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RELEASE BLITZ ✬ SAWYER BENNETT ✬ THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT SUNSHINE

| On
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT SUNSHINE

By Sawyer Bennett

Release Day: March 28

Standalone



The Hard Truth About Sunshine AMAZON







New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett has written her most gripping and poignant tale yet. Provocatively heart-breaking, audaciously irreverent and romantically fulfilling, The Hard Truth About Sunshine exposes just how very thin the line is between a full life and an empty existence.

Despite having narrowly escaped death's clutches, Christopher Barlow is grateful for nothing. His capacity to love has been crushed. He hates everyone and everything, completely unable to see past the gray stain of misery that coats his perception of the world. It's only after he involuntarily joins a band of depressed misfits who are struggling to overcome their own problems, does Christopher start to re-evaluate his lot in life.

What could they possibly learn from one another? How could they possibly help each other to heal? And the question that Christopher asks himself over and over again... can he learn to love again?

He's about to find out as he embarks upon a cross country trip with a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who can't decide whether she wants to live or die.

Four people with nothing in common but their destination. They will encounter adventure, thrills, loss and love. And within their travels they will learn the greatest lesson of all.

The hard truth about sunshine...


Warning: This book deals with some tough issues including suicide and sexual abuse.



Amazon ✬ Paperback ✬ B&N ✬ iBooks ✬ Google Play ✬ Kobo







     

     


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Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.



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COVER REVEAL ✬ BRITTAINY C. CHERRY ✬ THE GRAVITY OF US

| On
Monday, March 27, 2017
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The Gravity of Us 

(Elements #4) 


by Brittainy C. Cherry


Release Date: April 13th, 2017 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: Quirkybird Designs





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Book Four in The Elements Series

By Brittainy C. Cherry


Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.
I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.
Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.
Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.
Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.
Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.






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The Air He Breathes


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The Silent Waters

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Hi! I'm Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I'm learning, things I'm re-learning, things I'm forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories. 

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3:5 CHEEZ-IT STARS ✬ LINDSEY FRYDMAN ✬ THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS

| On
Monday, March 27, 2017

The Heartbeat Hypothesis

by

Lindsey Frydman


✬✬✬ 3.5 Cheez-it Stars ✬✬✬ 







According to the Heartbeat Hypothesis every living creature has a limited number of heartbeats or breaths. Once they are used up, the creature dies. Following that thought train Audra should already be dead, being born with a heart defect. She is lucky, however. Somebody else's death gave her a second chance and she is immensely thankful for that. To show her gratitude she seeks out her donor's brother Jake to help her with her task. Re-creating something like a bucket list Emily made her brother take pics of. 

Jake isn't thrilled to meet up with Audra but he loved his sister and wants to honor her memory too. As they start with Audra's own "done-it" list Jake begins to see a different Emily and he gets to teach Audra things he never had the chance to show his sister. But while he wants to help his new friend he keeps her at arms length. 



This heroine wasn't easy to love. While I admired her for her strength regarding her health I found her to be a little bit too immature. She kept pushing Jake to talk about the things he clearly didn't want to disclose instead of being patient and waiting for him to come around. I wanted her to relax a little bit and give Jake a reason to trust her. Audra wasn't unlikable but she made it hard to fall in love with her. I do get that this is a book about teenagers falling in love but I wanted her to show more of a backbone where Jake was concerned.
Her guilt for having survived while our hero's sister didn't also made it impossible for her to relax and that was understandable. If your own survival comes at the cost of somebody else's death you have to be a cold-blooded mofo not to feel guilty about it.



I thought I knew what loneliness was…But you can’t know lonely until you've lived the opposite.

Jake wasn't much better. He was obstinately closed off and next second he was sweet and warm like summer rain. Whenever Audra wanted to talk he clammed up and hurt her. The hot-and-cold attitude has to confuse any 18 year old teen, however, it does not justify what Audra did. I'm being deliberately vague. I didn't get a life-affirming vibe from Jake. Yes, his past wasn't pretty but I hard time imagining how he would get himself out of this hole of self hatred and the one for his parents. 


And on bad days, when his aura of sadness blazed like an alarm he couldn't turn off, I felt like I was doing everything wrong.

While reading I had the distinct feeling that they both felt awkward when they spent time in the first half of the book but given the circumstances and character traits of the two main characters their relationship developed naturally.




The writing was very good for a debut author. It kept me engaged and while I had a few eye-rolling moments I  rather take those than being bored to death. This story deals with serious topics like death and handling grief, abuse and how people sometimes just can't let go. It has a generous dose of angst. I would have loved to read Jake's POV.

I see great promise in this author if she evolves and takes both the good and the critical reviews into consideration. I really think that Lindsey Frydman is on to something. 
Overall this was a solid debut and I will definitely read more. 







4.5 SUN, SURF & SEX STARS ✬ BROOKE BLAINE & ELLA FRANK ✬ WEDLOCKED

| On
Sunday, March 26, 2017

WEDLOCKED

PresLocke #3

by

Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank


✬✬✬ 4.5 SUN, SURF & SEX STARS ✬✬✬










It is always bittersweet when you have to say goodbye to beloved characters and this holds true for Ace and Dylan even more. These characters have grown close to my heart because they were endearing like few others. So without further ado, this is me sending them off into their Happily Ever After.

“I love the way you bite your lip like that,” I said. “And I love the way you light up a room, just by being in it. I love how confident you are, and I love the rare occasion that has you turning adorably shy when you’re out of your element. I love how strong you are and the fearlessness you show when others would cower. You push me to be a better man and to fight for what and who I love.”

Ace and Dylan are in a good place. They are planning their wedding, which sometimes seems a little bit overwhelming to Ace. Leave it to Dylan to get him back into the zen zone. Their life is crazy, especially after Ace's very public proposal on national tv. They both are riding a professional high and can't wait to be wed in front of God and everybody. Of course there are one or two clouds in the otherwise amazing blue sky in the person of Dylan's biological mother.




Dylan is such a sunny character. He really knows how to make everyone around him smile and I'm still in awe how he became like that with his past. He centers and grounds Ace but the same goes the other way around. Ace is as protective as they come and he would do anything to help make sure his Daydream is shielded from his poisonous parent.
“You good?” he asked, and I gave him a broad smile as I nodded. No matter where we were, he was always checking in with me and those around him, always making sure everyone was okay. It was one of the things I loved most about him. 



We get to see beloved characters from this author duo's other series. Among them there are PITA and Dawson, Nate and Shayne, Finn and Brantley, Derek and Jordan and my personal favorite, Logan Mitchell and Tate Morrison. I was again reminded why these two are my all time favorites. Logan again proves to be a great friend and lawyer. Of course there are also Dylan's adoptive parents who are among the most unconventional and lovely, fictional side characters. 

The whole book is one huge epilogue and a celebration of Ace's and Dylan's love for one another. There are touching scenes and funny ones. 

“Not to sound vain, but you’ve only mentioned how much the color of my eyes are your favorite about once a week since I’ve known you. So, again, I’ll ask: what’s my favorite fucking color?”
“Yellow.”
 “Oh my God—”
“I’m kidding, Jesus. It’s blue, right? Color of the ocean—”
“And your fucking eyes. God, you’re such a guy.” Then I realized what I’d said, and rubbed my face. “Shit, we sound like a couple of chicks right now.” 



And, this wouldn't be Ella and Brooke if we didn't get some scorching and hot scenes, too.

As our bodies moved together, the rawness of the moment wasn’t lost on me. I could feel the sweat, the pre-cum, and lube aiding to the animalistic act taking place on the bed, and it just ramped this moment up even more. We’d had the sweet. We’d had the tender. And right here in this moment, it was all primal. I was making him mine in all the ways I possibly could, and Ace was letting me. Fuck, was he ever.



They are sprinkled throughout the story and are pretty much the hottest thing since peanut butter and Nutella.

"Fall apart for me, Daydream." 


The only reason I couldn't give a full 5 stars is the bachelor party. I felt that it started to drag a little there - these scenes were about everyone else but our heroes. Yes, I'm greedy but I would have loved more involvement of them.

The sweetest thing is the epilogue. I loved how the authors let us say goodbye to Ace and Dylan. Needless to say that I hope I'll get to catch up with them in other books by them. This definitely was a worthy conclusion of an epic love story and these two characters are among my most favorite in MM romance.


Teaser courtesy of the authors








4 STARS ✬ JULIETTE CROSS ✬ THE BLACK LILY

| On
Friday, March 24, 2017

THE BLACK LILY

by

JULIETTE CROSS


✬✬✬ 4 STARS ✬✬✬









Once upon a time...

...there was a beautiful girl. She grew up as an orphan because a vampire had killed her mother. As bodies of people being sucked dry keep piling up Arabella and her clandestine group of resistance fighters and friends stick their heads together and come up with a plan to combat the ruling vampires' oppression. Cut the problem by the head.
Or root.
Whatever.

The root in this case is the reigning vampire royals, amidst them Prince Marius. At a ball he meets a beautiful woman. She is alluring and he wants her instantaneously. This woman, however, has a different plan. She is there to kill him but the attempt fails and she is now on the run with a horde of vampires following her tracks to chase her down.




This was a refreshing take on "Cinderella". I don't read a lot of fairytale retellings because, you know, been there, done that. So mixing a fairytale with paranormal elements in vampire form is a stroke of genius in my humble opinion and gives it a different twist.

Arabella isn't a meek woman, she has fire and a bit attitude along with courage and common sense. She is the one her friends and allies rely on. She struggles with her feelings for the enemy almost the whole book  and only when things go down the drain she realizes that Marius is one of the best men she has met.

Marius is really sweet. Fiercely loyal, kind, sensual with a generous dash of charming. He can't stop thinking about the girl who tried to kill him. I loved how he wasn't full of rage for this girl trying to kill him but was full of awe of her courage and fascinated by her as a woman.

What didn't quite work for me was the insta-love. While I usually don't mind if an author uses it to move a relationship forward I do expect a little bit more one-on-one time between the couple to work. In this case, the hero and heroine only spent a few hours max at a time and after their third encounter Marius knew that Arabella had a piece of his heart. With the little time they had spent together it just didn't seem very likely to me. You can use the "mating" trope as an explanation but it still takes a little more quality time spent between the main characters.

This story was still a great introduction to this series. I love the world building and the Cinderella vs vamps storyline is pretty unique. I loved that we didn't get a damsel in distress for a heroine, that the hero was a genuinely good person. The side cast weren't merely extras but played an important part to move the story along. I am looking forward to the next installment and I have a feeling that we'll get a certain girl with a red cloak who plays with wolves and Marius' best friend, the grave Nikolai.





RELEASE BLITZ ✬ KERI LAKE ✬ RIPPLE EFFECT EPISODE 3

| On
Friday, March 24, 2017




















From the author of Ricochet and Backfire comes a dark erotic suspense serial ...

Episode Three: In the underbelly, trust is everything, and Dylan will soon discover that Ripley trusts no one. With the return of an old threat, loyalty is on the line, and betrayal could mean the end of everything for both of them.

Series Synopsis:

Ripley

They call me RIP.
I’m a killer. A murderer. A psychopath.
In the eyes of the righteous, I’m a monster, born of sin and depravity.
I want to protect her, but I’m not a good man.
I want to love her, but I no longer feel.
She gets under my skin, though, and has awakened something inside of me.
Something I’d kill for.
I’m not her savior—not even close. In fact, I’m worse than the hell she’s already suffered.
I’m her vengeance. Tit for tat, as they say.
And if she’s not careful, I’ll be her ruin.

Dylan

For months, I’ve watched him.
I’ve fantasized him as my savior, my lover. My ticket out of the hell I’ve lived in for the last six years.
I never dreamed he’d be my nightmare.
Had I known what he really is, I’d have never gotten in the car that night, but life is full of cause and effect.
And sometimes the choice on offer isn’t a choice at all.
It’s the result of something already in motion, and we’re merely left to survive the ripple effect.

*This is an erotic suspense/erotic romance not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to graphic violence and sex







I sit on the edge of the bathtub, breathing through my nose to keep from throwing up whatever’s left in my stomach.  An incessant tremble runs beneath my skin, stirring up nausea in my gut.  
“It just … came out of nowhere.  I felt sick.”  The glass of water passed to me diverts my attention, and I glance up at Ripley’s massive form looming over me, arms crossed.  “That smell.  Something about the smell on your hands.”
“Bleach.”
“Were you cleaning something?”  I take a small sip of the water, nervous that I might not be able to keep it from coming back up.
“Blood,” is all he says, as if I’m not supposed to ask.
To hell with that.  I’d rather talk about what he did than focus on my embarrassment, because I have no explanation for why I freaked out.
“Your blood?”
“No.”
“I could really use the distraction right now.”  Dropping my shoulders, I sigh.  “Humor me?”
His jaw shifts, and maybe I wasn’t supposed to ask him about his work.  Maybe it’s all classified or the hitman equivalent. Whatever.  I know Ripley’s not a good man.  That he does bad things. But I’ve come to the understanding that no one in the underbelly is good.  So I really don’t give a shit if I’m not supposed to ask.
“I killed a man.”  His eyes are trained on me—one blue and one hazel, neither of them so much as flinching with his confession.
“How?”  
The line of tension that stiffens his shoulders sags, and he smiles down at me.  “Is that where we’re at now, Bandit?  You’re so comfortable around me to ask the details of my kills?”
“You don’t have to give me details.”  I don’t even realize I’m fidgeting until I look down to see the red streak where I’ve scratched my knuckles.
“Shot him.  Square in the skull.”
I keep my gaze glued to my hands, imagining the scenario.  Ripley’s big menacing body standing over the man who begs for his life.  Horrible.  Yet somehow it takes me away from whatever nightmare I suffered moments ago.  “Did you burn him with acid?”
“No.  He was a merciful kill.”
“Merciful?  Are any of them worth mercy?”  The sneer in my voice takes me by surprise and tipping my head back, I just catch the shake of his head.  “If you were going to kill me, how would you do it?”
Ignoring my question, he jerks his head toward the glass of water in my hand.  “Are you feeling better?”
My cheeks warm with embarrassment, and I’m glad he doesn’t answer.  It was a stupid question.  “Yeah.  It went away.”
“What exactly was it?”
The nervous vibration still skitters along my bones, but I shrug.  “I wish I knew.  Ripley?  Are you going to throw me out?”
“Why are you asking that?”
“Because you’ve … not asked me for anything.  Is the deal off?”  I lodge my fingers though my hair, gripping tight to my skull.  Teetering on the line of sobriety has fucked with my head and I’ve become deathly afraid of what I’d do for those pills outside of these walls. “I know I screwed up with the drugs.  And I wasn’t … I didn’t want to steal from you.  But I can’t go back on the streets.  I can’t.  I already know I’ll die out there.  I don’t know what was up with the bleach, but it has nothing to do with drugs.  I promise.”
A good ten seconds of silence follows before he says, “Deal’s not over yet.”











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Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan. By day, she tries to make use of the degrees she's earned in science. By night, she writes dark contemporary, paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction on the many occasions distraction sucks her into the Land of Shiny Things.

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RIPPLE EFFECT

by

KERI LAKE

5 BUTTERFLY STARS



Preface: This review covers all four episodes in this series. I'm trying to be as vague as possible and to keep it spoiler-free so that those who haven't read all episodes yet can enjoy the full experience. 

Sometimes I like to venture into the darker corners of my mind with the help of a super talented author. When I hear Keri Lake has a new book coming out I'll hand over the reins and let her take me out of my comfort zone. I trust her to make me squirm uncomfortably...and still have a good time.

Dylan is only a few weeks away from her 18th birthday and it can't come quick enough. At the hand of her uncle she suffers unmentionable abuse which she only bears in a drugged up stupor and barely remembers what happened afterwards. Her mother died of a drug overdose, or that's what authorities want her to believe, and her father committed suicide. Dylan's only tether to a semblance of normalcy and the one being she cares most about is her dog Charlie. After another horrific experience with her uncle she has had enough and flees the filthy apartment. Having no money to get by is a problem so what's a girl to do?

Ripley is a hitman for one of the mob families competing for power in Chicago. When he follows one of his targets he observes a girl getting into the car of the man he is supposed to kill. He saves her from being raped and killed...and is bemused. Rip doesn't *save* people. He tortures them, makes them beg for a merciful death without remorse. This girl, though, is an enigma to him. She is innocent and yet she isn't, she is naive and still streetwise. Ripley doesn't need witnesses yet he sends her off on her way...but...he can't stop thinking about her. So what's a guy to do?

If you think loving a man like Rip is impossible let me tell you - it isn't. In some twisted logic Keri Lake makes you believe that this cold blooded, obviously psychopathic killer is deep down a good man. He is ruthless, twisted, charismatic and single minded in his focus on his target. Dylan brings out the tender feelings inside of him he didn't think he had. Is he gentle with her? Far from it. Their love is raw, violent and volatile.

And as much as I fear that my demons will ultimately tear her apart, the disturbing reality is, they’d probably get drunk with hers and have a fucking orgy together.

Dylan is a contradiction of naiveté and experience, innocence and jadedness, toughness and vulnerability. She fascinates the cruel Ripley and soon he finds himself entangled in a relationship with an expiry date. The more time he spends with her the more he obsesses about her and the more possessive he gets. And can I say he is HOT? Because, damn, he is!

“This is what fascinates me about you. Doesn’t matter that you’re tied to a bed in a basement, facing all variety of gruesome outcomes, you never lose that spitfire attitude.”

Dylan is probably my favorite heroine by Keri Lake as of yet. She is strong with enough softness, sweetness and vulnerability to make her relatable. She has a youth about her that belies the darkness inside her. I don't think I would have survived the atrocities she experienced in her young life. Together Dylan and Rip are explosive but if you look closely there is a gentle side to their relationship that comes unexpected. I adored how they took care of each other, how these two broken souls fell in love and made sense despite their darkness.

Merciless and merciful. Wild and broken. He’s a raging fire, with the inclination to destroy whatever gets in his path, and I’m nothing but a small scrap of kindling. Yet the way he stares at me with such reverence, makes me feel like I’m the one holding the match. 

Keri Lake's gritty writing is flawless as usual. She tackles a very real and uncomfortable subject and passes with flying colors. The mood is intense. Sinister, brutal and raw and not for the faint of heart, yet in the end you'll find yourself deeply in love with a brutal killer and the love of his life.
If you haven't read a book by this author yet and love grungy and gritty tales I urge you to pick up one of her stories. You won't regret it.