Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: Just Parker by K.C. O'Neill

Just Parker 
(VA is for Lovers series)
K.C. O'Neill 
publication date: 1/15/2015
available on Amazon

They say hate is a strong word, but Eileen Parker is certainly no stranger to it. Parker hates her first name, hates her apartment, hates her life. Which, sure, sounds a bit cynical, but after the life that she’s led so far, you really can’t blame her. With her sophomore year of college overshadowed by circumstances that she never expected, Parker just wants to keep her head down, pass her classes, and take care of the responsibilities that are threatening to destroy her. And then she meets Ash. Ashton Carter is working to fix the messes that he’s made, but he’s still struggling with dark memories of a night that changed his life. He’s definitely not looking for someone to spend forever with, but when he meets Parker, his life changes once again. It doesn't bother him that Parker adamantly refuses to admit to the chemistry between them, or that she’s determined to keep him at arms length. Ash is convinced that Parker is everything he never knew he needed, and he’s not about to let her slip away. Fighting against overwhelming insecurities and secrets that feel too big to share, the two must make a choice. They can keep running from their pasts, or they can confront them and face their future together. ***This is the first book in a series of standalone novels. Due to adult language/situations and mild drug use, this book is recommended for readers 18+

My Rating and Review
I received a complimentary e-copy of Just Parker in exchange for an honest review!

Just Parker is about Parker, a college student who is struggling to deal with everything on her plate. Besides her classes, she's dealing with the fact that her mom is dying of cancer and the knowledge that her father walked away from her without a second glance when she was 5. Even before cancer struck, Parker and her mom did not have a good relationship. Her mom has spewed hateful things to her for years, making it well known that she holds Parker responsible for all the bad things that she's done with her life. In fact, she had been so hateful to Parker, that prior to the cancer diagnosis, they hadn't spoken to each other in over a year. Once the diagnosis was made, mom went into guilt mode, playing the wounded mother a la 'Parker, you know I'm dying. you should do all you can to make my last days comfortable.' To say that Parker has mixed feelings about the inevitable demise of her mom would be putting it lightly.

Imagine her surprise when she meets Ashton. He's gorgeous and surprisingly kind to her and is instantly intrigued by her. He is guarding his own secrets and continually tries to get through Parker's walls only to feel like he's knocking his head against the wall. For every step they take forward toward a relationship, they go back 3 more steps. Can Ash prove to Parker that she can trust him, that what they could have together could be amazing, could be just what they each didn't know they were looking for and that it doesn't have to be Just Parker against the world anymore?

I seriously loved this book. Parker's circumstances are absolutely heartbreaking. For her to have to deal with her obnoxious mom would be bad enough, but due to her dad's unexpected departure so many years ago, she is not very trusting and not receptive to becoming close to anyone. Ash was just the kind of person that she needed in her life. Even though he was keeping his own secrets, he tried so hard to not waver and to not push her too hard in their relationship even though it was killing him that she wouldn't let him in and help her carry her burdens. My heart ached as their relationship grew and stalled and blossomed more. They certainly weren't having an easy go at it. But I had to keep onto the hope that love would prevail at the end.

Just Parker may be K.C. O'Neill's debut novel, but based on how well written, and how well the story flowed and how much she made you care about the characters, you'd never know she hasn't been published for years!! I absolutely recommend this book!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SNEAKPEAK: Briana Gaitan's coming of age romance To The Steadfast (release date 8/31/15)

To The Steadfast
by Briana Gaitan
Genre: Coming of Age Romance
Cover Artist: Romantic Book Affairs
Release Date: August 31st 2015

Resolute. Firm. Unwavering
That was my love for him.
Steadfast for as long as I can remember.

As my best friend's brother, he ignored me before noticing me. He protected me, bought me my first beer, but eventually became my undoing. 

There was a time I would have died to get him to notice me, now I'd do anything to forget him. 
I'm not the one who can tame him, and he's not the guy who will change for me.
This isn't a story about falling in love, this is a story about falling out of love.
Unrequited love. 
And finding the strength to stand up for myself.
Here's to the steadfast.

*This is an standalone story that crosses years from YA into NA genre, due to heavy subject matter this book is for ages 16 and up. This is not your typical love story.*

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review:  Forever and A Day by Jill Shalvis

Forever and A Day by Jill Shalvis
Book #6 in the Lucky Harbor seriespublication date:  July 31, 2012
available on Amazon


Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s loveable mutt to caring for his rambunctious kids. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family–until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

My Rating and Review

I loved this book, as I have all of the other Lucky Harbor books that I've read so far.  Jill Shalvis does an amazing job writing characters who are real and need a wake up call to see that love is right in front of them.   Grace is funny  - I laughed so hard at her first wet encounter with Tank and then Josh on the beach.   I love the friendship between her and Amy and Mallory and how they keep nudging her to find her own happiness in Lucky Harbor.  I love how Grace doesn't treat Anna with kid gloves - if Anna can dish it out, then she needs to be able to take it and with Grace she does!   Josh is a dream too - so hot and trying so hard to stay in control of his chaotic life with his practice, his sister, son, dog and his heart.  

Looking forward to book 7 in the Lucky Harbor series! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Review:  Strangers by A.L. Parks

Strangers by A.L. Parks.
publication date:  January 15, 2014
available on Amazon

Bereaved bride Abby Clark is tortured by visions of the fatal crash that took her fiancé on their wedding day. She succumbs to a dark existence where loneliness, sadness and nightmares dwell; until handsome, brooding Bryce Holden walks through the door of her favorite coffee shop, wearing the same cloak of despair and grief. Abby discovers in Bryce someone who understands love and loss, and soon their close friendship grows into a deep love. But ghosts make strange bedfellows, and Abby is forced to battle the tormenting images that continue to haunt her, and confront the ethereal presence of a beloved wife to protect her future with Bryce.

My Rating and Review

I loved this book!! Abby and Bryce both deserve a second chance at happiness and who better to look for it with, than with someone who's been there in their own version of hell. I love that they were able to forge such a great friendship and that they finally had someone who fully understood the moments during conversations when their minds took them to a dark place, someone who they didn't have to justify their feelings to, someone who just got it!! It certainly wasn't an easy journey for them as their friendship grew but all the struggles that they fought through made them stronger and closer!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hosted by: IceyBooks
Description: Can’t decide what to read next? Make a post with 3 books you want to (or have to!) read soon and link up every Thursday at IceyBooks, so your readers can help you decide by casting votes!

Here's 3 books that are next on my to-be-read list.   Pick the one you think I should read first? 

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler
Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis
Blackhill Ranch by Katherine May 

Review: The Pact by Karina Halle

Review:  The Pact by Karina Halle

The Pact by Karina Halle
available on Amazon

*The Pact is a FULL-LENGTH 
*STANDALONE (not part of a series) 

It all started with a pinky swear… 

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him. 

Beautiful, funny and an ambitious businesswoman (with one hell of an ass), Stephanie Robson is one of Linden McGregor’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as he’s known her. 

But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed. 

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them were in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty. 

It sounded like fun and games at the time but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life. 

Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line. 

The pact is about to change everything. 

Note: due to the dirty talk and sexy times, The Pact is not meant for anyone under the age of 18. All characters in THE PACT are in their thirties, therefore this is NOT a new adult book...even though love can mess you up at any age. 

My Rating and Review
I saw this book mentioned on another book blog earlier this week and was immediately intrigued.  I can't explain why, but I have this fascination with books where the main characters are friends and realize that they could be so much more.  I went right to Amazon and downloaded the sample and as soon as I read it, I knew I had to have more!  And it did not disappoint!

I loved the friendship between Stephanie and Linden and James, even in the sometimes awkward moments that came about from time to time.  I can just picture Linden telling Stephanie about his idea for a backup plan and James shaking his head at the stupidity of it.    Parts of the story made for some aggravation - particularly Nadine.  I was ready to throttle her more than once at the way she talked to and treated Linden.     

I loved the dirty talk and the steamy sexy times!  Wow!!  Linden is everything that any girl would be lucky to have! 

I even loved the angst.  The things that don't break you definitely make you stronger in the long run and the angst between James and Linden and Steph were a necessary evil in this case.  

Happy 2015

I will be the first to admit that I've been seriously lacking in keeping up with my blog!   But it's a new year and time to try to turn that around!!!

First a look back at the books that I read in 2014.  According to my Goodreads page, I ended the year with 390 finishes under my belt.  Some of them are short novellas that didn't take long to read, but they all count!!!   I'll be spotlighting some of my favorite books in the weeks to come!!! 

I am giving myself a challenge to read 365 books in 2015.    Can I do it?  Well, you'll have to come back and watch my progress!!!

In the meantime, enjoy your New Year's Day - take a few minutes to do something to put a smile on your face and if nothing else works, go get lost in a good book!!