Review – Attraction by Penny Reid

AttractionTour

Attraction
by Penny Reid
Hypothesis #1
Also in this series: Elements of Chemistry: Attraction, Heat, Capture
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, New Adult, Romance

Tour: Attraction by Penny Reid

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Elements of Chemistry: ATTRACTION is the first part in a three part series; it is 45k words; and it ends with a cliffhanger.
Part 1 (ATTRACTION) will be released April 9, 2015
Part 2 (HEAT) will be released April 30, 2015.
Part 3 (CAPTURE) will be released May 16, 2015.

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.

Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.

When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

BFF K’s Review

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Sent to Penny Reid immediately upon finishing Part 1 – Attraction.

To: Penny Reid

From: BFF K

RE: Groveling

I am sending you this message in desperation. I am begging, pleading, imploring, coaxing, desperately requesting an ARC for Heat. I was one of the very, very, very lucky folks to receive an ARC for Attraction at ABF. I was able to start, and finish, Attraction this afternoon. And, I can’t wait. I am beside myself needing to know what happens next.

While I am grateful for the first chapter of Heat in the back of the ARC, (I don’t think my heart could have handled the cliffhanger without it.) I need more. I need to know what happens with Martin and Kaitlyn. I just gushed to my blogging partner about how amazing this book is. It is really all of the reasons that I love to read romance books. I need to know what happens. I can’t wait.

I feel like I have very little to offer you in exchange for said ARC. Would undying love and devotion suffice? I contemplated offering my first-born child. But….he’s the only-child and adopted; and I’m not sure if that meets the standard definitions for first-born. Plus, he’s pretty cool and I think I would miss him after a few days…..Even if I have to wait (many more torturous days), I will still look forward to reading Heat and Capture. You’re such a talented writer and I’m looking forward to more great stories!

Cheers,

BFF K – BFF Book Blog

Yes, I was that desperate! I wanted the next book so badly I couldn’t stand it. This book is phenomenal! Penny Reid is a fantastic writer. She writes complex, interesting, intelligent, quirky and engaging characters that pull you into their lives and their stories.

I called BFF A practically shaking after I finished Attraction. I told her, “this is why I read romance novels.” Ahhhh – Kaitlyn Parker is so smart and charming and endearing and wonderful. Martin Sandeke is complicated and worthy of a little redemption. I want to climb in their story and live in the pages. I had butterflies and goosebumps and other animal-ish reactions! I was laughing out loud and grinning like a crazy person!

Attraction left me clamoring for more of Kaitlyn and Martin’s story! I’m aching to know what happens next and how they can resolve their issues to find a Happily Ever After in their own unconventional way.

Do yourself a favor and read this book! Do your friends a favor and tell them to read this book! I can’t wait to hear what you think about each of the books in this series!

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PS – To prove her awesomeness, I received HEAT within a few days of my shameless email request, because the evil-overlord is super cool like that!

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Here are the Amazon links to Pre-Order Heat and Capture. After you finish Attraction you’re going to want to do this ASAP!

About Penny Reid

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SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

 

Review – Better With Sugar by Katrina Kirkpatrick

BWS Tour Ban

War veteran Ethan Quill’s horse doesn’t like people. And that’s okay because neither does he. Broken by their pasts and shunned by the community, they keep to themselves on Ethan’s rundown farm. And then along comes a brown-eyed baker who turns their world upside down.

Heiress by birth, optimist by heart, Elly Baptiste has left Manhattan behind and picked up her spatula in Cranefly, a quaint Adirondack town. She’s looking for love and finds the promise of something unexpectedly delicious with the local recluse. But how does a woman who’s running from life find happily ever with a man who’s hiding from it?

Elly knows sugar. Ethan knows war.
She knows sweet. He knows defeat.
When put to the test, can they prove that love and life really are better with sugar?

 

BWS

BFF K’s Review

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Better with Sugar is both heart warming and heart breaking. The story of Elly and Ethan is one that will stay with me for awhile. It is not just a tale of romance between two complex characters, it is a journey of discovery and self-acceptance for both of them as well. Some parts of the book were almost hard to read because you could feel the tug and pull and longing for happiness inside of both Elly and Ethan. But, those emotions make the Happily Ever After so much sweeter. This debut novel by Katrina Kirkpatrick is well written and full of wonderful dialogue and imagery. I also loved the colorful cast of supporting characters (I’m hopeful that Naomi and Noah will get their Happily Ever After in a coming book.) I highly recommend this enjoyable and moving tale of redemption, affirmation and love.

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Excerpt

The evocative creak of bedsprings jerked him into motion. He barely saw the floor in front of him as he moved through the apartment, his mind too busy imagining every curve on her body. The shape her mouth would take in pleasure.

He stopped in the doorway to the bedroom, her scent curled out like tiny fingers begging him into the space. But for a moment, he just stood.

The moon had already set, chased from the sky by a sunrise that wasn’t even yet discernible. It left the room a part of the night, only as well-lit as the stars were pale, but the white of her bedspread glowed like snow on a winter landscape. She had already disappeared under it, now just the vague outline of a body.

Her naked body.

Every cell in his body clenched tight.

Two dark pieces of cloth draped off the edge of the bed.

Her apron, his suit jacket.

There wouldn’t be any turning back after this.

Fear touched the back of his neck, driving a shiver down his spine. He’d none nothing the past few years but give everything up. Because if he hadn’t given it up—it would’ve been ripped from him anyway. And tonight was going to give him so much to lose.

Not just Elly, but himself.

Maybe she sensed his hesitation because she moved under the blanket, pulling it down just enough to reveal a ridiculous mass of hair and two round eyes that didn’t so much reflect the light as they did absorb it, feeding it into her creamy white skin until it seemed to glow. He meant to only go as close as the edge of the bed, but found himself pressing one knee on the mattress and leaning over her. Her eyes widened ever so slightly and the moment hung between them. This would be the end or the beginning.

About The Author

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A love of language led Katrina Kirkpatrick to a degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Illinois, a love of her babies led her to the illustrious title of Stay-At-Home-Mommy, and a never-ending, lifelong delight of storytelling led her to pursue publication. She infuses love with laughter because love might make the world go round, but laughter lights up the scenery.

She has two daughters who call her Mommy Queen, two dogs, two cats, lots of chickens and a husband happy to call this chaos home. They reside in central Illinois.

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Review – Dark Elements Series 1 & 2 by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BFF K’s Review

Dark Elements Series 1 and 2 and Prequel Novella

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BFF K has read and LOVED all of the books so far in the Dark Elements Series. She read Bitter Sweet Love and White Hot Kiss before the launch of the BFF Book Blog. Since she finished Stone Cold Touch this week, and the cover for Every Last Breath was revealed today, here’s a review of the series to date!

This is a wacky little series. It’s part paranormal, part romance, definitely NA and more than a little angsty! The series starts with a prequel novella – Bitter Sweet Kiss. This is a great introduction to the world that Jennifer Armentrout has created! You are introduced to the Wardens (gargoyles) and begin to understand the plights and fights for their species. You’ll get a glimpse at the demons they fight and a sweet little 2nd chance romance story!

Then, in White Hot Kiss, you’re introduced full-force to Layla. You get a glimpse into her life and understand the struggles she faces with a foot in two different worlds. Part Warden and part Demon, it’s like she’s constantly battling; sometimes that war happens inside of her. She wants Zayne, but he’s untouchable, literally. Layla struggles with the love and affection she feels for Zayne knowing that she can never truly have him. So, when she meets Roth – though he’s a demon – he seems to be a reasonable match for her. And, he’s smokin’ hot and completely adorable in a cocky, self-assured, gets-what-he-wants-kind of way! The cliffhanger ending will leave you reeling and totally crushing on the Demon Prince!

Stone Cold Touch starts off with a BIG surprise! And then the ANGST reaches whole new levels! Layla and Zayne explore all of the facets of their relationship even when doing so threatens the stability of their home, the trust of their clan and even their lives. Through all of this, there are new monsters to fight and secrets revealed.

Layla is a really outstanding NA character. She’s both bold and naive. It’s really fun to see her explore who she is and peel back all of the layers to discover her place in the world. She is also learning who she can trust and who really does have her back. Zayne is good and kind and loyal. I think he’s the definition of a white knight. I picture him as the ultimate defender and staunchest supporter that Layla could ever hope for. You want them to succeed as friends first, but also as a potential couple. In so many ways, they’re perfect for one another and their devotion is incredible! Then, there’s Roth…..ah Roth! He’s a sexy as f&*# demon, but that’s easy to overlook. You really want to skim right over that fact because in virtually every other way, he’s absolutely FANTASTIC.

I’m not usually a fan of love triangles, but in this case it works and I LOVE it! I am now dying to know who Layla ends up with and what the future holds for Layla, Zayne and Roth. (And, isn’t that the mark of a really great series, when you desperately CARE about what happens to the characters?!?) NOTE – the angst isn’t really a highly charged tear-filled-emotional kind of angst. It’s more of a suspenseful, who will she choose, it could go either way, kind of angst!

Jennifer L. Armentrout actually took a fan vote to see who readers want Layla to end up with. I’m dying to see if it’s Zayne or Roth. But, honestly – I’m pretty sure I’m Team Roth!

If you like an angsty, paranormal, new adult, romance – this series is DEFINITELY for you!

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And, I know Hero is here twice – one for Zayne and one for Roth! <3

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White Hot Kiss - New Cover

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WHITE HOT KISS synopsis:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Stone Cold Touch - New Cover

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STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

“Constantly entertaining…the narrative sizzles with as much tension as romance.”

Kirkus Reviews on White Hot Kiss

And the Prequel Novella, BITTER SWEET LOVE…

 

Bitter Sweet Love - New Cover

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BITTER SWEET LOVE Synopsis:

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn’t just Jasmine’s crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn’t help that Jas’s father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he’s back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn’t taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

“With her signature flare for combining humor, romance and action, Armentrout weaves a fast-paced read that will have readers’ hearts racing in more ways than one. Like Armentrout’s previous heroines, Jasmine is fun and full of attitude, while Dez is as snarky as he is sexy. This is a must read for new and old fans alike!” –RT Book Reviews

 

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Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads | EVERY LAST BREATH Goodreads | STONE COLD TOUCH Goodreads | WHITE HOT KISS Goodreads | BITTER SWEET LOVE Goodreads

 

Review – Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol

Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.

The highly anticipated sequel to Under Different Stars, winner of four 2014 utopYA Awards.

BFF K’s Review

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Everything I loved about Under Different Stars (Kricket as a kick-ass heroine, Trey as a super-swoony hero and the incredible world that Amy Bartol has created) builds in Sea of Stars. Sea of Stars is the 2nd book in Amy A. Bartol’s Kricket series and it seriously does NOT disappoint! I absolutely LOVED Under Different Stars and listed it among my 2014 Besties. I’m always a little nervous to read book #2 when I’ve loved the first book in a series so much. But, there is ZERO let-down with this book. The Kricket series confirms that paranormal romance is my favorite genre!

Sea of Stars barely gives you a chance to catch your breath from the stunning conclusion of book #1. Then, it races off at an incredible pace, full of the most heart-pumping, descriptive action sequences I’ve read since Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Just when you’re convinced that Kricket can’t take any more, and honestly – neither can you…..there’s some sweet relief.

And this is where Trey truly shines. He’s battling hard for one of the top spots on my book boyfriend list! Kricket and Trey’s relationship is on an epic scale. Their love, loyalty, and devotion to one another will have you highlighting and re-reading paragraphs and scenes. I am obsessed with them as individual characters and as a couple. All of the book’s characters are so well written. There is an entire cast of supporting characters with incredible stories and personalities. I feel as invested in all of them as I do in the main characters.

I will admit – through the first 40-50% of the book, I felt a little beat up and Sea of Stars definitely ends with a cliff hanger. But, it all builds up and spins into this incredible story that will have you flying through the pages faster than an escapee on a hover vehicle. One of my BFFs found this series and introduced me to the brilliance. After we finished Sea of Stars, we spent 40 minutes of our dinner date discussing the plot, our favorite characters and theories for what we think comes next for Kricket.

I also must gush about how much I love Amy Bartol’s writing style. Her incredible words glide off the page, bounce around in my brain, and make my heart race. I love Amy Bartol’s writing so much that I’m challenged to read other books. Few authors deliver the kind of detail, emotion, dialogue and depth that she brings to her books.

If you haven’t read Under Different Stars, start it NOW! And, be ready to dive into Sea of Stars immediately. Then we’ll all wait together for Darken the Stars, set to release in Fall 2015.

***Audio Note***

I have also listened to large parts of this book on Audible and it is fantastic as well. If you’re a fan of audio books, this is a must-have!

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Amazon Links to Purchase The Kricket Series

Under Different Stars – Book 1

Sea of Stars – Book 2

Sea of Stars: The Kricket Series, Book 2 – Book 2 on Audible

Darken the Stars – Book 3 Pre-Order

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About the Author

I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed. Please visit me at my website: http://www.amyabartol.com

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Review – Confess by Colleen Hoover

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

BFF A’s Review

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OMG! Colleen has a crazy magical way of making a story come alive. The way she makes the story, the characters, the interwoven artwork, all come together- you feel like you are actually there. The characters felt like my best friends, like I knew every thing about them, yet wanted to know so much more.

I instantly loved Auburn because she stands up for what she wants. Auburn has faced many challenges in her young life; my heart ached for her. However, she does not let that stop her. She does whatever she can and what she believes is right to overcome the barriers set in front of her. Owen is sweet, he is kind, he is passionate. He knows too many secrets from strangers and has secrets of his own. To balance all that is in his mind, he paints…and OMG, what an amazing artist he is. (Artist, Danny O’Connor created paintings specifically for this book.) When Auburn stumbles into his life, we find there is a secret Owen holds. Their relationship is sweet, playful and fun. I loved the way Owen treated and protected Auburn. I couldn’t wait for the secrets to all come out. I was on the edge of each page wanting, no yelling and screaming at Owen to just tell Auburn the truth.

So many emotions come through when reading this book. There were a few twists in the story I wasn’t expecting, a few characters are just mean and evil. This adds depth to the heartache, but it also gave me some anxiety. I’ve never wanted to reach in and punch a character in a book so badly, but there were times I wish I could have. Confess has heartache, hurt, pain, anger, frustration but most of all there is love, and in the end, Love is what comes shining through.

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(Side note on the tears, that’s a guess. I’m not a crier so who the hell knows – for me- none…but the normal person, I’d say probably a 4.)

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More About the Author:

Colleen Hoover’s love for writing began in 1985 when she was five years old. Her first story was titled “Mystery Bob” and was a huge hit with her mother, who was really good at faking interest.
Colleen continued to write short stories for friends and family until December of 2011, when she decided to write a long story she titled, “Slammed.” She self-published SLAMMED to Amazon in January, 2012 and it hit the NYT’s bestsellers list in May, 2012. She has since signed with Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, and now has six NYT’s bestsellers. Colleen prefers to be called a writer, as the term “author” still terrifies her and makes this feel like a job with expectations. She doesn’t work well under pressure and hopes writing will always remain fun and exciting.

You can follow Colleen on Instagram and Twitter @colleenhoover. You can also find her on her blog at www.colleenhoover.com where she holds a daily book-a-day giveaway, or on her very active Facebook page at www.facebook.com/authorcolleenhoover where she loves to give away more free stuff when her husband isn’t looking.

Colleen also wants the world to know that writing short biographies in third person is incredibly awkward.

Review – Something Real by Lexi Ryan


After everything blew up on Christmas, Liz walked away from me, and I let her. She said she needed space and a chance to pursue her dreams. But we both knew she was running from the mess she made. Now the political campaign she used as an excuse to leave is bringing us back together and I’m proving to her what she really needs—not just the hot nights, greedy hands, and undeniable physical chemistry. What she really needs is something real. What she really needs…is me.

BFF K’s Review

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Something Real is the perfect conclusion to an angsty, political-based, second (or maybe third/fourth) chance romance! (Something Reckless – Book 1 – threw me for a loop with all of the surprises revealed at the end!) Liz and Sam have all of the odds stacked against them. There are so many crazy circumstances and crazy people pulling them apart. The years of cat and mouse have finally caught up with them it is time to commit to one another or commit to a life apart. Their overwhelming attraction to one another is impossible to deny, but it is FINALLY the moment for them to decide if they can put the past behind them and create a future together. I loved the crazy cast of characters and fast pace of this novel. You definitely need to read Something Reckless first, but then you’ll want to rush right into Something Real! Enjoy the roller coaster ride!

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SOMETHING RECKLESS is on sale for .99 cents until March 14!

Read BFF K’s Review Here


He talks dirty to me, but I don’t know his name.
He wants to tie me up, but I don’t know his face.
He turns me on, but I couldn’t point him out in a crowd.
I’ve fallen for an anonymous stranger, and tonight the anonymity ends. Tonight I want more than typed secrets and texted promises. I want something reckless. Heat. Passion. The thrill of being entirely possessed.

Because I suspect this anonymous stranger isn’t a stranger at all.

Lizzy Thompson met riverrat69 online through Something Real, a service promising to deliver meaningful relationships by forbidding its users to share names or photos until they’ve reached a certain benchmark. She was looking for love. He was researching an investment. They hit it off. Talked and flirted, hid behind screen names and cartoon avatars.
Now they’re breaking the rules and meeting in person. But Liz is prepared. She’s picked up hints and followed clues.
She’s ninety-percent convinced she’s discovered the identity of her dirty-talking online friend.
She wonders if her ex-lover Sam Bradshaw knows her identity too.
When she rolls the dice on one reckless night, her chance at something real could crumble.

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About the Author

Once a college English professor, I now write full time. I live in rural Indiana, where, when I’m not writing, I get to hang out with my husband and two kids–a six-year-old boy and

a two-year-old hellion, er, girl. Not surprisingly, reading and writing remain my favorite activities, though both come in bits and pieces these days, not the big hunks of time I en- joyed before I had children. When I’m feeling virtuous, I like to go running (I use that word liberally. I’m really, really slow) or do yoga. Don’t worry, I’m always careful to balance out such activities with a hearty serving of ice cream or a chocolate martini.

 

Website: http://lexiryan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexiryan

Twitter: @writerlexiryan; https://twitter.com/writerlexiryan

 

 

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Review – The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons

THL RDL BannerHeather Lyons has done it again with THE HIDDEN LIBRARY! THE HIDDEN LIBRARY is an Adult Romantic Fairy Tale, full of adventure and fantasy and the second book in Heather’s The Collectors’ Society Series! Check out the latest fantastic installment in this series that brings you some of the classics with a twist.

The Hidden LIbrary Cover

Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.

BFF K’s Review

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I LOVED The Hidden Library. You will turn the pages faster and faster as you move through the book until you realize you’ve reached the end and are still holding your breath to see what happens next!

Heather Lyons has done it again. I said it after The Collectors’ Society, and I’ll say it again, Alice kicks ass! It is no secret that I absolutely adore Alice, I think she is one of the most well written heroines I’ve ever found. Heather has written a character so incredible that I want to see her attributes in every book I read. Alice is a mixture of traits that would seem to be at odds with one another. Yet Heather pulls them together in a way that just makes sense and presents Alice with such consistency that you understand how all of her attributes fit and work together. Alice is at the same time: tough and vulnerable, sensitive and strong, courageous and exposed, independent and a team player, refined and bold. I LOVE how Alice NEVER backs down from a fight. She is honest, trustworthy, selfless and fiercely loyal – it feels like she speaks profound sentiments every time she opens her mouth. BUT, she’s not annoying or judgmental or stiff. Alice is the kind of woman that men fall in love with, and women envy. She absolutely deserves the love and devotion of two incredible men.

Finn….Swoon….He’s amazing! Like Alice, Finn is a fantastic mix of characteristics that make you admire and respect him. He’s a guy’s-guy and a woman’s dream.

Things always get a little more interesting when the White King is around. My heart aches every time Jace enters the picture. His devotions to Alice and to Wonderland are selfless and honorable. He shows up to save the day more than once and oh, does he look good doing it!

I marvel at how Heather Lyons can write a story that is a love triangle, but not a love triangle. Alice is adored and revered by two different men. Heather masterfully demonstrates how someone can love two people at the same time. No one involved is necessarily at fault, there are no victims or guilty parties. In the end, the genuine feelings of sacrificial love for one another guide all of the interactions.

More and more is revealed in this book about a number of the series’ characters and some new ones are introduced. I was particularly struck by the revelations around Victor. While the scenario presented is not necessarily surprising, Lyons uncovers Victor’s secrets in a way that is poignant and touching. I’m interested to see how Victor plays into the next story!
The Hidden Library features something new to the series with alternate points of view. You’ll hear from both Alice and Finn and I think the alternate POV is really well done. The story flows seamlessly between the two. But, both Finn and Alice have distinct voices. It really felt like the story was being told from 2 different characters and personalities and not just 2 different POV’s.

The adventures that Alice, Finn and the other members of The Collectors’ Society embark on in this book will make your heart race and your mind bend. You’ll wonder what could possibly happen next and be left speechless when it slides into its conclusion.

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I’m in awe of Heather Lyons talent and so thankful that she shares it with the world! Enjoy this next installment of The Collectors’ Society!

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Excerpt

We are about to open the conference room door and enter the hallway when he stops. He turns to me, his lovely eyes achingly sincere. “I want to take you on a date when all of this craziness is over. A real one. We’ve kind of gone about this all backwards, haven’t we?”

One corner of my mouth lifts up. “Are you saying you’d like to court me?”

There is no playfulness to his face, no quirk to his own lips. My heart flutters at his seriousness. “Yes.”

He wants to court me.

Too many emotions rush around in a caucus race throughout my body. I have no doubts of Huckleberry Finn Van Brunt’s feelings toward me. I understood them two minutes ago just as well as I did this morning when I woke up and from the night before and from the day in Wonderland where he said, in not so many words, that he was falling in love with me.

I told him he was my north star, and meant it. He countered we are binaries.

He and I . . . We’ve never said those words, though, not the ones that truly spell out fragile, deep secrets of a heart and soul. Words so easily and yet unfortunately uttered by many, be it to express their appreciation of fried bits of potatoes to sports teams on the television. Words offered so frivolously about a variety of subjects and yet can be the most difficult, most painful, most meaningful, most cherished syllables we gift another person.

I have said these words before, to another man. Another man I still love. One I know, in the deepest confines of my heart, that I will love until the last breath escapes my body. A man who courted me in secret and then publicly in the face of astonishment, disapproval, confusion, and, in the end, prophesies.

I have willingly given the man in front of me my heart, though, whether he knows it or not. He now holds it in his hands, and while I pray he is my future, there is still a part of me that bucks in conflicted confusion and delight by this declaration of his.

He wants to court me.

And yet, as sweet and romantic as such a gesture might be, I require no such formalities. My affections for Finn Van Brunt have already solidified into something real and wonderful and meaningful.

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Don’t miss the first book in this series, THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY!

The Collectors' Society front cover

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Author PhotoAbout Heather Lyons:

Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

 

 

 

 

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Review – Bright Side by Kim Holden

Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

 BFF K’s Review

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Bright Side is by far the saddest book I have ever read in my entire life. It is also one of the most uplifting stories filled with incredible characters and amazing life lessons.

I stayed away from this book as long as I could. I was terribly afraid, and rightly so. When a group of awesome ladies in an online book group (#VixenLove) decided to tackle this together as a group read; I agreed to join them since there would be hand-holding. Kim Holden promised lots of virtual hugs, so I jumped!

The first 60% of Bright Side flies by in a terrific way. The characters are full and rich and written in a way that you want to be them or be BFF’s with them! I developed a serious-girl-crush on Kate, and I wanted her to be my BFF. I was also supremely jealous of her to have the love and devotion of both Gus and Keller. But, she’s such an incredible person that you can see why she has a loyal band (pun intended) of friends and devotees! I was constantly so impressed with her thought process and her attitude. And the music – ohhhhh – the music!

Somewhere around 60-70%, you start to figure out what’s coming. From 70% to the end, I recommend not leaving your home. Notify your family of the impending breakdown. Prepare a soft comfy reading spot, get a full box of tissues, a trash can (to put said tissues), a glass of water (to replenish the fluids you will loose) and your book. Just know, you’re going to cry. A lot. And, when you think it can’t possibly get any sadder…..it does. But, I promise, when it’s over, it is SO worth it!

Here’s my post about Bright Side on our BFF Book Blog Facebook page. My eyes actually looked worse than this. I’ve never been such a wreck over a fictional ‘event.’

 

(The next morning, I messaged Kim Holden and she graciously agreed to an author interview, which I will be posting after this review. I’m so grateful to her for taking part in our 2nd edition of “That’s What She Said”! She’s delightful.)

Bright Side is the very first book character that inspires me to be a better person. I want to look at life with the same lens Kate uses. And, I want to approach people with the warmth, compassion and understanding that Kate offers to everyone she encounters. I want my life (and the way I live it) to have impact and meaning for those that matter the most to me. I want to live on the Bright Side and Do Epic!

I’ve recommended the book to several friends and family. Every person who’s read it RAVES about it. I owe a HUGE thank you to the Vixens who gave me the support and encouragement I needed to take the plunge. If you’re scared to jump in, message me on Facebook and I’ll be happy to talk you through it/hold your hand!

Prepare. Be Brave. Read Bright Side!

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I know that HERO is listed twice…..Once for Keller and once for Gus! <3

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About the Author

I (Kim Holden) live in the greatest city in the world: Denver, Colorado. Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle, Facebook, iced coffee, and music. I also love dreaming. And speaking of dreaming, I have a bit of advice for anyone reading this … follow your dreams. It’s never too late. Get started today … heck get started RIGHT NOW! Make your dreams reality.
I love to hear from fellow readers. Love. It. Please come find me. We’ll hang out. It’ll be fun:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KimHoldenAuthor
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7445352.Kim_Holden
My Website https://kimholdenbooks.com

Review of New Release – Lure by Alyssa Rose Ivy

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LURE is the first novel in her New Adult Paranormal Romance series The Allure Chronicles! Make sure you grab the prequel novella, SEDUCTION’S KISS, while it is FREE for a limited time!!!

 

LURE

There’s danger in the beauty…

Two years, six months, and twenty-five days. That’s how long it had been since I’d seen my winged hero— not that I’d been counting. I’d suffered through years of counseling just to convince my friends and family that I wasn’t crazy and knew he didn’t exist.

But he did. And I was done waiting.

Days after college graduation I headed back down to New Orleans to retrace my steps and find Owen again only to find my life was about to get even crazier… thanks to the most beautiful and dangerous of all paranormal creatures, the Allures.

BFF K’s Review

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Alyssa Rose Ivy has created a fantastic new world! It was so much fun to read a great new paranormal romance series; and this one has a little bit of everything. Vampires, shifters, heroes with beautiful black wings and beings that prey on human emotions – I am loving all of these incredible paranormal creatures.

I feel like Seduction’s Kiss (which I read before I started Lure, and you should too) and Lure both set the foundation for the rest of the series while establishing a fantastic romance between Owen and Daisy. If you’re a fan of paranormal romance, you’ll definitely want to check out this terrific new series. The only problem – you’ll have to wait (get in line behind me) for the next book in this new series to be released. UGH – the wait!

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Excerpt

(This was BFF K’s favorite part in the book!)

We stood awkwardly for another moment before I had to break the silence. “It’s been a while.”

“Two and a half years.”

“I thought about you the past few Halloweens.”

“I thought about you more than that. It’s actually pretty humiliating now that I’m standing in the same room with you. I don’t know what I was thinking.” She looked away.

“I lied.”

“About?”

I walked toward her. I had to wipe that regret off her face. “I thought about you a lot more than just Halloween.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” I stopped right in front of her. “You were very memorable.”

“So were you.” She licked her lips. Again with the lips.

“I probably should ask you a million questions right now, but would it be okay if we put those off and did something else?”

“I guess that depends on what else you want to do?” Her eyes widened slightly.

“I want to kiss you.”

“I’m okay with that.” Her eyes seemed to sparkle.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

I didn’t wait for her to change her mind. I brushed my lips against hers gently. I was going to keep it short, but I had to know if I was glorifying the last kiss.

She moved her lips against mine, and any thoughts of keeping it short disappeared. I wrapped my arms around her as I deepened the kiss, greedily pushing for access beyond those irresistible lips of hers. She opened up, welcoming me in with the same intoxicating taste as she had the last time.

She moaned, encouraging me to continue the kiss. I didn’t need the encouragement. I lifted her up and carried her over to the couch. I sat down, settling her on my lap. I needed her close, closer than standing would allow.

Her fingers tangled in my hair as she let me explore her mouth. My hands ached to explore more, but I didn’t want to rush it. I’d waited over two years to taste her lips again, and I was going to enjoy every second of it.

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Don’t miss SEDUCTION’S KISS, the prequel novella to Lure (The Allure Chronicles #1)…

Seductions Kiss

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Alyssa Rose Ivy- Author PhotoAbout Alyssa Rose Ivy:

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

 

 

 

 

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Review – The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek

From Robin Antalek, author of The Summer We Fell Apart, comes an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends who explore what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and the difficulties in doing both together. Spanning over a decade, and told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them. It is the addictive and moving story of these old friends who wind up confronting their past in order to find happiness in their adult lives that make this novel an anticipated winter release.

Sam Turner, the summer he turns 15, feels lucky enough to enjoy the unexpected attention of his friend Suzie Epstein, even though it’s only a few secret months. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand—and will never question—the budding relationship is kept hidden from their close circle of friends. But before their summer tans can even start to fade, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving away to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie Epstein takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers while simultaneously planning an early escape to college to seek independence. Though she occasionally thinks of Sam, it’s her oldest friend Bella Spade she finds herself missing. Embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie could call home, Suzie makes no attempt to reconnect with the one person she needs. Its years later that a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother Michael will reunite her with both Sam and Bella—finally forcing her to confront her friends, her past and what she left behind.

After losing Suzie, Bella surprisingly finds her first real love in Sam. But his inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. Watching Suzie and Michael as they seem to have worked it all out, Bella’s only to wonder where she went wrong and how to make it right.

BFF K’s Review

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Multiple characters, multiple points of view, spanning several years. The Grown Ups is one of those reads that builds characters and layers experiences and emotions one on top of the other over the span of the most formative years in life and leaves the reader raw and aching for the beautiful insights that turn the every day into the extraordinary.

The Grown Ups is told from the point of view of three major characters who grew up together in a neighborhood filled with children and families and drama. This is the kind of idyllic setting that would lead you to think there are perfect families behind all of the closed doors. But, you get a glimpse into dysfunctional marriages, illnesses and experiences that impact the development and maturation of the children in those neighborhoods. This is a story that shows how simple it is for several people to share similar, or even the same experiences, yet interpret them completely differently as they use their own filter and experiences to make sense of their worlds.

The hallmark of this book is the incredibly rich and deep characters that are built. You will fall in love with Sam, ache with Bella and share the joys and heartaches of Suzie. It’s a beautifully written book that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

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(I know that character development is there twice. It is really the highlight of the book and it’s really that good!)

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Excerpt

Mrs. Spade died in the winter of their junior year of college and they all returned home for the funeral.

Bella had called from Vassar to tell Sam. He’d picked up the phone and heard his name and then nothing, just a rush of air across the wires followed by what sounded like a far away howling. Bella and Sam had continued, despite distance and any real commitment, to find their way back to each other. She surprised him first at school, showing up at his door, and they had fallen back onto his twin mattress as if they were starving.   It felt exotic, somehow, to be in a place where no one knew them as a couple. To hold hands as they shared crummy food off Sam’s meal ticket at the dining hall, to drink dollar pitchers at The Rat, to wake up next to each other and have sex without talking, like they had the map of what they liked inked indelibly in their brains. By the time Sam’s roommate returned from his girlfriend’s place, the weekend ended, the buzz would wear off, and Sam would think they wouldn’t do it again. Until one of them showed up on the doorstep of the other’s room and it started up all over again. Sam thought this thing with Bella was casual, comfortable. They had never labeled what they were or talked about where it was going. He thought that was what they both wanted. Or maybe they were just too scared to bring it up. Sam liked things the way they were until something like this happened, and he had no idea how to act or what they meant to each other.

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About the Author

Robin Antalek is the author of The Summer We Fell Apart. Her nonfiction writing has been published in literary journals and in several collections, including The Beautiful Anthology; Writing off Script: Writers on the Influence of Cinema; and The Weeklings: Revolution #1 Selected Essays 2012-1013. Her short fiction has appeared in 52 Stories, Five Chapters, Sun Dog, The Southeast Review, and Literary Mama among others. She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.

 

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