Tag Archives: 3 stars

Reviews: If Only & Release (Captured Series) by Louise J










If Only








3 out of 5

I really liked both Joe and Callie, and I was rooting for them to get together from the first chapter.  Then I continued to root for them through chapters 2 through like 30, which spanned over a ten year period.  I was super excited when they finally got together, so I wanted to scream when circumstances got in the way so they were only together for about three days.  This begins another 10 chapters or so spanning over another two or three years.  Don’t worry, they eventually get their HEA, it was probably just the longest road to get there that I have ever read.  I liked the story but the star-crossed lovers thing grates on me after awhile, especially when the obstacles in their way were much of their own making, so I was past ready for Joe and Callie to be together by the time they did.  Personally, this is going into my take or leave it pile, but I truly feel that there are probably a lot of people out there who are going to enjoy this as it is extremely well written.  I would recommend this to someone in the mood for a lighter read.  Bonus:  It can be read as a stand-alone.



What’s a girl to do when she meets a man who claims the heart that she’s already given to someone else? My boyfriend is everything I’ve ever wanted, he’s perfect, but when I met Joe … I can’t even describe the intensity of my attraction to him. I’d never experienced anything like it before. Since then, it’s become something so much deeper and I’m finding it impossible to ignore what I feel for him. I know I’m already with the man I should be with, yet I want Joe. I can’t seem to get my head and my heart to agree on this. I’m not about to cheat and I won’t just drop the man I love. But what do I do about Joe?

Tattoos, bikes and women – that’s been my life for the last two years and it suited me just fine. Until the day I swerved to avoid a raggedy old VW Bug heading my way, hit the sidewalk, and ended up sprawled on my back. I came around to a pounding headache and the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen. Don’t know if it was the effect she had on me, or the accident, but I somehow managed to let her go without exchanging information, more importantly numbers. Maybe it would’ve been better if things had stayed that way. Maybe then I wouldn’t be caught up in this dilemma. I should do what most guys would do and pursue her, regardless of her being in a relationship. Trust me, it’s tempting. The problem is, I’ve been on the receiving end of a situation similar to this, so I know the hurt I could cause and I don’t think I can do that. But I want Callie. I want her bad.

When Callie and Joe met, neither were prepared for the sequence of events that would follow, or the impact of the choices they would go on to make.

If only is book one in the Captured series. Adult Contemporary Romance. This series is not intended for those below 18 years old due to graphic sexual content and use of language.




3.5 out of 5

I was half expecting for this to go into my take or leave it pile since I wasn’t totally in love with the first in this series, but I was pleasantly surprised how much more I liked Release.  This one can also be read as a stand-alone as it takes place in the same time frame, but it doesn’t give anything away.  Dane and Brooklyn were both likeable characters and their relationship actually had realistic ups and downs.  Dane is a bad boy player type, so Brooklyn is understandably very insecure because she has trouble believing when he tells her she is different for him.  Dane has trouble dealing with her insecurities, especially since he has his own hang ups to deal with on the relationship front.  Louise J’s writing style shined through a little better here.  I will give the third in this series a try.  My hesitancy comes from the fact that I dislike Gerard’s character and I’m not sure if he can redeem himself from the Kayla thing, but I’ll try to go in with an open mind and not completely hate him, hopefully there is something redeemable in his story.




I knew from the start that I should stay away from Dane, and I would have – if he’d stayed away from me. Astoundingly sexy with a consuming presence of unspoken command, he enthralls me to the point of almost being incapable of rational thoughts, almost being incapable of resisting him. My hands want to explore him. My tongue wants to taste him. My body begs to experience him. I crave him. Now he’s starting to intrude on a level that’s harder to fight. I know what he wants from me. I also know that Dane is not the type of man you expect to keep.

Things are never straightforward with women like Brooklyn. She’s not the kind whose bed you can slip out of and walk away from without ‘special connections’ or ‘emotions’ expected or offered. She’s the type of woman I prefer to keep my distance from, but like an undersexed, hormonal idiot, I still pursued her. I swear getting turned on by her is like getting turned on for the first time in my life. Now I have her in my grasp, but I know where this will lead. And I’m never the one that gets hurt in situations like this.

A woman who has barely put her broken-self back together and a man who turned his back on love a long time ago. When Dane and Brooklyn first met it appeared to be a simple case of lust between two opposites, but it was the beginning of an intense, emotional journey that would bring forth the pain they both attempted to leave in their pasts, and an encapsulation of feelings neither welcomed but were powerless to stop. Sometimes in life there is no choice but to take a risk.

*Release takes place in the months leading up to the end of If Only (book one in the Captured series), and includes major spoilers from Joe and Callie’s story.

*This book contains graphic sexual content.




Louise J has always been a daydreamer, but never considered writing a novel until days before typing the first words to If Only. Joe and Callie (and Gerard) appeared in a dream and her mind has never been her own since then, and she’s never alone. When she’s not writing she spends a lot of time missing out on huge chunks of conversation, movies, and TV shows thanks to many wonderful, but highly invasive characters bouncing around in her head, showing her their stories. In the name of research, those fabulous characters have led her to parts of the world she never would have dreamed of, and, as a result, has gained some of the most amazing memories. The rest of the time Louise J is trying to be a good wife to the greatest husband she could ever have asked for.




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Filed under 3 Stars, 3.5 Stars, Contemporary, Friendship, Lorraine, Review

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway- The Devil’s Tattoo by Nicole R. Taylor



3 out of 5

I didn’t dislike The Devil’s Tattoo, but I didn’t love it either.  I’m on the fence completely.  I wanted to love it.  I enjoy a sexy rock star as much as the next chick.  I feel like there was maybe something missing to give it that push from being a good read to a great read.

I had a little trouble getting into it at first, but then I realized that Nicole R. Taylor is Australian, which explained the slang and language.  I do find it difficult to judge the writing style, as I don’t know jack about Australian culture, so I’m not going to.

Zoe was a pretty cool chick and Will was sweet.  I liked them as a couple.  There was a lot of pussy-footing around the fact that they liked each other, and for me, that just took too long.  No progress, then wam! They’re together.  Zoe had this bad experience with men that she kept pushing Will away because of, and when it’s finally uncovered what happened- there wasn’t enough detail and emotion to make me feel like I could relate to her that well.  Will, well…I liked him, but he didn’t give off rock star hottie vibes.  The saving grace for me was the beautiful things he says and does in regards to Zoe.

At the end of the day, The Devil’s Tattoo was worth a read if you like rock star books.  This is going to be a series, and I’ll be reading the next one.


Zoe Granger picked up her first guitar the day her heart was smashed into a billion pieces. It was a way to keep her mind off her inevitable downward spiral, but music soon became her escape. She’s been burned too many times to tell and is just happy to coast through life, never putting herself out there. That’s until her best friend Dee suggests they start a band and suddenly she finds herself not just a part of it, but fronting the whole outfit.

They call themselves The Devil’s Tattoo and when they release their debut EP, it rockets to the top of the charts and it’s like an overnight fairytale. Contracts, photo shoots, royalties and interviews are heaped onto the shy Zoe and it’s like she’s finally found her place. Then comes the phone call that changes everything. They’ve been asked to co-headline a tour with one of the hottest bands of the moment, The Stabs and Zoe will never be the same again.

Will Strickland is one fourth of the hottest indie rock band to ever grace the airwaves. He’s the bass player in The Stabs, hot as hell and could have his pick of any girl that flings herself at him. But he’s only got eyes for Zoe and she has no idea why he’d bother. She’s got one hell of a trust issue and an attitude to boot and Will seems to be the one who wants to tame her, but is he game enough?

The Devil’s Tattoo and The Stabs go on the road and it’s either going to be a highway to hell or a stairway to heaven. Only time will tell who will come out on top and Zoe’s determined to do it without getting her heart broken… again.

Book Trailer:

Nicole R. Taylor is an Australian born paranormal, fantasy and contemporary fiction author. She is a graduate of the University of Ballarat Professional Writing and Editing programme and is a former music memorabilia sales person and grocery merchandiser. She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with a two year old rescue cat named, Burger. She enjoys reading, writing (of course!), traveling and a little too much chocolate. One day she hopes to sky dive, but has to work up the courage first. The first in her new paranormal fantasy series, The Witch Hunter Saga is available in e-edition and print from March 20th 2013
Prizes include:
1 x Swag Pack – inc. The Devil’s Tattoo band t-shirt (choice of size/either vest, men’s tee or womans fitted tee),
tote bag, badge, signed postcards and sticker
2 x Signed Postcard Pack and The Devil’s Tattoo Band Sticker
5 x Ebook Copies of The Devil’s Tattoo (mobi or epub)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Filed under 3 Stars, ARC, Blog Tour, Contemporary, Giveaway, Indie Authors, Lorraine, Review, Rock Stars, Tattoos & Piercings

Blog Tour: Review of For Everly by Raine Thomas

For EverlySynopsis

**Mature Content Warning** This is a New Adult novel recommended for ages 17+ due to language, sexual content, and mature subject matter.
Determined to overcome a dark and tragic past, college student Everly Wallace is only months away from earning her degree in physical therapy. She’s consumed with school, caring for her ailing grandfather, and figuring out how to pay the next bill. The last thing she wants is a relationship, but it just might be the one thing she needs.
Major League pitcher Cole Parker hasn’t fought for anything in his life. He went from a privileged upbringing to a multimillion dollar All-Star career. But when his pitching shoulder starts to give him trouble at only twenty-four years old, he faces the possibility of his injury becoming public knowledge and costing him everything.
In a desperate bid to save his career, Cole decides to hire someone to treat his injury, someone who will keep things off the record and out of the media. He finds the perfect solution in Everly. As mysterious as she is beautiful, she provides an enticing distraction from his pain. Soon, physical therapy is the last thing on his mind.
When an act of betrayal brings the truths they both fear to light, Cole will have to fight for the first time in his life…not just for his career, but for Everly’s love.


Rating 3 out of 5

This book was not a knock your socks off passion filled insta love fest. It was beautifully paced. The characters interactions were believable and reading about their growing attraction and watching them fall for each other was very sweet. Everly Wallace was a girl that I could hang with. She’s got a good head on her shoulders, she’s loyal and honest, she’s determined. She’s had a crappy life, but she is pursuing her dreams and doing whatever it takes to make herself better and that is super fucking cool.  I’m tired of the broken heroines who take a back seat to their own life and then it spins out of control. Not Everly. While she has her secrets, she has her eyes open and that’s refreshing.

And then we have Cole Parker.  Sort of your typical athlete, but he’s got a golden heart and I felt for him and his need to not only get better, but to keep it on the down low so that he didn’t damage his career. I could love a Cole Parker in real life. He’s a good guy from a good family and doesn’t really have anything to fault him for.

So why the 3 rating? The writing is simplistic but full of emotion. The book is supposed to be for the 17+ crowd, but the sexy times were more about the gentle touches and the emotion that goes with the sexy times than being literary “mommy porn”. To some of you, this is a good thing, but for me; I need it to be more primal and animalistic. I had high hopes with the whole athlete hero and such.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good read. And maybe that’s the thing. It was so sweet and simplistic that it didn’t “wow” me. I would recommend it for between those darker reads that we all love to torture ourselves with.  For Everly is the sweet and sexy kind of story that will remind you that chivalry isn’t dead and being friends before being lovers is a good idea.

How to Find Raine Thomas & For Everly

Raine can be found on Goodreads | Facebook | Website | Twitter

For Everly can be found on Goodreads | Amazon

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Filed under 3 Stars, ARC, Athletes, Blog Tour, Contemporary, New Adult, Review

Review: Selling Scarlett by Ella James

selling scarlettSynopsis

Elizabeth DeVille doesn’t belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.
Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.
When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter’s den of vices, she’s a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn’t have, and she’s come up with a foolproof way to get it.
Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she’ll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that’s not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil’s mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.


Rating 3 out of 5

Selling Scarlett was an okay book for me.  I mostly enjoyed it while reading it, but it just had too much of some things and not enough of other things.  The first 30% or so was a little all over the place and had so much to take in. Then the book picks up, but there was not enough of Hunter and Elizabeth for me to feel connected to them as my Hero and heroine.  I liked Elizabeth as a character.  She was loyal and smart and had a cute sense of humor, but the 23 year old virgin thing has been done to death. I have a hard time believing that a girl who has hung onto V-card for so long while pining over a guy since she was a teenager would be okay with selling it off to the highest bidder. Admirable to do it for a friend in desperate need, but really?

Hunter was a stereotypical Hero. He’s been jaded by too much money and privilege and has been drowning himself in booze and whores for so long that even he was tired of himself. He makes some poor decisions that would have been deal breakers for me. And he blew so hot and cold with Elizabeth that wasn’t really buying into the love part of the story.

Ugh. The story. There were just too many elements and characters to keep track of.  I read romance for the romance. Yes, I want a storyline with depth and heat, but Selling Scarlett was just lacking that spark for me.  You know, that feeling of “oh my God, I have to keep reading and see how this turns out”.  Instead, I kept reading just to get to the end. I needed to know that Elizabeth wasn’t going to die a virgin and that Hunter didn’t have anything to do with all of the nefarious other plots and intrigues. I wanted more romance with my intrigue and less of the clichés that we find in so many other novels.

Ella James can write. No doubt. But I just wasn’t feeling it for this book. I will still read other works by Ella James, but I will do so with different expectations.

How to Find Ella James & Selling Scarlett

You can find Ella on Goodreads | Facebook | Website  | Twitter

You can find Selling Scarlett on Goodreads | Smashwords | Amazon

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Filed under 3 Stars, Contemporary, Erotica, Mystery/Suspense, Review