Posted in Book Tours

BOOK TOUR: The Time Until -Casey Ford (+ EXCLUSIVE Sam POV)

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18332469Synopsis

Alan Green and Samantha Cohn have known each other for as long as both can remember. They have a special relationship that has grown far beyond mere friendship.

Inseparable, Al and Sam have spent their lives with one another—from childhood secrets, through awkward teenage years, to finding themselves as adults—it’s always been the two of them together.

When unexpected tragedy hits, and Sam is left fighting for her life, Alan can only watch and wait. Left alone without his best friend, Alan spends his time reliving his past, ensnared in the memories of the chaotic relationship with the girl that stole his heart.

How would you spend the time until?

5 out of 5 STARS

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My Review

I had the privilege to Beta read The Time Until and the first time around, oh my god, I sat reading it, sobbing my heart out from start to finish. Both happy and sad tears. My emotions were all over the place and that in itself, to me anyway, is a book that I love. You make me cry, I will love you forever.

I have read this book three times and each time is just as emotional as the last despite knowing what is going to happen. Each time a little has changed and I think the final version is just pure amazing. Casey will have you hooked from the very start, wanting to know the beginning of Sam and Alan, wanting to journey through their time line, know about their friendship and how they go to the point they are at now…with Sam fighting for her life and Alan, his life also altered but he is petrified of life without Sam. Casey has a way with this story that you just cant and don’t want to put it down. You NEED to know what is going to happen, need to know their background but need to know if Sam lives or dies…and if she dies, how Alan is going to handle her death.

They have pretty much been inseparable since they were 5, and at 20, that’s a hell of a lot of time and years spent together. To lose her would kill him. My heart was hurting, my chest was hurting, I cried so hard that my make-up was running down my face and this book was all I could think about…and this was only when I was Beta’ing it, so I damn well know just how brilliant this story is if I was feeling all these emotions right from the beginning.

I don’t want to spoil the book, as I want YOU to read it and because so much happens during the time Sam is fighting for her life, from the past and the present of these two, how their families are coping and how their friends are there for both of them throughout the event. You find out so much from Alan, about his and Sam’s past, about how they became friends, everything they have been through together and separate and despite Sam being in a coma, you learn so much about her, her personality, her love, all from Alan and the flashbacks to the past and of course, how he talks about her in the present. You can really see how much he loves her, how he cant imagine life without her in it and how scared he is to loose her. It cant be an option to him, she has to live and be with him.

Casey makes you go through the motions with your emotions. I literally felt everything whilst reading this book, and bloody hell, what a debut it is. It is firmly on my ‘favourites’ shelf, not just of 2013, but of every book I’ve read. You can tell just how hard Casey worked on this book, to how he wanted it to be portrayed and read and he was spot on with everything – from the emotions, the storyline and especially how he keeps you hanging right until the end to see if Sam lives or dies. I was consumed within this book, needing to get to the end to know how it ended and it really is a great ending to the story of Sam and Alan.

If there is one book you buy today, then make it The Time Until. You will not be disappointed, you will sob your little heart out so hard but it’s worth every single word to get to the finish, to see how it ended….

So to you Casey, from Sugar Boobs, thank you so much for letting me Beta read this and everyone is going to love it, I just know it 😀 I look forward to reading more books from you in the future!

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Sam’s POV of the ‘First Kiss’

“Samantha can you go see what’s keeping Alan for me?  I think he went to get cleaned up by the concession stand.”  I nod my head and finish putting the folding chair into the back of the SUV.   I walk up to the stand, but don’t see any sign of Alan anywhere.

“Where did he go?” I ask myself.  Heading to the back of the stand, I hear the rustling of clothes.  I roll my eyes a bit and make my way toward the sound.

“Hey, Al, everyone is wa—”

HOLY SHIT!

Alan is standing there with his shirt halfway off his body and my heart has just died.  This is no pansy boy here.  No sir, this is a man.  A ripped, chiseled man.  Sweat beading down his chest causing his body to glisten in the fading sunlight.  I bite my bottom lip in an unconscious attempt to bite his stomach.  I shouldn’t be staring at him like this, but I have to.  My eyes are drawn to his stomach muscles as he flexes them slightly.  Despite knowing it’s for my benefit, the gesture makes me want to touch him.  His goal-keeper shorts hang low on his hips, showing a tantalizing view of his underwear – which hang just as low as his shorts.  My breathing freezes in my lungs and the slow burn is a welcome reminder that I’m alive and not in heaven.

I want this to be real.

He finishes taking off his shirt and his biceps work under his tight skin causing my temperature to sky rocket.  My feet move on their own and I suddenly find myself standing in front of him, eyes locked on his Spartan like abs.  He looks so delicious I can’t stop from feeling his muscles.  Slowly running my fingers along the hard edges of his brawn.  He shivers slightly at my touch and I fight to control the sudden surge of excitement from my knowledge that my touch causes that reaction in him.

Touching his body causes my body to heat more.  My core is so hot I’m surprised my pants haven’t started on fire.  The hot moisture causes my clothes to cling in a strangely enjoyable way.

If he was to touch me like I’m touching him I’d most likely explode into a nuclear explosion – or a supernova.

“Where did these come from?” I ask at barely a whisper.  It’s the loudest I can muster since my body has decided to stop lubricating my throat.  My eyes never leave Alan’s stomach, I’m not confident in my ability to control myself if I look into his eyes.

My control is fragile as it is right now.

“Where do you think?” he ask me back. “I run every day.  I have to stay in shape for soccer.”

Of course, I knew that.  I’m not an idiot, despite evidence to the contrary at the moment.

My other hand joins the first one in its exploration of Alan’s amazing new body.  I start to calm down a bit, but I can still feel my cheeks burn.  I risk a glance up at his face and immediately realize my mistake.

He’s majestic in his look of adoration.  The lingering drops of sweat make his face glow in the sunlight at his back.  He’s beautiful and all mine.  That thought brings a smile to my lips.  Looking at his lips I barely have time to ask myself what they would taste like before I got first-hand knowledge.  Alan’s body moves so fast I don’t even know what to do.  His heavenly body slams me against the wall and the pleasure of the force nearly causes me to moan.

Alan’s never been this forceful and dominating.  It feels amazing.  His powerful arms – which I’ve never taken the time to fully enjoy – hold me firmly but gently against his body as our lips explore each other.  The incredible taste of his warm lips cause me to forget to breath and I have to break away briefly to catch my breath and my bearings.

Alan has different ideas and my mouth in suddenly invaded by his tongue.  My eyes roll into the back of my head at the new sensation.  It’s intense and powerful, but also gentle and considerate.  He’s taken control but not enough to make me feel pressured.  I feel like I could say “stop” at any time and there would be no hesitation.

I decide to give in to him completely at this moment.  I want to see how far he’s willing to take this new and very much approved attitude.

I start to slip from his grasp and before I can readjust he grasps my ass to hold me up.  The gesture causes a surge of lust to shoot through my wet body.  The sudden emotion and response makes me gasp slightly and moan loudly into his mouth.  My mind starts to fall into bliss, but I can make out a wicked smile on his lips before I disappear.  Wild anticipation intrudes on my bliss as I wonder what he has in store for me now.

His tongue slides slowly down my neck and the resulting goose-bumps send chills down my back and more lust to my already willing and waiting core.  He pushes against me harder as he sucks on my collarbone and feeling his obvious excitement makes me lose even more control.  I can’t control my strength when I crush his face into my chest.

His need hits a certain spot on my wetness and I nearly pass out from the sensation.

“Oh my god,” I scream in-between breathes.  Oh my god is right…  this feels godly.  Why does it ever have to stop?  I might just shatter into a million pieces if he does.

Alan takes my mouth again and I enjoy the swollen feeling that comes from it.

“I love you,” Alan whispers into my mouth.

The entire world grinds to a swift and decisive stop.  I remember what we’re doing.

He’s my best friend.

What the hell am I thinking?

“Wow,” a small voice comes from next to us.  Still in a confused trance of pleasure and shock, I turn my head with Alan to see his sister standing there.  Alan jumps away and I immediately regret not savoring his delectable smell and feel before, I miss it now.  But knowing what we were just doing causes me to forget my regret.

We shouldn’t be doing that, ever.  We’re friends not lovers.  What would happen if things didn’t work out?  It would disastrous.  I need Alan.  He’s been my rock and comfort for so long.  I can’t lose him simply because of something like lust I mistake for love.

But he says he loves me.  Is it real love?  How long has that been?

Alan is talking to his sister.  I can’t focus on them at the moment, I’m trying to keep from going crazy from worry.

I can’t lose him.

The thought alone is enough to send fear blasting through my very soul.  My heart seizes in my chest at the potential abandonment.

No, I can never let that happen!

“That never should have happened,” I tell him and a pinch of pain attacks my heart at his dropped face.  This has to be done.

“What do you mean?” he asks me and the hurt evident in his voice cause me to second guess my decision before fear takes over again.  I get up and push his hand out of the way.  Maybe I should explain a little.  He might understand if I tell him my reasoning behind all this.

“Sam?” The pain in his voice convinces me that nothing will help the situation.  I take a step back when he steps up to me.  I’m not scared of him, but his touch will be my undoing right now.  Words start spilling from my mouth with no thought behind them.

“This is all wrong…  We can’t…  I don’t want…” I don’t want to change our relationship.  We can’t do this.  This doesn’t feel wrong, but I think it is.

I have to get out of here before his sorrowful, majestic face cause me to break in two.  I bolt for the car and spend the rest of the ride home in silent contemplation.  We can still go back to how we used to be…

Right?

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GIVEAWAY!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Casey

I like to write and love just about anything romance [Except triangles, I hate triangles…. Oh! And Squares! They’re the worst].

Anyway, I live with my wife and two kids in good ole U.S.of A. and I actually work full time as a Graphic Designer. I write to relieve stress and because I like to create stories.

The Time Until is my first book and it’s both a joy and a chore to write.

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Links to The Time Until

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CanadaB&N | Nook | Smashwords | ITunes

Posted in Colleen Hoover, New Adult

Losing Hope (#2) – Colleen Hoover

17340050Synopsis

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

5 /5 Stars

My review of HOPELESS

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My Review

If you’ve read my Hopeless review, you will know how much I adored that book. Like seriously? It’s on my favourites list and Holder is definitely a book boyfriend. When Colleen said she was writing a book in Holders POV and his story, well that book was going on my TBR list asap. Hopeless is pure amazing and I knew Losing Hope would be too.

I was not disappointed at all. Thank to NetGalley, I downloaded my copy and in two days, Losing Hope was read. It was devoured. I was sucked in and entranced by every word, every page and every feeling and thought Holder was telling us.

The fact that Losing Hope is NOT a retell of Hopeless…well I just love it. Yes there are certain scenes that are told in Holder’s POV but this is HIS story. His story from losing his sister, to finding Sky to finding Hope along the way. HIS story of how he began to live, how he fell in love, how he learnt to forgive and breathe again.

I had seen tweets that Losing Hope was more emotional than Hopeless and they were not wrong. A few pages in and I had to hold back the tears as I was in public. I ugly cried throughout the book, I felt every single emotion from Holder; I wanted to climb into my kindle and hug the shit out of him. I wanted to be there for him, be Sky and let him fall in love with me. Help him through everything he was going through.

If you have yet to fall in love with Holder in Hopeless, by god, you will completely and madly and totally in love with him in Losing Hope. He literally has my heart now. (I say this a lot. But it’s fine. It’s not cheating if they are from different books.) Daniel, Holder’s best friend also has a piece of my heart. He is utterly brilliant!

Colleen has written an AMAZING book in Losing Hope. She has you sucked in from the first page, she has you laughing, crying – ugly crying that is -, wanting to know everything about Holder. You feel. You feel everything in the book. There is no getting out of it and you won’t want to either because you will cherish all these feels.

We knew Holder was intense in Hopeless, but hes really intense in Losing Hope. But you can kind of understand why. I loved that you could see the story through Holder’s eyes. Experience his story and his feelings when that certain event happened. If you thought you knew Holder in Hopeless, you are mistaken. You won’t truly know him until you read Losing Hope.

Holder will completely surprise you. He did with me and there are certain scenes where I felt for him. My heart ached for him and although I understood why he did it, I wanted him to forgive himself, let himself love and this is why he and Sky were so perfect together. They were right together because they balanced each other out. They knew what they other needed without exchanging words. They knew each other well enough to know what the other was feelings.

“I live you Sky…I live you so much”

Just the littlest things they did meant so much to one another and I love this kind of love. It’s the purest form and they both definitely love one another so much that they can’t live without each other.

Holder is angry, hes confused, hes scared and he can’t forgive himself for losing both his girls but you watch him slowly fall in love, slowly learn to forgive himself and his sister, learn that he can breathe again and that Sky is the end game for him. She’s everything to him and he can’t and will never lose her again. It would kill him.

We see him relationship with his sister, Les, with his mum and of course Sky. We see different sides to him, sides you will fall in love with, sides you will want to smack his head but you will understand why, why he acted that way, why he did that certain thing. And in the end you will sob your heart out, be madly in love with Holder and love the journey he has been through in the last 13 months, see how far hes come, especially with Sky.

NOW to Daniel, Holder’s best friend. I cannot tell you how hilarious this dude is. The first time he is mentioned, I wanted to kiss him because the things he says are just so freaking funny. He is an awesome best friend to Holder, protecting him and sticking up for him, even wanting to get into fights for him. You know he will always have your back. The banter between him and Holder had me in stitches and you can really see the bromance between the two. It was lush to see that Holder had someone who cared for him and would do anything for him.

The ending was perfect. You see the closure that Sky and of course Holder needed. The closure to breathe again, to learn to love and forgive and let go of the grief that was held up inside of him. You see he and Sky come along way, a life where they are both in love with each other, a life where they are the end game and are happy together – happy to have finally found each other again.

Although it would be totally lush to have a book beyond Hopeless and losing Hope, I love the fact that it ended like that. Where Holder learnt to forgive and he and Sky are off to start the rest of their lives together. The way it should be.

If you have get to read Hopeless, please do get it. It is easily one of my favourites and I cannot recommend it enough. You will love Sky and Holder. Then go and buy Losing Hope and fall even more in love with Holder and his story this time. There are a lot of surprises and twists in losing Hope that aren’t in Hopeless and you will feel every emotion, and cry your eyes out. Remember what I said….if a book makes you cry, it’s a bloody, damn great one!

Posted in Book Tours, New Adult, Rachel Brookes

BOOK TOUR: Just Breathe – Rachel Brookes

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Synopsis

For Savannah Rae, living life without her parents was unimaginable. But being blamed for her first love’s suicide? That destroyed every part of who she was.

Gone were the days of innocence, happiness, and dreams. Now her days simply meant attempting to survive. In her mind, her only means for that was replacing her grief with men, booze and the fast life. And for five years, it worked.

When an opportunity to leave the nightmares of her past in Australia opens up, she takes it. Los Angeles beckons – with hopes of late nights, new beginnings, and the promise of a string of endless men to distract her, she can’t wait to dive in.

One thing she didn’t count on was meeting her match.

In the eyes of outsiders, Tate Connors has it all; the ultimate LA bachelor who is content with his lifestyle of wild nights, women and one night stands. He’s Mr. Unpredictable with looks that could destroy any woman with one glance.

The craziness of Los Angeles throws them into the chaotic path of each other. Savannah becomes the perfect game, and Tate becomes the ultimate prey. Lines are crossed, emotions are smashed, and the idea of who they truly are begins to be tangled.

However, one thing will become clear.

They are more alike than either one could ever have imagined

5 /5 stars

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My Review

“Yes, I don’t own you, Savannah, but you know what? You fucking own me. You have since the first time I met you…”

I’ve known Rachel for a few months now, and I have been utterly peeing my pants over wanting to read Just Breathe, I even made her send me small teasers – okay, that’s a lie, she voluntarily sent me teasers in a DM during the countdown to me getting an ARC of Just Breathe. I’m such a lucky girly! I got more Tate 😉

I’m not sure if I should be telling you this but blah…a few days before I got my ARC, Rachel sent me the prologue and chapter 1 and 2 to tide me over until I got the little gem in my inbox. LIKE WHATTTT, I need more. But I didn’t get anything more. I was and still am under the Tate Connors effect and dear god, all you will too when you read Just Breathe. It’s hard to resist.

As a debut novel, Ms. Brookes has written a cracker of a book. Seriously, it is amazing, and if you haven’t yet downloaded it, I’d get right on it!! From the prologue you will become hooked. You may cry – I sure as hell did and you will swoon because the prologue is just so sweet. It pours with love and Rachel does a brilliant job of making you feel the emotions of the characters involved, especially Sav and Tate.

Rachel’s writing flows, the plot flows and once you start, you will neeeeed to get to the end, to see what happens. If there is a cliff-hanger or if it ends perfectly so book two will carry off from there? If you follow me on twitter, you will know from my posts how much I was loving this book, how much I was loving the characters and how every time I was reading in public, it was like Rachel knew I was surrounded by people so a sex scene had to come alone and get me all hot and bothered.

But because I love Rachel, I could let that go and just focus on the beauty of all the characters, the way they all love each other and of course, the love between Tate and Sav.

Savannah ‘Sav’ Rae hasn’t had the best life; it’s been hard to say the least. Losing her parents at a young age, and then being blamed for the suicide of her ex-boyfriend can turn anyone’s life upside down and so because of this tragedy so doesn’t want to give her heart away again, so she rebels, she becomes a player, she drinks away the pain and uses guys. That’s who Sav is now and it’s how she copes. But when an opportunity to leave Australia and start afresh in LA calls, she jumps at the chance to leave everything behind.

Tate Connors is the ultimate playboy. The ultimate bachelor who is completely content with his ways; booze, girls and wild nights. With one glance of those blue eyes and he can have girls dropping their panties in an instant. Then one spot of Sav and he knows shes a challenge. He wants her and it seems that from the looks of things, she wants him too.

But there’s more to them than meets the eye. What started as a challenge has turned into more, for both of them and with emotions and lines being crossed and tangled, one this is clear, they are more alike than either of them imagined.

Uhh Tate. The blue eyed sex-on-a-plate guy, who you would literally just want to devour, even if it was just for one night. You would definitely get a fix of him and one look and you will be under the Tate Connor’s effect and drop your panties and mumble incoherent words while he smoulders you with his eyes. NO, I am not overreacting, just you wait and see. Tate will surprise you throughout the book. He surprised me a hell of a lot and I loved that about him. He really is unpredictable. One minute hes douche then the next hes all lovely. Much like Sav, hes a broken man, his past still haunts him but he drinks and sleeps around as a persona, to hide away the pain. That is until Sav walks into his life. Once a to him, she switches him upside down until he doesn’t know what the hell he is doing, apart from wanting to be with Sav.

Despite his playboy nature at the beginning, you really do see Tate blossom. You see his protective side, his possessive side, his sweet side, his sexy side but also his vulnerable side, a painful side where we learn about his past too. We see him journey, from playboy to falling in love and it was so nice to see Tate find someone he could love so much and who reciprocated the feelings. He is a jealous boy and at times I wanted to smack him around the head because he was being a silly fool but he got there in the end and you just fall in love with him. Here is to book two and seeing how he and Sav progress with their relationship. DO NOT hurt my boy Rachel, or I will hunt you down in Aussieland and force you to change the book…but you already know this as I have told you I will do this!

Sav is such an awesome character too. Despite her past and her pain, she is strong. She has to be, she can’t let it get to her, so the drink and the partying and the guys become the norm for her.

She is the female equivalent of Tate and when she spots him, she notices all the moves he does, because she does them too. She sleeps with guys then leaves but something about Tate makes her insides fuzzy and she feels. She doesn’t want to though and not feeling helps her with to not deal with her past and the pain.

Despite her being a strong, independent character, you slowly watch Sav break – in a good way – and watch her develop feelings – for her best friends and for Tate. They scare her as she has never really had a girlfriend before and she doesn’t want to love after being told shes the reason her ex killed himself. But it was refreshing to see this side to her. The side where she was vulnerable to love and how her strong persona cracked a bit when a certain event happen on a day where it was such a big night for her.

Despite all this, Sav can really hold her own against everyone, especially Tate and I loved their bickering and banter and their fights. It all added into the sexual tension and the need for one another when they were resisting. But of course, with two gorgeous people wanting to jump one another, it was inevitable that it was going to happen sooner or later.

Tate and Sav have this connection. Like this super sexy and magnetic connection. It’s instant, the moment their eyes meet and you can see they are both affected by one another. Their sexual tension was just holy hell. Their chemistry was electric and you could literally feel it when you read about the two of them together. The banter they gave each other was hysterical, the cute moments were adorable and they were both just made for one another. They had both been dealt the same shitty cards in their life that together, they knew what the other was going through and could begin to help one another out. I loved Sav and Tate together.

I absolutely adore all the secondary characters. Seriously they are the bomb. The bond they have is just unbreakable. They are there for each other; they love one another unconditionally and have each other’s backs. I love friendship groups like this, who can just relax and make fun of each other and banter like hell. Tanzi, Jack, Lucas are just all brilliant and they welcome Sav with open arms.

Now, I can’t forget my love – Mr Davenport. He is swoon worthy and had me from the get go. I went a bit mad to Rachel over him when I first read him because he is bleeding awesome. This line from him just confirmed how bloody brilliant he is and I knew that my love for him would jus grow throughout the book and it did. Simon Baker is my Mr. Davenport.

For the last fucking time, please call me Simon. You make me sound like some kind of pimp when you call me Mr. Davenport”

Can you see how much I love this guy?! Just remember, I have dibs on him. Yupp, I really do.

Now, after my swooooooning, I have to talk about the sex. C’mon, would you expect anything less from me? No? That’s better. You all know I love sex in books, and by god, Rachel got me all hot and bothered with the sex scenes between Tate and Sav. There a quite a lot and by god, you literally lap them up. Rachel knows how to write a sex scene that is intense and steamy and wants you just want to fan yourself and then search for your own Tate to jump on. They sizzle, burn, pop and where they have sex is just another thing. I love water hahaahha 😉

As I’ve said, Just Breathe is an amazing book. Its full of banter and angst and heartache but its filled with love  and friendship and it was a great book to snuggle up in bed with and read on the way to work…baring in mind most of the sex scenes occurred on the way to work.

I would highly recommend Rachel’s book to you lovely lot, you will not be disappointed. I just wish book two was out now so I can carry on Tate and Sav’s journey.

Hurry up Aussie 😉

Posted in Cover Reveal

COVER REVEAL: Catching Liam – Sophia Bleu

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 BOOK AND AUTHOR INFO:

Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu
Publication date: Summer 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary

Synopsis:

Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn’t just a game for Jillian and her friends, it’s a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you’re bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can’t—or perhaps won’t—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn’t want to be another notch on Jillian’s bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa’s set expiration date means he can’t promise her forever. That doesn’t mean he’s going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they’re playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17839132-catching-liam
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SophiaAUTHOR BIO
Sophia Bleu is a secret identity where I can write about fantasies and falling in love and all the smexiness in between. In real life, I’m likely catching a plane, chasing kids, or making out with the love of my life—all 6 ft 3 inches of hotness that he is. Life is pretty good.

Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter

Posted in Family, Romance, Suspense

Too Close – Elizabeth Krall

17379064Synopsis

What rules would you break for the one you love? What lies would you tell?

Three weeks before their wedding day, Nicola and Greg discover that they may have the same mother.
They met when Greg joined the San Francisco newspaper where Nicola is the travel editor. After six months, eager to start a life together and raise a family, they decide to marry.
When Nicola finally meets his family in Seattle, and mentions the circumstances of her adoption, Greg’s horrified mother is forced to reveal the shameful secret she has kept for 36 years.
As they struggle to deal with her revelation, their relationship is challenged and strained. If his mother’s suspicions are true, they will be forced into a devastating choice: break all of society’s rules and fight for their love, or break their hearts and give each other up.
It will be the greatest test their newfound love has faced – and their love may not survive.

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My Review

What would you do if the love of your life could somehow be related to you?

Nicola and Greg meet at work. Nicola, after being burnt by her ex-boyfriend, who was also a colleague, has sworn off dating colleagues since then. But then she meets Greg and he proves to her that he would never hurt her and bit by bit he breaks down that wall and they end up falling fast for one another, becoming engaged after just six months.

Three weeks before the wedding and a trip to meet Greg’s family in Seattle, Nicola mentions her circumstances of being adopted after showing a family photo to Greg’s mother. In turn, Greg’s mother Mona is forced to confess and reveal a shameful moment that happened to her 36 years ago; a secret she has kept hidden from everyone. She had a baby and left it, just like the story Nicola told them.

After the revelation, Greg and Nicola’s relationship changes. They both struggle with the fact they could be half-brother and sister, but they try to put it at the back of their mind until the DNA results come back. But it’s harder to forget this situation and it challenges them both. What will happen if they are related? Will they break up and never see each other again or will they break society’s rules and run away together, some place where no one will ever know their secret?

Their love is being tested to the limit and will all these ‘what ifs’ in the way, will their love survive this terrible ordeal?

I came across Too Close on accident really. I was just looking for some books to download on Amazon and this book sprang to my attention. Clicking on it to see what it was about, I knew I had to read it. I had never read a book about a couple maybe being related but from the start I was completely hooked. I wanted to know how the realization that they could be related came to light and how it was dealt with as really, it is such a delicate and emotional issue to deal with but I felt Ms. Krall wrote this book spectacularly. She dealt with the issue in a seriousness matter but also in a way to kind of bring a light release to the issue.

She had me feeling every emotion all the characters’ felt, especially Greg, Nicola, Mona – Greg’s mother and Gwen – Nicola’s adoptive mother. I could see everyone’s side during the waiting for the results, especially both Greg and Nicola’s constant arguments over the whole ‘sibling’ thing because they both had very different views on what to do over it. I was on edge until the DNA results were shown because I just had to know the outcome. I had come to love Greg and Nicola and I hated that it could be over before it truly began for them. I love it when books evoke a whole load of emotions from me because you know it’s a great book when that happens!

As the synopsis mentions, Greg and Nicola meet at a bar one night where everyone from work goes to on a Friday. They seem to really get on and there is an obvious attraction for both of them but Max, a work colleague, tells Greg that Nicola doesn’t go out with work colleagues since her ex-boyfriend cheated on her throughout their relationship with her boss. Greg is determined to make her change her mind about her rule and starts off little, asking her out just as friends. Nicola knows this isn’t true, that it is a date, but somehow she doesn’t seem to care. She likes Greg and after a few more dates, it seems the rule is broken.

They fall for each other fast. Spending nearly every day together and one night, after being together for 6 months, they talk about children and getting married, which leads to them becoming engaged. Although it seems rushed, you can really see the chemistry and the love the both of them have for one another and when you know you’ve found the one, why would you wait? Love has no time limit.

Nicola’s parents and siblings really like Greg, so when it’s her turn to meet Greg’s parents, three weeks before the wedding, shes really nervous. She gets on well with his parents and his sister but when she tells the story of her adoption that is when everything goes pear shaped and secrets from Mona’s past  are about to come to the surface and are set to test their relationship and love for one another. Could Greg and Nicola really be brother and sister?

It was so heartbreaking to think that they could be half-brother and sister. It tore my heart apart that Nicola and Greg loved each other so when this revitalisation came to light, it was so hard to watch them both struggle over what to do about that information and how to handle it. Greg seemed to adjust to it, trying to push it to the back of his mind. This was HIS Nicola, and no way could they be related, it just couldn’t be. But Nicola had a hard time dealing with it. She had never wanted to meet her real mother and knowing that the love of her life could be her brother and knowing Mona could be her mother just didn’t feel right to her at all. It was all she could think about.

Greg tried so hard to get her to forget that they could be related. He’d tell her that it’s ‘just me, it’s just us’ and he would do anything for her. For them to spend two weeks not knowing what the results of the DNA test would be was completely harrowing and gripping to read.

Greg has strong religious beliefs and so he knows that incest is a sin. Whereas Nicola isn’t religious and she wants to fight for their relationship if they are related. They fight a lot over this; religion being a main factor over the fights. I also though Greg was being hypercritical over the whole incest fight they had. It seemed he was okay being with Nicola knowing they could be related the past two weeks but when she tells him that there could be a way they could stay together if the results came back positive, he just went off the rails about how incest is a sin.

To love someone so much and find out you may be related, it’s got to be heartbreaking and emotional and such a tough situation to go through. I really understood the way they were acting; biting at one another with their ‘what if’s’ but also needing to be with one another, to support each other throughout the turmoil until they got the results back. I could never imagine myself in this situation, let alone think about what I would do if I was in this position.

I could really feel the emotions pouring from Nicola and Greg. To be put in this position, then having to wait for the results would cause havoc and uncertainty for anyone who goes through results like this or any other results.

You really do root for them not to be brother and sister though, because they truly are meant to be. They have both been badly hurt in the past and to finally meet and fall in love in such a short amount of time seemed like the right thing for them. They loved each other dearly and it’s clear to see they would do anything for one another. Greg fought from the start to breaking down Nicola’s barriers and thank god he was the one to break her rule. It was clear there was an instant attraction between them that going fast was just something that happened and it felt right.

I really don’t want to tell you what happened at the end with the results and I don’t want to write about the end and whether I enjoyed it or not because that would spoil the outcome. Let’s just say I cried at the results and leave it like that.

There are a few scenes I loved reading but I have to say the ‘bondage’ scene at the hotel. That made me completely giggle when I read it because they are both just so comfortable together, they both kind of take the piss out of BDSM, with Greg telling Nicola she would be a rubbish sex slave. I could definitely imagine that scene playing out in my mind, at how at ease they were together and how they could just laugh at the toys in the box that Greg’s sister sent them. It was nice that they could just forget about the situation they were in, even if it was just for a couple of hours. Where they could just be together and not worry about anything.

Gosh, you really do go through the emotions reading Too Close but I am so glad I found this book and got the chance to read it. It was great to see how this situation affected the families and friends they both had and their input and advice into their situation. Each character had something different to input and I loved the friends that Greg and Nicola had, they were with them from the start, supporting them.

Elizabeth Krall has written an amazing book in Too Close and I insist that you all read it!! It is different from other books I read, as I have yet to read a book like this, but boy am I glad. It’s a page turner. It’s about love, a struggle, a journey but most of all fighting for love. I definitely recommend this book to you all!

 

 

 

Posted in Romance

You Had Me At Hello – Mhairi McFarlane

Synopsis

What happens when the one that got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

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My Review

436 pages of pure bliss. It gave me laughter, tears, showed me great friendships, a history of two people who met in university but haven’t seen or speak in 10 years and quite a bit of drama.

You Had Me At Hello has been on my reading list for a few weeks. Amazon recommended it to me before it was out and I knew I had to buy it – the synopsis definitely drew me in because I love a ‘love story’ and the line “What happens when the one that got away comes back?” had me intrigued over what and how Rachel/Ben get back into each other’s lives after so long.

Rachel and Ben meet at university. Rachel is in a long distance relationship and Ben has endless girlfriends over the years, but the two never made it past the platonic stage.

10 years later, Rachel is still living in Manchester with her boyfriend, or should we say ex-fiancé and is still best friends with her university housemates. She hasn’t see or spoken to Ben in ten years and when she hears he’s back in Manchester, she makes a plan to accidently bump into him. Thing is, Rachel feels all her old emotions for Ben slipping back the more time they spend together, but it’s completely bad – Ben is now married.

From the beginning I was engrossed as it started with Ben and Rachel at university. Anything that reminds me of university has my vote as I have only just graduated back in July and so it kind of made me feel all these emotions about my three years. Reading what Ben and Rachel got up to in uni, how they became two peas in a pod, how they cared so deeply for one another and would do anything for each other – it was just so cute especially when Rachel was ill and Ben took care of her – on HALLOWEEN! When it’s the night to dress up and get steaming drunk for students.

The chapters jump from Ben and Rachel’s back story, their time in university, to their lives in the present day.  Both characters were great to read about – both had a witty, sometimes sick sense of humour, which I absolutely love. Even after ten years, the slipped back into being friends, although sometimes feelings crept up but you could see that Ben still cared for Rachel, making sure she was okay during a massive bust up between his friend Simon – total creep – and Rachel over a scandal that was nationally published.

Rachel was an awesome character, and I really did feel every little emotion she felt throughout the book, which in turn had me laughing, gasping or crying, depending on what was happening. Her relationship with Caroline, Ivor and Mindy was so freaking lush, and it was really nice to see their friendship last years after university.  Although things happened with everyone in the group, you could see that they were there for each other at the click of a finger and that friendship is something that you need to keep.

You do FINALLY find out what happened between the two of them, and it had me crying and screaming at my Kindle. I even had to put it down to collect my thoughts about what I had just read. Books really do affect me.

The line that really got to me was this: “University’s like this little world, a bubble of time separate from everything before and everything after.” THIS right here is sad but true.

A few pages before the ending completely ripped my heart into pieces but I understood the reasoning but then the ending – my shattered heart began to heal and constrict at my chest over the pure love I have for this book.

It was such a great read that I couldn’t put it down. Albeit, it is a long book, at 436 pages but if you want to read about the one who got away only to come back, this book is definitely the ‘love’ story for you.