Monday, October 23, 2017

Inked Hearts by Lindsay Detwiler




Title: Inked Hearts
Series: Lines in the Sand #1
Author: Lindsay Detwiler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2017



Blurb

“Six years, a complex about my freckles, a love for pastrami, and a fear of failure.
That’s what he gave me before slaughtering my heart and my faith in men.”

Suffering from the sting of betrayal, twenty-eight-year-old Avery Johannas quits her job and moves hundreds of miles away to Ocean City, the beach town of her dreams. With the help of her zany roommate, Jodie, Avery finds a new career, home, and freedom. Throughout her self-exploration, she makes only one rule: She won’t give her heart to a man again. She’s living for herself this time.

But then she meets Jesse.

A tattoo shop owner, the green-eyed Jesse Pearce is wild with a touch of mystery. As Jesse and Avery explore Ocean City and their friendship, they’ll have a hard time drawing a line in the sand between their hearts.

When summer nights get a little more heated than either expected, they’ll have to ask themselves: Can they let go of their notions of love, or will their hearts be permanently inked by past pain?



Review
Rating: ☆☆☆☆

A fresh start. A hot tattoo artist. A bunch of quirky friends. A beautiful setting. These ingredients all came together to create a great read.

Avery moves across country for a fresh start after finding her ex-husband cheating on her. This time is her time to discover who she is and what she wants from life, after spending her life trying to please other people. What she doesn't count on is falling for Jesse, the tattoo artist who helped remove the last remnants of her past. Jesse inspires her to be who she wants to be and helps her discover this side of herself. But when she challenged to choose between her old life and her new life, which will win out?

This was a great ensemble cast of characters that all added to this read. All had hidden depths that added to their characters as well as the book as a whole. It was a great read with a strong message of be yourself.

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





Excerpt

There’s some soft rock music playing when I open the door to Jesse’s apartment. The distinct smell of teriyaki sauce permeates the room, dancing in my nose as soon as I walk through the door.
“Hey. That looks amazing on you,” he says. He’s wearing black jeans and a button-up shirt. He’s gelled his hair, and hints of his cologne permeate the room.
“Thanks. I love this. You didn’t have to do it.”
“I like to treat my artists well.”
“So you do this for all of them?” I ask, setting down my bag on the counter.
“Only the good ones.”
He leans in to kiss me, and I realize how natural this has become. It hasn’t taken long for us to settle into couple status. In retrospect, it seems now like it was always coming. It seems unnatural for us not to be like this—comfortable, kissing, and together.
I’m so glad that for once in my life, I broke my own rules.
Jesse leads me to his kitchen table, which is adorned with a dozen pink roses. I smile, gently touching the petals of one.
“This is beautiful. Thank you.”
“Have a seat. Dinner is ready.” Jesse brings out a few casserole dishes with rice, teriyaki chicken and vegetables, and even some egg rolls.
“Did you make all this?” I ask coyly, pretending to be impressed.
“Yeah, it was sort of rough because I’m not that great at cooking.”
He stares for a moment as he sets the dishes down. I can tell he’s trying to see if I believe him.
I look directly from him to the top of the refrigerator, at a large take-out bag with a familiar Chinese restaurant’s name. I raise an eyebrow.
“That’s an old bag,” Jesse says, waving a hand but smirking.
“Yeah, okay. I just have a feeling this is going to taste just like it.”
“Only because I worked so hard to get the secret recipe.”
I dig into the dishes, serving myself, laughing at the trouble he went through. “You know, you didn’t have to dirty dishes on my account. I would’ve been fine with takeout. I’m not a food snob.”
“That’s a good thing, because I’m not much of a cook.”
“Oh, and I am,” I say, referring to the pasta debacle.
“What a pair, huh?”
I shrug. “Could be worse.”
“I’ll drink to that,” he says, holding up his bottle of beer. We clink bottles as we finish eating. To an outsider, I’m sure it looks ridiculous. My fancy dress and necklace, sitting at a table eating take-out Chinese food.
To me, though, it’s perfect. The man I’ve fallen for sitting beside me, Chinese food, and a comfort I haven’t had with anyone else.
As much of a mystery as Jesse Pearce was a few months ago, he’s become as familiar as my new self.
I like this new Avery. I like Jesse’s Avery. I like the Jesse and Avery we are together.
So when we finish eating and he gives me the look I’ve come to recognize, I lean forward, kissing him with a fervor I’ve reserved for this moment, telling him wordlessly that I’m all his.
As he leads me back to the bedroom and hastily unzips the dress he painstakingly picked out for me, I smile.
For a long time, I didn’t think I wanted to belong to any man. For a long time, I thought this part of myself was shut down.
But as Jesse’s hands travel down to the familiar hot-pink underwear I’m wearing, I feel myself let go of all of those ideas I had before.
I’ve come to realize it’s okay to be his, because Jesse doesn’t hold me back. He makes me who I want to be. He makes me the best version of myself.
Loving him might be a risk, and losing myself completely to him tonight might be my undoing. Letting him go, though, is not an option, not when he tosses me back on the bed, and I feel every part of my being succumb to the tattooed hunk moving perfectly on top of me.
And so, after a night of learning what adult sleepovers are actually all about and mastering the sex-hair look, I let go of my rule.
I’m all in. I’m all his.






Author Bio


An English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay's the English teacher cliché; she loves cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.

She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, Marjorie, and Bob; and their mastiff, Henry.

Lindsay's goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she's done her job.

Lindsay's hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.


Author Links

Stryke First by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Title: Stryke First
Series: Rock Series #5
Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Genre: M/M Romance 
Release Date: October 15, 2017 
Rebel Stryker has had to fight to survive from the moment he was born to a heroin-addicted mother. Raised by his grandparents, his only mission in life was to succeed where his mother had failed. Now, he and his childhood best friends tour the world as a famous heavy metal band. Like any rags-to-riches young man, Rebel definitely enjoys the perks of being in the limelight. But now something has changed. Rebel never wanted to fall in love, shying away from relationships and relishing his 'no worries' rock-star persona. But there's something about the band's new manager that catches Rebel's eye. Despite fighting it with everything he has, Rebel finds himself succumbing to man's quiet ways. It doesn't hurt that the guy loves Rebel's grandpa — the one relationship that means the world to him. Staying true to his name, Rebel fights against the tide of attraction drawing him in. But it's only a matter of time before love finally strikes. Stan Jackson is hiding a secret. A Very Big Secret. One he prays will never come to light, especially since life is pretty good now. He finally has a good job, and he considers the people around him friends -- even if they don't see him the same way. All he's ever wanted in life is to blend in, not make waves, and move on through. Now, as the manager of the internationally famous Skull Blasters rock band, he is put squarely into bassist Rebel Stryker's orbit. He spends a lot of time with Rebel's grandfather, which is not only fun, but rewarding. Another big benefit is that Stan gets to see Rebel all the time. When his past catches up to him, Stan learns that he isn't just the Skull Blasters' manager. He's a part of their family.

I glanced up from my laptop as Rebel’s grandfather sauntered by me naked as the day he was born. He was scratching at his ass and mumbling and I cocked my head to the side.
“Grandpa? You forgot to put on underwear.”
I got a snort as he continued towards the kitchen. It wasn’t the first time—nor would it be the last time—that Augustus Stryker would be without clothing. I was told within five minutes of meeting the man that I had to call him grandpa or Auggie, and then I was told to call him grandpa. I placed my laptop on the table next to the couch and stood up, cracking my back and neck.

I sighed and walked around the coffee table to the kitchen. Grandpa was watching the coffee pot and I stood next to him.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Waiting for it to brew.”
“Grandpa, you need water and coffee grounds for that to happen. Go put some pants on and I’ll make coffee, okay?”
“You’re such a good boy, Stan. Taking care of me. When are you going to find yourself a man with a big dick?”
“Grandpa!” I blushed furiously and ducked my head.
“You know my Rebel is pretty well hung, just like his old man and me.”
“Okay, that’s wonderful. Could you please put some clothes on?”
“I don’t like em’! They itch!”
“All right, I’ll make sure the nurse adds fabric softener this time, okay?”
“She left.” Grandpa stared at the ceiling and squinted.
“What do you mean she left?”
“I don’t know. She just walked out.”
“Grandpa.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “What did you do?”
“I did nothing!”
“Why don’t I believe you?” I sighed as he continued to look at the ceiling. “What are you doing?”
“Waiting for that spider to rappel down.”
“What?!” I jerked away and looked up. Sure enough, a huge spider was dangling above us. Call me a pussy, but I hate spiders. I mean I really hate them.

Best selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by "Old School" French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn't until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research.She's been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She's traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.
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I Hate Myself for Loving You by Simone Harlow

Title: I Hate Myself for Loving You
Series: Scorned Lovers
Author: Simone Harlow
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: October 10, 2017 
I Hate Myself For Loving You hit all my buttons for a 5-star book.” ~Badass Bloggettes
Rockstar Declan Shaw has everything. The talent that has made him a superstar. Golden God looks that ensures he can have any woman he wants. Money that lets him afford anything he wants. And fame that has garnered him a stalker. So he hires the one thing he doesn’t have. A bodyguard. A sexy, no-nonsense bodyguard who isn’t impressed with his talent, his looks, his money, or his fame.
Former Army Officer Jane Peterson is a battle hardened soldier. She is ready for anything. Even playing his fake girlfriend. What she isn’t ready for is Declan Shaw. The man who hides his caring nature behind his seductive jaded façade. For her failure is not an option. She will wrangle the rock star love God by any means necessary.
What neither one of them counted on was the sizzling attraction between them. One that could jeopardize Declan’s life or expose Jane’s long held secrets.

Once upon a time Simone Harlow decided to write a book. She never understood why she had to write a book she just did. She has a great life. A family that loves her. Friends she can mother. And a dog who thinks she’s his reason for living. (No, really, he told her so.) She should be content. But alas she still had to write that book. So she did, and it was the beginning of an excellent adventure.
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