Down In Flames – Samantha Conley

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Kristen Daniels didn’t plan on falling in love and getting engaged to Brett Ingles the lead singer of the Silver Tongued Devils, but she did. However, one night changes everything and in the aftermath she begins to see Derek Calloway, Brett’s best friend and fellow band mate, in a whole new light. 
Down In Flames and the Silver Tongued Devils reminded me a lot of Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series just with an added thriller like twist, which made for a pretty (I mean who doesn’t like a boy in a band?!) enjoyable read. Although fair warning, for those of you who don’t like love triangles, walk away now! Its pretty central to the plot. I’m talking to you Hannah! Other than that there’s romance, a bit of intrigue and I’ll say it again, boys in bands!
So I’d say if you’re a fan of Kylie Scott and have been trying to fill the Stage Dive hole in your life, give Samantha Conley and the Silver Tongued Devils (such a great band name) a chance. I don’t think they’ll disappoint!

Asking For It – Louise O’Neill

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“they are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I was a liar until proven honest”

Asking For It is a hard look at our society and the way it treat victims of sexual violence through the story of Emma O’Donovan.

What is extremely interesting about Asking For It is Louise O’Neill’s characterisation. Emma is not a nice person, but she did not deserve what happened to her.

In framing her story in this way, I believe O’Neill purposefully sets up the reader, forcing us to question our own complicity in victim-blaming as the dynamic of the story quickly shifts from teenage drama to a reflection on the reality of rape culture. Did you judge Emma for her decisions that night or her previous behaviour? Does it matter how much she drank or what she was wearing?

Was she asking for it?

This makes for a difficult, and at times uncomfortable but above all, a necessary read.

This is an important book, a book that gives voice to so many subjects that are too often ignored. As Louise O’Neill herself writes:

“We need to talk about rape. We need to talk about consent. We need to talk about victim-blaming and slut-shaming and the double standards we place upon on young men and women.

We need to talk and talk and talk until the Emmas of this world feel supported and understood. Until they feel they are believed.”

This is a must read.

Blog Tour: The Final Victory – M. Eror

Blurb:

My name is Kristina.

My past is violent and dark, complex and complicated. I wasn’t living, I was struggling to survive. And years passed before I finally mustered the courage to say out loud. “I am a victim.”

I found salvation from the violence on a family farm. And my chaotic life finally steered toward normality.

I didn’t look for love, but it found me nonetheless. One look at Viktor – a beautiful man with a magical voice – was enough to sway my world.

And beside him, I finally started to live…

Buy links:

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2BCSH7

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y2BCSH7

CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06Y2BCSH7

AU https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06Y2BCSH7

Social links:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/merorbooks/

Twitter: @merorbooks

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/m_eror

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M-Eror/e/B0142C8FYO

Blog Tour: Coping Skills – Jerica MacMillan

 

 

Coping Skills

Players of Marycliff University

Book 5

Jerica MacMillan

New Adult Sports Romance

Release Date: April 17, 2017

 

Blurb

Learning to deal …

Back at Marycliff University for her senior year, Elena Martinez is still reeling from her father’s devastating car accident over the summer. Awash in anger and guilt and shouldering ongoing family responsibilities, she tries to pretend that everything’s fine, even though it’s anything but.

Daniel Carter has been looking forward to seeing Elena again all summer. Sexy and energetic, she’d captured his attention on the surf trip they’d both gone on in early June, and he’s eager continue what they started on the beach. But when he runs into her the week before classes start, she’s subdued and carrying the obvious weight of emotional pain. Determined to help her, he becomes her refuge from the stress and grief pulling her under.

Will Daniel’s persistence be enough to break through Elena’s emotional barriers? Or will her fears and hangups be the end of their relationship before it can really even start?

Gripping and emotional, Coping Skills will hook you in and not let go until the very end. If you love strong and stubborn heroines, dominant and caring alphas, and stories that hit you in all the feels, one-click this book now!

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Excerpt

With a quick squeeze of his ass, she let him go, hopping up on the counter to watch him make the cookies, reaching across to stick her finger in the bowl to sneak a taste once he’d gotten all the ingredients mixed.

Narrowing his eyes, he pointed at her with the spoon. “Watch it. I might have to punish you for that.”

“Oh, are you going to spank me?”

He chuckled, low and growly, shaking his head. “Uh-uh. I was thinking more like a thorough tongue-lashing.”

She shivered, rubbing her thighs together. Then she leaned forward deliberately, her shirt gaping to tease him with a glimpse of her breasts, and she scooped up as much dough as she could on her index finger before bringing it to her mouth, licking it from palm to tip before sticking it in her mouth and sucking.

And the semi he’d been sporting since she got there turned into a raging hard-on.

He let out a groan, and she smiled around her finger, sucking on it and drawing it out from between her lips with a pop.

“I think I can get behind a tongue-lashing.”

“Coming right up.” Reaching down, he adjusted himself, her eyes zeroing in on his actions, her tongue darting out to lick her lips. “But you’ll have to wait until I get the first batch of cookies in the oven.”

“So mean. Making me wait like this.”

He laughed, enjoying the verbal foreplay as much as the physical kind. The cookies were irregular in size, but he couldn’t care less right now, his normal desire for precision swamped by his desire for her. All he cared about was feeling her thighs around his head, her lips around his cock, her pussy gripping him as she came. Fuck the damn cookies. The only reason he went through with it was because he knew she was suffering as much as he was, maybe more, and the anticipation only heightened the release when it came.

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Other Books in this Series
Summer Fling—Now FREE!

One summer is all they have …

Lance is a notorious player on and off the football field who never sees a girl more than twice. But with graduation now behind him, his days of carefree flirting are numbered. As soon as his summer internship is over, his parents expect him to return to Texas to take his place in the family business. He’s done everything he can to delay the inevitable, and he’s determined to live it up his last summer as his own man.

Abby comes from a world where men don’t stick around. Lance’s interest does nothing but put her on guard, especially when she finds out he’ll be leaving in less than two months. With two years left of college and a mom who relies on her for everything, Abby doesn’t have the patience for relationships that are doomed from the start. But Lance’s persistence wears down her defenses. Abby convinces herself they’ll just have a summer fling, and she’ll be able to come through unscathed.

Will Abby be able to maintain her distance? Or will they both be heartbroken when the summer ends?

If you love steamy college romance featuring hot athletes and sassy heroines, check out this first installment in the hot new series everyone is raving about!

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Convenient Fall

Sleeping with your roommate is a bad idea, right?

Megan Davidson is scrambling to find a new place after Abby, her roommate and best friend, decides to move in with her boyfriend Lance. With just a week until classes start, the open spot left in Lance’s old house looks like her best option. She moves in with Matt and Chris, hot football players who are shameless flirts and notorious players.

Chris Watkins is playing his final season of college football before life as he knows it is over. He’d dreamed of going pro, but the NFL never scouted him and now he’s in self-destruct mode—not bothering to go to classes or even try to graduate. With everything falling apart, he can’t even lose himself in the jersey chasers that are always hanging around. Megan caught his attention over the summer, and with her constantly under his nose, he can’t get her out of his head.

Sparks fly when these two finally give in to their attraction. Will these roommates turned lovers manage to keep things light and easy like they planned? Or will their flame burn hotter than anyone is ready for?

If you love steamy college romance full of hot athletes, fiery heroines, and chemistry that melts the pages, get Convenient Fall now!

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Managed Hearts

Do you choose your dream job—or the guy you’ve always wanted?

Three years ago Hannah met a sexy surfer while on vacation in Westport, WA. After a whirlwind summer romance, he ghosts. She’s tried to move on, but no other guy has ever measured up. And now she comes face to face with him on the first day of her new internship. To make matters worse, he’s one of her managers, and he has no idea who she is.

Matt graduated in December after his final football season, and is now working a desk job. Having spent his whole life as an athlete, the day to day grind chafes at him. All his friends are moving on with relationships and pursuing their goals while he’s left as the third wheel. And despite his reputation as a player, he’s the only one who ever wanted a girlfriend.

And then Hannah Glover shows back up in his life—the girl who simultaneously made him want a relationship and ruined him for anyone else without him even realizing it. He wants her now more than ever, but she doesn’t trust him after the way he ended things before. Which should be fine since he’s her manager at his first job out of college, and their company has a strict no fraternization policy. But Matt just can’t seem to help himself where she’s concerned. And she won’t be an intern forever, right?

Will he be able to convince Hannah to give them another shot? Or will their past and their present conspire to keep them apart?

If you love steamy new adult romance featuring hot college athletes with a hidden dominant side, heroines who stand up for themselves, and a hard-won happily ever after, check out the third installment in the Players of Marycliff University series now!

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Unsaid Things

Christmas. An engagement ring. An unexpected reappearance.

After a romantic six months, Lance and Abby’s relationship feels solid, and he’s excited to have her spend Christmas with his family in Texas. She doesn’t know he has a diamond ring stashed in his suitcase, along with a plan to propose to her on Christmas morning.

He’s forced to scrap the proposal, however, when Abby’s dead-beat brother shows up at her mom’s house two days before Christmas. Abby, worried about her brother’s sudden reappearance after more than a year of silence, insists on going home.

Just when Lance thought he’d broken through Abby’s defenses, she puts up another one in his path. Pushing him away, she insists on dealing with her family herself, a bad idea in his mind. Will proposing reassure her that he’s in it for the long haul? Or just make everything exponentially worse?

The fourth installment in the Players of Marycliff University series follows the developing relationship of Lance and Abby from Summer Fling. It’s a story about family, trust, and where you should turn when life gets messy. If you’re looking for a hero you can swoon over and make your next book boyfriend, one-click Unsaid Things now!

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About Jerica MacMillan

Jerica MacMillan is a lifelong reader and lover of romance. Nothing beats escaping into a book and watching people fall in love, overcome obstacles, and find their happily ever after. She was recently named a semi finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015 contest.

Jerica is living her happily ever after in North Idaho with her husband and two children. She spends her days building with blocks, admiring preschooler artwork, and writing while her baby naps in the sling. Join her Book Club at www.JericaMacMillan.com and get a free book!

Cover reveal ~ Shush I’m reading by Dawn Keane

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Blurb:

Dealing with a neurotic, overbearing mother, an uninvited cat and staring at double D’s, all day, it’s no wonder 24-year-old Billie Angel finds herself lost in a fantasy world more often than not. With her not so smart phone glued firmly to her hip, Billie’s life revolves around her reading apps. Chided for having her face stuck in her screen for more hours than she cares to count, Billie soon discovers that not all fantasies are in her head.

Enamored by the charismatic Hunter Williams, Billie finds herself unmistakably living the dream like something from the pages of a book. Not knowing her up from her down, Billie walks the tightrope that is the fine line between fiction and fact.

What happens when Billie finally wakes up and finds herself firmly on solid ground? Is Hunter really the man fantasies are made of, or the reality of something more?

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Adaptation: Thirteen Reasons Why

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So the new Netflix original show, Thirteen Reasons Why is getting some serious attention, and for me at least, the hype is justified. It is a phenomenal show. Understandably, you may think I’m biased because Jay Asher’s original book is one of my all time favourite reads, but my reasons for loving show are somewhat different.

I appreciate the show for what it is, a genuine adaptation. It remains faithful to the original source material while developing the story in such a way that it works for the new medium. As book lovers we can be a bit over-protective of these stories and I think we have to appreciate that TV and Film are different. What works for a novel does not necessarily translate well on screen. Take the majority of Stephen King adaptations for example, they never quite capture the psychological tension that he expertly builds in his writing, but perhaps I should reserve judgement until the IT remake is released…

Anyway, back to Thirteen Reasons Why.

The story arc pretty much lends itself to a TV adaptation, thirteen reasons = thirteen episodes and by sticking to this set up, the creators allowed themselves more time to develop the story. I know what you’re thinking, this means change, and yes it does, but the overarching story remains fundamentally the same.

The creators of the show take care to stay true to Asher’s original concept while expanding Hannah and Clay’s world to include more from the other characters, the  reasons why and the surrounding families.  For me, this works because we cannot share the same head space with TV and film as we do novels. Yes, a show can be just as immersive, but we do not become the narrator in the same way we do when reading a novel. The scope of the story then has to be broadened because the camera can’t remain with one character for an entire episode, it just doesn’t work. So as an audience we still follow Clay’s journey, but the show pans out to include the other characters. Now this doesn’t detract from Hannah’s story or pull focus away from Clay’s journey. If anything these changes reinforce the message I believe Asher was ultimately trying to convey. We have no idea what is going on in other peoples’ lives and we should be more mindful of our own actions, no matter how small, because there are consequences. For me, this is why the show succeeds because it doesn’t take the audience in a different direction. Despite changing the order of the reasons, the chain of events remains the same, we just learn more along the way to the story’s ultimate conclusion. In some ways this gives the original story more depth because we view what happened to Hannah from a more far-reaching perspective. As the show itself points out, there is more than one truth to every story and in learning more about what drives these characters we gain a greater understanding of what happened to Hannah and the wider impact of her suicide, in a kind of ripple or snow ball effect that seeks to include everyone.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying I prefer the show, I just appreciate it for its differences.

I also admire the creators for taking an unflinching approach to such complex themes. Some of the scenes were hard to watch, as they should be, but the creators definitely set the right tone because I never felt that anything was done for shock value. They also include trigger warnings at the outset of the more intense episodes.

My one criticism is not really with the show, but its future. They’ve quite obviously left  the ending open for the possibility of a second season when there really doesn’t need to be one. I fear that in pushing the story further, it will loose some of its impact and minimise its importance. Because Thirteen Reasons Why is important. It has opened up conversations about difficult topics that people generally shy away from such as suicide, rape and mental health. Conversations we need to be having. Netflix shouldn’t make the mistake of capitalising on the shows popularity by sacrificing its integrity.

As it stands though, it’s a show that everyone needs to watch it.

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

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Maddy is allergic to the world and for her protection, she hasn’t left her house in Seventeen years, but when Olly moves next door she’s ready to risk her life for love…

I don’t know how, but Everything, Everything managed to escape my radar until the movie trailer was released a little while back, and I was like daaaamn, I have to read this! And my initial reaction was right! It’s books like this that keeps my love for YA strong. Everything, Everything is so heartfelt and thought-provoking,  it just made me appreciate life and all the small things we normally take for granted.

I loved the world Yoon created for Maddy. The doodles, definitions and diagrams were a really nice touch and gave Maddy’s character that extra dimension, bringing her to life.

Without going into too much detail (although, for those of you who have read it, I kinda saw it coming), I would have liked more development between Maddy and her Mom’s character towards the end of the novel. That story arc felt a little rushed for me, but it didn’t detract from the book overall.

I look forward to seeing how the adaptation holds up.

A Handful of Fire – Alexis Alvarez

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Gabriel’s son Michael is struggling emotionally with his recovery from a form of cancer. At a loss with how to help, Gabriel skeptically hires Shai, a childhood therapist who specialises in helping children with serious and long term illnesses. Shai soon realises she has a challenge ahead of her, not only with Michael, but Gabriel, a widower who has never really dealt with the loss of his wife and now faces the possibility of loosing his son. Shai also has some scars of her own, but can they help each other heal? Feelings quickly develop, but is it worth crossing those professional and ethical boundaries?

Ok, so there is a lot to love about A Handful of Fire and I can understand why it’s getting such great reviews. It’s an emotionally driven steamy romance told from alternating perspectives with a hint of taboo and a HEA. But here’s the thing, it didn’t grab me. Sure it was an enjoyable, pretty satisfying read, but I didn’t feel as invested as some of the other readers. I did develop a soft spot Michael’s character. He was just so sweet and funny and understanding. Yet I found myself wanting that something more. I know that’s not a really helpful review, but some reads just don’t click.

That wouldn’t stop me from recommending this book though, because I have a feeling a lot of you would love it!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.