Wednesday, July 31, 2013

COMPLETE ME (the Stark Trilogy #3) - Review

Complete Me (Book 3 in the Stark Trilogy)
By J. Kenner
Published by: Bantam
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful multimillionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and Nikki Fairchild, the Southern belle who only says “yes” on her own terms.

Our desire runs deep. But our secrets cut close. Beautiful, strong, and commanding, Damien Stark fills a void in me that no other man can touch. His fierce cravings push me beyond the brink of bliss—and unleash a wild passion that utterly consumes us both.

Yet beneath his need for dominance, he carries the wounds of a painful past. Haunted by a legacy of dark secrets and broken trust, he seeks release in our shared ecstasy, the heat between us burning stronger each day.

Our attraction is undeniable, our obsession inevitable. Yet not even Damien can run from his ghosts, or shield us from the dangers yet to come.

Complete Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.
Amazon – B&N 
I completely love this couple! Nikki and Damien are amazing together. Their quirks complement each other and their need to give and take feeds off their attraction. They are one hot couple! Complete Me is the perfect conclusion for their story, and just getting Nikki’s side strengthens the mystery that is Damien Stark, and raises the suspense for the reader.

I would say this is the most suspenseful book of the trilogy, and the best part is we get so many answers. Some that I never saw coming. Julie has created a couple that is so intensely connected, that even I, as the reader, felt I was a part of them. My heart raced right along with Nikki’s and of course I could feel the passion between them. I felt both of their hearts breaking and their struggle to overcome the crazy situations they’ve found themselves in.

As a whole, this trilogy is certainly one of my favorites. I strongly recommend it to those of you who loved 50 Shades of Grey, The Crossfire Series, and Gail McHugh’s Collide. There’s sex, passion and love mixed with suspense, fire and danger. The Stark Trilogy is the complete package of emotion! It’s an experience you definitely don’t want to miss!

Learn more about the Stark Trilogy and meet the author, Julie Kenner HERE!

GUEST POST: J. Kenner - Author of the Stark Trilogy

Welcome to the Complete Me blog hop! Today, Julie has been gracious enough to stop by and tell us a little about THE MAN HIMSELF! Yep, the one, the only, Damien Stark. That swoon-worthy, sexy, hunk we all know and love. So, please welcome Julie.

*Waves* Hi Julie! (See guys, isn’t she cute!) Thanks so much for sharing with us today!

And now….
Me and Damien Stark

I’ve written a lot of books and a lot of heroes over the years, and though all of them have a place in my heart, I have to say that none of them have yet gotten under my skin the way that Damien Stark has.

There’s just something about that man … he’s sexy as hell, mysterious, has a hard and dangerous edge, and yet he is completely and utterly devoted to the woman he loves.

But so are a lot of men who live between the pages of books.  So why does Damien sing for me (and for the readers who’ve written to tell me they swoon for him)?  

I think it’s a combination of who Damien is and how he is perceived.  And all of that ties in to the way that he’s portrayed on the page.

Let’s start with the easiest:  Who is Damien Stark?  Well, he’s one of the sexiest, most powerful men on the planet.  He’s a former athlete, a celebrity in his own right.  He’s smart and well-read. He knows how to seduce a woman.  All great, right?  

But The Perfect Dude does not a compelling story make.  There needs to be storm clouds lurking behind those dual-colored eyes, and Damien definitely has the storms.  And it’s those storms coupled with his power, his control, his whole damn persona, that make him so fascinating to Nikki.  And that’s the real challenge:  pulling the reader into her head so that the reader feels the same fascination and mystery that she does.

That’s the reason that I wrote the Stark Trilogy from Nikki’s point of view only.  Meeting Damien through Nikki makes him that much more mysterious and, yes, dangerous.  We’re never quite sure what he’s thinking until he reveals himself to Nikki and until she gets to the point where she understands him enough to interpret his signals.  

The point of view gives the series a gothic quality that I love…and I hope readers do, too!!


Haven’t read the Stark Trilogy yet? You are totally missing out! Check out the entire trilogy below.

Release Me (Book 1 in the Stark Trilogy)
By J. Kenner
Published by: Bantam
For fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You comes an erotic, emotionally charged romance between a powerful man who’s never heard “no” and a fiery woman who says “yes” on her own terms. 

He was the one man I couldn’t avoid. And the one man I couldn’t resist. 

Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.
Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past—and risk breaking us apart.
But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him—and us—forever.

Release Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Claim Me (Book 2 in the Stark Trilogy)

By J. Kenner
Published by: Bantam
For Damien, our obsession is a game. For me, it is fiercely, blindingly, real.

Damien Stark’s need is palpable—his need for pleasure, his need for control, his need for me. Beautiful and brilliant yet tortured at his core, he is in every way my match.

I have agreed to be his alone, and now I want him to be fully mine. I want us to possess each other beyond the sweetest edge of our ecstasy, into the deepest desires of our souls. To let the fire that burns between us consume us both.

But there are dark places within Damien that not even our wildest passion can touch. I yearn to know his secrets, yearn for him to surrender to me as I have surrendered to him. But our troubled pasts will either bind us close . . . or shatter us completely.

Claim Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.


Complete Me (Book 3 in the Stark Trilogy)
By J. Kenner
Published by: Bantam
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful multimillionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and Nikki Fairchild, the Southern belle who only says “yes” on her own terms.

Our desire runs deep. But our secrets cut close. Beautiful, strong, and commanding, Damien Stark fills a void in me that no other man can touch. His fierce cravings push me beyond the brink of bliss—and unleash a wild passion that utterly consumes us both.

Yet beneath his need for dominance, he carries the wounds of a painful past. Haunted by a legacy of dark secrets and broken trust, he seeks release in our shared ecstasy, the heat between us burning stronger each day.

Our attraction is undeniable, our obsession inevitable. Yet not even Damien can run from his ghosts, or shield us from the dangers yet to come.

Complete Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.
Amazon – B&N
And don’t forget the huge giveaway going on right now to celebrate the release of Complete Me. Visit the post here.

Meet the Author
New York Times  and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) has published over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.  You can find out more about her at her website,, or connect with her through social media on Twitter ( or Facebook as Julie Kenner ( or as J. Kenner (
And if you want more official bio-y stuff, read on!  
Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K.  is also a two-time RITA finalist, the winner of Romantic Times‘ Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, the winner of the Reviewers International Organization’s award for best romantic suspense of 2004 and best paranormal of 2005, and the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award for best mainstream book of 2005.
She writes a range of stories including sexy and quirky romances, young adult novels, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her popular dark paranormal Shadow Keepers series originally issued as author J.K. Beck has been reissued as J. Kenner titles.
The first book in her current Stark Trilogy, Release Me, was a multi-week New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Book two, Claim Me, debuted at number two on the New York Times list and remained on that list and the USA Today list for multiple weeks.  Book three, Complete Me, will be on sale July 30.  The series has sold to over a dozen countries.
Julie lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

REVIEW ~ Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back. John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and   over....
After reading the eye reeling blurb on the back cover of Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols, I was like, "O-goodie, goodie- an Echol's fudge treat! Don't let me down!" If you are familiar with my reviews, it's no secret that I adore this author.
Let me down? As if! I worship the tiara on Jennifer Echols head. I consider her the queen of contemporary romance novels to please every reader. Her stories are always charming and superb and she always builds an amazing introduction to her characters and leads them into bliss.
Instead of a bad boy, we have a small town bad girl (ooooh yeah!!) counting down the days 'til she graduates high school and moves on to the big city. Meg is daring, seductive, sarcastic, and a misfit. She also has a bout with claustrophobia. After ending up in a cop car, are her wild days over or has this pursued into something unexpected?  So much for spring break.

*Roll the lights B.*
The thoughts Meg had about the mysterious Officer After had me tumbling through the pages like I was on the Olympics gym team. She made me want to kiss the officer's dimples... and squeeze his butt cheeks. The anticipation at discovering the familiarity of Officer After had my stomach in double tied knots.
John After stood for his responsibilities as a police officer. He is stern, intense, but soft in the heart. I would be okay with him giving me a full body search. I mean, I'd totally streak down a public street just to get arrested by him.
I loved the way Meg made Officer John After second guess his motives and I loved the way he made her test her fear. I loved the discoveries they made together and how they broke the façade of the other. I loved their understandable hard resistance. I loved this book.
And, I love Jennifer Echols!!!
Find Going Too Far on Goodreads.
Purchase Going Too Far on Amazon, BN, Book Depository.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SWEET THING by Renee Carlino - REVIEW

Paperback review copy provided by the author.
Mia Kelly is a twenty-five-year-old walking Gap ad who thinks she has life figured out when her father’s sudden death uproots her from slow-paced Ann Arbor to New York City’s bustling East Village. There she discovers her father’s spirit for life and the legacy he left behind with the help of an old café, a few eccentric friends, and one charming musician.

Will Ryan is good-looking, poetic, spontaneous, and on the brink of fame when he meets Mia, his new landlord, muse, and personal heartbreaker.

A story of self-discovery and friendship, Sweet Thing shines light on the power of loving and letting go.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Renee Carlino at that fabulous event called Book Bash just one short month ago, and she was so incredibly nice! I had heard some great things about her debut Sweet Thing, but I had not had the chance to pick it up yet. Well, Renee was gracious enough to give me a copy and even sign it for me. See, isn't it pretty!

Oh, let me tell you, I TOTALLY and COMPLETELY enjoyed Will’s guitar hands! In fact, I fell in love with Will’s guitar hands with every turn of a page. I have read books in under 24 hours before, but it has been a long time since I’ve spent one entire Sunday devouring a book from cover to cover in less than 12 hours. And I did exactly that with Sweet Thing.

I’ve been sucked into a story before, numerous times in fact; however, I was entranced by Mia’s story. This is first and foremost Mia’s story. It’s a tale of loss and heartbreak, of friendship and finding one’s self. Maryse’s Book Blog said, “It gave me every emotion and in just the right amount. My perfect read… 5 stars PLUS!” and I couldn’t agree more. I laughed; I cried (a lot actually). I felt heartbreak and love and envy. But most of all, I felt the story. Every sentence, every word was filled with emotion. I literally felt Mia’s pain and confusion and fear. This book was the best experience of the year for me and it’s definitely one of my top favorites now.

I can’t compare Sweet Thing to anything else at all. It’s a book you have to feel and experience for yourself, and I strongly recommend it. While you will feel all kinds of emotions for Mia, you will fall head over heels for Will Ryan. He is the perfect mixture of sexy, sweet and artistic with an edge of romance that I haven’t found in a male character in a very long time. You will crave him and his guitar hands and his patience and pure heart and soul until the final sentence and you will adore every aching minute of it! So please, please, please go out and grab your copy now, because I can’t wait for you to meet my new favorite book couple!

About the Author:
Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
Connect with Renee

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blog Tour + giveaway: BEAUTIFUL BROKEN RULES

What happens when you create rules to keep others out?

One thing Emerson Moore has come to terms with is that she is the school slut. She knows her way around a frat house and how to get what she wants. She doesn’t make any excuses for her actions and she doesn’t pretend to be anything different. She is who she is and with that she knows how to have a good time. She’s made rules to keep relationships at bay and avoid the demons of her past.

When her best friend, Cole has his two friends from back home move in with him she begins to think she has met her match with Jaxon Riley. Jax is the perfect mixture of tattooed muscle and a sweet-talking mouth. With “hand” written notes, a voice that exudes sex and knowing just how to get under her skin, Jaxon learns how to break all the rules. But will he just end up breaking her heart anyway?

I fell in love with this couple! It had a very Beautiful Disaster feel, but was totally able to stand on its own. I love that Em isn’t the sweet little virgin good girl. I love that she is damaged, and scared, and completely imperfect. And OMG Jaxon... *fans self* I might be in love with another fictional man. 

This book flowed so well, and I adored all the characters; especially Em's best friend Cole. I got sucked into this book almost immediately. I mean, how does a girl sneaking out of a frat house in nothing but a guys dirty tank top NOT catch your attention? From the first chapter to breaking all of Em's rules, I absolutely loved every second of Em and Jax's story. 

If you liked Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire I think you'll really like Beautiful Broken Rules. There's sexy bad boy and an emotionally distance girl trying to keep herself from loving. I strongly suggest grabbing this one as quick as you can!
Buy Links:
Author Bio:
I'm a wanderer, an adventurer, a traveler. I want to see it all. I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list.
"She travels the world & home is always in her heart."
Lately if I'm not traveling or chasing a toddler, I'm writing. Which is weird because I hated writing in college. Oh wait, that's because that was boring. Who really wants to sit there and cite all your sources into APA format? Not this girl. Writing for yourself is enjoyable and cathartic. Please try it. Then tell me about because I love indie authors.
When I was 19, I packed up and followed my high school sweetheart from Texas to California. We had a blast living it up in San Diego. Four years later we made a crazy decision and packed up again and moved to Germany. What? Yep, you read that right. Guess what? Best decision ever! We OWNED Europe. For three years we saw as much as we possibly could. We lived an hour outside of France, a couple from Switzerland and Italy. Most amazing time of my life. Please go out there and see the world, you won't regret it. After Europe we moved back to California, and for now we're just debating our next adventure.
I earned a degree in Child Development. And now I write novels. Makes perfect sense! I write because I walk around all day with these stories in my head. It's nice to be able to get them out of my head in an organized fashion. I hope that someone out there enjoys them, because I have enjoyed so many others'.
Social Links:

Giveaway Code:
4 Amazon Gift Cards Each $25
2 signed paperbacks (US Only)
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blog Tour: NEARLY BROKEN by Devon Ashley

Welcome to Living Fictitiously's stop on the Nearly Broken blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Summary from Goodreads:
We’d both gone missing at one point, but Claire had one thing I didn’t. Someone to notice. So why was I the one still here and she the one still gone?
Nineteen year old Megan Smith has spent the past year working in a small town diner in the middle of nowhere. Life is quiet, simple, safe. Then comes the news that her look-a-like has gone missing.


Still damaged both physically and mentally, Megan's not looking to be noticed. Wherever she goes from here, it's a road she needs to take alone. But when Nickolas Ellis takes the job as the new nightshift cook, it scares her how easily her defenses crumble down, down, down for him. But there are secrets she can't bear to share with just anyone, unspeakable acts that continue to haunt, and when the similarities of Claire’s abduction couples with the fear of an unwanted visitor in town, the urge to run before it all happens again intensifies, threatening the only happiness Megan's ever found.
New Adult Romantic Suspense / Realistic Fiction
Recommended for 17+ for mature and disturbing situations, language and sexual content.

This book has a dark story. I mean, the things that have happened to Meagan are pretty horrendous, and her life has been anything but pleasant. I loved the approach Devon Ashley took to this topic. It is not lighthearted at all, but the characters are endearing and lovable and you just can't help but root for them.

The disclaimer for this book is extremely accurate. It's a disturbing topic and it comes with some serious situations that may not be for the faint of heart. However, this aspect of the book is what really makes the story stick with you. 

I felt this intense connection to Meagan, and when she was feeling anxiety, I could literally feel my heart rate pick up. I wanted to laugh and cry and scream with her. She's one tough young woman, and it's amazing how strong she remains throughout the events of the story.

This is not a heart-stopping romance, where the guy is sex-on-a-stick and the couple just needs to overcome their pasts to be together. It's much more challenging and serious. This is story about true love, and the effect of serious emotional and physical trauma on that love. The relationship in this book is inspiring, and I strongly recommend it for readers over 17.

About the Author
Devon Ashley was born in Huntington Beach but has spent most of her life residing in Texas. She spends a great deal of her time taking care of her husband and son but always seems to find time to write, knit and create unique decorative pieces. She particularly likes to write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
Interesting Fact: Devon Ashley shares her birthday with her favorite author, Jane Austen.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

2 signed paperbacks and 2 e-books (epub or mobi) of Nearly Broken,  open Internationally!

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REVIEW ~ The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

The reader is taken on a venture through the eyes of a teen who is battling cancer. With the help of Augustus Waters, Hazel will learn to live and value her life.

While John Green expresses this is a 'work of fiction,' you can't help but live it as you comprehend every word. Call me crazy, but at times it seemed I traveled through a vortex and entered scenes in this book, actually watching the pages unfold. This was definitely not an apathetic read. Battling with my emotional mental state, I had to scold myself that this was in fact, a fictional story.

Hazel was full of sarcasm, despair, and fear...  you don't say?! The girl knew she was sick and possibly dying. She dealt with it. Up front she was, and not this 'poor me, I'm sick person.' She was compared to a pixie cut Natalie Portman, so you can imagine her beauty. While she brought me tears, she also brought me laughter with her witty remarks. She was a brave, brave girl for all that she endured. 

Being a mom, I couldn't help but put myself in the shoes of Hazel's mother. While it was painful, I could see that she was so proud to have such a brave daughter. The strength this woman possessed for her child is phenomenal. Their relationship is one to be cherished.

"Because you're beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence." - Augustus Waters
Augustus, battling cancer himself was confident and snarky. Most of all, he was genuine. He had my three favorite qualities in a guy. His words had so much meaning, not alone his existence. And the way he'd say, "Hazel Grace," just had me jiggly wiggly googly goo. The dedicated support he gave Hazel was inspiring and so heart felt. I loved how Augustus guided Hazel to live, to live... Not live to die.

Hazel and Augustus gave each other their own brand of encouragement in this story. It just proves that someone is sent into someone else's life for a reason.

I blinked through waterfalls of tears several times through this book. Tears for Hazel, tears for Augustus, tears for their loved ones. Tears from their support. Tears for myself. Every emotion possible in human nature will be felt. Your whole hearted empathy will go haywire.

I had to laugh a few times throughout reading because there were some philosophical references. I had to triple read in order to decipher the meaning behind them. Errrr, maybe I ended up justifying the terms of the meaning and not the intention behind the said person? I think I just confused myself trying to explain myself?

Thank you, John Green for this beautiful story. Thank you for giving Hazel Grace love. Thank you for letting her love. Thank you for giving her Augustus Waters. Thank you for giving Augustus, Hazel Grace. Thank you for expressing the meaning behind loyalty in The Fault in Our Stars. Okay? Okay.

The ending was a little vague for my taste. It's a different closure, but NOT disappointing. Even though I felt it was vague and not this elaborate ending, it totally made sense to end it that way because it seemed that's what Van Houten would do. I can tell you one thing, The Fault in Our Stars will always be a book that I remember to have had struck me right to the core of my heart.

Find The Fault in Our Stars by John Green on Goodreads

Purchase The Fault in Our Stars by John Green on B&N, Amazon, Book Depository