Sunday, December 31, 2017

ARC Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

Book info:
TitleBefore I Let Go
Author:  Marieke Nijkamp
Genre:  YA Contemporary
Release Date:  January 2nd, 2018
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Source:  ARC received from publisher
My rating:  3 stars

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she's a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter...

My Review:
Unfortunately, unlike with the first book by this author, This is Where it Ends, I wasn't blown away by this one.  While there were definitely some important topics in it, mental health, bullying, a gay teen couple, an asexual teen, not sure about how well it really touched on those.  I felt like this one hovered too much on trying to have a supernatural aspect, but in the end, it just wasn't enough for me.  It just wavered too much between that and the mental health/other issues.  It didn't really spend enough time to make it a great book for any of the things it could have been.  

At times I was a little unsure about who a certain person was, or how they had related earlier in the story.  I guess I was just left wanting more.  There were some parts that definitely were scary or creepy.  And there were some emotional parts that made me cry a bit.  But it just didn't all fit together well for me.

I will continue to look for future books by this author, but I will hope for one more like the first book.   

Chapter Reveal with Giveaway: Dirt (Evergreen Series #1) by Cassia Leo

Today we have the chapter reveal for DIRT by Cassia Leo! Check them out and pre-order your copy today!


Title: DIRT  

Author: Cassia Leo  

Series: Evergreen Series  

Release: January 12, 2018


About Dirt

A hard-hitting, emotional new series from New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo.

Jack and I had everything. Then, in one brutal instant, the universe tilted on its side, discarding us into black nothingness.

Now, I have a cocky a**hole for a husband.

The only way we communicate anymore is when we’re fighting or f**king.

With nothing left to lose, I write Jack a goodbye letter and head for Portland, where I quickly meet a neighbor who helps me find a job.

My new neighbor—broody, tattooed ex-soldier Isaac Evans—is complicated. Nevertheless, we form a fast friendship, bonding over our mutual desire to create something beautiful from the wreckage of our lives.

But despite the distance between us, Jack and I are still trying to make things work—fighting and f**king dirtier than ever. And he doesn’t appreciate my new friendship with Isaac. Not one f**king bit.

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Chapter Reveal

Chapter 1  


I hugged Jack Jr. tightly against my breast, and he molded his soft, warm body to mine. His eyes remained closed as his tiny fingers curled around the fabric of my blouse, his rosy lips puckering as he geared up for more food.

“You sucked me dry, little fella,” I whispered, leaning in to press my nose against the downy-soft, golden hair on the top of his head. I inhaled his scent and my muscles unspooled. “But I’ll be back to feed you soon. I promise.”  

Why do babies smell so damn good?

Before I got pregnant with Junior, my favorite smell was orange blossoms. As a teenager, I often got scolded by my mom for picking the flowers off the orange tree in our backyard in Portland. I’d rub the creamy petals between my fingers, bruise them with my fingernails, then sniff my hand for hours until the scent wore off.

When I was pregnant with Junior, my favorite scent became the rich aroma of the forbidden coffee I could no longer drink.

After Junior was born, and my decaf days came to a glorious end, I realized how wrong I’d been. There was absolutely no scent as sweet and soul-quieting as the smell of the top of a baby’s head. Bonus points if the baby was lying peacefully on your chest sound asleep.

“Are you ever going to put him down?”

I flicked my head sideways, startled by Jack’s clear, baritone voice.

He stood in the doorway of Junior’s nursery, the silhouette of his six-foot-three athletic body framed by the warm light in the hallway. His head was tilted to the side. He’d probably been standing there admiring us for a while. After six years together, I knew Jack’s body language and facial expressions better than I knew my own face.

I stood from the rocking chair and stole one more sniff of Junior’s head before I placed him gently on his back in the center of the crib. I adjusted the left sleeve of his pajamas, pulling it down to make sure it covered his entire chubby arm. I didn’t want to imagine him waking up cold and alone in here.

Jack appeared at my side as I switched on the video baby monitor. “He’s going to be fine,” he murmured, reaching down to stroke the soft patch of hair on Junior’s head. “In fact, he’ll probably enjoy some time alone. After all, he is just like his daddy; sometimes, we need a break from the constant attention from the ladies.”

I rolled my eyes and headed for the door. “Making jokes only makes leaving him slightly less scary, you know,” I said as we stepped into the hallway of our five-bedroom dream home in Hood River, Oregon. I couldn’t wait to fill up every one of these bedrooms with brothers and sisters for Jack Jr.

Jack chuckled as he followed closely behind me. “Less scary is an improvement,” he replied, grabbing my hand to stop me in the middle of the corridor. “You promised Junior you’d be back soon. Can you also make me a promise?”

The hallway lights made his dark hair look glaringly shiny, but I couldn’t help but notice how weary his blue eyes looked tonight. Since Junior arrived three months ago, I’d been so focused on my baby boy’s vulnerability, his scent, his beauty, I hadn’t slowed down enough to appreciate how those were the same qualities that made me fall in love with Jack.

Suddenly, my worries about leaving Junior with my mother for the evening evaporated. All I wanted to do was kiss Jack, grab hold of that dark hair and make love to him for hours. I wanted to replace the weariness in his eyes with dark hunger, or maybe a glint of mischief.

I squeezed his hand and smiled at the thought of possibly having sex with him in public tonight. We hadn’t done that in a while.

“What kind of promise?” I asked.

He shook his head. “Nope, you’re not allowed to ask. Just promise me you’ll say yes.”

My stomach vaulted at the sound of those words. They were the same words Jack spoke when he asked me to marry him. I wondered what he would ask this time.

The phrase “just promise me you’ll say yes” had become like an inside joke, our own private, unspoken promise to each other that we would always do whatever it took to stay together. The last time he had uttered this phrase, he asked me to stop taking my birth control pills. With Junior here, it was easy to trust that whatever Jack asked me for this time would turn out to be exactly what I needed.

I tilted my head back so I could look up and into his crystal-blue eyes. “Yes, I can make you a promise.”

His expression became sober. “Promise me you’ll be present tonight.” He fixed me with a piercing gaze as his large hand cupped my face. “It’s just you and me for the next three hours. Promise me.”

I smiled. “I promise. Just you and me. And I’ll even put my cell phone on vibrate.” As I said the words, a sharp finger of fear prodded my subconscious, telling me it was a bad idea to risk missing a phone call tonight.

The exhaustion in Jack’s eyes melted away as he smiled. “I can deal with that, but you have to promise me one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

His smile turned almost menacing as he looped his arm around my waist and drew me close. “Promise me you’ll lemme smash that blonde bombshell booty,” he said, landing a light swat on my ass.

I shook my head as I recalled how we often had sex in public during our first year together, in our senior year at Oregon State University, Cascades. For some reason, once we graduated and moved in together, having sex in public seemed like something we couldn’t get away with so easily. We decided public sex-hibitions — or throw downs, as we more commonly referred to them — would be reserved for special occasions like anniversaries or vacations.

Truthfully, Jack and I kicked off our relationship by having sex on the first date. He was always a very difficult man to resist. When he showed up at my apartment to pick me up that night, I couldn’t resist his suggestion that we should stay in and make paper masks of ourselves, then put them on and ask each other first date questions as if we were the other person. I had never laughed so much on any date. Ever. But when he asked — while pretending to be me — if I’d ever had sex with someone on the first date, I couldn’t help but respond with, “I’m Jack-fucking-Stratton. I’ve fucked a lot of girls on the first date. But none as gorgeous as you.”

Jack always knew how to keep things fresh and alarmingly sexy. Six years in and my body still craved him almost every second of every day.

Today was our three-year wedding anniversary. We’d only had sex twice since I gave birth to Junior three months ago, and both of those times were truly awkward.

The first time was painful. My C-section incision hadn’t fully healed yet, and even trying to have sex with him behind me was uncomfortable. The second time we tried, Jack was so afraid of hurting me, he stopped midway through. There’d been a lot of oral sex happening in this house since then.

Luckily, a few weeks had passed since our last attempt, and I had repeatedly assured him I was fully healed up now. I was certain that even if the sex did hurt a little, it would still be worth it. I couldn’t understand couples that didn’t consider sex an important part of a relationship. I never felt more complete, more present, more alive than when my body and mind were entwined with Jack’s.

I smiled as I wrapped my arms around his waist. “I think I know just the place for a proper throw down.”

He wiggled his eyebrows. “Ooh. Tell me more.”

As he leaned in to kiss me, my mother’s voice interrupted us.

“Are you two making out again?” she said, standing at the top of the stairs with her hands on her hips as she gawped at us. “Well, don’t let me stop you.”

Jack laughed and I shook my head as we moved toward her.

“We’re just trying to keep you entertained while you’re on vacation, Beth,” Jack said.

My mother cocked an eyebrow. “If I wanted to watch porn, I’d open up your laptop and have a look at your internet history.”

“Mom, don’t be gross,” I protested, trying not to laugh.

Jack smiled as he held out his elbow for my mom to grab hold as they descended the stairs in front of me. “I made a special collection of links for you. They’re in a folder labeled Tantric Geriatric. You’ll love it.”

I rolled my eyes. Jack and my mother exchanged jabs like this all day.

My mother was staying with us for a few days, so Jack and I could have some time to ourselves and get some much-needed uninterrupted sleep. She was leaving tomorrow to go back to the house where I grew up in Portland. Though she pretended as if she was desperate to get home to her Craftsman cottage in the city, and I even teased her about how she was dying to get back so she could see the handsome new neighbor she’d been going on about, I knew she was going to miss Jack’s pretend insults as much as she would miss Junior and me.

My mother practically shoved me toward the front door. “I order you to go have fun,” she said, smiling as Jack opened the door and stepped outside. “And don’t come home until you’re too drunk to walk.”

I shook my head. “Thanks, Mom. Please call if you need anything. And don’t answer the door for anyone. There’s a house that got broken into a few streets away.”

She waved off my paranoia. “Stop worrying so much. We’ll be fine. See you later, babe.”

I blew her a kiss, then I closed the door behind me.

* * *

“I have to admit, having sex on the waterfront was one of my favorite public throw downs ever,” Jack said, pulling his Tesla into the long driveway of our four-acre estate. “But do we really have to wait until our fourth anniversary to do it again?”

I tugged the silky fabric of my skirt straight as I pressed my thighs together. Though my body was still raw with the evidence of the dirty deed we’d just committed, I couldn’t wait to get Jack inside and pounce on him again. I hadn’t realized how much I missed the sensation of him moving inside me, and how good he was at making me feel beautiful.

“We can do that anytime we can snag a babysitter,” I replied as he turned the car off.

He made no move to exit the Tesla. “Well, babycakes, you’d better get ready to interview a fuck-ton of babysitters.”

I laughed. “Babycakes? That’s a new one.”

Jack rarely used the same term of endearment twice in a row. He liked to keep me guessing.

He scrunched up his nose. “Yeah, that one was kind of creepy. Now that I’ve tried it out, I think I can bury that one in the nickname graveyard.”

“Try the incinerator,” I said, reaching for the door handle.

“Duly noted,” he replied, exiting the vehicle.

Jack and I glided unhurriedly along the flagstone walkway, which was lined with sparkling pathway lights. As we made our way toward the steps leading up to the covered porch, I stopped in the middle of the path and closed my eyes as I inhaled the sweet scent of the lavender and honeysuckle I’d planted with my mom’s help.

That was when I made a wish, a corny wish, but I didn’t care.

I wished that every person could find someone they loved as much as I loved Jack. I wished every child could feel as loved as Junior was. And I wished every anniversary could be as perfect as this one.

“No… No, no, no!” Jack’s voice grew louder with each no.

They say mother’s intuition is scientifically proven to exist. I knew by the tone of Jack’s voice, without even opening my eyes, that my world would never be the same. I knew in that instant, I would regret leaving Jack Jr. tonight for the rest of my life.

Though I knew something was wrong, I wasn’t prepared for what we found.

At some point, while we were lost in our blissful celebration, the front door of our home had been forced open. This discovery was what had made Jack cry out in disbelief. Father’s intuition must also be a thing, because he told me later that, even though the door was still closed, the moment he saw the gouges in the wood near the handle, he had felt that same sense of dread. That feeling that the universe had suddenly tilted on its side, discarding us into black nothingness.

The house was ransacked.

Furniture upended, paintings and flatscreen televisions torn off the walls, shards of shattered vases littered the floors. Complete and utter chaos.

The master bathroom doorknob looked as if it had been shot off. We found my mother’s lifeless form huddled against the bathtub, my baby boy’s dead body clutched tightly in her arms.


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About Cassia Leo

New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book. Find her on...




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Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Challenges Wrap-Up Post

Well, let's just say I didn't do that great on my challenges.  :-(  At least not with the lists I posted in my sign up link last December, HERE.

Let's recount my failures:

The four books I listed were Lair of Dreams, Places No One Knows, and Stealing Snow.  All are still waiting to be read.

Okay, this one I actually met my goal of four discussion posts for the year.  Here are links to them if you'd like to check them out:
  1. I Just Can't Seem to Get Enough - Books - Or When Should I Quit Entering Giveaways for Books?

     2.  Say What You Want to Say and Let the Words Fall Out - or Is There One Right Way to Write a Book Review?

    3.  Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover - Or What's With All the Identical Covers?

    4.  So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish - Or When Should I Give Up on Blog Tours?



    So, for this one, I got a few of the ones I'd planned done: 

    The Countdown by Kimberly Derting, Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson were all reviewed HERE.   

    Fire and Ash by Jonathan Maberry I reviewed HERE.  

    None of the other series ending books I read were on my original list, but I did get others finished:

    Returned by Kimberley Griffiths Little, Buns by Alice Clayton, Salvaged by Jay Crownover, The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie, The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O'Brien, Shadow by Colleen Oakes, Wild by Sophie Jordan, and that is really all I can count.  The other series enders I read are actually series I just started in 2017, so I don't count them.  So I missed my goal of 12 by 1.

    I only got 3 of the 12 books on my list done for this, and they're all mentioned above:  The Countdown by Kimberly Derting, Fire and Ash by Jonathan Maberry, and Tease by Sophie Jordan.  Another fail.

    Okay, of my three blogging resolutions, I completed one, sort of completed the second one, and didn't do the third one, or keep track of it anyway.  I made sure to label the titles of all the posts with "Review" or "Discussion", etc.  I got images created for my stars, but haven't started using them.  Here is one:

    I really need to start using them!  The third one that I didn't complete, or at least didn't keep track of to know if I even got close, was to comment on 7 different blogs every week.  I did do a lot more commenting this year, though, so I am glad I did do some of it.

     My writing goals didn't go much better. I didn't finish either of my NaNoWriMo stories that I'd started.  And when I tried to do the short stories, I got caught up in the very first story.  Now, I've added to that one, and even got it started posting on Wattpad, but I need to finish a story!  So failed, for the most part.  I did get a lot of writing time in for the year, even though I lost my writing partner, when I lost that friend who didn't like one of my reviews of her books.  I did pick up a new writing partner though, and have recently found some possible new partners or a group even on Facebook.  


    I'm still debating about what challenges I'm going to sign up for in 2018.  I need to change the way I do some things on my blog.  I want more time to write, and want to keep to no more than one post a day, whenever possible.  I have to quit signing up for tons of blog tours, as one of my discussion posts talked about.  I also am still trying to decide how high to set my Goodreads reading challenge.  I always try to increase my goal each year. This year they started allowing you to post that you'd read a book more than once, so a few of my reads this year were re-reads, but I did go over my goal of 250.  I'm thinking to set my goal right where it is again for next year.  We'll see.  Expect a post on all that kind of stuff probably on the 1st or 2nd.


    So, how did you do on your challenges in 2017?   How are you planning to challenge yourself in 2018?

Six Adult/New Adult Romance Mini-Reviews

Unless I do a bunch of reviews tonight and tomorrow night, pretty sure I'll have a few books carrying over till next year.  But in order to make that a bit smaller number, I'm going to do another post of mini-reviews today.  I've grouped all of the books that are not YA or audio together for this post.  Check them out.

Torn (A Wicked Trilogy #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout:
Published:  July 19th, 2016
Source:  Purchased paperback
Genre:  New Adult romantic fantasy
My rating:  5 stars

As always, JLA's stories are ones I fall in love with and burn through as quickly as possible.  This one left me definitely hanging for the third book, now out, which I'll need to get my hands on soon!  I'd loved Tink in the first book, and then the surprise we got with him in this book was NOT what I saw coming.  Still totally in love with Ren after reading, and I knew at the one point that there was something off about him, and I was glad that I was right when it showed what that was.  Another fun part of this was that now that I've been to NOLA and walked around a lot, it was fun to read about the city and have a pretty good idea what and where they were talking about, except for the fantastical settings of course.  And the Fae Prince of course, creepy as could be!  Finding out more about her friend who betrayed her, as well as other family and other history secrets, only led me to need to read on as soon as I can!  You can read my review of the first book in the series, Wicked, HERE.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Torn between duty and survival, nothing can be the same. 

Everything Ivy Morgan thought she knew has been turned on its head. After being betrayed and then nearly killed by the Prince of the Fae, she’s left bruised and devastated—and with an earth-shattering secret that she must keep at all costs. And if the Order finds out her secret, they’ll kill her. 

Then there’s Ren Owens, the sexy, tattooed Elite member of the Order who has been sharing Ivy’s bed and claiming her heart. Their chemistry is smoking hot, but Ivy knows that Ren has always valued his duty to the Order above all else—he could never touch her if he knew the truth. That is, if he let her live at all. Yet how can she live with herself if she lies to him? 

But as the Fae Prince begins to close in, intent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld, Ivy is running out of options. If she doesn’t figure out who she can trust—and fast—it’s not only her heart that will be torn apart, but civilization itself.

Royally Bad (Bad Boy Royals #1) by Nora Flite:
Published:  April 1st, 2017
Source:  Free e-book
Genre:  Adult mafia romance
My rating:  5 stars

This was my 2nd book by this author, and I ended up really enjoying it.  Even though I'm not usually a fan of mafia romances, I enjoyed the characters and story-line enough in this one that it was a good one. It was one that was hard to put down whenever I picked it up.  I loved the snarky comments that Sammy would say to Kain, totally reminded me of things I would say.  And it was so cute that he liked her saying those things to him.  Probably why I liked this so much, I want a guy to like me for all my snarkiness.  I look forward to reading more in the series and seeing how things work out for other members of the family, even though, as I said, normally I'd skip other mafia romances. This is why I like finding free ebooks.  If I love the story, then it will convince me to buy the others from that same author.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Getting close to an arrogant bad boy like him is dangerous. Too bad it’s her only choice.
Kain Badd looks great on paper: rich, handsome, and he’s even a prince. But after spending a few minutes together, Sammy sees the real him—arrogant, possessive, and too hot for his own good. If she hadn’t agreed to help plan his sister’s wedding, she could have avoided him. Instead, she’s waking up in his bed after an unforgettable night she definitely wants to forget. But he won’t let her.
When Sammy thinks her life can’t get any crazier, the wedding is raided by the police, and she spends her first-ever night in jail. The irresistible Kain isn’t just bad in name—his family is connected to a dangerous underworld. Now she’s mixed up in a power struggle between his family’s empire and their rivals. She has no choice but to put herself back in this filthy prince’s extremely capable hands.
Sammy must trust Kain to keep her safe. She’s just not sure she can trust herself to resist temptation.
That One Moment (Lost in London #2, London Lovers #5) by Amy Daws:
Published:  April 12th, 2016
Source:  Purchased e-book
Genre:  Adult romance
My rating:  5 stars

Amy Daws is another author that I pretty much am going to almost always give a 5 star rating to.  All of her books have so much romance and emotion, and again, the humor that I love so much in a romance, or any story to be honest.  This one totally got me because Hayden had his niece to help him whenever he felt suicidal, she was his reason to live at times, and there have been times when I've thought that way about my own niece when I get to where I feel like things are not worth going on for.  And then, well, I kind of read out of order, because I read and loved the books about all the Harris brothers, Challenge, Endurance, and Keeper, and wanted to know Vi's story, but didn't realize this was her book, and that I needed to read it.  It was fun to read after I'd read the others though, because I really could enjoy her brothers this way as they appeared in Vi's story.  And of course I'd been eager for Hayden's story too, after I'd read the book before this, Not the One, where he'd had his suicide attempt.  I wanted to see him get his HEA.   If you haven't tried an Amy Daws book yet, you need to!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

That One Moment is a full length standalone romance, it's book 2 in the Lost in London Series and can be read as a standalone. 

Life is a series of reoccurring ripples in time. 
The moment I saw her…something shifted. 
The moment my lips touched hers…life got messy. 
The moment my heart got involved…everything changed. 

Vi Harris tests every bit of my strength. 
She is my test. 
My challenge. 
At a time when I should be focusing entirely on myself, this radiant woman with a bright, cheeky smile and a cracked sense of humor waltzes in and spins everything on its axis. 

Vi has the potential to make me weak at a time when I’m determined to show everyone just how bloody strong I am. 
She’s everything I am not…yet somehow, she sees through my darkness. 
My pain. 
My despair. 
She doesn’t see me as broken. 
She sees me as the man I’m fighting so hard to be. 
The man that I’m still struggling to see myself.

American Prince (New Camelot Series #2) by Sierra Simone:
Published:  March 7th, 2017
Source:  Purchased physical copy of book
Genre:  Adult erotic romance
My rating:  4 stars

Okay, so even though I "met" the author last March at the Kinky in Kansas City convention, I learned this past November that Sierra Simone is a pen name for her, or at least that she also wrote a YA series under another name, and that is how I'd met and read her writing first.  So, while this type of story isn't always my favorite, I'm not really big into the BDSM, and while I'm okay with M/M, I don't always pick it to read.  However the story in the first book, American Queen, left off in a way that I had to read on and find out what would happen next. In this second book we get Embry's story, his love of Maxen, and Greer, and more stories of the war that brought him together and in love with Maxen.  It also leads us to find out what causes the things that happen to Greer, who is behind them, and what are their reasons for this.  I will definitely have to get a copy of the final book, American King, to read and get autographed when I get to see the author again in March at the 2018 Kinky in Kansas City convention.  Warning on this one, the sex is very graphic, and as I said, M/M as well as MMF and BDSM.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

I've been many things. I've been a son and a stepbrother. An Army captain and a Vice President. But only with him am I a prince. His little prince. Only with Maxen and Greer does my world make sense, only between them can I find peace from the demons that haunt me. But men like me aren't made to be happy. We don't deserve it. And I should have known a love as sharp as ours could cut both ways. My name is Embry Moore and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States... for now. This is the story of an American Prince. 

Make It Count (Bowler University #1) by Megan Erickson:
Published:  July 8th, 2014
Source:  Purchased physical copy of book
Genre:  New Adult contemporary romance
My rating:  4 stars

So, I met this author back at Apollycon 2017, and I hadn't read any of her books yet.  In fact, I didn't even read this one, until I started reading her serial Boots - now Hidden Truths, that she published a chapter a week in her e-newsletter, and I fell in love with that.  So I dug this one out of my TBR pile and picked it up to read.  Needless to say, it was one I could barely put down when I picked it up, but I only let myself read it before bed, or when I was taking a nice hot bubble bath, so it wasn't finished as quickly that way.  While I'm not a big fan of cheating, and that did set me back a little at first, in the end, Kat belonged with Alec, and we find out that her boyfriend wasn't quite the perfect guy we'd been thinking.  I will have to read on in this series to see how it goes for the other characters.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hotline. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend's gorgeous best friend, Alec . . . who just so happens to be her brand-new math tutor. Who knew nerds could be so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends--both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It's safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm's length. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She's adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off-limits. He'd never stab his best friend in the back . . .

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn that messy human emotions can't be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust that he may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

Skin Deep (Ink and Brazen Women #1) by Cassie Leigh:
Published:  September 26th, 2017
Source:  E-galley for review
Genre:   Adult contemporary romance
My rating:  3.5 stars

This is my first book by this author, and overall I really did like it.  I had some issues with some of the way things were kind of simplified in the writing, and there were parts when it kind of skipped back and forth between the two main characters that would confuse me for a minute, that is a problem I have with third person point of view sometimes.  It was a pretty sweet story though.  I liked the two characters together, and it made me want another tattoo myself.  I was glad to see when Gigi finally decided to take some control in her own family and help her mother that things went as well as could be expected.  I was definitely disappointed in Roman when he assumed what he did.  Especially since he'd looked at her messages on her phone, and should have seen Gigi's responses to the guy she had nicknamed Dick Pic in her phone.  I will be reading on in the series though, hoping to have Roman's sister's story next.  I also loved that Gigi loved pink, and that Roman loved that about her.  A fun little detail in the story.  As I love pink, but also love orange, and my family knows my love of orange and teases me about it, this definitely connected with me!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Mr. Right Now is planning on forever...
Gigi Duval doesn’t do relationships, especially with her heart and career on the line. She values two things—her image and a good time in the bedroom. Watching men lie and cheat her whole life hardened her against “happily ever after”. When she interviews with Roman Bishop, the sexy co-owner of Ink Spinners Tattoo, she begins to wonder if he might be more than a casual fling. Only one thing is certain: Roman is off limits. Gigi can’t possibly add her best friend’s brother to her little pink book. Or can she?


Friday, December 29, 2017

Top Ten of 2017 Day 5 - Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

The Top Ten of 2017 event is hosted by Jaime from Two Chicks on Books, Rachel from Fiktshun, Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales,  Fallon from Seeing Double in Neverland, and the ladies from Take Me Away To A Great Read!

I originally had this scheduled for the Top 10 Tuesday post, but decided to add it in for this week long event, and change to the different post for Tuesday about covers.











Are any of those on your radar for 2018?  Any suggestions for books I should be looking out for?

If you've made it all the way down to the bottom, you deserve the links to the giveaways going on right now here on Lisa Loves Literature:

Blog Tour with Giveaway: Vice by L.M. Pruitt

Title: Vice
Author: L.M. Pruitt
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 20, 2017

There are three things Jeannie Jackson knows for certain: 1. Relationships are more trouble than their worth.
2. There's no such thing as too much of a good thing.
3. She's never going back to Cotton Creek.
When tragedy strikes, pulling her back to her hometown and right in to the arms --and bar--of the last man she ever expected to see again, Jeannie starts to wonder what else she's been wrong about and whether love, like every other vice, is too addictive to walk away from....

With roots sank deep in Florida soil—the land of oranges, alligators, Publix, and hurricanes—L.M. Pruitt has been writing about the peculiarities and quirks of the region and its people for years. There may not be actual vampires in the area but there are mosquitos which, quite frankly, is close enough.
Ms. Pruitt holds a bachelor’s in criminal justice (hence the more macabre nature of books such as Silk and The Andersons) from Florida State University and is in the process of earning two additional degrees in history and political science (because you never know when the intrigues of the Tudor Court will come in handy). She resides in Florida with one black cat who happens to be a champion mosquito killer.