Best Books of 2016!

2016 has been one crazy year, and I can barely believe it’s already over. I don’t know if it’s just me, but time is seriously flying by so fast. It’s already been a year since the last time I made the “Best Books of 2015” post – which means it’s been another year filled with incredible books! And I apparently read over 300 of them 😂 So here are my top 16 reads of 2016 (in no particular order, except for the first), books I highly recommend everyone read if they haven’t already. These are the unforgettable books, the ones that have stuck in my head and stayed in my heart. What have been your favorite reads of the year?


1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

THE HATING GAME!!! It was a tough decision, but my absolute top favorite read of 2016 is The Hating Game. I was SO impressed with this debut novel – it was everything I wanted in a romance and more. It’s funny, romantic, adorable, sexy, and did I mention funny? This is probably the book that has made me laugh the most I’ve ever laughed while reading. It’s an enemies-to-lovers office romance that is H I L A R I O U S. It was a pure joy to read this novel, and I’m dying to see what else Sally Thorne has in store for us. P.S. JOSH TEMPLEMAN IS EVERYTHING!!!

“I hope it’s not too forward of me to say, but your eyes are incredible, Lucy. I die when you blink.”


2. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me & Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata 

TWoWaM: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Wait for It: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

OBVIOUSLY I had to include Mariana Zapata, my new favorite author ever. Winnie is a close second to The Hating Game (though neither have been able to surpass the ultimate fav, Kulti). This is sports romance at its finest, so if you love anything in that genre, especially football romances, Winnie is your thing. And, if you’re a fan of the fake marriage trope, READ THIS! Aiden is the perfect grumpy hero and Vanessa is such a relatable, genuine heroine. Mariana Zapata never ceases to amaze me with her stories, and Winnie was a total winner in my book.

Like football and art, like anything that anyone in the world has ever wanted, love was a dream. And just like a dream, there were no assurances behind it. It didn’t grow on its own. It didn’t blossom without food to feed it.
It was the greatest in its subtleties.
It was the strongest in its selflessness.
And it could be forever with someone who wasn’t afraid to never give up on the possibilities it presents.

And then there’s Wait for It – which only cemented Mariana Zapata as a favorite author of mine and the queen of slow burn. It was beautiful, heart-wrenching, and everything in between. I loved all of the characters, especially the kids. I honestly don’t know what to say about Wait for It besides the fact that it was an unforgettable read I loved so damn much and that everyone needs to read it.

There was a lot of things about love that you could only learn after you’d faced the real kind. The best kind wasn’t this soft, sweet thing of hearts and picnics. It wasn’t flowery and divine. Real love was gritty. The real kind of love never quit. Someone who loved you would do what’s best for you; they’d stand up for you and sacrifice. Someone who loved you would face any inconvenience willingly. You didn’t know what love was until someone was willing to give up what they loved the most for you. But it was also never letting them make that choice, either.


3. Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Unbreak My Heart is probably my most reread book of 2016. This book is the literal definition of angst, and it was one of the few books this year to make me cry. I don’t even have the words to describe the tumultuous emotions the author wrung out of me while reading this. It was an experience, to say the least, and one everyone has to try. You’ll probably hate the hero (like me, lol) but even so, it was totally worth the read.

It had always been Kate. My hands shook as the truth seeped into my pores. It had been her since I was just a stupid kid.


4. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

EbookHardcoverPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Rhysand aka THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! This book destroyed me in the best way possible. I honestly don’t know why I ever held back on reading the ACOTAR series, but I’m so glad I finally succumbed because it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This series alone is the reason why I’ve gotten back in YA fantasy, and even into NA fantasy. The writing, world-building, and characters is beyond fantastic. But now I’m DYING for the third book!

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.”


5. The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz

The Saint by Tiffany Reisz The Angel by Tiffany Reisz The Prince by Tiffany Reisz The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz

The Siren: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Angel: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Prince: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Mistress: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

If there’s one series that has messed with my mind completely and I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s the Original Sinners series. Tiffany Reisz changed my entire outlook on BDSM and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Y’all, these books are unforgettable masterpieces, so beautifully yet simply written I bow down to TR. If you’re not afraid to step out of your comfort zone, I highly recommend reading this series (and yeah, I know I’m totally late to the game with these books, but I’m just glad I finally read this). Nora is my all-time favorite heroine – I kinda wanna be her when I grow up.

“I know people think erotica is just a romance novel with rougher sex. It’s not. If it’s a subgenre of anything, it’s horror.”
“Horror? Really?”
“Romance is sex plus love. Erotica is sex plus fear.”


6. The Player by Kresley Cole

The Player by Kresley Cole

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

The Master was one of the best books I’d read in 2015, so to say my expectations were high for The Player would have been an understatement. But thankfully, Kresley Cole didn’t disappoint and I got another alpha, heroine-obsessed Russian billionaire hero to fall head over heels for. The con artist heroine couldn’t have been more different than the hero, but together they were explosive. This was such an addicting read – if you were a fan of The Master, trust me, you’ll love The Player.

“Imagine a pitch-black room with a single candle lit in the center,” he said, his voice gone low. “The room is the world. You are the candle.”
A shaky breath escaped my lips. “How can you be so sure about me?”
He leveled his spellbinding gaze on my face. “When you’ve been in the dark as long as I have, moy ángel, there is no mistaking the light.”


7. My American Duchess by Eloisa James

My Review • Ebook • Hardcover • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

This is one of my all-time FAVORITE historical romances ever! It was my first Eloisa James book but judging by how much I loved it, it for sure won’t be my last. The duke hero is beyond perfection – the way he adores his American duchess made me swoon madly. And the heroine herself is so quirky and adorable (I totally fell for her myself). If you love historical romance (and even if you don’t – I’ve made a lot of non-HR readers read this book), you absolutely must read My American Duchess!

“You are my American duchess,” Trent said gruffly, his finger tracing the shape of her cheek. “You pour milk into tea at the wrong time, but you do everything else the right way. I love the way you speak. And I love what you say. I’ve never met another woman who is as fascinating.”


8. Beast in Shining Armor by Cassandra Gannon

Ebook • Goodreads

A friend on Twitter rec’d this book to me, and I’m beyond glad she did. The A Kinda Fairy Tale series a humorous twist on fairy tales, and Beast in Shining Armor focuses specifically on Beauty and the Beast. This book is stinkin’ hilarious – it’s up there as one of the top books that have made me laugh the hardest. The hero is just so sardonic and sarcastic, and the stuff that happens is the laugh-out-loud kind of ridiculous that I love. Also, the hero is a “Bad” prince who’s been in love with the heroine since kindergarten, but they’ve also been enemies since kindergarten (long story) and she’s currently usurped his throne yet he’s trying to win her heart. Swoon, right!?

“I have longed for you my whole life. There is nothing in this world or any other that I want more than to be with you, Belle.”


9. Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

This is one of those books that made me so HAPPY while I was reading. It was charming, hilarious, sexy, and utterly heartwarming – and it’s about farmers! Apple farmers!! Ugh, I loved this book so much, especially Griffin. He is so adorable and all big, sexy, protective, and caring. He and Audrey made such a cute couple. And hello, do you see that cover!? You need this book for that alone (but I promise, the inside is just as good as the outside 😉 )

Whether it was convenient or not, Audrey and I just fit. We’d always been good together. It’s just that I’d never allowed myself to imagine a future where we shared everything. A bed. A home.
A name.
Hell. That got me panting. I wanted everything. There was nobody else who got under my skin like she had. To think of her as mine seemed like an impossible luxury.
It’s the only luxury I’ve ever been greedy for.


10. Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton

My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads

This is the PERFECT second chance romance/military romance! I’m usually picky about both tropes, but Into the Blue hit all the right buttons for me. There’s some good angst, good grovel, and the hero is desperate to win back the only woman he’s ever loved. I love this series SO much – if you’re ever in the mood for some good military romances, the Wild Aces series is a must read!

You couldn’t fake what we had. Couldn’t duplicate it. We were so fucking lucky to have found each other once, and even as I’d always suspected it, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that letting her go was the biggest mistake of my life.
Now I needed to fix it.


11. Fast Connection by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Fast Connection surprised me in the best way, because I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about one of the heroes. He was a total dick in the first book, but he was completely redeemed in this one. The romance gave me all the squishy feels – I felt so much for Dominic and Luke. The authors write seamlessly well together and the characters blew me away. The silver fox and his adorable (former) player made me laugh and swoon. I totally need more Megtino books!

“He’s completely complicated. And lost. And frustrating. But we do something for each other.” I intertwined my fingers. “We fit. We need each other.”


12. Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Ebook • Goodreads

I know this book doesn’t come out until 2017 but I read it this month so I’m counting it! And it’s only a few weeks away from release 😉 Reading this novella made me realize how much I’ve missed the Fall Away characters. Next to Never was the perfect way to introduce the second generation of characters while still rewarding fans of the Fall Away series with cameos of the original characters. Honestly, there’s so much to love about this novella – Quinn, Lucas, Jared (aka my love) but now I’m dying for more!


13. Managed by Kristen Callihan

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

This book was so much better than I expected, especially after the okay first VIP book, but Kristen Callihan upped the ante in Managed. I loved the endearing characters, the sweet romance, the delicious chemistry, everything! Sophie is a sweetheart of a heroine, and uptight, closed-off Gabriel has definitely met his match in her. This was the perfect opposites-attract read, and there’s the added bonus of sexy rock stars to make things more fun 😉

“I’ve lived my whole life denying myself what I truly want. And yet I cannot turn from you. Haven’t you realized it yet? I am yours. I will always be yours, whether I touch you or not.”


14. The Fallen World series by Laura Thalassa

  

#1: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

I got SUPER into NA fantasy this year, which I’m so happy about. I need more books in this genre! Laura Thalassa had been on my tbr for a while and I finally got to her Fallen World series, which I pretty much read back-to-back, non-stop. I was utterly addicted to the post-apocalyptic world the author created, with the hero as a villain and the heroine who hates him, sent to marry him for peace. The story is unlike any other that I’ve read – it’s dark and violent, but such a gripping read! I also highly recommend Laura’s newest book Rhapsodic, which is another fantastic NA fantasy romance!

Once upon a time we were innocent, and then we were not.


15. Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Has there been a Penny Reid book that I haven’t enjoyed? She always writes such smart, adorable romances. Grin and Beard It charmed the pants off me – it’s a sweet, slow-burn romance between a Latina celebrity actress and park ranger Jethro Winston. Jethro has no idea who she is and some mad flirting and banter ensues. This was such a fun, light-hearted read with adorable MCs.

Pleasing her—my woman—cherishing her, loving her had no comparison. Satisfaction, desire, fulfillment were woefully inadequate words. So responsive. So incredible. So . . . mine.


16. Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Elizabeth Hoyt is becoming one of my favorite historical romance authors! I’ve only read a few of her Maiden Lane books, but I love the series so much already. Duke of Sin is the best I’ve read so far – it has the perfect anti-hero duke who falls for his tough, proper housekeeper. The story is wicked, funny, sexy, complex… the MCs are able to match each other intellectually, which made for some fun reading.

“This is who I am, Séraphine. Naked, with blade and blood. I am vengeance. I am hate. I am sin personified. Never mistake me for the hero of this tale, for I am not and shall never be. I am the villain.”


I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year’s and an even better 2017!

lacey


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Blog Tour + ARC Review & Excerpt: Managed by Kristen Callihan

Managed by Kristen Callihan
Series: VIP #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 14th 2016
Add to Goodreads

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big…ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

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THIS is the Kristen Callihan book I was expecting to get when I read the first VIP book! Managed was such a fantastic read – I loved the endearing characters, the sweet romance, the delicious chemistry, everything! This was the perfect, fun read that had me giggling and swooning simultaneously. It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year, and I’m already dying for more. If you love romances where opposites attract and main characters who love to get each other riled up with quips and witty comebacks, then Managed will be perfect for you!

Sophie thinks she’s hit the jackpot when her plane seat is moved up to first class on her way to an interview in London, but things don’t go quite as smoothly after that when she meets her moody, grumpy, handsome seat neighbor. Gabriel Scott is uptight and unforgiving – everything that Sophie is not. So she makes it plan to annoy the crap out of him to get him to lighten up – but when she discovers that Gabriel, aka “Sunshine,” is terrified of flights, she finds herself comforting him and keeping his mind off the fact that they’re thousands of miles up in the air.

Somewhere over the Atlantic, at thirty-five thousand feet, she wrapped herself around me, and my brain decided to equate her scent, the sound of her voice, the feel of her skin, with comfort.

As manager of one of the most famous rock bands in the world, Gabriel is used to control in all things. But meeting Sophie has changed everything for him, because he finds that he can’t keep his feelings under lock anymore. The more he knows her and is around her, the more he wants her. The tension between these two is seriously delicious and the chemistry is on fire – and when these two finally come together, it’s more than they could’ve every imagined.

Home. I have not thought of any place as home for so long I’m surprised I even remember the concept. … Yet from the first night Sophie settled her things alongside mine and filled those quiet, orderly spaces with her effusive nature, wherever she is feels like home.

I loved everything about Managed. The characters were well-written and their development, especially Gabriel’s, is fantastic. I loved getting to know more about Gabriel, who seemed like such an enigma in the last book, and Sophie is the ultimate bubbly sweetheart. The rest of the band is also featured heavily, and now I’m so excited for the remaining two members to get their books. Managed is a brilliant, romantic rock star read, though it’s a little lighter on the rock star aspect than Idol was, since Gabriel is only the manager. The romance, though, will definitely melt your heart – a cold-hearted man experiencing love for the first time gets me every time!

“I’ve lived my whole life denying myself what I truly want. And yet I cannot turn from you. Haven’t you realized it yet? I am yours. I will always be yours, whether I touch you or not.”

5 hearts
lacey

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

Now here’s an excerpt from Managed! ❤

excerpt button

In all this time, I had yet to see Gabriel without a shirt. He hides his body like a pious Victorian, never letting me see anything other than him fully dressed and polished. Now I know why. Had he let me get a glimpse, I might never have been able to form a coherent thought around him.

This man’s chest is a work of art. It’s every fantasy I’ve had about a man’s body made real. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but I’m not about to complain. God, he looks touchable. Olive skin, tight little brownish nipples, a smattering of dark chest hair over the most incredibly honed—

“You’re staring.” His tone is dry.

“Yes, I am.” I drag my eyes up and find his expression bemused.

A thick brow lifts. I try to mimic the look and fail when both of my brows lift as one. His lips twitch in amusement.

He shifts his weight, causing his abs to clench. Good Lord. He’s not some overdeveloped gym worshiper, just solid and strong, that perfect balance between defined musculature and healthy male—

“You’re still staring, Sophie.”

“You think it’s easy looking away from all this splendor?” I ask his belly button, licking my lips when he huffs out a laugh and just a little bit more of his lower abs are revealed, slanting toward the thick bulge of his cock, which is lamentably hidden behind his slacks.

“You’re impossible,” he mutters, though there is humor in his voice. He strolls farther into the room and then practically kills me when he sits in one of the low-slung armchairs. That body, sprawled out on display, those thick, long thighs braced as if to take me in his lap—it’s too much.

I want to straddle him and lick my way from the hollow of his throat to the tip of his cock.

He eyes me as if he knows what I’m thinking, and the air thickens. So many things we left unsaid. I’m remembering his lips now, surprisingly soft, but strong with purpose.

From the way his lids lower, I wonder if he’s remembering things as well. But he doesn’t move. Tension glides over his body and snakes around the room. I feel it in my throat and down my spine. We’re closing up again, retreating.

Slowly, I toe off my shoes and set my gear down, never breaking eye contact. “I was being completely honest,” I tell him. “I see you like this and I want to stare forever.”

He snorts, shaking his head even as he rests his temple on his knuckles. “What do you mean ‘like this’?”

“Undone.”

He tenses. It does lovely things to that chest. I focus on his face, mainly to maintain some semblance of decorum.

“You think this is me undone?” he asks quietly.

“It’s a start.” I reach for my camera bag. “Will you let me photograph you?”

There is safety to be found with the camera between us. A way for both of us to hide until we’re comfortable around each other again.

“You’re serious?”

“You sound surprised.” Holding my camera, I sit in the sofa opposite him. “Don’t tell me no one has asked to take your picture before.”

“They’ve asked. I never saw the point.” He shrugs. “I’m not the story.”

You’re my story. You always were.

“This is just for me,” I say instead. “No one else.”

His shrewd gaze pins me. “Why do you want this?”

So I can have a bit of you forever. “Pictures capture moments in time. I want this one—when you finally let me see a sliver of the man behind the clothes.”

His nostrils flare on an indrawn breath, and he slowly lets it out. When he speaks, his voice is a rasp. “Take the pictures.”

Reading Order: VIP series

 

#1 ~ Idol: My ReviewEbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Managed: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

about the author button

Kristen CallihanKristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon Page


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Release Day Review: Forevermore by Kristen Callihan

Forevermore by Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London #7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Isolated and alone, Sin Evernight is one of the most powerful supernatural creatures in heaven and on earth. As an angel of vengeance, he hunts down the darkest evil, but when his long-lost friend, Layla Starling, needs him, he vows to become her protector. Even though she will be horrified by the man he has become.

Now a famous singer and the toast of London, Layla believes that Sin is only here to guard her from rabid fans and ardent suitors. However, the truth is far more sinister. Desperate to avoid losing Layla a second time, Sin will face a test of all his powers to defeat an unstoppable foe – and win an eternity with the woman he loves.

Forevermore is the seventh and final book of the Darkest London series! I’m sad to see the series end, because I’ve really enjoyed reading it. This mystical, fascinating, paranormal world Kristen Callihan has created is well-written and highly addicted to read. While I didn’t love Forevermore as much as I would’ve like to, I still loved being back in this world and seeing all the previous characters again. If you’re a fan of the series, you probably won’t want to miss this finale!

Sin Evernight is a character whose book I’ve been dying for ever since he was first introduced. He’s a complex hero, and I was ready to know everything about his story. And I absolutely loved that is romance is a friends-to-lovers one. His childhood friend Layla Starling was everything to him until she moved away, though he never forgot her. Now, as a powerful Judgment angel in charge of people’s souls, he’s tasked with protecting Layla as she comes into her newfound powers and paranormal abilities.

Layla thought she was just a normal girl raised by Augustus, her immortal guardian, until sinister things started to happen to her. Turns out she’s so much more than she thought, and as she navigates through this new paranormal world, she’s also reunited by her first friend and love Sin. We get to know her and Sin as childhood friends (which was adorable) and now we also get to know them as they fall in love all over again.

I didn’t particularly connect with Sin or Layla, but I adored their romance. It’s sweet and heartwarming, despite all the craziness that’s happening around them. The main thing that really prevented me from loving Forevermore (which I’m so bummed about, because I loved all the previous books) is that I felt a little lost as I was reading. I think it might’ve been a little too long since the last time I read a Darkest London book, because the plot kind of went over my head, and I couldn’t really catch up to the hows and whys of things going on.

There’s one thing I really did love about Forevermore, however, which was the love story between Augustus, Layla’s guardian and Sin’s mentor, and Lena, Layla’s mother. I found myself utterly hooked onto their star-crossed love – they’re soulmates who are on opposite sides of a war and haven’t been together for centuries. I thought it was a nice touch including their romance, and it definitely made this book more enjoyable.

It’s a bittersweet end for Forevermore, but for fans of the series, it’s an end you don’t want to miss. There are a ton of cameos from previous characters and a pretty epic battle near the end. All in all, it was a good ending to the series, despite my disappointment with not loving it more. And looking at other reviews, this is totally my fault, so if you’re wondering whether to read Forevermore, I say go for it!

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Darkest London series

  
  
  

#0.5 ~ Ember: EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ Firelight: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Moonglow: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Winterblaze: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Entwined: EbookGoodreads
#4 ~ Shadowdance: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Evernight: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Soulbound: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Forevermore: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Release Day Blitz + Excerpt & Giveaway: Forevermore by Kristen Callihan

Forevermore Blitz

Happy release day to Kristen Callihan – the final Darkest London book, Forevermore, is here!

Forevermore by Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London #7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Add to Goodreads

Isolated and alone, Sin Evernight is one of the most powerful supernatural creatures in heaven and on earth. As an angel of vengeance, he hunts down the darkest evil, but when his long-lost friend, Layla Starling, needs him, he vows to become her protector. Even though she will be horrified by the man he has become.

Now a famous singer and the toast of London, Layla believes that Sin is only here to guard her from rabid fans and ardent suitors. However, the truth is far more sinister. Desperate to avoid losing Layla a second time, Sin will face a test of all his powers to defeat an unstoppable foe – and win an eternity with the woman he loves.

Buy Links:
Amazon • B&N • BAM • Google Play • iBooks • Indiebound • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from Forevermore! ❤

excerpt button

One might think being an immortal was a blessing, never grow old, never grow sick, never die. At one time in St. John Evernight’s life, he considered it a blessing too. He would be around long after the simple humans who surrounded him were nothing but dust. They could stare all they liked at his “strange” hair and frosty green eyes. They could gossip and speculate about him until they lost their voices. It didn’t matter. He was untouchable, and they were but fragile sacks of blood and bone.

How naive he’d been. Because living forever merely meant a lack of escape from the desolation of regret and loneliness. He knew now that he could walk down Jermyn Street endlessly, see the sands of time shift and rearrange before him, and never be a part of life.

“Brooding, Mr. Evernight?”

Sin almost jumped at the sudden sound of Augustus’s voice by his side. Damn, the blasted man loved to startle him. He gave Augustus a passing glance. Dressed in conservative brown tweed and a bowler hat, the angel appeared every inch the English gentlemen, save for his dark coloring that marked him to be from Southern climes.

“It’s really quite the trick, popping up like a soap bubble whenever you choose, Augustus. You must teach me how one day.”

The man’s mouth twitched. “With your luck, you’d pop up in the middle of a parliamentary session.”

Yes, Sin had abominable luck. Or perhaps it was more a matter of making abominable choices.

“You’re brooding again,” Augustus remarked.

“I’m not brooding. This is simply my face.”

Augustus snorted but remained silent as they walked along, past Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall.

“Care to tell me why you called me here?” Sin asked, when they came upon the grounds of Westminster. For the past year, Sin had been in Rome, soaking in the warmer temperatures, drinking espresso in cafes along the Piazza della Rotunda, under the shade of the ancient Pantheon. He’d eaten simple but delicious food, and listened to the rapid fire of Italian, and felt…well, not peace, but a measure of contentment.

Until Augustus had sent for him. Returning to England sat like a stone in his gut. But he would obey. Augustus was his mentor, and the man who’d given him salvation. The price was a lifetime of servitude. To be fair, his role was for justice, not evil, which was a nice change of pace.

A massive dray rattled past, kicking up dust and sending a fug of stale manure into the air. They hurried past the cloud and headed for Westminster Abbey. Sin hadn’t planned on visiting today, but here they were all the same. He wondered if Augustus somehow had led him to their usual meeting place or if Sin had merely headed that way because of the man’s sudden arrival.

He’d like to think the latter. It did not sit well with him having another control his actions. Not since a certain evil fae had kept Sin as a blood slave for years. Even now, the memory made his stomach turn.

Not a soul acknowledged them as they walked through the abbey and into the cloisters. Here, a rare bit of sunlight peeked through the constant cloud cover and cast lacy shadows along the walkway. The sound of their boot heels clacked out a steady rhythm as they strolled along.

“Layla returns to London tonight.”

At the mention of her name, Sin’s heart stilled within his breast. He’d tried his best to ward off all finer feelings, to remain numb, detached from life. And yet he could not, for the life of him, remain immune to Layla Starling. His childhood friend. The one woman who could take his breath, his reason, simply by laying eyes upon her.

Stuffing his shaking hands into his trouser pockets, Sin forced himself to keep an even tone. “So then I am to begin watching over her?”

God, but he did not want to. It would be agony, staying so close to her and never being allowed to show his true feelings. And yet a thrum of anticipation went through him at the mere prospect of seeing Layla once more.

“Are you ready?” Augustus asked, though his expression told Sin he fully expected an affirmative answer.

So Sin told him the only truth left to him. “I will not fail her.”

Reading Order: Darkest London series

  
  
  

#0.5 ~ Ember: EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ Firelight: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Moonglow: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Winterblaze: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Entwined: EbookGoodreads
#4 ~ Shadowdance: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Evernight: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Soulbound: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Forevermore: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

about the author button

Kristen CallihanUSA Today bestselling author Kristen Callihan is a writer because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book, Firelight, received RT Book Reviews’ Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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Ten (10) mass market copies of FOREVERMORE by Kristen Callihan

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Blog Tour + ARC Review & Excerpt: Idol by Kristen Callihan

Idol by Kristen Callihan
Series: VIP #1
Publication Date: June 7th 2016
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Libby

I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?

Killian

As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.

Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse —and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.

The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.

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You have NO idea how excited I was in anticipation for Kristen Callihan’s first rock star romance!! I LOVE her sports romances, and I also love rock star romances, so Idol sounded absolutely perfect to me. Plus, how gorgeous is that cover!? In the end, this book surprised me – it was surprisingly slow and sweet. Not at all what I’m used to in the rock star books I’ve read, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I liked Idol – I didn’t love it the way I wanted, but I still enjoyed it. It was entertaining, and I adored the sweet hero. Fans of the author should definitely check this one out!

The beginning of the book is without doubt, my favorite part of Idol. Libby, our heroine, finds rock star Killian James passed out drunk on her front lawn, except she doesn’t recognize him and the mess he’s become. The lead singer is intrigued enough by Libby and her distaste for him that he wants to stay around her… so good thing that they’ve become new neighbors, right? There’s a bit of hate/love going on when Killian and Libby get to know each other – Libby hates Killian because she’s got no tolerance for drunk drivers, but she’s ridiculously attracted to him. Killian is annoyed by Libby, but still wants to know her better. The tension between them is delicious, and I was definitely hooked onto the novel because of it. And wonderfully, the two eventually develop a sweet friendship as they connect over music, listening to and creating it. But the underlying tones of desire and longing added a nice touch of angst and emotion to the story.

We know each other. We can talk about anything, or nothing. It never gets old or boring. Libby is my resonance; when I’m in her vicinity, I’m suddenly amped up, with everything moving at a different frequency. And I don’t care if that’s sappy. It’s the truth.

Once Killian and Libby do get into a relationship (and holy hell, are they hot together!), sadly things flatlined a bit for me. I loved the tension, but once that was done, I didn’t really find myself connecting much with anything else. I liked Libby and Killian, but I never emotionally connected or related to them. I don’t always have the same taste in music as the rock star books I’ve read, but the authors are usually able to make me feel immersed in the music anyway. I didn’t really feel that here in Idol, and I got a little bored during the middle, honestly. It was just a little too slow, and my disconnect with the characters, the music, and the rock star life just wasn’t working.

Still, I did love the way Idol ended. The beginning and end were the highlights of the story, the parts that had me hooked on the romance. Killian is the absolute SWEETEST, which is surprising since he came off as a broody alpha-male at first. I enjoyed Libby’s transformation from hermit to an up-an-coming rock star herself. Theirs is a sweet, slow-burn romance, and even though I had problems in the middle, it was very enjoyable to read. I wish I could’ve connected more, and I’m sure it’s a me-not-you thing – other readers are more than likely to adore this unique, sexy rock star romance.

3.5 hearts
lacey

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

Now here’s an excerpt from Idol! ❤

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“You know,” I say conversationally, as I kick back, “I want to fuck you right now.”

Libby jerks as if pinched and sits a little straighter, before getting a hold of herself and slouching as if she’s completely chill. Cute.

She gives me a smirk and sips her water before drawling, “And what? Mark your territory? Assert your manly dominance?”

“Yep.” I slide my gaze to hers. “But mostly I just want to fuck you all the time.”

God, I love the way her lips part and body flushes with heat. So subtle, but there all the same. It makes me hard as steel, my balls squeezing tight. I don’t look at her but pretend I’m observing the room. The lights are dimming for the movie now, the empty chairs in front of us obscuring our lower halves.

Slowly my hand falls to space between us and smooths along her hip. She delicately shivers as my fingers trace down her thigh.

“What about you,” I murmur, lightly toying with her skirt in the darkening room. “You want to fuck me, baby doll?”

“Right now, I want to kick you,” she gets out between clenched teeth. “Keep your hands to yourself. There are nosy ass people everywhere.”

“They’re all watching the movie. Not us.” Focusing on the screen, I keep my expression neutral as I ease my hand under her skirt. Her skin is smooth and warm. The movie starts in a blast of music and the familiar old logo as I trace over her knee and up her soft thigh. “And that wasn’t a ‘no.’”

She makes a cute growl in the back of her throat, but her legs part just enough to give me room to delve between them. Her inner thighs are hot and damp, and my cock twitches.

The storyline rolls along, my touch idly roams. Libby remains utterly still but I can practically feel the tension vibrating within her. When the tip of my finger skims the crease where her thigh meets her hip, her breath catches, legs parting wider.

“Have I mentioned how much I appreciated this new skirt-filled wardrobe?” I whisper, lightly drawing circles along her skin.

“Brenna’s idea.” Her hips shift just a bit, following my touch. “Right now, I’m missing my shorts.”

I smile, my eyes on the screen, my fingers drifting to the edge of her panties. “Later, you can put them on and we’ll play ‘Fuck the Farmer’s Daughter.’”

She grunts, a stifled laugh, which turns to a strangled whimper when I pluck her panties. Her voice turns breathy. “I’m trying to watch the damn movie. I’m not interested in fooling around.” She moves a tiny fraction, nudging against my finger.

In the dark, I grin, heat and lust pulling my abs tight. “I’m sorry,” I say, not sorry at all, “But I don’t believe you. I’m gonna have to check.”

about the author button

Kristen CallihanKristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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