Monday, April 18, 2016

Dirty (Dive Bar #1) by Kylie Scott

I’m a huge fan of the Stage Dive motley crew and was excited to hear about this new spin-off series. There’s always a good time to be had whenever reading one of Kylie Scotts’ stories. I look forward to her lighthearted, enjoyable reads that are filled with swoon worthy heroes, sassy chicks, outrageous antics and steamy moments. In Dirty, we got to know Vaughan Hewson and the girl who literally fell into his life, Lydia Green. Together, this loony couple and a new cast of crazy characters made for a fun and flirty romance.

Poor sweet Lydia ~ All set to marry her prince charming only to find out (mere minutes before the nuptials) that the relationship with her fiancé was great big sham. To avoid making the biggest mistake of her life, she makes a break for it by seeking refuge in a stranger’s home and hiding in a bathtub. Not the best of plans, but that’s how Lydia rolls…she’s insanely impulsive.

It all works out as she finds the homeowner to be one hell of a broody, sexy man that lucky for her, is kind enough to deal with all the craziness.

“The guy stood tall, looming over me with his hands on hips. Tattoos covered his arms to his wrists. Still, he had a whole lot of sinew on show. Definitely not the kind of man you’d want to mess with. Dude could probably snap me in half in a second. I bet he was a tattoo model, or a biker, or a pirate, or something. Something a lot hot and more than a little scary.”

The fallout from her almost wedding was a spectacle. She’s now homeless and jobless.  Her life is in absolute shambles and Lydia still managed to make me giggle as she tries to sort herself out. She’s a little quirky, flakey and a whole lot of nuts… I absolutely adored her. Her character may have lacked self-confidence, being plus size and all, but she was the perfect girl for Vaughan and a likable heroine. He only saw the best in all that was Lydia… and her voluptuous rack.

“Crap. It’s your first night at work and I’m putting all my drama on you again.”
He hung his head. “Yeah, you are.”
“I’m so sorry.”
Such a long and gusty exhalation. The man had big lungs. Also, bad friends, namely me.
“On the plus side, when you get worked up your tits start heaving up and down with each breath. Magnificent. Honestly, I can’t get enough of it.”

Finding himself lost and broke after the dissolution of his band, Vaughan’s back home and working in his sister’s bar. The poor dude went from a rocker to temporary bartender, who’s struggling to get his career back on track. Vaughan has no intention to stick around the small town he grew up in; too many memories from the past haunt him. To top all of this off, he has to deal with the lunatic woman that broke into his house. Turns out, Lydia was the perfect distraction from his troubles, even though she turned his already muddled life upside down. All the chaos that surrounded her was exactly what he needed to help not only in lifting his spirits, but also in discovering the importance of love and family.

I really liked Vaughan’s character - He was the perfect combination of edgy, sexy and sweet especially when it came to Lydia’s needs. There were times he was stubborn and I wanted to bop him over the head, but I grew to love him regardless, seeing how affectionate he was with Lydia. 

All in all, this was a good introduction into what I think will be a fun new series. I found it less steamy than Scott’s previous books, but these two kept me laughing with their often insane back and forth banter. There’s a hint of drama involving some of the secondary characters that I’m hoping will conclude in future installments. Oh! And so happy to see more of my favorite Stage Dive rocker… Mal. He’s as wacky as ever. Love him. I really enjoyed Lydia and Vaughan’s journey from friendship to love and it’s a good read if you are in the mood for a faced paced, upbeat and comical insta-romance.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stuck - Up Suit by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland @ViKeeland @PenelopeAuthor

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4 Stuck Up Sexy Stars
What do you get when a sassy Italian chick from Brooklyn comes toe to toe with a  handsome, arrogant Manhattan businessman?  A fun romantic read! The writing team of Keeland and Ward are back penning another comical yet heartwarming opposites attract insta-love romance filled with plenty of passion, lovable characters and loads of  laughs.  

And Wow… Just look at the cover…*sigh*  a great inspiration for the sexy hot Graham…

Soraya, assistant to advice columnist “Dear Ida”, is mesmerized by a devilishly handsome stranger who left his phone on the train one morning. Serves him right for being a loud, obnoxious ass during the entire ride to work. So she did what any normal girl would do in her situation...break into his phone, check out his photos and semi-stalk him before returning it. Too funny. She learned first hand how cantankerous and ill-mannered Mr. Stuck Up Suit could be. And deservedly, he quickly earned a new name...Mr. Big Prick.

“Maybe I’m not Mr. Big Prick like you think.” He slid my hand down to his crotch. “Maybe I just have a big prick, but I’m not really the prick you imagine.”

I really like it when a pretentious, arrogant hero finds just the right girl to heal his jaded heart and allow his romantic side to break through. At first, Graham J. Morgan came across as a pompous, ornery ass. His attitude both grated on my nerves and amused me. But then….BAM! Once smitten and revealing the heartache from his past, a totally different side of Graham appeared that had me swooning. Falling for the quirky and sarcastic Soraya brought out his softer, sexier side and a heart of gold which was buried underneath all his coarseness. And wow, MBP (Mr. Big Prick) earned the nickname in a different way. I love a sexy, dirty talker... and Graham was filthy.

“And to think, I was going to fuck you full of nice. You never cease to amaze me, Soraya. It would be my pleasure to leave the gentleman at the door and fuck you four ways dirty.”

He was a man who wielded power in both the business world and the bedroom. His overly sensual character made this read that much more enjoyable for me.  I did find his character underwent a transformation as the story progressed. I truly liked the sweet, romantic hero he became, but I did wish he held on to more of that sexy cockiness I grew fond of.  Regardless, he was a perfect hero for Soraya, giving her strength, as they faced a fair share of challenges.     

He was the most romantic, arrogant, stuck-up suit I’d ever come across in my life. And he was perfect for me.

Soraya Venedtta was a spicy little number who held her own when it came to the moody, broody Graham. Being a girl from Brooklyn myself, I really liked and related to the way her bold and ballsy character was depicted. She was a funny, loving and sincere (for the most part) woman who was doing her best to deal with a number of insecurities. Unresolved and hurt feelings from her childhood messed with her confidence when it came to Graham and caused her to make some really crappy decisions. Her unwise choices added more drama to the story line, which irked me… a lot, but I understood where she was coming from.  It was sweet to see how Graham gently tended to her feelings of self doubt.

I loved Graham J. Morgan. Mr. Big Prick. Stuck-up Suit. Celibate in Manhattan. Fifty Shades of Morgan. I loved them all. I loved that he appreciated all of my idiosyncrasies. I loved that he protected me. I loved that he made me feel for the first time in my life like I was the most important person to someone - to him.

Regardless of all the undue relationship drama and troubles that arose from the past (the ex-bitch from hell, for instance) Graham and Soraya were good together and complimented each other well. Their love was unconditional, intense and fierce.

I mumbled against her lips, “I fucking love you, Soraya Venedetta.”
“I love you, too, Suit. I think I fell in love with you before I even met you.”

All in all, this was an amusing and steamy romantic comedy. Found myself constantly chuckling  at their back and forth banter via texts and emails. A perfect book for when you’re in the mood for a spicy read, with a healthy dose of drama mixed in, that will still manage to make you laugh. And oh! I got a big kick out of seeing cameo of my favorite goat...Pixie, from Cocky Bastard.

Complimentary copy received in exchange for an honest review  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68

 4.5 Stars

I've missed the mighty mountain men of Colorado and so stoked to be back in Carnal to visit with some of my all-time favorite Alpha-hunks. Mostly, I couldn't wait to unravel the enigmatic character that has haunted me for so long… Deke Hightower.
Since introduced in Sweet Dreams, I was fascinated by his imposing presence and wanted to dig deep into his soul. I discovered he’s a man whose sparse words spoke volumes. It took a gypsy chick, Justice Lonesome, to peel away the layers and bring his character to life. Their journey consumed me ~ from a chance encounter to a friendship turned undeniable love ~ I was happily absorbed in Jussy and Deke's world.
I loved how fate brought this couple together...twice. First time in Wyoming, while Justice was hanging out in a biker bar contemplating her unfulfilled life, longing for simplicity. Her world changed after spending a few moments with the gorgeous guy standing by a chain link fence. The stranger named Deke connected with her ‘poet's soul'. With a promise to meet again broken, Deke became an impassioned memory, which inspired Justice to compose and record a song that defined her life altering experience. It was Deke's song. And it was a hit.

Years later, after the recent passing of her father, Jussy decided to build a home in Carnal. Lo and behold, her contractor is none other than Deke, the man who rocked her world and stood her up. Thing is, he didn't recognize her at first. YIKES!! Poor Justice, I sympathized with all the hurt she felt. Top it off, he acted downright rude. Jussy being a cool chick took all his gruffness in stride and was determined to become his friend. It took time, but Deke finally remembered Jus and explained the heart breaking reason why he never showed.
Jussy, Deke's boho gypsy princess and famous singer-songwriter, was the most down to earth heroine. I liked the strength, sincerity and compassion her character embodied. I dug how deeply she connected with everyone who touched her life, bringing out their best, especially those most guarded. She was a woman of means, who had the world at her fingertips, but took nothing for granted ~ especially Deke’s affections. But what I absolutely adored was the way she immediately understood Deke, recognized his needs, and loved him unconditionally.
After reading Bounty, I was moved to write a ballad professing all of Deke's hotness. Broody, rugged, and a beast in bed...I was totally into his intense sexiness. Deke was a headstrong man who lived a simple life. Reserved and set in his ways, it took time for me to warm up to his character. But when I saw all the pain he shouldered, I got where this “travelin’ man” was coming from. Hurt from his past gave him good reason to deny his desire for Justice. Regardless, I wanted him to let go of his hang-ups to see the real woman behind all the money and fame.

One terrifying night for Justice caused Deke to put his feelings into perspective, and everything between them shifted. He could no longer fight the attraction, Jus meant the world to him. Determined to give her peace, love, comfort… anything his gypsy princess needed. That’s the moment I saw the fiercely protective and loving side of Deke come to life, and he won me over. When he beautifully opened up his heart, and gave all of himself to Jussy, I was a goner… and fell deeply in love with the caring, overly affectionate man he became.

Both free-spirited wanderlusts, they were perfect together. I loved that their journey was a slow burn filled with discovery, love, laughter and passion. Gah! Ashley is a master when it comes to writing sizzling sex scenes that makes me all tingly inside. One of the most sensual moments, and there were several, was when Jus finally confessed the meaning behind her song ~ how meeting Deke long ago affected her. His reaction was phenomenal.

Once again, I was spoiled with the bounty KA brings to all her tales - dynamic characters, scorching passion, a very detailed and emotional plot - the gifts were endless. It can be enjoyed as a standalone, but I recommend experiencing all of these hot romances. I loved that this read was reminiscent of Ashley's earlier works within the series, where secondary characters were more intimately involved in the story line. Practically all of the Colorado Series gang, and some from different series, came into play. Overjoyed that Krystal, who I adore, had a notable presence in the story. Jussy brought out a different side of Krys and she absolutely shined! There were some moments of angst, and during one particular heart palpitating scene, I was scared out of my mind! Seriously, my heart was in my mouth, tears filling my eyes! I would have liked a longer epilogue, seeing more into Jus and Deke’s future ~ I'm a very greedy reader when it comes to KA’s tales, never wanting to let go of her characters or their stories. Nevertheless, the ending was heartwarming as well as bittersweet. Bounty was an exceptionally written, powerful story of destined love that touched my heart.
A final note ~ Bounty included an incredible playlist of songs that enhanced this couple’s journey. (Jus crooning “Time in a Bottle” brought me to tears). But, it was this tune that was playing in the background of my mind, as I was fully absorbed within Deke and Justice's world...

“Lightning strikes...Maybe once...Maybe twice”.
And it did, for the Gypsy that was Justice Lonesome. 

ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review