Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nero by Sarah Brianne

Nero (Made Men, #1)** 4.5 out of 5 Intense Stars **


Nero is the king of Legacy Prep, living a life of power.  Elle is the school's punching bag, living a life of fear.  
The only good girls Nero knows jump in his bed when he tells them to.
The closest to Elle has come to a bad boy like him is in the cafeteria line.
The mob boss gave him orders to find out what she knows.
Her mouth is sealed.


Holy book hangover!!  This book is so good!  Let me get the basics out of the way first.  The writing style was great.  It's easy to follow and told from several different POV but mainly from Elle and Nero.  You will be drawn in from the first page.  I began reading about 830 pm and finally stopped around 3 am only to get back up at 4 and finish it around 7am.  Yeah, it's that good.

I loved Elle's character.  She was strong even in the face of all she had to deal with.  She's loyal to Chloe.  She didn't want to give into Nero but love is funny like that.  Nero.  I tend to go back and forth with him.  I liked him.  I liked how he could be with her and his alpha side.  There were definitely things I wasn't happy with but I'm not sure it was enough to totally turn me against him.  I knew going in that his character wasn't always gonna be easy to stomach.  I loved them together.  He always protected her.  He was there when she needed him and when she didn't.  He always put her before everything else.  When he fell for her, he fell hard.  The book was a little on the young side.  They are both high school seniors.  She acts like it but he doesn't at all.  I had a hard time remembering that he is only 18 most of the time.

I would definitely recommend this book.  If you love alpha males who are controlling and possessive then give this book a shot.  I will warn you can be hard to handle at times.  There is strong abuse and bullying through most of the book.  I'm giving it 4.5 stars.  It wasn't a total 5 star book because of the ending.  We didn't get a HEA...more like a HFN.  I needed more and I'm hoping there will be other books in the series so I can check in with them.


Nero is HOT.  He's young, king of his school, a ladies man, and beautiful.  His dad is a mob boss and he's known since birth that he would follow in his footsteps.  He's used to getting anything and everything he wants.  He's intense, moody and completely alpha.  He can be sweet but honestly there were times when I flat out didn't like him or the things he's capable of.  Mob or's not ok to be abusive to women.

Elle is the school's punching bag.  She hates her life but continues to allow the torment to continue so she can protect her only friend Chloe...who honestly has it worse I think.  She comes from a family with little money but attends a prep school on scholarship.  Everyone hates her.  She's bullied and abused on a daily bases.  She's pretty but she hides it trying to blend with the walls.

Let me say from the beginning this book can be hard to swallow.  Elle is verbally abused, assaulted, and tortured during school hours.  She's been hurt so many times that her parents no longer question what's happening because she's learned to lie so well.  The book begins the day school returns after Christmas break.  She is dreading lunch knowing what is coming.  She isn't disappointed.  She and Chloe choose which lunch line to wait in based on who will be meaner to them.  They sit at the table closest to the door so they can make a quick exit if need be.  I'm not gonna go into all the details but just know that the bullying is extremely bad in her case.

At work that night she is taking the trash out before she leaves in an ally behind the diner where she works.  She's quickly realizes she's in the wrong place at the wrong time.  She hides behind the dumpster and becomes witness to 3 men killing someone.  She doesn't think anyone has seen her but she was caught on camera.  Enter Nero.  It's Nero's job to find out what she knows.  She's only 17 and his father doesn't kill children (that's sweet of him...I think?).  He has until her 18th birthday to find out if she's saw their faces.

Nero is king of his school.  He hasn't ever really been involved in Elle's constant abuse but he hasn't done anything to stop it either.  She doesn't trust anyone and he has his work cut of for him.   He slowly begins to work his way into her life.  He tries talking to her but she pushes him away.  He ends up having to stand up for her and Chloe at lunch to gain her trust.  He and his two friends become her and Chloe's bodyguards.  They walk her to class, escort them to his car, etc.

While he is playing protector the dynamic between them begins to shift.  He no longer tolerates anyone being ugly to her.  If he finds out about it there are consequences for it.  He doesn't like other men looking at her let alone touching her.  Feelings start to enter the picture, kisses are shared, etc.  They are falling for each other all while he hides this huge secret about himself from her.

It's a lot of the same until about 70%.  They break up because she caught him with another girl at a wasn't what it looked like...mostly.  He continues to protect her from a distance but eventually they make up.  He finds out every last thing that was done to her and gets his revenge on them all.  Keep in mind he is the son of a mob boss.  He has no qualms about hanging screaming girls over balcony's or beating guys with baseball bats.  All the bullying stops.

He finds a poem she wrote in art class while she's waiting on him outside the door.  She finds a picture of his older brother at the same time.  She realizes who he is and he realizes that she saw everything.  I felt bad for him but she did exactly what I would have done.  She ran.  He eventually finds her and she meets with his dad after he has made it clear that she will not be harmed.  His dad talks to her and lets her live because of his son and his feelings for her.  She isn't about to go back to him though.  She tells him goodbye.

Months pass and they are both miserable.  She can't even look at him and he's giving her the space she needs.  By space I mean he keeps to the shadows while he protects her without her knowledge.  The schools queen ambushes her in the school bathroom and beats her into unconscious.  Chloe runs for Nero and he doesn't leave her side while she's in the hospital.  She refuses to see him until the last night.  Nothing is resolved but she tells him they will talk once she is out of the hospital the following day.

Nero doesn't like the word no.  He wants her and he mean forever.  He shows up at the hospital the next morning to take her home.  Only home isn't where she thinks.  He takes her to the penthouse corner suite that he now lives in and bluntly tells her that it is also her new home.  She forgives him and he explains that this is the first night anyone has spent in the suite because he couldn't stay without her.  He finally tells her he loves her.  He handles the issue with her being beaten later that night and then lets her know she will just have to get used to it because he will never let her leave him.

The last chapter is a week or so later and they are attending their last day of class before graduation.  Nothing major happens and I was disappointed.  I needed more.  I wanted to see what happened a few years down the road.

Describes my feelings perfectly....

My Nero/Elle


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ransom by Rachel Schurig

Ransom (Ransom Brothers, #1)** 4 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  Spoilers ahead!!  Read at your own risk!!

Daisy Harris has no reason to suspect that her day will be any different than usual. She’ll go to class, alone. She won’t speak or make eye contact. She’ll spend her entire day doing her best to go completely unnoticed. That’s what life is like for Daisy now—an endless cycle of loneliness and fear. A life lived hiding behind the walls she so faithfully maintains. 

Then she sees it. A magazine, left behind in class. A simple picture—just his face. And it changes everything. 

It’s been a year since she’s seen Daltrey Ransome. A year since he and his brothers left town to pursue their dreams of rock and roll superstardom. A year since he left Daisy behind—left her to watch as everything she knew crumbled around her. She’s been running from Daltrey ever since, desperate to keep her secret.

But she can’t run anymore. And now that Daltrey has found her—the girl he’s loved his entire life, the girl he’d give up everything for—he’s determined never to let her go again.


Ransom is a short and sweet read.  You get a hot rockstar who only has eyes for one woman and a young girl whose been through a situation that has made her run away.  It's a second chance romance in a way.  They are life long friends who both are head over heels for each other.  This wasn't a normal rockstar book.  There isn't they heavy drug use, partying, drinking, groupie scenes going on.  Daltrey has eyes for Daisey and that's it.  

I like the writing style and really enjoyed getting both POV's.  The book is easy to follow and engaging.  The side characters are interesting and I wouldn't mind reading a book about the brothers.  There wasn't a lot of angst and drama but it kept me engaged.  It was a little "cookie cutter" for my tastes but I didn't really mind it.  I just perfer my books with a lot more darkness and mystery.  The epilogue was ok...I wanted more than the way it ended and I felt like it ended abruptly.  Overall it was a good book.  Is it one I'm gonna remember in two weeks?  No.  Would I recommend it to others?  Yes.  I'm giving it 4 out of 5 stars.  Check it out.


Daisey has been though a rough year.  She lost the only person should could count on a year ago when he quit school and took off with his band to make the big time.  She's endured some horrible things from her peers.  She's depressed harboring her dark secret.  She's got issue with social interactions and would like nothing more than to be invisible.  She's in college and has no one.

Daltrey is the lead singer of his band Ransom.  They are just now coming into their inner rock star with the success the band has become.  He's blonde haired, blue eyed and pierced with tattoos.  He's the man every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with.  He has everything he could ever want--fame, fortune, glitz and glamour--except for the one person he wants to share it with.

Ransom begins with Daisey sitting in class when she finds a magazine.  In that magazine is a picture of the most important person in her life.  She hasn't seen or spoken to Daltrey in over a year.  He left town over a year ago to start his music career.  She misses him terribly but she's not the same girl he knew anymore.

We find out that he thinks of her daily.  She is the one who ended the friendship.  He was supposed to come home to take her to her prom but she cancelled on him.  Things were fine and then one day she just stopped answering his calls.  He doesn't understand why and he's hurt.  She's the most important person in his life.  He's been in love with her since they were 14 and nothing feels right about his success because he can't share it with her.

Daisey meets 2 girls.  Paige and Karen.  These two girls become her only friends.  She tells them that after Daltrey left she began dating a boy and he broke up with her after they slept together.  He took pictures of them and it's not long after the break up that the photos begin to surface at school and on the internet.  The girls at school are horrible.  They spread rumors and do horrible things to her.  She wasn't even able to finish school.  She tired to commit suicide and ends up spending time in a mental hospital because of it.  When she left the hospital she moved to Tennessee to go to school.  She wanted out of her home town and away from everything that has happened.  She felt ashamed and didn't want Daltrey to know what had happened so she quit talking to him.

Mean girls SUCK!!

Her friends convince her that he doesn't hate her and she should talk to him.  She sends him an email apologizing and asking him to call her.  He calls her almost immediately after receiving the email.  He's angry and wants to know why.  She won't tell him but lets him know that she will eventually.  After a few tense minutes they begin talking like they were never apart.  Her friends have plans to follow his tour over summer break.  She tells him she's planning on coming with them.  He wants her too but lets her know he's not getting his hopes up.

He finally realizes she's serious when she lets him know that she's in Boston to see his show.  The first time they are face to face it's intense.  The both just sort of stare and freeze.  He doesn't have time to talk because the show is about to start so he makes sure she's coming back after its over.  She ends up falling apart on him after the show.  He wants to know what happened to her.  She tells him most of it except for the pictures and the suicide attempt.  He's so angry.  He wants names so he can fly home and go after these people.  

He realizes that now that he has her back there is no way he's gonna lose her again.  He ends up setting it up so that they can spend the summer working in the merchandise stand and riding the tour bus with him.  She's happy and excited.  She's getting to spend a lot of time with him and his brothers.  She finally feels like she's home.  They travel to his shows all the while growing closer every day.  She realizes things are different between them.

He gets a day off in NYC and they spend it together sightseeing.  The night before she finally admits to her friends that she's been in love with him for years after they tell her it's obvious that he's in love with her.  At the end of their night he takes her up to the Empire State Building and tells her he loves her and has for years.  She kisses him and it's sweet.  He runs his hands down her arms and when he gets close to her scars she freaks out and has a panic attack.  He doesn't understand what's going on but takes her back to the hotel when she asks him to.  She runs away from him the second they return and she's packing when he finds her.  He calms her down and takes her to his room where she finally tells him everything.  After he calms down and she stops crying they officially become a couple.  She tells him she loves him and they make love.

The following morning he kisses her goodbye to go to a band meeting and doesn't come back.  Everyone is worried.  He isn't answering his phone and no one knows where he is.  He sends her a message and tells her that everything is ok and that they are ok.  He shows up right before the show.  It's obvious that he's been in a fight but she can't understand what's happened.  While he's on stage the police show up and arrest him for assault against her ex.  He disappeared by flying home and beating the crap out of the guy.  He goes to jail and she does what she always does.  She runs.  One of his best friends, Levi, takes her to his cabin in Michigan.  I have had a weird feeling about this guy from the beginning.  Not bad but something...

While there Levi tells Daltrey she doesn't want to talk and quits giving him updates on her.  Daltrey is confused and Daisey thinks he's still telling him what's going on.  Levi tells her that he's crazy about her and always has been.  He wants her to think about the life she's choosing telling her that she can choose him and he will make her happy.  This confuses her.  It takes talking to her friend to realize there is nothing to be confused about.  She reams Levi for lying to her and lying to Daltrey then she leaves the cabin and heads back to him.

He opens his door to her and she apologizes.  They talk, both apologize, and she promises to stop running away.  They make love and then he goes to his show with her at his side.

The epilogue takes place a few weeks later.  They are at an interview about an organization they have created.  Things are perfect between them.  She's on tour with him all the time.  He wasn't happy with Levi when she told him what had happened and they are no longer friends.

My Daltrey/Daisey


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Something new :)

So I've decided to try something new :)

I've read so many book over the last few months.  There is no way I will ever be able to review all of those and the ones I'm currently working on.  Sometimes a book can be really good but at the same time it travels down the "straight and narrow" book road.

What exactly is the "Straight and Narrow" book road by my definition you ask??

  1. It's a good/great book
  2. No angst
  3. No drama
  4. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love, they live happily ever after
  5. No darkness
  6. No love triangle
  7. Etc...
You know the ones I'm talking about.  You read them but honestly there just isn't a lot of depth and there isn't a lot to really review.  They are "cookie cutter" at best.  Does that mean I didn't like them?  No.  Does that mean they weren't good or even great?  No.  Does it mean I don't like the author?  No.  It just means it wasn't a memorable read for me and I probably won't remember it.  It will be one of those books that months from now I will come across and have to go to good ole' GoodReads and check if I've already been there done that.

While I don't feel a need to write an in depth review on these books they still deserve some credit.  So I'm creating a page where you will be able to check out these books and a very short review about them.  There will be no spoilers (this is because there wasn't anything major happening) and the review will be in general 100 words or less.  If there happens to be anything major happening then I'll give you that little nugget as well.  

I'm calling this page "At a Glance Reviews".  Make sure to check this page often so that you don't miss any reviews!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Clarity by M. Clark

My Clarity** 5 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  Spoilers ahead!  Please read at your own risk!

Still reeling form the death of her father, Alexandria hopes to find both independence and reprieve from her grief by heading off to college.  However life throws her a serious curveball when she discovers that her roommate isn't quite the person she had imagined.

Smoking, tattoos, and street racing for fast cash are Elijah's only interests.  A harsh life has made him apathetic and indifferent, until Alexandria enters his life.  When their paths cross, turmoil abounds.

An inevitable encounter, an undeniable attraction, and an unexpected chance at love--will it be enough?


This was an amazing book.  It wasn't exactly what I was expecting but it was wonderful.  You'll fall in love with both the H/h.  I couldn't put it down.  I wanted Alex to find her happiness and I wanted Elijah to find the one person who could heal him.  They were perfect together.  I love college romance stories.  I love stories about the bad boy who falls for the girl whose to good for him.  This book had everything I love in a book with a few twists and turns thrown in for good measure.  It's keeps you drawn into it, it isn't that long, and it's easy to follow.  I enjoyed getting to know the H/h and the friendship turned love that they built.  I liked the side characters aside from Liam.  I felt connected and engaged at all times.  My favorite part of this book was the epilogue.  I love them when they occur several years after they meet.  I loved it.  It was everything I thought it would be.

If you're looking for a great book about a college romance and a bad boy who will make you swoon then this book is for you.  I'm giving it 5 Stars because I loved everything about it!  Check it out!


Alex had a great life up until the day she lost her dad.  She has great friends, a boyfriend.  She blonde haired with blue eyes.  Once her dad passes things change for her.  She decides to move away to college to find herself.  She's spunky and she will stand up for herself to a point.  She's also naive at times and will let her boyfriend continue to hurt her.

Elijah is the typical bad boy.  He's a smokes.  He drives a motorcycle and has tattoos and is into street racing.  He is mysterious and broody.  He seems hard on the outside but he's been through the death of his younger brother and his mother's suicide.  Underneath he has a huge heart and is loyal to his friends.

The prologue...

Alex is in with her dying father.  He has always been a smoker and is dying of lung cancer.  He gives her many words of wisdom before he passes away while they hold each other.  It's sad and emotional.

"...Look for me there when you need me.  You keep me there until you can replace me with a guy who will love you as much as I do.  Who will love you for all your goodness and your faults.  Who will make you feel like you're the center of his world.  Who will give you the best of him and all of him.  Promise me."

Alex arrives at her college and her apartment she's to share with her cousin Jimmy's old roommate.  She doesn't know anything about her other than her name is Ellie and she's supposed to be a good person.  It's been 3 months since she lost her father and the pain is still very present.  She has a boyfriend named Liam who is 3 hours away (a complete douchebag) and she's in a new town with no friends.  Her new apartment is littered with withering bodies and people in various state of sexual situations.  She meets Lexy, a friend of Ellie's, but also her contact from her cousin.  She also meets Elijah.  He's quiet and broody and doesn't leave the best impression.  He comes across as cold.  While in party central she comes across people having sex in her bed but her roommate doesn't show up.  Ellie's friends keep saying she'll meet Ellie soon enough.  I had a feeling where this was going.

The next morning she wakes up and finds Elijah in her bathroom.  Thinking that he is Ellie's boyfriend she doesn't think much of it.  Elijah finally tells her about Ellie.  Elijah is Ellie.  It's a nick name all the frat boys got when pledging.  He's just as surprised as Alex that he will be living with a girl.  There is an instant attraction from both sides but he doesn't want to go there because she is Jimmie's cousin and he respects his friend.  Not to mention she has a boyfriend.

It doesn't take him long to start becoming protective.  He feels a need to protect her playing it off as being her roommate and someone needs to watch out for her.  They begin to bond and become friends.  Enter the boyfriend and the jealousy that he doesn't enjoy having.  He meets the douchebag at a karaoke bar while he's pretty much singing a song to her that could be intimate if looked at right.

Thought I'd share :)  Enjoy!  Awesome song!

When her boyfriend shows up he's completely inconsiderate.  He's over half the day late and brings his friends.  He's also flirting openly with one of the girls he brought with him.  He's also an insensitive prick.  She breaks down about her dad and has to get some air.  Elijah ends up being the one to comfort her which makes Liam fighting mad.  He demands that she move out and when she refuses it causes a huge fight.

Elijah likes to street race.  He knows it's dangerous but needs the money to pay the bills.  He doesn't want Alex to know about this let alone be in the middle of it.  We find out that he does it because of school but also it started when he needed to pay the bills when his younger brother Evan was sick.  He lost his brother to cancer and then his mom committed suicide...all within the last year.

The lines begin to blur.  After a race he kisses her in the moment which only leads him to want her more than he already did.  She's falling for him and he's falling for her.  They go through this for awhile.  He's caught outside a party with some chick, her boyfriend is still in the mix even though she doesn't want to be with him and all the while they are falling hard for each other.

Things change between them one night when a carton of milk is spilled on the floor.  Things get hot and heavy between them until she blurts that she's a virgin.  After this he backs off and becomes distant and cold which hurts her.  He kisses other girls in front of her and even goes so far to bring one of them home knowing she'll be there.  He's trying to make a point that they can't be together.  After the girl comes home with him things become almost unbearable living together.  She begins looking for another place and he doesn't like it but thinks it's probably best.  He admits nothing happened with the girl and he sent her home and apologizes but she's beyond hurt at this point and knows he has to fix it.

She finally breaks up with the douchebag but moves out as soon as she returns from Christmas break.  He was happy to have her back until he realized she was gone.  He's miserable without her and realizes that he wants her and now he can have her so he decides to go after her.  His ex shows up claiming to be pregnant (not his) and he can't be mean and turn her away.  He leaves her in the apartment while he hunts Alex.  Naturally this is the exact moment Alex decides to show up at his door.  The ex tells her she's pregnant but doesn't bother to tell her it isn't his.  She's devastated and he furious when he finds out.  He finally tracks her down.  He tells her that he's been waiting to stake his claim for awhile but she was involved with someone else.  He tells her he wants to be with her, wants her to move home, and that he loves her.

"I don't need material things.  Ever since I lost my family, that is all I ever wanted back, to have a home, a family.  All I wanted was clarity in my life.  Something that made sense, something that I could hold onto, someone I could love without a doubt and be my home.  Alex, You're my clarity.  You. Are.  My.  Home.

"She was my past and I'd like to keep it that way.  As for you, I'd like you to be my future.  Alex, I'm going to shape up and be the man you deserve.  I've stopped smoking, and I promise no more racing.  I want you more than the things that may kill me.  I've missed you.  Please come back home with me...Freckles, please be my roommate again so we can start dating."

They officially become a couple and she moves back in with him.  Things run smoothly between them for awhile.  They are on that "new romance" high.  Everything is perfect until she finds out that he has a race planned.  It was planned before they met and it's to be his last one.  She doesn't want him to do it but he has his reasons for wanting it, mainly to take care of them financially.  It's during this discussion we find out how serious he is about her.  He plans on buying a house, marrying her and having kids in the near future.  She looses her virginity to him after this talk too.

The morning of the race they fight.  They aren't on speaking terms when he leaves for the race.  She gets that dreaded message that he's been in an accident.  He called off the race at the last minute for her but was involved in a wreck when someone ran a light and hit his motorcycle.  He's in a coma with a serious head injury when she reaches the hospital.  She finds a letter to her in his jacket pocket.  The letter was sweet but heartbreaking.  It's his goodbye to her if something would have happened in the race.  He's in a coma for four days and she doesn't leave his side.  He wakes up to her sleeping beside him.

The epilogue takes place 5 years later.  They are both out of school.  They live in a nice house, he has a nice job and they are pregnant with twins.  They have the perfect life and the perfect marriage.

"Hey Dad, I found him.  I found the one who loves me with all of him.  The one who loves me for my goodness and my faults.  I didn't understand what you were saying back then, but I do now.  Now I can let you go.  I found the one you said would one day replace you.  You'll always be in my heart.

Sometimes, you don't get to decide and the roads take a turn for the worse.  I was one of the lucky ones.  My broken road led me to Alex and the life I have today, and I don't regret a thing--not a single thing.

My Elijah/Alex


Monday, May 26, 2014

Stolen Course by Aly Martinez

Stolen Course (Wrecked and Ruined, #2)** 5 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  Spoilers ahead!  Read at your own risk!

I feel in love with Manda Baker eight years ago, and I loved her to the core of her soul.  We were supposed to have that elusive happily ever after and spend a lifetime together.  But that was all before she was STOLEN from me.

Her best friend, Sarah Erickson, killed her.  It wasn't intentional.  It was far worse.  Everyone claims it was just an accident, but I can see through the lies.  Even if it's with my dying breath, I will make her pay for what she did.

Fate hates me.  It robbed me of my first love and left me to navigate through this world emotionless and numb.  Then, one day, spiteful fate gave me a woman to fill my shattered soul and make me feel again.  It gave me Emma Jane Erickson.  Now I spend my days searching for the answers that will ruin Sarah and my nights falling in love with her sister--the one person who is bound and determined to save her.

But what happens when everything you know to be true explodes around you?  Who will be left to pick up the pieces, and who will need to be saved from the wreckage?


Oh wow where do I start??  This book wasn't what I thought it would be.  I LOVED it!  First let me say that the author is insanely talented!  I loved the dual POV's and the plot.  I was drawn in from the prologue and couldn't put this one down.  Lately I have been on a bit of a book downer.  I haven't found anything that would stick with me but this one will definitely be there for awhile.  The hero is a tortured, bitter, angry soul who falls in love with the sister of the woman he blames for killing his fiancee.  The blurb had me hooked and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this.  The heroine wasn't afraid to love him and she could give as much as she took from him.  She also knew when to walk away.  Both characters were well thought out and in depth.  I felt like I knew them personally.  I hurt when they hurt and I was happy when they were happy.  This book had great supporting characters as well.

There were times that I thought Caleb could be a little over the top but I could understand where he was coming from.  I did find it strange that 5 years had passed and he hadn't moved on at all though.  I also had issues with him running to the grave every time they had a fight.  There were times I wanted to throw something at his head but you couldn't be mad for long.  He really did try to love Emma completely.

Things I loved:

  1. Emma--She's an amazing heroine who was willing to do what needed to be done to save her man.
  2. Caleb--Bitter but fixable
  3. The intensity between the H/h and the witty banter
What I didn't like:
  1. Manda--I wasn't a fan with what little I learned about her
  2. The twist was good but I didn't like that so many had to suffer for no reason.
  3. The epilogue--Just wanted more
This is an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone.  I went back and forth about my rating.  I started at 5 and at one point was at 3.  In the end I gave the book what it deserved.  5 Stars easily and worth every minute of reading time put into it.  Put this one on your TBR.  Awesome job Aly Martinez!  This is an awesome book!


Caleb for lack of a better word is broken, but more than that he is BITTER.  This guy is so angry that it's hard for him to see past that.  He was in love once.  He had a fiancee and a life planned.  An accident took her from him and he lost all will to survive beyond just making it from day to day.  He is a cop and spends most of his days trying to make sense of the accident and find answers to his questions.  He's tattooed.  His entire body is pretty much a shrine to Manda, his dead fiancee.  He can be stubborn and he can be mean.  He refers to himself as an asshole on more than one occasion and I have to agree with him on it.  What I loved about his character is that even with everything that happened to him he isn't afraid to love again.  He didn't shut down and mentally die.  He's still going about his life.  When the time comes to find love again he goes with the flow and decides to see where it goes.  There were times I hated him and there were times I loved him.

Emma is the sister of Caleb's dead fiancee's best friend, Sarah.  She's younger and she lives in Georgia.  She's a strong heroine.  She has no problem putting his attitude back at him.  She doesn't put up with the way he can act sometimes.  I love how feisty she can be.  She's beautiful and smart.  She owns her own photography business.  What I love about her is that she was willing to love Caleb regardless of his faults.  She also knew when to walk away at times.  She never once tried to be a substitute to Manda but instead tried to build a life with him around her memory.

The book begins with the prologue which shows us the accident scene where Caleb finds out that Manda is dead.  Sarah is badly injured but survives.  He comes apart when he finds out but there isn't anything to be done.  She's already gone.

5 years have passed since the accident.  2 years since Emma has seen her sister Sarah.  Sarah isn't in a good place.  She's forced to take a flight to Chicago where her sister is being held in a hospital after she tries to kill husband.  Her husband happens to be Caleb's best friend.  Emma meets Caleb in the hospital.  It's lust at first sight for both until they quickly realize who the other person is.  Caleb hates Sarah...and I mean hates her.  He thinks it should have been her that died that night.  Emma is moving to Chicago trying to save her sister.  The meeting goes off but it's not a happy one.  They both wish they hadn't met but it's not for the reasons you'd think.  Caleb knows even then that he is going to have a hard time forgetting the sister of the woman who took his future wife.  He does agree to keep her updated while she packs up her life in Georgia so she can move to be near her sister.

They begin talking on the phone.  It's innocent at first and he can be very ugly with her at times.  Somehow it goes from hateful to a date when she makes it back to town.  I knew then that things would eventually become very interesting and that there would be repercussions eventually.  It was like watching a train wreck waiting to happen.  Even knowing that this can't possibly work out they enter into the "talking" phase of a relationship.  Her sister is to live in a rehab facility for 10 months making things even more intense.  By the time they reconnect at the airport when she arrives back in Chicago they are planning an actual relationship.  Sadly it doesn't make it beyond the airport parking lot.  She realizes exactly how much he hates her sister.  Things end in the parking lot.  It's not ugly or hateful, just realized among them.

It last 5 days.  They end up meeting for a drink and then making their way back to his apartment.  We get our first look at his tattoos.  Manda's name is tattooed over his heart and he has a blackbird tattooed on his back.  They sleep together and he decides that he's not gonna lose her.  He doesn't know how they will make it work but they will one way or another.  They officially become a couple the following night.

I don't know the what, when, where, or why about my life, but as I stroke her hair on the way home, I suddenly know the who.

There are some set rules.  They are into each other, both falling for the other.  They spend most of their time together.  What they don't do is talk about all.  This plan works...for awhile.  She finds a box he keeps in his closet and then she really becomes aware of how actively he is pursuing her sister.  This lead to a huge fight where things are said that shouldn't be.  They each accuse the other of things.  She slaps him and he throws her stuff in the yard.  She leaves and it's over.  Only she doesn't just leave his house, she leaves the state.  She moves back to Georgia.  Two weeks pass and they are both miserable.  He finds out she's in Georgia and doesn't take it well.  He makes the decision to fix his life before he goes after her.  He's got to find a way to live without the hatred that is driving them apart.  They have already admitted they love each other and now he has to prove it.


While in Georgia she learns that she's pregnant.  It's been 6 weeks and over 2 months since they have spoken.  She plans on telling him but Sarah beats her to it.  He takes off for Georgia.  Once there he tells her he has come to take her home.  They talk and work everything out.  She makes the decision to go home and move in with him.  She still has her reservations about the relationship but they love each other so they decide they will make it work.

Five years after my life was stolen from me, in a hotel room in Savannah, Georgia, I finally reclaim it.

Weeks pass and things are going well with them.  He won't talk about the baby though.  He explains that he's just getting used to the idea.  They go to the doctor and he proposes in the office.  Her thinking is that he's doing it because he has to.  Little signs say she's right, but she's wrong.  It causes a fight and they continue to live together without speaking for 3 weeks.  While she deals with the pregnancy he spends his nights sitting at Manda's grave.  They finally come to an understanding.  He explains why he wants to marry her and she finally agrees.  Within 2 months they are married.  He arranges time with her sister even though he hates her because he loves Emma.

"I'm going to kiss you, then I'm going to make love to you.  And then we are going to make plans to spend the next one hundred years together."


There are more than just Emma, Sarah, Manda, and Caleb involved in this plot.  There is also Sarah's husband, the other best friend and a female named Kacey that was best friend's with Sarah and Manda.  It turns out that Kacey is actually the one driving the car when Manda was killed.  It's a big deal but I wasn't really understanding why she was driving in the first place.  Caleb's other best friend Eli helped Kacey fix it so it looked like she was never there.  Caleb walks into the confession and loses it.

He gets so angry that he leaves the house in a rage with Emma in the car with him.  He's driving to fast, is to angry, and not paying attention.  They have a wreck and Emma is hurt.  Now he's living with guilt that he's the one who was driving and she's hurt.  They have to perform an emergency c-section to deliver the baby but they both will be fine.

It's Emma's sister that helps him through it.  She's with him when he meets and falls in love with his son for the first time.  It's her that he talks to when he finally realizes that the hatred has got to go.  She's released 3 days later and he takes his wife home but they have to leave the baby.

My gruff prick becomes a big ole' softie when his baby's involved.

The situation with Kacey and Eli is handled well.  He doesn't do anything in anger which is surprising.  He and Eli are no longer friends and he was forced to quit the police department but no charges were filed on either.

In the epilogue he gets more ink added to his tattoo.  He has her name and the baby's written a long side the body of the bird on his back.

My Caleb/Emma


Monday, May 19, 2014

Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox

** 3.5 out of 5 Stars **

**WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD!  Read at your own risk!

When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with.  Instead, she gets Tom Geiger--a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she's spent years planning.

Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn't want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn't want to want her.  Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.

Even Tom's stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can't stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex.  But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?

My Review...

Ride with me is a light read without a lot of drama.  It would be great to take on vacation.  The characters were well thought out and they had depth.  I wasn't particularly fond of Tom in the beginning.  He seemed like a real jerk.  Lexie seemed like she had a stick stuck up her butt in the beginning as well.  I couldn't figure out how these two would ever be able to find any common ground to begin building a relationship.  I read the blurb and thought it would be an easy book and it was.  I liked the plot.  I haven't ever read a book about a cross country trip on a bicycle so it was different.  It was easy to get caught up in the characters.  They had me laughing quite a bit.  Overall it was a light, fluffy, feel good read.  The only real problem I had with the book was the ending.  I was trucking along and then bam it was over.  I literally sat down to finish it up thinking I was a little ways from being done, maybe a couple of chapters.  I turned the page and it was over.  I didn't feel like everything was wrapped up in the end.

 It just ended very abruptly...

I'm giving it 3.5 stars because while it was good, it isn't a book that I'm gonna remember in a few days.  I'm also doing this because of the ending.  I would have liked more.  I definitely felt like it could have used an epilogue.  If you're looking for a short, sweet, easy read this is the book for you.


Tom is a 35 year old man who is tattooed, anti-social, unfriendly and has the attitude and temperament of a Pit Bull.  He works in a bicycle shop but at one time was VP of his family's company.  He was married and had the perfect life but because of circumstances lost everything...including his wife who is now married to his brother.  He's a loner and likes it that way.

"Taryn, I'm thirty-five, single, tattooed, and antisocial.  I'm the serial killer."

Lexie is 29, very talkative, has an out-going personality and is very friendly.  She is very Type A.  She likes things in order and always has a plan.  She isn't go with the flow and she tends to get angry when things don't go her way.  She's one of the most stubborn characters I've ever read.  She's a high school English teacher with 2 failed engagements under he belt.

 Lexie needs a partner to travel 4000 miles with while she bikes across the country.  Tom's sister sets him up with her thinking she's a guy.  They meet for the first time at the beginning of the trail.  He's isn't pleased to have a partner but especially when he realizes that she's a woman.  The initial plan is to stay with her until she can find someone else.  He isn't friendly to her at all and she invents a husband to keep him from thinking she wants to sleep with him.  They begin the trail and literally don't speak for 3 all.

There's a hot sauce incident at a restaurant that gets them finally talking and from that point on he tries to play nice with her.  Things are running smoothly for the most part.  They ride until early afternoon, sometimes talking sometimes not.  They pitch their tents next to each other at whatever campground they stay at over night.  She's insanely attracted to him and he wants her so bad he can't see straight.

 They keep their distance until her water bag leaks all in her tent in the middle of the night soaking everything, including her, inside.  She ends up sleeping in his tent and they get close with him kissing on her neck until her remembers she's married.

After the tent issue he returns to being what she calls "angry Tom" and begins looking for someone to take his place on the trail.  It's find someone or he's afraid he's gonna do something stupid like sleep with a married woman.  They end up riding with a guy named Paul.  He's older and not in the best of shape.  Tom doesn't like him and he bores Lexie to tears.  Tom makes arrangements to let Paul take over.  When she realizes what he's done they end up fighting and she kisses him.  Things get out of hand between them but he stops it and then walks away from her.

She's supposed to ride with Paul but leaves him behind and ends up riding with a guy named Lance.  4 days into riding with her new partner she's about to pull her hair out.  She misses Tom and Lance is a little hands on with her.  Tom is miserable without her too.  His sister finally makes him realize that it's very possible that she isn't married.  At first he continues to ride away from her but he's brain gets the best of him and he just has to know.  He waits 3 days for her at a camp ground.  At the camp ground it becomes very obvious that Lance doesn't know how to take no for an answer and Tom ends up having to help her.  He threatens the guy and takes Lexie to his tent and informs her she will be sleeping with him.

He asks her if she's married and once they work out that she isn't and why she lied there are choices to make.  Neither wants anything serious but yet they both want each other.  Tom comes up with the perfect arrangement.  They will continue to ride together while sleeping together.  Once they reach the end of the trail they will part ways and go on with their lives.  Both of them are too stupid to realize that it's way to late for a no strings relationship.  The man just waited 3 days to catch back up with her after all.  She agrees to his proposal and they make it official by sleeping together.

Weeks pass and things are good.  He treats her more like a girlfriend than a friend with benefits.  He teaches her to loosen up and she teaches him to open up.  By this point they are both head over heels for the other.  Tom isn't willing to admit it to himself while Lexie knows exactly what she's feeling.  She tells him she loves him which causes him to act stupid.  The arrangement comes to an end.  She begins sleeping alone again.  She rides ahead of him, won't look at him, and isn't talking to him.  He feels alone and hurt.  It's then he realizes that he's in love with her too.  She has a wreck on her bike and it's a close call.  At this point he realizes that he can't be without her and he's got to figure out a way to keep her in his life permanently.

The night before they finish the trail he asks her to dinner.  Once there he presents her with guides to other trails.  Instead of going home, he wants to bike home.  He tells her about his plans for a tour company which include her as his partner.  He finally tells her he loves her and he wants to be with her.  She finally got what she wanted and then left him sitting in the restaurant by himself.  It takes her a few minutes but after thinking and seeing how scared he is she will reject him, she agrees.

Then it...ENDS.  Yes it ends in the parking lot outside of the restaurant.  There is no epilogue.  We don't get to see them make it home or how they ended up together.

My Tom/Lexie