New Release – Tess by Ashley Pullo

Title: New Amsterdam: Tess (#1)
Author: Ashley Pullo
Release Date: Oct 15, 2015
Find on Goodreads

 

Inspired by the captivating stories from Humans of New York, and the narrative structure of a television mini-series, New Amsterdam chronicles the lives of three women defining love in New York City.
Tess – Thessaly Sinclair owns an artisanal honey shop in the historic Seaport district of Lower Manhattan. She’s savvy and charming, and appears to have it all, but a romantic hang-up is holding her back from experiencing true love.

 

On sale for $1.99 on Oct 15 & 16th

 

BFF K’s Review

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Ashley Pullo is the master of sweet, endearing, emotion packed vignettes. I’m a BIG fan of her other books, The Album and The Ballad. Her newest, Tess, did not disappoint.

Inspired by Humans of New York, this “short novel” is centered around sorta-random, every day people. But, they’re wonderful! They have interesting lives and careers and emotions. Like Pullo’s previous books, you can see how lives intertwine and the decisions/interactions of one character may impact another without even knowing it.

I think Tess is an exceptional heroine. She’s independent, smart, caring and hard-working. And, it is all of those qualities that attracts Levi who has the same wonderful characteristics. Their romance is quirky, real, honest and sweet. The cast of supporting characters adds to the overall charm of the story. (Meg and Seth are adorable!) The romance is absolutely swoony and a little steamy!

Tess is the first of the New Amsterdam series. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving peaches and honey. I’ll be waiting anxiously to read Julia and Darby!

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An ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Excerpt

“How did a tomboy from Asheville end up in New York – Downtown even?” asks Levi.

Cracking her knuckles, Thessaly laughs nervously. This is that moment – the one where the truth becomes a part of the story arc. Turning into him, she admits, “I followed a boy.”

Levi’s mouth hovers near Thessaly’s lips as he whispers, “You don’t like to follow.”

Caught up in the sexual tension, Thessaly’s mouth twitches in anticipation. “And you?” she hushes.

“I nudge.”

New Amsterdam: Julia (#2) | Coming Nov 30, 2015
Inspired by the captivating stories from Humans of New York, and the narrative structure of a television mini-series, Ashley Pullo lends her unique voice to a new series releasing this fall. Combining her unmistakable wit and distinct writing style, New Amsterdam will feature a trio of petite novels chronicling the lives of three women as they define love in NYC.
Julia – Julia Pierce is a popular wedding columnist for a large NYC newspaper. She creates modern fairy tales by penning editorials about average couples. Cynical and cautious, Julia must define love by writing her own story.

 

 

New Amsterdam: Darby (#3) | Release date TBA
Inspired by the captivating stories from Humans of New York, and the narrative structure of a television mini-series, Ashley Pullo lends her unique voice to a new series releasing this fall. Combining her unmistakable wit and distinct writing style, New Amsterdam will feature a trio of petite novels chronicling the lives of three women as they define love in NYC.
Darby – Darby Wallace is an anthropologist reporting human interest stories for a trendy online magazine. She watches people, studies their habits, and then gives them an interesting narrative – but her own life is a spiraling disaster of bad decisions. Selfish and careless, Darby must seek the help of a mysterious stranger in order to understand the power of human connection.

 

About the Author

**Residing in New York with her husband and two children, Ashley Pullo is an author, an entertainment blogger, and an advocate for cultural literacy.**
Hey y’all!
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, pop-culture, and humor.
Dreams need chasers.

 

 

Review – The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick

Title: The Sparrow Sisters
Author: Ellen Herrick
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Genre: Magical Realism/Fantasy
Format: Kindle/Paperback

 


With echoes of the alchemy of Practical Magic, the lushness of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and the darkly joyful wickedness of the Witches of East End, Ellen Herrick’s debut novel spins an enchanting love story about a place where magic whispers just beneath the surface and almost anything is possible, if you aren’t afraid to listen.

 

The Sparrow Sisters are as tightly woven into the seaside New England town of Granite Point as the wild sweet peas that climb the stone walls along the harbor. Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are as colorful as the beach plums on the dunes and as mysterious as the fog that rolls into town at dusk.

 

Patience is the town healer and when a new doctor settles into Granite Point he brings with him a mystery so compelling that Patience is drawn to love him, even as she struggles to mend him. But when Patience Sparrow’s herbs and tinctures are believed to be implicated in a local tragedy, Granite Point is consumed by a long-buried fear—and its three hundred year old history resurfaces as a modern day witch-hunt threatens. The plants and flowers, fruit trees and high hedges begin to wither and die, and the entire town begins to fail; fishermen return to the harbor empty-handed, and blight descends on the old elms that line the lanes.

 

It seems as if Patience and her town are lost until the women of Granite Point band together to save the Sparrow. As they gather, drawing strength from each other, will they be able to turn the tide and return life to Granite Point?

 

The Sparrow Sisters is a beautiful, haunting, and thoroughly mesmerizing novel that will capture your imagination.

 

Purchase the Sparrow Sisters

 

Harper Collins     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Google Play     Audible

Add to your Goodreads

 

The Amazon.com links used in this post are directed to the paperback copy of The Sparrow Sisters. This is an unusual case where the paperback is less expensive than the Kindle copy, FYI!

 

BFF K’s Review

 

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The Sparrow Sisters is an absolutely lovely book and the perfect pick for your fall book club meeting! I was captivated by the beautiful imagery and remarkable sense of place created by Ellen Herrick in this book. At first Granite Pointe is such an idyllic little seaside town. The residents and their surroundings are seen through the eyes of several of the characters. You learn about the quirks and nuances of Granite Pointe and its’ inhabitants. At the center of the community are the Sparrow Sisters and their nursery.

The mystical presence surrounding the Sparrows is woven through the first parts of the book and you’re left believing in the magic of who they are and what they can do through the plants that they grow in their nursery. The synopsis of the book hints at a pending tragedy and the build up creates a delicious sense of angst and suspense. There were a couple of times I was so nervous, I hesitated to turn the page or press play on Audible for fear of what might be coming.

Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are intertwined with the town and you soon realize that the success or failure of one is equal to the other. When Dr. Henry Carlyle arrives in Granite Pointe, he is immediately drawn into a passionate and life altering relationship with Patience Sparrow. When the tragedy strikes, the relationships of EVERYONE in Granite Pointe are tested and strained. I was so intrigued by the way that town turned on one of their own and the strife created from the discontent. It was too easy, almost unsettling, the way the witch hunt unfolded with the Sisters and Henry at the center. But, the devotion that the Sparrow sisters have to one another and their close-knit circle of friends/family is heartwarming. It’s critical for the women of Granite Pointe to take a stand and the Girl Power is fully awesome!

I had hoped for a little more magic and mystery, but the exceptional characters and relationships made up for any lack of alchemy. Herrick has created a delightful world full of beautiful passages and quirky characters. I enjoyed the entire book, both audio and written. The Sparrow Sisters has an immensely satisfying ending, but still leaves an opening to revisit these endearing characters. I’m looking forward to discovering what’s in store for Sorrel and checking in with all of the Sisters.

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This book was reviewed using a combination of audiobook and Advance Reader Copy. The audiobook was purchased by the reviewer, the ARC was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Ellen Herrick was a publishing executive in New York until she moved to London for a brief stint; she returned nearly twenty years later with three grown children (her own, it must be said). She now divides her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and a small Cape Cod town very much like Granite Point.

For More Information

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 Visit Ellen’s website

Review – The Allure of Dean Harper by R.S. Grey

Title: The Allure of Dean Harper (Allure #2)
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Sept 28, 2015
Find on Goodreads

 

 

From: LilyNBlack@Gmail.com
To: JosephineKeller@VogueMagazine.com
Subject: You’re a flippin’ idiot
Good morning my dear, naive friend, I hope you’re enjoying a breakfast of regret and sorrow.
Why?
Because you sent me to work for Dean Harper, aka a control freak in a tailor-made suit. Sure he owns the trendiest restaurants in NYC, but c’mon Jo, his ego makes Kanye West look like the Dalai Lama.
He’s the type of guy that only hears the word “no” when it’s followed by “don’t stop.
”Working for Dean Harper would be like selling my soul to the devil…and before you say anything, I don’t care if the devil has punch-you-in-the-gut brown eyes and an ass to match. My soul isn’t for sale.
Regretfully yours,
Lily

The Allure of Dean Harper is a full-length standalone romance with overlapping characters from The Allure of Julian Lefray. Both books can be read separately. Chronologically, The Allure of Julian Lefray happens first. 

BFF K’s Review

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The Allure of Dean Harper is a BFF K Top 10 Read for 2015

I LOVE this book! The Allure of Dean Harper is a fun, hilariously-funny, endearing, blood-pumping, outstanding read!

Lily Black and Dean Harper are like oil and vinegar. It takes a whole lot of shaking to bring them together, but when they combine, the result is delicious! Lily has moved to NYC with big dreams of staking her place in the culinary world. She’s prepared to bust her a$# and work her way to the top. Dean Harper is already at the pinnacle of success in the restaurant industry. His accomplishments are the result of hard work, complete control and virtually no personal life. Both Lily and Dean are impossibly head-strong, hot-tempered, prideful, passionate people. They come together as intensely as they pull apart.

The Allure of Dean Harper is FUNNY! It is absolutely hysterical. I laughed until I cried. There were a couple of times where I teared up a bit; then I laughed some more. This is by far my favorite R.S. Grey book to date. (I love The Duet & Scoring Wilder, so that’s saying something!) There are 2 particular scenes – 1 on the yacht and 1 in the club – that had me howling with laughter. These are legitimate LOL moments!

This story is sublime. The Allure of Dean Harper reminds me of the perfect margarita – sweet and sour, sugary and salty, tasty and refreshing, and just one will never be enough. I can’t wait to read this again and I am so excited for everyone to have the chance to devour Dean and Lily’s story!

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An ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things…everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors are Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things funny. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

 

Review – Darken the Stars by Amy A. Bartol

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Darken the Stars is the heart-stopping, adrenaline-fueled, hangover-inducing conclusion to the Kricket Series by Amy A. Bartol.

Kyon Ensin finally has what he’s always wanted: possession of Kricket Hollowell, the priestess who foresees the future. Together, their combined power will be unrivaled. Kricket, however, doesn’t crave the crown of Ethar—she has an unbreakable desire to live life on her own terms, a life that she desperately wants to share with her love, Trey Allairis.

As conspiracies rage in the war for Ethar, Kricket’s so-called allies want to use her as a spy. Even those held closest cannot be trusted—including Astrid, her sister, and Giffen, a member of a mysterious order with a hidden agenda. But Kricket’s resolve will not allow her to be used as anyone’s pawn, even as the Brotherhood sharpens its plans to cut out her heart.

As the destiny prophesied by her mother approaches, Kricket will backtrack through her fiery future to reshape it. For she knows one thing above all else: the only person she can truly count on is herself.

Read BFF K’s reviews of: Under Different Stars and Sea of Stars.

BFF K’s Review

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I’m not sure how to write a review for a book that concludes (?) a series that I have dearly loved in a manner in which I’m still coming to terms. I’m a HUGE fan of Amy A. Bartol. I think she’s an absolute genius and her creation of worlds beyond my wildest imagination is exceptional. Darken the Stars blew me away, hence the rare 6-Rating!

If you’ve been following Amy Bartol or any of the social media hype surrounding this book, you will know that it has left many in a state of great unrest. The ending is not what many (including me) had hoped for these beloved characters.

While the conclusion to this story left me sobbing and bleeding; it’s honestly better than the worst case scenarios that ran through my head before and during my reading.  The ending is better than the countless horrific outcomes I had envisioned where all my favorite characters in the series, including Kricket, die unspeakably horrible deaths. This ending is NOT what I had expected or hoped for but, in retrospect, I can’t imagine being satisfied with something different at this point.

Kricket has a life on her own terms. She belongs to no one and is controlled by no one. She also knows the truth about who she is and what her abilities allow her to do. Kricket has true friendships and a true understanding of who she is, how brilliant she is and how many people love her to the point that they will kill for her.

It is sometimes easy to forget, but this series is about Kricket. This series is about her journey, her discoveries, her fights for love and acceptance and life as she chooses. All of the other characters and plots exist to highlight and develop Kricket. Darken the Stars emphasizes all of the amazing complexities and nuances of Kricket’s character; she has proven herself over and over again.

Throughout this series, it has been no secret that I LOVE Trey (still do.) He’s been one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends. I also had a strong dislike for Kyon. I have spouted in several forums on social media my dislike for Kyon and the assertion that I would never, could never like this character……When I’m wrong, I’ll say I’m wrong. After Darken the Stars, I see Kyon differently. I valiantly fought against liking him but, through this book, I understand him so clearly. I understand Kricket’s feelings for him and his feelings for her. It is a testament to Amy Bartol’s storytelling to take a character that was so despised and completely redeem and endear him to the reader. This character exploration alone makes Darken the Stars worth reading!

This book has always been billed as the final installment in the Kricket series. If it ends today, I can live with the conclusion. I will imagine in my head countless continuations for my favorite characters as the story will continue to play out in ways I envision. However, if we raise our voices together – rant, rave and beg, maybe the publisher #47North would consider a continuation to Kricket’s story. Like so many others, I’m just not ready for this story to end.

If you have read the first two books in the Kricket series, you absolutely MUST read Darken the Stars. If you haven’t started the series, I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it is. This series is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorites!

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An ARC of this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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

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 – Right Wrong Guy by Lia Riley

 

RIGHT WRONG GUY
Brightwater #2
Lia Riley
Releasing Aug 4th, 2015
Avon Romance
The fun and flirty second installment in Lia Riley’s fantastic Brightwater series.
Sometimes two wrongs can make a right…
Bad boy wrangler, Archer Kane, lives fast and loose. Words like responsibility and commitment send him running in the opposite direction. Until a wild Vegas weekend puts him on a collision course with Eden Bankcroft-Kew, a New York heiress running away from her blackmailing fiancé…the morning of her wedding.
Eden has never understood the big attraction to cowboys. Give her a guy in a tailored suit any day of the week. But now all she can think about is Mr. Rugged Handsome, six-feet of sinfully sexy country charm with a pair of green eyes that keeps her tossing and turning all night long.
Archer might be the wrong guy for a woman like her, but she’s not right in thinking he’ll walk away without fighting for her heart. And maybe, just maybe, two wrongs can make a right.

BFF K’s Review

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The Brightwater Series is a sweet, heartwarming, butterfly inducing series. I can’t get enough of the Kane Brothers (and Saucy Grandma Kane!) I loved Last First Kiss; it was terrific to go back to Brightwater and continue the story in Right Wrong Guy!

It seems kind of cheesy to say the story was sweet, considering Edie opens up a bakery, but the sweetness goes way beyond brownies and cupcakes. I adore Archer and Edie. They’re fantastic characters and the developing stories of their love and lives makes a super fun read!

Edie is coming into her own and it’s enjoyable to get a glimpse as she grows a backbone and learns to stand up for herself. The melting away of her insecurities is almost something tangible to watch as she overcomes her self doubt partly due to the love and adoration of Archer.

You can tell by the first chapter of the book that Archer is ready to be done with his wildcat ways! He is feeling beat up by a life that lacks of purpose and substance. When he happens into Edie as a jilted bride and rescues her from a bad situation, he quickly determines that SHE just might be the person worth turning his life upside down.

The courtship and twists are entertaining and enjoyable. This is a quick read with big pay offs in lots of charming scenes packed full of alpha male and sweet sentiments! If you haven’t started it yet, the Brightwater Series is one to add to your TBR list! <3

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An ARC of this book was received in exchange for an honest review.
BUY NOW
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Excerpt

Whatever. Archer had it good, made great tips as a wrangler at a dude ranch. His middle brother took life seriously enough and he hadn’t seen his oldest one in years. Wilder worked as a smoke jumper in Montana. Sometimes Archer wondered what would happen if he cruised to Big Sky Country and paid him a surprise visit—maybe he had multiple sister wives or was a secret war lord.

Growing up after their parents died in a freak house fire, they all slipped into roles. Wilder withdrew, brooding and angry, Sawyer became Mr. Nice Guy, always the teacher’s pet or offering to do chores. Archer rounded things out by going for laughs and practical jokes and causing trouble because someone had to remind everyone else not to take life so seriously. None of them were getting out alive.

He kept marching down the flights of stairs, tucking in his shirt. Grandma’s words played on a loop in his mind. “Using women like disposable silverware.”

Lord knew—those women used him right back. It was fun, didn’t mean anything.

Meaningless.

He ground his jaw so tight his teeth hurt. Casual sex on pool tables, washing machines, countertops, and lawn chairs filled his physical needs, but these random hookups were starting to make him feel more and more alone.

On the ground floor, he slammed open the stairwell door. There were two corridors ahead. He turned left for no reason other than that’s the hand he favored. Seemed like he chose wisely because a side entrance gave him a quick exit. He walked out, wincing at the morning sun even as he gulped fresh air, fresh for the Vegas Strip, but a far cry from the Eastern Sierras’s clean mountain breeze. His heart stirred. He’d have some breakfast and hit the road. As much as he liked leaving Brightwater, he always missed home.

Archer reached to adjust his hat and grabbed a handful of wet hair instead. Twelve stories above, a stripping magician had found herself a mighty fine Stetson.

He stepped onto the street, jumping back on the curb when a city bus turned, the side plastered with a shoe ad sporting the slogan, “Can You Run Forever?”

Hell, he’d been running from accountability, stability, and boring routines his whole life.

Another thought crept in and sank its roots deep. Was he really running from those things, or was he letting his fears of commitment and responsibility run him instead?

Giveaway

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About the Author

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.
 
 

Review – Red Blooded by Caitlin Sinead

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Instead of eating ramen and meeting frat guys like most college freshmen, Peyton Arthur is on the campaign trail. Traveling with her mother, the Democratic pick for vice president, she’s ordering room service, sneaking glances at cute campaign intern Dylan and deflecting interview questions about the tragic loss of her father. But when a reporter questions her paternity, her world goes into a tailspin.

Dylan left Yale and joined the campaign to make a difference, not keep tabs on some girl. But with the paternity scandal blowing up and Peyton asking questions, he’s been tasked to watch her every move. As he gets to know the real Peyton, he finds it harder and harder to keep a professional distance.

When the media demands a story, Peyton and Dylan give them one—a fake relationship. As they work together to investigate the rumors about her real father and Peyton gets closer to learning the truth, she’s also getting closer to Dylan. And suddenly, it’s not just her past on the line anymore. It’s her heart.

BFF K’s Review

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I love a good political plot and Red Blooded by Caitlin Sinead delivered loads of happiness! This is a coming of age story set with the backdrop of a political campaign. Peyton’s mother is the United States Vice Presidential Candidate in the middle of a contentious campaign. Peyton’s father was a best selling author who wrote a book about life and death as he was dying of cancer. The whole world feels as though they know Peyton even as she’s trying to figure out who she is.

Most chapters in Red Blooded begin with what is supposed to be an excerpt from Peyton’s father’s book. It’s typically an anecdote about something funny or poignant from their lives. I LOVED this part. These snippets perfectly set the scene for each chapter and kept the book moving along. And, I really felt as though these insights were critical to the story, the plot and the characters. I found them clever and moving and insightful. And, FYI (Caitlyn Sinead, I’m talking to you) – if that was actually a book written about life and dying, I would totally read it! Well done!

Dylan is a good guy, pulled from the hustle and bustle of the campaign trail (which he loves) to assist Peyton with her media and campaign related tasks. He has a heck of a time keeping her and her inquisitive nature out of trouble. He struggles with his need to be a professional political operative and his growing care for Peyton. The bulk of the story centers around a mystery over the true identity of Peyton’s father. Her curiosity is peaked and she spends the majority of the book on a journey to discover the truth. Peyton is a strong, new adult, female character with poise and grace and intelligence. Her humanity and authenticity made the book come alive.

Red Blooded is a quick read, but it doesn’t skimp on the character development. If you enjoy political plot lines, you’ll definitely delight in this well crafted story!

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An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review

 

Add it to Goodreads HERE!

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About Caitlin Sinead

Caitlin Sinead is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. and her debut novel, Heartsick, is available now from Carina Press. Her writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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Review – Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

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Truth or Beard
by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #1
Publication Date: July 23, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance

Tour: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Series Description:
Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief.

Truth or Beard is book #1 in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.

BFF K’s Review

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I want a Winston Brother! Please! There are 6 5 of them! I’m not terribly picky, any of them will do. They’re all tall, bearded, beautiful, bright, caring, conflicted, complicated, sensitive, manly-MEN and I can’t get enough!

I was first introduced to the Winston Brothers in Beauty and the Mustache, book 4 in Penny Reid’s fantastic Knitting in the City Series. The entire Winston family took on a life of its own in that book. And, I was thrilled to know that we would be exploring the Great Smokey Mountains with this crew for a whole new series. Book #1 is amazing, incredible, fantastic and kicks off this series in the best possible ways. The ways that leave you craving more and more and more! NOW!

SIDE NOTE – I have a girl crush/author crush on Penny Reid. I would read absolutely anything she writes, and so far, I think I almost have. She is hilarious and fun. Her books are witty and give me ALL the feels. She writes SMART characters and books that are on a whole ‘nother level. The characters are all intelligent and INDIVIDUAL, unique and mature, clean cut and a little bad-ass. There is depth and substance. If you are on Facebook, be sure to follow Penny Reid and if you really want in on the fun, her reader group, Sharks of Awesome is just that – awesome-ly fabulous!

Duane Winston is……so hard to describe because he gives me all the feels. He and Jessica come together in an awkward case of mistaken twin. But, this occurrence causes Jessica to come to terms with her feelings for both Duane and his brother Beau. She quickly realizes that it’s Duane she wants. But, does Jessica want Duane more than her dreams to travel the world or can she reconcile those two desires? Duane has been pining for Jessica since childhood and has plans and ideas for their coming together and their future. This is a story of reconciling expectations with reality to find something better than you ever imagined.

The entire book is fantastic! Full of butterflies and fun. I was up until all hours of the night and sneaking in page turns wherever possible. You won’t want to put it down, but you won’t want it to end. The only thing I can say is BUY THIS BOOK! And, if you haven’t already read them all, start saving your money to purchase the entire Penny Reid library!

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An ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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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.

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Review – A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything–fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense grey eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

BFF K’s Review

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A Stone in the Sea is a book that I had purchased at release time, but waited to read….I’m not always a big fan of super angsty emotional reads, so I kept putting this off. Then, it popped up on my Audible match so I downloaded the audio, gave it a listen, and this book blew me away!

A Stone in the Sea is an amazing story with rich, deep, well-written characters. Both Sabastian (Baz) and Shea are complex people trying their hardest to do the very best that they can. They’re both keeping secrets, but only to protect those they love. They also try to keep their distance; they’re trying to protect each other and their own hearts. But, they can not overcome the incredible pull they have to one another. Sabastian’s alpha-male protective instincts draw him to Shea when his brain tells him to stay away. And, Shea is fantastic. She’s sweet and light, but with an incredible strength and self-awareness that makes her a delight to read.

Oh….and did I mention that Baz is a brooding, tattooed, rock and roll icon who is super sexy and knows how to bring the steam???? Oh yeah, so there’s that too….

There were twists and turns in the book that I didn’t see coming. This was one of those books that I would listen to in the car, find reasons to listen at home (like cleaning-yuck) and then sneak a few minutes reading on the Kindle. I was so drawn in, I couldn’t wait to know what happened next.

Baz and Shea are one the best couples I’ve read all year. I’m dying to know what happens next. Drowning to Breathe, the next book in the series, will release next month and I won’t wait at all to dive right in!

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dual point of view

WARNING: cliffhanger

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About the Author

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary and new adult romance.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the
difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends
and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.

Review – Release Me by Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers

 


RELEASE ME
Chasing Fire #2
Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers
Releasing July 21st, 2015
Berkley/Intermix

The second in the “seriously sexy and sinfully steamy”* Chasing Fire series, about a pain too deep to forgive and a passion too hot to forget…

Alessandra Sinclair knows that Hudson Chase is the last man she should want. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks has grown into a man who would do anything to get ahead, even if it means breaking Allie’s heart. But whenever she’s near him, the attraction between them is undeniable. And now that they’re working together, keeping her distance from Hudson is almost as impossible as keeping her feelings in check…

Hudson already lost Allie once and he refuses to lose her again. He’s determined to use their new business partnership to rekindle the spark he knows is still there. Only the closer he gets to winning her over, the clearer it becomes there are still secrets that could tear them apart for good…

BFF K’s Review

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I am pretty much gushing about this series to anyone who will listen! I’ve emailed, texted, Facebooked, Tweeted and raved to anyone who seems even remotely interested. The Chasing Fire Series is absolutely FANTASTIC! Release Me sort-of starts where Remind Me left off, but with a twist! Allie had plans to regain control of her life at the end of Book #1, but those plans are quickly blown apart in a terrible discovery that rocks her world. With this shocking turn of events, Allie finds herself face to face with Hudson once again. And, though she tries desperately to stay away, the overwhelming pull to him is just too much.

Allie continues to struggle in this book, but you can understand her stress and frustrations with all she has been/is going through. There are portions of the book where Allie shows fantastic flashes of resilience and gritty determination. I think she’s going to need these in the final book. (Plus, resilience is one of my favorite traits for a heroine!) Hudson is just as swoony as ever! <3 He is absolutely consumed by Allie, while at the same time, managing multiple companies and looking after his younger brother. Hudson is going through so much in his present life while still dealing with some slowly uncovered issues in his past that you can’t help but love him. I don’t remember the last time I wished so hard for a book couple to find their Happily Ever After.

BUT, if Hudson Chase can’t find his HEA with Allie Sinclair, could he please take a chance with me? #HudsonChaser

I LOVE this story. It reminds me so much of the feels I had reading Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. The Chasing Fire series is full of romance, steam, a great hero and heroine, bad guys, suspense, great characters and a wonderful storyline. I sped through this book in record time. The suspense builds with each chapter until the end left me with sweaty palms and a racing heart. I have a feeling that pasts and present are about to collide in a massive explosion. The question is who will make it out alive and what price will they pay to survive? The thought of waiting until October 20 to finish this story makes me anxious: the calendar is already marked!

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Be AWARE :  cliffhanger

An ARC of this book was received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Exclusive Tour Excerpt

In the distance Allie could see the black limo waiting at the bottom of the hill. She paused, her hand reaching out to rest on the gleaming wood of her father’s casket, before turning to leave. She and Harper had nearly reached the car when she heard someone call her name.

“Alessandra,” Benjamin Weiss said, hurrying to catch up to her. “A word, please.”

“I’ll wait for you in the car,” Harper said. She slid into the limo and Clayton closed the door behind her before assuming his post a few feet away. Allie knew that behind those dark sunglasses his razor-sharp gaze was scanning the crowd, and that beneath that well-tailored suit a loaded gun was holstered. She tried not to think about why, focusing her attention instead on Mr. Weiss.

“I’m sorry to bring this up now,” he said, “but the board has called for an emergency meeting at Ingram headquarters. I’d hoped to put this off until at least next week, but between your parents’ passing and the revelation of Mr. Chase’s acquisitions . . . Well, I’m sure you can understand their concern.”

Allie nodded. Of course the other board members were concerned. Richard and Victoria Sinclair were gone, and now their daughter, a relative stranger to them, was at the helm alongside a man who’d spent the past few months covertly acquiring a substantial portion of their stock. When he wasn’t fucking her on every available surface, that is. At least the last part wasn’t general knowledge. It was going to be hard enough to face that room with Hudson sitting across the table from her. Thankfully no one on the board knew about their personal involvement.

“When?” she asked.

“Tomorrow morning.” Mr. Weiss gave her a quick rundown of the proposed agenda before ducking into the back of a waiting town car.

Allie pulled her coat closed and crossed her arms over her chest, holding the pieces of herself together as she stared out across the top of the limo at row after row of headstones. When she’d walked out of Hudson’s penthouse two weeks prior, she hadn’t planned on ever seeing him again. Now she had a little less than twenty-four hours to prepare for her first board meeting with him. She had no idea how she would react once they were in the same room, but one thing was certain: she had to keep her distance. And never, under any circumstances, allow herself to be alone with him.

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About the Authors

Though thousands of miles apart, Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines
and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and @Amy_KRogers. 
 
 
Amy K. Rogers

 

Ann Marie Walker
 

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Review – Searching for Always by Jennifer Probst

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New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.

BFF K’s Review

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Officer Stone Petty. The name alone is super sexy, but the name has nothing on the MAN! Stone is holy-hotness, uniform-wearing, muscle-flexing, dominating, alpha-male with a soft-side even he didn’t know about! When he meets tree-hugging, dog-rescuing, vegetarian Arilyn in an anger management class (she’s the teacher) – the sparks FLY! And, it is so much FUN!

I LOVED Stone Petty. He is just the kind of fabulous, alpha male character that I love to read. Arilyn is a terrific heroine and I really liked the fact that she wasn’t all drama and self-pity. Her character is enjoyable mostly because she’s real and authentic. Arilyn is a good communicator. That skill enhances their relationship and is gratifying to read. There’s a definite ‘steam-factor’ and some of the scenes are hot, hot, HOT! But, it’s just the right amount of hot and sweet.

AND, wait until you meet Pinky! Stone’s relationship with this rescued chihuahua is precious. Stone is a stellar Book Boyfriend for lots of reasons, but his love and care for Pinky seals the deal!

I loved Searching for Beautiful, but Searching for Always is even better! I will absolutely be going back to read the first two books in this series. Searching for Always has solidified Jennifer Probsts’ spot on my must-read author list!

I enjoyed Searching for Always in both Kindle and Audiobook formats. This was fantastic because it allowed me to fly through the story twice as fast. [I’m talking – read until 2a, listen in the shower, listen in car, headphones to walk from car to the office, listen in car, home to read!] The audio version has great narration and fantastic pacing. If you’re an audiobook fan, you really need to check this one out!

No matter how you tackle this book, it needs to be on your To Be Read List – immediately! <3

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Be sure to check out my review for book #3 in the Series – Searching for Beautiful. All of the books in this series can be read as stand-alones.

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An ARC of this book was received via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The audio book was purchased by the reviewer.

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About the Author

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

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