Friday, October 18, 2019

Saving Beck by Courtney Cole

Reminiscent of the beloved novels by Mary Kubica and Jodi Picoult comes a chilling portrayal of a son’s addiction and its harrowing effects on both him and his mother from New York Times bestselling author Courtney Cole.

There comes a time when offering your life for your child’s doesn’t work, when you realize that it’ll never be enough. 

The cold needle in his warm vein was a welcome comfort to my son at first. But then it became the monster that kept us apart. 

Heroin lied, and my son believed. It took him to a world where the last year didn’t happen, to a place where his father was still alive. What Beck didn’t understand was that it couldn’t bring his father back from the dead. It couldn’t take away his pain, not permanently. 

You think it can’t happen to you, that your kids, your family, will never be in this situation. 
I thought that too. But you’re wrong. 

Step into our world, and see for yourself. 
Watch my golden boy become a slave to this raging epidemic. Watch me try and save him. 

Drug addiction comes with a price. 
Trust me, you’re not equipped to pay it. 

Don’t miss this heartwrenching, evocative, yet hopeful novel—it will leave you forever changed.


At times Saving Beck was hard to read. I fought back tears while reading several scenes. It's exactly what the author intended. Saving Beck was REAL. I felt as if I was going through this struggle with Beck and Natalie, his mother. 

I don't want to sound ignorant, but I've never been exposed to someone with an addiction. I've never witnessed first hand how it can destroy someone, destroy a family. With each turn of the page, I saw how addiction can destroy a person, and their family. Every choice the addict makes, effects the family.  People have this idea that their child or loved one would never become an addict. They would never try drugs. All it takes is ONE TRY, and they can become hooked. It doesn't matter what your social status is, what your income is, what type of family you have, where you live. IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE, as in Saving Beck, you clearly see.  

Courtney Cole, the author, loosely based this book on the experience with her son becoming an addict. In Saving Beck, Beck's father was an attorney, his mother a realtor.  He had the perfect upbringing, his future was bright, but after ONE catalyst event, his life was altered forever. Tragedy struck his family, and he buried the guilt which plagued him day in and day out. It took one pill, to get him hooked on the feeling of numbing the pain.

Courtney Cole said it best. 
"Where there is life, there is hope. That is something I've learned, and it something we should all remember." 
People on the outside usually have the most opinions. Why aren't the parent's forcing their child to get clean? Why aren't they putting their child in rehab? When in reality, the family is usually doing the best the can. It's the addicts choice. The family can only do so much. 
"Loving someone with an addiction is like being on a terrible roller coaster that you can never get off."
I've had this book on my Kindle for quite some time, and overlooked it time and time again. Saving Beck is a book I will recommend to others.

Stencil Sugar and Spice, Ink by Evan Grace


Our arrangement was simple—just physical and definitely no falling in love. That seemed easy enough until a positive pregnancy test changed everything. He’s loud, crude, sexy, and can cook and he’s bound and determined to make me his, but I’ve been burned before and if I let him in, and things don’t work out for us, well, it’s more than just my heart on the line.

Can I push past my issues to open my heart to that big beautiful man? As we navigate this unfamiliar terrain his enthusiasm begins to knock down the walls I’ve always kept around me, but we keep hitting obstacles that could ruin everything we’re trying to build.

Am I strong enough to battle my own demons to move forward to a future that could promise to be everything I could’ve hoped for?

REVIEW by Kelly:

I absolutely adore this book! Stencil is the second book in the series and it is absolutely fantastic. Evan is brilliant at what she does. She creates a world that’s beautiful and realistic with characters that have depth and flaws. 

We met both Nick and Sierra in the first story. We know that they immediately hit it off and have some sort of thing going on. Nick has been known as a player, a womanizer and a manwh*%e...until he laid eyes on Sierra. From that moment on, he knew that she was special, she was worth it and she might just be the one.

Sierra is skittish. She’s immediately attracted to Nick and jumps on the idea of having an “arrangement” with him. On and then off, they go back and forth and she knows she leading him on. It’s hurts though, her past. The scars that still feel so fresh. She was burned, badly and made a fool of and she’s not looking to change that may time soon. 

And then there’s two lines on that stick. A baby changes everything. Nick is ecstatic and jumps on the chance to prove that she is his and together is where they all should be. It’s a bumpy ride. Past insecurities are hard to overcome and certain obstacles that jump in their way could cause those walls that are crumbling around her heart to be built back up. 

This is definitely a book that you want to read, and a series of beautiful and bada** women that you should devour.

TEASER TIME - Tempting the Hookup by Natasha Madison

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

TEASER TIME - Leave Me Breathless by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Ryan Willis has spent years in the protection business, a job that requires constant vigilance and quick thinking. His only chance to truly relax is at his secluded cabin in a small town where there are never any surprises. So when Ryan returns after an assignment and encounters a beautiful stranger, he isn't only surprised, he's also instantly intrigued.
Hannah Bright is a breath of fresh air, and Ryan is soon completely consumed, unable to stop from falling for her. As the two grow closer, his instinct tells him something is amiss. Yet nothing could prepare him for what he discovers when he starts digging into her past.

Hannah spends her days painting, running her arts and crafts store...and hiding too many secrets. It's why she won't let the ruggedly handsome bodyguard get too close. But their chemistry is undeniable, and Hannah quickly finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance with Ryan. He is peace personified, a balm to her battered soul. Yet the gorgeous, captivating man who has swept Hannah off her feet doesn't even know who she really is. And the moment he finds out, both their lives are at risk.

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Monday, October 14, 2019

The Stand-In by Lauren Campbell


Ten months ago, my kiss saved him from jail. Now, it's his turn to save me.

But when it's time to go our separate ways, he makes me an offer I can't refuse–an interview with my dream company and ten grand in cash.

All I have to do is pretend to be his girlfriend for the week.

Easy peasy.

It isn't until he takes me home to meet the parents that I realize he left out some MAJOR details.

But there's too much at stake for me to back out now. I MUST play the part.

Only ... it won't be quite the one he's expecting.

Worst Fake Girlfriend: Scene 1, Take 1.


REVIEW by Kelly:

To be honest, I’m not even sure where to begin. My mind is BLOWN!! Lauren deviates from her first two books that were more psychological fiction/romance (and were OUTSTANDING!!!) to bring us a rom com…. wasn’t expecting that. I’m a huge lover of romantic comedy, it’s one of my favorite genres. There is just something about watching someone fall in love while laughing my head off. It just leaves me with a smile on my face and ooey-gooey-ness dripping from my pores and honestly, I like feeling that way. 

I opened up the book (love the pop art cover!!) and from the first paragraph I was pulled in. We meet Tess who seems to have a knack for getting herself into some unusual, albeit hilarious, situations. She’s feisty, headstrong, and a little bit vindictive. Ten months ago, she met a guy…. if you could call it that, and basically saved him from getting arrested. (There was just a “little” bit of an obsessive, fantasy crush happening after that, but that doesn’t matter…much) Now, she sees him again, only this time she’s the one who needs a rescue. He comes across as a douche, the complete opposite of what she saw in him before, but she manages to wrangle a ride home from him after her car breaks down. What she doesn’t expect is the proposition that he tosses her way. Act as his girlfriend, who is madly in love with him, for a week filled with his family and holiday “togetherness”. Ten grand in cash and an interview at her dream job is the bait that he dangles in front of her face. Easy decision, right? She dusts off her shoulders and grabs her acting hat and off they go. Everything is fine and dandy until she meets his parents…. BAM! Plot twist. He left a few minor details out about this situation that he dragged her into. It’s too late for her to back out now and that cash and job are a major incentive to pull up her pants and wade through the crap that has been dropped right in front of her. Enter payback. The agreement was to “keep her mouth shut and pretend to be in love with him.” He never said how she had to go about that. A little evil slithers out as she decides to be the worst fake girlfriend anyone has ever seen. She will meet the requirements he laid out and laugh all the way to the bank. Best plan ever!!!

I can’t even with Lauren. This was FANTASTIC!! I can’t tell you how many times my husband looked over at me like I was a crazy loon because I couldn’t stop the obnoxious laughter from escaping my mouth. He once even asked me if I smelled something foul…apparently, I was cringing…hard. (see explanation below) I have read plenty of rom com’s through the years and while I adore them, there haven’t been that many that managed to make me bust out in uncontrollable giggles. The banter between the characters is perfect and I have no idea how Lauren managed to create the ridiculous and entertaining circumstances these characters find themselves in, but she does a remarkable job of it. There is a little scene with Tess coming out to the pool… brilliant!! I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Pepper, the little demon Chihuahua that gives us a few chuckles. There are so many situations in this story where you just can’t contain the laughter. Then there are times where evil Lauren pops out like the puppet master she is and yanks hard on the strings of our souls…I confess, I definitely cursed her for this. WARNING!!! Around 61% of the book (enter my cringing and foul-smelling face from above) you will want to close it, put it down. Walk away for a few minutes if you must but CARRY ON!! YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!! Don’t DNF this story because you’ll miss out on some obnoxious situations, shrieks of laughter, a serious “What the…” moment, and complete fulfillment at the end. 

This is a HUGE 5 STARS for me. I waited patiently for this book to come out and I was rewarded for my restraint. The Stand-In is a must read if you love hilarious situations, a little bit of crazy and can handle Lauren jerking you around. It’s unique and honestly just a FANTASTIC FREAKING READ!!!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Last Post by Renee Carlino


In this evocative and poignant novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Blind Kiss and Wish You Were Here, a young widow in the midst of grieving her late husband through Facebook posts learns to heal and fall in love again.

“See you on the other side.”

Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.

Opposites attract, right?

But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.

Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.

When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.

But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.


Everyone deals with death differently. Everyone grieves the loss of a loved one differently. Who are we to judge? Laya lost her husband tragically and fell into a deep depression.  Laya knew her husband was dead, but she continued to call his cell phone to hear his voice, to leave his daily messages on what was going on in her life. She would post frequently on his Facebook page, reminiscing on things they experienced together. It was a way for Laya to feel close to her husband. It was a way for her to communicate, it was her outlet. Yet, people judged her for it. 

Micah Evans works for Laya's father. From the moment his eyes landed on her in the office, he felt a shock to his core. He was drawn to her. He begins to do things to help Laya along the way. Help her remember that life goes on and that is okay to live again. To move on.  I don't think he ever stopped and thought about the ramifications of his actions. What if Laya finds out Micah is behind the kind gestures. Would she find is creepy? Would she appreciate him more?

Laya needs to decide if she wants to continue to live in the past, or embrace what is right in front of her. Embrace the present and look forward to the future. 

Can Laya open her heart again? Will she continue to allow her past control her future?  Is she open to the possibility of allowing Micah in?

The Last Post was a sweet endearing book. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Million Dollar Marriage by Katy Evans

From New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans comes a hot romance about two strangers and their race to fall in love.
If someone had bet Nell a million dollars that she would be saying “I do” to a complete stranger on national television, she’d have called them crazy, but with her crushing student loan payments sending her deep into the red, she’s out of options. This should be nothing more than a business transaction—until she sets eyes on her groom, and everything changes.
The game is on the instant Luke spots Penelope “Nell” Carpenter. He’s out for the money, yes, but getting a little dirty with Nell doesn’t sound too bad either. Everyone knows he’s not the marrying kind, so it’s a good thing it’s just for show. God knows he’s the worst guy his pretty wife should pick for real.
They have nothing in common, but if they want the grand prize, they’ll have to beat out eight other couples. Proving that total opposites attract should be easy enough…as long as they don’t fall in love in the process.

This book had be laughing out loud at times. It totally had the vibe of The Amazing Race. Nell needed money to pay off her student loans and Luke needed the money to save his grandfather's bar.

The saying goes. Opposites attract and these two definitely were opposites. The chemistry between Luke and Nell was obvious to those around them, yet they both seemed to ignore it. But when you have two smoking hot people, who are attracted to each other, somethings are bound to occur. Fate set these two on the same path, but will their love of each other keep them together, or will they will tore apart.