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Books I’ve Read: Unrequited by Jen Frederick

Books

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Unrequited
Series: Woodlands #4
Author: Jen Frederick
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 13 April 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister’s ex boyfriend. She’s spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O’Malley looked hollowed out by his father’s death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right.

Finn can’t stop thinking about Winter and the night and he’ll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has.

Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.paragraph divider 18

Given my rating of 4/5 this will surprise you – I have issues with this book. These being personal issue and not a reflection of the book in the slightest I couldn’t justify rating it lower :) You all know my personal problems surrounding addiction and it’s effect on families, so I tend to project all of my anger and hurt onto the characters when reading about similar situations.

Another aspect that I have a slight problem with and has been used in quite a few stories recently, is that of relationships being formed with siblings. Seriously it makes me shudder. However, in this instance Winter is not a biological sibling to Ivy, which did make it slightly easier for me to come to terms with.

Speaking of Ivy (smooth segue yes!) I apologise but I absolutely hate her – even at the end I still hated her with a passion. I have to give Jen Frederick credit for making me feel so much for a character even if it is complete and utter loathing lol. Ivy is selfish, self-absorbed, shallow, manipulative – need I go on. She has the worst character traits all rolled into one. It is difficult to believe that Finn would have ever had a relationship with her (EWWWW)

Luckily, Winter more than makes up for the horribleness of her sister. She is the opposite of everything that is wrong with Ivy, although she does tend to take on the martyr role putting Ivy’s needs before her own to the detriment of her happiness. There is a lot of angst between the pages of Unrequited, so prepare yourself for a rollercoaster ride of emotion.

Finn is a great character and I really liked how self-aware he was. Recognising his faults and past mistakes, wiling to rectify the situation and fight for what he wants :)

Cameo appearances from my favourite characters always aid my enjoyment of the Woodlands series, but if anyone calls Grace plump again I may punch them. Jen’s epilogues are always the best; I love being able to see the characters future play out within the pages *happy sigh*

Unrequited is equal parts steamy and swoony when you get past Ivy.

Review: Only for Us by Cristin Harber

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

Title: Only for Us
Series: Only #3
Author: Cristin Harber
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 14 April 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

The third installment of the Only series. Must be read in order.

Grayson and Emma. First love. True love. And… they have a daughter. Abandonment is his curse. He left his woman, survived his team, and missed the moment most precious to a father. Until now.

“I didn’t know you were killing yourself with work. I didn’t know you’re raising our daughter. So help me God, had I known, there is no military force on earth that would’ve kept me from you.”

Love needs to heal all, or they won’t survive the collision of their separate lives. Emma must reach deep into her heart that is barely hanging on and find forgiveness. Grayson, wrecked with PTSD-filled nightmares, must prove that he’s here to stay and able to rebuild his family against all odds.

“I need to say I love you. But what I mean is I love you–in a way that defies definition and exists only in a world that you and I are in.”

Only for Us is the third installment in the Only series. All novellas will release Spring 2015.

Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

REVIEW 

Please bear in mind Only for Us is the third installment and therefore, the review may contain spoilers to the previous installments.

Emma and Grayson’s love is the kind I think all of us hope for in life. It is passionate, all-consuming, tender, caring and the type of forever love you can only find once in a lifetime ♥ Obviously they are not without their problems, trying to fight their way out from under a mountain of regrets and past hurt; however, you can never, ever question whether they truly love each other.

Only for Us is intense and highly emotional on a number of levels including relationship, family and parenthood. I absolutely adore Gray and Emma, more and more with each installment. The dual narrative allows insight into their relationship that cannot be seen from an outside perspective; their decisions and emotions all linked together in current interactions and past events.

Emma is such a wonderful role-model, mature beyond her years, even before she had to deal with being a single mother. She is responsible, independent, loving and caring. I hate that she can be judged on her choices, when her decisions were purely based on providing for her child.

Emma and Gray have a lot to overcome, their memories, both good and bad, add to their characterizations and interactions within the narrative. Emma’s family are understandably, overprotective of both Emma and Cally. It is difficult to know how I would react in this situation if it was one of my children. Time and distance has provided all concerned with a deeper level of clarity on the positive and negative aspects of their life.

I have to mention Mazie, I have a deep dislike of this character no matter how many times it is re-iterated that she is nothing more than a friend. I found her inclusion in this installment unnecessary and in fact thought it disturbed the flow of the narrative rather than aiding it.

With the cliff-hanger ending I am desperate to find out what is in store for Emma and Gray next.

Spotlight plus Give-Away: Only For Us by Cristin Harber

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Received from InkSlingerPR

Received from InkSlingerPR

About ONLY FOR US

The third installment of the Only series. Must be read in order.

Grayson and Emma. First love. True love. And… they have a daughter. Abandonment is his curse. He left his woman, survived his team, and missed the moment most precious to a father. Until now.

I didn’t know you were killing yourself with work. I didn’t know you’re raising our daughter. So help me God, had I known, there is no military force on earth that would’ve kept me from you.

Love needs to heal all, or they won’t survive the collision of their separate lives. Emma must reach deep into her heart that is barely hanging on and find forgiveness. Grayson, wrecked with PTSD-filled nightmares, must prove that he’s here to stay and able to rebuild his family against all odds.

I need to say I love you. But what I mean is I love you–in a way that defies definition and exists only in a world that you and I are in.

Only for Us is the third installment in the Only series. All novellas will release Spring 2015.

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About Cristin Harber

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

Connect with Cristin Harber

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

You can become a Titan Agent for exclusive scenes, details, and more! Visit the official Titan website here!

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Books I’ve Read: The Virgin Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn

Books

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: The Virgin Romance Novelist
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: April 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Her bosom heaved at an alarming rate as his rough hand found its way down to her soft, yet wiry briar patch…

Can you say briar patch in a romance novel? What about meat sword? That’s what it is…a meat sword, right, all meaty and sword like, slaying through the inner dungeons of a woman’s dark desires. What about breasts? Do bosoms really heave?

God, I have no idea what happens when private parts touch.

I’m a virgin trying to write a romance novel and can’t seem to write past a sex scene thanks to my lack of experience.

My two best friends encourage me to drop the pen for a while and gain some real life practice through multiple dating facets such as blind dates, online profiles, and random hookups.

But losing my virginity is proving to be tougher than expected…

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This book will make you laugh so hard you will have tears running down your face; your children will be checking on you every five minutes to make sure you are OK because you keep cackling away to yourself while reading 😉

It literally, has to be the funniest thing I have read in ages. Some based purely around being a woman and the observation of the unbelievable torture we have to endure in the name of beauty – brazilian waxing will never be the same again. While other incidents are seriously cringe worthy but hilarious moments – manscaping comes instantly to mind 😉

Rosie is a brilliant character combining the deadly combination of naivety and curiosity. Stuck in a dead-end job writing about cats, (think the movie Cats and Dogs for the cats she encounters) she dreams of writing her own steamy novel but has zero experience on which to base her stories on. You all know the saying – ‘write what you know’ – pushes Rosie to put her curiosity to the test. Her naivety lands her in some seriously absurd situations, I didn’t know whether to cringe, be embarrassed for her or just laugh my head off – so I choose all three most of the time 😉

The romance aspect of the story plays a secondary role to Rosie’s character development and observation of love and life. Although I liked the way the romance played out, I didn’t connect with it fully due to incidents fueled by rejection/anger within the narrative. Vague, I know, but I don’t want to give away spoilers. While I think the person in question is the right choice for Rosie, I was still unhappy about some of the events that took place.

The Virgin Romance Novelist is a perfect pick-me-up book for all women over the age of 20. I say this because over that age you can relate to the life observations better. The Virgin Romance Novelist is guaranteed to beat any reading slump. Get it, Read it, Laugh so hard you cry. One more thing YOU’RE WELCOME 😉

Review: Asa by Jay Crownover

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Received from Publisher

Title: Asa
Series: The Marked Men #6
Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 21 April 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

REVIEW 

Let me start by saying that I always feel greatly privileged after reading any of Jay Crownover’s books. For me, I feel as if she puts her heart and soul into each and every one of her characters. In that respect (and her acknowledgements in each book) I always feel as if I have received a personal connection to the characters and the author. It really does feel that special.

Asa has been a regular feature in the Marked Men books since Jet. You really have to read Jet first to fully appreciate Asa’s character development and the interactions between him and the other characters :) His previous bad boy ways have overshadowed his life and tainted his self perception. Seriously if you looked up REDEMPTION in the dictionary you would find a picture of Asa 😉

Asa and Royal have been drawn to each other since their very sighting. The whole opposites attract thing could be applied to them, however, they have far more in common than initial impressions would give credit to. Both are ridiculously good-looking, allowing for certain pre-conceived notions to taint their connections to other people. Both, Asa and Royal have unconventional family backgrounds creating additional plot twists within the narrative. At one point I honestly thought my heart couldn’t possibly take another twist 😉

I loved that Royal pursued Asa in this story, going after the thing she wanted the most, putting herself out there and not taking no for an answer. Even when she is spiralling with guilt and regret she is still a wonderful female role model. I also liked how even negative events can have positive results. Making a person examine themselves and their situation, creating a oppurtunity for self-awareness and growth.

There is a lot going on within the pages of Asa, each plot thread and character expertly developed and carried out. The progression of the previous characters and the staging of the next series solidify Jay Crownover’s writing genius.