Stripped by Jasinda Wilder

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‘Grey I don’t approve of dancing. God does not approve of dancing.’ Mom to the rescue: ‘Now Erik, you know that’s not what the Scriptures say. You’re just being a cantankerous old dinosaur. David danced before the Lord. The Psalms mention dancing to honor the Lord in several passages.’ She glides to Daddy’s side and presses up against his arm, resting her hand on his shoulder. ‘Our daughter knows right from wrong, and you know it. She just wants to bring glory to God by using the talents He’s given her.’

Grey has grown up in a very religious household, and while she loves her religion, sometimes her father (a pastor) can make her life a bit suffocating. Now, the one person who was always there for her to talk to or to smooth things over with her father (her mom) is gone and Grey’s a bit lost. And things with her father only continue to get worst, especially when she tells him she plans to pursue her dream of film-making in… Hollywood (Land of Sin!!! ß her father’s words not mine) After arriving in Hollywood she proceeds to attend college on scholarship (as daddy’s disowned his little girl) and everything’s peachy until, her scholarship runs out…

I ride the bus line farther and farther away, asking anywhere and everywhere if they’re hiring. No one is. And then I see a ‘NOW HIRING’ sign. My stomach sinks when I see the name of the establishment: Exotic Nights Gentleman’s Club. The hiring notice says, ‘Now hiring exotic dancers. Inquire within for details.’ I may be a naïve pastor’s daughter from Macon, Georgia, but I know what a gentleman’s club is, what exotic dancer means.

Grey must not only wrestle with her moral compass, but also with the unwanted advances of the ‘gentlemen’ at the club. Enter a sexy movie star she must handle at her internship (with a producer) Grey’s life gets a bit crazier.

I give this a 4.3 out of 5 stars. I really liked Grey’s character and how in depth the author went into her life (and therefore her mind). Since I was able to experience her past with her I could better understand her dilemmas as well as the reasoning behind why she reacted to things the way she did. Dawson was also an interesting character, you don’t really get into his head but you do get to know him with Grey (kinda like if you were dating him yourself) I actually enjoyed getting to know him and loved how he respected her (famous movie star and an exotic dancer, very Pretty Womanish).

Broken Hart (The Hart Family #1) by Ella Fox

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Sabrina is the eighth woman in her office to interview for the position of Dante’s assistant. She’s sure that all the other women could work for him because he was a hard-ass, until she waked into his office…

It was extremely fortunate that I’d had time to compose myself and school my expression, because when Dante looked up and our eyes met for the first time, I felt a jolt of energy travel through my body like a remarkably strong static electric charge. I felt it everywhere, from the top of my head to my toes, and most shockingly in my sex, which clenched in response. It took everything I had not to swoon or blush, but somehow I managed it. I wanted him from that very first moment, but I had priorities that didn’t include genuflecting at my bosses’ feet.

The longer she works for him the harder it is to deny what she feels for him…

My feelings for Dante had evolved from a crush, to an infatuation, to something deeper. I tried always to be mindful of the fact that he had absolutely no interest in dating, and that he didn’t believe in marriage or committed relationships

I gave this a 2.8 out of 5 stars. Though I really enjoyed this story, I felt it left a lot to be desired. In my opinion the elicit affairs overpowered the story line, I really did like the characters and wanted more from them. Sabrina is strong but she tends to take the easy way out in order to avoid being hurt while Dante is the seemingly perfect man (he cooks, he cleans, is financially stable, handsome, etc) the only problem is he won’t commit. Something in his past has he convinced that marriage and relationships are the one thing that he should never do. This is the first in a series so I do have hope that as the series continues there will be more light shed on Sabrina and Dante as well as their families (don’t worry you do get closure on their relationship at the end of this book… but you’ll want to keep reading).

Reckless By Priscilla West

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Riley just happens to be at a bar with friends when pandemonium strikes after the night’s band is announced. Never has she seen people go crazy like this… so she decides to fight (and I mean there was almost some literal fighting) her way to the front of the stage when she hears him…

I’d been to a lot of concerts, but I’d never heard a voice like that before. Heart racing with more than anxiety, I was suddenly reminded of an old myth I read in high school: man-eating half-bird-half-woman creatures who would use their beautiful voices to lure men to their doom. Back then, it seemed like a silly story- what voice could have that effect on people? But now, listening to another soaring chorus, I was beginning to rethink that opinion. Was I listening to a male Siren?

After a strange and embarrassing mishap backstage Riley is sure she’s seen the last of her sexy ‘Stud’ when her job (accountant) brings them together once again.

No, it wasn’t a marathon. It was a mob, and they were headed in my direction. The throng of men appeared to be chasing someone in a white tank and black jeans. I couldn’t make out his face from this distance, but I could tell from his figure that he was fit. A few of the men behind him were waving around wooden baseball bats. It looked so much like Frankenstein’s monster getting chased out of town by angry villagers that I half-expected to see some of them carrying pitchforks and torches.

Yeah, he literal ran into her for their next meeting. She is the accountant assigned to get his band back on track and he’s the man-whorish lead singer of said band. She wants to ignore their attraction and he just sees that as a challenge… what could go wrong?

I give this book a 3.7 out of 5 stars. This isn’t a standalone, it is continued in Fearless. I did like the characters overall and found them to be entertaining. I liked Riley’s sense of self as well as her knack for getting in trouble. What I didn’t like was the way that she allowed men to treat her, I didn’t like that just because she got burned once she ran away. I wanted her to be stronger in that sense, there needed to be a confrontation or something. Jax was kinda complicated and I liked that about his character. I really can’t wait to see where they go from here and how they will grow and deal with their issues (and craziness) in the future.

Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell #1) by R.L. Mathewson

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Oh, no, no, no, no, no! Haley murmured in disbelief as she watched her pink, white, and yellow tulips yanked viciously out of the ground. She shoved her chair away from her computer desk and stormed towards the front door. She was going to kill him this time, there was no doubt about it.

So Jason Bradford isn’t the neighbor that Haley expected… Rather he seems to be the neighbor sent straight from hell. Haley, a relatively shy 29 year old teacher had lived in her home for a mere 4 months when Jason moved in next door…

Within the first ten minutes of his arrival he’d backed into her mailbox, spilled fast food wrappers from his car onto his property, which had quickly made their way onto her immaculate lawn, and relieved himself on the great old oak tree in his front lawn with a sheepish smile and a shrug in her horrified direction.

After having literally one of the worst first impressions ever, it’s interesting to see how Jason and Haley learn to get along… without killing one another.

I give this book a 4.4 out of 5 stars. It was really enjoyable filled to the brim with hilarious moments (Yeah, I got some looks that questioned my sanity when I would crack up while reading). Jason was my favorite character because he was hilarious, but he was also really honest throughout the whole thing (with Haley and the readers). I also liked Haley’s progression through the story she really changed and for the better (Jason too, he starts out a manwhore). What I really didn’t like about this was that even though it was really cool that the story was told from both Jason’s and Haley’s POV, it didn’t always transition well from one to the other (you kind of had to power through… a couple times I thought I was missing a page until I finished the page and figured out what had happened).

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid (Knitting in the City #1)

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… two large fingers gave my shoulder a gentle, but firm, tap. I turned feeling steady but somewhat dazed, and looked from the hand, now on my elbow, up the strong arm, around the curve of the bulky shoulder, and over the angular jaw and chin, until my eyes met the breath-hijacking sight of Sir Handsome McHotpant’s piercing blue eyes. I cringed. Actually, it was more of a wince followed by a cringe. And his name wasn’t Handsome McHotpants. I didn’t know his name, but I recognized him as one of the afternoon security guards for the building- the one that I’d been harmlessly admiring-slash-stalking for the past five weeks.

So this is officially the worst day of Janie’s life, not only has she found out that her boyfriend has cheated on her and subsequently moved out of his apartment. But she gets to work to find that she is fired, and is escorted to the exit by none other than the Sir Handsome McHotpants (Embarrassing). Lucky for her McHotpants is not what he seems…

My heart skipped two beats. I turned full around. Oh my God it’s you. ‘Oh my God it’s you.” I realized too late that I said and though the same thing in unison. He gave me a whisper of a smile, his blue eyes moving over me: lips, neck, shoulders, chest, stomach, hips, thigh, legs, shoes. The slow deliberateness of his perusal made me shiver even as I felt a dismaying hot flush rise to my cheeks. His gaze lingered on my shoes before it traveled upward again. After a long pause, his blue stare met mine again, ‘Yep. It’s me.’ I was speechless; my usually cluttered brain was blank. I could only gape at him. Thankfully, Elizabeth spoke from behind me. ‘Hi, I’m Elizabeth.’ His eyes moved beyond me to where she stood. I took the opportunity to make some semblance of an attempt to gather my wits from where they lay scattered: on the floor, on the bar, on the ceiling, like blood from a gunshot victim.

Let’s just say the romance between Janie accountant extraordinaire and trivial fact queen and Quinn (McHotpants) Sullivan is anything but ordinary.

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I loved this book! Not only was it a “smart” romance it was hilarious! I have to say that Janie cracked me up with her endless vat of knowledge and her obliviousness to her surroundings. I also liked the fact that this book seemed to have a lot of different elements: romance, suspense, action, and comedy (mostly romance and comedy though). Though there is a second part to Janie and Quinn’s story I felt this one can be read as a standalone, but you’ll probably still want to read the next one. Also, don’t let the series title fool you (if you think knitters are boring if you think they’re cool and interesting people, you were right). I would definitely check this book out I mean even the dedication made me chuckle.

Dedication. To my computer: I couldn’t have written this without you. To the software developers responsible for spellcheck: You are my everyday heroes. To Karen: I hope this makes you laugh and makes you proud. To my readers (all 3 of you): Thank you.

Power and Possession (Reckless #1) by C.C. Gibbs

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Oops. She skidded to a stop on the threshold of a large stateroom, the couple on the sofa went still, and she met hooded, amber-eyed gaze of her host. ‘Oh-God,sorry… wrong room,’ she stammered, feeling like a deer in the headlights under that hard, assessing stare, as well as seriously under dressed, although every other woman at the party was in a bikini too. ‘I was… just… looking for the loo.’ She started backing up. ‘Wait’ tossing a feathered sex toy behind the sofa, the gorgeous man on the couch quickly rolled off the woman beneath him and, coming to his feet, zipped up his khaki shorts. ‘Use this one’.

This is how Nicole meets Rafe, a controlling alpha male who sleeps with a different girl every night sometimes more. Nicole in no saint either though, she knows what she likes and she typically gets it. So what will happen when two people used to getting their way collide? Plenty.

‘I’m freaking out,’ he finally said. ‘Because this situation falls into the category of unnecessary complications and, as a rule, I generally avoid attachments.’ He smiled wryly. ‘Always, as a matter of fact. So’ – he took a quick breath- no disrespect, but I’m going to pass on this’

Obviously Nicole is able to talk Rafe out of his hesitations about their relationship but his background and her uncle… his hesitations are the least of their problems. (I mean let’s be honest with hackers, assassins and sex clubs what could go wrong? *all the sarcasm in the world was in that statement in case you were confused by the way* 😉 )

I gave this book a 2.3 out of 5 stars. For me this book was a mix between 50 shades of Gray and a Harlequin novel and it was definitely a bit smuttier than I’m used to. I liked the premise of the book but the characters left a lot to be desired. Nicole had the potential to be a really strong character, she speaks her mind and is very confident, but she comes off as combative and winey. Rafe had potential too, his past is complicated and he has relationship issues but his background is vague and sparsely mentioned. This book in my opinion had great potential but fell short because it had a lot of sex scenes but no real character development. As it is the first in a series I still have hope for the development of Nicole and Rafe and hope to learn more about them as characters in the future.

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen

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Even though the flight isn’t one bit smoother, my anxiety loosens a bit. And then an entirely new kind of anxiety grips me. The plane starts losing height…. An uneasy feeling starts forming inside me. This hasn’t happened before. Still, I have full confidence in Tristen’s abilities. There is no reason to worry, so I do my best not to. Until a deafening sound comes from outside.

Aimee is getting married, she can’t wait to marry her childhood and best friend Chris. She decides to fly to Brazil (where they will marry) a day early on his private plane with Tristen, the pilot (and her driver) . Let’s just say that pre-wedding preparations are the least of her problems when the plane has a malfunction.

Chris. My wonderful fiancé, who I have known since I was a small child and with whom I practically grew up. With his round, blue eyes and stubborn blond curls, he still looks boyish, even at the age of twenty-seven and dressed in expensive suits. I’m thinking about him when the crash comes.

Literally everything that can go wrong has, Aimee and Tristen’s plane has crashed… in the middle of the Amazon rainforest (rainy season no less). Anything you think would help them to be found, is broken (flight plan? They deviated from the course to land. Radio transmissions? Radios broken. Black box? Ruined. Yeah, life’s sucking for them right now). The only things really going for them are 1. The plane is missing a wing but it’s inhabitable and 2. Tristen has mad survival skills.

That’s why I suspect his refuge in depressing poetry is related to those less joyous experiences he keeps from me. With every poem he shares, that inexplicable urge to hug him-or find a way, any way, to comfort him-grows. I want to make his dark cloud disappear. I need it to disappear, because I can’t stand to see him tormented.
I gave this book a 4.6 out of 5 stars.This book does a good job of letting you get to know the characters gradually over time and the more you learn about them the more you can understand about their personalities (which is really cool). I really liked the transitions that the characters went through; I enjoyed seeing them change and ultimately grow. They both had traumatic pasts they needed to deal with and being trapped together really made them depend on and trust one another. I also appreciated that we the readers got closure, life or death, in everyone’s ending and that nothing was really abrupt (sometimes authors can rush things and leave me confused).

Eversea (Eversea #1) by Natasha Boyd

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You know you’re in the Lowcountry when the steering wheel in your old red pickup is slippery from humidity, the news on the radio is all about the projected path of the latest Atlantic hurricane and the road kill you narrowly miss smearing further is a five foot long alligator.

Keri Ann Butler of the Butler Cove (Island) Butlers is stuck. Her parents and grandma are dead and per their agreement, her brother is taking his turn getting a degree.  Keri Ann is forced to face selfish townspeople who are determined to take her family home from her (It’s the town’s historical site, a great potential tourist spot, and it’s falling apart due to the Butler’s current lack of money).

Well, I really couldn’t tell the color of his eyes in the shadows, but I knew exactly what color they were, a deep grey-green. I hadn’t been hiding under a rock for the last five years. And I certainly didn’t need to double check the tabloid magazine Jazz had been reading, which definitely did not do him justice, to know that standing in front of me, Keri Ann Butler, outside the Snapper Grill in Butler Cove, population nine thousand, and hundreds of miles away from him expected location in Hollywood, was none other than Jack Eversea.

When Hollywood hotshot Jack Eversea decides to escape the tabloids and his cheating girlfriend, he ends up in Butler’s Cove. In the small town he hopes to stay incognito, but a man needs to eat. Enter Keri Ann, who is working as a waitress at the local restaurant

To my credit, I only gaped like a goldfish for a few moments before my prickly nature- always my ‘go to’ when I am nervous or caught off guard- made its presence known. I seriously cannot control myself sometimes. “I supposed you want your burger now?” I’m sure that wasn’t the first thing he expected me to say. Frankly, I surprised myself, too. It didn’t seem to stop me from going on though. “First of all, don’t lurk in the shadows, its creepy. And second of all, you were so rude, give me one reason I should let you in after closing?” Seriously. I said all that. To Jack Eversea.

After their strange first meeting they come to an understanding. Keri Ann will purchase Jack’s groceries for him at the local grocery store and in return he will help her renovate the family home (because before he was a mega-famous movie star he was in construction… Real convenient -.-).

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. This is not a standalone it has a sequel and it needs it. I gave it 4 stars because I’m going to be honest there were some parts that were really frustrating (and not always in a good way). I did enjoy the heroine’s sense of humor and her personality was a bit like mine (which I liked) but I didn’t really like her actions as a character. She wasn’t self-assured which was one of the things she had to face up to as a character, but I wanted her to find herself more and I didn’t want her to have to rely on others as much as she did. Basically I felt she had more potential as a character and really hope that she is able to grow more in the second book.

Oh, and in case I forgot to say… Keri Ann is an avid reader and Jack is famous for acting as the main character in the movie adaptation of her favorite book (I liked that idea, they definitely should have worked that angle more 😉 ).

Come Away with Me (With me in Seattle #1) Kristen Proby

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CURRENTLY FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE 🙂

 

I inhale the salty air and stare out at the sound once again as a red-sailed boat gently glides out on the water. The early morning sunshine is just barely beginning to sparkle around it, and I raise my camera again to capture the moment. ‘What the fuck are you doing?’ I twirl at the sound of the angry voice and gaze into blue eyes that reflect the bright morning water. They are surrounded by a very, very pissed-off face. Not merely angry. Livid. ‘Excuse me?’ I squeak, finding my voice. ‘Why can’t you all just leave me the fuck alone?’

To say the meeting between Natalie and Luke was interesting is an understatement. Natalie is a professional photographer and Luke is well… I’ll let you read to find out his profession.

‘Hey, I’m really sorry.’ ‘You must be awfully full of yourself to think that everyone with a camera is taking your picture.’ I continue walking, and of course he’s caught up with me, matching my stride. Why is he still here? He clears his throat. ‘Can I ask your name?’ ‘No,’ Irespond. ‘Um, why?” he sounds confused. Hell, I’m confused. ‘I don’t give my name out to my muggers.’ ‘Muggers?’…. ‘I’m not a mugger.’ ‘You tried to steal my camera. What do you call it?’

Though they got off to a rough start Luke is able to make amends and charm Natalie. Though he’s hot a she’s very interested in getting to know him better Natalie’s a bit cautious, especially with her past.

As I read this book there were times I wanted to punch characters in the face (more Luke than Natalie) but for the most part I was pretty content to laugh at Natalie’s sassy inner commentary and ‘Awww’ at Luke and Natalie’s mushiness.

I give this a 3.9 out of 5 stars. I really liked Natalie and the way the author portrayed her. She is a strong independent woman who also gets to do what she loves for a living, but she has her weaknesses. She has trust issues and can also be insecure (and with her background I don’t blame her for the trust issues). My favorite thing about her is that even though she has faced (in my opinion) more than her fair share of tragedies, she is still able to be true to herself. I also thought you should know that although this book can be read as a standalone there is a second part to Luke and Natalie’s story (Fight with Me) as well as 5 other books about various members of her and Luke’s families.