Book Review

Broken Embrace (Embrace #3) by Dana Mason

Publisher: Dana Mason

Publication Date: May 24, 2014

Pages: 349

Synopsis

Promises Broken. Secrets Kept. Loved Renewed.

The Past…

As childhood sweethearts, Brian and Melissa’s plans were simple: finish school, get married, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, life didn’t go as planned. Melissa went away to college, and Brian married her best friend.

The Present…

Seventeen years have passed and Brian’s stable family life has come crashing down around him. His wife’s a cheater, his teenage daughter is hiding things from him and Melissa is back in town to remind him of what he lost all those years ago.

Melissa’s returned home, ready to forgive and focus on her future, but that all changes the day she gets a desperate phone call from Brian’s daughter, Erin. Thrown back into Brian’s tumultuous life, Melissa struggles to move beyond the pain of his broken promise.

The Future…

While working together to save Erin from the evil web she’s caught in, Melissa and Brian fight to fix the past or face losing each other all over again.

I don’t know how it is possible, but Broken Embrace was phenomenal! The first two books in the Embrace Series were amazing! Dark, gritty,raw… oh hell, I could go on and on… however, nothing compared me for this kick in the face!

I was so excited to read Brian and Melissa’s story! They had been childhood sweethearts; however, when Melissa went off to college, Brian married her best friend without a word – no break-up and no closure. For seventeen years, Melissa carried deep-seated resentments towards them both.

Just when Melissa and Julie started to piece their friendship back together, Brian discovered Julie was having an affair. From that moment on, a series of tragic events started rolling its way through their lives.

Dana Mason is a masterful storyteller and she tackles difficult subject matter in a graceful way. The victims in her stories are not victims, they are courageous overcomers, survivors!

I truly feel black and blue after reading this series, especially so by this last book. I ugly cried, more than once… I smiled, and laughed a few times. Mostly, I felt deeply. It is not often that an author can get so far under my skin, but this just happened! I know that these dark, ugly things are happening every day in our world. I don’t live in a bubble, after all. I am thankful that there are authors who bring these icky subjects to light, even if it is a work of fiction, there is a lot of reality steeped in the subject matter.

This series has triggers readers need to be aware of – sexual assault, physical assault, child pornography, and even murder. Read with caution – if you can get past the triggers, you will not be disappointed!

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Book Review

Book Review – Precious Embrace (Embrace #2) by Dana Mason

Publisher: Dana Mason

Publication Date: October 17, 2016

Pages: 312

Synopsis

A second divorce and a new baby wasn’t the vision Alison Hayes had for her future. Now a single mother with two young boys, she wants to focus on her kids and what’s left of her stagnant career. When Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett breezes into her life with his charming smile and country-boy accent, she’s not interested. She doesn’t need another man in her life, or another reason to make people talk.

Johnny Rhay doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but after a one-night stand in paradise with Ali, he can’t get her out of his head. With Nashville in his rear-view mirror, he’s determined to make Ali his, even if it means moving to California. Ali’s not easy, and she’s living on just this side of bitter after her divorce, but Johnny doesn’t care. He’s up for the challenge. At least, he believes he’s up for it until baby Micah is stolen right out from under his nose.

When Ali’s faced with her worst nightmare, Johnny is the only person who can pull her out of her despair, forcing her to stay strong and not give up hope of finding her missing child.

Johnny has to keep it together and get that sweet little boy home safe before his dreams of having a family vanish too.

I am speechless! I had to dive in to Precious Embrace – Book 2 in the Embrace Series by Dana Mason because Book 1 was so incredible. I didn’t think it would be possible, but this book was an even bigger sucker punch to my gut than the first book!

With the same cast of characters from book 1, it was an easy transition into this story, which focuses on Ali and Johnny.

Ali, married and (soon-to-be) divorced twice, does not believe she is deserving of another chance at love. Having cheated on her first husband) and best friend), Mark, and then shamed into marrying, Carl, who from the moment she told him she was pregnant with his son, checked out of their marriage. After Carl hit on Sarah (now Mark’s wife), earning himself two black eyes and a bloody nose, while Ali was in labor with his son, she threw him out and finds herself raising her infant son as a single mother. Carl has not made any attempt to contact her or play even the smallest part in Micah’s life.

When Johnny shows up on her doorstep, at the moment she needs help the most, she throws up her walls and fights her attraction to him from the start. Finding out Johnny has moved to Santa Rosa to join the police force, she realizes that her well-intentioned plans of learning to be self sufficient have just gone awry. Johnny doesn’t allow that to deter him though, always being there when she needs help, and she finds herself relying on him (and is not happy about it).

When tragedy strikes, Ali thinks her world has ended, and she blames herself. Through it all, Johnny stands by her side. All of a sudden, Carl appears, playing the part of grieving father and chaos ensues.

I literally read this in one sitting. I could not put it down. I shed more than a few tears, felt Ali’s rage and fear, as if it were my own. The author had me second-guessing everything I thought I had figured out. This book is everything amazing about the romantic suspense genre! It is gut-wrenching, haunting, and sweetly romantic at the same time. Another must-read for all fans of this genre! Now time to get my hands on book 3!

Book Review

Book Review – Dangerous Embrace (Embrace #1) by Dana Mason

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: November 26, 2016

Pages: 334

Synopsis

Sarah Jennings wants nothing more than a quiet life–alone.

Raised by an eccentric mother, their life on the road only taught her how to run away from hard times. When she finds herself in an abusive relationship, this lesson serves her well.

Eight years later, she’s settled back in her hometown and less fearful than she’s ever been in her life. She’s a first-grade teacher, and with few friends and less family around, she has what she wants, a quiet life under the radar where she can be free of her past and live quietly. Until one night and one brutal act of violence changes everything.

Injured and afraid, Sarah wants to run again, but Mark Summors refuses to let her go.

Mark was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He married his high school sweetheart and never questioned his life, until he found his wife with another man. Now divorced, he wants something more. He’s passionate about his job, he wants to protect people, and he devotes his life to it. This time, he’s protecting more than just another client, he’s protecting his future; at least, Sarah Jennings will be his future, once he convinces her she loves him.

When Sarah agrees to let Mark help, she doesn’t anticipate just how important of a role he’ll play in her future or how the violence in her past will come back to threaten them both.

This book was incredible! Like seriously, I couldn’t put it down! I had never read anything by Dana Mason, and when I got the chance to get my hands on this book, I was so excited!

Dangerous Embrace is the perfect blend of sweet romance, suspense, intrigue and the kind of thrills that make you hold your breath to see what happens next.

To say that Sarah has had a rough life would be a complete understatement. With a mostly absent mother, to a horrifically abusive ex-fiancé, she is nothing less than a survivor. After a rape and beating resulting in her near-death leads to the loss of her unborn child, Sarah picks up the pieces of her life and creates a new identity for herself.

When she is attacked again, and nearly raped, she literally runs into the arms of Mark, ex-cop, security specialist, and all-around good guy. Mark doesn’t leave her side in the days that follow the attack.

Escaping from her attacker sets a series of events in motion, and Sarah and Mark find themselves in a game of cat and mouse.

The characters in this book are incredibly well-developed. Sarah is just the type of protagonist that I love to read about. She is a fighter, through and through, and is completely unaware of her own strength. Mark is fiercely loyal, full of compassion, and would lay down his own life for those that he loves.

Every time I thought I had this figured out, every time I thought things would settle down and Mark and Sarah could have their HEA, the plot would take a crazy twist, and the unexpected would happen.

If you are a lover of romantic suspense, this is a definite must-read!

Book Review

Do You Dog Ear Your Page?

I love this post by @thespellboundlibrarian! It really made me think about how I feel about dog-eared pages… While most of my reading is done on an electronic device, I love printed books.
I no longer dog-ear my pages; however, when I was younger, I did. Would love to hear your thoughts on this! ❤️

Spellbound Librarian

In the bookish world, this is truly the great debate of our time. As a community we must consider whether dog ear-ing pages of a book should be considered  wanton destruction, or simply the most convenient way to mark your place in a book. This post is pretty silly, but I really like having fun debates about topics that don’t have a right answer but where people get really excited and worked up about their side!

So, I thought it would be fun topic to talk about and I’d love to hear some of your opinions!.

I know people who absolutely hate the idea of dog ear-ing a page. I mean I’ve seen people physically wince while watching someone fold a page in their book. From what I’ve heard some people feel as though dog ear-ing pages is damaging the book and therefore ghastly. By contrast, I know some people…

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Book Review

Book Review – Deranged Angels and Cannibal Hearts (Dead Things Book 3) By Martina McAtee

Publisher: 7 Sisters Publishing, LLC

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Pages: 527

Synopsis

Four months ago, Ember Lonergan made a decision that changed everything. She brought back a life, and it cost her a life in return. Only magic kept the pack from suffering the severe consequences of Ember’s rash decision. She thought the secret would stay buried forever. Josephine ensured them the spell would hold and the Grove would never know what they’d done.

But that was before Silas. Silas changed everything. He believes Ember is the only thing standing between him and the love he’s carried for over a century. He’s determined to take everything she loves away from her starting with her pack, and he has plenty of help. He’s got the original coven, he’s got Quinn, and he has a magic that rivals the gods.

The pack can only beat Silas by standing together, but that’s not as easy as it once was. People are keeping secrets, half the pack is crazy, and two of them are currently dead. Despite all of this, Ember still believes she can fix it, that she can save them all, she just needs more time. But just when she’s convinced she’s finally figured it all out, new players enter the game.

I simply can’t gush enough about the Dead Things series by Martina McAtee! If you like all things paranormal, and I do mean ALL things, this is a series for you! She’s got shifter, witches, sluagh, fae, gemini, and so much more all woven into an incredibly riveting world!

I waited, not patiently, I might add, for the release of Deranged Angels and Cannibal Hearts, and I was not disappointed! I literally could not put this book down! All of my favorite characters returned, some in a completely different light than in the previous books, and also new friends to fall in love with!

From the first book, the Belle Haven Pack has been a family I want to be a part of, and this book just reinforced those sentiments. They are a group of siblings, orphans and friends that share an incredible bond, regardless of class or race. The group was brought together through tragedy, enforced by the powers that be; however, the loyalty to each other that was forged is unbreakable, or at least I thought it was… until Silas.

I have such mixed feelings about Silas. At first I hated him, but now I am not so sure. He seems to be evil to the core, but perhaps he is just a sad, lonely little boy… centuries old, but still.

It is no secret that broody Rhys is my favorite character, and that hasn’t changed. I loved being introduced to Harlow and Malachi/Mallory, and seeing a different side of Astrid.

These books are full of so much teen angst and turmoil. Every time I thought I knew what would happen, we took a completely different turn in the opposite direction.

Again, I absolutely adore the world that Martina McAtee has created and can not wait for more!

Book Review

T5W: Ideal Mash-Ups aka The Books of my Dreams.

I love this post! Imagine Charmed meets Clueless! Brilliant!

Aurora Librialis

Hi guys! It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday! T5W is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads. This week’s theme is: Ideal Mash-Ups. “You know those comp titles they list in synopses that read something like “perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones”! What would be some of your favorite mash ups, that would make you pick up a book? Remember, you can also incorporate games, tv, movies, etc. Get creative!”

I had so much fun with this topic, even if some of my first ideas were a little…out there. LOTR meets Pokémon? One Pokéball to rule them all? No? How about Lilo and Stitch meets Borne? Moana meets The Little Mermaid in a f/f retelling? Frozen meets War and Peace? I have ideas, guys and they’re not all Disney movies. I promise.

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5. Game of Thrones meets Circe

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I’d love…

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Book Review · New Release

New Release and Book Review – The Theory Of Unrequited by Len Webster

The wait is over!
AJ AND EVAN ARE HERE!!!

The Theory of Unrequited by Len Webster is LIVE!

Get it EVERYWHERE:
Amazon US http://amzn.to/2FkNIMd
iBooks https://apple.co/2FpNXZv
Kobo http://bit.ly/2oLXPDz
Nook http://bit.ly/2FftPKt
Amazon AU http://amzn.to/2G0BUA1
Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2FpLRZU
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2tqBvEn

BLURB:

Every theory has a test subject … even between best friends.

The pact: Stanford.
The betrayal: AJ attending Duke.
The reason: She did something stupid like fall in love with Evan.
The problem: Evan’s not ready to let this betrayal go so easily.
The solution: Find AJ and fix them.

The Theory Of Unrequited is a beautiful story of love unreturned. It is full of angst, gritty emotion and will give you all the feels!

Alexandra, or AJ to her best friend Evan, is incredibly brilliant with huge dreams. Not realizing it, she continually sacrifices herself for Evan’s happiness. When she realizes that she is in love with him, and that the love he feels for her is nothing more than how he would love a sister, she knows that she must find a way to separate herself from him in order to find herself.

The characters are incredibly well developed – from the main characters, down to the most minor of characters. In fact, my favorite line in the book is Alex’s grandfather speaking to Evan at New Year’s. “Nah. You, Evan. Tell me about you. Not about the Red Sox or your brother. I care about your baseball. I want to hear all about you, son.” It gave such insight into the type of family Alex has. Evan’s family is shocking – completely absent so the old man’s gentleness and compassion brought tears to my eyes.

I normally do not care for books in which the storyline jumps around, and this storyline flashes between their senior year and present day, from Alex’s perspective and then from Evan’s perspective – and it works… well!

I was not thrilled with the ending, but purely because I do not like cliffhangers! I want to know what happened NOW! That being said, the book ended at the perfect time to keep me wanting more. I don’t want to wait until mid-year to read more of Alex and Evan’s story! I want it now! 😊

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for an angsty coming-of-age story that is full of heart!

About Len

Len Webster is a romance-loving Melburnian with dreams of finding her version of ‘The One.’ But until that moment happens, she writes. Having just graduated with her BBusCom from Monash University, Len is now busy writing her next romance about how a boy met a girl, and how they fell completely and hopelessly in love.
She is also not a certified explorer, but she’s working on it.

Follow Len Everywhere!
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/len-webster
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lennwebster
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/lennwebster
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lennwebster
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/lennwebster
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennwebster
Website: https://www.lenwebster.com

Book Review · New Release

Book Review and New Release – Cavanaugh (A Kingsbrier Quintuplets Novel) by Jody Kaye

Title: Cavanaugh: A Kingsbrier Quintuplets Novel
Author: Jody Kaye
Genre: Coming-Of-Age/Family Saga Standalone
Publication Date: April 16, 2018
The only child of an oil mogul, Rose Kingsbrier should’ve had it all. That changed the day her momma died, leaving her alone living a solitary life in a mansion that was more like a mausoleum. Rose tried for years to get her father’s attention, eventually finding it easier to become his source of grief than to live in grief’s shadow. Convinced that she’s irresponsible, now Rose’s father intends to marry her off and make the son of some two-bit business connection his successor at Kingsbrier Holdings. But Rose isn’t going to let herself be bartered away and finally forgotten quite so easily.

Ross Cavanaugh’s booming construction business is renovating the Kingsbrier mansion and, before the job’s even started, he can’t help getting swept up in the scheming whirlwind that is Rose. The easy-going ex-sailor knows this woman is going to be a noose around his neck and take him for one heck of a ride. He can’t seem to help himself around her until Rose proposes a marriage of convenience that will solve her problem and provide Cavanaugh Construction financial backing. Rose may not mind dragging her own reputation through the mud, but Ross has worked too hard to be accused of fortune hunting. When Rose gets herself in over her head, agreeing to her offer may be the only way to save her.
Cavanaugh is a beautifully written story of self-discovery. Rose Kingsbrier was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Unfortunately, the one thing she desires has been withheld from her her whole life – The love and respect of her father.
Her father wants to marry her off to a man that can step up and run his company, the only thing Rose has ever wanted to do. She will do anything to avoid that trip to the altar, to include manipulating and embarrassing anyone and everyone.
I loved Rose’s character. She is intelligent and strong-willed, yet has no understanding of her own potential.
Ross Cavanaugh, handsome, hard-working and full of compassion sees more in Rose than what she allows the rest of the world to see. With him, she can be herself and he accepts her for who she is, not what her checkbook can bring.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a bit slow to start but I was thoroughly rewarded for continuing on.


Ross opened the rusty white truck cap and slid a beaten blue Igloo cooler toward himself after folding down the tailgate of his pickup.
“Did you go camping recently?” Rose asked, seeing a rolled up sleeping bag, a squashed half loaf of Wonder Bread, an open container of Skippy, and an empty box of Pop Tarts littering the bed.
“Nope. Snag that sleeping bag, will you?”
“Then what’s all this?” she asked, motioning to the haphazard mess of tools, trash, and food. Rose tucked the red buffalo check fabric under her arm.
Ross huffed, his laugh catching the breath leaving his lungs. He knew there was no way that she’d understand. Rose was likely all about fancy houses and flashy clothes. Still, he wasn’t ashamed of the truth. There was no sense in pretending for her sake.
“This, my lovely Miss Kingsbrier, is home sweet home,” he remarked, locking up.
“You live in the back of a pickup truck?”
“Sure do.”
Rose shook her head, noticing a crate of folded t-shirts and Levis through the dirty window. “How do you shower?” She cocked her head, disbelieving.
“It all works out,” Ross responded. He relied on friends, the local YMCA, and visiting his family.
Rose trailed behind as they walked to a shady spot under a large oak tree. Enormous, graceful and knotty roots spiraled out from its base. The earth underneath was a dark brown so rich it bordered on black. In the sunshine, past a white post and beam fence, five horses grazed in the pasture. Their different colored coats shiny from perspiration even while several stood motionless.
The smallest with a light yellow coat wickered. Then with a swift and violent kick her back legs came up. The other four, anticipating the mare’s antics scattered, stopping yards away and resuming their chore of basking in the heat.
“Did you see her?” Rose marveled. “The smallest one and she has the rest of them scared!”
“Bramble. She got her name by getting stuck in some blackberry bushes as a foal. Her coat got so stained she resembled a zebra for a season.” Ross chuckled.
“How do you know?”
“I was working here that year.”
“Is that were you learned to, you know… Do that winding up not-getting-trampled thing?”
“I’ve always liked animals: horses, dogs… little kids. The goats, and the human variety.”
Rose giggled.
“Not positive where it came from. It’s pretty darn handy, though, when you love riding the way I do.”
Ross put down the cooler, helping Rose spread the bedroll to blanket the grass. He tried not to gape when she sat down cross-legged. She might not be tall, but in her shorts or those bikini bottoms she showed off by the pool, Rose’s legs gave the illusion that they went on for miles. Once he settled a comfortable distance from her, he opened the dinged-up cooler, pulling out two different cans of soda.
“Ladies choice.” Ross held them up by the tops, letting her opt between the red or green brand name labels. She picked lemon-lime with a quiet thank you. He put the cola can down and unrolled a foot-long sub, separating the halves on the waxed paper. “No plates. But I have napkins for later.”
“It’s fine. Beggars can’t be choosers. I appreciate that you’re giving up a portion of your meal for me.” It wasn’t a hardship to share the wrapper as a placemat if either had to put their sandwich down.
“Dig in then.” He lifted the turkey and lettuce toward his mouth.
Rose watched him start to chew before she began eating. Ross closed his eyes, savoring lunch. Parched, she swallowed and took a quick sip of her soda.
“So now that you got me to spill my guts, who are you, Ross Cavanaugh? Obviously, you live locally.” She flippantly tossed her chin toward the vehicle. “It’s not fair that you know more things about me than I do about you—from where my house is to what I look like in a bathing suit.” She winked, gauging his reaction to see if he was watching too while she was poolside.
He ignored it.
“Not much to tell. Enlisted in the Navy at eighteen. Got stationed in the Far East. Part of my paycheck that I didn’t waste drinking Korean beer, I sent back home. I thought I was doing right by my parents, but they saved every penny and put it in the bank. Couldn’t stand being surrounded by all that water, and the fillies that were available weren’t the ones I wanted to ride —Those girls were sure pretty, though.” He joked and she swatted at him. “When my tour was up, I came back to find out there was enough seed money to start a business. So I did. Five, going on six years later, the company’s earned a solid enough reputation to get hired by the likes of Eric Kingsbrier, and on the weekends I ride or visit my Grandy so that she can go on about how proud she is of me. Shouldn’t like that as much as I do, but I reckon’ everyone has someone they rely on to do that.” Ross took a sip of cola and looked over at Rose who was now slack-jawed. “What? Thought I was too altruistic to need someone to fluff my feathers?”
“My God, you’re old!”
“Nah, you’re young,” he mused, slapping his thigh. “Seriously, that’s what you gleaned? That I’m older than you? I figured that’d be straightforward enough for an educated person like you to decipher.”
“You don’t look old.” She searched this face for wrinkles and crow’s feet and his dark temples for faint traces of silver.
He raised a brow. “You don’t look rich.” 
Rose took a gander at her attire. She hadn’t bothered to dress today, tossing on the first thing she found in the lump of clothes, which was back to residing on the floor.
“Touché.” She combed her fingers through her long locks, hoping that she didn’t resemble a sheepdog riding down the road with its head out the window and its tongue on display.
“Why weren’t you surprised to see me in the hall the first day?”
“Already had a chance to recover from the shock. I was stupefied seeing a picture of the girl I danced with on Mr. Kingsbrier’s desk.”
Rose cocked her head.
“Sure you didn’t go to college?”
“No. Why?” Somehow Ross had already put away his half a sandwich.
“Don’t take this the wrong way; you have a big vocabulary for a construction worker.”
“A degree isn’t an indication of intelligence,” he said, without animosity for Rose’s words. “Those guys who you think are brutish, banging two-by-fours, have serious math and science skills. They might not be rocket scientists, but they know their jobs. A fraction of an inch can throw every other measurement off. You’d live in something that looks like the Leaning Tower of Piza if we weren’t careful.” Ross angled his palms askew.
“Now me, I’ve always liked to read. Can’t build shelves in the truck, and without an address they didn’t let me renew my library card. So I reread the one book I have whenever the mood strikes.”
“You read books over again?”
“You watch reruns on television?” he asked sardonically. It was the first time he’d talked down to her. “Really, Rose, what is the point in spending all that cash to make sure you possess a novel when all it is going to do is sit on a shelf becoming something that you have no use for anymore. That’s clutter and a bad investment. At least loan the thing out so somebody else can get enjoyment out of it. Anyhow,” he began somewhat lighter, “There is always something you don’t catch the first time you read a story. A reference that went over your head. A joke you forgot was funny, the same way you’ll laugh out loud at the punchline of a sitcom you’ve seen a bunch of times. Best thing about a book is that you don’t have to wait for it either. Pick up those pages and flip to your favorite part.”
“You can record your favorite show and fast forward,” she suggested.
“No VCR or cable hookup in my vehicle.” He popped the last bite of sandwich into his mouth and licked his fingers.
“I don’t understand. If you are so successful then why do you live in your car?”
“It’s a truck,” he reminded her with joking indignation.
Jody’s husband asked what she’d been doing all day. After five years she finally confessed, “When no one is around, I write.”

Okay, It was more like trying to get out of saying a thing. Jody’s a writer. You want it pretty. Let’s compromise.

“Just finish one,” he said, challenging her to complete a story and share it. Little did he know that those words of encouragement meant they’d return from a family vacation with a wild and defiant set of quintuplets stumbling their way into adulthood. Wasn’t raising their three sons enough? 
A native of nowhere, Jody settled in New England for 17 years before agreeing to uproot her brood of boys and move to North Carolina. She spends most of her time reading, writing, and hoping that her ravenous children haven’t managed to eat all the ingredients before she cooks dinner.
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Book Review · New Release

New Release and Book Review – Love Notes by Michelle Windsor

Congratulations to the amazing Michelle Windsor on her newest release – Love Notes! You will want to buckle up and hang on for the ride of your life! This is an absolute MUST-READ… just make sure to have a few boxes of tissues handy!

Publication Date: April 13, 2018

Pages: 247

Synopsis

Justin Jeffries could be the boy next door.  Except for the way he looks when he plays guitar and sings.  From the moment I lay eyes on him, I’m lost.  Lost in the deep blue eyes that seem to see in me what no one else could.  

Sydney Porter is everything you’d expect from a small-town girl.  But when she opens her perfect, pink mouth and quotes my favorite author, I’m lost.  Lost to a voice that seems to speak just to me.  

After a perfect summer of endless sunny days falling in love, Justin leaves to pursue his dream of becoming a successful song writer.  Promises are made to reunite, but when Sydney discovers he’s taken something precious from her, all trust is shattered and love is lost. 

Sydney seeks him out four years later with shocking news, altering both of their lives forever, forcing him to make a choice he never saw coming.  What do you do when more than your heart is stolen?  

I’m not even sure I can write a review for this book right now! I have never been so thoroughly gutted emotionally by a story.

Love Notes is a story of the kind of love we all hope to find – love that will stand the test of time. It is the biggest emotional roller coaster I have ever had a book take me on.

When I started reading it, I thought it would be a light-hearted, easy read. The chemistry between Justin and Sydney was so sweet and so pure, and then Michelle smacked me in the face with the rest of the story.

It is raw, gritty and so full of heart! The characters are everything you could want in a story. It is heartbreakingly beautiful and will leave you with a book hangover.

Book Review · Tour

Tour and Book Review – Beckoned (Parts 1-4) by Aviva Vaughn @avivavaughn

Series Title: Beckoned
Series: From London with Love ~ From Bath with Love ~ From Los Angeles with Love ~ From Barcelona with Love
Author: Aviva Vaughn
Genre: Slow Burn Women 


_____________________________________


He would do anything for a second chance…

Fire and ice have nothing on Angela Holguín and fellow MBA student Soren Lund. When they first met at school in the exciting seaside city of Barcelona, Angela was intrigued by the aloof Dane; he was enthralled by the vivacious Californian. But their timing was off and they went their separate ways – until Fate and Destiny put them back in the same city: London.
In the British capital, Angela and Soren not only reunite, their desire reignites. This time they are determined not to let love slip through their fingers. Despite the many obstacles posed by others, they tumble into one another’s arms and embark upon a passionate journey in the chic, bustling streets of London. But when Angela’s ex shows up, will their new romance be strong enough to persevere? To whom will Angela’s heart beckon?




Beckoned, Part 1: From London With Love, was my first introduction to Aviva Vaughn, and I was pleasantly surprised!
The book begins with Angela arriving in London, on holiday, but soon flashes back to her time in Barcelona.
Angela, an MBA student, is on exchange to a prestigious business school in Barcelona – BIN, for the semester. She is incredibly intelligent, passionate and full of life. She has learned that for a woman in the world of business, one must keep their personal life discreet. She wants to be have no regrets in her life, and intends to gather a rocking chair story to share with her grandchildren, so she establishes one rule for her time in Spain – she will only date one person while there.
We are introduced to many of Angela’s fellow students, Enzo – the Frenchman, Marco – the Italian, Charlene – a fellow American, Soren – The Dane, and Thomas, the Irishman.
Angela takes every opportunity she gets to travel Europe and experience all that it has to offer. Through Avila’s descriptive language, I felt as if I had been transported to the many different places and was able to experience the festivals that Angela described! I have not drooled over the food in a book since I read Under The Tuscan Sun; however, I did just that.
Suddenly, we are transported back to present- day, London, where Angela came to visit Thomas, after several months of little to no contact. Her first night in town, she finds herself spending the night at Soren’s due to an scheduling conflict.
Angela and Soren are forced to address their hidden feelings for each other, and let the romance begin!
I loved Soren’s character from the beginning! In a one-on-one situation, he was lively and animated; however, in a group situation, he was almost cold. Deep down, he is compassionate and incredibly romantic.
I do not normally care for books that jump around in the timeline; however, Ms. Vaughn’s transitions are fluid and easy to follow.
This was a very enjoyable read. I am looking forward to reading Part 2!

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Can fire and ice both survive?

Fire and ice have nothing on Angela Holguín and fellow MBA student Soren Lund. When they first met at school in the exciting seaside city of Barcelona, Angela was intrigued by the aloof Dane; he was enthralled by the vivacious Californian. But their timing was off and they went their separate ways – until Fate and Destiny put them back in the same city: London.
In the British capital, Angela and Soren not only reunite, their desire reignites. This time they are determined not to let love slip through their fingers. They tumble into each other’s arms and embark upon a passionate journey that takes them from the chic, bustling streets of London to the romantic, historic byways of Bath and back again. It is there, at their final destination, that Angela and Soren must face reality. While opposites attract, they might not be able to coexist. In the next 3-days, they will have to decide if what they have is truly love or simply the beckoning of desire.




Shortly after finishing Part 1 of the Beckoned series, I dove into Beckoned, Part 2: From Bath With Love. I was anxious to see where Soren and Angela’s relationship would go!
I was not disappointed! Once again, Ms. Vaughn, carried me away to the beautiful town of Bath, England – inspiration for most of Jane Austen’s stories. It was a magical journey to a place I have only dreamt of.
True to form, Ms. Vaughn paints a beautiful picture of the landscapes, tourist attractions, and did I mention the food?
Soren, the romantic that he is, plans a weekend getaway for the two of them to Bath, proving what an intent listener he is. He picked up on Angela’s love of all things Jane Austen, and did some research on the area.
There is plenty of conflict to make the story interesting- from Soren’s jealousy to Angela’s long buried hang-ups from prior relationships.
Once again, this was a great read and I am looking forward to diving into Part 3!

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And then there were three…
Fire and ice have nothing on Angela Holguín and Soren Lund who first met as MBA students in exciting Barcelona. But their timing was off, until Destiny put them back in the same city: London; and their passion ignited.
But will their fledgling romance stand a chance against the forces of Time and Space with Soren in Barcelona and Angela in Los Angeles? And a new threat also looms on the horizon: a mysterious and handsome entrepreneur interested in Angela’s new business …or is he? Angela beckons Soren to spend the holidays with her in Los Angeles, but when he makes her a beguiling offer, their relationship will be put to the test.



I couldn’t help myself! I had to plunge right in to Angela and Soren’s continuing saga! I was too anxious to see what happened next to wait!
If you haven’t read my prior reviews, we met Angela and Soren as MBA students at NIB in Barcelona, Spain. Soren, a full time student there, and Angela on exchange for a semester. Soren, a handsome, broody Dane, fell instantly for Angela, but due to his reserved nature couldn’t bring himself to make a move. Angela, having committed to herself that she would date one person only, ensuring that she had a rocking-chair story, chooses Thomas, an Irishman.
Fast forward to Part 2… Angela visits London to see Thomas, although her feelings for him at that point are dwindling, if she ever truly had any. Through a series of issues, she finds herself staying at Soren’s apartment, and all bets are off.
Now, we get to the good stuff… Part 3! Angela has graduated from school and is focusing on her career as an entrepreneur, and children’s book author. Enter Kieran – Tall, Dark, and Handsome, and owner of the amazing children’s book store in LA, Jabberwocky. Kieran agrees to work with Angela on her book, and a relationship full of tension – you know, the good kind, is born. He is the mentor that she only could have dreamed up; however, they find themselves in situations that leave her feeling guilty. After all, she is in a relationship with Soren.
Soren visits Los Angeles – and experiences the culture shock of a lifetime! In a country that is predominantly blonde and fair, LA is a melting pot of color, lifestyle and culture. He doesn’t know how to handle the sensory overload – or the jealousy he experiences when he realizes that Kieran has feelings for Angela.
True to form, this story is ripe with colorful description – of food and location. It is so easy to imagine you are there and experiencing it right along with the characters.
The one drawback I found, and I honestly hesitate to mention it, as it is my own issue, and most likely other readers would not take exception – was in the sex scenes. I felt like there had been such a huge build-up to Angela and Soren finally coming together, that the dialogue (not really words, but choice for sounds), cheapened what they were experience. It made it seem like they were rutting. I only mention this as a drawback, because the sex scenes were truly incredible! The passion is out of sight, but beyond that, Aviva manages to convey the love between them so beautifully. It is very clearly not just sex, or a roll between the sheets. It is an act of profound love, which is rare to find in romance books anymore.
I adore Kieran’s character, which is a conflict for me. I really love Soren, also, so now I am torn between the two of them. I can’t wait to read Part 4 to see how the story ends.

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It was never going to be easy.

Fire and ice have nothing on Angela Holguín and Soren Lund who first met as MBA students in exciting Barcelona. But their timing was off, until Destiny put them back in the same city: London; and their passion ignited.
Now Distance has come between them with Soren in Barcelona and Angela in Los Angeles. And now that Angela has a handsome new business partner, the stakes are even higher. Things come to a head when Angela and her partner travel to Barcelona for business and it is there where she will have to decide between the opposing forces that beckon. Will Soren’s offer of life in London pull her to Europe, or will her business–and the siren song of the sea–keep her rooted to Los Angeles?



So, I did it again! I had to steamroll ahead and read Part 4 right away! I just had to know how Angela’s story ended! I was totally unprepared for the roller coaster of emotion!
I was already on the edge of my seat, wondering if Angela, brilliant, driven, creative MBA grad would find her happily ever after or not. On the brink of publishing her first children’s book, Angela’s publisher, mentor, and friend, Kieran, decides it would be best to travel with her back to Barcelona, where she met the love of her life Soren, Danish hunk, who is currently finishing his MBA at the Business Institute there. He believes that it will be beneficial so that he can guide the photographs Angela needs to obtain to complete her book. Angela knows disaster is waiting, and she is not wrong. I did say mention she is smart, right?!
Long distance relationships are difficult at best. I should know… been there, done that, could write the book! Throw a jealous lover and a drop-dead gorgeous mentor in the mix and wait for the nuclear meltdown!
I cried… and not a dainty, delicate cry… We are talking about a full on ugly cry, here. And not just once… two and a half times, to be exact!
As I have come to expect, Aviva’s imagery is vivid and beautifully colorful! Food descriptions are so spot-on that I drooled!
This book was everything that I expected and so much more! The series is a slow-build into a complete explosion… the good kind! It was a stunning conclusion to Angela’s saga. I cannot wait to read Parts 5 and 6!
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“I found myself stealing away to read this book. Every moment I could grab it and get a few more pages in, I took it! The love story was so tantalizing. The lovers, Angela and Soren, have incredible chemistry and the love scenes are so erotic. The settings are so vivid, I felt like I was truly in Barcelona and London. Made me long to be there.” -Natascha, 5-Star Review

“Beckoned was so much fun. Aviva Vaughn’s unapologetically sensual, witty, and headstrong female lead is a modern day Lizzy Bennet. Angela pairs perfectly with the charming, reserved nature of the swoon-worthy Soren – a perfect starched and buttoned-up Mr. Darcy foil to our plucky heroine. I loved traveling vicariously through Europe. The descriptions of local food and historical landmarks add color to the fast-paced narrative of our two romantic leads.” -Amy, 5-Star Review

Aviva is not afraid to try new things, which has made for an interesting—although not always straight forward—life. Her favorite “two truths and a lie” line is: I have ridden bareback in the Navajo nation, I have jumped out of an airplane over New Zealand, and I have gone spelunking in Costa Rica. The answer appears at the end of BECKONED, Part 4: From Barcelona with Love ;^)


Her series—BECKONED—features strong, educated, diverse characters, with heroines who speak their mind and heroes who respect them for doing so. She writes so that her daughter will have inspirational, multicultural book characters to identify with, and to offer readers the opportunity to travel the world through her writing. Her favorite feedback is when readers say they can “taste the food” and “see the sights” of the locations in her books.
For a list of her favorite books, visit AvivaVaughn.com/about



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