Tuesday, February 6, 2018

BOOK REVIEW Kivrin Wilson's MEND

http://amzn.to/2E9fvyk
MEND
KIVRIN WILSON
Release date: February 7, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimited on release day

I'm a demanding reader. There are times I feel the need to apologize to authors for demanding so much from them in a story. I know what I'm reading is fiction, I know the characters aren't real, but in contemporary romance, I want stories and characters grounded in reality. I want to care about what they care about, feel what they feel, understand their world and why it matters. I want to be pulled so far into their lives I can forget about mine for a few hours, but in the end, feel hope for us all.

When an author can give me all of this and the "butterfly" feeling in my stomach, I know I've hit the jackpot. Kivrin Wilson's sophomore novel, MEND, is this type of winner.

The story of Paige and Logan, MEND weaves a flawless, beautiful tale of love, marriage, and the truth of the not so happily ever after. Can a marriage survive once anger, resentment, and mistrust become bedfellows?

Ms. Wilson uses incredible flashbacks to show how Paige and Logan met and fell in love. How they knew they'd found their "one," and decided to marry. The rawness and realness of present-day Paige and Logan in their struggle to determine the value of their marriage is some of the best writing I've read in contemporary romance.

While book two in the Waters Series, MEND can be read as a standalone.  Oh, if you haven't yet read BEND, book one, I HIGHLY recommend it! It was one of my top reads of 2016 and the audio version is one of the best available!



Sunday, January 21, 2018

BOOK REVIEW LJ Shen's MIDNIGHT BLUE


MIDNIGHT BLUE
LJ SHEN
Release date: January 17, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of release

There are times when writing reviews can be tricky. How does one adequately express their thoughts and feelings on a book and make them clear? I find myself in this odd situation with LJ Shen's Midnight Blue.

This is a rockstar romance telling the story of Alex Winslow, British rocker extraordinaire, a musical powerhouse that has turned to drugs as his coping mechanism for dealing with the pressures of life, and Indigo "Indie" Bellamy, a young, creative seamstress, dealing with the aftermath of her family being destroyed a few years earlier.  Indie is hired as Alex's sobriety companion during a three-month tour. It's during this time that their tumultuous relationship develops into something so much more.

LJ Shen is without question, one of the most talented storytellers in the romance genre today. Midnight Blue is a strong read that will make the reader want to read straight through. It is very reminiscent of Vicious, the first book in her Sinners of Saint series. The plot twists, while unique, weren't surprising.

 I had a very hard time finding redemption in Alex. I wished readers had insight into his fight for sobriety and the daily challenges he faced as a sober man. I will say that I fully recognize current societal issues surfaced for me too while reading Midnight Blue. While I understand that fiction is just that, fiction, it's sometimes hard to ignore reality when reading. Alex's constant need to throw his power around was a bit much for me.

Overall this is a standalone read that should not be overlooked.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Alessandra Torre’s HIDDEN SEAMS

http://amzn.to/2DlGY2J



HIDDEN SEAMS
Alessandra Torre
Released: January 18, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimited on release day

Double entendres: literature  ambiguity of meaning arising from language that lends itself to more than one interpretation (Merriam-Webster)

No, I don’t normally begin a review with a vocabulary lesson, but “double entendres” played on a continuous loop for me as I moved through Alessandra Torre’s sixteenth release, HIDDEN SEAMS. 

I admit to only having read her previously released, HOLLYWOOD DIRT, a sweet romance set in the south. And while I know of her darker romantic thrillers, I didn’t know what to expect from an author that wrote such a fun and funny romantic story. What did I get? A unique, clever, fast-paced romance that is more than skin deep.

This is the story of Marco Lent, a fashion mogul willing to be someone he’s not to achieve fame, and Avery McKenna, a good-hearted thief willing to be the cold-hearted bitch to find the missing piece in her life. When the two combine, they can’t deny the truth of who they are, what they want, and that fate has put them together. 

Marco and Avery are perhaps two of the most unique protagonists I’ve read in a long time because I had an instant reaction to them: I liked them and I disliked them. I’ve never had that mixed reaction to characters before. I liked their “real” selves, so much of the inner dialogue. The personas they took on for those around them were difficult for me, though I understood why they did. 

While the end felt a tad rushed to me, it’s fully satisfying and not completely what I expected. 

Hidden Seams is a full-length, standalone novel. 



Thursday, January 11, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: BEGIN AGAIN Anthology



BEGIN AGAIN Anthology
A.M. Johnson, Stephanie Rose, J.A. DeRouen,
Ginger Scott, Anne Jolin, Ariadne Wayne,
Emery Jacobs, M. Andrews, K.P. Haigh,
Kay Renee, Maria MacDonald, Faith Andrews,
K.K. Allen, Mara White, Autumn Grey, 
Josephine Brierley, Amanda Richardson,
Stephie Walls, Jaci Wheeler, Stephanie Alba,
and L.A. Taylor
Foreword by Rebecca Yarros 
Released January 11, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimted at time of release






I sometimes find it challenging to start a review. For a book that I loved, it can be almost impossible for me to put into words all that I feel. So, bear with me as I try to explain all the reasons the 22 authors who contributed to the BEGIN AGAIN anthology are my heroines. 

Longtime followers of my reviews know that in August 2017 I shut down Angelically Devilish Book Blog. I stepped away from the book community, from most people, from life, as I was struggling with severe depression. I found myself accused by those I considered friends as not reciprocating the friendship, being selfish, seeking attention. What these people didn't know, what most people didn't know, was how hard I was fighting to open my eyes each morning. Leaving my bed to take a shower and brush my teeth were overwhelming. There was no effort in doing my job. One business collapsed and the other, the one I worked years building, was on the verge. My life was dying around me, and I didn't care. 

Feeling heartbroken, rejected, used, dismissed, embarrassed, worthless, and lonely, I realized I was at the bottom and had to find a way out of the darkness. I admit, suicide flash in my thoughts for one brief second, but I couldn't do that to my mother or my dogs (and I live for my dogs). It took several visits with therapists, a few unconventional ones, but I finally found one who worked for me. 

Okay, so why am I including this in a book review? Because this book contains 22 stories about people like me. People who have found themselves, for various reasons, in darkness at some point in their lives, but gratefully found the help and just as important, the HOPE needed to get out of bed each day and tackle life. Because no matter how far they've fallen, no matter how deep into the hole they've crawled, they've learned, through the love and support of family and friends, there's always a way up and out, and back into the light. 

These authors, these incredibly open, honest, brave, generous, caring authors, in 22 stories, shine a light on a subject few want to discuss: mental illness. This may be the greatest taboo of all, especially in the world of romance. There's no better genre of literature to tackle such a difficult subject because each story ends with a happily ever after, they end with hope. And when you can't see any good anywhere, one story with hope is what is needed. 

So thank you, Amanda Johnson, for bringing together these authors and these stories. Thank you, Rebecca Yarros, for your honesty. Thank you for showing that we are not victims, not seeking attention, but only seeking connection and needing to make others aware. We are seeking light, love, hope, and a chance to begin again from the darkness.

All proceeds from the sale of BEGIN AGAIN will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Author K. Webster's MY TORIN

MY TORIN
K. Webster
Release date: January 9, 2018

Happy 2018! Are you ready to kick off the year with great reading? Let me just get to the point: Kristi Webster's MY TORIN not only will make my list of top reads of 2018 (yep, declaring that right now on the 8th day of January), but it makes my top list of ALL TIME READS!

I've read stories that have left me stunned in the best possible way after reading them, but it's rare to read a story (love, sci-fi, non-fic) that has left me stunned and grateful. I'm grateful to live in a world where an author has taken time to show that ALL are capable and deserving of love. She's written a fictional character so beautiful and complex in Torin, but he is so deeply grounded in reality. I'm grateful eyes will be opened, and horizons will expand after readers meet him. And I believe a few readers will be changed.

There's a very personal element to this story for me, one that I hope will happen for those I love as it did for Torin. To say any more will reveal too much and spoil this incredible book. I will say I'm a ginormous Kristi Webster fan and she has outdone herself! Brava!


http://amzn.to/2qCeZqq


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

NEW READS: December 18-19, 2017



EX-RATED ATTRACTION
K. Webster
Release: December 18, 2017
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jaaiO3

Blurb: 

I liked Caleb.
I like his dad more.
Miles Reynolds sent shocks through me the very first time I met him. With his full beard and sculpted ass, he’s every inch a heroic, powerful Greek god.
He saved me from a bad situation and now he’s all I can think of. Every minute of every hour of every day, I want that man.
He’s warned me away, says I can’t handle what he has to give.
But I know better.
Miles is exactly what I need—now, then and forever.
This book is approximately 28,000 words
Editor’s note: All characters in this story are over eighteen and all sexual interactions are fully consensual.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: what you want, when you want it. Over-the-top sexy microromances designed to be read in an hour or two.

SINFUL EMPIRE
Meghan March
Release: December 19, 2017

The Mount Trilogy concludes with Sinful Empire!
What’s mine, I keep, and that includes Keira Kilgore.
It’s no longer enough to have her in my debt. No longer enough to own her body.
I want something more.
She can try to resist, but I’ll never give her up.
Nothing will keep us apart.
Not her. Not my enemies. No one.
Her debt will only be paid one way—with her heart.
Sinful Empire is the third and final book in the Mount Trilogy.

COWBOY UP
Harper Sloan
Release: December 19, 2017

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there’s a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to his last relationship, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life. 
Most of the time. 
What he hadn't counted on was the cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She's the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn't lived an easy life, but after escaping a verbally abusive ex, she's finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis she can’t stop thinking about. 
So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it’ll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little…. Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

THE HOOKUP
Kristen Ashley
Release: December 19, 2017

About THE HOOKUP (Moonlight and Motor Oil Series #1)
When the new girl in town, Eliza “Izzy” Forrester decides to hit the local drinking hole, she’s not ready to meet the town’s good, solid guy. She’s definitely not prepared to engage in her very first hookup with him.
Then Izzy wakes up the next morning in Johnny Gamble’s bed and good girl Izzy finds she likes being bad for Johnny.
Even so, Izzy feels Johnny holding her at arm’s length. But Johnny makes it clear he wants more and Izzy already knows she wants as much of hot-in-bed, sweet-out-of-it Johnny Gamble.
Floating on air thinking this is going somewhere, Izzy quickly learns why Johnny holds distant.
He’s in love with someone else. Someone who left him and did it leaving him broken. Whoever was up next would be runner up, second best. Knowing the stakes, Izzy will take what she can get from the gentleman that’s Johnny Gamble. And even knowing his heart might never mend, Johnny can’t seem to stay away from Izzy.
Until out of nowhere, his lost love comes back to town. He’s not going back, but Johnny still knows the right thing to do is let Izzy go.
And Izzy knew the stakes, so she makes it easy and slips though his fingers.
But that’s before Johnny realizes Eliza moved to town to escape danger that’s been swirling around her.
And that’s why Johnny decides to wade in.
That and the fact Eliza Forrester makes breakfast with a canary singing on her shoulder and fills out tight dresses in a way Johnny Gamble cannot get out of his head.

Add to your Goodreads!







Monday, December 18, 2017

NEWS: THE AD BOOK BLOG TOP 2017 READS





Happy holidays, Angels. It seems odd to compose this list again. Wasn't it just yesterday I did this? While I'm NOT unhappy to see this year end, I am grateful for the many, MANY outstanding books published. Silver linings, right?

And I admit, a couple of books listed released very late in December 2016, but they are being included because they released on or just before I posted my top 2016 picks.  These books deserve to be recognized!

So, without further adieu...

THE AD BOOK BLOG TOP 2017 READS
(in no particular order)

J.a. DeRouen EVER OVER AFTER


Sierra Simone AMERICAN PRINCE
http://amzn.to/2ySwFgB

Tiffany Reisz THE NIGHT MARK
http://amzn.to/2BumdyM

Gina Showalter CAN'T HARDLY BREATHE
http://amzn.to/2BarVsI

Elle Christensen ANOTHER POSTCARD

Kerry Lonsdale EVERYTHING WE LEFT BEHIND


Amy Harmon THE QUEEN AND THE CURE

Autumn Grey BREAKING GRAVITY



L.J. Shen VICIOUS (published 12.27.2016)

Kim Holden FRANCO (published 12.29.2016)

And the Queen of 2017...SARINA BOWEN! GOODBYE PARADISE, HELLO FOREVER, BOUNTIFUL




Angelically Devilish Readers pick

Kate Canterbary PRESERVATION




HAPPY NEW YEAR, ANGELS! MAY 2018 BRING GREAT READING TO US ALL!!






Wednesday, December 6, 2017

BLOG TOUR AND EXCERPT: Gena Showalter's CAN'T GET ENOUGH


From New York Times Bestselling author Gena Showalter, comes the next standalone romance in the Original Heartbreakers Series—CAN’T GET ENOUGH!
Grab your copy today!

CAN’T GET ENOUGH Synopsis:
New York Times best selling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale, featuring a rough, tough bad boy brought to his knees by... a kindergarten teacher?

The king of one-night stands...
To inherit--and destroy--his father’s business at long last, Brock Hudson needs a temporary wife.  The ruthless ex-military heartthrob has always avoided romantic entanglements.  Women are sweet, but vengeance will be sweeter.  Or so he thinks. Only one woman will do, but the vulnerable beauty is more than he bargained for—sexier, wittier, and utterly irresistible.

The queen of the deep freeze…
After an abusive first marriage, Lyndie Scott has sworn off relationships.  But still she longs for a child of her own.  Turns out, the brawler who used to frighten her with only a glance is the answer to her problems.  She agrees to his proposal, with a caveat: spend every night in bed with her, then walk away for good when it’s time to divorce. Even if she’s pregnant. 

A marriage of breathtaking inconvenience...
As the days pass too quickly and the nights heat up, Brock battles a sense of possession and obsession. Will the former commitment-phobe convince his wife they’re better off together, or will she pack her bags and go?

Get your copy of CAN’T GET ENOUGH here!




EXCERPT:

“I expect you to be amazing in bed,” she said. “Like, beyond my wildest expectations. You’ll need stamina to keep up with me.” Maybe. Probably not. “I want orgasms!”
He made a strangled sound. His pupils expanded, overshadowing all that luscious green. “I will give you orgasms. I will give you more orgasms than you can count.”
“Also,” she continued, as if she weren’t fighting a wave of lust right that second, “I firmly believe in the Ten Commitments.”
He crossed his arms over his chest. “I’m a little light-headed after all that orgasm talk, but I’m also listening. Do tell.”
“A boy shalt not lie to anyone, ever, not even to flatter, cheat with so much as a look, steal even when desperate, harm others in any way, or make excuses for bad behavior. He shalt compliment when merited, help when needed, treat others with kindness, always, consult his girl when making big decisions, and do his best, not just what’s good enough.”
His gaze searched her face. “The commitments are basic human decency for anyone, not just a potential temporary husband and possible sperm donor.  I accept.”
Surprising.  And welcome. “When our relationship ends,” she said, “you can go back to your man-whorish ways with my blessing.” A pang cut through her chest, and she swallowed a moan. Did the pang spring from jealousy? Or regret? No, no. Neither one. Probably came from indigestion. Because of the wine. “While we’re together, we’ll be having unprotected sex—if you agree to my terms—so I’ll need you healthy. Speaking of, you’ll have to get tested. I will too.”
“I won’t want a lifelong commitment because of a child,” he said, his tone soft.
Oh, the gall of this man! “I’m not hoping to trap you, Brock. Believe it or not, being married to you isn’t the bow on top of a gift but a burden to bear in order to get what I want.”
“Burden.” He traced his tongue over his teeth, the very picture of masculine pique. “Stop, please. Your flattery is going straight to my head.”
What, had she hurt is feelings? No way, no how. But…
Maybe? The thought disconcerted her, and her shoulders rolled in. “I’m sorry,” she said, and sighed. “I never meant… it’s just…” Another sigh. “Maybe this is a mistake.”
“Now wait just a second.” He swooped in, kneeling in front of her, placing his big, strong hands on her knees. “Getting naked with you does not strike me as a mistake.”
The warmth of his skin burned through her pajama pants, caressing her skin, and she gasped. Tingles erupted and spread, different parts of her reacting in different ways. Between her legs, liquid heat pooled. Her lower belly quivered. Her breasts ached.
Eyes ablaze, he said, “I want you, Lyndie.”
She gulped.  “You can have me.”
“If I give you a baby and walk away.”
“Yes.” 
He stared at her for a long while before nodding.  “Very well.  I’ll get a temporary marriage and you’ll get a baby.”
 

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9172c1a0391/



About Gena Showalter:
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she's appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black--if you ask her about it, she'll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.
She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

Links:
Twitter: @genashowalter

BOOK REVIEW Kivrin Wilson's MEND

MEND KIVRIN WILSON Release date: February 7, 2018 Available in Kindle Unlimited on release day I'm a demanding reader. There are ...