Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks
Posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 by Angela

Darkest Before Dawn by Maya BanksDarkest Before Dawn (KGI, #10) by Maya Banks
Published by Berkley on October 27th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome" (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications:
High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission:
Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t...
The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they've known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock's true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he's been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She's the only woman who's ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he's spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

Darkest Before Dawn has a strong premise, and since I’m a fan of military dramas I wish I could say it was enough to make this a winner for me. Sadly, however, the book falters under the weight of overwhelming excesses.

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One StarOne Star

Middle of Knight by Jewel E. Ann
Posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 by Angela

Middle of Knight by Jewel E. AnnMiddle of Knight (Jack & Jill, #2) by Jewel E. Ann
Series: Jack & Jill #2
on October 8th 2015
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 322
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Book 2 in the Jack & Jill Series - NOT a standalone.

The living seek forgiveness. The dead seek revenge.

A first love.
A last breath.
A haunting past.

Armed with a sinful past and an equally sinful body, Jackson Knight absolves his vow of celibacy to pursue Sergeant Monaghan’s unsuspecting—older—housekeeper.

Ryn Middleton, on the cusp of turning forty with a snarky daughter, a killer dog, and an abusive ex-husband, finds Jackson’s advances humorous and unbelievable. After intense negotiations including Vera Wang, Ed Sheeran, and sex four times a day, Ryn accepts Jackson’s marriage proposal on their first date.

What could possibly go wrong?

While struggling to lay claim to the woman of the dreams he never had, Jackson is forced to deal with a grief-stricken Jillian trying to hold on to her past without letting go of her future—the doctor who took her heart and the Sergeant who gave her a new one.
Beyond the hope for light, lies the middle of darkness, the illusion of truth, and a haunting past.

*WARNING - Contains explicit language and sexual content and subject matter pertaining to physical/sexual abuse.

“Love is reckless because true emotions are immune to logic. The most beautiful love stories are often the most tragic.”

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne
Posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 by Angela

Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren LayneIsn't She Lovely (Redemption, #0.5) by Lauren Layne
Published by Random House LLC on October 28th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 243
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The rules are clear—until they're broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

"Who knew that pretending you're not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?"

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she's pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn't exactly Ethan Price's type, either. He's probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund... or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie's a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan's brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan's privileged world, the "acting" begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating "them." And Stephanie faces a question she's too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

This is the type of predictable and rather fluffy story that might have me rolling my eyes if it was written by a less talented author. In Lauren Layne’s extremely capable hands, however, the familiar storyline is infused with such endearing characters, snarky banter, and flowing writing that it engaged me from beginning to end.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Nuts by Alice Clayton
Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 by Angela

Nuts by Alice ClaytonNuts (Hudson Valley, #1) by Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #1
Published by Gallery Books on October 20th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
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From New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton, the first in a brand-new romance series telling the humorously sexy tale of Roxie, a private chef who gets a taste of love—but is it to stay, or to go?

Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.

When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?

Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.

Alice Clayton is best known for her popular Cocktail series and Redhead series, the later of which sits firmly on my “favorites” bookshelf. So when I found out she was writing a new series, I admit I started fangirling just a wee bit. Okay, a lot, but then I gave myself a reality check. Angela, I thought—my little freak out session had temporarily caused me to refer to myself in the third person, you see—calm the heck down and don’t get your hopes up. I’m sure it’s incredibly hard for an author to meet readers’ expectations once the bar of excellence has been set. Well, I’m happy to say Ms. Clayton hasn’t lost her creative mojo. Nuts is funny, sassy, and altogether charming.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Sacked by Jen Frederick
Posted on Sunday, October 11th, 2015 by Angela

Sacked by Jen FrederickSacked by Jen Frederick
Published by Createspace on September 4th 2015
Genres: Love & Romance, New Adult
Pages: 396
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What he wants he gets... Knox Masters is a quarterback's worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. And...virgin. Knox knows what he wants--and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he's set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she's the sister of his fellow teammate, but that's not going to stop him. Especially not when he's convinced Ellie is the one.

...but he's never met her before.

But Ellie isn't as sure. She's trying to start a new life and she's not interested in a relationship...with anyone. Beside it's not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother's teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing.

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.

The Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy and the Game On series by Kristen Callihan are probably the two most popular series in the college sports romance sub-genre. Jen Frederick makes no secret that their work was the inspiration for Sacked, and in many regards it’s a successful homage.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

End of Day by Jewel E. Ann
Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2015 by Angela

End of Day by Jewel E. AnnEnd of Day (Jack & Jill Series, #1) by Jewel E. Ann
Series: Jack & Jill #1
Published by Jewel E. Ann on August 17th 2015
Genres: Mystery & Thriller, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 424
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Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.

Four caskets. Two bodies.

Jessica and Jude Day witness their funeral and that of their parents a few yards away from mourning family and friends. Stripped of the only life they’ve ever known, the Days say goodbye to San Francisco forever.

Six months later, two thirty-year-old misfits with elite self-defense skills and penchants for alcohol, sex, and trouble arrive like an earthquake to Peaceful Woods, a retirement community in Omaha, Nebraska, that thrives on rules and gossip. Welcome home, Jackson and Jillian Knight.

Jackson celebrates his new beginning by embracing his job and wiping his cavalier past clean with a temporary oath of celibacy. But Jillian’s past is branded into her soul—the deaths, the insanity, Dr. Luke Jones, and the need to make her lovers bleed. Her chance for redemption comes in the form of a next door neighbor, one Senior Master Sergeant Monaghan. He’s sexy, dangerously alluring, and riddled with emotional issues from years of service. He’s also … So. Damn. Grumpy.

Their mission is simple: Let go, start over, don't kill anyone, and pray that nobody wakes the dead.

**THIS BOOK CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL CONTENT 18+

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, but when you’re an avid reader who reads well over 100 novels per year, many books tend to blend together. Authors that bring something fresh to the table stand a better chance of producing work that stands out. Jewel E. Ann brought her A-game with End of Day, and I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it. She has woven together a gripping, intriguing, and clever novel that I could not put down. What a fantastic start to the Jack & Jill series.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 by Angela

We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Published by Delacorte Press on May 13th 2014
Genres: Mystery & Thriller, New Adult
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A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

This book review is part of The Book Geek’s Genre Spotlight. It’s where we explore and choose one of the myriad genres. We’ll showcase it by having each Book Geek read and review at least one, but possibly a few books belonging to that month’s chosen genre.

As we fall into September, our spotlight is on Mystery & Thrillers!

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry
Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2015 by Angela

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. CherryThe Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry
on September 25th 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Romance
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I was warned about Tristan Cole.

“Stay away from him,” people said.
“He’s cruel.”“He’s cold.”
“He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.

But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty.
We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.

Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

The Air He Breathes is a wonderful tale of loss, forgiveness, and second chances. I can easily see how it would tug at the heartstrings of many people. However, it’s the little details—and lack thereof—that prevented me from giving this four stars.

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One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Sweet Obsession by J. Daniels
Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 by Angela

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Sweet Obsession by J. Daniels
Series: Sweet Addiction #3
Published on September 22nd 2015

Genres: Romance, Erotica
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From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, J. Daniels.

Author’s note: Sweet Obsession can be read as a standalone novel.

Everyone knows Brooke Wicks loves to have a good time. She’s not interested in getting serious, settling down, or limiting herself to one man. So when she meets the sexy, irresistible Mason King, she sees another opportunity to let loose and go wild. But the gorgeous Aussie isn’t interested in just a quick fling with Brooke, and if she wants to get into his bed, she’s going to have to do it on his terms.

Loving fast and hard has always been Mason’s philosophy. He doesn’t want a meaningless connection, he wants it all, and he wants it with Brooke. When she makes her one desire known—to hit it and quit it—Mason wages a plan to ensure Brooke keeps coming back for more. Or so he hopes.

Getting her attention was the easy part. Keeping it might be damn near impossible.

Sweet Obsession is where the Sweet Addiction series meets the Alabama Summer series.

 

Giveaway

Sweet Addiction was my very first taste of erotica. The combination of baking and sex, sugar and spice made it the perfect introduction to the genre, and I jokingly blame J. Daniels for corrupting my sweet, innocent mind. I quickly gobbled up the second book, Sweet Possession, and I was sad to say goodbye to the quirky cast of characters I’d grown so fond of. So when I found out that man crazy Brooke was getting her very own book, I was beyond excited. J. Daniels crossing over characters from her Alabama Summer series? It was just icing on the cake.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Reasonable Doubt by Whitney Gracia Williams
Posted on Saturday, September 19th, 2015 by Angela

Reasonable Doubt by Whitney Gracia WilliamsReasonable Doubt Full Series by Whitney Gracia Williams
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on September 15th 2014
Genres: Erotica, Romance
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The complete New York Times Bestselling serial, now available in one book!

My cock has an appetite.

A huge and very particular appetite: Blonde, curvy, and preferably not a fucking liar...(Although, that's a story for another day.) As a high profile lawyer, I don't have time to waste on relationships, so I fulfill my needs by anonymously chatting and sleeping with women I meet online.

My rules are simple: One dinner. One night. No repeats.

This is only casual sex. Nothing more. Nothing less.

At least it was, until "Alyssa"...She was supposed to be a 27 year old lawyer, a book hoarder, and completely unattractive. She was supposed to be someone I shared law advice with late at night, someone I could trust with details of my weekly escapades.

But then she came into my firm for an interview--a college-intern interview, and everything fucking changed...

Reasonable Doubt is one of my all-time favorite erotica series. There’s always a bit of trepidation when I re-read a favorite book—a concern that it won’t be as good as I remember. I had the perfect excuse to re-read Reasonable Doubt when I was gifted an audiobook copy, but I was even more hesitant. I had a specific voice in mind for Andrew, and much like movie adaptations of books, I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. My fears were completely unfounded because I loved the book even more the second time around, and the voice actors are spot on.

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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