Cake at Midnight by Jessie L. Star-Review & Excerpt

CAKE AT MIDNIGHT by Jessie L. Star-Review & Excerpt

Cake at Midnight / / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

About the book: Release Date January 15, 2018

Giovanna, Zoë and Declan have always been a trio – their fierce friendship has seen them through every heartbreak and hardship and helped pave the way to brighter futures. Gio is a passionate baker of cakes, pastries and all things delicious, Zoë a take-no-prisoners beauty, and Declan an ambitious businessman on the way up.

Best friends forever, Gio thinks – until Gio’s lifelong crush on Declan is exposed, leaving her humiliated, and Gio realises she needs to cut him loose to get over him once and for all.

Enter Theo, Gio’s neighbour … She’s never met anyone like him before. He doesn’t talk much, but he’s kind, he’s sexy, he’s generous and he’s often awake in the middle of the night, like Gio. Theo has a sweet tooth and a mysterious history and Gio can’t seem to stay away.

Thanks to the power of sleepless nights and chocolate cake, Gio thinks she’s finally over Declan, but then his whole world turns upside down. Gio knows she can’t desert Declan in his time of need, but how can she explain a lifetime of love to Theo?

Letting go of the past isn’t so easy when your heart is breaking.


REVIEW: CAKE AT MIDNIGHT by Jessie L. Star is a stand alone, contemporary, new adult romance story line focusing on Australians twenty-two year old pastry chef Giovanna ‘Gio’ Koppelmann, and twenty seven year old acquisitions and mergers manager Theo McKillop.

Told from first person perspective (Giovanna) and third person (Theo) CAKE AT MIDNIGHT follows the building relationship between new neighbors Giovanna Koppelmann, and Theo McKillop.

Giovanna, Zoe and Declan are lifelong best friends who grew up together on the wrong side of the tracks struggling against abuse, neglect and a history of addiction. Giovanna, for all intents and purposes, has had a crush on Declan O’Connor for most of her life, a crush that will quickly dissolve when their friendship is abused one final time. Enter Theo McKillop, Giovanna’s neighbor and the man with whom our heroine will fall in love. Humiliated and stunned by the man she has known most of her life, Giovanna will welcome Theo’s acceptance of her quirky ideas including a ‘midnight witching hour’ wherein Giovanna finds solace in Theo’s company and home-made cake. What ensues is the building relationship between Theo and Giovanna, and the potential fall out when their time together comes to an end.

CAKE AT MIDNIGHT focuses on friendship and family-the dysfunctional family dynamics not only of Giovanna, Zoe and Declan’s present and past, but that of Theo’s eccentric, well to do, and outrageous family whose behavior is fodder for the socialites, gossip magazines, and paparazzi fanatics. Theo has kept his familial identity a secret for most of his life but workplace jealousy, and bitter family kinetics become the breaking point for a man who is unable to let go of the past. While Giovanna accepts all that is Theo including his unconventional and heart breaking family, Theo will struggle with Gia’s relationship to a man who continues to break her heart. The $ex scenes are limited, passionate but mostly implied.

We are introduced to Giovanna’s best friends Declan O’Connor, and beautician Zoe; Gio’s boss Celeste, and co-worker Maya; as well as Theo’s best friend, and executive assistant Ari; Theo’s parents Philomena and Harvey, and sister Lena Leventis; and Theo’s ex-fiance Vanessa. I am hoping the author has plans for future story lines involving Declan, Zoe, Ari and Lena.

CAKE AT MIDNIGHT has a little bit everything: romance and love; jealousy and betrayal; friendship and family; heart break and acceptance. The premise is engaging and entertaining; the characters are charismatic, realistic and dynamic; the romance is intimate and romantic. Jessie L Star writes an emotional and inspiring story about two people pushed together by circumstance, fate and love.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy



Best friends becoming something more is a good story. I’ve certainly always been a big fan.
It’s a classic combination, after all: a solid bedrock of affec¬tion and respect suddenly shot through with the lava of red-hot passion. You see it in food all the time: creamy, comforting choc-olate awakened by fiery chilli; a soft, delicate roux set aflame by Worcestershire sauce and a sprinkling of white pepper. It just worked. Or, at least, it did with other people.
The evening I realised ‘best friend’ to ‘passionate lover’ wasn’t going to be as natural a progression as all my recipe books had suggested, I stood at the island bench of my Great Aunt Agnes’ kitchen. A tray of perfect, velvety dollops of choux pastry and my two squabbling best friends were before me.
There wasn’t much about this scene that differed from any of the past hundred Wednesday nights, but there was a slight tight¬ness in my chest that told me that this one was special. This was our last Wednesday as high schoolers, our last Wednesday before actual adulthood set in.
My friends, however, didn’t seem to appreciate the significance.
‘I swear to God, Dec, call me shallow one more time.’ Zoë’s smooth, jet-black bob quivered with agitation and Declan, lanky and bright-eyed, held up the bible he’d been flipping through in mock surrender.
‘I’m not calling you shallow,’ he objected with a laugh that suggested that’s exactly what he was doing. ‘I’m just pointing out that on this, the eve of our graduation, we’ve all decided to pursue careers represented by the cardinal sins.’
‘Training to be a beautician does not make me prideful.’ Zoë, the spitting image of how Snow White would’ve looked had she had anger management issues, rose immediately and predicta¬bly to Dec’s bait. ‘Or stupid or vain or whatever the hell you’re suggesting I am.’
‘And I wouldn’t say training to be a pastry chef necessarily means I condone gluttony,’ I said as I dipped my finger into a glass of water and began carefully dabbing down the tops of my pastry blobs so they wouldn’t catch in the oven.
‘There’s no need to deny it, we’re all friends here,’ Dec said cheerfully, sending a tiny wink my way as Zoë let out a constricted noise of outrage. ‘And I’m not saying I’m exempt. I mean, I have an excessive love of, and desire for, earthly possessions. Greed, yeah?’
There was a ‘tsch’ noise and we looked up to see Great Aunt Agnes – Aggie to all who knew and loved her – emerging from the bathroom in a waft of her distinctively spicy perfume.
‘What is this talk of sins?’ she asked in heavily accented English, putting her hands on her hips with a flourish that made her gold bracelets chime. ‘You are not sinners. You are my brains, beauty and,’ she searched for a way to describe me and then raised her rather severe eyebrows and finished, ‘baker.’
This sort of affirmation was nothing we hadn’t heard from her before, but we still smirked at each other in that mixture of embarrassment and pride we felt every time she so easily validated each of us.
‘But this?’ She marched over and pulled her bible from Dec’s grasp before waggling it in his face. ‘Not a prop.’

Dec grinned back at her, unrepentant. ‘I thought you’d be pleased I was expanding my religious education.’
‘Aw.’ She reached out and gave his chin an affectionate little wiggle then lightly slapped him on the cheek. ‘Respect and grace,’ she reminded him, a common refrain of hers that Zoë and I mouthed behind her back.
Her gospel saved, Aggie moved away to start rummaging through her cavernous wardrobe on the other side of her studio flat and the rest of us returned to the matter at hand.
‘Of course, there’s another way to look at it.’ Zoë shifted forward on her stool and poked Dec in the chest with a perfectly polished nail. ‘Some would say that my aim is to make people feel beautiful on the outside, and Gio’s is to do the same on the inside. Frankly, we’re going to bring good to the world. You’re the only bad guy here, Brains.’
‘Well, nothing new there, then.’ The corners of Dec’s mouth quirked self-deprecatingly.
Afraid that my eyes were about to start flashing neon heart signs at him like in a cartoon, I looked for something to say other than: I know you’re one of my best friends, but I’m mad about you, please let me have your babies.
‘Check out my choux!’ is what I landed on and, as distrac¬tions went, it was a pretty effective one. Dec and Zoë immediately stopped narrowing their eyes at each other and, appearing vaguely puzzled, lifted themselves to look over the counter and down at my feet instead.
When I realised why, I let out a little snort. ‘Not shoe.’ I laughed. ‘Choux!’ And I gestured at the tray in front of me.
They exchanged a look.
‘Not shoe shoe?’ Zoë repeated.
‘Choux,’ I said again, trying to enunciate the difference. ‘Choux.’
‘You’re aware that you’re just standing there repeating the word “shoe”, yeah?’ Dec said and I rolled my eyes.
‘C-h-o-u-x,’ I spelt out. ‘Choux pastry.’ I indicated the blobs on the tray again and they both obediently switched their atten¬tion to them. I could tell by their expressions, however, that they didn’t get it. They didn’t appreciate how sheeny the dough had become once I’d added the eggs or how evenly I’d piped the buns out, and they certainly didn’t appreciate the perfect golden puffs they were destined to turn into.
‘Just say, “They look lovely, dear”,’ I advised.
‘They look lovely, dear,’ they intoned obediently.
Tying a brightly patterned scarf around her throat, Aggie re-emerged from her Aladdin’s cave of a closet and headed back to the kitchen area.
‘Are you ready, minha querida?’ she asked and Zoë nodded, hopping off the bar stool, expertly shimmying her tight black skirt back to its proper length and then wrinkling her nose.
‘Sinner or not,’ she said dryly as she snatched up her purse, ‘as God is my witness, once I have enough money to quit waitressing I am going to burn this skirt. It doesn’t matter how many times I wash it, it always smells like garlic.’
‘So that’s what that smell is,’ Dec deadpanned, ducking as she thwacked her purse into his head in response.
‘Text me later,’ I called as she headed for the front door and she waved a hand over her shoulder in reply.
That was Zoë: always with somewhere else to be, always hitting someone round the back of the head as she went.
Aggie paused only to blow extravagant kisses at Dec and me, which we returned with gusto, before she, too, bustled out of her flat.
‘And then there were two.’ Dec stretched out his long legs, hooking his feet into the footrest of Zoë’s abandoned stool and grinning lazily at me across the counter.
Oh god, I loved him, I loved him, I loved him . . .
‘So you’ll be the first to try my chocolate-topped caramel custard profiteroles!’ My exclamation was much too high-pitched, but in my defence, it was getting harder and harder to act normally around Dec now my mid-level crush of the past two years had exploded into full-on infatuation.
‘Works for me.’
It was difficult to tell whether he was just being kind by not mentioning my obvious partiality to him, or whether Dec was actually so dense that he hadn’t noticed. His even response then left me none the wiser.
There followed a companionable half-hour or so where I pottered about finishing off my baking and Dec did whatever it was that boys do on their phones every waking hour of their lives. I revelled in the cosy domesticity of it all and tried not to feel too guilty about how much I enjoyed this time every Wednes¬day when Zoë left for work, dropping Aggie off at her ‘stitch and bitch’ group on the way, and reduced our usual foursome down to a twosome.
Not that various permutations of us didn’t end up congregat¬ing at Aggie’s flat on other days of the week. Dec and Zoë had the sort of home lives that people spoke about in sad whispers, and my parents worked gruelling shift-work hours and had always relied on Aggie to provide before- and after-school care for me when I was younger, a routine I’d never really grown out of as I adored Aggie and sought any excuse to see her. So it was here, where the door was always open and the kettle was always on, that we all ended up more often than not.
‘Do you think it’ll to work out?’
I spent just about every cent of the money I earned as a check-out chick on baking ingredients and recipe books and kept an extensive stash of both at Aggie’s studio. When Dec suddenly spoke, I’d been concentrating on melting chocolate to the right temperature for tempering.
‘My profiteroles?’ I asked blankly.
He shook his head. ‘I’m kind of thinking bigger than your profiteroles.’

I was about to make some smart remark about how it wasn’t the size of the profiteroles that mattered, but how they tasted, but stopped as I saw him start to spin his phone back and forth nervously.
‘Bigger how?’ I asked. Seeing that the chocolate had reached forty-five degrees, I removed it from the double boiler to stir in the remaining room-temperature chocolate.
‘You know, our sins.’ He raised his hazel eyes to mine and I belatedly realised how much his mood had shifted since Zoë and Aggie had left. ‘Do you think they’ll work out? Cos we’ve all sat here and talked about what we’re going to do with our lives for years. What the hell do we do if it turns out that the Beauty’s allergic to nail polish, or the Baker’s actually crap at baking, or the Brain’s not smart enough for uni?’
No-one was a bigger champion of Zoë and me than Dec, so I knew it wasn’t our abilities he was questioning.
The three of us lived in an outer suburb called Jarli that was known primarily for its large sign that proclaimed: ‘Welcome to Jarli’ and which some joker had graffiti-ed ‘Good fucking luck!’ across. Our luck lay in Aggie, who’d immigrated to Australia from Brazil with my maternal grandparents and, from day one, had been deter¬mined to make a success of herself. At an early age, Zoë, Dec and I had each become disciples of Aggie’s zeal for self-improvement, encouraged by her to read and study and work towards a better set of cards than our respective parents had been dealt.
Which wasn’t to say that some of the ingrained ‘you’ll never amount to anything’ Jarli way of thinking didn’t sometimes get the better of us. Dec most of all.
‘Okay,’ I said slowly, reinserting the thermometer into the chocolate as I stirred it. ‘Except Zoë’s been wearing polish since she could hold a brush, I’m a freaking excellent baker, if I do say so myself, and you killed it in your exams.’
‘I guess.’ Dec pocketed his phone and drummed his fingers on the counter. ‘It’s just that I want to be good at what’s coming, you know? I need to be good at it.’

His voice was fierce, but there was something small in it as well, and I got it. There weren’t exactly a surplus of successful role models in his family and he’d been talking about being nothing like them ever since the first day of primary school. Knowing the fear and anxiety that lay behind his words, I thought carefully about my reply.
‘I guess, in the very unlikely event that you did turn out to be a massive failure at uni, you’d still have a fair bit going for you.’
Deciding that his need for reassurance outweighed my desire for super shiny chocolate, I set aside the mixture and moved around the bench to perch on the stool facing him.
‘I mean, you are smart, like annoyingly smart, and nothing short of some sort of brain trauma’s going to change that. And you’d still be a laugh and a handsome bugger.’ He cracked a smile at this, which gave me the confidence to add, ‘And you’d have me. And Zoë and Aggie, obviously, you’d still have all of us.’
I’d looked down into my lap as I’d said this last bit and had to force myself to peek up at him to see what he thought of my mushiness. I was pleased to see that the taut line between his eyebrows had relaxed and he was looking at me with a small smile. I felt my breath catch in my throat as he shifted forward on his stool, reaching out to gently tuck a curl behind my ear. It was a completely futile gesture, of course, as it sprang straight back out, but it made me melt all the same.
‘You’re something else, Gio. I don’t know what I’d do without you,’ he said, leaning in close and lowering his voice.
Dozens of responses came to mind, most of them along the lines of you’ll never have to find out, but in the end, I just did what I’d wanted to do for so long now. I closed the minuscule gap between us and pressed my lips to his.
It felt so right, exactly what I’d been hoping for, and I let the moment consume me, cataloguing every last detail and storing it away with the intention of savouring it for the rest of my life.
Yes, I memorised our first kiss and, boy, did I live to regret it.



about the author

Jessie L Star

Check out the author: Goodreads / Website / Facebook /

Whilst digging through her childhood scribblings, Jessie L. Star discovered a thrilling saga by her six year old self entitled ‘Jessie has Lost her Sock’. This sweeping epic spanned all four corners of her childhood house in outback South Australia as the sock was hunted down (spoiler, it was in Jessie’s bed all along). Many years later and the urge to write is still going strong, although lost socks have been replaced with a raft of characters destined to snark and banter at each other until, ultimately, falling in love.

Jessie studied Business at Uni where she primarily learnt that writing and talking were very much her thing and that dealing with numbers was very much not.

Simon and Schuster


Chaos & Control by Season Vining – a Review

Chaos & Control by Season Vining – a Review


Chaos & ControlAmazon / B&N / Kobo/ BAM / Book Depository

When Wren Hart returns to her sleepy little Midwest town after years on the road, she finds the last thing she’d ever expect—a reason to stay. And that reason has a hard body, a knowledge of vinyl, and a crooked smile that sends her reeling.

Preston is a gorgeous, mysterious man, whose life is ruled by routine and order. Yet somehow, he finds Wren and her wild ways captivating. While their relationship grows in a delicate dance of chaos and control, the danger Wren thought she’d left behind during her travels is inching ever closer…and just may destroy them both. 



Chaos and Control by Season Vining was an interesting read for me.  It took me a while to really get into the story and the characters driving it.  Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Vining did a good job of creating the story, the characters and their backgrounds, but for me there was just something that I still can’t put my finger on for why it took me so long to get into the story. 

Chaos and Control is a story about coming home and really finding oneself.  Once Wren finally decides to stop running, stand up for herself and take control of her life, she realizes that she is where she is meant to be.  In all her years of running from her abusive ex, she has finally found the one person she needs who balances her wild ways, and makes her see that she can truly be happy in her home town of Crowley. 

Preston who at first I couldn’t quite figure out, but little by little it comes into focus that he suffers from OCD, is mysterious, quiet and keeps to himself.  However, for some strange reason he is drawn to Wren from the first moment he sees her and soon realizes that Wren and her chaotic personality don’t upset his quiet controlled lifestyle.  For two people who couldn’t be more different from the other Wren and Preston are two characters who work well together and fit.  They both help to balance the other out and bring to their lives something that is missing.  Wren’s acceptance of Preston’s OCD from the moment he tells her is endearing, and even though Preston needs to have everything in his life in perfect order and controlled doesn’t bat an eyelash or run the other way when Wren finally opens up about her abusive past.  Instead Preston just flat out tells her that her ex will have to go through him if he thinks he’s getting anywhere near Wren.  It was a cute, yet real and serious scene between the two in that moment.  You can really feel the emotion flowing between the two characters, the intensity of the moment and know that Wren will be safe with Preston no matter what.  Their romance is a very slow build which just added to their story and showed how opposite they are in their personalities and lives, but it also shows how well they work as a couple, understand each other and come to get just who the other is. 

As I said earlier, Chaos and Control by Season Vining took me a while to get into it.  Yes I still can’t put my finger on what or why, but I’m glad I dug in and stuck with it.  The story was well executed, the character development was well thought out and they brought the story to life in their own unique ways.  As they always say, opposites attract and in this instance Wren and Preston are a good example of polar opposites.  Somehow they just made their adventure work and created a story that’s real, honest, endearing and full of emotion. 

Until next time, happy reading.

Reviewed by Marcie

Copy provided by Publisher



Ruin You (The Debt #3) by M. O’Keefe-Review and Book Tour

Ruin You (The Debt #3) by M. O’Keefe-Review and Book Tour


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The Debt #3
by M. O’Keefe
Release Dat: November 9, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance

Ruin You / / B&N / KOBO /iBooks

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 9, 2017


The only thing that stands in the way of my revenge is her.

The lying scheming daughter of the man who killed my parents. She has the secrets I need to bring down her father.

And I’ll do anything to get them. I will lie to her. Steal from her. Use her.
Ruin her.

It helps that our chemistry is explosive.

What I’m not expecting is for her to be so sweet. And so strong.



After so many years of lying and hiding, I finally have a place to call home. With people I can call a family. The Paintbrush Inn is my life now, and I won’t let anyone ruin it.

When sexy and world-weary Simon checks in to the Inn, I never expect him to glance my way. I’ve spent my whole life blending into the background. Being overlooked and ignored. It’s been helpful, even though it’s lonely. And he’s way out of my league.

But our attraction is powerful. Undeniable.


Because I can’t let anyone close. If the secrets I keep were to be revealed, my whole life would be destroyed. But something about Simon makes me break all my own rules. I’m letting him in to my home, my body, my life, never expecting he has his own secrets.

His own lies.

When the truth comes out, we’ll both be ruined.


REVIEW: RUIN YOU is the third full-length instalment in Molly O’Keefe’s contemporary, adult THE DEBT dark, romance series focusing on a group of former teens thrown together in the foster/ juvenile system of San Francisco, California (more specifically the St. Jude’s Home for Court Place Juveniles) -Tommy, Beth, Simon, Rosa and Carissa. This is journalist Simon Malik, and chef Penny McConnell’s story line. RUIN YOU can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary with the inclusion of a prologue that reveals some of the background and events leading to the debt owed by Tommy, Simon and Carissa to the mysterious Mr. Bates.

There is a FREE short story prologue available -THE DEBT. The same short story prologue is also contained at the beginning of Tommy and Beth’s story-Lost Without You.

NOTE: RUIN YOU, like book one-Lost Without You- begins seven to eight years earlier in which we are witness to the horrific acts of violence perpetrated on five young souls who will be beaten and broken for any number of offenses deemed inappropriate or wrong. The introduction reveals five ‘young offenders’ destroyed by a sexually and physically abusive foster family, only to discover that freedom came at a cost- all debts must be repaid; anytime, anywhere, without question or fail.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Simon and Penny) RUIN YOU begins eight years earlier as the reader is given a glimpse into Simon’s past and his first encounter with our story line heroine: the events leading to his incarceration in the juvenile offender’s system, and the fall out when Simon and his best friend Tommy (LOST WITHOUT YOU) took measures to ensure their foster family was no longer a threat to their safety and health. Fast forward to present day wherein Simon’s debt-the cost of his freedom-must be repaid. Enter Penny McConnell aka Tina Andreas, Simon’s target and the woman with whom our hero will fall in love. What ensues is the building relationship between Penny and Simon, and the fall out when Tina’s (Penny) father discovers the whereabouts of his long, lost daughter, and the truth about Simon’s mission is finally revealed.

RUIN YOU is a story of second chances; of lies and betrayal; of romance and love. Penny McConnell is not who she professes to be but neither is Simon Malik who sets out to seduce the woman who may or may not have access to the information he so desperately wants. The relationship between Simon and Penny is one of immediate attraction and insta-lust but our heroine knows that to get involved would mean having to reveal the real person behind her professional façade. Simon’s undercover assignment follows a two-step plan in which retribution and revenge are a by-product of a debt repaid. The $ex scenes are limited but intimate, erotic and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

RUIN YOU is a slow paced story; a sweet burn romance;with a conflict resolution that was over too quickly. Tommy and Beth (Lost Without You) make a cameo appearance, as well as the mysterious Mr. Bates, Carissa, Penny’s business partner Megan, and Tina’s father Dale Simpson. I suspect there is some history between Carissa and Bates; we learn a little more about Mr. Bates’ connection to the group home survivors. Rosa’s whereabouts have finally been uncovered, and our story line hero is about to embark on a mission to find their missing friend. The premise is entertaining and engaging; the characters are charismatic and determined; the romance is fated and captivating.

Copy supplied for reviewe

Reviewed by Sandy

Beautiful man_____________

(The Debt #1)
by Molly O’Keefe
Genre: contemporary, new adult, dark, romance
Release Date: June 19,2017

FREE ebook: / / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 19, 2017



Seven years ago, I thought I could save Beth, the girl I loved from the monster who was supposed to take care of us. I thought I could keep Beth and all the other kids at St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles safe.

I failed. Badly. Now we all have blood on our hands and owe a dangerous man a very dangerous debt. We don’t know when he’ll come calling for payment, but when he does – we pay, or we suffer.

When my turn comes, I’m ready for anything.

Except seeing Beth again.



No one ever tells you that the cost of having your dreams come true is literally every single other part of your life. Yes, I’m a huge pop star these days, but I’m pretty much a mess, too.

I’ve spent my life hiding behind disguises, make-up and costumes, all to protect myself from the kind of pain that comes from revealing your true self to someone.

I did that once. With Tommy. The only person I ever loved. It didn’t turn out so well.

And now, with everything else falling apart around me, I’m suddenly in the backseat of his car.

Being kidnapped.

And the past we’ve both tried to run from is catching up with us.

Contains The Debt: A Prologue and 50,000 more words in the continuation of Tommy and Beth’s story


REVIEW: LOST WITHOUT YOU is the first full length instalment in Molly O’Keefe’s contemporary, new adult THE DEBT dark, romance series focusing on a former group of teens thrown together in the foster/ juvenile system of San Francisco, California (more specifically the St. Jude’s Home for Court Place Juveniles) -Tommy, Beth, Simon, Rosa and Carissa. LOST WITHOUT YOU is twenty four year old Tommy MacNeill, and twenty three year old Beth Renshaw’s story line. I have not had the opportunity to read the conclusion to their story WHERE I BELONG but I am hoping to rectify that very shortly.

NOTE: There is a FREE short story prologue available -THE DEBT -that reveals some of the background and events leading to the debt owed by Tommy, Simon and Carissa. The same short story prologue is also contained at the beginning of Tommy and Beth’s story-Lost Without You.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Tommy and Beth) LOST WITHOUT YOU begins seven years earlier in which we are witness to the horrific acts of violence perpetrated on five young souls who will be beaten and broken for any number of offenses deemed inappropriate or wrong. LOST WITHOUT YOU focuses on the fall out of a corrupt juvenile system that saw five ‘young offenders’ destroyed by a sexually and physically abusive foster family, only to discover that freedom came at a cost- all debts must be repaid; anytime, anywhere, without question or fail.

Fast forward to present day and Tommy MacNeill’s contracted debt has been called into fruition, and his assignment will bring him face to face with his past. Enter pop sensation Jada, the young girl formerly known as Beth Renshaw, and the woman Tommy has always loved. What ensues is the rekindling relationship and romance between Tommy and Beth, and the fall out when Tommy is unable to pay off his seven year debt.

LOST WITHOUT YOU is a somewhat dark and edgy story of heartbreak, betrayal, abuse and regret. Five teens caught in the system with no chance of parole until a mysterious and dangerous stranger, Mr. Bates, offers freedom for a price. All debts must be repaid, and Tommy’s debt has been called placing our hero in the line of fire. The premise is engaging and angst-ridden; the characters are broken and battle-weary; the romance is passionate but lacked the heat factor of many of today’s dark romance novels-perhaps the events of the past interfered in their ability to let go and enjoy their few remaining moments together.

LOST WITHOU YOU ends on a cliff hanger-you have been warned.

Own a copy

Reviewed by Sandy

About The Author beige

Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she’s not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.



Crave Part Two (Crave Duet #2) by E.K. Blair-Review and Book Tour

CRAVE: Part Two (Crave Duet #2) by E.K. Blair-Review and Book Tour

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CRAVE Part 2
Crave Duology
by EK Blair
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Genre: new adult, romance
Crave Part 2 / / / /

About the book: Release Date October 16, 2017

Weeks became months, and months became years. Each day, nudged Kason deeper into his addiction. Each memory of the girl destroyed fed the craving for what he could never have again.

Leaving a life-altering first love behind, Adaline tried moving forward to find love and trust and happiness. Pain eventually faded, wounds slowly healed, yet scars were forever left behind.

But some scars feel like kisses.

When the shattered pieces of their hearts are forced to meet again, the two of them must decide how much pain their love is worth enduring.

This is what happens when one person loves beyond the craving and the other craves beyond the loving.


REVIEW: CRAVE Part Two is the second installment in E.K. Blair’s contemporary, new adult CRAVE duet that focuses on the relationship between two high school lovers, and the resulting turmoil and fallout as each enter their first year of college. CRAVE Part two cannot be read as a stand alone as it picks up immediately after the events of CRAVE Part one.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Adaline and Kason) CRAVE Part two covers several years in the life of Kason, Adaline and her best friend Micah but mostly focuses on the struggles of our story line heroine. At the end of Part one Adaline’s life was destroyed; the pain and humiliation found our heroine walking away from the young man that she loves in the hopes of protecting not only his heart but from a future marred by memories and tears. Adaline believes revealing the truth will hurt everyone involved but her secrets and lies will eventually destroy the boy that she loves. Fast forward five years and our heroine must return to the town and people where it all began as tragedy continues to destroy the young man she left behind.

CRAVE Part Two is a story about one girl, two boys and a lifetime of secrets, heartache, addiction and recovery. Kason’s life slowly began to unravel when Ady refused to admit or acknowledge the truth about that fateful night that would tear apart their lives. Kason would remain oblivious but suspicious about the events that led to Ady’s spiral out of control while his own demons would demand and take hold without a second backwards glance. There are moments of infidelity, grief, shame and revelation. Age does not equate to maturity, and in this, our story line couple will continue to hurt the people they love. Ady runs when things begin to overwhelm; Kason buries his feelings with every willing female that crosses his path. Adaline will make selfish choices that affect the people in her life knowing that she will destroy a young man who has already suffered more than anyone could have ever imagined.

CRAVE Parts One and Two reads like a mature YA (Young Adult) story line rather than the more age appropriately titled new adult genre. The $ex scenes are implied and fade to black; the requisite love triangle is pervasive and frustrating, angst filled and frustrating; discouraging and frustrating ; heartbreaking and …frustrating ! Everyone deserves a happily ever after in a romance story line but with love triangles there is always someone whose heart will be destroyed never alluding to a happily ever after. The premise is emotional but I struggled with the love triangle aspect of the story- at times my lack of sympathy for the heroine bordered on apathy in light of what happened years before. The consequences of her choices, and her decision to remain quiet and run destroyed several lives in the process. The characters are dynamic but immature; the romance struggled with too many demons both current and past. CRAVE Part Two concludes Adaline and Kason’s roller coaster relationship-here’s hoping that Micah, Trent and Kate find their own happily ever after.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

About The Author beige

EK BlairE.K. Blair, takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her dynamic and intense writing style. Noted for her ability to create fleshed-out characters that will evoke a realm of reactions, you can be assured that her stories will linger with you far beyond the last word.

A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.

Follow: Website/Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / BookBub

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Mine for the Week (Wild Love #2) by Erika Kelly-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

MINE FOR THE WEEK (Wild Love #2) by Erika Kelly-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Mine for the Week Banner

Wild Love #2
by Erika Kelly
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance

Mine for the Week / / B&N / KOBO / ibooks /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 3, 2017

As the top collegiate shortstop in the country, Ryan O’Donnell’s life is about discipline. But a growing restlessness causes him to bail on his baseball team over spring break to join his buddies at a singles resort. He just needs one week to escape his life, and then he’ll get back on track. But moments after arriving he meets HER, and the world as he knows it changes irrevocably. It should only be a hookup—that’s what spring break’s all about—but one taste of this sexy, vibrant woman isn’t enough. He has to have her. Even if it’s only for a week.

Sophie Valentine—yes, that Valentine—just found out her siblings want to sell off Crazy Hearts—the Peeps of the Valentine’s Day world. Upset, she takes off with her friends on their spring break vacation. She only wanted an escape—she never imagined meeting HIM. But he’s about to start a Major League Baseball career, and she’s launching a fight for her family legacy. They have no future. It’s just…she’s never felt this way for anyone before.

Are they really going to walk away from this kind of connection…this passion?


REVIEW: MINE FOR THE WEEK is the second installment in Erika Kelly’s contemporary, new adult WILD LOVE erotic, romance series focusing on the O’Donnell siblings. This is top collegiate shortstop Ryan O’Donnell, and Crazy Hearts heiress Sophie Valentine’s story line. MINE FOR THE WEEK can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. We were first introduced to Ryan in book one MINE FOR NOW.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Ryan and Sophie) MINE FOR THE WEEK follows the building but acrimonious relationship between two college seniors-professional baseball prospect Ryan O’Donnell, and cookie company heiress Sophie Valentine. It’s prospect week for college baseball, the scouts are in attendance, and our hero Ryan O’Donnell is about to spiral out of control. On the verge of panic, Ryan’s best friend suggests an island retreat to Santa Grenada wherein our hero will walk away from his future, and meet the woman with whom he will fall in love. Enter Crazy Hearts heiress and college senior Sophie Valentine, a woman on the cusp of a future that is about to be pulled out from under (her). What ensues is the acrimonious relationship between Sophie and Ryan, and the fall out when Ryan’s ex-girlfriend comes back looking to rekindle what’s left of their failed friendship and love.

MINE FOR A WEEK is a story of family, friendships and facing the future. Ryan knows he is destined for the major leagues. Baseball is his life but our hero is looking for something different; something more. A past mired in heartbreak, a dysfunctional family where addiction and drama followed in its’ wake, Ryan has always fronted the epitome of perfection; the perfect son and student; the perfect boyfriend and star athlete but a man whose inner turmoil pulls our hero in another direction-a direction he is unable to decipher until the end. Sophie Valentine is in the battle of her life as her family considers selling her beloved Crazy Hearts cookie factory in the hopes of a lucrative payout and retirement. Sophie’s attempts to dissuade her siblings are met with derision, and a family unable to come to terms about the future.

The relationship between Sophie and Ryan is one of immediate attraction but from the start Sophie is unable to let go. Ryan’s seduction of Sophie begins as an island adventure, and our heroine wants nothing to do with what she believes is a $ex craved athlete letting go on Spring Break in Santa Grenada. Ryan’s pursuit of Sophie is off-putting; she is unable to look past the ‘hook up’ of spring break. Trusting Ryan grows more difficult as their ‘friendship’ blossoms letting Ryan in will cost Sophie her heart and her self-esteem. The $ex scenes are seductive and intense. Throughout the story our very independent heroine had a habit of running; misinterpreting signs and conversations; and had a difficult time accepting the truth for what it was. She is constantly looking for faults including those in her relationship with Ryan O’Donnell.

We are introduced to Ryan’s best friends Dixon and Jake; his ex girlfriend Emma, as well as the reappearance of Ryan’s father Bill, sister Nicole and her boyfriend Dylan (Mine For Now) and his troubled brother Brandon; Sophie’s friends Kat and Laura, and Sophie’s ex-boyfriend Richard aka King.

MINE FOR THE WEEK was a bit of a struggle for me. I didn’t like the heroine. Some would call her strong and self-reliant but it is this part of her personality that I battled because of the way it is presented-an over the top need to be independent, and separate from the whole. Neither character was perfect; their personality quirks made for some uncomfortable situations. The premise is entertaining; the romance is passionate and intense; the characters are colorful and charismatic. MINE FOR THE WEEK is a well written, and engaging story line.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of book one-MINE FOR NOW.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Mine for the Week Teaser


Where had Sophie gone? Didn’t she want her keycard? He didn’t see her anywhere but, damn, he could feel her clutching him, feel the press of her body against his. Desire burned through him. She’d been so responsive last night. That’s what it was, really, what had made him so wild. Her response to him.
It was them. Combustible.
He remembered tucking his face into her neck, being surrounded by her scent, her silky hair. Her hands reaching under his shirt—her touch so hungry. Oh, Christ.
His heart pounded. Need burned a fiery path through his limbs. Where the hell had she gone?
He scanned the empty pool, the chaises, and the path to the terrace grill. Stalking towards the hotel, he peered through the glass doors but didn’t see anyone inside. She couldn’t have made it to the elevator that quickly.
The sound of water hitting pavement snapped his attention to the side of the building. To the outdoor showers.
An image sprang to mind. Sophie, naked, water glistening on that peachy skin.
Desire charged through him. Don’t do it. If he went in there, he’d touch her. And he couldn’t do that. She didn’t want it.
Go to your room.
To hell with that. Go to the gym. Work this crazy energy out of you.
He stood outside the hotel, every muscle tensed. A worker rolled a cart of clean towels out a side door and wheeled it toward the wicker towel stand.
But all he could focus on was the water splattering on concrete. Had she taken off her bikini?
None of your damn business. He turned away from the worker, but instead of opening the door to the hotel, he found his feet eating up the path, taking him toward the row of outdoor showers.
He’d just give her the key card and cover-up, and then he’d go. Leave her alone.
Water pooled outside a stall. “Soph?” He knocked, and then called for her again.
The door swung open, and she stood there in her red bikini, soap suds streaming down her gleaming body. Her features softened when she saw the cover-up and phone he held out to her.
Taking them out of his hand, she set them on a wooden shelf. “Thank you.” Then, she stepped under the spray and tilted her head back, her long dark hair streaming over her shoulders.
Desire rushed him so hard his breath went choppy, his knees weak. He closed and locked the door, heading right for her. Her eyes flared with surprise, but she didn’t stop him. The look in her eyes set his blood roaring. Heat, need, want burst inside him.
(can stop here if too long)
Her chest rose and fell with her rapid breathing. He moved toward her, crowding into her space, needing to touch her more than he needed air.
“I can’t believe you pirated my boat.”
Water splattered his calves, and his spine tingled with a lust so crazy he could barely control it. “It was too windy to be out there.”
She gave him a defiant look. “I don’t like people telling me what to do.”
Or she wasn’t used to it. No one in her family seemed to bother with her. “I’m not going to apologize for worrying about you.”
“Why?” Her voice sounded thin, shaky. Water beaded on her skin.
He wanted her so badly he hurt, but even though he could barely think, he knew she deserved an answer. “Because I like you.”
She let out a shaky breath.
“Sophie.” Leaning in, he watched the desire in her eyes turn fiery. Her fingertips traced a path down his chest, making him shudder. He licked the water droplets off her lips, and she sighed into his mouth.
He kissed her—yes—tongue stroking into her mouth, fingers sliding into wet hair, shoving it off her face. Cupping the back of her head, he shifted her so he could kiss her more deeply. Her mouth, so lush and hot, opened to him, and he lost himself in all the lusciousness that was Sophie Valentine.

about the author

Erika KellyAward-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.


Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter Signup ** Erika Kelly Goodreads


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Royal Attraction by Tiffany Truitt – a Review

Royal Attraction by Tiffany Truitt – a Review


Royal AttractionAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Alexandra Ryans’s life has been anything but normal. Some might even call it a fairy tale. As the daughter of the former U.S. ambassador to England, she grew up within the palace walls, best friends with the three young princes. Adored by the press and the British people. What more could a girl want?

If only the press knew the real story behind her relationships with the Dudley boys. Then, they’d really sell some papers.

Oliver Dudley, youngest son and third in line for the throne, loves everything about his life. The fame. The parties. The women. The utter lack of expectations and responsibilities that come with being last in the line of succession. But while the world thinks he has everything he wants, there’s one thing he was never able to call his own—the beautiful and spunky American Aly Ryans. But how can he convince her when she hates everything about his life? And what is he willing to give up to get her?



Alexandra Ryan is the daughter of an American Ambassador, and one of the King of England’s most trusted friend and advisor.

When Aly’s life takes a drastic turn and she loses her mother at a young age. Her father is asked to move into the royal palace and aid the King.

This means Aly’s life becomes meticulously intermixed with the royal princes.  Growing up within the Palace afforded Aly a lot of luxuries she would not have had living a normal life.  But it also brings with it the press, and they are ever watching and scrutinizing every move. But, it also gave her three best friends in the royal princes.  They were all always there for each other.  In fact as a small girl Aly always saw herself falling for the oldest prince – Aiden.  Aiden was thoughtful, kind, and artistic.  And he was always there for Aly. But when Aiden goes off to college and returns on break something has changed.  Aiden is no longer the young, artistic kid – he has come back an all business, proper Prince.  And the change in Aiden crushes Aly.  She turns to one of the other princes – Oliver.  But when Aiden catches Oliver and Aly together all hell breaks loose. And Aly is feels like she is the cause of all the problems and her only option is to leave the palace and what better place to make a clean break than the United States. 

Aly decided to enroll in school and hopes that she can continue on with her life – leaving the royals to their own business. A few years pass and now that Prince Fredrick is getting married and she has been summoned back to the royal palace.  Her life in the states has not gone quite as well as she had planned. She has dropped out of school, had an affair with a professor that she did not know was married and the last thing she wants is to be brought into the limelight of a royal wedding.  She begrudgingly returns.

When she does she soon realizes that it has always been Oliver. Even before she knew it herself it has always been him. But Oliver has his own trouble and trials. He is always in the press and it isn’t always good. Aly isn’t sure she has a place in their life anymore and as soon as the wedding is over she is returning to the States.  But things don’t go as she has planned – and Ollie is bound and determined to convince her to try and make it work with him! Can they live happily ever after? Will Ollie still want her after he finds out the truth of what happened in the States? 

A true fairy tale romance! While it takes them a few years to come around,  it certainly makes for an amazing read when they do! I loved every single character and their relationship to each other!

Aly is strong willed and fun. While she grew up in the palace she remained true to herself! I loved how she interacted with everyone! And you want   nothing than for her to get the fairytale ending. At first Ollie came across as a cocky ass. But he slowly grew on me. His intentions with Aly were always pure and he truly loved her. You could feel it. Every prince in this book had a charming quality and truly seemed down to earth! Great read and truly heart-warming fairytale! 

Reviewed by Erin

Copy provided by Publisher



Nova / Rebel (The Renegades 2 & 3) by Rebecca Yarros-reviews

NOVA / REBEL (The Renegades 2 & 3) by Rebecca Yarros-reviews

The Renegades 2 and 3

The Renegades #3
by Rebecca Yarros
Release Date: August 28, 2017
Genre: new adult, contemporary, romance / / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 28, 2017

She’ll defy his every expectation.

She’s Penna Carstairs.
The Renegade they call Rebel.
FMX-treme Magazine’s sexiest female athlete of the year.
There’s no rule in extreme sports she hasn’t broken,
No gender barrier she hasn’t demolished.

She’s the woman I met in a bar in Vegas.
The woman I illegally BASE jumped for.
The woman I spent one insane, incredible night with.
But now I’m screwed.
Or rather…not screwed.

Because the woman I can’t get out of my head is the one woman I can never touch again. I’m Dr. Cruz Delgado—the youngest professor on this campus,
And Penelope Carstairs just walked into my class.


REVIEW: REBEL is the third (and final) installment in Rebecca Yarros’ contemporary, new adult THE RENEGADES romance series focusing on a tight knit group of X-Games athletes, known as The Renegades, who are currently filming a year long, reality television program aboard an ocean cruise liner, getting an education from UCLA, and touring the world (ala Ryan Gosling and ‘Breaker High’). This is twenty two year old X-Games motorcycle athlete Penelope ‘Penna (Rebel) Carstairs, and twenty seven year old, former US army paratrooper Dr. Cruz Delgado’s story line. REBEL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary but I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and cohesion as much of the series premise is revealed in book one.

NOTE: If you have not read the first two installments there may be some spoilers in my review.

SOME BACKGROUND: Months earlier, Penna’s sister Brooke Carstairs, in a rage of jealousy and anger, attempted to destroy the X-games group known as The Renegades. Penna’s leg was crushed, and fellow Renegade member Nick, one of the Renegade ‘Originals’, was paralyzed in the ensuing fall out. Most of the members of the Renegades come from well to do families, and have earned their own reputations and financial success on the X-Games circuit.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Cruz and Penna) REBEL focuses on the forbidden relationship between X-treme athlete Penna Carstairs, and professor Dr. Cruz Delgado. While on hiatus following months of down time recovering from a near fatal attempt on her life, Penna convinced a total stranger to go BASE jumping off the High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Enter former US army Airborne paratrooper Cruz Delgado, Penna’s partner in crime, and the man with whom Penna would fall in love. What ensues is the ‘almost’ one-night stand between our leading couple, and the building but forbidden romance between Penna and her new Latin American History professor Dr. Cruz Delgado.

Penna doesn’t do relationships but meeting Cruz Delgado sent all semblance of propriety out the window. It didn’t help that her sexy BASE jumping partner was several years older but to discover that her almost one-night stand is now the new Latin American history professor on board the luxury cruise liner placed a line in the sand (or water) not meant to be crossed. Cruz Delgado knows that to get involved with a student, even a twenty two year old student, would be the death of his career but Cruz needs this job for reasons beyond anyone’s knowledge, and it is these reasons that Cruz is more reticent about getting involved.

The relationship between Cruz and Penna is one of immediate attraction ; a forbidden romance between student and professor that continues to grow with each look, each encounter, and each secret rendezvous behind closed doors and vacation hideaways. The $ex scenes are intimate, romantic and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including all of the original members of The Renegades (Leah, Pax, Rachel, Landon and Nick, Little John and Bobby), as well as an assortment of teachers, television crews, support workers and employees. Like the previous two installments REBEL follows several paths that intersect throughout the story.

Unlike the previous installment –NOVA- REBEL reveals some of the background information and history between the members of Renegade including a few details behind the not so accidental attempt on their lives. Because I did not have the opportunity to read the first installment –WILDER-I am still a little confused as to the how and why of the onboard cruise and UCLA connections to the team’s continuing education but thankfully the author chose to reveal some important background information, about the accident, throughout the story. As a voracious reader it is always appreciated when the author ‘recaps’ the important events leading up to the current timeline and ongoing premise allowing new readers to the series a little more understanding and comprehension.

REBEL is a fast paced, entertaining story about family, friendship, the forbidden and love. The premise is energetic and dramatic; the characters are engaging, impulsive and animated; the romance is intense and passionate. The epilogue fast forwards the series approximately five years where the reader gets a glimpse into the lives and ongoing friendships of the original members of The Renegades.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy


(The Renegades #2)
by Rebecca Yarros
Release Date: February 20, 2017
Genre: new adult, contemporary, romance / / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 20, 2017

The only heart he wants is the one he already broke…

He’s Landon Rhodes.
The Renegade they call Nova.
Sinfully gorgeous, broody, tatted-up, professional snowboarder.
Four-time X Games medalist—
Full-time heartbreaker.

They say a girl broke him once—
That’s why he’s so reckless, so driven, so careless with his conquests.
But I’m that girl.
They can call me his curse all they want.
He and I both know the truth—
He’s the one who destroyed me,
And I’m not the sucker who will let that happen again.


REVIEW: NOVA is the second installment in Rebecca Yarros’ contemporary, new adult THE RENEGADES romance series focusing on a tight knit group of X-Games athletes, known as The Renegades, who are currently on a year long, reality television program aboard an ocean cruise liner, getting an education and touring the world (ala Ryan Gosling and ‘Breaker High’). This is twenty two year old X-Games super star and ‘Casinova’ Landon Rhodes, and Rachel Dawson’s story line. Although the author claims that NOVA can be read as a stand alone, I recommend reading the series in order. I have not had the chance to read book one-WILDER-and I felt like I was missing too much background information and history between the characters-like sitting down in the theatre part way through the movie.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Landon and Rachel) NOVA focuses on the second chance romance between twenty two year old X-Game super star Landon Rhodes, and former X-Games athlete Rachel Dawson. Two years earlier Landon walked away from the woman he loved. On the surface it appears Landon chose money and fame over the girl that called to his heart but the truth goes much deeper that once revealed will, once again, destroy any semblance of a rekindling relationship between our story line couple. What ensues is the rebuilding romance between Landon and Rachel as they prepare for their upcoming X-Games Asian adventures; Rachel’s ongoing struggles with Landon’s previous hurt and rejection, and Landon’s reputation as the on-board Casinova in light of his proclamation of love for the woman he pushed out of his life.

NOVA is an infinitely detailed story line that follows several intersecting paths as Rachel struggles not only with her love for the young man that destroyed her heart, but also with the search for her Korean birth mother whose own history is largely unknown. The story line has a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters-athletes, teachers, television production crews, parents and friends- with a fair amount of history between them including a love triangle involving our leading couple, as well as sabotage, threats, injury and death. At times, the story line read more like YA than New Adult due to the lack of emotional maturity for several of the story line characters, and their less than adult behavior under the circumstance. There was plenty of back and forth, push and pull, yes and no between our leading couple due mostly in part to our heroine’s inability to trust the man that she still loved.

The relationship between Rachel and Landon is acrimonious at best. Landon is desperate to prove his love to the woman he all but destroyed; Rachel wants nothing to do with the man who broke her heart, leaving her behind for the bright lights and fame of sponsorship and money. The $ex scenes are intimate but limited without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

NOVA is an interesting story line but a story I struggled with because of the missing background and history between the characters. I had hoped the author would reveal some of the more important background information as the story line progressed but the details were limited and vague. I know something big happened but I don’t know the who, how and why. The premise is entertaining; the characters are colorful; the romance struggles with betrayal, secrets and lies.

Own a copy

Reviewed by Sandy

About the Author

Follow: Website / Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter

Rebecca YarrosRebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and Paleo. She is the author of the Flight & Glory series, including Full Measures, the award-winning Eyes Turned Skyward, Beyond What is Given, and Hallowed Ground. Her new Renegade Series features Wilder and the upcoming Nova, and is sure to keep your heart pounding. She loves military heroes, and has been blissfully married to hers for fourteen years.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching brat-pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, an English bulldog who is more stubborn than sweet, and a bunny named General Fluffy Pants who torments the aforementioned bulldog. They recently adopted their youngest daughter from the foster system, and Rebecca is passionate about helping others do the same.


Crave Part 1 (The Crave Duet #1) by E.K. Blair-Review and Book tour

CRAVE : Part 1 (Crave Duet #1) by E.K. Blair-Review and Book Tour

Crave Banner

CRAVE Part 1
The Crave Duet #1
by E.K. Blair
Release Date: August 14, 2017
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance

Crave Part 1 / / / /B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo / ibooks

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 14, 2017

Kason and Adaline.

From the moment they met, they started to fall. Neither of them predicted just how far the drop would be, though.

Loving Adaline was all Kason had ever wanted to do. But layer by layer, he started to unravel, forcing Adaline to face an addiction she never could’ve imagined.

This is what happens when one person loves beyond the craving and the other craves beyond the loving.


REVIEW: CRAVE Part 1 is the first installment in E.K. Blair’s contemporary, young adult/new adult CRAVE DUET romance series focusing on seventeen year olds Kason and Adaline, high school students whose lives will spiral out of control when demons from the past control action of the present. I will be honest up front and say that I wasn’t initially aware the Crave Duet was a YA/NA story line but I was pleasantly surprised that the author stayed clear of most of the annoying (in my opinion) YA tropes.

Told from dual first person points of view (Adaline and Kason) CRAVE Part 1 follows the building relationship between Adaline and Kason. Adaline is the new girl at school who quickly finds herself part of the popular crowd, a popularity that is marked by jealousy and rumors about our story line heroine. Meeting Kason the first day of school alleviates many of Adaline’s fears but falling in love with Kason is unexpected and real.

CRAVE Part 1 follows a year in the life of two high school teenagers – a year that reveals family secrets, broken souls, and unimaginable guilt and shame. Adaline is an innocent; a sweet, naïve young woman who has yet to experience first love, $ex or too much drama in her life. Kason is a young man struggling to keep up appearances in the face of the truth-a truth that if revealed could destroy his relationship with the young woman he loves. Kason’s silence hides a multitude of secrets and sins but will Adaline’s love be enough to help him heal?

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Adaline’s friend from back home Molly, and Kason’s buds Micah, Trent and Rhett, as well as the introduction of Kason and Adaline’s mothers-two woman whose lives have gone in opposite directions.

CRAVE Part 1 is a simple read; most of the teens are typical, nothing too rebellious or over the top but our story line hero struggles with a past mired in dark secrets and shame. Unlike most YA story lines there is no love triangle (thank goodness), and the parental units are more or less respectable, understanding and normal-the relationship between Adaline and her father is tense and stressful but not unlike many relationships between parent and child in situations of divorce or second families.

CRAVE Part 1 is an emotional story line with plenty of ups and downs, twists, and revelations. Friendships will be made and lost; love with falter in the face of betrayal and lies. The premise is engaging and edgy; the characters are colorful, dynamic and charismatic; the romance is sweet; the $ex scenes are intimate, mostly implied or fade to black, without the use of sexually graphic, over the top language and text but saying that there are some issues between our story line couple that are addressed with honesty and clarity.

E.K. Blair touches on a potentially controversial subject-a subject many people do not completely understand. The author, as well as the leading couple, handle the sensitivity with maturity and grace with the understanding that not all is well in the young hero’s life.

CRAVE Part 1 ends on a cliff hanger-you have been warned.

PreOrder CRAVE Part 2 -Available October 16, 2017: / / / /B&N / KOBO / ibooks /

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Crave Part One Teaser 3

About the Author Black and Orange

EK BlairE.K. Blair, takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her dynamic and intense writing style. Noted for her ability to create fleshed-out characters that will evoke a realm of reactions, you can be assured that her stories will linger with you far beyond the last word.

A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.

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