Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Series: Wait for You #1
Release Date: Feb 26, 2013
Publisher: J. Lynn
Genre: New Adult
Source: Purcahsed
Rating: ★★★★½

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

I've read plenty of Armentrout's young adult titles, but I am sometimes wary of writers who start in one genre and venture out. This was the case with, for me, here. Which is why I waited so long to pick this title up, even though it has many great reviews from readers I trust.


I should not have been worried or have waited. I ate Wait for You up.

Maybe, it's that I love fragile people and that is exactly what Avery is. I don't call her broken or damaged, because she still has such strength and determination but it's extremely delicate and so many little things could shatter it.

Though there are a fair amount of moments where you want to reach into the book and knock some sense into her, you also completely understand where her fears and trepidation comes from. Which, had me holding my breath several times.

Maybe, it's that I love guys like Cam. Cocky but not in a totally arrogant way. Makes sense, right? He's confident but he doesn't take himself too seriously.  He does, however, take Avery extremely seriously.  The patience he has with her is a beautiful and charming thing.

He has his issues, as well, but his strengths far out way them. He's quite possibly going to be in my book boyfriend hall of fame for the way he handles such dangerous waters.

Maybe, it's that Lynn/ Armentrout writes with a perfect pace, never leaving you bored with the story...keeping you completely connected.

Maybe, it's that there was the perfect balance between humor and tragedy, love and trauma.

Maybe, it's all those things. It probably is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Better When He's Brave by Jay Crownover

Series: Welcome to The Point #3
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: William Marrow
Genre: New Adult / Romantic Suspense
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★ ½

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover’s third novel in her sexy, thrilling Welcome to the Point series, a woman’s search for repentance leads her to the one man from her past she can’t forget as they join forces to save their city—and the explosive love neither can live without.

Titus King has always seen his world in black and white. There is a firm right and wrong in his mind, which is why as a teenager he left behind the only family he’d ever known to make a better life for himself. Now a police detective in one of the worst cities in the country, he can’t deny his life has turned into a million different shades of gray.

The new criminal element in The Point has brought vengeance and destruction right to Titus’s front door, and walking the straight and narrow seems far less important now. The difference between right and wrong is nothing compared to keeping those he loves alive. To add to his already strained moral compass, the beautiful and mysterious Reeve Black has made her way back to town. This girl might be as dangerous to Titus as the guy trying to destroy the Point but he can’t walk away because he needs her—in more ways than one.

Reeve knows all about the threat trying to destroy The Point. She knows how ruthless, how vicious, and how cruel this new danger can be… and instead of running away, she wants to help. Reeve knows that she has a lot to repent for and saving the city, plus the hot cop that she hasn’t been able to forget might just be the only way she can finally find some inner peace.

With an entire city poised on the brink of war, Titus and Reeve stand in the crossfire—and it will take two brave souls to fight for the ultimate love.

My initial thought upon finishing Better When He's Brave  -  'Titus surprised the hell out of me'.

We've met Titus in the two previous Welcome to The Point titles, but those glimpses really only led me to believe that he was a hard ass cop, with perhaps a small soft spot for his half brother. Nothing gave away that he could be this giant, domineering, teddy-bear type guy.  But that is what he is, regardless of how strange that combination may be.

He's not always a nice guy. In fact, he is usually not. He's usually hard, a bit callous and he makes some mistakes where Reeve is involved.

Reeve finds herself back in The Point with the intention of righting some of her wrongs. If you've read the series, you know what those are and you know what it led to.  She has a tough road to travel and she expects to have to do it alone.  Titus is willing to help in as far as it helps him get what he wants too.  Turns out, maybe he wants more than he's willing to admit.

Reeve was a good match for Titus.  She sees through his bullshit, she challenges him in all the right ways.  I had a bit of a girl crush on this girl. She's through letting her environment fuck her over, she's ready to take control. Come what may.

Crownover has a talent for pairings.  In her couples, she partners people with entertaining push/pull relationships. With her worlds she builds these hard edges but allows softer people to survive in them.  I love that about her writing.  While Titus and Reeve are more edgy than cushy, their lighter sides still appeared and that's what makes you fall in love with them.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

Series: Stand Alone
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Atria
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★★★

From the New York Times bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.

It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.

This week I visited the city of Capri and fell in love with Derio and Amber, and two little matching twins!

Karina is such an amazing descriptive scenery writer that I was vividly able to picture every landscape and blue patch of water that she introduced to us in Racing The Sun. But what always brings me back to her titles is her ability to write travel romance but provide a completely different story each time, each one is entirely different from the last and I find myself adding new countries to my bucket list! After reading RTS I wanted nothing more than to sit on an outdoor balcony with Derio while overlooking the deepest, blue sea and him whispering sweet Italian nothings in my ear...

I raise my brow. Is he asking me to sit on his face? Because I'll totally do that.

Now that's my girl, Amber did not irritate me one time, and usually every heroine does at least once. But I loved her lost spirit and her honesty even when it was hard for her to express it. Her willingness with the twins floored me but her insecurities of becoming a full time nanny totally unannounced and unwelcomed, came with real fears, and brought a few of her own insecurities to the surface. Never the less she was loyal and I adored the intensity of her emotions and truth that she possessed.

I wish my tongue was my fingers. I wish I could taste you from the inside.

A man who loves frost a lady's cupcake is my favorite kind of man! Derio was so brooding and sexy, I love how his character evolved throughout the book and I mean come on, he's Italian! Enough said. But goodness he was was so fierce in all things he did whether he was mad, content, mad again, or possibly happy he did it full force there were no in betweens with him. However, I did hope for a few chapters in Derio's POV just to have a little more insight on his inner thoughts.

The chemistry between these two shone from the beginning it just needed a little push, and once it got going, I was addicted! But how do you have a relationship with your employer all while caring for his younger twin siblings? Along with sporadic mood swings, troubled pasts threatening any kind of future, and the complications of an expiring VISA... Is an intense love enough to overcome all the things that seem to hinder these two...? I will admit I was on edge for quite some time holding my breath for so long I may have turned as pale as Amber!

Overall I am pleased with Racing The Sun and to see that Karina's "pervyness" is still there and amazing! I'm hoping to possibly see a book for Shay sometime in the future cause I feel like that girl will be my kind of wild... 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a little drama, a few choked up moments, and an Italian with a big penis! I mean really do you need anything else?!

Friday, July 24, 2015

NEWS: Introductions, please!

We are so excited to introduce this blogger to the Black Heart team. Debbie and Ali met her (in real life - after a most torrid virtual love affair) at the Portland Author Occasion. It was immediately evident that Tiffany was the long lost love child of Debbie and Ali. Seriously, she's like Black Heart's spirit animal.

If you've spent any time on Instagram, you probably already know her as Tiffany.the.Bibliophile.  You know, the maker of all those amazing teaser graphics? Now, we introduce her to you as:

Hiii! *with my signature scrunched Asian face* 

Sometimes the little vagina fairy looks out for you and grants you some pretty amazing people, I've been a long time stalker of Ali & Debbie and when I met them in person it was like my inner asshole just called out to them and I fell in love with them even more, so I am super excited to join their team! 

I am a mommy of two, to an amazing 7 year old girl who loves collecting Shopkins and Pokemon cards as well as a 2 year old boy who owns every Nerf gun made and loves to scare the shit out of my dog! 

But a little more about me... Until joining The Black Heart girls I've been a pretend blogger on Instagram, where I spend entirely too much time, I assure you, you can always find me there. I love reading anything DARK as that is my preference most of the time, my soul is black as coal and I embrace it. But I also love a good butterfly and bubblegum type read or any kind of contemporary book for that matter, I usually get my feel of happy after I read something totally disturbing that I find myself loving more than I'm supposed to! 

But to sum things up I really am the sweetest, outspoken asshole you'll ever meet... My brain to mouth filter is pretty much non existent and I always forget when I say things that people can actually hear me, but that's the fun part right?! So once again hi, I'm Tiffany and I love to read! <3

Please welcome her and keep an eye out for her reviews! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Kestrel (Hart Brothers #3) by A.M. Hargrove

Series: Hart Brothers 3
Release Date: March 29, 2015
Publisher: A.M. Hargrove
Genre: Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ½

Two lives with broken pasts no one can imagine. One encounter that changed them both forever.

“One look at her and I want to run. Frizzy hair, thick glasses, mom jeans, and ruffles up to her neck. Who the hell wears shit like that? What decade is she living in? My mother doesn’t even dress like that!”

Kestrel is a survivor. The monster who raised him is dead and he’s now building a new life for himself, shedding his dark and twisted past. He moves away from his family, but a surprise awaits him. Her name is Carter.

Carter is also a survivor. Her past is every bit as horrid as Kestrel’s. But she has a secret. In order to protect it, she proposes something so foreign, so outrageous, even she is shocked.
Carter needs love. Kestrel craves human contact. Neither of them recognizes what’s right before their eyes. Will they see it before it’s too late?

The good thing about Kestrel by A.M. Hargrove, is that even though it is the third in the series, it definitely can be read as a stand alone.

However, that may be the only thing I found good about this book.

I'm giving it one star because I actually made it to the end. I think only to see how the train wreck ended. This feels so harsh, but it was just such a mess.

It starts fine enough, young woman has lost her entire family. She's broken and broke. You learn that she's in cancer research but the taxes on the house she inherited are breaking her.

 But then all of this happens -

The money situation never really mapped out for me. She was left $100K, I assume she makes decent money, but the taxes nearly bankrupt her within 4 years. But, I don't live in Charleston. This could be totally legit, it definitely made me pause and do some math. Not something I want to do while reading.

Anyway...then she throws herself at the potential buyer of the house. I'm talking, indecent proposal shit here. It was all kinds of strange. She's a nerd, not a sex pot so it really felt out of character. I get it, you're desperate to have access to the house but offering up your mom jean clad ass to a complete stranger is crazy town territory.

Kestrel (awesome name - that's why it got an extra half star) kept telling her he was so bad and evil but his actions never supported that. Ever. He was actually a very sweet guy. All his talk about his dark past, was just that, talk.

I could make a huge list of inconsistencies, but I won't. I'll just say it was full of them and I struggled. A lot.

Not the book for me.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Review + Excerpt: Focus On Me by Megan Erickson

Series: In Focus #2
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Intermix
Genre: New Adult - M/M Romance
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★ ½

Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option…

Focus On Me is my first Megan Erickson read, I don't think it will be my last. Erickson delivered characters that were easy to want to support. They are far from perfect, challenging at times, but worm right into your heart.

Colin took his football talent from North Carolina to a big university in California. Thinking he needed to escape the small town, country life. But like so much else in his life, it wasn't what he wanted enough to stick it out. After a couple of years of trying, he's packed up and on the road back home.

Running into an enigmatic, yet totally hot, guy in need of a ride - was not on Colin's list of things to do. Something about Riley had Colin needing to help him though.

That's just who Colin seemed to be. The type of guy that didn't live for himself. He sees a responsibility to others first. Colin is an easy guy to love. I think it took me all of about two pages. He's very laid back, easy going. Yet, he's just figuring out life and love and the responsibilities that come with that.

Riley was harder for me to enjoy. Part of that may come from the story, almost fully, being told from Colin's point of view.  Part of it were the letters that are told in Riley's.  I had a hard time with those.  They often felt too juvenile. Riley is going through some pretty major hard times, mentally. So, stable wasn't something I expected, but a certain maturity was. That was a bit lacking, I thought.

However, that didn't diminish my need to continue reading. I was involved enough to finish it in only a few hours. 

I admire Erickson for taking on the mental health issue and for treating it with the care it deserves. I could feel the struggle with Colin between wanting to fix Riley but knowing he wasn't a cure all. It made me love Colin all the more.

Focus On Me is a tender telling of one fragile guy and one broken one, who find hope for a future in each other - where before, there was only darkness and uncertainty. What more could you want from a romance?

“Why’d you come back?” I asked, my voice hoarse.

He licked his lower lip, the underside of his tongue running across the ridges on the surface. I wanted that to be my tongue. I wanted to feel those ridges when I kissed him, when those lips rasped over mine. He took his bottom lip and sawed his top teeth over it, abusing the skin. I reached up and gripped his chin, pressing below his lip until it popped out between his teeth.

He met my gaze and blinked. “Because you’re the first person in a long time to make me feel anything. And because I want you.” His voice was barely a tone, just a series of sounds skating up his throat. I hadn’t realized how badly I wanted to hear those words, said in such a desperate, pleading way. And not just from anyone, but from Riley, with his eyes locked on mine while my fingers gripped his chin.

I leaned in and brushed my lips across his. My eyes drifted shut, and when I opened them, our noses were touching. “Show me, then.”

His breath rushed out, fanning my face, and then he slammed his lips onto mine, the force of it banging my head on the door behind me. I groaned and speared my fingers into his hair, clutching the strands with both hands as he ravaged my mouth.

And God, what a kiss. Those full lips bruising mine, that wicked tongue doing crazy things in my mouth. He made soft moans in the back of his throat, like he was finally getting his favorite indulgence, that first blessed bite of rich, dark chocolate. He plastered his body to mine, gripping my hips and grinding his hardness into me.

I could barely keep up with his kiss as he licked into my mouth and dueled with my tongue. I gripped his head and held on, letting him take whatever he wanted, because fuck, I was finally getting to taste Riley.

When he finally pulled way with a loud smack, his hips were rolling into mine with gentle thrusts, and we were breathing hard, chests bumping. He nuzzled against my neck, nibbling below my ear. I closed my eyes as goose bumps raced over my skin.

“Can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to do that,” he whispered.

“Can’t or won’t?”

He paused and then he nipped my earlobe. “Smartass.”



“Kiss me again.”

This kiss was less frenzied but no less intense. And now his hands were moving, sliding under the hem of my shirt. He brushed his knuckles over my abs, and I sucked in a sharp breath through my nose.

He pulled back and eyed my chest hungrily. “Take your shirt off, Col.”

I reached back with one hand and fisted my shirt at my upper back, tugging it over my head, then down my arms before I tossed it to the side.

He laid his hands flat on my pecs, then ran his palms over the smattering of hair I had on my chest. “I love how you look,” he said quietly, almost reverently, his gaze on his hands. He tugged a little on the hair around my nipples, and I grunted. He smiled.

If this were anyone but Riley, I would have been uncomfortable, maybe even embarrassed at the way I was being studied. But with him . . . I was almost proud of my size and my chest. Especially because of the way his eyes took me in, like I was a chocolate dessert. “You know I love how you look too, Catwalk.”

His gaze lifted to mine, and then he kissed me. Slowly. Like he was savoring the moment and my taste.

Fingers dipped into the waistband at my jeans. My belt rattled and loosened. Riley leaned back and pulled it from my belt loops, the leather slapping together as he tossed it to the side. He flicked open the top button of my jeans with one finger and lowered the zipper. He made a strangled noise when he found me commando. And then he sank to his knees.

Riley. On his knees. Shoving my pants down my thighs. Pressing his face along the length of my cock, his tongue licking one long swipe up the underside.

“Fuck, Ri,” I moaned, thunking my head back on the door and gripping his hair. “Fuck.”

Then that long tongue again, this time licking the seam of my balls, and I snapped my eyes open, because I didn’t want to miss a single moment of this. I wanted it burned in my brain, behind my eyelids, this sight of Riley between my legs, sucking one of my balls in his mouth, eyes closed, expression one of pure bliss.

His hand gripped my cock, pressing it up and into my belly while he licked and laved the skin of my balls. I loved this, always had, but not every guy was into this. It was like Riley was made for me.

And then his hand shifted, and a wet, hot mouth descended on the tip of my cock. I sucked in a breath and then watched as Riley slowly, ever so slowly, lowered his head, my shaft disappearing into his mouth as he took me down his throat.

My fingers flexed in his hair at the heat of his mouth and the swirl of his tongue. “Oh shit.”

He moaned, the vibration nearly bringing me to my knees. And then he began to work me. Like a fucking blow-job expert, he bobbed his head in time with his fist and rolled my balls with his other hand.

I watched my spit-slick shaft disappearing between those beautiful full lips. His cheeks hollowed as he sucked, rotating his wrist along with his head in a twisting motion that had me immobile. I could feel the orgasm starting, my balls tightening.

But there was one thing missing.

“Look at me,” I whispered.

He kept his eyes closed and didn’t react to my words.

“Ri, look at me.”

Still nothing.

I reached down and cupped his chin, my thumb pressing into the corner of his mouth, where my shaft slid in and out. “Baby,” I said softly, my accent thicker with arousal. “I want to see your eyes.”

He paused, then his eyelids raised as he pulled back. When only my tip remained in his mouth, his gaze met mine.

There was so much there, swirling and whirling, all his emotions—his need—right at the surface, and he knew it too, as the color rose on his cheeks. I saw why he wanted to keep it from me. And like the selfish bastard I was, I wanted it anyway. I’d asked for it.

With his eyes on mine, he bobbed his head once, twice, and then I was done. With a cry and a tightened fist in his hair, I shot down his throat. It felt like I came for five minutes straight, because Riley kept on sucking and swallowing, wringing every last drop from me.

Riley let my softened shaft slip from his mouth, a small smile on his lips as he kissed the wet tip. I leaned my head back against the wall, closing my eyes because my head was spinning. My hand was still in his hair, but my fingers slipped as he moved. My feet were lifted as he pulled off my boots and socks, one by one, then removed my pants. I opened my eyes as I stood in front of him, naked.

I licked my lips. “You gonna let me return the favor now?”

His eyes were at half-mast, his lips red and swollen.

He stepped closer, still in his T-shirt and jeans. He gripped my hip and then slid his hand around my waist to palm my ass. He leaned in close and pressed a kiss to the hinge of my jaw. “You gonna let me have this?”

Reveal: The Bleeding Dark by Janice Pia

Series: Blood & Burn 1
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Janice Pia
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover: by Hang Le

Wherever Brenna de Wintros goes, violence follows. Other shifters fear her. Her brother, the Alpha, would just as soon see her dead. She’s the bad wolf of the Pack, but there might be something even darker than she is on the horizon.

Madness has infected her people, with more and more falling into its clutches every day. If they don't find a cure soon, the shifters’ secret existence will be revealed to the human world.

Roped against her will into helping hunt down the source of the mysterious malady, Brenna must team up with Seth Grayson, a stranger shrouded in secrets whom she is inexplicably drawn to.

Together, Brenna and Seth must confront the evil threatening their race before time runs out for them all.

An avid fan of stories that feature both the romantic and the fantastical, Janice can't remember a time in her life when she wasn't either reading a book, or dreaming of writing one. She has a weakness for strong, flawed characters who are in need of a little redemption, and she believes that the best happy endings are the ones that must be fought for.

THE BLEEDING DARK is Janice's debut novel and is the first book in an all-new urban fantasy series.
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