07 January 2014

{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: Awaken (Spiral Bliss #3) by Nina Lane

Awaken Banner
Title: Awaken (Spiral of Bliss #3) 
Author: Nina Lane  
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+  
Publication Date: January 7, 2014  
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.

“I love that you love me, professor.” “I love loving you, beauty.” Since their intense, passionate beginning, Professor Dean West and his wife Olivia have fought dark secrets and betrayal in order to save their marriage. Now reeling in the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Liv and Dean are driven further apart by a vindictive threat to Dean’s career. Struggling to stand on her own for the first time in years, Liv is determined to defend her husband and prove herself. Then an unexpected letter dredges up old insecurities and endangers Liv’s newfound independence. As Dean fights for his professional life, he is forced to confront his worst fear when he discovers that he can’t protect his beloved wife from her own painful past.



 My Review

 5+++++ beautiful, exquisitely written stars!!

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Spiral Bliss is by far one of my favorite series of all time. From the very beginning of Dean and Liv's journey in Arouse and then Allure and now, with Awaken, I have been rooting for this couple. I laughed and cried with them through this journey. And now, their story has finally come full circle. 

Awaken is exquisitely written in both Liv and Dean's point of view. Everything was well executed and the book captured and held my attention from beginning until the end. I didn't want to put the book down. I didn't want it to end. On the one hand, I'm glad Dean and Liv are finally at a secure place in their relationship without any external threats. But on the other hand, I'm sad because this series is ending.

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Awaken immediately picks up where Allure left off, with Dean in Italy to supervise an archeological dig and Liv in Mirror Lake. They both hated the separation, Dean especially. With the threats to his career still looming, he's helpless to do anything. He's frustrated that he can't be there to protect Liv. 

Liv hated the separation too but she knew that for them to survive the threats to their marriage, she has to learn to stand up for herself and protect her husband in the process. Furthermore, Liv also needed to confront the ghost of her past and move on. And boy, did she. I was so happy for her. She came full circle in this book. She was no longer the scared and insecure girl that we met in Arouse but a confident and assertive young woman ready to fight for her husband.

I was amazed at how much her character has grown during this series, especially in this book. She was the one who protected Dean and really made a conscious decision to assert herself. I was fist-pumping, saying to my Kindle, "You go, girl," every time she stood her ground, whether it was with Dean, her business, her family. It was awesome to finally see her take charge.

“I can think of a thousand reasons to say no,” he says.
“Me too.” I press a hand to my chest and close my eyes.
“But if we look hard enough, we can always find a reason to say no. We can always find a reason to be afraid. So maybe it’s time to stop looking and see what finds us instead.”

Dean was his usual charming self. There are not enough words to describe how wonderful a hero Dean is. His love for Liv and his passion for her, not just physically, but emotionally as well, was palpable. It was just wonderful to read about a hero who is just so in love with his wife and would really do anything, even sacrifice his own career, just to protect her. He is just amazing.

“You’re beautiful. You’re my wish come true.”

I just love, love this couple. Their relationship is intense, passionate, vulnerable and as a reader, you just can't help but cheer for them. When I was reading this book, I felt like I knew these people. And seriously, I want to hurt those who wanted to hurt them in this book. And trust me, there are a lot of people who wanted to hurt them, their careers, their marriage. And if trust me again, you'd want to hurt those people too for causing so much misery and heartbreak for both Dean and Liv.

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And I would remiss if I don't mention that this book is HOT. Like scorching, melt-your-panties, HOT. Dean and Liv have this explosive chemistry and Nina Lane can write a sexy scene like nobody's business. There are a lot of smexy times in this book but let me assure you that each of those smexy scenes were fabulously written and add so much to really knowing what Dean and Liv's relationship is like. 

One surprising thing about this book for me was the humor. I just loved that Dean and Live, despite the things that they're going through, when they are together, can actually laugh and be silly with each other. It's refreshing to read that. Some of my fave quotes and funniest moments really came from scenes where Dean and Live were being silly, playful and sweet to each other.

“You know I love you like a bee loves honey.”
“You know I can’t wait to pollinate your flower.” I chuckle.
“It’s been a while since you have, huh?”
“Way too long, baby.”
I could talk all day about this book. I just loved it that much. It's unforgettable and truly amazing. Read this series, people.

Spiral of Bliss Trilogy
Purchase Links: Amazon US | Barnes & Noble| KOBO | iTunes
Purchase Links: Amazon US| Barnes & Noble| KOBO | iTunes

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances and spicy erotica. Originally from California, she loves traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Nina also spent many years in graduate school studying art history and library sciences. Although she would go back for another degree if she could because she's that much of a bookworm, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer. Nina's novel The Erotic Dark hit #1 on Amazon's Erotica Bestseller list, and Allure is a USA Today Bestseller.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 Tour-Wide Giveaway

{Blog Tour} Masquerade by Nyrae Dawn


A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.Maddox Cross has always had to be tough. When his father went to jail for murder, the teenager took care of his sister and mother. Now on his own and working security at a night club, Maddox wants to become a tattoo artist-a dream that comes closer to reality when he falls for the hottest, most tatted woman he's ever seen. She's wild and beautiful, and Maddox will do anything to be with her.

Bee Malone came to town to open up her new tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Since being kidnapped as a young girl, Bee has had trouble getting close to anyone. But when she meets Maddox, she sees that under his hard biker's body is the sensitive soul of an artist. What starts out as a sizzling one-night stand soon becomes so much more.

Bee wants Maddox to join her tattoo business, but letting him into her life means revealing all her most intimate secrets. And as the past begins to intertwine with her present, Bee fears their love may not be as permanent as their ink . . .


“Did you bring any drawings?” Bee sits at the chair behind a desk.
I hand her a book, but the second I do, I want to snatch it back. It’s always like that showing someone my work, even though I know it’s good. “That’s just one I had with me. I have more at home.”
She doesn’t answer as she starts flipping through the pages. After a couple minutes of watching her study each page, I start to get jittery. Feel like she’s looking inside me instead of at some pages, so to distract myself, I move around the room, taking in pictures of her work and other tattoos on the walls.
She looks at the book for what seems like an hour before speaking. “These are good. They’re different. Your artwork has a unique style that I haven’t seen before.”
I nod.
“Why do you want to be a tattoo artist?” she asks. The question shows me how serious she is about what she does because no one has brought it up before.
The urge to tell her it’s none of her business surges through me, but I want this badly enough to answer. “Because when I’m around it, I feel more like myself than I probably ever have.”
A brief flash of shock shows on her face, but she covers it quickly. “Good. I won’t screw around with someone who’s playing a game. This isn’t something you do to make a quick buck. Not if you’re working with me, at least. Did you get a chance to actually give anyone ink?”
“No. The apprenticeship only lasted three months before he bailed.”
Bee nods. “That’s good. I actually rather you have hardly any experience—that way I don’t have to train bad habits out of you.”
“I’m not a dog.”
“No one said you were. Chill out, Scratch.”
I tense at the name, but before I can really say anything, she starts asking questions again. “Do you lean toward liking only black work or are you into color too?”
Everything I have so far is only black, but as I look at her again, I see a variety of black and colorful work. “Depends. I don’t want to do only one or the other. I love work with shading too. I’ve seen some pieces that are really incredible just because of the shading.”
She nods and I wonder if that was the right answer.
“I’m not saying you don’t, but this is something you have to take seriously. There are a lot of dumb-asses out there who think it’s all fun, but it’s not. Stuff like being clean and safe is even more important than the picture you put into someone’s skin.”
“That’s a given, isn’t it?”
She grins. “You’d think, but it’s not always like that.”
We’re both quiet after that. Bee glances down at my artwork again. “I’m surprised I even let you in here tonight. It’s important that you know that. I don’t take shit from people.”
One look at her and that’s obvious. Part of me didn’t expect her to open the door for me either. “I’m surprised I came, so that makes two of us.” When she looks up at me, I’m not sure how I feel about the way her eyes take me in. Don’t know what I think about the fact that we have shit in common or that her look is familiar to me. I give it myself.
Bee stands, walks around to the front of the desk, and then leans on it. “If we do this, can we keep things from getting awkward?”
My answer comes automatically. “I can if you can. It was one night. We don’t know each other and I’m never with someone more than once anyway.” I’ve shared this strange sort of honesty with her tonight that makes my body overheat. I want all the words back because they’re a part of me and I don’t want anyone to see who I am, but this is it. Saying these things to her is the only way to get what I want.
“Now that you’ve asked your questions and realize this isn’t a game to me, I need to know if we’re doing this or not.”
Silently she walks toward the door and opens it. I hold in the groan, pissed at myself for fucking this up again and even more pissed that she’s in control.
Bee turns toward me, her blond hair messy from sleep, but it’s another thing she doesn’t care about. It doesn’t take away from how sexy she is either.
“We’re doing this. Don’t make me regret it. Now I need to get some sleep and then we’ll talk tomorrow about a schedule.”
I let out the breath trapped in my lungs. Thanks, echoes through my mind, but all that comes out is, “Cool. We’ll talk later.” Then I walk out the door.
Instead of going home, I head to the high school. It’s such a dumb fucking thing to do, but like I’ve done other nights, I jump the fence and head to the football field. Sitting in the middle of it, I let my eyes trace over the whole thing, trying to remember the time this used to be important to me. And trying not to concentrate on the fact that even though I got something I want, something I need, I still want to take out the fucking world because of everything I’ve lost.

My Review

Wow! This is my favorite book in the series. Hands down.

Let me tell you, I wasn't quite sure about this one since it started off slow and I didn't feel any connection between the two MCs. And then bam! It hit me like a ton of bricks; the feels, the dialogue, the character development--everything just became better and better as the book progressed.

The Story
Masquerade is Maddox's story. We met Maddox in Facade. He was Laney's big sister and he's the most conflicted hero in this series and the HOTTEST, in my opinion. Maybe because he's older than Colt or Adrian or whatever, but this guy is HOT.

Bee is the new girl in town and the owner of Masquerade, a tattoo parlor. They met at a bar one night and they had a one night stand. It was only later that Maddox found out that Bee was actually the owner of the tattoo parlor he wanted to apprenticeship in.

It took me a while to warm up to this book. As I have said, the first 15% or so were a little slow. In fact, I wasn't quite sure about Maddox and Bee as a couple. I didn't feel any chemistry during their first time together. But slowly but surely it changed and the build-up of the romance between Maddox and Bee was pretty awesome after that.

Bee is another awesome character. She is, by far, the most complex. Her backstory will give you chills and will break your heart. Like Maddox, I wasn't feeling her at first, but then as I get to know her character, I was rooting for her.

Nyrae Dawn did a magnificent job with this book. This is more character driven compared to the other two and Maddox and Bee are both complex characters. For me, this is her best work yet.

Rating: 4.5 Stars!

ARC provided by GCP via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes

{Launch Day Blitz} Review + Giveaway: The Destiny of Violet and Luke by Jessica Sorensen


Luke Price's life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.

Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents' unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it's hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can't stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they've never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Bookish | iTunes

My Review

This book took a lot out of me. This is one of the most depressing book I've come across considering that both main characters are barely 20 years old and they're already carrying loads of baggage.

Luke and Violet both suffered very traumatic events in their childhood that rendered them incapable of forming healthy relationships. They met and despite their reservations, became friends and then lovers, for lack of a better world. Their relationship wasn't an easy nor a conventional one.

Luke and Violet are two of the most broken characters I've ever come across. Honestly, I had a hard time connecting to them and the story. In fact, I stopped reading at some point because both of them were just too miserable that they're making me miserable too. I had to change my mindset a bit in order to finally enjoy the book. I did enjoy it immensely after that.

And just when Violet and Luke are finally starting to open up to each other, and just when you thought they might actually make it work, a massive twist happened. The 'twist,' if you pay attention, is easy enough to figure out. You can see it a mile away but still well executed. And this wouldn't be a Jessica Sorensen book if there's no cliffhanger. Of course, there's a cliffhanger and a brutal one at that.

I don't want to say anything more least I might spoil it for y'all but if you're in the mood for something heavy and dark, this book is definitely for you.

ARC provided by Forever in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 stars.


She reaches for my fries with an undecided look on her face. “So I have a question.”
“About you.”
I slowly chew my food. “I’m not really sure I want to hear your question now.”
She picks a pickle off of her burger, pulling a repulsed face. “Well, I’m still going to ask it.”
I grab a handful of fries from the tray that’s on the table between us. “Go ahead and ask but it doesn’t mean I’ll answer.”
She props her elbows onto the table with her burger in her hand. “Why haven’t you ever talked to me before? I mean, we’ve walked past each other probably a hundred times, but never so much as acknowledged each other and then suddenly you’re stalking me.”
I pick up my soda and sip from the straw. “First off, I’m not stalking you. I just can’t seem to get rid of you.”
“You didn’t have to stop to pick me up.”
“Yeah, I did.”
“Why? You don’t know me—you’re in no way obligated to help me.”
“I know, but I wanted to.”
I shrug, setting my drink down. “Why not?”
She gives me a funny look, like I’m the most confusing person in the world, when really she should be looking at herself like that. “I don’t get it. Why would someone like you help someone like me?”
I open up the bun of my chicken sandwich to pick the tomato off. “What do you mean someone like me and someone like you?”
She points at me. “You as in a football player who has friends.” Then she points at herself. “And me as in the loner girl who could probably kick your ass.”
I choke on a laugh and my mouth full of food almost shoots out of my nose. “You could not kick my ass,” I cough, and then take a swallow of my drink.
She scans me over while scooping up some fries. “I beg to differ. I think you’re not as tough as you try to look.”
“Do you really?” If only she knew what really lay inside me. “Because most people think I am and for a good reason.”
“I think it’s all for show,” she replies nonchalantly and I can’t tell if she’s being serious or not. “I think that deep down you’re just a softy.”
“Are you trying to pick a fight with me right now?” I set my sandwich down on the tray and crack my knuckles. “Because I’m not going to fight a girl.”
“That’s such a typical guy answer.” She hurries and takes a drink, but I detect a hint of a smile before her lips wrap around the straw.
“You know what I think?” I cross my arms on the table and lean in, cocking my head to the side as I observe her closely. “I think you like arguing with me and that’s why you’re bringing this up.”
Her shoulders lift and descend as she takes a bite of her hamburger. “Maybe, but maybe I’m being serious.”
“You know that as a football player I have to tackle guys, right? It takes strength to do that.”
“Maybe you just run, though,” she counters. “Maybe you’re just good at running.”
The way she says it reminds me so much of my past and it’s like a kick to the stomach. “Maybe I’m not, though. Maybe I suck at running.” I sound choked and I decide it’s time to cut this conversation short, my brain seeking that potent taste of Jack and Tequila mixed with nicotine. I glance at my watch, pretending to check the time. “I just remembered that I have to meet Kayden somewhere in like a half an hour, so I’m going to have to take you back.”
She balls up the wrapper for her hamburger, acting nonchalant, but her shoulders are stiff. “Sounds good to me. I was done anyway.” She seems irritated and I have no idea why, other than she seems to be able to read through my bullshit and test me, which most people can’t and won’t even try. I’m supposed to be a closed book. A mystery. That way no one can see who I really am. It’s the way I’ve been living for years and it’s comfortable. Not ideal, but nothing is ideal.
We don’t talk as I collect our garbage and then walk next to her as she limps out to my truck. I try to offer her my arm and open the door for her, but she denies my offer, moving to the opposite door and pushing it open.
During the car ride, she barely says two words to me. I should be happy about it. That way there’s no room for sudden questions and statements that will set me off, however I find myself missing the bantering thing we had going and the way she pushed my buttons. By the time I drop her off, all I want to do is ask her to stay, talk some more, let me get to know her. But I don’t understand why. I’ve never wanted to get to know anyone before. I’ve never even been out on a date. Each woman I’ve been with, I’ve only been with once. Just sex. That’s all it’s ever about. And I’ve never wanted anything more.
Until now.

About the Author
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives with her husband and three kids. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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