Alpha Biker Heroes

Kristen Ashley just continues to make me swoon with her pantie melting, super alpha, hot men she writes about.  A few years ago if you would have told me that I would dream about throwing my leg over the back of a Harley and wrapping my arms tightly around a sexy member of a Motorcycle Club I would have laughed in your face.  Somehow though reading these books I find myself picturing myself as an “Old Lady”.  Between Tack, Shy and now Hop I am firmly ensconced in the world of Chaos Motorcycle Club, jealous of Tyra, Tabby and now Lainie.  Please Ms. Ashley keep bringing us these fabulous stories!

♨Release Date: June 4, 2013!♨

Fir Inside (A Chaos Novel)

Fire Inside

By Kristen Ashley

★★★★1/2

Lanie Heron is absolutely the last person that Hopper Kincaid–Chaos MC Lieutenant–should take to his bed but he can’t resist when she approaches him and asks for “just one night”.  Lanie is all class and sophistication.  She’s also haunted–nearly being killed for standing by your  fiancé will do that to you.   Hop knows he should say no but he can’t.  Soon one night becomes more and Hop realizes that there is a lot more to Lanie than he originally thought.

“Not sure that’s a good idea, Lanie,” he told her, gentling his voice as he gave her the honesty.

“Why?” she asked immediately, and he felt his eyes narrow on her before he answered.

“Maybe ’cause you’re best friends with Tack’s old lady. I respect him, I respect her, and shit like this, babe, it gets complicated. Any complication sucks but a complication like this—” he shook his head “— no one needs that.”

She threw out a hand and declared casually, “It won’t get complicated.”

“I’ve thought on it and decided it’s you.” Her hands at his neck gave him a squeeze and fuck him, fuck him, that moved him even more. “I understand why you don’t want to, but I promise, Hop, I swear, no kidding, seriously, no strings. No expectations. Just us. One night. Tomorrow, it will be like it’s always been. Like it didn’t even happen. I promise, Hop. Swear.”

Lanie is amazed at how much she enjoys being with Hopper Kincaid.  He’s different than what she’s used to.  Hopper has the ability to destroy her and there is no way she can allow that to happen.  She’s broken and scared, not to mention she can’t stop thinking about how she almost died and why.  Lanie has vowed to never put herself through that again and that means not allowing any man in again even if he is a sexy, smooth talking biker she can’t seem to resist.  Being with Hop can’t last, no matter what she has to keep him at a distance.

“You know my story,” she whispered. “You think I want another guy?” She paused then finished with emphasis, “Ever?”

The more Lanie fights it the more Hop has to prove to her that they were made for each other.  He will do anything to show Lanie she is worth it and he can help her heal.  It won’t be easy putting her heart back together and healing in her what threatens to destroy her but Hop is confident he can do it.

“I said just one night,” she reminded him.

“And I said I wasn’t done with you,” he fired back.

Unfortunately Lanie will do everything she can to not allow Hop to steal her heart and give her his at the same time.  There are only so many times she can push him away before he realizes that he’s fighting a losing battle.  Will he ever be able to get Lanie to completely trust him or is she too far gone?

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 To be honest I was not at all impressed with Hop in the previous books he appeared in.  I disliked his character in Motorcycle Man and as for Own the Wind I really didn’t give him much thought at all.  By page 10 in Fire Inside I was completely in love with Hopper Kincaid.  He was redeemed in my eyes and I have to say he gave some serious competition to Shy who has remained my favorite of all the Kristen Ashley men.  I could seriously see myself drooling over Hopper.

What makes me love his character so much?  It’s simple, he is strong, intense, domineering in that way that makes you shiver when reading any of these books.  Hopper is also sweet and sincere and the type of man who shows the woman he is with a side of himself you would never expect but crave.  He’s protective and truly wants to help Lanie not only to open up and let him in but to also trust herself again.  He wants her to let her past go and to live, which also means he wants her to be able to let everyone, not just him back into her life.

“Hop is willing to do anything to make his woman happy. He’d walk a tightrope with no net if she was on the other side, cheering him on. And he just proved what we already knew, and he did that in a big way.”-Shy (From Own the Wind)

Lanie has some hurts that can’t just be healed with a few sweet caring words.  She has demons that need someone who can have an objective outlook to help her conquer them. She is classy and sophisticated with a smidgen of crazy (the good kind) thrown in.  She has drama–most of which Hop finds amusing–but you can’t help but find her funny and endearing.  She may not always see it but she has an innate strength as well.  There are times that Lanie makes me mad and frustrates me but I definitely like her character and won’t mind seeing more of her throughout the series.

“…Lanie is beautiful but she’s a fuckin’ nut. There’s no guarantees with her in the mix, and Hop’s not sayin’ it, but he’s gone for her. I caught sight of them late one night standin’ by his bike and I can’t say I’m an expert at readin’ bitches but, body language, she’s gone for him too. Cherry or Tack get in his face, Cherry butts up against Lanie, there’s gonna be fireworks.”-Shy (From Own the Wind)

If you’re a fan of Kristen Ashley, if you love books about Sexy Bikers and the women that manage to steal their hearts or you just love stories about love and redemption, you will fall in love with this book.  The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the fact that we only got brief glimpses of Shy, I could have used a little more of him *wink*.  Other than that Fire Inside is a definite must read!

To purchase your copy of Fire Inside (Chaos #2) Amazon ◈ Barnes & Noble ◈ Google

*Thank You to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for honest review.

Dare You To (Pushing The Limits #2)

Dare You To
By Kate McGarry
★★★★

It all started with a dare!

When I got the opportunity to read this book I was super excited.  Pushing the Limits, the first book in this series was one of my favorite books in 2012.  I loved not only the story but the characters as well and I was very anxious to see more of them.  Dare You  To which is Beth’s story did not disappoint me.  Just like the first one it was intense and emotional and completely engrossing.  I stayed up all night to read it.

Ryan Stone

 On the outside Ryan Stone is perfect.  Smart, hot and a baseball superstar.  He has the perfect family and the entire town looks up to them. On the inside Ryan is feeling anything but perfect, his family is falling apart and he can’t let anyone see.
Beth Risk
 

Beth Risk has spent most of her young life taking care of her drunk mother and feeling guilty for her father abandoning them.  After her mother’s boyfriend almost kills Beth she goes to live with her Aunt yet she still can’t stop taking care of her mother, if she didn’t who would?  Unfortunately one night dragging her mom out of a local bar she runs into trouble and her only help is from her Uncle she hasn’t seen since she was little.

Moving to a small town to live with an uncle who all but abandoned her, his wife who makes it no secret she doesn’t want her there and leaving behind Isiah her best friend, Beth is determined she will find a way back home and to her mom.  To make matters worse no she has come face to face with the Jock that attempted to get her phone number at Taco Bell, a guy she wants nothing to do with, Ryan is too perfect for her.Beth made Ryan lose a dare, Ryan never loses.   Now she is going to be going to the same school as him and maybe he can win the dare after all.  All he has to do is convince Beth to give him the time of day and her phone number.  If only Beth could stop hating him.  There’s something about Beth he can’t help liking, she’s real and says what she thinks, something he’s not use to.

What started as a dare becomes a lot more when Ryan realizes that he may actually really like Beth and wants something more with her, now he just has to get her to see him as more that just a cocky Jock.   Knocking down Beth’s walls isn’t going to be easy, she has way to much baggage and is determined not to stick around.  But the more time Beth and Ryan spend together the more they realize that they bring out the best in each other.

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To me this is a book about being free to be yourself and essentially being allowed to be a kid, having your whole life ahead of you with endless possibilities. It’s about discovering what you want and having the courage to go after it no matter what others tell you.  This is a story about trust, about strength and about love.

This is one of those stories where I find myself thinking about it even after I’m done reading it.  Days later and I found myself thinking about how I would like to know what happened to them later on in their lives.  I always know a great book when it sits with me long after I have put it down.  Now I am anxiously awaiting for the third book, Isiah’s story, I hope we also get a look  at how Beth is doing and of course Noah and Echo from Pushing The Limits.

* Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin for providing me with this ARC for honest review.

Crossing!

There is absolutely no way I can write a review for this book and give it the true attention and praise it deserves without spoilers, it could never do it justice, so I apologize  for giving anything away.

Crossing
By Stacey Wallace Benefiel
★★★★1/2

Blurb:

He stole her lipstick…and her heart.

Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back.

When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

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This book is really about so many things, there are quite a few messages. It’s a story about love and acceptance, it’s about self discovery and overcoming fears and for me at least, this was a book about forgetting about norms and discovering something outside of my comfort zone. And this was definitely outside of my comfort zone.

Dani is a character that I found very realistic and incredibly easy to relate to. Her insecurities are ones that so many women young and old can relate to. It’s hard living in a world surrounded by beautiful people and feeling as if you could never compare to them and its even harder when so many others purposely making you feel that way. I found Dani’s quick wit to be truly endearing. She had me laughing out loud throughout the book and her banter with Liam was great.

Liam is more of a complicated character.  While he first appears to be your everyday boy next door type, he has a pretty big secret that we don’t find out about until half way through.  This is a make or break type of secret and I have to admit at first I was not sure how to look past it. He is sweet and charming and can be incredibly funny but at the same time he always seems to be holding back slightly. I really felt for what he was going through even if I couldn’t connect fully with him.

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Being a fan of Gay Romance I have read my share of cross dressing stories. This story however was very different. I found I had a harder time dealing with a heterosexual man dressing as a woman I had to really push past my preconceived notions about people who lived this lifestyle and pay attention to the story that was being told. I am glad that I did because when all was said and done I truly loved it.

The author has An incredible voice and a great ability to enable her readers to actually visualize the events unfolding as we read them. The dialogue is both entertaining and believable. The plot is fresh and unique and the characters are real and likable.  This is a book I definitely recommend.

Purchase CrossingPurchase book at Amazon  or  Barnes and Noble

*Thank You to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for honest review.

Colleen Hoover’s Slammed Series

Slammed

★★★★★

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

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Wow! Wow! Wow!

I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book. It had been sitting on my Kindle for months and months but I just kept skipping over it. This was one of the best books I have read in a long long time. I would give it more than 5 Stars if I possibly could. It was everything I like in a book, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me  mad and it made me insanely happy.

Usually when I am reading a Young Adult book I am aware that it is YA however with Slammed I forgot all about it being Young Adult, it was just a fantastic story.  This is an extremely emotive read, a story that will stay with you long after you put it down.  I had to immediately pick up the next book to find out what happened next.

This is a book about love and loss, life and death, discovering the balance between  the mind and the heart.

I got schooled this year
by
a
boy
.

A boy that I’m seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably inlove with.
And he taught me the most important thing of all

To put the emphasis
On life .”

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This is a book that will make you laugh out loud.

According to the thesaurus  .  .  .   and according to me.  .  .   there are over thirty different meanings and substitutions for the word mean.

(I quickly yell the following words; the entire class flinches— including Will.)

Jackass, jerk, cruel, dickhead, unkind, harsh, wicked, hateful, heartless, vicious, virulent, unrelenting, tyrannical, malevolent, atrocious, bastard, barbarous, bitter, brutal, callous, degenerate, brutish, depraved, evil, fierce, hard, implacable, rancorous, pernicious, inhumane, monstrous, merciless, inexorable. And my personal favorite— asshole.” -Lake

This book will make you fall in love.

“God Layken. How do you do it? she says. She blows her nose and grabs another tissue out of the box.

“How do I do what?” I sniff as I continue to wipe the tears from my eyes.

“How do you not fall in love with him?”  The tears begin flowing just as quickly as they had ceased. I grab yet another tissue.

“I don’t not fall in love with him. I don’t not fall in love with him a lot!”

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And this book will make you think.

Sometimes life gets in your way. 
it gets all up in your damn way. 
But it doesn’t get all up in your damn way
because it wants you to just give up and let it take control. 
Life doesn’t get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to hand it allover and be carried along. 

Life wants you to fight it
Learn how to make it your own. 
it wants you to grab and axe and hack through the wood. 
It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through concrete. 
It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it.

Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, thechronological, the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together, 
stir it up,
blend it.”

This is a definite MUST READ! Get your copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Google


Point of Retreat★★★★☆

Hardships and heartache brought them together…now it will tear them apart.

Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.

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My heart pounds against my chest. Not because I’m nervous. Not even because I want her worse that I’ve ever wanted her before. It’s pounding against my chest because I realize I’ve never been so sure about the rest of my life than I am in this moment. This girl is the rest of my life.” -Will

As much as I loved Slammed, Point of Retreat just didn’t have the same effect on me. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it because I did. It was great to be in Will’s head this time around and I still found myself laughing out loud and of course feeling those highs and lows as I road the emotional roller-coaster of the story. There was just something that didn’t wow me like the first book did and personally I struggled a little with relating/connecting to Lake this time around.

I felt as if Lake should have matured more in her life after everything that had happened in book one but instead she felt less mature to me and that was hard to process. However I had the opposite reaction with Will because I think I got a good look at the fact that he himself was not as grown up as he was forced to be. He became more real, more endearing to me because of this and I think I actually got a better understanding of the person he was.

I could go on all night, Lake. I could go on and on and on about all the reasons I’m in love with you. And you know what? Some of them are the things that life has thrown our way. I do love you because you’re the only other person I know who understands my situation. I do love you because both of us know what it’s like to lose your mom and your dad. I do love you because you’re raising your little brother, just like I am. I love you because of what you went through with your mother.
I love you because of what we went through with your mother. I love the way you love Kel. I love the way you love Caulder. And I love the way I love Kel. So I’m not about to apologize for loving all these things about you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances behind them. And no, I don’t need days, or weeks, or months to think about why I love you. It’s an easy answer for me. I love you because of you. Because of every single thing about you.” -Will

As for the side characters, I completely and totally fell in love with Kiersten, she was precocious and funny and a great source of comic relief. A great addition to the story I definitely do not think I would have loved it as much as I did without her or her mother Sherry’s presence. I would have loved more of Eddie though.

All in all, Point of Retreat is a great book and I am definitely going to continue to read Colleen Hoovers books. Next up: This Girl!

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*Thank You to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for honest review.

★★★★☆

 There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.

Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache. 

Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.

In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from hispoint of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

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Well I have to say I absolutely loved being inside of Will’s head as he tells Lake his side of the story.  It makes me look at what happened between them differently‒in a good way‒and feel a lot more for Will and what he went through.  Ms. Hoover did a wonderful job in making me feel a connection to these characters in Slammed and in This Girl I felt it even more.  While this is a retelling of a story we have already read, it is done in a way that gives us a fresh new look at it.

“I lie back on my pillow and think back to that day. The day that I fell for my wife.”

There are a lot of little things‒and big things‒we learn about that we weren’t privy to in the first book as it was told by Lake.  There are new scenes in which we get a new understanding of relationships and connections between all of the characters, not just Lake and Will but also Will and Gavin, Will and Eddie as well as Will and Julia and even Will, Kel and Caulder.  We are given a chance to see who Will was and who he has become.

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This is a great way to close out this series (although a small part of me will be sad to say goodbye), it answers any questions we might have had after the first 2 books and leaves the reader happy for the life that the characters will have.

Then this girl completely shatters the window to my soul and crawls inside.”

 

*Thank You to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for honest review.

The Forever of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

The Forever of Ella and Micha
By Jessica Sorensen
★★★1/2

I keep struggling to decide whether or not I want to rate this one 3 stars or 4 stars so I think I am just going to settle on 3.5 Stars!

Ella and Micha may have thought that things were going to be great now that they were together and he was off with his band but now they face the difficulties of a long distance relationship and Ella is left to deal with feelings about her life and her past. Without Micha there to constantly pick up the pieces Ella begins to come to the conclusion that she has to do things for herself and maybe her baggage will end up being too much for Micha. All she has ever wanted is for him to be happy but can he be happy with her or will he eventually come to resent her?

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Micha realizes being on the road is not all that he thought it would be and the more time away from Ella the more he realizes what he really wants is her by his side. Scared that he will end up sending her running off and disappearing again he keeps his feelings about the future to himself, the last thing he wants to do is push her. Unfortunately the more he struggles to get through the time apart and missing her the more he realizes she is pushing him away. Micha knows his future is with Ella, does she feel the same way or is it better to move on?

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I am a huge fan of angst, I absolutely love it.  I am a sucker for a powerful read that takes me on a rollercoaster of emotions, crying, laughing, anger and elation are all emotions I crave when I am looking for the perfect book.  If you are looking for a fun, lighthearted, easy love story, this is not the book for you.  This book is full of angst (dare I say too much) and emotional turmoil.  Personally I will admit I loved The Secret of Ella and Micha and I was very satisfied with the ending,  I would have been perfectly alright with leaving it there and having the second book about Lila and Ethan (the subjects of book 3).   However with this we get to see redemption, growth and healing.  It’s a new beginning for both Ella and Micha.

As for the author, Jessica Sorensen I becoming a favorite of mine in this particular genre.  Again I loved The Secret of Ella and Micha and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden was one of my favorite books of 2012.  I am anxiously awaiting for The Redemption of Callie and Kayden as well as the third book in the Secrets series The Temptation of Lila and Ethan.

*Thanks to NetGalley and for this book in exchange for honest review!

True

When I first saw the cover and blurb I had no doubt that I would like this book, I’ve read Erin McCarthy’s Fast track series and really enjoyed it.  However reading reviews by others I was a bit apprehensive and tried not to have too high expectations.  I wasn’t sure about an author going from Contemporary Romance to New Adult, however I think she pulled it off without any problems.

True
By Erin McCarthy
★★★★☆

Rory Macintosh is a 20 year old virgin, a bit socially awkward and lacking self confidence.  She’s thrown off guard when hot bad boy Tyler Mann seems to be interested in her.  Even though Rory and Tyler have hung out a couple of times while recently he’s been hooking up with her roommate Jess, they are not exactly friends.

Guys like Tyler have absolutely no interest in girl’s like Rory.  However unbeknownst to Rory, Jess and their friend Kylie have recruited Tyler to help Rory lose her virginity.  Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory but he can’t resist taking up her roommates on the opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t.

The closer they become the more they find out you can never judge a book by it’s cover.

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I’m giving this one a solid 4 stars!  I found myself laughing quite a few times throughout the story and I really liked the characters.  I am happy that there is going to be a second book, I am anxious to find out what happens to Rory and Tyler and their friends.

*Thanks to NetGalley for this book in exchange for honest review!

Wide Awake

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Wide Awake
By Shelly Crane
★★★

 

A girl.
A coma.
A life she can’t remember.

When Emma Walker wakes up in the hospital with no knowledge of how she got there, she learns that she’s been in a coma for six months. Strangers show up and claim to be her parents, but she can’t remember them. She can’t remember anyone. Not her friends, not even her boyfriend. Even though she can’t remember, everyone wants her to just pick up where she left off, but what she learns about the ‘old her’ makes her start to wish she’d never woken up. Her boyfriend breaks up with the new girl he’s dating to be with her, her parents want her to start planning for college, her friends want their leader back, and her physical therapist with the hazel eyes keeps his distance to save his position at the hospital.

Will she ever feel like she recognizes the girl in the mirror?

I am going to have to be completely honest here and say that I loved the idea of this book much more than I actually loved the book.  There was so much potential here for a great story and I was so excited to read it but unfortunately I was left feeling slightly disappointed.

The first third of Wide Awake is actually fairly intriguing, as was Emma’s struggles to come to terms with her amnesia as well as the reactions of her friends and family (who couldn’t let go of the old Emma).  Unfortunately after a while and especially the last half, I started to find myself having trouble fully connecting with any of the characters.  I was looking for something that I never seemed to find with this story.

I’m going to have to give this one 3 stars. It’s not bad, by any means, and it’s definitely an interesting idea.  There is a great message to be taken away from it:

“It doesn’t matter who you were or what you’ve done in the past. The only thing that matters is who you are right now.” -Mason