Ocean by Jo Raven

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I thought I was a normal kid once. Do normal kids have to beg from door to door for food? Not sure. It wasn’t always that bad, I guess – and then it was. Really f***ing bad.
I tried to protect my younger brother from the fallout. Lied to him about how bad things were.
But it wasn’t enough. And when the accident happened, he blamed me, like everyone else.
I’m guilty of many things. He’s right about that, at least. So d**n guilty I’m sure everyone knows and will call me out on it.
Except they don’t. Nobody does, except my brother.
Not even Kayla, sexy and sweet and coolest girl ever, who keeps buying me coffee and trying to read my future. But my future isn’t in the g*****n cards, or even in my hands. I don’t see a future. I deny fate, but fate has me pinned like a moth and won’t let me walk away.
Won’t let me escape.
And yeah… you know you’re losing grip when the girl you want reads your palm and you’re scared to hell of what she’ll see and of the pain you can tell is coming.
**WARNING** This book is NOT for the faint of heart. If you have issues reading about abuse (physical or mental), then please DO NOT read this book. 18+ for sexual content, language and violence.

(Photo and description from the GoodReads page)
I’m a huge fan of Jo Raven’s. She is one of those authors I one-click immediately, even before reading the premise of the book, just because I can almost guarantee I’ll like it since she’s the one who wrote it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in this book. I’ve been following the lives of the Inked Brotherhood and Damage Boyz for quite some time now and feel pretty invested in these characters, and Ocean has always been a mystery. There was always something beneath the surface that had me scratching my head in wonderment. Thankfully, we get some answers in Ocean that explain more than I expected.
Per the very apt title of Damage Boyz, Ocean is very notably damaged like the rest of his “brothers” in his workplace. Thinking he is someone unworthy of love, Ocean spends his time wallowing in guilt and self-hatred. He works hard to help his undeserving mother get through her sickness, and he is desperately trying to piece his relationship with his brother, Raine, back together.
Kayla is a unique soul following the sound of a drum only she can hear. She loves fashion and colors, and is very into tarot cards and the answers she hopes to find in them. Kayla doesn’t believe love exists. She’s spent all her life watching her parents go through a loveless marriage and she doesn’t want to end up like them, so rather than take a chance and try, she has stayed away from relationships altogether. That is, until she meets Ocean. There’s just something about him that makes her want to delve beneath the surface and get to know who he is underneath his fun-loving and tattooed exterior.
The two watch each other from afar for some time before one night when Ocean takes Kayla home after having too much to drink and sparks start to fly. Next comes a tumultuous relationship with more ups and downs than a roller coaster. When they realize they’re falling in love with each other, they have a choice to make: stay where it’s safe, but live a sad and lonely life, or risk having their hearts broken, but possibly have the love they’ve always desired.
Ocean is a beautifully flawed love story that will tear at your heart and leave you breathless and rooting for these two people who you can’t help but love. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the romance/new adult genre with a bit of edge. And if you do read it, be sure to tell me what you think 🙂
Get your copy here!

RoomHate by Penelope Ward


Wow. Where to even begin with this book? First off, this was my first Penelope Ward read…but I can guarantee it will not be my last.
RoomHate is the tale of Justin and Amelia, who were the very best of friends throughout childhood, but grew far apart after a misunderstanding coupled with teenage stubbornness. After fifteen years of not speaking, they are forced to live together due to unforeseen circumstances. There is plenty of animosity between the two–particularly from Justin toward Amelia–and the whole scenario seems doomed from the start.
While living together, old feelings start to resurface and confusion arises. Not only has it been years, but Justin has a girlfriend-and she’s living with them, too! To add insult to injury, Amelia has a surprising hurdle to get through, and it’s both encouraging and heart-wrenching to embark on this journey with her as she navigates new territory, with and without Justin. How will the two cope with their overwhelming feelings, and will they get a second chance? Well…you’ll just have to read it to find out 😉
For readers 18+.
5/5 stars.
Get your copy here!
GoodReads review here.

Forgetting August – J. L. Berg


Oh. My.
Freaking.
Word.
This was a book unlike any other I have ever read before. To be honest, my brain is absolutely reeling after finishing it—I can barely think apart from the story playing out in my head. The author is a genius for coming up with this storyline, and while there are a few general grammatical and spelling errors throughout the book that I noticed, I honestly could not care less and they didn’t distract enough from the story for me to really be bothered by them. So please take this from someone who is a huge perfectionist when she reads books: DO NOT let slight grammar errors keep you from experiencing this incredibly moving story. Trust me—you won’t regret giving it a chance.
Also, be prepared for the mother of all cliffhangers, because let me just tell you—holy shocking I-did-not-see-that-coming twist at the end. Let me just tell you: April cannot come soon enough for me to continue reading August and Everly’s story! I’m crossing my fingers for a happy ending, but let’s face it; I’m going to read the book no matter what because now I’m invested. 😉 18+
HIGHLY recommend.
Buy the book here!

S.O.B.

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I’ll be honest with you: the idea of a stepbrother romance really wigged me out. I love J. C. Valentine’s books, though, so I decided to give it a chance. I’m really glad I did. This book is nothing like how I initially perceived it; the main characters never grew up together, they had a very strong connection when they met as older teenagers (both were legal adults), and then their parents got married. There were several years between the day their parents got married and when they met up again when Vista–a physical therapist–comes to help Levi out, who had been injured in a soccer game. And when she gets there, the spark was most DEFINITELY still apparent.
SOB Teaser 2Levi Black is–in my opinion–all things drool-worthy: tall, dark hair, bearded, tattooed…oh, yeah! His cockiness is a bit off-putting at first, but once you peel back a bit of those layers, you see an incredible man with a beautiful heart. If that doesn’t get you a little weak in the knees, then maybe you need to check your pulse! I mean, really. The model guy over to your left here? Look at that beard. Mmm, mmm. 😉
SOB4This really was a very lovely story. I didn’t expect to love this novel as much as I did, and I can guarantee you wholeheartedly that I will be rereading it several times until I am satisfied. There were a few moments I didn’t see coming, and there were scenarios that had me in tears. You will laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll cry, and you’ll be thoroughly entertained all throughout reading. I really cannot say how much I enjoyed reading this story, and for that I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂 I highly recommend this novel for romance lovers everywhere!
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Get your copy today!

Amazon Paperback: http://goo.gl/kXFm8B
I received an advanced copy from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.