Book Review: Her Kind of Trouble by Sarah Mayberry

18668405 Vivian Walker isn’t exactly the black sheep of her family, but she’s pretty much the screw up who can’t get it together enough to even make the wedding dress she promised to make her sister in time for her wedding. At said wedding Vivian is feeling completely out of place since she is nowhere near ready to settle down and is overwhelmingly ready to get out of there. The brother of the groom, Seth Anderson, knows exactly how she feels. After some sarcastic banter and hitting it off they decide to have some one-time-only fun in the limo. And was it ever fun and memorable! They go their separate ways and Vivian moves to the US to start an actual career.

10 years later, she is moving back to be around her family and to start her business. Vivian finds herself around Seth more and more with their chemistry just as hot as before. Seth, however, is becoming a father very soon and while it wasn’t planned is pretty excited about it. Seth ends up needing quite a bit of help due to circumstances outside of his control and Vivian surprisingly finds herself helping him out time and again, and not minding it at all.

This book has some very overwhelming sad moments to it, and could easily have been weighed down in those moments. Fortunately, in Mayberry’s hands, this didn’t happen. She was able to take a situation that was very serious and wind it into the romance that happened between Seth and Vivian. I really loved both of these characters. I especially loved Vivian because of the indecision the author was able to show her have. The indecision made complete sense in the context of the situation she was in, an I appreciated that Vivian didn’t make up her mind in about 2 seconds.

I’m starting to wonder if Sarah Mayberry can write something I don’t like. Everything she’s published in the last few years I own and love and I’ve been working my way through her back list and without fail I love those too. She just writes in a very realistic way, which is something I really love in the contemporary romances I read. If you haven’t read any of hers before you seriously need to start!

4 Stars

I received an ARC in return for an honest review.

~Melinda

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Book Review: Legally Wed by Rick R. Reed

5199022Remember that one movie, The Wedding Planner? And remember how you wished all the main characters were men? Well, Legally Wed gives you what you want.

Duncan is a thirty-seven-year-old elementary school teacher who desperately wants to get married to the person he loves, have kids, and live happily ever after. So when same sex marriage becomes legal in Washington (the state not D.C.), he proposes to his boyfriend of three years, Tucker. But instead of saying yes, Tucker refuses and also dumps Duncan. Womp womp. Heartbroken and drunk, Duncan decides that in order to be happy and married, he needs a woman. I mean, that’s the logical choice when you’re drunk. The next obvious thing to do once he has figured this out, was to post a Craigslist ad for a Gay Man Seeking a Woman to Marry.

Enter Marilyn. Despite numerous replies to his ad, Marilyn stands out. She’s unique, funny, and outspoken, so Duncan decides to meet her. After meeting at a coffee shop, they soon realize that they have a lot in common. They soon hit it off, spending lots of time together at gay bars, restaurants, and their apartments. Marilyn had always been a fan of gay men and m/m romance, so she was excited to have found Duncan. And one fateful night after a few drinks, because the best decisions are made when you are drunk (this is one of the lessons I learned from the book), she proposes to Duncan and he accepts. After working out some details, Marilyn suggests a professional wedding planner.

Enter third wheel, Peter Dalrymple. Peter, is a tall, hot, gay, muscular bear. Duncan is immediately attracted to Peter, and the feeling is mutual. However, because this is m/m romance, they can’t act upon their urges because of Peter’s professionalism and Duncan’s morals. But seriously though…he’s marrying a woman because he was drunk and heartbroken…I think she’ll understand if he just returns to men. Anyways, just before the wedding, Duncan meets with Peter alone. Well, once alone, Peter gives in, grabs Duncan and kisses him. Despite kinda liking it, Duncan pushes Peter away and fires him.

Duncan’s sister, Scout, who is aware of his thing for Peter, calls him to inform him of a family tragedy. So Duncan heads off to Pennsylvania without even notifying Marilyn. This marriage is definitely doomed. While in Pennsylvania, Scout yells at Duncan, calling him a fool for marrying Marilyn and ruining his chances of being truly happy. His sister, who has always been supportive, gets through to him. Once home, he finds a distraught Marilyn and he realizes that he didn’t even think of her while he was away. Duncan calls off the engagement with the understanding that he only loved Marilyn as a friend. Amazing the things we realize when we’re sober.

Realizing what he really wanted, Duncan contacts Peter. They are now free to act on their attraction to each other. Will they live happily ever after? Will Duncan get the family he desires? And what of Marilyn? Will she get her happy ending? Read the book to find out!

I enjoyed the story immensely. But then I also really liked The Wedding Planner, so it was going to be a given. There were a few places where the story drags but nothing major. The secondary characters were excellent and aided to the overall humor of the story. Big step up from the crap I read last week!

And that’s not even counting the disasters–the one-time only dates with lunatics, egomaniacs, and Mama’s boys.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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Book Review: He’s Come Undone by Theresa Weir

20815572 I wasn’t sure what to expect from this New Adult book just from the description. Former child actress Ellie Barlowe is hired by a few college sorority type girls who want to take revenge on a guy who they feel dumped them all for no reason. It sounded like it could easily be a campy type movie-ish book that wouldn’t have much depth. But I was definitely wrong about that, there was a bit of campy feeling in the beginning before we get to really know the characters, but once we get to know them the depth comes with that.

Ellie goes undercover to attract the bad boy who broke all the girls hearts, Julian. She begins to plant herself in various places where she knows he will be, waiting for him to take the bait. From there as they get to know each other Ellie wonders if she’s doing the right thing or if she should stop the charade before it goes too far.

There is more to this story than the typical girl meets boy under false circumstances story, which is what made this book so good for me. Julian has a back story that was surprising and made Ellie feel for him and more than that, want to fall for him. Their emotional connection grows as the story goes on and of course they have major issues to get through.

I really enjoyed this book, while there was some angst there was still the HEA that I want and need in books.

4 stars

~Melinda

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Blog Tour: Twisted by Emma Chase: Excerpt & More

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Twisted is the sequel to Tangled. However, this time, we get Kate’s POV. Don’t despair though, Kate is riveting as a narrator, funny too. My review of this book will be up later this week. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt or two to entice to give the book a try.

I close my eyes and let his words wash over me. Drew has an amazing voice. Calm and soothing – but devilishly seductive at the same time. He totally could’ve gone into radio.
I press another button.

And this time his tone is teasing. “Kaate, you’re late. . Tell Delores to pick out her own god damn shoes. You’ve got a boyfriend who’s sitting in a big, frothy Jacuzzi all by his lonesome. Come home, sweetheart. I’m here waiting for you.”

If only that was true today.

There’s more – some are quick and to the point, some are downright dirty. And I listen to every single one. He doesn’t say ‘I love you’ in any of them – but he doesn’t have to. I hear it in every word. Every time he says my name.

And this excerpt…

<She stomps forward. Billy moves behind my chair, using me like a human shield.

“Or better yet – would anyone like to explain why my best friend took off from New York like a bat out of hell, leaving behind a shit storm that makes Katrina look like an April fucking shower – and I have no idea why?!”

She takes another step forward and drops her bags to the floor. Then she snaps her head to the right – in the direction of the perky blond teenager standing next to the lockers.

That’s Kimberly. She’s a waitress here. Works after school. She’s seems nice.

And at the moment – terrified.

“Hey Gidget, how about you make yourself useful and get me a diet coke? Don’t scrimp on the ice.” Kimberly flees the room.

Lucky girl.

Delores points at me and yells, like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, “Well?! You can’t keep me out of the loop, Kate. I am the loop!”

Tempted yet?!!

Go Buy!
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SPECIAL INCENTIVE:
When you finish TWISTED posts a review (good or bad) on any vendor site where Twisted is for sale (Amazon, B&N, ibooks, etc) and you will receive a Twisted Bookmark. Email a link to your review and address to giveaways@emmachase.net.
Hurry we have a select number of bookmarks once they run out their gone!

About Emma Chase:
By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream.

Interact with Emma Chase:
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Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

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Colby is a shy and very overweight.  Her mother and sisters are blond and petite and in contrast Colby is dark and overweight like her father, who is running for congress.  Colby finds a picture of her father with another woman and this single event brings everything crashing down around her.  Her mother, lets just say, is self centered and is extremely cruel to her on a continual basis about her weight and how, seemingly, everything that has gone wrong is Colby’s fault.

Leah, Colby’s aunt, takes her family in when they are kicked out of their house. Which is an extreme kindness in the face of how the family has treated Leah and her son Ryan when she left her physically abusive husband, only to be told by her family that he husband would never do that and she, in some way, deserved it. Colby is more like her aunt in appearance than the rest of her own family and finds some comfort with her but at times not enough.  Colby finds solace in food and as her weight gets out of control so do her emotions.  A family tragedy happens in which the truth gets turned around and Colby finds herself mentally abused by those she thought she could trust.

This book deals with rape, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and actions, intolerable cruelty, mental abuse beyond words but also hope and salvation. There is a darkness to this book, how things are handled and how badly Colby is treated by her mother and older sister.  I felt rage and anger reading this book, something I haven’t felt in a long time when reading. This book brought out so many emotions in me that I felt drained by the end of it and I was actually crying. This book to me is not only about eating disorders but about bullying as well, but bullying by family members. It’s hard enough thing in itself to deal with but when it’s your own self centered and selfish mother doing it it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

This book is hard to read. It deals with many difficult topics but does it quite well and realistically. This is a book that stays with you.  This is an excellent book while very difficult to read, it is worth the ride.

ARC provided by Netgalley

5/5 stars

Crash

 

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Giveaway: Signed copy of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

15745753 When I went to the Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan signing last week I was so excited to get a hardback copy of both Fangirl and Eleanor and Park signed by Rainbow. She was very personable and funny at the signing. The reading she did with David from Fangirl was the highlight of the night for me, it was hilarious. I wanted to share the wealth and do a giveaway of the copy of Eleanor and Park that I got.

If you haven’t read this book already you need to make it the next book you read! It was a 5 star book from me and was the second Rainbow Rowell book I read. It kind of cemented my love for her writing. It’s a Young Adult love story but it definitely has appealed to people who normally don’t like that genre.

So if you want to win this signed book, just comment on this blog post by this Thursday 3/27 by 5 PM EST. US Entries only please.

~Melinda

Blog Tour & Review: Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha

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SUMMARY
When Rachel Riley sacrificed a life in Eden to protect the O’Kanes, she earned her place in the powerful Sector Four gang. But the former crime princess is tired of being everyone’s sweet little sister . It’s time for her to get wild, to embrace her fantasies as only an O’Kane can—with a delicious exiled soldier and the gang’s wickedly sinful tattoo artist.

A saint…

Lorenzo Cruz is a warrior, taught by his commanding officers in Eden that involvement equals distraction. Emotion is a liability, and desire a sin. In Sector Four, he finds decadence, shameless sex—and his own dark urges. No battle strategy prepared him for how Rachel makes his heart race…or the way his rival for her affections sets his blood on fire.

…and a sinner.

Ace Santana has a dirty reputation and a mind to match, especially where his new lovers are concerned. He’s eager to help Cruz embrace his dominant side, and to explore the lines between pleasure and pain with Rachel. But corrupting them quickly becomes an obsession, a need he can’t deny—and a love he never imagined.

Three hearts on the line means a hundred ways their ménage a trois could go wrong. After all, even O’Kanes do forever two-by-two. One of them could be the missing piece that makes them all whole…or a temporary diversion destined for a broken heart.

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The latest addition in Kit Rocha’s dark and steamy O’Kane series is a polyamorous one that fans of the books should recognize and probably have been either wondering about or chomping at the bit for – Rachel, Cruz and Ace. One of the things I love about this series is the strong threads of different characters going through each book. We’ve been seeing glimpses of Ace for quite a while so I love to see his story finally coming to the forefront.

I was hesitant on whether or not I’d enjoy this book as I haven’t read many polyamorous stories that I’ve enjoyed. Yet leave it to Kit Rocha to be the one to pull it off. The emotions the three characters goes through, the doubt and the questions are all things that the readers experience as they’re reading. They’re wondering how this relationship is going to work. I have to admit I was still wondering about the book and the relationship until the last 20% of the book and then I just wasn’t. I really enjoyed the love and friendship the O’Kanes show each other without question. That’s another thread that goes throughout all of the books – acceptance amongst family no matter what. Who doesn’t love that?

Overall, this was a very hot book that is definitely not for every reader and maybe not for the average romance reader but it certainly has a place in many reader’s hearts and bookshelves I think!

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars

There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway going on so don’t forget to click on the link and try for all of the chances there!
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