Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: Love Hurts by Mandi Beck

Even when she won’t fight for us, I’ll go to war for her… 

Inside the Octagon, I have no fear. I’m at home, in my element, inflicting pain onto men trained to hurt me just as badly. Making them submit, knocking them out, maiming them, because it’s them or me. And I choose them. 

Outside the Octagon, my only weakness is a five-foot-two, classy as fuck woman that I’ve loved for most of my life. She’s the one that brings me to my knees, fills my arms, my heart, and one day soon, my bed. She makes me reckless. Volatile. I drink too much and try too hard to fuck my way out of feeling—all because of her.

Frankie De Rosa is my girl, my best friend. I haven’t earned her yet, but I won’t stand by and let anyone take her from me. She will be the greatest fight of my life, but she’s worth the battle. 

Love hurts, but anything worth having does, right?

I’m Deacon “The Hitman” Love — Welcome to the Cage.


In of my book clubs, I noticed an emerging author getting some buzz about an upcoming release and it started to pique my interest so I started to keep an eye out.  When that author got ready for release day I was ecstatic that we would finally get to read her book!  That is exactly how I felt about Love Hurts by Mandi Beck!  I’ve been watching her for a couple of months and I could not wait to get my hands on her novel and now I have read I am so impressed with her skills as a debut author!  I loved that the novel was primarily told in the male point of view with some of the females sprinkled in but there is nothing getting in the head of a cocky MMA fighter and his dirty mind!  LOVED IT!  This is the first book in a series of two and there is a small cliff.  Me personally, I didn’t mind it. The story just drew me in and I cannot wait to see how it all ends!
Deacon Love is a rising MMA fighter with a close knit family. They all look out for each other and is a large part of his success in the MMA world.  Included in the family is Frankie, his father’s best friend’s daughter. She has always been the constant calm to his world.  The novel starts out with him receiving a barely audible call from her.  Since he is out of town, he sends his brother to her house and what he finds is something they never expected. She was beaten to edge of her life by her boyfriend who is now missing.  The intro to the novel was exceptional!  I was on the edge of my seat reading turning the pages as quickly as I can!  It had my heart racing and had my nerves shot! 
Frankie and Deacon have never crossed the line of friendship but Deacon has always loved her.  He was always waiting for the right time to start a real relationship with her. But it seems like the time was never right.  Deacon does all he can to make sure Frankie makes a full recovery and that includes security as the boyfriend is still missing.  As time goes on they realize their feelings for each other are stronger than just friends and things get hot and heavy fast!  But with Deacon’s lifestyle and his reminder of flings past in the air, things get hazing and misunderstandings get in the way of their relationship and things look like they are over before they even start! 
Can Frankie put Deacon’s past behind him and ignore the girls that are always around throwing themselves at him?  Will a love from her past be the one that keeps them apart?  And what happened to the ex that beat her?? He’s been lying low and nobody has seen or heard from him since that night… where is he???!!  Urgh!   The suspense there is just killing me!  This is a great debut novel that has all the things I love rolled in one package and I would highly recommend reading.  Mandi Beck is one author I will be following and I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Review Tour: Past Heaven by Laura Ward

Not every love story has a happy ending. Some just change your life.

Liz Atwater’s happily ever after was torn from her the instant her husband, Jack, was murdered. She is forced to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and raise her three young sons alone.

Reynolds Carter’s picture perfect Hollywood life ended the moment the paparazzi got hold of his girlfriend’s cheating scandal. As he watches his life unfold in the tabloids, he comes to a crossroads in his career and his purpose.

When Reynolds takes on the challenge of a new project, his world collides with that of Liz. Neither of them expected their professional relationship to evolve into friendship, or love.

But life is never simple.

Faced with complications from family, friends, and colleagues, Liz and Reynolds are left to decide whether two people from such different worlds can find happiness together.

Can they get past the pain, fear, and guilt and risk their hearts to love again?

Not every love story is just a happy ending. Some completely change your life

"I wasn't running away, I was running to temper the misery, to be strong in the face of fear, and to be the person I needed to be."

Past Heaven by Laura Ward is the second amazing novel from this new author and I cannot wait to see what else she publishes!  I thought that I wouldn't love another one of her books as much as I loved Not Yet but Past Heaven surpassed all of my expectations and then some!  This book was 5+++ Hollywood Stars and I highly, highly recommend that you read this amazing story filled with heartbreak, love lost but found again and the idea that in the face of a tragedy that rocks your very foundation to the core, you can find the will to move on with your life in the most unlikely of circumstances.  

"No matter the social status or physical beauty, when someone fell in love-a soul to a soul love-no greater fear existed than the loss of that love."

Liz loved her husband and her three boys with everything that she had in her, but her life as she knew it was torn from her in what seemed like a moment when her husband was shot and killed right in front of her.  Unable to continue actually living her life without Jack by her side, Liz began existing; showing affection only to her three boys for whom she remained stoic and strong; while recoiling from any sympathy or compassion that others tried to afford her.  It was when move star Reynolds Carter came into her life with an idea that would shape both of their futures for the better, the only thing on Liz's mind was to keep Jack's legacy alive for his children, never once to she expect that she would find the passion of true love again.

"We're human. We make mistakes.  They key is to not make the same ones over and over again.  If something goes wrong, you change course.  Why don't you think about changing your course? What could it hurt?"

Reynolds Carter was a movie star that everyone adored and admired from afar.  After his live-in young actress girlfriend confessed to having sex with her co-star on a movie; he began to re-evaluate his life and what fame really meant to him.  Realizing that there are few people in Hollywood that have morals or that were true friends, he sought solace at his childhood home where his parents tried to comfort him and show him that there was more to life than making trivial movies.  After reveal information about their past and seeing a new report about Liz's late husbands work regarding institutions, he flew to Baltimore to try and convince her to allow him to write a screen play about her late-husbands life's work.  Apprehensive about allowing such a project but in need of a job to support her family, Liz agrees to work with Reynolds on this project as long as she had full veto power over any and all content.  An agreement that formed a friendship that transcended anything either of them could have imagines.

"Today is both the beginning and ending of our journey.  The wait is over and I want you every day in the future."

As both Liz and Reynolds began to have feelings for each other, they each fought against it for entirely different reasons, Liz because she thought it was too soon after Jack had been ripped from their lives, and Reynolds because he was burned by a woman who he thought he loved and would eventually marry.  The reasons holding them back slowly begin to disintegrate as they become close friends and an important part of each other lives.  Reynolds has an admiration for everything that Liz has done with raising her 3 boys despite the sorrow and grief that she still feels and Liz becomes enamored with the man beyond the movie actor persona that the world gets to see.

This book is full of laughs, from all three boys who at times have the funniest things spew from their adorable mouths to the most heartwarming and tear jerking actions and who can forget the never ending non-filter babble of her best friend Cindy who will fight like a ninja to protect her friend from any further heartbreak no matter what the reason or cause.  I laughed, I cried and I hoped while reading this book that Liz and Reynolds would find the future that they both yearned for and completely deserved so that they could leave the heartache of the past behind.  I will say again that this book was utterly amazing, I cannot find enough words to describe how much I absolutely loved it and I know you will too!

When I heard Laura Ward had another novel in the works I was jumping for joy! Her debut novel knocked me off my socks and she did not disappoint in her sophomore release of Past Heaven. It’s a beautiful tale of losing the love of your life and getting a second chance at love in the least expected place.  I love Ms. Ward’s style of writing where she just pulls you into the story and doesn’t let go into the very end.  She creates such great characters that you want to fall in love with and adds personal touches that you can tell are near and dear to her.  Past Heaven is defiantly a must read story and Ms. Ward has quickly become one of my favorites authors and one that is an automatic one click for me! The story is told in dual point of view and is a complete story.

The story starts with the tragic murder of Elizabeth Atwater husband, Jack.  He was killed by a disgruntled individual who disagreed with a change that Jack was fighting so much for.  Jack’s company worked hard to close state ran mental hospitals that were dumping grounds for the mentally ill and he fought hard to get those individuals the treatment they deserved.  Liz is devastated by his murder and now must raise three young boys on her own.  They are the only thing that keeps her going and she knows she must be there for them.  She quickly turned to running to work out her frustrations and was able to find some inner piece along the way.

“I used that time to let go and then get it together for my boys.  Running had saved me.  I wasn’t running away.  I was running to temper the misery, to be strong in the face of fear, and to be the person needed to be.”- Elizabeth

Reynolds Carter is Hollywood’s sexist man alive. He has spent years working in Hollywood and has meaningless relationships after another. After his current relationship comes to end he feels like he is at a crossroads in his life.  Tired of the same old game, he decides to head home to Baltimore to regroup.   He decides he wants to look into writing and producing a film and comes across Jack Atwater’s story.  He is immediately drawn to it and knows he has to bring this to the big screen.  He reaches out to his widow Elizabeth and they decide to co-write the screen play.

“Jack Atwater had been a real life hero; an everyday man who had bettered the world of everyone around him.  I had to learn more about him. This was the only way to do that.  Jack’s story was mine to tell. This was what I was missing in my life.”- Reynolds

At first they start out as friends but as time goes on, they get closer and their relationship starts to blossom into something more.  But with the possibilities of a relationship comes a heavy dose of guilt for Liz.  She feels like being in another relationship with someone other than Jack is something she cannot do.  He was the one and only love of her life and being with another, she tarnishes his memory. 

“I was empty inside. I refused any tenderness because I couldn’t give any in return.  Any love I had left went to the boys.  My feelings no longer mattered, but preserving Jack’s memory did.”- Elizabeth

“If I turned to Reynolds, my relationship with Jack would really be over.  I still needed him.  I can’t lose what I have left of him.”- Elizabeth

Reynolds also has his own baggage that he cannot get rid of.  His past relationships keep coming up and leaves Liz thinking the playboy image is all he has to offer and she is not interested in that.  Even though Elizabeth was so different than his past girlfriends there was something more, something real that attracted him to her and he would not give up that easily.

Liz and Reynolds love story is not an easy one and has many twist and turns and obstacles.  Can Liz work past the guilt of loving someone else?  Will her children accept another man into their home after their father was killed? Can Reynolds find happiness in Baltimore away from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood?  Can the Hollywood hottest star find everything he is looking for in a regular housewife?  You will have to read Past Heaven to find out!  4 Huge starts for me!

Not every love story has a happy ending,
but the great ones, no matter how they end,
change your life.
Love is the only thing more powerful in this world than death.
Love transcends. 
And in the end, all any of us can hope for,
is a love that is past heaven.

The first thing I have to say is Laura Ward is an amazing author.. she has completely blown me away with Past Heaven and her first story Not Yet.  I would have never guessed this was only her second story because she is brilliant and everyone should pick up her books!  This book took me to a whole new level of respect for her as a writer.. she simply broke my heart and slowly pieced it back together. The level of intensity she portrays in her writing is simply amazing.  I am thankful I took a chance on a new Indy author like her when I picked up Not Yet many months ago and because of that I knew when I decided to read Past Heaven that I wouldn't be disappointed.  Thanks for sharing your amazing story with us once again and keep on moving lady you have a long road ahead of you in this crazy book world!  I would give this story 5 heavenly stars!  Ladies you will need some tissues and a change of panties because she will give you so many emotions while reading this you will simply be thanking her by the end.  

Liz thought her life was complete when she married her husband Jack.  He was the perfect man and she had 3 amazing sons.  But when tragedy strikes her to the core she doesn't know how to move on from such a devastating loss.  But she slowly starts to piece her life back together because she has to be strong for her boys because now that is all she has to live for.
When she gets approached to do a movie about Jack, she doesn't know what to think but when she finally decides that this is what he deserves because he helped so many sick and unfortunate people her life will once again be turned upside down.

Reynolds is the hot movie star who is burned out with the big Hollywood life and wants to do something about it.  He finds himself wanting to write a screenplay for a movie and what better way to do that then write about a man who changed many lives?  What he will find will be more than he expected.  He will finally get what he is looking for but is the movie that finally gives him the piece of mind he has been wanting or is an amazing woman and her family?

Liz will have her doubts and Reynolds will have his as well.. but when they start to dig through the life that Liz thought was so perfect she will find secrets she didn't want to know.. and this will throw her in turmoil once again.. but this time will she be alone?  Can she love again or trust that Reynolds will be there for her after this movie breaks?  Can they find love Past Heaven?

You need to go get this book... it is standalone and no cliffy!  The main characters will blow you away but the side characters, the children they will play a huge roll in this book as well and it was great seeing how this story unfolded and seeing the demons fought.  Thanks Laura I look forward to so much more amazing stories in the future.. you are the reason I will always give new authors a chance!

LAURA WARD is the author of PAST HEAVEN and the New Adult novel, NOT YET. She lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. Laura married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not picking up toy trucks, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

Twitter — @laurarosnerward
Instagram — _Laura_Ward
Email —

Blog Tour & Review: Bitter Sweet Love by R.C. Stephen

After enduring an abusive childhood and having her heart broken by the only boy she trusts, Alexis White vows to never let anyone hurt her again. She's left her troubled past behind and starts a new life at college. For the past seven years, her social calendar has been filled with frat parties, drinking, and meaningless sexual hook-ups. Until one night she unexpectedly gets saved by a tall, dark, and handsome French foreigner, Luc Blanchard. He's charming, sophisticated, and very interested in Lexi, who has presented herself as a challenge when she tells him relationships aren't her thing.
She finds herself sucked in by his own intriguing past. But everything changes when Dylan Priestley, the gorgeous boy who broke her heart and shattered her faith in friendship and love, suddenly shows up in her life again while back home on a visit. Dylan doesn't hide his feelings for Lexi, but she can't forgive or forget being betrayed by the one person she ever truly loved.
Despite the pain Dylan's caused her, Lexi is once again drawn to the blue-eyed-boy-next-door. Will Lexi choose the man who seems perfect but hides a dark side or the boy who smashed her heart into pieces so many years ago?
Warning: this Book Ends in a cliffhanger. This is book one of a trilogy. Release dates will be held close together.

January 2013
Have you ever been at such a low point in your life when you saw the light to the other side? I thought it was something that people experienced when they were old and gray and had lived a life full of hopes, dreams, accomplishments, and family. I never thought that the angel would come for me at twenty-five. It’s my birthday.
It’s also the day I die.
She’s here. I can see the light around her and feel the warmth of her presence, amber liquid pouring too quickly over my head. The heat flows between my legs.
What’s happening? So much blood leaves my body. I can’t feel pain. I see only light and crimson. This is my end, but I’m not ready. I have so many things left unfinished, so many mistakes to correct. This is all my fault. The baby will die and I did this.
He will never forgive me. I need to see him one more time. I need to tell him the truth. He needs to understand what happened. I thought life would be different. I thought I had more time. If only I had more time.
My life can’t end like this.

Bitter Sweet Love by R.C. Stephens is a story about a broken childhood that shapes the person that you become later in life.  Alexis White had a childhood that no young girl should ever have to endure, physical abuse at the hands of her drunken mother, abuse she accepted as her reality in order to protect her younger sister.  Finding solace in the handsome boy next door, Alexis fell in love with Dylan who was her savior in more ways then one, until he no longer held that title for her anymore due to circumstances that were nothing more than a giant misunderstanding.  Living a life of one-night stands in the store-room of the bar where she worked, Alexis starts to think that she should try her hand again at have a relationship when she meets the handsome Luc Blanchard; who is everything you could want on the outside but hides so many secrets on the inside.  Once she is in over her head in more ways then one, Dylan returns to her life stirring up feelings she never wanted to feel again but had a difficult time forgetting.  This book was a 3.5 star read for me and I would recommend it to others.

Alexis White is studying to be a lawyer while working at a bar with her best friend Anna.  Along with Anna, Alexis has a rule that centers on never letting herself get involved with another person emotionally because that only leads to a broken heart, and her heart had been broken once long ago never to be repaired again; or so she thought.  Alexis keeps to one night stands and enforces her rule to never take a man home to her apartment, that is until she meets the sexy and charming Luc Blanchard who slowly begins to break down the walls that she has erected from the heartache of a devastating prom night where Dylan supposedly cheated on her with the school slut.

Luc Blanchard appears to be everything that Alexis could want in a man.  He is charming and sweet; serious and dedicated to his job but also playful and spontaneous.  Alexis decides to break down and discard her one night only rule and start a relationship with Luc; the first one since Dylan broke her heart.  Things seem to be going well and she begins to believe that she deserves to let love in her life again, that is until Dylan walks back into her life turning everything she thought she knew and felt into instant turmoil.  It is only then that Luc's true colors begin to show; causing Alexis physical pain once again from the hand of someone she cares about and immense worry for what she is facing by being with him.

A spontaneous trip to Hawaii after a car rendezvous with Dylan is just what she needs to get her relationship with Luc back on track, or is it?  When everything seems to come to a screeching halt and all the truths she never would have imagined are brought to light, will Alexis be able to walk away with her heart in tact? You will have to read this twisty tale to find out.

Bitter Sweet Love was the first book in the Twisted series.  This book will definitely make your brain twist and turn and leave you guessing as to what will happen next.  I would give this book a 4 stars! This book is a love triangle of sorts.. the new sexy french man Luc versus the boy next door first love Dylan.  There is more depth to the story than just a love story... Alex is trying to forget the scars of her past by moving on with her life, but when the whirlwind story continues on she will find it hard to find what she is looking for.. but what if what she was looking for she already had and she let a lie destroy that?  

Alex and Dylan grew up together and became each others first loves in highschool, but when a disastrous prom breaks them apart and they part ways to there separate colleges they decide they have to move on with there lives and forget about the past.  But there is only one problem Dylan can't move on he just has to prove his worth to Alex.. but will it be too late??  When Alex is on her own she becomes the one night stand queen she doesn't date and she certainly will never love again... but when a sexy french man Luc enters the picture she finds herself letting down her walls and feels that maybe she can breath again.. fate always has a way of stepping in when Dylan comes back.  Both men will be a challenge for Alex but who will she choose in the end?  Or will another twist of fate make that decision for her?  And will she finally see the true colors of Luc before it is too late??

If you want a story that will make you wanna slap the heroine for being so naive and stupid at times and then want to be jealous of her at the same time.. because who wouldn't want 2 sexy men chasing you?? Then this is the story for you.. don't worry its not ur typical boy meets girl falls in love leaves and they reunite OH no it is so much more and by the end you will be having a WTF moments many times.  Go One-Click this book ASAP!!!

Join the Facebook Release Day event hosted by R.C. Stephens and Wicked Women Book Blog, including many author take overs and a Kindle Fire HDX 7 giveaway! Click here to join now!

R.C. Stephens was born in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from York University with a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
Her debut Novel Bitter Sweet Love is book one of the Twisted Trilogy. Followed by Twisted Love and Sweet Love Forever.
R.C. is an avid reader, so when she isn’t cooking for her clan or on her laptop writing, she’s snuggled tight with her Kindle devouring any romance novel she can. Okay, with the exception of Thursday nights. She makes time for Scandal and Vampire Diaries. She’s a fan of drama and suspense but she’s also a sucker for a happy ending.
Her husband was her first teenage love. They live together with their three children in Toronto. Loving Canadian winters she could never think of living anywhere else.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blog Tour: Cartel by Lili St. Germain

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The first full length Gypsy Brothers novel from the smash hit author Lili St. Germain.

How much is a life worth?

I grew up in Colombia, the daughter of a wealthy drug lord. I lived a life of extravagance, until one day a drug run went horribly wrong and everything came crashing down around us.

I was given away. A payment for a debt. The Gypsy Brothers Motorcycle Club became my new owners, and I did everything I could to survive.

But falling in love with the man who owned me wasn't part of the plan...


‘This isn’t a fairytale,’ Dornan said wryly, as he watched her bring the soup-soaked bread to her mouth.
She paused with the bread in her hand, looking around the room in mock surprise. ‘You mean, we’re not Beauty and the fucking Beast?’
He laughed.
‘Well, you’re certainly beautiful,’ he said.
‘And you’re definitely a beast,’ she countered, pushing her empty bowl away and resting back on the bed.
‘But there’s no happy ever after for you,’ Dornan added, his eyes trailing over the chains to reach the cuffs that were now permanent bracelets on her wrists.
‘No,’ she said evenly, matching his intense gaze. ‘Not for any of us. Not in this world.’

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Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.