WHEN WE FALL #2

WHEN WE FALL #2                                        MARQUITA VALENTINE

When We Fall (Take the Fall, #2)The last time Piper Ross saw her best friend’s sexy older brother, Jase Simmons, he was being taken away in handcuffs. Seven years later, two things haven’t changed: Piper is still head-over-heels in love with him . . . and Forrestville’s chief of police—Piper’s dad—still hates his guts. So when Piper sees a chance to get close to Jase, she makes her move—literally. As his new roommate, and as the office manager of his tattoo shop, Piper won’t be satisfied until Jase knows that she wants to be his.

The quintessential good girl, Piper is pure temptation for Jase. The only reason he’s always kept his distance is because she’s the last person he’d ever want to hurt. But once he realizes that Piper is ready to take the leap, everything just makes sense. Suddenly Jase feels like a new man—until nasty rumors start swirling and Piper’s heartless father stirs up even more trouble. Now Jase must convince Piper that she wasn’t wrong about him . . . because falling in love never felt so right.
 
MY REVIEW:
     Just because someone comes from a down and out side of the street does not make them bad.  Those around them with or within their own homes teach them how to act that way.  If no one within your home was able to set a well-balanced set of guidelines for you to follow when what chance do you have of not acting out?  I will give you that there are those that are born with a sense of entitlement and that comes from both sides of the tracks and that no matter what can get anyone in trouble.
     Such is the case of Jase Simmons no he never felt entitlement that’s for sure but he never had guidance.  Jase’s mom had started hanging with the wrong crowd and overdosed rather than care for his sister, Rowan and him.  His father bailed with it just got to hard but he did leave him the family home with money in the bank for the upkeep of the house for repairs since the house was paid off and the land.
     Jase was already seventeen living in the fast lane.  Partying, drinking, and sleeping around with daughters and their mothers sometimes.  Yet, through all that he took care of his baby sister Rowan two years younger than himself, 14. 
     When he was a senior and Rowan a freshman she introduces him to her best friend Piper Ross.  Piper did not come from their side of the tracks.  She came from the OAKS.  Her dad is the Chief of Police and her mom holds the purse strings from family money, old money.  They both hated that she was good friends with Rowan until she got her mom and her group to get her as their charity project to get her auto shop up and running.  Her dad on the other hand hated Jase for he had landed in juvie.
     On that first day of high school when 14 year old Piper meets Jase, Rowan’s brother, she falls madly and truly in love.  She knew he would never feel the same way about his little sister’s best friend.  Especially, when she was overweight, shy, had a slight stutter, wore glasses, and a bad case of asthma.  Even with all that Jase never pretended not to see her like her dad.  He never ever said mean things to her like other boys and the way her mom did.  Jase actually took time to ask how she was doing and gave her a pet name, Kitten.  Making her feel special for the first time.
     At the time Jase remembers her look at 14, huge eyes, behind thick glasses on a small face.  That she used to stutter and how she shrunk into herself when she spoke, or in a crowd, as if part of the background.  No matter how hard she tried Jase always noticed her, since the first day they met.  She was short, plump girl, shiny dark hair, with eyes darting around nervously behind those thick glasses.  In a dull green dress.  She’s all soft and scared and he felt pity for her you see high school is not for the soft and scared.  She reminded him of a kitten.  He would need to protect her.  He knew he wanted to get to know her.  But the bell rings.  But they flirted a little and she makes a remark and he says, “The kitten’s claws come out.” 
     Jase sees how sweet and kind she is and that draw him in making him feel manly.  A real type manly.  Piper is the same age as Rowan though, 14, no matter how bad he can be, there’s no way he would ever mess around with a kid.  Not even a kid with a body of a woman and looks at him like he could do no wrong.  He knows that girls like Piper are too good for a guy like him.
     Two years later Jase was sent to prison for seven years.  Rowan and Piper clung to each other as life lines you see Seth Rowan’s true love went to jail too but served 7 years in the military in his own private hell as Jase put it.  See how and why this all happened and what Piper does when he comes out.
     I really liked this story overall but…I just kept getting lost in some missing facts like I missed out in reading the story before if there was one???  One, why was Seth arrested but served in the military? Was it for the same crime as Jase?  Two, who was this guy that got almost got killed and his connection to them?
Aside from that the romance between Jase and Piper was great.  They love each other through each of what they thought were their roughest times of their lives.  Making each other whole.
I give this 4 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.

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THE BILLIONAIRE SECRET #4

THE BILLIONAIRE'S SECRET #4                  KATHLEEN O'BRIEN

The Billionaire's Secret by Kathleen O'BrienHigh School art teacher Sophie Smith is usually the most honest of women. But when her dearest friend and mentor asks her to be her stand-in on a two-week vacation at an Amalfi Coast luxury resort, she won’t let her down… even if it means posing as a rich, pampered socialite. 

As it turns out, Sophie could get used to this, especially handsome, enigmatic gardener Declan Muldoon who’s strangely more thrilling than any of the billionaires buzzing around. She ends up falling for him—hard.

Then Sophie discovers she’s not the only one pretending. Declan’s gardener gig is temporary. He’s actually the black sheep of a very wealthy, powerful family, a man who appears to be in need of an heiress.

An heiress exactly like Sophie is pretending to be…

Amalfi Night Billionaires Series
Book 1: The Billionaire's Temptation by Katherine Garbera
Book 2: The Billionaire's Deception by Mimi Wells
Book 3: The Billionaire's Betrayal by Nancy Robards Thompson
Book 4: The Billionaire's Secret by Kathleen O'Brien
Book 5: The Billionaire's Charade by Eve Gaddy
 
MY REVIEW:
     Sophia Smith was on a trip of a lifetime.  All made possible by her 68 year old mentor and friend Millie.  You see Millie never married or had children.  She was however a sculptor as career that never really made it but she saved for this trip of luxury.  Millie this women from Boston planned a two week stay at the elegant Hotel dei Fiori the pride of Isola del Sole, a Jewel of an Island new the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  Basically Millie wanted to play the part of being a rich bitch.
     Unfortunately, the cancer she had from last year came back which meant another round of chemo.  So, Millie recruited Sophie to take her place and play the part.  Upon arrival on the first day she meets the landscape architect for the Fiori Declan Muldoon.  Whom she seems to feel an instant connection too.  Yet, the first two days this gold-digger Gin Blakely ex-commercial jock occupies her time.
     Declan didn’t know why it was affecting him so.  It’s not like he has time to really visit or date her with getting the hotel grounds ready for Rocco’s wedding.  Not only that he was just lucky to get away from his ex-fiancée just about a month ago as well as his family.  There was just something about Sophia that intrigued him but he knows she was lying about some factor of her life but what?
     Sophia so wanted to tell Declan what and why she was there.  In fact she had slipped up a few times and she was sure he noticed and in fact he had.  Being all the deceit he was just coming off of from his own family and ex-fiancée he didn’t want to get romantically involved.
     Sophia had come for her dear friend also to heal her wounded heart from the humiliating break up with her fiancée who cheated on her.  He wanted her to think about taking him back which was not going to happen again.   Like Declan she could feel this invisible pull toward one another.  So, when he kissed her that night on the balcony she was a goner.  If truth be told so was he.
     Can the relationship go anywhere with both of them holding back some very important parts of their lives?  Or will their bodies fall victim to their sexual needs to be loved and held by someone?
     I totally enjoyed that Sophia was doing this for her friend Millie.  That she was sharing in such detail from smells to textures.  In a lot of stories this would have drove me crazy but in this context it was so endearing to the characters.  Very well done.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.

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WELCOME TO FOREVER

WELCOME TO FOREVER                           ANNIE RAINS

Welcome to Forever by Annie RainsIn Seaside, North Carolina, there are two kinds of people: Marines, and kids of Marines. Then there’s Kat Chandler. Recently hired as the principal of Seaside Elementary, Kat makes it her mission to turn the school into a place of peace and calm. That’s not going to be easy with hard-liner parents like Micah Peterson storming in, telling her how to do her job—and then kissing her with those gorgeous lips of his and turning her brain into mush.

As a Marine Sergeant and a single dad, Micah Peterson has just two priorities: doing his job better than anyone else, and getting the absolute best for his son, Ben. But when he meets Ben’s beautiful new principal, a different yearning shifts into focus. He wants her, sure, but he’s also moved by the connection Kat forges with her students. So after learning that she refuses to date Marines, Micah sets two more objectives: convincing Kat to give him a chance . . . and then holding on to her forever.
MY REVIEW:
     Workaholic Kat Chandler principal of Seaside Elementary in Seaside, North Carolina loved her job.  Really she put in the 50+ hours to avoid being at home alone with her thoughts of what she had lost two years ago now.  You see her fiancée went missing in action and then his mother called to say they had found his body.  To this day she still doesn’t sleep in the master bedroom because she was in their bed when she got the news.  She just can’t.  She still wears her engagement ring, she just now started to get rid of his clothes, and forget counseling not happening.
     Her best friend as well as others have been trying to get her to date, to no avail.  On the first day back to school after summer she gets there early like 6 a.m. to check out things since there have been vandals all summer tagging the school when she is greeted by the man who just appears as she nears the office.  Turns out he’s the new grounds keeper.
     Little does she know at the time there is more to Micah Peterson.  Not only is he the grounds keeper with a pantie melting smile and a great ass.  Nope after the bell rings and he shows up in her office after going home, to get his son Ben ready for school, where he showers, and changes clothes, and wears no hat.  So she has no clue it’s him.  He tries to handle a situation that happens while Ben was on his way to class.  You see Ben has Cerebral Palsy so he doesn’t want him singled out or made to fill different.  When his voice is raised then cooled the both see things more clearly when she is given time to explain.  She sees it for what it is a concerned dad.
     She hasn’t dated since John nor does she want to especially NO MARINES.  He comes as a package deal whoever loves him has to love and accept Ben.  Can this work for them or will their hard and fast rules make them lonely in the end or will it free them up to more?  Or is it their fear holding them both in check with invisible chains.
     I absolutely loved this story.  It was such an endearing story of a father who found himself in a relationship with a woman he thought could be forever. They however were both Marines and when they found themselves pregnant he was the only one happy.  He believed his son Ben, who was born with Cerebral Palsy was a blessing.  The only mistake he made was falling in love and then marrying his mother.  When he found out she was pregnant.  For she was just like Micah’s father a gung-ho life all about Marines. 
     Right off the bat you will fall in love with Ben.  This shows the relationship between two fathers and sons. From the same family.  How choices make a difference in our children’s lives.  We see how deployment can shatter the lives of those that are left behind either through death or pressures of the unknown by leaving scars the ones we cannot see.  Have tissues handy there are moments but well worth it.  I give this 5++++ stars.
Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at:

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STARTING OVER

STARTING OVER                                            BARBIE BOHRMAN

Starting Over by Barbie BohrmanSingle mom Vanessa Holt has a daughter she loves, a supportive family, and her art. Having given up on finding true love—if that even exists, which she doubts—she’s content to put romance on the back burner. But not everyone agrees. Those nearest and dearest are ready to see Vanessa let down her long blonde hair and have some fun.

To put their grumbling to rest, Vanessa agrees to go on a date with the next man who asks. Luckily for her, that man is Cameron Thomas, her daughter’s extremely handsome science teacher. She’d felt a spark of chemistry the first time she’d laid eyes on him. Now she’s ready to lay a whole lot more on the sexy bachelor.

But just as things get hot, they also get heavy. When the man who broke Vanessa’s heart reappears, her old doubts and fears about love rush to the surface. Will her fresh start with Cameron be over before it’s barely begun?
MY REVIEW:
     How do you start over when you have been out of circulation too long?  At least that is the way Vanessa Holt, 30 something, was feeling.  She has been a single mom since the day her daughter was born and she used an art scholarship she received to go to college, she lived on tips from waitressing and from selling art pieces to make ends meet.  Until her father offered her an office job part time so she could raise her now 12 year old daughter, Josie.
     Working at Holt Construction and having her family were a gift and she knew it.  She took the job so she could work, devote herself to her most important job being Josie’s mom and being able to do her beloved art on the weekends to keep her sane.  Now her daughter was in a new phase of her life and was spending more time with friends.
     For years her parents had been nagging her about getting together with her friends or dating.  She always got so angry with them inside because she couldn’t admit she lost her friends within months, a year tops of having her daughter Josie.  They had nothing in common as for dating she didn’t want to parade new men around Josie giving her the wrong message.  Plus by the time she got up at 5 a.m. ran 2 miles, got Josie up, and to school, herself to work, picked up Josie from school which could be later if she had and event, then home to cook dinner, and then finally bed. She was exhausted! 
     For the first time since Josie had been born she had actually shown not only visual interest but sexual interest in a man.  Yet, he had to be totally off limits, hands off!!!  Why because if Josie found out she would die.  Because the man is Cameron Thomas.  Better known as Mr. Thomas, Josie’s Science teacher.  At back to school night she noticed she was not the only mom to show an active interest in him.  In fact one was very obvious and boy were the open whispers flying about her.  Vanessa wanted no part of that.  So she exited as soon as it was over.
     That night she makes the mistake of asking her sister-in-law if she thought Harrison Ford was cute in Indiana Jones.  Making Alex’s wife, Julia, grill her if she had a guy in mind or a boyfriend.  She promised to tell her if she did.  But then a time later is where her dad brought it up about him and her mom think she should start dating.  So, when at the art fair Mr. Thomas bought her mother’s painting from Josie, and was flirting with her mom and she didn’t get it she confronted her mom.
     Josie wanted to know if her mom was happy.  Because she thinks Vanessa is using her as an excuse to not date.  Her mom tells her she’s really happy.  Josie asks her to promise her one thing, “If someone asked you out, would you say yes?”  Vanessa says she doesn’t know if she can answer but then she sees the disappointment on Josie.  She says to herself well new beginning just like I thought about.  Just like Josie is starting a new phase I am too.  So excitedly she says okay.
     Just when she thinks she could open her heart and her mind to dating and find a man in her life maybe even Cameron.  A letter arrives at her office that could change her and Josie’s lives forever.  Sending Vanessa into a tailspin until her brother Alex helps her walk through it devising a plan.
     Can Vanessa detach enough from Josie to find a new life for herself that will include Josie not hold her hostage?  Can this letter cause a rift between Josie and Vanessa?  Can Vanessa ever get a life and stop using Josie as an excuse?
     What an amazingly sweet story of a mother and daughter learning to find their way as Vanessa’s daughter Josie becomes a tweenie.  With the love of her parents but especially her younger brother Alex who took up the role of father for Josie.  You see Josie’s sperm donor ran out on her and her mom 3 months into her pregnancy.  So watch how they learn to maneuver the newness of pre-empty nest-syndrome and pre-teen emotions.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.

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FALLING HARD

FALLING HARD                                            TINA WAINSCOTT

Falling Hard by Tina WainscottThere’s no one Pax Sullivan wants to run into less than Gemma Thornton. Back in high school, she revved his heart more than street racing. But she picked his clean-cut brother over him—only to accuse Blake of an unforgivable crime. Eventually the charges were dropped and Gemma left town, but the hard feelings lingered . . . along with Pax’s gnawing “what-ifs.” Seven years later, just as he quits the police force to open a racetrack, Gemma’s back—and their chemistry is more combustible than ever.

If it were up to her, Gemma would never lay eyes on another Sullivan. She hates them, and they hate her—even Pax, who just so happens to be fixing up her father’s B&B. But the more time she spends with the lean, hard-bodied ex-cop at the inn and on the track, the more Gemma sees that Pax is nothing like his brother. Despite their anguished history, she’s tempted to take their relationship into high gear . . . if she can face the past and risk her heart.
 

MY REVIEW:
     At the age of 17 Gemma Thornton was sent to live with her dad who owned a B & B in Chambliss, Florida.  Her mom had sent her from their home in New York where she was a part of the Misfit Posse.  She used to sneak into nightclubs, get into cars with men she didn’t know and with smoking pot and drinking.  This was her second chance to make good or her parents were shipping her off to boarding school.
     Like her dad she liked to watch racing but drag racing on public streets in Chambliss and I am pretty sure in any town is illegal. So he wouldn’t approve of her going with her new bestie to go watch.  It didn’t even scare her off that she could get in trouble with the law not just her dad.  That night she saw this guy leaning over the hood of the car checking the engine.  He wasn’t wearing a shirt and boy did he catch her attention.  She walked over to admire his car when he turns and notices her coming his way and gives her this jaw dropping smile that heated all of her girlie parts.  When she gets to the car she finds out his name is Paxton (Pax) Sullivan 16, and he is one of the drivers for the night.  He lets her sit in his car and just when it looks like they might kiss he gets called to race his car.
     When Gemma returns to her friend Emily she warns her of all the reasons to stay away from Pax.  One, she’s a senior and he’s only a junior.  Two, he’s a born troublemaker.  Three, he stole his father’s cop car.  Later Emily introduces her to Blake and the rest of the cool kids in the crowd. Soon after Blake just claimed her as his girlfriend without asking her.  Since she was so wanting to be part of the in crowd she didn’t fight it.  Her second chance was working for her.  It wasn’t until the first day at school that she found out Blake was Pax’s older brother.  She knew at that moment she made the wrong choice.  One she couldn’t take back due to thoughts when she would steal looks turned her crimson. 
     All that would change one night when she snuck to be with Blake and friends at a beach party.  He plied her with alcohol when she wanted to stop after two he started taunting her.  He slowly got her away from the crowd where they had seen her acting silly sitting on his lap, flirting, and kissing him.  Once he got her far enough away he forced himself on her.  When she said no and pushed him away and wouldn’t stop she couldn’t fight him she was too drunk to protect herself and they were too far away to get help.  He raped her making her believed she had a part in it.  When she reports him to the police namely his Pax and Blake’s father.  All his friends backed him.  They said she was asking for it, she was jealous because he was breaking up with her, they called her a whore and a slut, and he told everyone she had fake breast.
     After almost a year they declared in court not enough evidence so the case was dropped.  She couldn’t take it anymore and went back to New York to live with her mother.  Now seven years later she’s back.  Her father was injured when a car runs into his B & B.  So, she rents a car and drives five plus hours to be by his side and take care of what she can at the
B & B.  By the time she arrives it’s dark and when she’s almost there she gets a flat tire.  She’s in the middle of following the manual when who drives up? Pax.  Not just because he used to be a cop and it was drummed into him but because he is just a nice guy.  He stops to help.
     When they both get a look at each other they freeze at first she tells him finally he doesn’t have to he starts to leave but he can’t.  He justifies staying saying he’s doing it for her dad his friend and business partner.  As they talk there’s the conflict over the rape but then there is the neutral discussion how he and her dad are reopening the old raceway.  A surprise to her.  He warns her about her dad’s condition which surprises her.  They both have unresolved romantic feelings along with anger over the rape allegations/truth.
       This was an amazingly sensitive subject but Tina, the author, gave it a voice.  She took these women with a little nudge from a great supportive man to use their voices as a united front to confront their abuser.  Date rape as well as any rape is horrendous but talking about it is how to regain your power.  The men that do this are weak not the women who suffer at their hands.  Tina brought humor and love back to Gemma’s life.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.
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HERE FRIDAY PARKER S. HUNTINGTON THE AUTHOR OF: ASHER BLACK...SEE EXCERPT

HERE FRIDAY PARKER S. HUNTINGTON THE AUTHOR OF: He was supposed to kill me. I had done the unthinkable. I called the co...