ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

SUMMARY

40242604Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: November 12, 2018
Received From: NetGalley / A Novel Take PR

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.

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Reviews for Already Published Books

REVIEW: Incel by Lori A Witt

SUMMARY

41216744Publisher: Self-pub
Release Date: October 20, 2018
Received From: Review copy from the author

Detective Damian Arruda thought his partner was just too distraught to accept his wife’s murder as a random act of violence. Then the devastated widower got too close to the truth, and now Damian is grieving his best friend. As his conscience threatens to eat him alive, he’ll stop at nothing to find the killer.

Special Agent Melissa Walker’s partner met a violent end as well, and his death is almost certainly connected. When she joins forces with Damian, the investigation takes them into the vile underbelly of the Internet: the incel community and its toxic forums full of misogynists who consider themselves “involuntarily celibate” and feed off each other’s vitriol and hatred.

As the pieces come together, there’s no denying the three deaths and the poisonous, cultlike community are part of a wave of murders, grisly assaults, and bombings. Damian and Melissa are running out of time to take the killers down before more innocent people fall victim—and before someone decides that one victim at a time isn’t enough.

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ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Touch Up by Katey Hawthorne & JA Rock

SUMMARY

41220246Publisher: Self-pub
Release Date: October 15, 2018
Received From: Rose & Thorns Reviewer List

Last year, twenty-three-year-old actress Dina Gilbert snagged the lead in the summer’s biggest blockbuster. It wasn’t easy: she’s black, openly queer, and has actual curves she refuses to let people Photoshop. Now, overwhelmed by sudden fame and homesick for Georgia, she’s becoming someone she doesn’t recognize. Maybe that’s why she’s out partying her face off most nights.

Enter Colleen Thomas, an ex-model turned photo editor whose issues with her own body are only surpassed by her issues with other peoples’. Colleen knows the rules but Photoshops Dina’s magazine cover anyway, incurring the wrath of Dina and her fans. And, okay, maybe that cover image was unbelievably sexy even before Colleen’s alterations. So what? Dina’s not fooling anyone with that girl-next-door, I-eat-Snickers-in-my-Golden-Globes-dress BS. Colleen knows a train wreck when she sees one.

Tensions rise even more when Colleen and Dina have to work together at the Rose Social Club’s annual charity gala. When they realize they have something in common, no one is more surprised than they are. The sexual chemistry doesn’t hurt either. Their differences could either be a source of strength—a life raft in the heaving waters of Hollywood—or the makings of a titanic crash.

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ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Off Limits by Vanessa North

SUMMARY

51ZyVQj6UPLPublisher: Self-pub
Release Date: September 24, 2018
Received From: Review copy as part of Rose & Thorns review team

By day, Natalie Marshall is the Thorns Ladies’ Social Club’s perfect concierge: resourceful, observant, immaculate. But she turns her phone off when the night concierge arrives, and then she’s Nat: the raunchy lead singer of Vertical Smile—notorious for lewd lyrics and sexually-charged performances.

Rebecca Horvath isn’t used to asking twice—for anything. As the scion of one of Hollywood’s most powerful film dynasties, she’s waited on, pampered, fawned over—spoiled. So when she asks the cute front person of her favorite queer punk band to be her date to a charity auction, she isn’t expecting the whispered “no,” or for the singer to disappear without even thanking her for the martini.

For Natalie, two worlds colliding spells professional catastrophe–her on-stage antics definitely violate the club employees’ standards clause. For it to be Bex Horvath—a perennial gossip-pages feature—who discovers her secret is terrifying.

When the focus of a criminal investigation at work brings Nat’s double life to the attention of her employer, everything spins out of control. Bex is there to prove there’s more to this party girl than meets the eye. Nat might have to trust her with her secrets, but her heart? That’s off limits.

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ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: The Heights by Amy Aislin

SUMMARY

40380907Publisher: Self-pub
Release Date: September 20, 2018
Received From: A Novel Take PR

Twenty-one years ago, a four-year old child was kidnapped from his front yard. He was never found. Until now.

All Nat Walker wants is to make his late father’s dream of running a father/son woodworking shop come true. And he had the perfect building in mind—until the new guy in town came in and bought the place right out from under him. The fact that the new guy is adorable means nothing. For all Nat cares, he can take his new dance studio and waltz back to New York City.

Professional dancer Quinn Carroll couldn’t be happier that he made the move to the small town of Lakeshore, Oregon. Sure, it’s not New York, but now he’ll be living closer to his adoptive brother. And since his studio will be the only one in the area, he should get enough business to keep him busy. Besides, there’s something about this place that seems familiar…

He doesn’t expect to fall hard for the local, grumpy woodworker who won’t even smile at him.

Or find out that his entire life is a lie.

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ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Soft on Soft by Em Ali

SUMMARY

DmWgqnmXsAI05I3Publisher: Self-pub
Release Date: September 10, 2018
Received From: Review copy from the author

June Bana might post nearly daily makeup looks that gain thousands of likes but Real Life June has built a wall behind which she exists with her two cats.

But with messy feelings getting in a way of an early hermit life, June begins to realize that she wants more. She wants model/actress, Sunshine Reincarnated Selena Clarke. It doesn’t hurt that Selena is amazing with cats and quiets down June’s anxiety to bearable levels.

June is given the choice of facing her anxieties about relationships to gain not only a girlfriend but also a better understanding of how far she’d go for love.

But would she take it? Would she leave her comfort zone for something softer?

Contemporary fluffy piece where one homebody and one extrovert make one hell of a love story.

Content warning for a discussion of a passed-away parent in chapter 2 and a depiction of a panic attack in chapter 8. Both are from the POV of the MC and are #ownvoices experiences.

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Reviews for Already Published Books

REVIEW: Concerto in Chroma Major by Naomi Tajedler

SUMMARY

39078770Publisher: Interlude Press
Release Date: July 12, 2018
Received From: NetGalley

Alexandra Graff, a Californian living in Paris, is a stained-glass artist whose synesthesia gifts her with the ability to see sounds in the form of color. When she’s commissioned to create glass panels for the new Philharmonie, she forms a special bond with the intriguing Halina Piotrowski, a famous Polish pianist. As their relationship develops, Alexandra shows Halina the beautiful images her music inspires. But when it comes to a lasting future together, will Halina’s fear of roots and commitment stand in the way?

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ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Double or Nothing by LA Witt & Cari Z

SUMMARY

40381063Publisher: Self-pub
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Received From: Review copy from the authors

Rich Cody joined the U.S. Marshals to hunt down bad guys, not babysit witnesses. Orders are orders, though, and now he’s protecting a hacker with ties to the Albanian and Sicilian mobs. It’s just another exciting day in WITSEC.

Leotrim Nicolosi was born into a world of crime and bloodshed. When that bloodshed hits too close to home, taking down Leo’s boyfriend—the son of a notorious mob boss—Leo is determined to destroy the Grimaldi family. He’s got evidence that will send every last Grimaldi to prison, he’s got the family’s wealth in an electronic chokehold, and he’s got a vendetta that can only be settled with the blood of the man who killed his lover.

When a routine transfer to a safehouse goes horribly wrong, Rich and Leo narrowly escape with their lives. With the Marshals compromised and Leo being framed for murder, he and Rich are on the run from criminals and law enforcement alike. They have no one to trust except each other, and nowhere to go that their enemies can’t reach.

And the only way out might mean making a deal with the Devil.

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Reviews for Already Published Books

REVIEW: To Have and To Hold by Tamryn Eradani

SUMMARY

40236108Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: June 11, 2018
Received From: NetGalley

Following the success of Project: Notice Me, Kyle and Aidan are now in a three-month extension of their play. If three months wasn’t so short, then it would be everything Kyle wants.

They’ve been together long enough to meet each other’s friends and to try new things. Kyle only hopes that at the end of the three months, he isn’t the only one who wants more.

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ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert

SUMMARY

unnamedPublisher: Self-pub
Release Date: June 14, 2018
Received From: Review copy from the author

They fell in love fifteen years ago, and never quite fell out again…

Laura Burne arrives in Beesley-on-Sea searching for peace, happiness, and safety—not for the teenage sweetheart she left behind. And yet, one moonlit night on the beach, she finds him anyway.

Samir may be a man now, but he’s still too charming for his own good, too handsome for Laura’s peace of mind, and too sweet for her broken heart to bear. Because while he’s remained the same, Laura’s life is forever changed—and not just by the unborn child she carries.

She’s on the run from her own personal monster. Her baby’s father. Her husband. So there isn’t a man on earth who’d want her right now; not even a man as reckless as Samir.

And yet, against all reason and all goddamn common sense, Laura just might want him.

Please note: this book contains descriptions of domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, and child abuse that may trigger some readers.

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