Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Review : MAKING FACES by Amy Harmon


What a beautiful story of two people with UGS ( Ugly Girl/Guy Syndrome)
Ambrose Young is a Master of His Small Universe of Hannah Lake . He's beautiful, powerful, star athlete, popular and a bright future 

" Ambrose Young was absolutely beautiful, a Greek god among mortals, the stuff of fairy tales and movie screens. Unlike the other boys, he wore his dark hair in waves that brushed his shoulders, occasionally sweeping it back so it wouldn’t fall into his heavily-lashed brown eyes. The squared-off edge of his sculpted jaw kept him from being too pretty, that and the fact he was six foot three in his socks, weighed a strapping 215 pounds by the age of eighteen, and had a body corded with muscle from his shoulders to his well-shaped calves."

And as much as all the kids loved him, standing in the sidelines , watching from the stands are two people Ambrose would never even notice in the throng.

"There's Fern Taylor - Small and pale, with bright-red hair and forgettable features, Fern knew she was the kind of girl who was easily overlooked, easily ignored, and never dreamed about. She had floated through childhood without drama and with little fanfare, grounded in a perfect awareness of her own mediocrity."

She suffers from the usual teenage pains. Braces, freckles, curly red wayward hair , plain face and invisibility. She crushes hard on Ambrose and he doesn't even know she exists. She writes beautiful , funny love notes to him , hiding behind her friends persona of Rita. They have this funny , Literary chemistry which pulls them together and based on her verbiage alone, Ambrose is pulled towards her 

"The worst part was that every word had been real. Every word had been the truth. But she’d written the letters as if she had a face like Rita’s and a body like hers too, like she was a woman who could woo a man with her figure and her smile and back it up with a brain to match. And that part was a lie. She was small and homely. Ugly. Ambrose would feel like a fool for the words he’d given her. His words had been words for a beautiful girl. Not Fern."

And then there's Bailey . Beautiful , Bailey Sheen . He's coach Mike Sheen's son , suffering from debilitating Duchenne muscular dystrophy. His limbs don't work. He's fascinated by history and immortal, mythical heroes of ancient times . King Arthur, Zues , Hercules even modern ones like spiderman and superman ! 
The solid bond he shares with Fern is his source of strength. They're equal partners in shared love , laughter and tears . 
She's his guardian Angel , His Tender Mercy , he's her voice of reason, more often than not propping her self worth and self belief .
What I loved at this point of the story was it's purity of thought. Bailey is as pure as they come, when his body fails him, his heart and brain shine. He strives to be as helpful as he can be to his dad, keeping scores, stats in his mind during wrestling.
He looks up to his idol -Ambrose and makes him the Hercules of his helpless world
And he's the best friend and shoulder to cry on for Fern. When she pines for Ambrose, when she's alone and feeling lost and when she's wandering aimlessly in Romance books trying to find a vestige of love from a perfect man. 
Could you belong to someone who didn’t want you? Fern decided it was possible, because her heart was his, and whether or not he wanted it didn’t seem to make much difference.
He guides her path and nudges her heart towards Ambrose . He really wants to take care of her , it's on his bucket list since he was 10 !
Bailey becomes her Moral Compass and untangled the knots in her thoughts all the time, whenever in doubt, he offers her advice

Main characters never die in books. If they did, the story would be ruined, or over.” “Everybody is a main character to someone,”

Soon Ambrose Young enlists in the army and coerces his four best friends to join with him. Jesse, Beans, Paulie & Grant. 
Why does he do that? Because he wants to escape the pressure of living up to everyone's expectations and constantly proving himself or maybe after 9/11 where he loses his mom in the world Trade tower , he needs somebody to blame and pay . Whatever the reason, he is stationed in Iraq for two years where he loses everything one fateful day.

"He wasn’t Hercules and he wasn’t the Tin Man. He was the Cowardly Lion. He’d run away from home and brought his friends with him, his security blanket, his very own cheering section. He wondered what the hell he was doing in Oz."

He questions himself daily in the Hell Hole of war, watching severed limbs and slaughtered bodies . As fate would have it , An ambush kills Paulie, Beans, Jesse and Grant are killed and Ambrose barely survives himself . Disfigured and scarred for life ! He returns home and shuts himself in his childhood bedroom , away from prying horrified eyes , slinking in the dark abysmal guilt that weighs his soul.

“Mr. Hildy told me the lucky ones are the ones who don’t come back

And survivors Guilt is soul crushing like an Elephant sitting on your chest, you're helpless, suffocating hut don't have the strength to move it an inch. He constantly questions -Why Me? 
And here is a flip over in the story. The Handicapped Bailey saves the Mighty Hercules!

I have no pride left, Ambrose!” Bailey said. “No pride. But it was my pride or my life. I had to choose. So do you. You can have your pride and sit here and make cupcakes and get old and fat and nobody will give a damn after a while. Or you can trade that pride in for a little humility and take your life back.”

Bailey surprisely is in charge of collecting the Lost souls . Ambrose warms up to him and in the process sidles up to Fern too.
What a fantastic point in the story here. The Mighty Hercules is King of his world , so engrossed in his beautiful universe that people hide in plain sight, blending in the colour less environment. When the mighty fall down to Earth , they came face to face with the dwellers smaller than him and you see beauty in its rarest form

He was partially blind, but in spite of that, maybe because of that, he was seeing things more clearly than he ever had before.
“I’ve often thought that beauty can be a deterrent to love,” Fern’s father mused. 
“Because sometimes we fall in love with a face and not what’s behind it.I think sometimes a beautiful face is false advertising too, and too many of us don’t take the time to look beneath the lid.

The real beauty just splays in front of you at this point of story 
Fern empathizes with him. She's been a faceless , UGS stricken, plain Jane who's been there; done that . She gets what Ambrose is feeling right now.

She wondered how it would feel to be beautiful and have it taken away. How much harder would it be than never knowing what it felt like in the first place? Angie often remarked that Bailey’s illness was merciful in one regard: it happened slowly through early childhood, robbing the child of his independence before he’d really gained it. So different from those who are paralyzed in an accident and confined to a wheelchair as adults, knowing full well what they have lost, what independence felt like. Ambrose knew what it felt like to be whole, to be perfect, to be Hercules. How cruel to suddenly fall from such heights. Life had given Ambrose another face and Fern wondered if he would ever be able to accept it.

Her unconditional love and support is what rescues him from the depths of his personal hellfire which is still smouldering inside of him 
It's so amazing to see the Beauty and the Beast story unfolding right before your eyes.

"Face of a Hero. Ambrose understood it so much better now. The sorrow on the bronze face, the hand on a breaking heart. Guilt was a heavy burden, even for a mythological champion."

The language is very rich and colourful. Her writing is a display case of emotions and you get a ringside view of relationship of three mutilated and scarred people who hold on to each other after a storm has passed and they're trying to sort through the debris left behind. Bailey is the glue holding all three together. In a way they're all crippled. Fern has a crippled confidence. Bailey has a crippled body. Ambrose has a crippled soul. 
Ambrose carries Bailey in his arms to the top of the hill, Bailey unburdens Ambrose's Heart .
They both share innocent Fern's love and all three hearts sing bad karaoke !!

“I have no pride left, Ambrose!” Bailey said. “No pride. But it was my pride or my life. I had to choose. So do you. You can have your pride and sit here and make cupcakes and get old and fat and nobody will give a damn after a while. Or you can trade that pride in for a little humility and take your life back.”

I loved the softness of the story and the life lessons it teaches. All the secondary characters like Rita , Coach Mike, Pastor Taylor, Elliott are there to intervene at the right time to bolster their confidence and loosen them up. 

Why wouldn’t God make his outside match his inside?” 
“For the same reason He was born in a lowly manger, born to an oppressed people. If He had been beautiful or powerful, people would have followed him for that alone—they would have been drawn to him for all the wrong reasons.”

I went through so many emotions reading this brilliant book.
The game kids play-Making Faces , funny and weird, is symbolic of the Face God gave us and what we turn it into.
Face is used as a facade metaphorically, the cover we hide under, the first impression of people we get and the shallowness of our own human nature . We judge a book by its cover and seldom take time to delve deep and find goodness within.

If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me? 
Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see? 
Does he curl the hair upon my head ‘til it rebels in wild defiance?
Does he close the ears of the deaf man to make him more reliant? 
Is the way I look coincidence or just a twist of fate? 
If he made me this way, is it okay to blame him for the things I hate? 
For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror, 
For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear. 
Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can’t see? 
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?

I cried when I read Ferns poem, I cried when Ambrose read the poem and I cried when Bailey left . My heart just broke in three pieces and now only two remain. 
I cannot stress enough the essential reading of this story, or rather this experience. 
My spirit has absorbed the traits of all these three characters, I hope to live like Bailey sometimes. 

Bailey loved wrestling. Bailey would have been an amazing wrestler if life had just handed him a different set of cards. But that’s not the way it worked out. But Bailey wasn’t bitter. And he wasn’t mean. And he didn’t feel sorry for himself. Bailey taught him to love and to put things in perspective, to live for the present, to say I love you often and to mean it. And to be grateful for every day. It taught him patience and perseverance. It taught him there are things that are more important than wrestling. Bailey is proof of this. He was always smiling, and in so many ways he had life beat, not the other way around. We can’t always control what happens to us. Whether it’s a crippled body or a scarred face. Whether it’s the loss of people we love and don’t want to live without,”

How can you read these profound words and not be impacted with them. It's virtually impossible. 
The twist in the story has you agape. The saviour becomes the victim and the neglected become the hero. They just lift each other up whenever they stumble and this bizarre trio of limping humans take turns playing heroes. 
I've rambled on and on . But that's the book not me! 
I'm left wondering - if Ambrose hadn't been blinded , would he have picked Fern's tree from the Forest ?
Only Amy knows the answer ...

Friday, February 17, 2017

{ New Release} 👽 ALIEN MATE'S ABDUCTION 👽By Zara Zenia & Juno Wells

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The Alien Mate's Abduction: A Sci-Fi Alien Abduction Romance

Zara Zenia and Juno Wells

Release Date: February 15, 2017

Hosted by: Chance Promotions

Genre: sci-fi romance, paranormal romance, alien romance, action and adventure, romantic suspense


#99Cents #OneClick #FreeOnKU


Lainey devotes her entire life to taking care of others. As a cancer researcher, compassion is a huge part of her job. She has to care about her test subjects if she's going to be able to put into the necessary energy needed to help save them.
It's the same with Mark, her dark god with his traditional style and quiet manner.
But when it turns out that he's not the man he claims to be, and she ends up naked in a freezer on a cold gurney, she finds herself questioning her feelings for him. He says he'll help her, and that even though she's in a strange place with things that weren't supposed to exist, she'll be OK.
First, though, she needs to learn to trust him, and there's no way she can trust a man that isn't human. He lied to her, her did this to her and now he was asking her to believe in him.
Will Lainey find a way back to Earth? What will Mark do to her?

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{ Cover Reveal & Giveaway} THE BOXER by Piper Rayne

Title: The Boxer
Series: Modern Love #2
Author: Piper Rayne
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Djordje Grbic
Release Date: March 1, 2017


“Who knew a bad boy could mend a broken heart."

What does a girl do after she discovers her fiancé is a cheating bastard?

In my case, I performed the ritual implosion of all scorned women. I drowned my sorrows in cases of white wine, wallowed in gallons of ice cream, and ignited a bonfire to burn away every damn remnant of his existence. Six months later, the only result was a permanent impression of my ass on the couch.

Adventure Dating my friends dared.
A new and exciting opportunity they said.
I thought they were crazy, but I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so I signed up for the entire four-week deal.

That’s where I saw HIM. Lucas Cummings. He isn’t the classic rich boy I usually end up with. The one whose idea of working up a sweat is waiting for his margarita to be served on the beach. Nope. He’s a rough and tough bad boy that all fathers warn their daughters about. You know the type. Cocky swagger, chiseled jaw—the ‘V’.

SOLD, I said to myself, until I discovered he was so much more than just a BOXER.

Left Hook.

Right to the heart.

Pre-order Links

$2.99 special pre-order price


Also Available


Free in Kindle Unlimited

Author Bio

Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two established authors for the price of one. You might be wondering if you know us? Maybe you’ll read our books and figure it out. Maybe you won’t. Does it really matter?

We aren’t trying to stamp ourselves with a top-secret label. We wanted to write without apology. We wanted to not be pigeon holed into a specific outline. We wanted to give readers a story without them assuming how the story will flow. Everyone has their favorite authors, right? And when you pick up their books, you expect something from them. Whether it’s an alpha male, heavy angst, a happily ever after, there’s something you are absolutely certain the book will contain. Heck, we’re readers, too, we get it.

What can we tell you about ourselves? We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We're both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We're both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.

Author Links

{ Release Blitz & Review } 🏇STRYDER🏇 by Alta Hensley and Maggie Ryan


Stryder by Alta Hensley and Maggie Ryan is live! Grab this hot bad boy now!


BUY NOW: #FREE with #KindleUnlimited



USA Today Bestselling Authors Maggie Ryan and Alta Hensley join forces again to bring you the second novel in this action-packed, romantic suspense trilogy full of bad boys and the women who love them.
Dark… seductive… promise Stryder Steele, along with his two brothers and father, lives by one code: Help all in need. Even if it means saving those who walk among the most sinister criminals in the world. Known as The Black Stallions, their mission is simple – provide rescue and safety to the innocents drawn into the evil depths of the underground. Zoya Morozova has been kidnapped and ready to be sold at an underground human auction in Moscow. Being sold to the highest bidder, she has no idea her life is about to change when her new Master is the dark and mysterious… Stryder Steele. Bad boy Stryder remembers the pain of being unable to save another but he’ll put his life on the line to save this beautiful Russian farm girl. When he buys Zoya with the purpose of rescuing her, he has no idea that she may have the power to rescue him as well. Flown to The Black Stallion Ranch, and with the help of Zoya and the knowledge of the human sex trade she has, can the Steeles put together the pieces in time to save all the innocent women who had been sold to the monsters of the underground, or will they lose to the mastermind of it all? Publisher's Note: This book contains graphic sex and BDSM elements.



About the Authors: 

Alta Hensley 

A USA TODAY bestselling erotic romance author who has had #1 top-selling books in Dark, contemporary, BDSM, erotic science fiction, humor, and historical. She writes the naughty… and then the cure for it. Being a multi-published author in the power exchange genre, Alta is known for her dark, gritty alpha heroes, sometimes sweet love stories, hot eroticism, and engaging tales of the constant struggle between dominance and submission. 

Join her mailing list: 

Maggie Ryan : 

A USA Today and #1 international best selling author, Maggie Ryan has been writing stories as long as she can remember. She enjoys writing both contemporary erotica as well as historical books set in ages past. She loves developing characters that are able to tell their own stories. Her heroines are multi-faceted women who are strong, intelligent and capable in their own right but find a deep need to share their lives with those strong, sexy and dominant alpha males that capture their hearts. Her heroes recognize the gift of submission for the gift it is, loving and protecting the women that offer that gift. She enjoys sweet, romantic stories with just a taste of domestic discipline as well as one that explore the harsher D/S lifestyle. She also enjoys writing age-play stories set both in Victorian era where women didn't have a great deal of power in their lives as well as in today's present time where women still find their happiness is greatly enhanced in offering the gift of submission. Her hope is that you settle back in your favorite chair and allow her books to entertain you and let you escape into another world. 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

{ Cover Reveal} THRONE OF TRUTH by Pepper Winters



The final conclusion to the multiple USA Today Bestseller Crown of Lies. 

Releasing 28th Feb!




Since my life changed for the second time and not necessarily for the better. Two years since I traded prison bars for streets and hunted a runaway who I’d met in an alley.


Since I forgot how to lie, woke to fists, and chased after the girl who’d been stolen from me. 


To save her, rescue her, keep my lies intact. She looks at me full of hate. I look at her full of confession. 


For our relationship to switch from mutual dislike to floundering with unknowns. I’ve hurt her. Now, she’s hurt me. I guess we’re even.


For her to listen, to see, to finally know who I am. The answer comes with hardship. The answer isn’t what she wants to hear.


For me to walk out the door.


For it all to be over.

If you’d like to share Crown of Lies links too they are:

Pepper Winters

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author

Author of Bestselling Titles: Monsters in the Dark Trilogy, Indebted Series, Pure Corruption Duology, Unseen Messages, Destroyed, Can't Touch This, Dollar Series, & Truth and Lies Duet.

Dollar Series: Pennies / Dollars / Hundreds / Thousands / Millions

Monsters in the Dark: Tears of Tess | Quintessentially Q | Twisted Together | Je Suis a Toi


Unseen Messages

Indebted Series: Debt Inheritance | First Debt | Second Debt | Third Debt | Fourth Debt | Final Debt | Indebted Epilogue

Pure Corruption Series: Ruin & Rule | Sin & Suffer

Can't Touch This

Crown of Lies | Throne of Truth

Newsletter for New Release Alerts





{It's Live & Review } VENOM & ECSTASY by Shanora Williams

Title: Venom & Ecstasy
Series: Venom, #2
Author: S. Williams
Genre: Erotic Dark Romance
Release Date: February 16, 2017

I am much more than meets the eye.
I am stronger, smarter, and I won’t stop until I’m on top.
He thinks he’s safe around me. He’s a fool to believe so.
What would I do if the most wanted man in the world wanted me?
The answer is simple.
Get rid of him before he dares get rid of me.

Shanora Williams is a twenty-something-year-old who creates raw, authentic romantic stories that, may or may not, make you question what a “Happily Ever After” truly is. After hitting the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers list at the mere age of nineteen, Shanora ventured further into the creative writing world, working even harder to create unique and memorable romances for all to enjoy.
She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, will be the mother of two amazing boys, has a devoted and supportive man, and is a sister to eleven.
When she isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her family, binge reading, or running marathons on Netflix while scarfing down anything sweet and salty.


Well this was quite the ride! What a wicked web that has been woven in this 2nd installment of the Venom Trilogy.

Picking up where we left off from Passion and Venom (Venom Book 1). Draco tries his best to make Gia understand why he does what he does and is doing it all because she was 'promised' to him years ago.

El Jefe and La Patrona are making headways in building their relationship. Trust is forming, Sex is steaming and just when you think you might hear wedding bells in their future, all bonds are broken.

Once again, Gia thinks she knows everything and can trust all who have 'helped' her in the past. Even if that helping is against what others believe... Even if trusting ones who have helped her is not what she has been told to do.

This was a non stoppable read book for me. Turning the pages just to find out what would happen next... Would this web that has been perfectly spun survive? Or would it......... Bam..... have to wait for Book 3 to find out!!

Bring it on...Can Not Wait to see how this story will conclude with all the heart stopping, throw my kindle, OMG moments I had with the first 2 books.

[Release Blitz]: Going for the Hole by L.P. Dover

Title: Going for the Hole Author: L.P. Dover Genre: Sports Rom/Com Release Date:  June 25, 2018 Cover Designer: Letitia Hass...

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