London, 2019. Life has been easy for Maxim Trevelyan. With his good looks, aristocratic connections, and money, he’s never had to work and he’s rarely slept alone. But all that changes when tragedy strikes and Maxim inherits his family’s noble title, wealth, and estates, and all the responsibility that entails. It’s a role he’s not prepared for and one that he struggles to face.
But his biggest challenge is fighting his desire for an unexpected, enigmatic young woman who’s recently arrived in England, possessing little more than a dangerous and troublesome past. Reticent, beautiful, and musically gifted, she’s an alluring mystery, and Maxim’s longing for her deepens into a passion that he’s never experienced and dares not name. Just who is Alessia Demachi? Can Maxim protect her from the malevolence that threatens her? And what will she do when she learns that he’s been hiding secrets of his own?
From the heart of London through wild, rural Cornwall to the bleak, forbidding beauty of the Balkans, The Mister is a roller-coaster ride of danger and desire that leaves the reader breathless to the very last page.
3 out of 5 stars
“I made the wrong choice.”
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
3 out of 5 stars
Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants. Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?
3 out of 5 stars
Charlie Grant's older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can't wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There's the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won't stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren't speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner's nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she'll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
4 out of 5 stars
In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.
As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.
The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.
Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.
Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.
Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....
2 out of 5 stars
When Valerie Stephens made the resolution to say yes to new adventures, she never thought she’d end up in the tiny town of Shambles, fake engaged to one of Ireland’s top rugby players. But there’s a first time for everything.
They say bad things happen in threes.
After my boyfriend broke off our engagement, I lost my apartment, and was laid off from my job, I can definitely attest to that.
They also say life is what happens when you say yes to new adventures.
So when my two sisters invited me to ring in the new year in Ireland, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and go for it. I was going to let “saying yes” be my new resolution.
Little did I know I’d spend New Year’s Eve having a hot and dirty one-night stand with Padraig McCarthy, one hell of a sexy Irishman. I also didn’t know that the brooding and intense sex god was one of Ireland’s top rugby players.
A rugby player with a proposition for me:
Come with him to his tiny hometown of Shambles and pretend to be his fiancé for a few days, just so that his ailing father can have some peace of mind.
It sounded simple enough.
It was anything but.
Not when a town gets up in your business, not when the media hunts you down, not when your past comes back in the picture, not when there are real hearts and feelings at stake.
Not when there are secrets that could break you.
They say life is what happens when you say yes to new adventures.
This is my life in Shambles.
Did Not Finish
We've all played the comparison game at one point or another. But instead of striving to be like everyone else, why not try to be your own #GOALS?
In this refreshing, yet straightforward, guide, bestselling author, writing coach, and personal development junkie, Kristen Martin, puts her personal and professional learning experiences on display for your benefit. Concise, witty, and relatable chapters and exercises make for an engaging and easy read, ultimately helping you to:
* Discover and defeat your fear-based thoughts, self-limiting beliefs, and self-sabotaging behaviors
* Overcome toxic energy, relationships, and situations that have been holding you back up until this point
* Evolve into the person you were destined to become and live the amazing life you've always dreamed of
If you're ready to get out of your own head, stop playing the comparison game, reclaim your self-worth, and walk in your truth every single day from this moment forward . . . this book was written for you.
1 out of 5 stars
For those who are unaware, I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology. I also have two Master's Degrees in clinical psychology. Therefore, when I read personal development books I am reading them with a well-trained eye for bullshit and plagiarism. Prior to reading Be Your Own #Goals I had followed Kristen Martin on YouTube and Instagram where she exudes confidence and a willingness to help other writers and women. I'll admit, I fell for her charm which led me to purchase her book.
Going in I had high expectations to feel really excited while reading her book given the way she presents herself on social media platforms. Unfortunately, I was met with a heaping load of disappointment and there are several reasons for that. For one, Kristen sells a writing program that costs over $2K, yet there were a multitude of grammatical mistakes throughout her book. Being an Indie author myself, I understand the costs of self-publishing, but homegirl brags about her 5-figure income she should damn sure have a budget for an editor. Additionally, there were a few psychological theories that she pulled from (likely from a quick Google search given the lack of explanation) and she paid no credit to the psychologists who developed the theories and interventions. If you are going to write a personal development book based on personal experiences that is completely fine. But as soon as you start introducing psychological concepts that other people spent YEARS developing and perfecting, DO NOT plagiarize their work because that just makes you a total prick and unbelievable to us professionals in the field.
When reading personal development books I tend to look for universality. How can this book relate to the widest range of people? Well I can tell you that Be Your Own #Goals contains a specific chapter that is highly un-relatable to many people. Kristen discusses the idea of spending money to further her dreams and how she did not make the progress she was looking for until she spent money on a business coach. First, I find this a bit suspicious because in all the videos I've watched of hers and throughout her book, she never credits the actual mysterious business coach that she talks so highly of. This chapter honestly just felt like a disingenuous plug for her own writing program, Valiance. I understand marketing, but when an author markets their other platforms within the body of their book it pisses me off that I essentially paid for an advertisement. There are also very few people who can pay for a business coach or a writing coach, especially at the astronomically high rates she has her programs for. Instead of writing that chapter on spending money, it would have made more sense for her to discuss spending time and energy on passion fueled projects. Both of those things are universal and would prevent those who are not economically stable from feeling even more discouraged.
Finally, Kristen claimed the theme of this book was to encourage others to live their own version of the truth. I mean shit, it's on her cover. I didn't feel that this theme was carried throughout the book. Instead, it felt like each chapter was its own loose idea that related to her personal journey. It lacked an overall coherence and once I finished reading it, I questioned if she even answered her claim of the book being a guide to reclaiming self-worth.
It is sad to say that this book has fallen into my will never recommend pile.
She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .
Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.
Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.
They say first impressions are everything . . .
In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.
She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.
And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.
Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?
5 out of 5 stars
I must admit that although I have read my fare share of erotica novels I have never read a book that merges erotica with the Italian mafia. And let me tell you...it was HOT. If you have an affliction for really (and I mean really) bad boys who care for their women in all the right ways then I suggest giving The Sweetest Oblivion a read.
Elena is an intriguing character because although she is known as the Sweet Abelli, it becomes clear that there is a darker side to the young woman. In a world that dominates women, she learns how to find her voice and use it effectively to get exactly what she wants. She also carries around a piece of her past that she can't quite let go of. Danielle does an excellent job at providing teasers about Elena's past without giving away the information too quickly. Elena's character development was well thought out and her growth makes for an engaging plot line.
Next we have Nicolas...keep your legs crossed ladies because he is a hot one! The book world is saturated with damaged boys turned men who have a domineering fetish. While Nicolas is a dominating man in most regards, it is his culture and lifestyle that makes him such. He grew up in the lifestyle and therefore acts accordingly. It was quite refreshing to see a different storyline and character development for the domineering tough guy trope. Nicolas is everything you might imagine for an Italian mafia king. He's dangerous, brooding, sexy, and protective of things he loves.
The progression of Elena and Nicolas's relationship is slow and steady before their interactions set you on fire with lust and desire. It's quite annoying to see the same story playing out - man and woman are lusting over one another, then they immediately fall in love. This doesn't happen in real life, so why are so many authors writing like it does?! Anywho...The Sweetest Oblivion plays into what we might see in a real situation. The lust develops rapidly and as the relationship progresses and Elena and Nicolas are faced with trials, a deeper connection is made. It is clear Danielle knows how functional relationships work and it comes across in her book.
We also often see a lack of supporting characters in erotica, but there were several to choose from in The Sweetest Oblivion. Those characters allowed for the plot to feel authentic and it forced the main characters to move through the plot at an adequate pace. Given the cultural influence, it would be expected to have several characters involved and they all contributed in their own meaningful way.
This binge worthy read will definitely have you standing in front of the freezer to cool off, so check it out now!