Let Love Live by Melissa Collins

Let Love Live

Let Love Live (The Love Series book 5)

By Melissa Collins

★★★★★

Who would you become if you lost the only person who ever mattered?

For twenty-six year old Dylan Hopkins, the answer is easy. He’s become no one. Memories of the happier times are all he has left as he finds himself meandering numbly through his now dull life. Though he cares about his work and family dearly, he’s yet to let himself find love again. Afraid of letting go of what he once had, Dylan chooses to keep his heart buried, where it belongs, having died a long time ago.

Conner Michelson is about to change everything Dylan knows. He’s every bit the bad boy persona – tatted up, ex-MMA fighter, but after an injury leaves him unable to fight, he has to rethink his goals. Having just opened his own gym, Conner can cross his first major life accomplishment off his very short list. Next up: find a man he can settle down with and build a family. Seems simple enough – a dream most people have, but when he meets Dylan, his carefree, easy-going life is thrown into a tailspin.

Determined to keep Dylan in his life, Conner vows to resurrect Dylan’s long ago buried heart and let love live once more.

Let Love Live is a full length, standalone (within a series) novel

 


 

An Absolute Must Read!

Before you came into my life, I was a completely different person. I was angry at the hand the world had dealt me and I didn’t know how to recover. Then I met you and everything changed. You brought me back to life. You woke up my heart and made me realize that all I was doing before you was existing.” – Dylan

It is hard for me to write a review of this book because in truth it isn’t very often I read a story that makes me feel so much. I actually found myself having to put down my kindle quite a few times in order to take a breather and wipe my tears. I full on cried while reading it. I didn’t read the other books in the series, in all honesty I just stumbled upon this book and thought it sounded good so I gave it a shot, maybe I would’ve been better prepared if I had read the others (however I don’t think it’s necessary to get the full impact of the story).
While this is a love story about Dylan and Conner it’s also about the love story of Dylan and Shane which we need to see to truly understand Dylan. It’s a story of discovery, discovering who you are, discovering love, strength and ultimately happiness. It’s a story of unimaginable loss and guilt and how fragile life can be. But most of all to me this was a story of finding peace and that second chance to love and be loved.

The story of their love is both inspiring and devastating. It’s one of finding out who you are by allowing yourself happiness in someone else, only to have that person, and, in turn, everything that made your life worth living, taken from you.” -Conner

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of M/M romance or not, I still recommend this book. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful story and one I think anyone would love. 

Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

Ruin

Ruin

By Rachel Van Dyken

★★★★★

I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michels offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

1

Kiersten Rowe has convinced her Uncle JoBob that she can make it on her own away at college.  The past two years she has been barely living.  Depressed and plagued by night terrors after the death of her parents, Kiersten wants to try to start living again.  Now at the University of Washington she is about to find out how to live, how to face her fears and most importantly what it means to fall in love.

Weston Michels may be rich and hot, not to mention the star quarterback but life is definitely all sunshine and rainbows. No one knows how he became  an RA his senior year, especially after rumors of an alleged rape or why he seems to travel in an entourage.  Weston seems to be keeping secrets

Absolutely one of the best books I have read all year.  I have to admit I was started to feel a little disappointed as I searched for a book to add to the short Favorites of 2013 list I have going.  2012 seemed to be a year full of so many good books I wasn’t even able to narrow down my top 10 without a lot of deliberation and quite a few tears.  2013 has not been the same, while there have been a few books I have loved very few have actually jumped out and made me think about them long after I have finished them.

Ruin is that book.  It is an emotional book that had me not wanting it to end.  I loved the fact that unlike so many New Adult books that are out right now this book did not follow the same formula of the twenty-something guy who has vowed that he will never fall in love.  He will live a long happy life as a womanizer even though at the ripe old age of 23 or 24 I am not quite sure if he really has the maturity to decide that love is not in the cards for him.  Wait til your thirties or hell even your forties before you make the decision to live without True Love.

Ruin is not like that.  I hate to say too much because I do not want to give anything away, even if you can pretty much guess what it’s all about.  I absolutely loved Wes from the very beginning and my favorite parts of the story were definitely the parts from his POV.  This is romantic, sweet and at times bittersweet.  I laughed and I cried and at one point almost thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish it because it was so sad.

Ruin

Ruin

I am glad I finished the book and I loved it, even the sad parts.  It is definitely a story I recommend highly.  This is the second book this year by Rachel Van Dyken that I have read and loved, so she is an author I will keep coming back to.

 

SEMPRE Forever By J.M. Darhower

teardropsOnly 15% into this book and I found myself sobbing, having to put the book down and walk out of the room.  Emotionally charged doesn’t even begin to describe this story.  

Sempre Forever

SEMPRE forever

By J.M. Darhower

★★★★★

The Definition of Freedom: 1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial. 2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. 3. The power to determine action without restraint. 4. Political or national independence. 5. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery”
– Dictionary.com

Born into slavery Haven Antonelli has never known anything other than horror and pain.  Living on a desert ranch with her mother, taking care of her “Master” and his family, unsure if she’ll live another day hard work, abuse and fear are part of her everyday life.  At seventeen she has seen a world that most can’t even imagine and the last thing she ever expects to find is hope.

Carmine DeMarco is Mafia royalty.  While overcoming a tragic past that almost tore his family apart Carmine struggles to find someone to understand him and continues to let his pain and anger fuel his actions.  He knows his future will most likely be in following in his father’s footsteps when he turns 18, moving back to Chicago to join “La Famiglia”.

But then she happened. The girl who had never been able to call her life her own taught a boy who had the world at his fingertips exactly what it meant to live. He wasn’t alone anymore.” 

Haven and Carmine may have grew up under vastly different circumstances, both yearning to break free,  but now a twist of fate causes their worlds to collide.  Entangled in a web of secrets and lies, they learn that while different on the surface, they have more in common than anyone would think.  While falling in love with each other may be easy a string of events that began before either of them were born threatens to destroy them.

Murder and betrayal are a way of life, and nothing comes without a price—especially not freedom. But how much will they have to sacrifice? Can they escape their pasts? And, most of all, what does it mean to be free?

HummingbirdFlight_xlarge

Wow this book rally surprised me, I wasn’t prepared for it to throw me on the emotional rollercoaster I found myself on while reading it.  While a story of love there is so much more here.

Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy,
cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is
irrevocably changed.”

Sempre is a complex story that in my opinion has the right balance of  “Character Emotional Development” plotlines or “Dramatic Action” plotlines. It isn’t a feel good romance or a fluffy mobster story.  This book is dark and at times disturbing.  There were characters in the book that I had a very hard time liking and finding redeeming qualities in, even when the motivation for their actions became clearer.

Carmine and Haven are both heartbreaking characters and I found myself questioning whether or not I would have been able to survive in their world.  Haven has a strength and a way of looking at life that I admired.  Carmine is willing to risk it all for Haven and in the end he does without hesitation.

“Ti amo, mia bella ragazza. Per sempre.”
“Sempre?” she asked.
Cracking a smile, he brushed his pointer finger softly across her lips. “Always and forever.”

 With such a complicated group of characters I felt an authenticity to the story that I appreciated.  While sad and upsetting this is still a must read.  If you love books with a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, if you loved The Godfather or Boardwalk Empire this is a story I am sure you will enjoy. Fair warning though, it is a longer book, over 500 pages so be prepared to spend some time on it.

Hummingbird

 

To find out more about Author J.M. Darhower:  www.jmdarhower.com  

 

Heart of the Race

Always a fan of a good Mary Calmes story!

Heart Of The Race

By Mary Calmes

★★★★☆

Varro Dacien spends his life riding toward the next adventure. Brian Christie, his best friend and touchstone, the one person who’s always truly seen him, plays sidekick on these madcap adventures and subsequent trips to the hospital until he can’t take it anymore. While Brian can see Varro, Varro has never caught on that he’s breaking his best friend’s heart.

Without Varro, Brian builds himself a life that’s all about just getting by, doing his best to ignore the hole in his heart and his life. Without Brian to balance him, Varro pushes harder and takes more risks to reach that ultimate high. His job racing high-octane bikes on suicide-level courses makes it easy to get that rush… until it’s no longer enough and Varro realizes it’s not the race, but who’s waiting at the finish line that truly matters. Now he just has to convince Brian to be there.

Racing Bike

Originally part of Dreamspinner Press 2013 Daily Dose Anthology: Make A Play featuring 30 different stories by some of the best authors in M/M Romantic Fiction, this story called to me mainly because it was by one of my favorite authors, Mary Calmes.  This is a short easy read and like most of her works it’s a sweet love story.  If you are a fan of Mary Calmes I am sure you will enjoy it.

A sucker for a good GFY/OFY story I enjoyed seeing two best friends become more and fall in love.  Who better to fall in love with than the person who you trust the most in the world?  As Brian paints us the picture of  growing up knowing he’s in love with Varro and doing his best to keep his feelings from destroying their friendship while secretly wishing his straight best friend felt the same way about him, you can actually feel his heart ache.  Varro being absolutely oblivious to the way his best friend feels is almost maddening.    He needs Brian in a way that most need air but he can’t seem to open his eyes enough to realize Brian is the one person who makes him whole until it’s almost too late.

There’s angst, heartbreak, humor and romance.  There isn’t an over abundance of sex making this more of a contemporary love story. My one and only complaint really was that it was way too short.  I loved the characters but there was definitely room to expand the story more and to get a more in depth look at them.  I would honestly be happy to see more of Varro and Brian.

Nothing fires the blood like a little friendly competition. Anything from a meeting of the minds to full-body contact, these men are making a play. There are no losers in the game of love.  Over 1,500 pages of fiction selling individually for a total $80.20 or as a bulk package for $54.99.

Purchase the entire Make A Play Anthology from Dreamspinner Press or Heart of the Race separately at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

The New Elizabeth Reyes!


Hector by Elizabeth Reyes
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Womanizer—check.
Cocky—check.
Dangerous—checkmate.

Staying away from him was indisputably the sensible thing to do. The problem? She wasn’t just drawn to him; she was utterly mesmerized…

Charlotte Brennan is no stranger to heartache and mortification. Her past is full of both. So when amazing and incredibly intense Hector Ayala, literally jumps into Charlee’s life, her walls are immediately up. Letting her guard down and sharing her past and deepest secret is not happening. Charlee is not looking to get her heart crushed once again. However, her willpower proves to be no match for Hector’s mesmerizing pull.

Guilt is a profound emotion to deal with and no one knows this better than Hector. So when he gets the chance to make up for a past indiscretion that’s been gnawing away at him for months, he takes it. Doing so means he’ll also have to pass up pursuing Charlee, the only girl he’s ever been so fascinated by. But his inability to explain why they could never be has him dealing with a new kind of
guilt—the guilt of knowing he is unwillingly breaking her heart. (From Goodreads).


2.5 Stars!(Oh how I hate to see that!)

Ok first let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Reyes, she is one of my favorite authors in this particular genre. I have enjoyed all of her books, absolutely loved the Moreno Brothers series as well as the first two books in this series. Having said that I have to admit that this one was a bit of a disappointment.

I love the character of Hector but I think I would have liked to have had Abel’s story first, it would allow for Hector to grow up a bit more. Of course with the glimpses we get of Abel in this story I am even more intrigued with his potential storyline. I also would have liked to see some more of the other 5th street boys, there just wasn’t enough of Noah, Gio, Abel or Felix.

My biggest problem with this story really was the fact that it was way too drawn out, I’m not a huge fan of a romance that doesn’t really get off the ground until almost the end of the book. By 60% I was seriously considering putting it down and not finishing it. I liked Hectors character, Charlee’s character was okay but the fact that it took them so long to sort their crap and get together was exhausting.

I needed more. I truly hope that Abel’s book does not do this same thing. I am still a huge fan of the series and am looking forward to the next book.