The Do-Gooder by Jessie L. Star ~ Review & Quote-tastic (@SimonSchusterAU)

I had fun reading this book, and connecting with characters that are Aussie's. I don't think Lara was as bad as she made herself out to be, but once you got past her tough exterior, I could see the sad, fragile girl who wanted someone to see her.
Title: The Do-Gooder
Author: Jessie L. Star
Genre: NA Romance
Published: June 1st 2017 (first published February 22nd 2014)

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N Kobo

A college girl tries to make up for her bad karma by doing one good deed for anyone willing to ask—a witty, sweet romance perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Abbi Glines.

Lara Montgomery is no good. Having been scorned by her classmates since high school, she’s used to it. From where she’s sitting, the one with more notches on the bedpost has more fun anyway. At least, that’s what she tells herself.

Really, a small part of her hopes that her massive amounts of bad karma can be neutralized by wearing her Do-Gooder hat—that thing she does where she’ll complete one good deed for anyone who asks. And she does an amazing job at it, if she does say so herself. Still, there’s one thing she knows she can’t make better, no matter how many problems she solves for other people: on the night her brother died, she was off hooking up with his not-so-single best friend, Fletch.

It’s been three years since that night, and Fletch just wants her to let it go. To him, her persistence with the good deeds only serves to remind everyone in their small university town about what they did. As it is, they can’t help but get into a heated argument every time they run into each other on campus. And yet, neither of them can seem to stop that pesky electricity that runs between them whenever they get too close….

I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into when I picked this one up, as I hadn't read anything by Jessie L. Star before. Once I began though, I was swept away into the world the author created. Lara had made it her mission to help anyone who came to her for help, and Fletch couldn't understand why she wouldn't go back to the girl she was before, to stop with the deeds and forgive herself. The Do-Gooder was a fun, lighter read about a second chance for Lara and Fletch.

I don't agree with cheating of any sort, and I did see what happened between Lara and Fletch, but the book quickly moved past that moment, and took off three years later. Lara and Fletch were at uni, where Lara carried out her deeds. Lara came across as quite a bit$h, to put it plainly. She's rude, cold and self centred, but I soon discovered it was her way of keeping people away as she didn't think she deserved any real happiness. It was sad to see her harbouring those feelings and that she was unable to get past one moment in time that changed her life.

Fletch and Lara had one of those love/hate relationships and they continually bickered when they were together. I could see that he really did have feelings for her, but didn't agree with her deeds. Along the way his feelings became more as Lara opened up, although some of the times she didn't do so intentionally. She harboured deep hurt that Fletch was able to relate to, and getting to know their story enabled me to see that they were good together.

I really enjoyed my first Jessie L. Star read, watching the characters grow and understand one another. The Do-Gooder was set here in Australia, and I liked that the author wove the story with that Australian voice, using terms and language any Aussie would use. It had both Lara and Fletch's perspectives (Lara's in the first person POV, and Fletch's in the third person POV), so I was fully able to understand their fears and their connection. I would've liked more to their ending though, maybe an Epilogue. Nevertheless, it was a good read and I'll try Jessie L. Star again in the future.

Complimentary copy provided by Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Here are two moments that are certainly heating up!!

‘This is a bad idea.’ Fletch's voice was hoarse and uneven, and I wriggled slightly against him, a move that triggered an immediate response.
‘Yes,’ I agreed, knowing that at that stage, it wasn’t going to make a blind bit of difference. And then I leaned down and pressed my mouth, hot and open, against his and the conversation was over.
I felt him buck with the force of my kiss, pressing the swelling bulge beneath me up and ending any illusions, had there been any, that this was going to stop at a kiss.

Paperback Page 124

I could see he understood what I meant, but he didn't pull away like I expected him to. Instead, he ran a hand soothingly up and down my calf as he murmured, ‘I'm not going to do anything you don't want me to, you trust me on that?’
I nodded.
‘Okay, so we'll take it slow.’ Fletch blew out a long breath and then leaned up and kissed me again, long and deep, until the heat that had been dampened by my sudden recoil was stoked once more.

Paperback Page 224

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Whilst digging through her childhood scribblings a few years ago, Jessie L Star (AKA star123) discovered a thrilling saga by her six year old self entitled 'Jessie has Lost her Sock'. This sweeping epic spanned all four corners of her childhood house in outback South Australia as the sock was hunted down (spoiler, it was in Jessie's bed all along). Many years later and the urge to write is still going strong, although lost socks have thankfully been replaced with a raft of characters destined to snark and banter at each other until, ultimately, falling in love.

Jessie studied Business at Uni where she primarily learnt that writing and talking were very much her thing and that dealing with numbers was very much not (although, honestly, what difference does a couple of zeroes in a spreadsheet make, really...?).

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Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward ~ Review & Swoon Thursday (@ViKeeland, @PenelopeAuthor)

I still need to read Playboy Pilot, but I couldn't help myself when I stumbled over this one! And boy, was it worth the read! It was hot, intense and soooo good!
Mister Moneybags
Title: Mister Moneybags
Author: Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: April 8th 2017

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N Kobo

I met Bianca in an elevator.

She was on her way to interview me when we got stuck.
The beautiful raven-haired reporter assumed I was a delivery guy because of the way I was dressed.

She had no clue I was really Dex Truitt, the wealthy, successful businessman she’d dubbed “Mister Moneybags”―her afternoon appointment.

Bianca told me how much she hated Dex’s type―snobby, over educated, silver-spooned men who didn't appreciate the simple things in life.

So, after the elevator finally started moving again, I cancelled the interview and let her believe I was someone I wasn’t―a bike messenger named Jay. I loved the way she looked at the fake me and didn't want it to end.

I began dating her as “Jay”―all the while letting her interview the real me over email.

I didn’t expect that our chemistry online would be just as hot.
I didn’t expect the mess I’d gotten myself into.
I didn’t expect that Jay and Dex would fall in love with her.

And she was falling for two men.
Only, both men were me.
And when she found out, we were both going to lose her.

Nothing could have prepared me for that day. And I certainly wasn't prepared for what came after.

All good things must come to an end, right?
Except our ending was one I didn't see coming.

I've read a few books by writing duo Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward so I picked up Mister Moneybags without even reading the blurb, knowing that I would enjoy it. I wasn't disappointed either... watching Bianca fumble through meeting a guy in an elevator, and Dex getting to know a girl as Jay and via email. It was a catastrophe waiting to happen, but it was amusing to watch!

Bianca was a girl who had strong morales and high standards. She had no time for liars or cheaters, and she made her opinions clear early on. She took her job seriously and was determined to know the real Dex Truitt. It was interesting to see the chemistry grow between Bianca and both “Jay” and Dex. She was confused but knew she wanted to explore these feelings further.

Ahhh... Dex! I get why he begun that charade with Bianca, but he kept digging himself down deeper and deeper! I could see his feelings were genuine for Bianca, and he would often be jealous... of himself! But deep down, I could see that he was a good guy and would do all that he could to win Bianca over.

What I didn't expect were the twists! Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward through in a few big issues that had me gasping! Just as I got past one moment, another was thrown at me! I just couldn't believe how distorted things turned out to be for both Bianca and Dex. But their love for one another was something that did not wavier. Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward showed me once again why they are such an amazing duo. They build such strong characters and throw into some complex situations that have your mind spinning! Bring on their next project, I'm excited! 

*** Swoon Thursday was first bought to us by YA Bound. Since they are no longer with us, and with permission from Trisha Wolfe, I have decided that those of us that love to swoon need a central meet up point.  So here it is ladies! I have a link up for everyone at the bottom of the post you can add your swoons to, and I’ll set it up every week! So tell all other swooners out there to come on over, link up so we can visit each other! ***

I love the banter between Bianca and Dex... The first swoon made me giggle, the second one, every girl should feel that beautiful that your man wants to devour you! 

“I think I should wait out here.”
“What? Don’t be ridiculous. Come inside.”
His eyes dropped down to point to my breasts. I was fully covered, but my silky robe wasn’t doing a damn thing to hide my pert nipples. They were poking through the lace of my bra and thin cover up, looking as anxious and excited as I felt. I folded my arms across my chest. “That’s your fault.”
“My fault?”
“Yes. If you weren’t all...” I waved my hand up and down. “… all dark and sexy looking, they wouldn’t be saluting you. And you kissed me. What do you expect?”
He grinned. “Dark and sexy looking?”
I rolled my eyes. “Just come in and sit down.”
“Okay. But I can’t guarantee I won’t be all sexy looking.”

Kindle Loc 2223

“You look…” he trailed off. Then made a face. “Maybe you should change?”
I frowned. “You don’t like my dress?”
“I fucking love the dress.”
“I don’t understand.”
Dex walked to me. “You look beautiful. Red is definitely your color. But that dress… I’m going to get myself into trouble tonight, and I know it.”

Kindle Loc 2235
Originally inspired by YA Bound
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.             

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

Other reviews featuring Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Cocky Bastard
Stuck Up Suit
Other reviews featuring Vi Keeland
Life on Stage series
Throb #1 
Other reviews featuring Penelope Ward
Step Brother Dearest
Neighbor Dearest
Jake Undone 
My Skylar
Mack Daddy

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Spectacle by Rachel Vincent ~ Early Review & Quote-tastic (@rachelkvincent, @HarlequinBooks ,@HarlequinAUS)

What a sequel Spectacle turned out to be! And I will be on edge waiting for more! So much happened and I know I'll be getting the next book as soon as it's available!
Spectacle (Menagerie, #2)
Title: Spectacle
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Expected Publication: May 30th 2017

Buy Now - Amazon | B&N

In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…

When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.

I must say, this book had my adrenaline pumping! Right from the first page I could feel that it was going to be an action packed read! I was on the edge of my seat as the story built and my jaw kept hitting the floor as twist after twist was thrown in. I'm going to say it, but I think that Spectacle was better than the first book and I am DYING for more.

Delilah and the rest of the Metzger's Menagerie cryptids only experienced their freedom for a little while, as they were captured and sold off to The Savage Spectacle. They soon found out they were nothing more than pawns and that money could buy anything. My heart broke as I watched them lose their dignity, were used and abused, and little by little, they lost their spirit.

The relationship between Delilah and Gallagher was as strong as ever, and I could see that Gallagher was struggling with his oath to her. Delilah continued to be passionate about their freedom and would do anything to save her fellow cryptids. I was glad that we got to see more of her furiae, too, as she defended those who needed it.

Rachel Vincent has proved to me once again how amazing her world building is. I loved the characters and the connection that they still have with one another, as well as seeing new characters introduced. Spectacle was told in two parts, and my mind was boggled as certain details were revealed! I couldn't believe how much time had passed and what may have unfolded! My chest ached for all the characters, being subjected to those conditions, treated badly and basically abused. I wanted them to fight back, hurt those that hurt them... I wanted the bloodshed, and I wanted to help! Spectacle will tear at your soul, as you too, would want to avenge these characters, and help them seek revenge!!

Complimentary copy provided by the Publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have two snippets today, because I had to share a couple of big moments from this book that made an impact on me!

“You want a show?” I whispered to Woodrow. He nodded, and I sucked in a deep breath. “Then hit me.”
“Why?” the gamekeeper demanded, suspicion evident in his narrow-eyed gaze.
“Because if he thinks I’ll pay for his failure, he’ll fight to protect me. But he has to see it.”
Woodrow glanced over my shoulder at Arroway. “Sir, step back please.”
Shoes shuff led against carpet as the guest moved out of the way.
The gamekeeper looked down into the ring, and I followed his gaze to see Gallagher still watching me.
I never saw the blow coming.

Kindle Arc Loc 1754

“They wouldn’t let me see you after the party,” he said into the wet hair on the top of my head. “They wouldn’t even tell me if you were still alive, after what you did to that guard.”
“I’m fine,” I assured him. “They said you killed two men.”
“The slaughter would have been much greater, if not for the tranquilizers.”
I took a step back and looked up at him. “I asked you not to make trouble.”
“I swore to rip apart anyone who lays a hostile hand on you—to litter the ground with the corpses of our enemies—and my word is my honor, Delilah.”
“I know.”

Kindle Arc Loc 1910

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Rachel Vincent
A resident of Oklahoma, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.

Other reviews featuring Rachel Vincent
Menagerie series
Menagerie #1 
Soul Screamers series
With All My Soul #7 
The Stars Never Rise series
The Stars Never Rise #1 
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April flew by so quickly, that I didn't get my post together in time! So here I am, catching up once again!
By little girl turned 12 last month and she has a boyfriend! My hubby and I are still in a little shock! 
We are back into the swing of football and netball. so when I'm not working, we are playing sport.
I am still trying to read and blog as much as I can. I'm always behind, but I promise I will continue to catch up!

I plan on being better at the end of this month, and hope to keep on top... we'll see how that goal goes!

Click on the covers to take you to my reviews.
London Bound (Heart of the City #3)Twist (Dive Bar, #2)Turning Back (Turning #2)Riot Street

Book of the month...
It Ends with Us
Click on the covers to take you to my reviews.
Love in LingerieDirty Billionaire (The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy, #1)
These are the books I've picked up over the past month!
(Click on covers to take you to Goodreads)

Mister ORoyally Screwed (Royally, #1)Mister Moneybags
Ball Peen Hammer

Three books I received from Hachette Books Aus! 😊😊
Beyond the Wild River by Sarah Maine
Stars Across the Ocean by Kimberley Freeman
The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George

Turning Back (Turning #2)
I've read all of these except Ride the Storm! I'm so excited to read it, it's been a long time on between books!
Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer, #8)Riot StreetThe Playboy Bachelor (The Bachelors of Arizona, #2)
Live Out LoudConfessions of a Former Puck Bunny

I got all these through newsletters.
Love, ChloeDangerous Secrets (Tall, Dark & Deadly, #2)Consolation (Salvation, #3)
Naomi’s Weekly Wrap Up is a combined meme with the Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book ReviewerBought, Borrowed and Bagged hosted by Braine @ Talk Supe and Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
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