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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

REVIEW: THE HOOK-UP (GAME ON #1) by Kristen Callihan

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…
Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.
That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.
All’s fair in love and football…Game on.



*New Adult/Contemporary Romance with a HEA - Recommended for readers 17 and older.

Kristen Callihan is a child of the 80’s, which means she's worn neon skirts, black-lace gloves, and combat boots (although never all at once) and can quote John Hughes movies with the best of them. A life long daydreamer, she finally realized that the characters in her head needed a proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She believes that falling in love is one of the headiest experiences a person can have, so naturally she writes romance. Her love of superheroes, action movies, and history led her to write historical paranormals. She lives in the Washington D.C. area and, when not writing, looks after two children, one husband, and a dog — the fish can fend for themselves.
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I've been in a bit of a book slump lately and just happened to find this book in my inbox and decided to give it a shot. I was sure it was going to be another typical college athlete/manwhore meets girl and changes all his ways for her, but I was SO wrong. 
Drew is definitely long-term BBF material. He's not just a football star who has girls in and out of his bed every night and doesn't care about much else. Drew is really smart, super kind and little misunderstood. He's just as insecure as anyone, only it's not that he thinks he isn't worth the praise and fame he gets, he just doesn't want it to be ALL that he is to anyone. 
Anna is a character that a lot of readers will relate to, myself included. An outcast in high school, she can't possibly accept that anyone like Drew could really choose her and she'll do anything to stay out of the spotlight he lives in. Except Drew won't give here the option to stay away. Anna and Drew's chemistry is off the charts and you can't help but be drawn into their relationship. I was completely invested...and aroused, the sex scenes were super hot.
The writing was perfect and I was sucked in from the very beginning.  I've already gone back and reread most of it because of all of the feels I get while reading it. It's smart, it's funny, but mostly it's authentic, and I'm obsessed. This is a book that I will pick up again and again. This is my first read from this author but it will definitely not be my last!! 

*I received an ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review

**COVER REVEAL** THE KEYS TO JERICHO by Ren Alexander


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jericho
Wild Sparks’ Hadley Beckett isn’t the only Beckett with a broken past and a story to tell… Thirty-year-old Jared Beckett has always lived his life unconsciously, contemptuously, single-handedly, and on his own terms, not caring what people think of him, or thinking much of the people who do care. His mother’s abandoning him when he was a toddler laid the bitter foundation in which he proceeded to build upon, but that was only the launch of his downward spiral. His father tried to do the best he could as a single parent, and even though Jared was an honor student and is now a talented structural engineer, he’s always felt slighted and compared to his older sister Hadley, increasing his hostility. Despite his antipathy and aversion to being close to anyone, becoming a master at hiding his internal struggles, he has two friends, Dash and Rio, but even they don’t know the extent of his eternal anguish. His friends tirelessly try to change his life for the better, yet their efforts to help him find a love connection are fruitless because of Jared’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of love, feeling distrustful of people from his own mother’s inability to love him. Adding to his foundation of resentment, and unbeknownst to anyone, when Jared was 16, he had met a girl in school who made him question his enduring doubts. They became fast friends, but feeling oddly different about her and not knowing how or why he wanted something more from their friendship, he became frustrated when she didn’t seem to return his advances. Their friendship grew strained, forced, and painful. On his last day of school, he finally said goodbye to her and didn’t look back, yet never moving forward, caught up in her memory, and regrets of what could have been. Nearly 14 years after he said goodbye, Jared has returned to his hometown of Annapolis for the summer, as well as to his dark memories. However, with a new light illuminating them, revelations about his covert friendship are revealed, and as his secretive nature and progressing resentment deteriorates any relationships he has left, in an unexpected move, he reaches out to help her. With her in his life again, will he become even more entrenched in his acrimony or is she the only one who can bring down his walls, unlock Jared Beckett’s unconscious heart, and revive him before it’s too late for both of them?

cf998f609347f048ace815f4f06d62bea   tumblr_md7spzY2Jq1rkoc0bo1_5001   REN BANNER
CHASING THE WILD SPARKS
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DARING THE WILD SPARKS
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IGNITING THE WILD SPARKS
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  I was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. I have a B.S. in criminal justice from West Liberty University. Currently, I live outside Detroit, Michigan with my husband, two daughters, and two cats. Writing has always been a secret passion of mine and I finally worked up the courage to publish my first novel, "Chasing the Wild Sparks."  
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TK2J COVER

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

**RELEASE DAY BLITZ, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY** BONE DEEP by Brooklyn Skye

Bone Deep RDL baner 
Bone Deep

The boy who wants forgiveness… Haunted by the train accident his father instigated, college freshman Krister Ledoux is obsessed with finding the person sending him cryptic hate mail. He knows it’s one of them—a family member of one of the accident victims, and he’s willing to go to hell and back to find out which one. The girl he can’t forget… She was a stranger who kissed him in the middle of the train station, and now she’s the girl who pleads with her eyes for Krister to be the distraction she’s so desperate for. Krister doesn’t know what it is about her, why he’s sucked into playing Cambria’s game… All he knows is that when he’s with her, he isn’t consumed with thoughts of the crash. The collision that can’t be avoided… Cambria doesn’t know who Krister is—that he’s the son of the town’s most infamous killer, and he knows if his true identity surfaces he’ll lose her forever. However secrets can’t stay buried forever, and now Krister must fight to prove that their bone-deep connection is far more powerful than the hatred she now has toward him.


She stares at me, tracing her finger over my face, my eyebrows, the two-day-old stubble on my jaw. I catch her hand and kiss her knuckles, then wrist. “It’s just…” Jesus, how do I say this? “My life’s a little complicated right now, and I’m trying not to drag you into the middle of it.” The look she gives me is one I’m starting to recognize. The one that makes it seem like she understands there’s something more I want to tell her, but can’t. Or don’t know how. “On top of that…I’m a dickhead. And being with me will ultimately result in me hurting you, and I don’t want to hurt you.” “Actually…” She lowers my palm to her thigh, narrowing her gaze onto mine. “…you being concerned about hurting me is very non-dickhead-ish of you.” Little by little, she slides my hand up her leg and around her ass. “Besides, what if I want to be in the middle of it?” I slam my eyes shut, my fingers burning at the touch of her. She doesn’t know what she’s asking for. Being with me—being constantly reminded of her dead mother—will slowly but surely kill her inside. And I’m not a murderer like my father.

Brooklyn Skye

Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. She writes young adult and new adult fiction. You can follow her on Twitter as @brooklyn__skye or visit her web site for updates, teasers, giveaways, and more.  She is the author of FRAGILE LINE, STRIPPED, Without You, and STRIPPED Without You

**RELEASE DAY BLITZ, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY** THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel Harris

We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch of Rachel Harris' THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING! THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING is the first book in Rachel's The Fine Art of Pretending Series published by Spencer Hill Contemporary.

The Fine Art of Pretending
 According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player. With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time. But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.
  An exhale of breath leaves Brandon’s lips, almost like a laugh, and he scoots closer to me on the blanket. I twist my legs under myself, sitting tall as I face him. He cups my chin and tilts it toward him, drowning me in the now dark-green depths of his eyes, the cologne I gave him for his birthday filling my head. It’s woodsy and yummy and I always loved how it smelled on the store testers, but on Brandon, it’s even sexier. My eyes flutter closed, and I inhale again, this time slowly. Goose bumps prickle my arms, and my head gets fuzzy. Brandon slides his hand down the column of my neck and brings the other up, threading his fingers through the hair at my nape. His breath fans across my cheek, and everything south of my bellybutton squeezes tight. When his mouth first meets mine, it’s hesitant, questioning. But as I move my lips with his, he quickly grows bolder, coaxing them apart. Desire, pure and raw, electrifies my veins as his tongue sweeps my mouth. A whimpering sound springs from my chest, and instinctively, I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him closer. Needing more. My teeth graze his full bottom lip, and I pull it, sucking on it gently. He moans and knots his fingers in my hair, and a thrill dances down my back. Brandon is an amazing kisser, just as I knew he would be. I have no control over my body’s reactions. I lose myself in his lips, his tongue, and his strong arms, forgetting time and space and even my surroundings—until Gabi’s snicker brings reality crashing around us, reminding me we have an audience. And that I’m kissing Brandon. We break apart, out of breath, and stare into each other’s eyes. That was unexpected.

 Award-winning and Bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls next door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing. An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, and LOVES talking with readers. 


**RELEASE DAY LAUNCH, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY** HE'S SO FINE (LUCKY HARBOR #11) by Jill Shalvis

NOW AVAILABLE
For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor.
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For all the same reasons that I pick up any other Jill Shalvis, Lucky Harbor book, because they are sweet and fun and I fall in love with each new character. After meeting Cole in In His Kiss, I couldn't wait to read his story. 
18 & over due to adult language and situations. Contemporary Romance Lovers. 
I fell in love even harder with Cole and Olivia after reading their story and getting to really know who they were. We also get a little bit more info from the tragedy that killed Gil and the secret that left Cole questioning his friendship with Gil. Heartbreaking.  The first real interaction between Cole and Olivia was hilarious and I instantly fell for them as a couple. I love the banter that goes on between Cole, Tanner and Sam. They really do give eachother a hard time but all in the name of their friendship and closeness. 
Olivia's hidden past gave interesting insight into who she is in the present. Her secrets are understandable but you also see where keeping them hidden from Sam will eventually lead to conflict between them. 
I love that, despite everything, Olivia finally stands up for herself and makes no apologies for why she did it. The ending scene with the whole town, and possibly the world, watching it go down made it even that much sweeter. Up next...Tanner's story. 
I wish that they delved more into the issues that Cole was dealing with relating to flashbacks and memories of the tragedy that took Gil's life. I understand that part of his healing is having Olivia but I guess I was expecting that Sam and Cole would be pushing him to something more to help him deal with it. 
"You loved someone," she said. "It didn't work out. There's no failure in that. But you have to understand, my whole life was a failure. You try dealing with that, Cole. For years I was successful, until I wasn't, and it felt like the whole world watched me fail."

"I like that look on your face much better than the abject misery you were wearing, but didn't anyone ever tell you not to look at a naked man and laugh?"
Can be read as a standalone. 
*I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review 

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. 
Look for Jill's latest, THEN CAME YOU, on shelves and ereaders now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Also, visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
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