Review: Loving Dallas by Caisey Quinn

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Title:  Loving Dallas

Series: Neon Dreams

Author: Caisey Quinn

Publication Date: June 16, 2015

Genre:  New Adult & College Romance

Pages:  320 pages

Rating:  5/5 stars

Synopsis:  In the second novel in bestselling author Caisey Quinn’s Neon Dreams series, a country rock band and its members embark on the rocky road to fame and find love along the way.

Every dream comes with a price…

Dallas

Sacrifice.

I’m familiar with it.

I’ve had to leave behind everyone I cared about—my sister, my best friend, my band, and my high school sweetheart—in order to chase my dream of making it in Nashville.

But when Robyn Breeland walks back into my life, it’s as if the universe has decided to give me a second chance.  I’m just not sure it’s one I’m willing to take.

Robyn

Heartbreak.

I practically majored in it.

Dallas Lark was the first boy I ever loved and the one who’d shattered my heart into pieces.  But I’ve moved on. Working in promotions at Midnight Bay Bourbon, I’m too busy to sit around moping over my ex. But when my company decides to sponsor his tour, I’ll have to face him whether I’m ready to or not. Dallas is determined to drive me to distraction, and my body begs me to let him.

Trouble is, my heart can’t tell the difference between a second chance and making the same mistake twice.

 Review:   I realize this novel has been out for several months, but it bears revisiting since the latest book in the series was released last week.

A little background about the Neon Dream series – the series is about the members of the band Leaving Amarillo.  The band is made up of Dallas, his sister, Dixie, and their best friend, Gavin.  They are a complicated group of people who come from difficult backgrounds and are family to each other.  Each book in the series focuses on one of the band members.  The first book, Leaving Amarillo, is about the three of them collectively, but mostly focuses on Dixie.  Book two is Dallas’s story and book three is Gavin’s.

Loving Dallas is an emotional story of second chance love.  Dallas and Robin were high school sweethearts.  They were everything to each other, until Robin broke it off without explanation.  Dallas kind of went off the rails a little after the break up, but he never forgot Robin, or stopped loving her.  In Loving Dallas, they are unexpectedly brought back together and their love is given a second chance.  Of course, with all great books, the path to happily-ever-after is paved with speed bumps.

I wasn’t a big fan of Dallas in book one.  Oh, you know it.  I kind of love Dallas now.  Poor, understood Dallas.  He really redeems himself and who knew he had such alpha tendencies in him.

Loving Dallas will make you swoon, laugh, cry and cheer.  This book had one of the best HEAs of the books I’ve read of late.

New Release – Emphatic by Kaylee Ryan

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Review:  New Release – Emphatic by Kaylee Ryan

 

Title:  Emphatic

Series: standalone

 

Author: Kaylee Ryan

Publisher: Self-published

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Format: EBook

Genre:  New Adult & College Romance

Pages:  259 pages

 

Rating:  5/5 stars

 

Synopsis:  There comes a point in your life where you have to say enough is enough. 

I wasted my college years on a guy who played with my head, played with my heart. I was blinded by the fairytale, the one that didn’t exist.

The day I gave up on the idea of happily ever after, my focus became me. Moving forward and establishing my career.

Until one day…

I didn’t expect him. My new boss, a six foot two, inked rock god. I believed I was working for the record label, I was wrong.

It’s impossible for me to keep my distance, believe me I’ve tried. He’s not who I expected him to be. He’s so much more he’s…Emphatic

18 and over audience

 

 

Review:   Kaylee Ryan knows how to write a sweet and sexy romance.  All of her books are great, but Emphatic is in my opinion the best she has written yet.

The rock star, Kacen, falls for the real girl, Logan.  This isn’t a new concept.  There are many books with this plot out there, but what sets this one apart is Kacen.  Kaylee Ryan excels at writing “real.”  Her characters feel like old friends and you find yourself rooting for the good guys and booing the bad guys.  Kacen may be a rock star but he is down-to-earth and lovable, while being sexy as heck.  He is not the typical alpha rock star and to me that is refreshing.

The romance starts with a hot and sexy encounter, but it’s not insta-love.  The attraction and feelings simmer between Logan and Kacen, but it’s not really a slow-burn kind of love.  However, their romance moves along at a good pace, enough to keep the reader involved but still wanting more until it all culminates in a satisfying happily ever after.

Kacen’s bandmates provide some pretty hilarious scenes and Logan’s best friend is a fun sidekick without too much presence.

As added extra—There is a tiny reference to some of the characters in Tempting Tatum (also written by Kaylee Ryan and a great book…so read it), which helps explain why Kacen is how he is.

This is a standalone with an HEA and recommended for 18+. 

Review: In the Dark (The Rules Book 2) by Monica Murphy – New Release

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Review:  In The Dark (The Rules Book 2) by Monica Murphy

 

Title:  In the Dark

Series: The Rule – Book 2

 

Author: Monica Murphy

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: August 25, 2015      

Format: EBook, Paperback

Genre:  New Adult & College Romance

Pages:  278 pages

 

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

 

Synopsis:  The girl next door isn’t what she seems…


Stuck spending the summer with his screwed up family, Gabriel Walker is bored out of his mind and looking for an adventure. And he seems to find it with the hot girl who lives next door. The attraction between them is instant. Electric. Soon they’re spending every stolen minute together. Talk about the perfect summer fling…

Lucy isn’t what she seems. She doesn’t live next door–she’s the girl who’s been hired to house sit. If Gabe wants to believe she’s a spoiled rich girl looking for some fun, she can go along with that. After the summer, she’ll never see him again.

They don’t count on running into each other at college. Now Lucy must keep up the pretense of being a rich girl–and it’s exhausting. She knows she’s falling in love with Gabe and she’s scared he feels the same. Will he still care about her when he discovers the truth?

 

 

Review:   I loved Fair Game, the first book in The Rules series.  Monica Murphy does it again with the second book, In the Dark.

The series is about three wealthy college guys who are out to have the time of their lives before they face the real world.  They are living life and having fun until they start finding love.  The series if fun and sweet and each book focuses on a different guy.  This first book was about Shep.  This second book is all about Gabe.

Oh, Gabe, you funny, sarcastic, manwhore of a guy.  Gabe is not at all ashamed of his way of life.  Then he meets Lucy and you slowly see him evolve in to a kind, considerate and loving man.  Lucy is a sweet, sassy, insecure girl with a terrible body image problem.  They meet over the summer and become involved each one changing the other for the better.  They fall deeper into each other, but then summer ends and they part ways assuming they will never see each other again.  Surprise!  They end up at the same college!  I won’t tell you anymore of the plot, because while I liked the first half of the book, I loved the second half.  The second half is where things really get going and you really connect with the characters and what they are experiencing.  The book moves along pretty quickly after that (but not too fast that the reader feels rushed) and it’s a race to a sweet happily-ever-after.

One thing Monica Murphy does so well is angst.  Not campy, obnoxious angst, but believable, I’m feeling this along with the characters angst.  In the Dark has everything a romance reader would want—fun romance, sweet interactions, sexy times and of course, the all-important happily-ever-after.

Book Three in the series, Slow Play, which is Tristan’s story, is releasing November 10, 2015.  I can’t wait!

Review: When You’re Back: A Rosemary Beach Novel by Abbi Glines

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Title:  When You’re Back:  A Rosemary Beach Novel

Series:  Rosemary Beach Series Book 12

 

Author: Abbi Glines

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Format: Ebook, Paperback

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

Pages:  272 pages

 

Rating:  4/5 pages

 

Synopsis:  From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in her beloved Rosemary Beach series, which continues the story of Mase and Reese from When I’m Gone.

She was where my home would always be. It was time I took the next step and proved to her I was all in. Forever.

A chance meeting in Rosemary Beach has turned into a fairy-tale romance as Reese prepares to move in with Mase on his family ranch in Texas. With the loving support of the Colts, and her recent discovery that she has family of her own, Reese can finally move on from the dark horrors of her past and into a bright future.

But Aida isn’t going to let that happen. The beautiful blonde has been raised to think of Mase as her cousin, but it’s clear to Reese that Aida doesn’t love Mase like a cousin should.

And then there’s Captain, the inescapable stranger who has connections in Dallas and Rosemary Beach—and who conveniently shows up wherever Reese happens to be. Hot, mysterious, and plain-speaking, Captain isn’t afraid to tell Reese what he thinks about Mase—and how he feels about her.

As the competition for Mase and Reese’s hearts heats up, Reese’s past begins to unravel, illuminating shocking truths that will forever change the lives of the happy couple—and set the final stories of Rosemary Beach in motion.

 

 

Review:   I need to start out by telling you that I have mad love for Abbi Glines and all her books.  The Rosemary Beach series is by far my favorite.  The characters are engaging and funny and lovable.  Unfortunately, this was not one of my favorites in the series.  I like Mace and Reese.  I really do.  However, I didn’t feel the love in the second book.  Let me clarify…I felt the love, but I didn’t love what I felt.  I was actually rooting for Reese and Captain at one point.

The book does have a little of everything that makes a good contemporary romance – relationships, angst, heartbreak and even a little mystery.  Except I had a hard time getting over how dependent Reese is on Mace.  I suppose that’s due to my feminist side, so not everyone will feel that way.

On a final note, I think Captain deserves his own book, Abbi…  J

This is the 2nd in a mini-series but does have a HEA.

Review: Written On My Heart by Cole Gibsen

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Title: Written On My Heart

Series: standalone

 

Author: Cole Gibsen

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Format: Ebook

Genre:  New Adult, Romance

 

Rating:  5/5 stars

 

Synopsis: It’s been six months since Ashlyn Daniels was kicked out of her home. Six months since she stood up to her abusive stepfather and got a busted rib—and seeing all her things set ablaze in a backyard bonfire—for her trouble. Never going back. She doesn’t need trouble…especially if trouble is tattoo artist Lane Garrett, who’s six-feet-plus of tattooed hotness and a complete ass.

Lane has spent the last decade fighting to support his family. To protect them. There’s no room for romance, even with a fragile (yet amusingly feisty) stunner…even if she somehow manages to invade his world and his heart.

But while some secrets are as visible as ink on the skin, others must remain hidden at all costs…

 

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review:  

I loved this book. It was sweet and steamy. There was love and heartbreak and secrets. The characters were likable, including the secondary characters (which I think is rare). Ashlyn is feisty but damaged from a really bad home life. Lane is silent and brooding. There is no insta-love between these two. The romance is a slow burn that builds up to a sexy, steamy hook up. The conflict between the characters was real and exciting.

 

If you like slow-burning new adult romances then this book is for you.

 

 

This is a stand-alone with a HEA; although, I really wish this could be a series because Lane’s sister deserves her own novel ASAP!

 

 

Where to Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble