BOOK REVIEW: Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5) by Sarina BowenOvernight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it's so good to be bad.


There's this girl...
Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don't do girlfriends, and I certainly can't get involved with the league commissioner's daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo.
Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido. 


There's this guy...
Jason wants me, but he won't admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice--and I love it.
But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can't even avoid him--as the team intern, I'm in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile.
I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

*Disclaimer: So I read this entire on vacation but in a super random order.  I wrote the reviews in the order I read them so that’s how I’ll be posting them, too!

Review:

“Here we are!” the driver announces cheerfully.
“My body is ready,” she whispers. I wonder if they teach that at charm school.

Ughhhh guyssss. Time to do some not-so-serious complaining before I actually start my review. Okay, I knew when I started this binge that this was going to be a problem…I read all five of the books in this series when I was on vacation in Florida last week with no computer. I SHOULD have just written a mini review for each on my phone but I didn’t want to waste any reading time because let’s face it….I NEVER am able to read that much anymore. The last time I accomplished it was two years ago when I was a library conference with no baby or husband to interrupt me lol. Anyways, SO HERE I AM, desperately trying to remember all of what I loved about each of these books. Bare with me….

“Hi Pete!” she greets the gray-haired bartender.
“Hello, miss.” He gives her a big smile. 
“I’d like a shot of tequila with a whiskey chaser,” she says. 
Pete rolls his eyes. “You’re underage. We’ve been over this. Besides—nobody orders that. We have to work on your smack talk.” 
“What do I order if I want to make a statement?” she asks, pulling out a barstool and plunking her cute butt onto it. 
“A buttery nipple,” Pete suggests. 
“What if I’m avoiding dairy?” 
The bartender laughs so hard he practically has an aneurism. That’s the thing about Heidi. Once you’ve noticed her, it’s hard to stop noticing her.

First of all, I need to throw it out there that these should be read in order. They don’t *have* to be BUT I did NOT read them in a really ass-backwards way and ended up meeting all these characters that I didn’t know and that didn’t seem as special to me because I hadn’t met them yet. (also as a side note, reading this one first ruined a bit of the anticipation on whether or not they were going to win the series or not during the first few books. In this one we find out right away that they had lost..) My favorite part of a sports series, or even any romance series, is when you get to meet this huge group of friends and they eventually wind up feeling like family. This series is no exception. I love all of these guys so much and am so glad I FINALLY took the time to read them all.

I can’t quite decide if this one was my favorite or if Brooklynaire was….either way they were all incredibly good. I loved the bossy and macho Castro and Heidi was fucking hilarious (and equally bossy). The sexual tension between them was delicious and their banter and the way their relationship began and then progressed was just…ugh perfection.

I also really liked how Heidi just didn’t quite know what to do with her life and didn’t even really figure it out by the end. I think it’s complete and utter bullshit that we as young people are supposed to just all suddenly KNOW what we want to do when we grow up. I mean I LOVE being a librarian but even I wonder sometimes if that’s exactly what I’m meant to be doing (I know I’ve got the surrounded by books daily part right at least lol). Her dad may have been a complete dick to her, and basically prevented her from initially taking that job with Rebecca but it was so satisfying, seeing her do all of the jobs that she was assigned to without any complaints. She is amazing and I love her to bits. 100% will go back for a reread at a later time.

“I love you against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”

BOOK REVIEW: The Maddest Obsession (Made #2) by Danielle Lori

BOOK REVIEW: The Maddest Obsession (Made #2) by Danielle LoriThe Maddest Obsession (Made #2)
by Danielle Lori
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time.

Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until he comes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes.

All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.

His maddest obsession.

*Can be read as a standalone, though it is recommended you read The Sweetest Oblivion first to avoid spoilers from Book #1

Review:

The Maddest Obsession captivated my attention and was absolutely addicting!  With violent and intimate moments swirled together, I was completely consumed.  The sexual tension was drawn out to perfection and I loved that it was an opposites attract story.  So when you combine all of that with writing that had an almost hypnotic feel to it, it made this story impossible to put down.  If you’re a fan of hate to love or mafia romance, then you definitely have to pick up this book!

His grip on my wrists tightened, and my eyes grew half-lidded from the pressure.
So, this was what it felt like to be touched by him . . .
Addictive.

I loved how this story was laid out.  We started off getting caught up with Gianna’s past and then moved into the present.  There were moments here and there that meshed with The Sweetest Oblivion and I was fascinated to get a different look at what happened.  And while we were mainly in Gianna’s head, we also spent some chapters with Christian too.  Just our first chapter with Gianna, we watched her intact with Christian at jail. Gianna got locked up for having drugs and Christian was the Fed who got her out.  I was already smiling and laughing at them, but I was intrigued too.  It felt like Gianna was the one who had so much light to her, whereas a darkness radiated out of Christian and it ended up devouring me until that very last page.

He was cool, icy control.
But something burned hot beneath the surface.
Something shrouded by ice for so long.
I wanted to watch it melt. To unravel him until I understood every layer.
I knew it was dangerous.
I even knew I wouldn’t win.
But sometimes, even the best gambler doesn’t know when to quit.

I already knew I liked Gianna from The Sweetest OblivionShe danced to her own rhythm, even though she was raised in the mafia.  From rooting for the underdogs, to the way she dressed – Christian described one of her outfits best as Britney Spears’ and Kurt Cobain’s love child lol, to even the way she interacted with others, I absolutely loved Gianna!  But I loved even more that she had a backbone, was fierce and that she used her voice.  She definitely needed all of that since her life could be so harsh at times.  She was stuck in the mafia.  Drugs at times consumed her.  She was told who to marry.  Yet no matter what was thrown at her, she still had that lightness in her.

Each brush of his lips was a douse of gasoline on fire inside me. A hazy wave inside my mind . A wasteful breath I couldn’t inhale. I turned my head to the side so I could find the air to speak.

Christian Allister on the other hand, felt like the polar opposite to Gianna.  He was a Fed who was  involved in the mafia.  And the more time we spent with Christian, I saw a man who had so many shades of grey that they bled together and lead him again and again to the dark side.  He went by his own rules and he didn’t let others dominate him.  He was cold, calculated and in control.  And when we got a peak into how dark Christian was, my mind was blown.  Yet it was impossible for me not to love him, especially when he was around Gianna and let his guard down for a second.  Christian was seductive, dark, protective and I was obsessed with him.

He fisted my shirt and dragged me closer, pressing the next words to my ear. “I’m going to ruin every part of your body for any other man, malyshka, and you’re going to thank me when I’m done.”
I was making a deal with the devil.
And I couldn’t even find the grace to save myself.

When they were near each other, they exploded off of the pages.  I couldn’t stop the smiles when they would mess with each other.  The games or the way they would toy with one another could be so funny, but at other moments it could be harsh and cruel.  It didn’t matter though, because every single time it was filled with the best sexual tension.  This book was extremely sexual and sigh worthy.  But it was also filled with emotions and I found myself with tears in my eyes a few times.  Like when Christian would open up to Gianna with just one line.  It was so intense that it felt like the breath got knocked out of me.  It was amazing how just one sentence could pack so much emotion.

“I thought you were done with me, Gianna.”
Oh.
I was. I am, I wanted to say, but the press of his lips against the hollow of my ear stole my breath and voice. All I could do was shake my head because I couldn’t bear to let this end, not yet.
“Say it.”
I shook my head again, but my mouth betrayed me. “I’m not.”

So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  The Maddest Obsession was sinfully hot, beautifully layered and packed with emotion.  It was impossible for me not to be obsessed with this book.  And while this can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend starting with The Sweetest Oblivion.  You’ll meet both Gianna and Christian there and it was an amazing story too!  So if you love emotional stories, complex characters and sexual tension then definitely add this one to your tbr!

His hand on me, rough, and covered in the blood of all his enemies— and most likely innocents— shouldn’t affect me the way it did. But I was burning up, and I needed more. So much more.

PS I loved watching Christian and Ace’s relationship.  It’s complicated and convoluted.  And the way they both screwed with each other?!  Ohhhh it was so good!  And on the other end I loved the sweet friendship Gianna had with Elena.  I loved getting to see our favorites from The Sweetest Oblivion!

BOOK REVIEW: Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist

BOOK REVIEW: Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma BerquistMissing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

With a touch, Lexi can sense how and when someone will die. Some say it’s a gift. But to Lexi it’s a curse—one that keeps her friendless and alone. All that changes when Lexi foresees the violent death of a young woman, Jane, outside a club. But Jane doesn’t go to the afterlife quietly. Her ghost remains behind, determined to hunt down her murderer, and she needs Lexi’s help. In life, Jane was everything Lexi is not—outgoing, happy, popular. But in death, all Jane wants is revenge. Lexi will do anything to help Jane, to make up for the fact that she didn’t—couldn’t—save Jane’s life, and to keep this beautiful ghost of a girl by her side for as long as possible.

Thank you Edelweiss, Greenwillow books and Emma Berquist for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Shoulders bump mine, and I grit my teeth as deaths wash over me in a sticky gray wave. I only get flashes, but it’s enough; all these plump, dimpled cheeks, thick hair, and painted nails, I glimpse the way it ends. Throat cancer, aneurysm, pneumonia. They beam even white teeth, and all I can see are the skulls smiling beneath.

What drew me to this book was this unique setting: Lexi can see anyone’s death with a simple touch. And if that was not hard enough, she can also talk with, touch and expel ghosts to the “other side.”

Lexi is a tough girl, who has a soft spot for her grandfather, who has the same powers as herself and Trevor, a teenage ghost who hangs around Lexi. She works at a bar with others who have a wide array of powers, but which are only featured sparingly in the book. However, the bar plays a large significance overall. Lexi also has an on and off relationship with Phillip, who also works at the bar, but struggles to be with him due to her ability to see his death every time they touch, which is an understandable downer.

Because being with you makes me lonelier than being alone. Because I can’t stop picturing your body on a cold metal table.

One night, Lexi accidentally bumps into a girl outside the club named Jane. She sees that Jane will be murdered that night, but doesn’t do anything about it, because as she has learned, there are serious repercussions for interfering with fate.

Jane then reappears as a ghost, and convinces Lexi and Trevor to help her figure out who killed her and if it is related to other killings in the area. Lexi does her best, but her powers weigh on her mental health heavily. Several times over the course of the novel, she is forced to check herself into a psych ward just to tune out the world and get some much-needed sleep. I really appreciated that this was included, as it rings incredibly true. Someone with this kind of power, who could not shut it off, would probably be overwhelmed. These scenes also lead to a small but cute relationship she develops with a doctor at the hospital.

Even without turning around, I can sense Jane behind me, feel the gravitational pull of her. I can’t escape it; she’s like my compass, like a lodestone. I always know where Jane is.

As Lexi and Jane work to solve Jane’s murder, they also become far closer to each other and begin to develop feelings for each other. While I certainly enjoyed their relationship, I was also struggled with the world-building that allowed for physical interactions for Lexi and Jane. You always see ghosts as corporeal, which Jane and Trevor are 99% of the time, except with Lexi. I wish I could put into better words why this slightly missed the mark for me, as I did like Lexi and Jane together, but ultimately I didn’t love them together or the fact that romance was such a major factor in this book. I guess I could have been OK if it would have stayed as mostly a creepy thriller book with just a small emphasis on a love story.

I loved the premise of this book so much. It was such a cool idea and unfortunately I think it was squandered away a little bit, focusing too much on romantic relationships and tying up the ending with a big shiny bow. This easily could have been a really cool and creepy series – there’s so many directions this could have gone and areas to be explored, especially all the side characters with different powers – but it just ended up being a very narrow story. I just wanted more from this and ultimately left feeling OK, but not great.

This book will be released on May 21, 2019.

COVER REVEAL: Bad Influence by Charleigh Rose

I don’t think it’s a secret, but I’m OBSESSED with Charleigh Rose’s books!  Bad Habit, Bad Intentions and Yard Sale became top favorites.  And the stories in those pages were all smile inducing, crazy seductive, and emotional.  So I can’t wait to read her latest book!  I have a feeling I’m going to love this one so hard!  So check out this books cover and see what it’s about.  Enjoy! ♥
Title: Bad Influence
Series: Bad Habits
Author: Charleigh Rose
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: June 13, 2019
Cover Design: Letitia Hasser @ RBA Designs

 
Allie
 
When I moved to River’s Edge, dating was the last thing on my mind.
I definitely didn’t expect to fall for him.
Jesse Shepherd. 
Popular. Star athlete. Cocky as hell.
You know the type.
But as time passed, I realized there was more lurking beneath that gorgeous exterior.
Secretive. Angry. A little bit broken.
The more I peeled back his layers, the deeper I fell.
Until I slammed headfirst into his sea of lies.
 
Jess
 
I blew my shot.
Pissed everything away—college, lacrosse, my future—only to end up right back where I started in River’s Edge.
I was content to revel in my misery, spending my days drowning in a bottomless pit of booze and girls.
Until I saw her.
Allison Parrish.
Beautiful. Sarcastic. Perpetual bad attitude.
The pretty little distraction from the shit show that was my life.
But the sins of my past were closing in on me, and I learned the hard way that nothing gold can stay.
 
“Did you hear that?” I ask. 

Moving in slowly, he cages me in, bracing his right arm on the wall above my head, his left hand by my hip. He brings his lips close to my ear and I fight the shiver that rolls through me. “It’s probably just your admirer,” he says, his voice hushed and husky. I swallow hard, looking over his shoulder as he nuzzles closer, his nose skimming my neck, then down to my collarbone. My pulse pounds in my ears as he moves back up, his mouth brushing across my cheek, stopping at my parted lips. 

“Is this convincing?” He asks. He’s so close that I can feel his breath on my lips, and I realize that I want him to do it. I want him to kiss me. 

I give a slight shake of my head in response. 

“No?” He smirks, knowing exactly what he’s doing to me. His left hand leaves the wall to curl around my hip and he presses his chest to mine. “How about this?” 

“Almost,” I whisper. I wet my lips and the tip of my tongue nearly grazes his bottom lip. His expression goes from playful to heated in an instant, then he’s closing the final distance. 

It’s soft at first, just a brush of his lips against mine, but soon he’s cupping my face with both hands, tilting my head back as his tongue sweeps into my mouth, his movements confident and skilled. Unhurried and unyielding. 

My hands find his shirt, pulling him closer as his tongue fucks my mouth. Because that’s exactly what this is. This isn’t kissing. Or maybe it is, and I’ve been kissing the wrong boys. 

Jesse groans, fitting a firm thigh between my legs, and the need bubbling inside me threatens to boil over at the sensation. But all too soon, he pulls back, leaving me breathless. 

“Was that convincing enough?”
Charleigh Rose lives in Narnia with her husband and two young children. She’s hopelessly devoted to unconventional love and pizza. When she isn’t reading or mom-ing, she’s writing moody, broody, swoony romance.
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BOOK REVIEW: Worlds Collide (Sunset Rising #2) by S.M. McEachern

BOOK REVIEW: Worlds Collide (Sunset Rising #2) by S.M. McEachernWorlds Collide (Sunset Rising #2)
by S.M. McEachern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Centuries old secrets and forbidden love collide in the action-packed sequel to Sunset Rising.

In a desperate attempt to escape execution, Sunny and Jack find a way out of the Pit and into a world still believed to be toxic with radiation. Under the brilliant sun for the first time in their lives, they not only discover that the earth has healed from nuclear war, but there are people outside the Dome.

In Worlds Collide, the second book of the Sunset Rising trilogy, Sunny and Jack must continue a life of subterfuge in order to stay alive and find a way to free the Pit. But in their attempt to save the urchins, they uncover the horrifying truth about President Holt and the evil he could unleash on the world.

Review:

Worlds Collide was another action packed, emotional ride.  As the story progressed, I loved that a lot of the pieces to the puzzle finally fell into place.  Secrets came out, truths were exposed and the stakes became even higher.  And while I had some guesses about the outside, what was really out there blew my mind.  The new elements that were introduced kept me on my toes and was fabulous!  This book definitely didn’t suffer from middle book syndrome and I loved every minute of it!  So here were some of my favorite things…..

Somewhere between saying “I do” and uniting the Pit for a rebellion, I learned to trust Jack.

✮ A power couple:

“I really do love you.” His voice cracked with emotion. Tears burned my eyes but I refused to let them fall.
“And I love you more than I could ever say.”

Jack and Sunny’s relationship was put to the test in Worlds Collide.  Not only was their relationship forbidden, but they were still getting to know each other.  And when Sunny had to pretend to be Jack’s plaything, that just added to the stress of it all.  But there is a reason why they easily became one of my favorite couples, and it had to do with how they were around each other.  While they were strong and determined by themselves, together they were a force to be reckoned with.  What they were each willing to do and sacrifice to help one other captured my heart.  And I loved that some of their actions caused me laugh at a few of the more intense moments.  They were a true team and one of my favorite couples!  My heart couldn’t be happier with where this story took them.


✮ An action packed story:

I wasn’t ready to admit defeat. I couldn’t sit here and watch him risk his life alone. I didn’t want to be in this world without him.

The twists and turns kept coming and it made me fly through the pages. And while I thought I had a clear picture of where the story was going, then something would shift.  Oh my gosh, it was all so brilliant.  What unfolded would leave my mouth hanging open or I’d want to jump up and down because I was so excited.  Allies, enemies, friendship, and even the unknown constantly played a part in this story and it made for a very exciting, action packed ride!


✮ My emotions were everywhere:

Never, in my entire worthless life, had anyone ever looked at me with that much love.
I tried to breathe around the lump lodged in my throat, but it was getting increasingly difficult. Taking his face in my hands, I nodded. Pressing closer, I kissed him, tasting the salt of our tears. I didn’t want to think about what was facing us, or why I might need a gun.

Worlds Collide had me run the gamut emotions!  One moment I’d have sweaty palms, the next I’d be scared to even breathe and another my claustrophobic self had me screaming out loud.   And while there were times that it felt like Sunny and Jack didn’t even have two seconds to breathe, I loved when they’d finally catch a little reprieve.  Those moments were absolutely beautiful and it was impossible not to smile and swoon.  I was grateful for those moments, Jack’s smart mouth and Sunny’s tenaciousness because they were each smile inducing.  And since their future had a ton of bumps in the road, I more than appreciated having some lightness mixed into their story.

I didn’t marry the enemy. I married the hero.

The Sunset Rising Series is absolutely incredible and a must read for dystopian lovers! To say I was glued to the pages would be a huge understatement.  I cheered, screamed, laughed, smiled and even cried my eyes out with Worlds Collide.  And we were introduced to a few new characters that I became obsessed with.  So once I flipped that last page, I was already grabbing the final book, New World Order.  I can’t wait to see how this series will wrap up!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Sunset Rising #1
Reviews:

Jen

Worlds Collide #2
Reviews:

Jen

New World Order #3
Reviews:


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