Hope over fear.. Book Review

I honestly liked this book, didn’t love it.. but I did enjoy it.. I would most definitely recommend this one to a friend!

The Blurb:

th.Today is the day – the day that the man I love marries someone else. I don’t deserve pity or sympathy. I’ve made my bed. I left Mason and ripped his heart to pieces as I ran away. The guilt and sorrow consume me, threatening to choke me everyday.

But today is a new beginning. Today is the day I will wake up with a renewed resolve and determination to do better … to be better … to be worthy. My name is Sara Preston, and this is my story about what happens after.

Hope Over Fear can be read as a stand alone novel.

My review:

When I read the blurb right away I was sucked in. I thought this was going to be a heart breaker. Tear jerker, even though I’ve never cried at a book before, but you know I’m trying my hardest. What I’m not expecting is to snort out laughing and get big grins on my face. Grins that a Cheshire Cat gets when he has the mouse in his mouth with the tail hanging out…This book was so refreshing. Ok enough, let me tell you about it.

After ending not only a best friendship, but also the relationship that developed from it, Sara Preston is trying to redevelop her life. For way too long, based on her wrong decisions, she has felt like the villain and that she doesn’t deserve to be happy. But when her ex Mason moves on with someone else, she finally realizes it’s time to rewrite her own life story and give herself a chance to find and be loved.

The chemistry between both of them is totally hot…J.A Derouen totally knows how to write some seriously sexy scenes. I loved all of the supporting characters in this book as well. You can tell that this group of people totally love each other and view themselves as a family. I cannot wait to get my hands on Alex’s story! I also think there may be a budding relationship between some of the characters but I’ll leave it at that.

This is book #1 in a series of stand-alones, you can purchase a copy, here.

Beautiful… broken… rules

Now to be honest, I could figure this book out pretty quick. HOWEVER I loved this book! What a great story! I am a sucker for HEA!

The Synopsis

The most valuable lesson Emerson Moore ever learned was from her parents: never get too attached to someone else. th.That’s why this hard-partying college student plays by her own code of bedroom conduct, refusing to stay with the same guy for too long. She gets all the pleasure of having a good time without the messiness of a relationship. So what if frat house–hopping has earned her a certain reputation around campus? At least no one gets hurt this way—especially her.

When ridiculously gorgeous Jaxon Riley moves in next door, Emerson’s not sure how long her vow against emotional intimacy can last. Jaxon’s tattoo, muscles, and sexy voice make him tempting, but he also seems to really understand her…until his jealous ex-girlfriend and Emerson’s life-changing discovery about her parents get thrown into the mix. After everything she’s been through, can Emerson handle a real relationship? Or will breaking her rules just lead to a broken heart?

My Review:

I really enjoyed the reversal of roles in this book. We have a female that is a player and hiding demons of her past behind her tough-girl persona. Jaxon pursues her in a very understated but effective way. This was not a case of insta-love. I found their relationship to be very believable for a college romance.

Ever since they first meet, they feel an instant pull, an attraction towards each other. Unable to resist, they give into the lust and It.Was.Steamy

This story also had amazing secondary characters. Quinn, Cole, and Jace. I loved these characters just as much as the primary characters, and I would give anything to be in their little click to hang out and watch movies or catch a frat party. Cole and Quinn are like the worlds best friends EVER!!! And then Jace, OMG he needs his own book. I want to know so much more about him. Hell, I want to know more about all of these characters. As much as I want Jace to have a book I feel like I need a little bit more from Jax and Emerson. What happens next, can everything just automatically be a HEA between them? I mean the guy in the end was preparing…”for a future” with her and I want know I need to read about it. Read this book, whatever you do it’s amazing and will not leave you disappointed.

This is a series of Stand-alones, you can purchase a copy here.

Arouse.. Book Review

th.I FINALLY got around to read this book! I can understand all the hype!

The Blurb:

“One day I’m going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me,” he said.

And he did.

Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv’s inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure.

But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other as dark secrets and temptations rise to the surface

My Review:

From its honest style of writing, to the author’s unique approach to storytelling, Arouse defies the typical romance novel formula. Rather than conforming to what would be considered ‘right’, this book focuses on what is real…and real life isn’t always pretty. Instead of shooting for ‘predictable’, this book became relatable…and, simply put, I loved it.

Arouse (book 1) opens up three years into Olivia West’s marriage to Professor Dean West. They had met when she was an undergraduate student at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dean was doing his post doctorate teachings. They married two years later. Story will provide flashbacks into their meeting and courtship set against the backdrop of marriage troubles. Most is what any normal couple goes through; some are misunderstandings and miscommunications, but also their pasts coming back to haunt them.

Arouse offered me the very best of a hero, sizzling sex scenes and enough drama to keep me at the edge of my seat glued to me Kindle. But it also provided a glimpse into a normal couple; two tangible and lovable characters dealing with life’s ups and downs.

I seriously want more!!! Good thing this is a three-part series! And the other books are already out! 😉

This book can be bought on Amazon here.

The Shadow of the Wind *Book Review*

Wow! What a fun book! I knew within a few pages this is the book I have been waiting for to get me out of my reading slump! Even though its 500+ pages, I read it relatively quick, it’s that good!

thCheck out the Synopsis

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

My full review

Shadow of the Wind is a bit of a humbling experience; I’m truly not certain I can do it justice. If you’re a book lover, someone who loves to read, who appreciates stories with realistic characters and vivid locales, put Shadow on your list.

Told over a span of many years, much of the action takes place in post-second world war Barcelona. On Daniel’s eleventh birthday to his horror he can no longer picture his deceased mothers face. In an attempt to make the day special his father, a book store owner, brings Daniel to a magical place, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and encourages Daniel to choose one book from this repository for the cast off books of the world. Daniel’s selection, The Shadow of the Wind, by Julian Carax captures his boyhood imagination and undying admiration.

He can’t wait to get his hands on more by this author. Daniel soon learns that Carax has disappeared and his books are just as elusive as the author. Early on he discovers someone has been searching for and destroying all Carax’s works. The mystery behind author and works becomes an obsession that will haunt and play a part in Daniel’s life for years.

Amazon purchase link

A great start to a Cozy Mystery!

I am a HUGE fan of the Cozy Mystery genre… What’s not to like? There’s, murder, mayhem, mystery, hot-swoony guys, and sexual content in some without going overboard! LOVE IT!

A few years ago I was out shopping and found a display of Cozy Mystery novels on sale, I was completely stoked! I didn’t know where to start, what to pick… so I sort of went “eeny, meany, miney, moe! I just chose you!” And I definitely was not let down! I found the awesome author Kate Collins. She writes the Flower-shop Mysteries, along with other things…. Unfortunately, since I didn’t know what I was choosing, I picked up book five in the series.

However, I did read this book. How the series is written, it does all flow together but if you “accidentally” bought a book in the middle of a series you wouldn’t be too lost. Don’t let this scare you away! Definitely start from the beginning! Like I’m doing now I finished book one last night… LOVE how the series starts out!

thSmall Blurb

Abby Knight is the proud owner of her hometown flower shop, but a new low-cost competitor is killing her profits-and a black SUV just rammed her vintage Corvette in a hit-and-run. She’s determined to track down the driver, but when the trail turns deadly, the next flower arrangement might be for her own funeral.

My Review

Mum’s the Word kicks off the first of the Flower Shop Mysteries & what an amusing story.

Kate Collins does a terrific job linking a lot of interesting ribbons into her delightful plot.

Mum’s the Word is a smartly crafted, well written mystery. Kate does an excellent job keeping it entertaining as she steers a course of mayhem, family dynamics, fun & humor.

Abby is a feisty protagonist who speaks her mind & sticks her nose in places she shouldn’t. She is extremely likable & her scenes w/ her family are hilarious.

Enter Marco Salvare… hotness. Marco is dark, enigmatic, esoteric being that adds to the series.

Did I mention hot hot?

The chemistry between Abby & Marco was like watching a fireworks display. Enough said!

Marco! Quick let me grab an icy bottle of water.

Abby’s flower shop, Bloomers, is a rare gem. Her employees are enthralling.

Collins writes w/ a warmth that enhances this adorable series.

Kudos to her for the cozy feel that covers you from the first page.

To purchase a copy click here

This post is simply just to “highlight” this series. The author has no part in it 🙂

Do you have a favorite Cozy Mystery Series?

How ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ Got Its Name


John Steinbeck—who would have been 113 today—wrote more than thirty books, and The Grapes of Wrath, which you were most likely assigned to read in high school, is widely considered to be his best work. The novel was published in 1939 to great acclaim, both critically and commercially; it “was a phenomenon on the scale of a national event. It was publicly banned and burned by citizens, it was debated on national talk radio; but above all, it was read.” It was also the New York Times’ bestselling book of 1939, and won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

As for the title, where did the phrase “The Grapes of Wrath” come from? As David Greetham notes  in his 1998 book Textual Transgressions: Essays Toward the Construction of a Bibliography:

As is well-known, it was Carol Henning, Steinbeck’s wife, who provided the almost-finished novel with its title, drawn, of course…

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Raw *Book Review*

The Blurb

thGrowing up the way I did, you’d think I’d be more screwed up than what I actually am.

Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street.

Best decision I ever made.

Now, at the age of twenty six, I’m educated, employed and damn good at my job.

My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it’s like to grow up unloved.

But the saying is true.

The world makes way for those who know where they are going.

That’s me.

I know where I’m going and I’ll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace.

But then there’s him.

I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me.

He makes me feel.

It’s unconventional.

But it’s real.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker.

So am I.

This isn’t a story.

This is my life.

My Review

3 out of 5 stars!

Wow, it seems like I am in a reading-rut. I can’t seem to find a book that grips my attention! I should have known better then to read one that was super popular 😉

Raw, is read as a standalone There were two ways it could have gone….but each would have been a conclusion if this was indeed intended as a standalone, but instead it was designed to leave readers wanting more…..why?

Okay, as far as repetitiveness goes we were soooo over the term “babe” by the end of this book that made me want to scream. I am all good with the hero reaping this term of endearment on the heroine, in fact, I love that term. However, when practically every character, male and female in a story constantly refers to each other as babe and it’s so constant, the endearing term loses its meaning between the two MC’s. It becomes grating instead of charming.

So, whilst I did enjoy Twitch as a character and the engaging way the author brought him to life, the similarities in this and other books affected our enjoyment of Raw as a whole.

Now, this could just be me and I don’t know if others have made these comparisons as we haven’t read the reviews for Raw. I know this book is hugely successful and that readers are passionate about books they love and we can see why they are that way with Raw, but this is my opinion on how I perceived Raw and what my overall reaction was to the story and everyone is entitled to their opinion.

“You freak me out. You’re intense. And you kinda scare the shit out of me. But I like it.” – Lexi

I can absolutely understand the shock factor of how this story ended and for readers who experienced this type of ending for the first time, it would have blown them away and we can also understand readers being immersed and loving this story. When reading a book we always judge it on its own merit and most of the time we don’t factor other books into the equation, but for us, when we’re taken out of the moment and instead of reading, we find ourselves stopping to discuss certain aspects of the story which have a resemblance to books we’ve previously read and loved….well, the flow and the enchantment of immersing ourselves in that story is broken and sadly, this was the case with Raw.

I will definitely read more from this author!

Amazon Purchase link

Rainfall *Book Review*

thThe Synopsis

Psychological Romance:

Paige’s father has Alzheimers, and her fiancé is shot and killed in an armed robbery. Paige fights her depression and pulls herself out of the dark place that she has succumbed to, with monumental effort and a new-found determination to live her life to the fullest, doing things that both terrify and exhilarate her.

When Paige meets Adam, the attraction is instantaneous. Adam grew up in an orphanage and has no recollection of his life before the age of six. Paige falls head over heels in love and embraces a happiness she never dreamed possible. Until the day she finds Adam in bed with another woman.

Wanting nothing more to do with him, Paige cuts Adam out of her life, until she receives a mysterious visitor, who reveals secrets about Adam’s past that shock Paige to her very core.

Determined to fight for the man that she loves, Paige finds herself on a journey that will change her life forever.

My Review

3 out of 5 stars!

The blurb was enticing, the concept was great! This story was such a roller-coaster for me. I was hoping for some indifference.

Holding out for that moment where it would of knocked the ball out of the park… sadly, it just never happened. 

I liked the concept of the storyline, but the writing style was all too familiar and predictable. In my opinion. the MCs Adam & Paige’s relationship was an instant love connection. Throughout the development of the story events happened too quickly and it felt rushed. Most loved this novel where as it was just not my cup of tea.

This story could have been amazing…but it fell a little flat for me.… this would be a great book to read on a rainy afternoon, give it a try and tell me what you think!

Amazon Purchase link

*Cover Reveal* Persuading Him by Michelle Dare

PersuadingHimCRBannerTitle: Persuading Him

Series: The Heiress, Book 1

Author: Michelle Dare

Photo: Sara Eirew

Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative Covers

Anticipated Release Date: March 16, 2015

Genre: Erotic Romance


Kasi Markson has been in the public eye since she was a small child. Her father is the founder of Markson Aviation, a top name in the private jet industry. When her parents go through a public divorce battle, she is shoved into the spotlight. Now in her late twenties, she lives a comfortable life, but likes to keep the media at a distance.

PersuadingHimTeaseRadek Cole is a retired Air Force officer who agrees to a last minute job. He flies the rich and famous around the country in their private aircraft. Kasi needs a pilot for her upcoming trip and Mr. Cole comes highly recommended. Little does she know that one encounter would change everything.

Kasi has an immediate and intense attraction to her new pilot and is used to getting what she wants. Initially, he turns down her advances, but her skills of persuasion are no match for him. Unfortunately, the media won’t leave them alone. What Kasi doesn’t know is that she isn’t the only one who has a public past.

Find out what happens when the heiress meets the pilot.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24822200-persuading-him

About the Author

Michelle Dare is a Jersey girl living over the border in Pennsylvania. She started out as a reader, then became a book blogger. She loves the book community and thought to try her hand at writing. She writes contemporary and erotic romance.

She is a married mom with two wonderful children and a German Shepherd, who she considers her third child. She is a lover of books, music, and movies. Her favorite band is Maroon 5 and has too many favorite movies to list. Paranormal romance is her favorite genre to read.

Social Links

Website: http://michelledare.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelledare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michelle_dare
tsu: https://www.tsu.co/michelle_dare
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/michelledare
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/michelledare