Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey #Review

Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey #Review

PJV QUICKIE:

I loved Shannon Stacey’s Kawalski Family series but couldn’t get into her last Contemporary series, Boys of Fall, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I requested Heat Exchange for review (how could I resist that cover?).  I am happy to report that I loved this book! Great characters, a realistic plot and an interesting setting made Heat Exchange a book that I couldn’t put down.

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Review:
Lydia Kincaid was born and raised in a Boston firefighter family – her father and brother are/were firefighters, she married (and divorced) a Boston firefighter, and her family bar caters to locals and firefighters. Her marriage was a disaster – he was a philandering jerk, and her family wasn’t very supportive of her divorce or her subsequent move to Concord – not too far but far enough to get away.  The brotherhood of the Boston FD can be overwhelming, and Lydia was feeling smothered and brushed aside.

Aidan Hunt met Lydia’s father, Tommy, when he was eleven and his family had been in a car accident. Tommy made such an impression on young Aiden that eventually Aiden decided that he wanted to be a firefighter too, much to the chagrin of his family.  Lydia’s father and brother embraced Aidan like he was their own family, and he respects Tommy more than his own father.  He loves being able to help people, and the brotherhood of the Boston FD is the life he’s always wanted.

When Lydia’s sister Ashley calls with the news that she’s leaving her husband (another firefighter), Lydia comes back to Boston to help tend the family bar so that Ashley can have some time away from the firefighters and the gossip.  Neither Lydia nor Aiden expects the sparks that fly when he walks in to the bar and sees her behind it. They know they shouldn’t act on it – He’s her brother’s best friend!  She doesn’t date firefighters! – but the attraction is too strong to fight.

~~~~~~~

As I mentioned above in the PJV Quickie, I absolutely love Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series (of Doom!) and devoured each book as soon as it came out. But then I couldn’t get into her next contemporary series, Boys of Fall, so I was a little nervous about starting Heat Exchange.  As it turns out, I really loved Heat Exchange – I was pulled into the story quickly and from there I was IN the story: Ms. Stacey’s writing gave a great sense of place and presence, if that makes sense. You get a great sense of how strong the firefighter’s bonds are, and Lydia’s feelings of chafing at those bonds comes across loud and clear.  Her experiences with her ex-husband and her father’s misogynistic attitude towards women and his views on their role as support for the men left me feeling as frustrated and conflicted as Lydia was about her relationship with Aidan.  She had legitimate reasons for not wanting to get involved, but Aidan was a really great guy and I wanted an HEA for them. Aidan’s feelings about hiding their relationship from his his best friend and his coworkers (“brothers”) are also authentic, and his guilt and frustration war with his attraction to Lydia.

I also liked the secondary story of Lydia’s sister, Ashley, and Ashley’s marriage to Danny. As they try to work through their crumbling marriage, I found my attention did not wander when the focus shifted to Ashley and Danny. Their storyline was not just a plot device but an interesting example of the importance of communication.

Lest you think this story is all gloom and frustration, Shannon Stacey has a great sense of humor and it flows naturally throughout the story. Heat Exchange is exactly what I want when I’m in the mood for a Contemporary Romance – attraction, humor, conflict, real issues and believable characters.  I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Controlled Burn.

Recommendation:
If you like firefighter stories and contemporary romance, I highly recommend Heat Exchange.  Fans of Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series, Jennifer Bernard’s Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series, or Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series will probably enjoy Heat Exchange.
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About_the_book Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey #Review

Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey

five-stars
Boston Fire #1
Published by: Carina Press, Harlequin on August 25, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
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Lydia Kincaid's shipping back to Boston, but she's not happy about it. She left to get away from the firefighting community—her father was a firefighter, her brother's a firefighter and, more important, her ex is a firefighter. But family is number one, and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother's handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He's had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him, it's her. Aside from being his mentor's daughter, she's his best friend's sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool until she leaves town again fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can't uncross.

As Aidan and Lydia's flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter's wife was the hardest thing she's ever done, and she doesn't know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can't imagine walking away from Boston Fire—even for Lydia. The job and the brotherhood are his life; but if he wants Lydia in it, he'll have to decide who's first in his heart.
Sustained by Emma Chase #Review

Sustained by Emma Chase #Review

PJV QUICKIE:

Emma Chase has done it again: Sustained was sweet, sexy, sometimes sad, but never boring. If someone had told me how much I would enjoy a book featuring six kids, there is no way I would have believed them.  It’s true though – aside from a few reservations that I address below, I absolutely loved Sustained!

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Review:
Jake Becker is a high powered defense attorney for a prestigious law firm.  He’s also a lover of women, and he ‘loves’ them every chance he gets. The thought of settling down, or even dating, has never crossed his mind.  Jake was raised by his mom after his abusive dad left, and as a kid he was headed down the wrong path until he was taken under the wing of a workaholic judge who saw something redeemable in Jake.

Chelsea McQuaid is -was- a 26-year-old college student.  Then her older brother and his wife died in a car accident, leaving Chelsea their six kids ranging in age from infant to 14 to take care of.  Overwhelmed doesn’t begin to cover it, but she loves the kids and is doing the best she can.

When Jake’s wallet is pickpocketed, he chases the kid, Rory, until he catches him.  Jake sees something of himself as a child in Rory, and decides to take Rory home to his parents and let them sort him out.  What Jake finds at Rory’s home instead is Chelsea, obviously overwhelmed by caring for six children.  Jake would love to get together with Chelsea, but he knows she’s got her hands full.  Several incidents later, and the kids have drawn him in to the family and closer to Chelsea.  Jake doesn’t want a family though, and is fighting the life lesson that ‘want’ and ‘need’ are two different things.

~~~~~~~

I enjoyed the small role Jake had in the first book, Overruled, and was looking forward to his story.  Let me say here that you do not need to read Overruled to jump right in to Sustained.  Yes, we do read about the couple from Overruled, and it’s nice to see how they’re doing, but it’s not necessary to read it to enjoy Sustained.  I’m also going to say that if you didn’t like Overruled (the hero was an ass), don’t be afraid to give Sustained a read, it’s got a different feel to it.

I can’t say I was surprised that I enjoyed Sustained, because I fully expected to, but it’s always nice when a book lives up to your expectations.  The hours that I spent with Chelsea, Jake, and the kids were a nice break from reality.  Jake was a pretty amazing character – if you want a character that shows growth through the story, Jake is a great example.  Does he have a few bumps in the road? Sure he does, but he gets there eventually and I (mostly) enjoyed his journey. Chelsea was a character I could identify with – she wasn’t perfect but she was a good person in a tough situation.  She doesn’t always make the right choice in her personal life but she will do anything for the kids.

Let’s talk about the kids:  I normally avoid books with kids in them. I find them annoying and too cutesy or ridiculous and read the ‘kid scenes’ rolling my eyes. This is not the case in Sustained – these kids were realistic, cute but not in a fake way, and essential to the story. Color me surprised but I genuinely liked these kids!

Sustained was a funny, sexy, quick (quick in that I couldn’t stop reading, the book is 267 pages) read that I didn’t want to put down. From humorous scenes like Jake going to a One Direction concert, to serious scenes involving Child Services, I wanted the best for Jake and Chelsea and the kids, and I wanted it to be together.  Every time something happened I wanted to cheer them on with a “you can do this!”.

I almost gave Sustained 5 stars, but I took off 1 star for the following reasons:

  • There is a scene in Sustained where it appears Jake drove drunk – there were no repercussions, he kind of noted it and went on, no “OMG that was dangerous/illegal/stupid”.  Yes, fictional heroes have flaws, but this is a hot issue for me and it took the shine off the character in a major way.
  • In the first few pages Jake gets an STD. He’s cured before he meets Chelsea, but Jake and Chelsea never talk about their sexual history except to say “I’m clean” and I kind of feel like they should have.   He was clean, but…I just have mixed feelings about this.

So, in summary, Sustained was, for me, a great read with just a few grumbles. It left me happy with the ending for more than just the romance storyline, and highly anticipating the next book.  Now, there is a sneak-peek of the next book, Appealed, at the end of Sustained. Of course I read it and it looks like it’s going to be fabulous.  According to Amazon, we have to wait until January for Appealed – *cries* that’s too long!!!

Recommendation: Sustained is a solid read that will appeal to contemporary romance readers looking for an entertaining story.  I would recommend Sustained to fans of Julie James, romance readers who love law settings, and readers who like the “instant family” trope.

 

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Sustained by Emma Chase #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.
The Neon Dreams series by Caisey Quinn #Review

The Neon Dreams series by Caisey Quinn #Review

PJV QUICKIE:

The eye-catching covers might have drawn my attention, but the writing and the story are what kept me reading. Interesting characters, exciting musician-on-the-road lifestyles, and sexual tension that left my fingers scorched wherever they touched the pages are all reasons why these books are on my keeper shelf, and why I’ve got my calendar marked for the next book.  Is it October yet?

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Caisey Quinn’s Neon Dreams series is one that somehow went under my radar until I met her at the RT Convention in Dallas at the Avon party.  She was signing the second book in the series, Loving Dallas, and I was thrilled to receive a copy. The blurb was interesting and the author was very enthusiastic about the series, but I put it aside until I bought the first book, Leaving Amarillo because I can’t start with the second book in a series.

OnceI started reading Leaving Amarillo, I couldn’t put it down.  I like the characters – a brother and sister and the brother’s best friend have a band and they’re traveling around Texas trying to make it big.  Dixie, the sister, has a college music scholarship but if they can get a contract she won’t be going back to school.  She’s also got a huge crush on Gavin, their childhood friend.  Apparently Gavin promised her brother Dallas that he’d never make a move on Dixie and he’s stayed true to his word… until Dixie forces his hand.

From there it’s a wonderfully hot story of passion – both physical passion and their passion for music.  When I turned the last page, I’ll admit I was really frustrated – I gave it a 3.75 on goodreads because I was enjoying the story but the end is unresolved between Dixie and Gavin and since the next book is Dallas’ story we won’t be getting their resolution until book 3.  I knew in my heart there was no way I’d enjoy Dallas’ story because I was mad that we didn’t Dixie and Gavin’s story resolved.

Well, I am the first to admit when I’m wrong.  I really enjoyed Loving Dallas. Dallas went on the road alone and his story is a “second chance love” story.  Not what I expected and I loved it.  There were times when I was frustrated with the lack of communication between the characters, but honestly I didn’t care.  The secondary characters helped move the story along, but they were also interesting in and of themselves.

This has been a great series so far and I can’t wait for the next book, Loving Dixie. I would not recommend trying to read these books as stand-alones.  The set up for Dixie and Gavin’s HEA is set and it’s going to be epic, I just know it!

Recommendations:
Fans of “Rock Star” romance and fans of New Adult will probably enjoy the Neon Dreams series.  Fans of Jamie Shaw’s Mayhem series, Erica Kelly’s Rock Star Romance series, and Liora Blake’s True Devotion series may want to give the Neon Dreams series a try.

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The Neon Dreams series by Caisey Quinn #Review
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Neon Dreams 1Nashville meets New Adult in Neon Dreams, a dramatic, sexy series from bestselling author Caisey Quinn, about a country band’s rocky road to fame—and the ambition, dreams, and love of the people who make the music.

Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

Neon Dreams 2In the second novel in bestselling author Caisey Quinn’s Neon Dreams series, a country rock band and its members embark on the rocky road to fame and find love along the way.

Dallas Lark is so close to achieving his dream of making it big in country music that he can taste it. Arriving in Nashville after signing with sexy, successful manager Mandy Lantram, his life goes from tragedy and turmoil to one lucky break after another—except it isn’t really luck because Dallas has sacrificed everything for his career, leaving behind his band, sister, best friend, and high school sweetheart, Robyn, in the pursuit of fame.

Robyn Breeland is a successful marketing coordinator and promotions specialist for a thriving liquor distributor out of Texas. She loves every aspect of her job: coming up with new ideas, traveling, hosting promotional parties and exclusive events—until it brings her face-to-face with the man who broke her heart, prompting her to erect a steel cage around it.

When their paths collide and they’re forced to work together, Dallas and Robyn realize that the old spark they thought they’d extinguished might still be a burning flame.

(Blurb from Booktopia) The stunning final installment in Caisey Quinn's Neon Dreams trilogy.

Fighting for redemption...

I've lived most of my life in darkness, beneath the shadows of secrets and addictions. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt the only girl I'd ever loved-the one who brought me into the light. In my entire life I'd made one promise-a promise I'd intended to keep. I've broken that promise and now I have to live with the fallout. Dixie Lark hates me, and I have to tell her that I love her. I also have to tell her a truth that might destroy us forever.

Can she love me even if she can't forgive me?

Learning to move on...

Gavin Garrison broke his promise to my brother and he broke my heart in the process. I may never love anyone the way I've loved him, but at least I won't spend my life wondering what if. We had our one night and he walked away. I'm finally beginning to move on when my brother's wedding and a battle of the bands brings us back together.

Our band is getting a second chance, but I don't know if I can give him one. How do you hand your heart back to the person who set it on fire once already?
Truth or Beard by Penny Reid #Review

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid #Review

PJV QUICKIE:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you haven’t read any of Penny Reid’s books – why not? I’ve enjoyed her Knitting in the City series and while reading book 4, Beauty and the Mustache, I fell in love with the Winston brothers. If Truth or Beard is any indication of the rest of the series, all I can say is “Take my money and give me all the books!”

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Review:
Jessica James is a high-school math teacher who’s come home to teach and pay off her student loans before fulfilling her dream of travelling the world. Her plan is to stay home for two years and then travel. She’s not planning on starting anything with hunky Beau Winston, the twin she’s had a crush on for as long as she can remember, but when he approaches her at a community gathering, she can’t believe it. When she finds out it was actually his twin, Duane, she’s furious – she and Duane have had an antagonistic relationship since they were kids, so why is he kissing her and looking for more?

Duane Winston has had a crush on Jessica James since they were teenagers – he can remember the exact day his feelings for her changed from aggravation to affection.  When he sees a chance to kiss her, he takes it, even though he knows she’ll be furious. As he gets to know the grown-up, post-college Jessica, he likes her even more. But she doesn’t plan to stick around, and he wants something permanent with her.

~~~~~

Oh yes.  Truth or Beard was so funny and so sexy!  I have a weird one-sided love affair going on with Penny Reid, or her books anyway, and Truth or Beard is another example of what I love about her writing. If you’ve read a Penny Reid book before, you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t read any of her books before, you’re missing out!  Penny Reid writes absolutely delicious heroes.  I’m talking grab an imaginary spoon, dig in, and go back for seconds delicious.

Jessica and Duane have a hate-on for each other that goes back years to when they were kids.  Watching that turn around into a real attraction was delightful to read.   I enjoyed the back-and-forth between them and Duane’s plan to court her was swoony.  You’ve got this tough, bearded mechanic who is actively woo-ing his former childhood nemesis, and a sexy math teacher who’s got one foot out the proverbial door.  Throw in a side story involving one of the brothers who got into some trouble with the local motorcycle gang and you’ve got a story that’s almost impossible to put down.

Some of the conflict felt a bit forced at times – I wish Jessica hadn’t fought so hard to push Duane away, and his brilliant plan to ‘have her while he could’ really wasn’t so brilliant, but in the end it all worked out beautifully.  Of course there’s a little something that the author may be saving for a future book story line, but the seed has been planted (in my mind at least).

As Jessica and Duane’s story came to an end, all I could think was that I want every brother’s story. Right now.  (Their sister Ashley’s story was told in Beauty and the Mustache.) Whhyyyyy do I have to wait????

Recommendation:
Penny Reid is an ‘auto-buy’ author for me. I highly recommend her books if you enjoy smart, funny contemporary romance.  I think that Truth or Beard can be read as a stand-alone, although if you read ‘Beauty and the Mustache’ I think you will enjoy it even more.  Fans of Alice Clayton and Molly Harper should give Penny Reid’s books a try.

 

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About_the_book

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid #Review

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

four-stars
Winston Brothers #1
on July 21, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
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Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

Series Description:
Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief.  Truth or Beard is book #1 in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, full length (120k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.
Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans #Review

Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans #Review

PJV QUICKIE:

At the end of Manwhore, I absolutely could not wait for Manwhore +1.  While I did enjoy reading about Rachel and Saint again,  Manwhore +1 missed the spark of uncertainty and anticipation that I loved in the first book.

When we left Rachel Livingston at the end of Manwhore, her life was in a shambles:  She had just been exposed for doing a secret article on one of Chicago’s hottest bachelors – Malcolm Saint. The problem was, she had fallen in love with him and was pretty sure he had fallen for her as well.  After the story blew up, he wouldn’t return her calls or e-mails.  Until now. Now he wants her…to work for him.  Rachel doesn’t want to work for Saint, though, she wants things to be like they were before.  But while she’s trying to make things right with Saint, things are not as great as she thought they would be at Edge, the magazine she works for.

 ~~~~~

I waited, very impatiently, for Manwhore +1.  I absolutely loved Manwhore and talked it up to anyone who would listen. Unfortunately, Manwhore +1 left me wanting more, and not in a good way.  While I still love Rachel and Saint, Manwhore +1 just kind of meandered across the page.  There’s really no conflict in Manwhore +1, and sometimes that’s okay if the relationship is carrying the story, but in this case I didn’t really feel that the relationship was moving the story forward either.  The plot is very loosely defined; mostly just Rachel obsessing over Saint, and sex.  Lots of sex.  I can’t believe I’m saying a book needs more plot/less sex, but there it is.  We already know from book 1 that Malcolm is all that and a bag of chips (probably some very expensive gourmet brand), so I felt like in book 2 all of Rachel’s internal fawning over him was overkill.  And there was a lot of fawning.  I thought there might be some conflict regarding someone trying to buy out her magazine, but it’s established early on that Rachel is unhappy there and it seems like she should be leaving anyway. Her job hunt felt very 50-shades-esque with Saint knowing all the editors she interviewed for and offering to “put in a good word for her”, all the while she’s refusing to work for him.  Without going into spoilers, I felt that the whole job drama didn’t really make any sense and didn’t really make any sense from the “villain’s” point of view.

I realize this all sounds like I hated Manwhore +1, but that’s not true.  Katy Evans writes great prose but I feel like in this case it got lost in a wandering story.  Several times I’d re-read a sentence just because I liked how it sounded in my head. And I still sigh whenever I think about “dibs”. I do want to see what’s next for Rachel and Saint – I will definitely be reading Ms. Manwhore; I’m hoping Manwhore +1 is just a bridge to the rest of their story.

I’m also wondering if we’re going to get a Gina/Tahoe story?  It seems to be building up to it, and I would absolutely be interested in their story.

Recommendation: If you read and enjoyed the first book, Manwhore, I’d recommend this next installment.  Fans of Sylvia Day, Emma Chase, or J. Kenner may enjoy Manwhore +1.

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Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
Billionaire playboy? Check.
Ruthless businessman? Check.
Absolutely sinful? Check.

Malcolm Saint was an assignment. A story. A beautiful, difficult man I was supposed to uncover for a racy exposé.

I intended to reveal him, his secrets, his lifestyle—not let him reveal me. But my head was overtaken by my heart and suddenly nothing could stop me from falling. I fell for him, and I fell hard.

Malcolm Saint is absolute Sin, and I've become a hopeless Sinner.

Now that the assignment is over, Saint wants something from me--something unexpected--and I want this wicked playboy's heart. But how can I prove to the man who trusts no one that I’m worthy of becoming his plus one?
True Devotion by Liora Blake #Review

True Devotion by Liora Blake #Review

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PJV Quickie: Coming off the high of True North, I was worried about the dreaded Sophomore Slump. I am happy to report this was not the case and I adored True Devotion!

Review:
You’d never guess now, but Devon Jenkins has lived a hard life.  She grew up in poverty, but since her brother Trevor’s band (Trevor is the hero in True North) hit the big time, she’s living in L.A. now.  She’s turned her life around and gotten away from some bad decisions in her past – she’s a massage therapist and she loves to bake in her spare time. She loves her brother and puts up with his band-mate, Simon. Does she have a thing for Simon?  Well, sure – Simon is hot, so hot, but he flirts with anything in a skirt.  So, no, she’s going there and getting her heart broken.

Simon Cole is in Trevor’s band, Trax.  He’s had a thing for Devon, but he knows she’s off limits because she’s Trevor’s sister.  Instead he takes what is offered by willing women, but they’re nothing real for him – Devon could be.  When Devon offers him a drunken one-night stand after Trevor’s wedding, Simon tells her no – not until she’s ready to make it real.

~~~~~

I loved True North, the first book in this series, and couldn’t wait to read cocky, flirty Simon’s book. I wasn’t too sure about Devon, as she seemed kind of angry and stand off-ish, but that really was not the case here. Once you understand her background and her feelings for her brother, her actions in True North make much more sense.  

OMG y’all – Simon and Devon had CHEMISTRY: Simmering, smoldering, sensual chemistry. I loved the back-and-forth between these two, and how they both have a great sense of humor.  Their personalities were well-matched, and once they both decided to go for it, they were fabulous together.  Simon only had eyes for Devon, and all he wanted to do was make her happy.  Devon had a few bumps on the way – her past made her resistant to relationships and she didn’t feel worthy of Simon’s love and affection. And while I didn’t understand her turn towards self-destruction, I do know that it happens in real life and it felt authentic to this reader.

True Devotion had a tiny bit more of the “rock star” life in it than True North did, and I enjoyed seeing the guys doing their thing. We also get to catch up with Trevor and Kate, so that was like seeing old friends again.  (Don’t worry, it can be read as a stand-alone.)  My only complaint with the story is that it followed the same type of story arc as True North, although the different characters were enough to keep it interesting for this reader.

Liora Blake is on my “writers to watch” list and I am excitedly looking forward to the third book in this series, True Divide, which will be out in October.

Is it October yet?

Recommendations:
Fans of rock-star romance will love True Devotion!  If you like Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series, or Erika Kelly’s Rock Star Romance series should give this series a try.

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True Devotion by Liora Blake #Review

True Devotion by Liora Blake

four-stars
True #2
Published by: Simon & Schuster on June 22, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Amazon Goodreads
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Find out if rock sensation Simon can break through tough-girl Devon’s steely exterior—if he can keep his head on straight, that is—in this second sizzling romance in the True series!

Devon Jenkins is a feisty blonde, and Simon Cole is the arrogant, sexy guitarist playing in her brother’s band. When they met for the first time, it went something like this: He hit on her, she shot him down, he made a lewd joke, she told him he was an idiot.

In the two years since then, not much has changed. From the way Simon flirts shamelessly with any set of ovaries within a 100-mile radius, Devon knows the smartest thing she can do is keep an impenetrable wall between them.

But sometimes the smart choice isn’t necessarily the right one…

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