Monday, September 30, 2013

Spotlight: Against the Ropes by @Sarah_Castille

Against the Ropes
He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more...

Makayla never thought she'd set foot in an elite mixed martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it's these guys. Then again, at her first sight of the club's owner, she's the one feeling breathless.

The man they call Torment is all sleek muscle and restrained power. Whether it's in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when a soft touch is required and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he's about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined...

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author


Run. I should run. But all I can do is stare.

His fight shorts are slung deliciously low on his narrow hips, hugging his powerful thighs. Hard, thick muscles ripple across the broad expanse of his chest, tapering down to a taut, corrugated abdomen. But most striking are the tattoos covering over half of his upper body—a hypnotizing cocktail of curving, flowing tribal designs that just beg to be touched.

He stops only a foot away and I crane my neck up to look at his face.

God is he gorgeous.

His high cheekbones are sharply cut, his jaw square, and his eyes dark brown and flecked with gold. His aquiline nose is slightly off-center, as if it had been broken and not properly reset, but instead of detracting from his breathtaking good looks, it gives him a dangerous appeal. His hair is hidden beneath a black bandana, but a few tawny, brown tufts have escaped from the edges and curl down past the base of his neck.

A smile ghosts his full lips as he studies me. A lithe and powerful animal assessing its prey.

My finely tuned instinct of self-preservation forces me back against the ropes and away from his intoxicating scent of soap and leather and the faintest kiss of the ocean.

“Excuse me…Torment. I…thought you forgot to buy a ticket, but…um…I don’t think you really need one. Do you?”

“A ticket?” His low-pitched, husky, sensual voice could seduce a saint. Or a young college grad trying to supplement her meager salary by selling tickets at a fight club.

My heart thunders in my chest and I lick my lips. His eyes lock on my mouth, and my tongue freezes mid-stroke before beating a hasty retreat behind my Pink Innocence glossed lips.

He steps forward and I press myself harder against the springy ropes, wincing as they bite into my skin through my thin T-shirt.

“Are you Amanda?”

With herculean effort, I manage to pry my tongue off the roof of my mouth. “I’m the best friend.”

He lifts an eyebrow. “Does the best friend have a name?”


“Doesn’t suit you. Do you have a different name?”

“What do you mean a different name? That’s my name. Well, it’s my nickname. But that’s what people call me. I’m not going to choose another name just because you don’t like it.” My hands find my hips, and I give him my second-best scowl—my best scowl being reserved for less handsome irritating men.

His gaze drifts down to the bright white “FCUK Me” lettering now stretched tight across my overly generous breasts. With my every breath, the letters expand and retract like a flashing neon sign. I hate my sister.

He leans so close I can see every contour of bone and sinew in his chest and the more intricate patterns in his tribal tattoos. The flexible ropes accommodate my last retreat, and I brace myself, trembling, against them.

“What’s your real name?” he rumbles.
Sarah Castille
“Makayla.” Oh, betraying lips. He smiles and his eyes crinkle at the corners. “Makayla is a beautiful name. I’ll call you Makayla.”

Heat roars through me like a tidal wave. He likes my name. “So…about that ticket—”


Recovering lawyer, karate practitioner, and caffeine addict, Sarah Castille worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. Her steamy, contemporary romantic tales feature blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)
Publish Date: October 1, 2013
Kindle {p. 288}
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Wild Cards #1
Source: Publisher
Ashtyn Parker, Derek Fitzpatrick

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

I truly enjoyed the dynamic between Ashtyn and Derek. As always, the tone the author sets seems to be right on point with the youthful voice. It's just something about her books that suck you in. After reading the advanced copy, I can honestly say I don't regret pre-ordering this book back in June.

The story starts off very quickly, but not so quickly that you get lost. The two meet within the first couple of chapters and sparks immediately start to fly. As with every teenaged boy, Derek has his jerk moments, but they're not enough to make him off putting. I however cannot say the same about Ashtyn's boyfriend Landon. He, on the other hand, I hated on first sight.

The premise of the girl football player reminded me of Catching Jordan, but the only thing these two books had in common was a girl football player. Since this book takes place over the summer, Ashtyn's interaction with her teammates was all off the field. There was very little actual football playing.

Ashtyn family was a whole other story in and of itself. I never really ever understood what her dad's problem was. Yes, the author addresses it, but I still found her dad lacking. Her sister's story I don't recall being explained at all, but she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. The other secondary characters weren't all that interesting either beyond Derek's grandmother and his little brother Julian.

All in all I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the next book in this series, and I'm hoping it's just as great.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

In My Mailbox {140}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.

Books via Paperback Swap
Three to Tango
Three to Tango by Lauren Dane, Emma Holly, Megan Hart, Bethany Kane

Saturday, September 21, 2013

#FallIntoReading Read-a-thon Goals

UntitledMy goal for this read-a-thon is just to try and reading books that have been patiently waiting on my shelves that have been set aside for newer, shinier ones.

I want to say I'll read 5 books this week but I know I won't with a full-time work schedule that leaves me just wanting to crawl under my bed at the end of the day. (Yes, I said under)

So the plan is just to read what I feel like reading, as long as it's a book that's been hanging out on my shelves for a while.

Some that I may be choosing from are (these are subject to change):
  • Debbie Macomber
  • Addison Fox
  • Siobhan Vivian
  • Susan Mallery

I'll try to update my progress either here on the blog or on Twitter with the hashtag #FallIntoReading

Update (09/29/13:
Finished: Getting Rowdy (previously started)
Completed: 1105 Yakima Street
                    All Summer Long

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review: Because of Low by Abbi Glines

Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2)
Publish Date: February 7, 2012
Hardcover {p. 290}
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Sea Breeze #2
Source: Public Library
Willow Foster, Marcus Hardy
Marcus Hardy had hoped to enjoy a year away at college while he put the summer he’d rather forget behind him. But instead, he’s jerked right back to the coastal town of Sea Breeze, Alabama due to a family crisis. His dear ol' dad found himself a girlfriend only a few years older than Marcus. So now his sister needs help dealing with their mother who is mentally falling apart. The only bright spot to returning is the fascinating red head who sleeps over several times a week. The problem is she's sleeping in bed with his new roommate, Cage York.

Willow “Low” Foster needs a place to live. Running to Cage’s apartment every time her sister kicks her out isn’t exactly a long term solution. Juggling her courses at the local community college and a part time job doesn’t produce excess income. But Cage has a new roommate and suddenly sleeping over at her best friend’s apartment isn’t such a bad thing. Not when she gets to see those sexy green eyes of Marcus Hardy’s twinkle when he smiles at her like he wants her there. Even though Cage seems a little territorial where Low is concerned, Marcus finds time to spend with Low without upsetting his roommate. Cage may use his small college baseball star persona to sleep with every hot female in his path but he’s still under the disillusion that when he’s through sowing his wild oats, he’s going to marry Low. Marcus intends to change that assumption for both Cage and Low. Until his carefully laid plans come crashing down with a revelation he never expected. He’ll have to choose between Low or his family. Because once the truth comes out.... there’s no other choice.

The story played out a little predictably when I heard both Marcus and Willow's family situation. Before it ever came out in the story, I already knew how it was going to play out.

I ended up hating Low's sister Tawny on sight. The way Tawny treated her sister and her own daughter, I found it very difficult to believe anyone would voluntarily chose to be with her.

Low and Cage's relationship was that of a brother and sister to me even though Cage claimed to that he was going to marry her one day. Still, I continued to wonder if maybe Cage's feelings for Low were more than that of a brother even with all his sleeping around. He would drop everything for her, and seemed to be the only one who could reach her during her panic attacks.

Marcus, I liked, but never really loved. Sure he came across as a nice guy. He was from a well-to-do family but was never a snob about it. What truly bothered me about Marcus was that he claimed to love Low, but automatically assumed the worst of her and refused to listen to any explanation from her.

I felt both characters were in need of a bit more maturing. They read more of that of early high school (freshman or sophomore) students than that of college students.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In My Mailbox {139}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.

Books via Half Price Books
InsatiableThe Moon and MorePlaying to Win (Play by Play, #4)Thrown by a Curve (Play by Play, #5)Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2)
Insatiable by Opal Carew
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Playing to Win by Jaci Burton
Thrown by a Curve by Jaci Burton
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Books via Public Library
Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2)While it Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3)
Because of Low by Abbi Glines
While it Lasts by Abbi Glines
Books via Publisher
Getting Rowdy (Love Undercover, #3)
Getting Rowdy by Lori Foster
Books via Reader Service
Big Sky Wedding (Parable, Montana, #5)Butterfly CoveI Only Have Eyes For You (The Sullivans, #4)Love Overdue
Big Sky Wedding by Linda Lael Miller
Butterfly Cove by Christina Skye
I Only Have Eyes for You by Bella Andre
Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi

Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Run to You by Rachel Gibson

Run To You
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
Kindle {p. 384}
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Lovett, Texas #4
Source: Publisher
Estella Immaculata Leon-Hollowell, Beau Junger
Rachel Gibson, New York Times bestselling author of Rescue Me, returns to Texas for the second of her Military Men series, with the tale of what happens when a tough guy meets his match--and falls harder than a ton of red-hot bricks. . .

From Rachel Gibson, New York Times bestselling author of Rescue Me, comes her latest sexy contemporary novel, featuring a hot Navy SEAL and a woman on the run

The story was too fast-paced to form any real connection with the characters. Both Stella and Beau felt like very flat, one-dimensional characters that didn't have any depth.

Stella and Beau had a very short timeframe of knowing each other, but ended up falling in love with each other. No, that's not unheard of, but them falling in love in the amount of time it takes one to drive from Florida to Texas is a bit of a stretch. And by the end, they're talking marriage when they haven't even been on a single date.

I truly wanted to like this book, but other than a few entertaining moments between Beau and his brother Blake, and Beau and his flashbang, I just wasn't feeling it. Which is disappointing because I loved her Writer Friends series.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

In My Mailbox {138}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.

Books via Paperback Swap
The List
The List by Siobhan Vivian
Books via Publisher
Against the Ropes
Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack

Losing It (Losing It, #1)

Publish Date: October 15, 2012
Kindle {p. 204}
Genre: New Adult
Series: Losing It #1
Source: Personal Library
Bliss Edwards, Garrick Taylor

Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

The premise seemed somewhat immature in the fact that Bliss was willing to sleep with some random guy just to lose her virginity. The fact that she didn't follow through with this ridiculous plan, saves the story.

The interactions and conversations between Garrick and Bliss were at times hilarious. I really enjoyed them together as a couple. Their story was straightforward without all the drama and conflict, which is a plus in my opinion, which I know some readers prefer the conflict to make the story more believable. Losing It didn't need all the conflict and drama to be believable or enjoyable, it was both without all of that. Although at times Garrick did come across as being too perfect.

The storyline moved along at a quick pace, that kept me involved with the characters and invested in their outcomes. The ending was a bit abrupt, but the epilogue helped that somewhat.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

In My Mailbox {137}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail/library/store of that week.

Books via Paperback Swap
Cattle Valley Vol. 6 (Cattle Valley, #11-12)
Books via Publisher
Beautiful Bombshell (Beautiful Bastard #2.5)

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