Book Review ~ ‘Handpicked’ by Dani Oden.

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Handpicked by Dani Oden
The Pledged Series #1
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Handpicked (Pledged #1) by Dani Oden

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SYNOPSIS

College freshman Jill Holloway takes one look at the stuck-up girls going through sorority rush and nearly returns her borrowed dress and heels. Against her best judgment, she ends up falling for the prestige and parties, and snagging a bid from a top house. After moving in, she quickly grows skeptical of her too-perfect sorority sisters. She tries to ask questions, though no one will take time from their busy social calendar to give her any real answers.

Jill wastes no time digging for everything she’s not supposed to find, and soon comes face-to-face with a big and bloody secret hidden in her sorority’s basement. She knows she’s in over her head, but taking off so soon would raise the perfectly-plucked eyebrows of her suspicious new sisters. She’s stuck until she can make a smooth exit.

But the closer she gets to leaving, the more it becomes clear that it won’t be as simple as she hoped. A tempting fraternity guy, a best friend who needs her, and new details about what has really been happening in the basement have her questioning what her next move should be, and whether or not it’ll be worth the risks.

HANDPICKED is a New Adult coming of age, with elements of suspense and romance.

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Book Review ~ ‘Handpicked’ by Dani Oden ~ 5 Stars!

‘Handpicked’ was just what I needed on my reading list. I’d just started a new job and in the short time between shifts I found myself struggling to connect with a story and characters in the short spans of my reading time, but when I started ‘Handpicked’ straight away I knew this would be different.

I adored this story, with its brilliant, fun and suspenseful writing style which was balanced perfectly throughout the novel, as well as the really unique interpretation of a sorority house at college. Being from the UK, we don’t have anything similar in terms of sorority’s and pledging, so being given an insight into this world was really exciting and great fun to read.

Jill was a brilliant heroine for our story as she was just a young girl trying to fit in, which made her so relatable to me, and therefore making me root for her throughout the book. I loved the relationship she had with her best friend, and how she was pledging because she wanted to stay with her. The introduction of Hannah, another girl pledging in the same house, was brilliantly done, and the three had a great banter going about, making them the perfect trio for this book. I really felt for all of them, and the pains they were going through, so it was great to see how the events of the story affected all three of them equally.

The suspense in this story was paced perfectly, and I adored all the little nudges and worries that rubbed off on me from Jill’s uncertainty, which made reading the mystery scenes all that more real and nerve-wracking. The mystery storyline flowed beautifully throughout the book, and didn’t detract from any of the other elements of the story and vice versa. Dani Oden has done a fantastic job at making this story flow realistically, and allowing the mystery elements of the story to unwind at a slow and suspenseful pace.

The introduction of the boys at the fraternity house gave this book a wonderful romantic element that warmed my heart. I loved Tad and his quiet but understanding nature, as well as how much of a gentleman he was to Jill throughout the beginning of their relationship. If the next books in the series are to focus on Jill again, I’d love to see more of their relationship as it was beautiful to read.

Overall this was fun and suspenseful, a perfect read when you just want a few hours to yourself. I laughed, cringed and cried along with the characters, and can’t wait to see more from Dani Oden soon.

*Review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Dani Oden

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Book Blitz ~ ‘Stay’ by Emily Goodwin.

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Stay by Emily Goodwin
Publication date: May 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

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SYNOPSIS

“I felt like I was walking to the end of a plank precariously hanging over shark-infested water. When I jumped, sharp teeth would rip into me and the cold water would steal my breath away. The monsters would take everything from me, leaving me shivering and naked in the water. The only difference was that tonight I would be pulled from the icy darkness and forced to do it again. There would be no release from death, only pain.”

Home after her first year of college, Adeline Miller is looking forward to a stress free summer filled with reading, working on her blog, and spending time with friends. But all that changes in an instant when she is witness to something terrible, something she wasn’t supposed to see.

Beaten, drugged, kidnapped.

Adeline Miller is ripped from her innocent and carefree life and thrust into darkness, into a world full of pain and horror. As a sex slave, she is forced to do horrible things, and have horrible things done to her. One of her captors has a past as dark as the world she is now living in. Will getting close to him mean freedom? Or will he pull her deeper into the shadows?

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Photo of young beautiful lady with magnificent dark hair, autumn toned

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Playlist

Since I typically write paranormal/horror, my usual writing playlists are filled with epic songs from soundtracks with lots of NIN and Marilyn Manson thrown in. With STAY, I needed something different. While this novel is just as dark—if not darker—than the books I usually write, it’s a different kind of dark.

STAY is the first book I’ve written with a contemporary setting and no elements of fantasy. And yet it was one of the scariest books I’ve ever written. After all, the truth is often worse than fiction. Unlike ghosts, demons, and zombies, being kidnapped and forced into human trafficking is something that really could happen.

I needed music that set the mood for not only fear, but a sense of hopelessness and utter despair the characters felt. I am not a fan of slow, sad music, so this is as close at it comes for me. Here is the playlist I listened to on repeat while writing STAY

  • Imagine Dragons- Demons
  • Of Monster and Men- Little Talks
  • Imagine Dragons- Bleeding Out
  • One Republic- Counting Stars
  • One Republic- Come Home
  • Animals- House of the Rising Sun
  • Tom Petty- Free Fallin’
  • Tom Petty- Mary Jane’s Last Dance
  • One Republic- Secrets
  • Coldplay- Fix You
  • Goo Goo Dolls- Iris
  • Tom Petty- I Won’t Back Down
  • Jason Mraz- I Won’t Give Up
  • Katy Perry- Unconditionally

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Emily

Emily Goodwin

Emily Goodwin is the author of the award winning Contagium Series published by Permuted Press as well as many independently published novels, including the internationally bestselling novel, STAY. Emily writes in a wide variety of genres, from horror to romance. She holds multiple degrees in psychology and nursing and has worked in mental health and general healthcare. Emily resides in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and German Shepherd named Vader. Along with writing, Emily enjoys riding her horse, designing and making costumes, and Cosplay.

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Book Blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours.

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Book Review ~ ‘The Devil’s Contract’ by Claire Contreras!

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The Devil’s Contract by Claire Contreras
(Contracts and Deceptions #1)
Genres: Dark, Erotica, Romance.

The Devil's Contract by Claire Contreras

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SYNOPSIS

 

He gave them a choice.

She took it.

He made her promise two years.

She should have known there was a catch.

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Book Review ~ ‘The Devil’s Contract’ by Claire Contreras ~ 5 Stars!

‘The Devil’s Contract’ was just mind-blowingly awesome! This was the first book I’d read by the author, and I knew within the first few pages that it wouldn’t be the last. ‘The Devil’s Contract’ tells the emotional, heartbreaking yet also powerful and inspirational of our young heroine Amara, who will do anything to protect and help those that she loves, even if it means giving up her rights as a human being.

I loved the dark undertones throughout this book which would twist and writhe throughout the different characters storylines, building and crashing down at multiple interviews throughout the book. This made the book so unique in terms of pacing and I just adored the unexpected and constant twists in the story that had my mind blown! I adored the whole storyline that included Chloe/Courtenay and portrayed a very different, but very real interpretation of some practices such as the strong relationships formed between the females who work together, and the protective stances they take over each other and shared love that in some ways can be even more touching than the most beautiful and passionate of romantic relationships.

But the winner in this book for me, which made me connect to it on such a deep level was the wonderful creation of Colin. My heart just broke for him and Amara as I could feel the connection between them, even after their painful separation and the miles between them. The cliff-hanger at the end of this book almost killed me, and was such a game changer that I can’t wait to see how this effects their relationship in the next book, because damn was that just amazing, hot and thrilling!

I think some readers may not understand Amara’s reasoning for not telling Colin the truth by her leaving, and in some ways I can agree, but she left everything she knew out of fear and love for her friends and family, and that made Amara, for me, the bravest and most amazing heroine for this book and despite my heartbreak over her and Colin’s separation and the way that she felt he was slipping from her, I really felt that the strength of her love for her mother made her so admirable and had me raging at both her father and Philip for taking advantage of her good nature and her desire to protect her mother.

This book just blew my mind and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book! Hurry up release date!!! ❤

5 stars!

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*Review copy was provided by the author through Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review*

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Claire Contreras.

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Book Review ~ ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ by Beverly Barton.

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I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton
Genres: Adult, Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Pubisher: Avon
Publication Date: Kindle ~ 28th August 2014
Paperback ~ 9th October 2014

I'll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton

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SYNOPSIS

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . .

A series of hand-delivered letters leaves Ella scared for her life.

Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge.

Desperate for the nightmare to end, Ella will do anything to discover the truth.

Even join forces with a man who comes with his own danger warning . .

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Book Review ~ ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ by Beverly Barton ~ 5 Stars!

There’s nothing better than getting lost in a really good thriller, and that is what ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ is, a really good thriller. Beverly Barton interwove the romance, crime, mystery and suspense of this story to perfection and made me feel like I was reading a real life account, not just a story. It is the sign of a very good author that you forget whilst reading that the story is purely fictional, and with the brilliant development of both the main and secondary characters and the slow building storyline, ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ felt very real to me, making me feel the suspense even more than I would have reading any old thriller.

I loved the development of the characters in this book, especially the way that Barton was able to write a romantic storyline between two characters who could not have been more different. I loved the personality clashes between Reed and Ella, which made me root for them even more, as both of them were so stubborn that when they were together, they began to see the world in a different way. The way that there storyline entwined with the suspense that was woven throughout the story was fantastic, and there were moments when I felt my head doubting Reed’s innocence, even though I knew in my heart that he was telling the truth. Having the hero of this story being an ex-convict who’d been imprisoned for 15 years for a murder he stoutly denies having any involvement in was a clever move as we were able to see how prison affected an innocent person as he started his life again outside. It was also wonderful to see the strong family network Reed had with his mother and sister, which was beautifully contrasted with the loving relationship Ella had with her Father, and she also believes with her mother.

Any good thriller has to have the reader on the edge of their seat, and I was definitely on the edge of mine when I was reading ‘I’ll Be Watching You’. So much so that when at 70% through the book at 1AM, I stayed awake to finish it as I just had to know what would happen to the characters that I had come to care about so deeply. What made this book even better was the tiny clues we were given throughout the novel as to who the true killer of Reed’s stepfather was. It was brilliant because the clues, whilst giving away so much information, also gave away so little, as my mind jumped constantly from one suspect to another, making a case against all of the main and secondary characters before finding out in the next chapter that my case was flawed. It was exceptionally well written and I loved feeling that as well as a reader, I was also an investigator of the crime.

What really made this novel stand out for me was the wonderful development of the secondary characters. They felt just as real to me as the main characters, and it made me so happy to see how their storylines unfolded alongside Reed and Ella’s. It was great to see how it was not just Reed who had been so badly affected by his mother’s relationship with their stepfather, as his sister was still badly scarred from her trauma, something that hadn’t lessened in the fifteen years her brother was in prison. Seeing her blossom into a more confident woman was so beautiful and I loved her relationship with Mark that I had at one time worried was one-sided.

This was a superbly written book, with perfect pacing, character development and a suspense that will have you shivering.

5 Stars!

*Review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Available for Pre-Order.

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Sale Alert ~ ‘A Broken Fairytale’ Series 99c Sale!

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A Broken Fairytale Series by S.P. Cervantes

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Dust to Dust by S.P. Cervantes
(A Broken Fairytale #1)

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SYNOPSIS

A SUSPENSEFUL SECOND-CHANCE ROMANCE!

If faced with your worst fear, what would you do? Would you run or would you fight?

Camryn Hamilton is a fighter.

A thirty-something mother of two, Camryn appears to have it all: a husband, plenty of money, and children she adores. When she returns home to spend Christmas with her family, her perfect world she has created begins to crumble, thrusting her face to face with the only man who truly knows her.

Holden Patrick will fight harder.

A powerful, handsome attorney, Holden left town after his adoptive parents’ death. In his time away he almost managed to forget the girl who ran away with his heart. At least until a turn of fate brought him back to Mantoloking, and back to Camryn.

But are they willing to fight for each other?

Faced with a tragic past that they both wanted to forget, they struggle to protect their hearts from being broken again. Will their love be enough to get them through another tragedy, or will they close themselves off and run away again?

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Dust to Dust

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Wished Away 1

Wished Away by S.P. Cervantes
(A Broken Fairytale #2)

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SYNOPSIS

Imagine that you were married to the love of your life and had a happy family. Now imagine everything was destroyed in an instant, making you question who you are and how you can possibly go on once the one person you truly love is gone.
It is a rare thing to find your soul mate, but Jess found true love in Dave when they were only teenagers. They’ve built a happy life together in a small shore town, becoming pillars of the community and making everyone around them envious of the perfect life they have built together. Their love is something that seems like it can only exist in a fairy tale. But what happens when the fairy tale is broken?

Jess has always been the life of the party, and Dave was always there to reel her in and keep her safe. But one night, while on duty as the town Sheriff, the unimaginable happens, altering the directions of their lives forever.
Jess is now forced to dig deep in her soul and find herself again. When love tries to chip away at her frozen over heart, she struggles to fight the guilt of moving on while keeping the memory of her perfect love alive.

This is a story about finding love, having it all taken away, and discovering that moving on doesn’t mean forgetting the past.

***This is the second book of the A Broken Fairy Tale series, but can also be read as a stand alone

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Wished Away

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S.P. Cervantes

S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel.

S.P. Cervantes is the author of the highly rated New Adult Romantic Fantasy series Secrets of Shadow Hill. “Always and Forever” and “The Prophecy” are the first two book in the series that are available now. The third book in the series, “War of Wizards” will be released May 27, 2014.

S.P. Cervantes also has a contemporary romance series, A Broken Fairy Tale, in with the first book of the series, “Dust to Dust (A Broken Fairy Tale)” released March 4, 2014.

The second book of the series, “Wished Away” will be released August, 2014.

 

 

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Book Review ~ ‘Bound Forever’ by Hanna Peach.

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Bound Forever by Hanna Peach
Bound #2
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Release Date: 6th August 2014.

Bound Forever FINAL

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SYNOPSIS

The stunning conclusion to Bound by Lies…

“Kitten”
Caden and I on the run. Together. But he still won’t let me touch him and I know he is still keeping things from me. I am determined to uncover everything – at any cost. Even if it tears us apart.

Caden
Jacob is back. He’s back and he knows about her. Now, everything that binds the three of us together are twisting and tightening, pulling us all together. I can feel the inevitable coming…
I don’t know how this will end… all I know is, there will be blood.

*Adult romantic suspense. +18 years.*

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Book Review ~ ‘Bound Forever’ by Hanna Peach ~ 5+ Stars!

Ever since I had finished ‘Bound by Lies’, I was on tenterhooks for the second part of “Kitten” and Caden’s story. I was so invested in the two wonderful main characters, their pasts, their possible futures, that I turned into a goodreads stalker, constantly checking to see when the conclusion to their story was to be released.

‘Bound Forever’ was everything I hoped it would be, and more. The thing that drew me into this duet was the powerful writing, that was so honest, refreshing, and brilliantly paced. I loved the psychological elements that were entwined throughout, and there was so much that I’d started to learn about the characters that I was desperate to see more, whether it was good or bad.

The beautiful development of “Kitten” and Caden’s story continued in ‘Bound Forever’, and I loved the back and forth worries that Kitten had in regards to trusting Caden, when she realised that he was still keeping things from her. To see how desperately Caden wanted to keep her safe, and protected, especially from the demons of his own past, was so heartbreaking to read, and I loved seeing how he opened up, letting himself finally talk about the past, and pray for a future with Kitten away from all the pain and heartbreak that their pasts have caused.

The use of time jumps, from present time to the past was brilliantly done, and was a great way for the author to give me as a reader little snippets of information that I knew would all add up to make the final picture clear, keeping me on the edge of my seat. This was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down because I cared too much about the characters, and just had to know whether they would get their happy ending.

The relationship between Kitten and Caden was one of the most beautiful, memorable things about this series, especially when adding in the psychological elements of past abuse and loss. Their stories are heartbreakingly realistic, and give a haunting echo of the pains that some people live with today. This made it doubly heart-warming to read about two broken people fixing each other with their love and devotion, and I know that their beautiful story is now a part of me. Only a really talented author has the power to control their readers emotions so well, and I don’t even hesitate when putting Hanna Peach in the category of a very talented author, one that I will keep a close eye out for future releases.

A stunning conclusion to this wonderful two part series. It is up there with my top favourites, and Hanna Peach is an author to watch out for.

5+ Stars!

*Review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

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For a limited time only both books in the Bound series are only 99c! Grab them now!

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Hanna Peach

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Cover Reveal ~ ‘Intoxicated By You’ by Michelle Iannerelli.

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Intoxicated By You by Michelle Iannerelli.
(You #1)
Genres: Romance/Suspense
Release Date: June 13th 2014.

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Cover Model: Mitch Latour

Photographer: Eric Battershell of Eric Battershell Photography/FITography

Cover Design: Pamela Hernandez with Dynamic Design Team

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SYNOPSIS

Tall, dark and strong that is how Liam drinks his coffee, how Emily likes her men….

All Dr. Emily Kelly was looking for was a latte…instead, she fell for Liam…literally.

Detective Liam St. Paul isn’t looking for love, he is a one night stand kind of guy…until he looked into Emily’s eyes.

When Emily’s life is in danger…Liam vows to protect her.

Will Emily and Liam find a way to leave their pasts behind them and move forward together? Or will their pasts tear them apart?

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TEASER

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AUTHOR

Michelle Iannerelli

I am a lifetime New Yorker, living just minutes from New York City in a coastal community with my husband and two children. I strongly believe in fate, destiny and that everything happens for a reason. My favorite things aside from my children, whom I consider my greatest works of art, are coffee, snow, karma and the New York Yankees. I have been taught that life is way too short, so I decided it was now or it may be never, so I gave up editing and began writing my first book. The rest is now history.

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Cover Reveal hosted by Book Addicts One Stop PR Shop.

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