Saturday, November 30, 2013


THE WEEKLY REWIND is a weekly post in which I recap the bookish awesomeness from the past week, and post a book haul.  

Book Haul

For Review:
 Searching for Someday (Searching For, #1)Bound (The Mastered Series, #1)Perfect Together (Serendipity's Finest, #3)Melting the Ice (Play by Play, #7)Before You BreakRome (Marked Men, #3)All He Needs (All Or Nothing, #2)
All He Ever Needed (Kowalski Family, #4)Crazy Thing Called Love (Crooked Creek Ranch, #3)
Amazon Freebies:
Private Paradise (Private, #2)The Inconvenient Duchess (The Radwells #1)
For Review Consideration:
Gabriel's Redemption (Gabriel's Inferno, #3)Reconstructing Amelia
Thanks to:
  • Gallery Books
  • NAL
  • Intermix
  • Berkley
  • William Morrow
  • Forever
Last Week's Reviews

This Week's Reviews 
  • Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
  • When It's Right by Jeanette Grey
  • Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye
  • Full Throttle by Erin McCathy
  • Crash Into Me by Tracy Wolff
This is what's up for grabs this week.
Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange, #3)  Pure (Pure, #1)
 (cover leads to GoodReads)
Must be 18 years of age to enter. Open to US only.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Sexy Saturdays with Andrea and Autumn is a weekly meme created to spread the word about spicy reads. 

Participating blogs:
The Autumn Review
Way Too Hot Books

**If you would like to participate, let us know and we will happily add you on.**

Strip SearchSeries: Sexy Capers #2
Genre: Erotic Romance/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Source: Received from publisher
Rating: 3.5 stars

If the Feds want to nail a Mafia kingpin, they need a trap. Enter Mark Sullivan, totally built for the job-to go undercover as a male stripper in the mobster's Vegas club. The club's owner, Nicki, is an unexpected perk. But Mark and Nicki have more in common than sizzling sexual chemistry. They each have their share of secrets, and with the mob closing in, what gets exposed is as irresistible as it is dangerous.

Shayla Black is an author's who's been recommended to me time and again as I've ventured more into erotic romance. I own several of her books, including the first in this series. It was time to see if I would fall in love like many other readers.

I liked Strip Search, quite a bit. The writing was good. The characters were challenging and fully-developed. The sex was crazy hot. Strip Search read as romantic suspense, as well as erotic romance, which is a good thing because I am currently enjoying the heck out of romantic suspense. Here's the story: Mark is investigating a money laundering scheme, and it centers around Nicki, the owner of an exotic dance club. Mark apparently is gorgeous and sexy, so to get inside, he signs on as a dancer. Fun, right? Readers are quickly clued in to whether Nicki is involved, but poor Mark is not. He's all tied up in conflicting feelings due to the betrayal by his ex-wife, the similarity of that situation to what might be going on with Nicki. He wants to believe Nicki is innocent, but a lot of signs point to her guilt. It doesn't help that the two want to get it on basically from the moment they meet. What happens when you fall for the woman you're investigating? Or even better, what happens when she finds out that while the man she's fallen for might not be lying about his feelings, but he has lied about so, so much?

Once Mark is established in the club, Strip Search sort of moves into a holding pattern. It basically goes like this: intense and suggestive flirting; the tension builds until Mark and Nicki are left clawing each other's  clothes off; wicked hot sex that leaves the vulnerable and reeling; self-loathing on Mark's part for sleeping with the possible enemy; Nicki is left confused, hurt, and vowing to never sleep wit Mark again, but the next time he makes his move, they're at it again. Repeat cycle (again and again). And honestly, though I got where he was coming from, Mark was a gigantic ass to Nicki. This rotation of events went on for a large portion of the story, and I admit, it began to get old. I think Black was being true to her (very stubborn) characters, so I don't know that things should have gone altogether differently, but it did eventually bog the story down, for me.

Where Strip Search hit the mark, besides that fun premise, is the intimate, sexy scenes between Mark and Nicki. The scenes were good 'n plenty. Mark is a really dirty talker, and that's always a big  ol' tick in the Win column for me. Mark and Nicki were passionate individuals who started off using sex as a way to get off, and because their chemistry was crazy hot. But as the story continues and their relationship and the complications developed, it became a way to express their emotions and passion. It spoke volumes.

I did like Strip Search, despite having an issue with the repetitive plot. I will definitely be reading more of Black in the future.

Favorite Quotes:

  She closed her eyes. "Nothing good can come from this."
  No doubt, she was right. After all, Nicki was a suspect.
  But with every word, every scrap of resistance, she tested the unraveling thread of his patience. He'd never found himself so hungry, so demanding of a woman, felt such a deep need to have her full cooperation in her own surrender. Something about Nicki...She had to submit utterly; he wouldn't accept anything less.  ~pg. 165

  "Open them," he demanded.
  She frowned. "What?"
  Mark smiled at the raspy tone in her voice. "Your eyes. Your legs. I want all your secrets bare for me."   pg. 238

Purchase Strip Search
Sexy Capers Series
Bound and Determined  Strip Search
(click on cover to visit GoodReads page)

About the author
Shayla BlackShayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley) is the national bestselling author of 25+ sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances for multiple print and electronic publishers. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

Shayla has won or placed in over a dozen writing contests, including Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the National Reader’s Choice Awards. Romantic Times has awarded her Top Picks, a KISS Hero Award and a nomination for Best Erotic Romance of 2007.

A writing risk-taker, Shayla enjoys tackling writing challenges with every book.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook GoodReads


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I've been having a hard time with my reviews lately, even for the books I love. So you will notice (or not) that I'm trying out a new review format. I'm hoping this format will help me organize my thoughts in a way that satisfies me, and helps other readers decide if the book being reviewed is for them. This is a work in progress...

Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles, #1)Series: The Ivy Chronicles #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs. Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

First Impression ....Foreplay seems like the "typical" New Adult story. But my friends swear it's great, so I'm hoping they're right.

The Story... Pepper has waited her whole life - saved herself - for one boy, Hunter. The brother of her long-time best friend, Hunter only sees Pepper as family. In an effort to learn the art of attraction, of getting and keeping his attention, Pepper seeks out Reece, a man with a reputation for satisfaction. As Pepper and Reece get to know one another, it's clear they have something special. But Pepper refuses to let go of her dream of Hunter. As the time to make her move comes, Pepper must decide if she wants that old dream, or find a new one with Reece.

The Characters ... Pepper and Reece, though different in many ways, both have a painful past, and have built necessary walls. Pepper, though she has friends, is lonely. She definitely has abandonment and trust issues. Though it's clear from the get-go that she's totally barking up the wrong tree with Hunter, it's really easy to see why she's wanted him for so long. It's almost enough to see why she is so, so blind, even with the handsome, sweet, charismatic, and caring Reece right in front of her face. While I liked Pepper, Reece is what made this story for me. It was his personality, the way he let Pepper be who she wanted to be, make her own decisions, and waited for her to wake up and see what she could have with him.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a handsome guy, but the hot book guys are a dime-a-dozen. Give me a good guy any day of the week.

Foreplay also had a nice cast of secondary characters. Peppers suitemates, Emerson and Georgia were fun, though Em could be a bit much at times. You know, that quirky, crazy BFF? I'm having thoughts, though, that maybe Emerson has a story to tell, too. Hunter, the object of Pepper's affections, was in the story very little, but he also seemed like an interesting -very good- guy. And Logan. That boy was something else!

The Writing .... Sophie Jordan is widely praised for her writing, and now I know why. Though Foreplay was over three hundred pages, it was a very fast read. It got off to an interesting start, never lagged in the middle, and the ending was fairly strong, and not rushed. I will say that though I really did like her writing, the physical descriptors, in regards to Reece, were too much. I was well aware that the dude was way hot for the get-go. It was not necessary to repeatedly remind me how carved/cut/sculpted he was and that his muscles rippled and bunched every time he moved. That issue, combined with the overall predictability, are the only aspects that took my overall enjoyment down a notch.

The Heat ... was just the right amount, considering the story. Pepper's education was thorough, but Foreplay was never taken over by the physical.

Could I Put Foreplay Down? .... The story got off to a good start, never lagged in the middle, but I wasn't consumed. The last one-fourth of the book, though, really picked up in emotional intensity and I could not put it down. I didn't cry, or become overwhelmed, but I had to know how what was going to happen between Pepper and Reece. Who would she pick?

In the End ...
Foreplay, though not completely new and fresh, was a very, very enjoyable story. Good writing, good story, great characters.

Favorite Quotes:

  "I can spot you a mile away with this hair. It's like candlelight. A thousand different colors."
  "A poet bartender," I murmured, settling my hand against his upper chest.
  "Sweetheart, every bartender is a poet."
  "I guess you get to see quite a bit of the world from behind the bar."
  "I see enough. I saw you."  

  "I like your laugh, too," I whispered, feeling pulled in, cozy in the cocoon of his bed.
  I flattened my palm over his chest, enjoying the sensation of the firm flesh, even warm as it was. He sighed, like my cool hand offered him some relief.
  "I laugh more since you came around," he said quietly, his lips barely forming the words.  
Purchase Foreplay

About the author
Sophie JordanSophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.

A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature - teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.

In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller's List.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter



Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...
Hard As You Can (Hard Ink, #2)Series: Hard Ink #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 2/25/14

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can--and never let go.
Why I'm Waiting...

  Hello, sexy back tattoo! UNFFFF. This is a Laura Kaye book and that is all I need to know.

Preorder Hard As It Gets at:

Monday, November 25, 2013


I am so excited to be participating in the Hard As It Gets Release Day Event! I have a great interview with author Laura Kaye, along with the book info. You can follow all the events at Laura's website.

  Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink, #1)Series: Hard Ink #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 11/26/13
Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome—pure catnip to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...


HARD AS IT GETS is one steamy read! How did you first get into writing?
Thanks so much! And thanks for having me here! I’ve been a writer all my life. I’m a historian by training, so writing non-fiction was a part of my job for the fifteen years I worked as a college professor. But I started writing fiction in 2008 in kind of an unusual way. I hit my head on July 4, 2008. I didn’t think much of it that day, but soon after I realized I’d really hurt myself, and it turned out I had a minor traumatic brain injury. As I recovered, I was filled with an amazing urge to be creative, so I started taking guitar lessons (still not very good at that!) and wrote my first novel in 12 weeks (fortunately, I’m better at that LOL!). The experience of writing that first book was truly transformative. It was what I was supposed to be doing, so I revised that book until it sold and kept writing new ones. And I haven’t looked back since!

Why did you choose to write romance?
I had been an avid reader of paranormal romance for years at that point, so I wrote what I loved. But I also picked romance—unconsciously, I think—because to me it’s an incredibly hopeful genre. Romance stories are inherently stories about people who can’t find love or think they don’t deserve it who overcome the odds and find it in the end. In the years leading up to starting writing, I experienced a number of very hard personal losses, so writing in this genre was one way I worked through those issues.

What does “Hard Ink” refer to? What importance do tattoos play in your story?
Hard Ink is the name of the Rixey brothers’ tattoo shop in the Hard Ink series. Nick and Jeremy Rixey are co-owners, though Nick (the hero of book one, Hard As It Gets) prefers to be more of a silent partner, despite Jeremy’s efforts to put Nick’s artistic talents to work. In this series, tattoos are a way people remember, pay penance, or highlight what’s important to them. The act of creating permanent marks on skin has deep meaning to them. And the shop creates a gritty setting where diverse kinds of people meet and interact in the series. I really love it!

Describe Becca—what do you love most about her? And Nick?
I’d love to! Because I really loved writing these characters!
Becca Merritt is smart and strong and honest and protective. I really loved the way she was willing to stand up for those she loves, even against people and forces who might be stronger and even a little scary. There’s a scene in particular when she dresses down Nick’s Special Forces teammates after a fist fight where I was particularly cheering for her! LOL
Nick Rixey is, omg, so freaking hot, you guys! He’s brooding and tortured and honorable and when he falls he falls  so hard. I especially loved Nick’s mix of hard, alpha edges with his artistic side. When Nick shows Becca what her idea for a tattoo might look like on her skin, it’s just scorching!

What significance does the military play in the book?
Military themes are central to the whole Hard Ink series. The military isn’t just sexy window dressing nor is it just there to provide an intriguing backstory. The prior SF guys are this series are entirely defined by their military experience good and bad. It informs their identity, their sense of honor and duty, their view of the world, and of course gives them the skill set required to fight the battles they face in the series. The overall series mystery the characters are working to solve revolves around a military conspiracy in Afghanistan, so even though they’re out of the Army, the military themes are central.

If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?
In #HardAsItGets, an ex-soldier joins forces w/his dead commander's daughter to regain his tarnished honor & save her brother from a gang

Is there a particular author or book that has influenced your writing?
There are a number of authors that have influenced me, but if I had to pick one it would be J.R. Ward. A lot of what I know about how to write sexy, authentic male point of view comes from reading her books. And I definitely learned the importance of a good bromance to a romance novel from her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, too. Given my ginormous fangirling, you can only imagine how flipping excited I was when this happened:

“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”

~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets

You guys, I bawled like a baby in the middle of a huge workshop put on by my publisher. For real. LOL

What advice would you give aspiring writers looking to get into the publishing industry?
Here’s my advice:
1) Write, write, write. You can’t revise what you haven’t written and you can’t sell what you haven’t written. And the psychological and emotional boost you’ll get from writing “The End” for the first time cannot be overestimated.
2) Revise, revise, revise. That first time you type “The End”? Yeah, you’re nowhere near done. Your book will need to be edited, by you, several times before you ever put it in front of an agent or editor. You get one shot with them, so don’t waste it by not showing them your very best and most polished work.
3) Find critique partners. And your mom, siblings, and best friend do not count (unless you’re really lucky, like me, and your best friend happens t also be a professional author). You need other aspiring writers in your genre who will give you honest but constructive feedback about how to improve your manuscript. Let them catch all the embarrassing goofs and plot holes you thought you caught before it gets to an agent or editor.
4) Want to be a professional, then act it. And by that I mean join the professional organization(s) of the genre in which you write. Through them you will find classes to help hone your craft, critique partner match-ups, networking opportunities, calls for submission, and other opportunities invaluable to breaking into publishing.
5) Don’t give up. You will hear way more no’s than yeses, particularly early in your writing career. Stick with it. Believe in yourself. Give yourself one day to wallow in the rejection and eat a bunch of chocolate and then get right back on the horse. If your first book doesn’t sell, chalk that up to learning and write a second.

What can fans of HARD AS IT GETS look forward to next?
I’m currently writing four series: two contemporary (Hard Ink, Heroes) and two paranormal (Hearts of the Anemoi, Vampire Warrior Kings). I’ll have books from all four of those releasing in 2014. My next release is Hard As You Can (Hard Ink #2) coming 2/25/14!

The Hard Ink Series

Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink, #1) Hard As You Can (Hard Ink, #2)

Preorder Hard As It Gets at:
About Laura Kaye: Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp


I am happy to be sharing a really cool teaser from the upcoming Masquerade, by Nyrae Dawn. This is the third book in the Games series, and I am dying for Maddox and Bee's story! Check it out...

Masquerade (Games, #3)Series: Games #3
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: 1/7/14

From bestselling author, Nyrae Dawn, comes Book 3 in her New Adult, Games Series!

After his father is put in prison for murder leaving his mother suicidal, Maddox Cross has always put his sister, Laney, first. Now living in Brenton, Virginia, Maddox has no idea what to do with his life, especially since Laney no longer needs him. One thing he does know is for the first time since losing football, he's found something else that's just for him--tattooing. When he meets a feisty young woman in the club where he works security, he has no idea that she has the ability to change his life forever.  Bee Malone has just moved to Brenton to open up her first tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Despite her young success, nothing is ever as it seems. After being kidnapped at a young age, Bee has difficulty being the daughter her parents lost and letting go of the "parents" she was raised with. When she meets Maddox, she's immediately attracted to him and what starts out as a one night stand leaves Bee wanting to connect with him in more ways than one.
Once Maddox finds out about Masquerade, he wants nothing more than to join Bee. But letting him in means trying to figure out who she is and she's not ready for that. And yet, as the two get closer, they find themselves leaning on each other more than they are comfortable with. Will their stubborn nature tear them apart? Or push them closer together?

Heeee! That is a wicked teaser! 

Pre-order Masquerade

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

·Grab your current read
·Open to a random page
·Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
·Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles.

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Category/Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 11/26/13
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.


My Teaser ~

  "Rachel," he says with a long drawl. I glance over at him when he says nothing else. His eyes flicker between me and the road. "I'm Isaiah, and I swear I'll take care of you and your car."   ~eARC, 11%

What do you think? Be sure to check out my stop on the blog tour, coming next week! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013


The Christmas He Loved Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, #2) 
Series: Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #2
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: 10/1/13
Format: ARC
Pages: 332
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 5 stars

All he wants this Christmas is her.

In the small town of Crystal Lake, Christmas is a time for sledding, hot chocolate, and cozying up to the fire with those you love. For Jake Edwards, it’s also time to come home and face his past. He thought there would never be anything harder than losing his brother. Turns out there is: falling in love with his brother’s widow, Raine.

Ever since they were little, Jesse was the Edwards brother who was always there for her, and Jake was the one who knew just how to push her buttons. Raine can’t imagine a life without them, which is why it was doubly decimating when Jake left town after his brother’s sudden death. Now he’s back and she doesn’t know whether to be mad or thrilled. Maybe both. Maybe it will be the perfect chance for both of them to finally find happiness again.

From the moment I met them in The Summer He Came Home, and realized just how stormy and complicated the relationship was, I have been waiting for Jake and Raine's story. Thinking back on it, as much as I loved Cain and Maggie, and was intrigued by Mackenzie, Jake and Raine practically stole the book. It doesn't get much more torn and complicated than falling in love with your deceased twin's widow. The promise of a beautiful and heart-breaking story is what had me anticipating The Christmas He Loved Her. That anticipation was so worth it.

The Christmas He Loved Her is the story of two lost souls who must face down the darkness that has been hovering over them for two years. Jake Edwards lost his twin Jesse, a fellow soldier, on the battlefield in Afghanistan. He is consumed by not only grief, but also guilt that he wasn't able to stop the events that led to Jesse's death. But it's not only that guilt that consumes him, but also the guilt that he has been in love with his brother's widow for years. Raine was always a part of the Edwards brothers' life. She had completely different relationships with each brother, an especially intense relationship with Jake, but she and Jesse fell in love. Since Jesse's death, she has been wrapped up in her pain. A pain that it seems only Jake can ease.

Juliana Stone did a remarkable job with Jake and Raine. There were so many moments when her words evoked such a response in me, that it felt like a punch in the stomach. It was so powerful, and I am such an empathetic reader, that I could almost envision the pain of losing my own husband. Or brother. She didn't just write a story about two broken characters, she brought them to life. I was simply blown away by these characters and their story.

I would also like to mention the secondary characters. The Day He Kissed Her will be the next book in The Bad Boys of Crystal Lake. This book will focus on Mac, one of the Bad Boys, and he clearly has a story to tell. I have a feeling it will be a heart-ripper. Lily, Jake's friend was introduced in this story. I did not like her one little bit for most of the book. Near the end, though, she began to grow on me and I am excited to get to know her better, as well. Cain and Maggie also showed up in this installment, and it was so awesome to get a glimpse of the happy couple.

The Christmas He Loved Her isn't so much a holiday story as it was a story that happened to be set at the holidays. I only point this out to explain that if you're not into holiday books, or the season comes and goes and you haven't read it, don't let this book pass you by. This book happens to be one of the very best stories dealing with the aftermath of losing a loved one that I have ever read. It also is what I consider to be one of the very best stories about a returned soldier, the pain and trauma that continues to linger long after the battlefield has been left. This story portrays a man that is still grieving his twin, and is still facing his fiercest battle yet. The battle with his heart and mind.

If you are looking for a powerful, beautiful story that will grip your heart and emotions, but will also leave you so very satisfied in the end, I highly recommend The Christmas He Loved Her.

Favorite Quotes

  She went quiet as her thoughts wandered toward the dark place inside her. The empty place. The one that would never heal.
  I'm alone.
  Jake's eyes narrowed and the bleakness in them intensified. She knew exactly what he was thinking about, and for a moment she was back there with him. Back to that crazy night when the darkness inside both of them had exploded.
  The night they had reached for each other in pain. The night they had used their bodies to try and forget Jesse's death -- her husband, his brother. But it had backfired, and their pain had been too great, their last words bitter. Jake's had rung in her head for many, many nights.
  I can't stand to be around you.   ~ARC, pg. 17

  He gave up any pretenses of fighting the one thing he'd wanted his entire life, it seemed. Wrong or right didn't matter anymore, not when he'd been lost for so long and finally, finally felt as if he'd found himself.
  In that moment, Jake Edwards said to hell with the consequences and ignored the voice in the back of his mind.
  The one that told him he'd be damn lucky to survive it.  ~ ARC, pg. 175

The Bad Boys of Crystal Lake Series
The Summer He Came Home (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, #1) The Christmas He Loved Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, #2) The Day He Kissed Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, #3)
(covers lead to GoodReads)
Purchase The Christmas He Loved Her

About the author:

Juliana StoneJuliana Stone’s love of the written word and 80s rock, have inspired her in more ways than one. She writes contemporary romance, paranormal romance and will debut a young adult novel in 2014. She spends her days navigating a busy life that includes, a husband, kids, a dog and a cat.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads


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