Wait for Me by Samantha Chase

So let me start this review by saying I love Samantha Chase. She could write a book about eating saltine crackers and I am certain that I would adore it (and saltine crackers are pretty awesome too). So I got a chance to read “Wait for Me” in exchange for a review and I was so stoked. I mean, seriously…this super awesome author is giving me a book to review?!?! EEK!

 

waitforme

 

Here is the synopsis:

There’s no time like the present… Unless you’re still running from your past

Executive assistant Emma Taylor is desperate for a little time away; away from her job, her life and from thoughts of her boss’s son who doesn’t seem to know she even exists. Tired of waiting for the time to be right, she takes advantage of her boss’s generous offer for a little weekend getaway to thank her for helping out with a difficult business deal.

Former NFL superstar Lucas Montgomery is still suffering from a career-ending injury. His self-imposed exile from life is exactly what he wants; a sanctuary where there’s no chance for disappointment or distractions and that’s exactly the way he likes it. While his family has been patiently waiting for Lucas to come around and embrace life once again, they don’t realize that it wasn’t just his career that was lost, but his sense of identity.

Lucas thought everything was fine until sweet, sexy and completely off-limits Emma Taylor comes crashing into his carefully constructed world one snowy weekend and turns his entire life upside down.

This book is the first one in the Montgomery Brothers series, and this family is just awesome. One thing I really admire about Samantha Chase is that she can make any story line work for her. Lucas is an injured ex-NFL star, and I’ve seen that done before. But Samantha really brought Lucas to life and I really aligned with him several times throughout the book. One piece of Lucas that I loved is that when Emma puts him in his place, he thinks about it. Its not like he just dismisses her. I admire that.

Emma is just a spitfire. I loved how she could be so professional and proper and then out came this totally kick-ass spitfire. She was so cool. I always found Emma to be appropriate. Yes, she would have an outburst about something but it was the right time and it wasn’t like she turned into a crazy lady. I felt that Emma could really be anyone and I also found her to be classy and graceful. She was easily one of my favorite female characters ever.

I do have to mention one thing. I usually like to read other reviews before I start a new book. Its just something I do to research but I also enjoy hearing about a book from another person’s perspective. Some reviewers felt the book moved slow or was boring. I would definitely NOT agree with that. This book is not smutty, so if you are looking for that kind of romance, this wouldn’t be it. I felt this book was very sweet and all around enjoyable. I just wanted to put that out there because as I was reading, I kept thinking of those other reviews and was sort of surprised that someone would get boring or slow from this book. I felt the pace was perfect, and this was another consistently great book from Samantha Chase.

Buy it here: Wait for Me by Samantha Chase (Amazon)

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Fearless for Love by Clara Stone

Happy Memorial Day! Let’s start this beautiful day with a book review for the amazing Clara Stone and her Lovelly brothers!

FearlessForLove

Here’s the blurb below:

Harrington Lovelly has always been the black sheep of his family. A spontaneous troublemaker with sarcastic charm and good looks to spare, he’s the wild card, the brother no one knew how to control. And he likes it that way. Now, on the cusp of turning twenty-five, he’s fighting for what he believes is right, fighting to save his best friend Fisher from the most notorious underground fight club in Florida. He’s fearless . . . in everything but love. 

Twenty-three-year-old Jessica Owens is done throwing her life away for a promise she made to her deceased father. Leaving behind everything she’s ever known in the hopes of starting a new life is the single most daring act of rebellion she’s ever done, but she’s determined. This time, her past won’t haunt her. This time, she’ll get it right. This time, she might even fall in love. 

Neither Jessica nor Harrington know what fate has in store for them, but when Harrington’s efforts to save his friend bring him to the very town Jessica escaped to, they’ll find their paths crossing in a classic case of being in the right place at the right time. And this time, they’ll have to fight hard to rise above everything standing in their way. Together. 

Gritty, action-packed, and breathtaking, Fearless For Love brings a darker edge to the series, while still keeping the signature, heart-wrenching emotion of its predecessors. A story at once akin and completely unlike that of the first two installments, it asks the question: how do you love, when love is what you fear most? 

I have to be honest, this is the first book I have ever read by this author, so I am new to her style and the Lovelly family. The book is listed as being a standalone, but (and this is just my opinion), I would recommend reading her first two books before you get to this one. The reason I say this is that as I started the book, I kept feeling like there was something I was missing. This isn’t a story with a ton of holes, but in particular, at the beginning, I just kept feeling like I was missing something.

So I read a few other reviews and was researching the book a little more (this was while taking a break from the book) and I realized it was the third in a series and that its based on the Lovelly brothers. Again, I’m sure you could read this standalone and you might be totally fine. But for someone like myself, I think I could have appreciated the characters and their relationships and personalities if I had explored the first two books prior.

The writing in this book is fantastic and Harrington and Jessica have a hilarious banter back and forth. I enjoyed when they first meet, and how Harrington is cocky but its still flirty and silly. Its not total arrogance; I thought Clara did a really exceptional job with their dialogue but especially Harrington’s personality.

If you are familiar with this author, I think you will absolutely love this book and enjoy it. But if I am being entirely honest, it was hard for me to read this because I kept feeling like I was missing something and then I was confused in several spots. The book moves fairly quickly, as far as jumping right into the action. So from the start, I was confused as to who Fisher was, and why Harrington is looking for him. Maybe that isn’t even a thing in the previous two books in the series, but either way, I was just confused and kept thinking I missed something.

I absolutely intend to read more from Clara Stone and I am planning to start the Lovelly brothers books from the beginning.

Buy it here: Fearless For Love by Clara Stone

Yours Truly by Krista Lakes

Wasn’t Cinderella such a great story? Its such a classic tale and one that Krista Lakes modernized for her book “Yours Truly”.

YoursTruly

Here’s the book synopsis:

Only one woman’s foot will fit this size 11 1/2 glass slipper… 

AJ Jacobson: 

Billionaire CEO AJ wants nothing more than to just get away from his busy life. So when he goes to an employee’s wedding and meets a beautiful girl, he feels like he can lose himself to her. Despite an intense night of passion, he wakes up in an empty bed. The only clue he has to find his Cinderella? A glass slipper and two handwritten lines on a note, fished out of a dumpster and almost unreadable… 

Kat Ryder: 

When responsible Kat lets her hair down for one night, she meets a gorgeous stranger who really likes the new her. After an enchanting evening together, Kat gets an early morning call into work by a panicked boss. Knowing that she must see him again, she leaves a letter for the sleeping hunk and signs it, “Yours Truly, Kat,” not realizing that’s the only part of the note that will survive. However, there are other consequences to her night of fun, especially when she finally meets up with her one-night-stand… 

What if AJ is actually her company’s CEO? 

 

I thought this book was so much fun. Yes, it’s a modern telling of a Cinderella story but I really enjoyed how Krista put some of the traditional aspects (such as Kat’s lost Louboutin), but she also made the story different and modern. But this Cinderella is intelligent and a working woman, and her Prince Charming is AJ Jacobson.

 

Kat was just so awesome. I really loved her character; I actually felt like she really made the story. Don’t get me wrong, AJ was great too, but for some reason, Kat really struck a cord with me. In the beginning when Renee is telling Kat how boring and safe she is, I felt so bad for her. I also then promptly thought Renee was sort of a bitch. Krista did a great job at bringing Fun Kat to light, without making her be “crazy” Kat. When we first see Fun Kat coming out, I was really curious how that would play out, just in terms of her behavior. But I was surprised and thought she still maintained her classiness whilst having a (sort-of) one-night stand.

 

My favorite thing about AJ is that he is really all in. He likes Kat, recognizes that he feels that she’s special and immediately is seeking her out. I enjoyed that even though they do have to think about reality, AJ is still very committed to Kat and seeing her, and being with her. I really admired that about his character. Even with some of the stress that AJ deals with throughout the book, he is still absolutely interested in Kat. He never waivers.

 

This book was just an all-around fun read for me. I know that sounds cheesy but this book was just a breathe of fresh air in a normally hectic world. I would absolutely recommend this book, especially if you are looking for a pleasurable, escape from real life.

Walk by Cora Brent

AHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHH!!!! This is me screaming my heart out after reading “Walk” by Cora Brent. AHHHH!!!!

So this is my first Cora Brent book, but based on the reviews for her other books on Amazon, I’m  late to the party. So don’t be like me. Get to reading anything by Cora Brent ASAP!!!!

Walkcover

 

Walk is the next book in the Gentry Brothers series. You can read it as a standalone, however, the other books do add to the overall experience. As a new reader, I had no issue picking up on the backstory of the Gentry brothers.

All that said…here is the book synopsis:

 

WALK

(A Gentry Boys Story)

1513 

The number of single lines you carefully scratched on a piece of college ruled notebook paper at each sunrise. 

1513

The number of days you passed in a locked cage, surrounded by fierce men who did things even worse than what you did. 

1513 

The number of nights spent staring at the ceiling and praying for just five minutes of freedom to talk to your brother. The brother you love more than anyone on earth. 

The brother who hates you even more than he hates himself. 

1

The number of moments it took for a tragedy to unfold and change lives, end lives, destroy lives.

1

The number that represents isolation, a loneliness worse than any prison sentence. 

1

The number of girls who show up in your life and try to crack through the iron shield you’ve built around your heart these past four years. 

One girl and her name is Evie. Beautiful. Stubborn. Passionate. 

You know that if you had any honor you wouldn’t take her. 

But honor is something you lost a long time ago.

 

 

This book was so not what I was even envisioning at all. We start the book, meeting Stone, and it’s the night before he is released from prison. Not even going to lie, my mind sort of started heading towards a stereotypical storyline. I was totally expecting some type of instalove, and it would be sort of cheesy and intense, where everyone has their demons, etc.

I respected the way that Cora brought Stone and Evie to life. I have had a lot of characters that I’ve related to, but I really felt like I knew Evie. She could have been right in the room with me, telling me the story.

Stone was mature beyond his years, which could have normally been unbelievable. However, knowing some of the backstory of Stone, his behavior makes sense. Another aspect of Stone that I really admired was that he really saw Evie. He had options that other men would have easily taken, but he saw all these amazing things about Evie.

I don’t want to have spoilers but one thing I really loved about Stone and Evie was that they communicated. I mean, really communicated. I admired that at times, they argue or disagree, but its not some drawn out, weeks long thing. No spoilers, but in the first part of the story, Evie and Stone really get into it and I freaking LOVED that Evie just let out what she was feeling. I also super admired that Stone’s character was willing to listen to his family and friends, and also just get over himself and get out of his own way.

Another factor I freaking went insanely happy for was that we get to see Stone and Evie’s family issues right away. There is no angst or drama build up with secrets about what happened in their past and how their acting is really because of a past secret that the other doesn’t know about. Its just out there. We hear about it, we see and feel their past hurts. I really appreciated that Cora did that because it truly helped me focus on Evie and Stone. I wasn’t distracted by trying to guess a mystery secret that one or the other was trying to hide.

I feel like I could go on for FOREVER about everything that I liked about this book. Seriously. I have words upon words rattling in my brain because I was so impressed and just in awe of this book and the characters. AHHHHH!!! (See, more mental screaming here)

You should absolutely, unequivocally one-click this book. I could sit here and say its amazing, well-done, incredible and those words just do not do it justice.

Smut by Karina Halle

Happy Monday all! Yes, it’s the start of the week, but wouldn’t your week be better if you started off with “Smut”?

smutcover

 

Here’s the synopsis:

What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?

All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.

What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is an arrogant jerk (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her (tight, round) bottom, they fight tooth and nail. That is until they discover they write well together. They also might find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?

NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK: Smut has coarse language and many explicit scenes of a sexual nature (sensitive readers be advised). However, the title of Smut is tongue-in-cheek, and this book should not be considering erotica.

 

Karina was kind enough to send out ARC’s through a contest on her Instagram (@authorhalle) I was so pumped to receive one and read “Smut”, and it was not at all what I expected. I honestly envisioned this cookie-cutter project that Amanda and Blake would work on, write smut and fall in love. It was so, SO, much more than that.

 

First off, let me say that many times in this book, I found myself laughing, cringing, sighing, and laughing again. This book brought a true, real-life, smile to my face. Many times over, actually.

 

I really loved Amanda. She has to be one of my favorite characters that I’ve ever read. I felt she was real and I could see a lot of myself in her character. The humiliation she endures right at the very beginning of the story is so painful to see her go through, but I thought it was a great way to introduce readers to Amanda. (Side note: so freaking happy she got rid of Allan) I also don’t know how you can’t love her after watching this just terrible thing happen to her within the first few pages. I was mortified on her behalf.

 

Blake Crawford…what can one say? He was easily one of the more dynamic male characters I have ever read. I really liked that Karina made him the handsome playboy, but he was so much more than that, and it was not in a stereotypical alpha male, protective way. (Not saying that I  don’t see Blake defending Amanda, it just wasn’t a stereotypical storyline). He can actually write and is intelligent. He’s truly funny and has feelings for both Amanda and his family. I enjoy that throughout the book, we see interactions with both Blake and Amanda’s family, and the always amazing, Fluffy.

 

Another aspect I loved is that both Amanda and Blake are nerds. They are. No way around it. But I admired that Karina didn’t just make them gamer nerds or anything like that. They really both were into fantasy books and both Amanda and Blake make references throughout to several famous fantasy books and movies. I hate how normally, in pop culture, if a woman is nerd and attractive, she’s seen as doing it to manipulate a nerdy guy. It sounds strange, but I liked that the “nerd” storyline was just a trait, not like something that was exploited in a funky way. It was seamless.

 

I also enjoyed watching Amanda and Blake’s relationship grow. As readers, we get to see a real relationship progress. Its not an instant love, and get in the sack book. They get to know each other, they let the other in. Even when things heat up, Blake is still paying attention to Amanda, in terms of her actual personality.

 

I would absolutely recommend this book. One-click this and thank me later. I loved it and it was such a treat to read. I have admired Karina for quite awhile and this book confirms that I was right to admire her as much as I do.

Buy it here: Smut by Karina Halle

Fall Back Skyward by Autumn Grey

fallbackskyward

 

Isn’t this the most beautiful cover ever?!?! I saw this book cover months ago and I just knew I had to read the book. (Yes, I judged by the cover!) So I’ve been waiting months and its finally here!

The author, Autumn Grey, was kind enough to send out ARC’s and I got one. So in honor of my new blog, I decided to make my first review her book.

The book synopsis is below:

 

Eleven years ago, I saved her. I loved her. But they took me away from her and locked me up. For two years, all I could think about was her. She consumed me. Took up every room in my head and gave me something to focus on, knowing I would see her soon. 

 

Nine years ago, I watched her as she walked down the aisle and into the arms of a man who wasn’t me. My brother. I left my home and never looked back. 

Now, I’m staring at seven letters, each envelope stamped with one word in bold, red ink: URGENT. 

I have no choice but to go back home. Seeing her will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But in order to reconcile with my past, I have to face my present. Even if the thought of seeing her, knowing that she is out of my reach, kills me. 

I have no idea what awaits me, but I can only hope that the demons of my past will finally be buried and put to rest. 

**Due to possible triggering descriptions of self-harm, and some sexual situations this book is not recommended for anyone under the age of 17 years old**

 

 

This book is incredible. I mean, WOW. From about 2% in, I was already surprised. Not a bad surprised. There has been a lot of promo for this book, so when I was already surprised that quickly, you knew this book was going to be amazing and that Cole and Nor are really outstanding. I was really curious about this book, based on the synopsis. It was nothing at all like I was expecting and I mean that in the most complimentary way.

One of my favorite aspects of this story is that the author starts us with the present. We go through the present to a certain point, but then she takes us back to where things began.

I loved getting to meet the younger versions of Cole and Nor. The book is really well written and it honestly took me back to when I was a teenager and you are experiencing so many feelings with your first love. Now, of course, my first love was not with someone like Cole, (although don’t I wish?), but I felt like I was instantly transported back to their teen years. I could literally see the neighborhood, the tree house, Megs and Simon, and Grandma Phoebe’s in my mind.

One aspect the book touches on is Nor having a past of cutting herself. This can definitely be considered a trigger for some readers and I can understand why. However, I thought this book did a really exemplary job at showing some of the reasons that Nor did that in her past, but also how she moved past it. I think its always hard to overcome your demons, but I liked that the author put it out there. Nor is not a perfect girl and I enjoyed seeing the realness of her. She has troubles, she struggles. She sometimes has to tell herself to breathe in and out and is trying to desperately calm herself back down. That is real life. Even when she has this amazing love in her life, she still has other problems that she has to work through on her own.

Cole and Nor are just incredible characters. They are well-developed, raw, intelligent. I could easily see Cole and Nor being people that everyone could know in real life.

I don’t want to give much away because no matter what I write, Cole and Nor can tell you their story so much better than my review ever can. I can tell you I give it a million stars and I don’t think that expresses it enough. This book is absolutely amazing and I would absolutely recommend taking time to get to know Cole and Nor.

You can purchase “Fall Back Skyward” by Autumn Grey here:

Fall Back Skyward by Autumn Grey (Amazon)

 

Welcome! Two thumbs up for finding me!

Welcome to A Published Romance!

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This is my new book blog, where I am posting my reviews and most likely hosting some giveaways. I’m new to blogging so I’m trying to figure everything out as I go!

I run the blog solo, since its so new. I’m super excited to start my own blog, even though I’m basically like a newborn calf who is pretty wobbly and has no idea what I’m doing at this point.

I decided to start my own blog since I love doing reviews, but people keep having issues with reviews going missing on Amazon and GoodReads. I am planning to post my reviews here, Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and GoodReads. It will essentially be the same review as the website, and I am planning to share the posts to my facebook page.

Come like the blog on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/apublishedromance/

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you continue to visit so we can become book buddies!