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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Strong Enough by Cardeno C.

Strong Enough is Cardeno C.'s second installment in the Family series, but each of these books can be read as standalone novels. This book really intrigued me because of the large age difference, and I was really interested in how that would play out. While I did like the characters, I thought that this one had some other things that just didn't work for me. While I have been enjoying this series and like to see how each of these books and the characters interconnect, I have also found that there are just some things that in my opinion keep these from being five star reads.

Emilio is a twenty-two year old construction worker that works with and is really close to his family. When he sees the hot professor walking by his construction site at the university, he admires him from afar. After two weeks of watching, he finally decides to introduce himself and ask him out. Spencer can't believe that the handsome young man could be interested in a thirty-eight year old professor, but decides to be spontaneous for once. Spencer takes Emilio to his home and they begin to get to know each other. Soon they are making a deal that Emilio and his family will help to fix up Spencer's house, and in exchange Emilio will stay with Spencer and see where things take them. But Spencer has things from his past that still haunt him, and even though he wants to trust Emilio they weigh heavily on him. Can he learn to let go and trust that the connection between him and Emilio is worth being vulnerable for?

I liked Emilio. He was young and determined, but yet he was mature beyond his years. He went after what he wanted and was able to admit that while most would question his actions that it didn't bother him. He was exactly who he said he was, and I liked that what you saw was what you got with him. I loved how reassuring he was with Spencer and how he showed Spencer that he was worth more than how he had been treated by his family and his ex. Spencer was timid and insecure, but he knew that things with Emilio were different. He started to let go and embrace life with Emilio's help, and it was nice to see him start to think differently about himself. I was glad that Spencer was able to be open with Emilio and tell him his fears and why he was the way he was. I think it really helped him to move forward and allowed Emilio to be patient and understanding. I thought that Emilio and Spencer were really sweet together, and they had their steamy moments too. But their relationship was way too fast for me. It was literally like going from nothing to all in in a matter of days, and I just didn't buy it at all.

I have noticed that the insta-love/insta-connection seems to be a trend with the Cardeno C. books I have read. While that doesn't work for me as far as buying a long term and lasting commitment goes, if you are able to get past that Cardeno's books are really good and easy to read. They are entertaining, and I love how her characters are different and unique. I thought that Strong Enough was sweet and the guys were really cute together. But I just think that it would have worked better for me personally had they not just jumped straight into the deep end. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the build up, and I think that we miss out on some of the best parts of a relationship by skipping all that. I would say that if you are looking for a sweet male/male read though, you should definitely look into this series. The books have a great balance of cute and hot, and the books are enjoyable. I will look for more from Cardeno C. in the future.

**Review Copy Provided by We Love Kink Book Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository |

ARC Review: Burning Through Gravity by Addison Moore

I have to admit that what originally drew me to Burning Through Gravity was the blurb. It had just enough info to intrigue me, but at the same time was completely vague. I knew I had to read it, and I figured that this one would really be different from what I had read recently. While I will say that this one was different and not like anything I had read before, it left me with a lot of mixed feelings. I will say that I was interested the whole time and had to see how things would play out. But honestly, this one was really confusing and I had some major issues with the story.

When Stevie and Ford meet each other, both have secrets that they keep hidden from one another. What starts as a single night together ends up turning into a few great weeks. Stevie and Ford end up agreeing to continue to stay in touch but with her about to go back to school and begin her internship, and Ford's job they will be much busier. Stevie finds out that she has been reassigned from her father's company Merlin to his top competitor Jinx. But when Stevie shows up for her new job at Jinx, she quickly learns that the owner Crawford Cannon is actually Ford. With both of them now working together as well as the secrets they both still are keeping, is it possible for them to continue with anything between them or will they both end up heartbroken and in ruin?

Stevie and Ford had their moments for me. I really believe that almost every single problem in this book was due to their lies and miscommunication. They would have been able to solve so much with a few honest conversations. Ford was great with Stevie for the most part, but he did have a few moments that made me question his feelings. I don't care if the person you are wanting to be with says you need to date your ex to prove that you are over them, I would have put my foot down and refused. The fact that he went along with it initially and continued to do so for the majority of the book just made me dislike him at times. And then he turned it around to try and make her jealous which took it even further. I didn't like it, and it got old really quickly. Not to mention said ex was a total psycho. He never should have done it. Then Stevie gets jealous and doesn't like how he is acting. She starts believing that he is getting back with his ex. Honestly she had no one to blame but herself, and I didn't have much sympathy for her. I did think that Stevie and Ford had chemistry and seemed to have a connection, which is why it was so bizarre how they were handling things. 

My main issue with this book was that it was so over the top all the time. There was so much going on, and it got really confusing. It was like the author just decided to through every possible storyline at the wall to see which would stick. I won't even begin to go into everything as it would spoil the entire book, but honestly it was too much. I think that this could have been a really great story if only Addison Moore had focused on a few of these things and forgot the rest. I was interested enough from the blurb and the beginning of the story without adding in all the extra drama and bs. It just didn't work for me and was distracting and disappointing. I felt like we really lost sight of the relationship developing between Stevie and Ford because of it all, and it really ruined things for me. If it wasn't for the fact that I had to know how things played out and that it was well written, I would have given up and stopped reading. But I really was curious with everything going on how everything would shake out. I honestly don't know if I would read the next book or even recommend this story. To me it was really confusing and unless you are wanting a story with every possible twist or obstacle thrown in then this one probably isn't for you. I will say that I was curious about Ford's brother Carter and Stevie's sister Aspen and what had happened between them. For that reason alone I might end up reading the next book in the series since it is about them. Maybe this book just wasn't for me or I just didn't get it, but I was disappointed.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Feature and Giveaway: Kiss Me, Captain

French billionaire Marcel Mercier loves women. And there's a string of broken hearts across two continents to prove it. But as CEO of Mercier Shipping, he's got more important things to worry about . . . like why the charter company he just purchased in the United States is suddenly the center of an international media firestorm.

Now that big, bad Mercier Shipping owns Captain Dani Lloyd's ship, she's sure her job is at stake. But she won't go down without a fight—even if it means chaining herself to the mast of the Esther Reed and refusing to set foot on shore.

The delectable captain and her newsworthy dramatics are a PR nightmare, but Marcel is happy to let Dani prove her skills on a weeklong sail to Boston. He knows no woman can resist him for that long . . . in fact, he's counting on it.

But Marcel's plan to seduce Dani backfires as sparks fly between the billionaire playboy and the passionate captain. Which leaves Marcel realizing that winning her heart is a challenge he can't afford to lose.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Feature and Giveaway: Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.

As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Kobo | iTunes |

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ARC Review: How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries

Dear Sabrina Jeffries, I love you! Such an amazing story, writer and plot. First, there is no denying the talent of Ms. Jeffries! She is hands down fantastic. But her storylines!!! Where does she come up with all these fantastic ideas? How the Scoundrel Seduces is the third book in “The Duke’s Men” series. I’m so annoyed that I did not read What the Duke Desires (The Duke's Men, #1) first. But I loved “When the Rogue Returns” and I could not wait to read Lady Zoe Keane and Tristan Bonnaud’s story! I could tell in “When the Rogue Returns” that they were going to be a fun and interesting couple and I was right!

Lady Zoe is my type of heroine! She is a do-what-I-want type of heroine. She is brave, warm-hearted and a risk taker. She is not one to sit back and see what happens. She has decided to take her destiny in her hands when she finds out from her aunt that her parents might not really be her parents… This raises a number of difficulties form Lady Zoe since, although she is in a unique position and she will inherit her father’s lands and title, her American cousin could fight the inheritance. Her father refuses to discuss her lineage with her so she decides that she will consult The Duke’s Men and call in a favor they owe her.

Lady Zoe is not the only one with inheritance problems. Tristan also has had difficulties since his half- brother George count him and his brother Dom off. Although Tristan and Dom’s father left them both in the will George took matters into his own hands. Tristan is driven by revenge and also the remorse of how he handled his family’s situation when his father died. Because both Tristan and Dom were illegitimate they encounter some obstacles. When Lady Zoe approaches them about her “true” family Tristan is the natural choice for the case because of his shared history with the gypsies. (Lady Zoe believes that her mother was Drina a gypsy abandoned by her family).

Without giving too much away (which is hard because I want to discuss every aspect of this fantastic story!) I will say I loved all the characters in the story! George was so despicable… He was a true villain! Dom is such a great character! I cannot wait to read about him and Lady Jane. Even the Earl of Olivier was a great character. There were so many twist and turns! This story was Sabrina Jeffries-Fabulous!!! I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Dom’s story!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |