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Review: Heartfelt Lies by Kristy Love

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heartfeltlies

Loving Cassie was effortless.
She was a thirst I couldn’t quench.

She was everything I needed, but nothing I deserved.
I failed her more times than I could count.

I lied relentlessly.
And she always forgave me.

Until she couldn’t.

Maybe I deserved to be left behind.

* * *

Jax swept me off my feet with his disheveled hair and his easy smile.
I loved him fiercely.
He made me believe in the fairytale.

Then the walls crumbled around me.
The lies never ended.
I left him behind. I had no choice.
I mourned the loss of him.

But I moved on.
I created a new life,
Now, I was marrying someone else.

Where do we go now that he’s back?


 

My Review

“I had no idea where my life was headed from here, but I finally was taking control. I was no longer a passenger in my own life, I was taking charge and doing the things I needed and wanted to do to make myself happy. As long as I did that, my life would be ok.”

From the moment I read the prologue, I was intrigued by this story. I wanted to know what had happened to Cassie and Jax?How did they get to this point? Where do they go from here?

This is not your typical second chance romance. Falling in love was easy, it was staying together that was hard. The road to HEA for these two was extremely hard. Heartfelt Lies is told from dual points of view & in past and present. The story starts off in the present: Cassie and Jax were both different people from when they first fell in love.There was so much hurt and so many obstacles that had to be overcome; so much that Jax had to prove. Cassie had to really look inside herself to see if she could believe that Jax really changed, to see if she could ever get past all the hurt and pain he caused. I was amazed to see how far Jax had come: going from amazing boyfriend-to dealing drugs to care for his mom-to loosing his way after his mom dies-to finally hitting rock bottom. To see Jax come out of all that, to witness all the positive changes he made in his life was just amazing.

Heartfelt Lies is a story about redemption, accepting ones role for the mistakes they’ve made, the lies that one tells themselves because the truth is too hard to see. This is a story about love, forgiveness, hitting rock bottom and then finding yourself again. This story is heartbreaking and difficult at times. But, the journey was well worth the ride. The author did an amazing job, making me fall in love with these characters. Their angst and emotions, so palpable, they felt as if they were my own. The author was not afraid to show us the good, the bad and the really ugly.

Heartfelt Lies is the second book in the Undone Series and can be read as a stand-alone. I did things a little backwards, and read this one first, but I did not feel lost at all. If anything, I am more intrigued about the characters from the first book and am really looking forward to diving into their story. Kristy Love is a new author for me and I can not wait to read more from her.

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

Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne

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crushed

 

Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.

Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half brother, Devon.

Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?


My Review

Crushed is the second book in the Redemption series and is a great follow up to Broken. Crushed follows the story of Chloe and Michael. After having his heart broken following the events of Broken, he returns home just to have another bomb dropped on him. He finds out that his life is not what he thought, his family is not who he thought they were. Now, he finds himself in Texas, to meet his real father. He’s working two jobs and is trying to figure out his next move. That’s when he meets Kristen. She is everything that he always wanted in a woman. The problem? She’s dating Michael’s half-brother, Devon.

Chloe has been in love with Devon for as long as she can remember. They were childhood best friends, until high school. Devon was suddenly one of the cool kids and to make matters worse, he hooked up with Chloe’s older sister, Kristen. So, when Michael comes to her with a plan to break up Devon and Kristen, Chloe is all for it. I mean, nothing can wrong, right? As things start to come together, Chloe starts questioning what she really wants and is surprised by what she discovers. Will she go after the man that she’s always wanted or will she take a chance on the guy who totally took her by surprise?

Crushed was a really great read. As with Broken, Crushed had a great theme to it, it is a re-telling of The Ugly Duckling. Chloe is just like every other girl. She wants that epic movie love. She is that smart, amazing girl, who doesn’t realize just how beautiful and amazing she truly is. I love that Michael was the one who made her see what everyone else saw and took the time to get to know her and didn’t mind that she wasn’t the perfect size 2. And Michael. There is so much more to Michael than what meets the eye. He was hurt in the past and his life was a mess. He was afraid of letting anyone get close to him and really know him. But, somehow, Chloe managed to get herself under his skin and slowly became everything he never knew he wanted.

Crushed is a great story about friendship, redemption and second chances. I loved the story-line and the characters.The characters are fun, they’re flawed and that’s what makes them so real and so easy to relate to. They’re not perfect. It was great finally getting to read Michael’s story and I loved the little visit we got with some old friends. This story made me laugh, frustrated me and made me swoon at the same time. This is a really great series and I definitely recommend checking it out!

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

 

Blog Tour & Book Review: Conflagration by Tessa Teevan

Conflagration is the second in an Explosive spin-off series called The Wellingtons.

Can be read as a standalone

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Day: October 29

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20947984-conflagration?from_search=true

Synopsis

It isn’t just a few flames; it’s an especially large and destructive fire that causes devastation. 

Branson Wellington? The name, my name, is usually followed by fucking prick or self-serving bastard, and I can’t say I haven’t earned those titles. It’s true. I’m not the good guy. I’m not the boy next door. I’m definitely not your Prince fucking Charming. Not even close. 

And I never wanted to be. Until her. The day I pulled her from the wreckage was the day that my life changed. 

Who would have thought that one little lie had the power to throw two lives so off course?

Love has never been in the cards for me, but now that she’s here, I have no idea how I’m ever going to let her go. Even if I don’t deserve her.

Because like I said, I’m a self-serving bastard and some things never change.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Conflagration-Wellingtons-Book-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00OX4264M

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conflagration-Wellingtons-Book-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00OX4264M

CA: http://www.amazon.ca/Conflagration-Wellingtons-Book-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00OX4264M

AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Conflagration-Wellingtons-Book-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00OX4264M

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conflagration-tessa-teevan/1120638155?ean=2940150382534

 

Pinterest Board

http://www.pinterest.com/tessateevan/conflagration/

 

Playlist

Conflagration

Excerpt 

As the blackness starts to fade away, I see that white light, but it doesn’t really look like that tunnel. No, it’s just a scene change, and if I could muster up enough strength, I’d groan because there are things in my life I’d rather not relive. It’s bad enough that I have the memories and have been dealing with the fallout for far too long. Reliving it all over again is more agonizing than the first time around, because now, I know the truth. I betrayed my brother in the worst possible way when he’d done nothing wrong, but by the time I found out, it was far too late. So why am I having these flashbacks playing in slow motion? I thought when you were on death’s door, your life was supposed to flash before your eyes. So why am I replaying every single mistake I’ve ever made as if it were the first time—in slow motion instead of quick bursts? Maybe my life did flash before my eyes and it happened so fast that I missed it. Maybe I’m dead after all and this? This is my hell. 

 

My Review

When I heard that Branson was getting his own story, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. He wasn’t my favorite character, but I was willing to give him a chance. And I am so glad that I did!

“You’re nothing like I expected, you know. You’re so much more”

Conflagration follows the story of Branson and Ariana. Ariana has always been the perfect daughter. Always doing what is expected of her. She is about to make the biggest mistake of her life: marrying someone she doesn’t love. Call it fate or perfect timing, but she hears something that wakes her up and stops her from making this huge mistake. After calling off her wedding, she hits the road in search of finding herself. The last thing she expected was for fate to intervene once again and put Branson in her path…..Ariana is involved in a car accident and the only way she survives is thanks to her savior. The aftermath of their accident takes Branson and Ariana on one incredible journey………..

Branson….I was not his biggest fan especially with his history with Knox and Megan. He was a jerk, a dick; definitely not prince charming. When he sets his sights on something, he will do whatever it takes to acquire it and he is a total alpha male. But, boy did I have him wrong. There is so much more to Branson than I ever knew. Branson has always lived in his brother’s shadow. He was always working so hard to make his parents proud of him and see him for who he was. His number one priority was his job. He wasn’t perfect and made a lot of mistakes, but when you find out the truth to what caused all of this, you will understand how he went from my least favorite character to my absolute favorite!

I LOVED Branson and Ariana together. Their chemistry was explosive. What started out as a fake relationship, quickly turned into a passion that couldn’t be denied. It was HOT and I mean scorching!

“I’ve been numb for twelve damn years, if not longer. But in one week’s time, you’ve thawed out the block of ice that’s been frozen around my heart”

And who knew Branson could be so swoon worthy?? I couldn’t get enough of them and was rooting for them to wake up and realize that what they have is real! 

I am big fan of second chance romances and redemption and Tessa Teevan did not disappoint. The love that they shared was honest, real, raw. The very thing that I want to read about and swoon over.

Conflagration gave me everything that I was looking for and more. It completely exceeded my expectations.  This book made me laugh, brought tears to my eyes, swoon and put a huge smile on my face. And as most of you know, I love good angst-this book delivered with the perfect amount of angst and romance!!

If you are looking for a book about second chance romance, redemption, finding oneself and that is scorching hot: look no further! Conflagration does not disappoint.

 

*An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

 

Other Books by Tessa Teevan:

Combust (The Wellingtons #1)

http://www.amazon.com/Combust-Wellingtons-1-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00MSWPU4Y

Ignite (Explosive #1)

http://www.amazon.com/Ignite-Explosive-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00GAB28OY

Incinerate (Explosive #2)

http://www.amazon.com/Incinerate-Explosive-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00II4IHQ4

Inflame (Explosive #3)

http://www.amazon.com/Inflame-Explosive-3-Tessa-Teevan-ebook/dp/B00K9R4MIU

Sweet Southern Sorrow (Sweet Southern #1)

http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Southern-Sorrow-ebook/dp/B00L4KMCK6

Author Bio

I’m a twenty something book junkie who is also obsessed with sports. Bengals, Buckeyes, Reds are my teams! I work for the government during the day, hang out with Air National Guard on the weekends, and have been married to my own book boyfriend for over seven years. We currently live right outside of Dayton, OH with our two cats.

If I’m not writing or looking through tons of photos of hot men, all in the name of research, then you can probably find me curled up with my Kindle, ignoring the rest of the world. I love my sports almost as much as I love my books. My other obsessions include red wine, hot men, country music, and all things Grace Potter. 

 

Connect with the Author

Website: http://tessateevanauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tessateevanauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TessaTeevan

Email: tessateevanauthor@gmail.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7170636.Tessa_Teevan

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review – Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick

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I’m not even going to lie – I totally picked this book out because of its cover. I LOVE the cover. It’s gorgeous! The colours, the poignancy, the emotions that are displayed – it is cover perfection. So, shallow shallow me – one-clicked it and got started. And I seriously loved this story!

Lifers is a story of love and redemption. It’s about learning to forgive your mistakes and carry on living. Jordan Kane made a tragic and fatal mistake one evening that changed his life, irrevocably. After either years in prison he returns to his home town where no one will let him forget his past mistakes and no one will ever let him move on from what he’s done. He is hated by all, and tormented daily. And he knows that he deserves it.

Torrey Delany is new in town and is running from a life of bad relationships. Consequently, she has sworn off relationships and spends her time pursuing meaningless hook-ups with no regrets. When Jordan and Torrey cross paths a friendship is formed and the two start spending their days together. Sparks fly, lingering looks are exchanged, and plans are made…but there are huge obstacles to overcome…maybe too big for them to get past.

“A lot can happen in six seconds. Your whole life can change in a heartbeat..”

Jordan is one of my all-time favourite male characters. His uncertainty and guilt tugged at my heart strings the whole time I was reading this. I loved him from the first second he was introduced in the story, and I was absolutely captivated by him for the rest of the story. I want to keep him forever! The blushes, the sad eyes, the head hanging….it all invoked so many emotions in me. I just wanted to give this poor guy a hug! The battle that Jordan goes through during the course of this book broke my heart over and over again. It was hugely emotional and I felt Jordan’s pain every moment of it. For me, Jordan really was the star of this book. His journey from a sad, lonely man to someone who could live, love and move on with his life was an amazing journey to read about.

“The loneliness hit me hard….I didn’t know what the boundaries were anymore. It was a game of life where I didn’t know the rules and couldn’t work them out – and I was losing. Big time.”

Torrey was an interesting character. She was plain talking and came across as quite harsh at times. She didn’t believe in niceties or beating around the bush. She was straight up and truthful at all times. Now, I myself have been known to be a little too blunt with my truths at times so this didn’t bother me at all. But I did find that often she was so blunt and honest with Jordan that it made him feel bad and she never really made up for that. Every now and then there was a whispered apology but the poor guy was getting it from all corners – it would have been nice to see her be a little softer with him.

One of the things I ADORED about this book was the role reversals of the main characters. I loved that Torrey was the one that was confident, experienced and out-going and Jordan was a little more shy, quiet and hesitant. It made for a really interesting dynamic between the characters and didn’t feel same-samey at all. The fact that there was no insta-love was also another big plus. Their relationship was slowly built up over a solid foundation of friendship.  

“I didn’t believe life was worth living ’til I met you. I’m so, so happy I was wrong”

After reading Lifers, I’m really looking forward to reading more stories by this author. The writing style was engaging and interesting and the story was original. I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms Harvey-Berrick hits us with next!

 

 

photo credit: //ichael Patric|{ via photopin ccphoto credit: Linh H. Nguyen via photopin cc