Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Salvaged

Honor

Book Title: Salvaged

Author: Jay Crownover

Genre: Romance

Release Date: June 20, 2017

Format: e-book

Number of Pages: 278

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of a Series….This is the last book in ‘The Saints of Denver’ series, which is a spin off of the ‘Marked Men’ Series.

Summary:

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancee who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He's tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He's set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he's ever seen hook him right away. Wheeler can see Poppy's pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can't remember a time when she didn't see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy's determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm's length. Wheeler's sexy grin and rough hands from hours of restoring classic cars should't captivate her, but every time she's with him, she can't help being pulled closer to him. Though she's terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out - and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she's convinced he's the only man with the tools to fix it.

Happily Ever After: Yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: I loved that this book showed successful co-parenting. I feel like a lot of times in romance when one of the lead characters has a child, the other parent is out of the picture completely....either through death or because they abandoned the child and took off never to be heard from again. Real life, though, tends to be a lot messier than that and families come in many different forms and are made up of many types of people and different roles. I love love love that this was represented in this book and that it was presented without making a big deal or fanfare out of it. 

What I Liked Least About This Book: There isn’t much about this book that I didn’t like…. I feel like I am reaching deep and nit-picking to come up with something to put here, but it bugged me a little that it seemed like Wheeler's love instantly healed Poppy. She went from a freaked out shell of a person one day who couldn't stand to pass strangers on the street to totally comfortable in most situations next. I guess I just expected this book to contain a little more of their struggle to connect because of what she had been through. 

Share A Quote From The Book:  “ All the women I know that landed a good man had to give them a little push in the right direction at one point or another. Sometimes it takes a nudge to get the night in shining armor to drop his shield."

Would I Recommend This Book: Absolutely. 

Would I Re-Read This Book: Yep! 

Rating: 5 Stars!!


Other Comments: I LOVED the mention of our favorite couples from the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series'. Its always fun to check back in on them. The epilogue was an awesome wrap up of both series that showed us exactly how everyone was living out their happily ever after. I also enjoyed the little cameo from 'The Point' couple....that was a cool little Easter egg.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Honor

Honor

Book Title: Honor

Author: Jay Crownover

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 18, 2016

Format: e-ARC

Number of Pages: 278

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of a Series….This is the first book in ‘The Breaking Point’ series, which is a continuation of the ‘Welcome to the Point’ Series.

Summary:
Don’t be fooled.
Don’t make excuses for me.
I am not a good man.
I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.
The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.
I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She's disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.
Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise... I’m the one standing front and center.

Happily Ever After: Yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: I think the thing I liked most about this book was Keelyn. She is definitely not your stereotypical romance heroine – she isn’t some blushing virgin, she’s a stripper….and she doesn’t pine after a man, relying on him to come save her from her terrible life, she spends a good portion of her time pushing him away. It is not often in a romance novel that you find the man chasing after the woman. It is very refreshing to turn the tables for once. It is also not often that you find a heroine who knows what she wants and can stand on her own two feet. She is a strong woman who can stand up for herself and take care of herself. Finally a heroine I can identify with. Someone who shows that it is ok to be stubborn, and strong, and maybe even a little difficult. She doesn’t need a man, which makes it all that much sweeter when she decides that she wants one.

What I Liked Least About This Book: There isn’t much about this book that I didn’t like…. I feel like I am reaching deep and nit-picking to come up with something to put here, but in the prologue of the story (which I LOVED) it was mentioned that Nassir Gates was not really his name, it was a name he later gave himself. It bugged be throughout the whole story not knowing what his real name was. In fact it still bugs me. 

Share A Quote From The Book:  “I could never control her, and that’s why she was perfect for me.”

Would I Recommend This Book: Absolutely. If you are not reading the Point books, you are seriously missing out!

Would I Re-Read This Book: Yep! I plan to re-read it again with everyone when it officially comes out…if not before.

Rating: 5 Stars!!

Other Comments: Seriously, after reading this book and seeing more of him I have decided that Chuck needs his own story!




Friday, August 26, 2016

Better When He's Brave

Book Title: Better When He’s Brave
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Format: ebook
Number of Pages: 352
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Book 3 of the ‘Welcome to the Point’ series
Summary: In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover’s third novel in her sexy, thrilling Welcome to the Point series, a woman’s search for repentance leads her to the one man from her past she can’t forget as they join forces to save their city—and the explosive love neither can live without.
Titus King sees the world in black and white. Right and wrong. Which is why as a teenager he left behind the only family he’d ever known to make a better life for himself. Now a police detective in one of the worst cities in the country, he can’t deny his life has turned into a million different shades of gray. 
The new criminal element in The Point has brought vengeance and destruction right to Titus’s front door, and the difference between right and wrong is nothing compared to keeping those he loves alive. To add to his already strained moral compass, the beautiful and mysterious Reeve Black has made her way back to town, and she might be as dangerous to Titus as the guy trying to destroy the Point because he needs her—in more ways than one.
Reeve knows all about how ruthless this new threat to destroy The Point can be… and instead of running away, she wants to help. She has a lot to repent for and saving the city, plus the hot cop that she hasn’t been able to forget might just be the only way she can finally find some inner peace.
With an entire city poised on the brink of war, Titus and Reeve stand in the crossfire—and it will take two brave souls to fight for the ultimate love.
Happily Ever After: Yes.
What I Liked Most About This Book: Unlike the twist in Better When He’s Bad, I DID NOT see some of the twists in this book coming. It was awesome! I am usually pretty good and predicting where a book is going to go, so major props to the author for being able to catch me off guard…especially as she managed it more than once with this one.
What I Liked Least About This Book: I didn’t like how the book begin….while it was jarring and attention grabbing to have the story begin with the hero getting his ass kicked, it was confusing because it was skipping around in the timeline of the story and I think it took the emotional punch out of the scene when you caught back up to that point in the linear progression of the story. You had already been there and seen that, so you knew all along what was going to happen.
Share A Quote From The Book: “In this place you never know what pile of shit tomorrow is going to hand you, so having something that makes you feel good for even a second needs to be valued.” 
Would I Recommend This Book: Yes
Would I Re-Read This Book: Yes…this is my favorite of this series so far.
Rating: 5 stars!

Better When He's Bold

Book Title: Better When He’s Bold
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Format: ebook
Number of Pages: 368
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Book 2 of the ‘Welcome to the Point’ series
Summary: There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who is bad. . . . Welcome to the Point.
In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them. Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like The Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?
Brysen Carter has always seen the real Race—a guy too pretty, too smooth, and way too dangerous. Basking in his golden glow is very tempting, but Brysen knows she’ll eventually get burned. She has enough problems without the risky danger and mayhem that comes with a guy like Race. Too bad Brysen faces a threat close to home that might be more dangerous than anything The Point has ever produced.. And the only person interested in keeping her safe is the one man she can’t allow herself to have.
Sometimes being bold is the only way to stay alive. But can she let Race save her life . . . if it means losing herself to him?
Happily Ever After: Yes.
What I Liked Most About This Book: I loved how this book, more so than the previous book, set up the characters and the action for the remainder of the series. It left me intrigued and dying to know more about Nassir and rooting for Booker and Carsen to get their own Happily Ever After. But while keeping me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next books in this series, it also wrapped itself up in a nice pretty bow so that I didn’t feel like I was left with a cliffhanger.
What I Liked Least About This Book: I’m not sure that I fully bought that Race was the King of the Point. I am not sure that the author fully developed that plot point enough. Bax brought the previous big bad down and Nassir is the one currently running things like Spanky’s and the club. What, exactly, is Race doing in The Point to earn the title of ‘King’?
Share A Quote From The Book: “It’s like being in love with a loaded weapon and you’re the safety.”
Would I Recommend This Book: Yes
Would I Re-Read This Book: Yes

Rating: 4 stars

Better When He's Bad

Book Title:  Better When He’s Bad
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Format: ebook
Number of Pages: 384
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Book 1 of the ‘Welcome to the Point’ series.
Summary: There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.
Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.
Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.
Bax terrifies her, awakening feelings she never thought she’d have for a guy like him. But it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize . . . some boys are just better when they’re bad.

Happily Ever After: Yes.
What I Liked Most About This Book: I love that Jay’s reason for writing it was that people always referred to her character Rule as a ‘bad boy’, so she set out to write about a character who was truly bad rather than just a bit attitudinal and difficult. It was cool to see how she took someone was truly a bad person who no one would want to meet down a dark alley, and make him likeable enough to be a romantic hero.
What I Liked Least About This Book: There is not much that I didn’t like about this book. The twist at the end though didn’t take me by surprise at all…I saw it coming from a mile away. I kind of wish that hadn’t been the case.
Share A Quote From The Book: “Whoever said crime doesn't pay is an idiot. It pays great, which is why there is so much of it.”
Would I Recommend This Book: Absolutely!
Would I Re-Read This Book: I would… and I have.
Rating: 5 stars!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

All Lined Up



Author: Cora Carmack

Genre:  New Adult Fiction

Release Date: May 13, 2014

Format: ARC e-book

Number of Pages: 233

Stand-Alone or Part of a Series: Book one of the Rusk University series, but can be read as a stand-alone

Summary:
New York Times and USAToday  bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits – Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It – with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.


And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

Happily Ever After: Yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: I very much enjoyed the realism of this book. Normally heroines in romance novels come across as a bit too plastic. They are stereotypically pretty and popular wrapped up in white and topped off with a glowing, angelic halo. Dallas is none of these. She felt like she could be me, or someone I know. Someone I would be friends with. She is awkward, scrappy, a mixture of bold as brass and shy depending on the situation and full of witty, sarcastic one-liners. She doesn't get along too well with her dad, but, again, unlike most other New Adult novels, it isn't because her dad is some terrible person. Their arguments and family dynamic are totally real. They are fights and scenarios that have absolutely played out in my own house – both the one I grew up in, and also the one in which I am now raising my own son in. The realism made the book and its characters totally relateable.

What I Liked Least About This Book: Without giving too much away, there is a part of the story where Dallas and her dad both seem to forget that she is an adult who attends college and lives on her own. The fact that her dad forgets this is no surprise (mine tends to forget that too…and I am well beyond a college freshman), but most brand new adults I know do NOT forget that fact, and will point it out, loudly, to anyone who will listen if questioned. It distracted from the realism for me.

Share An Excerpt From The Book:
There’s only one thing in the world I despise more than football, and he’s making his way down the stairs toward me.

My eyes flit around me like I’m scanning a battlefield instead of a blowout: fraternity banners, litter of red Solo cups, and a freshman pledge dragging around a trash bag playing reluctant maid. Part of me wants to keep doing that, to pretend like I didn’t hear him.

But I can’t. If I ignore him, it will only prove to him that he still bothers me.

I face him as he steps off the last stair, crossing his arms over his broad chest and grinning at me. Levi. My ex.

He leans his hip against the banister of the grand staircase, and I spy not one but two girls sitting halfway up the stairs, obviously upset that they’ve lost his attention.

Behind me I hear someone shout, “Ready. Aim. Fire!” and I know the beer guns are back in play.

“Alcohol and bad decisions, Levi? Can’t say I’m surprised to find you smack-dab in the middle of that.”

He kicks off from the banister, swaggering a few steps closer. His dark hair and eyes are as striking as always. I’d fallen for him so hard my freshman year of high school: doodling our names together in my spiral, watching him play from the bleachers, wearing that monstrous mum he gave me for homecoming, beaming on his elbow at his junior prom.

The memory of all that just makes me nauseated now. But as Stella always says, hindsight is a pretentious, know-it-all bitch.

“You come here to make some bad decisions?” He moves closer, his voice pitching lower. Intimate. His gaze drifts down my body with an arrogant familiarity. “Because you know I can help you with that.”

Levi Abrams has been the cause of enough bad decisions for a lifetime.

Stella steps in, her voice colder than I’ve ever heard it. “I’m fairly certain she’d rather sandpaper her own skin off.”

I nod and plaster on the fakest smile in my arsenal. “And then take a bath in lemon juice.”

Levi smiles back, and I’m pretty sure the bastard is enjoying this.

He’s bigger than when I last saw him. Bulked up. I guess that’s the difference between high school and college ball. But it’s not just muscles… he reaches out a hand like he’s going to touch my hair, and as I jerk back, even his hands seem bigger than I remember. A man’s hands, rather than those of the boy I knew. Or maybe his head got so big that his inflated ego overflowed to other parts of his body. Also a possibility.

I knew Levi was here when I chose Rusk University—hard not to when he’s the starting quarterback—but I didn’t think I’d ever have to see him. Since Dad wouldn’t let me leave Texas, and only a handful of universities here actually have a true dance major, Rusk was the best option out of the schools to which I was allowed to apply.

Levi lets his hand fall away and turns to leave, but then stops to say over his shoulder, “You don’t have to pretend to hate me so much, you know. I’m here. You’re here. We could start fresh, D.”

Why does no one get that it’s impossible to have a fresh start when nothing has really changed? God, I knew that better than anybody because no matter how many new coaching jobs Dad took, every school ended up the same.

Levi is still a douche-bag who only cares about himself.

Dad still approaches parenting like I’m a member of his team.

And I… I’m still stuck. In my father’s shadow. In Texas. In this lame state school with a joke of a dance program.

And now I’m stuck at my first frat party with the ex who broke my heart.


Yay college.

Would I Recommend This Book: Absolutely. Especially if you liked the show Friday Night Lights.

Would I Re-Read This Book: Without a doubt

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Author Bio: 
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life—boring jobs (like working retail), fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. 





Find her here:

Other Comments: 

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nash

Author: Jay Crownover

Genre: New Adult Fiction

Release Date: 4-29-14

Format: e-book

Number of Pages: 260

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Can be read as a stand-alone, but is part of The Marked Men series.

Summary:
Saint Ford has always worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life – especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down…and now he’s trying to do it again.
Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them – or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on – especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.
When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself all over again?

Happily Ever After: Yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: Saint was pretty relatable. I doubt that there is a girl on this planet that hasn’t felt insecure a time or two in her life – especially around a hot guy. I like how real Jay Crownover’s writing is. The whole Marked Men group seems like an every-day, average group of friends and family that you can find living in your town. A lot of books I read( and enjoy) aren’t that way…the people are so fantastical – even in contemporary stories – that they don’t feel like they could be real people living real lives. At least not real people I would ever get the privilege of running into. Along those same lines…I also liked that we got to see quite a bit of the other couple’s in the series. These people are all supposed to be friends...real friends attend each other’s weddings and funerals, pace nervously together in hospital waiting rooms, hang out on a Friday night, ask each other for advice. All of these things happen in Nash and when they do we get to catch glimpses how Rule and Shaw, Rome and Cora, and Jet and Ayden are doing in their happily ever after. We didn’t get to see as much of Jet and Ayden in Nash as I would have liked, but Nash was always depicted as being closer to Rule and Cora, so I suspect we will get our closer glimpses of Jet in Rowdy’s story when that comes out.

What I Liked Least About This Book: I felt like we were told that Saint was picked on and bullied, but we were never shown it. We actually had more scenes where we were shown how badly Nash was bullied by his mom and step-dad than we did for the character who actually had personal issues and hang-ups because of the supposed cruelty she suffered. It seemed that all of her hang-ups and self-esteem issues were all in her head – which could have been the author’s point, since ultimately Saint had to learn to love herself in spite of what others thought. I just feel like it may have been better to show us real instances of her being bullied or teased because then it would have been easier to sympathize with her feelings.

Share A Quote From The Book: “Trust me, the person you are is remarkable and exceptional. If you get acquainted with her, your entire life will change.”

Would I Recommend This Book: Absolutely.

Would I Re-Read This Book: I’ve already re-read all of the other Marked Men books- this one won’t be any different.

Rating: four and a half stars out of five


Other Comments: Every time Nash mentioned hanging out with “the Archer twins” as a kid my heart skipped a beat. I think we truly missed out because Remy had already died when the series started with Rule.  I know its Nash’s story, but I wish we had gotten a bit more from Nash’s POV in high school because I would have liked to get to see Remy and how he fit into and interacted with the Rule/Nash/Jet trio. I wish there was a Remy prequel…I’m just so dang curious about him!