Swoon Thursday #28

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Title: Ignite
Series: Explosive #1
Author: Tessa Teevan
Published: 30th Oct 2013
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for honest review
Rating: 4.5/5
Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Review

“I need to know that you’re sure about this. I’m leaving and I don’t know when I’ll be back. But I do know that when I can come back, it’ll be for you. You’re it for me. I want you so bad, but I need to know that you’ll be okay with this. That when I leave you won’t hate me; that this night will be enough for you, at least for now. I promise you, I’ll come back for you, but that has to be enough.”

My heart warmed and melted at the same time at his words. I think I could never see him again and I’d still want to give my virginity to him, even though part of me was beginning to feel anxious and apprehensive.

“Jace, I fell for you a long time ago, so it only makes sense that it’s you. I’m terrified that I won’t see you after tomorrow, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting you tonight. If nothing else, I want to have the memories of this night. Please, I need it to be you.”

Looking down at me, he pressed his lips to mine.

This story was so beautiful, and I absolutely adored Jace & Alexa. They've both been through so much is their lives that the deserve some happiness again. And I loved this sweet flashback scene of where it all started with them back in high school.

So what's making you swoon this week?

{Trailer + Excerpt} Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

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Title: Foreplay
Series: The Ivy Chronicles #1
Author: Sophie Jordan
Published: Nov 5th 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BLURB:
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

TRAILER


EXCERPT
Smoke billowed up from beneath the hood of my car in great plumes, a gray fog on the dark night. Slapping the steering wheel, I muttered a profanity and pulled to the side of the road. A quick glance confirmed that the temperature gauge was well into the red.
“Shit, shit, shit.” I killed the engine with quick, angry movements, hoping that might miraculously stop the vehicle from overheating further.
Grabbing my phone from the cup holder, I hopped out of the car into the crisp autumn night and stood well away from the vehicle. I knew nothing of engines, but I’d seen plenty of movies where the car blew up right after it started smoking. I wasn’t taking any chances.
I checked the time on my phone. Eleven thirty-five. Not too late. I could call the Campbells. They would come and get me and give me a ride back to the dorm. But that still left my car alone out here on this road. I’d only have to deal with that later, and I already had a ton to do tomorrow. I might as well handle it now.
I glanced at the quiet night around me. Crickets sang softly and wind rustled through the branches. It wasn’t exactly hopping with traffic. The Campbells lived on a few acres outside of town. I liked babysitting for them. It was a nice break from the bustle of the city. The old farmhouse felt like a real home, lived-in and cozy, very traditional with its old wood floors and stone fireplace that was always crackling at this time of year. It was like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The kind of life I craved someday.
Only now I didn’t quite appreciate how isolated I felt on this country road. I rubbed my arms through my long thin sleeves, wishing I had grabbed my sweatshirt before I left tonight. Barely October and it was already getting cold.
I stared grimly at my smoking car. I was going to need a tow truck. Sighing, I started scrolling through my phone, searching for tow trucks in the area. The lights of an oncoming car flashed in the distance and I froze, debating what to do. The sudden insane idea to hide seized me. An old instinct, but familiar.
This had horror movie written all over it. A girl all by herself. A lonely country road. I’d been the star of my own horror movie once upon a time. I wasn’t up for a repeat.
I moved off the road, situating myself behind my car. Not hiding exactly, but at least I wasn’t standing out in the open, an obvious target. I tried to focus on the screen of my phone and look casual standing there. Like if I ignored the approaching car its inhabitant would somehow not notice me or the smoking pile of metal. Without lifting my head, every part of me was tuned in to the slowing tires and the purring engine as the vehicle stopped.
Of course, they stopped. Sighing, I lifted my face, staring at a would-be serial killer. Or my rescuer. I knew that the latter was much more likely, but the whole scenario made me queasy and I could only think of worst-case possibilities.
It was a Jeep. The kind without a roof. Just a roll bar. The headlights gleamed off the stretch of black asphalt.
“You okay?” The deep voice belonged to a guy. Much of his face was in shadow. The light from the instrument panel cast a glow onto his face. Enough that I could determine he was youngish. Not much older than myself. Maybe mid-twenties at the most.
Most serial killers are young white males. The random factoid skittered across my thoughts, only adding to my anxiety.
“I’m fine,” I quickly said, my voice overly loud in the crisp night. I brandished my phone as if that explained everything. “I have someone coming.” I held my breath, waiting, hoping he would believe the lie and move on.
He idled there in the shadows, his hand on the gear stick. He looked up ahead at the road and then glanced behind him. Assessing just how alone we were? How ripe his opportunity was to murder me?
I wished I had a can of mace. A black belt in kung fu. Something. Anything. The fingers of my left hand tightened around my keys. I thumbed the jagged tip. I could gouge him in the face if necessary. The eyes. Yeah. I’d aim for the eyes.
He leaned across the passenger seat, away from the glow of instrument panel, plunging himself into even deeper shadow. “I could look under the hood,” his deep, disembodied voice offered.
I shook my head. “Really. It’s okay.”
Those eyes I had just contemplated gouging with my keys glittered across the distance at me. Their color was impossible to tell in the thick gloom, but they had to be pale. A blue or green. “I know you’re nervous—”
“I’m not. I’m not nervous,” I babbled quickly. Too quickly.
He leaned back in his seat, the amber glow again lighting his features. “I don’t feel right leaving you out here alone.” His voice shivered across my skin. “I know you’re afraid.”
I glanced around. The inky night pressed in thickly. “I’m not,” I denied, but my voice rang thin, lacking all conviction.
“I get it. I’m a stranger. I know it would make you more comfortable if I left, but I wouldn’t want my mother out here alone at night.”
I held his gaze for a long moment, taking his measure, attempting to see something of his character in the shadowy lines of his face. I glanced to my still smoking car and back at him. “Okay. Thanks.” The thanks followed slowly, a deep breath later, full of hesitation. I only hoped I wasn’t going to end up on the morning news.
If he wanted to hurt me he would. Or at least he would try. Whether I invited him to look at my engine or not. That was my logic as I watched him pull his Jeep in front of my car. The door swung open. He unfolded his long frame and stepped out into the night with a flashlight in his hand.
His footsteps crunched over loose gravel, the beam of his flashlight zeroing in on my still-smoldering vehicle. From the angle of his face, I didn’t think he even looked my way. He went straight for my car, lifting the hood and disappearing under it.
Arms crossed tightly in front of me, I stepped forward cautiously, edging out into the road so I could watch him as he studied the engine. He reached down and touched different things. God knows what. My knowledge of auto mechanics was right up there with my origami-making abilities.
I went back to studying his shadowy features. Something glinted. I squinted. His right eyebrow was pierced.
Suddenly another beam of lights lit up the night. My would-be-mechanic straightened from beneath the hood and stepped out, positioning himself between me and the road, his long legs braced and hands on his hips as the car approached. I had my first unfettered view of his face in the harsh glow of oncoming headlights, and I sucked in a sharp breath.
The cruel lighting might have washed him out or picked up his flaws, but no. As far as I could see he had no physical flaws.
He was hot. Plain and simple. Square jaw. Deep-set blue eyes beneath slashing dark brows. The eyebrow piercing was subtle, just a glint of silver in his right eyebrow. His hair looked like a dark blond, cut short, close to his head. Emerson would call him lickable.
This new vehicle halted beside my car and I snapped my attention away from him as the window whirred down. Lickable leaned down at the waist to peer inside.
“Oh, hey, Mr. Graham. Mrs. Graham.” He slid a hand from his jean pocket to give a small wave.
“Car trouble?” a middle-aged man asked. The backseat of the car was illuminated with the low glow of an iPad. A teenager sat there, his gaze riveted to the screen, punching buttons, seemingly oblivious that the car had even stopped.
Lickable nodded and motioned to me. “Just stopped to help. I think I see the problem.”
The woman in the passenger seat smiled at me. “Don’t worry, honey. You’re in good hands.”
Eased at the reassurance, I nodded at her. “Thank you.”
As the car drove away, we faced each other, and I realized this was the closest I had allowed myself to get to him. Now that some of my apprehension was put to rest, a whole new onslaught of emotions bombarded me. Sudden, extreme self-consciousness for starters. Well, for the most part. I tucked a strand of my unmanageable hair behind my ear and shifted uneasily on my feet.
“Neighbors,” he explained, motioning to the road.
“You live out here?”
“Yeah.” He slid one hand inside his front jean pocket. The action made his sleeve ride up and reveal more of the tattoo that crawled from his wrist up his arm. Unthreatening as he might be, he was definitely not your standard boy next door.
“I was babysitting. The Campbells. Maybe you know them.”
He moved toward my car again. “They’re down the road from my place.”
I followed. “So you think you can fix it?” Standing beside him, I peered down into the engine like I knew what I was looking at. My fingers played nervously with the edges of my sleeves. “'Cause that would be awesome. I know she’s a jalopy, but I’ve had her a long time.” And I can’t exactly afford a new car right now.
He angled his head to look at me. “Jalopy?” A corner of his mouth kicked up.
I winced. There I went again, showing off the fact that I grew up surrounded by people born before the invention of television.
“It means an old car.”
“I know what it means. Just never heard anyone but my grandmother say it.”
“Yeah. That’s where I picked it up.” From Gran and everyone else in the Chesterfield Retirement Village.
Turning, he moved to his Jeep. I continued to play with my sleeves, watching him return with a bottle of water.
“Looks like a leaky radiator hose.”
“Is that bad?”
Unscrewing the cap on the water, he poured it inside my engine. “This will cool it down. Should run now. For a while at least. How far are you going?”
“About twenty minutes.”
“It will probably make it. Don’t go farther than that or it will overheat again. Take it to a mechanic first thing tomorrow so he can replace the hose.”
I breathed easier. “That doesn’t sound too bad.”
“Shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred.”
I winced. That would pretty much wipe out my account. I would have to see about working a few extra shifts at the daycare or getting some more babysitting gigs. At least when I babysat, I could get in some studying after the kids went to bed.
He slammed the hood back in place.
“Thanks a lot.” I shoved my hands into my pockets. “Saved me from calling a tow truck.”
“So no one’s coming then?” That corner of his mouth lifted back up again and I knew I amused him.
“Yeah.” I shrugged. “I might have made that up.”
“It’s okay. You weren’t exactly in an ideal situation. I know I can look scary.”
My gaze scanned his face. Scary? I knew he was probably joking, but he did have that certain edge to him. A dangerous vibe with his tattoos and piercing. Even if he was hot. He was like the dark vampire in movies that girls obsessed over. The ones that were torn between eating the girl and kissing her. I always preferred the nice mortal guy and never understood why the heroine didn’t go after him. I didn’t do dark, dangerous, and sexy. You don’t do anyone. I shoved the whisper back, batting it away. If the right guy—the one I wanted—noticed me, all that would change.
“I wouldn’t say scary … exactly.”
He chuckled softly. “Sure you would.”
Silence hovered between us for a moment. My gaze swept over him. The comfortable-looking T-shirt and well-worn jeans were casual. Guys wore them every day on campus, but he didn’t look casual. He didn’t look like any guy I ever saw around campus. He looked like trouble. The kind that girls lost their heads over. Suddenly my chest felt too tight.
“Well, thanks again.” Offering up a small wave I ducked back inside my car. He watched me turn the key. Thankfully smoke didn’t billow up from the hood.
Driving away, I refused to risk a glance back in my rearview mirror. If Emerson had been with me, I’m sure she wouldn’t have left without his phone number.
Eyes on the road again, I felt perversely glad she wasn’t there.

{Blog Tour Review + GIVEAWAY} Cross Country Christmas by Tiffany King

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Title: Cross Country Christmas
Series: The 12 NA's of Christmas
Author: Tiffany King
Published: Nov 1st 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for fair & honest review
Rating: 4.5/5

BLURB:
***Cross Country Christmas is proud to be a part of The 12 NA's of Christmas *** 
12 New Adult Novellas. 12 Best Selling Authors. November 2013.

With the holiday season upon her, Jamie Foster is once again stressed about making her yearly visit back home to Woodfalls, still single. Fate intervenes in the form of Grant Johnson, a boy she grew up with, who catches the same flight while returning home from a business trip.

When a malfunction sends their plane crashing down on the runway upon takeoff, Jamie and Grant decide to rent a car and make the nine-hundred-mile drive home together. Ironically for them, anything that can go wrong does as they face one hysterical hurdle after another.

Christmas may finally bring Jamie the gift of love she has always wanted if she and Grant can manage to overcome a few obstacles along the way. Ho-ho-ho!

REVIEW:
The story:
With Christmas just around the corner, Jamie Foster is reluctantly making the trip home to Woodfalls. And it just so happens that on the very same flight is none other than her high school crush Grant Johnson. After their plane makes a not so successful take off, Grant suggests the genius idea a renting a car and driving back to Woodfalls together (I see what you did there Grant - well played ;)

What ensues is one hilarious mishap after another as they try to deal with miniature rental cars, cockroaches, sleazy motel owners & snow storms, all while dancing around the sizzling sexual tension building between them!

The characters:
Jamie is a driven small town girl, who couldn't move away to city faster enough. She's created a successful business with her cooking blog and is proud of her achievements, the one thing missing is someone to share it all with. She believes in true love and is still looking for her perfect man.

I really loved Grant, the sweet guy who's taken over his family's lumber yard company that employes half the town of Woodfalls. He's a good, down to earth guy and although he likes to tease Jamie any chance he gets, it's clear (to everyone but Jamie) that it's because he's been in love with her since high school.

The romance:
With novellas, it's often difficult to convince the reader that the romance is real in such a short amount of time. However that wasn't a problem here, because the couple already knew each other and the feelings are already there - it was just a matter of them admitting it to each other! The chemistry between Grant & Jamie was undeniable, and the sexual tension was boiling over towards the end! Watching them slowly figure out that they have both been attracted to each other since high school was really sweet…and sexy!!

The Writing:
Although novellas are obviously much shorter than a regular novel, I personally think they are harder to write in some ways. The author must be able to write an engaging story with interesting characters and believable chemistry all within a shorter length story. Often character & plot develop is lacking. But Tiffany is quick to develop her character's backgrounds and relationships, allowing the reader to connect with the story early on and just enjoy the ride!

FINAL WORD:
Cross Country Christmas is a sweet & sexy holiday romance that your sure to love! With excellent characters and a fun adventurous story, this is just the perfect short story to read over Christmas!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / sex scene
Violence: none
Language: mild / occasional f word
Drugs & alcohol: mild



AUTHOR:
USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.
WEBSITE  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |   GOODREADS



GIVEAWAY

{Cover Reveal + GIVEAWAY} Breathless by Rachel Brookes

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Title: Breathless
Series: Breathe #1.5
Author: Rachel Brookes
Published: November 26, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Genre: Adult

BLURB:
One look from Savannah Rae was all it took for Tate Connors to fall.

From the first moment he laid eyes on her, his world was irrevocably shaken. He’s willing to accept that his life will never be the same again, but when she has to leave for New York the distance becomes more than either of them expected.

Tate is left alone with not only an empty bed but also a thousand thoughts running through his head. Insecurities soar as he wonders if he could ever really be the kind of man Savannah deserves.

When the demons of his past continue to threaten the future he so desperately craves, Tate knows he has to make the ultimate choice. Risk destroying his relationship and his family with one life changing decision, or gamble on fate and hope the past stays exactly that…the past. 

Check out where is all started with
Just Breathe (Breathe #1)
Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  IBook's  |  B & N  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords

About the Author:
Rachel Brookes is from a coastal town on the east coast of Australia where beaches, kangaroos and surfers roam free. She writes angsty love stories with a pinch of craziness, a dash of drama, a cup of romance and a spoonful of sexiness… oh and the main ingredient hot guys. 
Rachel sometimes forgets to eat, sometimes forgets to sleep and sometimes can’t remember the last time she cleaned her apartment but that’s because she is in a long term relationship with her laptop and is constantly writing. 
When she does step away from her laptop she can be found taking too many photos, making scrumptious cocktails, laughing at Adam Sandler movies and spending her time with her amazing family and friends. 
With her first novel, Just Breathe, was released in July 2013, her dream of releasing a book became reality. With another three books already taking up her mind, she cannot wait to start this crazy ride.


GIVEAWAY

Stacking The Shelves #9

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Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves.

Over the past few weeks I've been trying to catch up on review & Netgalley books, so I've been pulling back of review requests lately. I was actually been a very good girl this week and only got a couple of new books for my shelves!!

ARCs for Review:

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Magan Spooner
Thanks to Allen & Unwin Australia for sending me a copy of this book! If the book is half as amazing as that cover it will be incredible!!!

Purchased:
Heat Up The Fall: New Adult Boxed Set - ONLY 99c for ALL 6 books!!!

Catching Liam by Gennifer Albin

Addicted To You by Colina Brennan

Only Between Us by Mila Ferrera

Redesigned by Denise Grover

By Referral Only by Lyla Payne

Subject to Change by Alexandra Thomas

Well that's what's new to my bookshelf - what about you?

{ARC Review} Ignite by Tessa Teevan

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Title: Ignite
Series: Explosive #1
Author: Tessa Teevan
Published: 30th Oct 2013
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for honest review
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads  |  Amazon

BLURB:
After nearly a year and a half of grieving the loss of her husband, twenty-seven year old Alexa Sullivan Tate is headed back to her hometown after a decade of being away. She has no idea her high school crush, Jace McAllister, the guy who stole her heart the same night that he broke it, is more than ready to pick up the pieces. 

Jace has spent the last ten years in the Army defusing bomb after bomb, trying to forget the girl who ignited all his passions. Little does he know that the spark still exists. 

Ten years ago they had smoldering chemistry, but the spark between them now might light a fuse that leads to an explosion even Jace can't stop. Not that he wants to. If only Alexa can get past her guilt and trust her heart again. 

But how do you put it all on the line when you've already lost everything once before?

REVIEW:
The story:
From the very beginning I knew this was going to play with my heart and oh boy was I right. The prologue alone made me cry, with such a tragic and heartbreaking scene, and it didn't stop there. There was plenty of crying and not just a few stray tears but that awful hot-ball-of-lava-in-your-throat type of crying. 

After loosing her husband Ty is a car accident Alexa struggles to move on with her life. Her sister Sierra is there for her as is her new friend from work, Brady (who I adored!). They both encourage her to attend the high school reunion and meet up with her old best friend and first love Jace. Alexa is very hesitant at first, worried that it will awkward to see him after he broke eyer heart 10 years ago. But their connection is as strong as ever and watching them rekindle their relationship was so beautiful and sometimes quite hilarious. But the question is can their love overcome their past mistakes and Jace's life in the army?

The characters:
Jace, oh who wouldn't fall in love with that man *sigh*. Yes he's a hot muscly soldier, but he's also so much more. He is sweet and caring and so devoted to Alexa that I just wanted to squeeze his cheeks! (on his face of course! *cough*)

Alexa was such a real character, and after all that she's gone through she's still a very strong character. Like anyone she struggles with her emotions - grief from loosing Ty, happiness and a second chance with Jace and guilt at feeling happy again. I found her so relatable as a character and very likeable.

I have say I was really impressed with how Alexa's husband Ty was represented in the story. He so easily could have been written as a 'bad' character - uncaring, abusive, cold etc. But their love was honest and real, which only made the loss all the more tragic and heartbreaking. Reading some of the flashbacks scenes, broke my heart and made the pain of loosing him more real for me - I could really empathise for feelings of grief.

And there are also lots of great secondary characters with Lexi's hilarious & pushy sister Sierra and her husband Jeremy and of course their adorably hyperactive 4 year old Ava. I am also delighted that the next book in the series will be Jace's mate Knox's story - oh I can't wait to get to know that brooding soldier a little better!

The romance:
A romance that can survive ten years apart can only be described as epic, and that's exactly what it is. When they first see each other again it's like they've never been apart, the connection is still there and the sexual tension is electric! Seriously, there are some hot & spicy scenes these two share - and I have to say I am positive that Jace is not longer the Blue-Clit-Master (most hilarious scene I have read in a loooong time!!)

The Writing:
Tessa's writing was so full of emotion, it I felt like I was living through this alongside of Alexa and Jace. The feelings of grief, sadness, guilt, love, passion and hope where woven so beautifully into the story - I laughed and cried my way through the entire story.

I also felt the timeline was handled very effectively. After their reunion things don't just happen in a matter of weeks, but over a year, and this made their relationship so much more realistic and believable.

FINAL WORD:
The emotions in this book are so real and tangle, you won't be able to put it down. I felt everything Alexa went through and couldn't stop thinking about her story days after I'd finished reading it. Ignite is a tragic, heartbreaking and ultimately an uplifting story of love and second chances.

CONTENT:
Sexuality: strong / several sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium-strong / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild-medium



Swoon Thursday #27

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.


It's becoming a bit of a habit, but I'm swooning of two books again…I just can't help it, I've just been lucky enough to have read a lot of swoony books lately!!! (And I've already picked at least one for next week already hehe!)

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Title: The Only One
Author: Magan Vernon
Published: Oct 10th 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for honest review
Rating: 5/5

“We don’t need to talk, if that’s not what you want to do.” His lips were at my neck, the stubble from his cheeks tickling my sensitive skin. 
I closed my eyes, savoring the feel of his skin against mine. I wanted to just let go and say those three little words to him. He could babble on with the most poetic of verses without even trying, and I, an aspiring writer, could barely string a sentence together in his presence. Instead I just moaned when he nipped at my earlobe. 
“What do you want, Red?” he whispered. 
“I don’t want anything right now but your lips on mine.” 
And he obliged. His lips quickly finding mine and his tongue diving behind them. I pulled him closer, wrapping my arms around his neck and feeling his warm body pressed against mine. His hands went from running through my hair, down my face, and finally resting at my sides where his fingers found the space that my shirt didn’t meet my jeans. He skimmed the bare skin, sending goose bumps wherever his fingers touched.
When his lips dropped to my neck, I gasped and could feel him smiling between kisses. “How’s this for studying?” 

Title: Off Chance
Series: Off Series #5
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Published: 21st Oct 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for honest review
Rating: 4/5

"Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?"
Her cheeks actually get pink and she smiles at me shyly. "I don't know. I don't think anyone's said that to me before."
"You steal my breath sometimes," I tell her.
Laying her head on my shoulder, she says softly, "You're too good to me, Flynn. I don't deserve it."
I reach my hand up and grab her hair, pulling back so her head raises up. I look at her somberly. "You deserve the world, Rowan. The entire fucking world should belong to you."
Her mouth opens like she's going to say something, then it snaps shut. Whatever was going to come out is locked away, but she speaks to me in another way. She lays her lips against mine, opening her mouth and I slip in. Our tongues touch each other with confidence, and I let myself get immersed in the feelings of desire and affection I have for her.
She pulls her tongue back, just enough so she can speak, but never letting her lips leave mine. "Touch me, Flynn."

Sawyer's Off series books are always filled with lots of swoons - it was super hard to choose one! But this scene starts out sweet and turns oh so sexy…it kinda got a little too R rated to continue it here, so you'll have to read the book to enjoy that rest of this scene ;)

So what's making you swoon this week?

{Review} Star Attraction by Vanessa Stubbs

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Title: Star Attraction
Author: Vanessa Stubbs
Published: August 21st 2013
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Source: eARC provided by through Netgalley for honest review
Rating: 3.5/5

BLURB:
He's the most famous and most desired man in the world.

She's a hard-news journalist trying to keep her job.

When Sydney girl Madison Edwards is sent to interview Hollywood heartthrob Jamie Hall, as far as she's concerned it's an embarrassing blot on her credibility. As far as Jamie is concerned, Madison is just one of the thousands of people who want a piece of him. They both turn out to be wrong.

When an unimaginable attraction develops between them, they're momentarily blinded. Could it be true love or just the glare of the paparazzi's flashbulbs? 

This stellar debut is a deliciously seductive story of our times, about celebrity and stardom – and about finding something real and true, even when the whole world is watching.

REVIEW:
The story:
This story wasn't quite what I was expecting. I was imagining a story about a celebrity & journalist falling in love, and although that does happen the main storyline is more focussed on the celebrity culture and how it affects their lives separately. We see how Maddison's work at a newspaper affects her life and her relationships with her girlfriends. She becomes so invested in her career that she's completely oblivious to how she's hurting her best friends. She also starts to question her motivations for becoming a journalist and where she wants her career to go in the future. 

And then we see the other side of the media with famous actor Jamie Hall and how fame has affected his life. He's sudden rise to fame as an international heartthrob has robed him of his privacy and he starts to doubt if this is the life a wants. The romance between Maddison & Jamie almost becomes a side story to these career & media based main plot points.

This story also starts off quite slow, with plenty of backstory & plot development and very little dialogue. It's not until about 50% into the book that the story starts to really gain momentum with more character interaction. The conflicts between Maddison & Jamie and also with Maddison and her two best friends, where what made the story more engaging.

The characters:
To be honest I found it a little difficult to like Jamie. He has the public image of the typical Hollywood heartthrob, but the narrator constantly tells us that he is much more sensitive and a decent person, who doesn't care about fame and money. However many of his actions contradict this. At the very beginning we are introduced to his character at promotional party with all these gorgeous women throwing themselves at him, but he has no interest in them or the party and just wants to go home. But then only a few scenes later he's on a plane and the flight attended makes a pass at him and he ends up skrewing in the bathroom. I felt like I was being told that he was this stand up guy, but his actions just didn't convince me. Another example was his attitude towards Jessica, a young actress he has a relationship with - he seemed to have very little respect for her:

"Jamie enjoyed having sex with Jessica even though their conversation left him indifferent, depressed even."

At the beginning Maddison comes across as a little snobby and almost looks down on her friends, Sabine & Lucy because of their jobs (journalist at fashion magazine & call centre operator). However over the course of the book she learns a lot about how her job at the paper has changed her and she's not happy with what she sees. She mellows by the end of the book and I grew to like her a lot.

Secondary character Lucy was probably my favourite character. She's down to earth and a very relatable character. We get a few chapters scattered throughout the book that follows her life at a dead end job at the call centre. But things start to look up after a romance starts to blossom with her adorably sweet co-worker Stuart. I really loved their little side story & would be happy to see more!

The romance:
The romance between Jamie & Maddison was one of the strongest elements in this book. In all their scenes together their connection is undeniable. However I felt there weren't enough scenes with them together. The majority of this book involves scenes with only one of them, and surprisingly there where more love scenes with Jamie and women other than Madison - and this bothered me a lot. I read stories with romance to see the two main characters together, not with other people. An idealistic opinion perhaps, but this is fictional after all.

The Writing:
I really liked the writing style. The descriptive language was very effective:

"Cracked brown Formica tables sat uncomfortably close together and seventies lampshades leaked weak light into into the smoky atmosphere."

"The foreshore was virtually deserted. A storm was brewing blue-black against a yellow horizon. The sea and sky were one. Dog walkers were the only people braving the wind’s bluster. The air was drunk with salt."

FINAL WORD:
Despite a slow start and not quite being the story I was expecting, I still enjoyed it. While I did have trouble connecting with Jamie's character, I was still invested in their story & was happy to see he & Maddison get their HEA together. I think this book would appeal to fans of The Devil Wears Prada and Confessions of a Shoppaholic.

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / short non descriptive sex scenes
Violence: none
Language: mild-medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild

{Blog Tour Review + GIVEAWAY} Sweet Surrendering by Chelsea M. Cameron

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Title: Sweet Surrendering
Series: Surrender Saga #1
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Published: Oct 15th
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by publisher for honest review
Rating: 4/5
Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  B&N

BLURB:
She’s his boss. He doesn’t care. This office isn’t big enough for the two of them…

When Rory Clarke ends up hiring the guy she spent one steamy night with to be her administrative assistant, she's determined to keep things professional.
Lucas Blaine has other plans for her. He wants Rory, and it’s hard to resist his stunning blue eyes, chin dimple and the way he fills out a suit. Everywhere she looks, there he is, giving her a panty-melting smile and pulling her away for the most amazing (and satisfying) sex she’s ever had in her life.

What starts off as one sexual encounter turns into multiple trysts in and out of the office and the lines she’d tried to draw so carefully are blurring. But the closer they get, the more Rory realizes that there are things about Lucas she doesn’t know, things he’s hiding from her. She’ll have to decide if she can surrender to her feelings or get out while she still can.

REVIEW:
The story:
Isn't it every girls fantasy to hire a hot as hell assistant to ogle at all day long…no…just me?? Well after sharing one hot and steamy night with Lucas, Rory is coerced into hiring him by the company board members, as her assistant as he will be an 'important asset' to the company. But working across the hall from him everyday, causes a major headache for Rory as she tries to deny her attraction to him. But it's not long before they give into their desires, resulting in some seriously hot scenes.

But as Rory tries to keep her personal & work life separate, she realises she knows very little about Lucas and he is quite reluctant to open up. Once his secrets are slowly revealed, the question remains, will they're forbidden relationship survive?

The characters:
Lacas or Lucah as he prefers Rory to call him, is a bit of a mystery to begin with. He's sexy, confidant as hell, and always gets what he wants. But it's clear that he's hiding some secrets that he doesn't want Rory to know. Despite his secrets, his personality and attraction with Rory were always genuine.

Rory loves her job and works very hard to prove she's not just there because of her father. But Rory also has a fun and outgoing personality that really shines when she's around her friends. She likes to have a good time and I really liked how she balanced her work and social life.

Rory's group of friends also added a great deal to the story. Their girly nights wether they were out on the town or watching DVDs where fun to read and always made me laugh! I am really hoping the next book in the series is for Marisol and her possible romance with Finn! And of course Sloane has to have her own book too, I absolutely loved her!

The romance:
The flirty sexy banter that goes on between Rory & Lucah was HOT!! Their covert conversations and eye-f--ing looks across the room at work, built the sexual tension so much that they where literally climbing the walls when they finally got some alone time! Sometimes I find it hard to believe when a one-night-stand turns into something more, but their feelings slowly develop throughout the story that I really felt the connection between them was real.

The Writing:
I love a book that can make me laugh and the dialogue in particular was hilarious! Rory's conversations with her friends (in particular Sloane) were some of the best lines in this book:

“You’re such a liar. You totally were ready to rip each other’s clothes off in a fit of lust. I bet you eye f---ed each other all day. I know I would. He’s not really my type, but damn. I’d be on my back on the desk for him.”

Why does he have to be my secretary?”
“Don’t you mean sexcretary?” Sloane said with a giggle.
“You should ask him if he’ll put his file in your credenza!”
“Defrag your lady system!”
“Put his spam in your inbox!”

“There is this girl in one of my classes that definitely stares at my boobs in a lusty way. You know how you can tell if a girl’s just jealous of your boobs, or if she wants to motorboat them.”

FINAL WORD:
This was one deliciously naughty romance that had me wishing I had an assistant like Mr Lucas Blaine! If you want a sexy, & steamy drama filled romance, look no further because Cameron has written one scorching hot & hilarious read!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: strong / several descriptive sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium-strong / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: medium




***GIVEAWAY***

{SPECIAL Cover Reveal} Hold Us Close by Caisey Quinn

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Good News! 
Caisey Quinn thinks you're awesome! 
Exciting stuff, huh? 

Well, since she was so overwhelmed with your awesomeness, she's decided to release the novella HOLD US CLOSE, the sequel to Layla and Landen's book Keep Me Still, for FREE! 
Oh, and it has a super hot cover! Here it is! 


Title: Hold Us Close (Keep Me Still novella)
Author: Caisey Quinn
Published: Nov 11th 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design

BLURB:
Sometimes happily ever after is just the beginning…

High school sweethearts Layla Flaherty and Landen O’Brien are living a fairytale in the heart of Spain. Landen’s professional soccer career is taking off and Layla is finishing her college degree. But when her aunt Kate calls with life changing news, she has to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from everyone.

She’s pregnant. And she’s not sacrificing her child for anything, not even her own life.

Landen has a secret of his own. There’s one thing he never wants to be. Ever.

A father. 

AUTHOR BIO:
Wearer of cowgirl boots, writer and avid reader of New Adult romance, lover of wine, who is addicted to chai tea lattes. Brand spanking new author of Girl with Guitar and soon to be released novels Girl on Tour, Girl in Love, and Keep Me Still (which may or may not include spanking).

I'm a Gemini, wife, mom, and former high school English teacher living in Birmingham, Alabama. I spend my days chasing a three year old and hiding away with my Macbook. I spend my nights writing because sleep is overrated.

WEBSITE  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS

{Blog Tour Review + GIVEAWAY} Off Chance by Sawyer Bennett

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Title: Off Chance
Series: Off Series #5
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Published: 21st Oct 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Roamnce
Source: eARC provided by author for honest review
Rating: 4.5/5

BLURB:
He is seeking absolution.

Flynn Caldwell has a hero complex and it’s one of the reasons he joined the New York City Fire Department. He has spent his entire professional career trying to atone for that one person he failed to save. Because, if he can do that, then perhaps he can be worthy of love again.

She is seeking escape.

Rowan Page’s life is nothing short of a disaster. Always immersed in trouble, she has only herself to depend on. She’s determined to pull herself out of this mess and make something of her life, despite the hard years she has lived on the streets of New York.

Together, they have the chance to become complete.

Flynn and Rowan’s worlds exist miles apart, but when a chance meeting brings them together, neither of them can deny the instant pull that connects them to each other. What starts as a tiny spark eventually flares into a fire so hot, it refuses to be extinguished. 

For it to work, both of them will need to jump feet first into the flames to see where it takes them, despite the risk of being burned.

REVIEW:
The story:
Flynn is no stranger to running into a burning building to save people, but the day he jumps through a window to find Rowan, unconscious and handcuffed to a bed, he wants to do more than save her from the fire; he wants to help her start a new life away from the dangerous drug dealing ex-boyfriend. At first Rowan wants nothing more than for him to leave her alone, even if that means sleeping on the streets, but the safety of her beloved dog Capone pushes her to stay a few nights with her heroic fireman.

Slowly Rowan begins to trust Flynn and a tentative and quite unique bond develops between them. As Rowan starts to rebuild her life, she starts to appreciate having a friend like Flynn around to support her - something that she's never had before. But as they're friendship strengthens, so does their romantic attraction and that creates tension between them as they start to want different things from the relationship. The question is, can Rowan let go of her fears and take a chance on Flynn?

The characters:
Flynn the firefighter with a hero complex has devoted his life to rescuing others, after loosing his girlfriend in a house fire at only 18 years old. He may be a tough, muscly hero, but deep down he's actually quite a softie - and I loved that about him. He's very genuine in wanting to help Rowan, and watching him fall for her was so sweet.

Rowan, while being a little difficult to warm to at first, grew on me over the course of the book. After being ignored by her wealthy parents as a child she want to prove not only to them but to herself that she is capable of doing something with her life. As a result she's very stubborn and doesn't want handouts from anyone, including Flynn. She grows as a character a great deal throughout this book, and by the end she is a much stronger and happy person.

The romance:
I love when a romance begins as a friendship and that exactly what happens here. As Flynn and Rowan get to know each other they develop a special and meaningful friendship. However it's not long before they both realise there is an attraction burning between them. And while Flynn would be more than happy to explore these feeling, Rowan is reluctant to risk her first real friendship. Of course it's only a matter of time before the sexual tension boils over and when it does…phew it get HOT!!

The Writing:
I loved how Sawyer brought all the other characters from previous books into the epilogue. And although you don't need to of read the other books to read this one, those who have followed the series are sure the LOVE the conclusion (well for now anyway, as I'm still hoping Sawyer will continue the series in the future). All the characters stories come together for a beautifully heartfelt & funny scene at the end - it was perfect.

FINAL WORD:
With a fresh storyline and strong characters this was a another great addition to the Off Series. I have absolutely adored these books, and while I hope that Sawyer does decide to write more of them in the future, Off Chance gives great closure to all the character's storylines! 

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium-strong / descriptive sex scenes
Violence: mild-medium / minor gun violence
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild-medium / occasional drug dealing references 




GIVEAWAY: