Reviews: The Bet Series by Rachel Van Dyken

Welcome to our day on The Wager blog tour!!!!

We’re huge fans of Rachel van Dyken! We can’t get enough of her books!

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REVIEW: Spark (Spark #1) by Brooke Cumberland

17809979SPARK by Brooke Cumberland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description:

When your past controls your future, how do you move forward?
Velaney Wills knows about that all too well.
Weak, powerless, and fearing the one person who has hurt her the most…can she overcome the barriers to move forward?

 
Being saved by a muscled Godsend was never on her agenda, but when firefighter, Eric Reilley comes into her life unexpectedly, everything changes.

Velaney has never felt loved or cared for, and her past prevents her from letting anyone in. Eric manages to break down her walls—despite the repercussions that come for them afterwards.

They have an undeniable spark—something she has never felt before, but will it be enough? Can love overcome all obstacles? Can they save each other to protect their love or will her past shatter everything she never knew she needed…?

**Spark is for mature audiences only – strong language, explicit sexual content, and sexual abuse are apparent.**

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Review: BURN by Brooke Cumberland

Welcome to the Burn blog tour! Even since we took part in the cover reveal for Spark, we’ve been dying to read Brooke Cumberland’s books. But, we held off on reading Spark when we found out it had a cliff hanger.


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Just when Velaney thinks she is safe again…her worst nightmare comes back to haunt her.

Eric is dealing with his own insecurities as he tries to accept Velaney’s decision to help the enemy…can he get past it? Will they be there for each other in the end?

He struggles to step aside and trust Velaney…but will his past keep him from doing so? Can he let go in order to move forward?

Velaney and Eric had their fair share of ups and downs in SPARK…they love was undeniable and intense. Just when you think they could get their happily ever after…pasts collide and merge together…will they fight for what they want?

Or will their love crash and burn?

  

After reading Spark, I couldn’t wait to read Burn and find out what happened to Velaney and Eric. I was also dying to find out if Aiden was drawn and quartered (per my wishes) or if he just went to prison (finally!). 



Initially, in the first 1/3 of the book, I had issues. red flags were popping up and I was crying foul on a lot of things. It was so bad at one point that I feared I wouldn’t be able to finish the book. But after venting about my issues to a friend, I persevered and was able to go back to the story. 



Everything finally came together into a cohesive way. At teh time, when things were out of left field, I was confused and irritated. But when everything was finally revealed, it made sense. I can’t say more without giving things away. So, if you want to know all the secrets and dirt…read the book! winking



While I didn’t enjoy this as much as I did Spark, the overall story was decent. Brooke Cumberland definitely has talent and I can’t wait to read more from her. 


 This is how I saw the characters as I was reading:

 

But I’m not opposed to who the author cast as the characters. winking

 

Taylor Kinney as Eric Reilley  
Kendall Jenner as Velaney Wills

 

 



**Songs that relate to Eric & Velaney’s journey or songs that were involved in creating their story.**
“Dancing in the Sky” by Dani & Lizzy (For Ethan, Megan, & Baby Reilley #1)
“Wake Me Up” by Avicii
“Stars” by Grace Potter
“Marry Me” by Train
“God Gave Me You” by Dave Barnes/Blake Shelton
“What Can I Do (But Love You)” by Joy Williams
“I Could Not Ask For More” by Sara Evans
“Stuck Like Glue” by Sugarland
“Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts
“Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascal Flatts
“Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood
“Roar” by Katy Perry
“Hurt” by Christina Aguilera
“I Bruise Easily” by Natasha Bedingfield
“Soldier” by Gavin Degraw
“More than Anyone” by Gavin Degraw
“Stay” by Rihanna
“Dreaming With A Broken Heart” by John Mayer
“Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus

 

Brooke is a midwestern gal, from the cheese state of Wisconsin! Go Packers! She’s a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (one daughter & two stepsons) and a black fury dog. She’s studied psychology in college, and counseling and education in graduate school where she found her love for writing. Most days you can find her reading or writing, or just hanging out with her family! She loves movies, cooking, and shopping! She’s addicted to Starbucks, Coach purses, and wearing yoga pants. 


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spark and burn

 

 

Review: Cage by Harper Sloan

Welcome to the Cage blog tour!!!!!!! Not only are we celebrating Greg Cage, but we’re completely in love with all the guys at Corps Security! 


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You wouldn’t believe how excited we were to get a copy of this book to read & review. 



Seriously, Nikki practically had a fit when it was released.  


Um, don’t play innocent there Lindsay… You were excited too! OK … maybe I did go a little overboard with my stalking…. *looks away guiltily*



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And so, we have some confessions to make. 



We are officially card carrying members of the Author Stalker Club. 



And if you notice, Nikki is a VIP member. winking 



YAY ME! big grin What can I say… When I like an author, I LIKE that author! winking (Btw, Didn’t Lindsay do a great job making these cards! Don’t you all want one! Come on, I know you do!)
 





 
 
 
Alpha heroes you’ll want to kidnap and keep, heroines to root for, and sizzling love scenes with emotional punch.” Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author
Greg Cage was born to protect. While growing up, he was his mother and sister’s shield against the world… until he failed. For the last decade, he has carried that guilt and need for vengeance around… until it was stripped from him. Now, with his best friend getting married and no longer needing his protection, he is even more lost, completely adrift, and desperate for some control. All he has ever known was how to protect: his family, his friends, and his country. Can he go against everything he has ever known, and give up that control?
Melissa Larson will never let anyone hold the reins in her life. She has been the rock in her family for more years than she can remember, and the fight to keep them together is her main priority right now. She has always been fiercely independent and proud. The last thing she will ever do is ask for someone else’s help. But when that choice is out of her control, forcing her to rely on others to save her and her family, and pick up the pieces that are left, will she be able to let someone else be her strength?
The second Greg locks eyes with Meli, he knows that she is someone he needs. Someone he craves. Meli knew the second she met Greg that he would be nothing but trouble and heartache. Her life takes an unexpected turn, and that bitch Fate is back to wreak more havoc on another member of the Corps family.
All hell breaks loose, leaving Greg no choice but to call in a favor. He hooks back up with his old friend Braxxon Breaker from the Breakneck MC. Together, they make sure that nothing threatens anyone Greg loves again.

CAGE is a complete story with a HEA.


 



We’re going to start off with our impressions of the book…

Lindsay: I’ll start off with the story…I liked it. It was good.
It was interesting. I thought the non-romantic connection between Greg and
Melissa was a nice twist. And I just knew that when it blew up, she would
freak. And I wasn’t disappointed. I loved seeing more of the guys from Corps
Security.

Nikki:  I also liked the story a lot. It was pretty faced paced and flowed nicely. Greg and Melissa had an instant chemisrty that I couldn’t wait to see where it lead. And of course, the rest of the Corps guys were always yummy…errr.. nice to see again!



Lindsay: As for Greg… I
was disappointed in him. At the end of Axel, and even in the beginning of Cage,
he was hot, he was alpha, he Was AWESOME!!!!
(and pierced
winking but that’s neither here nor there winking ) . But somewhere along
the way, Cage changed. And my thinking of him changed. When he was a hot alpha,
he was Cage. But then he became Greg…the non alpha idiot that let everyone around him take charge.

Nikki:  Greg was hot. Hello! THREE piercings! winking Swoon Although I have to also admit, he wasn’t what I was expecting in his own book after meeting him in Axel. I guess since we got to get inside his head this time and see what he was thinking… Don’t get me wrong, I loved him, but I was a little surprised by him. I agree that as Cage he was uber badass and as Greg he seemed to lose some macho man points.

Lindsay: And that was a problem for me! He went from 

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Nikki: rolling on the floor  



Lindsay: Do we dare start talking about Melissa? 


Nikki: d'oh I already know what you’re gonna say about Melli! winking



Lindsay: Ok smarty, what am I going to say? raised eyebrows



Nikki:

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Lindsay: rolling on the floor Well….Maybe blushing But I was going to be nice and say that I didn’t like her. 


Nikki: LOL! Well, I can see that. I liked Melissa, but I couldn’t bring myself to love her. It’s hard to really love a female character sometimes. I liked how she worked hard to take care of her mom and nephew and how she didn’t take shit from anyone, especially random skanks who try to take her man. But there were still some things about her that just irked me. For once we (mostly) agree! winking

Lindsay: Lol. You are far too kind about her. Like you, I admired her for working so hard to take care of her mom and her nephew. I felt bad for her because of everything she had been through. But I didn’t like her. She was cold to Cage and when they finally got together, I didn’t feel the chemistry between them. When Melissa and Cage were together, I felt like he handed in his man card and she became ALPHA. Don’t get me wrong, I like strong women. And I could have liked Melissa…if she had been with someone else. She just wasn’t what I pictured Cage ending up with.

And when she found out about the connection between her sister and Cage’s sister, she went off the deep end blaming him for something that he had no control over.  

Nikki: When she found out, her reaction and his reaction to her reaction was a little irritating. I felt like she overreacted by running away but then again, I could understand her sister’s death being brought to the surface and her needing space. I do agree she could have handeled it better and shouldn’t have blamed Greg, like yousaid, he had no control over that.

 

Lindsay: Instead of continuing my rant, We’ll move on. My favorite parts of the book were actually some secondary characters. Oddly enough, I liked Cage’s psycho bed buddy Mandy. She was funny and when she showed up, you always knew hijinks would ensue! 

The other part I liked was Axel’s son Nate and Melissa’s nephew Cohen. They cracked me up and were adorable. And Cage was great with both of them. The two kids, Mandy and the other guys from Corps Security made the book for me. And of course, I loved seeing more of my boyfriend Axel. 

Nikki: Mandy! That chick was psycho! But I did enjoy those hijinks! I also loved Cohen and Nate! Cohen especially was hilarious and such a great addition to the book! My favorite parts were… you guessed it! The SEX! hot unlucky I also enjoyed the other Corps guys and catching up with Lindsay’s boyfriend Axel! 

Lindsay: So, that wraps up our review! 

Nikki: HEY! 

Lindsay: What? 

Nikki: You changed my words! shame on youshame on youshame on youshame on youshame on you

Lindsay: I did no such thing! 

Nikki: Sneaky little……  #$%%$^#^&%#!!!!!

Lindsay: rolling on the floor Are you trying to swear at me?  

Nikki: waitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaitingwaiting 

Lindsay: Hey! We agreed after our Axel review that Axel was mine! You can have Cage!!!



Nikki: In conclusion, We had mixed feelings on this one, but still recommend it! Lindsay is a book boyfriend stealer, Greg Cage is hot in bed and Cohen stole the show!



Lindsay:

It’s kinda hard to steal what’s already yours!  
Nikki: Always has to have the last word…  winking
Lindsay: Why yes, yes I do. tongue

Anyway, our collective rating is: 


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Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed ‘Estrogen Ocean’, much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her ereader attached. As an ex-reviewer and blogger, Harper’s passion for reading runs deep. It wasn’t until ‘Axel’ decided to take up residence that she realized her true calling.
She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn’t take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.
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REVIEW: BIG is Beautiful by Kelly Martin

18457605BIG is Beautiful by Kelly Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Description:

The seven worst words ever spoken came out of Brittany Gregory’s mom’s mouth at breakfast, “I signed you up for math tutoring.” Sure, she probably needs it (probably nothing, she’ll fail without it), but the thought of having to stay in that school longer than she had to every day makes her sick. It’s not the school’s fault… just the few jerks inside.

Brittany’s tutor is none other than Matt Taylor, senior quarterback– all around hottie. At first, she’s shy around him because, hello, Matt Taylor! But as he shows more and more unexpected kindness toward her, Brittany softens around him.

Unfortunately for Brittany, Matt’s former girlfriend, the beautifully wicked Kendra Moses, has tormented Britt since eighth grade about her weight. In an unusual moment of brains, Kendra realizes Brittany’s initials spell B.I.G.– a hilarious (to the cheerleader) irony since Brittany isn’t the smallest girl at school.

With the Red Ball (Valentine’s Dance) approaching, Brittany has to decide if her growing feelings for Matt are real, or if he’s secretly been playing a part in Kendra’s game all along.

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Review: Let it be Me by Toni Aleo

Welcome to Toni Aleo’s Let it be Me blog tour!!!! 



Here at Confessions of 2 Book Lovers, we’re huge fans of Toni Aleo’s work. 

Seriously, that’s it? You’re just going to leave it at that? 

At what? It’s the truth, we’re huge fans. 

No. We’re HUGE FANS!!!!!!!!! That’s what you were supposed to say. 

*looking at Nikki like she’s crazy* O-kay….I thought I said that. But anyway, if you had let me finish.

So, as we were saying, before being interrupted, We’re HUGE fans of Toni Aleo. We loved her hockey series and when we got the opportunity to read and review her new book, we jumped at it! Honestly, we didn’t even know what it was about, we just knew that we couldn’t pass up this awesome opportunity. 



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Do you see that woman there?
The one with long, wavy blond hair
and blue eyes that used to sparkle?
That’s me, Violet Moore.

Do you see those men over there?

One is my husband, Rob.

A man who claimed he loved me, but proved his fist loved me more.

The other is Tucker McCloud, my savior and confidant.

I’m torn between what’s right and my own fear.

But not anymore.

I’m taking my life back now.

I will fight back.

I will be happy.

 

So, without further ado, our review: 

HOLY CRAP. That was intense. From page one, there was intense drama and angst. It all seemed so real. There were times that I wanted to cover my eyes as I read. I thank god that I’ve never been in that type of situation.

This book was unputdownable. I can’t say I loved it (mostly because of the subject matter) but it’s definitely unforgettable, and will stick with you. It’s book that’s worth reading.

I liked Violet and I felt sorry for her. I kept rooting for her, hoping she would develop the courage to leave Rob. He was a character that I definitely wanted to go all Dexter on.

While I was happy that Violet started to grow a backbone and stand up for herself, I was also cringing because I knew it would come at a price. And boy did she pay that price. I was also yelling at her to confide in Dr. Sexy Pants. And speaking of said hottie…he was certainly drool worthy! He was such a good guy, a guy you could root for, one you wanted to get his HEA. And he was so patient with Violet. He could clearly see that things weren’t right, and even though there were times that he got frustrated, he never stopped supporting her and encouraging her to admit what was going on. Tucker is definitely a keeper.

This wasn’t your typical romance. Yes, there was a romance between Violet and Tucker but I really felt that the book was more about how falling in love led Violet to realizing that she could leave. And it led her to find the strength to leave. At least, that’s what the book was about for me.

My only complaint was that Violet never told Tucker about Rob causing her to lose her child. It was mentioned in the first chapter but when the book came full circle later, there was no mention of it.

But this book is a solid 4 star read.

 

 

 
 
Author Info

Toni Aleo is
the author of the Nashville Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score,
Empty Net, and Blue Lines. When not rooting for her beloved Nashville
Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her
daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the
latest romance novel. She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two
children, and a bulldog.
Author Links