Off Limits by Clare Connelly

Off limitsBlurb: “I want to taste you tonight.”

With chemistry this hot, it’s worth getting burned…

Billionaire Jack Grant is totally off-limits to Gemma Picton. He’s wild, deliciously dangerous…and her boss. When working late turns X-rated, it’s better than her wildest imaginings—and Gemma’s imagined a lot! But Jack has major emotional baggage, so when Gemma starts wanting to heal his heart as well as enjoy his body, she knows she’s in big trouble…

 

 

 

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Netgalley

3 stars

Whoa! This book was full of some serious graphic sexy times.  And it was nearly on the first page.  Now I love graphic sex scenes, however, and I may have said this before; there is a balance that needs to be displayed for me to like the book as a whole.  I need depth of character as well as hot lovin’.  I need intimacy as well as carnal actions.  And this book had all of that, but it was nearly too late in the story for me to start caring about the characters.  I barely finished it TBO.

The chemistry was on point.  It was a bit overused though, to the point where I was wondering what else they really had in common that would make this a lasting relationship.  GEmma knew him but he didn;t really make any effort to know her outside of work or sex. Total turn off form me as an alpha lover.

In fact, Jack Grant was a grade A dick when it came to behaving towards women.  His back story explains this a little in flashbacks but I don’t think it was enough for me to forgive him for treating them that way.  So I was already a bit salty toward him from gate.

And Gemma was a bit of a pushover when it came to pleasing her boss (pun intended) so that didn’t endear me to her character either.  She had some serious ambition though, which I can relate to in a work atmosphere. And she wore her black sheep status like a damn face tattoo, something that also moved her into the likability category for me.  So I wanted to push through and see if my mind could be swayed. Which, if an author can make me feel for the characters after I’ve already made a decision on them is a big deal for me.

And she did change my mind towards them in the end, but because it took so long for us to get THERE, it impacted my attitude towards this story in a much more negative way.  And I think I’m pretty lenient when it comes to rating so for this to happen is kind of a bummer for me.

I received this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased review.

Curly Carla_small

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The Black Chapel (Chapel #1) by Marilyn Cruise

20452700Blurb: What would you do if a sexy billionaire asked you to marry him just for his money?

Scarlett hates her new job as a stripper, but she can’t afford to quit or she’ll lose her house and won’t be able to afford to pay for her dad’s chemo. One night, the handsome billionaire Michael Manning visits the club and shows interest in Samantha—Scarlett’s stage name. Scarlett is immediately attracted to Michael, but she refuses to date anyone she meets at the club.

The next day, Scarlett’s friend drags her to church, and to her surprise, Scarlett meets Michael again. He doesn’t realize she’s Samantha from last night (she wears a mask while performing) and asks her out. But Scarlett would never have guessed what kind of a scandalous, yet utterly irresistible deal he’s about to propose…

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3 stars

So the romance was wanting but I did enjoy the way Scarlett was able to juggle being two people at once without getting the lies mixed up.  That was entertaining as all get out.  And her dedication to helping her dad even though it was a degrading experience gave her a bit of dimension. But I must confess, it was crystal clear it was a ploy to make you care more about her character because if she didn’t have that going for her, she would have fizzled out for me. That was really the only thing I liked about her.

I kinda think Michael should have know it was Scarlett once he kissed ‘them’. I mean, he doesn’t even mention it, which I just found weird.  And frankly it made me think he was missing a few sandwiches short of a picnic.  Now, the sex scenes were on point and I’m glad I read this book, but the characters were just too flat for me to really care about them or what happens to them.  The plot is shallow to begin with so I guess I should have expected it.

So, I will not be reading anymore of this series because the ending had too many loose ends that I felt should have been tied up in this book in stead of leaving them hanging to entice you to read the next one. This may sound weird but it didn’t feel like an authentic ending. It felt unoriginal.  Maybe I read to many of these types of books because it felt trope-y and while I love a good trope, this one just was okay.

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Existence (Existence Trilogy #1) by Abbi Glines

existenceBlurb: Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with, is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he’s about to break all the rules.

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5 stars

This author will be at Book Bonanza 2018 so I thought I’d try her stuff out.  And I kinda loved it. It was pretty classic paranormal love story.

Pagan is hard headed and stubborn.  I really like how she copes with her unique ability. She doesn’t necessarily shy away from it, but attempts to help them, at least some of them. I admired that about her character, she didn’t shy away from the unknown. And she didn’t try to know all there was to know about her ability either, she just….allowed it to be a part of her as much as it was without forcing anything.  It was organic and worked well in this story.

I really loved how her and Deaths’ relationship evolved.  It was a slow simmer that came close to boiling over a few times.  He was a smart ass know it all with a gooey center.  The lovingly way he watched over her as she slept when she was scared and when he sang to her was enough for me to wish for my own reaper to come sweep me off my feet.

They had a more mature relationship than most teenagers, of course because of their other worldly knowledge. One of the best things about this book though is their ability to be intimate with each other without it getting physical!  Just lovely. I’ll definitely be reading more of this author in the future.

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Promise to Keep (Promises #2) by Jessica Wood

PTKBlurb: I’ve loved her since we were seven. We were best friends. We even made a pact to marry each other if we were both still single at thirty. I grew up thinking I would always love her for the rest of my life.

But I was proven wrong. Because the first time I made love to her turned out to be the first time I hated her. It became the first time she hurt me, and the first time I wanted nothing to do with her.

Today, nine years after the day that broke us apart, we are both thirty and single, and fate decided to intervene. I finally discovered that the reasons behind her betrayal were far different from the ones I’d created years ago in my mind.

Now I’m torn between my hatred over what she did and my undying love for the one girl who I’ve held close to my heart for most of my life.

But is the truth enough for me to forgive her?

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Favorite Quote

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” Anonymous

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2 stars

Real disappointed in this book… I got this book back in 2015 and I’m pretty sure my reading tastes have changed because while I loved the first book, I was less than impressed with this one.

It seemed it was just the same story but from the male MC’s POV.  So really I just read the same thing.  Not to mention the premise was completely unrealistic and I know I know, its fiction and so doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic. However, even in this world there are some rules that apply.  And I just didn’t believe it.

The blurb describes the story in a nutshell. But honestly it just drug on and on before it got the part where I was finally getting new information.  It was filled with a bunch of past tense things that were intended to give us depth of character and background but we had all that from the first book so it ended up just feeling like fluff to hold folks over to the next book.

Now don’t get it twisted, I do enjoy alternate POV’s with the same story but this one was just poorly executed IMO. Not gonna finish this series which is a bummer because I hate when I bail on a series.

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The Truth About Us (Mills Lake #1) by T.J. Hannah

The truth about usBlurb: Twenty-one-year-old Sophia Ross has lived under the pressure of her parents expectations since the tragic accident that shattered their once perfect family. Determined to start over where no one knows her, she answers a housing ad on Craigslist and takes a job at a little bar in a town she has never heard of. All Sophia’s looking for is a place to escape, somewhere she can hide behind her lies and keep herself distracted.

She just didn’t expect to be distracted by Corbin Kasey.

Twenty-five-year-old Corbin Kasey is stuck in his hometown, his job, and his life, spending more time covering for his Dad’s problems than trying to fix his own. To take his mind off everything he has the wild Kayla, his stable roommates, and the calmness of swimming in Mills Lake. He always thought it was enough to keep him from drowning in himself, until he meets Sophia.

Neither of them are prepared for their lies to be stripped away by a single kiss. But for Corbin and Sophia, the truth has consequences.

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Favorite Quotes

His thumb traces my cheekbone, and I lean into his palm. I don’t remember a single time in my life I’ve ever felt the way I do now. Like the world has stopped and I no longer need air. Like gravity doesn’t exist and if I let him go I’ll float away.

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3 stars

This book was sweet if a little odd.  I didn’t get why they thought they were doomed from the beginning.  There was no weird connection or trauma that prevented them from just having a relationship.  I think it was all in their heads and that didn’t really make for a very good climax IMO.

The progression of the romance in this book seemed a bit off as well. It didn’t follow a traditional route. And while I enjoy those non-conformist story lines, this one didn’t flow well enough for me to jump on the love bandwagon.

Sophia’s escapist attitude was entirely relatable because of her very traumatic past. I get the whole out of sight out of mind aspect. But Corbin’s self proclaimed martyr outlook was unrealistic in my mind. Maybe because I’m the child of a violent alcoholic as he is and as such I KNOW that what he did was enabling.  And I got so mad at him for thinking he was doing the RIGHT thing.  There is no right thing in that situation!  It was so frustrating to watch it all unravel in the exact way I knew it would.  Woo, it was a bit close to home for me.

I’d read another one book from this author.  It wasn’t bad, just not as well done as I felt it could be.

Curly Carla_small

Created by Felisha Antonette

createdBlurb: Calamity has forced our government to manufacture genetically altered humans. Creations. Mortals have refused to serve and protect, no longer willing to put their lives on the line for our world. These ‘Creations’ were designed to manage and enforce order among citizens. Creations don’t know fear or express pain. Their sole function is to fight the enemy and live to battle again.

Orphans Kylie Alexander and her twin brother, Lukahn, were born for this purpose. Dedicating their lives to sharpening their deadly skills and forfeiting the chance of love and freedom, they ready themselves for Separation, the deadly rite of passage where the oldest teens are drafted into the final preparation for war.

When Ky and Luke are shipped off to Separation three months early, questions begin to arise. Who is the real enemy? What is really happening beyond the fractured sanctuary of the training compound? What are they actually fighting for?

Humans and Creations alike have become allies when a plague of the living dead becomes the number one hazard. Strategies change as the twins discover they may not be the saviors of humankind after all.
They may be the enemy of the people.

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1 star

I hated this book!  And I don’t say that lightly. It had no direction, no plot and the romance aspect was awkward and uninteresting.  It was really disappointing because there was so much potential for a great story.

So they are twins, all twins at a certain age become weapons for a war.  And then you know what happens?  Nothing! Yeah they train hard and fight but we get no closure on what they are really fighting. Zombies? Aliens?  Both? Each other?  Who is the real enemy here?  It’s never made clear.  It had too much double crossing and not enough clarification.  I suspect this was done on purpose to be intriguing but all it did was confuse the heck outta me.

The romance was just terrible bad folks.  They kept waffling back and forth on if they wanted to continue a physical relationship as apparently it is frowned upon in combat, why we never really find out.  It got old after a while, and the third wheel guy was just plain unnecessary.  Not to mention the double standard where Lukhan was allowed to get physical but Kylie was given shit about it.  Not only does this make me care less about Lukhan, this particular point of contention in the book had no purpose, it did not move the story along.  It just was.  There is a lot of these little things in the book, just thrown in but not really interweaving to form a cohesive story.

Lukhan was overbearing and just plain mean. He had no personality and was very hard to relate to.  Kylie was too innocent and immature for this world where violence was supposed to be normal.  She was constantly failing at her role as team lead making it hard for me to see how she deserved to even be in that position.  The characters needed so much more fleshing out and dear god this book needed alpha, beta and maybe two to three editors.  It was just all over the place with no closure to the main plot.

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Juked (Texas Mutiny #1) by M.E. Carter

jukedBlurb: Juked: verb.

/jook-t/
A slang soccer term meaning: faked out, deceived, confused your opponent
See examples Daniel Zavaro and Quincy Watson:

As the rising star in Houston, Daniel has found fame as Captain of his Pro soccer team and the city’s most eligible bachelor. Daniel has everything – except someone special – and that suits him just fine. He doesn’t want, or need, complications.

Quincy has baggage, and lots of it. After a tragic accident spins her world on its axis, she finds herself as a single mother, raising a newborn nephew she never knew she had. Between parenthood, her full-time job, and dealing with the suffocating grief of losing her sister, every day is a struggle.

When they begin to cross paths unexpectedly and often, an unlikely friendship starts to evolve. Feelings change. Lines get crossed. What happens next surprises them both…

Before they know it– they’ve been Juked.

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4 stars

This was a cute, easy going romance.  I didn’t really feel a whole lot of chemistry throughout in it. What I did feel was Daniel’s admirable work ethic and friendliness.  He was sweet and kind.  Not really my kind of guy TBH. I like them a bit more assertive.  He didn’t seem to really care enough about Quincy.  Or else I didn’t see enough for me to really think he cared.  That’s the only thing that really affected the likability of this book.

Quincy was pretty relatable.  She was logical and responsible; both qualities I’m a huge fan of.  She does show the baby a bunch of love and you get to really see the struggle from inept mother evolve to expert which was one of the best things of this book IMO. Again, not a whole lot with regards to chemistry on her part either so the romance bit was a bit bland for my tastes.

The sports bit was nice. We see his team dynamic and how he interacts with his manager which was a nice added layer to his character.

I’d read another by this author.

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Shattered Stars (Broken Skies #3) by Theresa Kay

36480990Blurb: Unexpected allies. Unexpected betrayals. Unexpected abilities.

The last thing Jax Mitchell ever wanted was to be a weapon. Her abilities are unpredictable at best, but with her twin lost, there’s no one else with enough power to take on Jastren and his mental manipulations. She doesn’t have to do it alone, though. Not only can she rely on the unwavering support of Lir, Rym, and her human friends, she also ends up with help from a surprising source.

Meanwhile, her twin brother Jace—his body controlled by Jastren, and the shattered pieces of his mind locked inside—has become a monster. The struggle to hold on to what’s left of his humanity has left him weak and more confused than ever before. Every thought, every impulse, and every memory has the potential to destroy him—and everyone else around him.

The futures of both the humans and the E’rikon are on the line, but as ulterior motives and political machinations are revealed, it becomes clear that the betrayals aren’t restricted to only one species. Can Jax and Lir get everyone to work together in time to prevent the two species from destroying each other? Can Jace find some measure of redemption for all he has done? And will Jax be able to harness her powers… without losing herself in the process?

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5 stars

This story was fast paced and attention grabbing from the first page. This is not some easy plot that you can guess at the 30% point.  No, it makes you think and gasp and cry and rage!  And if you are a fan of Sci-fi like me you will appreciate not only this story but HOW it was written. It’s almost a throw back to the older authors with their deep world building and danger from multiple directions.  Such great story telling.

Jax is one of my favoritist and most memorable characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading about.  I could read about her forever.  She’s feisty, intelligent, responsible and incredibly vulnerable.  She has no qualms about fighting for what she believes in. One of the things I love about her is the fact that half the time she is playing it by ear. She has no idea how to handle everything going on around but she just doesn’t quit!  I can relate so hard to that you guys.  She is forgiving and isn’t too proud to accept help when she needs it.  I mean, yeah she can be a stubborn little shit too but the good outweighs the bad.  🙂

Lir is so understanding, like the perfect counterpart to her wildness and impulsiveness.  He grounds her when she needs it and doesn’t try to control her when she gets wild.  He just accepts her as she is and loves her.  This little alien boy has grown and matured over the course of this series. I think maybe even the most in this book TBH.  I really enjoyed this aspect of their relationship. It evolved into something we don’t often see in a Science Fiction/Dystopian.

I’m sad to see this story end, hopefully we can get a novella from her cause I need just a little it more to satisfy my love of this world and all its players.

Curly Carla_small

Goodbyes and Second Chances (Bleu #1) by T.I. Lowe

goodbyes and second chancesBlurb: Some mistakes create accidental blessings.
Jillian (Jewels) Whitman lives with her mistakes and tries to move past the biggest one of her life – Dillon Bleu – Rocker and once best friend.
After saying goodbye to the lakeside trailer park of his youth, Dillon sets out to make something of himself only to discover all he needs is his Jewel. After hitting it big in the music industry, Dillon heads back to ask for a second chance.
Only… Nothing is ever as easy as it seems…
A southern tale of rags to riches where a man’s worth is ultimately found in his heart.

 

 

 

 

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5 stars

I felt this book in my bones!  And I can’t explain why. It was very soulful, and I guess I needed something like that in my life.

It was what I would definitely call a christian romance.  I loved how Dillon used bible verses in his song writing and was able to become a successful singer through it.  He never lost his roots though and struggled hard with the decisions he and Jewels made together.  It was heartbreaking at times to read.

I think I identified with Jewels a lot.  I lived in a trailer for some time when I was little and we moved around a lot. I get how she felt.  I still feel like I come from nothing myself and often wonder how I  have made it as far as I have.  I’m very fortunate in that respect.  Jewels resisted even trying to become more than her trailer park life though and that is where I got angry with her.  She gave up so many things she wanted in order to have her friends and family succeed.  It was bittersweet to read because I get why she did it but I felt she was maybe taking a penance on that wasn’t hers to bear.

There are so many things I loved about this book and I can’t really go in to them because of spoilers but if you like christian romance then this book is highly recommended to read.

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Finding Me (Xtreme Bachelor) by Caylie Marcoe

finding meBlurb: People remember Nicki Montgomery as the girl who tried to win over BMX rider and Xtreme Bachelor, Travis Grayson. She was all smiles and snark, which made her the most hated girl on reality TV and the perfect choice for the first bachelorette to have her own show.

Twenty extreme athletes vying for your attention should be every girl’s dream, but all Nicki can see is that she’s being shipped off to the middle of nowhere Oklahoma and every single date includes some type of physical activity. Neither of which fit with her elite Chicago lifestyle.

The biggest problem with going on the show is Nicki doesn’t want to play the part. She doesn’t want to be hated. Everything from her smile to her perfect family life is fake and she’s sick of living the lie. All Nicki wants is for someone to see the person she really is.

When the final choice is made, Nicki has to be ready to break a few hearts to find what she needs, maybe even her own.

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5 stars

I don’t even know how to begin this review.  I may be a bit bias, I mean, did you see the dedication?   I may have cried when I read it. This book was such a breath of fresh air in a closed off room. I’m a sucker for a great love story and this one fit the bill and then some.  I LOVED it.  It’s highly original, full of witty dialogue along with some pretty steamy scenes.  And the chemistry!  ::swoon::  Dear god, she writes them so effing good.

I had a love/ hate relationship with Nicki throughout the book.  I felt how sincere she was in her want to change, not only how people saw her, but how she saw herself as well.  And we get to know Nicki on a very personal level in this book.   And it was glorious, she was such a well rounded character.  At times I found her to be a bit immature and petty making me a bit irritated and then, BAM! She would show this inner strength that just astounded me.  The author made me FEEL so many emotions with regards to her that I realized how much I had actually come to care about this character. And while I do tend to become invested in the characters of the books I read, this one will always hold a unique place in my giant book heart.

And Nicki isn’t the only one who shined in this story.  Bridget was what I would expect my BFF to say to me.  She supported Nicki throughout and gave her the tough love she needed when Nicki started to back slide into her old ways.  Cooper was….well I don’t want to ruin it for you.  😉 But suffice it to say that all the guys were distinct and memorable.  Especially…… LOL, no I could NEVER do that to you guys.  I will say the one she ends up with was NOT who I had thought it would be.

Go go forth and read it!  I promise you will not regret it.

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