BOOK REVIEW: Misconduct by Penelope Douglas

Former tennis player Easton Bradbury is trying to be the best teacher she can be, trying to reach her bored students, trying to forget her past. What brought her to this stage in her life isn’t important. She can’t let it be. But now one parent-teacher meeting may be her undoing…

Meeting Tyler Marek for the first time makes it easy for Easton to see why his son is having trouble in school. The man knows how to manage businesses and wealth, not a living, breathing teenage boy. Or a young teacher, for that matter, though he tries to. And yet…there is something about him that draws Easton in—a hint of vulnerability, a flash of attraction, a spark that might burn.

Wanting him is taboo. Needing him is undeniable. And his long-awaited touch will weaken Easton’s resolve—and reveal what should stay hidden…


I held her cheek with my hand, turning her lips to meet mine. “Say you miss me,” I whispered against her mouth. “And that you won’t regret me. Ask me if I think about you and miss you every day.”

It doesn’t happen too often that an author blows me away with two new books in such a short span of time, but Penelope Douglas is that kind of author, and her voice is always so fresh and unexpected, that I never know what kind of trill-ride she will take me on next. And while this book is so very different from any of her previous works, with somewhat older characters and new thought-provoking themes, her powerful writing style is ever-present, this time offering a forbidden love story that is so much more than it appears. I loved this book madly, finding myself addicted to its every mouth-watering scene, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking not just a great book, but an unforgettable one too.

“I found myself not wanting this evening to end any way other than in his arms.”

Two strangers meet at a party. They flirt, they tease, they lose themselves in one another for a few stolen moments in time. But even as their bodies beg for more, their chance encounter all too soon comes to an end without them truly learning anything about each other. Six month later, their eyes unexpectedly meet across the empty rows of a classroom, but the excitement from seeing each other after so long disappears the moment they both realise they can never touch each other again.

“Easton was a woman I’d wanted in my bed, but Ms. Bradbury was off limits. The lines were there, clear as day, and not to be breached.”

A former tennis prodigy and now a newly appointed history teacher at an elite private school in New Orleans, Easton Bradbury’s tragic young life has turned the twenty-three-year-old into a woman whose daily little compulsions mask a much deeper need to control every aspect of her life, to never lose her independence, or put her fate in someone else’s hands again. She is reserved, emotionally aloof, and while she avoids intimacy and never allows herself to open up to a man long enough to connect with him, her heart aches to be more carefree, to laugh more, and to occasionally just let go of all control.

“Do you have any friends? Who was the last person to make you laugh? When was the last time you went to bed with someone more than once?”

When Tyler Marek walks into his son’s classroom expecting to meet his new history teacher, he cannot believe the woman standing before him is the same woman he’s been fantasising about for the past six months. A self-made billionaire and aspiring politician, Tyler is a man driven by his ambitions and his need to excel in all aspects of his professional life, but his race to the top has cost him his relationship with a son he barely knows and who cannot stand the sight of him. The only person who gets through to him is his new teacher, Ms. Bradbury, and while her progressive teaching methods might show him a way to communicate with his own son, everything else about the feisty, strong-minded young woman fails to fit into his life. Yet he cannot get her out of his head, drawn to her unpredictable personality like a moth to a flame, and thus brazenly pursuing her every chance he gets.

“With her, I had no idea what the next hour held, much less the next week or month.”

As they commence a secret affair that could potentially destroy both their careers, they discover that there is a lot more to their connection than either of them expected. The chemistry between them is undeniable, incinerating the pages with their scorching passion and need to completely lose themselves in each other, and for a little while, they allow themselves to pretend a short-lived fling is all they would ever want from one another. But when the time comes for Tyler to make an important choice in his life by finally setting his priorities straight, something has to give, and it might be what his heart wants to keep the most.

“I’ve never wanted anyone again and again. But when I think about you, I get excited.”

A truly splendid tale that might have started as a forbidden romance between two people who stood to lose everything by simply loving one another, but this book ended up being so much more than that. It’s a story of two people learning to accept and embrace their own vulnerabilities and limitations, and realising what was missing in their lives all along. It’s a story of a parent connecting with their child, learning how to communicate with them and earn their trust for the first time. And it’s a story about recognising what matters the most in life, and having the courage to correct one’s own mistakes. I have loved every single book by this extraordinary author, each story touching my heart deeply and always in a different way, but this book might just be my new favourite of hers. I never wanted it to end, nervously grasping onto each word, and wishing I could make them last longer on a page. This story had everything I always hope to find in a great book—explosive chemistry between the characters, a heart-warming romance, an engaging storyline that keeps me glued to the pages, a compelling backstory that showcases the many colourful facets of these characters, phenomenal writing—and I loved every addictive minute of it.

I don’t even know why I am still surprised by the way Ms Douglas’ books affect me time and time again, because even though I have come to expect greatness from her every single time I open one of her books, the way her stories hook me in is something I never want to get used to. An absolute must-read.

“So you count things. What’s your favorite number?”
“Eight… Eight is perfect. Two groups. Four in each group making two couples in each group… I’m crazy. That’s what you’re thinking.”
“I’m thinking you’re beautiful. And if you need everything in eights, it could be a long night.”




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BOOK REVIEW: Play It Safe by Kristen Ashley

No connections. Play it safe. These were the rules Ivey lived her life by.

Until she hit Mustang, Colorado, a perfectly imperfect town where the citizens were welcoming and one of them included the tall, beautiful, macho man rancher cowboy, Grayson Cody.

On the run for a decade, Ivey knew she was supposed to play it safe. But she was tired of being on the run. She wanted a normal. She wanted real. She wanted a home.

And she wanted Grayson Cody.

And Grayson Cody wanted Ivey.

No one who looked at them couldn’t see they belonged together. There was one man in this world for Ivey and one woman in this world for Grayson Cody.

So they fell in love.

But just as quickly as they fell together, they were betrayed and torn apart. Separated for years, Ivey was certain her life would not include her rancher cowboy. Until the town of Mustang reached out to her when Gray was in trouble. Even though she thought he broke her heart, she charged in to help. Then Gray and Ivey discovered they were betrayed and, not only that, Gray had an enemy who would stop at nothing to defeat him.


“Say you love me, Ivey.”
“I love you, Gray.”

You know what happens when you have a craving for a great book, one that you know will rock your socks off, but you feel like giving an ‘oldie’ a chance? You dive into your overflowing list of books to read and aim straight for a Kristen Ashley classic. Stories of second chances are my personal weakness, never failing to engage the ol’ ticker, and this one did not disappoint. In her distinctive and utterly addictive style of storytelling, Ms Ashley delivers another truly compelling, and oh-so romantic love story that made me want to re-read it over and over again.

“No connections. Play it safe. Still, if I could connect, if I could let go, if I could take a risk, I’d do it with him. In all my wandering, all I’d seen, all the people I’d met, he would be the one I’d smile at and do it without a guard up. He’d be the one I’d want to smile back at me.”

Ivey Bailey has spent most of her young life on the run from a past that taught her to protect her heart by never forming any attachments. At twenty-two, Ivey has never known the comfort of a home, the thrill of a first love, or the spark of that first kiss, always moving from town to town and never stopping anywhere long enough to connect with anyone. The only permanent fixture in her life has always been her older brother Casey, her protector since she was a child, and now her partner in crime as they travel the country hustling people and never putting down roots anywhere. But from the moment Ivey arrives in the quiet little town of Mustang, Colorado, she knows she would be happy living there forever, especially when a blue-eyed rancher lowers her guard and gives her a taste of what it would feel like to finally belong to someone.

“In this town. With him in it. Roots. Connections. Wake up every day and know where you are and go to bed every night knowing you’ll wake up that way. I would love that.”

Grayson “Gray” Cody might be Mustang’s favourite son, but life has never been a walk in the park for the young rancher. Groomed since birth to continue his family’s legacy, his future has always been tied to the land that has been passed down through generations of Cody men, and he is determined to continue that tradition by one day raising sons of his own with the same reverence for that land. Ivey might be the prettiest girl Gray’s ever seen in his life, but his immediate attraction to her runs much deeper, recognizing in her eyes the hardships she’s had to endure in life. Their pull is magnetic, visceral, meaningful from the very first touch, and for a brief moment in time, Ivey allows herself to dream of finally having a home, a family, a man who’d love her every single day of his life…until all is taken away from them all too quickly, and all they’ve found in each other is tragically lost once again.

“You weren’t just my first lover, Gray, you were my first everything.”

Seven years go by, and while Gray has kept living life just as before, he has never gotten over losing Ivey, or truly understood why she left him in the first place. Ivey, on the other hand, has settled down in a big city and worked hard to put down roots, but her heart still longs for Gray and the promise of a life they could have had together. So when she suddenly hears of Gray’s troubles, she does not hesitate to run to save the man she still loves from losing everything he holds dear. But the last thing she expects to find in Mustang is the knowledge of a betrayal that has cost them seven years of heartbreak. Or that Gray has never stopped loving her either.

“I loved you then. I love you now. I’ve loved you every day for seven years.”

A heart-wrenching, and yet truly uplifting second chance romance, this is one of those unforgettable love stories I just knew from the very beginning it would crush me emotionally, and while the tears kept coming…and coming, I never lost faith in Ms Ashley’s extraordinary ability to give us powerful endings that more than make up for all the heartache. It’s a story of a young girl who never had anything, yet all she ever dreamed of having in life was a place to belong to and the love of a good man. And it is a story of a man whose birth right gave him all he ever needed in life, but it is the love of a woman like Ivey that made it all worth fighting for. Whether you have a fondness for second chances at love, or a craving for a heart-warming romance to put your heart through the wringer, look no further because Ivey and Gray’s story will inevitably embed itself into your heart as an all-time favourite.

“There was nothin’ better than you.”




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BOOK REVIEW: Corrupt by Penelope Douglas


I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He’s handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.


Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.


The opportunity is too good to be true, as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.


“Yeah, you’re going to be in my bed, baby, but not until you wish you hated me.”

There is nothing as mouth-watering as a book that keeps shocking you page after page, keeping you in a constant state of bewilderment and exhilaration with the mere volatility of its plotline, but when you add explosive sexual tension into that mix, you’ve got yourself nothing less than a tantalizingly wicked read. Fast-paced, vicious, daring in its approach, and so delectably naughty at times that you’ll never look at another steam room the same way—this is a book that kept me at the edge of my seat cover to cover, unable to put it down even for a moment, and the more twisted and unpredictable the story became, the more I found myself devouring each word.

“I wanted to get into a little trouble. I wanted to catch some rain, find something that made my heart pump again, and I wanted to know what it was like to not have anyone to grab onto.”

Erika “Rika” Fane was born into privilege, raised in a sheltered coastal community run by its wealthy and well-connected residents, but we meet her as she is about to leave the safety of her hometown and move to a new city where she would be on her own for the very first time in her life. Desperate to run away from all that is expected of her and to finally learn what she is made of, Erika dreams of paving her own future ahead of her, but her newly found freedom is short-lived as she finds herself living one floor below the very man she’s been in love with all her young life—the brother of the man everyone expects her to marry—in a building owned by his family.

“You’re a good girl on the outside, but no one knows who the hell you are on the inside, do they?”

Michael Crist has been the object of every last one of Erika’s adolescent fantasies, but he has always treated her with disdain and indifference, knowing she was meant for his younger brother. Once the popular kid in school, and now a successful professional athlete, Michael has grown from an angry little boy whose father’s constant disapproval made him afraid to stand up for himself, into a man who pursues his dreams unapologetically, living life to the fullest and caring for no one’s opinion but his own. But for the past three years, Michael has lived with regret and anger, blaming the girl he could never have for the fate of his three closest friends. And he is now determined to make her pay for their pain and suffering by playing on the very crush she’s had on him for so long.

“She didn’t know that we knew. She didn’t know that we were coming for her.”

Through a plethora of unexpected twists and turns in the plotline, the story never fails to make our hearts race, either from the sexual tension between Michael and Erika, or the nail-biting anticipation of what act of revenge is plotted against her next. With four cats and only one mouse in this game, all odds are stacked against Erika…until the mouse learns how to play the game and gives the cats a taste of their own medicine.

“Being scared wasn’t a weakness. But letting it force my head down and my voice quiet was. Fear wasn’t the enemy. It was the teacher.”

But even with so many exciting facets to this story, the connection between Michael and Erika remains the driving force pushing the story forward. More alike than either of them is willing to admit, they push each other’s buttons by understanding and preying on one another’s innermost weaknesses, and because Ms Douglas always knows just how to truly make the most of that fine line between love and hate, she also manages to turn every single act of wickedness between these characters into their ultimate aphrodisiac. I feel I should mention the steam room scene at this juncture…

“There are too many people that try to change us, and not enough people who want us to be who we really are.”

I won’t give away much more of the storyline at this point as that would greatly take away from the way this book is meant to be read, but I will tell you that this is a thrill-ride you will not want to miss. At times, I felt that the plotline could have given even more room to the development of the leading characters, some aspects of their personalities being painted with too broad a brush when a finer set of bristles would have been quite welcome, and that applies even more to some of the secondary characters who proved to be just as compelling and multifaceted as the main ones. The ending felt rushed to me, tied up all too quickly and too easily, while a few more loose ends would have actually been quite fitting, in my opinion. I remain hopeful that we will hear more from some of these characters, because as much as I loved the way this story ended, it had all the makings of a great beginning to me.

An intoxicating story, phenomenally written as always, and utterly addictive in the way it keeps surprising us and turning up the heat at every corner—this book is just another example of Ms Douglas’ remarkable ability to tell stories that are always fresh, exciting, and distinctive in every way. And I did mention the steam room, right?

“Toughen up. You’re not a victim, and I’m not your savior.”




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BOOK REVIEW: Hearts of Blue by L.H. Cosway

She upholds the law. He breaks it.

Two blue hearts, both alike in bravery

In not-so-fair London, where we lay our scene

From gun crime to petty theft

Where family is blood and survival makes hands unclean

In this place, we find two hearts who should be foes

And yet, amidst the turmoil their love still grows

Misadventure abounds and the divide will bring them strife

But with luck, death doesn’t always mean an end to life.


“Sometimes the innocent ones are guilty only because the world didn’t give them a chance to stay innocent. Maybe I’m the one you should think about saving.”

I rarely fall in love with an author’s writing after only reading one of their books, but some writers are that outstanding, some books are that unforgettable, and L.H. Cosway is most definitely that kind of author. We met them in passing in King of Hearts, but their story finally unfolds in this book—Karla and Lee are two people belonging to two very different worlds, but their attraction is immediate, absolute, and greater than the sum of all the reasons they should stay away from one another. A story of opposites attracting, of two hearts colliding and being incapable of letting go, against a backdrop of two worlds that could never co-exist, and of two realities that will forever stand at opposite sides of the abyss called life. From its compelling characters, to the competent prose that holds us rapt cover to cover, this is a book I could not put down, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a splendidly written tale of a love fighting to triumph against all odds.

“I may not have been the strongest woman in the world, but I’d always prided myself on living my life by a firm set of principles. Then Lee came along and threw a bomb on my rules, reducing them to a pile of meaningless rubble.”

Karla Sheehan is a young police constable trying to leave her mark in a male-dominated profession where her gender will always be her greatest weakness. Criticised and discouraged all her life for all she ever wanted to be, she is obstinate in her desire to prove her worth to herself and to all those who do not believe in her, but her greatest determination stems from a deep-seated need to help and protect those who cannot do it for themselves. Her clear-cut existence is thrown into a spin, however, when a cocky thug enters her life, set on seducing her.

“If you come, I’ll make you come with my tongue, and I won’t expect anything in return.”

Lee Cross has never had an easy life, forced to protect and put food on the table for his three brothers ever since he was a kid himself, and that life has taught him that in order to survive, he’d have to live by his own set of rules. Finding himself in a pickle with the law is something that Lee is all too familiar with, but finding himself having feelings for the very law enforcer whose duty is to dismantle his operations is nothing he could have ever prepared himself for.

“You, me…us, it would never work, you know that, right?”
“Not sure I agree.”
“Yeah, well, you’re not the one with a reputation to uphold.”
“Oh, really? What do you think my boys would say if they knew I was sleeping with a cop?”

As Karla and Lee fight their attraction as much as they keep succumbing to it, and as their worlds keep pulling them apart more and more each day, they are forced to question everything they stand for and everything they hold dearest in life. A romance between a policewoman and a criminal has disaster written all over it and for Karla and Lee, loving each other means finding themselves caught between a rock and a hard place time and time again.

“…being with him made everything else in my life a lie, and yet, the idea of being without him made everything seem empty and grey.”

Ms Cosway has made these characters’ inner struggle so real, so very palpable and poignant, that you cannot help but wish for them to find a common ground to build their happily-ever-after upon. The sexual tension between them literally sets the pages on fire—the perfect blend of scorching passion and heart-warming tenderness—but their journey to the finish line is never rushed, never forced, and never veers away from the very essence of these characters. The more they get to know one another, the clearer it becomes that their lives might have led them down two very different paths, but what is in their hearts makes them more alike than they ever expected.

“…when I look at you, I see a little piece of myself, but braver. That’s why I like you.”

I wished at times to have more insight into the hero’s character as well, to see some crucial scenes through his eyes and hear his thoughts too, finding myself inexplicably drawn to the many facets of his complex personality and curious to find out even more. It would have made this story even more compelling, made him less of a ‘bystander’ in some situations, in my opinion, and added even more angst to certain scenes. This did not affect my overall enjoyment of this wonderful tale, however, Karla and Lee being two characters you cannot help but love and cheer for from the very first page, and their every interaction made my skin tingle. This is such a wonderful addition to a truly exceptional series, exquisitely written and with storylines that are as varied as they are unique, and while this book can easily be read on its own, I would advise reading King of Hearts beforehand as these stories happen somewhat simultaneously and they complement greatly one another.

“Give me a chance, and I’ll prove to you that everything you think you see is blurred by perception.”



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Hearts – Reading Order and Purchase Links

Six of Hearts: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Hearts of Fire: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
King of Hearts: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Hearts of BlueAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

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BOOK REVIEW: The Play by Karina Halle

A troubled Scottish rugby player who doesn’t play by the rules.
A vivacious man-eater who’s given up on love.
When it comes to Lachlan and Kayla, opposites don’t just attract – they explode.

Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram’s cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life – tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he’s the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan’s quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn’t until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can’t stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.

Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.


“Why the hell did I have to meet this beast, this superman, who blows my mind in the bedroom, mows down rugby players for a living, rescues helpless animals, looks like a f*cking god, and happens to cook, just before he has to leave?”

Well, I guess it took a taciturn beast of a man with superpowers in the bedroom to prove me wrong—Karina Halle can truly take any storyline and turn it into gold. With impeccable timing and meticulous character development, she spun a scenario that at first glance might appear ‘fluffy’ and predictable, into a compelling exploration of all that it takes to form a functional relationship between two people who believe themselves not to be ‘built’ to be in one. This is a story of recovery, of hope, of battling our darkest demons for the promise of a brighter tomorrow, and of love overcoming all. I adored this book, every sizzling, moving, startling, devastating part of it, and as I found myself glued to its pages, I was once more reminded of how utterly addicted I can become to this author’s brand of storytelling.

“…my bed feels empty. Like it’s missing someone. And not someone who leaves in the middle of the night or the next morning. Someone who will stay.”

Kayla Moore is a young woman in her early thirties who has watched all her closest friends find and fight for true love, and while envious of their happiness, she does not believe herself capable of such romantic notions of love and happily-ever-afters. Unsettled and unfulfilled in her professional life, constantly feeling like she is just spinning her wheels but never actually getting anywhere, and tired of meaningless hook-ups that leave her emotionally empty and disappointed in herself, Kayla aches for change in all aspects of her life, but is too afraid to take the first step. In a desperate attempt to regain some semblance of control over her life, however, she swears off men, determined to focus her energy on her family and friends instead…until a rugged Scotsman walks into her life and immediately makes her forget her own self-imposed vow of celibacy.

“I can’t stop staring… even though I manage to glide my fingers over my mouth to make sure I’m not actually drooling. He’s probably the most stunning man I’ve ever laid eyes on, and I immediately want to rub myself all over his face. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.”

Lachlan McGregor has met and bedded his share of beautiful women in his life, but he has learnt that most of them are not interested in him beyond his ‘famous rugby player’ persona, only drawn to the glamour of celebrity and indifferent to the complex person beneath the surface. He is quiet, reserved, extremely protective of his privacy, and only passionate about two things in his life—playing rugby and rescuing stray dogs from the streets.

“My past belongs to me and no one else.”

When Lachlan meets flirtatious Kayla, he dismisses her as just another beautiful but shallow woman who is only interested in getting in the sack with him, but the more he gets to know her, the more he realises that behind her ballsy, no-filter bravado hides a sensitive, loving, intriguing woman who undoes him emotionally and sets his body on fire. So, even with Lachlan’s impending return home to Scotland in just a few weeks’ time, their decide to spend those weeks in each other’s arms, discovering one another’s bodies and getting to know each other better, all the while pretending their days together are not numbered.

“You’re leaving on Sunday,” I tell him. “That’s less than a week.”
“So?” he says. “What does that have to do with anything?”
I cock my head. “It means…well, what can happen between now and then?”
“I can f*ck your brains out,” he says gruffly. “That’s what can happen.”

And while they are getting their fill of one another, every chance they get…and against any surface they can find, they inevitably start falling for each other—deeply, unexpectedly, desperately—realising more and more each day that saying goodbye in the end would be an impossible feat.

“Everything she offers up is so beautiful, but it’s never enough. I don’t just want to touch her and be with her, I want to fuse with her. I want to sink inside her so deeply that she’ll feel bereft without me there.”

Nothing quite prepares them, however, for the gravity of the demons from Lachlan’s past as they resurface suddenly and start affecting every aspect of their budding relationship. And the more he spirals down into his demons’ embrace, the more he pushes away the only woman he’s ever truly loved.

“I love a broken, damaged man who might run the both of us into the ground.”

A sensitively written and genuinely compelling tale of a love set against all odds, of a man’s relentless battle with his past and of a woman’s fierce faith in him. I was moved by the way Ms Halle approached such delicate topics, carefully and responsibly, never sugar-coating any aspects of them, and presenting them to us in all their terrifying reality. I was stunned by the intensity of the connection between these characters, the magnitude of everything they felt for each other, and the selflessness with which they loved one another. And my skin burned from all the scorching chemistry between them, the sex scenes alone in this book deserving of a standing ovation…or ten. This book was such a welcome addition to the series, bravely delving into heavier, angstier themes lacking in the previous instalments, and showcasing this author’s extraordinary ability to tackle them effortlessly. A great read, satisfying cover to cover.

“I’m so in love with you,” he whispers, the roughness of his cheek pressed against mine. “So in love. There is no bottom. I just keep falling.”



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Standalone novels with interrelated characters

The Pact: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
The OfferAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
The Play: Amazon USAmazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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BOOK REVIEW: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?


“It took four years for me to finally fall completely in love with him. It only took four pages to stop.”

There’s a very rare feeling I get every time I open a Colleen Hoover book, a cross between trepidation and elation, because I know she is not only going to run my heart over with the plotline itself, but also blow my mind with its uniqueness. And once more, she did just that. In her true fashion, Ms Hoover has given us another terrific page-turner, a multifaceted storyline built entirely on the evolving relationship between its two charismatic key players, and the fated ties binding them to each other. Through engaging dialogues, quirky character traits, and this author’s signature humour, we are given yet another tremendous love story that is written in the stars, moving and captivating, incredibly original as always, and a most definite must-read.

“You think we’ll ever see each other again?”
“I hope so. I would be lying if I said I’m not already plotting to hunt you down when you’re twenty-three. But five years is a long time, Fallon. Who knows what could happen between now and then. Hell, I didn’t even have hair on my nuts five years ago.”

From the moment Fallon O’Neil and Benton James Kessler’s eyes met in a busy LA restaurant, they knew nothing would be the same again. A former teen actress whose acting career came to a standstill when she was sixteen years old due to an accident that left her scarred and emotionally broken, Fallon meets aspiring writer Benton on the eve of a cross-country move that is meant to give her back control over her own life, and a chance to follow her dreams once more. But one smile is all it takes for Benton to pull Fallon from the shadows in which she’s been hiding for the past two years, and only a handful of hours in each other’s company to turn the anniversary of the worst day of her life into a day she will look forward to for years to come. They part ways agreeing to meet up for the next five years on the same day, with no contact whatsoever in between, promising to each other they’d live their lives to the fullest, experiencing everything they should be experiencing at their age, but sharing that one day a year with one another until they both turn twenty-three.

“We’re only eighteen. I’m moving to New York. We barely know each other. And I promised my mother I wouldn’t fall in love with anyone until I’m twenty-three.”

So year after year, they meet on the same day, each year life changing them a little bit more, but their bond only grows stronger and stronger, making it harder and harder to say goodbye to one another each time. Their every reunion spurs them to work on themselves when they are apart, giving them the strength to face whatever life throws their way, and the confidence to become better people. They see past every mask, every act of bravado, every insecurity they each hide from the rest of the world, becoming each other’s refuge and greatest source of courage…as well as heartbreak.

“I thought I was tougher than a word. But I just discovered that having to say goodbye to you is one of the hardest things to do.”

But some stories end where they should have begun, as this is a story as much of happenstance as it is of life’s grand design, and from the moment Fallon and Benton’s lives cross paths, their fates are set in stone. It’s a love story born out of tragedy, a story of hope born out of pain, a story of forgiveness born out of pure, unadulterated love. By perfectly pacing each second of this riveting tale, Ms Hoover is not only allowing us to fall in live with these characters slowly and organically, but also to entertain a thousand different scenarios in our heads before the truth is finally unveiled, keeping us glued to the pages with the sheer charm of her distinctive prose. I loved the twists and turns in the end, the way all the puzzle pieces suddenly come together and shed a new light on everything. I had a small and very personal resistance to frequent mentions of literary devices in order to highlight their very lack of in this story, as amusing as they were on occasion, but not enough to pull me entirely out of the storyline or even distract me from the scene at hand. I have no doubt whatsoever that this will be another huge hit for an author who keeps delivering fresh, exceptionally written stories that never fail to dazzle.

“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”




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BOOK REVIEW: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

The flame never dies . . .

Millie Cross knows what it’s like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn’t be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie’s chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can’t ignore. And this time, she won’t let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan “High” Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she’s just a ghost of her former self. High’s intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn’t want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie’s betrayal, he’ll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .


“You love a man, Millie, you believe in him, you take him as he is. You go on his journey with him no matter what happens, even if that means you have to walk through fire.”

Never underestimate the power of a great writer because the moment you step into one of their books, your every emotion is at their mercy, but when that writer also happens to be one of your favourite contemporary authors at present, their every single word has the power to annihilate you. And this book did just that. I have never cried so many times and so desperately as I did while reading this breathtaking story, every aspect of it touching everything that I am, everything that I dream of, everything that I fear the most as a woman. Ms Ashley’s unparalleled insight into the female psyche and her ability to infuse a woman’s innermost vulnerabilities as well as strengths into her stories, celebrating both in equal measure, is the very reason I keep coming back for more, the thrill of diving into one of her stories never wearing off, never dimming, never becoming anything less than a true craving. Whether you’re a fan of MC romances or not, it does not matter in this case—this is a story that first and foremost celebrates women for their resilience, for their selflessness, for their ability to love without limits, all the while underlining the meaning of true love.

“I met my perfect man at age eighteen and I had him for three years. Then I sent him away.”

Millie Cross once had it all—a man who adored her, a man she adored in return, the kind of future she’d always dreamed of within her grasp—but the course of her life changed with a single sweep of fate’s cruel hand, spending the next twenty years simply going through the motions of living, her heart never even beginning to recover from losing its other half. So, when a chance sighting of the man she never stopped loving suddenly brings back all the memories she’s fought hard to suppress, she becomes convinced that only facing him would heal her wounds, and perhaps even give her a chance to move on in life. Because the one thing Millie never told him was why she left him.

“I needed to right that wrong. He needed to know. And I was the only one who could tell him.”

Logan “High” Judd was only a young recruit for the Chaos motorcycle club when he met an eighteen-year-old Millie at a party, but it took him merely an instant to know down to his soul that she would be the only woman he’d ever love. After three years of blissful happiness, however, his heart was torn out of his chest when she sent him packing, throwing all their dreams away. For the next two decades, High moved on, settled down, tried to build all that he once dreamed of having with Millie, but the hole in his chest never went away, never allowing him to forget the pain he felt from losing the love of his life.

“Millie,” he called.
I kept my gaze to the yard and replied with a, “Hmm?”
“Safe with me.”
My attention cut back to him.
“Never won’t be, babe,” he went on softly. “Not ever. Hear?”

When High finds himself suddenly facing the woman who broke his heart, he channels all he’s ever felt for her into anger, wishing to hurt her over and over again for all the pain he’s had to endure since she left him. He uses her body’s reaction to him to punish her, to humiliate her, to make her feel as insignificant as she’d made him feel all those years ago when she pushed him away without an explanation, and she suffers every blow, every hit to her dignity, starved for his touch, for his love, for his tenderness, knowing there is nothing of her left to break. Until there is and she is forced to tell the man she never stopped loving why she left him when they seemingly had it all.

“I’m done walking through fire for you, High! I’m done not because I’m done but because there’s nothing left of me to burn. You have it all! You’ve always had it all! I gave up everything so you could have it all! Please! God! Leave me to my nothing! And if you gave one single shit about me, ever, make them let me have my nothing!”

And this is where my own heart broke into smithereens, crying for a heroine who never deserved the fate life served her, or the punishment she endured as a result of it, and hurting for a hero who spent twenty years of his life never really knowing why he lost it all, or how much he had truly been loved all those years. This is a story of second chances at love, at happiness, at a happily-ever-after that was theirs from the beginning and it always remained theirs, showing us that time cannot touch true love, and that great sacrifices often bring even greater rewards in life. This is also a story of forgiveness, of acceptance of what we cannot change. In true Kristen Ashley style, we are given two characters who are so multi-faceted and compelling that their journey very much becomes our own, and I felt every up and down right in my gut.

“I love you. Loved you then. Love you now. Never quit lovin’ you in a way I know I never will. You were it for me, the only one, the only woman I ever loved, and you never quit bein’ it.”

With a colourful plethora of secondary characters from previous instalments in the series very much playing a vital role in Millie and High’s story, and proving once again the unbreakable bond connecting them all to one another, Ms Ashley has given us another unforgettable tale that will undoubtedly be added to the ‘re-read pile’ for many. I was drawn to re-visit several scenes right after I first finished this book, unwilling to bid farewell to this story and to these characters…because if you keep re-reading a book, it never really ends, right?

“If we can walk though fire, baby, we can do anything.”




Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooksPaperback

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Chaos – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
ownthewind fireinside2 ridesteady copy

Own the WindMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Fire InsideMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Ride Steady: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Walk Through Fire: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback

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