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Blog Tour with Review: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

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April 9, 2019

Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction

Penguin/Berkley

In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life–and heart–to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly. 

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ICxV06

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2KQM6MG

iBooks: https://apple.co/2IjgX3m

IndieBound: https://bit.ly/2LoZFUz

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2rINd9V

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2rxxRaM

Learn more about When We Left Cuba including downloading the book club guide and more at: http://www.chanelcleeton.com/when-we-left-cuba

Praise for When We Left Cuba:

A thrilling story about love, loss, and what we will do to go home again. Utterly un-put-down-able. —PopSugar

A beautiful and utterly transporting novel. Publisher’s Weekly

Bold, unconventional Beatriz makes a heroine for the ages…A thrilling, thought-provoking read! —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

A gorgeously atmospheric homage to a country and a past that vibrates with emotion on every page.  Historic events, espionage, and a Kennedy-esque romance make this novel a rich read, but the addition of a formidable heroine truly makes it unputdownable.  This is not just historical fiction, but also an unrequited love story for a country and a way of life, as well as a journey of self-discovery for a woman torn between love and the two countries she calls home. —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

Cleeton once again delivers a masterful tale of political intrigue tinged with personal heartbreak. Her ferocity and fearlessness can be found on every page, and Beatriz’s story—one of vengeance, betrayal, and bravery—astonishes and thrills. —Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Masterpiece

Atmospheric and evocative, When We Left Cuba captivates with its compelling portrayals of the glamorous Cuban exile community and powerful forbidden love set against the dangerous intrigue of the Cold War. Unforgettable and unputdownable! —Laura Kamoie, New York Times bestselling coauthor of My Dear Hamilton

By turns a captivating historical novel, a sweeping love story, and a daring tale of espionage—I absolutely adored this gem of a novel. —Jillian Cantor, author of The Lost Letter and In Another Time

Oozing with atmosphere and intrigue, When We Left Cuba is an evocative, powerful and beautifully written historical novel which had me completely captivated from the first page to the last. Take a bow, Chanel Cleeton! —Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

With a sure hand for historical detail, an impeccable eye for setting, and a heroine who grasps hold of your heart and never lets go, Chanel Cleeton has created another dazzlingly atmospheric and absorbing story of Cuba and its exiles. A beautiful and profoundly affecting novel from a writer whose work belongs on the shelves of every lover of historical fiction. —Jennifer Robson, USA Today bestselling author of The Gown

Powerful, emotional and oh so real. One woman’s fight to reclaim her own country, against all odds and no matter what the cost is intertwined with the real history of our lifetime and creates an unforgettable story. —Rhys Bowen, New York Times and #1 Kindle bestselling author of The Tuscan Child and the Royal Spyness mysteries.

Scintillating…. An intriguing dive into the turbulent Cuban-American history of the 1960s, and the unorthodox choices made by a strong historical woman. —Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room

Rich in historic detail, When We Left Cuba has it all—the excitement of a page-turning thriller, the sizzle of a steamy romance and the elegant prose of a master storyteller. —Renée Rosen, author of Park Avenue Summer

Cleeton draws you into the glamour, intrigue, and uncertainty of the Cuban exile community just after Castro’s coup through a heroine who could give Mata Hari a run for her money…. You’ll be rooting for Beatriz to change the course of history—and find her own hard-won happily ever after. —Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The English Wife

With a richly imagined setting and a heroine worth rooting for from the start, When We Left Cuba is thrilling and romantic, and timely to boot. —Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Met Jack

A compelling unputdownable story of love—for a man, for a country, for a past ripped away, and a future’s tenuous promise. When We Left Cuba swept me away. —Shelley Noble, New York Times bestselling author of Lighthouse Beach.

Electric and fierce. Beatriz Perez’s romance with a handsome, important senator will sweep you away, but it’s her profound loyalty to Cuba and her formidable determination to be her own woman despite life-and-death odds that will really hold you in thrall. —Kerri Maher, author of The Kennedy Debutante

In a tale as tempestuous as Cuba itself, When We Left Cuba is the revolutionary story of one woman’s bold courage and her many sacrifices for her beloved country. An absolutely spectacular read! —Stephanie Marie Thornton, author of American Princess

Beatriz Perez’s brand of vintage-Havana glamour dazzles with equal parts intrigue, rebellion, and romance to make for an unforgettable story. —Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott

My Review

“Is this love? Who has time to worry about such things? At the moment, it is everything, and that’s all that matters.”

“He kisses like a man living on borrowed time, as the though the coming war will steal his remaining days from him, and he knows it. He kisses without guilt or reservation, the legendary skills I’ve heard whispered about in power rooms clearly not exaggerated one bit.”

“In another life, we might have been magnificent together.”

Ever since finishing Next Year in Havana, I have been dying to get my hands on Beatriz’s story. And let me tell you, Chanel Cleeton does not disappoint. When We Left Cuba was exactly what I was hoping it would be. Filled with danger, suspense, romance and a thirst for vengeance, When We Left Cuba left no stone unturned and left me totally glued to the pages….

When We Left Cuba is Beatriz’s story. What I loved about her story was how rich in history it was and how the author mixed together Cuban & American history. You really got a feel for how much Beatriz loved her country and how she wanted to avenge her brother’s death. Beatriz’s involvement with the CIA kept me on pins and needles. She was no spy, but would do anything to reclaim the life she once had. What she didn’t plan on was falling in love along the way. Her love affair is one for the books, but is forbidden due to circumstances. Beatriz has some difficult choices ahead and I for one loved going along for the ride and seeing just how her story would play out.

When We Left Cuba is flawlessly written with an intriguing plot that will leave you utterly spellbound and glued to the pages. The writing captivating you from the very first page and will leave you feeling as though you are right inside the story experiencing everything along with the characters. When it comes to historical romance, this author is totally winning me over and is constantly leaving me dying for more.

Beatriz’s story is everything that I wanted it to be and then some. It’s a timeless love story filled with espionage, danger, family duty, vengeance and love when you least expect it. I loved every second of this book from beginning to end. When We Left Cuba was thrilling and exciting and just everything that I was hoping for. This is a wonderful book to curl up with and spend your day getting lost in….

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Author Information:

Chanel Cleeton is the USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana. Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

Author Links:

Website:   www.chanelcleeton.com

Facebook:   www.facebook.com/authorchanelcleeton

Facebook Reader Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1545366192398558/

Instagram:   www.instagram.com/chanelcleeton/

Twitter:   www.twitter.com/chanelcleeton

Goodreads:   www.goodreads.com/chanelcleeton

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2GFim2N

GIVEAWAY

$100 Amazon Gift Card, Lilly Pulitzer palm tree necklace and earrings set, When We Left Cuba coffee mug, Besame cosmetics vintage-inspired lipstick, signed When We Left Cuba recipe cards, and signed When We Left Cuba bookmarks. The giveaway will run from April 7th-20th.

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Review: You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

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Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?

Purchase on Amazon


My Review

4.5 Unexpected Stars!!

“She sounds timeless. No showy vibrato, no American idol-worthy runs. Her voice is pure. Unadulterated. It’s the sound of sweet salvation.”

“I’ve kissed lots of girls. I’ve slept with a few of them. But I’ve never in my life kissed someone like this. Felt like this. Wanted like this. It’s as though we’re one person. Like my soul found its fucking other half and I don’t even know what to with that except I can’t ever stop this. I will die happily with her on my lips.”

“He’s more than just kissing in the dark and filled-out denim. He’s just as damaged as I am. He’s got heartache and grief and loneliness, and if I can’t survive him, he sure as hell can’t survive me.”

You’d Be Mine was such an unexpected surprise. I feel in love with this book from the very first page and quickly found myself addicted to Annie and Clay. Their story hit all the marks for me and left me hanging on every single word. Annie & Clay’s story might be young adult, but it still had a very real and raw quality to it. It’s a story that any age group can enjoy and relate to.

When we first meet up with Clay & Annie, I just knew their story was going to keep me on my toes. Clay is know as the bad boy of country music, but he needs to clean up his act and reputation. His record label is ready to leave him in the dust unless he can convince Annie to come along tour with him. Annie is a YouTube sensation and has been avoiding the spotlight since her parents passed away. Annie has her reservations and knows all the cons that come along with fame, but when it comes to Clay, she just can’t seem to tell him no. She decided to jump and see where this tour will take her…The one thing these two never planned on was the connection they would share. From the very beginning their fans were dying for the two of them to fall in love. But, a high profile relationship is the last thing Annie wants. She’s afraid of the wild ride associated with fame and the demons that haunt both herself & Clay. Will Annie take a chance not only on music, but on Clay? Will Clay prove that he is a risk worth taking? There’s only one way to find out….

You’d Be Mine is a fantastic debut novel by author Erin Hahn. The characters are fun and entertaining. They keep your eyes glued to the pages and just beg for their story to be told. I loved how real Clay & Annie were. They were both damaged and a little lost. There a lot of comparisons to June & Johnny Cash. Their relationship was amazing in the beginning. Their passion and chemistry, off the charts. But, in the end, the demons took over turning their once happily ever after to a wild and volatile situation. And I could totally see that comparison with Annie and Clay and it is told in a beautiful young adult way. I loved watching Clay and Annie together and seeing them navigate their way through the magic of music and fame; through all the ups and downs life threw at them. Even with all the demons these two had to fight against, I couldn’t stop myself from rooting for their happily ever after.

I enjoyed every moment of You’d Be Mine. From the great characters, to the entertaining plot, to the rock star romance and emotion throughout, this story is a must read for fans of music and young adult romance. You’d Be Mine is incredibly well written and has a wonderful flow to it. It blows my mind that this is Erin Hahn’s debut novel. She is definitely an author to keep an eye out for and I am super excited to read more from her in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Dangerous Beauty by J.T. Geissinger

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A strapping bodyguard and a mysterious beauty on the run cross paths and tempt danger in Cozumel…

For Nasir, former Special Ops military man and bodyguard, his new job seems like an easy-money gig: trail a Russian mobster’s runaway wife in Mexico, enjoy the sun, observe, and report. Just one rule: don’t get too close. But it’s all Naz can do not to watch the alluring dancer’s every move. A closer look is irresistible—especially when she’s in trouble.

Evalina escaped to the island getaway to live an untraceable life—as far away from the past as she can get. But Eva can’t ignore the dark, muscled stud who rescues her from a drug gang. He says he’s an ex-cop on vacation. When providence throws them together time and again, Eva thinks it’s all a beautiful coincidence. Now she’s giving in to a strange new sensation: trust.

But Naz has a mission to accomplish and a secret to keep. Eva has her share of secrets, too. And as the heat flares between them, Naz knows that trust could become the most dangerous impulse of all.

Purchase on Amazon

MY REVIEW

“Making her smile is addictive. It gives me a hard, heady rush, like I’ve snorted cocaine.”

“Life is short, Naz, and full of pain. When I die, I don’t want to have any regrets.”

“This woman has no game. There are no pretenses. Everything she feels and thinks is written on her face and rings in her voice. She doesn’t hide anything. She doesn’t even try.”

“He’s gazing at me with so much tenderness it feels like a knife plunged into my heart. No man has ever looked at me like this before. Like I’m a treasure. Like I’m a prize. Like I’m the only thing that matters to him, or ever will.”

Addictive and all consuming are just a few words to describe Dangerous Beauty by J.T. Geissinger. Dangerous Beauty follows the story of Evalina and Naz. From the moment you dive into Eva & Naz’s story, you will find yourself utterly hooked. Eva is on the run from a life she never wants to be apart of. She just wants to be free and to find some happiness. Naz was hired to keep an eye on Evalina. But Naz has no clue what he’s gotten himself into. When it comes to Eva, he doesn’t have the full story. He knows he should stay away and that Eva is totally off-limits, but as time goes on and these two get closer, staying away proves to be harder than ever. From explosive chemsitry to some seriously dangerous situations, Eva & Naz’s world is about to be totally turned upside down. And all I can say is that you should sit back, grab some popcorn and just enjoy the ride….

Dangerous Beauty is a fabulous read from beginning to end. This story pretty much hits the ground running and will have you devouring each word. This story is fresh. It’s entertaining and filled with wonderful characters. I loved that Naz & Eva had instant chemistry, but they didn’t act on it straight away. I liked seeing Naz fight with what was right and what was wrong. And at the same time, I enjoyed seeing Eva come into her own. She was brave, full of life and wasn’t about to return to her old life for anything. She didn’t trust many people and boy did she ever have her reasons. Together, I think these two were an excellent match. Their banter was off the charts and I enjoyed the humor they tried to inject in those super serious moments.

Dangerous Beauty is fun, addictive and will keep you on the edge of your seat right until the very end. I loved the characters and enjoyed reading their story. The action and suspense kept me on my toes and had me dying to see how this story was going to play out. I enjoyed the connection that Naz & Eva shared. It was a lot of fun watching them navigate their way through all the lies, and betray to see if what they had was strong enough to make it past the cards they had been dealt. I easily devoured this book in a single sitting. My only complaint is that the story is over!! The ending took me totally by surprise and has me just dying to see what happens next. My fingers are crossed that it won’t be too long of wait to see just how Naz & Eva’s story will end….

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken

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Even one-night stands deserve a second chance in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s novel of sporting desire.

What else can a virgin do when she’s ditched at the altar? Seattle heiress Mackenzie Dupont is treating herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico and a desire to relinquish her innocence to a gorgeous one-night stand. Fake names. True pleasure. But when she wakes up alone, Mackenzie realizes just how much anger is left in her broken heart.

Suffering a tragic personal loss, pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez has his reasons for vanishing without a goodbye. Right or wrong, he’s blaming the beautiful and infuriating stranger he never wants to see again. They’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up as his new personal assistant. And they both have a lot to learn about each other. Because they share more than they could possibly know, including a common enemy who’s playing his own games. And he’s not afraid to get dirty.

Now there’s only one way Mackenzie and Slade can win: to trust in each other and to stop hiding from the lies they’ve told, the secrets they’ve kept, the mistakes they’ve made, and the attraction that still burns between them.

My Review

“Our eyes locked again with something I didn’t fully understand, something that told me the universe was giving us a chance, a moment in time, to come clean, to confess before it was too late. And then the moment shifted.”

“He’d made me feel alive. Then killed my soul in one fell swoop.”

“For the first time in my life–it felt like I wasn’t going to jump and have to catch myself. I had someone by my side. Just as eager to take the leap. Just as willing. To catch me after the fall.”

Risky Play is the second chance romance that I have been waiting for.  From sexy, hotter than hot soccer players to a broken heart in need of a fresh heart, this book hit all the marks I was looking for.

Risky Play follows the story of Mackenzie and Slade. Mackenzie was all set to marry her best friend when the rug got pulled out from her. In order to heal her broken heart, Mackenzie decides that she should go through with her honeymoon trip and enjoy a little taste of paradise. What she didn’t plan on was Slade. Their chemistry was instant and hotter than hot. Slade is the perfect gentleman and is everything Mackenzie was looking for….that is until Mackenzie found herself alone in bed the next morning….Little does she know her world is about to be once again turned upside down…..Slade Rodriguez has the world at his feet and is passionate about the game. But, there’s a price that comes along with fame and he’s got his own reasons for wanting to disappear for a while. He never saw Mackenzie coming and can’t deny the peace that she brings him. But, when tragedy strikes, Slade is forced to leave and throws his guilt to the wrong place. His loss turning him into a person he no longer recognizes. So, when fate intervenes and puts these two together once again, sparks will fly, but it’s not the sparks you’d be hoping for. For now, they are stuck with one another and must learn to coexist with one another. Sparks fly and tension like no other mounts. Will these two be able to move past their broken hearts? There’s only one way to find out…

Risky Play was an absolutely fabulous read. It is pure Rachel Van Dyken magic. Not only is this story incredibly well written, but the plot is the kind that you just can’t help but get sucked in to. The characters are fantastic. Their story completely captivating and filled with lots of hearts. I loved the laughter filled moments and those hilarious one-liners. I loved seeing Mackenzie stand up for herself and not take any of Slade’s crap. I loved those oh, so frustrating moments that made me just want to reach inside my kindle and knock Slade upside his head. I loved the passion and sparks and the moments that just made me swoon. My heart ached for those angst filled moments. Like I said, this book had it all and left me with all the feels.

I easily devoured this book in one sitting and loved every single moment of it. Fans of Rachel Van Dyken, you won’t want to miss Risky Play.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Release Blitz with Review: The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros

The right words can save your life.

For fans of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult… A soldier falls in love with his battle buddy’s sister through their letters and returns home from Afghanistan with a secret that could destroy their fragile relationship. Don’t miss THE LAST LETTER by Rebecca Yarros! Grab your copy today!

About THE LAST LETTER:

Beckett,

If you’re reading this, well, you know the “last-letter” drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there were any chance you could have saved me, you would have.

I need one thing from you: Get out of the army and get to Telluride.

My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.

And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.

So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.

Please don’t make her go through it alone.

Ryan

GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon Apple Books Kobo Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

“I cannot imagine a world without this story.” – Hypable

“A stunning, emotional romance.” – Jill Shalvis, NYT Bestselling Author

My Review

“Sometimes you have to leave so you can know what it is you left. You don’t really value something until you’ve lost it.”

“I’d always been big, but something about how fragile she seemed made me feel huge, like I could put my body in front of the storm headed her way and protect her…even if the storm was of my own making.”

“I loved this woman. I would take on armies for her, kill for her, or die for her. There was no grater truth than that, and no other truth that I could give her. Because where she was honest and strong, and kind, I was a liar who had already hurt her in the worst possible way. I had no right to hold her like this, but even worse–I wasn’t going to move a muscle.”

“Because from the moment I saw your face and heard you speak, you were the only one I wanted. You ruined me for anyone else before you ever knew my name.” She ruined me from the second she’d said she regretted writing in pen. She’d had every ounce of my soul when I finished that first letter. “Now that I’ve had one night with you, I don’t want only one. I want them all, and I’m willing to take whatever you want to give me.”

“Hope is good. Feel it. Because you have no idea what’s coming around the corner. You have to take the good when it comes, because the bad isn’t going to give you a choice.”

There are books that you read, and you completely forget them once you come to the end. And then there are books like this one. Books that embed themselves deep within you. Books that stir up all of your emotions and you just know that reading this book is going to change your life. The Last Letter is that kind of book. It’s the kind of book that just calls out to your soul and demands to be read. It’s the kind of book that you think you’re prepared for, but you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s the kind of book that destroys you, yet fills you with hope all at the same time. It’s the kind of book that will have you crying all of the ugly tears you can summon up. This is the kind of book that I can’t imagine never getting to experience. It’s completely and totally unforgettable and one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life.

As I sit here thinking about The Last Letter, I am a total loss for words. I’m having the hardest time trying to sum up all of my thoughts and feeling into coherent sentences. It’s been such a long time since I’ve had a book make me feel this way. How do you write a review for a book that obliterated your heart? When the writing just slays you, leaving you utterly speechless with tear filled eyes? I don’t know if I have the words to do this review justice, but I’m going to try my best.

The Last Letter grabbed me from the very first page. I loved the idea of this story and felt an instant connection with the characters. At 10% I wanted to cry. Little did I know that wouldn’t be the last time that tears would fill my eyes. This story and the characters felt so real. I felt like I knew them. I felt like I was right inside the pages with the characters and living each moment along with them. There were moments of bliss and happiness. Moments of rage and heartache. Moments where I just wanted to scream and walk away from my kindle. Moments I never saw coming, but even in their sadness, it filled my heart with the biggest love. Never, ever has a story ever touched my heart the way that this one has. I’ve never had a group of fictional characters ingrain themselves like this. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t one single character in this story that didn’t run away with a piece of my heart. From Ryan to Chaos to Ella and her beautiful kids: Maisie and Colton. Each one of them consumed me and stole a piece of me that I never want to get back.

The Last Letter is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books that I have ever read. The writing will not only slay you, but take you on the most incredible journey. The characters will consume you and you won’t be able to put their story down. The Last Letter was everything that I never knew I needed and can’t imagine my life without. Even now, hours later, I still have tears in my eyes thinking about this book. There aren’t enough words to describe just how special this journey is that Rebecca Yarros has taken me on. The Last Letter isn’t always an easy read. In fact, there are moments that are going to hurt, maybe even break you. Rebecca Yarros broke my heart. She made me cry. She left me an emotional mess. Yet, at the same time, she reminded me how precious life is. How important those small, little moments are. She reminded me to appreciate each moment and to never give up. To love with each and every breath. Books like this are the reason that I read. It’s stolen a piece of me and I know I’ll never be the same again.

In the end, all that’s left to say is I hope you will read this book. If it’s not already on your radar or to-read list, stop what you’re doing. Run and add this book to your list. I hope you will take a chance and experience the beauty of it. I hope you will experience all that I have and I promise you, Rebecca Yarros will make all the pain and hurt worth it in the end.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Excerpt:

“Ella.” It was a plea to speak, to not speak. Hell, I didn’t know anymore.

“You don’t see me like that. I totally get it.” She reached for the TV remote.

“How exactly do I see you? Please, enlighten me.” I leaned forward, stealing the remote. She’d opened this box and had better well dish it.

She huffed in annoyance. “You see me as a mom. As Colt and Maisie’s mom. And of course you do, because that’s what I am. A mom with two kids.”

“Well, yeah,” I said. Her motherhood—that selfless devotion she had to her kids—was one of her most attractive attributes.

She rolled her eyes with a little sigh, and the metaphorical light bulb went off in my head.

“You don’t think I want you.”

She shot me a look that confirmed my guess and blushed the same crimson of her couch. “You know, you’re right. It’s late.” She faked a yawn. “Suuuuuuper late.”

“I want you.” Damn, it felt so good to say the words.

“Yeah, okay.” She gave me a goofy look and a thumbs-up. “Please don’t make me feel any more idiotic than I do right now.”

Yeah, enough of this bullshit.

I pounced in one smooth motion, taking her back to the couch, sliding over her as I gathered her wrists in one hand above her head and settled between her open thighs.

Home.

“Holy shit, you move fast.” There was no fear or rejection in her eyes, just surprise.

“Not in every arena,” I promised.

Her lips parted.

“Ella. I want you.”

“Beckett…you don’t have to.”

Yeah, that soft little sigh she did was going to be my undoing.

I let go of her wrists, letting my fingers trail down her arm until I had one hand weaving my fingers into the hair at the base of her scalp and the other at the curve in her waist.

“Feel this?” Then I slid forward, letting my dick stroke along the seam in her pajama pants hard enough for her to gasp at the contact. I couldn’t remember ever wanting to shred a piece of fabric so much in my life. “I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I want you.”

I moved again, and her eyes slid shut as she let loose the sweetest moan.

My dick throbbed, knowing everything I’d fantasized about for the better part of the last eight months was one decision away.

“Beckett.” Her hands found my biceps, her nails digging in.

“Don’t ever think that I don’t want you, because if things were different, I would have already been inside you. I would know exactly how you feel, and what you sound like, look like, when you come. I’ve thought about it at least a hundred different ways, and believe me, I’ve got a great imagination.”

She rocked her hips against me, and I locked my jaw to keep from giving her exactly what her body was asking for. “Ella, you have to stop.”

“Why?” she asked, her lips dangerously close to mine. “What do you mean if things were different?” Her eyes flew wide. “Is this because I have kids?”

“What? No. Of course not. It’s because you’re Ryan’s little sister.” Before I could do any more damage, I got the hell off her and sat back on my side of the couch.

“Because…I’m Ryan’s little sister,” she repeated, scooting so she sat upright, facing me. “And you think he’d, what? Haunt you?”

Three things: The letter. The cancer. The lie.

I repeated those in my head until I was certain I could look at her and not drag her back under me.

“Beckett?”

“When I was growing up, if I wanted something, I took it. Immediately. I had sex at fourteen with a girl in my foster home of the moment. I opened Christmas presents early if I was lucky enough to get one, and it was usually from my social worker or some charity.”

“I don’t understand.” She wrapped her arms around her knees again.

“I took it immediately because I knew if I didn’t, chances were I wouldn’t get it. It was a now-or-never kind of thing—there weren’t second chances.”

“Okay.”

“I can’t touch you, can’t talk about it, because I’m afraid I’ll act on it.”

“And why does that matter if I want you to?”

“Because I won’t get a second chance. And I’m crap with people, with relationships. I’ve never had one that lasted more than a month. Never loved a woman I’ve slept with. And chances are I’d do something to screw this up, because it’s not just my dick that wants you, Ella.”

That O popped right back onto her face, and I closed my eyes to keep from lunging across the distance and kissing her. Knowing she’d let me—that she wanted it—sent my need from a bullet to a nuclear missile.

“And when I’d screw it up, because it would happen, trust me, it would hurt Colt and Maisie, too. You’d be on your own again, because there’s no chance you’d let me hang around and help you out like Ryan asked.”

“And there it is.”

“There it is. You’re Ryan’s little sister.”

“There were only five years between us. Not so little, you know.” She reached for the remote.

“I’m well aware.”

“So if Ryan were still alive…” She shot one last look at me.

I let everything slip for a millisecond, letting her see it all in my eyes, how badly I wanted her, and not just for her body. “Everything would be different.”

“Everything?”

“Everything but the way I feel about you, which he probably would have killed me for. Where does that leave us?”

“You mean besides me being a dried-up spinster and you being honor-bound to a ghost?”

“Something like that.”

She rolled her head along the back of the couch, muttering something that sounded like a curse word under her breath. Then she sat up straight and powered on the TV with a click of her thumb. “That leaves us choosing a movie on demand. Because I’m not letting you walk out that door right now.”

“You’re not?”

“Nope. You walk out now, you might get all weird about this and not come back. Honor is a fabulous thing, but sometimes pride can be a lot stronger, especially when you convince yourself it’s for the good of the other person.”

Damn, the woman knew me.

“So movie it is,” I agreed. “Just…stay on your side of the couch.”

“I wasn’t the one who crossed the center line,” she teased with a smile that got me hard all over again.

Movie chosen, we sat and watched, both of us stealing sideways glances. There was that saying…the horse out of the barn. Yeah, the horse was out of the barn, and it wasn’t going back in. Not no way. Not no how.

That horse was running amok and screwing with my carefully constructed control.

But I didn’t complain when she moved over. Or when she pressed against my side. Nope. I lifted my arm and savored the feel of her curves, her trust. Still didn’t complain when she lay down in my arms. Hell no, I held on and memorized every second.

“This story gripped me from start to finish. The Last Letter is poignant, heartfelt and utterly consuming. I loved it!” – Mia Sheridan, NYT Bestselling Author

“Hands down, the best book I’ve read all year.” – Fic Wishes

About Rebecca Yarros:

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and Paleo. She is the author of the Flight & Glory series, including Full Measures, the award-winning Eyes Turned Skyward, Beyond What is Given, and Hallowed Ground. She loves military heroes, and has been blissfully married to hers for sixteen years.

When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching brat-pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, an English bulldog who is more stubborn than sweet, and a bunny named General Fluffy Pants who torments the aforementioned bulldog. Having adopted their youngest daughter from the foster system, and Rebecca is passionate about helping others do the same.

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Review: Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan

Go zero to sixty in this dangerously sexy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

Breezy Simmons was born into a ruthless motorcycle club—and now that she’s out, she’s never going to be that girl again. But when her past catches up with her, Breezy must go to Sea Haven to seek out the man who almost destroyed her. The man who chose his club over her and left her feeling used and alone.

As vice president of Torpedo Ink, Steele is ride or die for the brothers he lived through hell with. He never thought he’d find something as pure as his feelings for Breezy, or that keeping her safe would mean driving her away with cruel words that turned her love for him to ash.

Now, Steele won’t let her walk away twice. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Breezy his woman again—especially when he learns the real reason she came to him for help, and that the stakes are higher than he ever could have imagined…

Purchase Links:

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2KKu1Re

PB: https://amzn.to/2E4TyV1

Audio: https://amzn.to/2rdOJAg

MY REVIEW

Talk about a story that just consumes you. Breezy and Steele’s story is utterly captivating. It hooks you from the very beginning and is just impossible to put down.

Breezy and Steele’s love affair is a complicated one. You see, the life that Breezy grew up in was terrible. Absolutely horrible. She was treated like the lowest of the low and the only saving grace in her life was Steele. The moment Steele came into the picture and claimed Breezy for his own, Breezy finally got a taste of good. All was going well with these two until the day came that Steele had to break her heart. And he didn’t just break it, he crushed it. But, I promise you, he had his reasons for hurting Breezy. Did they suck? Absolutely. But when you love someone as much as Steele loved Breezy, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to save the woman he loved. 3 years will pass before these former lovers will be reunited and so much has changed. An old threat has Breezy seeking out the man who destroyed her heart and the life she once put behind her. And once Steele lays his eyes on his woman after all that time….All bets are off. He’s playing for keeps this time and won’t stop until Breezy is right back where she belongs….

Vengeance Road is a complicated, dark and intense read. Some passages were really hard to get through and just left your mind spinning. Many times I found myself wondering how Steele and Breezy were able to rise about their pasts and become better people. It just totally blew my mind. Their lives should have been an overwhelming mess, but somehow they were able to make some positive out of all the pain.

Now, I will be the first to tell you, these characters are frustrating. Like rip your hair out, scream at your kindle frustrating. After the home Breezy grew up in, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with the MC life. She had a lot of judgement when it came to the Torpedo Ink, and rightfully so. But, her time away from Steele forced her to grow up and depend on herself, not a man. She had a lot of reservations about Steele and definitely put him through the paces before even considering letting him back into her heart. And Steele….man oh man is he complicated. He’s gruff. He’s possessive. He’s controlling and one determined man. His relationship with Breezy was definitely a complicated one and could be seen as toxic by some. Due to the things he endured in his past, I could understand his insane need to protect and watch over Breezy. Did it make crazy? Sure did. But, when you learn about all the demons he’s battling it just somehow makes sense. Somehow this crazy relationship just works. It’s not for me, but who am I to judge? At the end of the day, Breezy and Steele just mesh well together. They get one another in a way that no one else can and I honestly think that they are the only ones who could handle the complicated mess of their lives. I loved that Breezy wasn’t easy on Steele. She made him work and show her that he’s a changed man and that she is the woman that he wants.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Vengeance Road is filled with lots of passion, angst, drama and danger. This story will put you heart through the ringer and will have your eyes glued to the pages.  I loved the characters, even if they did frustrate me at times. I loved the grittiness of the story-line and being kept on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Steele and Breezy. Vengeance Road is a terrific addition to the Torpedo Ink Series. It gave me everything I was looking for in an MC Romance. It was dark. It was complicated. There was a ton of shock and danger. There was of course, romance. And some seriously sexy good times. This book definitely hit all the marks for me and I’m excited to see where this series is going to go next!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review* 

EXCERPT (Provided by Berkeley/Penguin Random House)

Breezy Simmons leaned against her pickup for a moment, staring at the large building that housed the Torpedo Ink Motorcycle Club. Her heart beat so hard in her chest she was afraid she might vomit. The world spun uncontrollably, and she quickly leaned down, putting her head between her legs, drawing in great gulps of air. She caught a glimpse of two men on the other side of the compound as her head went toward the asphalt, and she didn’t recognize either of them. That made her pounding heart sink.

She couldn’t possibly have the wrong club. This had to be them. She was running out of time and options. She slowly righted herself and took another cautious look around. The two men stared at her from across the parking lot. She was careful not to look at them too long. She didn’t want them coming anywhere near her. She needed to get in and out very fast.

The Torpedo Ink compound was extremely large and had a high chain-link fence surrounding it. There was even razor wire up on top of the fence, making the place look like a fortress. The rolling gates were wide open, and she’d driven her truck right inside, parking as close to the clubhouse as possible. She deliberately left the door to her beat-up pickup open and the engine running. Hopefully, no one recognized her, and she could get in and out of the building quickly, once she asserted these were the right people, the ones she was looking for.

In the early morning hours, the club was just beginning to stir. Clearly, they’d partied hard over the weekend. In the enormous side yard, the one with the beautiful ocean view, she could see embers in fire pits glowing as the breeze stirred them up. A man with his back to her watered them down with a hose. He wore a tight tee and jeans, but no colors. Still, she knew this was the home of the club that called itself Torpedo Ink. She sent up a silent prayer that this was the one she’d been looking for.

There were empty bottles strewn around the grass and on the ground to the side of the building in the wide expanse of open field. Cars, motorcycles and trucks were scattered around the parking lot, although no one parked where the club did. Their motorcycles were lined up neatly and a prospect watched over them. He sat on the curb looking at her. She was parked too close to the precious bikes, but she didn’t care—other than it had drawn the attention of the prospect.

Another long line of motorcycles was parked a short distance down from the clubhouse and a prospect watched over those bikes as well. He looked at her without much interest, which indicated to her that these bikes belonged to a visiting club. He wasn’t as interested in protecting the grounds as the one closest to the clubhouse.

She had to get this over with. Just being in such close proximity to an MC made her sick. The fact that she knew what went on at the party made her even sicker. That this might be his club, and she had to risk running into him, made all that far worse.

Breezy squared her shoulders, dragged the envelope off the seat and turned all in one motion. The prospect was on his feet. If she knew for certain this was the right club, she would have thrust the letter into his hands and left, but she was guessing from a process of elimination.

She purposely hadn’t kept track of him, especially when she’d heard, a year after she’d left, that eighteen members of the Swords had set up the international president for assassination and had, allegedly, wiped out a number of members and then disappeared. She knew who those eighteen members were immediately and knowing them, she knew it was possible when others said it wasn’t. She’d run as far from the life as she could and now she was pulled right back in.

Review: IN DOG WE TRUST by Beth Kendrick

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From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the “Best in Show” standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.


My Review

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was totally intrigued. The story-line sounded really unique and refreshing. I loved the idea of the eccentric, rich pet owner leaving his fortune to his pets and was intrigued by how much this situation would change Jocelyn’s life.

For the most part, I liked the story. I thought it started out really well and had a great pace to it. I loved the friendship between Jocelyn & Bree. Their bond was very sister like and I couldn’t wait to see what kind of trouble they would get in to. I loved the addition of Liam to the story-line. He added some great drama to the story and really challenged Jocelyn. I thought their relationship had a lot of potential in the beginning. Jocelyn & Liam had some great chemistry and I enjoyed their banter. They definitely had the whole hate to love vibe going on. However, I felt like even though their relationship was supposed to progress and be romantic, it never got there for me. As the story progressed, I never really felt the romance between them. Honestly, it felt more platonic to me. Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy them and thought they had a great friendship, but their romance just didn’t work for me.

I did have a few issues with this book. I loved the pacing in the beginning, but somewhere along the 60% mark, the story started to drag. It felt like the story was taking forever to move on, and not a whole lot was happening. Also, I felt like there was a lot and I mean a lot going on in this book. So much that there still feels like a lot of the book was left unresolved. And the lawsuits….there was just too many of them. It just felt very over the top to me.

In Dog We Trust was a cute and lighthearted read. The characters were fun and the story-line was unique. There were some parts of the book that left me wanting more, but I still had a good time getting lost in Jocelyn’s story. Even though this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m still glad to have checked it out.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*