Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Pierce’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out – move up at the nightclub she works at and marry the manager, David. He’s perfect for her because, although he’s attractive, he doesn’t get her all turned inside out and upside down like some other men have. It’s a safe plan, one that assures she’ll remain in control of her obsessive love disorder.
But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous – the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of his plans to seduce her. Avoiding him becomes impossible after he offers a business proposition Alayna can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull.
Soon Alayna’s charmed by Hudson in every way possible and the control over her old behaviors slip. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.
I really enjoyed this book, it was so easy to read and it kept me interested all the way through. I will say that that it is book 1 and whilst its not a real cliffy ending it certainly leaves you wanting more.
The story is told from Alayna's point of view, Laynie as she is known to her friends is not your normal main character, she has issues yes, but they are different from the usual stuff you expect. Although now several years clean, she has obsessive tendencies and those tendencies landed her a restraining order. You see Laynie obsesses over the men she thinks she's in love with, that's right - she's a former stalker.
After therapy Laynie can now see the patterns and triggers to her stalker tendencies. She now places men in two categories.
" The first category could be described as f**k and forget. These were men who got me going in the bedroom, but were easy to leave behind in necessary. It was the only group I bothered with anymore. They were the safe ones, David fell into this category.
Then there were men that were anything but safe. They weren't f**k and forget - they were "oh, f**k!" They drew me to them so intensely that I became consumed by them, absolutely focused on everything they did, said and were. I ran from these men, far and fast."
David is the manager of the club where she works, she sees him as safe, she sees herself marrying him and running the club together. Laynie has just finished school, something she was doing on the side to keep her busy, to keep the tendencies at bay. She now has a business degree that she believes will help her move up in the club.
The club has just got a new owner, Hudson Pierce, rich, young and hot. Unfortunately for Laynie she feels an intense reaction to him:
"Two seconds after locking eyes with this man I knew I should be running"
But Laynie's problems are just beginning. Hudson has a proposition for Laynie. He needs her to be his fake girlfriend in order to brake off an arranged engagement, he will of course pay her. Laynie knows this is a bad idea for her, and decides she's not going to do it, that is until her brother Brian decides to cut her off. She has student loans to pay and so feeling she has no choice, she accepts.
Hudson makes it clear that he doesn't do romantic relationships, he says he's incapable. Being his fake girlfriend is a job, nothing more. He does decide however that he wants her body:
"I want you to know that whether or not you decide to help with my situation, I will continue to seduce you. I'm a man who gets what he wants. And I want you"
"I will have you beneath me. In a bed. Where I can adore you properly"
It's a bad idea for Laynie, but can she turn him down? I loved the way she argued with herself over this. That she recited in her head a check list as to whether she was slipping into old tendencies. I loved the push pull thing she had going on, fighting the intense need for him.
If that wasn't enough she has to deal with Hudson's mother too - a real bitch, but she holds her own the first time they meet.
Tell me Alayna were you first attracted to my son because of his money or his name?"
"Neither. I was attracted to him because he's hot. Though, I stayed with him because he's f**king awesome in bed"
On the surface Hudson is the typical hot, dominant millionaire we see so often in books now, but he is not just that he is hiding his own secrets too.
I think the stalker side of the story kept this fresh and interesting and I loved Laynie's character and her reactions to Hudson and the situations she's in.
I really can't wait to read more about Hudson and Laynie, I believe the next book will be out in October and until then I will be stalking Laurelin Paige's blog, Facebook page and twitter for any snippets of the next book, or anything Hudson and Laynie.
Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She is represented by Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency.
Damien Stark is backkkkk, this book carries on from the other two, Damien is in Germany sorting out his legal problems, he and Nikki are couped up in their hotel room whilst Damien is awaiting his court case to start. They are both still madly in love with each other and we are left hoping that the strain of this does not ruin what they have. Damien is being his usual self and keeping everything close to his chest trying not to worry Nikki, but Nikki knows him better than that and she keeps him talking and getting him to vent. She tries to persuade him to do whatever necessary to keep himself out of prison and as we know, Damien does not want to do this.
Nikki is still being harassed but she keeps it to herself as she feels that Damien has enough on his plate to deal with, she feels that these are the least of her problems. They still have the sizzling chemistry and the bedroom scenes or wherever else scenes are seriously smoking as usual…as we know, these two do have a lot of sex so be prepared…I am not a fan of gratuitous sex for the shock factor but as we know, for these two it is their coping mechanism and it tied into the story beautifully, but it is there in abundance so get your fans ready, you will need cooling down!!
Here are some of my favourite quotes…
“I want to hold you close. To cherish and protect you. To draw you in until we are so close that I am lost within you. I want to take you to bed, to watch the way your skin tightens beneath my fingers, the way your body awakens under my touch. I want to trail kisses over you until you are lost in so much pleasure that you don’t know where you end and I begin. I want to tie you up and f**k you until there is no doubt you are mine. I want to dress you up and take you out, and show you off, this beautiful, vibrant, brilliant woman. Everything I’ve built? All my companies? All my billions? They have no value compared to you.”
“You’re what gives me strength. If I am what centers you, Nikki, then you are what anchors me. Every time I touch you, every time I bury myself deep inside you-Nikki don’t you see? You are the talisman of my life, and if I lose my grip on you, then I have lost myself.”
“I love you Nikki. I will always fight for you.”
We do get answers in this book and they are revealed slowly so you never know the whole story until the end, I must admit I was shocked when the stalker was revealed, I never saw it coming. I do feel that these two deserved an epilogue as I am anxious to see how it all pans out for them going forward. I have already harassed J Kenner and all I got was “nothing planned but never say never”…well I am begging for the never to never happen and for her to get writing some more Damien and Nikki. It is a natural ending for the two so don’t think their story is not complete, but I was just not ready for it to be finished.
A USA TODAY bestseller, Sweet Thing tells the story of Mia Kelly, a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old café, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.
Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.
A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.
What reviewers are saying about Sweet Thing. . .
Maryse's Book Blog - "It gave me every emotion and in just the right amount. My perfect read. . . 5 stars PLUS!!!!"
Jelena's Book Blog - "Her writing style is so fresh, the tone, the dialogue, the plot, the characters.... everything... just everything was marvelous she is definitely an author to watch out for."
A Love Affair With Books - "If you are looking for a new author, a new read or might want a bit of a cry, I highly recommend SWEET THING"
Book Addicts - "This book made me FEEL; it made me yearn for a happily ever after."
The SUBCLUB Books - "I was hooked and hanging on every word from the Prologue all the way to the Epilogue, I had a hard time steering my eyes away from the story it had a fierce grasp on me and I happily obliged to ride the journey alongside the characters."
Shh Moms Reading - "This is 5 HUGE stars ~ a soul searing beautifully written book that now owns a piece of my heart."
I made my way up to the cottageandenteredthefrontdoor.RightawayIcould hearmovement.ThemomentIturnedthecornertoheaddowntheshorthallway,Isaw Miainsneakymode,quietlyclosingoneofthebedroomdoors.Whensheturned,sheran rightintomychest.
I went straightforthebar,grabbedabottleofwhiskey,andthenheadedtoward thepond.IcouldhearMiayellingbehindme.Ikeptmyheaddown,gotintothelittle white boat, and rowed away from the dock. I just kept thinking How could Mia do that, did she have no dignity? and How could Dustin use her that way when he knows how precious she is to me? How could he when he knows that I would have given anything to be with her, to be with Mia.
I believedher,butIcouldn’tfaceherinthatmoment.AudreyandDustinhad humiliatedmeandIknewMiafeltsorryforme.
I spent the next hour in that littleboat,thinkingabouteverything,thinkingabout mylife,thinkingaboutthetimeMiahadaskedmewhatmyhopesanddreamswere.I knewwithoutadoubttheyincludedher,butI alsoknewIhadtobepatientwithher.The factthatAudreyandDustin,thatpencil-dick,wereprobablyscrewingaroundrightin frontofmyface,didn’tevenbotherme.IjustthoughtabouthowrelievedIwasthatit wasn’tMia.
A few hours later I woke up to the feel of her gentlehandpullingmybeltopen.I noticedshehadremovedmyshoesandtie.Ilookeddownatherthroughfoggy,squinted eyes.Shesmiledlovinglyatme.Therewasjustahintofpityinherexpression,buther facewaswarmandkind.
She slid back into bed while I strippeddowntomyboxers.Sheturnedawayfrom meandontoherside.Icurledupbehindherandhitchedmylegoverhers.Ireachedmy handupunderhershirttoherwarm,softskin.Iwasholdingher;shedidn’tstopme.It feltsogood.Thatmomentwastender,raw,andsacred,andIwouldtakeafleeting momentlike thatanydayoveraneternityofmediocrity.
I anchoredmyfingersandtriedslowlytopullherpantiesdown.Shepressed herselfagainstmelikeshelikeditandthenIthinkshefeltmehardbeneathherand jerkedawaytositup.Iwatchedherblushingface.Shebitdownonthatpoutybottomlip.
Her lips curledintoatinysmile,andsheleanedover,kissedmyshoulder,and breathed,“Getsomesleep,”justbarelyloudenoughformetohear.
When she left the room, I looked down at myself and laughed. Patience, my friend, patience.
About the Author:
Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Author social media links: Website: www.reneecarlino.com Twitter: @renayz Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorReneeCarlino Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6994731.Renee_Carlino
Your chance to win a signed copy of Sweet Thing. US/Canada Only
This is the second book in the series, so you need to have read Lost In Distraction first. This book is going to be difficult to review without giving too much of the story away, so I will proceed with caution…I am sorry if I am a bit vague…but needs must and all that and I really do not want to spoil it for you all.
This book starts where Lost In Distraction finished. Elise and Brax are still separated due to him being called off the job under the pretence that it is to keep her safe. Brax soon realises he has been played and is plotting with his boss a way to get back to her without alerting the mole in the camp. If you can remember in Lost In Distraction we were left with the holy mother of all cliff hangers of Elise realising she had been shot… and it continues… Shay comes to the rescue, incapacitates the shooter or so he thinks and then gets to Elise, but she is severely injured, it is now a race against time to get her the treatment she needs… Shay goes to call the police and when he turns the shooter has gone!
Brax is frantic after hearing what has happened and needs to get to Elise as soon as possible, but he needs to do covertly so as not to alert the mole, he goes to the only person he knows who could possibly help and that is his brother Devon…more hotness into the story ladies!! They get to Elise and it is touch and go…but Brax does not leave her side. It is during this time of reflection that Brax realises he needs to come clean to Elise about how they met, although his feelings are 100% real, it is eating him up inside and needs Elise to know the truth, he does not want anything to come between them and what he hopes will be a happily ever after. He needs Elise to breathe for both herself and him, he needs her more than life itself and he needs her to know.
Throughout this book there are a lot of twists and turns, but they are integral to the story so I cannot discuss at all without giving away huge spoilers so I am totally restricted as to what I can say. All I can say is that Brax does tell the truth, it takes Elise a while but once she has digested, she comes around. The threats against her are still unknown, they all keep coming out of the woodwork and once one is subdued another comes to the forefront, can this girl ever catch a break.
This book is a lot more angsty, the dialogue is a lot more heartfelt, we see a totally different side to Brax and he is just totally adorable…you cannot help but fall in love with him. Elise really grows in this book, gone is the weak, timid, damaged girl, but she comes out a fighter and during times that secrets are revealed she is often the pillar for Brax.
A lot does happen in this book, and it has not been overdone but it is a major part of this story. There are some really devastating things that happen so do be prepared, but I will say that this instalment totally wraps the series up nicely, all the stones have been turned and the questions from Lost In Distraction have been answered.
I am a sucker for an epilogue and this epilogue was truly the best! I am so glad it was there else I would have been screaming for another book!
This book, also has two marriage propositions, both were soooooooo good and on that note I’ll leave you with a teaser…
“Marry Me,” he whispers against my lips. My whole body stills. Of all the things he could have said in this moment, that was way down the list of possibilities. My eyes well up at the enormity of what he’s just said. “I thought you’d never ask,” I say, bringing my hand down his cheek and trailing my tongue along his bottom lip. He laughs again, the smile never leaving his face. “Is that a yes?” I clear my throat, my tears of happiness choking me up. “Yes,” I say softly. “yes.” Kiss. “Yes.” Kiss. “ye-“
Loved it, cannot wait to see what BJ Harvey has in store for us next.
Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 ugly crying, puffy eyed, nose running inducing stars!!
OMG OMG OMG, I have to write this straight away whilst I am emotionally distraught, I cannot convey how much I cried whilst reading this book…I should really post a picture of the mess of a face I was left with but I wouldn’t want to scare you all away, but I was a total and utter wreck. I am an emotional person anyways and I do cry fairly easily, but this was embarrassing. It wasn’t even as if the event that triggered this total and utter sob fest was “that bad” but I was so pulled into this story emotionally and mentally it felt like my own heart was breaking, no scratch that, it was ripped out, stamped out, stabbed a few times and tossed in the trash. Jessica Park, you killed me…..I am distraught, I have run out of tissues and my husband thinks I am an utter fruit loop, but other than that I am OK, just.
This book pulls you in from the dedication:-
“For Tommy, who is and will always be, my Sabin.
This book is for everyone who has survived. You are not broken. You can love and be loved, depite what may feel like the eternally brutal nature of the world. Even when you’re drowning and so far under, there is always time to reach for someone who will teach you how to breathe again.”
I was not sure what to expect when I started reading this, after reading Flat Out Love and Flat Out Matt I was thinking it would be another one of those quirky books that suits Jessica’s personality to a T, we have seen her wicked sense of humour all over Facebook, she cracks me up daily but this was sooooo different. This book was deep, meaningful, emotional, beautifully written and most of all captivating, I could not put it down.
Blythe, beautiful, brilliant, Blythe, she was still grieving for a lot of things, the loss of her parents four years earlier and also the loss of her relationship with her brother. That tragic night had destroyed everything that Blythe knew, she took herself off to Uni and made sure that she was unnoticeable. She kept herself to herself, did not have a roommate, never socialised, just plodded through the crap that was her life, she felt she was a nothing, no use to anyone, she would drink herself into stupors just to forget, just to try and be something even just for a short while, but it never worked, it was always so much worse in the mornings. She goes for a stroll and happens to chance upon a man at the lake, she stares, she watches, she feels that there is some instant connection to this stranger and she feels pulled. Unlike Blythe in any shape or form she makes a move and talks.
Chris, the said stranger, he too a broken soul, we always knew he was hiding something, but Jessica leaks his past slowly throughout the book and it just adds to the suspense of the story. I did have an inkling as to where the plot twist would come and I was right, but as it was revealed my heart just broke all over again. It is like a car crash, you can see it happening and you just brace yourself for the impact, but when it hits you, you feel the shock and the pain, then you freeze….you pat yourself down, check that you are OK and then sit back and wonder what the hell just happened. Well, Jessica Park just came up and hit you smack between the eyes!!
Some may say that this is a insta love, it is and it isn’t, they both feel the connection immediately, but it is not acted upon for a long time. Blythe too scared to say or do anything and Chris wanting to but feels that he is too broken to offer anything. They become friends, along with the rest of the Shepherd family.
I love this family, this is where Jessica really gets her wicked sense of humour across, Sabin and Estelle were amazeballs. I love it when a book totally engrosses you with all the side characters and every side character in this book had a major part to play. Some may say Sabin was annoying, he was brilliant, the friendship that he and Blythe built was so touching and so needed for both of them, it was beautiful. Estelle, some may say crazy, but what an amazing best friend, even though she was hurting herself, the strength she passed to Blythe was courageous despite battling her own demons. Eric and Zach, such a cute couple, you just loved them. It was such a tight knit family and they all just welcomed Blythe with open arms.
Blythe and Chris ground each other, whilst in the beginning it is Chris that brings Blythe out of her pity party, it soon becomes apparent that Chris needs rescuing from his own and Blythe wants to be the person to do it. The trouble is that Chris, whilst he wants to be rescued, it takes him a long time to realise it, he believes that he cannot be fixed, that he is not worthy and so he does something so incredibly stupid I could have killed him myself…I wanted to jump in the kindle and throttle him.
Throughout this book, you feel the connection building, it is palpable, it pulls you in like a moth to a flame and you cannot move away from the light, you keep reading, you become more emotionally invested, you fall in love with the characters, you fall in love with the story and then bam…you are hit by that light, that ugly zap that tries to kill you outright..and boy did it kill me. I was like, no this cannot be happening, this is not what should be happening and you carry on reading like a sadist thinking FFS, this is not blinking happening…but it does and it carries on and you cannot help but continue.
But alas, do not worry my dear readers, the world does right its axis eventually but not after you have been eaten, chewed, spat out and left for dead…but it is a truly brilliant read. No matter how many the tears I spilled I could read this over and over and over again…yes I am willing to put myself through that again, but it was a joy to read.
This is a story about loss, grief, learning to live again, survival, learning to love and trust and most of all learning to heal and forgive.
This review is testament to Jessica’s writing, it does cover some hard hitting subjects, especially child abuse but it is done sensitively, thoughtfully but most of all it is heart breaking. You feel everything! It is very difficult for an author to make you feel “this much”, only a few books have managed to do this to me and I am always shocked when they do, you always know when that happens you have read a brilliant book, and this book is truly brilliant.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough, but make sure you have loads of tissues to hand because if you are like me, you are going to need them.
Oh and Jessica, I want that T-Shirt……You’ve hit 70%....now cry like a b***h!!
Today we have our review of Release Me, book 3 in the Callahan Series by AC Marchman together with an excerpt and some tour giveaways.
Prequel to overwhelm me & stay with me.
Donovan Callahan started a relationship with the married Claire Dubois as a teenager. He was attracted to her beauty and raw sexuality, letting his hormones take control of him. He couldn't resist the woman all the guys at school could only dream about.
As time went by, she sank her claws in deep, keeping his heart in a vice grip and toying with his emotions. He longed to be free, but was terrified of what this crazy woman was capable of. She had a way of keeping him in line, either by physical or mental force. She is manipulative, conniving, and just plain evil. She pulled him back in as he tried to push away. Donovan felt trapped in a web of lies and deceit. If Donovan was in a web, just call Claire the proverbial black widow.
Find out why Donovan is the way he is and how Claire screwed him up in more ways than one. Donovan has to take back control of his life. He wants Claire to release him, for good.
This book is like a prequel, we finally get the back story of Donovan Callahan. After reading Overwhelm Me and Stay With Me, we get the general feel of Donovan’s relationship with Claire Dubois, but you never really got to understand the dynamics or the why’s and what’s that forever came into my head whilst reading. You never really appreciated what Donovan went through.
Claire Dubois was a cougar…she preyed on Donovan and would not have stopped until she got him. Any horny teenager would have done what he did, given the chance, especially as she was the stepmom that every boy at school was talking and fantasising about. What initially started out as a bit of fun and ego boosting for Donovan soon developed into a relationship that he so badly wanted to escape from.
To say that Claire was unhinged is an understatement, the woman is totally nuts!! She became a stalker, she was extremely manipulative, she would attack him, she would mentally torture him and she used her body to the best of her ability to get what she wanted and that was for him to stay. She knew that Donovan couldn’t resist her body so used it as her ultimate weapon, Donovan was always upset at how his body betrayed his mind and couldn’t understand it. Stockholm Syndrome was mentioned in the book, whilst I have never seen it related to this type of relationship you could definitely see the similarities. Claire had managed to put the fear of god into him and he was too scared to walk away.
I felt really sorry for Donovan, whilst I was not impressed that he actually started this relationship to begin with as I said above you could understand why he did. He so wanted an “out” and every time he tried Claire pulled some stunt to make it impossible. Forever being the gentleman, Donovan would never hit back and I actually felt extremely sorry for him. He reached out for help so many times, but never went the extra mile to make sure he got it, was never direct enough so I was so glad when he finally met with his therapist, at least he got him to see what Claire was really like.
I was so happy we got to see the goings on in court, I enjoyed this part of story so much, especially when you finally see Donovan grow a pair.
This book was emotional in parts but mainly it was so enlightening, you finally got the last piece in the Donovan Callahan puzzle and you can now really see why the man is the way he is and what a really lucky escape he actually had. Although, as we know from Stay With Me, I feel that this story is far from over and I for one cannot wait to read what Donovan and Claire are going to do to each other next, however, as long as he stays with Allie, I really don’t care, I just hope that she gets her just desserts and ends up back in prison!!
Bring on the next one!!
I sat down at the table to drink some coffee and read the paper. I’m turning into my father.
That’s when I saw the headline.
TV Producer, Frank Dubois, age 55, found dead in his Atlanta home
Oh my God! My brain was trying to catch up with what the headline said. I kept reading.
Early this morning, the famous TV producer, Frank Dubois, died at his Atlanta estate. His distraught wife, Claire Dubois, the star of reality show Atlanta Society, called 911 when she found her husband unresponsive in their bed.
“Frank wasn’t feeling the best, so we called it an early night. He was complaining of severe stomach cramps and back pain. So Frank and I went to bed together. I woke early to use the restroom. When I came back to bed, I cuddled next to my husband and realized he wasn’t breathing. I called 911 immediately and told them to hurry. But it was too late. My Frank is gone and is never coming back to me.”
Mr. Dubois was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Along with his wife, he leaves behind a son, Frank Dubois, Jr. and a sister-in-law, Regina Rankins. The television company Frank worked for released a statement to the family, expressing their sympathy and condolences.
“The network just won’t be the same without Frank around. He will be sorely missed,” Vince Galloway, CEO of RTN Network, stated.
I couldn’t read anymore. I threw the paper on the table. Frank was dead and the first thing that came to mind was the conversation Geniese and I had years prior to this. “But that couldn’t have happened. There was no talk of foul play, no bullet wounds or ligature marks. Just that he was dead, in bed.” I started pacing the floor, trying to decide it I should even call Claire right now. That wouldn’t sound good if her lover called right after her husband is found dead. I put the phone down and waited for her call.
It took two days. Two days of insane worrying. Two nights of sleepless nights, tossing and turning. Two full days of mental torture.
AC Marchman lives in Virginia with her husband Dan and their three children, Hannah, Jacob and Sarah. By day, she is a wife, mommy, and an x-ray tech for a doctor's office. By night (and nap time) she is a writer. She loves spending time with her family. She also loves to read. Her favorite authors being EL James, Sylvia Day, James Patterson, and Tess Gerritsen.