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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Review – The Hook Up 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

 

BFF K’s Review

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Drew Baylor has a lot riding on his shoulders. He’s the superstar quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner. Lesser men would shrink under that kind of spotlight. But, Drew takes it all in stride and manages his life in the public eye. Until he meets Anna and everything is turned upside down. She doesn’t see his status as anything other than an annoyance….And he doesn’t see anything but her.

Their “relationship” comes with rules that Drew has decided are “more like guidelines.” He’s determined to show her that he’s more than Mr. Quarterback. Both Drew and Anna have interesting life experiences and back-stories that impact the way they relate to one another. It’s enjoyable to go through the ups and downs and happenings of their fledgling relationship. There are some definite butterfly moments! (You know where you can feel the butterflies in YOUR stomach!)

Good character development, several steamy scenes, a great romance and a swoon-worthy hero – The Hook Up is a really great sports related read!

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About the Author

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

 

Review – Something Reckless by Lexi Ryan

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.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22434551-something-reckless

 

BFF K’s Review

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WOW! Put your seat belt on ladies, you’re about to be in for a wild ride! This book was so much more that I expected. Reading the summary and even starting the book, it seems like a cut and dry story….girl has loved her friends’ older brother for years, he’s rebuffed her, but now she’s turning his head……BUT – this book is so much more than a simple story.

There are twists and turns in this book that absolutely blew my mind! I didn’t see most of them coming. Even now, I’m still kind of shocked – in a really good way! Part romance, part erotica, part political stunner, this book is a little bit of everything. I liked Sam and Lizzy’s story and I was so intrigued by the supporting cast of characters. There are a lot of them and they’re a really beautiful and sketchy crew. I will say there are times I wanted to grab Sam or Liz or both of them and just shake them! If they would only talk to one another, some of the drama could be avoided and that annoys me. But, really, isn’t the back and forth/will they or won’t they the point of the whole thing?

I had to sit down and make a bunch of notes for myself so that I’m primed and ready to jump into the next story when it releases in March. This was my first book by Lexi Ryan, but it definitely won’t be my last!

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Excerpt from Something Reckless

“You look amazing in this dress. I’ve been pretending all night that there’s something I want to do more than get you out of it.”

“What would you do with me if you got so lucky?”

“I’d keep you up all night, for starters.” He slides a hand into my hair and traces the side of my neck with his thumb. His groan rumbles through me. “Tell me what you came here for.”

I thought that was pretty clear. “I’m wearing extremely slutty underwear. What do you think?”

His nostrils flare and his breathing goes thready. “I think I’m going to have to up my game, because now I want to see it.”

I have to bite back a smile. “Good,” I say. My heart thumps out a beat, probably Morse code for please and thank you.

“How slutty is this underwear of yours?”

I lick my lips. “Oh, it’s damn near whorish.”

“Let me see it, Liz.”

I lift my chin and prop my hands on my hips. “Seriously? That’s all the seduction I get? Let me see it?”

He steps closer until I have to crane my neck to look at him, and holy hell he smells good. “What game are we playing here, Rowdy?” he murmurs against my ear. “Is this the one where we pretend we don’t want each other and sleep alone . . .” His fingers skim down my shoulder and my eyes float closed. “Or is it the one where I make you come so hard you scream my name and tomorrow you act like you want nothing to do with me?”

“Are those my only choices?” I ask, but I keep my eyes closed, focusing on the feel of his rough fingers dancing across my skin. The truth is, I don’t want to play either game. I’m done playing games when it comes to Sam. I’m done pretending I don’t want him when I do, and I’m done pretending our annual one-night stand is enough for me.

“Tell me you aren’t going to run away in the morning. Promise me you won’t shut me out again.”

I don’t know what that means, and I’m too scared to analyze it. My eyes are still closed when he takes my chin in his fingers and tilts my face up to his, still closed when he brushes his lips over mine and when I open under him because I’m helpless to this man’s kiss.

“Promise me,” he repeats.

“I won’t run away.” Then I unzip my dress and let it fall to the floor in a puddle, and my boldness is rewarded. Sam’s lips part and his breath escapes him in a rush.

He steps back and takes me in. The bra is strapless, black lace demi-cups that lift my breasts until they threaten to spill out. The panties—what there is of them—are a thong in matching black lace. Their fine lace straps sit in a sharp V high on my hipbones.

A ringlet of hair escaped my up-do, and he takes it between his fingers and twirls it around. I deserve a medal for not melting right here at his feet.

He hooks his index finger under the black bow between my bra cups. “Did you wear this for me?” His voice is a husky whisper that I can’t deny.

“Yes.”

His fingers skim my belly, trace over my hip, following the lace of my thong behind me to where the straps meet at the small of my back. My breath catches as he takes the fabric path over the curve of my tailbone and down, his fingers bringing every nerve ending to life as they pass. Electric pleasure whips through me.

“Fourteen months since I’ve touched you,” he says. “Fourteen months since I’ve gotten to hear the way you breathe when you’re turned on, since I’ve gotten to listen to you scream as I make you come. Tell me you haven’t thought about it.”

“I’d be lying.”

“Don’t lie,” he says, eyes hot and intense. “Just tell me you want me.”

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“You need a good guy. A long-term guy. One who does dates and romance and emotional strings…I’m just an asshole who wants to tie you up, make you come, and walk away.”

Samuel Bradshaw is a man with a reputation—the kind of reputation that should have me running the other way. Instead, it has me searching for the shortest distance to his bed. I won’t be the starry-eyed girl who thinks she can change a man like Sam, and despite what he thinks, forever is not what I need. I need the things he makes me feel, the way he turns me on, and the promise of pleasure in his eyes. This promises to be SOMETHING WILD.

 

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Lexi Ryan’s novels have been described as intense, emotional, and wickedly sexy. A former college professor, she now writes full-time from her home in Indiana, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a neurotic dog. Find her on Facebook or Twitter to chat about books, TV, and her children’s latest antics.

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REVIEW – Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago’s foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she’ll stop running and finally find her place in the world.

That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home. As danger draws close, he must protect her until she can wield the powers she cannot use on Earth…and he soon realizes that counting a galaxy of stars would be easier than losing this extraordinary girl.

Kyon knows the powerful depths of Kricket’s gifts—gifts he’ll control when he takes her for his tribe and leads the forces that will claim Ethar and destroy his enemies, starting with Trey Allairis. Now, Kricket faces the most difficult choice of her life: whether to wage a battle for survival or a fight for love.

Winner of four 2014 utopYA Awards, including Best Book of the Year and Best Sci-Fi Book of the Year.

BFF K’s Review

This is the book that confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt, I LOVE PARANORMAL ROMANCE. I used to think that I just liked certain kinds of paranormal, ‘only vampires’ or just ‘what Heather Lyons writes,’ but I can’t deny it anymore….I think paranormal romance is my favorite genre!

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I have a real soft spot for a heroine who kicks ass, and Kricket kicks ass! She is smart, strong, trusts her instincts, listens to her gut, shows vulnerability, knows what she wants, creates her own destiny and makes no apologies for who she is. I wish that more books had heroines who displayed the virtues that Kricket does!

Then there’s Trey…..SWOON! He’s the perfect match to Kricket. He’s honorable, loyal, strong and accomplished. Trey’s not at all intimidated by Kricket, nor does he want to change her or make her any less awesome! He truly wants to be her partner and protector. Trey’s willing to give up everything to be with Kricket and to keep her safe, but hopefully he’s wily enough that he won’t have to do that.

Amy Bartol has built an incredible world. If anyone would have told me that I would be loving a book where the heroine is taken to another dimension where there are warring factions on a different plane….I would have said, ‘you’re crazy’. (That brings me to my PNR proclamation at the beginning of this review!)

The supporting characters are richly written with great dialogue, personalities and purpose that compliment the main characters and the overall story line. There’s action, suspense, discovery and a really wonderful romance! The only problem with Under Different Stars is that we have to wait until March 31, 2015 for Sea of Stars (The Kricket Series Book 2.)

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Click to purchase Under Different Stars on Amazon

Click to pre-order Sea of Stars on Amazon

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 – The Ballad by Ashley Pullo

 

Two Lovers.
Two Dreamers.
One Love Song.

Locations: New York City (Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, TriBeCA) Las Vegas,
San Francisco

Setting: 2003-Present day

Characters:

Chloe LeGrange Ford – talented musician craving resolve

Adam Ford – handsome attorney longing for a revelation

Natalie LeGrange Brooks – creative free-spirit dreaming of the stars

Chris Brooks – sexy Texan waiting for the right time

Objective:

Authentic situations and original characters capture the intimate moments in a
timeless love story.

Themes:

Patience, impulse, pride, joy, and undeniable sexual attraction.

Genre:

Indie/Romance/Drama/Humor

The Ballad is a love song following dreamers and lovers over a span of ten
years. Set against the picturesque backdrop of New York City and paired with a
reverse narrative, their story is an original retelling of what it means to
find the happily ever after in the midst of the journey.

BFF K’s Review

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The Album is one of BFF K’s Bestie Reads for 2014! It is an incredible, wonderful, funny, heart-warming,  tale of five friends written in the most unique style and format we’ve come across in a long time! I LOVED it!

 

So, I was thrilled with the recent release of The Ballad. This is a companion novel to The Album sharing stories and vignettes from the lives and loves of many of the same characters in The Album. The Ballad is like going to a reunion, but only seeing/spending time with your most favorite people! This book is an opportunity to slip back into their stories and get a deeper look at some of the most significant moments.

 

You’ll be a guest at Chloe and Adam’s wedding, have a ring-side-seat at the births of babies, experience career changes and even a Vegas vacation. In many cases, it expands on the epic narratives started in The Album or tells new ones that you’ll love to read. The unique format and writing for The Ballad is one of the things I love most about the book. It’s like getting little glimpses into the lives of the characters over several years and learning about their thoughts and all the things that make them tick. The characters are so well developed, parts are LOL-funny, there is lots of romance and a little steam. Through everything: cousins Chloe and Natalie are the heart of the story, their friendship is the very best love story told and music makes the memories!

 

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Read BFF K’s Review of The Album,

THEN check out That’s What She Said, a fun and informative interview with Ashley Pullo,

where she answers all of BFF K’s most pressing questions about The Album!

Links to Buy

AMAZON US / UK

Also Available

AMAZON US / UK

Music Video

About the Author

 

Fifteen years ago I became a permanent New Yorker, but I’ve yet to abandon my Texas charm. NYC is an amazing place to find inspiration – the random and the ordinary that make up reality. My writing showcases inspired ideas, as well as my love for dichotomy, authenticity and humor.

I’m just a girl. A girl with a dream. A dream to write for television. I also had a dream to marry Christian Bale, but I digress. I’m a girl with a dream to write and write and
write until someone tells me to stop. And even then I would find a way to write about the jerk who wanted me to stop.

Author Links

Review – The Accidental Assassin by Nichole Chase

Ava McKenzie is a creature of habit. Life is passing her by and she has nothing to show for it. She’s had the same job since she started college, she orders the same dish every time she goes to her favorite restaurant, and only reads books from authors she knows. There is nothing new or surprising in her life… until her best friend marries a man from London. When her newlywed friend asks her to house-sit while she honeymoons, Ava jumps at the chance. She thinks this could be the very thing she needs to shake up her life. Ava throws herself head first into her new lifestyle; she wants to try everything, go everywhere, and never get stuck in a rut again. Of course, offing a man in a car garage hadn’t been one of the things on her list to try.

Owen Walker spends every day in a new place with a new case. As one of the most renowned assassins in the world, he has his choice of marks—and he’s never failed in a mission. When a new hit takes him back to his hometown, he looks forward to spending time somewhere familiar. What he isn’t expecting is to help an attractive, confused American woman find out how she’s ended up on a hit man’s list.

As Ava and Owen dodge bullets, will they be able to escape their undeniable attraction to each other? Or will all of that chemistry blow up in a shower of hot and dangerous sparks?

BFF K’s Review

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I enjoy Nichole Chase’s writing! Her books are terrific ‘brain candy’. The Royals Series is a super fun read, so I was excited to get my hands on The Accidental Assassin. I was thrilled to find that it delivered exactly what I was expecting – sweet characters that are fun to read, entertaining scenes, heart-warming romance, and a little steam. The bonus in this book, was a little suspense just to keep it really interesting.

I really enjoyed Ava and Owen’s story. They’re two lonely souls who are really made for one another. They’re brought together in the unlikeliest of circumstance – a hit gone wrong. But, as they work together to unravel the mystery of just who is trying to kill whom, Ava and Owen can’t deny their attraction for one another. They’re surrounded by a cast of quirky and lovable characters. You’ll root for all of them to find love and happily-ever-after….if they survive!

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Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

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About Nichole Chase

Nichole Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Suddenly Royal, Flukes, The Dark Betrayal Trilogy, and several short stories. She is also the instructor of Say What? a dialogue class at the Romance Academy.

Nichole lives in Georgia with her husband, energetic daughter, superhero dog, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not writing, you may find her reading, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

Links

Website: http://www.nicholechase.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicholeChase

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.nicholechase

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5074162.Nichole_Chase

THE ACCIDENTAL ASSASSINGoodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18071293-the-accidental-assassin?from_search=true

Review – The Album by Ashley Pullo

Five Friends.

Five narratives.

One Epic Soundtrack.

The Album
Location: New York City (TriBeCa, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill)

Setting: 1996-2013

Characters:
Chloe LeGrange – talented musician searching for a purpose
Natalie LeGrange – lovable bad girl chasing her dreams
Adam Ford – perceptive attorney longing for a surprise
Zach Parker – philosophical Marine defending love
Chris Brooks – charming Texan with perpetual bad timing

Objective:
Unexpected encounters and brushes with fate construct a web of stories about the journey of love and acceptance.

Themes:
Fate, acceptance, sex, drugs, and really good music.

Genre:
Indie/Romance/Humor/Drama

The Album is a journey following five friends over the course of two decades. Set against the timeless backdrop of New York City, their story is a classic retelling of what it means to follow your dreams, accept reality, and have a lot of fun in the process.

BFF K’s Review

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Stop what you’re doing BFFs! This book is a must read, instant BFF Bestie! I just finished this weekend and I think I’m still in a book fog. It is so fantastic; an epic story of interwoven characters, spanning years, a few countries, countless pop culture references, heart-break, romance, incredible love, a little angst and moments that will make your heart plummet and soar. All of this set to the most amazing playlists.

This is the incredible story of characters and lives that are layered together and intertwined whether the characters know it or not. It is thoughtful, heartfelt, well-written and refreshing. The Album is the kind of book that leaves you savoring passages and re-reading highlights to embrace the characters just one more time.

In thinking about my review, I tried to decide which character I liked best or which scenes or lines I should highlight to share. I came to the conclusion that I simply LOVE it all. I adore all of the characters for the way that they’re uniquely and fully developed and shared on the page. I can’t identify one that I love more than the other, but the way it all comes together is nothing short of exquisite.

Has this ever happened to you: you’ve finished a book, but all you can do is think about it? Maybe you pick it up and re-read a few lines again? And you go about your regular day thinking about the characters in a really unhealthy way, like obsessively? And you want to get over the book, but you don’t want the experience to be over? So, you go online and obsessively look up information on the book and things related – like songs and quotes and mildly stalk the author? (Like in a fun fangirl way, not showing up on her front stoop kind of stalking….) Yeah, so that might be how I feel about The Album.

When I finished, I started frantically sending texts and messages encouraging all of my friends to buy and read this book. I want every one of my friends to have the shared experience of loving this book. Consider this a personal nudge from me to you…Read this book now! The Ballad releases on December 11 and you’ll be waiting to read it too!

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I am so taken by this book and the author that we’re giving you the opportunity to win some wonderful prizes in celebration of the book.

Thank you to Ashley Pullo for donating a SIGNED COPY of The Album to one lucky U.S. winner! And, a special shout out to Daisy Prescott, another one of my favorite authors for recommending this book and gifting me a copy. Show her some love in this Rafflecopter too. Both of these women are fantastically fun and you’ll love getting to know them and getting their newsletters!

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Buy it today on Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Let me just preface by saying, I adore her. Ashley is generous, talented and funny. Check out our next post to learn more about Ashley as she answers BFF K’s questions about The Album in our VERY FIRST Author Interview, “That’s What She Said.” (Thanks for the title, Ashley!)


The Lone Star State will always be my home, but fifteen years ago, I took the plunge and became a New Yorker. NYC is an amazing place to find inspiration in my daily surroundings–the random and the ordinary that make up reality. My writing showcases inspired ideas, as well as my love for dichotomy, authenticity and humor.

When not sitting in front of the TV devouring my favorite shows, I can be found at a soccer game with my husband and two children.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AshleyPullo
Twitter: @ashpullo
My NEW AMAZING WEBSITE http://www.ashleypullo.com
Or find me at any local Starbucks around 3 p.m.