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Defying Gravity by KK Allen–Review

I used to think that reading a second chance romance book was semi-pointless. I mean, you know how it’s going to end, right? They’ll end up together and all is well. I am more than happy to acknowledge that I have been wrong over the years. It’s not about the ending, it’s all about the journey. Cliché, I know, but when I read a book as well written as Defying Gravity, I just acquiesce.

Tobias and Amelia grabbed me from the beginning with their young love and hopeful optimism. What started as a spring fling turned into more than either expected. Tobias is the silent, brooding, tormented older brother to Trinity, Amelia’s best friend. He is ‘Malibu Gold’ (from Falling from Gravity, a free prequel out now), athletic, smart, and good looking. He was NBA bound and the future was looking bright, until some unknown news had rocked him off his axis.

“We kept moving forward. Apart. And time kept ticking on, until I tossed all hope into the ocean’s depths, knowing fully well it would drown there.”

Amelia had known from early on that she wanted to be a dancer. Specifically, for the LA Lions Dance Crew. Amie, as she is known by to her LA friends, also experiences some things that knock her off her axis. As off kilter as their lives may be, they both felt at home and content in each other’s arms. The funny little thing about life is that it happens and sometimes you can’t control it. Wrong place, wrong time. Wrong time, right place. Wrong place, right time. Right place, right time. In Tobias and Amelia’s situation, it didn’t matter what they wanted, because life was leading them to where they were supposed to go. They were two beings who were circling the drain, trying desperately to defy gravity.

“This isn’t you. This isn’t us. We make our own rules, remember? We defy gravity.”

Toby and Amie have experienced a lifetime full of life in their young ages, but they also gained a lot of perceptive. I loved the grit, tenacity and determination that they both possess. It was evident that these were individual characteristics that were only strengthened when they were closer together.

“We’re in the same city again. And you know what they say about gravity and proximity.”

“The closer objects are, the stronger their gravitational pull.”

What was beautifully written (but, oh, so frustrating to the reader) was the back and forth nature of the storyline. I promise it’s a good thing, but I just wanted to scream at them to get their crap together. Remember, I said it’s about the journey with these two and it was flipping incredible. When I read the final word, I just wanted to sit, smile, and cry. Well done, Ms. Allen. Defying Gravity is my favorite of yours by far!!

On a side note, I loved all the dances that were used as inspiration. As a former dancer, it was wonderful to see these hard working dancer/choreographers getting some recognition.

(In the upper right hand corner, three lines with a play arrow will allow you to see the whole list.)

 

Fallen Saint by Monica James–Review

To say, I was an immediate fan after reading Bad Saint is a small understatement. Monica James…I am a huge fan. I loved Bad Saint, but can honestly say, I don’t know if I love it as much as Fallen Saint.

I feel as if I’ve aged 5 years while reading Fallen Saint. It carried the same fervor as BS but was amplified by 1,000%. I found myself yearning for the bad, trigger warning, take your breath away moments, because the writing was so descriptive, I felt like I had been thrown into this ‘little’ fantasy world of hers. While Monica was aging me, I was on the cusp of my seat wanting to yell, scream or throw something. *Side note: my hubby finally handed me a throw pillow, so I could do any of the above*. I had so many emotions running through my veins that I felt strung out like a junkie.
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I fell hard for Saint in Bad Saint and didn’t think I could fall in love with him more. I was so wrong. The struggle within him to do what he should and what he wants was overwhelming and made me fall into that cocooned blanket of his love.

Willow is amazing. She has phased out of the ditzy, ‘I’m a model’, into her own strong, self-confident woman. She had continued to evolve into a strong alpha heroine who emotes love for her Saint and has enough fierceness for the two of them.

Although, I was sad to see them leave the island and Harriet Pot Pie, I was intrigued and curious as to see where the next phase would take them and what would happen when they get there. We get to see a more prominent role of Aleksei and of course, I hated him immediately and didn’t trust him. The funny thing is, Monica did her thing with her fingers and keyboard keys, and I ended up liking him and felt sympathetic to him and his story. So, weird, but, so good at the same time.
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Fallen Saint was jaw dropping, completely worthy of swooning, adrenaline induced heart pounding palpitations, mindf*@king and book hangover worthy. I hope I didn’t give away too much of this book, but the ending. The ending!! Girl, you aren’t ready. Scout’s honor! I was around 85% when I thought, ‘really? That’s it?’ and then I get to the last sentence and find out I’m bawling and cursing Monica James for her good writing, but just kept saying, ‘why? Why?’ The ending had me shook, in disbelief and completely wrecked. I have re-read the last three chapters a total of three times and still feel the same. Forever My Saint, book three, can not come soon enough!!

First and Forever (Heartache duet, #2) by Jay McLean–Review

Jay McLean is a new author to me, but after reading the ‘Heartache duet’ she just gained a true lifelong reader. Heartache and Hope was well written, but First and Forever was so well written that if I could give it 10 ⭐, I would. The grammar portion of the writing was top notch (as it was in H and H), it was the extras in writing I’m talking about. Jay dug into these characters and pulled back the layers. She got to the meaty, nitty, gritty of it all and didn’t have to sacrifice a darn thing. She played your heartstrings like she was the third member of 2 Cellos or she was first chair in the violins at the New York Philharmonic playing, ‘Flight of the bumblebee’. She played hard and got the reaction she was looking for. Uber emotional.
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First and Forever picked up right where Heartache and Hope left off. Connor is still the standup man or kid trying to do right by everyone. The maturity he displayed was overwhelming, incredible and heartbreaking while retaining the little boy innocence of youth at the same time. Connor is truly a standout character.

I applaud Jay for tackling some tough real-life issues with Momma Jo, because as much as this is Connor and Ava’s story, Jo is a very vital character in it all. I have had the pleasure to work with patients like her and her depiction was spot on. PTSD and mental health are some overlooked issues. Easy to diagnose on paper, but not so accurate when speaking about each person individually and finding the best care for them. There a lot of misconceptions when these two diagnoses get thrown around. Well done, Jay!!
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As a sequel, it accomplished everything it should have, but it truly is the whole duet here. I felt torn apart, pulverized, shocked, stepped on, broken and full of tears. Then, magically, as if this story was written for me specifically, I felt being put back together piece by piece, held in such delicate hands to encourage healing and finally beaming in love and happiness knowing that I was made into a better person. Exquisite!
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Malum part 2 by Amo Jones–Review

Seriously, a part of me wants to just say to you all, ‘Just read the book. Don’t hesitate, don’t think twice, just one-click this baby and read.’ However, that really isn’t a review now is it?

I am wrecked, flabbergasted, suspicious of everything and everyone. Dare I say happy? I’m afraid if I do, Ms. Jones is going to throw another one of her epic monkey wrenches in everything and take that away. I’ll admit I said this before about a couple of books, but Malum part 2, truly did destroy me and rip me apart. I’m still unsure how I’m being put back together, but my love for Tillie and Nate is strong. 

Tillie is the epitome of savage. She is hardcore, smart, will defend herself and others, if needed. In a sense, she is like Robin Hood. He gave money to the poor, while Tillie defends those that are frailer and weaker than her. She doesn’t take any crap from anyone. However, there is one person that can slip past her defenses no matter how many times she puts a wall up. Nate.

Nate has left me speechless. He had just evolved tremendously from part 1 to now. Malum part 1 felt like boys playing King of the Hill on the schoolyard. Malum part 2 brings on a whole new ballgame for The Kings. It’s no more King of the Hill their playing, now it’s King of the World and watch out world, because these boys mean and do what they say. Their lives are one big chess match and you don’t want to cross Tillie and her Kings. They have matured, evolved in their roles within the group and quite frankly are bad@ss. Nate was larger than life. He appeared to fill in every space wherever he was. He is domineering, scary, hot and plain excelled in his role with the Kings. Tillie and Nate are two puzzle pieces trying to find their match. The downside to finding your match with these two is that they are explosive together and if you don’t watch out, you will get burned. 

Amo Jones has seriously done it again. She held back no punches, displayed the chemistry that just blew up the page, took you on a ride full of up’s, down’s, twist’s and turns. As jarring and addicting as it was, one of my favorite things was when Tillie and the Kings just sat back, relaxed, bantered and had a few laughs. They emanated the whole feeling of family, despite not necessarily being blood related. 

Amo you continually mesmerize me with your talented writing. I know when I read an Amo Jones’ book, I will have had everything drawn out of me and be left breathless. In Malum 1, I was full of ‘no way’ and ‘oh my gosh where is this going’? In Malum 2, all questions from part I were answered, and you have left me spent and emotional.

Congratulations on a well-done book and I can’t wait for what’s next!!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Wickedly and delicious Royal stars.

Trouble at Brayshow High by Meagan Brandy–Review

 

“Raven Carver, she does whatever the hell she wants, makes shitty judgment calls in a snap that you never see coming, and hopes it’ll all work out in the end, fuck the consequences. I can’t fucking stand it.”

Trouble at Brayshaw High, picks up where we left of in BOBH and, no, I will not tell you where it picks up or give you any spoilers. When BOBH ended, I had a lump in my throat and was sitting on pins and needles as to where this could go. I was never so excited than when I opened my library and 🎵AHHH🎵 Trouble had finally arrived. Now, here, I sit about five days later STILL trying to process everything I have read. If you read my emoticon review, it still all applies. I feel like I’ve gone on a roller coaster that is inverted, with eight consecutive loops, occasionally will go backwards all while swinging from side to side. Meagan Brandy, what have you done to me??

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I fell hard for the leads in Boys at Brayshaw High. I truly didn’t think I could love Trouble more, but I do. Gosh, Maddock, Captain and Royce are more realistic with a bigger than life presence. I fell HARD for Maddock. He just appeared to be bigger, badder and with `a more encompassing persona/presence. Oh, man, I love that guy. I was happy to see that Captain and Royce had also come out of their shell more and displayed a bigger part of their personalities. Captain is the guy you just want to cuddle with or get a big bear hug from. Royce is that sentimental guy with a jokester attitude.

“Go on, play your games, baby. I’ve got more moves than you can handle.”

Ms. Raven Carver. Round of applause for showing who has the bigger balls in the Brayshaw world. She is a force to be reckon with. She has fought her scrappy way to get respect and devotion from those around her. Raven has learned early on that she needs to be resourceful, independent and cunning to get by in this game called life. What was beautiful to see was how Raven matured between the two books. Ok, I will admit, she still does Raven-like things, but she is somewhat more cautious with it. The character development of the foursome was spot-on and enjoyable to watch.

“Together, three strong, we head inside for our fourth man.”

Madman and Raven are being their usual selves, continuing to butt heads yet fight for their relationship. They are learning to trust each other and rely on each other. Maddock and Raven’s relationship is a joy to watch. They are completely each other’s matching puzzle piece.
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Re-iterating from BOBH is that Meagan Brandy is a flipping genius. There are good storytellers and then there are out of this world storytellers. Any idea which category Meagan falls into? Her storytelling capabilities pull you in and make you feel like you are a part of the story and these characters are more than characters, they are your friends. Now, how many of you are willing to go back to high school? I sure am, if it includes being in this little posse!! Whether you follow the ‘5 essential elements of a story’ or ‘The 7 key elements of a narrative’, Meagan Brandy has it all!! So, again, here I sit on pins and needles, anxiously awaiting book three!!

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Interference (Bases series 1) by Hazel Grace–Review

I don’t believe it’s a big surprise when I say I have a huge crush on Hazel Grace leads; Garrett (An Array Series), Wyatt (Deceived Duet) and now Colson Hayes (Bases Series).
She has an infinity for writing strapping men with looks for days! They are everything a girl wants in a guy, tall, dark, handsome, charismatic, smirk-able, lick-able and downright edible. Although, there is one teeny, tiny thing that could be a drawback. They are downright a-holes and God, help me, I don’t care. I still want them. I’m not sure what that says about me, but, man, I love the guys that are assholes.

Colson Hayes is one of those assholes, he’s an alpha and has a penchant to be a big bully. He and his best friend, Gavin are the top dogs at their school in Fremont, OK. Gavin and Colson have had plans for a long time to reach the MLB together to get out of their small town.

Sawyer Boyd is the girl all the bad guys want (thank you Bowling for Soup for getting this stuck in my head). Sawyer is the new girl in town and her only source of comfort is being a member of the softball team. She is smoking hot and every guy wants to date her, the ‘Alpha A-hole’ included, however, he is a true mixed up high schooler keeping his eyes on the prize (MLB) and doesn’t take the time to analyze his feelings.

Colson and Sawyer are undeniably hot together with chemistry and sexual tension that jumps off the pages. Through the eyes of Colson and Sawyer, we get to experience their lives, both past (ten years prior) and currently. These flashback sequences are written beautifully and flawlessly with a natural flow from one scene to the other.

I am so addicted to this series and can’t wait for the next one. I have found only one thing that I don’t like about this book. It is two words that are written together…’The End’. Worst two words an author could put at the end of their book. I’m telling you this hasn’t stopped me from continuously pushing the next button for more. Sadly, I was left longing for more. So, with this being said, I beg you Hazel Grace, can I have some more? I love you, you evil woman and your wicked vile ways! Do you yourself a favor, check out Interference and then some of her other great reads!!Interference

Sloth by Giana Darling–Review

Giana Darling is one of my favorite authors. I have read a few of her books and loved them, but it wasn’t until I read about Daddy Zeus, that I knew this author was a one-click keeper. Giana has joined up with other authors to be a part of ‘The Elite Seven’. Her contribution is Sloth.

Sloth, aka Rush Dempsey, is not what you would expect him to be. In previous books, he was always the one in the shadows and popped up when you needed him and sometimes when you didn’t realize you needed him, he was there. Rush is so much more than what his moniker states. He is not slow moving or lazy in the slightest. What he is, is intelligent, observant, oozes sexiness and is determined in whatever he is pursuing.

Isabelle is the daughter of the Archbishop. She is in college but is the quintessential ‘church mouse’. She is very modest, demure, pure and holy. One would think, that she would not be Sloth’s type, but Rush is intrigued by her pure innocence. Upon meeting, they are immediately attracted to each other. They are the ying to the yang, the good and bad and the peanut butter to the jelly. They are two souls that are destined for each other. Isabelle doesn’t realize this yet, but she is the passionate powerhouse to bring Rush to his knees and Rush goes willingly. Yes, Isabelle’s halo may be slightly tarnished and the devil on Rush’s shoulder is not present all the time, but these two bring out the best in each other.

We are getting towards the end of the series and things need to start falling into place. Ms. Darling did an incredible job of not only bringing these books together, but also writing a dark romance with two unlikely leads. Giana’s dark romance is on point and doesn’t disappoint and Rush and Isabelle are two developed characters that are perfection together. As always, Giana’s storyline, plot and character development are top notch. Since, we are getting towards the end, she sets up nicely the conflict and the resolution, both within Rush’s story and overall for the series.

I am so addicted to this series, that I don’t know what to do after it’s over. Sloth sucked me in and opened my eyes to the underground world of secret societies. I am still dazed and replaying everything in my mind. Sloth is the story that is full angst, drama, romance (sometimes dirty) and has the lock down on revelations. Seriously, y’all, every question that may have pricked your mind, while reading about our other favorite Elites is brought to light by Giana Darling. Giana has written a wicked world that will leave you breathless and wanting more. She has shown us the true meaning of those we call ‘family’ and who encompasses that word ‘family’. Sloth is the perfect assist to our Grand Finale, Greed!

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