Finding Gabriel by Rachel L. Demeter #Review

Title: Finding Gabriel
Author: Rachel L. Demeter

Genre: Historical Romance
Format: eBook (366 pages)

Publisher: Momentum
Publication Date: August 27, 2015

I received an eARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.

After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon’s army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.

But fate has a different plan.

Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she’s moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.

Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah—and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah’s own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts—or will the cycle of history repeat again?

Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley’s Lord of Ice and Judith James’s Broken WingFinding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.


Review

This is such a beautiful story about love and acceptance. Gabriel has many inner demons that haunt him and to deal with them he chooses to take his own life. Fate intervened and brought Ariah to him. She takes in this stranger and nurses him back to health while dealing with her daughter’s illness. 

Both Gabriel and Ariah have experienced great tragedies in their lifetimes and it was amazing to see how they helped heal each other of the emotional scars they carried. This book definitely felt like a mix between The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables with the dark romance. 

I loved the passion and emotion in this book. There were a few times when it was hard not to tear up. I would highly recommend this book. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

You and I Forever by Melissa Toppen #Review

Title: You and I Forever
Author: Melissa Toppen

Genre: Romance, Erotica

Publisher: Daft Empire
Publication Date: June 9, 2015

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Series or Stand Alone:You and I, Book Three 

Anna Blake has lived her life by one simple rule; never get attached. At least she did, until her life was completely turned upside down by a man that not only consumed her, but literally brought her to her knees. 
Bentley Reed…. 

For the first time, Anna feels like there is more to life than heartbreak and disappointment. Bentley has shown her a world where anything is possible. A world where dreams really do come true and true love, the kind that takes your breath away, actually exists. 

But in real life, nothing this perfect lasts forever. Just when things seem like they couldn’t get any better, tragedy strikes, leaving Anna to face one of the hardest things she has ever had to endure. 

It’s easy to love someone at their best. The true test is loving someone when they aren’t. 

Can Bentley be the man Anna needs when it all falls apart? Or will Anna learn once and for all that the man she loves is not capable of loving her the way she needs? 

Passionate, emotional, gripping. You and I Forever is the third and final installment in the irresistibly addicting You and I Series.

Review

I love, love, love this series!!! Anna is so easy to relate to in what she feels and how she acts. She is so passionate yet hesitant to let herself love and be loved. But with a guy like Bentley, there is no way to not fall in love.

Bentley is definitely my current book boyfriend and will possibly stay that way for a while. His feelings for Anna are so apparent in the way he carries himself, it’s hard not to love him. 

Be warned: This book will take you on an emotional rollercoaster but it is worth every minute of it! This is by far my favorite book in this series. 

Rating: 5 stars

Update

Sorry I haven’t been around lately! I’ve been super busy with life. I moved into a bigger apartment at the end of June and that took a couple of weeks to get everything completely unpacked and put away. This past Saturday I took the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam which is the first part of becoming a licensed engineer in the state of Mississippi. I spent all last week studying for it and I didn’t get to read any at all. I’m way behind on reviews but I’m hoping that I can start working on getting caught up.

In other news, I go back to the Dr. on July 30th to find out if I’m having a boy or a girl and I’m super excited for this appointment!

Find Me in Manhattan by Shealy James #BlogTour #Review

New Adult Contemporary Romance
Date Published: March 25, 2015

Find Me in Manhattan is a stand-alone spin-off novel from the Finding Series.

Sarah Grant is finally living her dream in the Big Apple. While working to achieve her life’s ambitions, she becomes ensnared by the charming and charismatic Jameson Carmichael. Just when Jameson threatens Sarah’s safety, a dream-worthy hero falls in her lap making her question everything she had ever believed about herself.
Sergeant Michael Pearson is merely existing in this nightmare he calls life. He is attempting to have a normal existence, while struggling to discover who he is after the army. When an opportunity save someone arises, he doesn’t hesitate, but Michael doesn’t realize that he is rescuing the one woman in a city of millions that can make him want to truly live again.
Sarah and Michael discover a connection that runs deep, but can they find love in a city known for heartbreak?
Amazon // B&N // Kobo // Smashwords // iBooks
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shealy James is a Georgia native who teaches middle school by day and disappears into the world of fiction at night.  She is an avid reader and writer who hopes to one day write full time and leave the world of middle school angst behind. A sucker for love and happy endings, Shealy likes to combine humor and drama to create stories that are both emotional as well as entertaining. 
Goodreads Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7280344.Shealy_James?from_search=true
Google + https://plus.google.com/106403920973921051995/posts
FB: https://www.facebook.com/shealyjamesbooks
Website: http://www.shealyjamesbooks.com/find-me-in-manhattan/
TSU: https://www.tsu.co/ShealyJames
Goodreads book:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23148558-find-me-in-manhattan

REVIEW
This is a beautiful story of friendship growing into love. Sarah is a southern girl who has always dreamed of moving to Manhattan and getting a degree in psychology. Michael is suffering from PTSD and never imagines that saving a woman will change his life.

I love the delicacy that is used when discussing the PTSD in this story. It shows real knowledge of what people suffering from this really go through. This book will make you feel the emotions with the characters.

Rating: 4 stars

Alpha’s Heir by AJ Tipton #Promo

Alpha’s Heir: A BBW Paranormal Romance by AJ Tipton
Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Series Name: Bear Shifter Billionaire

This billionaire bear will do anything to protect his tasty mate. 
Orson Antonov has everything: billions of dollars, stunning good looks, and the respect of his bear shifter clan. The only thing he doesn’t have is his freedom. Forced to marry a woman he doesn’t love to unite the clans, can Orson find the strength to break free? 
When he meets Casey, the beautiful, full-figured woman of his dreams, he invites her to his luxurious mansion in the woods. He believes he has finally found the inspiration to fight for freedom…and for love. 
Casey dreams of launching her part-time catering jobs into a large scale business. She loves to feed people almost as much as she hates crappy dates and being told she is not good enough because of her size. 
When the mysterious and unbearably sexy Orson comes into her life, everything changes. Swept into a world of stunning luxury and warring bears, can Casey survive the exciting and terrifying domain of her new mate? 
This novella includes sassy curvy women, drool-worthy cooking, harrowing shifter battles, and a love so hot it sizzles. 
This STANDALONE novella is part of the “Bear Shifter Billionaire” series which can be read in any order. There are no cliffhangers, and each short ends as it should: happily ever after.


This book will be free on Amazon from July 3rd through July 7th. 

Tragically Broken by N.J. Danner #BlogTour #Review

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: March 1, 2015 (second edition) 
Original edition published April 2014
Tragedy destroyed Alex Kohen’s life, until fate offered her a chance to escape her nightmares and possibly find love…
Beautiful, compassionate Dr. Alex Kohen had the perfect life – until, in an instant, it was tragically ripped from her. Plagued by her demons, Alex moves to a new city and devotes herself to her work and her patients. But her secrets continue to haunt her, making her afraid to build a future outside of her career. Convinced that her heart is irreparably broken, Alex has closed herself off to the possibility of love.
That is, until she meets sexy, confident Kellen Rhion ­– a wealthy CEO with a reputation as the ultimate playboy. Kellen, plagued by personal tragedies of his own, knows from the moment they meet that Alex is the woman he wants. And with patient determination, he slowly begins to break down her long-fortified defenses.
Although they meet under tragic circumstances, out of that catastrophe is born a connection that neither can deny. And despite the challenges of their demanding and busy careers, Alex and Kellen find the time to nurture their growing relationship. They struggle through obstacle after obstacle, including Kellen’s celebrity lifestyle and Alex’s emotional baggage.
But after Kellen’s supposed betrayal and brush with death, can Alex really trust him with her heart? And can Kellen accept that she will always, in a way, be broken?

Amazon // Smashwords // Kobo // B&N // Goodreads
Review
This is a great contemporary romance about losing the person you thought was your soulmate and the struggle to move on from that. It shows that no matter what you’ve been through it is possible to love and be loved for who you are. 

Alex struggles with her husband’s death throughout the novel and it is emotional. I love books that can make you feel emotions along with the characters and this book does not disappoint in that aspect. Kellen is a sweet genuine guy who cares for Alex and wants to be there for her but struggles with figuring out if she will ever fully trust him. 

Rating: 4 stars
About the Author
If you have already read my book, then you have already seen into part of my soul. Each of my characters is a part of me. They each have some aspect of my personality, or represent who I wish I could be or would hate to be.

I have always been an avid reader, even as a child, and I’ve always loved to get lost in a good book. Reading a book would take over my life, and at times it still does. It is my addiction. Once I start a book, I cannot put it down until I know the end of the story … which may be a few books later. Same thing with writing – once the story pops into my head, I obsess about it until I have it down on paper. I have notes on scenes all over. Some have already been developed into a book, and some are waiting for the rest of the storyline to be written in order to find their journey and see where it ends.  


For a decade, or more, I had to put all that creativity on hold while I dedicated my life to my professional career and creating my family. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and two angelic children.  Supporting and nurturing them is now my number one priority. 
Once my life reached a stable point, I was finally able to find time to rekindle my love of books. Twilight took me by storm, which then catapulted me to Fifty Shades of Grey. “It all started with a vampire who was replaced by a man with a whip.” Reading tales written by my favorite authors reignited my own creativity, my mind wandered into stories of my own, and now, amazingly, I am an author.  
When my time is not consumed watching my daughter dance or my son play hockey, spending time with my husband, or working, I am lost in either reading a good book or writing. Disney World is my respite and I love all things Mickey. My family and friends are incredible people and support me in all that I do. I have learned that life is too short, and we have to take time to enjoy its simple pleasures.


Othello Station by Rachael Wade #BlogTour #Excerpt

Othello Station by Rachael Wade 
Publication date: June 22nd 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance

  

Every woman in my life is supposed to be like Othello Station – a last stop. Unless they know how to keep their distance. I’ve managed to maintain a routine, one that works for me and one I have no intention of ever changing. But this dove came along. Soft and delicate, tainting my thoughts. I can think of twenty different ways to get rid of her. I need this dove to take flight.
But she won’t fly away.
She won’t release me from her cage.
Her wings ensnare me.
And now I want to get off this train. I wish I never boarded this ride. Because I’m about to crash and take this dove with me. But sometimes you can’t stop the crash. Sometimes you just have to hang on and let the flames ignite. Let the fire burn.
Sometimes, the fire is what saves you.
AUTHOR BIO
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.

Author links:
EXCERPT
“You’re here,” I say with surprise. This girl actually came to see me.
“Can I come in?”
I shake myself from the haze and move aside. “Sure, of course.”
She ducks her head and slips past me into the hotel room, like a covert spy. “Wow.” She eyes my vitamin set-up as she tugs off her hat and wig. “Are you a doctor or something?”
“Do I look like a doctor?”
“Not really. Health nut?”
“Something like that.” I immediately thank the gods I didn’t pull out the blood pressure cuff yet. “What’s with the get-up?” I gesture to the wig. She looks down, gripping it tightly. Her hands are shaking.
“Dumb, I know. I just didn’t want to be recognized at the front desk.”
“Okay, 007. Any weapons I should know about underneath that snazzy vest of yours?”
“Only the ones I bought at the thrift shop.” Her gaze rises to mine, and a small smile creeps up.
“Ah.”
“See what I did there?”
“Tried to make a joke?”
“Tried?”
I assault her with my signature bland expression. “Yeah. You definitely suck at jokes.” She laughs and looks back down at the hat in her hands, which are still trembling slightly. It dawns on me that maybe it couldn’t hurt to have a little pity on this girl. “But you’re good at other things.” I begin an easy stride toward her.
“Other things?” She swallows hard and wrings the wig between her fingers, shifting on her feet.
I nod loosely and take another step, bringing us nose to nose. My chest warms and radiates with need as I sense her strawberry perfume. Maybe it’s shampoo. Whatever it is, I’m sold. Sign me up for that shit. She’s good enough to eat. “Like turning me on.”
“Oh.”
My hand snakes forward and latches onto hers. I steady her shakiness. Her skin is ice cold. “Hey. Look at me.”
She keeps her gaze down, watching the contact. “Just bear with me,” she whispers, voice as uncertain as her fingers. “It’s been a while since I’ve done this.”
“Take all the time you need, baby.” I brush her hair to the side—her real hair, long and soft and so, so brown. Caramel spirals of light weave through the dark locks. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“You’re intimidating. You must know that.” She shivers as I brush her cheek with my thumb.
“Maybe. A little. Don’t worry about that now. Just look at me.” It takes some coaxing, but her timid eyes finally find mine. I cup her face, and she leans into me, as if she’s never been touched before. A soft murmur escapes her lips and her eyes drift shut. Holy fuck. It has been a while. When’s the last time a man’s touched her? The thought sends me reeling; adrenaline kicks into overdrive. “I’m sure you’re good at other things. Lots of things. I’m positive you’re good at this.”
“I used to be. I mean…I think I used to be.”
“You’re here. That’s already a very good sign.”
She stares at me with lost, heavy eyes. “I’m not sure what that says about me. I’m either really dumb or really brave.”
“Maybe you’re both. It’s okay to be both, you know.”
“Dumb implies naivety.”
“Are you? Naïve?”
“I don’t think so.”
“I don’t think so, either. You knew exactly what you were doing when you decided to come to this room. That implies awareness.” I give her cheek another brush, studying her closely. Everything in me wants to jump this girl. But her fear—whatever the fuck that fear is—tells me to slow down. To make her feel at ease. She needs to be comfortable for this to work. I need her to keep her eyes on me. But she can’t look at me for long. Her gaze alternates between my lips and our bodies, which are just barely touching.
“Maybe you should stop talking. Before I lose my nerve.”
“Maybe that’s a good idea.”
I take her face in my hands fully. “Let me touch you.”
“I’d love that,” she says, with all the honesty in her bones. Her voice shifts to a wary whisper. “I’m so scared.”
“I’ve got you.” I don’t understand for the life of me what she’s so afraid of, but I say it because it’s what she needs to hear.
And just like that, she closes her eyes and falls into me. Her arms come up and wrap around me, sliding over my shoulders and over my neck. I instantly lift her up, pulling her legs around my waist. I move us to the wall, turning and pinning her against it. I don’t want to be gentle. Right now the idea of being careful seems damn near impossible. I’ve been needing this outlet. A distraction. Immediate gratification. A woman in my arms.
Something I can control, even if just for a little while.

Better When It Hurts by Skye Warren #BookBlitz

 Better When It Hurts by Skye Warren 

Stripped #2

Publication date: June 4th 2015 

Genres: Adult, Romance

Five years ago we lived in the same house. He was the ultimate bad boy. And my foster brother.
Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.

Goodreads // Amazon // B&N 
AUTHOR BIO

Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender. For those new to her work, consider the bestseller Wanderlust, Prisoner or the Dark Nights series starting with Trust in Me.


Author links:
TEASERS

Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2015

Stats for the Month: 
Books Read: 5
Reviews Written: 5

What I Read:

Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford (Netgalley)
Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson
The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks


Revive by Tracey Martin
Hooked by Christine Manzari


Reviews I’ve Written: 
Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford
Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson
The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks
Revive by Tracey Martin
Hooked by Christine Manzari

Reading Challenge Updates:

I’m only going to include the books I read in May but the totals in red will reflect the total number of books I’ve read toward each challenge. You can see my main starter post here.

Where Are You Reading? Challenge
Alabama: Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford
Illinois: Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson
Thailand: The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks

23/50 states
9 other countries
5 fictional places

Young Adult Contemporary Challenge
7/16 books

Historical Romance Reading Challenge
3/12 books

Erotic Romance Reading Challenge
4/24 books

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge– sign up post
D: The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks
R: Revive by Tracey Martin
V: Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson

20/26 books

Books in Translation Reading Challenge
2/5 books

New to You Reading Challenge
16. Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford (new to me author)
17. Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson (new to me author)
18. The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks (new to me author)
19. Revive by Tracey Martin (new to me author)
20. Hooked by Christine Manzari (new to me author)

20/72 books

Literary Pickers Reading Challenge- sign up post
Airplane: Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford; loc 57 of 2932

21/25 items

Back to the Classics Reading Challenge
2/6 books

Pages Read Challenge- sign up post
May: 1,410 pages
Total so far: 13,447/ 52,000 pages

Banned Books Challenge
2/15 books
What’s in a Name? Reading Challenge
0/6 books

You Read How Many Books? Challenge
42. Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford
43. Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson
44. The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks
45. Revive by Tracey Martin
46. Hooked by Christine Manzari

46/200 books

Victorian Reading Challenge
2/5 books

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
11. Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford

11/21 books

Netgalley Challenge- sign up post
18. Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford
18/30 galleys

Reading Challenge Addict- sign up post

Announcing….

As you may have noticed lately, I haven’t been posting very much and I’m really behind on some of my reviews. This is because I am currently 11 weeks pregnant. The morning sickness has been pretty bad since week 5. It has made it almost impossible for me to read at the pace I had been reading at earlier in the year. Right now I’m lucky if I can make it through a book a week. On top of the nausea, I have been extremely tired and most nights I am in the bed by 8 pm.

I’m hoping that since I’m almost out of the first trimester I will be able to resume my reading schedule but that is something that has taken a back seat and probably will for the remainder of this pregnancy. This is my first child and I’m super excited. I can’t wait for December to meet my little one!

I hope you all bear with me as I adjust to being pregnant and becoming a mother. Also, I am sure I will post updates as time gets closer to my due date!