Until You (Fall Away #1.5) by Penelope Douglas

Book Description:

Published: February 18, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or so numb that you actually felt high? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between.

Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don’t care about anything or anyone.

Except Tatum.

I love her so much that I hate her. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn’t trust her or anyone else.

So I hurt her. I pushed her away.

But I still need her. The sight of her centers me, and I can pool all of my anger into her. Engaging her, challenging her, bullying her…they are my food, my air, and the last part of me that feels anything human.

But she left. She went to France for a year, and came back a different girl.

Now, when I push, she pushes back.

Review –

If you’re expecting Until You to just be a retelling of Bully in Jared’s POV, well, you’re in for a lovely surprise. Until You has so much more than what happens in Bully, and the timeline is longer. We get more of the year that Tate left for Europe (when Jared is totally moping about how Tate won’t be there for him to bully), more flashbacks of Jared and Tate’s childhood , and  more of what happens after the end of Bully. And Penelope Douglas writes this all with Jared’s no nonsense, totally badass POV. 

What is it with boys who are totally hot but complete jerks? And WHY do I still keep on loving them? Maybe it’s the sweet side that they show only to the women they love, or maybe it’s the whole redemption thing, but whatever reason it is, I can’t stop reading about them! And Jared is probably my all-time favorite jerk. He’s the jerk of my dreams. The lovable jerk. Sometimes he takes it too far, but whenever that happens, we know that he feels guilty (even though he tries to be badass and not show it). 

We get to see how devastated Jared felt when he came home from his father’s, and how he kept spiraling downward, and pushing Tate away. But then, when Tate comes back, everything changes for him. It’s not so easy to bully her or to bottle up his feelings for her. Because no matter how many times Jared tries to push Tate away, she is always in his heart. And when he’s finally done with the bullying… He turns on the charm because he knows Tate can’t resist him, just like he can’t resist her, and the two of them together are explosive.

Jared’s lantern tattoo!!  The sweetest thing I’ve ever read. Until You is perfect. Reading from Jared’s POV about how much he loves Tate, and how he tries to redeem himself is just the best thing ever. Penelope Douglas is a goddess for creating one of my favorite book boyfriends.

Fantastic read!

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Bully (Fall Away #1) by Penelope Douglas

Book Description:

Published: October 18, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he’ll barely even speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It’s time to fight back.

I’m not going to let him bully me anymore.

Review –

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of “enemy to lover” themed books and this one is up there on my list of favorites.

Tate and Jared grew up living next door to each other. They were as thick as thieves all throughout childhood, but the sweet, generous and loveable boy Tate once called her best friend disappeared overnight, leaving in his stead a guy who made it his daily job to intimidate her, to make her feel insignificant and unwanted, and to isolate her from her peers. No explanation was ever offered, leaving her confused and hurt, and even after countless rumours, pranks, cruel jokes that made the last two years of her life hell, she never stopped missing her best friend. By not understanding his behaviour, she never stopped searching for that kid she once loved in his eyes somewhere, reluctantly hanging on to a memory of him that no longer existed, regardless of all the tears and pain he had willingly caused her.

After a year of studying abroad, she returns to her hometown for the last year of high school, with a new attitude in tow, telling herself that she would not let Jared’s actions affect her again, but her bully is as determined as ever to toy with her. And to make her feel every bit of hatred he feels for her. Until Tate finally fights back

Two years of torment have shaped Tate into the kind of person she most probably would have never become had she not endured such emotional suffering for so long. Her patience has worn thin, she has developed a short fuse when it comes to people putting her down or mistreating her, and when it comes to Jared, she has simply had enough. And so the tables are turned and she goes out of her way to make him feel as insignificant as he has made her feel for so long. And knowing exactly which buttons to press to make him hurt the most ends up turning her into a cruel adversary.

But when Tate finally gets to Jared, his walls start crumbling down and what is left behind them is an angry little boy who is so blinded by his own pain that he hurts the one who represents his greatest weakness in life, the only person he has ever loved, allowing him to fool himself into believing that her pain would take away the pain that is ravaging him from the inside out. And what Tate discovers ends up putting a whole different light on the last three years of her young life.

This book might have started as a very vivid example of the kind of issues many teens unfortunately go through nowadays, our hearts breaking for our heroine and all she has had to endure, but it ultimately turns into a heart-warming romance that was always at the core of these characters’ connection. They could hurt each other so deeply because they knew each other so well, and every action had a reason, a source, a trigger, even though it was difficult for me, as a reader, to swallow some of those reasons at times and find in them a valid justification for such cruel and continued emotional and verbal abuse. As much as I understood the hero, there were times I wished I understood him even more, and for his triggers to have been explained in a more thorough way.

This is a story about the kind of scars we are left with after years of maltreatment, the kind of emotional baggage we carry well after things are said and done, affecting our relationships, our ability to trust those around us, and ourselves. It’s a book that moved me, angered me, made me do the occasional fist pump here and there, and it owned me cover to cover. With a refreshing and captivating writing style, the author pulled me into a world I never wanted to escape, becoming hopelessly invested in these characters, in their stories, and after turning that last page, only too eager to jump immediately onto the next book in the series, which i’m listening to now.

“I love you more than myself, more than my own family, for Christ’s sake. I don’t want to take another step in this world without you next to me.” Jared

Five stars!!!

 

Ryan’s Bed by Tijan

Book Description:

Published: January 22, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t.
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
I relaxed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.

Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.

Review –

This book was an emotional roller coaster ride! This book was heart wrenchingly good. It hit me right in the heart and I was left emotionally drained. It took a while to really get into the story line  because it felt like a typical YA romance but damn the second half totally changed my mind. Ryan’s bed was completely different from Tijan’s other books.  It not only deals with loss, grief, acceptance, and healing but it also deals with  sensitive issues like suicide and depression.

The writing was beautiful and I loved the characters. My heart ached for both Ryan and Mackenzie and the loss they’d both experienced. On the surface they might’ve seemed like an odd pairing, but it just worked. They understood each other and what they were going through and I loved the bond that formed as a result of that. It gave me all kinds of feels. There was a certain amount of escapism, too, as Mackenzie used Ryan to dull her pain, but something beautiful grew as a result of it. It was really interesting to watch Mackenzie develop throughout this book as she dealt with the loss of her sister. She gutted me at times – her pain was so visceral, so real.

Ryan was a pretty special character, too. He was popular and had a certain amount of power, but he was sweet and thoughtful and absolutely all in for Mackenzie. That’s the kind of hero I can get behind so easily. He was absolutely crush-worthy. I wouldn’t call him perfect, because who is really, but he was darn close. He protected and cared for Mackenzie in a way she needed, a way he understood because he’d lost someone close to him, too.

You should give this book a try and if you do decide to read it or listen to it ,expect angst and pain and more than a few heartaches, but know you’ll also find something beautiful amongst all that heavier stuff. At the risk of saying too much, you should also expect a jaw-dropping ending. I DID NOT see that coming. Just to be clear, it’s not a cliffhanger and this is a standalone book, but W O W. It was kinda perfect, but I still couldn’t help but trying to flip further to find more story. I’ll be adding this one to my “must reread at some point” list so I can get the full experience again, knowing the ending.

Five stars!

Innocence Defied (New York #3) by Lainey Reese

Book Description:

Published: July 16, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

Gage Hollister is a Southern Dom looking for a full time sub/slave. When his family’s business brings him to New York City for an indefinite stay, he decides that now is the time to find her. Night after night he prowls the local BDSM club in search of a woman whose need to be dominated equals his thirst for true submission. As the search drags on he begins to wonder if his perfect match even exists. When he is asked to play chaperone for a family friend embarking on her first trip as an adult; he welcomes the chance for distraction from his thus far fruitless endeavor.

Zoe Marshall is the youngest sister to Gage’s best friend and she has been in love with Gage for as long as she can remember. She has saved herself for him and him alone. Now, after careful planning and a bit of luck she finally has her opportunity to show Gage that she’s all grown up and ready to be his. Although he believes himself too old and jaded for an innocent like her, Zoe will not relent until she belongs to him in every way.

Soon Gage’s resistance crumbles and Zoe’s dreams become reality but their budding love is tested when her brother discovers them. As those bonds of friendship strain under betrayal and broken trust, Zoe is confronted with having to choose between the man she loves and the brother she worships. Will having the love of her man cost her the love of her family? If so, is her heart strong enough to survive that loss? Is their love?

WARNING
This book contains graphic language, BDSM elements, M/F/M ménage, a Southern Dom who’s a gentleman; and the woman who brings out the scoundrel in him.

Review –

We met Gage Hollister in the last book in this series and he made quite an impression but we soon find out there is a whole lot more to Gage but all it takes is one little woman to turn him upside down and inside out. I really felt for him because Zoe Marshall, Gage’s best friend, Brice’s little sister has decided he’s the one for her and despite their 13 year age different she aims to make him see her as a woman. Gage finds himself in one hell of a mess when he finds Zoe irresistible and despite her innocence and lack of experience they fall head first into a BDSM relationship.

I felt Gage did a very good job of trying to dissuade Zoe from getting involved with him, and while I didn’t care for the little game she played to grab his attention I reminded myself how young she is and how little life experience she has. Did I think their relationship was ideal? No, the age and experience level differences were huge but I do believe Zoe knew her mind and once Gage was on board it was easy to see that they were meant to be. I like that Gage slowly introduced Zoe into the lifestyle and how careful he was with her from the start. I was not surprised by the reaction of Brice, Cade and Trevor and to be honest I was truly surprised Gage didn’t wind up in the hospital BUT, and this is huge, I love how Gage reminded Brice that he trusted him with his wife but he wasn’t good enough for his sister.

One of my favorite things about this book is getting to see Cade, Trevor, and Riley from the first book and Brice and Terryn from book two. I loved watching them all interact with one another and even when they were at odds, you could still see the love, admiration, and friendship between them all. I especially loved Terryn’s insight and her level head regarding Zoe and Gage’s relationship.

Another great book in the New York series.

Lawless (King #3) by T.M. Frazier

This is Henry, the bane of my existence and he isn’t feeling his best and has totally taken over my chair, so here I sit at my desk so I might as well work on a post.

Book Description:

Published: December 8, 2015

Format: Audio/Audible

Thia is prim and proper.
Bear is leather and lawless.
It will never work between them.
It’s a lie they almost believe…It is necessary to first read King and Tyrant to fully enjoy Lawless.

Review –

 

Lawless is raw, dark, and hot. When some books claim to have a “bad boy”, they are just wrong. TM Frazier shows you a legitimate bad guy. Bear is a criminal who has murdered several people, does drugs, and is generally everything that is really bad. He is not just a cocky bastard who hooks up with girls (he does that too) and claims to be a bad guy. So, anyone who claims a book has a “bad boy” needs to use the King/Bear test. If he is not as bad or worse as these guys, he is not a bad boy.

Now having said that, let me talk about the story in Lawless. First, you do have to read King and Tyrant first. Honestly, if you haven’t read those, stop reading this review and go read them. The plot picks up right from page one and it does NOT stop. I wasn’t sure I would really like Bear. I don’t know why, but I was hesitant to even start the book, especially  because of what the author did in Book One, King.

Once I did start reading, I fell in love with Thia. She is so well written!  She and Bear met when she was ten years old and one of his friends tried to rob the convenience  store she was minding. Bear gave her his skull ring and told her if she ever needed help to come look for him.  Well, she needs help in a BIG way and goes off

to the MC club to find him, only he isn’t there because he has left the Beach Bastards. His father and President of the club, Chop, beats her up and almost rapes her but Gus rescues her and takes her to King’s.I worried that this would end up being another story that just followed the same plot as King and Doe. Thankfully, I was wrong. While this is still about bad men and girls desperate for help, the plots are unique. You are left with a major cliffhanger so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Five stars!!!!!! 

And, Oh My God, that cover!!!!!!

Breathe With Me (Brie’s Submission #12) by Red Phoenix

Book  Description:

Published: December 5, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When life gets too rough, breathe with me…

Tono Nosaka, the Kinbaku rope master, has known heartache and loss—never defeat. He is determined to claim his soulmate.
Miss Autumn is courageous and talented, but she hides a personal secret that binds her heart. Just when the walls start to come down, Tono has a dream about Brie so shocking he would make any sacrifice to ensure it never comes true.

Love that strong has extraordinary power.

Review –

Another great installment of the Brie’s Submission series and  centered around Tono (Master) Ten Nosaka, the Dominant that had it not been for the verbal misgivings of his father, Brie would have chosen to be HER Dominant. As it happened, because of that she chose Master Thane Davis, whom in her heart of hearts, she always wanted, but never thought she could have.

Tono takes over Brie’s care after Master Brad Anderson has broken his leg and his quiet nature and peaceful calm has a positive effect on Brie and she begins working again on her second documentary.

The crazy half-sister, Lily, makes another appearance in his book but still escapes capture.

Tono had begun a semi-relationship with Autumn Day in Denver before he left and he concentrates on getting her to accept him wholly, mentally and physically. He discovers that besides her scars and prosthetic, she is also a virgin and realizes he has to be extremely patent with her.

Everything works out in the end and he is able to go back to Autumn in Denver as Rystar Durov, the Russian and blood brother to Sir, comes to care for Brie.

Excellent installment of this series.

 

Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover

Book Description:

Published: December 30, 2012

Format: E-Book

Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

Review –

My daughter mentioned that she had started another book by Jay Crownover and I said that I had never read any of her work and because of her I was going to change that right away.

I checked out all of her books and decided on Rule, the first installment of the Marked Men series.

I’m a sucker for a male protagonist that is a hot, a bad ass and tattooed. Rule seems to fit the bill. I wish the author had included an illustration of a male body with all of Rule’s tats because according to the description, he had them EVERYWHERE.

Rule and Shaw have a very complicated relationship.

Rule Archer had an identical twin brother(minus the ink and piercings), Remy Archer. Remy and Shaw were very close, they were best friends. Everyone assumed their relationship was romantic, but it was strictly platonic. Remy died in a car accident three years ago. Shaw has been a part of the Archer family since she started hanging around with Remy at thirteen. Rules parents and older brother Rome love Shaw. Every Sunday, Shaw picks up Rule(she often finds him in compromising positions) and brings him to his parents house for brunch. Rules parents(especially his mother) are critical of rule and his lifestyle. Lets be honest.. Rule is a bit of a man slut, and with his changing hair color/style, ink and piercings etc, he is not what any conservative family would deem appropriate. Shaw doesn’t care. She loves everything about Rule and it drives her crazy that his parents don’t see all the wonderful in him. Unfortunately, Rule thinks Shaw was his brothers girl so he’s never seen her as anything else. Plus, she seems like too much of a good girl/spoiled princess for him. One drunken night, Shaw will finally make her move on Rule. And it will change everything….

You see this story through the eyes of Rule and Shaw, with the dual povs.
Rule is dealing with guilt from his brother’s death, his mother blames him and people just don’t accept who he is. Remy is one of the few people who did and he is gone. He copes with his issues with alcohol and women. Lots and lots of women. Shaw is a college student, and a virgin (due to the fact that when ever she got close to a guy, it didn’t work. Because they weren’t Rule.) She has parents who expect perfection from her, but they are all about appearances. They don’t really care. She is dealing with a psycho stalker ex boyfriend and is keeping a secret for her best friend Remy, that makes her life more difficult. Rule and Shaw have a lot of obstacles to overcome in their relationship.

Rule and Shaw’s relationship had many ups and downs, but they had some scorching hot moments and some really sweet and swoony moments. Loved their relationship and their chemistry. They were perfect together.

I loved everything about this story but there  were many grammatical issues, but the story was so good, they were easily overlooked. The ending was PERFECT!

 

At Any Price (Gaming the System #1) by Brenna Aubrey

Book Description:

Published: December 9, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book

When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact.

It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills.

Difficulty Level: Millionaire CEO

Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and–as CEO of his own gaming company–he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.

She can’t tell if he’s playing her…or if he’s playing for keeps.

Review –

I loved the characters and plot of At Any Price. The characters were unique and well-developed. They both have their hangups which causes them to close themselves off, one from the other, at times. I just wanted to shake them back into reality.

The romance is slow burn, and almost teasing. It’s there and then it wasn’t. Adam decided to bid and win the auction because he didn’t want her to “sell” her virginity and even though he is the one to take it, it’s only after the deal has been cancelled. He loves her but doesn’t know how to tell her. Unbeknownst to him, Mia is falling in love with him too but doesn’t know what to do with those feelings.

Mia didn’t  know it but Adam has known about her and a lot of her financial difficulties for over a year because of being a player in one of the video games she plays. When she finds out, she is livid.

I am content with the end to their story in this book, so I might not read on in the series. The next one is told from Adam’s POV, which I am certain I WILL NOT read and the third book is their HEA and since I know that’s how it’s going to end I don’t care the spend money to confirm it.

Pleasant read.

 

With You (Torn Asunder #0.5) by Nashoda Rose

Book Description:

Published: December 20, 2013

Format: Free Digital Book/Second Reading

Sculpt is an illegal fighter.

He’s also the lead singer of a local rock band.

No one knows his real name.

And from the moment I met him, he made me forget mine.

In order to convince Sculpt to give me self-defense lessons, I had to follow his one rule—no complaining or he’d walk. I didn’t think it would be a problem. I could handle a few bruises. What I hadn’t anticipated was landing on my back with Sculpt on top of me and my entire body burning up for him.

I tried to ignore it.

I failed of course. And having a hot, tattooed badass on top of me week after week, acting completely immune to what he was doing to my body—it was frustrating as hell, so I broke his rule—I complained.

Then he kissed me.

Author’s Note: This novella is Sculpt and Emily’s beginning and how they met. It is an extra and not required to be read before “Torn from You”. Their story and what happens to them is the novel “Torn from You”.

Review –

I first read this book in January 2014 and loved it then and now that I have read more erotic romances/contemporary romances and have a better understanding as to what makes up a great ER/CR I love it even more.

Sculpt, whose real name is Logan, is an MMA fighter and a member of the rock band, Torn Asunder. Emily wants to learn some self-defense moves and choose Sculpt to be her teacher. For five weeks he teaches her what she needs to know and doesn’t make a sexual move on her, but then he does and everything changes.

Emily has never had a boy/man pay attention to her as Sculpt does or treat her the way he does. She gave him her virginity and he tells her he love her and that she belongs to him and the next thing she knows she’s kidnapped and being tortured and sexually humiliated in a dirty basement. END

Hows that for a CLIFFHANGER ?

In the next book, Torn From You, we find out that Sculpt/Logan is working for a human trafficking/sex slave ring in Mexico and it’s his job to break and train the women as submissives so they can be put on the auction block. Raul, the boss, allows Sculpt to keep Emily as long as he wins MMA fights. Emily can’t wrap her head around the fact that he used her the long time and now is responsible for her torture and sexual abuse.

The series is well worth reading and though the mood is very dark and things look seemingly inescapable Logan and Emily do get their HEA at the end.

This is a great ER/CR series.

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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: August 2, 2016

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

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First of all, I want to say that I gave this book five stars ***** and it deserved more.

It got a LOT of hype and some readers didn’t like it and some loved it. I’m in the latter category. It deals with a subject whose depth you can not comprehend unless you are a part of it. Thank my lucky stars, I was not ever, nor do I think I will ever be a part of it. 

I would love to tell you everything about this book but I can’t because it would give too much away and I want you to read it or listen to it. I want everyone to read or listen to it. Men and women.

This book broke my heart because I was rooting for the man I thought was “perfect”, but I guess if something looks perfect it’s too good to be true. Love can hurt and love can heal but one person can’t do both.

The blurb makes it sound like a “love triangle” is involved but it’s not. That is not the point, or the focus. Whatever it is you’re thinking this book is, just trust me — it’s so much bigger than that. Seriously, trust Colleen. I did.

This book is now at my top favorite books of the year. I was unable to stop listening for long periods of time and other times I HAD  to stop listening. My heart couldn’t take it and I needed more Kleenex. I know that this is one of those profoundly beautiful and unforgettable stories that will stay with me for a long time.

I highly recommend it to everyone!

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