Caveman – Jo Raven

35230789Matthew Hansen is the kind of handsome that has grown women whispering behind their hands and giggling like schoolgirls.
Dark, tall and mysterious, he’s a newcomer to our little town. He’s a gritty, grease-covered mechanic, and a single daddy.
Sweet, right?
Plus he’s looking for a nanny – and I am desperately looking for a job.
Sounds like the perfect deal.
Only he’s a jerk. An uncivilized, hulking brute. Zero manners. Zero interest in making me feel welcome in his home. Downright rude.
But oh so sexy.
And I need the job. I can do this.
One thing is for sure: I can’t fall for the Caveman. No matter how sexy he is. How mysterious. How tortured.
That’s the only rule – and one I’m about to break.

Jo Raven is one of my all-time favorite authors. I’ve greatly enjoyed almost all of her books, and this one was no exception. Somewhat typical of her books, it was major on the angsty radar with a heaping dose of feels. After losing his wife, Matt kind of goes a little insane and withdraws completely from everyone and everything, including his two young children. When Octavia enters the picture looking for a job as his kids’ nanny, he immediately slams the door in her face. So begins a tumultuous, strange relationship between the two. It also doesn’t help that there is a little over ten years age difference between the two, which Matt balks at all throughout the novel.

There is more of a sinister aspect to this book than has been touched upon too heavily in her previous novels that was extremely intriguing and thrilling. It was also interesting to see the hero struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, which is something you normally ever read the heroine ever experiencing. I liked that there was kind of a quiet vulnerability to Matt that he hid underneath a hard and angry exterior.

Okay, so let me explain a couple things about this book: I’m rating it based on how I enjoyed the story and nothing else. It isn’t my favorite of hers, but it also isn’t my least favorite. The next thing I noticed is that it does need a little extra editing and proofing, which tends to be a common occurrence in her novels. Now, for me, this doesn’t really detract from the story itself, but it can definitely be a little distracting and if you’re someone who tends to struggle with reading novels with some editing issues, be aware of this. I would encourage you to read the story for yourself, but I do think this is an important component to touch upon.

I’m of the opinion that I will pretty much one-click whatever Jo writes, as I have loved her books so much over the past couple years. All in all, this was a good read and I finished it fairly quickly.

(Original Review)

Amazon US: https://goo.gl/jCycf3
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/fzVuvk
Amazon CA: https://goo.gl/6HZ7yD
Amazon AU: https://goo.gl/tJepy9

Advertisements

InstaNatural Retinol Moisturizer FTW


For the last few months, I’ve been looking for a good moisturizer that will do the job without clogging my pores or feeling like it’s “weighing down” my skin. I was able to receive a complimentary bottle of InstaNatural’s Retinol Moisturizer in exchange for my review, and I was excited to try it out.

On first inspection, the design is very clean and modern, and it gives me a sense of a company who takes pride in their organic products. This is a biggie for me because I have very sensitive skin that doesn’t like the extra fragrances and “fake” things in a lot of moisturizers you’ll buy over the counter.

Next thing I notice is when you pump the product in your hand to use, you probably don’t need a full pump. The first time using it, I used a full pump and it was just a bit too much for me and left my face slightly greasy. The next time I used it I only used half of a pump and it was perfect. It gave my face moisture without the grease.

The specific instructions tell you to use it at night before bed, and I have noticed that my skin feels softer and more supple the next day, which is huge for me. I have fairly oily skin, but after I cleanse, it gets quite tight and dry, so sometimes I use a small amount on my freshly cleansed skin and it helps get rid of that “it’s just the botox” feeling.

All in all, I’m very happy with this product and I will be continuing to use it. I look forward to trying their other skincare products, as well!

 

The Slave Planet – Seven Steps

29863727BLURB

Love is the ultimate crime.

On a planet where women are born to rule, Empress Nadira’s secret affair with her slave threatens to rip her family apart. When she joins the highest council in the land, her secret is revealed. Will Nadira go against everything she believes in to protect her family, or will she choose her heart and doom everyone she loves to death?

Empress Eva thinks she has it all: wealth, power and a mother who adores her. That is, until she meets Lex, a handsome alien imprisoned in a slave market. His red hair and crimson eyes intrigue her. His touch sets her on fire. When the beautiful alien captures her heart, Eva is forced to make a life changing [sic] decision: pursue the career of her dreams, or give it all up for the love of a slave?

The Slave Planet is a clean, science fiction, interracial romance. It is a thrilling journey into an alternate future where women rule the world.

This is the first book in THE SLAVE PLANET trilogy.

(Cover photo and blurb taken from the GoodReads page)

Let me be honest with you: I am not a big sci-fi fan. When this book was given to me to review, I had major doubts. As a rule, I tend to stay away from sci-fi. There’s no real explanation for why I dislike the genre, I just typically don’t care for it for whatever reason.

And then there’s this book. THIS. BOOK. It truly shocked me. Once I started reading, I found that I couldn’t stop. The story was incredibly unique and fascinating, and in my mind, I could see the world this author had so eloquently described.

There were some grammatical and slight editing errors that were a bit distracting, but not bad enough to keep me from reading. Altogether, I enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading the second installment!

Get your copy here!

Waiting on Faith – Nicole Richard

29233215BLURB

She’s a woman running from her past.

He’s a man with a fractured heart.

Natalie Brentwood is determined to
escape a life of betrayal and abuse. She vows to live
the life she knows she deserves, despite the one
she’s endured.

Cy Davis is no stranger to lies and deceit.
He’s harbored a ten-year grudge that could quite
possibly ruin his chances with a woman who blindly
captured his heart.

But when two people are brought together by fate,
can they be the light that the other needs? Or will a secret
and past insecurity be a test of their love and faith.

A story of love and hate and the depths one will go to bury
heartbreak that runs deep.

(Picture and blurb taken from GoodReads)

Wow.

To say this book gutted me could be quite an understatement. Nicole is a new author to me, but after reading Waiting on Faith, she has become a new favorite.

This book is angsty, heart wrenching, and full of truth and honesty. One of my favorite things about this book was how it showed the hero’s insecurities. Usually the books only delve into the heroine’s insecurities while the hero is nothing but strong and masculine, but this book shows the hero’s problems with insecurities and how he battles them every day of his life while still being the macho man. I’m not sure how she did it, but Nicole managed to give him a layer of insecurity without making him appear weak, which can be quite the feat. Cy didn’t come across as whiny or trying to overcompensate, he just is what he is. He’s battling his demons while still managing to be the man that Natalie needs. Sure, they go through their rough patches, but I think those rough patches were necessary for their relationship.

Okay, I’m going to stop before I give too much away 🙂 Please, just trust me when I say this book is fantastic. If you’re looking for a romance with a slightly different hero/heroine relationship than what you will normally find, then look no further! And make sure you come back and let me know what you think 😉

Original review here.

Buy the book here!

Soulless Nights – Virginia Johnson

28943216**Trigger warning: themes of sexual abuse, sex trafficking and homelessness**

BLURB

Deep in the city, where we’ve been taught to avoid the dark corners and alleys, monsters lurk within the fragile cracks of our human emotions, waiting for the chance to break in.
With the loss of his grandfather, William runs to the streets without family or the knowledge of wealth he’s left behind. Spending years begging for food and money, William has learned the secrets that the city keeps hidden, making him one of the most versatile detectives the department has ever seen.
Losing the love of his life, with nothing more than a letter saying she’s sorry and spending five years tracking her, William has learned that she has entered the world where sex and money can make you very successful or may very well kill you in the process.

Kathryn has spent seven years on the streets, leaving behind her addicted, abusive mother and her sexual predator boyfriends. William proves to be the light she’s been longing for but when darkness shadows the truth she’s left to return to the streets in hiding with fear of the lies she’s faced with.
Kathryn must decide, work for Xander and sell her soul for sex, or face the demons of her past and hope William understands she has never forgotten him.

(Blurb and photo taken from the Soulless Nights GoodReads page)

This book made me sick. And before you take that to mean that it wasn’t a good read, let me assure you: it was. The story was incredibly compelling and sucked me in immediately, but the subject matter had me so angry and feeling so heartbroken for these women in the sex trafficking that it was difficult for me to get through. There were certain parts of this book I really had to muddle through because there are a few explicit and abusive sex scenes that made the reading process almost too much to bare. I love the heroism in this novel and the way these two characters reunite, but the getting to that point was gruesome, heart wrenching, and extremely difficult to “witness.”

Virginia Johnson most definitely is a good storyteller. She has a good story in her mind and she recites what is inside her head quite well. The delivery of the story could use a little work, but I’m not complaining. There are a few editing mistakes that made the story a little distracting, though not enough to keep me from reading. I found it difficult to make it through at times; certain parts seemed to drag and give a bit too much information, while others almost skimmed past what seemed to be important parts of the storyline and I felt like I was missing something (though that could be due to the fact that I do most of my reading at night while rather tired).

All in all, I wouldn’t say I necessarily enjoyed the read, as that seems too nice of a word for a subject so harsh–but it was a good story. The ending is left wide open for a sequel, which I will probably be reading to get the rest of these characters’ stories, but I do think there is potential for a good story worth telling here.

If you can get through the abusive nature of sex trafficking, then I suggest you decide for yourself whether you think the story is worth reading or not 🙂

You can get your copy of Soulless Nights here!

I was provided a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Royal Prick – J. L. Beck

29889366BLURB

Royal is a prick. 

A sexy as hell prick. 

The I need and want to screw you right now kind of prick.

The arrogant, I can do and f*ck whoever I want to type.

He’s so self-entitled that I want to punch him in the face, yet kiss him at the same time. 
I hate him but at the same time, still want him.

A darkness surrounds him. He has secerts [sic].

For instance where he sneaks off to almost every night.

He’ll break my heart and my headboard if let him.

I wanted Royal, but could I handle his darkness?


Royal Prick had a good premise. I tend to be a sucker for bad-boy-turns-better-for-the-girl-he-loves kind of stories, so I was really intrigued by Royal and Noelle’s relationship.

There were aspects of the book that I enjoyed, and there were some things I didn’t care for. The premise of the seemingly perfect little rich girl getting together with the damaged, rough and mean poor boy is a bit overdone, but I still like these kinds of stories, so I’ll keep reading them. Once Royal and Noelle finally figure out what they want their relationship to be, it’s pretty awesome to see how in love he is with her and the lengths he’ll go to protect her.

Now…while I mostly enjoyed this story, I did find myself feeling like I had to keep pushing through by the time I reached the halfway point. I’m not sure what the status of editing was when this book was published, but it needs either a proper edit, or a re-edit. I can usually look over most typos, but there were so many mistakes in this story that I found it to be distracting. There was also a bit of over explanation in some places where the amount of “wordiness” didn’t seem necessary to me.

All in all, the storyline is good and the book has some real potential, but I didn’t feel like I could fully enjoy it because of these mistakes. I could just be a little too picky and I would encourage you to decide for yourself if you are interested in reading it.

To purchase, click here.

Intended for readers 18+.

Ocean by Jo Raven

oceanBLURB

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!

Stuck-Up Suit – Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

stuck-up suit

BLURB

It started out like any other morning on the train.
Until I became mesmerized by the guy sitting across the aisle.
He was barking at someone on his phone like he ruled the world.
Who did the stuck-up suit think he was…God?
Actually, he looked like a God. That was about it.
When his stop came, he got up suddenly and left. So suddenly, he dropped his phone on the way out.
I might have picked it up.
I might have gone through all of his photos and called some of the numbers.
I might have held onto the mystery man’s phone for days―until I finally conjured up the courage to return it.
When I traipsed my ass across town to his fancy company, he refused to see me.
So, I left the phone on the empty desk outside the arrogant jerk’s office.
I might have also left behind a dirty picture on it first though.
I didn’t expect him to text back.
I didn’t expect our exchanges to be hot as hell.
I didn’t expect to fall for him―all before we even met.
The two of us couldn’t have been any more different.
Yet, you know what they say about opposites.
When we finally came face to face, we found out opposites sometimes do more than attract―we consumed each other.
Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for where I’d wind up when the ride was over.
All good things must come to an end, right?
Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

After reading RoomHate by Penelope Ward (see my review here!), I became a quick fan, so I pretty much knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had to read this book. I wasn’t disappointed in the least. I have yet to read one of Vi Keeland’s novels, but the two authors accomplished writing together with ease. The story flows evenly and it immediately drew me in; the switch off was performed so flawlessly, you can’t even tell it’s written by two different authors.

The story itself is pretty much every romance fan’s dream: rich man falls in love with a normal, slightly quirky woman who keeps him honest and constantly on his toes. Graham goes from being a complete a**hole to a lovable, actually sweet individual who is completely head over heels for Soraya. I didn’t care for Graham much at all when he is first introduced in the story (somewhat resembles Christian Grey), but you cannot help but fall in love with him as their story continues and his true character is revealed.

After some phone tag, their first in person meeting is an explosion of sensuality and passion. Their whirlwind romance continues to ignite and the way they handle each other is beautifully written. There is a huge plot twist I didn’t see coming, which was a great addition to an already fantastic book, and it’s interesting to see how Graham and Soraya handle this new development.

If you’re a fan of romance, stuck-up rich alpha men, and women who follow the beat of a different drummer, then you should definitely check this book out! 🙂

Get your copy here!

Monte – Kyle Perkins and Lila Vale

monte

BLURB

Trigger Warning: this is a dark erotic novella that contains scenes of a graphic nature that may be offensive to some readers. Please be aware of this and continue at your own risk.

A realist through-and-through, Victoria Wyric lives a practical life; she has no patience for the whimsical. Her friends are believers, however, and they plan a night of clumsy attempts to summon the supernatural in order to prove the naysayer wrong. She begrudgingly attends, if only to laugh at their foolishness.
That night, a mysterious, silver-tongued stranger shows up out of nowhere. An apex predator, he is as captivating as he is dangerous, and his sights are set on Victoria. In the course of an evening, everything she thinks she knows is thrown out the window.
Lured into the game of an unforgiving master, she quickly learns there is no such thing as harmless fun when it comes to the otherworldly.

Let me just begin my review by saying this: I’m not a fan of erotica. I LOVE romance, but if the book is nothing but sex–especially hardcore kink–then I tend to avoid it like the plague. However, this book surprised me. With that being said, did I skip over most of the sex scenes? Not going to lie, I did, simply because it’s not for me. But the bottom story line was intriguing enough to keep me going, and I have to admit that I don’t regret reading it. I tend to be drawn in by the paranormal genre, so I was immediately fascinated by the story line, and it was so different from other things I’ve read that I didn’t feel like I was just recycling one book for another. When I first began reading this novella, I was very put off by the initial sex scene. Like I said previously, I don’t really like erotica, and it was just too much for me. But the heroine of this novella, Victoria, has such a hysterical sense of humor and the story was so unlike anything else I’ve read that I couldn’t put it down until I finished. The last scene of the two of them together was too much for me as someone who doesn’t generally enjoy erotica, but the writing was good and with it being two different writers, it was impressive to see that the story line didn’t seem stilted and flowed just as easily as it would with one author. Kudos for that, for sure.

Also, holy cliffhanger! I am looking forward to finishing Monte and Victoria’s story, and I’m definitely curious how it’s going to continue, though I’m sure I’ll have to put my blinders on for some of it 😛

If you’re a fan of erotic fiction (especially paranormal), I would be willing to bet you would love this novella.

I received a copy of this novel from the author for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are mine.

4/5 stars

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.