Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Serving Trouble (A Second Shot Novel) by Sara Jane Stone

Five years ago, Josie Fairmore left timber country in search of a bright future. Now she's back home with a mountain of debt and reeling from a loss that haunts her. Desperate for a job, she turns to the one man she wishes she could avoid. The man who rocked her world one wild night and then walked right out of it.

Former Marine Noah Tager is managing his dad's bar and holding tight to the feeling that his time oversees led to failure. The members of his small town think he's a war hero, but after everything he's witnessed, Noah doesn't want a pat on the back. The only thing he desires is a second chance with his best friends little sister.

Josie's determined to hold on to her heart and not repeat her mistakes, but when danger arrives on Noah's doorstep and takes aim at Josie, they might just discover that sometimes love is worth the risk.

First of all before you read Serving Trouble I recommend you read the novella Running Wild (it is the start to Josie & Noah's story). Without reading it's possible to still easily follow the story, but for me it just made this story even better!

A military man.. his best friends little sister and one wild night five years ago.. I knew this story was going to be good well before I turned the first page. She's a little broken, he's a little broken and once they stop fighting being together they are able to heal each other all the while overcoming many bumps and finding love along the way.

Some familiar faces from the Independence Falls series also make an appearance in this story and for fans of that series Josh (the brother with the traumatic brain injury) finds a new love interest in Noah's friend from the Marines Caroline. There is enough back story there to make one heck of a romance- I can't wait to see what's in store for this duo! I game Serving Trouble 5 Stars and can't wait for more books from Sara Jane Stone!

Buy Links:
AMAZON  **  Barnes & Noble  ** HarperCollins  **  iTUNES  **  kobo

I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved this review. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: Love of the Game by Lori Wilde

A sexy sports superstar discovers his body isn't the only thing that needs healing in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde.

With major league good looks and talent, Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond was living the good life. Even if the road of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But now with an injured shoulder and his career on the line, Axel is stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas... striking out only with his gorgeous physical therapist.

Kasha Carlyle has one week to get Axel back in action, or she can kiss her much-needed job with the Gunslingers, goodbye. And any chance to seek custody of the orphaned half-sister she never knew existed. She quickly learns that Axel's guarded heart also needs healing... requiring all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings.

Kasha desperately needs Axel to fully recover from his injury, and fast, especially since it was her recommendation that he try therapy instead of the risky shoulder surgery that the Gunslingers were pressuring him to try. If therapy doesn't work she can kiss her career goodbye, and her dreams of helping her newly discovered half-sister. Axel needs his career, it's all he has left that he cares about. The pair of them team up and sparks fly. I love the slow building passion masked as friendship. These two tried so hard to keep things professional, but sometimes fate has other plans.

Wow!  I loved this book so much it gets 5 STARS from this reader. Love of the Game has all the elements that make a contemporary romance magical, a sports star, a strong heroine, incredible chemistry, family values and a small town. This is Book #3 in Lori Wilde's Stardust, Texas series, but it can absolutely be read as a stand alone novel. It's the kind of book that you finish reading with a smile on your face and butterflies in your tummy.

PS> If you haven't read any other Lori Wilde books.. check her out, she is one of my favorite authors!

Buy Links:
Amazon  **   B&N  **  HarperCollins  **  kobo 

Disclaimer- I was given an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved this book! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan

There are bad boys and then there are the men of Devil's Rock....

Some men come with a built-in warning label, Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through Briar Davis's most secret fantasies. But there's one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Know is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too- a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar's. Paroled at last, he tried to resist her. She's too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Know is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss- and a taste... until the only crime is denying what feels right...

When the prison doors are open, the real dragon will fly out."- Ho Chi Minh

I honestly went into this book a little unsure of the plot. I am not usually a fan of bad boy romance, when the boys are actually bad.. like a legitimate felon bad.. and Knox Callaghan is the epitome of the real bad boy. After reading the first teaser chapters that were released by the publisher on social media they caught my attention and I knew I had to read this book. I am so glad I took yet another chance on Sophie Jordan, she is a gamble that pays off every single time.

Briar is a nurse who volunteers to help her boss working with the inmates at Devil's Rock, in hopes of advancing her career. She knew working in a prison wouldn't be sunshine and roses, but she never expected her career decision would result in her risking her life and her heart.

Knox was dealt a bad hand. Did he commit the crime he was convicted for? Yes. Would he do it again? Probably, just not to the same extent. He sees his mistake as causing a snowball effect and he carries some heavy guilt on those big strong shoulders. The first time he sets eyes on the innocent nurse he can't get her out of his head. When he hears of a plot to hurt her, he knows he must do whatever it takes to protect her, and he does. His parole is granted shortly after and when he runs into his damsel in distress again outside the prison walls all bets are off. He thinks he's not good enough for her, and she may have to prove to him exactly how wrong he is...

All Chained Up is a story about second chances, making mistakes, learning. growing and loving. The relationship that develops between Briar and Knox feels real. If you like a story full of action and fog up your car windows, let's call the fire department HOT, you don't want to miss this book.  All Chained Up gets 5 SHINING STARS from this reader. Sophie Jordan proves yet again that she can write any genre and knock it out of the ballpark (speaking of ballparks-my favorite genre is sports romance, think you can tackle that one next, Sophie?)

Buy Links:
AMAZON  **  Barnes & Noble  **  iTunes  **  HC  **  KOBO

Note: I was granted access to an ARC copy of this book. I LOVED this book and will be buying a paper copy for my keep forever bookshelf.. it was that good. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

5 STARS for Rushing the Goal by Toni Aleo!

Introduced in Toni Aleo's Bellevue Bullies Series, it's the Sinclair brothers' big sister's turn to find love int eh next installment of the New York Times and USA Today best-selling series, the Assassins.

Lucy Sinclair was no stranger to pain.

She grew up with three younger brothers, met a bad boy, got pregnant by him, married him, and then suffered through a nasty divorce from him. Pain. That was pain. To top it off, she even had to go through the heartbreaking divorce of her parents. Through it all, she survived. All she cared about was making sure her daughter was happy and taken care of. Despite an ex-husband hell bent on ruining her life, she fought to overcome. She's gotten to the point that she's okay with being just okay. She never cared about herself because she never had time. It was Angie and only Angie she focused on, but that all changed when Benji Paxton offered to help her daughter on the ice.

Benji knew the moment he saw Lucy, he'd never be the same. Especially when she came with a bundle of crazy that was her daughter. His heart wasn't ready for them. After years spent sobering up and finding who he was without alcohol, he never forgot he was being punished for not appreciating the love he had when he was younger. Because of his past, he had gotten used to being alone, a recluse. but even he had to admit it was getting old. He was lonely. Hockey wasn't enough anymore. He wanted a family; he wanted true love, and Lucy and Angie were just that.

Benji and Lucy were just two lost souls.
Floating through life with no purpose.
But finding each other gave them direction, a chance at a future.
And that had them both Rushing the goal to be together.

I expected this book to be good going into it, because honestly I am a fan of Toni Aleo's writing, and her Assassin's and Bellevue series are both favorites of mine. This book met and exceeded my expectations. I loved Benji & Lucy's story.

Benji's not really looking for love, he's still getting over the loss of his family many years ago and his battle with alcoholism. Once he sets eyes on Lucy he knows she's special and so is Angie. He needs more of Lucy.. well more of both of them. This is one package deal he can't walk away from... ever.

Lucy's got her guard up all the time. She's is fiercely protective of her daughter, it's her job and her job alone to make sure they are both okay. Her willingness to sacrifice herself and things in her life to do what's best for Angie made her quite possibly one of my favorite fictional heroines ever.

I love the way the story introduces a child with ADHD and integrates the things that she needs in her life to cope/thrive with this disorder. As a parent of a child with ADHD, I've experienced the stigma that is associated with that label. Lucy's ex-husband's reluctance to accept her diagnosis as a medical issue and not a behavioral issue, infuriated me and made me hate him even more than I did from the start.  Benji's quick acceptance of Angie and the almost instant bond he forms with her quickly earned him a spot in my heart as well. I love that he was Angie's friend before Lucy finally opens her eyes to see the amazing man that was falling in love with her as well!

This is not your fluffy love at first sight, small fight, quick make up and happily ever after romance. Both of Benji and Lucy each are battling their own demons before they even meet for the first time. I loved the steady building, yet unpredictable at times plot. It kept me hanging on and wanting more. The character development is spot on, if you like a book that gives you "the feels", look no further.  I gritted my teeth, clenched my fists, laughed and cried as this story unfolded before me.  I gave Rushing the Goal 5 STARS. I can't wait for what's next from this series and this author!

PS> If  you haven't read Toni Aleo's Assassin Series and Bellevue Bullies books so far, stop what you are doing and read them! They are the stuff binge reads are made of! Rushing the Goal can absolutely be read as a standalone book. However, I recommend reading the earlier books in each series. For me knowing the backstory of earlier characters and their family trees made Rushing the Goal an even more amazing read. I love when a series has characters that feel like family. Toni Aleo does a fabulous job of keeping this series addict happy by perfectly inserting past characters into the current story. (PS> Shea Adler will always be my favorite Assassin).

Buy Links for Rushing the Goal:
AMAZON  **  B&N  **  KOBO