Review – Searching for Beautiful by Jennifer Probst

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The highly anticipated third novel in the Searching For series from Jennifer Probst, “one of the most exciting breakout novelists” (USA Today), featuring a runaway bride and the man who wants to be more than just her best friend…

Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.

When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.

Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?

BFF K’s Review

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When I read the synopsis for this book, I immediately thought, “this is my kind of read!” Runaway bride, hot tattooed best-friend-turned-lover, this has all the makings for my favorite kind of book. And, I wasn’t wrong. Searching for Beautiful is my kind of story. But, this is not your typical runaway bride story. What caught me off guard was the depth of the story. I wasn’t expecting the emotional journeys of personal growth and discovery. Both Gen and Wolfe have pasts that they’re working to reconcile.

Jen is an incredible heroine. She’s left David, and what looked to be a perfect relationship, at the alter. But, the mess left behind is way more personal and intimate than an uneaten wedding cake. As she begins to put the pieces back together with the help of Wolfe, the entire relationship between these besties begins to evolve.

Wolfe is a total alpha male (my favorite kind) with an inherent instinct to protect. And, Gen is his to protect, first as a friend, but soon as something more. However, Wolfe carries a basket load of issues from his past. And, as they’re slowly revealed, your heart will break and you will love him as fiercely as Gen does.

Searching for Beautiful is a deeply pleasing story of love, self-discovery, independence, trust and hope. Though it is the 3rd book in the Searching For Series, it can be read as a standalone. (Which is proven, as I haven’t yet read the first two in the series. YET!) I’ve read other Jennifer Probst books in the past and really enjoyed them. Searching for Beautiful is another reminder for me to put this author on my go-to list!

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

 

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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.

LINKS:

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Review – Heat by Penny Reid – Elements of Chemistry Series

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Heat
by Penny Reid
Hypothesis #2
Publication Date: April 30, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance

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Elements of Chemistry: HEAT is part 2 of a 3 part series (65k word novel) and ends in a cliffhanger.

**Blurb contains spoilers if you haven’t read Elements of Chemistry: ATTRACTION**

Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.
And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?

Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.

When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.

But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their new found connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.

Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.

BFF K’s Review

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HEAT is an incredible continuation of Kaitlyn and Martin’s story. It picks right up where Attraction left off. We get to see the relationship of Kaitlyn and Martin continue to grow as they learn more and more about one another. Their relationship takes on a physical aspect that will practically burn up your ereader! The book is true to its name….This one brings the HEAT! But, even the steamy scenes are a reflection of who they are as characters.

The character development is fantastic! And, through it all, the book is written with a level of maturity and intelligence sometimes lacking in romance novels. It’s smart and quirky and an absolute delight to read!

I really can’t rave enough about how great this series is! The only problem is waiting until the next one releases! AND – be warned – Heat ends with a MAJOR CLIFFHANGER! I still think that you should still read it immediately, don’t wait to devour the goodness!

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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 – Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

Some loves never let you go…
Cassie swore she’d never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever…or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Finally he’s able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago…but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises?
The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it’s like to be trusting and open again–the way she was before Ethan? Or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?
Don’t miss this mesmerizing final chapter in the Bad Romeo duet, the unforgettable love story that captured the hearts of over two million fans online.

BFF K’s Review

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Broken Juliet is the absolutely sparkling conclusion to the story of Cassie and Ethan. I’m nearly at a loss for words to describe how much I love this series and how truly wonderful these books are. Parts are laugh out loud funny, parts make you want to sob in sadness or frustration. There is angst, romance and plenty of steam. Cassie and Ethan are phenomenal characters. Their dialogue is impeccably written and the story fresh and inventive. The words are lyrical, carefully crafted, and flow in a way that makes you pause thinking, “those sentences were absolutely perfect.”

Leisa Rayven uses a combination of flashbacks and modern day scenes to build the story of Cassie and Ethan and their tumultuous relationship. But, through all of drama, you see how Cassie and Ethan are desperately and completely meant for one another. It takes years (and some hard core therapy) for each to understand and accept themselves and the monumental feelings they possess for one another. The end result is worth every bit of emotion and speaks so honestly about who the characters are and what they want and need from one another.

Broken Juliet has caused a book hang-over of epic proportions. I’m certain I will spend hours re-reading all the highlighted bits and pieces to re-capture just a few of the emotions this book can stir. There are a few books and series that are on my “always recommend” list. Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet have shot toward the top of that list and I will be telling everyone I know that this series can’t be missed!

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

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Favorite Quotes

“The way he says my name is like a groan of frustration and a sigh of relief. A promise. An apology. A prayer.”
“Time is a fickle whore. Whenever you want it to pass slowly, it speeds up, and whenever you’re full of nervous impatience it crawls like a sloth on sedatives.”
“I have full-blown emotional vertigo. I’m completely turned around. Upside down and inside out.”
“From the moment I met you, it was only ever going to be you.”
“All the while he whispers to me about regrets, apologies, love, future.”

Dream Casting

I don’t do this very often, but I can see Ethan and Cassie so clearly in my mind….So here they are!

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About the Author

Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and her debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014. The sequel, BROKEN JULIET, will be available in April 2015.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three judgemental cats, and a kangaroo named Howard. (*NB: Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.*)

 

Review – Black Number Four by Kandi Steiner

Known as one of the youngest and most ambitious poker players in the country, Skyler Thorne has a reputation to uphold in Vegas this year. Her sole focus for spring semester is to perfect her game and get tournament ready – and have some fun with her sorority sisters, of course. Meeting a care-free pledge with incredible arms adds a whole new element of fun to her semester, but when a shocking discovery about his past surfaces, Skyler finds herself stuck in a game she wasn’t prepared to play.
Kip Jackson is on a mission from his father. His plan was to get in, have a little fun, and then get out – on to bigger and better things. A feisty girl with bright blue eyes wasn’t on his list of things to do, but she quickly moves her way up to the very top. When he realizes completing his dad’s mission means crushing her in the process, he must decide if his dreams are worth the risk – or if he even has the same dreams, at all.Two secrets. Two hearts. Two hands being played in one twisted game of deceit. When the cards are on the table, will anyone be left standing?The perfect poker face can only hide them for so long.

BFF K’s Review

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Kandi Steiner has written a roller coaster NA romance.  Skyler and Kip are college students with a lot on their plate. They are brought together by not-so-random circumstances, but their connection is genuine. Their story takes twists and turns that will leave you a little whiplashy. There’s a lot going on in the story. Through the first 50%, I thought there was TOO much going on. However, Steiner pulled the details together through the last 50%. I found myself rooting for Kip and Skyler. I wanted them to succeed as a couple and find a way to be together. The poker world/college students/fraternity and sorority settings are an interesting combo. But, that is also what makes the story unique. I enjoyed the read and I don’t think this will be the last Kandi Steiner story that you’ll find reviewed here!

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Buy Links

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Excerpt

We get to my apartment around noon and I throw together a couple of turkey sandwiches for us. By the time we finish eating, we’re both exhausted – both from paddleboarding and from not sleeping last night.

“Why don’t we take a shower and watch a movie?” I suggest as Skyler yawns.

“I don’t have any clothes here besides the ones I have on now and they’re all sandy.”

“You can borrow a pair of boxers and a shirt of mine.”

Skyler chews her lip, unsure. “I don’t know, I’m pretty tired.”

“So am I,” I say, standing and pulling her up with me. “So maybe we watch a movie and maybe we take a nap. Don’t leave yet. I barely see you during the week and I know there’s not many weekends where you don’t have sorority stuff going on.”

“I actually have a sisterhood event tonight.”

“See?” I pull her wrist and lead her toward my bedroom, which really is just my bed separated by hanging curtains on a rack. I rummage through my clothes until I find a clean shirt and pair of boxers, tossing them to her and pointing to the bathroom. “Towels are above the toilet in the cabinet, shampoo and shit’s in there.”

She still seems unsure, so I pull her into me and move the fallen strands of hair from her face. “Come on. Just for a few hours. You’ll feel better once you shower and I know you’re tired. You’re not going to get any sleep if you go home to your sorority house.”

At that she sighs and nods. “You’re probably right about that.”

I smile and nudge her toward the bathroom again.

“Fine,” she says. “But just for a little while. And no trying to ambush me in the shower, either.”

I hold up my hands in surrender. “I promise. You can shower in peace.”

“Mmm hmm,” she says, suspicious, but she walks to the bathroom and closes the door behind her.

I smile and start straightening my bed, turning on the TV to find something for us to watch. I’m flipping through the channels when I hear the shower turn on and the smile leaves my face. Suddenly, I’m completely aware of Skyler’s naked body in the other room.

Shaking my head, I focus on finding something to watch, willing my own body to behave. After a few minutes, I realize I’ve flipped through the channels three times now without stopping or even recognizing what I was seeing on the screen. I bite my lip hard, cross my arms, and pace.

Don’t do it. Don’t make this more complicated than it is. She trusts you, she’s opening up to you – that’s what you need from her. Poker. Poker. Poker.

That’s all.

I pace more. Back and forth. Back and forth. Before I know what I’m doing, my knuckles are knocking softly on the bathroom door. I have no idea what I’m going to say or what the fuck I’m doing, but I can’t stop my hands. The door opens slightly on the third knock, as if it wasn’t completely closed, and through the slit, I see Skyler.

She’s standing there shocked, her mouth open slightly as the water continues to drip down her body, running in rivers down over her breasts and meeting between her thighs. I swallow hard, unsure of my decision. I have nothing to ask, no reason to be staring at her through this door – but Skyler doesn’t cover herself, she doesn’t scream, she doesn’t tell me to get out.

I open the door a little further, still wondering what the hell I’m doing. I consider asking if she needs anything else, if she found a towel, something – but we both know I didn’t come in here to give her a towel.

“I suck at keeping promises,” I admit, just above a whisper, and I wish I could tell her I’m not just talking about the promise to not interrupt her shower.

“And I suck at pretending like I don’t want you.”

Playlist

Latch
Hannah Trigwell & Nick Howard
Chapter 1: Ante Up
Scene: “Latching onto the transfer already?”
Hell Yeah
Midnight Red
Chapter 1: Ante Up
Scene:  “What do you say we make this party a little more interesting?”
Blank Space
Tyler Ward
Chapter 2: Lady Luck
Scene: “Passion can be a dangerous thing.”
Take U There
Jack U ft. Kiesza
Chapter 3: Ace
Scene: Ralph’s is packed when we arrive, which isn’t out of the ordinary for a Friday night.
Slow to Learn
Manchester Orchestra
Chapter 4: Deuces
Scene: I’ve been too damn distracted by how sexy she is when she’s schooling these tools.
Sledgehammer
Fifth Harmony
Chapter 5: Hot Table
Scene: There’s also the fact that I like being around him. I like it way more than I care to admit and that’s not good.
Heartbreaker
Jayme Dee
Chapter 5: Hot Table
Scene: He smiles and licks his lips, his eyes smoldering, which causes practically the entire chapter room to swoon.
Blame
Calvin Harris
Chapter 6: Nicely Played
Scene: But then I remember that I will hurt her, whether I want to or not. It will happen. It’s inevitable.
Shower
Becky G
Chapter 7: Two Can Play That Game
Scene: “How is it that you infuriate me yet turn me on at the same time?”
What Makes You Beautiful
Boyce Avenue
Chapter 8: Power Moves
Scene: “Hold me so I won’t float away?”
Try
Colbie Caillat
Chapter 9: Poker Face
Scene: “We’re just trying to help,” Ashlei says.
Life of the Party
Shawn Mendes
Chapter 10: Weakness
Scene: “I don’t care about what people think, Skyler. I know you do, but I don’t.
Break Free
Ariana Grande
Chapter 11: Angle Shooter
Scene: There isn’t another option in this game, no matter how badly I wish there was.
Lay Me Down (acoustic)
Sam Smith
Chapter 12: Blank
Scene: How was I supposed to know the kind of drug I was getting into?
Bumper Cars
Alex & Sierra
Chapter 13: Bluffing
Scene: I hate this. I hate this so, so much.
Here We Go Again
Mat Kearney
Chapter 14: Tilt
Scene: “You’re coming home with me tonight.”
Hideaway
Kiesza
Chapter 15: No Limit
Scene: I have no idea what I’m doing.
Same Sea
Lights
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “I never thought studying could be so sexy,”
#GetItRight
Miley Cyrus
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “You’re killing me, Sky,”
She Looks So Perfect
5 Seconds of Summer
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “IT’S SPRING BREAK, BITCHES!”
Give Me Something
Alex & Siera
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “Yeah, good luck with that game.
Surrender
Cash Cash
Chapter 17: Bad Beat
Scene: And the rest of the world can just deal with it.
Strip
Jessie J
Chapter 17: Bad Beat
Scene: “And what would make it perfect-perfect
Blame It On Me
Mapei
Chapter 17: Bad Beat
Scene: I can’t lose him.
Tenerife Sea
Ed Sheeran
Chapter 18: Rush
Scene: When we’re alone, that same electricity buzzes to life. The air feels tight, hot, charged.
All About You
Hilary Duff
Chapter 19: Game Changer
Scene: It’s crazy that a simple text can make my stomach flip like this, but it’s exactly what I needed.
Breathe Again
Sarah Bareilles
Chapter 19: Game Changer
Scene: I want him to fix it. To fix me.
It’s Not Over
Secondhand Serenade
Chapter 20: Downswing
Scene: “You don’t want to kiss me.” “Yes I do.”
Growing Up
Alex G
Chapter 21: Tell
Scene: As if I’m a glutton for punishment, I pull his oversized black t-shirt from my bag and slip it over my head, taking everything else off.
Pretending
Glee Cast
Chapter 22: Freezeout
Scene: For a moment she just stares at me, and I just stare at her. We don’t wave or nod or even really acknowledge that we’re both looking. We just look.
The Sun is Rising
Britt Nicole
Chapter 23: Game Over
Scene: And somewhere in those ocean blue eyes of his, I find what I’ve been searching for.
Stay With Me
Janxx
Chapter 23: Game Over
Scene: Love doesn’t care about the games we play.
Real Love
Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne
Chapter 24: Break Even
Scene: “I’m done leaving my life to chance. Black number four can suck it.”
Don’t Go Home Without Me
Lights
Epilogue: Heart
Scene: “I could get used to kisses like this.”

About The Author

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer. Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).
When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

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

BFF K’s Review

Dark Elements Series 1 and 2 and Prequel Novella

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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White Hot Kiss - New Cover

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WHITE HOT KISS synopsis:

One kiss could be the last.

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

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

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

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

Stone Cold Touch - New Cover

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STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

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

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

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

Kirkus Reviews on White Hot Kiss

And the Prequel Novella, BITTER SWEET LOVE…

 

Bitter Sweet Love - New Cover

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BITTER SWEET LOVE Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

 

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Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:

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

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

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

 

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

 

Review – Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol

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

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

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

BFF K’s Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

***Audio Note***

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

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Amazon Links to Purchase The Kricket Series

Under Different Stars – Book 1

Sea of Stars – Book 2

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

Darken the Stars – Book 3 Pre-Order

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About the Author

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

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Review – 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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Amazon ** Amazon UK ** Barnes and Noble **iBooks ** Kobo

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.

THL Teaser

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

The Collectors' Society front cover

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks** Kobo

 

 

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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One-Click Bright Side on Amazon

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 – Floored by Melanie Harlow

Floord RB Banner

The new release of Floored has it all! Be sure to read through the end of this post!

Review, Excerpt, Links to reviews of the other books in the series AND a Giveaway!

Erin Upton is too embarrassed to tell the cops what she was really doing while her townhouse was burglarized, especially since the first officer on the scene is former nuisance next door Charlie Dwyer. Where’s the justice in the world when a neighborhood know-it-all grows up to be six-foot-three inches of solid muscle with gorgeous green eyes and a slow, sexy please-arrest-me-now-officer smile? It’s bad enough she’s wearing her robe and slippers—did he have to notice her fuzzy hand cuffs on the bathroom sink?

He’s arrogant as he ever was, which is fine by her—she’s too busy with her dance studio’s grand opening to make time for a man. But they keep crossing paths, and

when Charlie offers to help her put in new flooring at the studio one night, things go from hammering nails to hammering each other in a hurry. And about those hand cuffs…

They agree it’s a one-time thing. But when that becomes a two-time thing, then a three-time thing, Erin starts to wonder if maybe she and Charlie could be a life-time thing. Her best friends Mia and Coco found love in unexpected places. Is it finally her turn?

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Buy it here:

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BFF K’s Review

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There’s no doubt in my mind that Melanie Harlow saved the very best story for the end of the Frenched series! I absolutely adored the story of Erin and Charlie. It’s sweet and steamy. I loved Erin! When I started the book I felt like she was really the least known and understood of the Frenched series heroines. She had made appearances in the other books, but I didn’t feel like I really knew her.

I really loved getting inside Erin’s head. She was a great character with a good heart and wonderful intentions. And, she proved a worthy partner for new-comer Charlie. Swoon! Charlie is absolutely charming and endearing. Woooo – can he bring the steam with his dirty mouth and big ideas! One of my favorite parts was how Charlie teases Erin. He brings out a lighter side for her and it was fun to read.

AND – the epilogue was a bright bow on the wonderful present that has been the Frenched series!

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Read BFF K’s Reviews for the Frenched Series

Frenched

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Floored Excerpt

I waited under my covers the entire time the police were checking the house, about twenty minutes. I had the phone under there with me, and I called both Mia and Coco, but neither of them answered their phones. I left messages, telling them what happened and begging both of them to call me back. I would’ve called my mother, but she’d left this morning for a twelve-day religious pilgrimage to Spain. I should have gone with her, like she wanted me to. Now God is punishing me! He knows I have unholy thoughts about Brad Pitt (a married man!) and now I have to pay for it!

A knock sounded on my locked bedroom door, making me jump.

“Ma’am? We’ve checked the house. There’s no one here.” The officer’s voice was deep and reassuring. “When you’re ready, we’d like to speak with you. We’ll wait in the kitchen.”

I peeked out from the covers, eyeing the door suspiciously. “How do I know you’re really the police and not the intruder?”

“Well, you could open the door and take a look at me in uniform.”

“No way. Slide your badge under the door or something.” That’s what they did in the movies, right?

“Come on, Erin. Open the door.”

“No. And how do you know my name?”

“The police department has all kinds of useful information, like who lives where. Either that or I’m psychic.”

I made a face at the door. Did I know this guy? His voice was familiar somehow, but I couldn’t think of who it could be. “I’m not in the mood for jokes.”

“You never did have much of a sense of humor. Now come on out and see me in uniform. I think you’ll be impressed. The ladies usually are.”

My jaw dropped. Who on earth was this? Curiosity got the better of me, and I threw the covers off and jumped out of bed. In front of the door I paused for a second, my hand on the handle, thinking that if it was a scary hairy madman I’d be ready to give him a great big grand battement to the balls. Then I turned the handle and yanked it open.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

The crazy thing was, he was so handsome I had the fleeting thought this whole burglary thing was a hoax and this “cop” was actually a stripper. For a second I just stared at him, half expecting him to rip open his shirt at the chest and start gyrating.

Confession: I really, really wished he would. (For a couple of reasons.)

But he didn’t.

“Have I changed that much, Red?”

It hit me. “Oh my God. Charlie Dwyer. You’re a cop?”

He smiled, and if he hadn’t been such a turd when we were younger, I might have melted right there at his feet. As it was, I could only shake my head in disbelief at this nightmare—not only had more than two thousand dollars’ worth of electronics been stolen from my townhouse while I was upstairs getting myself off, but here to protect me was the bully next door who’d kidnapped my hamster for ransom and held up my charity lemonade stand with a Taser. And he was drop-dead gorgeous! Where was the justice in the world?

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About the Author

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She lifts her glass to readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.

Website:        http://www.melanieharlow.com/

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

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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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