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Castle Hill: A Joss & Braden Novella (On Dublin Street #2.5), by Samantha Young

Castle Hill___________________________________________

Braden Carmichael never imagined he’d fall as hard and as fast as he did for Jocelyn Butler. He also could not have anticipated how difficult it would be to convince her to give in to love. But now that he has her, he’s never letting go. He’s got it all planned – the passionate proposal, the dream wedding, the sexy Hawaiian honeymoon – even the perfect family they’ll start.

After trying to flee from her painful past, Joss is finally allowing herself to embrace the future. But when things start moving faster than she anticipated, she finds herself panicking over something Braden can’t understand. After everything they’ve been through, Joss is sure that their love can survive even her worst fears. But, this time, she may push Braden too far – and risk losing everything all over again…

___________________________________________

 At least in this one, it’s not Joss whose solely responsible for screwing things up. I had forgotten how cold Braden could be when he was hurt and scared.

I wasn’t planning on reading Castle Hill. Not because I don’t like Braden and Joss, quite the opposite actually, but because for me, they had had their hardship in their relationship as well as their HEA and I didn’t want anything bad happening to them and their relationship. It’s just not cool.

“Jocelyn,” his voice was rough, like he was struggling to get the words out. “You’re my best friend. My everything. I love you and I want to be with you always. Marry me. I promise to try not to fuck it up if you promise to try not to fuck it up.”

But as usual, S.Young can do wonders and she made Braden and Joss’s novella enjoyable for me. I love seeing Braden and Joss get married. The proposal was just so sweet and romantic I had a sappy grin stuck on my face. I loved the honeymoon and all the dirty stuff they did to each other even on their way to said honeymoon.

“You don’t need to sweet-talk me to get sex, babe.”
My eyes smiled. “Well that kind of knowledge could have saved me months of uncomfortable expressions of love.”

But our dear Samantha also succeeded in making me feel really and frustrated because of what happened next. I got Joss and Braden’s reactions and why it went wrong, but I wanted to scream at Braden for being such an arse! But fear not my dears because this novella gets a HEA too and if you’ve read Before Jamaica Lane and Fall from India Place then you probably know there are good things in store for Joss and Braden, as well as Ellie, Adam, Jo, Cam, Liv and Nate. Not to mention Hannah and Marco. I’m off to read Cole’s story now and I just can’t wait.

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Tangled Extra Scenes (Tangled #1.1), by Emma Chase

Extra Scenes______________________________________________

A few extra scenes of Drew’s and Kate’s life together as a couple.
Taking place after or during ‘Tangled’
______________________________________________

This book was so sweet. If you’ve read and loved Tangled and want a little peek at what Drew and Kate are like some time afterTangled, this is the book for you.

“Why should I have to ask you? You’re a grown man! You should just know!”
And there it is, kiddies. The Famous Female Mind Fuck.
That’s short for: If you can’t read their minds? You’re fucked”

The short stories in this book made me smile and laugh just as much as Tangled #1 did, and I loved seeing how Drew was settling into a relationship with Kate, how they dealt with the first fight about silly things like toilet paper, how she still had to bust his balls once in a while, because let’s face it, Drew being Drew, some screw-ups was bound to happen. I loved hearing Drew’s sarcastic voice and comments and I really enjoyed hearing Kate voice too.

“Whatever. I didn’t throw beer on you just because you forgot to say thank you. I’m not some hysterical nagging psycho-bitch.”
Right. And if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…it’s a horse.”

Tangled is one of those books that left me with a book hangover that prevent me from starting another book right away. So those Extra Scenes from Tangled were exactly what I needed after finishing Tangled.

I really recommend you read those. They were funny, sweet and oh so hot! I’m sure you’ll have as good a time as I had reading them. Drew is as funny as he was in Tangled and he made me laugh my ass off while reading and seeing him deal with the twists and turns a relationship implies was quite funny too. But I won’t say much more about it and I’ll just let you read on.

The Bitch Strikes Back

(told from Kate’s POV)


The Honeymoon’s Over

(Drew and Kate have their first fight)

Click Me

What A Difference a Year Makes

(Drew and Kate celebrate their ‘Fuckiversary’)

Click Me

An Extra Drew Evans POV scene

Click Me

Valentine’s Day

Click Me

Boy Toy Chronicles (Boy Toy Chronicles #1), by Jay McLean

Boy Toy Chronicles______________________________________________

Warning: This book contains mildly inappropriate everything.
*28,500 standalone NOVELLA*

“So…I came up with a plan.

I sat the brothers down and gave them my speech; we’d become male escorts.

The house was split.

The single dudes thought it was great. The guys with the steady girlfriends told the single dudes they were insane.

I promised them all we could make it work without hurting anybody. But we had to be smart about it. We had to keep it off-campus. We had to keep it a secret. And in order to do so, we had to target those who wanted it kept a secret as much as we did.

Our target: Filthy rich, unsatisfied, horny housewives.

Keep it high class, so to speak.

And thus began BTC, or Boy Toy Corporation.

Crazy, right?

Crazy genius.”

-Tyler West.

______________________________________________

This book was seriously awful in my opinion.

Like I said in my comments, I didn’t like Tyler. Toward the end I got used to him but I didn’t connect with him and he annoyed the shit out of me for at least half the book, if not more of it. I really didn’t get the guy and what he did and thought made no sense to me and were sometimes plain trashy. I mean how would you feel if you’re boyfriend said this…

“Babe, last night you had me sucking your toes, licking your asshole, and then you practically begged me to tongue your pussy”

…in front of the brothers of his frat house? Seriously, I love a dirty mouth like the next girl, but come on! At least pick the right place and time to say something dirty to your girl!

Same thing with Allie. I just couldn’t connect to either of them or any of the characters in this book for that matter. And again, Allie and Tyler’s actions made no sense.

Thankfully, this book is short, because as it is, I was this close to DNF it after 20% into the book, so if it was a regular length book I’m pretty sure I would have thrown in the towel and deemed Tyler, Allie, Mrs Fletcher and the other characters not worthy of my time.

The only thing I “enjoyed” was Tyler’s public declaration of love that comes at the 80% mark (I won’t quote you said love declaration because if you do give a chance to this book and end up feeling like I do about it, I don’t want to spoil the one good thing about it in my review). It was sweet and all but when you have to go through almost a whole book with a guy that says things like that

“ignoring the awakening of North-West – that’s my dick’s name. Get it? Because it’s always up?”

or that

“I’ll make love to you. Like you want me to. and I’ll hold you tight, baby, all through the night…”,

one little moment of brilliance couldn’t possibly do much to save this book from a one star rating. And how seriously can you be taken when you quote Boyz II Men lyrics in a conversation.

So yeah, Boy Toy Chronicles: Volume One wasn’t for me and I won’t waste any more time or money on this series.

Anybody But Justin (Chances Are #1), by Shelli Stevens

Anybody But Justin____________________________________________

The line between friends and lovers can get a little blurry…especially when you add tequila.

A Chances Are story.

Gabby is serious about her search for Mr. Right, but no one can say she hasn’t had a good time looking. She enjoys her numerous dates and the sex that comes with them. Until she finds herself falling for the one man she vows to never love. Her best friend and roommate, Justin. A player in every sense of the word–and a reminder of her awful past.

One night, with the help of a bottle of tequila, things get a little too hot for comfort. She moves out, intent on removing him from the line of temptation.

Justin has different plans. The tequila did more than just change how he sees his good friend. It made him realize he doesn’t want to be just friends any more. He’s ready for something more intimate, and he’ll do whatever it takes to find out why she’s running. And convince her to stay. ____________________________________________

Well that was short but promising….until the last page.

It’s probably a known fact by now that I am a sucker for a love story between two friends. So when the bottle of tequila showed up and the lines between friends and lovers started to get blurry, I really started to get excited.

I liked the growing sexual tension between Gabby and Justin and how they finally stumbled into bed. Nothing seemed rushed in this story to me, which is rarely the case when I read short stories.

Although, I think that Gabby’s past could’ve been more mentioned in the story, I really felt the story was well paced and I gradually grew to like the characters.

But what annoyed me was that when you get at the end of the book, nothing is “concluded”. I don’t mean with the main characters but with the other characters. Gabby talks a good deal about her work and co-workers and I was a little bit frustrated at the end because the surrounding stories in this book are not at all mentioned when you get to the end. I really wondered what happened to some of the characters we meet in this book, because once Gabby and Justin have figured out their issues, everything just stops. And I get it, there are other books in the series where the other characters are developed, but it really bothered me that the book ended so abruptly. What happens to Gabby’ mother? Is Phoebe in danger? Of who or what? These questions didn’t get answers.

So if you focus on Gabby and Justin’s story there are no problems. But when it comes to the side story, well there is still work to do.

Yanked (Frenched #1.5), by Melanie Harlow

Yanked_____________________________________________

Mia Devine fell hard for Lucas Fournier after their magical week in Paris. But eight months later, the free-spirited half-French musician still hasn’t made any promises about their future. And as magnifique as long-distance phone sex is, nothing compares to the real thing.

Fed up with stolen weekends and lonely nights, Mia flies to New York armed with a list of reasons why they should take the next step, but an unexpected guest in Lucas’s apartment derails her plans. He’s been keeping secrets–worse, he claims he’s happy with the way things are.

Without the magic of Paris, can their mismatched love survive?_____________________________________________

I was so glad to see this book existed! I loved Frenched to bits but I might have died (alright, maybe not but almost) if there hadn’t been a follow up to Lucas and Mia’s story. I loved howFrenched ended. It was perfect! Romantic and sweet and it really made me curious about what was to come for my dear Lucas and Mia. But, I wouldn’t have been as satisfied with this book as I am if it wasn’t for this novella. Leaving Lucas and Mia’s story “hanging” when it just started would have been cruel. So I was glad to see there was more to come.

But then I made the mistake to read the blurb, and it got me worried. I know I should have had faith in Melanie Harlow, but I wished so bad for Mia and Lucas to have their HEA that I was almost afraid to pick Yanked up when I read this nasty little line:

“…but an unexpected guest in Lucas’s apartment derails her plans…”

I think even the possibility of cheating is what I hate the most in novels, because inevitably, it brings constant distrust in my mind while I read, and I end up fearing the worst. I hate it because it screws with the character’s dynamic and even though I see it coming from a mile away, it always gives me this nasty feeling that really upsets me. Anyway. Thank Gosh the stupid, annoying part was short-lived in this book, otherwise, I wouldn’t have liked it much.

So, you guessed it, Mia comes face to face with Jessica the Ex when she opens the door to Lucas’s apartment. Yeah, that bothered me a little too.
And it’s not so much that Jessica was there that bothered me (though it was a big part of it) but it was Lucas’ reaction to the situation, the fact that he kept a whole lot of things from Mia (but for the sake of keeping this review spoiler free, I’ll leave you the honors to find out just how much he kept from her) and his shittier than shitty excuse for it:

“I just didn’t see the point in telling you something that would cause you anguish. Something that you couldn’t do anything about.”
“So you’d have let her stay here even if I’d said I wasn’t comfortable with it?” I challenged.
“It is my apartment.” A note of defensiveness edged his words. A slight emphasis on my.
“She’s my friend. I didn’t think we had rules for each other that way, Mia. Rules about friends, I mean.”

Pretty bad right? Well, I’m afraid to say that there is more of this where it came from unfortunately…

“Look, she’s not a threat to you. And I’ve never believed that a couple needs to tell each other everything. Total transparency is not healthy in a relationship.”

So to sum it up, Lucas did and said pretty much everything you can do to break someone’s trust while being in a long distance (or really any kind of) relationship with someone. And I hated it even more when that little bitch of an ex made it sound like there was more to her being in Lucas’s apartment than there actually was.

But what really bothered me was Lucas reaction to the situation. Yes, that’s right. Lucas finally did something I didn’t like. I didn’t think it was possible but there it is. It upset me so much that I think I scared some people in the train while reading because I couldn’t help but show how much I was mad at him for his more than shitty reaction. Though don’t worry too much because it is Lucas we’re talking about here and this kind is still pretty awesome and he does good groveling. And even better make up sex.

I’ll give you this, Mia forgave Lucas pretty quickly. I know some readers won’t like that and I get it. If it were me in Mia’s shoes, the guy would’ve had to work harder, for me to let it go. But since this book is, after all, a novella, I let it slide for the purposes of the story. And okay, the make up sex had a little to do with it too. What can I say, I’m just as bad as Mia I guess.

Just like in Frenched, there were some pretty steamy bits to this story, which I enjoyed tremendously! I love the brand of sex Mia and Lucas have and the chemistry and connection between them is so great that it really made up for the less enjoyable moments in this book.

You probably guessed it but this book deals with the issues Mia and Lucas decided to ignore before they got together.
Lucas still views marriage as something he doesn’t want and Mia wants them to get more serious and committed in their relationship. So while Frenched dealt more with Mia’s issues and broken pride, Yanked deals with Lucas remaining fear of commitment. Again, I think some people will think the resolution of conflict in this book was a bit easy and that it felt like Lucas just flipped a switch when it comes to how he feels about getting more serious with his and Mia’s relationship.
But again, the fact that this book was a novella had to do with it I think, and it didn’t really bother me while I read. To me, the reason he did change his mind felt believable and it reminded me of what both Mia and him had said to each other in Frenched when they decided to give their story a shot. That not trying and not having each other in their life would be the worst thing that could happen to them.

“What I’m trying to say is, there’s no perfect life without you. In fact, I no longer dream about a “perfect” life. I only dream about a life with you.”

So even though I would have done without the annoying part of the book, I understand that it was somewhat necessary to the story, and it made it more realistic in the sense that, if things were always perfect between Mia and Lucas, I wouldn’t believe in their story as much as I did.
This novella had the right amount of angst to make it interesting and realistic. I loved that Lucas and Mia’s love for each other was greater and stronger than their differences.
I think the Ex had it really easy though. She really deserved to be put in her place and I wish “justice” had been done a little more than it was. Yet again, she lost Lucas forever so I guess it’s better than nothing.

I can’t wait for more of this series! These books are so good and I’m really glad I finally gave them a chance. Melanie Harlow is quickly making it to the Top Ten of my favorite authors, and I can’t wait to read more of her stories!

Sweet Filthy Morning After (Wild Seasons #1.5), by Christina Lauren and Read by Jason Carpenter

Sweet Filthy Morning After_______________________________________________

This audio exclusive short tells of events from Sweet Filthy Boy from a new perspective.

_______________________________________________

“Mia and I didn’t meet so much as collide. At least that’s how it feels when I remember it.”

I really liked having Ansel’s POV of the morning after meeting Mia. To see Mia through his eyes was great and I liked knowing his first impression of her the night they met as well when he first woke up next to her.

“I’m twenty eight, and just woke in a hotel in Las Vegas married. The fact that I’m not completely freaking out, or searching for the easiest most accessible exit makes absolutely no sense. Instead, I’m just.. calm.”

It’s not really long, about a 30 minute listen really, but I really don’t regret paying for it. I’d even go as far as saying that it was worth it to be able to listen to Ansel tell us about his version of his first encounter with Mia and some details about their wild night as newly weds 😉

“…But I found her again, got her talking, and in a way I can’t explain, feel like I made her mine.
As it all comes back to me — in stuttering, jarring flashes of words and lips and skin and laughter, the sounds of her moans and little choked-off begs, the feel of her hands all over me and her eyes holding onto mine as I moved over her — I know more fully that I’m hers.”

I gave the audio book 5 stars but it was really only 4,5 stars because – and I know I’m going to get rotten tomatoes thrown at me – the French accent, even though endearing, just didn’t do it for me, especially when Ansel spoke French to Finn and Oliver. It might have to do with the fact that I am French though, so you, lovely English listener, should normally have little “audiorgasms” while listening to Jason whisper in your eager little ears!

“I’d seen a hundred girls look at me like that from across the room, but it had never felt like that. Like the air had ignited in the space between us, and the breath had been knocked from my lungs.”

Even though this little bit of Ansel and Mia’s story isn’t essential to the main story, I’m still glad I …heard it? I loved hearing Ansel’s take on the story, which is something we didn’t get in Sweet Filthy Boy since the book was written from Mia POV.

The Invitation: Prequel (The Invitation #1), by Roxy Sloane

The Invitation

_____________________________________________________

“It’s my last night in town, and I’m not flying home until this girl is flat on her back with her ankles up around her shoulders and I’m so deep inside her she’ll never want another man again.”

Hot, English businessman Ashton made a pact not to screw up his friendship with Justine ‘JJ’ Jenkins over a cheap one-night stand. Now, two years later, he’s going out of his mind with wanting her — but she’s still off-limits. Now school is over, and his control is wearing thin. They’ve got one last night together, and he’s determined to make it an experience she’ll never forget.

The one girl he swore off is going to have the night of her life. And with a sexy game of dare on the table, it won’t take long…

_____________________________________________________

“It’s my last night in town, and I’m not flying home until this girl is flat on her back with her ankles up around her shoulders and I’m so deep inside her she’ll never want another man again.”

If you’ve read The Seduction Series by Roxy Sloane, then you know you are in for a treat in the smut department with this book. And to be honest, I enjoyed this book and the sex in it a lot more than I did with Vaughn and Keely.

In The Invitation, we get to see Justine (Keely’s friend from The Seduction) when she was still in college. And with her, we meet Ash, her drop dead gorgeous British friend. And even though Justine and Ash are attracted to each other from the moment they meet, they make a pact to not sleep together and be friends instead.

“I made a pact I’ve regretted every damn day for the last two years.”

And they stayed true to this pact and became best friends, sharing every one of their secrets and never holding back with each other, all the while lusting after each other, without ever acting on it. Until their last night as students, and their last chance to finally give in and know each other just a tiny bit better.

“Fuck the pact. I’ve waited long enough. This girl is mine.”

Like I said, if you’ve read Roxy’s books before, you know you are in for a treat if you are looking for something smutty to read. And I actually liked this book better than The Seduction books when it comes to the smut because, where Vaughn got on my nerves with his randy one-track mind (I swear, the guy is worse than a teenager hitting puberty), Ash and JJ had a connection and a chemistry that I loved. And when those two get together and focus on how to push the other in a sexy game of dare, things get sizzling hot and deliciously dirty.

“I know exactly what she wants, what she needs. It’s hard and fast and dirty.”

The end of the book both made me sad and curious. The end allowed me to officially give Roxy Sloane the title of Tease of the Year. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the serie, The Invitation: Surrender, and all the dirty things coming Justine’s way.

“This will have to be goodbye – but only for now.”

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