Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley!

Type: Series, Book Four, New Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance, Hot Cops and Hotter Anger Management Therapists?

Release Date: June 30th, 2015

About the Book: New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits. [Description provided by Netgalley.com]

My Review: I love this premise. I love romance novels where the hero and the heroine are at odds, and yet fall in love. The whole "opposites attract" thing. What I don't love.. is this book. I wish I did. I really had high hopes for it when it was offered for review. I practically jumped on it, even. But in the end, it all fell flat for me.

On to what I didn't like - mainly, that was Arilyn. I found her to be annoying, hypocritical, and basically a jerk. For someone that seems to think she has evolved past most of the human race, she resorted to blackmailing Stone, saying she would refuse to sign off on his paperwork if he didn't help her with something - this "something" being potentially illegal, and well outside of the required time he was supposed to be in his anger management class. She would also get really belligerent if someone happened to not believe in the same things she did.

What I did like was Stone. But I liked Stone when he wasn't with Arilyn. Outside of Arilyn's presence, Stone was a good guy. He was friendly with people he met, and he didn't act like a stuck up jerk. I probably would have given this book one star if it wasn't for Stone when he was away from Arilyn, and especially Stone with Pinky. Had this story just been Pinky and Stone, the not-so-dynamic duo, I probably would have given it five stars. Gladly.

Cover Lovin': How sweet is this! A very charming cover indeed, and I love how the title, author, and couple are framed by the arch.

Recommendation: For fans of Contemporary Romance. No huge need to read the series in order - each can be read as a standalone, but it always helps to have some prior knowledge of the characters.

Final Rating: TWO out of FIVE stars (2/5). Arilyn would get one star, but Stone was the redeeming factor here, especially when paired with the saddest little dog ever. Fans of the author will probably flip for this book. But it just didn't do it for me.


 Series Order: 
                       
 Happy Reading! 
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: BATMAN AND ROBIN 6: THE HUNT FOR ROBIN by Peter Tomasi

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Release Date: June 30, 2015

Type: Graphic Novel, Comics, Comic Books, Superheroes, Batman and the Batlings, Hard to have Batman and Robin without Robin..

About the Book: After losing his son Damian—a.k.a. Robin—Batman has finally found peace with his death. Damian's grandfather Ra's al Ghul, however, has not. In order to resurrect Robin, he's stolen the body and now Batman will stop at nothing to reclaim him. 

Nearly two years of storylines—including threads from Grant Morrison's BATMAN INCORPORATED and Scott Snyder and Greg Capulo's BATMAN—conclude here in BATMAN AND ROBIN VOL. 6: THE HUNT FOR ROBIN. 

Collects BATMAN AND ROBIN #29-34 and ROBIN RISES OMEGA. [Description from Netgalley.com]

My Review: Despite Robin being no longer with us, he still has a strong presence in this graphic novel series. But then, I guess it is hard to continue a series bearing his namesake without having him there in some way shape or form. My biggest issue with this graphic novel, was that it felt like since they couldn't team Batman up with Robin, they would just team him up with whomever else was handy - Aquaman, Wonder Woman, even Frankenstein. In a way, it makes sense - hard to have a series based on a team up without some sort of team-ing happening. But it just felt rushed and so-so.

What I think this series does well is the tiny bits of humor they manage to sneak into such a dark series. Even in Bruce's moments of lightness and healing, though they be very few and far between, it is still gritty, like a true Batman comic should be. As a fan of Robin in all his (or maybe her?) forms, I was happen to see a small reunion of former title holders, though I will not spoil how or why.

There is a lot this series does well - the tone, the story lines.. but I will be happy to either move on from Damien, or find a way to bring him back to the story. Frankly, I would prefer bringing him back. I loved Damien. Not my favorite of the past and present sidekicks, but he had his own flair, and I loved seeing him and Bruce work together.

Cover Lovin': Very fitting cover. This title may be called Batman and Robin, but Robin is not exactly in the picture any more - as this cover accurately portrays.

Recommendation: For hardcore Bat-fans, and only for those that have kept up with this series. This is not a volume you can just pick up without the backstory.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). Good, but not as dark and gritty as it used to be. This felt like it was missing something (maybe Robin?!).


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Release Day Launch: SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst & GIVEAWAY

 

SFA_BLITZ

Today we are celebrating the release of SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst. This is the 4th book in the Searching For series and it is published by Gallery Books. Check out the teaser and giveaway below.

SearchingforAlways
 

SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS Synopsis:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues! She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.  

Add the book to Goodreads

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PURCHASE SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

SFA_Teaser2 copySFA_RescuePet    
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst - Bio: Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: MANGA CLASSICS: EMMA by Stacy King & Po Tse

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks Netgalley!

Type: Manga Classics, Graphic Novel, Jane Austen, Historical Romance, Not-as-good-as-Johnny-Lee-Miller

Release Date: May 12, 2015

About the Book: Just in time for the 200th Anniversary, Manga Classics: Emma brings Jane Austen's classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful, new manga adaptation. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of manga-ka Po Tse (Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice). - Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing. [Description from Goodreads.com]

My Review: I love Jane Austen. I really like reading manga. This should be a match made in heaven, but honestly, it felt more run of the mill, very middle of the road. I think Emma has to be my least favorite of Austen's novels. I find Emma herself to be very childish sometimes, which gets on my nerves. And I got the same impression while reading the Manga Classics: Emma. But if you think about it, that is a good thing. Why? Because that means this manga adaptation of a classic, well beloved novel appropriately portrays the spirit of the original.

There are several graphic novel interpretations of Austen's work out there, the styles ranging from overly cartoony to very life-like. Manga Classics: Emma is very much in the manga style - including chibi figures in moments of high emotion. While this is something I have come to understand and even appreciate in manga, a friend of mine read it and felt that it made the classic novel feel immature. I appreciated the art throughout this graphic novel. The characters were consistent, the outfits fitting and looked appropriate for the time period. I just wished Mr. Knightley would have looked a little less like a cheap villain - it was the strange goatee that did him in, I think.

Overall, this was a good adaptation. It's hard to review a graphic novel version of a classic without it becoming a strange compare and contrast, so I have done my best. Manga Classics: Emma has done well taking a book full of complex characters and intertwining story-lines and making it not only understandable, but a fast and fun read.

Cover Lovin': This is certainly a very sweet looking cover. And I'm stuck thinking it both does and does not convey the story very well.

Recommendation: This is one of those niche books. Austen-ites (Jane-ites?) would eat it up - anything for a new Austen fix. But it probably won't appeal to anyone that doesn't already like manga, considering manga is incredibly stylized.

Final Rating: THREE out of FIVE (3/5). A good adaptation, but not the best of the Manga Classics by far.


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: SINFULLY MINE by Kendall Ryan

Have you ever had your heart broken? Reece Jackson has, and he uses a peculiar kink to avoid intimacy. When the girl he’s always loved walks back into his life, will he be able to let his walls down? 

RELEASING JULY 14











She was forbidden.
I didn’t care.

As my best friend’s little sister, Macey Hale was off-limits, but the girl was tempting as sin and forbidden as fuck. I wish I could say that stopped me. I wish I could tell you I behaved like a gentleman.

I didn’t.

When she waltzes back into my life with that same spark I fell for, looking every bit the beautiful woman I knew she’d grow into, I have to force myself to remember I’m different from the man she once knew. I’m colder. Harder. And for good reason.

With my heart on lockdown and my hands aching to touch her, I set out to prove that I can keep myself in check this time.



No strings. No attachments.

And definitely no falling for her again.

If you love steamy romance, you won't want to miss this older brother's best friend romance.

This is book two in the Lessons with the Dom series, following The Gentleman Mentor. Both are complete standalone novels featuring sexy Dominant men you're sure to fall in love with. Enjoy!




AMAZON US  AMAZON UK   iBooks  Barnes & Noble


EXCERPT

"What do you think you’re doing?” I find her in my closet, down on her knees and rummaging through a black duffel bag that just happens to hold all my sex toys. Apparently she did see this when she cleaned up.
“Ah, here we go.” Her fingers close around a generously sized flesh-colored vibrating dildo. “You won’t do the job? Well, I have a feeling this baby will.” She waves it in the air like she’s found the damn golden ticket. Then she rises to her feet and smiles sweetly at me.
For the love of God, this woman does not fight fair. She never has. “Where do you think you’re going with that?”
“Probably my bed, then the shower.” A line creases her forehead. “Do you have spare batteries for this thing? It might be a long night.”
“No way. Not happening. Give me the toy, Macey.” I reach out a hand, my voice as stern as the set of my jaw, my fingers barely avoiding crushing the crystal tumbler in my other hand.
A slow smile uncurls on her mouth. “Why, Reece Jackson, are you jealous?” She eyes the toy in her hand and then lets her gaze slip seductively down to the crotch of my pants.
If she really thinks that toy’s size has me feeling insecure, she’s insane. Certifiably. “You really don’t remember, do you?” Now I’m the one smiling. She’ll be in for a pleasant surprise later.
“I remember everything. I remember how you always made me keep my underwear on, and that I never actually saw you”—her gaze flicks downward—”down there. I only felt you with my hand, and since I had nothing to base it on, I assumed all guys were like that.”
“Well, in that case, you’ll be sorely disappointed with this toy.” I snatch the dildo from her hand and toss it back in the open bag.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she asks, planting a hand on her hip. “You left me hanging at the restaurant.”

“And you will stay like that until I say so.”





He calls himself the Gentleman Mentor.
Just reading his ad makes me feel more alive than I have in years. 
He promises to teach me the art of seduction … and show me the most sinfully erotic pleasures. He’s going to help me become the kind of confident, sexy woman men can’t ignore.
Six lessons … with the most gorgeous man … who happens to be a Dom.
The only problem … now that I’ve experienced his brand of delectable domination will anyone else ever compare?

She’s a client. That’s all.
Or it should be.
But with every lesson, she’s becoming more.
The secrets I’m hiding behind the image of the Gentleman Mentor make telling her the truth—and having anything real—impossible. 
I’m training her for another man, and that fact guts me every time I think of it.
I know she’s not mine … but part of me won’t accept that.
Am I willing to risk it all to keep her?


THE GENTLEMAN MENTOR is a full-length standalone novel.


AMAZON  AMAZON UK   iBooks   B&N   KOBO








Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break.

She's a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.
Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com  for the latest book news, and fun extras















Blog Tour; REVIEW: "On My Knees" by J. Kenner!

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Release Date: June 23rd, 2015

Type: Contemporary Romance, Series, Book Two, Yummy, Controlling men, Erotic, Oh My...

About the Book: Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks continue to thrill in the second novel of a scintillating, emotionally charged new trilogy that returns to the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge. 

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone. 

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release. 

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back. 

On My Knees is intended for mature audiences. [Synopsis from Goodreads.com]

My Review: In a lot of ways, I liked this book better than the first one. While it was great seeing the characters get together in book one, I liked it even better watching them weather the storms life was throwing at them. And boy were there a lot of storms. Sylvia got mad at Jackson at least three times throughout the story, and would just blow things far out of proportion. And even if she was legitimately upset about something (yes, a few of the instances I would have been very mad too!), she forgave way too easily. Not only did she forgive, it seemed like she quickly forgot about it and moved on, which just felt realistic. Of course, I am a huge drama fan, so I wanted the arguments to blow up a little more. Or maybe have one big epic fight instead of several small-but-still-the-end-of-my-world fights.

Now on to what I liked about the book. It's mostly Jackson. Long time readers of this blog know how much I like my men on the controlling side - and Jackson is juuuust right. He knows how to apologize when he does something wrong. Yes, he has his secrets, but he makes sure to tell Sylvia that there are some secrets that will be revealed as time goes on. Which makes sense, and felt real - even when you fall in love with someone, you don't tell them absolutely everything right away.

This series is very compelling, and definitely good one-sitting reads. It was hard putting my kindle down to go to work, and all I could think about was what was going to happen next! And I think once I finish the Stark International Trilogy, I will have to go back and read the books that started it all, The Stark Trilogy, featuring Damien.

Cover Lovin': Oh goodness, this cover. Definitely something that caught my eye! And fits well with the first book in the series, Say My Name (see my review HERE).

Recommendation: Read this if you like your men hot! And controlling. But definitely read the first book in the series, as this is a direct continuation.

Final Rating: THREE POINT FIVE out of FIVE stars. I like this better than the first one - because I am all about the drama. But it started to feel like one fight after another, drama for drama's sake, rather than plot. But I need the next book NOW!


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


onmykneesAbout ON MY KNEES

Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks continue to thrill in the second novel of a scintillating, emotionally charged new trilogy that returns to the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels:Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge.

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone.

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release.

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back.

On My Knees is intended for mature audiences.
Read the first chapter of ON MY KNEES here!
Find out more about the first book, SAY MY NAME: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play

About J. Kenner

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres. Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries. J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

REVIEW: BACK IN BLACK by Lori Foster

Disclaimer: This book was purchased for my as a gift. I was not given anything in exchange for this review - I'm reviewing it for fun!

Type: MMA, Contemporary Romance, Athletes (yum!), Sexy cover, Series, Book five

About the Book: Drew Black, president of the SBC fighting organization, is as controversial as they come. But this hotheaded entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. Maybe too extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew's been causing a lot of friction. That's why someone's been called in to clean up his image - before he does any permenant damage. The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who has smoothed out the rough edges on many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she's ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian's starting to like him raw. Now opposites aren't simply attracting - they're igniting. But in the rising heat, who will end up on top? [Description from the back cover]

My Review: Well, as a whole, I really liked this book. But I did have a few issues - the biggest of which is that the back of this book? Totally doesn't do it justice. There's actually two couples highlighted in this book, Drew and Gillian of course, but also Brett and Audrey. And in fact, I think they're story is just as important, or maybe I just like them better. Alright, I'll admit it, I wanted Brett. But I really liked Drew and Gillian too. 

Actually, that brings me to the second thing I didn't like - I think Gillian and Drew moved a little too fast. It was their second or third meeting, and they had sex. It just seemed a little too.. whirlwind for me. This, however, could be a personal taste sort of thing. 

Those really are the only things I didn't like about this book. I loved the characterization, and I really loved the antagonist. I think the ultimate baddie of the situation was amazingly done, and such a complex character. I thought all the characters were passionate about their chosen profession, and they just felt genuine. I'm actually rather interested in MMA fighting after reading this. I always thought that was one of the signs of a good book, when it makes you interested in not only the book, but anything connected to it. 

 So using "Back in Black" as my main example, I'd have to say I'm definitely a fan. I hope to be able to check out other books soon - and actually, I think I have an anthology ( "Tails of Love" ) featuring Lori Foster and a few other familiar authors in my To Be Read pile. 

Cover Lovin: Whoah boy! Definitely eye catching. It made me catch it up!

Final Rating: I am going to give "Back in Black" by Lori Foster a FOUR POINT FIVE out of FIVE (4.5/5). I really, really enjoyed it, and I can't wait to find and read more by this author in the future, especially more of this grouping of books.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~