Review: Always You By Stephanie Rose

22922491ABOUT THE BOOK: To Samantha Christensen, Lucas Hunter was always the guy—the sexy, smart and unattainable man she pined for throughout college. To Lucas, she was a treasured friend, a younger sister he felt the need to protect. She had a choice—to wait and hope, or to settle.

When they meet again years later, Lucas looks at Samantha and sees a woman he wants—even though she’s not free to take. As they renew their friendship he finds he’s falling hard, and can’t accept any less than all of her.

Samantha realizes there’s hope with Lucas. Will she finally have a chance to be happy with the man she’s always loved, or will obligations and insecurities stand in their way?

Can Samantha and Lucas convince each other that they belong together? That it was Always You?

BOOK LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

REVIEW: This story begins with Samantha being a “love-crazed” college girl chasing after her desires. Lucas Hunter is the man that she has always wanted, but never thought that she could have. After thirty years, Lucas moves back and wants to see her. Even though she is married to a man who despises her, she can’t stop thinking about what was lost when Lucas went to San Diego after college. His presence creates an emotional turmoil within Samantha, which leaves her with a lot of questions. Does he still feel the same way about her or could there ever be anything more? And…with a daughter in the picture, what are her options? While I do not condone some of the things that happened within the story, I also know that people are not perfect and mistakes happen. I could relate to Samantha in ways that tore at my heart when she faced her struggles. Her marriage had ended long ago, but she was still living in her shell with a man that she couldn’t stand. Her fear crippled her, she wanted her daughter to have a father; even if it meant a lousy one. When temptation fights it’s way through her front door, I found myself asking “what would I have done?” The answer is not always easy to decipher since the experience isn’t mine; however, I did find that this story showed a lot of realistic issues. In my opinion, this story is targeted toward a female audience. It is very romantic, shows pain and understanding, as well as legal hardships and ramifications; however, I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys romance and realistic reads. I rate this with five stars since it is well written, original, and full of creativity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephanie is the author of the Second Chances series, stories based in New York City about second chances at love. She lives in the Bronx, New York with her superhero-obsessed husband and son.

Her day job is marketing, but she always has a story in her head. This lifelong New Yorker lives for Starbucks, book boyfriends, and 80s rock. Her voice often gets mistaken for a mob wives trailer.

After spending most of her youth watching soaps, Stephanie has an obsession with angsty drama and steamy romance.

She’s excited to finally bring the characters she’s been dreaming about to life!

CONNECT WITH STEPHANIE: Facebook | Twitter

Review: Between Everything and Us by Rebecca Paula

23257933ABOUT THE BOOK: Matisse Evans is determined to make her sophomore year of college successful after failing out of a prestigious art school and spending a horribly boring gap year at home. Despite her focus, time isn’t on her side as she struggles to hold down three jobs so she can afford her first apartment while juggling course work. In the chaos of it all, Beau Grady moves in and shakes up her world. A college dropout and tattooed bad boy, the rumors about Beau mean one thing for Matisse—trouble. Paralyzed by the fear that she’s missing out on life, Matisse discovers plans may unravel, but what rises in their wake can be worth the uncertainty.

After spending the summer couch surfing, Beau Grady moves into an empty room at his ex-girlfriend’s Portland bungalow, skipping his senior year of college to spend his days working at a Vietnamese food cart instead. Once a star hockey player and gifted student, he’s put his life on hold after receiving a life-altering diagnosis, complacent to live in the moment. Hiding behind false rumors and bad habits, Beau falls for Matisse, letting her believe the worst until their relationship blooms into something they both can’t ignore. Falling for her means having to face a future he’d rather forget, but loving her just might be worth it.

BOOK LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

REVIEW: This story is about the bond that forms between two roommates, Beau and Matisse. Beau is the jerk that has a mysteriously disastrous reputation with women and Matisse plays everything by the rules, including men. She knows that she should not get involved with Beau because he is trouble; however, it may be absolutely impossible. Love is never easy, especially when you have never opened your heart to anyone in the first place but Matisse is willing to try if only Beau will let her in, but is it meant to be? I really enjoyed reading the story from Matisse’s viewpoint. She is strong. She begins to learn that she is willing to stray from the perfect path that everyone expects her to follow for her own dreams. She really takes a chance on Beau because she sees that there is that certain spark between them, one that she does find with anyone else. The author does a wonderful job of allowing the reader to get a full glimpse of Mati’s fear as well as her bravery. My heart ached just reading about her struggle to find peace, with how many times she tried to run when things became too tough, but she still finds the courage to fight through. Beau’s character nagged at me a little. I understood what he endured in the past and what his current life still held; however, by feeling sorry for himself, he pushes everyone else away including those that he loves like his little sister and his parents. Will he find the strength to carry on for a life that he deserves or will he keep drowning in his own self-pity of the life that he was dealt? I recommend this story because it was truly captivating. My emotions were thoroughly engaged and I was able to see everything with clarity in my mind. I would have to say, in my opinion, this book targets a female audience; however, everyone who enjoys romance should read it! I rate this story with four stars because I feel that some of the scenes went to extremes too quick, whereas others didn’t quite match the pace. I enjoy her writing style and am thrilled to read the next in the series about Reagan!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rebecca Paula writes smart, emotional contemporary and historical romances about flawed characters brave enough to live outside the lines and embrace the messy and complicated bits of life and love. Also, there’s kissing.

She’s a champion of Byronic heroes, a wanderlust connoisseur, a hopeless romantic, and is epically losing the battle of conquering her TBR pile (okay, TRB closet). Rebecca lives in New Hampshire with a cat who thinks she’s a dog, and her YouTuber husband.

When not writing or reading, she loves ghost hunting shows, singing along to ‘Hamilton,’ or scouring stores for a cute dress with pockets.

CONTACT REBECCA PAULA: Facebook | Website | Twitter

Review: Wings of Arian by Devri Walls

 13517384ABOUT THE BOOK: Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.

She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non-magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.

BOOK LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

REVIEW: Wings of Arian is a phenomenal novel that compliments the fantasy genre exceptionally well. This story has adventure, mythical creatures, heroic characters, and energy with a touch of romance. Kiora has just found out that she is someone very important to the magical community, she is the Solus. As she is pulled into this fantasy realm where things are not as they seem, a great burden is placed on her shoulders…a great battle has been waging for thousands of years between good and evil and now they need her help. Her loyalty is strong although she has lost everything that means the most to her in her world. She originally has doubts as to how a child, such as herself, can provide such greatness as prophesied. As the adventure begins, she meets friends and allies along the way including her Protector, Emane. Together, they must make decisions that could decide the fate of their kingdom as they know it.

While reading this story, the author really pulled me in with all of the creative, magical creatures that play a role in training the Solus in her destined duties. My favorite character is Morcant, an allied dragon who has a short temper and a vastly pure heart. He provides Kiora with a friendship that only her elders can understand. His fierce loyalty to Kiora gives her not only the strength that she needs, but wisdom to carry on through her continued adventures. Another character that resonated strongly with me is Emane. I tried really hard to dislike Emane at first, but his charm and unyielding devotion to Kiora, as her friend and Protector won me over in the end. The other characters in which I did not name in this review are all wonderful supporting characters to this story; however, Morcant and Emane are the two that made me relish in the adventure that much more! Since this story is fantasy, I recommend it to men and women who enjoy reading about magic and adventure. It definitely was that! I really appreciate the entirety of this book. This is the first book in the Wings Series and I am very enthusiastic about starting book two here in the near future. I did find a lot of errors; however, I did not feel that it took too much away from the story. It is easy to read and the author is very descriptive with emotional viewpoints and appearances. I found most of the characters exceptional and important to the grand scheme of the story. Overall, I rate this novel with five stars due to the creativity and flawless back stories that each character shared.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Devri Walls lives in Meridian, Idaho with her family and one adorable little mutt. She writes in all things fantasy and would do just about anything for a working magic wand. Mostly because she’s a walking disaster and a wand would be of enormous help…although she’d probably trip and break it. So, there’s that.

 She graduated with a degree in theater and has studied vocal performance most of her life. She now teaches voice lessons when she’s not writing novels, cooking dinner, playing taxi, spending time with her amazingly supportive husband or trying to read.

CONTACT DEVRI WALLS: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review: Lighter by Gia Riley

23491333ABOUT THE BOOK: What do you do when you can’t save the one you love?

Sophie can’t survive without control. Growing up with an alcoholic father, she craves the discipline of gymnastics. Feeling lost on a brand new college campus, she lets loose for the first time in her life. But with freedom comes consequences. Is one night everything she hopes? Or will she become her own worst nightmare?

Kipton’s one year away from graduation. He’s never thought beyond a one night stand until meeting his sister’s new roommate. Finally setting his sights on the girl he can’t resist, he’s more determined than ever when she won’t give in to his persuasions. He’s always gotten the girl, and he’s not about to give up without a fight.

Will Sophie be able to salvage her dreams and wage a war against her own vices? Can she finally let love in? Or will history repeat itself causing her to self-destruct?

Lighter isn’t your typical college romance. Darkness suffocates, dreams are dashed, and battles are lost. Love takes on a whole new meaning.

BOOK LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

REVIEW: This story is about a woman named Sophie who wants to leave the harshness of her life behind and begin with a fresh start. She decides to move away for college on a Gymnastics scholarship since the sport is what she feels is the only thing that saved her from her misery at home. She meets Cara, Kipton, and Drew when she arrives and they become friends quickly. With her being new to relationships, she is afraid to let herself continue letting them in, afraid of allowing her heart to trust these new friends of hers. She must make that choice one way or another as her past comes barreling back, threatening to take her to that dark and awful place where love was completely obsolete. Cara’s character was my favorite because, even though the story is not centered around her, she brings some fresh new perspective to Sophie’s life. While Cara is wild and open sometimes, coming from a wealthy southern family, they shares a lot of common interests that draws Sophie in. Drew is the resident adviser and Kipton is Cara’s brother. I really liked reading about both men because their mannerisms and gentleness are a little contradictory to some of the other men that both women run into on campus. Overall, I found that this story was very compelling and I enjoyed reading it. Some of the emotional struggles are a little difficult to read due to the content; however, back-stories are always a must in my opinion. It allows the reader to fully understand or comprehend what the author is trying to convey with the character’s lives. I recommend this novel, but feel that it targets women more than men since the read is emotional and deals with Sophie finding herself. I give this story five stars because it is well written, creative and I love stories that I can relate to.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Author Gia Riley has been in love with writing romance since high school when she took her very first creative writing class. From the small but mighty state of Delaware, she’s a country girl at heart, traveling back to her roots in Pennsylvania as often as she can.

While New Adult and Contemporary romance have been her passion, she’s dabbled with more erotic plot lines lately, enjoying discovering the sexier side of love with each story she pens. After all, she’s a lover of all things romance – a firm believer that everyone deserves their
happily ever after no matter what it takes to get there.

When she’s not writing, you can find her roaming the aisles of Kirkland’s, up to her elbows in Play-doh, or trying to hunt down spoilers for her favorite reality television show.

CONTACT GIA RILEY: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review: To Dance With Ugly People by Lorene Stunson Hill

22566556ABOUT THE BOOK: To Dance with Ugly People is a No.1 Best Seller in the African/American Women’s Fiction list. “This novel is a book in which I was able to express a new divine awareness. I realized I had experienced a lot in life that had left me strewn and unsettled; the book brought about the resurgence of a strong feeling of cohesion. In this book I have tried to present some of the elementary principles of human nature that can be outside of perceiving, but not outside of holding dear, I call it “Ugly People.” For example, the violence of feelings, the slave of passion and the dark tyranny of despair. My life might not have been full of ease and luxury; but I preferred to glorify my existence, as I lived it, enticed by the wealth of experiences placed in my path. Watching the world around me, I became interested in Fate. Stories, of the sudden deaths of the rich and famous awakened even more trains of thought on Destiny. We strive to travel, what we think are the right paths in life, but, does destiny have to have the final say? Is fate everywhere we are, involved in everything we do and not only just the end? What do you think? On, that same note, I would answer, “Yes, it does!” And so this book was born. I could feel my heart glow with excitement and enthusiasm as I wrote this book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.” — Lorene Stunson Hill

BOOK LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

REVIEW: Where do I begin?? This story is told through letters from Dani’s youth all the way into her adulthood. The author portrays all of the struggles that her character suffered through as a child including abandonment and resentment. As she grows older, life challenges her even more with desperation, fear and unrequited loneliness but she has courage and strength to carry on. She still believes that someone is out there who can give her the only thing that she has always been searching for, true affection and respect toward the woman she has become.

My love for Dani and Chance grew as the story continued. While Chance is not mentioned through the entire novel, but as someone whom Dani meets along the way, I found myself relating to her perceptions and emotions with this character. I kept longing to see Dani’s happiness. Every time I read about Chance, I smiled whenever she smiled because he was her light and that made her happy. I am going to be honest and throw in my input about some of the scenes in this book. Some were tremendously difficult to read through and I felt sick to my stomach at times but there is so much truthfulness to them. The author wants her readers to understand the pain and hardships that plagued Dani’s life so that you can understand her strength and the measures she took to find happiness. It wasn’t easy and it is not for everyone, but I absolutely recommend it to anyone over the age of eighteen. Both men and women can read this because this story does not have a specific gender preference, in my opinion. While the story is written in a series of letters by Dani, the main character, it is by no means too feminine. Sometimes, I would find myself getting frustrated with her for some of the choices that were made; however, everyone has to make choices that they regret at times, for loved ones. I give this book five stars because it was very well written and creative. There is so much raw talent that is encompassed into this novel; therefore, I was unable to put it down for the most part and I enjoyed having learned some new depths of life.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lorene Stunson Hill is a new aspiring author from Florida, USA. Her first fiction novel, is titled; To Dance with Ugly People, and is now available.

 

CONTACT LORENE STUNSON HILL: Facebook | Twitter