Archive for the ‘BOYS are just BETTER in BOOKS (Romance and Indie Authors)’ Category

Love NouveauReview by Lizzie M.

What can I say about this debut novel from B.L. Berry that hasn’t already been written? Let’s face it, stories of beautiful romances about beautiful people and their beautiful lives are completely overdone. In fact, many are just regurgitated tales with different characters. However, Berry’s book is all about starting over, starting fresh, and inventing something new. This is the story of how Ivy and Phoenix survive distance, change, parents, siblings, friends, pain, hate, and finally love. Told from Ivy’s POV, Berry weaves an emotional tale with writing so seamless it’s easy to get lost and feel transported into the story.

For a debut novel, Berry has done a phenomenal job engaging her readers in a unique tale that crosses a few lines and gives the reader something to truly think about. Here’s what we loved. First, I’m impressed by the characterization Berry developed. Ivy and Phoenix are real, full of flaws and mistakes. I fell for both of them because I was so immersed in both their happiness and pain. A book without great characters is just a bunch of words on a page. Next, Berry’s words are some of the best I’ve read this year. Hands-down, the descriptions of events and places is like devouring a beautiful poem or looking at an exquisite piece of art. I did however, want more dialogue. I wanted to hear Ivy’s pain come through a masterful monologue that I’m sure Berry could deliver.

I could picture Phoenix with ease. Every nuance of his body and personality is detailed flawlessly. However, I never saw or found a true picture of Ivy. Her physical description is vague at best. Finally, the story is edgy and raw. It’s different. It’s emotional. At times, it’s painful. The epilogue is told from Phoenix’s POV. When I saw his name – I fist pumped the air. This is my only criticism of story. I didn’t like his message. While the end is technically not a cliff-hanger, it does leave the reader with a ton of questions which will be answered in book two sometime in 2015. This, I’m sure, is why we’re introduced to Phoenix in this manner. Overall, Love Nouveau is a quick and fabulous read from new author B.L. Berry. Gone Readin’ highly recommends LOVE NOUVEAU as a must read and congratulates Ms. Berry for delivering an amazing debut novel.

extreme measuresSTOLE MY HEART!!

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Elisabeth Naughton is one of our favorite writers. At Gone Readin’ we love it when authors put a new spin on romance and refuse to give us the same regurgitated love stories we’ve already read. What Naughton does best is adding page turning suspense to this very sexy, death-defying read. The entire Aegis Series is off to a fabulous start.

This is the story of Eve Wolfe and Zane Archer who were once lovers, but parted as enemies. Their relationship turned sour when Zane suspected Eve of a most serious betrayal that botched a private security mission for the Aegis Security Team. Zane was seriously injured and many team members lost their lives. Zane is convinced Eve is behind his failed mission, but when reunited they find themselves running for their lives, and named traitors by the CIA. Naughton is a great storyteller and a genius at mixing suspense, romance, and hot sexy scenes. There’s enough believable dialogue to care about the characters, and enough suspense to worry about them as well. Secondary characters are key to a great book because they breathe life into the main characters, and that’s exactly what Naughton delivers. I enjoyed the relationships between Zane and Ryder, Ryder and Marley, Olivia and Eve, and Miller and Olivia. I’m guessing we’ll see more companion novels featuring Miller and Olivia or Ryder and Marley in the near future.

Overall this is a compelling story that begins with a bang, delivering a romance packed with hot, steamy sex, and a story that might have been ripped from the headlines! This is one of those books that once you pick it up, it’s nearly impossible to put down!

 

tamedSTOLE MY HEART!!

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Gone Readin’ selected Tangled as BEST NEW ROMANCE of 2013. I loved Drew Evans. I thought he was cocky, loaded with humor, and a true romantic at heart. When I read Twisted, I was a bit disappointed. Everything I loved about Kate and Drew seemed to disappear. Then I picked up Tamed and met Matthew Fisher, and all was right with the Tangled series again. Tamed is book three in the Tangled series. It follows Matthew and Delores, best friends of Drew and Kate. These are two secondary characters from the first two Tangled books, but are front and center in Tamed. Their story is entertaining, captivating and full of non-stop action right from the first page. The ending is no surprise if you’ve read the Tangled novella, Holy Frigging Matrimony. Even though we know the end result of Matthew and Dee’s story, it did not take away from Tamed. I loved reading their journey toward happiness. This dialogue driven story is storytelling at its best. Matthew is a lot like Drew. They’re best friends, having grown up together, and that explains a lot of his behavior. But Matthew doesn’t hide his feelings, even in the beginning. He meets Dee and knows he wants more of her. He never denies his feelings and that is refreshing. Emma Chase is genius when it comes to writing the male POV. I hope she sticks to that voice from now on. I found myself rooting for Matthew right from the start. He and Dee have incredible chemistry, and that leaps off each and every page. I absolutely freaking LOVED this book. Dee and Matthew are so funny together that I caught myself laughing out loud at parts. I loved their spunk and banter but also the tenderness each one was capable of showing. All in all this was a fantastic addition to the series. I can’t wait for Tied, the conclusion to this very funny and romantic series.

ugly loveCOMPLETELY STOLE MY HEART!!

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I’m sitting in my living room unable to move, breathe, or think about anything but Miles. My brain is nothing but mush. Colleen Hoover is nothing less than genius. I didn’t think it was possible to have a better story than Hopeless or Maybe Someday, but here it is. Miles and Tate’s story is heartbreaking, beautiful, emotional, and beyond anything I could imagine. The writing is smooth and seamless allowing the reader to become part of the story. The storyline of this dialogue driven tale is captivating. Miles and Tate capture your heart and lead you through their journey – which isn’t always pretty. It’s raw, and it’s rough at times. They are both struggling and breaking, and we are invited to experience their choices, their actions, and eventually their ability to find love again. I was so caught up by the entire crazy, painful, heartbreaking, beautiful journey that I chose to reread the entire story a second time. There are nuances that only Colleen Hoover can deliver. The present meets past text isn’t difficult to follow at all – and I’m enamored by Miles ability to feel and display the level of emotion created for this story. This is a wonderful tale about not only the ugly, but beautiful sides of love, loss and forgiveness. This one … this Ugly Love just reduced me to a blubbering fool. I may not get off the couch tonight. In my humble opinion, no one delivers a story quite like Colleen Hoover. BRAVO, Colleen. BRAVO!!

Releases August 26th! Pre-order today!

PRE-ORDER LINKS:

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website:  http://www.jenniferprobst.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenniferprobst
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferprobst.authorpage
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2965489.Jennifer_Probst

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breathe with meReviewed by Lizzie McDee

STOLE MY HEART!!

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Some might think that SEVEN installments of a series might be just too much, but this reader believes Breathe With Me might just be the best of the bunch. OR it dredged up a whole lot of memories from my own high school romance! At the heart of it all, these books are beautiful romantic tales that never disappoint. This is Mark and Meredith’s story which is all about second chance romance. In truth, they never fell out of love, but allowed “life” and “choices” to interfere with what was truly in their hearts. The prologue surprised me – my heart broke for “M and M” from the very beginning, and I found myself rooting for them throughout the entire book. The previous installments led readers to believe Mark was a playboy – never ready to settle down. We didn’t know he had been nursing his broken heart since high school, and that no other woman could take Meredith’s place in his heart. What I loved was how much Mark fought to win her back right from the start. Proby once again gives readers a dialogue-drive story (my favorite) full of interesting, romantic, and hilarious conversations. As always, Kristen weaves a tale that includes the entire Montgomery clan that we’ve grown to love, and allows the reader a glimpse into the lives of each couple. I believe supporting characters give so much depth to the principal parts, and are needed help move the storyline along. Mark’s relationship with Luke, Natalie and Sam once again breathes life into his character. Mark loves, looks for advice and even argues with his siblings – making him a believable character. The addition of Jax, Meredith’s BFF, was an interesting side story. Glad he also found the love of his life, too! Finally, I think Kristen Proby adds just enough humor into her stories to keep them light and entertaining. The Vegas scenes are hysterical. I can picture all of the Montgomery/Williams women having one hell of party in Vegas, and felt like I had been invited as well! I can’t wait for the eighth installment, but am sad to see this series come to an end. Kristen, I beg of you, please continue to give your readers little snippets into the Montgomery/Williams clan on your blog. I’ve loved all the EXTRAS you’ve already written especially for Meg and Will. Why not something sweet for the Montgomery or Williams parents, or another novella for Isaac and Stacy? Just trying to hang on to my FAVORITE family!!

heart heartheartheartfall from india place

Reviewed by Lizzie McDee

Fall from India Place continues to follow the lives of the many characters we fell in love with through the On Dublin Street series, and Samantha Young has delivered yet another riveting tale! My only reason for a FOUR Heart rating is that it began a little slow with almost too many flashbacks in order to create Hannah and Marco’s storyline. Typically, I LOVE Young’s book covers – but NOT this one. The cover couple, in my opinion, without eye contact, it lacks chemistry. Since Hannah and Marco have so much chemistry – it just does not work for me! Hannah and Marco developed a special friendship in high school – one of PURE friendship. The twist is Hannah was head over heels in love with Marco. What she doesn’t know or understand is that Marco was feeling a deep love for Hannah, too. His lack of self esteem, leads him to make one colossal mistake that tears them apart for years, and leaves Hannah with a gaping hole in her heart. Samantha Young is a fabulous emotional novelist. There are many scenes, just like in the previous installments, that had me in tears because I understood Hannah’s pain. What I did LOVE about the beginning of the story is how well Ms. Young checked in with all of the couples from the previous installments. Since this story begins FIVE years later, Ms. Young needed pages to catch the readers up. This was done remarkably well without taking too much away from Hannah and Marco’s romance. There is more than a romance here – as I was touched by Marco’s regret and how hard he worked to rebuild his self-esteem, and win Hannah back. Marco has become one of my all time favorite heroes. Every man should have his character. Every interaction between this couple is so emotional; it is easy to believe they are really in love. The heartbreaking twists and turns kept me reading, all the character interactions gave me reason to care, and the romance is sweet and sassy. What I look for in a great book is a believable couple, dialogue that sounds like a real conversation, romance that makes my heart swoon, and storyline that moves at a decent pace. Fall from India Place has all that and more!

Cover - Large(1)Reviewed by Ameena Z.

STOLE MY HEART!!

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Let’s face it, romance novels have been overdone and usually are regurgitated story lines with different characters. However, Dillon’s book offers a realistic approach to love. It is not a fantasy where a girl gets swept off her feet; rather it is a story about finding love again. This book is all about second chances and healing oneself. Tethered Through Time has something for everyone; it weaves a tale that is sprinkled with romance, morsels of mystery, and caresses of sensuality. It is a page turner because with every detail, another clue to Emma and Luke’s connection is revealed. The most refreshing thing about this love story is that it is written in both Emma and Luke’s perspective. Fall in love with a story of two ordinary people who share an extraordinary love. I highly recommend this book to hopeless romantics, to thrill seekers, and lastly to those who believe you are never too old to fall in love.

NashSTOLE MY HEART!!

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When I first started reading Crownover’s books, I thought … okay, I like the storylines and the characters are unique to say the least. As each installment was released I fell more and more in love with each character and the underlying message I believe Crownover delivers with each story. In my opinion, Nash’s storyline is the most interesting, and his character has incredible depth. Nash has been in the background of the first three installments in the Marked Men series, and I’ve anxiously been waiting for his story. For the record, it was worth the wait. The relationship between Nash and his parents, and Nash and Phil is incredibly well written. The addition of Phil to the Marked Men crew is brilliant. His presence alone helps the reader understand how the entire gang developed as a family. I read this book twice because Crownover did a fabulous job giving so many layers to Nash. Additionally, Saint has just as many layers, and it is fascinating to watch this cast of characters peel away the hurt and pain from the past. This is character development at its best. The relationship between Saint and Nash seems unlikely at first, because both needed to learn a valuable lesson before moving forward. You MUST love yourself first, before you can find true love with another. As I wrote in all my other Crownover reviews, my only disappointment is lack of dialogue between the characters. I believe this installment has more than the previous three books, and my love of dialogue is a personal taste. Nash delivers a well-written tale that is woven through the relationships of a fantastic group of characters, and manages to deliver a heart-felt message in the end. Jay lets us know that even though these men and women are marked both inside and outside, they still feel pain after a great loss, and they love with all their entire heart. Never judge a book by its cover, because inside beats the heart of a thoughtful, hard-working, determined, and loving person.

strings of the heartMY HEART IS FULL OF LOVE!

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Katie Ashley has done it again! The Runaway Train family is rolling through the states once more, and the family keeps growing! This is Rhys and Allison’s story. Allison is Jake’s younger sister. Jake is the lead singer for Runaway Train. Rhys is the bass player for the band and one of Jake’s best friends. Sense a problem here? I did not feel this story was as mesmerizing as the three prior installments, but the characters are just as lovable. Like all Katie Ashley books, this story is driven by fast-paced dialogue, a family of characters that readers love to care about, and smoking hot chemistry that delivers one beautiful romance. A Gone Readin’ trifecta! Rhys and Allison’s story also delivers a lot of Savannah history that I found interesting and thoroughly enjoyed. My only disappointment is personal. I hoped Katie would delve into the topic of autism with the side-story of Rhys’ sister, Ellie. After being introduced to her early on, she abruptly disappears with very little mention again. I hope that Katie has plans to bring Ellie back as we learn more about Brayden’s daughter, Lucy. Also Rhys’ relationship with his parents delivered another interesting side-story that was abruptly dropped. I hope we will get more of Rhys and Allison interacting with his parents in later installments. In my opinion these were missed opportunities. Overall, this is a great love story that has become a great family drama as well. All I know is I’m hoping for more of the Runaway Train family. Could there be a future installment for one of Abby’s brothers – the boys of Jacobs Ladder? Stay tuned!