May 28

REVIEW: Rome by Jay Crownover

Rome

(Marked Men, #3)

by Jay Crownover

5 HEARTS

5 Hearts

From Goodreads

Sometimes the wrong choice can be just right . . .

Fun and fearless, Cora Lewis knows how to keep her tattooed “bad boy” friends at the Marked in line. But beneath all that flash and sass is a broken heart. Cora won’t let herself get burned again. She’s waiting to fall in love with the perfect man—a baggage-free, drama-free guy ready for commitment. Then she meets Rome Archer.

Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn, rigid, and bossy. And he’s returned from his final tour of duty more than a little broken. Rome’s used to filling many roles: big brother, doting son, supersoldier—but none of those fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the dark demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer through it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes a blinding flash of color in a sea of gray.Perfect may not be in the cards, but perfectly imperfect could just last forever . . .

My Review Final

First off I want to say normally I avoid books that have soldiers suffering from the after effects of combat. Most books use the clichés associated with PTSD but Jay Crownover didn’t use them and it made the read seem real. Yes, Rome was suffering from it but he never put anyone in danger because he couldn’t control himself. He tried to drown his sorrows with booze but having seen soldiers after losing their brothers in combat I know that is exactly what they do.

Rome tried to self-medicate with booze until Cora turned his world upside down. He didn’t do a complete 180 at first. He slowly took steps to become a new man. Taking the steps to get help and make amends was hard for him but he knew if he didn’t do it then he would lose her forever. Plus if he hurt Cora then chances are none of the rest of his “family” would forgive him. It wasn’t perfect or easy but it made a wonderful story. I loved how he stepped up and became the man Cora needed him to be.

Cora is FIESTY. She doesn’t take shit off of anyone, not even the hero Archer brother. She knew right away that he needed to pull his head out. Her reasoning was that he was hurting her family and being Captain No-Fun. Her own judgement wasn’t perfect due to her ex-fiancée destroying her trust a few years back. It takes her quite some time to break down her own walls to let Rome in. She was even able to fix Rome’s family after the secret about Remy coming to life. It was a very ballsy move but I loved it. I felt like Cora was the glue that held everyone together but somehow she couldn’t fix herself until Rome came into her life.

I really loved the scene with Rome and Remy. It healed the parts of Rome, which Cora couldn’t. I cried through half a dozen tissues at least. Getting to revisit the previous couples made me really happy. I love that in books. I can’t wait to read Nash’s story. I have a feeling I’m going to need more tissues.

Heat Rating 

4 out of 5

4 Flames

Kaylyn (2)

May 27

REVIEW: Stone Hard SEALs by Sabrina York

Stone Hard SEALs

by Sabrina York

 4.5 HEARTS
4-5 hearts
From Goodreads

A Duet of Steamy SEAL romance by NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Sabrina York

Book One: Ryder
A hostage rescue mission turns Ryder “Stone” Maddox’s world on its ear when he comes face-to-face with his greatest fear: A woman he cannot resist. But he has to resist Lily Wilson. He’s vowed never to fall in love. Besides, as the daughter of a senator, she is definitely off-limits. Lily sees things differently. Irresistibly drawn to this hot, hard SEAL, she is determined to prove they belong together…and that her man does not have a heart of stone. (Originally published in the NYT and USA Today Bestselling Hot Alpha SEALs collection)

Book Two: Drake
Drake Ronan is all man—a rock hard SEAL who doesn’t need help from anyone. Doesn’t need anyone. But when he’s shot during a dangerous rescue mission, and has to rely on a beautiful nurse to survive, he realizes he has to rethink his resolution. Suddenly he can’t imagine his life without Brandy in it. It’s a damn shame she has a secret that could ruin everything.

My Review Final

Stone Hard SEALs is two books in one. I will be reviewing each book individually.

Book 1: Ryder

I loved, loved, loved this story. It’s short enough to read over just a couple of hours, but packed with so much witty banter, heartfelt emotion, and sexy SEAL that you never feel rushed or cheated. Seriously, these characters are so well-developed you feel like you actually know them. Like they are old friends. I honestly have no idea how Ms. York pulls this off in a novella, but she does. Even more exciting it ushers in a new Alpha SEALS series. I can’t wait!

Ryder “Stone” Maddox is one of my favorite heroes. Faced with the unbearably difficult task of leading his platoon in a rescue mission for some pretty high profile people who were abducted by Somalian pirates is just another day at the office, but fighting this attraction and need he feels for his target just may do him in.

Lily Wilson has lived a very sheltered life. As the daughter of a senator she may have well just been wrapped in wool and packed away she’s been so protected. That’s why a mission trip to Ethiopia seemed like a grand adventure and she jumped at the chance. Just her luck, the first time she’s ever done anything without her parents blessing she gets abducted by Pirates. She’s optimistic all will be okay in the end and is doubly reassured when her guardian angel, in the form of Navy SEAL Stone Maddox, comes to her rescue. Stone does more than rescue her, however. He shows her that she can feel passion and a sizzling attraction. Now, she just had to convince him to act on it.

There are few authors that can write such funny, laugh out loud stories and never lose the heat and desire. I checked my kindle for smoke or burn marks after finishing this book. Lily and Stone’s attraction was that palpable. Stone often spoke in sarcasm and I love that in my men. Even better Lily gave as good as she got. She was naive and protected, but tough, smart (even if a bit airheaded at times), and a fighter. This couple was made for each other.

She paled, “I c-cant swim”.

“You never wanted to learn?”

“Oh, I wanted to” she sighed. “My mother wouldn’t let me. She was afraid I would drown.”

“Not drowning is kind of the point of swimming.”

See? Sarcasm at its best! I do so love Sabrina York and her smart, yet funny dialogue.

.

Book Two: Drake

I have to start out by saying I couldn’t wait for Drake’s story after finishing Ryder’s story. I had to know Drake’s take on the events leading up to the rescue. More importantly I wanted to get to know this cocky, brash, character better. Ms. York did not disappoint. I loved Drake! Heck, I loved Brandy!

Drake tried so hard to get Ryder’s approval and had really hoped that this mission would help him do it when all of his past achievements hadn’t seemed to get his attention. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seemed to be in the cards. If anything could go wrong in this mission it did big time. Get foiled trying to save the girl? Check. Get shot? Check. Miss getting to the extraction site on time? Check. Thank goodness the woman he was tasked with rescueing is all kinds of badass even if it does hurt his ego a bit.

Brandy has sworn off one thing in her “take-no-prisoners, live life to the fullest” lifestyle. And that is no SEALs. She learned this lesson the hard way when her first “real” boyfriend used her thinking a connection with her father, the commander, would help him further his naval career. Little did he know that their is no love lost between her and her father. So, when she finds herself stranded with an injured SEAL and she finds him all kinds of drool-worthy she is questioning her sanity. But, the more time she spends with Drake the more she finds that her feelings aren’t just a result of adrenaline and fear.

I really, really liked this couple. For one, this is not your normal SEAL story. Drake was injured and not at anything near his best. Hell, Brandy had to save his butt more than once. Brandy was a take-charge, tough chick that did what needed to be doing while keeping a level head. Yet, I loved that she didn’t ever try to make Drake feel like less of a man for all that she did. She was supportive and protective without emasculating Drake. Drake was all that I expected of him. He was such a smartass, but in a fun, cocky way. Yes, it hurt his ego and worked on him a bit that he wasn’t able to be the big hero in this scenario, but he was man enough to know when he had to accept help. Like I said, I loved this couple!

Ms. York didn’t let me down with her witty dialogue. I swear I live to read what she’ll write next.

“Why did you think I was lying on you?”
“Um, because you like me?”
She growled. Yeah. Growled. “They would have seen you.”
“They would have seen me? So you laid on top of me? Did that make me invisible?”

Yep, I totally dig Drake’s quick wit courtesy of the awesome Sabrina York.

I really, really hope to read more about this SEAL team.

Hotness Rating 

4 out of 5

4 Flames

Tina (2)

May 26

REVIEW: Country Heaven by Vicki Green

 

Country Heaven

(Country Love Series #1)

by Vicki Green

3 HEARTS
3 Hearts
From Goodreads

Heaven is in the eyes of the beholder,
To help others see that beauty,
Makes the heavens open its loving arms

Memphis Johnson loves his Montana ranch. It is something he has worked hard for all his life. When his Pa died, he swore he would give back by helping others see the beauty in the land, as Pa did for him. But with that can come trouble and even heartache. One misfortunate girl begins a different kind of hard work for Memphis. He tries to help her learn the ropes and tame her wild ways. His heart opens too wide for her, and he finds he has to change tactics fast or lose her.

Sadie Tisdale is your typical ‘city girl’, with the latest fashions and a wealthy father who gives her anything she asks for. She loves to party, hang out with the wrong people and doesn’t have a care in the world until one night… After being arrested, again, her father has had enough of her wild ways and decides to teach her a lesson. A lesson which could cost her the love of her father and the money she is supposed to receive on her twenty first birthday if she doesn’t comply.

Spoiled city girls don’t mix with country. Will Sadie learn there is more to life than staying out all night and having sex with a different guy each time? Can she calm her wild ways or will she run?

My Review Final

Country Heaven is the first book of the Country Love series by Vicki Green. I am so torn after reading this book. I liked the characters a lot. But, the style of the book threw me. I kept looking back to see if this book was a historical romance or written in the early 1900’s. The way the lead character and those around him spoke, as well as the basis of why Sadie was at the ranch was very outdated and quaint. But, then I would get to parts with cell phones and wi-fi and think nope not a misprint this is really a contemporary novel. I must say had it been based in the early 1900’s I would have very little complaints about this book.

Memphis Johnson is a sweet and sexy rancher who sees the world through rose colored glasses. He lost his mom at a young age. Luckily he was blessed with a good father to raise him and teach him how to be a good man, but now he’s gone as well. Memphis has been left with a lot of land to work and few ranch hands. In a flash of inspiration Memphis decides to place an ad for a second chance ranch as you will. He’ll provide food, lodging and a chance for something better in exchange for honest hardwork. He gets a couple responses to the ad and gives each one a lot of thought. But, when he gets a response back from a rich city guy asking Memphis to take his daughter for a time Memphis is torn. It seems the girl has been going a bit wild and the dad wants her away from all of the bad influences that are contributing to her behavior.

Sadie Tisdale is mad as hell that she’s bent sent to this backwoods ranch that has nothing to offer. She has no problem taking it out on the sexy cowboy that shows up at the train station to pick her up. She knows she is acting like a spoiled brat, but she really doesn’t care. She cares about little in life, actually. In her mind, her dad has always thrown money at her to keep from having to spend time with her, so why should he start acting like he cares now that she is enjoying her life.

I loved how Memphis responded to Sadie’s spoiled brat ways. He was almost amused by her tantrums and saw right through her entitled ways right to the person she was trying to hide. Memphis was sweet and naive, but a really good strong man. It was exactly what Sadie needed. The more time she spent with Memphis and his housekeeper the more she felt that she was becoming the woman she was meant to be.

There was an element of suspense thrown in and it did keep me wondering for awhile, but it also made me want to shake Sadie for doing the things she was doing.

Hotness Rating

3 out of 5
3 FlamesTina (2)

May 21

COVER REVEAL: An Inconvenient Dare by Bethany Lopez

received_10206877088950235

 

Title: An Inconvenient Dare

A Carly Phillips Dare to Love Kindle World Novella

Author: Bethany Lopez

Release Date: June 23, 2015

Summary: Vanessa has been so busy working her way up the corporate ladder that she’s forgotten all about sex over the past two years. When her best friend dares her to pick up a sexy stranger with panty-dropping dimples, she takes the dare and approaches Enrique. Sensing Vanessa’s uncertainty, Enrique gives her full control in the bedroom…until he doesn’t.

What started as an inconvenient dare turns into more than Vanessa ever expected, but when she learns the secret Enrique’s been keeping, will she be able to forgive him, or will she forgo her chance at happiness?

About Bethany Lopez: Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. Since then she has published various YA and NA books. She is a lover of romance, family, and friends, and enjoys incorporating those things in what she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible.

More about the Dare To Love Kindle World: http://www.carlyphillips.com/dare-to-love-kindle-worlds/

 

Delilah (2)

May 19

REVIEW: Soaring by Kristen Ashley

Soaring

(Magdalene #2)

by Kristen Ashley

 5 HEARTS

5 HeartsFrom Goodreads

American heiress Amelia Hathaway needs to start anew.

Her husband cheated on her, and when everything she wanted in life slipped through her fingers, she fell apart. When she did, she took another heart wrenching hit as she lost the respect of her children.

When her ex took her family from California to live in the small town of Magdalene in Maine, Amelia decided it was time to sort herself out. In order to do that and win her children back, she moves to Cliff Blue, an architectural masterpiece on the rocky coast of Magdalene.

Her boxes aren’t even unpacked when she meets Mickey Donovan, a man who lives across the street, a man so beautiful Amelia takes one look at Mickey and knows she wants everything from him.

The problem is, she finds out swiftly that he’s friendly, he’s kind, but he doesn’t want everything back.

Amelia struggles to right past wrongs in her life at the same time find out who she wants to be. She also struggles with her attraction to the handsome firefighter who lives across the street.

But Amelia will face a surprise when her friendly neighbor becomes not-so-friendly. As Amelia and Mickey go head to head, Amelia must focus on winning back the hearts of her children.

She soon discovers she also must focus on winning the heart of a handsome firefighter who understands down to his soul the beautiful heiress who lives across the street is used to a life he cannot provide.

My Review Final

The Magdalene series by Kristen Ashley is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Soaring is the second book of the series and just cements how much I love Kristen Ashley. Even when the story has a different feel than her typical rough and tough alpha guys taking charge I couldn’t get enough. Don’t get me wrong, Mickey is all kinds of hot, take charge male. He’s just less rough around the edges than many of Kristen’s hot guys. Sadly, the Magdalene series is only going to be 3 stories, so it’s all too quickly coming to a close.

Mickey Donovan is a hot firefighter that loves his kids and doing everything in his power to give them a great life despite their alcoholic mother spiraling out of control. Life is busy and stressful and has left Mickey with more than enough insecurities of his own. After all, his own wife chose a bottle over him and their children. So, when his new neighbor catches his eye he wants nothing more than to keep her in the “friend-zone”. He has a strict rule to never date anyone that lives so closely and a high-maintenance woman that is used to only the best things in life makes things even more dicey. But, the more he gets to know Amelia the harder it is to fight his attraction. Especially, when he can see the amazing woman that she is hidden beneath the designer clothes. If only he can keep his demons from ruining the chance of a lifetime.

Amelia Hathaway was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She was raised to be the perfect wife, run the perfect home, throw perfect parties and raise perfect children of her own. So, when her husband publicly cheats on her and proposes to his mistress before even leaving Amelia she spirals out of control. After months of embarrassing her children and making a scene anytime her path crossed that of her ex-husband and his new wife Amelia has lost her children’s respect and has pretty much hit rock bottom. Now, she’s moved to Magdalene and is making a new start. She knows that she has a lot to make up for, but she will stop at nothing to get her children back and to prove to them that she is no longer that mom anymore. With all of that on her plate she doesn’t have time to deal with the instant attraction she felt upon meeting her sexy neighbor. And she certainly doesn’t have the time or energy to deal with the hot and cold emotions he is throwing at her.

Amelia is an amazing, strong character who doesn’t give herself enough credit for her strengths. I loved that she owned up to her mistakes and stepped up to make amends. Even if she did take more responsibility for all that had happened than she should have. Mickey is the best dad and a really good person. I had no doubt that he loved Amelia and wanted her to be happy. I admit that I wanted to strangle him more than once for his jumping to conclusions and not communicating. But, let’s face it all of Ms. Ashley’s guys are flawed, yet delectable.

I am really looking forward to Coert’s story, but sad that it will be the last of this awesome series.

Hotness Rating 

4 out of 5

4 Flames

Click here for my review of The Will (Magdalene #2)

Tina (2)

May 18

Man Candy Time!

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Did you enjoy the sexiness?
Make sure to tune in for more! See ya next time!
Megan

May 17

SUNDAY SWAG GIVEAWAY

Sunday Swag Post

Welcome to Sunday Swag! (I’m a day late. Sorry about that!) I absolutely love swag. I think it’s the perfect thing to collect. You can have a whole bunch and it doesn’t take up a lot of room. One day it occurred to me that a lot of people might have the same feelings about swag as I do. That’s when the idea of a Sunday Swag feature came to me. I could both show off my love of swag and give some away! Plus, it’s a great way of spreading the word about all the fabulous authors out there!

OK so I haven’t done a Sunday Swag Giveaway for quite a while now. Things just  totally got away from me after my car accident in Dec. I wasn’t hurt but my car was totaled. After that the last thing on my mind was blogging. I slowly started to pick things back up at the beginning of the month and I’m finally ready to do my SSG posts again!

Sunday Swag post Giveaway 141

Sunday Swag Giveaway - Riverina Romantics - Ends 5.23.15

This week I’m giving away a 50 piece mixed swag pack. Besides the requisite bookmarks this swag pack has postcards, RTCs, rack cards, notepads and even temporary tattoos!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For another spectacular Sunday Swag giveaway check out I Smell Sheep!

I Smell Sheep

Megan

May 15

REVIEW: Wild Horses by B.J. Daniels

Wild Horses

(The Montana Hamiltons #1)

by B.J. Daniels

3.5 HEARTS
3-5 Hearts
From Goodreads

A man’s responsible for his own prosperity—especially if he’s Cooper Burnett, the most determined cowboy in the West. No one knows what he sacrificed to claim a piece of Beartooth, Montana, for himself and his beautiful fiancée, Livie. No one knows what he’s willing to do for love…until a stranger’s twisted vendetta threatens the happy ending they should’ve had long ago.

One fateful mistake isn’t the only secret Livie Hamilton is keeping from her fiancé. Victimized during a treacherous blizzard by a man she thought she could trust, she’s pregnant…but unsure who the father is. With an unknown blackmailer threatening to expose her, she must confess to Cooper and trust he’ll still protect her. But when the truth falls into place, she may lose the only man she’s ever loved—or worse.

My Review Final

Wild Horses is the first book of The Montana Hamiltons series by B.J. Daniels. B.J. Daniels has a writing style that takes me a little bit to get into it. It’s how I was with her Beartooth, Montana series and now with this series. There are parts that really lag in the book and then parts that I can’t read fast enough. As for the suspense part of this romance you find yourself thinking it’s so obvious when it isn’t entirely.

Cooper Burnett has a chip on his shoulder as big as Montana itself. He’s marrying the daughter of one of the richest and most influential men in Montana and that doesn’t help things at all. He loves Livie, but he wants to do things on his own without the influence and help from her family. But, things just don’t feel right all of a sudden. There seems to be a distance between he and Livie that he can’t seem to span. When he finds out the reason it has the potential to tear his world apart.

Livie loves Cooper and wants to be his wife, but his pride has come between them more than once. One night it came to a head and Livie left mad in the middle of a storm. Fast forward to a car stuck in the snow, a helpful stranger, and a night with very unclear memories. Now, she’s being blackmailed and has a huge secret that is forcing her to tell Cooper everything. She’s so afraid that she’ll lose everything and she can’t even remember what happened.

I got annoyed with Cooper a lot! I get his anger, but you would think finding out that his fiance’ may or may not have been raped would be enough to cool his judgmental anger a bit. Don’t get me wrong if he were to get confirmation that Livie cheated then I would be right behind him in his anger, but at the time all he knew was that she had a night that she can’t remember, every reason to believe she had sex that night and is now being blackmailed. Plus, his pride is the primary reason for 90% of the problems. I did admire that he stuck with Livie even though he felt the need to punish her. He loved her and had that sense of duty to help her even when he was more angry at her than he ever had been.

I actually found Livie very likable. Yes, she came from wealth, but she never came across as the poor little rich girl. She loved Cooper and even when he was being unreasonable she had his back. I can’t even say I think she made a mistake the night everything happened. She had every right to get away from the drama and as fate would have it she ended up in a vulnerable position. Yes, leaving a car with a strange man isn’t the smartest move, but her other option was freezing in a car during a snowstorm. Ultimately, what happened when she was in the stranger’s care was beyond her control and sad. Yet, she accepted all responsibility for all that happened and instead of getting angry at Cooper for his lack of empathy she felt terrible guilt and fear that she would lose the love of her life.

If you have read any of the Beartooth, Montana series you’ll be happy to know that we get a peek back at the characters from this series and even find out some interesting information about some of their key characters.

Hotness Rating

3 out of 5
3 FlamesTina (2)

May 13

REVIEW: Rough Justice by Sarah Castille

Rough Justice

(Sinners Tribe Motorcycle Club #1)

by Sarah Castille

4 HEARTS
4 Hearts (2)

From Goodreads

IT TAKES A GOOD, STRONG WOMAN

Raised in a motorcycle gang, tough, beautiful Arianne Hunter has always dreamed of a normal life. But no sooner does she escape her father’s domineering grasp than she wakes up to find herself in a rival gang’s clubhouse—at the mercy of the dangerously sexy Jagger Knight.

TO TAME A MAN WHO’S HELL ON WHEELS.

The alpha leader of the notorious Sinner’s Tribe, Jagger Knight is all muscle, all biker, and all man. But somewhere inside this hard tattooed outlaw, Arianne senses a kindred spirit—and she can’t ignore their tempestuous attraction. Can she beat him at his own game in a revved-up blaze of glory? Or will their passion spark a war that’s the end of the road for them both?

My Review Final

Rough Justice is the first book in the Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series by Sarah Castille. It seems to be the hot thing right now to write MC books. Some are a bit rougher, some are too soft, and some are written with just the right amount of both. Sarah Castille nailed it and I am hooked! Rough Justice had some grit to it, but thanks to Jagger Knight also a whole lot of heart and badass sexy.

Jagger Knight has one priority and one priority only and that’s his Motorcycle Club. Finding a group of rival bikers trying to burn down their property started a war. There’s been an unsteady truce with this gang for years, but now all agreements are off. Lucky for them they were able to capture one of the vandals and Jagger has him as hostage. Or at least he thought it was a he. Turns out his captor is a woman and leaves all kinds of questions as to how they can use her against the Black Jacks. The trouble is anytime he gets near Arianne he feels things that he promised himself he would never feel again. With trouble brewing on the inside because of a member wanting his position of MC president the last thing he needs is all that’s Arianne Hunter.

Arianne, aka Vexy has been the sweetheart of the Black Jack’s motorcycle club for far too long. As the daughter of the MC president you would think she would have been protected and cherished wouldn’t you? Not in this club. They are brutal, unfeeling, and have no love or respect for a woman no matter who her father is and that’s including her father. She’s spent her entire adult life saving and working towards helping her and her brother escape the hell that is their life. Yet, on the night before their escape her brother sets off on some crazy mission to attack the rival gangs property. Hoping to stop him from doing something stupid she ends up getting herself captured. Not only is her escape plan compromised, but she may not even escape with her life. The more time she spends with Jagger she knows she won’t escape with her heart. After all, she’s hidden who she really is from Jagger all this time. It’s not like he will ever feel like he can trust her once he finds out.

“I have so many flaws, I wouldn’t even know where to begin,” he murmured. “But you are perfect. You have fire, you have soul. Your strength and resilience amaze me. Your gentleness and kindness humble me. Your beauty takes my breath away. If I could have only one thing in this life, it would be you.”

I truly loved this book. It had enough violence to make the whole MC tripe believable, but little enough to not make you squirm in revulsion the whole book. I don’t mind some violence, but I want the romance and heat in my books to outshine the violence and in Rough Justice it does. I can hardly wait to read the next book in this series.

Hotness Rating

 4 out of 5

4 Flames

Tina (2)

May 12

NEW RELEASES

Here are some of the books that are coming out this week. Anything look interesting to you?

Megan

                      

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