Loved this book!! Tina Fontana is the executive assistant to the CEO of the biggest media company in the US. After 6 years of demeaning work cutting his limes, mixing his cocktails, and answering calls at 3am to tell him where he left his car keys, Tina is given the chance to change her life when a travel expense mistake puts a $20,000 check in her hands. Should she come clean and give the money back to the billionaire who probably would never miss it as he spends that much in a day to buy suits and satin handkerchiefs, or should she deposit it and pay off her student loans which otherwise will plague her for the next ten years?
This book reads quickly and easily, but it has its moments of suspense. Morals and relationships are tested and you’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting to find what happens next.
Rock My Heart is an almost 72,000 word new adult contemporary romance novel that follows Gabe Reed, the misunderstood bad-boy drummer of the popular band Luminescent Juliet, and April Tanner, the straight-laced preppy psychology student with a hidden secret. As the best friend of Romeo, the leader of Luminescent Juliet, April spends a lot of time with the bandmates, but Gabe and April share a mutual hatred towards each other. The hatred only grows when Gabe walks into the supposedly “safe” space of April’s group therapy session one day—a group she meticulously picked for its distance from her home, assuming no one she knows would ever find her there. Gabe was court-ordered to participate in that group after two charges of assault and battery because of his anger issues caused by his abusive father, and although they both want the other to find a different group, neither can make that happen.
Gabe is convinced that April is only there for her psychology degree and that she thinks she is above everyone and their problems. His suspicions change, however, when April finally opens up in therapy about her cousin, Rachel, committing suicide and how she left behind an unfinished bucket list. In order to deal with April being in the group, Gabe confronts his issues with her head on; he volunteers to help April complete the bucket list. Since the counselor thinks it’s a wonderful idea, and April needs the counselor to tell her psychology adviser that she’s making progress so that she can be cleared to get her master’s and eventually be a counselor herself, she reluctantly agrees to let Gabe help.
As Gabe and April hang out together, crossing several items off the list, a bit of sexual tension and lust arises. They come from completely different backgrounds, however, and their bond is tested more than once.
Rock My Heart evokes sadness, passion, and hope. Although the romance is a center focus, the important issues of abuse and suicide are not undermined by the sex scenes. The characters and the issues are real and relatable, and that is definitely a strength of this novel. Although Rock My Heart is the fourth novel in a series, this book can easily be enjoyed alone, although the reader will not be able to get enough of Jean Haus’ writing.
Wow! I am in complete shock by the plot twists at the end, and it is such a wonderful feeling. It’s rare that an author can write a book so well on one path that the reader is completely flabbergasted when they find themselves off-roading. I don’t think I’ve ever been this blind-sighted by a plot twist.
The beginning of the story starts out a bit slow as we gain some back story for Naomi and learn that she just was put into the Fairfax Mental Health Institute. It’s immediately clear that we can’t trust the narrator as we struggle to distinguish reality from her hallucinations, but this makes the narrator’s voice all the more intriguing and engaging. We’re pulled in, trying to discover the truth of her stories and rooting for her to succeed. I love the stream of consciousness style as each chapter jumps from the present to the past to her possible hallucinations. We gain more insight with each chapter, but it also adds to the confusion. We understand the frustration Naomi feels trying to understand her past because we are relearning it right alongside her.
The relationships Naomi has with Max and Lachlan bring light, hope, and romance to a dark, sad story, but they also add more confusion as we try to pick who the best guy is for her.
Nearing the end, I was getting more and more nervous thinking that there wouldn’t be enough time to solve everything. I feared that there may have been a sequel that I was unaware of that would have forced me to be confused and uncertain until I could get my hands on the next volume, which I would have devoured with more urgency than this one. Amazingly, however, an epic plot twist changed the game and answered everything. I wish the ending had been a bit longer, explaining more after the revelation, but I am in such admiration of Read’s ability to write in such a compelling way that I can’t complain. It allowed me to think about the consequences of the plot twist for so many more hours as events and conversations continue to click into place for me.
I know that this book will stay with me long after tonight. Although I wasn’t completely hooked until a quarter of the way through, the ending overpowers the rest of the story, and I have to give it 4.5 stars.
At just over 75,000 words, this new adult contemporary romance evokes emotions of fear, anger, lust, love, hurt, and joy as Brielle Masterson, a strong-willed young woman and a fierce drummer, navigates life around her drug dealer ex-boyfriend, her bandmates—her twin brother, her childhood best friend with whom she feels a romantic connection, and her drug-addicted cousin who hates her guts and is best friends with her ex-boyfriend—and an abusive past that harbors a dreadful secret.
The action starts right on the first page when Brielle (Bri) is arrested and interrogated about her boyfriend, Elijah, and his drug-dealing business. Bri never believed that Elijah was a drug-dealer, much to her brother’s protests, but after that night, she decides to leave the toxic relationship. She calls her twin brother, Braden, to pick her up from the police station, but instead, Luke Skeet, her childhood best friend rolls up to the curb looking sexier than ever. Remembering how she ditched Luke for Elijah three years back, when Luke needed her most, the car ride becomes more than awkward, but after Braden encourages Bri to join the band again, which she left to spend more time with Elijah, she begins to remember her old life and the sparks ignite between her and Luke.
Problems abound, however, as Emerson becomes entangled in the drug life, and Luke learns why Bri ditched him in his time of need three years earlier. As the band gains fame, it distracts from the issues for a while, but nothing can stop them from catching up with them.
Tijan’s Sustain is intense, sexy, and romantic. Love conquers all in this fast-paced novel. The characters are dynamic and have realistic voices. Readers will fall in love with Bri’s tough-girl demeanor and Luke’s caring and forgiving personality. Elijah is the bad boy that readers love to read about, and although Emerson seems to cause more problems than he is worth, he redeems himself and is an essential contrast to the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and I was always excited to turn the page; however, the author switched the story from Bri’s point of view to Luke’s three-quarters through, and a handful of chapters later, it was back to Bri’s point of view. It wasn’t necessarily a negative aspect of the story, but it was a bit jarring. Even if the author kept telling the story from Luke’s perspective through the end, it would have made a bit more sense. The switch seemed solely for the purpose of following the story for the moments Bri wasn’t involved.
Overall, Sustain is perfect for those who enjoy romance, action, suspense, and sexy characters. A fun read that has the perfect genre balance.
One night of unexpected and unexplainable passion at a friend’s beach house party leaves Cale Blackwood and Maddison Powers love-struck and pining for each other for two years, unbeknownst to the other. When Maddie returns from her semester abroad, nothing stops her from seeking out Cale, and Cale continues to “see” her everywhere he goes, only to be disappointed to find his mind playing cruel tricks. With their friends’ encouragement, they decide it’s best to try to forget the ghost of the other and date other people.
That same week, Zoey, Maddie’s friend, asks the hottest guy in Starbuck’s to dance with her in the middle of the coffee shop on a remote bet from Maddie. In an ironic twist of events, he introduces himself as Cale Blackwood, and Zoey couldn’t be more excited to claim him as her own and finally “one up” her perfect friend, Maddie. After a month of dating and exhilarating sex, Zoey forces Maddie and Monica, Maddie’s best friend, to “meet” this mystery boyfriend. Shocked and horrified by the site of Zoey cuddled up next to Cale in the restaurant, remembering everything Zoey told her about their dirty and frequent sex life, Maddie can barely contain her emotions. So when Zoey announces that they’re pregnant, Maddie, and everyone at the table, including Cale, are in complete shock.
Convinced that Zoey didn’t know about the strong bond between her and Cale, Maddie ignores Cale’s attempts to talk to her, and she becomes more concerned with Zoey’s health, since she is dying from an autoimmune disease, and the stress of a baby could likely kill her much faster than the five to 20 years her doctor estimated she had left to live. As Cale suffers from his decision to do the right thing and marry Zoey, a woman he will never love, Maddie attempts to move on and starts dating Andrè, a sexy Italian who whisks her away on trips every chance he gets. (view spoiler)
Kelly Elliot’s The Journey Home is a visceral and romantic whirlwind. The love and passion between Maddie and Cale permeates every page, and the perspective switches between the two characters adds clear insight into both personalities. The reader, invested in their story, will laugh, cry, and tear with happiness.
My only criticism is that the story is quite long–it almost could have been combined into two books since there were so many conflicts and plots. However, there were several scenes that didn’t help to further the story and could have been omitted. (view spoiler)
The struggles Maddie and Cale face make them real and believable, and fans will be just as emotional (view spoiler)as they are.