Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sustained by Emma Chase

Title: Sustained
Author: Emma Chase

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published Date: August 25, 2015

Buy on Amazon: Kindle  & Paperback
Author Website: http://


When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that—that, I know how to do.

My Thoughts:

Sustained, by Emma Chase, is part of her Legal Briefs Series.  At first I was worried because I had not read the first book in the series, Overruled.  However, I quickly realized that Sustained can be read as a stand alone novel, as it centers around a friend of the main characters from Overruled.  
Sustained revolves around Jake Becker, who I instantly felt disdain towards. A top notch defense attorney, Jake is also a womanizing asshole who lives for one night stands with no strings attached.  However, my feelings for him quickly change as he finds himself at the house of Chelsea, a 26 year old who has found herself as the guardian of her 6 nieces and nephews after her brother and his wife were tragically killed.  Jake doesn't do emotions, relationships, kids, or attachment.  However, the more time he spends with Chelsea and the rambunctious group of kids, the more he finds his cold heart warming.  What follows is not only a steamy romance, it is also a heartwarming story of acceptance, guidance, and family.
Emma Chase's Sustained is full of 3 dimensional characters.  I could practically see the selfish Jake grow as a man and a role model as the book unfolded. While I LOVED the relationship that formed between Jake and Chelsea, I think what I loved even more was Jake's relationship with the children: Riley, Rosaleen, Rory, Raymond, Regan, and Ronan.  These 6 young kids had their world turned upside down with loss and emotional trauma.  They were acting out enough to make any person run for the hills, however Jake sees himself in them and finds himself cultivating relationships with each and every child.  Chase's book has it all: love, sex, comedy, and feel good moments.  At times laugh out loud funny, Sustained is also full of emotions with plenty of places to shed a tear.
Emma Chase's Sustained is a book that I 110% recommend.  The characters will quickly find a place in your heart and you will be left wishing for more from the Becker and McQuaid clan.  I've already ordered my copy of Chase's Overruled because of my love for her writing and character development and can't wait to read the 3rd book in her Legal Briefs Series, Appealed.                
Emma Chase
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Sustained, for the purpose of review.*

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just One Lie by Kyra Davis

Title: Just One Lie
Author: Kyra Davis

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published Date: July 28, 2015

Buy on Amazon: Kindle  & Paperback
Author Website:


Melody Fitzgerald is the opposite of the “perfect” daughter. The lead singer of an indie rock band, she is impulsive and creative, with a rebellious streak that both defines her and becomes her greatest enemy. Her lover, the enticing and unpredictable Ash, shares her free spirit and penchant for trouble. On the face of it, he seems to be her perfect match.

So why is she so drawn to her soft spoken, reliable drummer, Brad Witmer? How can a man who wears polo shirts and reads the financial section of the paper be of any interest to her at all? And why on earth does someone like that appear to be so captivated by her?

Before she knows it, Melody finds herself on a path of self-discovery, passion, and affairs of the heart. But will a dark secret from her past derail it all? Or will its exposure be the very thing that unburdens her heart and allows her to seek a future with the one man who loves her completely?

My Thoughts:

Just One Lie, by Kyra Davis, is the follow-up story to her New York Times Best Selling book Just One Night.  Just One Lie is definitely a stand-alone book, as it is the first book I have read of Davis’.  However, after reading it I will definitely be reading Just One Night this summer!

Just One Lie centers on Mercy/Melody, a troubled singer in an independent rock band.  Melody is a loner who has done it all.  Her life has literally been drugs, sex, and rock and roll. However, things changed for her more than a year ago.  She fell in love after a one night stand with a mystery man, Ash, that changed her life forever and led to a severing of ties with her parents.  Melody felt that that one night killed her emotionally and physically.  She changed her name to Mercy and found herself in a new city.  Mercy gave up the hardcore drugs and became clean from the drugs for the first time in years.  She formed a new band, hid her past, and had been taking it one day at a time.

All of the effort Mercy put in to forget ‘Melody’ and her previous life comes crashes down around her. Mercy finds herself reeling after Ash shows up to her New Year’s Eve show speaking of forgiveness and soul mates.  Knowing all that she knows, Mercy still can’t stay away from Ash.  She keeps a huge secret from him that would undoubtedly change their relationship.  What unfolds is a complicated love story filled with ups and downs, shocks and plain craziness.  

Added to Ash and Mercy’s complex relationship is the fact that Mercy is starting to have feelings for her new drummer.  Brad is not someone she ever thought she would be attracted to.  He looks like an All American boy, not a drummer in a Rock Band. However, he listens to her and she finds herself opening up to him more and more.  They seem to connect, and this both scares and fascinates Mercy.  She has never known anyone like Brad, someone that would care about her wholeheartedly and not judge her for her past or present.

Kyra Davis’ Just One Lie follows Mercy from New Year’s Eve 
 1999 until present day.  Readers are able to watch Mercy grow and bloom, as well as witness her self-destructive tendencies come to the forefront and be dealt with.  I absolutely adored this story.  The characters were relatable and multifaceted.  I found myself rooting for Mercy throughout the book, wanting her to follow her North Star and embrace who she was. As I mentioned earlier, you do NOT need to read Just One Night in order to enjoy Just One Lie.  I plan on picking up Just One Night just because I enjoyed Mercy’s story so much as well as Davis’ writing.  She knows how to write a gritty, intoxicatingly sexy, coming of age story that kept me wanting more up until the last page. Just One Lie should most definitely be on your Summer 2015 ‘To Be Read’ list!  I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!              

Kyra Davis

*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Just One Lie, for the purpose of review.*

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer at Hideaway Key by Barbara Davis

Title: Summer At Hideaway Key
Author: Barbara Davis

Publisher: NAL

Published Date: August 4, 2015

Buy on Amazon: Kindle  & Paperback 


Author Website:

Pragmatic, independent Lily St. Claire has never been a beachgoer. But when her late father leaves her a small house on Hideaway Key—one neither her mother nor she knew he owned—she’s determined to visit the sleepy spit of land along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Expecting a quaint cottage, Lily instead finds a bungalow with peeling shutters and mountains of memorabilia. She also catches a glimpse of the architect who lives down the beach….

But it’s the carton of old journals in the front room that she finds most intriguing. The journals were written by her mother’s sister, an infamous beauty whose name has long been banned from the St. Claire home. The journals tell a family tale Lily has never heard, of her mother and her aunt as young girls in Tennessee and the secrets that followed them into adulthood. As she reads, Lily gains a new understanding: about her family and about herself. And she begins to open her heart—to this place, these people, and the man next door. But can she ever truly learn to trust, to believe that love is not a trap but a harbor? And is it true that hearts, even broken ones, can be forged anew?
My Thoughts:

I have always been a lover of Women’s Fiction for the pure ‘realness’ of the story. I love the feeling I get when I read about a character and feel connected to her, like she is just as real as I, knowing that the struggles she is going through are struggles that so many other women face, and finally seeing the personal growth the she goes through.  Barbara Davis’ Summer at Hideaway Key has all of these characteristics and MORE. 

Summer at Hideaway Key centers around Lily and her deceased Aunt, Lily-Mae.  Lily never met her aunt, as Lily-Mae’s name was basically a curse word to her mother, Caroline. Lily never understood the animosity that was obviously between Caroline and her sister, and neither Caroline nor Lily’s father ever spoke of it.  Lily-Mae remained a mystery in Lily’s life. However, all of that changed when Lily’s father died and left Lily-Mae’s Florida bungalow to her in his will.  Caroline is furious and insists that Lily dispose of it immediately, but something tells Lily that this may be the one and only chance she gets answers regarding her family history. Why else would her father leave it to her? 

I love how Summer at Hideaway Key is told from the view of Lily and Lily-Mae. Lily-Mae is definitely my favorite character. Her story is up front and center and Lily-Mae finds a voice through her journals which Lily stumbles upon.  In these journals Lily learns of horribly unspeakable things that happened to Lily-Mae, as well as her mother. Lily-Mae had a horribly sad life, with just bits of happiness mixed in. However, no matter what the consequences, Lily-Mae always put the needs and happiness of others in front of her own.  As more of Lily-Mae and Caroline’s past comes to light, the more questions that Lily finds herself asking.  There is definitely a good deal of mystery in Davis’ novel, as well as many twists and turns.  I was shocked to find out how Summer at Hideaway Key concluded.

Summer at Hideaway Key, by Barbara Davis, is a wonderfully touching novel, with romance and mystery mixed in.  It was a novel that truly resonated with me and I believe it will with you as well.  Enjoy!                        
Barbara Davis
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Summer at Hideaway Key, for the purpose of review.*

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sweet Muse by Ava Cummings

Title: Sweet Muse
Author: Ava Cummings

Publisher: Merrimack Media

Published Date: January 22, 2015

Buy on Amazon: Kindle  & Paperback 


Author Website:

Determined to overcome her difficult past, Anna Starr lands a coveted job at the nation's biggest celebrity magazine in the center of the New York City power scene. She learns early on to make it on her own, and through sheer force of will she does. But frustration sets in when the dark side of tabloid journalism starts to poke through, and she gets duped while dating slicker-than-thou city boys.   Amidst a sea of cocktail parties, Anna meets rising art star Damien Wolfe. Their connection is dangerous, intense, and passionate beyond her imagination. He sees her in a way that she has never seen herself, setting her on a journey toward self-discovery-understanding what it means to be truly loved for the first time in her life. But she may lose it all when her blind ambition and his dark past lead to a crisis that changes everything
My Thoughts:

Sweet Muse, by Ava Cummings, is a modern day chick lit with a whole lot of sizzling romance. Anna Starr left her small hometown in order to follow her dream of making it as journalist in New York City. When Anna gets scared or feels like she needs advice, all she has to do is picture what her aunt would say to her.  Ever since Anna was a little girl she has looked up to her aunt, who was a journalist in a well-respected New York magazine. Anna knows that she will have to work her way to the top so she eagerly accepts a job at Celeb, a celebrity magazine that has recently started becoming more Perez Hilton than People. The juicer the story means the more magazines sold and Anna soon learns that Celeb draws no lines when publishing tabloid gossip.  In order to flourish at her job Anna has to eat or be eaten. Will Anna be able to make a difference with her writing or will the glamour of celebrity parties and rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite taint her?    

While pondering her life goals and trying to get over her insecurities, Anna is also adjusting to the city life. She finds herself thrust into an environment that is both foreign and addictive to her. Annas ability to trust men was ruined by her father walking out on her mother long ago.  This has deeply impacted Anna's psyche and relationships.  Unfortunately, Anna is quickly finding that the dating scene in New York isn't helping her get past her trust issues. Man after man continues to disappoint her, until she meets a mysterious guy who makes her question all she previously believed. Is their strong connection merely a coincidence or is there really something there between them?

I really enjoyed reading the different New York nightlife scenes.  Being a small town girl myself, going out on the town here is catching the latest movie.  Cummings really paints a detailed picture of big city life and celebrity parties in Sweet Muse. In particular, Cummings does a superb job of writing about the various New York City restaurants.  I could easily picture the atmosphere and smell the aromas she described.    

Sweet Muse is a fun and lighthearted book that leaves you with a smile on your face. I found myself rooting for Anna and hoping she would not only find love but see her dream of being a legit journalist come true.  Ava Cummings has a winner in Sweet Muse!  If you are looking for a new read to take to the pool or beach, this chick lit novel is for you!
Ava Cummings
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Sweet Muse, for the purpose of review.*

Saturday, June 27, 2015

This is Where We Begin by Shannon McCrimmon

Title: This Is Where We Begin
Author: Shannon McCrimmon

Publisher: CreateSpace

Published Date: May 2, 2015

Buy on Amazon: Kindle  & Paperback 

Author Facebook: 

Author Website:


In this continuation in the Hearts of Haines Series, Katie McDaniels is unemployed, pregnant, and relying on Evie and Finch for a place to live. She is trying to survive. Nothing seems to be going right for her until Preston Dobbins steps into her life and an unexpected gift comes her way, finally giving her a chance at happiness. Preston Dobbins is fighting his strong feelings for Katie McDaniels. He guards a well-kept secret, one that consumes him with guilt. As an old foe threatens Katie's happiness, Preston risks everything to save her from tragedy.
My Thoughts:

This is Where We Begin is the third novel in Shannon McCrimmon's Hearts of Haines series. The first two novels in the series, Kiss Me Hard Before You Go (my review) and Like All Things Beautiful (my review) centered around Evie, Finch and their love story. We met Katie, Evie's best friend, in the first two books as a supporting character. However, in This is Where We Begin Katie, who is towards the end of her pregnancy, takes center stage as she struggles to build a new life for herself and her unborn child.

Katie left her family home after her father, a shady man who basically runs the town, was extremely unsupportive regarding her pregnancy. After the father of her baby abandoned her, Katie knew that being a single mother would not be easy but she was determined to prove everyone in the little town of Haines that she could do it. She leaned a lot on Evie during the first two books, but in This is Where We Begin Katie has a couple of good things happen to her. Excited at the chance to give her baby the best life possible, Katie embraces her luck and moves into her own house.  Fortunately for her, ex-carny Doris also moves in with her in order to both be more independent and to help Katie.

This is Where We Begin is told from the viewpoint of both Katie and Preston. Preston is a hometown farm boy who moved away and became a Federal Drug Enforcement Administrative Agent. In the first two books it seems that Preston and Katie have a connection. He does not visit much, but when he does there is a visible spark.  In This is Where We Begin we learn much more about Preston. While he is a bit older than Katie, Preston enjoys being around Katie and feels very protective of her. When he is in town on work business or just visiting his parents, Preston finds ways to see her. Soon it is evident that their relationship has progressed into something more than friendship. While Katie is ready to embrace what they share, Preston fights it every step of the way.  It is not until later in the novel that we discover why Preston is so skittish.

This is Where We Begin has many surprising twists and turns.  From reading the first two novels in the Hearts of Haines series we know that Katies dad, Nate, is not a nice man.  However, it is not until this novel that we learn just how devious and evil he truly is.  Nate hates that his daughter is doing well without him. He controls every aspect of his familys life and knowing that Katie is prospering sends him over the edge. Nate takes things past the point of forgiveness and truly becomes immoral.   

Shannon McCrimmons This is Where We Begin wraps up the Hearts of Haines series perfectly.  We get some nice glimpses of Evie and Finchs Happily Ever After, and we are able to fall for a new couple.  If you havent picked up this series you really are missing out.  It is unique and well written, with very relatable characters.  Definitely one to put on your To Be Read list- it is well worth it!!!

Shannon McCrimmon

*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, This Is Where We Begin, for the purpose of review.*