Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 10 of 2015

Uggghhhh, you have NO freakin' idea how much I've agonized over this stupid list!  Like seriously so much that I almost didn't do it because I just felt like it was so much pressure. Last year's list, my first one, was incredibly hard.  I wanted it to be "just right" and incredible and perfect...and this year, I don't know.  I want the same but I want more.  I don't even know if that's possible and it probably isn't without me waxing poetic about each of my choices and I just don't want to do that.  I don't have the time, nor the inclination to do so.

So, I guess without further ado I present my 2015 list of my personal Top 10 Books, including the editor's synopsis so you know a little bit about them.  Please know how hard this was to narrow down.  Where a book is in a series, I generally mean the entire series. Just so you know...okay, for real this time, here we go.

10.  How to Kill a Rock Star, by Tiffanie DeBartolo
Written in her wonderfully honest, edgy, passionate and often hilarious voice, Tiffanie DeBartolo tells the story of Eliza Caelum, a young music journalist, and Paul Hudson, a talented songwriter and lead singer of the band Bananafish. Eliza's reverence for rock is equaled only by Paul's, and the two fall wildly in love. 

When Bananafish is signed by a big corporate label, and Paul is on his way to becoming a major rock star, Eliza must make a heartbreaking decision that leads to Paul's sudden disappearance and a surprise knock-your-socks-off ending.

He wanted nothing at all... 

Until he found she had everything to give... 

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything--fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A. 

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced. 

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she's helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense grey eyes tangle with hers. 

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won't let them up for air. 

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he's not the only one who's hiding them. 

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea's past that costs them everything? 


I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn't see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.

I loved you.

I raged for you.

I wept for you.

And now, I'm letting you go.

Author's Note: Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.

*****Due to themes of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual situations and explicit language, recommended for readers 17+*****


My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole. 
My other half-- my twin brother, my Finn-- is crazy. 

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me. 

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline. 

Dare DuBray. 

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. 
He has the power to destroy me. 

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt. 

Why? Because of a secret. 

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming. 

You won’t either. 

In the Bone there is a house. 

In the house there is a girl. 

In the girl there is a darkness. 

Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her. 

What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one. 

But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.

Today, 8:15 p.m. 
I hurt. I hurt so deeply, I felt the pain searing in my bones and jabbing like a hot poker into my heart. I knew nothing would make it better as the memories pulled from the crevices of my mind, detailing the bad and the ugly, filling my thoughts with regret as I slipped into the darkness. . . 

When I was eight, my mother was dying of cancer, my father lost his job, and the bank kicked us out of our house. I was forced to move to the strange town of Arlis, Texas where my father and I slept in our car in the hospital parking lot. Desperate and hopeless, we lived on fumes of our former life. 

Then one night, everything changed forever. A knock on the car window brought a family into my life that I only wanted to shut out. I hated charity and I hated the Masons. Well, except one. He made it impossible to hate him. 

Jess Mason had the biggest blue eyes and ornery smile of any boy I had ever seen. He was a ray of sunshine in my dark world. A boy full of adventure, dragging me across the meadow of Sprayberry Ranch; a beautiful Texas paradise full of horses and tree houses that got us into more trouble than anyone ever imagined. 

Jess was my everything as a kid until we grew up and the rules changed. Instead of living happily ever after with a boy full of love. . . I destroyed it. 
- Alex Tanner 

4.  Never Never (almost-Trilogy), by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. 
Complete strangers since this morning. 
He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget. 

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare. 

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start. 
It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager. 
And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away. 

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all . . . a love story. 

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before 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?

And finally, we've come to MY favorite book of's not pretty, it's not filled with rainbows and flowers...but man, did it make me FEEL.  Feel so deep, so hard, so much.

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

So there you have it folks, my favorite reads for this past year.  I also have a small list of what I'd call "Honorable Mentions" because they were such wonderful reads as well but just missed a spot on a narrow list like this.  Those Honorable Mentions include:  ConfessThe Way We FallBig Little LiesGusLeaving Amarillo, and finally Because of Sydney.  There's probably a few I've neglected and forgotten but I think I have most of them here.  Honestly, 2015 was a great year for books and reading; there was very little that I read that I didn't enjoy for at least some reason or another.

Here's hoping (and praying) to another great year ahead in 2016.  Keep living.  Keep loving.  Keep reading.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Game On Indeed!

I love Amazon's "Kindle Unlimited" feature because it's a great opportunity to read great books for free.  One book that I recently downloaded and read is Game On, by author Katie McCoy and I have to say that for a free book, I was extremely pleased with how much I enjoyed this story.  It just goes to show you that just because something is free, it doesn't mean there isn't value to it.  This story, definitely has value!

Game On introduces us to sweet, ambitious, and slightly awkward sports reporter Sophie who is given her first big assignment to interview the big star of a college baseball team. She's been told he doesn't like the press but thinks that she can get him to open up. How hard can it be?  After all, her new job is counting on it.

Nathan is a star athlete with a heart to help those in need, especially animals.  He also realizes that even though Sophie is off-limits because she's a reporter, he can't keep his mind off of her.  The only problem is that he hates reporters and has serious trust issues.

What happens when Sophie and Nathan get together is magic and not a single bit professional.  Nathan and Sophia were scorching hot together. For a boy that didn't want to get caught up with some typical reporter, he seemed to forget all about that whenever this sweet little gal came around him.  Then again, he quickly discovered that she wasn't exactly the typical reporter either.

Again, I am always pleasantly surprised when I find a free book through Kindle's "Kindle Unlimited" that I don't expect to like as much as I end up liking, and Game On is definitely one of those books.  Written by an author I'm very unfamiliar with, this book held my attention throughout and was a quick read, as I couldn't put it down.  I couldn't wait to find out what Sophia was going to try next to get her interview and how uptight, Mr.-Professional-Baseball-Player was going to react. There's loads of witty repertoire between them and among the other characters in the story too, which makes this an incredibly smart book and a lot of fun to read.  It may have been free for me to read, but I would easily have paid to read this novel because it's worth the money; it will keep a smile on your face the entire time you're reading. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Vegas Love

A super sweet author, Jillian Dodd, that I had the pleasure to meet recently in Chicago, is releasing yet another awesome book today, titled Vegas Love and I cannot wait to dive into it!  

Hollywood actress, Ashlyn Roberts, just had the worst week of her life. Her ex released a sex tape of them and just when she was convinced her current boyfriend was a keeper for standing by her side, he breaks up with her at a friend’s wedding. She’s planning to drown her sorrows in booze when she meets a sexy stranger as she’s leaving the wedding and they end up in Vegas, married.

Cash Crawford is offered a dream job working with his brother as a junior talent agent. He’ll put his shiny new law degree to good use and make a bunch of money in the process. His first task is simple: Keep Ashlyn Roberts out of trouble and don’t sleep with her.

Which might be kind of tough, since they definitely consummated their Vegas wedding.

Will this one-night stand end in the quickie divorce they promised each other? Or will they realize they got lucky in love? 

Vegas Love is now available everywhere:

Here are some of Jillian’s favorite things about Las Vegas:

·         Mandarin Oriental
·         Encore at the Wynn
·         Four Seasons

·         Burger:  Nine Fine Irishmen, New York New York.
·         Mexican: Pink Taco, Hard Rock
·         Nachos:  Wood-Grilled Chicken Nachos, Double Barrel Roadhouse, Monte Carlo
·         Breakfast:  Hash House A Go Go, Rio
·         Cocktail: Cotton Candy Martini, Serendipity 3, Caesars Palace

·         GNO:  Thunder From Down Under, Excalibur
·         Show:   KA by Cirque de Soleil, MGM
·         View:    Top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris
·         Clubs:    Tryst, Wynn; Hakkasan, MGM
·         Bars:      Foundation Room at the House of Blues, Mandalay Bay
·         Outside: Bellagio Fountains


About Jillian Dodd:

Jillian is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the The Keatyn Chronicles, Captive Films, and the That Boy series. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She currently lives in Florida. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dear Prof,

I was given an ARC of Blaire Drake's newest novel, Dear Professor to read in exchange for an honest review.  I just finished the book last night and can't wait to tell you about it!


Dear Professor,
Does it bother you that you’re ten years older than me?
Have you ever thought it’s wrong that you watched me fuck another guy on camera for months?
What do you want from me, really? All I wanted was my letter of recommendation, but now I’m stuck, aren’t I? Stuck under your thumb… And your body.
From cam girl to personal whore, and all by the age of twenty-one. You’ve got me good, haven’t you?
But guess what? I can play too. Grab the polish, because I’ve found your skeleton, and it's time to dust.
I’ll see you in class.
Oh and, Sir? I’m not wearing any panties.

Love, Darcy
P.s. you’re an asshole.

Upon beginning this novel, I was warned that it was graphic and definitely for mature readers.  Right away I knew what that meant:  lots of sex.  Lots of hot, explicit, panty-melting sex.  Dear Professor absolutely delivered in that department.  Almost from the get-go, the reader is thrust into the world of Dalton House "cam girl," Darcy Hamilton.  Darcy is a law student who is working her way through college, but in order to get into Harvard she has to earn a lot of money without giving up her precious study time.  Life is going well for her until she needs her last recommendation letter from Professor Keaton.  He makes a deal with her that she feels like she can't refuse.

As the novel proceeds, we see that both Darcy and the professor are flawed characters, They're not just addicted to sex, but rather using it to mask their own hurt and tragedy.  We begin to see that they really are much more complex people than what they seem on the surface.  Because of this, the deal that they make becomes that much harder.  Feelings surface and emotions get in the way and neither of them know how to handle it.  They also start to begin questioning whether maybe, just maybe, they've finally found someone to share their screwed up lives with.  

In all honesty, I wasn't digging this story in the beginning...or, what I thought the story was, that is.  I thought it was the same re-telling of professor solicits a young student, however, it was much more than that.  Blake really dug deeper into the heart of the characters and made them so much more than just these bland, boring two-dimensional people.  She brought out their personalities and and gave them a reason for their screwed upedness (yeah, it's a word...well, it's one I made up!).  She gave them both some grit and some heart and by the end I was actually rooting for this forbidden love story to have a happy ending.

There was absolutely a lot of hot, steamy, and sexually explicit scenes and if you're into that sort of stuff, you'll love parts of this novel because again, Blake gives the reader exactly what they want.  The characters show both the rough and rowdy sides to their sexual relationship, along with softer, more gentle and tender moments as well.  There's a little bit of everything for all readers and it's definitely scorching H-O-T!  Speaking of hot, here's an excerpt:

His electric blue eyes focused on me, and in the bright hue of his gaze, the rest of his office seemed to melt away. I had no idea how he kept doing that to me—it was almost as if he were casting a spell over me, hypnotizing me with nothing more than a glance.
My heart thumped loudly in my chest at the lust I saw burning back at me. That hard-edged, animalistic lust that secretly drove me wild. I’d never tell him that. I was certain of it. I’d never give him that much power over me.
He already had enough.
“What’s wrong, sir?” I asked as I coyly twirled a piece of my hair around my finger.
“You’re starting to piss me off, Darcy,” he shot at me. The rough edge to his voice rumbled through the air between us until it hit me full-force. His words crawled over my skin, and each one carried the whispered promise. Or maybe it was a threat; I couldn’t tell.
“How can I piss you off? I haven’t done anything.” It was a petulant response, I knew that, but I didn’t care.
He pushed up out of his chair and stalked around his desk. I inhaled sharply, but he swept right past me and toward his door. Just when I thought he might pull it open and send me on my way, he turned the lock.
The click echoed through the air, and it did nothing for the butterflies that were rapidly fluttering in my stomach.
I hated him. It was getting clearer and clearer to me every day. I despised Professor Jordan Keaton, but I also craved him as badly as I needed my next breath.
He didn’t look at me as he shrugged off his jacket and hung it up on the hook on the door. He still didn’t look at me as he unbuttoned the sleeves of his crisp, white shirt and rolled them up to above his elbows. His upper arms seemed to strain against the fabric, his toned biceps becoming delightfully visible.
“Now, let’s try this again,” he said, his voice deathly low. It scared me and thrilled me all at the same time. “Have a little think, Darcy. Imagine why I might possibly be pissed off with you.”
I dropped the lock of hair I was twirling and looked at his pants. The bulge gave his attraction to me away. “I’m standing in front of you as opposed to being on my knees with your cock in my mouth?”
He jerked his head around, piercing me with those eyes. “Keep running your mouth, sweet thing. I dare you.”
“Or what? Really, what are you going to do to me in your office, Professor? Give me lines? Make me write an essay on why young ladies should be seen and not heard?”
His jaw ticked, his lips tightening, and he moved toward me so quickly I took a step backward. It was useless, though, like I knew it would be. The grip he had on my wrist was so certain, the tug toward him so strong, that I couldn’t fight him.
My body slammed into his, and no sooner had the air rushed from my body than he pulled the skirt of my dress up. Cold air flitted across my bare backside, but it was replaced almost instantly with one sharp smack.
My pussy clenched, and I bit the inside of my cheek to stop myself whimpering. In pain or pleasure—I had no clue.
“That,” he growled into my ear. “That is what I’ll do if you keep sassing me, Miss Hamilton.
I wondered if he knew how strongly I was considering continuing to sass him just for that purpose. I would do that later—I needed to know what had got him so riled. “Understood,” I said in a softer tone. “What did I do?”
He let go of my dress and slid his hand up my back. His breath was hot against my skin as he sunk his fingers into my hair and turned me around so my back was to him. “Last night,” he replied, his lips close to my ear. “Your little show.”
“That’s my job.”
He tugged on my hair. “Did you ask me?”
“You’re not my boss, Jordan. Neither are you my fucking keeper.”
His grip grew tighter, so much so that my head tilted back. “Darcy. Did. You. Fucking. Ask. Me?”
“No,” I ground out, my jaw clamped tightly.
“Did you think I wouldn’t find out? Did you really fucking think I wouldn’t know that you were spending your night in front of your camera, with your finger rubbing that little clit of yours?” Roughly, he pushed his hand beneath my dress and teased his fingertips along the line of my panties. “Did you think you’d be able to walk into my classroom today and I wouldn’t know that at least one or two of those students hadn’t watched you as you fucked your own fingers?”
“No,” I breathed out, my lips parting as his hand dipped beneath my panties. The tip of one of his fingers ghosted across my clit, and it sent a bolt of pleasure through me.
“I didn’t hear you,” he rasped in my ear, flicking his finger across my clit.
“No,” I repeat, this time more forcefully. “I knew you would. And I didn’t give a shit.” I gasped as he pushed down hard on the sensitive spot.
“We made a deal,” he reminded me, his tone tight with anger… And thick with desire.
“And you won’t let me forget it.”
“Damn straight I won’t.” He pulled his hand from between my legs but kept me in place with his grip on my hair. “Now are you going to renege on it again or are you going to behave yourself?”
“From the man who just had his fingers on a student’s clit?”
“You’re pushing me, Darcy.”
I reached behind me, between us, and cupped his long, hard cock with my hand. The zipper of his pants pushed into my palm, and I traced my thumb down the side of his erection. “I’m not the only thing pushing, am I?”
“Fuck.” He hissed the word out, and the next thing I knew, my dress was being lifted up, and he let go of my hair.
My hands slammed against his desk as he bent me forward and moved my panties to the side. He’d barely touched me, but I could feel my pussy throbbing in anticipation of what was to come.
I knew this would be a cold, hard fuck, designed to remind me who I belonged to. Who, for all intents and purposes, owned my body.
It would be a reminder and a punishment, all because I dared to take control of myself for one night and defy him.
Jordan’s movements were as smooth as always, and he spread one of my ass cheeks with a strong hand. His fingertips dug in almost painfully, but I didn’t care, because I sighed in relief as he pushed his hard, thick cock inside me.
“Now, this is how this is gonna work,” he rasped into my ear as he grasped my hair and tugged. “Since you’ve forgotten, Darcy, you need a reminder, don’t you?”
I didn’t dare answer. The question was rhetorical. Besides, I was already practically panting from his swift invasion of my body.
“Now, I’m gonna fuck you.”
I swallowed and glanced at the shadows of people walking past his office door, a tiny lock and frosted glass providing us limited privacy. I’d known it was coming, sure, but now we were here, silent, and I could hear the people outside…
I couldn’t deny the excitement that swept through my body at the thought we could be interrupted any second. That someone could walk right up to this door and probably see the vague silhouette of him fucking me from behind.
I felt dirty, but I liked it.
“And you got it, Darcy.” He pulled out and slammed right back into me, making me bite down on my lower lip. “I’m gonna fuck you, and you’re not gonna make a sound. Understand?”
I didn’t answer for fear that I’d whimper instead of respond yes. I just nodded and sucked my lower lip into my mouth.
“Good girl.” The words were but a whisper, but they were two I was becoming rapidly acquainted with.
And worse? I liked it when he said it.
He was reminding me of more than he knew… Like what it meant to fuck because lust was just too strong.
He pulled out of me slowly. With the head of his cock resting at the opening to my pussy, he gripped my ass tightly. “Who do you belong to, Darcy?”
I didn’t answer.
The sting didn’t surprise me when it came.
“Answer the question.”
“You,” I whispered.
He gently caressed the spot he just slapped. “And who owns your body, Darcy?” I arched my back as his cock entered me fully. “Who does this tight, wet pussy belong to? Who decides who and what gets to be inside it?”
It… Like it’s a tool… Just a toy for his amusement. Just like I am.
“You.” There was no other option.
“That’s right. You and your wet pussy are mine. I own you, sweet thing. Every single fucking inch of your gorgeous body is mine.”  

His words… The possessiveness sent thrills through me as he moved inside me. I couldn’t deny it. I couldn’t deny how fucking turned on they made me, and I hated myself for it. I hated how he commanded my body, and I hated that I let him.
“Now.” He stilled, his hand still resting on my ass, and slowly let go of my hair. The raven curls tumbled over my shoulder and onto the desk, and I felt the loss of him before it happened.
He eased out of me, and ever the gentleman, slipped my panties back over me. Great. Now I’d be walking around all day wanting to screw anyone reasonably good looking.
I pushed myself to standing as soon as I heard him take a step to the side. I looked at him just in time to see him zipping his pants back up and tucking his shirt in. His tie hung a little lopsided, and I raised my eyes from his neck.
Our gazes collided with heart-thumping ferocity. The slow, sexy curve of his lips to one side did nothing to calm the quick two-step beat my heart had just taken up, but I didn’t dare to look away. Even if I did, I don’t think I could have. His eyes were the net, and I was nothing but a tiny fish, tangled up in him.
“Seven o’clock tonight. I’ll be waiting.”
“What for?” I questioned as he walked toward the door without moving his eyes from mine.
He unlocked the door, and the smirk he shot me was dirty. I sighed and grabbed my purse from the chair, then walked toward him. I reached for the handle at the same time he grabbed my chin.
His mouth touched mine, searing onto my lips with its fierceness.
Another reminder.
He pulled away as briskly as he kissed me, but that still didn’t stop me from touching my thumb to my lower lip.
“Remember,” he murmured, opening the door. “Seven. Don’t be late.” 

I'd definitely recommend this novel to anyone looking for a somewhat naughty love story. It's sexy & hot, funny in so many places, and sweet as well.  Definitely a good read.


Blaire Drake is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author who wanted to think outside her box and write the kind of things that would shock even them. She loves taboo romance and pushing boundaries in her work. She also enjoys long walks on the beach at sunset, as long as it’ll be followed by a good, old-fashioned spanking right after.

DEAR PROFESSOR is her debut standalone novel, and her next book, PRETTY PORNSTAR, is also a standalone novel that promises to be equally as taboo and sexy.
You can connect with Blaire online at:

You’re also invited to join her reader group at: