Monday, January 13, 2020

Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2) by Tessa Bailey: ARC Review


Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret... and it could demolish everything.

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About the Author:

Thank you for your interest in my books! I'm Tessa and I live in the crazy, loud, overcrowded borough of Brooklyn, New York. I love it here. This city is a constant source of inspiration, which is why I've decided to set my most recent books in the Line of Duty Series here.

I moved to New York when I was eighteen, the day after I graduated high school. Threw my suitcase in the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier and drove across the country to find my adventure. I'm still finding it, little by little.

Thank you for being a part of it.

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Yvette's Review:

A second chance romance is probably my favorite trope to read, so I’ve read a good amount of them over the years. Reading a second chance romance about a marriage in trouble initially gave me pause (because: angst), but Tessa Bailey has never steered me wrong before. I went into Love Her or Lose Her with an open mind, ready to (possibly) get my heart obliterated but knowing that everything would work out in the end. With an emotionally-charged storyline, a smoking hot romance, and characters that flawed, passionate, compelling, and unforgettable, Love Her or Lose Her is a heartbreakingly beautiful love story about second chances and self-discovery.

After a decade of marriage, communication between Rosie and Dominic Vega is almost nonexistent. They might as well be strangers, dancing around the many issues they have everywhere except the bedroom, coming together solely to satiate the explosive attraction that’s still very much alive between them. Trapped in a dead-end job and aspiring to run her own restaurant, Rosie Vega is discontent with her career as well as with her love life, while her husband, Dom, works hard to provide for his wife, but remains emotionally detached. What they lack in conversation, they more than make up for in passion, but giving in to the raw, primal desire they feel for each other is no longer enough for Rosie, who craves a deeper connection. In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship, the couple attends counseling to discover whether or not their marriage is salvageable.

Packed with gut-wrenching angst, palpable sexual tension, and a tumultuous, intensely emotional narrative, Love Her or Lose Her is a riveting, evocative second chance romance. Rosie and Dom's journey of rediscovering themselves and becoming acquainted with the people they’ve evolved into is the heart of the story, which kept me engaged and tugged on my heartstrings. What makes this book such an undeniable page-turner is the explosive chemistry between the two protagonists. For two people who have figuratively drifted apart, they're remarkably in tune with each other’s innermost needs and desires. Lust practically emanates from their pores, creating an intense, frenzied need for each other that's never satisfied. Repairing their marriage involves an exercise in restraint and delayed gratification, yet they manage to generate enough heat between them to steam up the pages to blush-inducing levels.

After reading Fix Her Up, I didn't think it was possible to love the Hot and Hammered Series more than I already did. But then Tessa Bailey gave us Rosie and Dom's story, and my heart was filled to bursting with joy and laughter and love and friendship. Yes, there's drama and angst, but ultimately Love Her or Lose Her left me feeling perfectly satisfied and even more impatient for the next book in the series.

*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars


Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Plan Commences (The Rising #2) by Kristen Ashley: Review


Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, there existed the continent of Triton. The land was filled with beauty, but it was also splintered by war. Out of the chaos grew a conspiracy to reawaken the Beast, a fearsome creature who wrought only tragedy and devastation. The only way to stop him was to fulfill an ancient prophecy: Triton’s four strongest warriors must wed its four most powerful witches, binding all nations together and finally bringing peace to the land.

This is the story of their unions: the quiet maiden Silence and the savage king Mars. The cold warrior Cassius and the fiery witch Elena. The steadfast soldier True and the banished beauty Farah. And the pirate king Aramus and the mysterious queen Ha-Lah. Their unions will not be easy, but each couple must succeed, for the fate of their world is at stake....

Click to Buy The Rising Series on Amazon:


About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Yvette's Review:

After creating an entire world inhabited by magical creatures and noteworthy characters with The Beginning of Everything, Kristen Ashley delves further into her fantastical universe to deliver the next book in The Rising Series. If you thought the first book was packed with action, danger, and intrigue, you're in for an even bigger thrill-ride with The Plan Commences. New characters are introduced, new lands are explored, and deeper romantic connections are formed.

Picking up where we last left off in the final moments of The Beginning of Everything, The Plan Commences continues the epic journey following four couples whose pairings have been prophesied to save the world. Our core group is dealing with the fallout of the attack at the Firenze palace, recovering after a tragic and unexpected loss. The four couples find themselves parting ways, embarking on their own adventures before they planned to meet up again. It's during this time that we get more one-on-one time with each couple, following along as they forge deeper emotional and physical connections.

While The Beginning of Everything focused more on world-building and introducing the extensive cast of characters, The Plan Commences devotes significantly more attention to the romantic relationships. The romance is my favorite part of any Kristen Ashley book and getting to experience the progress of four different romantic pairings was overwhelming in the best possible way.

With a few choice words, Kristen Ashley manages to tug on my heartstrings with an unerring and total efficiency, which she did over and over again in every chapter. None of these are typical love stories and their journeys are riddled with heartache and strife. And let's not forget the looming threat of the Beast! But in the midst of all the chaos, there's laughter and passion and lust and affection. If my pulse wasn't pounding from the suspense-filled moments, I was taking turns blushing and swooning. To say the heat level of this book is higher would be a bit of an understatement.

After listening to two books in The Rising Series, I can better appreciate that each of the main characters has a distinct accent because, even though each chapter starts by noting who's narrating, I could effortlessly pair each voice with each of the main characters, and I found it easier to get lost in the story.

As far as sequels go, The Plan Commences is just as captivating, if not more so, than its predecessor. And after that nail-biter of a cliffhanger, I'm dying to find out what happens next!

*complimentary copy provided by Audible for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars