss Sidney Honeywall has been writing under the pseudonym Mrs. Gordon, garnering a huge fan following about her adventures in Egypt. Not everyone was enamored with the “Tales of a Lady Adventure” particularly the Earl of Brenton who believed the author to be a fraud. The Earl doesn’t believe Mrs. Gordon to be a real expert of Egyptian artifacts and culture. In order to expose the author, the Earl lays down a challenge daring Mrs. Gordon to travel with his nephew Harry Armstrong, To establish the legitimacy of of her numerous articles and her claims of travel, Sidney agrees to allow Harry to join her on her next adventure to Egypt.

This one was well written and had likable characters. Sidney and her ladies of her traveling club, Persephone “Poppy”, Ophelia “Aunt Effie” and Guinevere “Guin” were a riot. They seemed like they were ditzy and a tad clueless but their actions were purposeful and intended. They had each others backs and were a source of emotional and mental support for Sidney.

Harry was a clearly intelligent and came with the intention of giving “Mrs. Gordon” just enough rope to hang herself. Harry intended to expose Sidney as a fraud once he gathered enough evidence. What he wasn’t expecting to encounter was a beautiful and intelligent woman who kept him on his toes. I liked their banter and interaction because they were clearly equals. Their mutual admiration and respect laid a great foundation for the love that came later.
This author did a great job of not letting the romance overpower the plot and the twist at the end was amusing even though I suspected it. I liked this one a lot.

*e-ARC from Netgalley

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Audiobook, Giveaway, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: COZEN by Bethany-Kris


COZEN

by Bethany-Kris
Narrator: Conner Goff
Audio Publication Date: October 2018
Genres: Adult, Audiobook, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

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Amazon Audible: https://amzn.to/2Pyf8Hs

SYNOPSIS:

coz-en (kuz-uhn)
verb
1. trick or deceive.
• obtain by deception.

She was named most appropriately.

Cozen Taylor has more than earned her place as one of North America’s most successful thieves. Her name is whispered amongst criminal elite as the go-to thief when someone needs a heist.

She has never failed.

A call from the Miami-based Astor family could change all that with a job that seems almost impossible to complete. The mark should be simple—a stolen family heirloom, the man who has kept it hidden for over twenty years, and six months to return the piece to its rightful owners.

Nothing is ever that easy.

Three-hundred million for a successful heist. No smart thief would turn the offer down. Cozen didn’t expect a complication like him to put a kink in her plans, though. Sargon Makri—tall, dark, gorgeous, and entirely dangerous. For her life, her heart, and for the success of the heist.

The last thing Cozen needs to be thinking about is Sargon, and how she can get him into her bed … especially when he just happens to be her mark’s bodyguard. The thrill of the job has never been more addicting to Cozen, and she will risk everything to make the heist a success.

But at what cost?

***

From author Bethany-Kris comes a whole new world. A North American network full of criminals battling to stay on top, and painting the streets red in war as they dabble in the game of betrayal. Malicious, cunning, forbidden, and violent—welcome to The Empires and Badlands.

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AUDIO EXCERPT – NARRATOR CONNOR GOFF

This is my first time listening to the narrator Connor Goff and he did a great job on this story. The plot was set up in a very intriguing manner. It had hints of a romance but it was a mystery and suspense first story.

Cozen Taylor was a renowned thief because she was basically invisible. She delivers what she promised and no one she interacted with on the heist remembered anything about her afterwards. As Cozen was considering retiring, the Astor family came with an offer that was so golden that Cozen couldn’t refuse. The job was to recover a family heirloom currently in the hands of Jett Griffin, but the Astor family wanted it back. Unfortunately for Cozen, Sargon Makri, the bodyguard to her new mark was excellent at his job as well. While getting close to Jett, Cozen was also getting close to his bodyguard Sargon and the latter one was the real deal.

Each chapter revealed a layer of the story and I found it to be a suspenseful romance. The author spent time setting up the mystery and the plot twist, but unfortunately it made the pacing slow. Cozen and Sargo’s interactions were this big game of cat and mouse and the sex scenes were quite spicy.  I would have liked more romance (not necessarily sex) in this story as well. In addition, I wish more time was spent developing the back story of the main character because it didn’t feel connect to the characters. This is a book that I would have benefitted more from listening to the last hour FIRST because my understanding and engagement would have been better.

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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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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