Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Arsen by Mia Asher

 One glance was all it took…

I'm a cheater.
I'm a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I'm broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can't stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.

Purchase on Amazon! 

See snippets of Heather and Selene's conversations while reading Arsen following our reviews!

Buddy Reviews:
Averaged Smooch Rating!

Heather's Review

4.5 infuriating angst filled smooches


Falling in love with the wrong person is easy. Falling in love with the right person is easier. But falling in love with your soul mate is easiest.
It’s meant to be.
I don’t think falling is the right word when referring to my feelings for Ben, though. How about soaring? Every time I’m with him I feel like I can fly. I feel weightless. I feel free.

Ben and Cathy met in college. Through flashbacks in the book you get to watch them fall in love. They have this amazing soul touching connection. Ben is so loving and attentive. They really are the perfect couple. Then, tragedy strikes and Cathy is losing herself. She can’t deal with the pain and begins to resent Ben for not falling apart the way she has.

I can feel myself withdrawing from him.
From his love.
From my marriage.
And there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

Wrong answer!  You could seek help with a therapist, a friend, or I don't know maybe try talking to your husband!  She does none of these things!

Cathy is sent to pick up her bosses family at the airport one evening and meets his son, Arsen. Expecting him to be a young boy, she is caught off guard when she sees his son, who is only a few years younger than her and incredibly attractive.

William Shakespeare said that the eyes are the windows to your soul. When our eyes connect, I see danger , and maybe something exciting. Something forbidden. Some basic instinct in me instantly recognizes that this man doesn’t make love to a woman.
He fucks her.

Arsen ends up working with Cathy and what starts off as a somewhat innocent friendship gets out of hand very quickly. Cathy likes the way Arsen makes her feel like a real woman and she can forget all about her issues with Ben and the problems in their life.

“What if I told you that I don’t care that you’re married? I don’t mind sharing. What if I told you that I’ll settle for fucking you once? Just once where I’ll make you come so hard on my cock that you’ll forget that you’re married and beg me for more? And if you’re a good girl, Dimples, you may get it again before I let you go back to your husband, sore between your legs because I fucked you so good.”
I’m shocked and aroused.
What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I so turned on when he basically just insulted me and my marriage?

Arsen is a freaking ASSHOLE!!!!! I cannot understand his appeal at all. Cathy and Arsen completely disgust me. He is vulgar and disrespectful and Cathy just eats that shit up! She has the perfect husband and yet is pulling herself away from Ben and falling for Arsen. The flirting just gets worse and is totally inappropriate but for a while at least, Cathy tells herself that it is all innocent and they are only friends.

I hate when Ben reaches for me at night.
I want to throw up every time he makes love to me.
I’ve grown to hate looking at his beautiful face and everything that makes him so perfect.
I hate the fucking joke that our marriage has become.
And I hate myself because I seem to have lost all care for everything

Eventually she has disconnected from Ben almost completely and is totally sucked into Arsen’s web. Cathy is the most selfish infuriating female character EVER. She does not care that she is hurting Ben and destroying her marriage.  Arsen is all she thinks about. She has to have him and cares for no one but herself.

When I feel his dick inside me, my body instantly recognizes the difference. The thickness…the length…it’s not the same, but it feels just as good. Maybe even better because it’s not Ben. I shut my eyes and silence the voice screaming in my head that this is wrong. In this moment, nothing exists but Arsen and me.
Not even Ben.

The affair initially is all about sex and her physical need to forget her pain and to feel “alive.”  If alive is feeling like a whore then I guess she got what she was looking for.  How you could desire Arsen over Ben I will never know.  Ben is not some douchy guy that is not satisfying in bed.  Ben is freaking HOT, sexy, loving, and attentive.  Arsen is disgusting.  He is the definition of a pig.

The thing is, I’m ashamed, but I’m not sorry. I’m not. It’s funny, really. Thinking about the way he came inside me, on me, everywhere, makes me sick to my stomach, guilt twisting it so tightly. Yet the memories make my heart flutter as fast as a hummingbird’s wings. Control and restraint gone, being with him was pure bliss.

People say that if you play with fire, you’ll get burned. Well, when it comes to Arsen, I not only want to get burned, I want to be incinerated.

Yes, it's REALLY funny Slutty Cathy...seriously?  She is pure EVIL.  She not only is cheating on her husband who is also supposed to be her soul-mate but continually reflects on how NOT sorry she is.

Cathy becomes addicted to the feeling she gets when she is with Arsen. The affair goes on for weeks, but Arsen no longer wants to share her with Ben.

And now I have to face the music. I have to make a choice once again. And it doesn’t matter what choice I make. Which path I choose to follow. Either way, I will break my own heart. I will lose a part of myself.
But I think I already have.
I love two men.

God forbid Cathy, that you should break your OWN heart!

“Please, Cathy…not tonight. Not tonight. Let us…let me just kiss you.”…
Ben lowers his forehead to press against mine. I feel the moisture from his tears, my tears, our tears. Together...
“I don’t want tomorrow to fucking come, Cathy. I’m afraid.”…
I bend down and kiss her lips, lips that look red and swollen, and this time I know that I’m the reason behind it and not him. Cherishing the moment, I let my mouth linger on hers as I close my eyes and inhale the smell of jasmine and sex branded on her skin deeply into my lungs, savoring that, for once she doesn’t smell like him. I grind my teeth and think back to all the times she’s come home, pretending to be too tired to stay awake and keep me company. Or on the few occasions when I’ve reached for her at night, and she turns away from my touch because she doesn’t feel like fucking, all the while smelling like a different man.... (Ripped my fucking heart out)
I want to believe every single lie of hers so I can gladly continue living in denial. I love her that fucking much….
Love is never supposed to hurt. Love is supposed to heal, to be your haven from misery, to make living fucking worthwhile. But as I stare at my wife, I know it’s all fucking bullshit.
Love has the power to destroy you.
Love has the power to bury you alive in a coffin full of pain and despair, robbing you of air, of the will to live.

“Falling in love with someone is easy. It’s loving when the newness has worn off, when life gets tough, when things get in the way, when physical passion is gone, that true love remains. When love can conquer it all.”-Cathy

I absolutely LOVE a story that makes me feel any emotion in the extreme. This book had me ready to spit fire and commit murder. My heart absolutely broke for poor Ben and I totally fell in fictional love with him! What really lacked for me was a connection with Arsen and Cathy. I don’t understand what drew her to him. For me he was rude and just plain nasty. There was nothing sexy or appealing in him. I also could not even draw up an ounce of sympathy for Cathy. I wanted to be affected by the things that happened to her but she was just so horrible that I could not even bring myself to care. I think that had Ben been lacking in any way and Arsen brought something, anything to the table it would have worked better for me.

I would venture to say that for about 98.5% of this book I wanted nothing more than for it to end with Cathy 6 ft in the ground along with her boy toy Arsen. So, I feel totally confused that somehow I accepted and was even happy, with the ending of this story. I feel even a teensy bit proud of Cathy when I couldn’t have given two shits about her for the entire book! I’m still feeling pretty mind blown. To take my feelings from complete disgust to pride and accomplishing this in the last chapter of the book is genius!

Selene's Review 


4.5 "what the heck just happened?" Smooches!

I should probably preface my review by saying there are few things in life I can't stand more than married people who cheat.  Don't get me wrong, I can completely understand certain situations drive people to seek whatever they aren't getting from their marriage from someone else.  It happens.  There was absolutely nothing in this story that made me feel that way though.

This book was a hot mess of a train wreck.  As much as I wanted to walk away, holy crap I couldn't put it down.  Watching a pretty near perfect marriage turn to shit was hard to stomach, especially when Ben was the perfect husband.  A series of miscarriages, however, shake their once ideal marriage to its core and Cathy seeks solace in another man.

Cathy meets Arsen at work.  Arsen’s father owns the company Cathy works for and he wants Arsen to work under Cathy to learn more about the business.  From the moment they meet, there is an instant attraction between them, one Cathy initially tries to deny.

So many warring thoughts are running through my head; fear, dislike, shock, but the voice that is the loudest is lust. - Cathy

They seem to reach a mutual understanding to only be friends but Cathy finds that there is a very fine line between pretending to be friends and what they actually feel.

“Suddenly, none of this seems friendly.  Being alone with him, the flirty banter, his touch…it feels like we’re hanging on by a very thin thread of what’s allowed and innocent, and what’s not.”

Cathy continues her friendship with Arsen … every "WTF are you thinking red flag" is flying and warning her to choose a different road.  She’s cruising down the 'Faithful Wife’ highway but the 'Cheating Whore' exit is two miles ahead.

 … I decide not to tell Ben about my day if he doesn't ask me for specifics.  I don’t want to lie to him again, yet somehow, for the first time since I've met Arsen, I feel like I've done something wrong.  But how can that be?  We’re just friends, right?

WRONG!!!!!!!  'Cheating Whore' exit straight ahead!

As she continues to live in denial, Cathy invites Ben to join her and Arsen for drinks after work.  When Ben walks in, Cathy and Arsen are holding hands.

All of a sudden, what felt like a harmless gesture between friends not a moment ago now seems immoral.  Improper.  Offensive.

Gee, ya think?  Arsen goes on to be a total ass to Ben, making him even more of a douche bag (which I didn't think was possible).  After meeting Ben and seeing him and Cathy together, Arsen goes off the deep end.  He has himself one helluva night that ends up with a front page headline of “Arsen Radcliff, a cokehead?”  Arsen gets fired and is removed from Cathy’s life. With Arsen gone, Cathy begins to come to her senses.

The realization hits me that since Arsen came around, I seem to have stopped paying attention to Ben.  I love this man.  So much.
Feeling my belly, I speak to the room and to our baby, “We are very lucky to have him, you know.”

Oh yeah, Cathy is pregnant.  Did I forget to mention that?

Anyway, she lasts ONE WEEK before she breaks down from “missing her friend” and texts Arsen.

And It’s downhill from there.

“What if I told you that I don’t care that you’re married?  I don’t mind sharing.  What if I told you that I’ll settle for fucking you once?  Just once where I’ll make you come so hard on my cock that you’ll forget that you’re married and beg me for more?
Baby, you may say no to me tonight and pretend that you’re above all this,” he grabs my hand, guiding it towards his dick as he makes me rub him over his jeans, “But you’ll beg me to let you suck my cock one of these days…”  - Arsen

I’m sorry but there is nothing hot or appealing about that.  Arsen is just a crude, nasty, walking penis.   And yet Cathy still craves him.  Surprisingly, Arsen pulls the plug on whatever it is going on between them before they actually consummate their affair, leaving Cathy devastated.

I have a loving husband, a beautiful home, financially stable…we even got our second chance at complete happiness with the small miracle growing inside me.  My life is good.  So why do I feel so hollow? 
Maybe it’s because in the short period of time that he was a part of my life, I discovered something that I didn't know existed;  something I didn't know I could have.  Something I may want? - Cathy

Heartbreak follows when Cathy and Ben lose this baby too.  Cathy is trapped in a downward spiral of grief and despair.  Poor Ben just gets shit on.

I hate when Ben reaches for me at night.  I want to throw up every time he makes love to me.  I've grown to hate looking at his beautiful face and everything that makes him so perfect.  I hate the fucking joke that our marriage has become.  And I hate myself because I seem to have lost all care for everything. - Cathy

It’s not long before she and Arsen reconnect and their affair begins.

I’m going to stop at the beginning of the affair because I think the true magic of the book happens from here on out.  I don’t want to spoil that for anyone.

For me, the absolute best part of the book was when one of Arsen’s friends puts Cathy in her place -

“… drop your innocent act and get the fuck out of here.  Go back to your husband who seems to be a really nice guy and don’t contact Arsen again.  He’ll get over you.  He always does.  Now, get lost, bitch.” - Sali

I couldn't have said it better myself.  

I love the flashbacks so we can see how Cathy and Ben meet and fall in love. I love that each main character has the chance to share his point of view.  I will admit it is nice to see inside Arsen’s head because it makes him a little less douchey than his actions would lead us to believe he is.

Love can destroy you.
Love can erase you.
Love can heal you.
Love can reinvent you.
And, if you are lucky enough,
Love can make you whole again.

I think the same can be said for Mia Asher’s writing.  When I finsihed the book, I sat there for a moment and then I thought, "WTF just happened?" I no longer hated Cathy which shocked the shit out of me.  I spent the better part of this book judging and disliking her and the spoiled, self-centered, asshole she has an affair with. The only thing that I disliked more than Cathy and Arsen was Cathy and Arsen together.  There was absolutely nothing about Arsen that endeared him to me.  He continually cheapened and degraded Cathy and for the life of me I can't understand how Cathy found comfort in him.

In the end though, Mia reinvented Cathy and made her whole again. 
The new Cathy was easy to like.
The new Cathy was easy to forgive.

Thank you Mia for creating a story I couldn't put down .... a story that made want to throw my kindle across the room and call it a day yet grabbed me and wouldn't let go until the bittersweet end.

A peek inside of the minds of your favorite housewives ;)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wethering The Storm by Samantha Towle


 Music journalist Tru Bennett has done the impossible: capture the heart of rock-star bad boy Jake Wethers. Now they’re busy planning a wedding and navigating their new life together in the US. Of course Tru misses London and her best friend, Simone, but living happily ever after with Jake in LA is going to be great…right?

Wrong. Even the bright California sun can’t whitewash the dark side of celebrity coupledom. Greedy music execs, merciless paparazzi, and Jake’s wild past are lurking around every corner. Making matters worse, Jake announces he doesn’t want kids, which just may be a deal breaker.

Tru loves Jake more than anything. But when a devastating crisis threatens to destroy everything they’ve fought for, the couple must face the hard truth: What if, this time, love is not enough?

Buy on Amazon! 

5 HOT sexy SMOOCHES!!!

Wethering The Storm is the second book in a series.  The first book is The Mighty Storm.  You should read The Mighty Storm first.  See our review here: 
The Mighty Storm Review 

Sooooo, I LOVED Wethering The Storm. Dare I say MORE than The Mighty Storm! It is not often that subsequent books live up to the first, so job well done Samantha Towle! I want to give this book a long and beautiful review, but I cannot figure out how to do that without spoiling the book. Here's what I can give you!

Tru and Jake are hilarious!

"You're incredibly hard to write about, you know."
"But incredibly easy to love."
"Well, yeah, but that's only because you have a big willy," I joke.
"Cock, baby. Call it a cock, or a dick. I'll even swing for snake. But not willy. Willy just sounds wrong on so many levels"

"I love you. Jake Wethers, you are the sweetest man I've ever known."
"I don't want to be sweet," I groan. "I want to be hard and hot."
"Oh, you're definitely those too."

"How exactly will Stuart know about obstetricians? He might be gay but he hasn't magicked up a vagina overnight that I know of."

Tom is still... well.. Tom!  He's a nut and so much fun!

"I hate to break up this reunion of beauties," comes Stuart's voice from behind me, "but I need a quickie with the hostess."
"Cock not your thing anymore?" Tom says, grinning.

"My dick has magical powers."
Maybe you should get 'Rub the Lamp' tattooed above your dick." Denny grins..."
Tom's face lights up.
I've seen that look before. The last time Tom looked like that, I ended up in bed with three strippers.
"I was kidding!" Denny raises a protesting hand.
"That's probably the best idea you've had since you suggested I get my tongue pierced... Right, I'm definitely on for this tattoo. Come on, we'll blow this place, find a tattoo joint..."

Jake is completely insanely in love with Trudy!

"You don't complete me, Tru. You make me who I am. You make me better. I'd be nothing without you. Nothing. I've been there once before and I'm never going back. I'm never losing you again."

"...You have me, like no one before. You have me where it counts." Taking my hand, he rests it over his T-shirt, over his heart. "You hold this in the palm of your hand. You are the only woman who has ever had it, and ever will. You own me Tru."

It is loaded with sex and the sex is deliciously HOT!

Did he just tear my panties off with his teeth?
Holy fucking hotness!

I can feel the denim of his jeans against my thighs. I love that he hasn't even waited to take them off. He wants me so badly that the longest he can wait is to get it out of his pants.

"I seriously need to get inside you after listening to you get all fiery, talking in angry Spanish like that."

And, what is a rock star book without beautiful lyrics?

"Take that chance with me,
I'll let you down, I know,
But I'll fix it too
because everything is you,
Everything is you."

That is all the temptation you get! What more do you need?  It's Jake freaking Wethers!   Wethering the Storm had me laughing, swooning, hot and bothered, and bawling like a baby!  I love these characters so much.  I am thrilled with where they end up!  

TomCat gets his book early in 2014 and I just can't wait to read it!

**Review by Heather

Friday, August 23, 2013

Emi Lost and Found Books 1-3 by Lori Otto

This is a special, one-volume collection of the Emi Lost & Found series books: Lost and Found, Time Stands Still and Never Look Back.

This collection also contains two bonus short stories, based on the series.

LOST AND FOUND (book one) - When artist Nate Wilson falls in love, he falls hard. The problem is, he’s only been in love once, and the girl of his affections is his best friend, Emi Hennigan. In high school, the two bonded over painful breakups, and swore off a relationship to save their friendship. Thirteen years later, Nate has had more than his share of emotionally-unfulfilling, sexual relationships with beautiful women to distract himself from his true romantic feelings.

When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes Nate away from his friend and his comfortable lifestyle, he is forced to reflect on the distinct void that Emi’s absence leaves in his life. To Nate’s surprise, Emi has a similar experience; but as the friends embark upon their journey toward happiness together, destiny reveals other plans for Emi.

TIME STANDS STILL (book two) - Depression threatens all the relationships in Emi Hennigan’s life after a near death experience leaves her injured and feeling alone in a world she barely recognizes. On a night that is supposed to signify a new beginning in her life, she loses everything she loves.

It’s on that very same night, though, that Emi has a chance meeting with a man from her past who has the power to bring her more happiness than she’s ever known. Jack Holland is on a mission to rescue Emi from the pain that’s been consuming her, but his patience is tested as Emi holds on to the memory of the only man she’s ever truly loved.

NEVER LOOK BACK (book three) - Jack Holland finally has everything a man could want. After a lengthy courtship that has required persistence and self-restraint, Emi Hennigan– the woman Jack has been fantasizing about since college– has fallen in love with him. Together, the couple sets out to create their own happily-ever-after.

It’s only when Emi delivers some unwelcome news that Jack begins to question everything about the woman he loves. It will take a considerable amount of understanding and sacrifice for Jack to accept the future Emi can offer him– a future he never imagined for himself.

Ten years after his first encounter with the woman of his dreams, Jack espies Emi across a hotel lobby and reflects upon the missed opportunity of the one night they had together in college. In an effort to redeem himself, he attempts to rekindle the flame that had been ignited between them. Just as the two share a moment that leaves them both breathless, Emi's reality catches up to her.

In the last moments of his life, a man cherishes all the moments he had with the woman he loves

Purchase the complete series on Amazon

Purchase the complete series on Barnes & Noble  


 Review by Heather

4.5 Soul-touching, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking AMAZING smooches!!

 ***NOTE*** This review is on all three books.  I tried not to include any major details in any of the reviews but if you do not want any spoilers then, read each review before that book!  If you read all three now, you may spoil some of it for yourself!
Book 1- Lost and Found

Emi and Nate have been best friends for thirteen years.  They have watched each other in and out of relationships and both secretly harbor feelings for the other.  Nate more-so than Emi.  Nate has loved Emi since the beginning and Emi only just discovering she may feel something more than friendship for her BFF.

This book was a damned train wreck that I could not turn my head away from.  My overall state was extreme frustration... think Kiera from Thoughtless and that is how I felt.  Nate is in and out of so many relationships and falls in love so easily.  He won't risk his friendship with Emi by pursuing a relationship with her.  She has set the standard for true love pretty high and he is scared that he can't live up to it.  So rather than do anything about it, he keeps himself occupied with the latest love of his life.

Emi is jealous...  She is hurt by Nate's dating.  When his girlfriends are not so accepting of her friendship with Nate, it causes a strain in their relationship.  What do they say?  Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

My first tears in this series were shed over the big showdown with Nate, Kiersten and Emi!  I won't elaborate but you will know when you reach it.  OMG this is where my emotional connection really started with this series.  I felt punched in the gut! 

Stubbornness and jealousy are tearing their friendship apart.  For all that Nate drove me bat-shit crazy, I managed to completely fall in love with him in the last 15-20%

 “one transcendent kiss
that later makes lovers take
soft breaths, holding hands”

Book 2- Time Stands Still

This is the masterpiece of this trilogy.  There are not enough stars, or in our case smooches, to rate this book.

It is really hard to express how affected I was by this book. I feel like I literally had my heart crushed over and over and over. I grieved. I cried more than I have ever cried reading a book. Don't get me wrong, lots of books have touched me and brought me to tears. This book was brutal... Most books will break your heart and quickly put it back together. This is not that book. Emi's reaction is SO real.. Her loss so great and her pain all consuming, gut-wrenching,... just heartbreaking.

 "...love ya, Em. Hold me."

HOLY SHIT! Grab the tissue and buckle up for a LOOOOONG cry.

The first few pages of Time Stands Still broke my heart... and by the end of the first chapter it was CRUSHED.  I felt like I was living my worst nightmare... truly experiencing it with Emi.

He had changed me for the better. He showed me love, like I never knew it... only to have it stolen from me way too soon. We didn't have enough time.

How do you pick up the pieces of your life, when you have lost your reason to live?

"Are you hurt?"
Where?" he asks, his hands lightly touching my shoulders.
"My heart," I exhale in a sob."

SOB SOB SOB SOB... I cried literally for HOURS.  Just when it seemed like things would settle down. WHAM! It is exactly how I imagine this type of loss would be. You don't get over it quickly.. its not something that will ever truly heal.

"...I know I'll never stop loving you. I can't imagine not missing you, every minute, every hour, every day. I don't know if it will get any easier. I hope it does... but I hope you know that if I cry fewer tears, that doesn't mean I love you any less..."

This book is beautifully written... I don't think anyone has ever captured grief so honestly. The pain and suffering, the anger and sadness, and the guilt of trying to move on. Emi suffers so much with what she "should" feel.

I don't remember being concerned at all for our baby. I don't know why. And I feel guilty.

"...there is no timeline for grief, no one-size-fits-all plan for healing. Everyone has different needs..."

Book 3- Never Look Back

I LOVE Jack and I REALLY did not want to.  I had an idea in book one where this series was going, even before the big accident in book two(which shocked me senseless).  Selene and I were reading at the same time and I remember messaging her and telling her that I was pissed off and knew exactly where this magical kiss was taking this story and that I would not accept Jack.  *Open mouth, insert big fat foot!*

In Never Look Back Jack and Emi have a lot of issues to work through.  One major bomb is dropped on Emi and I found myself wondering how much pain one heart could take.  But, where book two ripped my heart to shreds; Never Look Back slowly put the pieces back together.   Please don't give up on this series after book two.  I really feel like Never Look Back is needed to heal the hurt you will no doubt experience in Time Stands Still.

I have seriously NEVER been so emotionally connected to a story.  Fantastic series.. amazingly beautiful characters.. heart felt writing.. Just beautiful! 

Bully by Penelope Douglas

Bully (Fall Away, #1)
By Penelope Douglas


My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We're neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I'm back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I'm hoping that after a year of breathing room, he's moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn't changed, I have. I'm not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We're going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down.

Purchase on Amazon

Penelope Douglas on Facebook


4 lip-smacking smooches!

Tate and Jared were once best friends.  But then everything changed.  Jared left to spend one summer with his dad and something happened.  Something made him hate her.  And then it became his mission to humiliate and ruin her socially.  And so he did.

Tate lived in fear of Jared's next scheme.  But then everything changed.  Tate left to study abroad for her junior year and something happened when she returned.  Something made her want to fight back.  And then it became her mission to stand up for herself.  And so she did.

I really liked this book!   In fact, I am a little surprised that I liked it so much!  It deals with bullying, an unpleasant subject in itself, but it’s made worse by the fact that a boy is bullying a girl … and enlisting his best friend Madoc (another guy) to help him.  Thankfully, Tate leaves town for an entire year early on in the story so their cruelty isn’t drawn out.  When she returns, it’s GAME ON … Tate isn’t going down without a fight.  And fight she does. 

“Do you know what this is?” I took my middle finger and patted the corner of my eye with it. “It’s me, wiping away the last tear you’ll ever get.” - Tate

Tate quickly realizes there’s a fine line between love and hate and struggles with her growing attraction to Jared.  Being next door neighbors doesn't help.

Son of a bitch.  Why did it always take me a second or two to remember why I hated him?  His shiny brown hair was a mess.  I loved that.  His chocolate eyes glowed with confidence and mischief.  I loved that.  His toned arms and chest just made me wonder what his skin felt like.  I loved that.  He made me forget how awful he was.  I hated that. - Tate

She even finds herself turning the tables on Jared and becoming a bully herself.  Tate pulls out the big guns when Jared's late night parties get out of hand.  I found myself imaginarily  (yes I made up a word!) hi-fiving Tate after Operation Take Down Party #2!  Tate discovers quickly though, hurting Jared does not even the score so she decides to let him go.

No more.  I couldn’t do this anymore.  There was no life in feeling like this.  It was all a game to him, but I didn’t have the heart to play it anymore.  I’m not strong.  I’m not a bully.  I’m not happy.  I knew what I needed to do. - Tate

As Jared’s resolve weakens, he begins to open up to Tate, sharing what happened the summer that changed everything. 

"As much as I tried, I could never erase you from my heart.  That’s why I was such an asshole and kept guys away from you.  You were always mine." - Jared

And once Tate lets her guard down, she and Jared begin to rediscover the friendship and love they shared.

I tried to think, but I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to.  All the years that we’d been apart filled this one moment. - Tate

Will Tate and Jared get their happily ever after?  Once Jared relinquishes his bully status, someone else is ready to become the new bully and destroy Tate.  And this person does not mess around.

I love how Penelope created such deplorable characters that I ended up liking.  Changing my attitude towards Jared and Madoc was no small feat.   And bringing things full circle with Tate and Jared after everything he put her through and making it actually work …

Well done, Penelope.  Well.  Done.

Bully is part of a series but does not have a cliffhanger.  We’ll be sitting on the edge of our seats over here waiting for the release of Until You (Fall Away, #1.5), same story just in Jared’s POV, and Rival (Fall Away, #2), Madoc’s story!  And, hopefully, we'll get a little more of Tate and Jared in there somewhere! 

A housewife can dream ....

Reviewed by Selene

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Beneath the Burn by Pam Godwin

Beneath the Burn by Pam Godwin


They meet by chance. The timing is wrong.

Three years later, she finds him again, but their separation was poisoned with narcotics and bloodied by enslavement.

Her freedom gambled away, Charlee Grosky escapes the international businessman who held her captive. But his power reaches beyond her protective barriers and threatens everyone she has come to love.

Jay Mayard wears his tortured secrets under his rock god facade. Drugs are his release, even as he seeks to be the man forged of the steel only she can see.

In a celebrity world filled with paparazzi, groupies, and drugs, Jay and Charlee must face their worst fears. When the battle is over, what will be left...Beneath The Burn.

Genre: Romantic/Erotic Thriller

Content warning: Includes graphic rape, sex, anal, bondage, and violence. Age 18+ only.


"Dare to be vulnerable with me?

Holy hell this book rocked my world. 5 gut wrenching SMOOCHES!!!!

Charlee is on the run from billionaire Roy Oxford who has held her as his own personal sex slave since she was 16 years old. He has done unthinkable things to her. She changed her name and appearance and settled in St. Louis where she runs a tattoo shop.

Jay is haunted by a very tragic and disturbing past and carries the scars on his back as a reminder. He is very closed off and afraid to be touched. He won't open up to anyone. Jay is in a band called The Burn. After a show in St. Louis he happens upon Charlee's tattoo shop and decides to have her cover his scars.

"One of these days, Jay Mayard, you will wear those scars with pride."

They won't see each other for another 3 years but they have both never been far from the others thoughts.

The day after meeting Jay, Charlee is recaptured. Roy is just horrible.. it is really hard to read about the things he does to Charlee. This book is not for the weak. It is not an easy read.. Roy beats and rapes Charlee repeatedly.

"I control you, dominate you, and your eyes spark for more as your juices run down your legs. you fight me because you know I love it." ~Roy

Jay goes back for Charlee and she is gone.. He is heartbroken and she becomes his Muse. The Burn takes off with his new songs written about a girl he spent only an hour with.. a girl who changed his life forever.

"You weren't just a girl...
You were a vision. And with that vision I will endure...
I know something about pain. I have enough to liberate. I'm letting it go...
But I will never let you go...
You weren't just a girl. You were a vision. And with that vision, I choose to live."

After three years of captivity, Charlee is rescued and she and Jay find their way back to each other to face their ghosts together.

"... for two years and two months, I stared at the Golden Gate Bridge from Roy's penthouse window. I watched it weather the strongest storms, rise above the thickest fogs, and buttress countless commuters with unbending steel. I used to fantasize that one day, it might carry me to a place Roy couldn't touch me... When I look at you, I see that bridge."

Jay is a famous rock star and Charlee a girl on the run. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe even putting himself and his band in the line of fire.

She was his greatest possibility. His reason. His why. He would give whatever she needed to be whole and happy, because loving her was as essential as drawing air.

While he is fighting to keep her safe, she is fighting to breakdown his walls and heal his pain. Their relationship is beautiful in the midst of a lot of ugly.

"Will you walk to me? Will you move so close that the ground wobbles, the walls between us crumble, and your thoughts rip open until we're melding our fears and hopes as easily as we share air?"
"Just... just show me how."

OMG this book just has it ALL.. you will constantly be on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. It is tragic and sick.. it is filled with angst and a beautiful love. I swear this book ripped my heart into shreds more than once and I am still trying to put it back together.. it is also funny. While on the run with Jay's band, you get to know his band mates and body guards and they are hilarious and endearing.

A few laugh out loud moments for me:

"what the hell is a crumpet anyway?"
"A tasty little muffin."
"Does it have blonde hair and blue eyes?... I've changed my mind... I want a crumpet"


"Who needs groupies when I can listen to you two every night? Can you pass me a sock or something? I just spewed down my leg."~ Laz

***Review by Heather