CRUSHED

CRUSHED                                                      LAUREN LAYNE
Posted:  June 21, 2015

Crushed by Lauren LayneGrowing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half brother, Devon.

Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?
MY REVIEW:
     A modern day ugly duckling with so many twists and turns.  You will find sister jealousy, betrayal by those who should love you the most, love triangles, secrets at every turn, and so much more.
     This begins with wealthy Michael St. Claire (24) finding out that he is not the son of the man that raised him.  What makes it worse is he finds it out after coming home from Maine feels defeated and unloved.  You see he had thought he was finally getting the girl of his dreams, Olivia.
     You see Olivia, Ethan, and Michael had been the golden children of the upper east side of New York.  They went way back.  Ethan was like a brother to him.  When he and Olivia got together he was crazy enough to fall in love with is best friends girl.  For he was secretly in love with her too.  This went on for years.  Then there was a falling out to be revealed by you reading it.  Hahaha!
     So, when he comes home his are in an argument and he overhears the long kept secret that he questions his parents on.  He finds out the sad fact from his parents that his mother that she had an affair and he was the product of that affair.  She tells him that his father his from Texas and his name is Tim Patterson.  From there he does a search and leaves with a duffle bag and goes to confront him.  He chickens out and decides on a new plan when he finds out he has a son who is 22 years old.  He finds a job at several business that he can run into his brother Devon, the gym as a personal trainer, the Cedar Grove Country Club as a pro tennis, and at the local bar as a bartender. 
     He figures out his brother Devon and his girlfriend, Kristen Bellamy (who is a knock-out.)  Guess what she takes at the country club?  You got it tennis lessons from him.  He figures out soon that she is royal tease unlike all the lonely housewives he started servicing during their lessons.  When one day during their lesson an outspoken, curvy, lush wild haired, and mouthy girl sits eating candy to watch and taunt Kristen.  He strikes gold after a few weeks when Devon comes home from college when he graduates.  Seeking out his girlfriend Kristen whom Michael teach at the country club he comes there to surprise her.
     As Kristen runs over to him Michael notices her sister, Chloe, pulls into herself and yet can’t take her eyes off of Devon.  Michael starts to devise a plan.  A way to get Chloe to be his muse as well as a patsy to get to Devon.  Like he was working on Kristen.  When Devon notices Chloe he comes over pulls her up into a bear hug.  She congratulates him on his graduation.  He tells her she looks great but she puts herself down, Michael noticed, since she met them with humor before anyone else can put her down. Devon tells her it’s not true and she’s perfect as who she is.  Chloe’s like in her head thinking, “Right that’s why you were my friend first but your dating my skinny sister.” 
     When introductions were over and the happy couple leaves Chloe takes off to the club house to find air conditioning and her favorite nook to read.  When Michael comes up behind her and tells her she needs to move on.  That Devon is not going to one day wake up see her for the amazing person she is.  She basically tells him thanks Mr. Grouch!  He tells her if she wants a chance though he could help.  You see he’s a personal trainer.  At that moment her eyes showed an instant of pain before she can back away, with a witty response.  He tells her not for weight loss but for conditioning and better health.  No scales, no junk food involved.
     The next thing you know “Beefcake” as Chloe calls him is at the gym making his life a living hell.  He puts up with is because she’s his in.  She knows he’s up to something but can’t figure it out.  She knows he’s not doing it out of the goodness of his heart.  But as the story progresses the ugly duckling gets noticed and yet empowered but not the way she wanted.  What she wants is the one that saw her before she became a swan.
     What a fast pace deep at times moody read.  One you could see unfold before your eyes.  The characters are real and Chloe is beyond funny and beyond heart wrenchingly truthful in her depiction of what most Big Beautiful Women experience.  Everyone always thinks they have a right to tell you how you should be and look.  Words hurt and Chloe shows that in this story.  The ones that loved her hurt her the most it seemed.  Yet, she kept going smiling through the pain.  She remained positive when others vainer would have crumbled.  I give this 5++++ stars.  Provided by Netgalley.
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RESCUING AN ANGEL

RESCUING AN ANGEL                               ANN JACOBS
Posted:  June 21, 2015

Rescuing an Angel by Ann JacobsOne fateful misstep for Gayla Levine was all it took for her once-adoring fiancé to walk away and her demanding father to disown her. Determined to finally turn her life around and embrace her newfound independence, she wants nothing to do with men or relationships—until she meets Dan Newman, a sexy surgeon who sends a shock of electricity through her every time they touch. 

Dan Newman has spent his life struggling to overcome his own crippling past by devoting himself to healing others who have suffered. Now a world-class surgeon, he’s confident in his ability to face anything life throws at him—until he meets a headstrong Texas beauty who has his pulse racing and fills his dreams with impossibly sensual visions. 

As they fall into a passionate romance that takes them both to the burning edges of pleasure, these two damaged souls must both confront their darkest demons. Because Gayla is haunted by the echoes of being called a failure and torn by the fear that she’ll be rejected once again, and Dan, who has proved his worth to so many others, now must convince himself and Gayla that they deserve the powerful love they’ve found. 

MY REVIEW:
     Everyone has a past they feel they need to hide from, run from or clean up.  And although Gayla Levine has been doing everything in her power to do all three at some point she is not being cut any slack.  Life just seems to kick her in the stomach.  Hers comes in the hatefulness of her father Dr. Eli Levine, the chief of surgery.
     Five years ago she did not make the Olympics, so her father and her fiancé disowned her.  Her father only accepts perfection.  On top of it all she ended up in the hospital where she miscarried, her wedding that was less than two weeks away was off and she learned she wasn’t good enough and he gave his loyalties to her ex-fiancé and his fair-haired resident.  Neither wanted a loser.
     To help erase the memories and no family to stand by her she turned to drugs and alcohol.  She made the slow hard climb back only to find her father blamed her for the heart attack she suffered as she was under so much stress.  Now though she is clean and sober four years.  She is coaching kids in swimming at one of the country clubs.
     To try and get them talking her mom has a package delivered to her place.  She knows that Gayla has been taught not to delay in giving him mail or anything else.  In turning a corner in the hospital she runs and I mean runs right into Dr. Dan Newman.  He offers to be her personal guide for one knocking her over and two she doesn’t know where her father’s office is.  Which he finds odd.  He asks her out to dinner.
     She doesn’t say no she challenges him to a winner takes all event.  She tells him to meet her at the country club.  He says oh golfing she says no swimming.  He thinks she’s being an ass like her dad when he realizes she doesn’t know or even notice his disability.  So, he says okay.  He can’t sleep even though he is dead tired after working and the gym.  Just the thought of her knowing about his disability makes him nervous but he really liked her sass and she stirred his sexuality.  That hasn’t happened in a long time.
     When he arrives they are both excited.  When it’s time to get in the pool he removes his leg at least from his knee down.  She was surprised but not at all put off and he liked that.  She liked that he was only a few arm lengths behind her in the swim race.
    From that moment on their instant attraction and sexual charge grew large and fast.  They were alike when most couples shouldn’t have been.  Track this relationship and the many new friendships that allows Gayla to find her own self-worth and the love of a good man.  I give this 4 stars.  Provided by Netgalley. 
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BLIND LOVE

BLIND LOVE                                                   KISHAN PAUL
Posted:  6/21/15

Blind Love by Kishan PaulShe doesn’t need a hero. But a sexy Marine…that’ll work.

Though Lauren Baxter’s world is a blurry mess of colors, she has no tolerance for pity. With the help of her guide dog, Jack Sparrow, she’s built a good life for herself. She has everything she wants: her PhD, a thriving counseling practice and her independence.

When she meets her new neighbor, the man’s warm Texas accent and clean male scent weaken her knees. Her attraction to the former Marine is mutual and, unfortunately, a complication she doesn’t need.

Gabriel Briggs carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has his reasons for indulging only in short-term flings, but the feisty, green-eyed Lauren makes him want to forget every one.

In a rare moment of fragility, Lauren winds up in Gabe’s arms. One night together can’t break their self-imposed rules, right? But when a woman from Gabe’s past is murdered, the reasons he should have stayed away become painfully clear, threatening innocent lives he may not be able to save—especially Lauren’s.

Warning: Contains a blind therapist who doesn’t consider herself impaired; a meddling, erotic-novel-writing best friend; a hot ex-Marine with a shady past; and a loyal guide dog that howls “I love you” and is probably the sanest one of the bunch.

MY REVIEW:
     Wow, where to begin?  Well, I guess that would be with a couple who met in high school their senior year and fell in love.  Right after high school they elope against her parents’ wishes.  You see Lauren Baxter who the married Ben Dawson was treated like an incapable child due to her blindness.
     Once she married Ben she was happy just being his wife.  Finding what new things she could boundaries she could cross.   Thanks to his encouragement and support as well as her BFF, Sunny, she went to college. 
     Oh I don’t know after five years maybe her husband was so very faithful and supportive.  He was on Denver PD and all was good so she thought.  Yeah, that’s right he blew.  Her fairytale he blew it right out of the water.  Along with her self-esteem and her trust in him forever.  Some things you can never get back.  Even with him getting on his hands and knees ask for forgiveness and professing that he was still truly madly in love with her.  She said no that their marriage was over.  She said no and he just said okay, that he should do the right thing since, Hailey the mistress also a cop, was pregnant with his daughter.  The thing is she may have taken him back had he fought for her but he just didn’t.  That day at court she signed the paperwork and never looked back. 
     Now five years later she moved from where they used to live and he moved to Colorado since the P.D. had an opening.  There in Denver though Lauren found a nice condo that just shared a backyard.  Well, the elderly lady that lived there when she moved in moved.  Then a man bought it so he could flip it.  Gabe Briggs an ex-Marine has been there working on the house and planned on having it ready to rent by the end of the week so the renters could move in by the beginning of the semester.  It hadn’t been so bad but on a work day while she was on with a client she couldn’t hear because he was demolishing something within the house that went on all during one of her calls to a patient.  She needed to talk to him she had a full day of calls since she work from her home.
     When she finally gets there his voice is sexy as hell.  Being that she has blindness didn’t start until she was 15.  She had references to people, places, and things.  She was like “Wow 6’1” cowboy shirt, no shirt.”  Then when he starts talking and flirting it was almost a lost cause when she finally squealed out why she was there.  He asked for her number to be able to call each day to check out her schedule because he had one to meet to which means working late in the evening.  Then she couldn’t tell if she got played.
     He asked her to dinner says she can’t because her boyfriend Jack is away on business and would not like that.  So, she wouldn’t want to do that to him.  He comes to find out later that her Seeing Eye dog is named Jack Sparrow.  But she goes out to the park for a jog and he tags along and the dog goes crazy in a good way.  She asked who is around he says Officer B. Dawson and he tells her where and the dog leads her.  This is the first meeting since the divorce.  She is shook up.  So Gabe invites himself over that night so they could have Chinese food and talk.  No sooner do they have their first sleep over when he gets a call saying he has to leave to go back to Houston, Texas for an emergency.
      Then her ex-husband with two detectives come over to ask if Gabe had stayed the night on Chinese night?  She says yes, why?  They say because she is his alibi since they found his wife murdered on the side of the road.  Now the ex-husband wants to be all protective, husbandly, and wants her back.  Not!
     From this point on it starts really moving I didn’t even tell you all that happens to this point that all relates to this couple Lauren and Gabe.  This is one book that keeps you on your toes and totally intrigued.  The characters are intense at times but fun and real.  Totally enjoyed this book.  I give this 5 ++++ stars.  Provided by Net Galley.
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