Publisher: Intermix

Sunday Spotlight: Before You Break by Christina Lee

Posted June 9, 2019 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

This week’s Sunday spotlight book is a throwback to intense New Adult books, the ones that used to eat me up emotionally and then spit me back out, all whole and complete again. I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it but I wasn’t prepared for how much love I’ll have for this book. Before You Break tackles hard hitting, emotional issues and you won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll fall hard for both Daniel Quinn and Ella Abrams. Their journeys will hit you in the gut and their romance will fill you right up. This was a fantastic book and if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you remedy that because this book is the bomb.

Sunday Spotlight: Before You Break by Christina LeeBefore You Break by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #2
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, Promise Me This, There You Stand, Two of Hearts
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 223
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy, emotional New Adult romance about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control…

The star catcher of the college baseball team isn't supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a guilty past so dark he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about gorgeous, studious Ella Abrams that goes beyond the electric attraction between them—something that makes him want to open up.

Ella has suffered enough heartache and guilt to fill one of her psychology textbooks, but she keeps that part of herself hidden behind a bubbly exterior. Until she receives an anonymous call while working the suicide helpline and the voice on the other end touches something inside of her that she can’t ignore.

Soon Ella and Quinn’s physical connection heats up, even as their deep and revealing hotline talks intensify. But by the time Ella realizes that her seductive jock and her sensitive caller are the same guy, it might be too late to save him—or to stop herself from falling too far.

Memorable Moments

Here are some of my favorite scenes and quotes from the book. So much goodness.

“I’m not going to kiss you, Ella. Not tonight.”

She sagged against me, her forehead landing on my shoulder.

“Kissing you would be too easy,” I whispered in her ear. “And you’re not a girl I want to be easy with.”

“Don’t misunderstand, Ella. I want you. So fucking bad.” I gathered her face in my hands. “The day I can finally bury myself inside of you is the day I know for sure that you’re mine. All mine. Only mine. And anything other than that isn’t good enough.”

“We always seem to end up against a door,” she breathed out. Her words faltered as I licked and nipped my way down her collarbone to the scoop of skin above her breasts.

“I have fantasies about what I want to do to you against this door.”

“This boy—this man—was asking for the moon and the stars. And I was willing to shoot us straight off the map. And offer him the entire universe.”

This book is full of feels and packed with lots of charming characters, witty dialogue and just all around goodness. Seriously, you need to meet Quinn and Ella. Their story is too good.

Between Breaths

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: June 2019

Do you love this book as much as we do? Let us know what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Christina Lee

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

You can find more info on her website: www.christinalee.net. From there you can link to her Facebook reader group called The Swoon Room as well as her IG account and newsletter.

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Dirty Bastard by Jessica Clare

Posted May 10, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Dirty Bastard by Jessica ClareReviewer: Tracy
Dirty Bastard (Roughneck Billionaires #3) by Jessica Clare
Series: Roughneck Billionaires #3
Also in this series: Dirty Money, Dirty Scoundrel
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Knox Price has always fallen short in comparison to his brothers. Boone is the ambitious one. Clay is the nice one. Gage is the handsome one. And Knox? Well, he's the cynical one. The odd man out in the ultra-wealthy but rather unique Price family. It's not that Knox hates people--it's that humanity always disappoints him. When you become an oil-rich, Texan billionaire overnight, people treat you a certain way. Just once he'd like to meet someone that isn't dazzled by his wallet.

Then, he meets struggling yoga teacher Lexi Brandon. She's weird. She's unpredictable and tends to say strange things. She lurks in the bushes and dresses in all black. She loves when people cross the street to get away from her. Lexi's definitely not his type, but she's also the first one to ever truly see him and not just another rich, dirty Price.

And that's...fascinating. But how do you catch the interest of a woman who goes out of her way to be odd? When an unexpected surprise throws them both for a loop, Knox decides it's time to get down and dirty, abandon the rules, and be who he truly is--a bastard.

The Price brothers are having a family barbeque when Knox first sees Lexi.  She’s a friend of his brother’s girlfriend and though she dresses in black, has a dry & snarky personality…and is pretty anti-social, Knox is immediately smitten.  He makes it a point to get to know Lexi and they end up spending a wonderful night together.  After that, Lexi ghosts him.

Knox isn’t letting Lexi get away from him now that he’s found his “one.”  When Knox finds out that his night with Lexi bears fruit, so to speak, he decides that he’s not letting her get away.  Lexi isn’t so sure she wants to be caught but when Knox goes to the limits to make her happy she can’t help but be impressed.

Another good story in the Roughneck Billionaires series.  I loved Knox and his unconventional streak.  I loved that he immediately noticed Lexi and didn’t let her so-called hard exterior put him off.  He just learned how to mesh with her and it was pretty great.

Lexi made me laugh.  She was so not your typical romance heroine but I loved her. Her sarcasm and general anti-social behavior should have seemed odd or too weird, but Clare made me enjoy it!  Knox was awesome and I loved his devotion to making Lexi happy – which in turn made him happy.

Part of the story that was intertwined with the romance was about stalking.  I felt horrible for Lexi and for the fact that no one in the stupid small town would take her seriously.  I wanted to crawl through my Kindle and punch a face or two.  I was so happy when Knox got involved and put the guy in his place.

Overall this was a good book and I can’t wait to read Gage’s book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Roughneck Billionaires

four-stars


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Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

Posted March 29, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
On Hart's Boardwalk by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #6.7, Hart's Boardwalk #2.5
Also in this series: Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) , The One Real Thing, Every Little Thing
Publisher: Penguin, Intermix
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 128
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

One of New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young's most beloved couples returns for the first time in a brand new novella set ten years after her blockbuster bestseller Before Jamaica Lane...

Nate and Liv have a great life together but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoyed early on in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. There he hopes they will have the opportunity they've been craving--a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.

With each new day comes a new adventure, from wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. In the midst of this daring, sexually-charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.

On Hart’s Boardwalk takes us back into the lives of one of my favorite couples from Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street series. Nate and Liv have been together for fourteen years and are close to celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary and as couples do from time to time, they go through rough periods in their relationship and Nate and Liv are right in the middle of theirs.

Things between Nate and Liv aren’t quite right and it is starting to get to Liv. She’s in a relationship that is different from the one that she’s been in from the beginning and things went south when one of Nate’s best friends dies. When that happens, instead of leaning on Liv in his grief, Nate pulls away and each day that passes, Liv worries the worries of a neglected wife. She starts to second guess every single thing in their lives and it hurts her over and over again. When Liv turns 40 years old, Nate plans a getaway for the two of them. That getaway takes them to Hartwell, Delaware. The setting that will connect Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street and Hart’s Boardwalk worlds and this short story brought both worlds together in such a nice way that I was super happy with the entire thing.

It was great to see everyone again. From Josh and Braden to Cam and Jo, Marco and Hannah, everyone was here and I was here for that. I love these characters and my heart hurt for both Liv and Nate and what they were going through together. Samantha Young has created a bunch of special characters and Nate and Liv are a part of that bunch. I really enjoyed seeing them together again and seeing them work through their issues…together.

Nate is one of my favorite men in the On Dublin Streets series and seeing him hurt made me sad but Samantha Young did him a solid by writing this awesome short story that helped heal him from some very deep stuff that he was dealing with. It was great to see Nate, older and not yet wiser and still hopelessly in love with his wife. I loved seeing what comes after the happily ever after and I especially loved seeing two people fight to keep their happily ever after. That’s what Nate and Liv did and I loved them just as much now as I did then.

This was a good one. I definitely recommend.

On Dublin Street Series

Hart’s Boardwalk Series

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

Posted March 22, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha YoungReviewer: Tracy
On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #6.7, Hart's Boardwalk #2.5
Also in this series: Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk, The One Real Thing, Every Little Thing
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

Nate and Liv have a great life together but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoyed early on in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. There he hopes they will have the opportunity they've been craving--a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.

With each new day comes a new adventure, from wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. In the midst of this daring, sexually-charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.

Nate and Liv have been together for 14 years, and married for 10 of those.  They have two beautiful children and Liv is just as in love with Nate now as she was when they first got together.  The problem is that Nate seems to have lost his love for Liv.  Since one of his friends died suddenly Nate has pushed Liv away and when Nate finds out how Liv is truly feeling he plans a trip to Delaware.  At one time, Liv had told Nate of vacations taken near Hartwell, Delaware and Nate wanted to recreate that joy for her.  He wanted to make his own memories, however, so he chose Hartwell.  They have a great location and it’s just the two of them, but can they work through the issues that have been haunting Liv for the past six months?

This was a pretty great novella.  I’ve been reading the Hart’s Boardwalk series so when I saw a novella for that series I was excited.  I had no idea I’d get the wonderful double whammy by getting the On Dublin Street series cast of characters as well as Hart’s Boardwalk characters.

Nate and Liv got their HEA in the novel Before Jamaica Lane, and if you read that you know that these two are incredibly hot together.  Their sex play in this book was no different but the even better than that was watching two people in love communicate and find the core issue to their problems.  It was well written, and Young didn’t slack on giving us the nitty gritty of their relationship – arguments and all.

On top of the greatness of that part of the book we also got to see, as I said, all of the characters from On Dublin Street as well as Hart’s Boardwalk.  I loved reading about the ODS crew and hearing a little about their families now that it’s been years since their HEA’s. HB is a newer series but it was still fun to catch up with those characters as well.

Overall I thought this was really good.  The love, friendship and feeling of contentment it left me with was incredible and I definitely recommend this one.

On Dublin Street Series

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Honky Tonk Hellion by ZA Maxfield

Posted February 27, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Honky Tonk Hellion by ZA MaxfieldReviewer: Tracy
Honky Tonk Hellion by Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: February 20th 2018
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars

An impulsive decision as a teenager forced Andi Chandler to put her dream of being a Nashville star on hold. Motherhood and a marriage of convenience have tied her down to the small town of Bitterroot, Texas. But now that her son is older and her husband is living life out of the closet, Andi’s ready to spread her wings and take another shot at the country music scene. Men, however, are a different story…

Malcolm never intended to catch Andi’s eye all those years ago at the rodeo. There were a million reasons it wouldn’t work—the age difference for one. He knew he should have stopped Andi from making a rash decision, but he didn’t and has lived with the shame ever since. Now that she’s a grown woman they can finally explore all those unanswered what-ifs—and just maybe, have a shot at a second chance at happiness.

Andi lives with her son and husband, and her husband’s boyfriend.  It’s a sticky situation but it works for them…until it doesn’t.  Andi always had a crush on Malcolm but he’s 7 years older than her.  When she was 15 she tried to get him to sleep with her and when he turned her down flat (of course, she was way too young) she went and slept with someone else trying to spite Malcolm.  She ended up pregnant and then she married her gay best friend.  That was fine until he found a love of his own.

Now Andi is in a band trying to make it as a singer but it’s not really working.  When a big Nashville star asks her to head to Georgia with him to record some stuff she’s thrilled.  That is until she realizes Malcolm is there too.  The situation in Georgia is fraught with tension and Andi is soon back home, but not until she sleeps with Malcolm.  Now she has to figure out what she wants in life and who she wants to be with.

While I’ve loved almost everything that Maxfield has written in the m/m genre, this one was just ok for me.  I found Andi to be super indecisive, as a normal 21-year-old is (at least the ones I know).  She was a good mother and she wanted what was best for her family, but the girl changed her mind about a thousand times during the course of the book.  She was also constantly thinking or spouting quotes and clichés and that got really old, really fast.

Malcolm apparently had a thing for Andi when she was just 12 years old.  I found that creepy as he would have been 19 at the time.  Luckily he didn’t act on his feelings until she was 21.  My problem with their relationship was that it was never discussed.  They had been good friends but then hadn’t seen each other for years (she was still mad at him for turning down sex with her when she was just 15) but after they sleep together they’re just…together.  No talking about what it means, they just…are.  I guess I expected more as that’s what Maxfield normally gives us.  She does emotion so very well but this book didn’t have a whole lot of it and that was disappointing.

Overall it was an ok book but not one I can really recommend.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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