Happy book birthday to the amazing Tricia Levenseller! The Shadows Between Us is now officially out and I’m very impatiently waiting for my copy to come in as we speak.
I was so lucky and won an ARC (advanced review/readers copy) of this book in a GoodReads giveaway. Let me tell you, as my highest anticipated read of the year, I was trying every which way to get my hands on an early copy of this book. I literally screeched when I got the email saying I won it!
My husband is obviously on my Amazon, so he asked me earlier today, “we’re getting something in the mail today?” I looked down at The Shadows Between Us which I was reading at the time and told him, “yeah. This.”
“So you’ll have two copies of it?” “Yes. And I have no shame.” Then I proceeded to go back to reading.
That all being said, let’s get into this review for my highest anticipated book of the year and the book that made me forget about all other releases coming out this year!
Good evening everyone. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. I ended up finishing Talk Dirty, Cowboy today and I wanted to review it while the thoughts were still fresh in my mind. So let’s do that.
I got this book from Give Me Books Promotions for my honest review.
Let’s first talk details about this book.
Series: Dirty Cowboy Book Number: 1 Tropes: Widow, Single Parent, Sports?, Cowboys Genre: Romance, M/F Age Range: Adult (In-depth sex scenes) Page Count: 276
(If there are any other details you’d like for me to include in the future, let me know!)
This book follows Bowen, a bull-rider who’s only goal is to win the championship belt buckle after the death of his wife. It’s been four years since her death and since he’s been raising his son alone (well, with the help of his father). Except everything is falling apart as his bull-riding is getting worse and worse.
Paisley, on the other hand, is finally happy again. Well, as happy as she can be while she still deals with the lack of help from her ex-husband who ruined her life, but left her with two beautiful children. She’s working herself to the bone to make ends meet while still making sure she has fun singing very loudly to annoy her ten-year-old son.
Except one day, her son leaves his game on and she comes face to face (well, webcam to webcam) with the handsome Bowen. These two hit it off immediately and a romance begins.
Time for a breakdown
Overall, this story was good. I feel like there could have been a bit more fleshing out that happened, though. I feel like there wasn’t much depth to the story, but the romance was very enjoyable and I found myself rooting for these two characters to get their happy ending.
So, I’d give the story/romance category a 4 out of 5.
The characters and their development was something that I had a bigger issue with. I feel like there was a big focus on Bowen’s previous relationship and how it affected him, but not much on Paisley’s and how it affected her. There was a taste of it, but nothing concrete like there should have been. It hinted that it affected her deeply, but didn’t show. Told, didn’t show.
So, for characters, I’d have to give it a 3 out of 5.
The writing was done well. I was a bit confused because I didn’t realize it was an Australian author, so I didn’t realize it took place in Australia until it mentioned that there was an “American accent.” Threw me for a loop there.
But it was written well. Hit all the plot points and fits into the genre. Nothing really stands out that would cause me to take away. This wasn’t meant to be a mind-blowing, methophorical masterpiece.
So, 5 out of 5 there.
Like I said, I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and a quick read. I rooted for the relationship and despite the issues I had, still found myself loving the story. It wasn’t life changing or anything, but I enjoyed it.
So, 5 out of 5 there.
Doing the math, it comes out to be 4.25 so I rounded it to 4. It was a solid read for me.
Now, time for some questions to be answered.
Will I read from this author again? Yes. Will I continue this series? Yes. Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes, if they are looking for a hot and steamy romance with a Southern twist and don’t mind widowed stories (I personally don’t care for them) What other books would you recommend like this? This is a tough question. I haven’t really read a lot of cowboy romances. For another widowed story that was good, go for Torn by Harper Phoenix. For a cowboy romance (also kind of a widow story, she was engaged), Her Cowboy’s Promise by Jennifer Hoopes. And for another Australian story with an American heroine, check out The Aussie Next Door by Stefanie London.
If you can think of any other questions I should ask for my reviews, please let me know! Also, make sure to check out my release blitz post (my previous post) for this book to see more information!
If you want to get this book, get it from any of the links below!
Good morning everyone! Today I’m going to be talking about and reviewing Exquisitely Hidden by M Jay Granberry.
Since this is the second book in the romance series (though they can be read separately I recommend reading them in order), I am also going to briefly review Exquisitely Broken, the first book, before getting into the blitz and review of the second.
Exquisitely Broken follows Sinclair James and Jacob Johnson as they are “reunited” four years after they ended their six year relationship. It was a messy breakup and Sin was hoping to never see Jake again. But fate had other plans.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get on board with this book. It wasn’t something that I enjoyed. I’m not really one for the tropes in this book and I don’t enjoy very heavily sex focused books. This was that and I just couldn’t enjoy it.
I ended up giving this book 3 stars because I could see other people enjoying it, but I just didn’t.
He was everything I needed when I thought I had it all…
As front man for the band everyone’s eyes are on me. I bask in the spotlight Because it hides the flaws. Everyone has secrets. Mine will ruin everything I’ve built. My career, my music, my life… But keeping this secret? It’s breaking my heart. I knew how we would end before we started And still I can’t resist him. Not everyone will understand. But I do. It’s simple. He’s the man I’m meant to love. How long can I deny who I truly am? Should I keep my secret or risk it all?
This is a M/M romance between Adam, another member of the Sin City band, and Seth, one of the bodyguards. Adam is in the closet and doesn’t plan on coming out anytime soon, Seth is out in the open and doesn’t want to hide who he is.
So, unfortunately I ended up DNFing this book at 41%. I wouldn’t say that it was a bad book, but it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t bring myself to connect with the romance and I don’t like smutty m/m romances. It’s not my cup of tea. I like sweet romances in general for any type, m/m, m/f, f/f, etc.
I found myself not wanting to pick this up because it’s not sometihng I enjoy in general.
The reason I am still choosing to share this book with you all is because I know there are people out there that will enjoy it. If you like M/M smut, then give it a shot. The characters are interesting and so are their stories. It just wasn’t for me personally.
M. Jay Granberry is first and foremost an insatiable reader.
Among her favorite things are classic fairy tales, smutty books where characters have heart, old lady sweaters (preferably chunky knit), gift baskets (giving not receiving), and charcuterie trays (green olives, smoked cheese, and Genoa salami).
She is a true Las Vegas native, the one in Nevada not New Mexico, and to answer the most frequently asked questions about growing up in Sin City…
No, she doesn’t live in a hotel.
No, she has never been a stripper although she does know some.
Prostitution is absolutely illegal in Clark County (Las Vegas)!
And what happens in Vegas does indeed stay in Vegas.
M. Jay earned a degree in words and stories, and after fifteen plus years of doing everything other than writing, she penned her first novel.
Giving a voice to characters, that are strong yet fragile, that are sometimes uncomfortably real, that express love in dirtiest ways with the sweetest sentiments is honestly a dream come true.
I let my weight sink into the cushions of the chaise lounge as I eye the backyard. Trimmed hedges line the brick fence, towering palm trees rest in the corners. Wicker patio furniture with bright blue cushions decorate the covered patio and to round it off, is the infinity pool that overlooks the Las Vegas skyline.
Sometimes, I have the urge to pinch myself because I still can’t believe that this is my life.
The heat from the sun warms my skin, soaking into muscle and bone relaxing me to the point of senselessness. I take in the view behind mirrored sunglasses as a big body breaks the water’s surface. Seth’s lithe form cuts through the water, smooth and deliberate. His last stroke short as he nears the side. Instead of turning for another lap he places both palms on the edge of pool and lifts himself out.
And I can’t help but to stare. Even now, when I know that body as well as I know my own. I’ve caressed every sinewy inch, memorized every peak, kissed every valley but I’m still in awe of all things Seth Cody.
He walks toward me, eyes unblinking, chiseled jaw clenched, and I fight not to fidget under his gaze. He doesn’t stop walking until he’s right in front of me. Lowering, his solid weight settles near my hip and a soft pair of cool lips brush along the whiskers on my jaw in a slow tease before moving across my mouth.
Seth leans into me, beads of water glisten on his tan skin and roll forward to splatter on my chest and arms, nimble fingers remove my sunglasses and I stare into sad eyes the color of aged whiskey. His hands move into my hair as he angles my head licking up the center of my lips asking permission before his rough voice whispers a demand.
“Kiss me.” He says.
But I shouldn’t.
Last night we had words, spoke like two sensible adults, no yelling, no cursing, no tears. I made it clear that I don’t do relationships. Even when every fiber of my being is begging me to reconsider. I let him know that I have no intention of picking up the mantle and becoming a representation for gay men anywhere, let alone in the music industry. Regardless of the fact when I look into his eyes I see forever. I told him that being in Las Vegas, trying to get custody of my sister, being the leader and the glue for my band is more important than our fledgling relationship. Although the idea of never touching or kissing or simply being with him, really connecting as two human beings with lust and something that could be love is killing me.
I try to turn my head away from the sweetest temptation but the hand in my hair hampers my halfhearted escape.
“You want me, Adam. I’m right here.” He nibbles on my bottom lip. “Right in front of you. Take me.” He pleads. And this time when our lips meet, I let him in. I revel in the pressure of his mouth and the heady taste I get when his tongue finally breaks the barrier of my lips to twist with mine.
I ache for him. Always for him. Only for him.
I groan into his mouth and curl a hand around the back of his neck pulling him into me. If this is the last time. I might as well make it count, right?
I’m a glutton for this man. A whore greedy for his lust and desires. So, I take what he’s offering and plunder his mouth. I kiss him like it’s the last time, because it is. I kiss him like he’s precious and like I’ll miss him, because he is, and I will. I own his mouth the way I want to own his body, deep and sweet with the sting of pain.
We part on a breath, and I look up into those pretty, pretty brown eyes and for the first time since I told him we were over. I regret it.
He deserves better than me.
He deserves a man that can love him out loud and in front of world. One he can build a life and a future with.
I chose my path at seventeen and claiming a man for my very own has never been part of the plan. I have the music and my band, my family. I always knew fame would demand its due. It’s the way this world works
I trail my fingers across the thin red material of his swim trunks. His shaft twitches under my touch and air hisses from his lungs at the contact. I smile because I love that his body is so expressive, reacting to the softest touch. I work my hands under the waistband of his shorts and pull them down his hips. I see nothing as I kiss down his chest, but unfettered inches of honey kissed skin and a long thick dick lined with veins tapered to a flared crown.
“Adam it doesn’t have to end here. We… ahhhh—”
The words die on his lips as I open my mouth wide and moan around his length as it slides along my taste buds to the back of my throat. His hands cradle the back of my head, his hips involuntarily rolling with pleasure.
I suck him down like I mean it with succulent sounds and fuck me eyes. I suck until he haunches forward and my nose settles in the soft hair at the root of dick. I suck him until the muscles in his thighs shake and his shaft becomes impossibly hard and starts to pulse.
“Don’t stop. I’m almost there. Just a little…”
I grip him in a tight fist my hand now working in tandem with my mouth. His eyes never leave mine as he shutters and releases deep in my throat.
Seth pulls himself free and those pillow soft lips immediately find mine. He tastes like chlorine and summer and something I recognize as uniquely him.
When he pulls back his eyes are glassy with unshed tears as he studies me.
“So this is goodbye then?” He asks.
“This is goodbye.” I parrot.
A couple of tears leak from the corners of his eyes, but he squeezes them shut cutting off the flow.
“Aw, baby…” I say. My thumb swiping over the ridge of his cheekbone. You’re breaking my fucking heart. He leans forward again kissing me one last time before he stands. His movements are slow and methodical. And there is a slight tremor to his hands when he pulls up his shorts. I see him start the process to morph into the ideal body guard and the elite soldier. His eyes lose their innate softness and his jaw sets in an unforgiving hard line. He pulls in all that emotion and stuffs its somewhere far away from the surface and a little part of me hurts that I’ve caused this.
“Don’t. No explanation necessary I understand. I do. Let’s just…” he rubs the back of his neck. “Let’s just take it for what it is…I mean was.” He won’t look at me as he speaks and when I sit up, naturally leaning toward him, my hand coming out to rest the back of his knee, he skirts my touch immediately backing away.
“I gotta go. Sin gets in today. I have to get to the hotel and make sure everything is ready.” He still refuses to meet my gaze as he steps into the house. Slipping quietly through the door.
I drop back on the lawn chair with a thud. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuuuuuck! I punch my hands into the air and slam my head on the thick padding of the chaise. I’ve never been a romantic. That’s my best friend Sin, not me. But dammit just this once I wish I was. I wish I had it in me to give him an epic kind of love. The kind that fills the pages of a notebook and inspires hit songs.
Fifteen minutes later I catch a glimpse of his broad shoulders, now encased in layers of fabric, a duffle bag slung over his shoulder, radio piece in his ear, gun clipped to his belt. Those gorgeous brown eyes covered with dark sunglasses and those soft lips I kissed what now feels like forever ago are pressed tight into a thin stoic line. The sound of his boots beat a steady cadence on the wooden floor as he passes in the hallway.
I stand just outside the open sliding glass door, hands pressed on either side of the metal frame.
“Seth?” I whisper.
His footsteps pause halfway to the front door, but he doesn’t turn around.
“I’m…” Terrified that when you walk out that door, you’ll take piece of me. A giant piece that I’ll never get back.
“I’m sorry.” I say instead. His shoulders rise and fall with one big heaving breath before he continues toward the door. He doesn’t look at me or acknowledge my unbefitting apology.
I let my head drop forward until it hangs heavy and the muscles between my shoulder blades pull tight. I can’t watch him walk out. Even though it’s the right thing. Possibly the best thing, I can’t watch it. I won’t. My heart starts to beat faster as the footsteps move away. I hold my breath when the door opens, and when it closes, I exhale a long-frustrated stream of moist air.
So, this is what a real goodbye feels like? Like someone just placed my heart in a blender and pulverized it.
Yep. This sucks!
ALSO AVAILABLE Exquisitely Broken – 99c for a limited time!
Good morning all! Today I’m back with my first release blitz since I started posting here again. I’m sorry that I’ve been gone this past week. I just got behind on everything, but I’m going to get better this week!
Also, I posted a video on my YouTube! Make sure you check it out and let me know any books that you have read that deal with loss of innocence.
Speaking of innocence, let’s get to this release blitz!!
Just so you all know, the Amazon US links are for my Amazon Associates. In other words, by using that link, I will get a certain amount from the sale. It helps me out. You can use this link by clicking on the photo of the cover and the Amazon US link in the list of purchase links in this post. I will be eternally grateful!
I stopped doing release blitz for Give Me Books Promotions because they always seem very hit or miss for me. The books usually chosen aren’t one’s that I would normally pick up. They focus a lot more on the smutty romances rather than the more tame ones that I prefer.
This one was right in the middle. The sex scenes were hot, but tame enough. And THANK YOU Harper Phoenix for being very actively mentioning protection and the like.
She was sworn off men…
… Until an accidental meeting changed everything.
Alissa sacrificed everything for her husband and child. While he climbed the corporate ladder, she made them a nice home and became the perfect wife.
Until he broke her trust.
Broke her spirit.
Since a tragic accident changed his existence, Luke has had to fight his demons on a daily basis. Despite the heartbreak that haunts him he is determined to live his life to the fullest.
A promise he can’t break.
No matter the pain.
When fate throws Alissa and Luke together, it’s the very last thing either of them are looking for. Is there a chance its could be everything they need?”
Be warned that this book does have trigger warnings for anxiety and the death of a child. So know that going into that.
So, overall I really loved this book. I had read a book that I didn’t really love right before this one and I was really nervous going into it.
I started reading it and fell in love with these characters. I connected with Alissa and understood her anxiety. You could tell that the author has been through this themselves while reading it.
I truly fell in love with this couple and I wanted them to get their happy ending. After everything they’ve been through, that’s just what they deserved.
This tells the story of these two through heartbreak and their dark times and show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, if you just work toward it.
Definitely 5 stars from me!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a giveaway and an excerpt from the novel!
I’m a born and bred East Yorkshire lass. Where I still live with my husband and our children. A self-confessed night owl, that’s usually when I do my best work, lucky for me home-schooling my daughter gives me plenty of time to catch up on those late-night hours writing, although my irrational love of full sugar coke can help with that too—don’t tell the sugar police.
I wrote my first book when my daughter was born back in 2004, but it stayed on my laptop for years while I worked out what to do with it. Things were sure different back then, and to be able to publish a manuscript you’d poured your soul into seemed a far-off dream, one that I didn’t know would ever come true.
While my first book baby festered on my hard drive, I went on to study a Creative Writing and English degree, while also growing our family with not only children but more puppies and dog’s than a sane woman should have.
With a degree under my belt, those original characters, tucked safely far away from sight, still called to me like old friends. Using my new skills and knowledge I decided to give them the attention they deserved. Forbidden Love is the result of those long years of maturing and I couldn’t be prouder of how my first novel turned out.
What began as one story, fifteen years ago, grew to become a series and in 2016 I took the plunge and dove into the indie publishing world releasing Forbidden Love to feedback that blew my mind. And here I still am, loving every minute, bringing characters that hold a place in my heart to life. All I can do now, is hope you are here to join me for the ride.
Thank you all so much for joining me. I truly hope that you check out this book. I really loved it and I hope that you do as well.
Keep reading for the excerpt from the book!
When your whole world implodes and in the matter of hours and your happily ever after turns to dust, life sucks.
I’m left holding the baby. Literally.
The baby being my eleven-month old daughter, Nora, who knows nothing of her father’s failure to be a decent husband… man… well human-being really. He’s a shitty person and that’s all there is to it. Our story started out like your typical fairy-tale. Goosebumps still prickle my skin when I remember the way he chased me throughout Senior school, and the years of romance that followed. And the proposal and wedding? Just call me Cinde-fucking-rella. But my perfect life came crashing down as quickly as that pink line appeared on the pregnancy test. Apparently a tired, puffy and hormonal wife didn’t exactly make my husband’s dick stand to attention. So, in a move I can only imagine was driven by his little head (and I do mean little,) he decided my ex-best friend was a better option.
That’s right I said ex because before she did the dirty with my husband she was the best friend. I told her everything, confided in her and cried on her shoulder about my non-existent sex life and all the while her own sex life was heating up with my husband. Weekends away on ‘business trips’ and doing all the things a wife should be doing with her husband. Except she was his slutty side piece with a big fat mouth and a huge spent pussy the whole football team had ridden so often they called her the local bike.
Yeah, I’m bitter and I don’t care. I’ve been wronged by the two people I trusted the most. Now I’m a single mother with no social life to speak of, and my only conversation is in baby gobbledegook. I actually look forward to the delivery woman ringing the doorbell when I order groceries online. Yeah, I have them delivered. Have you ever tried juggling a crying baby and a shopping cart while concentrating on what comfort food you plan to stuff your face with that night while crying over chick flicks? Yeah, I’m miserable, it’s obvious, right?
I got this book from Entangled teen for my honest review. all thoughts are my own!
This book follows book lover Amy as she is trying to win a competition to meet and interview her favorite author. But she doesn’t have the confidence to win. That’s when surfer Toff comes in. He’s a playboy who is great at winning competitions. But also Amy’s crush.
Can Amy win this competition while keeping her feelings for Toff in check? What about when she starts questioning if how he’s acting toward her is him feeling the same or just part of the coaching?
Just know, this is a spinoff of The Replacement Crush and the couple featured in that book is prominent in this one.
I LOVED this book. It was so cute and these two were definitely OTP worthy.
The writing was wonderfully done. There were times when phrases were mentioned that I didn’t understand (despite being an avid romance reader), but they were explained. Not in a way that felt info-dumpy, but in a way that fit with the story.
I felt like this book was a wonderful look at romance as a genre that isn’t just about the sex or “lesser than” any other genre. Amy is a lover of romance books and that helped me to feel even more connected to her. I felt like this book could have been me at that age.
You get both POVs, so you can watch as Amy struggles to get her “swagger” on and as Toff battles his own inner demons. The breakup between the POVs was done well and I feel like every scene in each POV was best to be told in that POV, if that makes sense.
I was left hanging though. I wish I had the photos these two took together. They were described so well that it felt like the author was just describing a picture. So, like, I need them. Thank you.
So, overall, I’d give this 4.5 stars. Wasn’t perfect, but definitely something I adored and would recommend.