Kay's Review
Book Reviews, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2020

Review – When You Come Back To Me by Emma Scott

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When You Come Back To Me; Lost Boys #2 
(A standalone within a series)

by: Emma Scott

Review Rating:

Review/Synopsis:

Review:

This is a visceral book of emotions. Emma Scott poured fire into my chest and made it burn both bright and dark for these beautiful men.

I don’t ever recall reading a more broken character than Holden Parish. For a man so young he’s already suffered a lifetime of pain, anguish, and abuse just to name a few. He is wise beyond his years and not just because of his high IQ. No, much of his intellect comes from the hard shell he’s had to erect around his heart just to survive the cruel world he was born into. I suppose some would call it street smarts, but he was born in a world far from the streets, as he comes from extreme wealth, his one flaw…he likes boys…and for that his parents set out to correct his behavior, but instead they destroyed his light. From the moment he returns from Alaska, Holden lives a selfish life, hoping it becomes a short one, that is until he meets River.

River Whitmore has everything a senior quarterback could want, except a healthy family and college dreams of his own. His mother is dying and he doesn’t really desire to pursue college football, those are his father’s dreams. However, River has placed his desires, his dreams in a box, high on a shelf where he doesn’t think about them because everyone else is a priority. River has a dream of running his father’s car shop, having a family, living a simple life, but considering he’s never dated, his father dreams of him playing in the NFL and his mother is a few months from dying, his life isn’t his own that’s why River never pulls out those boxes in his head, what’s the point. River is completely selfless, that is until he meets Holden and his life begins to change.

It’s amazing how easy words hurt. What you are told, the emotional damage and lasting damage it can do. Once you believe words about yourself, they go bone deep and your self worth relies on those truths.

Holden comes to Santa Cruz broken. He’s at a point where he should have the tools to be able to help himself, but his truth is based on years of abuse, so any chance of helping himself can only go so far, even with River’s loving guidance. Oh….River is so patient with Holden’s self destructive behaviour, but River is patient with everyone in his life, anyway…Holden truly doesn’t believe there is anything to fix. The conversion therapy, that his parents sent him to, did work in a sick twisted way, just not in the way they were hoping. Holden covers up all of his pain with snark, sass, and lots of alcohol (which is highly endearing and also heartbreaking), but he’s so broken that I sobbed for him to find his worth. At the end of the day everyone has worth and he felt so worthless.

River on the other hand is delusioned with keeping everything in tidy boxes. He is so fixated on helping everyone around him that he never stops to fix himself. He most likely would have gone his entire life alone – an unsolved math problem – until Holden walked into his life, or more like stormed into his life. He never knew what he was missing until it was in front of his face, but Holden gave River fire and passion and once he experience it he was reluctant to let it go, even with Holden’s baggage. Holden’s needy soul craves River’s warmth and affection. And given that River is a natural provider they were a perfect match. Yes, he has his family to thank for all of River’s confidence and you will love them all, but like his name…River is steady and ever flowing.

While this would be categorized under a coming of age story, this is so much more than that. These boys, or men, are beyond years in experience with what is happening in their lives. This story revolves around addiction, abuse, grief, hardships that many people don’t have to experience until much later in life or ever. Yes, this is more than just a romance, it will touch your soul.

Synopsis:

At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

Holden Parish survived his parents’ horrific attempts to make him “the perfect son.” After a year’s stint in a Swiss sanitarium to recover, he has vowed to never let anything–or anyone–trap him again. Brilliant but broken, he seeks refuge behind alcohol, meaningless sex, and uses his wicked sense of humor to keep people away. He only has to ride out one year in the coastal town of Santa Cruz with his aunt and uncle before he inherits his billions and can make his escape. Disappear.

Falling in love is not in the plans.

River Whitmore. Star quarterback of the Central High football team, Prom King, Mr. Popular, ladies’ man. He leads the perfect life…except it’s all a lie. His father has River’s future in the NFL all planned out, while River’s dream is to run the family business in the town that he loves. But his mother’s illness is tearing the family apart and River is becoming the glue that holds them together. How can he break his father’s heart when it’s already shattering?

River’s carefully-crafted façade explodes when he meets Holden Parish. A guy who dresses in coats and scarves year-round, drinks expensive vodka, and spends his free time breaking into houses for the fun of it. They’re complete opposites. River seeks a quiet life, away from the spotlight. Holden would rather have dental surgery than settle down.

Holden’s demons and River’s responsibilities threaten to keep them apart, while their undeniable attraction crashes them together again and again, growing into something deep and real no matter how they resist.

Until one terrible night changes everything.

#MMromance Please note, this book contains spoilers for The Girl in the Love Song

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Kay's Review
Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2020

Review – Crowne Rules by CD Reiss

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Crowne Rules 
(A standalone)

by: CD Reiss

Review Rating:

Review/Synopsis:

Review:

Holy smokin hotness!! Crowne Rules will push your limits, but if you like a man who pushes your limits than Dante Crowne is definitely the man for you.

While Mandy deals the fallout of her recent relationship, her best friend. Logan Crowne, offers up a quiet escape in Cambria. What Logan doesn’t know is that his brother is headed to the same location to deal with his own demons. While neither one really wants the other to be there, they are both too proud and stubborn to leave. A battle of wills bring about change that neither saw coming.

As the story weaves in and out you find that both Mandy and Dante have a tangled past that began when they were just teenagers. Spending seven minutes in a closet together might have meant more than either one ever realized.

All of the Crowne brothers are highly dominate, but I give high props to Dante for being the king of that title. He learned at an early age what his desires meant and he’s spent years honing those skills.

While Crowne Rules is one of the more sensual books, I would say it is also very symbolic. Much like the relationship between Mandy and Dante, the house is fundamental to how their relationship changes. It is in need of repair and tender loving care. While they fight and argue, the house breaks apart. I love the physical representation of how they are feeling; how their emotional walls are physically crumbling while the house is literally doing so around them.

There will be times that Dante will push your limits. He did mine and honestly my limits are pretty high, but once you learn where Dante is coming from and you can see him through Mandy’s eyes his whole demeanor and presence makes sense and those limits melt away.

Synopsis:

There’s a house in Cambria with no phone, no internet, no connection to the outside world.
Dante and Mandy are stuck there together.
He needs a live-in assistant.
She needs a place to hide.
If she gives him total obedience, he’ll do everything in his power to clean up the mess she made back home. Anything less than unquestioning compliance, and she goes back to LA humiliated.
Those are the rules.
Take them or leave them.
Mandy figures she can do Dante’s menial tasks for awhile. Do what he says until the heat dies down.
She has no idea how hot it’s going to get until he tells her she has to do them on her knees.
—-
This is a STANDALONE.

Releasing September 29th!! Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gpQTVf
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/CrowneRules

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Kay's Review
Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2020

Review – Love At First Light by Jennifer Bernard

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Love At First Light; Lost Harbor #6 
(A standalone within a series)

by: Jennifer Bernard

Review Rating:

Review/Synopsis:

Review:

Love At First Light has everything that makes the Lost Harbor series so magical and fun to return to over and over again.

While trying to track down clues to the unsolved mystery of S.G.’s parents (a local teen who escaped living in the woods from a hunter), Ethan and Jessica dive into a fifteen year old cold case that leads them into the mystical woods where strange things tend to happen.

Ethan James is hired to help solve S.G.’s cold case. It’s not Ethan’s first time in Lost Harbor, but he’s not a local like Jessica Dixon either. When Maya Badger, the local police chief, hires Ethan to help dig up clues, since he his a trained private investigator, Maya was expecting to help him out, but she is unfortunately called away. In Ethan’s line of work, he’s used to working alone, so having Maya leave isn’t exactly a hardship, but when the quirky baker, who always smells like sugar and sunshine, shows up and offers to help he doesn’t know what skills Jessica can provide in an investigation except warm cookies.

Ethan is cynical, jaded, and a little grouchy, but he’s also the perfect grounded man for Jessica’s dreaming personality.

Jessica runs Sweet Harbor Bakery and Bed and Breakfast. Her life is fairly routine and just recently she’s been told she lives her life in a bubble. When her best friend Maya has an emergency and has to leave town Jessica sees this as an opportunity to jump in and help out. Pop the bubble and carefully crafted life she lives in to help not only her friend, but help Ethan solve the case he was hired for.

As the two of them head out to find clues, danger closes in and while Ethan is used to the Grim Reaper looking over his shoulder, he doesn’t like it looking over Jessica’s. The intense connection builds pretty rapidly between them while they both experience an adventure of a lifetime, but can it last if they make it back to civilization?

Synopsis:

One week can change everything…

Private investigator Ethan James has had one too many brushes with death. But his newest case should be simple—it’s just a birth-parents search in stunning Lost Harbor, Alaska, helping out the local police chief. But as everyone knows, strange things happen in the tiny remote town. From day one, everything seems to go wrong. The last straw? He suddenly has a sidekick he never expected—the super sexy, endlessly quirky local baker.

Nothing is more important to Sweet Harbor Bakery owner Jessica Dixon than her friends—especially her BFF, Police Chief Maya Badger. When Maya has to drop a side investigation close to her heart, Jessica is determined to prove she has her back. Of course, she knows nothing about investigating. But she has her knowledge of the area, her uncanny intuition, and of course, her trusty crystal. Oh, and the help of the ridiculously gorgeous but entirely too cynical Ethan James. What could go wrong?

When these opposites attract, Jessica may come down to Earth long enough to find love, while Ethan might learn to trust his heart instead of his head…if they make it out of the wilderness alive.

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Kay's Review
Book Reviews, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2020

Review – The End Game Is You by LA Cotton

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The End Game; Rixon Riders #4 
(#4 within a series)

by: LA Cotton

Review Rating:

Review/Synopsis:

Review:

The Raiders are off to college and they have survived numerous obstacles and tribulations to get to this point. The angst, oh the angst!! 

Now all three couples are attending different colleges and trying to stay connected while attending classes, keeping their football careers going, and their new relationships alive. Each couple faces new challenges, but luckily they have each other to fall back on for support and even though they may not all be together, they will forever be a Rixon Raider.

This book interconnects all three couples into one book, but it does break them down into their own individual unique stories over three parts. We know these three couples are interconnected from the original books. Their bond through their tribulations made them almost infallible, but like any couple there will be ups and downs. I love that these stories show those moments and how each couple deals with them in their own unique way.

The book weaves us in and out of their college years and looks at each couple throughout those years. This time we don’t have the dark undertones, as each couple has already won their significant other, but they now have different hardships to face.

Jason is looking at a grueling football schedule, with the possibility of the NFL in his future. While both he and Felicity have always known this, it’s a different reality in the face of college life on a new relationship.

While Asher still wears his emotions on his sleeve and he would ask Mya to marry him tomorrow if he didn’t know his girlfriend like he did. Mya is still working on how to take her big, cuddly, teddy bear of a boyfriend at times, but these two made me want to cry over their emotional story.

Cameron is struggling attending school so far away from home. He loves living with Hailee and playing football, but he hates living so far from his family. Torn in two he’s an emotional wreck and it may cost him everything he’s worked so hard for.

All three men and all three stories live up to the motto, play hard…fight hard…love hard.

Synopsis:

Play hard … Fight hard … Love hard.

The time has come for Cameron, Jason, and Asher to hang up their Rixon Raider jerseys and head off to college with the girls they love.

But will their relationships stand the test of college life, new friendships, and most of all, football?

*The Endgame Is You is a Rixon Raiders Epilogue. It must be read after the other books in the series. Book cover for Rixon Raiders (The Collection) by L. A. Cotton

Review Rixon Raiders (The Collection)

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Blog Tour - 2020, New Releases, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2020

Blog Tour – Shot in the Dark by Marie James

🔥🔥 𝐇𝐎𝐓 𝐍𝐄𝐖 𝐑𝐄𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐄 🔥🔥

𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐛𝐲 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐞 𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐄 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐊𝐔!

As an IT expert and hacker extraordinaire, Wren Nelson is no stranger to discovering all sorts of secrets online.

He’s a warrior…when he’s behind his computer, that is.

And awkward at best in social situations.

His long hours with Blackbridge Security don’t really provide many opportunities to go out and meet people.

So what is he supposed to do when a wrong delivery—a questionably large box of bedroom toys—ends up in his hands instead of its intended target?

Online stalking has always been his go-to to accumulate information on people, but only seeing Whitney through digital displays isn’t enough. Approaching her doesn’t seem like the best plan either.

What he doesn’t know is that this woman is possibly the only one in existence able to give him a run for his money.

 

#𝟭𝗖𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗧𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆:

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ReviewRead Kay’s Review: Shot in the Dark

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Marie James is a USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary romance. She’s book boyfriend crazy, the mother of two rowdy boys, and a wife of 15+ years. She’s obsessed with tacos, otters, and FunCo Pops figures. Born, raised, and still living in central Texas, Marie spends most of her time locked away writing and reading.

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