Rewrite the Stars
by Charleigh Rose
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on November 2, 2018
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
Evangeline Thorne is privileged. Beautiful and popular, if not a little jaded. A chance encounter with a green-eyed stuntman sets off a chain of events that turns her perfect, little world upside down.Short on options and desperate for adventure, she joins the traveling carnival for the summer.Thrust into a world full of drama, deception, and secrecy, Evangeline tries to find herself and protect her heart in the process. Sebastian McAllister is cursed.He knows better than to think otherwise. He's content to live out the rest of his life traveling the country as one of the four Sons of Eastlake, seeking thrills the only way he knows how. The one thing he doesn't see coming is the spoiled blond with stars in her eyes. The only problem is, the more time he spends with her, the more hope starts to stir in his dormant heart.Too bad hope is a dangerous thing when you're a McAllister.
Rewrite the Stars is a standalone novel by author Charleigh Rose. The story follows Evangeline Thorne- a wealthy, popular girl with an adventurous streak, and Sebastian McAllister- a young, attractive stunt man who believes himself to be cursed. After an argument with her parents sends Evangeline fleeing from them for a little space, she finds herself at a traveling carnival featuring a stunt show performed by the infamous Sons of Eastlake. Curious, Evangeline sneaks into the carnival and attends the stunt show and is treated to a death-defying act by the Sons involving motorcycles and a closed in cage-like globe. When a shocking and unexpected event occurs that thrusts both characters together for a heart-pounding introduction, the story begins to unfold in a way that had me reading into the wee hours of the morning.
Evangeline’s life takes a darker turn after the night she spent in the presence of the Sons of Eastlake and it completely affects both her and her family. Evangeline’s father starts to suffer from addiction which causes his relationship to deteriorate with both his wife and daughter. Evangeline goes from being wealthy and happily ensconced with her family, to struggling financially and pretending her family isn’t falling apart around her. The friends she had also begin to show a completely different side of them- an unpleasant side. Eventually, nothing is keeping her in her hometown. When another chance encounter with Sebastian clarifies questions left lingering in the wake of their turbulent past encounter- Evangeline decides to leave home and travel with the carnival and Sons.
Sebastian, struggling with both his interest in Evangeline and the dark knowledge of a family curse that almost guarantees an early death, tries his best to build an emotional wall. However, his close proximity to Evangeline, their mutual attraction, and the many steamy encounters they stumble into slowly begins to tear down that wall. While Sebastian and Evangeline embark on a beautiful, dark, and passionate relationship, questionable and troubling events begin to plague the carnival and Evangeline. Sebastian, desperate to keep her safe from both his own fate and the mysterious menace, is thrust into a position of guardian- throwing them even closer together.
I thoroughly enjoyed having the traveling carnival as a prominent story location- it provided a nice bit of magic to the story and was a perfect complement to a mysterious “curse”. Sebastian was intriguing, wicked, dangerous, and a perfect blend of brooding and mischievous- Evangeline’s heart wasn’t the only one pounding when he stepped onto the pages. Evangeline was relatable and likable- she didn’t know where her own story was headed, nor where she would like to go. She just followed her instincts and heart, which I don’t see nearly enough of in stories. It’s nice having a heroine who doesn’t have her whole life figured out.
Rewrite the Stars is probably one of my favorite stories so far for 2019! It’s dark, romantic, sizzling, filled with moments that make your heart pound, and generously sprinkled with a bit of magic and intrigue!
FIVE stars!! Razing Grace
by Amo Jones
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on January 12, 2017
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
Can something that burns so rapidly calm the whispering chaos of your cries? Or is this all just an illusion. The perfect hypnosis. Like the humming of a sweet melody to your frantic brain. Drip. Blood trickled over the curve of Millie's collarbone. Drip. Slithering over her shoulder. Drip. Sliding off and into the mass puddle of death surrounding her. The last petal has fallen, a queen is born, and the disarray of her world is about to shatter under her very throne. Raze "She knows too much..."
WARNING: There may be some themes in this novel that are sensitive or triggering for some readers.
Razing Grace: Part One is a dark romance written by international bestselling author Amo Jones. The story follows Millie Hart- a devoted nun who is kidnapped by dangerous, masked men operating on orders from a nefarious and immoral man. Leading these men is Raze, also known as Tripp, who is not only a part of a secret organization known as The Army, but is also the person overseeing the darker dealings in his city. As Tripp plots revenge on the leader of The Army, he finds himself being drawn to his prisoner and a casualty in his dark schemes. Millie and Tripp become inexplicably attached to one another during her time locked in a cell, which works in her favor when Tripp makes a risky maneuver that places Millie in his protection.
Outside the Army’s compound and cell, Millie finds herself still a prisoner but in the care of Tripp and his household- including his fun and enigmatic best friend, Miles. During her “stay” at Tripp’s home, Millie begins to recover from the trauma she faced while in the cell, and manages to bury a lot of her emotions while developing another facet of herself- a new character development that results in the nickname “Puddin’” (a reference to Harley Quinn and the Joker’s relationship- if you’re familiar with them). Basically, Millie’s experiences have made her somewhat hardened, distant, and a tad “unhinged”- rightfully so. Interestingly enough, Tripp tries to help (in his own way) Millie come to terms with this new version of herself all while trying to help her heal. Personally, I was a fan of the way that Millie handled herself- rather than crumple into despair over her experiences, she grew stronger and began taking charge of her life and actions.
Tripp…I was unsure how I would feel about him considering his and Millie’s introduction. However, he redeemed himself by the way he orchestrated Millie’s release from the cell, his time spent with her in his home, and the way he did not prevent her from executing some of her actions later in the story. Tripp’s character development was an interesting one for me- he started off cold, deadly, and insensitive to the feelings of others, however, his experiences with Millie triggered a completely different side to him. This feeling deepened during their first “real” conversation standing outside his car, gazing at the sprawling site beyond that ledge, all while sharing chicken nuggets (I still can’t eat a chicken nugget without thinking of these two!).
Razing Grace was dark, twisted, startling, and fraught with danger, passion, and situations that left you wanting to both devour the words on the pages or toss the novel with how hot it was getting!…don’t toss it. Read it.
I Dare You
by Shantel Tessier
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on April 18, 2018
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What do you do when the devil has you in his sights? You show him that you can play his game. Austin Lowes is new to town. She's running from a mom who hates her to her dad who cares nothing about her. Only a few months and she will be free, or at least, that's what she hopes ... until she meets him. Cole Reynolds is the devil disguised as a man. He wants her fear, he wants her blood, and he wants her soul. Just a little game, he says, I dare you. Will Austin survive him, or will she lose herself and the game? Secrets are revealed and justice will be served, but at what cost? Who survives and who doesn't?
Review of I Dare You
I Dare You is a novel written by bestselling author Shantel Tessier. The story follows Austin Lowes, a high school senior who is shipped off to live with her absent, cold father. Austin’s childhood has been a tumultuous and dark experience as she was left to be raised by her mother who struggles with drugs and alcohol, and her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Her father was never around, as his relationship with Austin’s mother was brief and devoid of emotion. Austin’s introduction into her new life living with her wealthy father and his young wife Celeste is memorable- in fact, it’s Austin’s introduction to Cole Reynolds that instantly hooked me!
Cole Reynolds is a wealthy, high school senior who struggles with the demons of an unfortunate and haunting past mistake. This mistake, coupled with a promise he made to a friend, leads him down a dark and turbulent path that coincides with a momentous and chance meeting with Austin. Austin and Cole’s first meeting is fraught with serious tension, danger, and undeniable heat- I can still remember holding my breath as they struggled to read one another and navigate the challenge they presented. I knew instantly that this was a story that was going to keep me up at night…
And it did. And I was SO not disappointed.
Cole and his close friends need Austin to keep their secrets- and to ensure this happens, Cole pulls Austin deep into a twisted and dangerous game he plays with his friends. Unfortunately for Cole and the others, Austin is clever, strong, and more than capable of holding her own against them. She uses her wits to beat Cole and the others at their own game, all while being pulled into their dark plans and her burgeoning and undeniable attraction to Cole. The interactions and exchanges between Cole and Austin are fluid, charged, and addicting. The chemistry was palpable and intense- I found myself unable to stop thinking about their relationship as I went about my day. The second I got home from work, I was snatching up the book and pouring through it again.
The secondary characters were memorable and nearly as interesting as the two main characters. Cole’s friends were fascinating- especially Deke (who I really enjoyed!)- though I wish I had gotten some more time to delve a little further into their backstory. The shocking plot was riddled with mystery, intrigue, action, and sexual intensity! All the makings of a five-star story…
Five stars! The Peer and the Puppet
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 20, 2018
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
Borrow the bike. Win the race. Collect the cash. It should've been an easy job. Ran out of town with a broken leg and a lawsuit, my mother's latest flame swoops in like a knight in gilded armor. Blackwood Keep is a place I don't belong, and I'm not the only one who knows. To the boy across the hall, my savior's only son, I'm a stray looking for a bone.
He's lord of the manor.King of the academy. And number one on my shit list.
I have no intentions of becoming a happy family with the social climber and her wild daughter. A bottle of Jameson and a cracked skull gets my problem shipped to reform school, but I didn't bank on her returning.
Four's out to get even, and she almost had the perfect plan: expose the privileged kid moonlighting as a gangbanger. She's smart, but she'll have to be smarter. Sending her away won't be good enough this time. I'm going to have to tame the little troublemaker. To the girl across the hall, the one without a name, I'm nothing without my silver spoon.
She's lady of the trailer park.Queen of the swamps. And my new favorite pastime.
The Peer and the Puppet is a standalone romance, however, the series is one story. The plot introduced in Four and Ever's story will continue in the following novels. No cliffhangers.
The Peer and the Puppet is the first novel in the When Rivals Play series by author B. B. Reid. The story follows Four, a high school student with a passion for racing (albeit illegally) who lives with her emotionally distant mother- whom she calls by her first name. Four’s mother meets a wealthy gentleman who encourages them to move in with him and his son Ever after an unfortunate experience involving Four and her favorite pastime. Unfortunately for Four, this move means leaving her school, the automotive workshop (her favorite place), and everything she’s ever known. Ever, the teenage son of Four’s mother’s boyfriend, is less than thrilled to have Four or her mother living at their home. His first meeting with Four is charged and painful…literally. This sparks an instant dislike and unspoken war between them that eventually has Four being shipped off to boarding school.
But Four comes back and Ever once more has to contend with unwanted feelings towards her, all while trying to infiltrate a dangerous gang in order to follow the metaphorical ghost of his mother. Meanwhile, Four struggles with her own reluctant attraction towards Ever, while navigating the complicated relationship she has with her mother and her interest in racing. As the battle between them becomes heated with more than just intense dislike, Four and Ever slowly begin to exchange armor for forbidden touches and moments of shared passion. Their witty dialogue simmers and intensifies until words become lost in nothing but mingled sighs and whispered dreams. It was beautiful to watch their love unfold. The character development of Four and Ever is admirable and flawless- they both grew and changed perfectly throughout the story.
The spine-tingling danger and intrigue of illegal street racing and the violent, dark workings of gangs and other villainous characters added a compelling and heart-pounding layer to the story. The secondary characters such as Vaughan (Ever’s best friend), Jamie (Ever’s cousin), and Tara (Four’s best friend) were all fascinating and added depth to the relationships- as well as helped artfully move the plot along. It is my hope that these secondary characters are either more thoroughly discussed in future books, or have novels of their own. The Peer and the Puppet was a compelling, addicting page-turner that left me hooked, breathless, and wanting more!
Five stars! Jockblocked
by Jen Frederick
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on February 4, 2016
Genres: Romance, Romantic Comedy, Coming of Age
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
She's always played it safe... College junior Lucy Washington abides by one rule-avoid risk at all costs. She's cautious in every aspect of her life, from her health, to her mock trial team, to the boring guys she dates. When a brash, gorgeous jock walks into the campus coffeeshop and turns his flirt on, Lucy is stunned by the force of attraction. For the first time ever, she's willing to step out of her comfort zone, but can she really trust the guy who's determined to sweep her off her feet? He's always played around... Entering his last year of college eligibility, linebacker Matthew "Matty" Iverson has the team captaincy in his sights. And it's his for the taking, if he can convince his quarterback Ace Anderson to give up the starting position. Luckily, Matty already has an edge-the hottie he's lusting over just happens to be Ace's childhood best friend. Getting Lucy on his side and in his bed? Hell yeah. Matty is more than confident he can have both, but when he falls hard for Lucy, it's time for a new game plan: convince the woman of his dreams that she's not sleeping with the enemy.
Jockblocked is the second novel in the Gridiron series by USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick. The story follows Lucy Washington, a college junior who works at a coffee shop, spends a great deal of time practicing for a mock trial, and steadfastly avoids jocks- especially the football players. Matthew Iverson is a star football player who plays defense, but when he meets Lucy studying in the coffee shop, he immediately moves into the position of offense. As Lucy tries to respect the wishes of her best friend Ace- the football team’s quarterback- and avoid his teammates, all while trying to manage her health issues and mock trial team, Matthew-or Matty-finds himself in the unique position of trying to pursue his interest in Lucy while keeping his own team together- by trying to convince Ace to leave his quarterback position.
From the moment Lucy and Matty meet in the coffeeshop, the metaphorical sparks fly and the chemistry between the two immediately pulled me into the story until I thought, “Oh yeah, this is going to be good.” I have read stories where the chemistry between the characters starts off strong, and then half-way through something changes and I have to struggle to detect the sizzling attraction between the two that the first half of the book promised.
That was NOT the case with Jockblocked.
Lucy was a compelling character in the sense that she was very believable- a mix of flawed and intriguing characteristics and morals. Lucy was adamant and consistent in her defense of her friends- she did not allow people to run rough-shod over her feelings, and she certainly did not say or do something that went against her firm beliefs in how a friend should behave or act. I respected Lucy for these beliefs, and respected Matty for understanding them as well. With that being said, Lucy realizing that what she had previously thought were strengths in her character but were well-rooted fears keeping her from taking chances, was what truly won her over for me.
Now, Matty Iverson…where do I begin with him? I have always been a fan of strong, alpha heroes who grin frequently, have a wicked sense of humor, dirty mouth, and are respectful and persistent. Matty was all of that and more! He won me over with that foot rub…seriously, I need that in my life. His character not only adapts to the health needs of the woman he desires in every sense of the word (what guy is that willing to go out to eat at a vegan restaurant?), but he demands that his friends respect her, and even sacrifices something he cares about to ensure her safety and well-being. Matty…you may have just won your spot on my next book boyfriends post.
Jockblocked was a humorous and sizzling mix of intense chemistry, laugh-out-loud moments, compelling characters, and non-stop fun! I literally could not put this book down. While I initially read it on my kindle, I loved it SO much that I am ordering the paperback version and the rest in the series along with it!
Five stars for Jockblocked!