These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Release Day Blitz: Dropout.

Over the past year, I’ve been called a lot of things. Slacker. Troublemaker. Party animal.
I thought I was on top of the world. Turns out, I was pretty close to rock bottom.
Now I have a new title: college dropout.
Talk about a reality check.
But I’ve got a chance to redeem myself. One summer to turn things around. Two months to prove I’m not a complete f*ck-up.
It’s time to change.
I want to get back to being one of the good guys.

I have everything I need to live out my dream of being a reclusive songwriter—my guitar, my notebook, and blissful silence.
At least, I did until Jimmy moved in next door.
With tattoos, piercings, and mischievous green eyes, he’s got bad news written all over him. And last time I got with a bad boy, it ended horribly.
Jimmy makes me feel things I shouldn’t feel. Want things I shouldn’t want. He’s a hazard to my carefully laid plans.
But he’s only here for two months.
I can resist him...right?

*Although DROPOUT is part of a series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Jimmy Buffet’s ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ blared through the house, and I followed the music to the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but as long as it wasn’t my neighbor making out with her neighbor I was good.
Turning the corner, I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight in front of me.
It wasn’t Beverly. Or Ernie.
And I most definitely wasn’t good.
A guy wearing nothing but camo-print underwear and a peach-colored apron stood in front of the stove. He was facing away from me, and I caught sight of a large tattoo—angel wings—across the expanse of his muscular back.
Surprised, I let out a high-pitched squeak. The sound got the stranger’s attention and he started to pivot in my direction.
My eyes fell to his sculpted ass, the muscles flexing as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. He wore briefs. Not boxers or boxer-briefs—actual tighties. No guy should look good in those, but damn, he did.
His black hair was shorter on the sides and longer on top. Some of the inky strands fell over his forehead, falling to just above his bright green eyes.
His lips were parted in surprise, and something flipped in my stomach at the sight of his mouth. The bottom lip was twice the size of the top. Plump. Pouty.
Dark tattoos painted his chest and he had colorful flowers down the length of his left arm. And…
Is that a nipple piercing?
Because of the apron, I couldn’t see his abs, but my guess was that he had a solid six-pack under there.
I opened my mouth to say something—anything.
I wanted to ask him what he was doing in Beverly’s house. Or apologize for walking in on him while he was naked.
Instead, my social awkwardness presented itself full-force with the words that tumbled out of my mouth next.
“If you tried to hide in the woods, at least no one would be able to see your ass.”
His emerald eyes widened. “What?”
Figuring he probably didn’t hear me the first time because of the loud music, I raised my voice. “Camouflage underwear. Your butt would totally blend in with the bushes.”
Looking like he was caught between laughing and being outraged, he opened his mouth to respond.
Then all hell broke loose.

Jamie Schlosser grew up on a farm in Illinois surrounded by cornfields. Although she no longer lives in the country, her dream is to return to rural living someday. As a stay-at-home mom, she spends most of her days running back and forth between her two wonderful kids and her laptop. She loves her family, iced coffee, and happily ever afters.

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Release Day Blitz: The Perfect Illusion.

It’s only pretend…

And it’s only three months.

I’m in the midst of scrawling “I QUIT!” onto his fancy cardstock letterhead when my boss corners me. He needs a favor, he says. And then he asks how well I can act …

Hudson Rutherford needs a fiancée.

With his old-moneyed parents forcing him to marry some bratty hotel heiress and his hedonistic, playboy lifestyle at stake, the only way to get them to back off is to make them think he’s truly, madly, deeply in love … with me—his third personal assistant this year.

But I can hardly stand working for him as it is.

Hudson is crazy hot and well-aware. He’s arrogant, spoiled, and silver-spooned. He checks me out when he thinks I’m not looking, and his life is a revolving door of beautiful women. Plus, he can’t even pronounce my name correctly—how’s he going to convince his family he’s in love with me?!

I’m seconds from giving him a resounding “no” when he flashes his signature dimpled smirk and gives me a number that happens to contain a whole mess of zeroes …

On second thought, I think I can swallow my pride.

But, oh baby, there’s one thing I haven’t told him, one teensy-tiny thing that could make this just a hair complicated …

Here’s hoping this entire thing doesn’t explode in our faces.

“What? What are you thinking?” I ask.
Her brows lift. “That this entire thing sounds insane. And that you’re insane.”
“Maybe it is. And maybe I am. But I know it could work.”
She turns to me, her eyes holding mine. “Why me, though? I can’t stand you and you’re well aware.”
“That’s exactly why it has to be you.”
“You can’t tell me that out of the assortment of women I’ve seen waltzing in and out of your life the last two months, not one of them would be jumping at the chance to help you with this.”
“You’re right. They would be. But then they’d want something more, and quite frankly, I have nothing more to give than my last name and a comfortable lifestyle,” I say, checking my wristwatch. “You, Mari … you wouldn’t want more from me, and that’s exactly why you’re the only one I trust.”
“I don’t know how I could convince anyone I’m in love with someone who gets under my skin the way you do, Hudson.”
“You said you could act.” I lift a brow.
“I … yeah … I guess? But can you?”
Stepping toward her, I take her by the wrist and guide her off the bar stool, pulling her body against mine, meeting her curious gaze with my own sultry version. Cupping her soft cheek in my right hand and letting my fingers graze the nape of her neck, I lift her mouth, holding mine inches from hers.
She breathes me in, her stare unblinking. My left hand circles her waist, feeling it cave with my touch.
“I’ve never told you this before … but the day I met you, I knew there was something special about you. And something tells me you’re about to become the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” I say, my words slow and gentle as our eyes lock. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you, until we’re old and gray. We might drive each other crazy, our path may be a bit bumpy at times, but we’re going to love every minute of it. Marry me, Maribel Collins. Be my wife. I don’t want anyone but you.”
Stillness lingers between us, and then she releases a shuddering breath before blinking. Peeling herself from me, she tucks her thick blonde hair behind her ears before resting her hands on her hips.
“That was …” Mari leaves her thought unfinished as she moves a few paces back. “That was … cheesy. But passable.” Her lips pull into a bitten grin as she recovers her composure. “You’re good at that.” Glancing up at me, her expression dissolves. “Not that I’m surprised. You’re a professional manipulator.”
Rolling my eyes, I exhale. “Do you want the money or not?”
Her hand rests on her stomach briefly, and then she continues pacing. She’s going to wear a beaten path into the wood floor by the time she’s finished.
“Five million dollars.” I fold my arms. “Final offer.”
Mari stops in her tracks, her gaze flicking to mine. “I don’t want to do this. I think it’s a bad idea. But you’re making it impossible for me to say no.”
My mouth curls at the sides. “I knew you’d see it my way.”

Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.

And if you'd like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here --->

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Teaser: Condemned.

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Teaser: Hard To Love.

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Review: Box of Hearts

Box of Hearts Box of Hearts by Nikki Ashton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think Nikki Ashton may have broken me this time.

Earlier this year, I read Nikki Ashton’s ‘Roman’s Having Sex Again’. I loved it. In fact, I came to enjoy it so much more than I’d initially anticipated. Thus, I knew I needed to read more of her work. A month later, I picked up ‘I Wanna Get Laid By Kade’, which Nikki Ashton wrote with Victoria Johns. Again, I was in love. In fact, I’ve gone on the recommend it to quite a few people. Fast forward another month and I jumped into yet another brilliant read by Nikki Ashton. Box of Hearts had all the trademarks of the prior two books I picked up, and yet was so much more at the same time. If I hadn’t already planned to pick up all of Nikki Ashton’s work, this would have been the book to convince me. Honestly, this story is a thing of beauty. I’m an emotional wreck after finishing it, and such a thing very rarely happens to me.

Box of Hearts is deeply emotional in so many ways. It is so much more than a simple tale of second chance love. It’s a story of finding your place in the world; it’s a story of trust; it’s a story of family; it’s a story of redemption. In so many ways, it’s a very real story. To label this as a mere ‘second change love’ is an injustice. There are countless second chance love stories out there, but none have ever hit me as hard as this one. There are so many beautiful aspects to this story, so many things I wish to speak about, and yet I fear I will not be able to cover it all no matter how lengthy this fangirl of a review becomes. Nevertheless, I will try to cover the main things.

The story begins reading very much like a soap opera. We have wedding drama followed by a drastic life change. It was wonderful to read, yet this entertainment high quickly turns into something so much more serious once our female lead moves overseas. Whilst her heart may be bleeding in many ways, she is soon pulled into the lives of those on the Connor Ranch, a family filled with sorrow. Despite the dark cloud following them around, the family truly is a thing of beauty. If you’ve read Roman’s Having Sex Again, imagine Roman’s family but with less crazy. They’re so close; they have their ups and downs; but no matter what happens they come out stronger. I loved each and every character, and I was quickly pulled into their individual stories.

The award for best character, however, has to go to the child. Addy is a truly wonderful character. Yes, I loved our romance leads – but Addy added that little something extra to the story. The deep emotions experienced by the child and how her emotions impact those around her… well, you have to read it to believe it. Nikki Ashton has done a wonderful job at pulling at heartstrings through this child. The emotional depth for a young character that would often be overlooked in such stories made Box of Hearts a thing of beauty.

As I said, though, I loved all the characters. Our leads had such wonderful chemistry, and despite the constant push and pull (something I’m not usually all that crazy about) I was rooting for them. They were both such real characters that worked beautifully together. They both went through so much development throughout the story, and Nikki Ashton does a wonderful job of showing this. I’m positive, at certain moments in the story, there was a fist squeezing my heart, as the emotions that were brought about by the development of a certain character left me feeling so much more than I usually do.

Don’t worry, though, the story isn’t just desperate emotional moments that will leave you with a trembling bottom lip. There are plenty of amusing moments to be seen as well. A certain character in particular will leave you giggling, with Nikki Ashton ensuring her usual light-hearted eccentric family member makes an appearance. It’s not just the two ends of the spectrum – the heart-breaking moments and the laughter – as we experience everything that falls between the two. Throughout, Nikki Ashton manages to hit upon every possible emotion.

There’s no denying it, the book left me an emotional wreck. It was a truly beautiful read, and I cannot wait to see what comes next for this series. I’m so excited to see more of this family, and I’m positive Nikki Ashton will reach all new heights with it.

Despite how much I loved it, however, I couldn’t quite bring myself to give it a five star rating. I’m super harsh with my five star ratings – I know this, and I keep meaning to change, yet I never do make the change that is needed. In my mind, my five star ratings are the elite of the elite, meaning I spend all my time looking for little things to prevent me from handing it out. Thus, whilst I managed to find that little thing, I’m sure many will be able to overlook it and hand out that five star rating. For me, though, this is just a very strong four-point-five read.

What was that little thing that prevented me from rounding the book up to the five star rating? For me, I found a certain character’s story to be a bit too predictable. Although I was ever so slightly off with the specifics, I knew how the story of one of the characters would play out and how this would have a massive impact upon the overall story. From almost the first scene in which this character appeared, I worked out what kind of role they would be playing in the overall story. Whilst it was a vital aspect of the story, and it did play in well, I found myself disappointed in how obvious this turn of events seemed to be.

Nevertheless, I positively adored this one. A truly beautiful read, one I certainly recommend you go ahead and read.

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Review: Beauty in Winter

Beauty in Winter Beauty in Winter by Alexa Riley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book grabbed my attention because it mentioned two of my favourite things in romance novels: Beauty and the Beast inspiration (I can never say no to something that speaks of a Beauty and the Beast style story) and shifters (they’re my go-to fantasy creature in romance, the one thing I never grow bored of). Thus, through seeing the two thing sitting side-by-side in the synopsis, I knew I needed to give this one a read. It was screaming out for me to read it.

I’ll admit, despite how pulled in I was, a part of me was tentative. I love long detailed stories, and find myself rather nervous when entering a story that is completed in a mere handful of pages. I shouldn’t prejudice such stories, and yet I always fear that a book I can complete in under half hour will fail to leave me with the same kind of feelings that a tome that takes me hours to read will. Fortunately, Beauty in Winter managed to provide me with another example of how such a short story can fill you with so much. In fact, it’s probably one of my favourite romance reads of this length. Despite completing this book in well under half an hour, I experienced so much throughout.

The characters were a lot of fun. The romance was steamy. There were many emotions experienced. Most importantly, for me, was that the story provided something more than sex scenes. Yes, it made up the majority of the book – however, there was also a story. Oftentimes, I find the story gets loss within all the body on body action, but such was not the case with this one. Although you knew where it was going, even though there were no surprises to be found, this one managed to give a fulfilling story.

Honestly, I enjoyed it so much. Despite being happy with the story, a part of me (as always with stories of this length) wishes it had been longer. Not that it wasn’t wonderful, oh no. My desire for the story to be longer has nothing to do with the story being lacking. Rather, I feel as though this story had the potential to be even more wonderful. I could imagine it as a truly amazing full-length novel. It really was amazing considering how short it was, and I can only imagine the kind of beauty that would be found if this story was made into something more.

Overall, a truly wonderful quick read.

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