Release Blitz & Review: The Fire Between High & Lo by Brittainy C. Cherry

 

Title: The Fire Between High & Lo
Series: Romance Elements #2
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Genre: Romance
 Release Date: March 25, 2016

 

Blurb
There once was a boy, and I loved him.Logan Francis Silverstone and I were complete opposites. I danced, and he stood still. He was quiet, while I ran my mouth. He struggled to find a smile, and I refused to frown.

The night I saw the darkness that truly lived inside of him, I couldn’t look away.

We were broken together, yet somehow whole. We were wrong together, but always right. We were the stars that burned across the night sky, searching for a wish, praying for better tomorrows.

Until the day I lost him. He threw us away with one hasty decision–a decision that changed us forever.

There once was a boy, and I loved him.

And for a few breaths, a few whispers, a few moments, I think he loved me, too.

 REVIEW:

Of course I cried. Brittainy has a way with words that scorch your insides and bring out all the feels. This book most definitely does that. It rolls emotions through you – from anger to flat out hatred to love; The Fire Between High & Lo put me into a state of emotional turmoil I was expecting.

Logan is not a character you’re going to stay in love with. At least he wasn’t for me. His flaws are big. His scars are deep. And his actions are reprehensible. The way that he treated Alyssa and the good pieces of his family was awful. I hated him for it. It’s very likely because I have personal experience with his particular affliction that taints my opinion of him. Makes him less redeemable. Makes me less sympathetic. Makes me colder to his journey.

But that doesn’t mean that the story isn’t beautiful. Logan grows as a character and does win you back over. He journey is long but it’s worth reading. I did wish that Alyssa had a little bit more fire in her. That she didn’t give in so easily and forgive so quickly. But then again, when a true love flashes through your life, do you give it up so quickly when there’s a chance for good again?

Cherry writes this book in a somewhat Ugly Love style – it was almost poetic in places, which nestles its way into your chest and makes a home. This book will definitely make you react: cry, laugh, scream, smile – it’s all there. It’s a beautiful story edged in darkness. It’s a story about how the good can win after all. 4.5 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

 

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Author Bio
Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing–poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she’s not running a million errands and crafting stories, she’s probably playing with her adorable pets.
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Review: The Mind by Kate Stewart

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Author: Kate Stewart

Book: The Mind

tl;dr recommendation: You’ll leave this story with a heavy heart but a renewed spirit that love exists. 4.5 stars!

Book Summary:

We fell in love in a lightning strike, a sudden anomaly in a sea of lost people.
He knew right away, yet I was hesitant. I could have never prepared myself for a love like ours.
No one could.
As a child, I had conjured an amazing story in my mind. It was a story I could retell about a man that would move me like no other; a story about the way we met and how he had swept me off my feet. But, the ending to that fairytale was so far from the reality.
No one will want to hear that story now, but for Grant, I will always tell it.

***Explicit Sex and Language. Not for those who are not fans of spontaneous love affairs.

Reading Order for The Reluctant Romantics Series

The Fall
The Mind 1.5 (Novella for Grant and Rose)
The Heart (Coming March) 2016

Longer Review:

If you’re looking for an HEA you’re going to have to wait. While Kate spins us into a fairytale love story she also crushed your heart with her pen…slowly and completely. I had read The Fall so I KNEW what was going to happen with Grant and Rose’s story but I still had to read it. I had to feel the all consuming love rush over my skin and infiltrate my heart.

Of course that means that my world was shattered into tiny pieces after I was finished. I need the next book. I need for Rose to get her happily ever after. Of course, without being spoilery, Grant does not wrong – in fact he does everything right. He is the perfect man for her. He’s just fucking perfect in general.

So when everything happens and their instant and soul scorching love affair spirals downward I was as heartbroken as Rose. Stewart is a masterful storyteller. You’ll leave this story with a heavy heart but a renewed spirit that love exists. It’s real. It can be perfect and tragic all at one. GAH. Love you, Kate.

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

Book Tour & Review: 9 Letters by Blake Austin

9 LETTERS BOOK TOUR

Meet Luke Crawley in Blake Austin’s debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love!

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9 letters teaser for excerpt reveal

Blurb

Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife’s tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.

Until the letters arrive on Luke’s doorstep.

Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.

Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she’s ready for something different–something true.

She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he’s different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts–one letter at a time.

Discover Blake Austin’s debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.

9 LETTERS TEASER

REVIEW

The emotional connection between Luke and his wife Emily is undying. It extends through time, heartbreak, sickness and death. It’s the kind of love that you only find once in a life time – or is it? To say that Luke is devastated by his wife’s death is an understatement. He’s barely functioning. He blames himself. He’s working at job that is beneath him because he feels that he deserves it. He’s trying to escape his pain in the arm of a woman or the bottom of a bottle.

Nothing is working. And his wife knew it. While I have to wonder why the hell his wife had the letters delivered A YEAR after her death if she knew what kind of state he was likely going to be in (why not six months?!) I loved the sentiment. Her letters are full of passion, promise, forgiveness, and every other emotion that Luke needs to start to rebuild. Both literally and figuratively.

9 Letters pulls at your heartstrings and touches an emotional chord that had silent tears slowly tracking down my face. Dying spouses are my kryptonite when it comes to crying. I can’t help it. I’m done for. While that was certainly enough to keep me engaged, I did wish that there was more of a connection between Luke and Rae. I wanted something else to tie them together, something deeper. But that’s just me.

Overall this is a gorgeous story that will no doubt fill you up until tears spill over. Great debut, Blake! 4 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

9 LETTERS TEASER BT

Excerpt

I was about twenty minutes early for my shift, but I got up to the bar, grabbed a rag, started wiping it down, bussing some dishes.

“Damn, Luke,” Jake said, watching me work. “You win the lotto or something? Royals win the pennant last night and I forgot to watch?”

“I’m just in a good mood, that’s all,” I said.

I thought about it a moment longer, decided I should tell him more. Impart some wisdom learned from my not-particularly-advanced years.

“When everything’s dark for so damn long and your eyes get used to it,” I said, “just a little glimmer of sunshine lights up the whole world.”

He nodded, then grabbed a bus bin and headed back into the kitchen.

Warren though, Warren wasn’t impressed. He was sitting by one of the daytime barflies, but he’d stopped talking and was just watching me. I was on thin ice, and I knew it. I couldn’t afford to lose my job. A heartbroken, drunk, angry widower is probably as unemployable as the average ex-con.

I came on at the end of the day shift. Warren liked tending bar during the day, because it meant just shooting the shit with the regulars. That day I had a smile for every customer, sparse words of wisdom like day drunks want to hear. Tending bar wasn’t my dream. But to hell with letting that make me lazy. I kept the place clean, I poured drinks like I cared.

I was getting into the swing of it when happy hour kicked in and a few more people filtered through the door. Couple of middle-aged bikers, a retired couple that parked their RV out front.

The door swung open again, letting in a little bit of that early-evening cold, and I glanced up to see a crowd of three women, with two men. One of the women was a reddish blonde, radiant. Sort of stole the light out of the room. It was Rae. Our eyes met and her smile gave the room back its light.

She’d been in jeans at the shelter, but she was in a blue dress now and she looked damn fine in either. Took my mind right off Maggie, faster than I thought it would be possible. I met her eyes, and she gave out a little gasp and giggle. I was probably smiling in surprise myself.

The crowd came over to the bar. I’d thought the other four were two couples, but I realized pretty quick that the black girl with the afro was dating the quiet white guy in a beard and glasses and tattoos, and that the other guy was trying to impress Rae. He had a John Deere hat, but his clothes were way too clean for me to buy it that he worked on a farm. I hated him, right off. I probably would have hated him if he was the best guy in the world, though. The other girl, she was tall, latina, and for some indiscernible reason was interested in the poser farmer.

Most of the time, I’m awful at reading people. But for some reason, at work I can tell you everything about everyone who walks in the door. About who’s into who, about who had a bad day at work. Who wants to get drunk and miserable, who wants to get drunk and happy, who wants to get drunk and start trouble. Maybe it’s some magic of the job, maybe it’s just how people carry themselves at a bar. Helps with tips, that’s for certain. You wingman right, and the money flows in.

Warren, he likes to upsell them drinks when he’s doing that. Get them excited about the top shelf. Not me.

“Hey, Rae,” I said.

“Luke,” she said.

John Deere looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. And maybe I was, but if I was the scum then he was… I don’t know, something worse than scum. Wannabe scum.

She introduced me to her friends. Nicole had the afro, her boyfriend was Eric. The girl with bad taste was Irina, and John Deere had some name but honestly it went in one ear and out the other. He was John Deere to me. Yeah, maybe I’m an asshole.

“So, how do you know this guy?” Deere asked, tossing me a look that said I clearly wasn’t good enough to be friend with someone like Rae.

“Oh, he came in just the other day. Adopted the sweetest dog, a bloodhound.” She turned to me, flashing that dimple high on her cheek. “How is he? You guys call a truce yet?”

“King’s great,” I said. “I mean, he’s probably at home right now, eating everything I’ve ever owned, but I figure I was due for a purge anyway, right?”

It was a lame attempt at humor, but Rae laughed.

“What can I get you all? Friend of Rae’s is a friend of mine.”

 

About the Author

Blake Austin is a guitar playing father of one, who lives in Los Angeles. He’s written music for as long as he can remember and was inspired to add book writing to his repertoire. 9 Letters is his debut novel.

For updates: Follow Blake Austin on Facebook here:  http://on.fb.me/1ZUj6sR

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$20 Winner’s Choice Book Retailer Gift Card & Signed Paperback (1 Winner)

Blog Tour and Review: From the Wreckage by Melissa Collins

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From the Wreckage by Melissa Collins is NOW AVAILABLE!

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Photographer: K. Keeton Designs
Cover designer: Staci Billhart at Quirky Bird Designs
Model: Nathan Weller
Model: Tessi Le’Anne

SYNOPSIS:
First, he saved me.
I lived because he was a hero.
And then he was gone.
Uprooted by the fire that destroyed our home, my family moved away and I never saw David Andrews again.
Then, he found me.
Eighteen years later, he rescued me again – in much simpler terms, of course. By loving me, by giving me the fairy tale I’d always hoped for, he provided me with the perfect life.
Now, he needs to be saved.
It’s my turn to be strong, to be brave, to be valiant.
When flames threaten to turn us to ashes, it’s up to me to pull us From the Wreckage.

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Review:

This book had me struggling to form coherent thought. It’s moving, thoughtful, and seriously GREAT. I was not anticipating the emotional reaction I would have to this story, or how I would respond so strongly to Grace’s deep strength and beautiful love. I was not planning on seeing that lone tear track down my cheek and drip to my chest and I was a little caught off guard when that happened.

Gracie and David’s story started when they were kids. He saved her from the wreckage – literally. Her family’s house caught on fire and David pulled her to safety. Now, Melissa could have just recounted that story for us, but she didn’t. She throws you into the middle of it, let the flames lap and flick around you, and sucks you in to the emotion of this story from the very beginning.

When they meet up again 18 years later it’s all awkwardness and adorableness and strange feelings of possessiveness when neither has a claim over the other. It’s utterly fantastic, romantic and perfect. Their love is epic. It’s a pure kind of love – it’s hot, sexy, and on fire. It’s the kind of love that is needed to survive what happens next. I won’t be spoilery but OHMYGOD. I knew something was going to happen but I did.not.expect.THAT.

Melissa has a gift of writing tragedy in a way that makes you want more of it. I know, that sounds sort of creepy. Sorrynotsorry. The only way that this story works is with the intense connection between the character’s and the profound love of Gracie McCann. She is a force to be reckoned with – a shy but powerful tornado that holds firm when everything else is up in the air. I LOVED HER.

I also loved this story. It will pluck at your feels and, YES, there’s a lot of awesome sex in there too to uhh, pluck at other places. FROM THE WRECKAGE is poignant and gloriously raw. It has the makings of everything I love in a romance book and it deserves every single one of those 5 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

If you’re super excited for From the Wreckage, you’ll be happy to know that Before the Wreckage is now up for FREE! Grab this short prequel, too!

#1click Before the Wreckage by Melissa Collins for FREE!
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And there’s more! As a special THANK YOU to her readers, Melissa has put Let Love Be up for free, too!
This is book 4 of The Love Series, but can be read as a standalone.

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#1click Let Love Be by Melissa Collins for FREE!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry

Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

Book: The Air He Breathes (Elements #1)

tl;dr recommendation: You need to read this book. With tissues. And time. And an open heart. #MustRead #AMillionStars

Book Summary:

I was warned about Tristan Cole.

“Stay away from him,” people said.
“He’s cruel.”
“He’s cold.”
“He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.

But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty.
We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.

Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

Longer Review:

I’d give this book a million stars if I could. The Air He Breathes is a breath of fresh air. Which is especially good because it had me gasping for breath at times as I sobbed uncontrollably. This emotional and heartbreaking story found the door to my heart and the line to my tears. I am in love.

Tristan’s wild. Closed. A mere shell of a man whose world was ripped away in an instant. I couldn’t even contemplate his pain, but I felt it. I felt it infiltrate my body like sharp tiny knives begging to be acknowledged. Brittainy does something that many authors cannot – she makes you feel the pain of her characters in a respectful, beautiful and touching way. I not only wanted to see Tristan break free from his past, but I wanted to hold him, look him in the eyes, and tell him he’ll survive.

Elizabeth is an equally powerful character. Her past is similar to Tristan’s, which is what initially connects them. It’s as if they found a piece of themselves in the other. It’s strange how they come together, but then it’s not strange at all. Grief can morph a person into a new creature who takes risks or breaks down without pause.

I don’t want to give away much with this plot because you should experience it with fresh eyes. There is an HEA, but there are twists that get us there that caught me completely off guard. I fell apart as I fell in love with this book and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Air He Breathes has more than all the feels, It grips and hold you, comforts and strangles you. God, I couldn’t do anything BUT feel. There is a reason that Brittainy is rising to the top of the Amazon charts with lightning speed: she can fucking write. This is one of the best books of 2015. #MustRead. Do it. NOW. GO.

Review: Let Love Live by Melissa Collins

Author: Melissa Collins

Book: Let Love Live (Love #5)

tl;dr recommendation: Oh hi tears. Welcome. Good to see you again. 4 stars.

Book Summary:

Who would you become if you lost the only person who ever mattered?

For twenty-six year old Dylan Hopkins, the answer is easy. He’s become no one. Memories of the happier times are all he has left as he finds himself meandering numbly through his now dull life. Though he cares about his work and family dearly, he’s yet to let himself find love again. Afraid of letting go of what he once had, Dylan chooses to keep his heart buried, where it belongs, having died a long time ago.

Conner Michelson is about to change everything Dylan knows. He’s every bit the bad boy persona – tatted up, ex-MMA fighter, but after an injury leaves him unable to fight, he has to rethink his goals. Having just opened his own gym, Conner can cross his first major life accomplishment off his very short list. Next up: find a man he can settle down with and build a family. Seems simple enough – a dream most people have, but when he meets Dylan, his carefree, easy-going life is thrown into a tailspin.

Determined to keep Dylan in his life, Conner vows to resurrect Dylan’s long ago buried heart and let love live once more.

Longer Review:

Oh hi tears. Welcome. Good to see you again.

I’m not sure quite how I feel about Melissa throwing us to the wolves in the past portion of this book, making me CARE, and then ripping my heart out. I knew that Dylan has been through a traumatic experience from reading the blurb, but I didn’t realize that we too were going to travel with him back to the past and watch him and Shane fall in love before tragedy strikes. Good lord, a girl could use a warning. So this is yours.

I sometimes felt that I was speed reading the past – not because it was badly written – because I knew it ended badly and my poor heart couldn’t take it. We spend a good fifty percent of this book with Shane and Dylan’s love story. It’s a beautiful NA m/m love story that I could have read all day – I just really fucking wanted a happier ending. And then we move on to what I call the Connor-half of the story – but Melissa doesn’t let you off the hook. Once we got to the present, the emotions don’t go away.

Connor, the former MMA fighter turned gym owner, hasn’t exactly had an easy go of life and watching the two imperfect men come together to find each other was sweet and wholesome. It was also really fucking hot. Dual cocks is one of my favorite romance subgenres (I renamed it, okay?) and Let Love Live let me enjoy every inch of these men. thankyouverymuch.

This book is well written and emotion inducing. I would blame the fact that it was 2am when I was reading this for the tears that rolled out of my eyes, but truth be told, Melissa hit me in the heart and sucked the feels out of me. Emotional while still sexy as hell, Dylan was worth the fight. 4 stars!

Blog Tour & Review: Tattooed Emotion by Alicia Rae

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Synopsis:

Raelyn Jennings has survived the unthinkable. She’s been given a second chance to live, to breathe, to feel. Her ability to overcome such a traumatic hurdle has created armor around her heart. But beyond her shield is fear, a consuming deep one, of the unknown. Raelyn vows to herself that she’ll solely focus on the one constant in her life, her career as the CEO for a prestigious accounting firm.

Damien Heathman’s unrelenting determination has made him a powerful, respected man. He’s sexy and confident and utterly breathtaking. His dominance and strength is evident in every purposeful stride, every meaningful look, and every soft caress.

Raelyn has worked with Damien’s company, Heathman Enterprises, for many years, but they’ve never crossed paths—until now.

Damien’s presence fills a room. He steals Raelyn’s breath and sparks her broken heart back to life. Once Damien sets eyes on Raelyn, there is no turning back. He wants her, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her. Not even the dark secrets hidden behind his tattoos will stand in his way.

The chemistry is undeniable. The passion is palpable.

Can Damien convince Raelyn that he is worth the risk? Or will Raelyn allow her past to control her future, feeling the chance of another heartache is too great to bear?

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Goodreads

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Review:

Remember that time when I thought this was a standalone and I was 78% in and realized that there wasn’t enough book left for all the things that needed to happen and then silently screamed because I was so fucking invested in this story and I didn’t want to wait to find out what happened?! I DO.

So, friends. Not a standalone. WHICH IS OK. I’m just the idiot that didn’t realize it before I started. But now you know. So you can enter this fantastic story with the knowledge that it won’t be all wrapped up in this one.

I adore this story so much. It took me a minute to get into it, but by chapter 2 I was there: Raelyn was my girl and Damien soon became the CEO of my heart. Alpha male to the core, demanding and insistent, he burrowed under my skin. Raelyn is a strong girl who has survived both a brain tumor that had negligible odds and an ex-fiance who left her as she prepared to die. What an asshole.

I was a bit sad that everyone in Raelyn’s life is eligible for the Worst Human On The Planet award except for her roommate, Iris. Thank god for that girl. She’s fantastic. I was just as terrified as Raelyn that Damien was going to do something to let her down just like everyone else in her life. When Damien entered the picture the attraction is immediate and intense, just how I like it. He’s super overbearing, and persistent – refusing to take Raelyn’s hard ‘no’ for an answer.

While they both fall quickly into each other, they keep their secrets to themselves. Damien’s dark past is quickly entering his present and Raelyn’s own past may decide to rear its ugly head any day. I wanted to scream at the secrets, but it made for delicious drama. I loved the intensity & flaring heat between the characters. The passion fell off the pages and hooked me in.

This book has romance for days and screams sex. I wanted to simultaneously lick and hug it – and we KNOW I wanted it to last so much longer. Give me book 2!!! pretty please?! 4.5 stars!

[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]

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Alicia Rae Bio:


Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.

Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing in my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo

Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.

Believe in yourself and follow your dreams…

Links:

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Review: My Skylar by Penelope Ward

Author: Penelope Ward

Book: My Skylar

tl;dr recommendation: oh, I’m sorry, I’m busy wiping tears from my chin. Sweet Christ. 4.5 stars.

Book Summary:

From the author of the Amazon #1 bestselling romance, Jake Undone, comes a friends-to-lovers story of longing, passion, betrayal and redemption……with a twist that will rip your heart out.

Skylar was my best friend, but I secretly pined for her. One thing after another kept us apart, and I’ve spent the last decade in fear of losing her forever.

First, it was the cancer, but she survived only to face the unthinkable at my hands. Because of me, she left town. For years, I thought I’d never see her again.

But now she’s back…and living with him.

I don’t deserve her after everything I’ve put her through, but I can’t live without her. This is my last chance, because she’s about to make the biggest mistake of her life. I can see it her eyes: she doesn’t love him. She still loves me…which is why I have to stop her before it’s too late.

My Skylar is a STANDALONE novel and a companion to Jake Undone.

**Contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. It is only appropriate for adult readers age 18+

Longer Review:

4.5 stars.

The tears. good lord, the tears. How much heartbreak and loss can you handle? If you’re in the mood to ugly cry, grab a box of tissues, move away from people and get ready to let the feels take over.

I hate cheating books. I hate love triangles. I hate. I hate. I hate. They make me all angsty-faced and queasy and put me on edge in a bad-uncomfortable way and I usually avoid them like the plague. So, I was really unbelievably nervous about this book – I shouldn’t have been.

I hated what’s-his-face from the start. No really. He doesn’t get a name here. When we dive into the book, Skylar’s living with That Guy Who Makes Her Feel Safe and Mitch is sort of stalking her. We later find out why he’s channeling his inner Christian Grey and it’s not nearly as creepy as you’d think.

I am in awe of Mitch. I loved every single piece of him. I loved his stalkerish ways, his loyalty, his weeping orgasms, his backwards Yankee hat, and the way that he looks at Skylar. I loved it all. Skylar is one incredibly tough girl. However, as she ages she loses a bit of her strength and I hated that for her. It’s like the cancer sucked that sass and spark right out of her. I wanted her to fight for Mitch. I was heartbroken and devastated when she didn’t.

But not to worry, as I said before, Mitch is perfection. He’s dominant without being overbearing and sensitive without being weak. He suffers through so much and he never.ever.failed.me. If you haven’t yet noticed, I may love Mitch. My Skylar is a serious sexual simmer that rages into an inferno as soon as the plot allows it. OHMYGOD.

At the end I was a ball of mixed emotions, so turned on and yet crying wildly. I’ll just be over here wiping the tears from my chin. Loved this book!

Review: Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

Author: Colleen Hoover

Book: Point of Retreat (Slammed #2)

Other book in Series:

Slammed (Slammed #1)

tl;dr recommendation: This is a #MustRead series. It just is.

Book Summary:

Hardships and heartache brought them together… now it will tear them apart.

Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’

Longer Review:

This is a #MustRead series. It just is. I love Lake and Will immensely. I love their non-traditional family and their way of handling parenting problems and their fierce fierce love. I adored the introduction of new characters in this book – especially Kiersten. She’s the coolest butterflying eleven year old I have ever read about.

Written in Will’s POV, Colleen pulls out the little touches in this book that made all the difference. Julia’s presence is still very present, basagna makes another ill-timed appearance and that gnome with the red hat is brought back at just the right moment. The sarcasm is funny, the anger is real, and the angst is out of control. Point of Retreat is full of sexual tension, LOTS OF pumpkin carving, and yea….so much goddamn angst.

The angst got to me a bit. I think I was on such a high HIGH from Slammed, that when I slid into this one, I was surprised that there wasn’t as much poetry. Indeed, the points of conflict in Point of Retreat were pretty familiar: Lake took her anger too far, and Will was punished for crimes that he never committed. Of course, Lake’s young…and maybe I should cut her a fucking break because life dealt her a shit hand. *shakes Lake* BUT I DIGRESS.

Regardless, this book is beautifully written. The elegant words wrap around you, cocooning you in the story, letting you make it your own. The love between Lake and Will is gorgeous to watch, even when it’s falling apart. Will is one of my favorite characters, ever. Whether he’s acting as a father, a friend or a boyfriend, he’s completely genuine. His pain was my pain – I LOVED HIM.

This series is one that will stick with you and make you question all of your goals, wishes and desires. CoHo is an immediate one-click for me. always.  4.5 stars!

Review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

This post is part of my ongoing reviews/reading of the Outlander series – Read Outlander first. Potential spoilers ahead.

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Book: Voyager (Outlander #3)

Other Books in Series:

Outlander (Outlander #1) – my review is here
Dragonfly In Amber (Outlander #2) – my review is here
Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4)
The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5)
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6)
An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7)
The Space Between (Outlander #7.5 – a novella)
Written in My Heart’s Own Blood (Outlander #8)
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (Outlander #8.5 – a novella)
Moonlight And Howling (Outlander #9 – not yet finished)

Link to buy all 8 books here

tl;dr recommendation: The secrets are forgivable, the passion is real, and the journey is unforgettable

Book Summary:

From the author of the breathtaking bestsellers Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, the extraordinary saga continues.

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

Longer Review:

Sweet christ. I cursed more in this book than I have in any of the others, but this is also my favorite of the series so far. I don’t know why I get so angry with the characters when I KNOW that I’m just going to let them crawl back into my heart and do it all over again. I mean for fuck’s sake. JAMIE. Remember in the last book when I was so pissed at Claire I couldn’t see straight? Oh. Well, now it’s Jamie’s turn.

Until approximately 27% into this book I was really angry. AND THEN. The perfect scene happened. And it was like the rain fell lightly overnight, cooling the heat that was smothering me and I could finally breathe again. I spontaneously orgasmed. My heart burst from my chest. And all was right with the world.

We know from the blurb that Claire goes back in time to find Jamie now that she knows he’s alive – but twenty years have passed. TWENTY YEARS. Anything could have happened in those twenty years, and damnit, so much does. Can Claire accept the Jamie that he is now as opposed to the one that she remembers so long ago? It’s clear from the immediate reunion that they both burn for each other. The hot kisses and the firm grip of their love is undeniable to anyone who sees them. But as the truth unravels – as the secrets Jamie keeps start to spill out – can Claire forgive him? CAN I FORGIVE HIM?

There is a shit ton of angst, kidnapping, arson, prison, murder, glorious sex, shipwrecks, and even the return of a character that I never thought I’d see again. At one point I skipped through my kitchen and squealed while my husband gave me side eye and shook his head. At another point I had silent tears streaming down my face as a piece of my heart broke off.

This series is exceptional. Yes, it’s fucking long. Yes, Diana knows it. She actually makes fun of herself a little bit about the length of her books in this one and I found that refreshing. In all reality, this book is like 4 in one. There’s a lot packed into these pages that will keep you up at night and have you thinking about it during the day.I dreamed about this book, twining it into my sleep as well as my days. This book, like the others, is written extremely well. The attention to detail is outstanding and Diana knows just how far she can push you before you need a reprieve, and then she reels you back in with Jamie & Claire. Always Jamie & Claire.

The secrets are forgivable, the passion is real, and the journey is unforgettable. 5 Stars! On to Drums Of Autumn!