Archive for the ‘BOYS are just BETTER in BOOKS (Romance and Indie Authors)’ Category

the road back to usReview shared by melodyslove4books

I was really excited when I found out that Kristi Webster was going to release The Road Back To Us. The subject of this book, fighting for your marriage, is one that is close to my heart. There are so many marriages that end in divorce now days because one or both people forget that marriage takes work and without cultivating the love you have for each other, it will just wither away and die. I’m not saying that no couple should get divorced…every one has their own reason for doing so and no way am I going to judge those that choose this avenue…but for those of us who fell in love, then drifted apart, don’t let your first answer be to divorce…fight like hell to get back that love you had with your spouse or partner. So, enough being preachy…i guess its just that i have been married to the love of my life for twenty years and i’m a hopeless romantic…i want everyone to have what I do. Ok, on to the book 🙂

In The Road Back To Us, we meet a high powered couple by the names of Bentley and Caroline Harrison. They met back in college and got married with stars in their eyes. Little by little, life crept in and Bentley started trying to take over the world with his investment banking career. In addition, Caroline has become a shell of her former self and drifts listlessly from various friends to activities…she no longer has the drive to be what she wanted to be back in college.Also, she is trying to be something she is not to fit in with her friends by going vegan, wearing certain designers, etc…this is where I say that nosy friends need to butt out…they can do way more harm than good in these situations. When the story begins, the couple has met with lawyers and their divorce is about to be finalized. They have not told their family of their impending divorce and decide to spend one last Christmas with Bentley’s family while letting them think they are still very much in love.

On the way to Bentley’s family’s home, they get caught in a snowstorm. In my opinion, this is the best thing that could have happened because they are forced to have to work together to save themselves. They are also far away from Bentley’s job, Caroline’s nosy friends, and they soon come to realize that their is still love there between them. But, are they too late with their discovery; the snowstorm they are caught in is a dangerous one and they have little to no food, no shelter, and the clothes they packed were not the right kind for the weather. As they pull together and start to remember the real them, the people that fell in love in college, I begin to cheer for the Harrison’s…well in mind anyway lol…I knew they still loved each other and somehow they had to overcome this obstacle. Its obstacles and situations like this that will either make or break a couple…when we are faced with adversity, all of our weak points are glaringly obvious, but at the same time, our strong points are there and that’s what you have to hold on to, just like the Harrison’s did.

I don’t want to reveal any more of the story, but I will say that this is one of the best of Kristi Webster’s works. And I love all of her books, there was just something about this one that felt intensely personal. I love when an author’s feelings can be seen in the book. It felt like Kristi wrote this book with a ton of love and that made me like it all the more. The Road Back To Us was flawlessly written, the plot twists were plentiful, but realistic, and her characters were multi-dimensional. It seemed that as the story progressed, each character had layers upon layers that were pulled back for the reader to see. I love when characters are like that…they seem one way at the beginning of a story…and by the end, all I can think is where did that come from? All of these things are the sign of a great writer and that is what Kristi Webster is. I have never seen a writer so dedicated to her work yet always has time to chat with her fans. Yes, I am a fan of hers, but its for good reason…just read her books and you will agree with me. Oh, BTW, i have to say that I love Bentley’s family…omg, his brother is hilarious…he needs his own book! I am definitely giving The Road Back To Us 5 stars…so get yourself a copy and read it!

Review by B.A. DillonHEA

I was gifted a copy for an honest review.
Have you ever wondered if Cupid really exists?
Michelle Irwin puts a sweet and happy spin on the idea and delivers a romantic comedy that is easy to love. The story centers around Becca, a free spirit, hospital medical secretary, who’s passion is fueled by her love of photography. Although single and without a family, Becca lives in the moment and seems at peace with the direction of her life. Evan, destined to roam the earth as a cupid, is a sweet and lively guy using his deep sensitivity to pair soul mates. Assigned to guide Becca to her one true love, we are treated to a beautiful romance and plenty of laugh out loud moments.
Ms. Irwin has developed a storyline that moves well through both internal monologues and dialogue about characters that are easy to care about. Both Becca and Evan have a rich history and their interaction with one another will have readers rooting for them the entire way. The dialogue is both sweet and witty, and there are moments of rich passion and complete hysterics. I love secondary characters, and my only disappointment in this story is Evan’s character has no one but Becca. I needed someone to add another dimension to his existence in Becca’s world. We had a few moments of Becca’s relationship with Cathy – and I would have liked a little more there as well. Cathy added comic relief and I wanted a lot more of her! The love triangle breathes life into what could have been just simple romantic tale. The writing is seamless, and I found myself captured by the story, reading well past my bedtime!
Pick up this delightful story full of love and promise – that left me wondering – is everyone’s love life guided by Cupid?!

forever with meSo sad to see this series come to an end …

Plain and simple – I am IN LOVE with the Montgomery family. Once again Kristen Proby delivers another romance trifecta. Dom and Alecia’s tale is a sweet story with lots of dialogue, a hot and sexy story full of love, and writing so seamless I gobbled it up in one sitting. Dom is strong, self-assured, and beautifully sexy. Alecia is strong-willed, yet somewhat vulnerable. Alecia’s backstory is quite interesting, softening her tough exterior. I am glad the plot isn’t a repeat of previous storylines, but felt the story itself was crammed into fewer pages and lacked the touching scenes the rest of the series has. Basically, their love felt rushed. Therefore, I never became as invested in Dom and Alecia’s story like I am with the rest of the family. I was so happy to finally witness Will and Meg’s nuptials – but wanted more. The family’s involvement in prepping the scene for the wedding was touching. I especially enjoyed listening to the brothers while they worked together. Proby’s Montgomery family is an incredible cast of characters. Her use of previous couples roots the story in a believable romance centered on life commitments. No spoilers from this reviewer, but I wasn’t crazy about Matt and Nic’s moment at the ballpark. It kind of came out of “left field” since there was never much reference to baseball throughout the entire series.

What topped this story off was the epilogue – an ending truly fitting for this wonderful family. I enjoyed getting a look at the entire crew ten years in the future and listening to Steven narrate their journey. There’s no way to say good-bye and I’m hoping Ms. Proby will give us a bit more from the Montgomery family on her blog and in a few shorts in the future. BRAVO, Ms. Proby and thank you for taking your readers on a marvelous journey!

sublimeReview by Lizzie M.



Sublime Wreckage is the debut novel from Charlene Zapata. This is a captivating roller coaster story about abuse, strength, heartbreak, and love. The characters are what make this story a 5-star read. Written from Maggie’s POV (with some alternating from Vincent), Ms. Zapata does a remarkable job transporting the reader inside Maggie’s life, experiencing all of her very raw emotions. I love strong female characters and Maggie Wilson is just that. Her strength and courage makes Maggie one of the most inspiring characters I’ve read about this year, and I’ve read a lot. Although the book is really a Young Adult read, Maggie’s intense storyline classifies could fall into New Adult as well. For such a young woman, she has the strength of ten. Vince is that guy … why we love our fictional boyfriends. I appreciated the fact that he took the route of “friend first” which only made me root for them more. Both characters were wise beyond their years. I look for great secondary characters – and that’s the only facet missing here. The secondary folks (like Maggie) aren’t poorly written, but I needed a bit more to cement their connections to the principal parts. Ms. Zapata’s writing style is seamless and places the reader front and center of all the action. Even with some uncomfortable topics, the writing flowed and the dialogue was realistic. The author has done a great job developing two voices for two very different characters, and rooted the story in the relationships they have with each other, family, and friends. The storyline itself is powerful, and develops at a pace that is both believable and moving. Fair warning to all readers – you will need book 2 immediately as this is a cliffhanger ending by my terms. For a debut author, Charlene Zapata produced amazing work for her first novel, and has written a truly engaging tale. I look forward reading more about Maggie and Vince.

set in flamesI received an ARC of this book in exchange for honest review.

FATE never makes mistakes. The only difference is being ready for it, or simply believing you have a choice.

This is both an easy and tough review to write – for several reasons. Tough because this is definitely not my reading choice – the genre I wouldn’t pick up to read for pleasure. This is my very FIRST paranormal romance that I’ve read, and therefore reviewed. With that said, there are many references to all things paranormal that quite frankly I just didn’t get. But here’s the thing … in the end, it didn’t matter because underneath the paranormal blanket there’s a decent story waiting to be read. The theme is FATE. And it appears FATE can drive a paranormal romance as well as a traditional romance. Ms. Destiny did a great job delivering strong characters that any reader will care about. I love strong women and Maya is exactly that. I have mixed emotions regarding Jaden. Most of the time he comes across strong but somewhat vulnerable. At times, that attractive quality is lost – and he seems a bit whiny. The story opens in a big way – and Ms. Destiny hooks the reader in the very first chapter. There’s a lot of intrigue painted with a really interesting first meet by the principal parts. I love secondary characters, and Set in Flames has so many I was struggling to remember them all. Some of the dialogue itself lacks smoothness – it doesn’t quite feel natural, and the narration dialogue (especially for Jaden) is a bit long-winded. There is some evidence that Ms. Destiny is a first-time published author, but her characters are likable, and I’m curious about what will happen next for these out-of-this-world characters. What we have here is a compelling story that stirs the imagination. With that said, Set in Flames has a great storyline from this first-time author and that has this paranormal newbie waiting for more!






RowdyMy heart is FULL of love …


Can fate bring old friends together again? Can old friends become more? Can he forgive her for running away from their sorted past? Rowdy and Salem’s story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking – but also a bit predictable. The story of past friends meeting up in the future is a bit overdone and stale. But, Jay Crownover is an amazing author is who continues to deliver fresh, well written tales about her Marked Men. Rowdy’s story doesn’t diverge from the formula except that his character has a bit more depth than some of the other marked men. Rowdy is vulnerable and definitely has a softer side. His back story is rich and full of a great deal of emotion. I did not connect well with Salem. Salem’s back story felt forced and lacked emotion. I had no sympathy for her past, and only hoped for a reunion for Rowdy’s sake. However, the physical connection between the two is HOT, HOT, HOT! Jay Crownover is a master at creating believable, intense physical connections. The rest of the gang is back, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to be brought up to speed on what’s new with Rule and Shaw, Jet and Ayden, Nash and Saint, and Rome and Cora. This cast of secondary characters is phenomenal – and they give substance and breathe life into the hero and heroine. However, I would have liked to see more of them. In previous installments, the entire gang was together a lot, but less in Rowdy’s tale. I thought Poppy’s story wove into Rowdy and Salem’s tale very well. Her presence, along with Rowdy’s long lost sister tied a lot of looses ends together. Personally I like more dialogue driven stories, and this one was full of more descriptive narration. This is a personal preference and does impact the review. I really liked this cover as well – more than others in the series! Can’t wait for Asa’s story!


My heart loves a happy ending!

captivated by youheartheartheart

Sylvia – what happened? When I look through the reviews on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads – here’s what I noticed. Your readers, the people who count, aren’t happy. The book had incredible hype and the wait was incredibly long. Unfortunately, just like so many others, I also feel cheated.
The story of Gideon and Eva began strong. Bared to You – Crossfire #1 was great and I absolutely LOVED Reflected in You – Crossfire #2. If I could, I would have given book #2 more than 5 stars. Then came Entwined with You – Crossfire #3 … and it all went downhill from there.
First, Sylvia Day is an amazing author. Her writing is seamless, and I can physically place myself in her stories and live there for awhile. Captivated is great writing … just like the first three books in this series. What this installment lacks is a decent story. Yes, Gideon and Eva encounter a few new problems – lots of them, but very little is ever resolved. The abuse storyline faltered, the Golden video storyline faded, and the overall love story fizzled. I did like hearing from Gideon’s POV. That added a bit to the overall feel of the writing.
Second, the characters (except for Eva) have lost a lot of personality along the way. Gideon seems weak. While I want the hero to show a little vulnerability, I don’t need or want him a big hot mess. Not in a romance novel! Carey (who is my favorite character in the series) typically adds a bit of humor to each story. In this one, he also seems weak and indecisive, and doesn’t offer much to his MUCH NEEDED supportive role. There are too many other characters floating around the story at given times. Unfortunately, I don’t understand why many of them are needed. Therefore, I don’t care about any of them.
I’m definitely sad, as there was so much promise when this series first began. I’ve made a decision, not to finish Crossfire. Dragging this to five books with no clear direction as to where we are heading lost me along the way. I’m saying CROSSFIRE.

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melody of the heartMY HEART IS FULL OF LOVE


I love the entire Runaway Train family. This is truly a beautiful story that gives a complete look at the how Runaway Train boys first got together. The story is told as Brayden and Lily sit down in Savannah with Rolling Stone magazine for an interview about marriage, and raising kids on tour. The whole group and their families are in Savannah for Rhys and Allison’s wedding. The entire story is told through a series of flashbacks, which begins with Bray and Lily’s first meeting, and carries us through the trials and tribulations of fame and life on a tour bus. Ms. Ashley surprised me with how and why Brayden first picked up the guitar, and shocked me even further with some of Brayden’s early behavior in the relationship. Even though we “know” Brayden and Lily have a very happy marriage, I was completely sucked into their early drama. Ms. Ashley’s seamless writing keeps their journey fresh and engaging. It was also interesting to get to know Jake, AJ and Rhys in their early days. I kind of didn’t like Jake much in this book, but realize that was Jake’s character before Abby. The boys’ relationship with Lily is nicely woven into the overall story. Bray and Lily’s wedding is delivered with just enough humor to be funny, but still allowed for a romantic moment to blossom in Las Vegas. Finally, I love how Ms. Ashley finds a way to create interest into a cause such as Autism. I found learning all about Bray and Lily’s children, and their extraordinary romance made me a believer in first love. The ending was over-the-top sweet and romantic as the two are given a spotlight dance at Rhys and Allison’s wedding. There are some minor editing issues that I’ve never seen in a Katie Ashley book before – but not enough to overshadow this sweet, romantic, dialogue-driven love story for Brayden and Lily. The best news yet – Eli of Jacob’s Ladder (Abby’s brother) will be featured in the The Jacob Ladder series due out in 2015. Which means … the boys of Runaway Train haven’t left the building!

tied by emma chaseReview by Lizzie M.



There is nothing better than story told completely from Drew Evans point of view. Tied, the final installment in the Tangled series by Emma Chase is nothing short of brilliant. She is a comedic genius, and I will forever love Drew Evans.

Here’s what I loved. First, we’ve seen all sides of Drew now. He is without a doubt the greatest male character ever created in a romance novel, and we commend Ms. Chase for allowing Drew to exit with a BANG. In the first three installments we were exposed to the arrogant, humorous, lovesick, heartbreaking, ballbusting, malicious, tender, sweet, naughty, and sexy man who ruled both his boardroom and bedroom with ease. However, in this final sweet read we are treated to yet another layer of Drew Evans that has fully cemented him into the hearts of all. The scenes written for Drew and his son are beyond sweet and incredibly tender. Every single line shared between father and son had me laughing aloud while tears streamed down my cheeks. Second, Drew and Katie’s pre-wedding weekend adventure to Las Vegas belongs on the big screen. Can you say better than THE HANGOVER?! Every interaction is told with so much detail, I felt like I visited Vegas myself experiencing every action right alongside these two dreamy characters. Drew’s interaction with Kate’s ex is charming, but it is the sweet conversation between brother and sister that stole my heart. This is seamless writing at its best. I typically love dialogue driven stories, but the inner dialogue of this character is so bold it’s believable. Drew’s thoughts are so honest, it’s impossible to hate him. Drew’s love for Kate is so touching, and the connection between them so strong, it’s impossible do to anything but root for their success. Nothing else measures up to the delicious tales of Drew Evans and Kate Brooks. Finally, I have to say it – I LOVE THE COVER. Drew’s eye’s say it all. He doesn’t need the camera – he just needs Kate. This story is nothing more than a beautiful gift TIED together by a great big barrel of laughs! Thank you, Emma Chase – for giving the reading world a treasure named Drew.