Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur

Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur

 Give Me Your Answer True Cover

5 out of 5 Stars

*I was provided an ARC of Give Me Your Answer True by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*

Meeting the love of her life at age seventeen is the best thing that’s ever happened to Daisy Bianco—or maybe it’s the worst. Does anyone ever really get to keep their first true love? For Daisy and Erik Fiskare, their connection goes way beyond love. They are connected bone deep, unable to breathe without each other. So when a fellow student and friend brings a gun into the theater and kills six people, injuring Daisy, and their lives spiral out of control, they can’t hold on to what was once so wonderful between them. One mistake by Daisy and their relationship unravels at the seams.

Erik’s sudden departure from Daisy’s life combined with the emotional scars she carries from the shooting are buried deep in her soul, finally forcing her to hit rock bottom a few years later when she begins cutting herself to relieve the pressure of her guilt and pain. She finally gets help and begins to heal from her past trauma, moving on with her life and focusing on her other true love—dancing. Daisy’s career takes off and she finds new relationships, but the ghost of her soul mate is never far from her mind. She wants to be happy in her life, but Daisy doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to recapture the incredible joy she had with Erik.

Give Me Your Answer True is the follow-up novel to Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut, The Man I Love. The first book is the story told from Erik’s point of view, and this companion novel has the same series of events told from Daisy’s point of view. But don’t be turned off by the retelling, because these books couldn’t be more different. Daisy’s story doesn’t repeat many scenes, and even when it does, they offer a fresh perspective on the same event. There are also many added scenes between Erik and Daisy, not to mention additional information about her relationship with their group of friends. And of course there are the years apart, where we only had hints of what Daisy had gone through in The Man I Love.

The biggest difference between the books is the format. I loved how the author set this book up. The first part is told in a mixture of therapy sessions as Daisy begins to fight her demons and flashbacks to the events that led to her downward spiral. Once we catch up to present day, the format switches to current narration interspersed with letters to friends and news articles about Daisy’s career. The entire structure is fresh and compelling.

Like The Man I Love, I could not put this book down once I started it. Suanne’s writing kept me completely engaged from the first word to the last. In the opening scene, I could practically feel the drugs running through Daisy’s system, and there’s nothing I love more than an author who can put you right in the scene with the characters. I was able to feel Daisy’s despair, her guilt, remorse, and even her hopefulness with every turn of a page.

There were several times throughout the story when I teared up, like the first time Daisy had the courage to discuss the shooting openly, but thankfully I wasn’t crying throughout the majority of the book. My real tears were shed for a happy reason this time. Perhaps there were less tears because I already knew the basics of what had happened and had an idea of what Daisy went through, or maybe it was because of the different format of the book, but that didn’t keep me from feeling every emotion. Although this is a companion novel (I’m not sure I’d call it a sequel since it covers the same time period as the first book), it could be read as a standalone. I don’t think you’d be missing anything by not reading The Man I Love first, but since I loved both books equally, I’d highly recommend reading both of them.

Suanne Laqueur has created another masterpiece with Give Me Your Answer True. It’s so much more than a romance, with tons of character growth, self-reflection, physical and emotional pain, betrayal, and reconciliation. I look forward to reading anything else the author writes.

Give Me Your Answer True will be released on June 20, 2015 and is currently available for pre-order. My review of The Man I Love can be found by selecting Suanne Laqueur from the Author Spotlight menu.

Happy reading!

Rach

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Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

 Finding Cinderella Cover

4 out of 5 Stars

After literally tripping over him in a dark broom closet, Daniel and his mystery girl spend two lovely afternoons together. They decide to pretend to be in love and make love to each other, having no clue who the other person is or what they look like, agreeing it’s best they don’t know because Cinderella is leaving town. Daniel spends the next year looking for his Cinderella but only finding duds, until he meets Six and has an instant connection with her.

Daniel and Six begin their relationship not able to understand how their feelings could develop so quickly. When Six makes a comment using the same exact words Cinderella once said, Daniel finally realizes he’s found his mystery girl and it only makes him love her more. But Six is keeping a big secret, and it could tear their relationship apart.

Finding Cinderella is a contemporary romance novella. The story begins rather lighthearted and amusing, but it takes a very serious turn. I really enjoyed the banter between Daniel and Six and the way their relationship developed. It was easy to see how perfect they were for each other. I struggled with how the story switched gears so quickly, and the resolution and ending seemed rather quick. I was actually disappointed there wasn’t more. On the version I downloaded, the story ends at sixty percent. The last forty percent of the book was excerpts from the author’s other stories. Forty percent! No wonder it was free; the book was basically an advertisement.

That said, I did enjoy the author’s writing style and the plot of the story, other than the quick shift from light to heavy. I loved watching Six and Daniel connect, and their interactions with their friends were fun as well. This story is about a high school relationship, so I had to keep that in mind when things got a bit immature, like when Daniel was dating Val just because she was pretty. Even though the story was short, Daniel definitely grew as a character.

Overall, it was a good story, and I’d likely read more by this author.

Happy reading!

Rach

Breaking Free by Cara Dee – Teaser

Breaking Free by Cara Dee

Coming June 23rd
Breaking Free Cover

Summary:

Book I of II.

The Hollywood scene has always fit Tennyson Wright like a too-tight sweater. A highly respected director, he has managed to avoid the games and power plays of Tinseltown. Until now. To gain more publicity for the film he’s shooting, the studio has decided a PR relationship is in order, and soon Tennyson finds himself pushed into the spotlight with one of the actresses on set. Rich, spoiled, much younger, party princess Sophie Pierce.

Sophie, famous for being infamous, got her part in the film due to her daddy, the studio chairman. But there’s more to her than wild nights and drunken tabloid photos, and she’s aching to prove it. Under Tennyson’s protective wing, she begins to navigate the uncharted territory of responsible adulthood and takes the first steps toward a legitimate, lasting fame based on her talent, not her reputation.

But in order for Sophie to truly soar on her own, she’s going to have to shed every part of her life.

Teaser:Breaking Free Teaser - Hot

About the Author:

There aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils down to relatable characters.

As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.

When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends.

Breaking Free is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

Join the fun of a Release Day party on Facebook on June 23rd! 24 hours of giveaways, takeovers, teasers, and much more!

Teaser – A Lush Reunion by Selena Laurence

A Lush Reunion by Selena Laurence

A Lush Reunion Cover
Quote Teaser:

“The most important thing I want you to know about my past is that I was never in love. Not once…”

“It’s okay Colin.”

“No. Look at me. I mean this, and I want you to understand. No woman has ever touched me here –” I put my fist over my heart — “but you. It’s always been you.”

Preorder now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BkvOFB
iTunes: http://apple.co/1F6bYzq
BN: http://bit.ly/1zGE9mh

Releases June 29

I’ll have more teasers between now and release day, when I’ll post a review of A Lush Reunion!

Happy reading!

Rach

The Butterfly Effect by Renea Porter

The Butterfly Effect by Renea Porter

Available now for pre-order at a special price on Amazon until June 19th!

The Butterfly Effect will be released on June 19, 2015.

The Butterfly Effect Cover

Summary:

Riley and her best friend Bea are starting their freshman year of college. Away from home and on their own the two witches are still learning what capabilities they have.

Nathan is the most powerful witch, known as the wizard. Over the centuries he’s managed to keep a low profile. That is, until Riley walks into his class.

While trying to manage her magic, Riley’s attraction to Nathan intensifies. Riley also befriends Ace, a frat boy Bear shape shifter that feels protective over her for a number of reasons.

Not everything is as it seems. But the one thing that remains is her fate, as it hangs in the balance.

Does Riley’s fate lie with Nathan or Ace?

Teasers: The Butterfly Effect Teaser1

The Butterfly Effect Teaser2

The Butterfly Effect Teaser3

About the Author:

Renea has always had her nose inside of a book ever since she could remember. She has wrote ever since she was young enough to write, never showing anyone what she was writing. Initially she started writing Coming Back to You without intending to publish, but her hubby of 15 years encouraged her to publish it. And she did. She couldn’t imagine never writing. Its in her blood.

Her mind is always wondering, plotting and full of ideas. Even her hubs questions her sanity sometimes, because she well her characters are real. They feel real.

Contact the Author:

Facebook │ Twitter │ Goodreads

Know Your Heart (Far North Book 2) by Tracey Alvarez

Know Your Heart (Far North Book 2) by Tracey Alvarez

 Know Your Heart Cover

5 out of 5 stars

*I was provided with an ARC of Know Your Heart in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*

Twenty-seven-year-old actress Savannah Payne slinks home to New Zealand after losing a role to a younger and skinnier actress. All she wants to do is spend some time at her Bounty Bay property while she tries to lose some weight and prepare for another audition to get her career back on track. But she doesn’t count on the tenant her property’s been rented to refusing to leave.

Glen Cooper has taken a leave of absence from his job at his father’s law firm and rented Savannah’s home so he can finish writing his novel. But the bombshell he was in love with ten years ago is making things difficult. When he won’t let her into the house, she sets up a camper on the property, plays loud music, and distracts him with her skimpy clothes and workout routines.

Glen and Sav are constantly butting heads, but that doesn’t stop the sparks from flying between them. Sav doesn’t remember Glen being her knight in shining armor ten years ago, and Glen is doing everything in his power to deny his attraction. When they both give up the fight to stay away, they still can’t fully be together. Sav needs to prove herself in Hollywood, and Glen realizes that if you love someone, you have to set them free.

Tracey Alvarez has once again created a contemporary romance masterpiece with Know Your Heart. Her writing style will keep you hanging on to every word and feeling the characters’ heartbreak right along with them. There is never a dull moment, and the way Sav and Glen annoy each other is amusing and enjoyable.

As usual, the switch is flipped at just the right moment when the characters go from fighting each other to giving in to the attraction. The progression of the romance is realistic, and the challenges they face are believable. Savannah has always felt she was unlovable, and her failed marriage did nothing to change her view of herself. Her character grows at just the right pace, with a little push from Glen, into the realization that she deserves love and she can be loved.

Glen faces his own challenges with an overbearing father who is not supportive of Glen’s dream of being a writer. He’s got one shot at finishing his novel, and being sidetracked by Savannah is not helping. He not only realizes he needs to go after his own dreams, but also that he needs to set Savannah free if they’ll ever have a chance at a true life together.

Once again, Tracey Alvarez takes us to New Zealand and allows us to feel like we’re right there with the characters. The rainstorms of the Far North play a part in the plot, bringing the characters together, while the tide of the ocean forces them to cooperate in order to get back to dry land.

Know Your Heart is book two in the Far North series. It is a standalone novel, but characters from the first book are included in the plot. You don’t have to read the first book to understand this one, but you’ll enjoy the continuity of the stories if you do.

This is another awesome addition to Tracey’s collection that all contemporary romance fans will love. You can find more of my reviews of Tracey’s books under the Author Spotlight menu.

Happy reading!

Rach

Aftermath by Cara Dee

Aftermath by Cara Dee

 Aftermath Cover

5 out of 5 Stars

Austin Huntley and Cameron Nash survived five months of hell together after being kidnapped by a madman and held hostage along with eight other men. Returning to their lives before the kidnapping isn’t quite as easy as either of them expected.

Austin is a family man, married for fifteen years with a ten-year-old daughter. His wife isn’t very understanding of the challenges he now faces, and it quickly drives a wedge between them. Cam had trouble in social settings prior to the kidnapping due to Asperger’s syndrome, and all of his issues are amplified in the wake of his ordeal. But there’s one thing both men are sure of: they find comfort in each other after sharing a cell for five months.

As Austin’s marriage is falling apart, Cam and Austin grow closer, leaning on each other for support while physical attraction makes itself known. Both men need to face their challenges head-on in order to create a healthy relationship and make it in the aftermath of the kidnapping.

Like all of Cara Dee’s books, there are so many layers to Aftermath that it is much more than a M/M erotic romance. All seven of the surviving men have physical and mental challenges to overcome once they find freedom. After spending some time in the hospital, they face reporters wanting to rehash the details of their time in captivity and police trying to piece together what happened and why. All of the men attend group therapy, and then they spend time with the same counselor for individual sessions. With Austin’s wife not even trying to understand what he went through, it’s no surprise that Austin turns to Cam for understanding. He also feels protective of Cam and wants to help the other man through his troubles. Working together, the two men are able to defeat their demons better than on their own.

Cara Dee does a great job of capturing the male perspective. The dialogue feels natural, as does the progression of Austin’s feelings while he goes from trying to reconnect to his wife to falling in love with Cam. Despite the hope that the circumstances in the story never come true for anyone, there is a realism throughout the pages. Austin and Cam aren’t magically healed, even at the end of the story. Even though they are free, their internal and external scars may fade but they don’t ever fully go away.

I really enjoyed the style of this story. The kidnapping and being held hostage is told in flashback, with pieces revealed a little at a time. There is never too much at once, and although the violence is discussed, it is not in gruesome detail. I also like how the issue of Asperger’s syndrome is handled. We are given enough information to understand Cam’s personality without feeling like we’re getting a lesson on the condition.

I have yet to find a book by Cara Dee I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. This one is another 5-star homerun. You can find more of my reviews of Cara’s work under the Author Spotlight menu.

Happy reading!

Rach

A Kinky Orgasm (Bottom’s Up Book 1) by Amanda Young

A Kinky Orgasm (Bottom’s Up Book 1) by Amanda Young

A Kinky Orgasm Cover

3 out of 5 Stars

At the end of just another day working in the bar Briar owns, he gets the surprise of his life. Truman, the high school jock Briar used to crush on, walks in and orders a kinky orgasm. Innuendo flies between the two men before they finally get down to business; they both want each other. Briar expects this to be a one-night stand, but after all the fun and games, Truman admits he’s always admired Briar’s openness and he’d like to pursue the relationship since he’s moved back home for good.

A Kinky Orgasm is a short M/M erotic work. I enjoyed the plot of the high school jock being interested in the guy who used to be an outcast. It was nice to see Truman admit how he’s always admired Briar since Truman never felt he could be open about his sexuality. Because this was so short, there wasn’t any discussion about how Truman came to be open now. We got glimpses of the abuse Briar suffered in high school, but no information about how he’s treated currently.

The story did have some erotic appeal, but I didn’t love the author’s style. During the erotic scene, it felt like urban dictionary was used to search out every variation of the word cock. Words like tool, meat, stalk, prick, and steely flesh tend to take me out of the moment. There were also quite a few clichés used, and the come-ons were quite obvious.

If you’re looking for a quick, erotic read, this story is mildly enjoyable. Unfortunately, there really wasn’t enough time to explore much other than the erotic experience shared between the two men.

Happy reading!

Rach

Random Acts of Crazy by Julia Kent

Random Acts of Crazy by Julia Kent

Random Acts of Crazy Cover

3 out of 5 Stars

Twenty-two-year-old Darla is going nowhere in life, living in a small town where everyone knows your business and there are limited ways out. She’s stuck having to take care of her disabled mother and working at a gas station. Picking up a naked hitchhiker probably isn’t her best decision, but she’s never been known for making good choices.

Trevor and Joe are part of a band called Random Acts of Crazy. The band is just something they do for fun while they prepare to live their lives as their parents see fit. Getting high as a kite and ending up naked on the side of the road eleven hours away from home just might be the best thing Trevor’s ever done. He and Darla form a bond that shows Trevor there’s more to life than what his parents want for him. When his best friend Joe comes to rescue him, the dynamic between the three of them shifts, and they all might learn a few lessons about life.

I enjoyed the first half of Random Acts of Crazy more than the second half, but overall it was a decent story. All three main characters showed growth and progression; I just didn’t love how they each got there. In the beginning, I loved the way Darla and Trevor’s relationship progressed. They each learned something from the other, and it was nice to see the contrasts between their lives. The situation may have been a bit unrealistic and extreme, but it’s fiction and it was believable enough.

What I didn’t love was how Joe came into the picture and things shifted to another level. It felt like we were starting over with a brand new character needing to learn the same lessons the other male character had already learned. And then there was sexual attraction between Darla and Joe. I’m sure many people enjoy the idea of a threesome. I’m not opposed to it, but it just didn’t feel right to me in this story. It was more like Darla was attracted to Joe just because he was hot and he was there, but she tried to talk herself into feeling more.

Then there was the insecurity on all three main characters’ part. It was a constant back and forth over their feelings, and hearing it from three different people made it rather tedious. In fact, one of my biggest problems with this story was that it was told in first person point of view, but from all three points of view. The constant switching made it difficult to remember who was speaking at any given time. Each chapter held more than one point of view, and sometimes there were all three points of view multiple times within a chapter. It was too much, especially when Joe and Trevor were basically thinking the same thing but we had to hear it from each of them. This book would have been much better had it been written in third person point of view.

There were also numerous tense issues and direct reader addresses, as well as some formatting problems. Every now and then, there would be a minor inconsistency, like in one scene where Darla started the car twice. A little better editing would have gone a long way.

Happy reading!

Rach

Keystrokes by Lisa Marie

Keystrokes by Lisa Marie

Keystrokes Cover

1 out of 5 Stars

Book review blogger Farrow Connoley wins the chance of a lifetime to be the exclusive behind the scenes blogger during the production of the book-turned-movie Dirty. She gets to meet Kasen Wells, a young, hot actor she’s been drooling over. Kasen is down to Earth and immediately takes Farrow under his wing on the set, and then they begin spending time together off-set.

Thanks to Farrow’s outstanding blogging, she is offered a full-time blogging position. It’s her dream come true, and she can’t wait to move to LA to fulfill her contract. But Kasen doesn’t like the limelight and plans to move home to North Carolina once filming is over. Despite being in love, the two will have to find a way to compromise if they want to make their relationship work.

Keystrokes started out with what I thought was going to be an adorable plot. I typically love Hollywood romances and watching someone live out a fairy tale. I liked Farrow’s sarcasm in the beginning. But there were too many problems with this story, and I ended up not enjoying it very much.

Starting with the plot, it went from unbelievable to summarized, and from there it jumped around too much. Kasen’s attraction to Farrow seemed to be entirely based on the fact that she didn’t scream when she recognized him at the airport. Yet she fangirled all over him every other chance she got. Totally unbelievable start to this romance. Their time getting to know each other was barely shown, with their first dinner together summed up in about a paragraph. It provided me with no opportunity to connect with their relationship. They were in love by their second date, which was less than a week after they met. Everything after that felt like the story just jumped from one thing to the next with no continuity. We find out suddenly that Farrow felt she had something to prove to her father and that she had to make it on her own, but there had never been any hinting about that in her characterization prior to her announcement. Someone was apparently stalking Farrow, but all we were told was that she had a few phone calls from an unknown number. The next thing we see, there were voicemails and emails from the stalker that were never mentioned previously.

Specifically related to their relationship, neither character spoke to the other about what they wanted after the movie shoot ended. Farrow went and signed a 5-year contract to live in LA, while Kasen bought a house for them in North Carolina. And neither seemed willing to compromise. There was no discussion. When Kasen came back, he was trying to convince Farrow to move to NC with him again, still not taking her concerns into consideration.

The editing of this book made me feel like I was reading someone’s first draft instead of a polished novel. There were tense changes, bad dialogue tags, unnatural dialogue, incorrect or missing punctuation, and even a sentence that cut off right in the middle. Several times there were sentences that repeated the same phrases. Some chapter breaks were missing, among other incorrect formatting. During the wedding scene, the wrong name was used at one point.

The story started off in first person, in Farrow’s point of view. Every so often, her blog posts would be included. About forty percent through, it switched to Kasen’s point of view. From there, it switched back and forth randomly, and the blog posts were nearly abandoned.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this story and had to force myself to finish reading it.

Happy reading!

Rach