ARC Review: Her Defiant Heart by Monica Murphy

Her Defiant Heart ebook

Title: Her Defiant Heart

Author: Monica Murphy

Series: Damaged Hearts #1

Genre: New Adult

Rating: 4 Stars

Add on Goodreads!

Find exclusively on iBooks!

 

blurbb

Life can feel like a cruel joke. I grew up poor and motherless, with a father who never got over his wife’s abandonment. But now he’s gone too, and I’m dead set on finding the woman who so carelessly tossed me aside when I was a baby.

I want revenge. And I’m going to get back at my mother any way that I can.

I change my name. Start my new life in college, and just happen to cross paths with the gorgeous, ultra-rich Rhett Montgomery. He’s immediately interested in me, not that I’m surprised.

You see, I planned it that way. I meant for him to find me. He’s the one connection to my mother, and I’m using him, so I can destroy her. But I didn’t plan on Rhett being so charming. Sweet. Sexy.

And I definitely didn’t plan on falling for him either…

 

review

This is one of those books that is hard to review, because SO much happens and it’s filled so some twists and turns that I don’t want to give away. So, I’m going to be a little vague here, but I think you will thank me. 😉

Jennifer/Jensen wants revenge on the mother who walked out on her and her father. Her mother leaving set off a chain of events in her life that cause so much heartbreak and sorrow. So she carefully puts together a plan to get back at her mother. That plan involves Rhett Montgomery.

When her mother left she found a new family, and has three step-children. Rhett Montgomery is one of those children. Only, he is no longer a child, but a college guy who is gorgeous, charming and intelligent.

The plan is to meet Rhett, get Rhett to fall in love with her then destroy her mother. Only, pretending to be interested in Rhett doesn’t go according to her plan. The chemistry is real, the connection is real, and the attraction is definitely real. Suddenly Jensen is feeling all kinds of things she shouldn’t be feeling towards Rhett. And she isn’t sure if that’s good or bad.

This book is told through Jensen’s POV and I found it super interesting to be inside her mind. She is calculated by bad intentions, yet you can’t help but be on her side. She is clearly hurt and sometimes in pain we do and say crazy things. She is also human with a conscious. I really enjoyed her softer side once she starts interacting with Rhett.

Rhett isn’t what I thought he would be. Sure, he’s rich and gorgeous and has had a very privilege life, yet he is kind. The way he tries to make everything perfect in Jensen’s life is sweet, and shows the compassion he has for others. I do feel there is a lot more to his character, and I’m excited that the next book in the series will have his POV.

I do have to warn, this does end in a cliff-hanger. I’m squirming here waiting for the next book, eekk, what an ending!

Her Defiant Heart isn’t your conventional love story. It’s a little dark, a little twisted, and is filled with some lies and inevitable betrayals. Despite that, it is filled with a romance that shouldn’t be. One that is swoony and sweet and sexy.

Completely addictive!

 

HDH-Teaser2

 

rah

Advertisements

ARC Review: The Hook-Up Experiment by Emma Hart

THUE-ebook

Title: The Hook-Up Experiment

Author: Emma Hart

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Series: The Experiment #1

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Release Date: March 13th, 2018

Add on Goodreads!

 

blurbb

1.Hate-screw my high school nemesis.
2.Remember to hate him.
3.Prove my brother wrong.
It should be easy.
It isn’t.

As the owner of Pick-A-D*ck, New Orleans’ premier hook-up website, my job is simple. Connect two people for a no-strings, no-expectations hook-up. The plus for my clients is that I’m the one who gets to sift through the d*ck pics—except this time, they’re required.

My problem? My brother, co-owner of Pick-A-D*ck’s sister dating site, doesn’t believe it’s possible to hook up with someone three times and not fall in love.
I disagree. I know it’s possible.

And my disagreement is exactly how I end up reconnected with my high school nemesis, Elliott Sloane. The guy who asked me to junior prom and then stood me up. Who egged my car when I rejected him, and convinced my senior homecoming date to ghost me.

It should be easy to hate-screw him. If only he was still that person, instead of a hot-as-hell single dad, working as a builder to make ends’ meet, fighting for custody of his daughter.

Three hook-ups.
One outcome.
Right?

 

review

I have to admit I didn’t totally love this book, but it was good. Due to the amount of raving reviews I’ve seen on it, I think there is a chance it might be a case of “it’s me, not the book”.

The heroine Peyton runs a hook-up company called Pick-A-D*ck, where clients pretty much pay her to find them causal hook-ups. Her brother Dom runs a dating company, and the two of them bicker over which one is more rewarding- hook-ups or love. They make a bet that Peyton can’t sleep with the same guy three times without falling in love with him.

Peyton’s two best friends decide they will be in charge of picking the guy for her, and she ends up on a blind date with someone she knows from back in high school. Someone she hates. She makes it pretty clear she still has those hatred feelings for him, but decides he is the right guy for her bet, since there is no way she could fall for him. Famous last words, right?

Elliot is all grown-up and way different from high school. He is a single dad to a little girl, and fighting to keep custody of her. His story line with his daughter was my favorite part of this whole book, and I wished we saw more of them together.

Of course, the more Elliot and Peyton spend time together, the more their feelings grow. But of course, love is never that simple. 😉

It’s kind of strange because during some parts of the book, I didn’t really like Peyton. She was a bit over the top for me. However, her scenes with Elliot and his daughter were amazing, and I wish she was like that for more of the book.

It also felt like it took a while for the chemistry between the characters to show up, even after we were told there was chemistry between them. However, when it does it, it hits hard, and they are pretty darn cute!

It’s well-written and had me laughing out loud several times. It’s also heartwarming, particularly in Elliot’s chapters.

The down side, besides my hate/love feelings toward Peyton, is that I felt a few over characters were a bit too much, and at times felt immature. Maybe they are supposed to be, who knows, but they didn’t quite fit their ages, and some of the scenes made me skim through them.

All in all, it was cute and fun. I am anxious to see the next book in the series.

 

rah

ARC Review: Two Wedding Crashers by Meghan Quinn

2

Title: Two Wedding Crashers

Author: Meghan Quinn

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Series: Dating by Numbers #2. Can be a standalone.

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: March 11th, 2018

Add on Goodreads!

 

blurbb

I don’t know what love is anymore.

Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve lost the spark.

You know the kind of spark I’m talking about?

Where butterflies take flight in your stomach from two hands innocently colliding. Or catching your breath when you first meet someone attractive. Yeah, that spark.

Except I haven’t felt that feeling in forever; there is nothing left inside of me.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem–but I’m a writer on a serious deadline, and my editor is breathing down my neck for a romantic, Nicholas Sparks type love story. No pressure, right?

That’s how I find myself flying across the country to crash a wedding in the name of research, dress and heels stuffed into my small suitcase.

It should be the easiest book research ever. Drinking some free champagne, basking in the love of two strangers, and tapping into my romantic side. That will be a breeze. I’m a pro. I can handle this.

Until I mistakenly end up in the wrong hotel room, naked as the day I was born, with the sexiest human I have ever met staring me down, wondering what I’m doing taking a shower in his bathroom. I don’t think calling it research will get me out of this pickle.

But it will make for one hell of a story….

 

excerpt

Chills scream their way down my arms and legs, my nipples pucker, and just like that, with one word, all humor vanishes from our little conversation and awareness of this all-consuming man wrapped around me hits me hard.

Gathering myself, I say, “Tell me something Chris and Justine know about you.”

“Hmm.” His thumbs hook under the waistband of my shorts, playing with the lower part of my hipbones. His touch spurs on my pelvis, needing to rock, begging for him to go lower. My toes curl in my sandals and my back slightly arches, reaching for more. “Something they know about me.”

His mouth doesn’t stray from its position against my ear, and his hips start to slowly move underneath me, his legs tangling with mine. Involuntarily, one of my hands hooks the back of his neck as I hold on tightly to him, feeling like I need support from the onslaught of sensation I’m feeling.

I hear him say something, but it doesn’t register in my brain, which has turned to mush as his thumbs stray from my hipbones to right above my pubic bone.

There is no denying how turned on I am, how wet I am from his mere touch, how much—despite my reservations—I want this man.

With each stroke, my head turns farther and farther to the side until our noses are touching, Beck’s head bends forward to meet me halfway. My eyes flutter shut for a brief moment before I open them and am captured by those flecks of green and gold.

The air stills around us, our breath mixing, swirling between us, our lips so close.

One swipe of this thumb.

Another one.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t focus.

Another swipe, my head leans even closer, my tongue wetting my lips.

One more swipe . . .

My heart hammers in my chest, my skin prickling with awareness.

Beck brings his mouth even closer, only a whisper away now, and he waits.

Holding still.

His breathing feeling erratic beneath me.

One.

More.

Swipe.

And I’m gone.

I bring my mouth to his, slowly parting my lips ever so slightly, just enough to maneuver my mouth across his.

A low, provocative moan escapes Beck as one of his hands snags the back of my head and holds me in place, almost as if he lets go, I’ll disappear.

Needing more, I shift on his lap so I’m straddling him once again, my hands on his bare chest, feeling the powerful sinew that holds him together.

Our lips press and mold, mingling, taking, begging . . .

Desperate.

Beck’s tongue runs against my bottom lip, eliciting a moan from deep within me, lighting a fire so hot, so wild, my hands start to travel up his neck to his cheeks where I grip him, positioning his head so when I open my mouth, I can expertly dive my tongue onto his.

He groans, his lap shifting against mine now, his hard-on pressing against my wet and throbbing center. I match his rocking, using my position on his lap to take advantage of his length I can feel through his board shorts.

This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen, but God, am I happy it has. Maybe I really should live in the moment, maybe I should take advantage of the opportunity, maybe I should…

 

rah

 

ARC Review: Only You by Melanie Harlow

MHOnlyYouBookCover5x8_MEDIUM

Title: Only You

Author: Melanie Harlow

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Release Date: March 12th, 2018

Add on Goodreads!

Find on Amazon!

 

blurbb

Nate Pearson is ridiculously handsome and wears the hell out of a suit and tie, but I’ve seen the parade of beautiful women leaving his apartment across the hall—a different one every time—and I want no part of it. When it comes to romance, I’m looking for something real, something that will last: the happily ever after.

As a divorce attorney, he loves to tell me there’s no such thing.

As a wedding planner, I choose to disagree.

We disagree on almost everything, in fact. Everything except James Bond. The only time we really get along is when we’re watching 007 flicks together, and I’ll admit—he has rescued me from a disaster or five. So when one of the baton twirlers from his parade leaves a baby girl at his door with a note that says “I’ll come back for her” and he begs me for help, I can’t turn him down.

But it’s a mistake.

Because watching him with his daughter, I start to see another side of Nate, a side that has my breath coming faster, my body craving his, my heart longing for him to change his mind about love and tell me there’s a chance for us.

I don’t want to be just another girl leaving his apartment in the morning.

I want to be the one he asks to stay.

 

review

I don’t know how Melanie Harlow does it every single time, but man, does she deliver. Only You is incredably heartwarming, witty and filled with many “aww” moments. It’s the kind of book you know you will have to re-read, but you’re even finished the first time. One of the ultimate friends to lovers book!

Nate and Emme have been neighbors for several years, and have become friends during that time, even though they are complete opposites. Emme is a wedding planner and believes in love and HEA. Nate is a divorce attorney and believes in one night stands.

When a baby girl is left at his door, with a note announcing him as the father, Nate is pretty stunned. Not knowing the first thing about babies, he begs Emme to help him. Of course Emme does, and before long she starts to see Nate in a whole new light- a man who does everything for his little girl. And that is dangerous.

I LOVED everything about Nate and Emme. I loved their friendship, their banter, their fights, their chemistry- EVERYTHING. It was perfection. Of course I wanted to yell at Nate a few times, but hey, flaws make up the perfection. 😉

Another thing I learned with Melanie Harlow is you’re going to get a lot with the characters. Both Nate and Emme had so many layers to them, causing them to feel so real. There was a real vulnerability in them that I absolutely connected with, making me love them all the much more.

And you would think a surprise baby would bring in A LOT of drama, but there were no over the top situations.

There are also a few side characters, namely Emme’s sisters, that I can’t wait to know more about. Melanie Harlow has created this new world, and I can’t wait for more!

 

rah

 

Excerpt Reveal: Only You by Melanie Harlow

MHOnlyYouBookCover5x8_MEDIUM

Title: Only You

Author: Melanie Harlow

Genre: contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 12th, 2018

Pre-Order on iBooks

Add on Goodreads

 

blurbb

Nate Pearson is ridiculously handsome and wears the hell out of a suit and tie, but I’ve seen the parade of beautiful women leaving his apartment across the hall—a different one every time—and I want no part of it. When it comes to romance, I’m looking for something real, something that will last: the happily ever after.

As a divorce attorney, he loves to tell me there’s no such thing.

As a wedding planner, I choose to disagree.

We disagree on almost everything, in fact. Everything except James Bond. The only time we really get along is when we’re watching 007 flicks together, and I’ll admit—he has rescued me from a disaster or five. So when one of the baton twirlers from his parade leaves a baby girl at his door with a note that says “I’ll come back for her” and he begs me for help, I can’t turn him down.

But it’s a mistake.

Because watching him with his daughter, I start to see another side of Nate, a side that has my breath coming faster, my body craving his, my heart longing for him to change his mind about love and tell me there’s a chance for us.

I don’t want to be just another girl leaving his apartment in the morning.

I want to be the one he asks to stay.

 

excerpt

“You know, even an alpha male can have feelings occasionally.”

“Oh?”

She crossed her arms and leaned back against the counter, giving me the evil eye. “Yes. He doesn’t have to be hard as granite all the way through, all the time.”

Don’t think about being hard. Don’t think about being hard. Don’t think about being hard. I leaned back against the opposite counter and sort of held my glass in front of my crotch. “Why are you even concerned with alpha males? You’re never attracted to them.”

“What? Yes, I am!”

“No, you’re not.” I knew her type well. “You’re always saying how you don’t want to be rescued, you want someone willing to show affection and talk about feelings, you don’t like arrogant or competitive guys or guys who always have to win, you like guys who get along with everyone—”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing. But that’s not an alpha male.”

She chewed her bottom lip. “But look at Bond. Who is he so worried about protecting? Why is he so driven to kill the bad guys? There must be people he cares about more than himself to put himself in harm’s way so often.”

“Maybe he just likes the thrill of the chase.”

“Maybe he’s more selfless than you think.”

“In this case, I think we’re going to have to disagree.”

She sighed heavily, and I knew I had disappointed her by ending the argument in a draw instead of winning or losing it. Any other night, I might have kept it going, but there was something odd going on with me, something that had me wanting to close the distance between us, set her up on the counter, slip my hands beneath that fuzzy white sweater she had on, see what her legs felt like wrapped around my hips. But I knew better.

Get her out of here before you do something stupid.

“Hey, you got fortune cookies? I didn’t see those.” She reached for the little cellophane bag.

“I forgot about them.”

“Can I have one?”

“You can have them both.”

She took one out and cracked it open. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built.”

“Very deep.”

She ignored me and went on to the next one. “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” Her lips pursed. “Hm. I don’t want a dangerous ship or a broken heart.”

I laughed at the anguish in her tone and expression.

“It’s not funny,” she said, shoving pieces of cookie in her mouth. “It means I’m doomed to be unhappy. And then I’m going to die in a shipwreck.”

“It means you take things way too seriously.” I tipped back the last of the bourbon in my glass, and set it in the sink. “Well, I’ve got an early morning at the gym tomorrow.”

She popped the rest of one cookie in her mouth and brushed off her hands. “I’m going. What time is it anyway?”

I checked the digital clock on the microwave. “It’s 11:11.”

Her face lit up. “Ooh! Make a wish!”

“What?”

“It’s 11:11, you have to make a wish.” She closed her eyes for a couple seconds, her lips moving as if saying a silent prayer. Then she opened them. “Did you do it?”

I laughed. “No.”

“Nate! Hurry up! Make a wish.” She glanced at the clock and flapped her hands agitatedly.

“I don’t have a wish to make.”

“So make one for me, then. And do it fast, before it’s 11:12.”

This time it was my turn to roll my eyes, but secretly I wished that the next guy she fell in love with would love her back the way she deserved, and she’d be happy. But I didn’t close my eyes, and I didn’t move my lips, so she had no idea whether I’d made a wish or not.

“Did you do it?” She looked concerned.

“Yes.”

“For me?”

“Yes.”

Her mouth fell open for a second. “What was it? What did you wish for me?”

I started to laugh as I left the kitchen. “Nice try, Calamity. Even I know you don’t tell a wish if you want it to come true.” The credits were still rolling on the television, and I picked up the remote to turn everything off.

“Oh, now you believe in wishes?” She sat down on the couch and tugged on her fluffy boots.

No, I wanted to tell her. I don’t, because I learned a long time ago that wishes and prayers and hopes don’t mean anything. No one is listening. But I didn’t tell her that, not only because she was looking up at me with my favorite expression of hers, the one daring me to fight back, but because at that very moment, I heard a noise in the hall.

A strange and oddly terrifying noise.

I looked over my shoulder toward the door, thinking I must have imagined the sound.

Then I heard it again—the unmistakable, ball-shrinking, cringe-inducing sound of a baby’s wail.

Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Studly Period by Sarina Bowen

unnamed

A brand new serial delivered straight to your email inbox! Beginning on Tuesday, March 20th, you will get one chapter each week, straight to your email inbox! Anyone who signs up midstream will immediately receive links to previous chapters. No reader will be left behind!

SIGN UP!

 

blurbb

She’s a brilliant writing tutor. Too bad she’s tongue-tied every time he sits down in front of her…

There are 1016 people in the freshman class at Harkness College. I can’t be the only socially awkward nerd girl virgin among them. Right?

It’s time I learn to talk to guys without blushing and stammering. So I take a confidence-building job at the student tutoring center. Twelve bucks an hour, plus human interaction. What could go wrong?

A fun-loving French Canadian hockey hunk, that’s what.

When Pepe St. George sits down at my tutoring table, my brain shuts off and my mouth goes right into hyperdrive. Even the sound of my name on his lips—Josephine—gives me a mini orgasm.

I want to hand him my V-card. But all I manage to hand him is…my thesaurus. And my dignity. All seems lost, until I hatch a plan to get him alone…

 

 

excerpt

“Bonjour.” The deep voice—from right above me—startles me so badly that I jump. My phone goes clattering to the desktop as I whip my chin upward to see whomever snuck up on me.

Désolé!” he says. “I should come back later?”

“No,” I say, fumbling my phone back into my bag. “Please sit down.”

My heart is banging against my ribs, and not only because he startled me. If possible, I’m even more awkward with men than with women. It’s worse if they’re attractive.

And this guy? Very attractive. Wow. He has a wide, handsome face and coal-dark eyes ringed by impressively thick lashes, and a broad face. Broad shoulders.

Broad everything. Wow. He must eat a lot of protein. And now I’m staring as he arranges himself in the chair opposite me and draws out a folder. He’s really handsome. One of the BPs, for sure.

I can’t stop staring. There’s something rugged about him that’s hard to describe. There’s color in his cheeks—at least the part that’s not covered with dark scruff. And his biceps bulge from the sleeves of his T-shirt. He reminds me of a superhero going incognito, concealing his identity among the ordinary college students.

Though the muscles can probably be explained by the logo on his T-shirt—Harkness Hockey.

It’s always the jocks who need tutoring. I swear. Nadia I have a disagreement about this. She says that jocks are used to coaching, and thus accept tutoring help more readily than the general population.

“I think they’re just not as smart,” I always tell her.

She just shakes her head. “You say that, but you’re still intimidated by them. So which is it?”

Indeed.

“How can I help you,” I whisper up at this handsome giant.

He frowns, and then folds massive hands onto the desk between us. “Excusez-moi?”

People always tell me my voice is soft. That I’m hard to hear. He must agree, because he leans forward, those big, dark eyes blinking in close proximity. It doesn’t help the knee-knocking, teeth-rattling nerves that overtake me whenever a beautiful man looks at me.

Get a grip, Josie. “How can I help you today,” I ask carefully.

Bon. I have the paper due for English. And my English is not so excellent. So I hope you will help me find all the places I fuck it up. I bring it…” He opens a folder and rifles through some papers.

For a long moment I just blink at him. “Your English…” Did he just say that he didn’t speak the language?

“When I come to Harkness last year? I don’t speak much English at all,” he says, dropping a rough draft of an essay on the table between us. “Please help me find zhe places where I fuck up the grammar.”

His honesty has stunned me. The Harkness students I’ve met so far would never admit to any kind of weakness. In fact, they tell me that most students wait until their grades are in jeopardy to find the tutoring center at all.

And I don’t blame them. Struggling? That’s shameful. Harkness is a top-notch school where everyone worships at the alter of intellectual exceptionalism. With an admissions rate that hovered around nine percent, having a big brain is the only way to get in.

Or at least I thought it was. Every year, something like a thousand valedictorians get rejections from Harkness. Who would dream of implying that he isn’t as qualified as the next student?

This guy.

 

rah

 

Cover Reveal: Her Defiant Heart by Monica Murphy

Her Defiant Heart ebook

Title: Her Defiant Heart

Author: Monica Murphy

Genre: New Adult Romance

Release Date: March 29th, 2018

Pre-Order on iBooks!

 

blurbb

Life can feel like a cruel joke. I grew up poor and motherless, with a father who never got over his wife’s abandonment. But now he’s gone too, and I’m dead set on finding the woman who so carelessly tossed me aside when I was a baby.

I want revenge. And I’m going to get back at my mother any way that I can.

I change my name. Start my new life in college, and just happen to cross paths with the gorgeous, ultra-rich Rhett Montgomery. He’s immediately interested in me, not that I’m surprised.

You see, I planned it that way. I meant for him to find me. He’s the one connection to my mother, and I’m using him, so I can destroy her. But I didn’t plan on Rhett being so charming. Sweet. Sexy.

And I definitely didn’t plan on falling for him either…

 

 

rah