Review: The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey – Berrick

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Title: The Traveling Man (Traveling, #1)

Author: Jane Harvey – Berrick

Release Date: January 27, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Blurb

I was ordinary. Nice. He was extraordinary. And he wasn’t always nice.

Moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful, Kes scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me. He challenged me, he took me out of my safe little box and showed me the world could be magnificent. He was everything I wasn’t.

Aimee Anderson is ten when the traveling carnival first comes to her nice little town. She doesn’t expect her world to change so completely. But meeting Kestrel Donohue puts her life on a different path.

Even though she only sees him for the two weeks of the year when he passes through her home town, his friendship is the most important of her life. As a child’s friendship grows to adult love, the choices become harder, and both Kes and Aimee realize that two weeks a year will never be enough.

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Meagan’s 5 Star Review

 A story about a traveling carnival didn’t really appeal to me, but since I love Jane Harvey-Berrick’s novels I knew I had to give it a try. I was first drawn in by the relationship between Kes and Aimee but before long I had fallen in love with the entire story, carnival and all. 

His smile was mischievous and I should have known better. Perhaps I did. But when I was ten, I didn’t care.

 The novel starts when Aimee and Kes are both ten-years-old. While they only get to see each other two weeks out of the year every summer the friends form a strong bond. Each year Kes and Aimee wait for those magical two weeks. At first their relationship is more friendly than anything, a quick peck on the cheek but nothing more. As the years go on their relationship progresses and friendship blossoms into first love. Taking into account the pair only sees each other once a year, the author does an amazing job of progressing the story smoothly. The transitions are flawless and you hardly remember that we miss out on the other fifty weeks of the year Kes and Aimee don’t get to see each other.  

I felt as if I’d met my soulmate, but he was always being taken away from me.

 We follow the characters as they go from ten to twenty-five. It was interesting to watch Kes and Aimee grow into themselves. Kes was always on the edge of control. He wavered between confident daredevil in the carnival to insecure boy uncertain of how to show his feelings. When Kes felt cornered he was scary and dark, but lord was he still beautiful. Aimee started out as a little girl in need of some courage, but with the help of Kes she grows into a young woman who, at least two weeks a year, is vibrant and confident. Aimee definitely matured the most as she grew. She was always spirited, but as she became an adult she learned to hold her own and stand up for herself.  

So if all we get is now, then I’ll take it . . . he’ll always be a part of me

 The love story is absolutely beautiful. Watching the two bumble through their first relationship was sweet, funny and insanely hot. It was young love at its finest, new and full of hope. But as much as you plan life is never what you expect and Kes and Aimee’s journey is a hard one. 

Kes will never be easy, and the person who loves him won’t have it easy. But if he loves you back, it’ll be worth it, because he’ll love you with every part of him. 

 I can’t decided which relationship I loved more, Aimee and Kess as kids, or Aimee and Kess as adults.  I guess it doesn’t matter, as both were spectacular. The newness and awe they felt as kids was magical. But the passion and intensity they had as adults blew me away. As adults they also struggled with baggage. It was like they were trying to walk through an emotional minefield. Kes had secrets and wouldn’t let Aimee in. Aimee had her own life, a “normal” life that had nothing to do with the carnival . . . or Kes. They were two characters who were perfect for each other, if only they didn’t have other lives that were completely different. 

I couldn’t see my future; I couldn’t see which road led to Kes.

Besides Aimee and Kes I fell in love with the carnival. I was definitely leery of it at first, but the kindness of the characters drew me in. I liked that the author gave us the good with the bad. The carnival was a tight-knit family and they loved what they did, but they could also be suffocating with almost no time to be alone. I adored the secondary characters too. Aimee’s sister and nephew, as well as all of Kes’ carnival family added a richness that created a well-rounded story. 

I saw wonder, desire, pleasure, and I saw love. I was sure I saw love.

 This is an absolutely beautiful, painful, emotional, wonderful story. I loved everything about it. I stayed up to the late hours of the night reading and fell asleep only to dream about it. I can’t stop thinking about Aimee and Kes, and I’m dying to read the conclusion of their story in The Traveling Woman, releasing this spring. 

“Better than my dreams,” he whispered.

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Purchase The Traveling Man today!

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About the Author

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 Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Twitter

I lived in London for over 10 years and have a love affair with New York. It’s only since I have moved to the countryside, that the words have really begun to flow.

I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.

Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.

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Review: Vipers Run by Stephanie Tyler

Vipers Run

Title: Vipers Run (Skulls Creek #1)

Author: Stephanie Tyler

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

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Synopsis

The Vipers Motorcycle Club has strict rules for their brotherhood and the women who enter it. Now one Viper is about to find out how much trouble one woman can be……
 
Former Army Ranger Christian Cage Owens joined the Vipers Motorcycle Club for its sense of brotherhood. In return, he pledged to live outside the law, protecting club members and their families, as well as keeping other MCs out of Skulls Creek. But when Cage discovers that a rival MC—one Cage has an all too familiar past with—plans to push meth into his town, he calls an old Army buddy turned private investigator who’s helped the Vipers in the past. By doing so, Cage endangers both his friend and Calla, a woman who works in the PI’s office. Now he’s made it his mission to track Calla down and do whatever it takes to protect her.
 
Thanks to the phone call with Cage, Calla knows she’s formed a deep connection to a dangerous man.  She quickly discovers that although he may live by a different set of rules, Cage is an honorable man who wants to be more than her protector—if only she can accept his dangerous lifestyle.  But Calla comes to Skulls Creek with her own set of secrets…secrets that threaten to tear her and Cage—and the Vipers MC—apart.  As they put their newfound love to the ultimate test, Cage will risk everything he cares about to save her……

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Christina’s 3.5 Star Review

Calla works under the table for a private investigator that has a bit of a sketchy past. But, he was willing to take a chance on Calla when many others weren’t. When an urgent phone call comes into the office and Bernie isn’t there, Calla’s life changes forever. On the other end of the line is a dying man, Cage. As he fights for his life, Calla becomes instantly intrigued and willing to do anything to save him. When Bernie tells her to flee the office in a truck specifically prepared for that purpose, Calla’s life is turned upside down. Bernie’s life is in danger as well and he gives Calla some important info that must be delivered to the spot that the GPS in the truck is set for. Along with a gun and some cash, she’s on her way, not knowing Bernie’s fate, or the amount of danger her own life is in. 

Christian “Cage” Owens is a dying man, literally. Having been shot and stabbed by a rival motorcycle club (MC) he calls Bernie, an associate of his and fellow former brother in arms. Bernie knows the secrets that Cage is keeping, as well as those of several other MC members whom he also served with in the Army. Just what they’re hiding, Calla needs to find out. Before leaving Bernie’s office she is drawn to a photo on his wall from his Army days and proceeds to take it with her. Turns out the photo will only lead to more questions.

I’ll say right off the bat my biggest problem with Vipers Run was the extreme instalove between Calla & Cage. I can understand the attraction of the danger and intrigue of speaking with someone that might be living the last few minutes of their life, but I simply cannot buy a soul mate status based on that alone. When meeting in person for the first time they’re near ready to profess their love to one another.

Another thing I couldn’t help feeling throughout the entire book is that there is a big secret (or several) that I’m just not being let in on. Yes, all of the characters have secrets of course, their mystery is part of what makes the book interesting; however, I really felt like there was more background info that I should have been let in on, especially when it came to Calla’s past, as well as her father. There seemed to be little resolution to a lot of the questions that came up over the course of the story. 

I did love the chemistry between Calla and Cage. Their personalities aside, (Cage the domineering alpha male, Calla the shy submissive) there was certainly a sexual tension that was palpable. The secondary storyline of Tenn and the whole gay porn though, I could read an entire book dedicated to them! I absolutely loved Tenn and the comic relief he provided with his interactions with others. 

Vipers Run was relatively well written. There were some minor plot discrepancies (for instance Cage has a studio in his building that only he has access to, however the president of the MC came in and cleaned it regularly in Cage’s absence?). The opening with the phone call from Cage to Calla was certainly attention getting and set the tone for the book, but unfortunately this MC book felt a lot like most of the other MC books out there. There really wasn’t a whole lot to set it apart. The requisite violence, sex, alpha behavior and mistrust were all present and accounted for. I’ll likely stick with the series to see how it all pans out, I just hope that maybe we can be given a little more to work with as far as the story goes. It would certainly be more intriguing if I knew why or how the characters are the way they are. A solid three and a half stars.

Christina

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About the Author

Stephanie Tyler

New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler writes what she loves to read – romantic suspense novels starring military heroes and paranormal romance novels novels starring warrior heroes, all complete with happy endings. She also co-writes as Sydney Croft. She lives in New York with her husband, her kids and her crazy Weimaraner, Gus.

For more information on Stephanie, please visit www.stephanietyler.com or email her at stephanie@stephanietyler.com.

For more information on Sydney, please visit www.sydneycroft.com or email Sydney at sydney@sydneycroft.com

Review: Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

Escaping Reality

Title: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1)

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Publication Date: July 21, 2013

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Synopsis

Infinite possibilities….
Infinite passion…..
Infinite danger….

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?

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Christina’s 4 Star Review

Amy is living a shell of a life in New York when suddenly she is forced to flee and ends up in Denver. Having been on the run for a handful of years, escaping a past that ended in the deaths of her parents and brother, she is acutely aware of her surroundings and cautious in dealing with those around her. Everything changes though the minute she meets Liam on her flight from New York to Denver. 

Liam is a semi-reclusive billionaire that made his money as an architectural protégé. He is immediately attracted to Amy and pursues her, quickly becoming very protective, bordering on possessive of her. When they make it to Denver, he is suspicious of her cover story, not just because of the secrets she may be keeping, but he fears for her safety as well. The longer they are together, the more nervous Amy becomes, fearing those that are supposed to be looking out for her (the mysterious man with the tattoo that contacts her only through notes left anonymously) might not be acting in her best interest, but may be putting Liam in danger as well. 

The book was well written and the storyline and characters were well developed. The relationship between Liam and Amy was hot, hot, hot! It is definitely a page-turner from cover to cover and I was wrapped up from the first page.

Escaping Reality is an edge of your seat thriller meets erotic romance. Liam is the quintessential alpha male, without being too over the top. The relationship between Liam and Amy is a little insta-lovey, but I can understand it given Amy’s lack of lasting relationships since the death of her family. My only knock on the book was the fact that as the story went on, more and more questions were asked than answered, and while I understand the cliffhanger and the next book, I would have liked to see a little bit of resolution to the story. I am definitely on board or a next book though, that’s for sure. This is my first book by Ms. Jones and definitely not my last!

Christina

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About the Author

lisa renee

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.

Watch the video on casting for the INSIDE TV Show:

http://youtu.be/pj4NZLpeWQs

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.

New Release: Wings Over Poppies By J.A. DeRouen

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Title: Wings Over Poppies (Over #2)

Author: J.A. DeRouen

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: January 26, 2015

Cover Design: Mae I Design And Photography

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Synopsis

Perfection. One word. Three syllables. Every reason why I’ll never have the one thing I truly want. I stand dutifully on the pedestal he’s built, waiting for the day he truly sees me.

Then one amazing night, he lets down his walls, only to leave me the next day.

Years have passed, and I’ve tried to move on with my life. But I still dream of him. I still miss him everyday. The memories haunt me. How can I look to the future when my past remains a mystery? The time has come to find the boy who stole my heart and ran away without a word.

But not everyone who is lost wants to be found.

My name is Alexandra Fontaine, and this is my story of unfinished love.

Wings Over Poppies is book #2 in The Over Series and can be read as a standalone novel.

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Excerpt

I shift closer to him and wrap my arms around his waist. I lay my head on his chest and breathe him in. His shoulders relax, if only slightly. The need to comfort him is overwhelming. I want to wash it all away for him, hold the world at bay while I erase the worry permanently etched in his forehead.

“Everything is going to be okay, West. I just know it,” I lie. I don’t know that everything will be okay. I don’t know anything at all.

We sit in electrified silence, the crackling of dead leaves under us the only sound. I memorize the feel of him, the smell of him, the rhythm of his breathing. I’m lost in the moment, already anticipating the loss that’s to come.

“I leave in a month.”

The words cut through the silence like a judgment. Instead of hurt, I’m filled with resolve. I won’t let him push me away anymore. I’m done playing by his rules.

I rise up to meet the storm brewing in his eyes. His hand wraps firmly around my neck, and his eyes dart hungrily to my lips. I swallow nervously and refuse to look away.

If he turns his head or pulls my hair, I swear I’m going to tackle him to the ground.

I lean in hopefully, somewhat expectantly, and close my eyes. His warm breath dances across my lips, and my every prayer is answered. He presses his mouth firmly to mine and stills, almost memorizing the moment.

That one small touch is the beginning of the most memorable kiss of my life. It’s hello and goodbye, I love you, I’ll miss you, and everything in between.

He sucks my bottom lip, and I inhale sharply, completely overcome. His hands dive into my hair, and his tongue slides against mine just once before he pulls away. He touches my forehead to his and chuckles softly.

“What have we been waiting for all this time?”

“You,” I whisper breathlessly, “I’ve been waiting for you.”

My admission is all he needs. He devours me, a tangle of lips, teeth, tongues, and hands. I don’t know where I end and he begins. I’m exhilarated and relieved all at once.

I run my hands down his arms and grip his wrists tightly. I pull away and look into his hooded eyes.

“Tell me something, West. Tell me something I don’t know.”

He runs a thumb over my swollen lips while he studies me. I’ve never felt more loved, more worshipped.

“I can’t imagine a world without you in it. No matter where I am, I’ll always dream of you. It’ll have to be enough.” He places soft, scorching kisses up my neck until he reaches my ear. “God, I don’t think it’ll ever be enough.”

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About The Author
JA
J.A. Derouen lives in South Louisiana with her husband, son (aptly nicknamed “The Professor”), and her furry friend, Scout. She has earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing. When she’s not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women’s health nurse. She’s been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she’s never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.

Facebook | J.A’S Jezebels | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review: Straddling the Line by Jaci Burton

Straddling the Line

Title: Straddling the Line (Play by Play #8)

Author: Jaci Burton

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

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Synopsis

Trevor Shay has it all—a successful football and baseball career, and any woman he wants. But when he finds out his college mentor’s daughter is in trouble, he drops everything to come to her aid.

Haven Briscoe has finally landed a dream job as a sportscaster for a major network. But she hasn’t been able to move past the recent death of her beloved father, and it’s affecting her career. A plum assignment following the daily life of sports superstar Trevor Shay might be just the inspiration she needs…

Trevor will do anything to spark life back into Haven, including letting her into every aspect of his world. The chemistry between them flames higher than one of Trevor’s home runs and faster than his dashes to the end zone. But as they grow closer, Haven stumbles onto Trevor’s closely guarded secret, one he’s hidden his entire life. And despite his protests, now it’s Haven’s turn to put everything on hold to help Trevor. Will he let her in and trust her with a secret that could blow his professional and personal world apart?

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Cindy’s 4 Star Review

I’ve been hooked since the first book of the Play by Play series. If you’re looking for a sweet sports romance, I recommend reading this book.

Trevor Shay is a hot super mega star, who plays baseball and football. What’s not to like about a guy who has it all, except a loving woman in his life. That’s until Haven Briscoe comes into the picture.

Haven Briscoe is a loving woman who’s full of life but something personal has kept her at bay. She loves her career as a sportscaster. When job opportunity arises to work with Trevor, she takes it. It’s been years since she’s seen him.

When they see each other again, feelings begin to emerge and eventually a professional friendship might be more than what they bargained for. The time they spend together is not rushed, so you get to see their relationship develop. There was one thing that Trevor has never spoken about and Haven was able to have him open up to her. Even though there were some moments where he was rude to her, she always stood her ground.

I love how these characters connect from each book. I can’t wait to read the next Play by Play book.

Cindy

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About the Author

Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 50 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.. Visit her website at www.jaciburton.com for excerpts, her blog and contest information.