Month: February 2015

Fighting Silence (On the Ropes, #1)Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez
It’s LIVE: http://amzn.to/1DGRfRc
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4.5 Fighting Stars

Fighting Silence is my first time reading anything from Aly Martinez and I was with out a doubt impressed. This isn’t just the normal love story involving a sexy fighter. Fighting Silence is about over coming obstacles and the challenges life delivers. It’s a story of fantasy and reality and knowing the difference between them and willingness to fight for what you truly deserve.

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At thirteen years old, Til Page and Eliza Reynolds find themselves hiding out in an old abandoned apartment that’s not far from where they both live. The day they meet is the day Til learns that he’s slowly losing his hearing and one day will be completely def. Til crawled through the window of that old apartment looking for somewhere to be alone, a place to escape his problems, but instead he finds Eliza, and an unlikely friendship is born.

Both Eliza and Til come from worthless parents. Eliza’s plan has always been to leave for college and escape her past the second she can, but Til has two younger brothers and leaving them will come at a cost. After five years of friendship saying good-bye to their apartment and growing up is harder than either of them thought possible. They might only admit to being friends, but they both know it’s more than that, and it has been for a long time, maybe even from day one. On what was supposed to be his last night with Eliza, Til gives in to his every desire. He might not be the last man she ever loves, but he was the first and he wants her to always keep the memory of him in her heart.

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Til works multiple jobs to keep his brother’s safe and feed because it’s clear no one else worries about them. He didn’t even graduate high school so college isn’t even a thought for him. The path his life is taking is very different from the one waiting for Eliza, and while she still lives in the same town he can’t and won’t hold her back from the future she deserves. But when live becomes too much she’s the only person he wants to turn to.

I knew what she wanted, because it was the exact same thing I’d have killed to have with her. But there are a few things in life that trump the fear of losing your sole mate. I wouldn’t allow the desire to consume her to be one of them.

It’s been months since Eliza has seen Til and she was only starting to put her heart back together when he shows up at her door. Eliza has never understood why Til believes she’s better than him, but if he’s once again offering his friendship then she’s willing to accept that because having even just a little bit of Til is better than having nothing at all.

At the end of their senior year of high school, Til found a boxing gym called On The Ropes and he didn’t know it at the time, but this place changes his whole life. The owner see’s the strength in Til, the hard worker, the provider, the real man that’s hiding inside the boy and he helps Til fight some of the toughest battles he’ll ever face, including believing in himself.

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Til has struggled with the difference between fantasy and reality from the day he met Eliza. In his fantasy they will always be together, she’ll always be his and only his, but in his reality he’ll never be good enough. Not for the beautiful woman with a heart of gold, not for the woman that loves him and loves his brothers, not for the only person he’s ever called a friend. He needs her in his life. He can’t live without her and he won’t risk what they have on a relationship that could ruin everything between them. But the real reality is they’re growing up, and one day, possibly very soon Eliza will have a man in her life, a man that’s going to stick around and whether Til likes it or not, their relationship is going to change and watching her love someone else is going to shatter his fantasy and leave him with a reality he won’t be able to live with.

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Picturing a life that doesn’t include Eliza is one Til can’t live with. He’s been fighting this whole life just to survive, but now he’s actually fighting to live. He’s fighting for his career, for his brother’s future, for a life with Eliza and now for the only thing he’s never had any control over…the silence that’s been waiting for him.

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Typically I don’t care for stories when the two main characters spend time apart, especially when they have other relationships while they aren’t together, but the author does an a beautiful job of keeping the focus on Eliza and Til. Their other relationships are mentioned but never with any real detail.

What made me really love this book was Til and Eliza. For me it’s rare to like both the hero and heroine but in Fighting Silence I absolutely loved both of them. Til is amazing character who was truly lacking a good role model. He was never taught to believe in his self worth but he could clearly see it in others and was truly willing to sacrifice his own happiness for the three people he loved. The only family Eliza has is Til and his two brothers. She loves all three of them and would put herself in harms way in order to protect them and even knowing that, she still stands up for herself and demands more from Til. She doesn’t want to lose them, but her heart isn’t willing to except Til as only a friend. She needs more.

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There’s so much more to Fighting Silence then just Til and Eliza’s relationship. Both of Til’s brother’s have huge rolls in the story (and I’m guessing they might be the hero’s in the next two books?) and there’s so much more with Til’s time at On the Ropes. And then of course there’s Til dealing with his hear lost.

I can honestly say I thought this story was beautiful and I’m very glad I read it, and I will without a doubt go back and check out more of Aly Martinez’s stories and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

*ARC kindly provided by TRSOR in exchange for an honest review*

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By Any Other Name

By Any Other Name (Forbidden, #1)

 

4.5 Amazing Stars

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In my opinion, J.M. Darhower is a genius with writing forbidden mafia romances. Sempre is one of my all time favorite books so I was extremely pleased that not only did she deliver another amazing story, but one that was completely different from her original masterpiece.


**Spoiler Free Review**

By Any Other Name is a story of two families and a rivalry that turned deadly almost sixteen years earlier. The Galante and the Barsanti’s are the two strongest mafia families in NYC and once upon a time were friends, but one night changed everything.

We didn’t always go head-to-head. We used to exist peacefully.

The Galante and Barsanti children have grown up with this waging war between the two families and it’s been instilled in them to never trust, never get close and never let your guard down.

Genevieve “Genna” Galante may look sweet and innocent but she’s a pro at causing trouble. From trespassing, vandalism to even stealing a car and she has caused her father and brother to become dictated to protecting her.

Matteo “Matty” Barsanti is the first born of the Barsanti family but his life has been very much removed from the family and it’s been years since he’s been in NYC on a regular basis. Which is why, when Matty and Genna meet each other, they were unaware they were engaging with the enemy.

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When Matty and Genna get stuck in an elevator they feel an unexplainable connection between them. One that neither of them is willing to question and one they’re not ready to let go of. A few drinks later, and Genna is screaming Matty’s name in a way he’ll never forget. This one night appears to be the start of something beautiful, something real, until suddenly if they were just By Any Other Name they could be together.

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Genna knows she should be disgusted with herself for her night with Matty, but when she thinks about him she’s consumed by something else, something undeniable and suddenly families and names don’t seem as important as they once did.

Blood has already been spilled between these two families and their relationship will only ensure that more will. Being together won’t keep them safe, but going back to the life they had before meeting each other just doesn’t seem like a possibility.

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This story was one of those that I tried to read a little slower because as much as I wanted to know how things would turn out, I also didn’t want it to end. By Any Other Name is definitely a modern day Romeo and Juilet story and Matty and Genna did have some insta feelings towards each other, but their relationship grows at a reasonable paste.

I loved Matty. He’s six years older than Genna and quickly becomes her protector. He might be the next in line to take over the Barsanti family, but his blood runs different the other Barsanti men and doesn’t let his DNA define who he is as a person. Matty only had one night with Genna where last names didn’t matter, but he wasn’t ready to walk away from the only person his heart has ever felt a connection with. Being with Genna, loving Genna might be the hardest battle he’s ever going to face and it shows just how strong his character truly is.

By Any Other Name is the first book in the Forbidden Series. Some questions are left unanswered, hearts are broken and what will happen next is still a mystery BUT it ends in almost the perfect spot for the next book to pick up. The ending isn’t much of a cliffhanger and more of a HFN and I can’t wait to read what will happen next.

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*ARC kindly provided by J.M. Darhower in exchange for an honest review*

Prick

Prick

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3.75 Stars

So I have to admit, I’m kind of over the whole step-brother romance novels. It seems like every day there’s a new release involving stepsiblings and while I like a good forbidden romance I’m also looking for books that stand out and are original. The only reason I decided to pull the trigger on Prick was because a lot of my Goodread’s friends had either just read it or was currently reading it and at only 99 cents so I thought what the hell it’s worth a shot. So…I’m happy to report that while I’m still over the whole stepbrother scenario I did really enjoy Prick and the storyline was different from the other stepsiblings books I’ve read!!!

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Caulter Sterling is a true man whore. He’s a douchebag, an asshole, and a real PRICK. For the last few years while he’s been sleeping his way through his private high school, he’s wanted to bag the girl deemed untouchable…Katherine Harrison. And right before graduation he gets his wish because Katherine text him wanting to meet up. She practically gift wrapped herself and handed him a night he can’t seem to forget.

Ten days later, Katherine’s (aka Kate) father drops a bombshell. He’s not only dating a woman but they’re about to get married, and it’s none other than Caulter’s mother. Kate picked Caulter to punch her v-card because she’s the Senator’s Harrison’s daughter. Boys either feared her father’s power or only wanted her so they could get close to him. Choosing Caulter was easy. He’s a whore, a one and done, someone that after graduation she’ll never have to see again. Only now thanks to her dad’s secret relationship she’s going to live with him for the whole summer break.

He’s off limits. And not just because he’s my new stepbrother—I mean, we’re not even related, sure, but I can’t even fathom the scandal that would involve—but because it’s Caulter. He’s the crudest, filthiest, sluttiest guy I’ve ever met in my life. I have absolutely no business wanting him.

The story is told by both POV’s which I was extremely thankful for. Caulter is such a prick that if I didn’t know what he was really thinking I’m not sure I would have liked him. He gets off on pushing Kate’s buttons and is trying to get her to come out of the shell that she and her father have built up around her because it’s clear that Kate is not living the life she would choose for herself.

The ending felt a little rushed but over all this was a fun easy book that I really enjoyed.

Hero

HeroHero by Samantha Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Next to On Dublin Street, Hero is probably my favorite Samantha Young novel. I have a weakness for redeemabledouchebag hero’s and Caine Carraway definitely fits the fold for moody arrogant hero’s.

Alexa Holland grew up thinking her father was her own personal hero, who unfortunately had to work a lot when in reality he had another family. Alexa doesn’t discover this until years later when her father’s poor choices have permanently affected the lives of three families.

Alexa is now in her late twenties and working for a famous photographer in Boston when her latest job lands her in front of the one and only Caine Carraway.

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Caine Carraway is a sexy self-made millionaire and after one look at Alexa he knows who he would like to spend his evening with… that is until she mentions her father’s name, because now he wants absolutely nothing to do with her and refuses to work with her boss, which in turn gets Alexa fired.

Alexa is nothing like her father, but for some strange reason, she wants to help Caine and seek her own redemption for her father’s actions, so Alexa seeks out Caine once again. Only this time when she walks away from him, she’s agreed to work for him as his PA.

Alexa needed a job and Caine stepped up and gave her one, but it’s clear what his motives were…which is make her life a living hell. If Caine says jump, he expects Alexa to say how high and if she doesn’t like it, she can leave and never return. But as time goes bye, working together starts to spark a whole new level of tension between Alexa and Caine and it’s not long before they act on their desire for each other.

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After some explosive sex, Caine tries his hardest to put back up every wall he’s built regarding Alexa, but slowly they start to come back down again. Sex between them almost becomes an addiction, and for Alexa she knows she’s starting to fall in love. Alexa has never been enough for people who have claimed to love her in the past, and she’s starting to discover it’s the same with Caine.

I did not need to be saved by a man who couldn’t even save himself.

Caine was determined to make Alexa hate him, but he never meant for her to fall for him because he isn’t capable of forever. He explain the rules from the very beginning of their affair, but when Alexa decides her heart has had enough, Caine is left to wonder if his heart can handle more.

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For every amazing moment with Caine, he dishes out a few crappy ones as well. He was truly determined to keep their relationship strictly physical but his actions always spoke differently. He was jealous and possessive of Alexa but due his own past, a past Alexa knows nothing of, he feels he’ll never be good enough for her.

While Caine tries to keep his emotions out of their relationship, the two are in a (view spoiler) relationship for most of the book. And slowly they become friends. The entire book is told by Alexa’s POV and there were many times I would have loved to know what Caine ws thinking. His words and actions hardly ever matched and what and why he was keeping a secret started to annoy me because it became clear that no matter how much he was feeling for Alexa he wanted to go to his grave with it.

Still, this was a great book and I truly enjoyed reading it, and might even read again one day!

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Verum

Verum (The Nocte Trilogy, #2)

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4.5 Stars


Spoil Free Review

I’ve been dying to read Verum since I finished reading Nocte last year. I was ready to expect the unexpected, but still Verum left me feeling equal parts amazed and confused. The ending left me completely boggled. Ms. Cole has some serious explaining to do in the Lux which is next and final book of the Nocte Trilogy.

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Readers were felt shocked at the end of Nocte. Verum picks up with Calla heading to England to stay with her mother’s family at The Whitley Estate. Everyone agrees that Calla will find the answers she looking for here, only Calla’s not so sure. For Calla The Whitley is filled with darkness and everyone here appears to hiding whatever it is that she can’t seem to remember, including Dare.

”Where should I look for answers?”

“You should book at the Whitley…but you’re got to be careful. You won’t like what you find.”

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When I started reading, I wondered if I had forgot something important. Dare and Calla’s relationship felt different and as more characters were added into the story I had a hard time connecting the dots. BUT everything comes together at the end and once again we are left to guess what will happen next.

The Nocte Series are NOT standalones and should be read in order.


Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy, #1) by Courtney Cole

Verum (The Nocte Trilogy, #2) by Courtney Cole

Lux (The Nocte Trilogy, #3) by Courtney Cole

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Making The Cut

Making the Cut - Selected Sinners MC Erotic Romance

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3.5 Stars

Axton is the president of The Selected Sinners MC. He loves his club, he loves his brothers but he has no need for a woman in his life. For the last decade where woman are concerned Axton has lived by one rule…one and done. He finds woman who are looking for one good night with no strings. And up until now, this rule has worked perfectly.

Avery is far from her hometown and just about to graduate college with a criminal justice degree. She enjoys the guilty pleasures she can receive from a man, but she’s always wanted what she couldn’t have. If men come off as too easy, then she’s not interested.

When Axton and the other Selected Sinners end up at the bar Avery’s working at, she smiles, she flirts, and puts on her best game only to get shot down at the end of the night.

Avery’s beautiful and she made it clear what she was looking for and Axton could tell it was more than one night, so walking away was his only option. But a few days later, he finds himself in a bind and Avery is the only person he can think of that might be able to help him.

The Sinners had a huge sell to make. All Axton needed was someone that could speak Spanish. In and out, but that’s not what happens.

Avery is unlike any woman Axton’s ever met. It appears that he can trust her, but letting go of every reason why he shouldn’t isn’t going to be easy.

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The Selected Sinners are similar in many ways to many other MC books I’ve read, but two very different things stood out to me when reading Making The Cut. One-while many of the brother’s act like discussing pigs, they still had very strong morals. They don’t set out to act like criminals, but they will break the law to help serve justice when it’s needed. Two-Axton wasn’t a whore. If anything he actually turns Avery’s offers for sex down until he knows if he can handle a relationship with her.

In the beginning the story felt like it dragged out. I kept waiting for Avery and Axton to meet and start the romance part but once they did, the book really grabbed me and I ended up truly enjoy it!

*ARC kindly provided by Scott Hildreth in exchange for an honest review*

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