Category Archives: review

Review: Where We Fell by Amber L. Johnson

Oliver Bishop is having a seriously bad day. With one diagnosis, his life suddenly has an expiration date. Confused about the numbness he has to the idea of it, he unwittingly puts himself directly in the sights of a girl that just may give him a reason to fight – and to live.

Available on Amazon October 28, 2013

This is a novella? Hmmm… funny, it doesn’t really seem like a novella. Maybe it’s the fully developed characters, or maybe it’s the gripping story line that had me clicking my ‘next’ button in a mad fervor, anxious to know about this diagnosis, what it means for Oliver, how he’s going to handle it. And anxious, I was—I don’t do angst and anxiety well, so walking through his diagnosis and treatment with Oliver made my heart ache. But imagine my surprise when that wasn’t even the hardest part. Nooooo… that came when Oliver is pumped up and excited with wonderful news, but stumbles upon something and interprets with his eyes and not with his heart. His growth as a character is enormous, though, and his ability to step back and right some wrongs, well—

Let’s back up for a minute, I think I’ve jumped ahead. Oliver is about to graduate from high school when he’s diagnosed with Lymphoma. Stunned, he follows a comforting routine of dinner at the diner, where he meets Hannah, a college student and all-around most awesome chick ever. As the summer progresses and Oliver goes through treatment, she’s at his side, offering what he needs almost before he knows he needs it—and certainly before he can even think to ask for it. Their relationship is physically innocent, yet emotionally vast as they begin to rely on each other, connect on countless levels, and form a single unit. Gifting him with a camera and album, she encourages him to record his memories, knowing he’ll look back on them in appreciation once he’s cured. And she’s certain he will be. I don’t have sufficient words for the fabulousness that is Hannah.

Oliver records his summer as he goes through treatment and falls in love with Hannah. When she returns to college, he plans to regain his strength and surprise her the moment he’s able.

But… well, you have to read it from here; I don’t want to give it away.

Where we fell favorite

Trust me that every heart clench and every tear shed will be worth it. The range of emotion in this book is enormous, spanning the lowest, most aching pain to dry-eyed shock to heartwarming love. And everything you can imagine in between. As I said at the start, this doesn’t feel like a novella. It’s such a complete story, it spans such emotion, and the characters are so well written. I’m impressed with the author’s ability to fit that into a 25,000-word novella.

So, eight hundred million stars. Or five. I think I’m only allowed to give five.

Thank you to Amber L. Johnson for providing me with a copy of Where We Fell in exchange for an honest review.

About Amber L. Johnson:

Amber is a full time mom, full time wife, is employed full time, and writes when she can. She believes in Happily Ever Afters that occur every day – despite the obstacles that real life serves up on a regular basis. Or perhaps they’re sweeter simply because of them. She always has 2 rubber bands on her wrist, a song in her head, and too much creamer in her coffee cup that reads ‘Cocoa’ – because she’s a rebel. If she’s not at her desk, with her boys, or behind the computer, she’s supporting live music with her arms raised above her head and eyes closed, waiting for the drop.
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Review: Adam’s Apple by Liv Morris

Title: Adam’s Apple

Author: Liv Morris

Genre: Erotic Romance

Page Length: 303 pages

Release Date: July 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-149090715

Book Summary:

Adam Kingsley reigns as the young prince of Manhattan. Everything he touches turns to gold, making him the envy of Wall Street. Women swoon at his feet, money is no object, and his killer good looks are as wicked as sin. A dangerous trifecta that allows him to possess anything or anyone he desires.

What more could a thirty-two-year-old man wish for? Maybe that his life never changes and his murky past stays far away…Sounds reasonable, yet life seldom is.

Kathryn Delcour is an alluring socialite with unique erotic tastes who helps others find true sexual fulfillment. When she suddenly appears on the New York City social scene, Adam finds this complex woman too tempting to resist. He will stop at nothing to have her, yet she is warned to stay away from him and his player ways. Kathryn tries to keep him at arm’s length, but her arms may not be strong enough to hold the charismatic Adam Kingsley at bay.

An erotic bestseller deliciously sweetened with hidden secrets, seduction, and suspense. The passionate lure of ancient sexual practices, a past that isn’t content to remain buried and a present filled with intrigue, danger and revenge – Adam’s Apple is an erotic experience heightened by the sensual voice of the main character as Adam tells the story in his own words.

Review:

Eight hundred million stars! Loved this book!

Whoa, where to start?

Adam Kingsley is a complete and utter jerk, self-absorbed and apathetic to the world going on around him–unless there’s something in it for him. And I loved him from page one. The thing is… he knows what a jerk he is, but it doesn’t stop him. That is, until Kathryn Delcour walks into the room and takes over his every thought, and slowly his perception of himself–his needs, his success, his life–all begin to change. And yes, it happens slowly, so slowly that you can almost see each individual realization as it occurs to him. He doesn’t lose his bad-boy charm or his edge, but, well… read it.

Kathryn is by far one of the strongest, most well-written characters I have read in a long time. While woman were ready to drop everything for Adam, Kathryn consistently put him in his place, forcing him to face his shortcomings. She’s an enigma to him, appearing unmoved by his charm and looks, yet, there’s something there.

The growth of their relationship is honest and realistic–no insta-love here. Yes, lots of lust and desire, but you can almost feel their affection grow with the turn of each page. I am amazed by the author’s ability to tell the story from the male point of view. Not just any male or–God forbid–a watered-down, totally feminine, written-by-a-woman male, but an honest-to-goodness conceited and shallow jerk who finds himself at a loss over a woman who doesn’t bend to his will.

I loved the writing, the dialogue, the secondary characters… especially Maurice. I loved that Kathryn continued to call him Kingsley, not giving him that last piece, the one piece he kept waiting for. As time went by and he continued to want and wait for it, his growth as a man, as a person was evident.

I really cannot say enough about this book. The romance was honest and fulfilling, the sex was hot, but not overdone. At the end, I believe I exclaimed, “You ended it there?!”  However, due to the utterance just one word, I was satisfied that all was well for Adam and Kathryn. Of course I’m looking forward to the next installment. Is it December yet?

Find Liv Morris on:

Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

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Review: How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

How to Misbehave (Camelot, #1)Title: How to Misbehave

Author: Ruthie Knox

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Page Length: 121 pages

Publisher: Loveswept

Release Date: January 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-034554-530-5

Book Summary: What woman can resist a hot man in a hard hat? Beloved author Ruthie Knox kicks off her new Camelot series with this deliciously sexy original novella, in which a good girl learns how to misbehave . . . with all her heart.

As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?

Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own–unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?

Review: I really enjoyed this novella about the good girl with the less-than-pure thoughts about the hot guy who’s working construction at her job. She’s innocently intrigued, and he’s not quite the bad boy he appears to be.

The story is short, but fun and sexy, as Amber draws the true Tony out from behind his hard-as-nails exterior and Tony teaches Amber all the good things about being ‘bad.’

I love that Amber, while shy, says what she thinks, means, and feels. And because she does, she’s able to tell Tony exactly what she wants. And oh, does he give it to her.

With very well-developed characters for a novella, this book has done what it’s supposed to: intrigued me enough to seek out others in the series. Which I will be doing. If the rest of Ruthie Knox’s books are as as fun and sexy as this one, I’m sure to enjoy them.

Ruthie Knox Links:

On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ruthie_knox

Website: http://www.ruthieknox.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ruthieknox

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Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever by L.V. Lewis – audio book now available

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Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever is now available as an audio book at Audible.com .

Within the next week, it should be available on Amazon and iTunes, as well.

Find L.V. Lewis:

Goodreads ~ Website ~ Twitter

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On NOT Hiring an Editor … my interview with a vampire.

A good read for a Thursday morning:

On NOT Hiring an Editor … my interview with a vampire..

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Review: Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever by L.V. Lewis

Title: Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever

Author: L.V. Lewis

Genre: Literature & Fiction

Page Length: 268 pages

Publisher: Jungle Fever Press

Release Date: October 30, 2012

ISBN: 978-147933-232-8

Book Summary: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY to the second power meets Keisha and Jada from the Block.

If you’ve wondered how an ethnic girl might have handled an arrangement with an experienced white Dominant, this is your book. If you’d like to see two of the sexiest TWIN DOMS in an erotica series in interracial relationships, this is most definitely your book.

Aspiring recording studio owners, Keisha Beale and Jada Jameson, score a rare meeting with venture capitalist Tristan White, and are thrust into a world beyond their wildest imaginations.

Street-wise Keisha is startled to realize she wants this rich white man, despite the certainty that he is out of her league. Unable to resist Keisha’s sassy, irreverent and fiercely independent spirit, Tristan knew from day one he wanted her, too—as his first African American submissive.

Upper-class Jada of the Springfield Jamesons has traveled in almost the same circles as the White brothers and has had a secret crush on Nathan White, the point guard for the Chicago Buffaloes, for quite some time.

Both brothers have succumbed to jungle fever and want a little coffee in their cream.

Lured by Tristan White and his offer to front the capital for her business in exchange for kinky sex, Keisha finds herself with no other option. Keisha is also tortured by a secret past, and her inability to come to terms with it, threatens to undermine the future of her business and their tumultuous unorthodox relationship.

Erotic, amusing and in places hilarious, the Ghetto Girl Romance Quadrilogy is part parody with a unique take on a Fifty Shades-type story that will take you even further into the BDSM world and promises to make the vanilla original Fifty Shades blacker.

The first two books focus on Keisha and Tristan’s romance, and the final two focus on Jada and Nathan’s.

Review: 

Loved it!

I knew going in this book was parody, so I expected funny, ironic, roll-your-eyes humor. And I got all that and more. What I didn’t expect was to get caught up in the characters, to start to care about them and care about what happened to them, or to feel the emotions the author managed to pull out of me.

The story mimics the FSoG series in theme, but takes a different approach in practice as black entrepreneur Keisha Beale and her business partner Jada Jameson seek funding for their new business venture from white billionaire Tristan White. The attraction is immediate, but Mr. White is very controlling (snicker) and offers an added incentive if Ms. Beale agrees to be his submissive. Not a submissive by nature, this goes against the grain for Keisha. But she’s definitely interested.

I figured I’d laugh… and I did. A lot. I know women like Keisha, I get her sense of humor, but most of all I get her need to be self-sufficient and to keep her heart safe. Having read the original Fifty Shades series, I had a general idea where the plot was going, but L.V. Lewis kept me on my toes with how she got me there.

What surprised me–pleasantly, of course–was how effortlessly she made these characters real people, not just parodies. The characters were fully developed to the point where I completely understood the use of Keisha’s safe words; even though I was expecting them, hearing her say them gutted me. The anxiety and anguish that scene stirred up speaks to the author’s talent as a writer and storyteller.

And Tristan… I giggle saying Tristan White. He’s an enigma, all right. But there are hints to his reasons, and his actions speak volumes. He wants to be with Keisha. Regardless of the terms he uses, his need to be with her is apparent. And he’s not simply the harsh, cold businessman he wants everyone to think he is. Not when he insists on taking home some leftover soul food from Keisha’s mama or when he uses his pull to help Keisha’s family. Tristan is layered, and I’m happily awaiting the peeling of more layers.

Five stars to this amazing not-just-a-parody. I’m bouncing in my chair for the next installment.

L.V. Lewis Links:

Goodreads ~ Website ~ Twitter

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Review: Plus One by Brighton Walsh

Plus One

Title: Plus One

Author: Brighton Walsh

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Page Length: 68 pages

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: May 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-142689-555-5

Book Summary: Olivia hates the singles scene, so when her best guy friend, Ian, offers to be her plus one to a series of weddings she has to attend, she agrees. Although she doesn’t want to complicate their lifelong friendship, she can’t pass up the chance to have a steady date without the dating drama. What she doesn’t expect is to now find Ian so incredibly sexy.

When Ian sees his old friend Olivia dolled up for wedding #1, the boyhood crush he once nurtured transforms into smoldering attraction. It doesn’t take long for their no-strings arrangement to turn physical. But as Olivia’s desire to stay “just friends” becomes clear, Ian’s feelings are deepening. In the time they have together, how will Ian convince Olivia that one plus one can make for a lifelong pair?

Review:I absolutely loved this short story. Olivia is tired of dating Mr. Wrong over and over again–although the descriptions of her bad dates are absolutely hysterical and sadly pathetic at the same time.

She’s invited to no less than four weddings, and she doesn’t want to go dateless. The answer to her prayers arrives in the form of Ian, the younger brother of her best friend, who offers to be her plus one. She’s known him since they were kids; that won’t be awkward, right?

What Olivia doesn’t know is that Ian has been harboring a serious crush since his teens, and he’s turned into one sexy man–and she’s just now realizing this. 

The building of their relationship is sweet and fun–a little achy, too, as Olivia catches up with Ian’s feelings. But even the little ache is worth it. 

Oh, and did I mention sexy? Brighton Walsh knows how to write a hot and fun sex scene with just the right amount of smut. I’ll be looking forward to what she has in store for us next!

Brighton Walsh Links:

On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/brightonwalsh

Website: http://www.brightonwalsh.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WriteAsRain_

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