New Release: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey Out Now!

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Blurb:

Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.

Excerpt (Chapter 4):

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.

In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.

“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”

“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”

“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.

“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.

Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”

“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.

“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”

I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”

“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”

“Meet what?”

Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.

“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”

Everyone stares at her blankly.

“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.

“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.

Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”

“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.

I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”

“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.

Nick rolls his eyes.

“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”

“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”

“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.

“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.

“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”

“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”

I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”

Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”

As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.

New Release: The Mister by E L James- Out Now!

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The Mister will sweep you off your feet…

THE MISTER, the highly anticipated new love story from #1 New York Times bestseller E L James is available now!

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London, 2019.  Life has been easy for Maxim Trevelyan. With his good looks, aristocratic connections, and money, he’s never had to work and he’s rarely slept alone. But all that changes when tragedy strikes and Maxim inherits his family’s noble title, wealth, and estates, and all the responsibility that entails. It’s a role he’s not prepared for and one that he struggles to face.

But his biggest challenge is fighting his desire for an unexpected, enigmatic young woman who’s recently arrived in England, possessing little more than a dangerous and troublesome past.  Reticent, beautiful, and musically gifted, she’s an alluring mystery, and Maxim’s longing for her deepens into a passion that he’s never experienced and dares not name. Just who is Alessia Demachi? And can Maxim protect her from the malevolence that threatens her? And what will she do when she learns that he’s been hiding secrets of his own?

From the heart of London through wild, rural Cornwall to the bleak, forbidding beauty of the Balkans, The Mister is a roller-coaster ride of danger and desire that leaves the reader breathless to the very last page.

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Download your copy today:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2T0zMwJ

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2HjnVsb

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TheMister

Nook: http://bit.ly/2T3CzWb

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2O0pYC6

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2HixZSr

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2TzCEWE

Audible: https://amzn.to/2u3HU5x

ABOUT E L JAMES

E L James is an incurable romantic and a self-confessed fangirl. After twenty-five years of working in television, she decided to pursue a childhood dream and write stories that readers could take to their hearts. The result was the controversial and sensuous romance Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. In 2015, she published the #1 bestseller Grey, the story of Fifty Shades of Grey from the perspective of Christian Grey, and in 2017, the chart-topping Darker, the second part of the Fifty Shades story from Christian’s point of view. Her books have been published in fifty languages and have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.

E L James has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s “Most Influential People in the World” and Publishers Weekly’s “Person of the Year.” Fifty Shades of Grey stayed on The New York Times Best Seller List for 133 consecutive weeks. Fifty Shades Freed won the Goodreads Choice Award (2012), and Fifty Shades of Grey was selected as one of the 100 Great Reads, as voted by readers, in PBS’s The Great American Read (2018). Darker has been long-listed for the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award.

She coproduced for Universal Studios the Fifty Shades movies, which made more than a billion dollars at the box office. The third installment, Fifty Shades Freed, won the People’s Choice Award for Drama in 2018.

 E L James is blessed with two wonderful sons and lives with her husband, the novelist and screenwriter Niall Leonard, and their West Highland terriers in the leafy suburbs of West London.
E.L. James

For more information about E L James, visit:

Website: https://www.eljamesauthor.com/

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

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2XTO0TM

And Instagram: http://bit.ly/2TO6vdd

 

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Confessions: Priest by Ella Frank Blog Tour

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Confessions: Priest, book three in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is available NOW!

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I am complex.

My love is all-encompassing.

And when it comes to my heart, there is only one rule:

Don’t mess with what’s mine.

Until the age of seven, I was Joel Alexander Donovan, son of Jimmy.

The man who terrorized a town and made its citizens fear

the very ground he walked on. Including me,

the day I realized that ground ran red with blood.

At age eighteen, I became Priest.

A man without a past.

A man determined to right the wrongs of my father.

A man who never believed anyone could love the son of such a monster.

But then a thief stole my heart.

A sweetheart lit up my world.

And I forgot for a moment you should never turn your back on your enemy.

And thus begins a lesson to those who would seek to harm: Never underestimate what the Priest will do to protect the Princess and the Prick.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2waxq4X

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ConfessionsPriest

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2MbqMTy

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Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!
Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2HdQ7IU

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/confessionsrobbie

Add To Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EWp3Aq

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

CONFESSION

My name is not Joel Priestley.

My name is Joel Alexander Donovan.

And a long time ago, I was taught that things

aren’t always what they appear to be—and neither are people.

JOEL PRIESTLEY, A.K.A Priest, sat behind the wheel of his Aston Martin with his hands at the ten and two positions and his seatbelt fastened. He’d been sitting like that for the past thirty minutes or so. Ever since he’d pulled the vehicle into its designated parking spot alongside his and Julien’s—his husband’s—black Range Rover.

Sinatra had been keeping him company, as Priest tried to block out the phone call he’d made back in his office to Henri. But no matter how loud he played the charismatic crooner, nothing seemed to lessen the impact of Henri’s words and the way they had made Priest’s stomach coil.

“Nice to know you can at least follow an order if it’s to keep those you love safe… Be careful; keep an eye out…”

And that was what he’d been doing for the past thirty minutes or so. Sitting in his car, with his eyes trained on the rearview and side mirrors, as his paranoia over what used to only exist in the shadows began to slowly creep back out into the light of day.

Priest gritted his teeth and reminded himself that Jimmy wasn’t out of prison just yet and likely wouldn’t be for some time. He wasn’t about to appear out of thin air to exact absolution for what he believed was Priest’s biggest crime—abandonment. But that didn’t mean Jimmy hadn’t reached out to the others to find him. To track down the son who had turned his back on his family if, and when, he walked free.

Priest cursed and slammed the heel of his palm against the steering wheel, then he reached for the seatbelt’s release, and as it retracted across his chest, he reached up and shoved it off his shoulder where it caught. As it snapped into place, Priest pulled the handle of the door and got out of the car. He needed to get upstairs. To get inside a locked lobby, where a security guard walked the halls, and his condo had a deadbolt on the front door. It was one of the main reasons he’d been interested in Logan’s place to begin with. The additional barriers between him and those he loved—and anyone who may want to hurt them.

Julien had already texted to let Priest know he and Robbie arrived home safely. But as of yet, Priest hadn’t heard anything from Robbie, their boyfriend. Not that he’d expected to. The last image Priest had of their princess was an ashen face and betrayal in those usually bright blue eyes, and Christ, Priest wished he could erase that picture from his mind.

The three of them had been making such headway lately. They had moved past the getting-to-know-you, comfortable stage of their relationship, and had been thisclose to slipping into that space where the heart and soul of the one whose body you were worshiping was coveted.

But that had all changed now. The truth about his father having wiped out any trust he may have built with Robbie, judging by the expression on his face before Priest had left the brewhouse.

All the joy, and all the happiness, the closeness the three of them had been reveling in, had been smothered by the dark cloud that descended on them, and Priest had a feeling it was going to take a lot of explaining on his behalf before they could get out from under it—if they ever could.

Priest jabbed the button of the garage elevator, and when the doors slid open, he ran his key fob over the panel and hit the floor button. He leaned against the back wall and shut his eyes, and as the elevator ascended, he wondered how he was going to explain all of this to Robbie.

He’d only ever had to do it once before. Only ever found one other he deemed important enough to share this side of himself with. And he’d been just as apprehensive, just as sick to his stomach, at the thought of revealing all to Julien, as he was heading up to face Robert Bianchi.

Priest walked down the hallway toward their condo like a man heading toward his execution—or the execution of their new relationship—and when he got to the front door, he paused before entering.

Scanning the hallway, he looked to his left, where their neighbor lived on the other side of the corridor, before he took a final glance back in the direction he’d come. Once he was satisfied there was no one about, he unlocked the door and headed inside.

The first thing he noticed upon entry was how quiet it was. Lately, when he’d arrived home from work, the TV was on and there was the sound of someone doing something or other in the living room or kitchen. But not this afternoon.

Right now, the place felt more like a library. The kind of space where you should tiptoe and whisper in case you offended whoever was inside—provided there was someone there to offend in the first place.

But that was just his paranoia creeping in again. Of course someone was inside—two someone’s, in fact. Julien had told him so, and when Priest stepped out of the short hallway, he spotted his husband immediately.

Julien was curled up on the couch with a blanket over his legs and his phone in hand, and the second Priest moved into view, Julien’s legs came out from under him and he got to his feet. He dropped the phone on the cushion beside him, and as the blanket fell from his lap, it crumpled to the soft rug without a sound.

Julien rushed around the couch and hurried over to Priest, and when he reached him, Julien took his face between his hands and pressed a hard kiss to his lips.

Mon Dieu, Joel,” Julien said. “I’ve been a mess worrying over you. I’m so glad you’re home.”

Priest wound his arms around Julien’s waist, anchoring himself to the man who understood him in ways Priest had never imagined possible. “You don’t know how much I needed to hear that.”

Julien trailed his fingers down the scruff on Priest’s cheek and frowned. “Was there really any doubt?”

Priest shut his eyes and let Julien soothe him in the way that only he could. His touch, his words, this man’s mere presence—they were all vital to Priest’s survival. Priest let go of Julien’s waist to cover the hand still cradling his cheek.

There were so many things he needed to say: “I’m sorry”or “You were right.I should’ve told Robert about this the second I found out.”But right then, all Priest could manage was: “There was no doubt. Not about you. Neverabout you.”

Julien’s eyes softened as Priest’s shifted over his husband’s shoulder to the closed door of their bedroom. “Is he still here?”

Oui.”

“I…” Priest paused as he searched for the words. “I wasn’t sure that he would be.”

“I wasn’t either,” Julien admitted, and when Priest locked eyes with him again, Julien added, “He’s been in there since we got home. Hasn’t said a word.”

“That was more than an hour ago.”

Julien nodded. “I know. But he made it very clear he wasn’t ready to talk about things yet.”

Not knowing what to say to that, Priest put his keys on the coffee table, and Julien placed a hand on his back.

“Listen, he’s processing right now. What he found out about Jimmy… It’s a lot, mon amour.”

“It’s more than that, Julien. You saw his face when he found out.”

Oui, I did. I also spoke to him in the car on the way home.”

“He thinks I lied to him. Doesn’t he?” When Julien didn’t reply, Priest ran a hand through his hair. “Fuck,” he said. “Fuck. I should’ve told him about all of this before he moved in.”

“And when should you have done that? At CRUSH? On our first date with him? Or maybe the second, when he had dinner here? I’m surethat would’ve made him feel right at home. There hasn’t been a good opportunity. You know that,” Julien reminded him, and touched his fingers to the sleeve of Priest’s jacket. “He just needs time to—”

“No,” Priest said, shaking his head. “Time gives people a chance to distort things. To make them doubt what they once believed. You and I know that better than anyone. I won’t have him doubting this. Doubting us, Julien. Not because of fucking Jimmy. I’m going to go and talk to Robert, and he’s going to listen, and then the three of us are going to sit down and discuss this.”

Something flashed in Julien’s expression, but instead of saying what was on his mind, he let go of Priest’s arm and said, “Okay.”

Priest narrowed his eyes in question, but Julien remained quiet. So Priest turned on his heel and headed toward their bedroom to track down their boyfriend and try to make things right again.

About Ella

Ella Frank is the USA TodayBestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

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Connect with Ella:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EllaFrank2012

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellafrank1/

Mailing List:  www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn

Website: https://www.ellafrank.com/portfolio

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Holding On

Reviewed for @BMBR

4 Stars

How does one classify this book? Is it a coming of age? It had all of the coming of age feels that I love: the hesitance, the self-discovery, the falling for your best friend, and the coming out. But, it also had other aspects that made me think we were dealing with characters much older than 18 year old high school seniors. Still, there were the moments of magic I crave in coming of age stories that made me pretend the other stuff didn’t exist… at least for a little while.

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Aaron is a high school senior that has it rough. An abusive, alcoholic father has been a dark cloud that finally turned into a cat 5 hurricane. Add in being homophobic to his father’s already glowing personality, a mother who stayed and endured the abuse (not judging, just recounting), a sister that witnessed it and Aaron wins the award for the crappiest luck of the draw. Aaron’s bright spot though, is his best friend Jeff who doesn’t know his two biggest secrets: abusive home life and that he’s gay.

Jeff is an amazing best friend that’s the calm in Aaron’s storm. He attends to his every need and is able to calm Aaron down from his panic attacks. He is the constant rock Aaron counts on as all hell breaks loose. Jeff is also gay and Aaron doesn’t know.

How they finally got together is beyond me. Every time they were about to make a step in the right direction, drama intervened. There was a TON of drama which meant a lonnnng delay in coming out and an even longer delay in actually communicating interest in each other.

Once they got over the overly dramatic lack of communication and the seal was broken on sex, it was balls to the wall. Errr… more like balls to the chin, hand, ass. You get my point. This was one of those areas I had to suspend my reality and pretend. Aaron and Jeff are two nerdy (but hot) high school virgins with zero girlfriends/boyfriends in the past. BUT, you wouldn’t have know based on their sex life. I’m talking zilch on hesitance, dirty talk that was seasoned, alpha male title drops (literally), fantasy sharing, etc.

“Now tell me, my sexy alpha man, what is it you want?”

There was none of the fumbling first time awkwardness. It read like college or mature adult sex which didn’t line up with their age or experience.

As I mentioned, they go through a lot in the story and I appreciated the balance they had in their friendship and eventually relationship. They had a great connection and chemistry that made me all warm and fuzzy… and if I closed my eyes and pretended they were at least in college, it was hot too. They did take for-freakin’-ever to finally come together. It was amazing how clueless Aaron was. Some of the drama was a little after school special-ish with the star quarterback back coming to their defense and awkward classroom speech. The legal proceedings at the end were also a tad unrealistic but again, I pretended because I enjoyed the bond that Aaron and Jeff had.

For the most part, Holding On kept me coming back for more. I’d recommend it for 18+ coming of age fans who don’t mind lots of drama. Trigger warning for abuse, alcoholism, homophobia, and death.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

 

Desperately Seeking Santa

Reviewed for @BMBR

3.5 Stars

Want a feel good, low drama holiday read? This fits the bill with its fluffy, low angst, and likable characters. I liked it, but it didn’t blow my elf socks off like Easton typically does. While many readers may want a feel good, easy peasy holiday romance, I’m all gimme my angst, kindle combusting steam and then seal it with sweetness. *shrug*

Gabe Martin, college senior and aspiring journalist has been assigned to cover the annual Elks Christmas Charity dinner that benefits St. Mark’s Children’s Home. After some research, Gabe decides to turn his story from puff piece to an investigative article on revealing the Santa that has a hidden identity yet brings much joy to the children at this dinner.

Now, I sure do hope you have read Superhero by Easton because it’s awesome and we’re treated to Owen and Jordan being secondary characters in this story. Jordan invites Gabe to Owen’s wrestling match and he begrudgingly accepts. Apparently the idea of skin tight singlets on fit wrestlers wasn’t that appealing… until he sees Mack “The Mountain” McDonall.

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Mack is a 285lb wrestler that’s straight muscle and stirs up an urgent need to learn all about “mountain climbing.” Gotta watch out for that high altitude and proper hand holds/placement. Maybe throw a carabiner in, too. *bites fist*

“That’s not a man, that’s a zip code.”

Yassssss… tell me more.

I was giddy with anticipation for Mack and his ability to pick up huge men off the ground. I was already dreaming about the *ahem* possibilities of someone that big and strong connecting with another man. Except, Mack wasn’t his wrestling persona. Don’t worry, I dig gentle giants too. He was shy, quiet, reserved, smart, and kept his head down to get through school and move on to the next stage. He wasn’t dealt the best hand at life but he is doing his part to make a difference.

Gabe and Mack are officially introduced when Jordan attempts to set them up. It’s all going swell until Mack retreats at Gabe’s mention of investigating Santa’s identity and using it for his article. The night ends quickly but it doesn’t stop Gabe from tracking Mack down. They form a tentative friendship and it slowwwwwly progresses. It grows as much as it can when both men are still tentative and hesitant to take it further. Much of the story shows their developing friendship with some real UST thrown in. An actual relationship doesn’t happen until the last 20% of the book which brought out my *disappointed face*. Gabe and Mack were opposites but likable characters and while I appreciated the foundation they built leading up to that moment when it all changes, I wanted more. More relational connection. More assertive in their wants. More of them together as they transitioned to boyfriends. And yes, I’ll say it, more heat.

One little oddity for me was the integration of Spanish. I’ll warn you that I took Spanish in high school for a few years and only came away with saying “No, I don’t have gum in my mouth” and “can I go to the bathroom.” Clearly, I’m not the expert on it and definitely wasn’t a model student either. However, Gabe embraced his Spanish side but stated that he wasn’t a proficient speaker due to his father not allowing it. Yet, there were many times throughout where Spanish words were thrown in. I have seen this in a few other books but it didn’t seem as forced as it did in this one. Mi Mama, dios, joder, etc., were all thrown in randomly and pulled me out each time. Again, not an expert on language integration and I look forward to some of my fellow reader’s thoughts on the authentic-ness of the placements.

All in all, this was a sugary sweet, low angst, holiday read with a HEA. If that’s what you’re looking for, I’d recommend it.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

Check out S.C. Stephens Latest Release

S.C. Stephens’s THE BEAST WITHIN is available TODAY and paranormal lovers won’t want to miss this one! Be sure to pick up your copy today!

 

About THE BEAST WITHIN

Nika Adams has had a challenging year. She gave her heart to Hunter Evans, only to have him break it. But Nika refuses to give up hope. Not when there’s a chance she can save her true-love—even if she must save him from himself.

Julian Adams finally knows what he wants, and is truly happy. But when he gets mixed up in Nika’s suicide mission to save her wayward boyfriend, he begins to wonder if his dream girl can handle the dangerous life that comes with being an Adams

Add THE BEAST WITHIN to your Goodreads shelf here!

Get your copy of THE BEAST WITHIN now!

Amazon / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

Don’t miss the other books in the Conversion series!

Books in the Conversion series

Conversion / Bloodlines / ‘Til Death / The Next Generation / The Beast Within / Family is Forever

 

About S.C. STEPHENS

S.C. Stephens is a bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance.

Her debut novel, Thoughtless, an angst-filled love triangle charged with insurmountable passion and the unforgettable Kellan Kyle, took the literary world by storm. Amazed and surprised by the response to the release of Thoughtless in 2009, more stories were quick to follow. Stephens has been writing nonstop ever since.

In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer’s block reducing music, heading out the movies and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads

 

Call Me by Your Name

Is giving it Infinite stars a thing?

I hated it.

I absolutely fucking loved it.

My heart broke.

My heart soared.

It broken again…

My heart will never fully be set free from the summer love affair between Elio and Oliver. The obsession and love. The way they talked without words. The way they said nothing which was really everything. It was an epic love. The heart of hearts. It was as pure as it was twisted.

It was captivating.

It was enraging.

The writing was beautiful. Lyrical. It drew me in like a siren call that kept me begging for more. More pretending. More silent talks. More touching. More of anything because that would mean there was something. I wanted to be with them in Italy. They had a summer in paradise while being in “heaven” every day. Together.

The narration was amazing. Armie Hammer brought these men to life and forced me to become even more invested than I already was. The cold shoulders and desperation. The longing and obsession was that much more when I switched to audio.

This was the first time in a while that a book wrecked me and forced me to step back for a couple of days. I try to stay away from books that don’t offer the promise of a HEA/HFN but I had to try this. I’m mad I read it. I’m also SO glad I read it. Thank you to my buddy reader, Cupcake for the moral support.

Definitely recommended.

P.S. Anyone craving some peaches? #Hangry

Wolfsong

5 Stars

Joe. Ox. The Bennetts. Pack.

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I LOVE this book to pieces. I could read it over and over and probably never get bored. Alright, maybe that’s a bit cheesy but my love knows no bounds. I’ve been meaning to do a reread and decided to do an audio “read” instead. This is a super heavy read mixed with much joy, hope, and humor. Joe and Ox just make me happy whether it’s candy canes, and epic, and awesome or walking into walls when Ox’s attractions become fully realized. I love the pure love they have for each other that started in its simplest form and grew into something impossibly beautiful.

I’m not sure why I didn’t write a full review for this when I initially read it but I’ll skip out on that now since there have been some amazing reviews already written.

This was narrated by Kirt Graves. When I listened to the sample, I was hesitant. Sometimes you dig a voice, sometimes you don’t and I didn’t when I heard the sample. I was worried because this is an 18+ hour book and that’s practically marriage proposal level commitment and I almost became a runaway bride. But, I decided to give it a shot because I needed more Joe and Ox in my life and I’m really glad I did. The voice grew on me pretty quickly. The voice of Joe as a young boy is exactly how I imagined it when he first ran into Ox. The sweetness, wonder, and awe of Joe’s feels for Ox came through in this narration. The 18+ hours flew by, I’m practically married to Kirk Graves at this point, and I got to spend time with Joe and Ox. *wink*

In lieu of wedding gifts, the bride and groom(I’ll speak for him) recommend that you listen to the audio. (Yep, can’t hide my crazy)

Obviously recommended.

Fragile Ground

4 Stars

Whew! Color me happy and surprised. This was an enjoyable read plus it’s a debut novel. *Shocked face* It wasn’t perfect but I really liked it.

“Fucking retrograde amnesia.”

Poor Olivier. He wakes up after a car accident with the past two years of his memories gone. He is covered in tattoos, apparently all the way out of the closet, lives on the West coast and there is this guy/roommate that is tending to his every need and he doesn’t understand why.

Auriel is the love of Olivier’s life. But, now he is the guy Olivier doesn’t remember. Their love story, their chemistry, their connection, their romance; all of it’s gone and Auriel is subjected to playing an overcaring roommate while Olivier adjusts to his new life.

It’s a very bumpy and emotional journey as Olivier and Auriel find a way to let each other go and then in turn, find their way back. Auriel’s love for Olivier is beautiful as he tends to Olivier and then gives him what he needs, even when it’s breaking his heart and smashing it to pieces.

“I’m sorry… For forgetting you. For not knowing how to love you.”

Auriel and Olivier walk on fragile ground to get to…well, a place that they can find each other and love again in spite of their circumstances; even if it isn’t the same as it was before. They do find their way to a HEA but I was even more delighted that it wasn’t all wrapped up in a shiny bow.

As I said above, it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows in this debut. My first little niggle is that we didn’t know much about what happened to Olivier. They didn’t really talk about the accident, it wasn’t mentioned besides an in passing car accident and a couple text messages asking where he was. If I hadn’t read the synopsis, I wouldn’t have understood what actually led to this brain injury until about 20%. Which is fine but I wouldn’t have complained to have a bit more information as the story progressed.

My next issue was more of a something is missing feeling. From Olivier’s letting Auriel go phase to their back together phase, something was missing. Olivier didn’t do much soul searching for someone who had zero memory and the jump in feelings wasn’t fully realized when they were back together so suddenly. I will say that after this coming together, they did work things through and it became much less disjointed.

I really enjoyed this book and will look forward to more from this new author. The writing style was easy to digest and although the amnesia trope has been done many times before, this was interesting and not the status quo. The growth each man made was evident and their connection became believable. Definitely recommended.

“Our experiences, our choices; these are not only demonstrations of who we are… they are the things that make us who we truly are.”

 

Copy provided by author in exchange for honest review.

Juniper Unraveling

Review by Cupcake

3.5 Stars

First, let me get a couple of caveats out of the way. I don’t do zombies. They gross me out and I don’t like them. Though Ragers aren’t labeled as such, that’s what they are. I also don’t like motorcycle men/clubs/whatever. They aren’t my jam. Guess what’s also in this book? I got about 2% in when I figured out what was what and you should’ve seen the look on my face when I realized I’d chosen a %^&%$# zombie book! Fit to be tied, I was. God damn cover being all intriguing and whatnot.

Now, having said all that it’s a miracle I even finished this thing much less enjoyed it, but I did. I didn’t LOVE it, but there’s a lot to like about it, so bear the caveats in mind if you’re at all interested in reading it.

Keri Lake is a new to me author and she has a writing style that draws you in. There were times when I thought the pacing dragged, but the overall story arc was engaging and kept my attention despite the zombies and motorcycles, owing mostly to the strong worldbuilding.

I don’t want to get a whole lot into the plot because of spoiling but I will say the romance reminded me a lot of The Notebook only set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia that’s 14 different kinds of fucked up and you could legit have your face eaten off at any second. But, details. Anyhoo, remember how cute they were when they first meet? They’re always together just hanging out and doing nothing? I had those feels except these two like to bone. I’m not mad about that either. For some reason I liked the first half of the book better than the second half, though I can’t really pinpoint why exactly. However, the heart of the romance is one that should speak to the inner squishy marshmallow of all romance readers.

If there is a weak point in the narrative it’s these characters. They don’t really pop off the page. I didn’t love any of them nor do I feel like I know them like I feel I should. They seem mostly cookie cutter post apocalyptic/trying to survive/general badassery… think Katniss. The rest of the cast is made up of caricaturish villains and an alpha to top all the alphas in all the land and there were any number of alphas. I would’ve liked to have had his POV or maybe just to have understood his mindset better, though.

Let’s talk a minute about the violence, because there is a lot of it. Trigger warnings for off page rape, child abuse/neglect and a whole lot of gross monsters doing gross things. Some of it I thought veered towards gratuitous, but I can’t say that I didn’t get the Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! message and lest you forget I am a delicate flower so, grain of salt. I would caution anyone who is squeamish to know your limitations. Also if you’re a stickler for your protags being upstanding and moral… errrm, this might not be the book for you? Heed the dark tag warning!

The sex is fairly frequent and rough with some breath play. Some of it’s hot, some of it’s fair to middling and none of it changed my life.

What Lake does that spoke to me was subtext. This world she’s created is built on lies and illusions that led me down the yellow brick road to a comparison with contemporary society. She also has great insight into human nature that speaks to an inherent compassion that resonated.

You see the world as it is. I see the world as it isn’t. But what we see individually is molded by our past, our experiences, and our hopes of what’s to come. Always remember that everyone has a story, and you’ll never know hate for another human being as long as you live.

I pray, in time, your generation will heal from our mistakes. Perhaps you’ll come to know the truth that somehow escaped us along the way- there isn’t a vaccine in creation that can cure hatred and indifference to human suffering. They are the most virulent diseases in existence.

Preachy perhaps, but I liked it. These sentiments seem to be fitted into the narrative in organic ways rather than shoehorned in to make a point.

Recommended to zombie, post apocalyptic, dystopian and romance fans. Just watch out for that violence; it’s a killer.

Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.