Review ~ Perfect Strangers by J.T. Geissinger

Perfect StrangersPerfect Strangers by J.T. Geissinger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Argh! I should have known that J.T. Geissinger throws the curve balls of all curve balls! Perfect Strangers certainly captured me right from the first chapter, and I was hopeful that Olivia would find happiness once again. It was sweet to see her slowly let James in, despite them keeping it simple. There was definitely intense chemistry going that was going to last longer than 3 months. James was the perfect guy, even though he had secrets that he couldn't share.

Then the curve ball… I swear I had silent tears all the way through this section. My heart broke for Olivia as I got to understand everything that happened: what she lost, how her life really was and the challenges that she had. The epilogue threw me a little, but I was happy to see everything work out, but my heart was already shattered. This truly was an amazing and memorable read.


Title: Perfect Strangers
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 29, 2019

“These kisses of his...they're demanding and possessive. They're hungry and deep. They're the kisses of a man who wants more of a woman—who wants everything—and isn't going to stop until he gets it."

Author Olivia Rossi hasn’t been able to write a word since tragedy struck two years ago and ripped her world apart. Heartbroken and still haunted by the past, she accepts an offer to spend the summer at a friend’s apartment in Paris in search of healing and her lost muse.

What she finds instead is James, an enigmatic stranger who ignites in her an unexpected and all-consuming passion.

Agreeing to tell each other nothing more than their first names, Olivia and James embark on a torrid affair. But the more time they spend together, the more Olivia begins to realize her summer fling is turning into a powerful connection…and that the magnetic man she’s falling in love with might not be what he seems at all.

Author's Note: This is a work of literary fiction, not a romance. Readers looking for a traditional happy ending should look elsewhere.

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Review ~ Hate Me by Ashley Jade

Hate Me (Black Mountain Academy)Hate Me by Ashley Jade
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 Stars

I was hoping to enjoy this and several times I contemplated giving up on the story, but I pushed through just to see how the book ended. I didn’t connect to the characters, and was disappointed often in decisions they made. The story took turns that I didn’t enjoy, and I often rolled my eyes as to how things unravelled. In the end I skipped a lot of the book just to push through the book.

The adults were unstable, and I was horrified on how they treated their children. Knox and Aspen had a hate / love relationship. They had more in common than they realised, with crappy family and losing people that they loved. I’m not sure if Knox really was a bully, or just a boy trying to keep people at arms length. This book confused me more than anything, especially with decisions towards the end.

Title: Hate Me
Author: Ashley Jade
Series: Black Mountain Academy
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: January 28, 2021

A Stepbrother Bully Romance

I'm the whispers in the dark you can't ignore.
The bully you can't run away from.

I'm the tormentor who makes your life a living hell.

The villain you love to hate.

I'm the vicious stepbrother sleeping in the next room.

The one who knows all your secrets.

And I'll stop at nothing to make you pay.

WARNING: This book is recommended for mature readers due to graphic language, sexual content, and dark elements.

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Audiobook Review ~ The Mixtape by Brittainy C. Cherry

The MixtapeThe Mixtape by Brittainy C. Cherry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Mixtape was an ok read to listen to. I enjoyed how the story unfolded, however I felt the narration from both narrators was a bit slow. I had to speed up the book so it didn’t feel so dragged out.

I liked both Oliver and Emery, the connection that they had and how they both grew the longer they knew one another. They both enjoyed music and it was something that they bonded over. Oliver was unable to get help to forgive himself. I felt Emery was too quick to push Oliver away.

I felt a few threads weren’t tied up properly. A story from the past wasn’t addressed, and seemed either part of Oliver and Emery’s connection, or completely irrelevant. Emery’s parents were nasty… I couldn’t believe how heartless they were. Oliver’s family and friends were awesome. Overall, an ok read, just didn’t have any wow factors for me.

Title: The Mixtape
Author: Brittainy Cherry
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 1, 2021

Since the death of his twin brother, Oliver’s caught between pleasing his fans and finding himself. Emery finds him first.

Emery has never felt more alone. Raising her daughter is both her pleasure and her pain as she struggles to hold on to her job as a bartender and keep a roof over their heads. With no one to help them—no support system—any unexpected expense or late bill could turn their whole world upside down.

Reeling from the death of his twin brother and bandmate, rock star Oliver Smith is trying to drink his problems away. Apparently he isn’t very good at it; they follow him wherever he goes. Also in hot pursuit are the paparazzi, who catch Oliver at his lowest low.

He could have walked into any bar in California, but he walked into hers. Emery helps Oliver lose the crowd, and they find themselves alone: two people whose paths are marked with loss and pain. However, they hold an unshakable hope for healing. They find solace together, but can their love withstand the world?

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Review ~ Queens & Monsters series by J.T. Geissinger

Ruthless Creatures (Queens & Monsters, #1)Ruthless Creatures by J.T. Geissinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From meeting Nat in the opening chapters I knew I was going to enjoy this read. She had it tough for a while after her fiancé disappeared, but things were starting to look better, especially when the new stranger came to town. Their initial interaction was amusing, and I laughed at what happened, but I knew these two would eventually hit it off. Kage had his secrets, but there was no denying his feelings for Nat.

I had an inclination of how the story was going to unfold, but it in no way made it any less exciting! I liked how strong and possessive he was of Nat and that he was willing to do anything to ensure her safety. Nat's best friend Sloane was hilarious to read about as well. She was great support to Nat and kept her sane. The epilogue had me excited to see how the next book unfolds.

Title: Ruthless Creatures
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Series: Queens & Monsters #1
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance
Published: February 19, 2021

An explosive new novel of love, lies, and obsession from bestselling author J.T. Geissinger.

Five years ago, my fiancĂ© disappeared. He left me with a wedding dress I’d never wear. Left me with the kind of scars that can’t be healed. The man I built my future on vanished like a ghost. All that remained were my broken heart and unanswered questions.

Until a mysterious stranger arrives in town.

Tall, dark, and dangerous, Kage is as full of secrets as he is sex appeal. Though I know he’s hiding something, I’m drawn to him like a moth to flame.

The intensity of our connection is addictive, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Heat crackles between us with every look, desire flares into passion, and I fall hard, unable to resist.

But when I discover how he’s tied to the darkness in my past, I learn what happens when you fly recklessly into fire:

You get burned.


Carnal Urges (Queens & Monsters, #2)Carnal Urges by J.T. Geissinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good sequel! I knew Sloane would find her match and Declan was just what she needed! They were both strong willed, and Sloane definitely pushed Declan to his limits! I loved their chemistry and banter! They were amusing to read about! It took a while, but I loved the way Declan broke Sloane down, and he knew exactly what she needed! Declan had his secrets, but wanted to change his life.

Title: Carnal Urges
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Series: Queens & Monsters #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: June 30, 2021

Carnal (adjective):
1) Relating to the pleasures of the body
2) Given to sensual indulgence
3) The man who kidnapped me

The devil has blue eyes, an Irish accent, and a hatred for me that runs deep.

He blames me for starting a war. Consorting with his enemies. Getting his men killed. Though I’m innocent on all charges, he wants his pound of flesh. With an eye on revenge, he makes me his captive.

But as we’ll both soon discover, there are more powerful urges than that for revenge.

When the devil meets his match but she’s his sworn enemy, that’s when the real war begins.

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Audiobook Review ~ Cinder-Nanny by Sariah Wilson

Cinder-NannyCinder-Nanny by Sariah Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed listening to this read. It was sweet seeing Diana and Griffin, who are from completely different worlds, fall slowly for one another. Griffin was so sweet and patient with Diana, waiting for her to take a chance on him. The more time they spent together, the stronger their connection becomes. Diana is such a selfless person, and took this job to help her family. She’s determined not to turn into her mother.

I enjoyed the narration by Marli Watson, she was able to draw me into the storyline from start to finish. The story was well written and I enjoyed the interaction between the characters and the little people they were temporarily looking after. It was quite the sweet romance.

Title: Cinder-Nanny
Author: Sariah Wilson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: June 21, 2022

What could come between a nanny and an earl in a fairy-tale love story? A reality check—in an endearing and witty romance by Sariah Wilson, the bestselling author of Roommaid.

With her sister’s medical bills mounting, Diana Parker can’t say no to a high-paying opportunity like this: accompany a wealthy couple to Aspen and nanny their precocious five-year-old son for three months. Necessary qualifications? She must know how to ski and teach math, speak fluent French, excel at social graces, and hold a master’s degree in childhood development. Who’ll be the wiser that Diana’s only skill is packing for Colorado?

So far, so good—having a con woman for a mother has turned out to be a benefit, even if Diana has complicated feelings about telling lies. But she’s doing this for her sister. And the perks—like a ticket to a lavish charity fundraiser, a new gown, and a Prince Charming–adjacent earl named Griffin Windsor—are pretty irresistible. Diana can’t deny the Cinderella vibe.

Wary of gold diggers and scandal, England’s most eligible bachelor is nevertheless falling for Diana, and sweeping the not-quite princess off her feet.

The warmer their relationship becomes, the slipperier the slopes are for Diana. Sooner or later, she’ll have to come clean. When that happens, does an honest-to-goodness happy ending stand a chance?

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Review ~ When Gracie Met The Grump by Mariana Zapata

When Gracie Met The GrumpWhen Gracie Met The Grump by Mariana Zapata
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this read! It reminded me of the movie Hancock, with a Grumpy superhero who doesn’t like people but saves the world anyway. There is also Gracie, she’d been living quite the secluded life, trying to hide from her parents mistakes. These two didn’t really get along but when The Defender crashed into Gracie’s bubble she did her best to help him, despite how much they irritated each other.

The more time these two spent together I could see the connection growing. Their roles reversed when Gracie’s past caught up with her and it was sweet to see the Defender caring for her. When she merged into his world it was interesting to see the reactions of those the Defender was close to and that Gracie was able to fit in easily. I loved the banter, but Gracie was slow to realise her feelings and needed a little push.

Title: When Gracie Met The Grump
Author: Mariana Zapata
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Published: September 15, 2022

Of all the things that could have landed in her yard… it had to be him.
For most people, finding a half-naked superbeing in their yard might be a dream come true.
Unfortunately for Gracie Castro, it’s the exact opposite.
Especially when he’s grouchy, rude, and shows no signs of leaving anytime soon.
But when a hero of mankind needs you, you do what you have to.
Even if it compromises everything you know.
And totally changes your life.

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Review ~ The Perfects by Rachel Van Dyken

The PerfectsThe Perfects by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Perfects was an interesting read, and I felt that some aspects were a bit rushed. Ambrose and Mary-belle’s relationship developed quickly, and within a few chapters had crossed lines and fell for one another. Jump a few weeks and an incident occurs that ends up turning Ambrose’s world upside down, and he turns against Mary-belle.

Ambrose and his former friend Quinn, had a dark history and when someone comes back into their lives, Ambrose got himself in a situation that he shouldn’t have. I liked that he was able to rekindle his friendship with Quinn. Mary-belle was the perfect person to bring them back together. I felt the ending was a bit rushed, especially the part around Ambrose’s mother. Parts of this read were great but other aspects left me scratching my head. This read could do with some tweaking, and it’s definitely not as good as her previous work.

Title: The Perfects
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: October 11, 2022

Everything was perfect.
Until it wasn't.

Until my family took on a foster girl and placed her across the hall from me. A charity case to look good and a person who should have never existed in my world.
I kissed her to get her to stop talking, and then I kissed her again because I liked the taste of her words—I liked her.
It was our secret until we got caught—that night changed everything.

We became strangers living in the same house, seeing the same ghosts of our past mistakes, but I can't stop thinking about us, about those forbidden moments.
I pretend to hate her, I tell her I'll never forgive her, and then Quinn, my ex-best friend, steps into the picture. I can't tell if he actually likes her or if he has a death wish and just likes pissing me off, but what do I say? Stay away from my step-sister?
She's mine?
I've already had her?
Saying that to him would expose what we were and ruin everything.
We're all three of us living multiple lies, and eventually, I know our ivory tower of perfection is going to come crashing down.

He knows my secrets.
I know his.
And now she knows both.

She wants.
He wants.
But I always—always get what I want.

And what I want is the girl, no matter what it may cost me.

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Review ~ Before Us by Jewel E. Ann

Before UsBefore Us by Jewel E. Ann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, my gosh! This read made my soul ache! Before Us was a heartbreaking but perfect read! I knew the first 30% of the book was going to be hard and pull on my emotions… I knew that the devastation that was going to come, but I wasn't truly prepared for it!

When Emerson and Zach had to move on, they both found it difficult without that one constant in their lives. They relied on one another a lot and things took a turn with Em’s health issues. I could see they both had strong feelings for one another, but Zach wanted Em to find her own way in life. There was a lot of push and pull, despite their feelings for one another, and it was hard to see them walk away from each other each time. My heart ached for them both.

It was a hard kind of read, and difficult for everyone but there were moments of sweetness too. I tried hard to keep my emotions in check, but the tears came a few times. I love Jewel E. Ann's world building and how attached I get to all of the characters. This truly was a fFantastic read!"

Title: Before Us
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: February 2, 2023

I never saw him coming.

I didn’t know what would happen after my client found me sleeping in my car.
I’d been cleaning his house as his wife was dying.
I didn’t expect them to invite me to live with them.
I didn’t expect Suzie to become my lifeline—until she was gone.

I didn’t expect him to ask me to marry him when he found out I needed medical insurance.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with a grieving man.

There are so many reasons to keep my distance from Zach. Every tender moment secreted away.

When we’re not together, I miss the man I call husband.
Does he miss his wife? If so, which one?

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Review ~ Pen Pal by J.T. Geissinger

Pen PalPen Pal by J.T. Geissinger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book blew me away! I couldn’t put it down as I was swept away by the story telling, the intense relationship and the suspense! I enjoyed getting Kayla’s story and seeing how lost she was and trying to find her feet. She struggled financially and emotionally, but remained as strong as she could. It was sweet to see her fall for someone, especially someone that pushed her outside of her comfort zone.

JT Geissinger wove this story perfectly, hooking you to the story and getting you thinking! The romance and passion was off the charts. The suspense element kept me eagerly flicking the pages. And the twists… I tossed a few ideas around, but wasn’t sure! So I loved the way it was delivered! It brought a tear to my eye, I kid you not! This was a beautifully executed read!

Title: Pen Pal
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Dark Suspense
Published: August 16, 2022

The #1 international and Amazon Charts bestselling novel

The first letter arrived the day my husband was buried. It was postmarked from the state penitentiary, and contained a single sentence:

I’ll wait forever if I have to.

It was signed by Dante, a man I didn’t know.

Out of simple curiosity, I wrote back to ask him what exactly he was waiting for. His reply?

You.

I told the mystery man he had the wrong girl. He said he didn’t. I said we’d never met, but he said I was wrong.

We went back and forth, exchanging letters every week that grew increasingly more intimate. Then one day, the letters stopped. When I found out why, it was already too late.

Dante was at my doorstep.

And nothing on earth could have prepared me for what happened next.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WARNING:

This novel contains content intended for a mature audience only. Due to explicit language, graphic sex, detailed depictions of death and grief, intense power play dynamics, and other possible triggers, it is not suitable for sensitive readers. (Full list of TWs on author's website.)

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Review ~ Bitter Sweet Heart by H. Hunting

Bitter Sweet Heart (Lies, Hearts and Truths, #2)Bitter Sweet Heart by H. Hunting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bitter Sweet Heart was a good read, and I liked how it had an age gap, where Mav was younger than Clover. Their connection was immediate, however when circumstances changed they kept the line drawn between them. Clover's past caught up with her and I liked that Mav wanted her to have the power to protect herself if needed. Mav also had to deal with demons from his own past, before he could even go further with Clover.

This story wrapped up with a bit of suspense. I liked how they all came together to support one another. Mav’s family and friends were super supportive and I liked how they would do anything for those that they cared for. I also liked that we revisited story thread from Lavenders book.

H. Hunting is an author I always enjoy to read, and although I hhaven't read one of her books in a while I thoroughly enjoyed being in this world once again.


Title: Bitter Sweet Heart
Author: H. Hunting
Series: Lies, Hearts & Truths #2
Genre: Sports Romance
Published: September 1, 2022

From the outside looking in, I live a charmed life: hockey legend for a father, my own promising future in the league, a great family, awesome friends. It’s not untrue, but it’s not quite that simple either.

My dad’s advice has always been to make hockey my number-one priority—at least until I make it to the pros. So, going into my senior year of college, I have a plan. I’ll put in the effort required to pass my classes, play hockey like my life depends on it, and avoid relationships. All I have to do is stay focused on the end game, and I’ll walk away with a degree and into a career in the NHL.

It should be easy.

But when a woman literally floats into my dock, just before summer ends and my senior year begins, I can’t resist one last hookup. What harm could a one-night stand do? It’s not like we even exchanged numbers.

Everything is fine until I run into her on campus.

It’s a big school. I should be able to avoid her.

Except she happens to be in my class.

And she’s not a student.

She’s my professor.

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Review ~ The Words by Ashley Jade

The WordsThe Words by Ashley Jade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading The Words and experiencing the relationship between Phoenix and Lennon grow. They were an odd pair, but they had a connection that strengthened, until Phoenix took something and broke Lennon’s heart. Fast forward into the future and Lennon isn’t the same person she was, she had to grow quickly. Phoenix is in a downward spiral, and his only hope is Lennon. She was the one who helped before, so why can't she do it again.

These two were fun to watch together the second time around. Phoenix tried his best to push Lennon away but she was determined to get the money that would help her and her family. There was no denying that their attraction was still there, but they both tried to deny it, until they couldn’t anymore. I did feel that this book dragged a bit and that Lennon gave in too easily to Phoenix but overall it was an entertaining read.


Title: The Words
Author: Ashley Jade
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: January 20, 2022

From USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ashley Jade comes an edgy, enemies-to-lovers standalone romance about mistakes, forgiveness, and second chances.

He was the talented bad boy everyone wanted.
I was the irrelevant geek everyone hated.

He was the sun...drawing all of us in.
I was a black hole...taking up space.

He was destined to be a star.
I was destined to remain an insignificant no one.

Until he made me believe I was special...

And then he destroyed me.

I never thought I'd see Phoenix Walker again after he broke my heart, but fate had other plans.

One tour. Eight weeks. Forty shows.

Countless opportunities to make him pay.

The world thought he was a God...
But I knew the truth.

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Review ~ Going Too Far by Abbi Glines

Going Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #14)Going Too Far by Abbi Glines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars

It’s been a long time since I have read a book by Abbi Glines, and I was quite surprised as to how much I enjoyed this one. It was sweet watching the relationship between Dean and Briellle grow. Briellle was not one to fall for Dean's charm and was hesitant about him at first. Dean was quick to make assumptions, but it was cute how he built a relationship with Cam, as Brielle and Dean's connection strengthened.

I generally like the way Glines throws a twist in a story, but I wasn’t sure how this particular one would go, but she certainly nailed it! I didn’t see it going that way and I really liked how it all turned out. Going Too Far was quite a fun read and I enjoyed the growth between all the characters. Getting glimpses of Rush, Blaire and Kirk really added to the story too.


Title: Going Too Far
Author: Abbi Glines
Series: Rosemary Beach #14
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 30, 2022

A life of drugs, sex, and rock 'n' roll was a demon that Dean Finlay accepted as his fate. His isn't a love story. It's a ride and things are about to get twisted...

Dean Finlay was ready for an easier life. He was tired of the fame and he was done with younger women. The older he got the younger they got. It was a fucking loop he was sick of being stuck in.

Brielle McGinnis had been kicked out of her foster home the day she turned eighteen. The pregnancy she'd been trying to hide had taken what little youth, she had managed to hold onto, away. Bri had grown up overnight.

Life had made her tough and she'd learned to survive. Now, at twenty- eight years old, she had a good job with insurance working in admissions at the local junior college.

When rock legend Dean Finlay came walking into the college office she had wanted an autograph for her son but his arrogance changed her mind. Just like every other man, he was a disappointment.

Until... he isn't.

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