I just finished a book laaaaaate last night (dark and creepy!) that I’m going to be reviewing next, and now I get to start a new one! YAY ME. :D !!! Except, I have NO clue which one to jump into.

<— Hmmm…. although, that one right there to the left (#1 Crush) is calling me hard and it’s live. I’m in the mood for a comedy romance, and the blurb is right up my goofy-heroine alley! She wants to meet him SO BAD (he’s her favorite actor), so I have a feeling she’s going to get herself in trouble in the process. YEP. This one’s for me RIGHT NOW!!!! I’m giving it a go!

But then… OMG tomorrow. The releases include SO MANY heavy-hitters, and I can imagine there’ll be some squirreling right here, over them. Emma Chase, Max Monroe, Helena Hunting, Lisa Kleypas just to name a few. I have a short list of highlights of a few going live at midnight (below), but tomorrow’s list is going to be insane, so brace yourselves. ;)

BUT… LOOK WHAT JUST WENT LIVE!!!!

  1. Pretty Face by Lucy Parker <— LIVE!!! SHE’S AN ACTRESS & HE’S A DIRECTOR ALERT!!…She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy…“ And this is the author of “Act Like It” (that was also very popular with some of our crew right here!! *ahem* bev ;) P.S. It’s bargain priced today, and I have it!! :D )
  2. #1 Crush by T Gephart <— LIVE!!!! FAMOUS ACTOR & SHE’S HIS SUPERFAN ALERT!!! AND the blurb has me giggling already!! This one sounds like SO MUCH FUN. The ultimate “super-fan” fantasy (gone wrong… or gone right?) “…she just wanted to meet him. Just one time. One time. Confident that just seeing him in the flesh would get him out of her system. So, with her resolve steeled, Tia set off on a quest to make it happen while avoiding her mug shot being splayed across the five o’clock news. The journey no doubt will make for one hell of a story…”
  3. Lost In Between (Finding Me Duet Book 1) by KL Kreig <— LIVE!!! HE PAYS HER TO BE HIS FAKE GIRLFRIEND ALERT!!What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit...”
  4. Paint the Stars (Free Fall Book 3) by Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn <— LIVE!!! M/M ROMANCE ALERT!! He’s a reclusive brooding artist and he’s a zen yoga instructor… “…He’s close to his parents and lives with an awesome roommate. He’s content with weekend hookups, teaching yoga, and taking college courses. What he doesn’t expect is to be so intrigued by the brooding and reserved painter…
  5. Preston’s Honor by Mia Sheridan <— MIA SHERIDAN’S LATEST IS LIVE!!!!!! I LOVE HER STORIES!! Back on the list in case you missed it yesterday. “There were two brothers—identical twins—and though I loved them both, my soul belonged to only one...”
  6. Nova (The Renegades) by Rebecca Yarros <— LIVE!!! SNOWBOARDER STAR THAT BROKE HER HEART ALERT! “They say a girl broke him once– That’s why he’s so reckless, so driven, so careless with his conquests. But I’m that girl. They can call me his curse all they want. He and I both know the truth– He’s the one who destroyed me…”
  7. Time’s Up! (A Romantic Standalone) by Vicki Green <— LIVE!! HER ITALIAN PARENTS WANT HER MARRIED & PREGNANT BY 25 ALERT!! “What happens when your wealthy, pretentious Italian parents create a contract for you when you turned twenty-one and now a few years later you realize you only have nine months left to fulfill it...”
  8. Mastering Her Senses (Blasphemy Book 2) by Laura Kaye <— LIVE!!! LAURA KAYE’S DOM/SUB LATEST!!!Cassia Locke hasn’t played at Blasphemy since a caving accident left her with a paralyzing fear of the dark. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help–the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on–and once stood up…
  9. Where Promises Die: A Second Chance Romance by R.C. Stephens <— LIVE!! FORBIDDEN LOVE ALERT!! She was orphaned and adopted into a loving home… “What starts as a way to coax his adopted sister to speak and smile, blossoms into the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. In this small town it shouldn’t be a crime to fall in love . . . Isaac Duncan warns his son to stay away from the forbidden fruit...”
  10. Black Hearts (Sins Duet Book 1 by Karina Halle <— LIVE!!! KARINA HALLE’S LATEST!!! HIS FATHER IS A DRUG LORD ALERT!!…when Vicente stumbles across someone he’s not supposed to know about – a woman from his father’s checkered past – he sets out to California to find her behind his father’s back. What Vicente doesn’t expect to find in San Francisco is Violet McQueen, the woman’s twenty-year old daughter...” AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ the previous books to enjoy this one (it reads as a standalone).
  11. The Do-Gooder by Jessie L. Star <— LIVE!! SHE’S GOT A BAD REPUTATION… so she tried to reverse Karma by doing good deeds. “…she’ll complete one good deed for anyone who asks. And she does an amazing job at it, if she does say so herself. Still, there’s one thing she knows she can’t make better, no matter how many problems she solves for other people: on the night her brother died, she was off hooking up with his not-so-single best friend, Fletch…”
  12. Switch by Adriana Locke <— LIVE!!!! OFFICE ROMANCE ALERT!!! She’s his new secretary, and the morning of her first day is an utter MESS (and she’s LATE for work)!! And then she sees him and realizes how HOT he is. But he’s not impressed. “Being flustered is just the start of her problems. Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go...”

            

 

PREORDERS (GOING LIVE at midnight!! :D )

➜ CHECK OUT ALL the upcoming BOOK RELEASES here (frequently updated and it goes all the way to 2017!)

        

Get Maryse’s Book Blog updates delivered by email (you’ll get one daily email that will have each post from that day consolidated on it).

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My Sister Rosa

“What if the most terrifying person you know is your ten-year-old sister? 

Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he’s also certain that she’s a psychopath—clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. 

Che is the only one who knows; he’s the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the manipulation she’s capable of….”

Yep. With a blurb like that, you know I one-clicked it so hard. I was DYING to read this. I’m so into any story that has to do with psychological issues and relationships or society. From all sorts of standpoints, whether it’s a romance, or a psych-thriller, but especially from the perspective of the one with the disorder, or the victim (or relationship partner… what have you).

This was in essence, my “dream-psych-thriller” book (a seemingly innocent, adorable child… a HUMAN child, that had very dark needs? That seemed unable to connect and to love, and needed to do, or see terrible things to feel?).

She’s ten years old with blonde ringlets, big blue eyes, and dimples she can turn on and off like, well, like pushing a button. Rosa looks like a doll; Rosa is not a doll.

I HAD to know more. I had to see where this would go. I HAD to find out… why.

bev: My Sister Rosa. I’m tempted. Lots of good buzz but not my usual sub genre of YA. Tempted. Maryse that one may be one you’d like.

Maryse: PSYCH-THRILLER & OH SHEESH!! eekeekeekeek I ONE-CLICKED IT SO HARD & I wanna read this NOW. (Thanks bev!!!) “What if the most terrifying person you know is your ten-year-old sister?” MINE!!! Er… not my sister. I mean… the book. :P

Tracie: Crap! And mine too lol

Maryse: …his little angelic-looking sister is a psychopath – and it is CREEPING me out ’cause I have no idea where it’s going, but I know it’s gonna be jaw dropping!!

Maryse: 9:27pm OMG I just got the daylights scared out of me, reading this creepy book!!!! When, all of the sudden – my loud-ass Alexa says: “Sorry… I don’t know the answer”. And I mean loudly. Alexa is creepy too. Just sayin’ ;) P.S. She’s in the living room, and I’m in my bedroom, and I don’t want to find out who she’s talking to.

bev: Rosa. She’s talking to Rosa.

Maryse: That’s what I’m scared of. neutral

And I have a VERY strange rapport with this book. It was EXACTLY what I wanted to read, had that subtle creep-factor that was omnipresent and always threatening to strike. And it even delved a bit deeper because it explored the complex connections (or lack thereof), and the thought processes, that a psychopath, and their affiliations might experience… and why. And yet, I felt somewhat underwhelmed in the grand scheme of things.

So what’s it about?

Seventeen year old Che (pronounced exactly as you see it… sort of “Chey”) and his little sister Rosa are brand new “New York transplants”. Australian natives (and named after historical revolutionaries), their parents (Sally and David – and yes, they insist on being called by their first names, even by their children), being globetrotting human rights activists are always seeking to better the world with various businesses, and raising funds for said projects. Having partnered with their lifetime wealthy best friends to begin a new one, they are on the move again. But, Che and Rosa are used to moving around, constantly being uprooted, ripped from their friends and lives to start somewhere new.

Che is devastated,

You can make more friends, they argued. We’re moving to New York to make the world a better place. Sometimes you have to put the greater good first.

You care more about the world than me and Rosa, I yelled.

Which was when I lost. Sally and David have no respect for anyone who resorts to emotion. You have to be calm and rational to win an argument. You have to be an adult even if you aren’t one.

..but adorable little Rosa is always up for a new adventure, and meeting new people. Because you see, Rosa (unbeknownst to most, and maybe even her parents – although they do realize she’s… different) is unable to form true connections and attachments.

Rosa learned everything slower than her cousins. Everything that isn’t hardwired. She crawled and walked at a regular pace.

It was smiling and laughing and hugging and kissing and crying and pointing that came slowly. All the things humans do with each other, and in response to one another, Rosa was slow to acquire.

She craves to learn new things, but generally of the demented kind, and it seems only her brother Che knows the truth.

Rosa isn’t afraid of anything but being taken to doctors, of being locked away. She isn’t scared of vicious dogs, or heights, or strange men.

What she is doesn’t matter if she runs into someone who’s worse. She’s ten years old and unafraid. Would she decide it’s funny to get into a stranger’s car? Would she say yes to an invite to have dinner in a stranger’s home?

He sees her for who she is, despite loving her with all of his heart and protecting her since she was a tiny baby. Where Che has always been worried, disciplined and responsible, Rosa is careless, selfish and dangerous.

But that’s not how the world sees her. They see an angelic face, a radiant personality and a charming, highly intelligent little girl. A math prodigy, and a stunner in talent and beauty, she snares everyone in her vicinity into her web, and manipulates to her hearts content.

Rosa is a ticking bomb.

I don’t think it matters what you call it: psychopathy, sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder, evil, or the devil within. What matters is how to prevent the bomb from exploding.

It would be a lot easier if the parentals believed Rosa is a bomb. It would be even easier if she wasn’t a bomb. I would give anything for her to not be the way she is. Rosa ticks off everything on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist except for promiscuity, driving too fast and other adult sins. Give her time.

WHOA. Seriously… every “Rosa” scene had me on edge. I was equally fascinated and terrified (so intelligent and always with the loopholes).

“Talking to you is like talking to . . .” I was going to say the devil. “A slippery eel.”

“I’m trying to understand. Good is complicated. But I’ll try to be it. I don’t like it when you’re annoyed with me.”

“You care what I think about you?” I didn’t mean to say that.

“I like that you like me best. I like being liked.”

The first third of the book had me HOOKED. I was intrigued, and already thrilled, and the characters and direction it seemed to be going in, was everything I was anticipating.

“I’ve been good and kept my promises.”

I snort. Rosa mostly keeps her promises by finding loopholes. She’ll be a terrifying lawyer.

“I should get to do one tiny bad thing.”

“Being good is not a game, Rosa.” Everything is a game to Rosa.

Rosa dimples at me though she knows I’m immune.

“I should get a reward for being good.”

Eeeeep!!!

And then I reached the middle… and it slowed down tremendously. Completely shifted gears for some reason. From exciting and ominous to… monotonous and repetitive. Bogged down with a sort of “older YA” teen life as he got to know his new friends, and attempted to find his place in the world, balancing his life as a normal teen…

“Your sister,” Leilani says, when I sit down on the couch, “doesn’t like me.”

“Of course she doesn’t. You don’t think she’s adorable. She’s used to charming everyone.”

“She’s not adorable. She weirds me out.”

My heart beats faster. Leilani noticed.

…with that of his psychopathic sister’s confidante and “tamer” if you will. <— sidenote: My personal confession? THAT is what I wanted. *sigh* MORE.

Rosa will get bored, she’ll look for ways to make trouble without Sally and David, our parents, finding out. That’s the game she plays. My job is to stop her.

His sister’s sneaky ways, and disturbing comments that kept him constantly on guard, while his friends and other adults were completely enamored by her vivacious and sweet personality. Couple that with his loving but negligent parents that were more preoccupied with their “save-the-world” projects, the main character (our “hero”) was a mess of normal teenage angst and incredible guilt and worry in regards to his little sister, and the havoc she could wreak on the world.

“You’ve always worried about everyone else. I swear you were ten going on thirty. You were responsible and never selfish. Rosa’s not like that. But most ten-year-olds aren’t. Most are selfish. Do I wish she was less selfish, more sensitive? Yes! Sometimes I wish you were less sensitive. You’re so easily hurt, Che.”

I’m not sure I recognise the Che she’s talking about.

But I couldn’t put it down, reading with an eerie thrill in my heart, just knowing that I would be blindsided and left breathless by a twist. Maybe even two. I KNEW the routine-like middle would serve its purpose. ;)

That soft, fresh baby smell is long gone, and she’s done and said many awful things, but I want to believe that hug.

I love Rosa. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop.

“Hugging is nice,” Rosa says and it’s on the tip of my tongue to tell her she’s laying it on too thick.

Set it on fire, watch it burn.

Is that what she’s trying to do to me?

Did that happen? The twist? Yes. Two? Yep. Maybe even three. ;) However the reveals and events that lead up to the reveals were much too gentle on my thrill-seeking heart. My book-daredevil needs. I WANT CRAZY INTENSE!!!!!!! I didn’t get crazy intense. I didn’t get mind-blowing.

But!

It was good, and I won’t forget it. Every single moment (thing said, thought had, and moment lived), as cautiously creepy as they were, or as emotional and eyeopening as they were, will remain with me. This is not a “forgettable” book. In fact, it was almost unputdownable ’cause no matter how sluggish it got, at times, you just knew something was coming, and so you HAD to keep reading.

“The thought of her grown up is terrifying.”

“Yes.”

4 stars!

P.S. I avoided reviews like the plague because I wanted to be surprised BIG TIME. But now that I’ve read it and “know stuff” I’m off to indulge in what everyone else thinks. I don’t always do that, but for this book, I’m dying to see readers’ various points of views.

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Dark Rivers of the Heart: A Novel

Review by Johanne Pearl Couturier

I don’t read the same book twice usually… but this one I did! And even though I gave away most of my “old” books away to charity, I kept the copy of that one so my daughter can to read it because I think it is one of the most intriguing books I’ve read so far.

From what I have heard from my reader friends, most of the Dean Koontz books are into “supernatural” (ghosts… etc) but this one could be a real story happening some years ago and that is why I decided to give Mr. Koontz a try. It was absolutely worth it even if it was released close to 20 years ago. It is a classic to me!

Spencer and Valerie meet “accidentally” in a bar and, while he wants to know what her secret is for being followed by the government, he is bearing a secret of his own. A secret so dark that his brain does not want to remember, ever!!!

On the run, they will get to team up and know each other, care for each other, while villains (yes they are absolutely perverts but I enjoyed the perverted characters soooo much) are after them in the name of the good government. And it brings them all back to Spencer’s horrible past, where he has to face the dreadful memories to save the woman he loves.

Action, surprises, written in a way you are panting while reading it, damn… just thinking about it, I want to read the story again!

5 stars!

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It’s that time of the week again, and I’ve found us some more great book news to celebrate!! From author tidbits and announcements, to reveals, to super-sales and surprise early releases that just went live, this Sunday is looking up to be a book blast!

<— BREAKING NEWS UPDATE!!! Preston’s Honor by Mia Sheridan IS LIVE!!!!!!

There were two brothers—identical twins—and though I loved them both, my soul belonged to only one.

AND… THIS ONE IS ON “DEAL OF THE DAY” SUPER-SALE ALERT TODAY ONLY!!!! All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel is a unique, controversial “forbidden love” story that rocked so many readers’ worlds (in good and bad ways – depends on the reader… P.S. Here’s my review) ➔➔➔➔➔➔

Natasha: So awesome!! A very different kind of romance.

Angela: Thanks for this!!! Been waiting for it to go on sale :D

Claire: Loved this book <3

Sandra: This book was fantastic

Judy: This book was hard to take at times but so worth it in the end. It was a fantastic read!

Addy: I couldn’t finish it. No matter how much I tried to be open minded…

NEXT BIG BREAKING NEWS!!! KARINA HALLE’S LATEST IS LIVE!!! AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ the previous books to enjoy this one (Black Hearts (Sins Duet Book 1)! The author says:

***Black Hearts is book one of the Sins Duet, with the sequel, Dirty Souls, releasing shortly after.

These books can be read as a standalone – though they are a spinoff of the Sins & Needles and Dirty Angels trilogies, you do not need to read those books in order to understand and enjoy Black Hearts and Dirty Souls as these books revolve around different characters.***

Switch by Adriana Locke JUST WENT LIVE!!!! OFFICE ROMANCE ALERT!!! She’s his new secretary, and the morning of her first day is an utter MESS (and she’s LATE for work)!! And then she sees him and realizes how HOT he is. But he’s not impressed. LOL!!

“…Being flustered is just the start of her problems.

Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms…”

And now… here’s more great news!

Jodi Ellen Malpas just revealed the GORGEOUS cover of her upcoming book, The Forbidden. FORBIDDEN (not just the title… but in the blurb ;) *waggles eyebrows* oooooooooooh you know I AM IN!!)

“Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous. But she’s already in too deep. And Jack isn’t only dangerous. He is forbidden…”

Trudy Stiles revealed the cover for her upcoming release in her “Forever Family” series entitled “Dear Callie” and reminds us that Callie was a character in “Dear Emily (Forever Family Book 1)” (one of “Carly’s” friends). The author says:

“I’ve been writing/outlining various stories for over six months, not really sure what the next one would be. But this story has suddenly consumed me and I can’t wait for you all to read it.

Dear Callie is a celebration of true and forever friends…”

Aurora Rose Reynolds announced the preorder of her upcoming book, Until Sage (Until Him)

Pepper Winters revealed the cover of her upcoming book Throne of Truth (Truth and Lies Duet Book 2) (<— DARK ROMANCE DUET CONCLUSION!!!) and it is stunning, too! Yep. I think it’s a great match to that gorgeous ethereal cover for book #1 (Crown of Lies (Truth and Lies Duet Book 1), ’cause you can tell he’s tormented and handsome as all get out! It’s coming out this month.

Milissa: I have read crown of lies Pepper Winter and I can’t wait on the next book!!

H.M. Ward announces her SERIES CONCLUSION!!! The final book in her “Arrangement” series ➔ The Arrangement 23 (SERIES FINALE – The Ferro Family) is coming out soon! WHOA. That is A LOT of books (and then you’ve got all the spinoff-series crossovers…). This one is up for preorder, but she’s trying to get it to go live even earlier.

Belle Aurora‘s book #3 in her RAW series has been posted (the cover) and OMG!!! I read the first book and that ending STUNNED me (P.S. Here’s my review) and now… there’s more. ‘Cause it’s a trilogy and this is the final book! No release date or blurb yet but it does say this:

“Twitch and Lexi.
Third and final book in the Raw Family series.”

AND in case you missed it, my latest book review is up! Book Review – Open House by TC Matson. The blurb promises a tumultuous relationship (and hints at heartache), and oh boy do we get it. Her torment, and some of the “OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!” moments wrung me out!!!

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Open House
The blurb promises a tumultuous relationship (and hints at heartache), and oh boy do we get it. Her torment, and some of the OH NO HE DIDN’T!!! moments, wrung me out!!!

The author did a great job bringing the emotional strife to life. I felt the sheer loneliness that the heroine was going through. Her despondency as her long-term boyfriend was pulling away from her over the course of weeks, and months. Her desperation as she tries to pull him out of his sullenness, his disregard and inattention to their couple (and to their son), so that they could be who they USED to be when they were once so in love.

Maryse: I have a new review coming up tonight for Open House (tumultuous long-term relationship, and OMG HE TOTALLY had me fuming and thinking OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!!!) You’ll see.

Cristina: Maryse, I can’t wait for your review on Open House! I sat down and read it today (just finished) and I agree that there is a lot of realistic emotion, and might I add, circumstances. I literally felt like TC Matson took a few chapters from my earlier married life and put them into print. And yes, I literally had that “Oh no he didn’t!”moment (or a few)!

Marion: I’m in love with this story!!!!! 5 beautiful stars

She was trying anything. Everything. Putting forth extra effort at being his perfect housewife, to trying to talk it out peacefully, and letting him know her concerns and showing him her sadness, to outwardly being furious with him and letting him have it, but she felt as if she couldn’t get through to him, no matter what she did.

I’ve always heard there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely, but I never truly understood it until recently. I’m lonely. Miserably lonely. Even with Brian in the same room, there isn’t a connection. There isn’t a spark. Our friendship is lost at sea—our intimacy somewhere in a blurred line.

It was all subtle in the beginning. I could feel everything slipping away—the “us” I knew—but I held on tight, hoping and praying it would pass. It didn’t.

And feared that they had reached the end of their rope.

Is this what the end of my days will look like? Distant husband ignoring me while I read on my e-reader?

So what’s it about?

Brian and Riley have been together for years (since they were in high school), now raising their son together. Unmarried (at least, legally) but committed.

I knew I wanted to marry him. This was when he shared that he didn’t believe in marriage. My heart broke a little. He must’ve seen the confusion and hurt in my eyes because he wrapped his pinky around mine and stated his version of vows. There wasn’t a ring. No paperwork to prove it. No excited friends or family. Nothing. But he was my husband and I was his wife.

Riley is a stay-at-home mom, while Brian has been climbing the corporate ladder for his father’s company, setting their tiny family up in a home and a stable and loving life. With a back and forth look into their lives, we’re privy to how they started, how crazy they were about each other, and how in love they continued to be throughout the years, and against all odds.

Many glorious memories have been made here. And here is where I’ve watched the Brian I fell in love with change.

That is, until now… and over the last few months, where Brian is increasingly inattentive and distant, spending longer hours at work, and not taking the time to communicate with Riley, nor is he making time for his son’s school events anymore.

He offers a lopsided smile, one I know isn’t filled with any emotion. “I’ll come home early and we’ll spend some time together.”

I give the best smile I can conjure up. I’ve heard the same line for years now. Early never comes. Neither does us spending time together.

Frustrated, she feels more and more like a single parent to her son, and overall, inconsequential and unappreciated in her life.

And then she meets her son’s gorgeous, charismatic new teacher, and boy does he see her back. ;)

“What was that?” April whispers.

“What was what?” I answer playing dumb without looking at her. I can’t. I know heat has traveled to my cheeks, and I may or may not have drool on my lip.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watch her brown eyes home in. “Don’t act like that was nothing. I saw that. Hell, everyone felt that. The Earth just shifted on its axis.”

Just platonic, but it’s not long before he makes her feel like so much more, again. Doing her best to keep her distance, despite mutually feeling that spark, and suddenly feeling desired (albeit, by the wrong man). Riley can’t help her feelings, yet… her devotion to her family keeps her rooted.

But being rooted doesn’t mean a strong wind won’t completely topple you over.

“I can’t be the only one trying. I need you.”

“You’ve always been the glue that holds us together,” he says with a shaky voice.

“It’s easy when you have two things that can be glued together,” I gasp between tears.

And that’s where the real story comes to fruition, however I won’t say anymore about that. That whole part of the story was so realistic, so well written, that I was living it with her. I experienced her despair and confusion (and suspicions). The unfairness in doing everything to hold it all together, while the other half appears to have already checked out.  I will say it did keep me guessing for a good part as to where this would go (if there would be growth and becoming a stronger couple for weathering the storm), or if this was a case of “too serious, too young” and that personal changes had this couple drifting too far apart to find each other again.

Overall, I enjoyed the story as a whole (especially the first half, because of the clever way the author has us feeling who they once were, and who they are now) I became emotionally invested in them, and I was dying to know what was going on, and desperate for happiness and relief.

Please skip this next part if you want to go into the story “blind”. I won’t spoil the story as a whole, but I analyze my experience of it, and the characters, and don’t want to give you any preconceived ideas of where it’s going…

*spoiler alert*

*spoiler alert*

*spoiler alert*

*spoiler alert*

However once the potential “love triangle” ball got rolling (I’m not saying whether it happens or not because that’s a whole part of Riley’s personal and emotional growth), I will say that I greatly struggled with both male characters. Manipulative and incredibly selfish in their own ways.

One, absolutely shocking me in his demeaning attitude and cruel, selfish and preposterous decisions and demands (and I struggled in believing this, considering what I had learned about his previous sweet and loving nature – and also… legally – YIKES!! NO. UGH!!!). He was a complete Jekyll and Hyde, but mostly the bad one of the two (was that Jekyll?) ;)

The other, had a very narcissistic quality to him. And I mean, the personality disorder type. Pushy, arrogant, trouble making, intense and impatient and incredibly hurtful in his own way. If I were Riley, I wouldn’t have felt safe and loved with either of them, and to be honest, I wasn’t on team ANYONE but team Riley.

Also some plausibilty/character development issues. From her best girlfriend, to her son’s new teacher saying some catty things in public that could certainly cause trouble and hurt, to a few unrealistic “home/living” details that seemed highly improbable, yet placed in the story to further it along, just left me doubting (although these were more minor issues to me).

Okay you can come back now!! :D

I dunno. As realistic and tangible as the first half was (I really got a feel for the characters, past and present), the second half of the story lost that special touch, to me. The small details, and pacing are important, yet in this one, “stuff” just seem to just come out of left field (good stuff and bad stuff). It just felt… rushed.

Still, for those that enjoy reading about realistic marital strife and/or long term relationship struggles, and personal growth, I think many would enjoy this one, and many will even relate.

3.75 stars

2 comments

SATURDAY BREAKING NEWS UPDATE!!! A FEW MORE SUPER-FINDS!!!

  1. Wardrobe Malfunction by Samantha Towle <— SAMANTHA TOWLE’S LATEST IS LIVE!!! HOLLYWOOD HEARTHROB IS A JERK! And she’s working on the set of his latest movie as a wardrobe assistant. “…Now, Charly has landed the mother of all jobs—working on the new Vaughn West movie. Excited doesn’t even cut it. Only things don’t go as planned, and it turns out that Vaughn is actually a jerk. A hot jerk, but a jerk nonetheless...”
  2. Goalie (Texas Mutiny Book 3) by M.E. Carter <— LIVE!!! SOCCER STAR ALERT is losing his marriage…Letting the fame and notoriety go to his head, he lost the things he loved the most… his wife and kids. Now he has one shot to make it right before losing at this relationship game and he’s determined not to miss this time. Mariana has been scarred so deeply by Santos’s betrayals, she will carry the wounds forever...”
  3. The Woodlands Series by Jen Frederick <— DAMAGED MILITARY HERO ALERT!!! Laura found us this series on sale saying:
“Jen Frederick’s The Woodlands series is currently bargain priced on Amazon (even in Canada!). I read the first book in the series (Undeclared) last night and immediately one clicked the rest of the series. Noah and Grace, the main characters in Undeclared, reminded me a lot of what I loved about Jen Frederick’s characters Daisy and Nikolai, from the Last Hit (with Jessica Clare).
Undeclared features a damaged former military hero who doesn’t quite understand why the heroine doesn’t find someone better suited to her. The insecure heroine admires the hero’s self-confidence. Both characters have to work through personal issues and do some maturing to make the their relationship work. Instead of flashbacks, you learn about the characters’ pasts by reading letters they wrote to each other while the hero was deployed.”

25 Friday Finds (most of ‘em, super-sales!!). Plus, I’ll be adding to this list throughout the day ’cause I received a BUNCH of awesome feedback and recommendations over the last week (and they’re still coming in), so even though there aren’t many new releases on this one, we have plenty of “tried and true” to choose from!!! :D

Plus! I have a new review coming up tonight for Open House (tumultuous long-term relationship, and OMG HE TOTALLY had me fuming and thinking OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!!!) You’ll see. ;)

Now… take a look at what we found! (NOTE: some are bargain priced when I added them, but prices can change on Amazon, so make sure to check before you finalize your order. Sales listed are for Amazon U.S., however some of the Amazon UK links also reflect the sale!):

  • Yours: A Standalone Contemporary Romance by Jasinda Wilder <— HER HUSBAND DIED & HIS HEART WAS DONATED ALERT!! I love the premise of this one! “…Then his heart, beating in another man’s chest, found its way back to me, and I found myself faced with an impossible choice: hold on to the pain and beauty of the past and the memory of the man I loved, or reach for a bold new future, knowing each heartbeat will be a reminder of all I’ve lost.” And it’s super-bargain priced today.
  • Curio and the Curio Vignettes by Cara McKenna <— CARA MCKENNA AWESOMENESS ALERT!! HE’S AN ESCORT & SHE’S A VIRGIN ALERT!! CURIO IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE STORIES (sexy and so unique with a twist!!) & now the whole series had been bundled at a bargain price!!! P.S. Here’s my 4.5 star review, and now I can’t wait to continue the story!!

Sofia: How about the Curio series by Cara McKenna? He’s a Parisian male prostitute, and she falls in love with him. The story plays out over a few books, and alternates her POV then his as the story develops. They are beautiful and heart wrenching :-)

Stacy: So speaking of male prostitute’s (never thought I’d say that) LOL, there is a book, Curio by Cara McKenna. She is the same author who wrote Willing Victim. A woman visits a French male prostitute and the story is about how their relationship evolves from there. There is alot of dialogue and emotion in this one… This was a really good book!

Virginia: Thanks, Maryse! I’m a dedicated Cara McKenna reader. This price makes it possible for me to finally read Curio…

Maryse: And I have Curio, but was dying to read all of the subsequent releases so I had to one-click this one, too!! :D YAY!!!

Saffron: OMG! Cara McKenna is my ABSOLUTE favorite. Thank you for posting this!

  • Maddening (Cursed Superheroes Book 2) by Jessica Sorensen <— LIVE!!! SUPERHEROES ALERT!! On her 18th birthday, she discovers something about her power “…Cursed with the power to drive someone to insanity with a simple touch, Heartley now faces a choice. Give into her evil side. Or join a superhero program…
  • The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby Book 3) by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway <— RUGBY PLAYERS COMEDY ROMANCE ALERT!!! And D.G. gives us some awesome feedback on this recent release!
D.G.: Did I ever mention that I crush majorly on certain rugby players??? Well, of course Penny Reid’s new rugby player book was right up my alley! The Cad and the Co-Ed. I do love this series so much! My favorite part is the tweets. Some are so random and just hilarious.
  • Venom & Ecstasy (Venom Trilogy Book 2) by S. Williams (Shanora Williams) <— LIVE!!! DARK READ ALERT!! I won’t read the blurb of this one, since it’s part of a trilogy and I don’t wanna spoil it for myself BUT!!! Here is book #1 Passion & Venom (Venom Trilogy Book 1) and it sounds darn good! Her husband is murdered on their wedding day, and she’s kidnapped by a powerful man… “…Soon after, he makes you an offer that you can’t refuse. All you have do is submit to him, and in return you won’t be punished.  He will reward you handsomely. But if you disobey, you must be prepared to face the consequences…
  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick <— SHE WISHES SHE COULD BE A PART OF THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR ALERT!!! Oh wow this one sounds right up my heartfelt, deep emotional alley. “…every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision…” AND!!!!!! It is super-bargain priced today and Jean and Amy loved it!

Jean: You guys, I am LOVING the Garretts (My Life Next Door)….this book…..sigh, I LOVE IT!!!! The writing…AMAZING!!!

Amy: Jean, RIGHT?!? I absolutely adore the Garretts!! Their interactions, their devotion to each other, how they absorb the h right into the family…LOVE that book. :D AND it’s still on sale!!!

Jan: Bargain alert! Ruthie Knox’s Truly… I floved this book, and bk 2, Madly, is coming out (finally!) in March, bk 3, Completely, in June. If you haven’t read Truly, check it out. A slightly quirky and very real CR set in NYC. Can’t wait for the sequels!
…A meet-cute in a New York bar when May is down and desperate. Ben and May are so great together in this book. I think I’ve mentioned I’m rereading this one cos the next one in the trilogy is due out soon. It’s a lovely, slightly different CR with not too much angst (for all you angst-haters like me)…
  • The Rulebreakers Trilogy by Roya Carmen <— FORBIDDEN-LIKE ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN TWO MARRIED COUPLES ALERT!! Book #1 rocked many of our worlds, and now the trilogy is complete. And Megan just devoured ‘em! (P.S. In case you missed it, here’s my 5-star review of the first book).
Megan: Just finished a trilogy that had me riveted from the start. I LOVE trilogies! Two couples meet by chance and decide to swap! The arrangement is very specific: no discussing what the other couple does, no emotional attachments, and a few other “ground rules”. As usual, things don’t always go according to carefully-laid plans, and one of the couples starts to break some of these “ground rules” – with far-reaching consequences for the two families involved. I would REALLY RECOMMEND this series, as you have no idea of how the situation will be resolved… THE GROUND RULES 1, 2, 3 by Roya Carmen.
  • Dirty Duet (Found in Oblivion Book 3) by Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott <— LIVE!! ROCK STAR ALERT!!Lauren Bryant is a student of psychology, and now she’s going in depth on rockstars. Specifically, fans. What makes a woman turn into a lust-driven groupie?
  • 44 Chapters About 4 Men: A Memoir by B.B. Easton <— LOL!!!! THIS ONE SOUNDS SO FUNNY!! SHE WRITES JOURNAL ENTRIES TO MANIPULATE HER HUSBAND… with *ahem* HINTS… but it doesn’t always go right. *snort* :PWell, guess what? My husband read that sh!t. And guess what else? He upped his f*cking game. Drunk with power and under the dubious advisement of my best friend and colleague, I began testing the limits—crafting journal entries specifically designed to manipulate Ken’s behavior. For the most part, he responded beautifully…except when he didn’t.” And Kristy recommends this one!

Kristy: “Have you read 44 chapters about 4 men by b.b. Easton? I can’t remember if I saw it on the blog or just picked it up on my own but omg…. It’s just amazing. Read the blurb. You’ll love it.”

Sarah: I just read 44 Chapters about 4 Men by B.B Easton. HILARIOUS. I want more from this author.

  • Caught Out by Leesa Bow <— LIVE!!! SPORTS STAR SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE ALERT!! She’s a single mom and he once broke her heart… “The break up almost ruined her, but she refused to deny him his dream of playing International cricket for Australia. With her life on track as co-owner of a fashionable restaurant, and supporting her five-year-old son alone, Ava cannot risk falling for his charm a second time…
  • Cold Hearted by Winter Renshaw <— RECENT RELEASE ANGRY HOCKEY STAR ALERT!!! And it’s super-bargain priced. “…I knew why he was so bitter and angry. I knew why he was so cold hearted. But I didn’t know why I let myself fall in love with him. And I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop–even when he told me to. But when the truth came out, I knew I’d lost him for good … until he came back, more cold hearted than ever before.”
  • Crown of Lies (Truth and Lies Duet Book 1) by Pepper Winters <— PEPPER WINTERS DARK ROMANCE ALERT!!! Back on the list, ’cause Milissa recommends this recent one… especially to Amy. ;) P.S. Book #2 (Throne of Truth (Truth and Lies Duet Book 2) is coming out this month!

Milissa: Ok I have read crown of lies Pepper Winter and I can’t wait on the next book!! …So Amy try Crown of Lies The first book Rocked Hard

Chelli: Yes soooo good. She’s def one of my fav authors.

Danylle: Refreshingly good steam punk romance … I don’t usually like steampunk romances but Prince of Hearts (Elders and Welders Chronicles book 1) by Margaret Foxe is amazing! This book held my attention throughout the entire story.  It’s set in London in 1896 where airships rule the sky and automatons run the tracks at Ascot. The book is about a klutzy, plain girl named Aline who’s the secretary to a famous, but insufferable, criminologist named Romanov. In the beginning of the book she’s finally had enough and tries to quit…
  • The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic (P.S.) by Hazel Gaynor <— BOOK FOG ALERT!!! ”Chicago, 1982. Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her Great Nana Maggie shares the painful secret she harbored for almost a lifetime about the Titanic, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.” AND my aunt loved it!
“By the way, Maryse, I just finishd a book of which I’m suffering from withdrawals! ” The girl who came home…a novel of the Titanic”. … I LOVED it!! For me, it was a page turner. Such a great way of taking to that time, on that trip!”
  • Slide (Boosted Hearts Book 3) by Sherilee Gray <— LIVE!!! STOLEN CAR ROAD TRIP WITH HIS BEST FRIEND’S SISTER ALERT!!…the last thing he expects to find in the car he’s just boosted is his biggest temptation – his best friend’s little sister. Now he’s on the road trip from hell, and the sexy she-devil riding shotgun is determined to make him sin…
  • Marriage Games (The Games Duet Book 1) by CD Reiss <— SHE WANTS A DIVORCE & HE HAS A PROPOSITION FOR HER…. and Cheryl LOVED this complete duet!
Cheryl: The Marriage Games and Separation Games were one of my fav January reads. Angsty, crazy, steamy read. …It kept me on edge wondering how this would end. Dominant H and ? submissive h.
  • Echo: A Dark Billionaire Romance (Bleeding Hearts Book 1) by A Zavarelli <— DARK ROMANCE DUET ALERT!! HE’S BLACKMAILING HER FAMILY SO SHE SELLS HERSELF TO HIM FOR 6 MONTHS…My blackmailer can’t give up his revenge on my family, and I can’t be with him if he doesn’t. But I’m nothing more than a butterfly caught in his net. Do I really have a choice?” AND Marsha is doing her good “book-buddy” duty by recommending this duet!
Marsha: Oh my goodness…..I just finished the Bleeding Hearts Series (2 books…Book 1 Echo and Book 2 Stutter) by A. Zavarelli and it was AMAZING!!!!  I thought it was by “Book Buddy” duty to suggest this series to everyone.  SOOO GOOD!
  • Acquisition Series by Celia Aaron <— DARK READ ALERT!!! CRISTINA DEVOURED THEM and I mean just CHECK out this review she left us!!

Cristina: I just read…no wait… I just DEVOURED this entire series in two days flat. If you are in the mood for a dark read, this is definitely it! WARNING! If you have certain triggers this may not be the book series for you, because it is certainly a dark read. Here’s a quick snapshot… “Darkness lurks in the heart of the Louisiana elite, and only one will be able to rule them as Sovereign. Sinclair Vinemont will compete for the title, and has acquired Stella Rousseau for that very purpose. Breaking her is part of the game. Loving her is the most dangerous play of all.”This “elite” is something very similar to a secret society which is ruled by the “Sovereign.” Only certain families are allowed into this society, the main requisite being wealth. But this society is filled with darkness, depravity, and corruption. Every 10 years, a new Sovereign is selected by the current one to rule for the next decade. Three individuals (family first-borns) are selected by the former Sovereign to compete in this process. Each contender must acquire an “Acquisition” to participate in the four trials that occur over the course of a year, and these trials are not for the faint of heart… and I’ll leave it at that. I don’t want to give away too much because it’ll take away from the reading experience, but tbh, when I first read this series (went in blind by the way), I literally stopped after a few pages because it was all kinds of twisted and I didn’t know what to make of it. I was like “Whoa… what is this?” BUT alas… I picked it back up because honestly no other book could hold my attention, and once I got a few more pages in, I was HOOKED!

And here’s the series, bundled.

This series is by far the BEST I’ve read in a very long time. How do I know this? Because right now, I have no gumption to jump into another book. That is my tell.

It gave me the same feels as the “Indebted” series. At times it wasn’t quite as dark as that series, and at other times, it was much darker. If you love these kinds of books, I HIGHLY recommend this series to you! You will not regret it! Bravo Celia Aaron!! I have a serious case of book hangover now… I’m turning in circles, not really sure which book road to take next.

  • Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward <— INFURIATING HERO ALERT! YAY I love when they make us mad, and this one is back on the list again ’cause it’s a LAST CHANCE SALE ALERT!! AUTHOR WARNS PRICE IS GOING UP this weekend permanently… (P.S. LOL on Ela’s reaction. She doesn’t mince reactions… *snort* ;) )

Cheryl: Finished Mack Daddy. Frustrating, enjoyable read.

Ela: …not yet finished but I have to say I REALLY WANT TO HIT MACK UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH HIS ROD REALLY REALLY HARD

  • AUDIOBOOK L:DVERS ➜ For those going on a road trip soon, or maybe you’ve got some projects that require both hands this weekend but still allows you to “listen”… check out the free audible trial + 2 free audiobooks deal —>

  • AND! Here’s the fun-tool again! —> Find out which of YOUR Kindle ebooks are available as audiobooks at a BARGAIN-PRICE! <— This thing is so cool (Amazon calls it “Matchmaker“)! It’s an Amazon feature, that scans your Kindle books and will list all of the ones you have that are also available as an audiobook at a discounted price (not normal audiobook prices). This way, you can switch back and forth, seamlessly between your ebooks and your audiobooks. :D !!! VERY COOL!
                      

 

PREORDERS (next few days, and next week’s!!! :D )

➜ CHECK OUT ALL the upcoming BOOK RELEASES here (frequently updated and it goes all the way to 2017!)

           

Get Maryse’s Book Blog updates delivered by email (you’ll get one daily email that will have each post from that day consolidated on it).

151 comments

ROCK STAR ROMANCE ALERT!!! This series has been the star of two recent posts (a reader question post AND a reader confession post) and I just had to know more! And after reading the blurbs of each of ‘em, these are RIGHT UP OUR ALLEY!!! And the author gives us a bit of her own insight saying:

“My entire Ashes & Embers rock star series is about girl-next-door types meeting one of the guys in this band (made up of brothers and cousins). All have a HEA and can be read as stand-alones, but better together. xoxo”

And our fellow readers weigh in!

Marion: I was just going to u our FB page to rave about Talon when I saw you’d already put it on this list. It’s Book 4 of the Ashes & Embers Series by Carian Cole so after I was done I went on to read Book 1, 2 & 3 Storm and Vandal & Lukas all really good books with awesome feels! I cannot wait for Ashers story!!

Kathy: Vandal by Carian Cole (you just have to read it!)

Michelle T: Me and my 2 book buddies read Torn when it was released and didn’t know of the spin off until the end of Torn so we all went straight to Storm! Lol. Then came Vandal and I Was IN LOVE and thought no way I will like the others better but then came Lukas… WOW! He was my favorite but Vandal & Tor are a close second! Enjoyed them all though

Faye: I’m a huge fan of Carian Cole’s Ashes & Embers rock-star series-… This series is so well-written, very steamy, and has unique storylines. Please check it out if you can! As a bonus, the covers are gorgeous.

Beverly: Talon by Carian Cole, Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score, and The Rocker Who Betrays Me by Terri Anne Browning were my latest 5′s.

About book #1:

The calm before the storm…

I lived in the quiet stillness.
I felt the wind rustle, warning me, telling me to get out of its path.

But I didn’t.

I never stood a chance.

A series of weather and road mishaps leaves me trapped in the middle of a blizzard with a complete stranger. In the back of a pickup truck. For forty-eight freakin’ hours.

A stranger with long hair, tattoos, and rippling with muscle.
A stranger with an insanely sexy voice and a wicked smile that turned my insides to jelly.
A stranger who held me in his arms, calmed me, and then set a fire in me that I couldn’t put out.

Storm lives up to his name. Beautiful. Dangerously inviting. Tumultuous. Dark. A clash of hot and cold.

He’s used to getting everything he wants.

And now he wants me.

Some people chase storms for the beautiful thrill. What happens when the storm chases you?

READING ORDER (while interconnected they CAN each be read as standalones):

   

1 comment

Nicole was wondering about a recent release… and wondered if some of us here might be able to help her decide on it. And the minute I saw the title, I knew!!! Yep. I haven’t read it yet, but I have read this author’s other book (and loved it), and so many of you right here LOVED the one Nicole is inquiring about.

In fact, many pulled an all-nighter on it, they couldn’t put it down!

*squeee* I LOVE easy answers!!! :D

She asked:

Nicole: Hey Maryse. I was wondering if you or anyone following you has read The Hard Count by Ginger Scott. I’m looking for some feed back from like minded souls out there. Do I take the leap? BTW, thanks for keeping my TBR list flooooowing!

Maryse: Hi Nicole!! It’s on my TBR list and I hear it’s awesome by many of my trusted book-buds. I would totally jump in without hesitation (plus I already love this author!!) :D

And here… just to give you an idea about the huge love for this one:

Danielle: The Hard Count by Ginger Scott was soooo good. I finished it around 3 this morning. Worth the lack of sleep, for sure lol.

Tasha:  I dived right into The Hard Count yesterday and didn’t stop until 5:30 a.m. :O lol, like I haven’t stayed up like that bc I’m getting to where my body literally can’t do it anymore in 3 years. It’s funny bc I was thinking of Friday Night Lights while reading it, just bc of the heavy football atmosphere and I’m wanting more of that. So so good guys!

bev: 71 percent done with The Hard Count. I am enjoying it a lot. It does fill a bit jerky in some areas. I like that it really incorporates football though.

Tasha: It’s so much more than just a romance. More of the focus really is on football, the politics on that, family dynamic and struggles, and there are touches on drugs, gangs, violence. I got really caught up in the football, lol, I caught myself still with spirit chanting “Hoorah” (internally) days after! ;)

Lisa: Ive only just started The Hard Count but I feel Im going to enjoy it. I like that the h marches to the beat of her own drum.

Jaime: I finished The Hard Count this morning. Really lovely story with some themes that are really relevant – especially this week. A five star read for me.

Theresa: Hey Maryse…I just finished The Hard Count by Ginger Scott and it was easily a 5 star read for me!   A beautiful tale filled with adversity and triumphs that lead to achieving one’s dreams.  This book was certainly an emotional journey that had me laughing out loud one minute and reaching for the Kleenex the next…I love when I read a book that fundamentally challenges and changes me.  Thank you to Ginger Scott for an amazing journey! Enjoy!

2 comments