Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams @TLCBookTours @MollySMcAdams

Title: Deceiving Lies

Author: Molly McAdams

Series: Forgiving Lies #2

Publication date: March 4th, 2014

ISBN: 9780062299321

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
The irresistible, blazing-hot sequel to New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams's Forgiving Lies.

Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they've had, she's ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there's something else waiting--something threatening to tear them apart.

Kash is ready for it all with Rach. Especially if all includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. With his line of work, he knows how short life can be, and doesn't want to waste another minute of theirs. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him... and it's the girl he loves who's caught in the middle.

Trent Cruz's orders are clear: take the girl. But there's something about this girl that has him changing the rules and playing a dangerous game to keep her safe. When his time as Rachel's protector runs out, he will turn his back on the only life he's known, and risk everything, if it means getting her out alive.

I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers for participation in a blog tour and in exchange for an honest review.

When I finished Forgiving Lies it left off on such a cliffhanger. Rachel had been kidnapped and Kash had just rushed home to find that she was missing and that it was the old gang that had put a hit out on him and his partner that was behind it. Kash is beside himself with anguish over losing Rachel and my heart bled for him. I was desperate to get my hands on the next installment in the series and see what happened next. I needed to see if Kash and Rachel's love story ended on a high note or one of devastation.

Deceiving Lies does not immediately start out where the first book's epilogue left off. Instead it starts off where the final chapter in the book finished. Rachel has just moved to Florida to be with Kash after their falling out in Texas. They are starting their lives out together in a new place of their own and with a new puppy at their side. The story quickly catches up to the epilogue of the first book when Rachel is ripped from her new home and taken into custody by a gangbanger with a heart, Trent. Rachel is forced to live out her days in utter and complete fear. She doesn't know why she was taken nor what the brooding man in the room with her is intending to do with her. It is only after she starts reaching out to Trent a bit that she realizes he means her no harm. In fact, he means to protect her from the men in the house with them who wish to make good use of the attractive hostage in the next room. The only thing that gets her through the days as a captive is the surprising safety of her abductor and her knowledge the Kash will find her eventually.

Kash is beside himself when he loses Rachel. He is determined to find her even if it means putting his career on the line. He starts burying his emotions in order to type to cope with the loss and still get what he needs to do done. He knows that he will find her before the month long ransom time frame is up. He has to. He will not let Rachel die for his war with a drug ring's members.

Trent only meant to do the job he was assigned and get away. Now he can't seem to shake this draw he has for the frighten girl he kidnapped. He knows the minute he leaves her alone that his gang brothers will do horrendous things to her. The thought turns Trent's stomach and causes him to go many a sleepless night simply protecting the innocent female. He knows she belongs to another and he knows that he had to take her or face certain death at the hands of his gang, but he can't help fantasizing about running away from it all with Rachel firmly in tow... willingly, of course.

I loved watching the somewhat uncomfortable threesome form between Rachel, Trent, and Kash. Kash's determination to find his woman, Trent's rebellion to protect her, and Rachel's stubborn resolve to not crack under all the pressure were beautifully written. I thought for sure I would be rooting for Rachel and Kash all the way, but I found Trent's tortured past and soft heart to be absolutely adorable (the fact that he apparently looked like Taylor Lautner's twin helped too). 

Deceiving Lies is the continuation of Forgiving Lies in which Rachel and Kash's love is tested again. They must once again, find a way back to each other before it's too late. 

Available at:
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Rest of the Tour
March 5th: Reading Reality
March 7th: Bibliotica
March 17th: Luxury Reading
March 19th: Dear Brighton
March 20th: Kritters Ramblings
March 24th: Oh! Paper Pages
March 25th: Booked on a Feeling
March 25th: Tina's Book Reviews
March 31st: Books a la Mode

About the Author:
Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. Her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach... which roughly translates to being a homebody and dishing out movie quotes with her hubby, or hiding in her writing cave trying to get her characters' stories out.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdams @MollySMcAdams

Title: Forgiving Lies

Author: Molly McAdams

Series: Forgiving Lies #1

Publication date: October 29th, 2013

ISBN: 9780062267740

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
A matter of secrets...

Undercover cop Logan "Kash" Ryan can't afford a distraction like his new neighbor Rachel Masters, even if she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. To catch a serial killer, he needs to stay focused, yet all he can think about is the feisty, long-legged coed whose guarded nature intrigues him.

A matter of lies...
Deceived and hurt before, Rachel would rather be a single, crazy cat lady than trust another guy, especially a gorgeous, tattooed bad boy with a Harley, like Kash. But when his liquid-steel eyes meet hers, it takes all of Rachel's will-power to stop herself from exploring his hot body with her own.

A matter of love...
As much as they try to keep it platonic, the friction between them sparks an irresistible heat that soon consumes them. Can Kash keep Rachel's heart and her life safe even as he risks his own? Will she be able to forgive his lies... or will she run when she discovers the dangerous truth?

I received a copy of this book from the publishers to read and review in preparation for a blog tour for the sequel.

I had heard such wonderful things about Molly McAdams and her New Adult books that when approached to review Deceiving Lies, I accepted right away. The publishers immediately sent me Forgiving Lies so I could follow the series easily. I am, currently, still waiting on my copy of the sequel I am supposed to read and review for a tour. I started reading the book as soon as it came in.

Kash is used to pretending he is someone else. As an undercover cop, he is well versed in moving to a new place and keeping his past a secret. He has never had the desire to deviate from protocol until he met Rachel. Kash is in Texas trying to find a murderer by pretending to be a bartender with his best friend and partner, Mason. He is also hiding from a hit that was placed on him and his partner after breaking up a drug ring. He was meant just to case the bar and wait for the murderer in question to appear so he could make an arrest. Instead, he starts spending more and more time with his spunky neighbor, Rachel. He never wanted to bringing a woman into his life due to the danger of it, but Rachel makes him wonder if it is possible to find happiness and love outside of his work. 

Rachel has had a rough time with men lately. She was attacked and knows if she tells anyone, they won't believe her. She knows she needs to keep her distance from men entirely. Especially the bad boy next door, Kash. But for some reason she is drawn to him and finds the safety she so badly needs. 

The friendship between Rachel and Kash grows until the attraction is undeniable. But their relationship is anything but easy. Rachel's attacker is on the prowl again and has his sights set, once again, on Rachel being his. Kash has to keep his true identity a secret to protect Rachel, but the secrets and unforgivable lies may be this couple's undoing.

I absolutely adored this book! Rachel was a wounded dove in need of care and respect. Kash was just such a guy to provide that. The danger each of them presented with Rachel's attacker and Kash's murderer was thrilling and riveting. I found myself transfixed and hungering for more and more story. 

There was only one aspect of the book I didn't care for and that was how dramatic Kash's lies seemed to be. I didn't find them to be as big of a deal as the female protagonist did. Perhaps that was simply because Rachel had a rough go of things and just didn't like having opened up when Kash didn't. I can understand it, but I didn't really enjoy the wedge of tension it caused between one of my favorite fictional couples. 

Forgiving Lies is the beginning of a contemporary series that will astound and delight. HIGHLY recommended read.

Available at:
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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review: Tempt Me with Darkness by Shayla Black @Shayla_Black

Title: Tempt Me with Darkness

Author: Shayla Black

Series: Doomsday Brethren #1

Publication date: August 26th, 2008

ISBN: 9781416558583

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
He's an immortal knight hungering for satisfaction...

As soon as Marrok sees Olivia Gray's dark windswept hair and burning violet eyes, he's sure they've met in eons past. He's felt her soft gentle curves writhing in pleasure beneath his own hard powerful body... Morganna! For centuries, towering Marrok, once the mightiest of King Arthur's warriors, has endured a terrible curse cast upon him when he spurned the witch.

She's a modern woman about to discover ancient magic...

Olivia shares a mystical--and irresistible--connection with brooding Marrok. Soon after the sexy warrior appears in her erotic dreams, he abducts her, demands she uncurse him. Their intense passion is more powerful--and intimate--than either of them has ever known. Olivia may be the key to unlocking the diary that will break Morganna's hold on his life. But in the wrong hands, the book also holds the power to destroy all magickind. As they search for answers, a ruthless wizard returned from exile is building an army of evil. When he discovers Marrok and Olivia have the diary, only their love--with the help of a powerful group of magical Brethren--can save them.

In my quest to read as many Book Bash Authors as I possibly could before the convention, it was only a matter of time before I dived into some of Shayla Black's books. I was a little put off by the cover simply because I have an aversion to men with long hair. I waffled a bit and then finally said 'to hell' with what the cover and started to read it anyway.

Black's world of the Doomsday Brethren opens with Marrok. He is a soldier from King Arthur's army who has lived much longer than he would have liked. He has watched everyone he loves and cares for die and turn to dust while he remained. All he wants is for the curse the witch, Morganna, placed on him to come to an end. He wants to die in peace and never have to wake another day on this Earth. Eventually, he dreams about a raven haired beauty with familiar violet eyes who beckons to him and tells him she is the key to his curse's undoing. Thinking he is coming up against Morganna in an attractive disguise he captures the young woman and demands she free him. All the while he struggles with the attraction that threatens to overshadow his desire for release from his eternal existence.

Olivia never thought the droolworthy man who abducted her would turn her life upside down in so many ways. She feels so much for him in such a short period of time that she offers to help him break the curse any way she can. She may not be the witch he thought she was, but she is destined for greatness in the magical world. She will help free Marrok from his curse, even if her heart breaks with the idea of him submitting to death.

Olivia and Marrok's quest to open the Morganna's diary to release Marrok from his curse leads to an evil entity who has designed on the diary for entirely different reasons. Now they must keep the diary safe not just to avoid losing the one tool that could help Marrok, but to save magickind entirely from utter destruction. All the while, the two must learn to trust one another or else lose each other forever.

There was so much suspicion in this book. Who was the rat in their ranks? Was Marrok or Olivia completely unselfish in their actions? Every member of the Brethren had beef with someone else within their numbers. It was chaos. I got frustrated on more than one occasion with Marrok and Olivia always suspecting the other of working against them or questioning their feelings. But, of course, that sort of drama is what kept the story going. It wouldn't be very thrilling if they all just trusted each other completely from the beginning. However, I did want to smack Marrok and Olivia on more than one occasion.

I enjoyed the world that was created. I liked that it was a nice break from vampires and werewolves. I also gushed a little at a small Harry Potter reference within the pages. This book actually does read a lot like an erotica version of Harry Potter. Possibly why I liked it so much?

Tempt Me in Darkness is a page turner from start to finish. It brings into question loyalty and love to the extinct of sacrifice and solidarity.

Available at:
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

Title: Reason to Breathe

Author: Rebecca Donovan

Series: Breathing #1

Publication date: June 4th, 2013

ISBN: 9781477817148

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.

I purchased this book along with the second in the series to read before meeting the author in June at Book Bash. I have been branching out into the contemporary genre for a while now so I figured this book would be a good addition to my library when I saw it. I had made it my personal goal to read at least one or two books from almost every author there in an attempt to be able to express my honest opinions to the authors when I meet them. I figured Reason to Breathe was worth a gander.

Emma has had an incredibly hard life. Her father died when she was very young and her mother became a shell of a person afterwards. When her mother decided the comfort of random men and the answer to her problems were at the bottom of a bottle Emma was sent to live with her father's brother and his wife. She didn't know the hell she was entering at twelve years old. Emma's aunt is a tyrant in her life and her uncle is blind to what is going on around him. Emma's aunt, Carol, has no qualms about physical violence and unleashes her wrath on Emma any chance she gets. To avoid undue stress to her young cousins, Emma stays silent about the abuse. All the while she is attempting to achieve perfection in hope of leaving her tumultuous living environment for that of an Ivy League school. She didn't plan for Evan.

Evan is the light in Emma's dark world, besides her best friend, Sara. But Evan doesn't understand her world. He doesn't understand the strict rules Emma has to follow nor why she is always so fearful of her aunt and uncle's reactions to her teenage rebellions. He just wants her to trust him, but Emma can trust no one but herself. All she can is do is exist from one day to the next and hope that she can make it until the day she can escape. Evan is a distraction she doesn't need but one she can't seem to stay away from.

Where the synopsis appeals to my inner romantic and bleeding heart, the story itself was a bit lackluster. I was immediately drawn in by the plight of Emma. She had to toe the line between her world of abuse and tight reigns while trying to achieve greatness so she can go further in her life. She was a bit niave for my taste. She didn't recognize when she was receiving male attention and had absolutely no clue how to navigate the dating pool. She would rather deny a relationship exists than acknowledge it. She pushes people away and bottles everything up. For an abuse victim, I was expecting to like Emma immediately, but that spark just didn't happen for me.

The romance between Evan and Emma seemed forced. It didn't flow well at all. Normally when a female protagonist rejects a connection with her male counterpart she is still inexplicably drawn to him. That didn't happen here. When Emma said "I don't like him" she bloody well proved it.

The writing was sporadic and non-sequential. There would be scenes referenced by the characters that were never actually in the book. It was them simply talking about something that happened that was not actually written in the text. I did a lot of back flipped trying to find one scene in particular that was VITAL to the story that was just nowhere to be found.

However... The cliffhanger at the end makes the possibility of reading the second book not entirely implausible.

Available at:
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire @JamieMcGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster

Author: Jamie McGuire

Series: Beautiful #1

Publication date: May 26th, 2011

ISBN: 9781476712048

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs--and wants--to avoid. He spent his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby's resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis's apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

This is one of those books where you hear so much good buzz about it you have to read it. But since I am a blogger with copious amounts of review books to read, I never really get to read for pleasure. So this delight was pushed to the back burner until Book Bash 2014 caused it to resurface. I have a determination to read as many books by authors attending as I can so I don't end up asking them to sign a book I haven't even looked at past the cover. I had never read anything by Jamie McGuire so I was anxious to do so before BB14.

Within the first pages we are introduced to Abby Abernathy. Externally she is the girl-next-door, but on the inside she has a dark past full of danger and pain. She has moved away from Wichita to attend Eastern University hoping for a fresh start where nobody knows of her or her infamous father. She has been raised around unpredicible, reckless people her entire life so when she first lays eyes on Travis Maddox she knows to stay well and truly far away from him. Problem is he is intrigued by her keeping this casanova at arm's length. Abby refuses to allow herself to notice the way Travis makes her feel because she knows if she gives in and sleeps with him she will just be another notch on his bedpost. Unable to keep him away she settles for a friendship. But what starts as nothing but best buddies turns into anything but.

Travis has had his share of women. He is the campus stud who has never dated and only ever had one-night-stands. Unfortunately, the one girl he wants now doesn't want him. The unusual "Pidgeon", as he calls her, is the only girl who has ever held his attention longer than it takes to get them naked. He demands to have her in any way possible. That even includes a reluctant friendship. But all the while this unfeeling cad starts to wonder if love is not such a impossible thing for him. Maybe Abby is the one who can soothe his hurt and tame the beast.

Abby and Travis have a lot of healing to do and perhaps with the help of each other they can allow themselves to trust what is developing between them. Maybe they can allow themselves to feel loved without fear for the first time in their lives.

I absolutely loved Abby and Travis as a couple, he was a smug player in the beginning and through Abby not taking any of his nonsense and calling him on everything he did she didn't agree with, he grew in a man. Abby also learned to eventually not let her past rule her life. I loved watching their feelings for each other grow. I cried for them and that is the best part of a book. When I feel so emotionally invested in a book that I feel joy and sorrow right along with them, that is the markings of a truly superior book.

Jamie McGuire reached the status of one of my favorite authors in leaps and bounds with Beautiful Disaster. It is a New Adult book that will make you fall in love with the genre and idolize the world of adorable Abby and tantalizing Travis.

Available at:
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