ARC Review: The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost

The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Broken Destiny #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback• Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The breathtaking second novel in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Broken Destiny series finds Ivy and Adrian rekindling their alliance—and passion—as the struggle for the fate of the world begins…

Conquering a supernatural realm turned out to be easier than getting over a broken heart. But her initial victory has made Ivy a target for revenge, forcing her to reunite with the dangerous—and dangerously sexy—Adrian. Ivy isn’t sure which will be harder: finding the hallowed weapon that will repair the crumbling walls between the demon and human realms, or resisting Adrian, who’s decided that come hell or high water, he will make Ivy his.

At first, Adrian tried to resist his feelings for Ivy. Now, determined to break the curse that dooms their love, he’s vowed to save her and to have her. If only he can persuade her to forgive his past sins. But defying destiny—and surrendering to the smoldering desire between them—will bring consequences and sacrifices they never imagined…

It’s been about three years since the release of the first Broken Destiny book, so as excited as I was to read The Sweetest Burn, I was afraid I just wouldn’t be able to get into the story because it’d been so long since I was immersed in the Broken Destiny world. Thankfully, this didn’t happen – as soon as I opened up the first page of this long-awaited sequel, I was sucked back into this new(ish) world Jeaniene Frost created. It was almost as if I didn’t have to wait three years to read this, which impressed me immensely. If you were a fan of The Beautiful Ashes and have been waiting anxiously to continue the series, wait no more! Ivy and Adrian are back – and even better than they were before.

As the last Davidian, Ivy is the only person capable of wielding the three artifacts that hold the power to destroy demons and save humanity. Adrian is fated to be her enemy and downfall, but somehow fate got a little twisted and these two fell in love with each other. At the end of the first book, after finding the first artifact, Adrian had left Ivy for her own good – but now he’s back and ready to help Ivy again on her journey to finding the second and third artifacts, all the while proving his love and devotion to her.

“I didn’t want to know you, like you, need you, or most of all, love you, but I did. I still do. You are my destiny, Ivy, just not how everyone predicted. Now, when I think of the future, I think of spending it with you.”

Much of the first book felt like it was a set-up for the rest of the series. It had potential… and that potential was finally realized in The Sweetest Burn! I have to say I enjoyed this sequel so much more than the first book, mainly because of how much more I liked the characters. I felt like we get to know Ivy and Adrian a lot better, after all the trials and tribulations they overcome and still have waiting for them in the future.

This book was pretty fast-paced and easy to read. The action was intense and exciting, but it was definitely the romance that had me hooked onto the pages. I loved how determined Adrian was to win Ivy’s heart – he’s so lovable, charming, and protective! Ivy herself is a great heroine – a little too self-sacrificing, but I admired her strength and how she took to learning her newfound Davidian powers.

I’m SO excited to see how this series will end. There’s a little twist at the end of The Sweetest Burn that I’m sure will stir up a lot of trouble in the next and final book of this trilogy, and I can’t wait to see how it goes! I’m also so glad we don’t have to wait for another few years for the last book – it’s only a few months away in November!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Broken Destiny series

  

#1 ~ The Beautiful Ashes: My ReviewEbook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Sweetest Burn: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback• Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Brightest Embers: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads


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Release Day Review: Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz
Series: Men at Work #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Trick…or wicked treat!

It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family’s remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the “available men” department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman!

Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother’s best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He’s the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.

I became a fan for life of Tiffany Reisz’s when I read her Original Sinners series earlier this year. So when I heard she’d be writing a new contemporary romance series, I was ALL for it. The Men at Work series starts off with Her Halloween Treat, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Turns out Tiffany Reisz can write contemporary romance just as well as erotica, though that doesn’t mean there wasn’t steam in this book. There’s some fantastic chemistry between the heroine and her older brother’s best friend – one of my favorite romance tropes to read! If you’re looking for something fun that will have you simultaneously melting and laughing, this book (and series) is a must read!

“You’re prettier than you were in high school, and in high school you were perfect.”
“You’re prettier than you were in high school, too.”
“And?”
“And…”
“I didn’t look perfect in high school?”
“You wore a chain wallet.”
“So there was a lot of room for improvement.”
“You improved. You definitely improved.” She leaned forward and kissed him back.

After finding out her boyfriend of two years is actually married, Joey Silvia returns home for her brother’s wedding, hoping that the time away from work and her ex will help her get over him. And how fortunate that she runs into an attractive handyman at her family’s cabin… who happens to be her brother’s best friend, Chris. They haven’t seen each other in years, so the wicked hot chemistry that springs up between them surprises them both. Joey tries to keep Chris as her rebound guy, and Chris tries to keep his feelings in check, though both ultimately don’t succeed as emotions grow deeper. But can a relationship work between them when Chris’s home is in Oregon while Joey’s work is in Hawaii?

“I used to dream about being your first in high school. I didn’t tell Dillon that part of my crush.”
“You don’t get to be my first time. But maybe you can be the best time?”

I adored this book. It was the perfect combination of funny, witty banter and hot, dirty sex. I had no idea I was capable of laughing while also getting hot and bothered while reading a book, but Tiffany Riesz has a talent of making me feel new things while reading her books. I loved the main characters, especially Chris. His teenaged crush on Joey back in high school was the sweetest thing and made him so endearing. But he’s definitely all man now, grown up, confident, and settled in who he is. I loved him and Joey together! And have I mentioned how freaking hilarious the banter is between these two? This book has some of the best dialogue I’ve ever read – it’s seriously a blast to read. I highly recommend giving Her Halloween Treat a try if you love contemporary romance – it’s quick, sexy, charming, and so much fun!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Men at Work series

  

#1 ~ Her Halloween Treat: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Her Naughty Holiday: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)
#3 ~ One Hot December: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Nov. 22, 2016)


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Release Day Review: The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter

The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter

The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 28th 2015
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers story featuring a troubled playboy and the woman he can’t resist…

Beck Ockley is ruthless in the boardroom…and the bedroom. He’s never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.

Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck’s home—her ancestral estate—for food, she’s shocked by his early return…and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.

For the first time in Beck’s life, he can’t get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he’ll have to break her heart…or surrender his own.

Um, WOW!!!! I went into The Hotter You Burn without having read the previous book or prequel, since it can be read as a standalone, but O.M.G. – I unexpectedly adored everything about this book so much!!! I LOVED this book – it almost felt like it was tailor-made for me. Everything about this just WORKED, brought so many emotions out of me, and I loved it. Props to you, Gena Showalter, for writing such a gem of a book! Hilarious, wickedly sexy, and heartwarmingly sweet, The Hotter You Burn has just become one of my favorite reads of the year!

“You’ve got me tied in so many knots I’m not myself anymore.” He nipped at her ear. “And damn me, but I’m starting to think that’s a good thing.”

Billionaire playboy Beck Ockley is a serious manwhore – he’s never been with a woman twice and his painful past keeps him from ever falling in love. But the second he lays eyes on Harlow Glass, stealing a pie right from his home, this woman becomes his, even though he tries to believe that he can’t fall in love with her. Beck honestly should’ve been a clichéd hero, but to me, he wasn’t. He was just such a lovable character and I connected with him right from the start. While he can be sweet, funny, and charming, what made me fall in love with him was the intensity of his emotions for Harlow. He’s the kind of guy who refuses to believe he’s in love, but it’s so clear to everyone else through every word and action he makes that he’s completely head-over-heels in love with her.

”You want to know another secret? You are one of the best things to ever happen to me, Harlow. So sweet.”

Harlow was a heroine I completely ADORED. I can’t remember the last time I loved a heroine this much! Gena Showalter wrote her in such a way that Harlow had my heart breaking and my stomach hurting from laughing all at the same time. Harlow used to be the town bully back in high school. It was a sad cycle for her – her father verbally abused her, so she verbally abused the people around her to make herself feel better. But after something tragic happens to her, she changes her ways for good. She’s now the most hated girl in Strawberry Valley, but she puts on a brave face when people hurt her for what she did to them, and she makes amends to everyone she’s wronged. My heart was aching for this girl – she’s done such a 180 that it’s hard not to admire her for changing her life, ending up homeless, jobless, and penniless, and still carrying on. After being caught breaking and entering and stealing in Beck’s home, which used to be her childhood home, things start to look up. Beck does the complete opposite of punishing her and instead gives her a job and a home. But what Harlow really wants from Beck is his heart, and she’ll do anything to have it.

I fell so freaking hard for the both of them. Harlow was just a gem of a heroine, and I was falling madly in love with Beck. What was completely unexpected was the amount of humor in this book. I was laughing so hard at so many things that Beck and Harlow say and do – funny characters make it that much easier to love them, and I loved both of them something fierce. And oh my, Beck and Harlow are also incredibly HOT together! There’s a fierce chemistry between them that had me fanning myself. Beck is definitely an alpha-male, and Harlow was putty in his hands.

“There is nothing I won’t do for you, and nothing I won’t do to keep you. You’re it for me. My one. My only.”

Now that I think about it, the intensity of the book kind of reminds me of Tessa Bailey’s books (which I LOOOVE), but without so much dirty talk (not that there ISN’T any…). But not to worry, even if you haven’t read any of Tessa Bailey’s books, I’m here to tell you that you need to get to reading The Hotter You Burn ASAP. It’s an AMAZING read that I fell so hard for. I loved the characters and the writing and all the emotions this book brought out of me. Gena Showalter has written an absolutely delightful, feel-good, heartwarming romance that I can’t recommend enough!

“Beck,” she whispered.
“Yes, baby.”
“My favorite thing about you is your heart. It’s softer than I ever realized, and I treasure it.”

5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: The Original Heartbreakers series

The One You Want by Gena Showalter The Closer You Comes by Gena Showalter The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter The Harder You Fall by Gena Showalter

#0.5 ~ The One You Want: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#1 ~ The Closer You Come: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Hotter You Burn: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Harder You Fall: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Nov. 24, 2015)


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Early Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Broken Destiny #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 26th 2014
Purchase: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Harlequin) in exchange for an honest review

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

I’m a HUGE fan of Jeaniene Frost–she does paranormal like no other. And when I found out she was writing a new paranormal series that was also NEW ADULT? I totally jumped for joy! I loved her Night Huntress series, so of course I had to read this new series. Plus, there aren’t that many new adult books that dab in the paranormal genre, but what better way to be introduced to this genre than with Jeaniene Frost?

I really, really liked The Beautiful Ashes. It wasn’t perfect, but I enjoyed myself the whole time reading this. We have our heroine, Ivy, who sees visions of different realms. She doesn’t know if what she sees is real, or why she sees them, or even how, but she mainly ignores it to keep her insanity intact. But when her sister gets kidnapped, her whole world is turned upside down, because those visions? They’re real.

“Well, Ivy. I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re not crazy. The bad news is, everything you’ve seen is real, and now, it’ll be coming for you.”

In the midst of finding out about all this craziness–demons, angels, and parallel realms are totally real and they totally exist–the one thing Ivy can focus on is saving her sister. And the one person who can help Ivy is Adrian, a man that sparks something in her she’s never felt before, a man who is destined to become her enemy.

I have to say, even though I didn’t fall for Adrian as much as I wanted to, I can see myself wholeheartedly loving him in the upcoming books in the series. I’m not even sure why I didn’t LOVE Adrian from the start–he’s a total badass, he’s mysterious, he protects Ivy with everything he’s got, and there’s a delicious tension between him and Ivy I lapped up. Adrian and Ivy are destined to be enemies, which makes their attraction to each other all the better.

“You’re the light I can never have… and I’m the darkness you’ll never succumb to.”

Ivy herself is a good heroine–I could connect with her, but up to a point. Still, I liked her well enough, but Ivy and Adrian together is what made the story for me. As Ivy and Adrian search for a relic to save her sister, they grow closer together. I really enjoyed watching their relationship slowly develop–the scenes I loved reading were always the ones with the two of them together.

There’s excitement, action, and intrigue, as well as a little humor here and there that is typical from Jeaniene Frost. The Beautiful Ashes met my expectations, but… it didn’t surpass it. I wanted to love it, but my only problem was that the world building fell a bit flat for me. It felt like I, along with Ivy, was thrust into this world too quickly without knowing anything. It gave me a ton of information without letting me have the time to process it. I like being given bits and pieces of a world so I can map it out myself, but it was difficult to do with this book.

The main thing about The Beautiful Ashes is that it holds potential. I honestly can’t wait to see what Jeaniene Frost has in store for us with the rest of the series. Now that we’ve got the world-building over and done with, I’m so excited to see this potential grow into so much more.

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Broken Destiny series

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost

#1 ~ The Beautiful Ashes: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Sweetest Burn: EbookAudible • Goodreads