The Discipline (Lessons in Control #2) by Jade A. Waters

disciplineHow far would you go to fulfill a fantasy?
Maya Clery has taken risks before. Her relationship with Dean Sova started out as a risk—a series of sexual assignments, each hotter, wilder, more intense than the last. Exploring her submissive side with a powerful, trustworthy Dominant has been everything she hoped for, everything she needed.
Dean pushes Maya to her limits—it’s one of the things she loves most about him. But as they push the boundaries outside their sex life, meeting friends and family members, Maya realizes there’s still much she doesn’t know about the man with whom she’s sharing her bed.
And when a fantasy simmering between them becomes their latest challenge, past secrets begin to reveal weaknesses in their relationship that neither is ready to face.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I liked the first book in the Lessons in Control series, The Assignment, but as you can tell from my review, even though I liked it, I had some minor issues with it. In The Discipline, I’m sorry to say, I had even more. *sigh*

Okay, so I didn’t hate The Discipline. Maya and Dean had come a long way since they first met. They’d gotten close and learned a lot about each other, but not everything. Their relationship was as hot as ever and Dean found new ways to push Maya, which she loved. What she didn’t love was the fact that she knew he was hiding something from her. And there lies my issue…

Dean was broken by events from his past, but he didn’t share that with Maya. Instead he stalled her whenever she brought things up. The secrecy was frustrating, for both Maya and me as a reader. So much pain, frustration and craziness could have been avoided if Dean or someone… anyone would have filled Maya in on just a little bit of Dean’s past. What he hid from her was a big deal and, once again, he put her in a situation that got out of hand because of his irresponsibility.

Other than my frustration with the characters, The Discipline was still a pretty good read. On a side note, I’m not sure if it was because of that frustration or not, but I found myself skimming over some of the sex in The Discipline. I’m not a prudish reader (have you seen my book list?) but by the end, I’d had enough and there didn’t seem to be much new. Regardless of how Dean and Maya frustrated me, Jade A. Waters isn’t done with this couple yet and neither am I. I’m hoping that they’ve learned from there mistakes and they’re working their way toward a deserved HEA, so I’ll stick with them.

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Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk

datingryanalback_500x750Ryan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend — but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again.
Jason Santos has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can’t seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.
When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they’ll both have to learn to let go of the past.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is one of those super sweet romances that has a couple of characters who you can’t help but want to be happy. I have to admit though that I got a little annoyed at Ryan more than once…

Jason had no desire to enter the contest, much less hope to win, but his well meaning friend gave him no choice. Ryan was a ‘victim’ of the same kind of well meaning friend. The weekend date had absolutely no hope of going anywhere for either one of them, only it did… almost.

There was a whole lot that I liked about Dating Ryan Alback. The supporting characters were great, including the dog. The chemistry between Jason and Ryan was great too… when they weren’t trying to fight it. Honestly, the only thing that I didn’t like about Dating Ran Alback was Ryan. Well, to fair, I didn’t exactly not like him, I just didn’t like the way he jumped to conclusions. I could forgive him the first time, but… you’re just going to have to read this one for yourself and see if you feel the same way.

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Deliciously Smooth Release Tour

Not quite sure who this writing duo is… they’re kind of secretive right now. That’s okay though, because they’re off to a good start with their Naked Brews series. If you’re still not sure, check out my review of Deliciously Smooth. 😉 Oh, and make sure you follow the Rafflecopter link at the end of this post for a chance to win your very owned signed copy of K.B. Jacobs’ debut novel.

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Summary

deliciouslysmoothMy parents were conmen and I was their tool. I learned how to cheat, connive, and charm my way out of any circumstance. But now I’m respectable…kind of. Yeah, my life is still a lie, but that’s because I have no choice. My best friend, who’s also my boss, needs me to lie to keep our billion-dollar charity going. It’s complicated. 
But all the lies are about to end. I just have to finish one final task…taking over a brewery. Easy, right?
Not so much. Because that brewery is part of a custody battle between mother and daughter. The mother owns it. The daughter thinks it should be hers. I’m caught in the middle. Not normally a bad place to be when it comes to two feisty women.
But I’m falling for the daughter and when my lies come to light, everything is going to unravel. And then my future with the brewery and the girl will be shot to hell. 
My boss probably won’t be too happy with me either…

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Author info

KB Jacobs is the pen name for two fabulous, best-selling authors. Obsessed with the 3 B’s…books, brews, and bodies…specifically male ones with a ladder of abs leading down to the treasure trail…

Ahem, sorry, we digress.

These two authors decided to pool their obsessions and discovered a whole new destination to whet their imaginations. Welcome to Naked Brews, one amazing microbrewery set in the middle of the Rockies, run by three women, who much like our authors, know what they want…those 3 B’s again. Side eyes the men…oh, yeah, they have very nice obsessions.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Author Central | Goodreads

Book Stats
Author: KB Jacobs
Title: Deliciously Smooth
Series: Naked Brews, book 1
Publication Date: March 3, 2017
Pages: 214 (66K words)
ASIN: B01MY7TJ2I
ISBN-13: 978-1542533454

Amazon | Goodreads

List Price: $.99 for pre-order and first week of release. Increases to $2.99 after that.

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Single Malt (Agents Irish & Whiskey #1) by Layla Reyne

singlemaltThe heart’s a resilient beast
Eight months after the car crash that changed everything, FBI agent Aidan Talley is back at work. New department, new case and a new partner. Smart, athletic and handsome, Jameson Walker is twelve years his junior. Even if Aidan was ready to move on—and he’s not—Jamie is off-limits.
Jamie’s lusted after Aidan for three years, and the chance to work with San Francisco’s top agent directly is too good to pass up. Aidan is prickly—to put it mildly—but a growing cyber threat soon proves Jamie’s skills invaluable.
Jamie’s talents paint a target on his back, and Aidan is determined to protect him. But with hack after hack threatening a high-security biocontainment facility, time is running out to thwart a deadly terrorist attack. They’ll have to filter out distractions, on the case and in their partnership, to identify the real enemy, solve the case and save thousands of lives, including their own.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ve got a few fellow readers/bloggers whose advice I take when they send me a book recommendation, no questions asked. That’s why that even though Layla Reyne was a new author, when I was told Single Malt was a book that I needed to read, I jumped on it. One book in and I can already tell that I’ll be pouncing on each book in the Agents Irish & Whiskey as soon as they’re available.

Aidan was broken, but he had a huge support system, which included his boss/sister-in-law. Jamie’s been attracted to Aiden for years, but out of respect for Jamie’s marriage he never acted on those feelings. Of course things get complicated when they become partners.

I loved the connection between Aidan and Jamie, but there were a lot of other things going on in Single Malt. There was danger, mystery, guilt and strong family/friend connections that introduce a lot of great characters that I can’t wait to get to know better. It basically looks like Agents Irish & Whiskey is going to have pretty much everything I love about romantic suspense.

Then there was the ending… let’s just say things are going to get really interesting and the second book in the series, Cask Strength can’t come soon enough.

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Reckless (Shattered Sisters #1) by Maggie Shayne

recklessTrue Crime Writer Toni Rio follows a wise guy straight from his brief stint behind bars to his execution in a dirty alley. When his two killers see her witnessing their gruesome work, she runs, but she doesn’t get far.
FBI agent Nick Manelli has to keep his cover intact and keep the sexy witness alive, and there’s only one way he can think of to do both. He has to kidnap her.

Interesting fact… Reckless was the first book published by Maggie Shayne. Although I’ve read several early books by this author, I hadn’t come across the Shattered Sisters series. According to the author, the book’s been ‘totally revamped.’ Regardless, I’m glad I found out about this series. Maggie Shayne is a master of sweet romances as well as paranormal, but I discovered after I read her Brown & de Luca series that her romantic suspense/mystery series might be some of my favorite.

Toni was tough, cunning and smart. She was determined to not go down without a fight. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of Nick though. She knew that there was more to him than he was showing her. Nick knew that there was more to Toni too, he just didn’t know how much more. Their attraction wasn’t instant, but once they started peeling away the layers that they were hiding from each other, they couldn’t fight it.

There were more than a couple of twist, turns and close calls for more than a couple of characters.  Enough that there wasn’t much down time, which kept the pages turning. The next book in the series is Forgotten, followed by Broken and Hunted as well as a prequel, Hollow. If the rest of the series were as interesting to get to know as Toni, this is going to be an interesting series.

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Dating Ryan Alback Virtual Book Tour

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Greetings! I’m J.E. Birk, and right now I’m traversing the internets to discuss my new romantic comedy, DATING RYAN ALBACK. Follow along to learn more about an insecure movie star, a klutzy teacher, and the neurotic dog who loves them. Leave comments for a chance to win a $10 Riptide giftcard and copy of any book from my backlist!

About Dating Ryan Alback

datingryanalback_500x750Ryan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend—but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again.

Jason Santos has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can’t seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.

When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they’ll both have to learn to let go of the past.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/dating-ryan-alback

About J.E. Birk

J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching people run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.

Connect with J.E. Birk:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Dating Ryan Alback, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide Publishing credit and their choice of ebook from J.E.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

By creativedeeds

Half by Eli Lang

halfLiving between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.
I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.
But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.
Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Half is one of those books that sticks with you long after you read it. I’m pretty sure not everyone will be affected by Kin and Luca’s story the same way. That’s the beauty of books that aren’t easy to read from an emotional stand point. They make you think and feel and the best ones make you ask what if?

There were a lot of layers to Half and quite a few perspectives to consider. What would you do to save someone you loved? What would you do if you were offered a cure that may or may not work? What if that cure changed you? How do you come to terms with the guilt you feel for not always being the person someone needed and the frustration of knowing that it may be too late to make up for it? There’s no right or wrong answer… unless you’re the person living with the decision you make.

That’s about all I’ve got… Read Half with an open mind and heart and a box of tissues probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. Also, it’s probably worth mentioning that even though this book is about fairies, that’s about the only paranormal aspect.

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Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #1) by Angie Fox

southernspiritsOne simple mistake… 
For a girl who is about to lose her family home, 
Releases the ghost of a long-dead gangster, 
And opens Verity Long’s eyes to a whole new world. 
When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she’s saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick—she gains the ability see spirits. It leads to an offer she can’t refuse from the town’s bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with. 
Ellis Wyatt is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee’s finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless—and destructive. He hires Verity to put an end to the disturbances. But soon, Verity learns there’s more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms. 
There’s a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn’t above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?

Sometimes, you just want something sweet that’s a fun, quick read and Southern Spirits definitely was all three and then some. 😉

Verity is kind of down on her luck when readers first meet her. She’s about to lose her family home, the town she grew up in hates her because she left her fiancé at the alter (for a VERY good reason, but she can’t tell anyone why) and she accidentally trapped a ghost by her side and he’s not exactly happy about it. Add to that the fact that the only way to save her home seems to be becoming employed by her ex’s brother… yeah, things got interesting really quick in Southern Spirits.

Verity was an easy character to root for. She was smart and witty and she got the raw end of the deal with her ex. Ellis, on the other hand, took a while. He did eventually grow on me though and I can’t wait to see how things develop between this pair as the series progresses.

Basically, Southern Spirits was a sweet little romance with plenty of humor mystery and a hint of danger. And of course, ghosts. Some good, some bad and some just misunderstood. I have a feeling that the Southern Ghost Hunting Mysteries is going to be a series I’m really going to enjoy.

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More Than Luck (Legendary Pairs #2) by Casey Cameron

morethanluckDrey Harper isn’t looking for love; he had more than enough heartbreak after a betrayal cost him everything five years ago. Now at 40, he’s the art director for the hit collectible card game Legendary Pairs. Between long hours at work and countless anonymous hookups, Drey’s life seems pretty full…until the day he meets Lucas Cho.
In the world of Legendary Pairs, 24-year-old Lucas Cho is a superstar. He plays for big money and parties like a rock star, and his arrogant swagger gets him what he wants, at the gaming table or in bed. But when a chance encounter with Drey in a crowded bar leaves him wanting more, all his fortune and skills count for nothing.
The company thinks Lucas’s glamorous playboy lifestyle is good for business, but it’s going too far–Lucas is spinning out of control, and Drey has been sent to clean up the mess and save Lucas’s sponsorship. With a major tournament coming up and Lucas’s contract with Legendary Pairs on the line, it’s up to Drey to keep him out of the bottle and walking that line.
For Lucas, the stakes have never been higher, but the game he’s playing has nothing to do with cards and everything to do with the stoic older man who’s captured his attention. Drey knows a relationship between them is out of the question–Lucas is too young, too reckless, too broken–but the more time he spends in Lucas’s company, the more he wants what he shouldn’t have in this steamy May/December romance.
 

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1So, par for the course, I read book 2, before even realizing that there was a book 1. I honestly don’t think it matters though. Of course I’m going to now have to go back and read Perfect Game 😉 As for Drey and Lucas’ story? There were things I loved and things that kept me wondering…

Okay, so I’ll apologize in advance for being a little vague, but I don’t want to give anything away. There were a lot of things in both Lucas and Drey’s past that didn’t bode well for their future together. Some of those things crept into the present. There were also some conflicts that just kind of resolved themselves. Those are the things that I wanted to know more about. I wanted some of those resolutions to be a little more detailed and not just ‘talked’ about. Other than that, I really liked Lucas and Drey together. They were good for each other in a crazy sort of way.

I also liked the supporting characters, especially Drey’s daughter. There were other characters that I liked in the beginning, but wasn’t quite sure about by the end. There was at least one character that I had the opposite reaction to. I kinda like it when that happens. 😉

This is the first Casey Cameron book I’ve read and she’s piqued my interest. I’ll definitely be checking out more of her books.

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As I Am (All Saints #3) by A.M. Arthur

asiamWill Madden is healing.
Thanks to therapy and a growing support system, he’s taking baby steps into a promising future. One of those steps leads him to an online chat room, where he quickly bonds with fellow PTSD sufferer Taz Zachary.
Despite their virtual connection, Taz is initially freaked out at the idea of meeting Will face-to-face. A sexual relationship may be the last thing on his mind, but his craving for human interaction—and more of the way Will makes him laugh—gives him the courage he needs to take the next step.
In person, the chemistry between them is undeniable. But Will is hurt when Taz doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get him into bed. Still, acceptance, love and happiness all seem within reach for the first time in forever—until demons from the past threaten the future they both finally believe they deserve.

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My favorite so far in this series… hands down!

The All Saints series is one of three of A.M. Arthur’s series that have common threads. I love it when a series brings characters from previous books back. Especially when characters are as ‘broken’ as some of Arthur’s. It’s nice to check up on them. 😉 These books take things even further by keeping readers in touch with not only characters from the current series, but with characters from past series. It seemed like As I Am had even more ‘cameos’ than most, but I’m not complaining. ❤

I’m also pretty sure that Taz and Will might also come close to being the most broken couple that I’ve read in a while. Both of their back stories were heart breaking, but they were individually stronger than they gave themselves credit for. I ended up admiring them both for their courage. They had set backs and revelations were revealed that could have easily crushed them… and almost did. They held on though and learned to trust, not only each other, but people outside their tight inner circle. That circle expanded to include several supporting characters that readers had already met. As I Am made me fall in love with some of them all over again.

I’m pretty much caught up on the books in the series that are set in Wilmington, but I still have a few to go. If you want to read a few of A.M. Arthur’s thoughts on her Belonging, Restoration and All Saints series, you can visit her website. It kinda makes me want to start from the beginning 😉

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