True North by Kelly Collins

true northBlurb:  Scarred.  Hopeless.  Lost.

Alexa Cross leaves Los Angeles with a scarred heart, beat-up car, and a secret. She’s ready to move on and leave her past behind, but fate has had a way of knocking her right back down.   Marooned in the middle of nowhere—she imagines misfortune has dealt its final blow, but this time, destiny seems to have a different plan when she ends up in a place aptly called The Last Resort.

Reassembling shattered lives is what innately sexy, bar owner, Zane Abbamonte, does best, and it rarely ends well for him.  When he sees a woman stranded on the side of the road, desperate and alone, the otherwise irascible biker rescues her without hesitation, but Zane harbors secrets of his own. When Alexa begins to uncover the truth about Zane, the weight of her past comes crashing back. Her instincts say, “Run!” but her heart tells her to stay.

Glimpsing the chance for a future together, Zane and Alexa must confront their “ghosts” and navigate through their fears. Will The Last Resort be the end of their encounter or the beginning of everything they desire?

Find out in True North.

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3 stars

The beginning was great. Then it just kinda lost steam. I felt her journey to find herself became something else entirely by the end.  There were too many cliches thrown in. Misconceptions, deliberate misunderstandings, stuff like that.  And I was rolling my eyes in the beginning but held out hope that it would get better.  But then…

Everything seemed to be over-explained. As if the author didn’t think the reader would get the subtle nuances of the relationship.  Which in turn forced the relationship to progress before it was ready.  They moved in together incredibly early, especially for him being a parent.  And I get the suspending of reality in a book, but I felt this was just too much to ask of us.  And its not like I don’t get it could happen, hell, I moved in my then boyfriend (now-husband) two months after we started dating so I get a fast progressing love story.  This one was just beyond my ability to believe.

By the end I was a bit disappointed honestly.  It was a feel good book with no real climax. And sometimes those are good.  but this time, for me, it was only okay.

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Enforce (Eagle Elite #1.5) by Rachel Van Dyken

23931211Blurb: There’s two sides to every story…

And ours?
Isn’t pretty… Then again,
what’s pretty about the mafia?
Trace Rooks, that’s what.
But she only wants one of us, and I’ll kill him before I let him have her.
The only problem ?
We’re cousins .
And she may just be our long lost enemy.
Whoever said college was hard, clearly didn’t attend Eagle Elite University.
Welcome to hell also known as the Mafia where blood is thicker than life, and to keep
yours?
Well, keep your friends close, and your enemies?
Even closer…

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DNF

This book made NO sense whatsoever! I’m so upset because I have never reacted this way to a book by RVD before. I don’t even know what plot was. Something like, mafia were trying to protect there asses by running a college and also they were the heads of their families, but they were only like 22? And then there was a new girl who was nice so they were mean to her to protect her? From what I have no idea. And they murdered and sexually manipulated people but I’m supposed to care about them? I just don’t get it.

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Capture (Seaside Pictures #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

26111797BlurbLosing your ability to speak at the age of seventeen; it’s not normal or fair.
But trauma, has a way of throwing normality out the window.
Dani lives anything but a normal life.
Her sister is married to one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Her best friends are rockstar duo AD2.And she has more love around her than most people experience in a lifetime.
But that doesn’t change the fact their parents are dead.
Or that it’s her fault.

It seems her new normal is being a mute, living on the inside, unable to actually communicate on the outside.
That is until Hollywood’s newest heartthrob Lincoln Greene hires her as his assistant for the summer.
He’s gorgeous, completely unavailable, and unobtainable.
But that doesn’t stop her from wondering… if things were different…would he want her?
If she was whole, would he be the other half?

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3 stars

The beginning seemed a to start in the middle of the story and jarred me a bit but it picked up pretty quickly.  I don’t really know how I feel about this book. The caption reads #1 but apparently this is the second series set in this world so I feel like I missed so much of everyone’s back story.

There were so many side characters that were coupled I just knew that they each had their own book. And now I want to know their stories for GP but I don’t know if I like the book that much to read SIX other books to get all the subtle context.

I felt her selective muteness was made out to be a bigger deal than I it actually was. It seemed more of a plot device than a real part of the story.

Their attraction went from simmer to full boil too quickly in my opinion.  And they kept playing at staying away from each other when it was obvious they liked each other, so I kept wondering why stay away?  There was no real reason other than the overprotective men in her family. And honestly, that got a little stale after a while. They treated her like she was some fragile flower and it was quite annoying.

I think I’ll shelve this series and come back to it at a later time.  Maybe some time will change my perspective on the characters.

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Promise Me by Vivian Wood

33013742Blurb: Violet Shaw. My Vi.

I made her a promise a long time ago, and she thinks I broke it. But I never stopped loving her. I never will.

I was fool four years ago. I threw what we had away, thinking it was for her own good. No girl should have to wait around for a soldier that might never come home.

Everyday I thought about her; I fought to come back to her.

Now that I’m back in our hometown, I see her everywhere, as curvaceous and tempting as ever. But all she’s doing is pushing me away.

I was her first and I want to be her last.

I just need one chance.

I threw what we had away once — I won’t make that mistake again. Vi is going to be mine.

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2.5 stars

I don’t see what this cover has to do with the story.  And frankly, it irritates me now. He has tattoos, so what?  That is not indicative of anything really.  And why is the woman not represented?  And why is he shirtless?  Not the reason I chose the book and a strike against it after reading it and knowing it has nothing to do with the characters.

The book was ok. I really did not like how much his leaving affected her.  It was like she put too much value on what everyone else thought and allowed it to color her own view of herself.  While I don’t mind a weak female lead, I do expect there to be some kind of growth in regards to that.

But there didn’t seem to be.  She seemed to care even more about what everyone else thought.  And instead of standing up for herself, she retreated almost every time.  The only one she did stand up to was the male. I can’t even remember his name.  He chased her and she repeatedly turned him down.  It got old pretty fast.

I did’t really feel their connection or chemistry.  And I found him a bit overbearing in his pursuit of her.  Plus his backstory was wholly unbelievable.  It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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The Faerie War (Creepy Hollow #3) by Rachel Morgan

fairy warBlurb: Violet Fairdale is in big trouble. Her home is gone, her beloved forest lies in ruins, the guy she gave her heart to has deserted her—and she doesn’t remember any of it. The powerful Lord Draven is taking over, brainwashing guardians into fighting for him. No one is safe from the evil spreading throughout the fae world.

As alliances are forged between the remaining free fae, Vi struggles to reclaim her identity and figure out where she belongs in this new world. When someone from her past shows up, life gets even more complicated. He brings with him a long-forgotten weapon and an ancient prophecy that places Vi at the center of the fight against Draven. With the future of the fae world at stake, can Vi carry out the prophecy’s instructions before it’s too late?

 

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4 stars

I felt this was a great ending to a wonderful series. Even though it shows it is a seven books series, this is the last story with our MC’s in them.  The others go on and focus on other players in the same world.  I will probably read them in the future but not right now.

For those of you that pay attention, this is one of my all time favorite series, I have read it about three times so far and I’m sure I will read it again in the future.  Violet is just my kind of gal!  She is smart, stubborn and shows real growth throughout really making me love her all the more.  There is nothing more crappy than a stagnant MC.  It kills my enjoyment of a series.

And Ryn is my kind of love interest.  He is patient, supportive and passionate about Violet without being domineering and possessive.  He also exhibits a life outside of their relationship which is sooooo refreshing.  In fact, they aren’t really with each other for most of this book.

The ending was wholly unpredictable for me (the first time I read it)  and I really enjoyed the twists throughout the story.  Highly recommend this series for those who love YA Paranormal.

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True Colors (True Love #2) by Anyta Sunday

34284561Blurb: Oskar used to be Marco’s best friend. His everything. His sunshine yellow.

But that was before. Before Marco stopped being a hot jock. Before he learned to live with scars and pain. And before Oskar tore their friendship apart.

Now the boy next door has returned home, determined to rekindle his friendship with Marco, and Marco’s more afraid than ever. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being humiliated.

Afraid of falling in love.

Can Oskar find a way through Marco’s fear, back into his heart?

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Netgalley

4 stars

I ca’t really say much about this book except, it was great.

First of all, I love Marco!  I loved how he attempted to move on but when he realized he couldn’t he accepted it and reassessed his options.  I loved how hard he worked to earn forgiveness.  I loved how determined he was even in the face of his own personal shit he had going on in his life. He put others before himself.  He made mistakes and owned them. And he forgave himself.  I just….:sigh: I love him.

Oskar….not so much.  He came off a bit too whiny for me TBH.  His refusal to forgive and keep holding onto his pain and hatred were a huge turn-off for me. I’ma huge believer in the power of change so that’s probably why I had such a hard time with him.  But he did end up redeeming himself in the end, so he wasn’t so far gone that there was no return from the island of assholes.  He was a great support system for Marco’s sister and he was close with his family so there was some depth to see.

And holy shit, the sex scenes!  I mean, they seemed a bit too intense with this love story but damn I think I may have blushed while reading them, which doesn’t happen very often. 😉

I received this ebook in exchange for an honest/unbiased review.

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Wolf in King’s Clothing by Parker Foye

34311819Blurb: York, England, 1912

Kent was a pack outcast. His shifter instincts cruelly muted, he was collared and kept as a stray. Until he was offered his freedom—for something in return. He must rescue Hadrian, an alpha held hostage in the wolf highlands. It’s a pleasure for Kent to follow the captive’s scent, one so wild and virile it gives him a rush. Though he despises being treated like a mutt called to heel, he’ll gladly fall to his knees for an alpha like Hadrian.

Hadrian has never met anyone like this damaged wolf warrior. His savior who licks the blood from his wounds and who arouses in him feelings he doesn’t understand or want to control. But Hadrian suspects that more than desire binds them. It’s betrayal. Pawns in an elaborate and feral deceit, they’re now caught in the deepening maze of a vengeful shifter world, where navigating the mysteries of the heart could prove just as unpredictable and dangerous as the enemies they face.

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3 Stars

I had a hard time feeling the chemistry in this one.  It was kinda choppy and it switched back and forth from attraction to danger too quickly I felt.  Also, the progression of the story didn’t flow very well with their developing feelings.  For instance, they would be traveling together and share heated looks with very little dialogue.  Then they would  *ahem* ‘do stuff’ and I couldn’t see how they got there. I couldn’t understand how they knew what each other felt without saying something more profound.

The plot was a good one but could have been explained a bit better.  Something along the lines of Hadrain being low on the alpha totem pole until several higher ups die. Then everyone wants a piece of him so Kent is hired to bring him to Tabitha. But its not really explained very well because I never knew if she meant to help him or to harm him.  If it was explained, I didn’t catch it.

And I never did understand WHY Tabitha wanted to  help him or why Felicity helped them.  And I didn’t get Kent’s backstory.  Why are wardens bad?  Because it seemed like it was just the ones who put the collar on Kent. But references are made to them being evil, yet Felicity helped them.  And Kent’s ailment wasn’t really explained in detail. Is he a half-shifted wolf? Or is he a wolf kept in a constant state of in-betweeness? Can he ever be made a full wolf? Or is being made a full wolf just a symbol and he doesn’t physically change?  It was all kept very mysterious.  But it was so mysterious that I never really found out what he was.  And it wasn’t made clear if in this world shifter’s were a common occurrence and everyone knew about them or if they were all in hiding from humans.

Just….a lot of confusion all around for me.

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

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The Faerie Prince (Creepy Hollow #2) By Rachel Morgan


17621248Blurb: 
Guardian trainee Violet Fairdale is just weeks away from one of the most important occasions of her life: graduation. After messing up big time by bringing a human into the fae realm, Vi needs to step up her game and forget about Nate if she hopes to graduate as the top guardian of her year. Everything would be fine if she wasn’t forced to partner with Ryn, her ex-friend, ex-enemy, current ‘sort of friend’. They might be trying to patch up their relationship, but does she really want to spend a week undercover with him for their final assignment? On top of that, the possibly insane Unseelie Prince is still on the loose, free to ‘collect’ as many specially talented faeries as he can find—and Vi is still at the top of his list. Add in faerie queens, enchanted storms, complicated not-just-friends feelings, and a murder within the Guild itself, and graduation is about to become the least of Vi’s problems.

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5 stars

My favorite one in this series so far! I love how they go from enemies to friends in this book. The best part of this story is the way it happens. It happens in slow, bite sized chunks that gave me a chance to adjust to this new dynamic.  They truly hated each other in the last book and I didn’t think they were gonna be able to move past it.

Its not all easy and quick, they back-slide a few times.  I love how the struggle to make their friendship work is shown; how they manage to compromise in important situations.  It’s seems to be a big part of their characters development. And in focusing on that, we get to see how it all interconnects to the rest of their interactions with the rest of the characters.  The writing just had a great flow to it and was super easy to relate to.

The characters are very self-aware in this story and are not afraid to confront each other and argue.  I think that’s one of my favorite things.  The not being afraid to argue, it’s needed in order to deal and move past the issue.  It’s also important for closure.  The only thing I will say about the end was I was a bit disappointed in Vi and Ryn with how they handled things.    I get that it takes work to trust and be there for each other, but it was too soon to do what they did IMO.  Made for a great climax though. I can honestly say I was not expecting that.

This is my third read through and it hasn’t gotten old for me.  And bonus, I just found out that there are more books in this series!  It’s not over like I thought!

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Prove Me Wrong by Tessa Marie

Prove me wrongBlurb: With no college ambition—or desire to care—Luke Hannon’s ready to bail on school before senior year even begins. But when he spots the hot new girl reading an upside down map, he changes his mind.

Hailey Saldino desperately wants to start fresh at a school where she’s free of the snide remarks and hurtful stares. A place where no one knows her past…or her son, Brady.

Luke wants a no strings attached, physical relationship, until Hailey becomes more than a cute girl in a skirt. Usually his bad boy reputation hooks the ladies but it won’t be enough to land a girl like Hailey. Needing a lasting approach, Luke decides to be honest. No lies. No BS. As the connection between them deepens, Luke shares all his shameful secrets.

Afraid to lose one of the few people who’s ever looked at her as something other than a slut, Hailey buries herself in compounding lies. And when Hailey’s purposeful deceit blindsides Luke, he must decide if he’ll walk away, or accept Hailey and the little man she already loves.

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Favorite Quote

I’ve spent so much of my life comparing myself to my dad. Almost positive my DNA determined who I would be. The only thing my DNA determines is what I look like. The rest. That’s on me.

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2.5 stars

I could not relate to these characters at all. They attraction was too fast for me. And I felt the characters were missing some dimension to make them more likable. I found myself not caring what happened to them.  The cover is nice though and the title and blurb really are what pulled me in in the first place.

It just felt very predictable to me. So predictable that I almost didn’t finish the book.  I kept at it though hoping that it would change, it has been known to happen.  I like to give the author every chance to pull me back in, but alas, that did not happen with this book. I can’t really say much more than that.

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In the Presence of Knowing (Secrets of Windy Springs, #1) by Valarie Savage Kinney

in the presence of knowingBlurb: Keisha is pregnant and on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend. Hiding out at Windy Springs Renaissance Festival, she discovers a world of magic.
Stepping into new and unfamiliar territory, she finds herself among people different from any she’s met before. Though she feels she’ll never fit in, Keisha finds hope when she meets Rogan, who plays the troll. As friendship blossoms into romance, she soon discovers that Rogan, as well as others at Windy Springs, have abilities beyond the average individual – abilities that the child growing within her shares as well. When danger comes to Windy Springs, she’ll need the combined powers of Rogan and his friends to keep her and the baby safe.
In the Presence of Knowing is the first book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series. Grab your copy today and find out what mysteries await within the magical forest at Windy Springs.

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4.5 stars

First of all, I am a HUGE fan of this cover! It’s so pretty and it directly relates to the entire story.  Second of all, HOW IS THIS THE FIRST BOOK I’M READING BY VALARIE KINNEY!!!

I’ve been FB friends with her for while and I own a book or two by her already. But for some reason I never got around to reading one…until now.  TBH, I am always a bit leary of reading authors after I have friend them because I don’t want to have to tell them I don’t like their book. Fortunately, that is not the case with this one.

I loved the subtlety of the magic in this story. It wasn’t overpowering but had just enough to keep me engaged.  The setting is amazing. I love Ren Faires! I have been to several and have an outfit and everything.  The atmosphere is always so unique and fun.

One of my favorite things about this book are all the non-conventional characters. Especially Rogan and Captain Dash.  Even Keisha is pretty non-conventional herself.  I totally fell for all of them and can’t wait to dive back into the next installment of this series!

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